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Background: CBX1 is a highly conserved nonhistone protein, which is a member of the heterochromatin protein family . The protein is enriched in the heterochromatin and associated with centromeres. The protein has a single N-terminal chromodomain which can bind to histone proteins via methylated lysine residues, and a C-terminal chromo shadow-domain (CSD) which is responsible for the homodimerization and interaction with a number of chromatin-associated nonhistone proteins. The protein may play an important role in the epigenetic control of chromatin structure and gene expression.