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Cell. 2009 Jun 26;137(7):1194-211. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.06.001.

CTCF: master weaver of the genome.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


CTCF is a highly conserved zinc finger protein implicated in diverse regulatory functions, including transcriptional activation/repression, insulation, imprinting, and X chromosome inactivation. Here we re-evaluate data supporting these roles in the context of mechanistic insights provided by recent genome-wide studies and highlight evidence for CTCF-mediated intra- and interchromosomal contacts at several developmentally regulated genomic loci. These analyses support a primary role for CTCF in the global organization of chromatin architecture and suggest that CTCF may be a heritable component of an epigenetic system regulating the interplay between DNA methylation, higher-order chromatin structure, and lineage-specific gene expression.

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