Gene silencing in mammalian cells and the spread of DNA methylation

Mitchell S. Turker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


Aberrant gene silencing in mammalian cells is associated with promoter region methylation, but the sequence of these two events is not clear. This review will consider the possibility that gene silencing is not a single event, but instead a series of events that begins with a dramatic drop in transcription potential and ends with its complete cessation. This transition will be portrayed as a chaotic process that ensues when transcription levels drop and DNA methylation begins spreading haltingly towards the diminished promoter. According to this view, silencing is stabilized when the promoter region is 'captured' by the spread of DNA methylation near or into its transcription factor binding sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5388-5393
Number of pages6
Issue number35 REV. ISS. 3
StatePublished - Aug 12 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA methylation
  • Methylation spreading
  • Silencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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