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Trends Biochem Sci. 2003 Jun;28(6):277-80.

A closer look at long-range chromosomal interactions.

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  • 1Program in Gene Function and Expression and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Lazare Research Building, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester 01605, USA.


Higher-order chromosome organization is emerging as a major determinant of gene regulation. Although the structure of chromatin at the level of individual nucleosomes has been studied in considerable detail, less is known about higher levels of organization. Two new methods have been developed that can be used to obtain detailed information about the higher-order folding of chromatin. Using these methods, long-range looping interactions have been shown to occur upon activation of the murine beta-globin locus, explaining the long-standing question of how gene regulatory elements can act at large genomic distances from their target genes.

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