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F1000 Biol Rep. 2012;4:8. doi: 10.3410/B4-8. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

The context of gene expression regulation.

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1
Program in Systems Biology; Program in Gene Function and Expression University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.

Abstract

Recent advances in sequencing technologies have uncovered a world of RNAs that do not code for proteins, known as non-protein coding RNAs, that play important roles in gene regulation. Along with histone modifications and transcription factors, non-coding RNA is part of a layer of transcriptional control on top of the DNA code. This layer of components and their interactions specifically enables (or disables) the modulation of three-dimensional folding of chromatin to create a context for transcriptional regulation that underlies cell-specific transcription. In this perspective, we propose a structural and functional hierarchy, in which the DNA code, proteins and non-coding RNAs act as context creators to fold chromosomes and regulate genes.

PMID:
22500194
PMCID:
PMC3318259
DOI:
10.3410/B4-8
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