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Chromatin Control of Viral Infection

All life forms defend their genome against DNA invasion. Mammalian cells counteract this threat to cellular integrity through innate immune system activation (e.g. release of interferon). Cells also silence the incoming DNA, prior to transcription.

Indeed DNA silencing through chromatinisation likely represents the default pathway. Perversely, viruses not only introduce and replicate their nucleic acid, but recruit host machinery to enable replication. Persistent viral survival depends on their ability to evade immune recognition, as well recognized with interferon antagonism, but less well realized in the context of DNA silencing.

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