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Nat Rev Genet. 2012 Sep;13(9):613-26. doi: 10.1038/nrg3207. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Transcription factors: from enhancer binding to developmental control.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany. spitz@embl.de

Abstract

Developmental progression is driven by specific spatiotemporal domains of gene expression, which give rise to stereotypically patterned embryos even in the presence of environmental and genetic variation. Views of how transcription factors regulate gene expression are changing owing to recent genome-wide studies of transcription factor binding and RNA expression. Such studies reveal patterns that, at first glance, seem to contrast with the robustness of the developmental processes they encode. Here, we review our current knowledge of transcription factor function from genomic and genetic studies and discuss how different strategies, including extensive cooperative regulation (both direct and indirect), progressive priming of regulatory elements, and the integration of activities from multiple enhancers, confer specificity and robustness to transcriptional regulation during development.

PMID:
22868264
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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