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Cell. 2014 Mar 27;157(1):13-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.009.

Looping back to leap forward: transcription enters a new era.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA. Electronic address: mlevine@berkeley.edu.
2
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, CIRM Center of Excellence, Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA.
3
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, CIRM Center of Excellence, Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA. Electronic address: jmlim@uclink4.berkeley.edu.

Abstract

Comparative genome analyses reveal that organismal complexity scales not with gene number but with gene regulation. Recent efforts indicate that the human genome likely contains hundreds of thousands of enhancers, with a typical gene embedded in a milieu of tens of enhancers. Proliferation of cis-regulatory DNAs is accompanied by increased complexity and functional diversification of transcriptional machineries recognizing distal enhancers and core promoters and by the high-order spatial organization of genetic elements. We review progress in unraveling one of the outstanding mysteries of modern biology: the dynamic communication of remote enhancers with target promoters in the specification of cellular identity.

PMID:
24679523
PMCID:
PMC4059561
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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