Medical Definition of Gene silencing

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 10/30/2018

Gene silencing: A mechanism by which cells shut down large sections of chromosomal DNA. Gene silencing is done by incorporating the DNA to be silenced into a form of DNA called heterochromatin that is already silent.

The process of gene silencing is important for the differentiation of many different types of cells.

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018