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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2012;28:163-87. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-101011-155824. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Nuclear organization and genome function.

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Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Long-range interactions between transcription regulatory elements play an important role in gene activation, epigenetic silencing, and chromatin organization. Transcriptional activation or repression of developmentally regulated genes is often accomplished through tissue-specific chromatin architecture and dynamic localization between active transcription factories and repressive Polycomb bodies. However, the mechanisms underlying the structural organization of chromatin and the coordination of physical interactions are not fully understood. Insulators and Polycomb group proteins form highly conserved multiprotein complexes that mediate functional long-range interactions and have proposed roles in nuclear organization. In this review, we explore recent findings that have broadened our understanding of the function of these proteins and provide an integrative model for the roles of insulators in nuclear organization.

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