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Received December 28, 2006; Revision received February 8, 2007
Epigenetic elements of the genome, i.e. elements that determine stably inherited changes in gene expression without changes in the genomic DNA sequence, are essential tools of genetic regulation in higher eukaryotes. The complete sequencing of the human and other genomes allowed studies to be started on positioning of these elements within long multigenic regions of the genome, which is a prerequisite for a comprehensive functional annotation of genomes. This mini-review considers some recent experimental approaches to the high-throughput identification and mapping of epigenetic elements of mammalian genomes, including the mapping of methylated CpG sites, open and closed chromatin regions, and DNase I hypersensitivity sites.
KEY WORDS: functional genomics, epigenome, CpG methylation, chromatin structure, hypersensitivity to DNase I, gene regulation