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Mitotic bookmarking by transcription factors

Stephan Kadauke12 and Gerd A Blobel12*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Hematology, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA

2 Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA

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Epigenetics & Chromatin 2013, 6:6  doi:10.1186/1756-8935-6-6

Published: 2 April 2013


Mitosis is accompanied by dramatic changes in chromatin organization and nuclear architecture. Transcription halts globally and most sequence-specific transcription factors and co-factors are ejected from mitotic chromatin. How then does the cell maintain its transcriptional identity throughout the cell division cycle? It has become clear that not all traces of active transcription and gene repression are erased within mitotic chromatin. Many histone modifications are stable or only partially diminished throughout mitosis. In addition, some sequence-specific DNA binding factors have emerged that remain bound to select sites within mitotic chromatin, raising the possibility that they function to transmit regulatory information through the transcriptionally silent mitotic phase, a concept that has been termed “mitotic bookmarking.” Here we review recent approaches to studying potential bookmarking factors with regards to their mitotic partitioning, and summarize emerging ideas concerning the in vivo functions of mitotically bound nuclear factors.

Mitosis; Bookmarking; Hematopoiesis; Chromatin; Reprogramming