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Trends Genet. 2006 Apr;22(4):197-202. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Chromatin looping and the probability of transcription.

Author information

  • 1Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. li111640@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Recent studies of several multigene clusters have shown that gene activation by a remote enhancer is associated with chromatin loop formation. It is not fully understood how a chromatin loop forms in a nucleus or how it is involved in gene regulation. In this article, we propose that the major feature that determines loop formation is the flexibility of chromatin, and that this flexibility is modulated by histone acetylation (and other modifications). Thus, histone modifications will modulate distribution of the preferential looping site in chromatin, which, in turn, determines the probability of interaction between a remote enhancer and the cognate genes. This model can explain gene expression changes in the Hoxd gene cluster and the beta-globin locus.

PMID:
16494964
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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