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Trends Genet. 2001 Sep;17(9):520-7.

CTCF is a uniquely versatile transcription regulator linked to epigenetics and disease.

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Dept of Genetics and Development, Evolution Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18A, S-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


CTCF is an evolutionarily conserved zinc finger (ZF) phosphoprotein that binds through combinatorial use of its 11 ZFs to approximately 50 bp target sites that have remarkable sequence variation. Formation of different CTCF-DNA complexes, some of which are methylation-sensitive, results in distinct functions, including gene activation, repression, silencing and chromatin insulation. Disrupting the spectrum of target specificities by ZF mutations or by abnormal selective methylation of targets is associated with cancer. CTCF emerges, therefore, as a central player in networks linking expression domains with epigenetics and cell growth regulation.

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