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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Mar;68(6):977-90. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0585-2. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Chromosomal organization at the level of gene complexes.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Life Sciences Addition, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-3200, USA. vschopra@berkeley.edu

Abstract

Metazoan genomes primarily consist of non-coding DNA in comparison to coding regions. Non-coding fraction of the genome contains cis-regulatory elements, which ensure that the genetic code is read properly at the right time and space during development. Regulatory elements and their target genes define functional landscapes within the genome, and some developmentally important genes evolve by keeping the genes involved in specification of common organs/tissues in clusters and are termed gene complex. The clustering of genes involved in a common function may help in robust spatio-temporal gene expression. Gene complexes are often found to be evolutionarily conserved, and the classic example is the hox complex. The evolutionary constraints seen among gene complexes provide an ideal model system to understand cis and trans-regulation of gene function. This review will discuss the various characteristics of gene regulatory modules found within gene complexes and how they can be characterized.

PMID:
21080026
PMCID:
PMC3043239
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-010-0585-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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