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Bioessays. 2017 Mar;39(3). doi: 10.1002/bies.201600233. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

Boundaries of loop domains (insulators): Determinants of chromosome form and function in multicellular eukaryotes.

Author information

1
Department of the Control of Genetic Processes, Institute of Gene Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.
4
Laboratory of Gene Expression Regulation in Development, Institute of Gene Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Abstract

Chromosomes in multicellular animals are subdivided into a series of looped domains. In addition to being the underlying principle for organizing the chromatin fiber, looping is critical for processes ranging from gene regulation to recombination and repair. The subdivision of chromosomes into looped domains depends upon a special class of architectural elements called boundaries or insulators. These elements are distributed throughout the genome and are ubiquitous building blocks of chromosomes. In this review, we focus on features of boundaries that are critical in determining the topology of the looped domains and their genetic properties. We highlight the properties of fly boundaries that are likely to have an important bearing on the organization of looped domains in vertebrates, and discuss the functional consequences of the observed similarities and differences.

KEYWORDS:

TADs; chromosome architecture; gene regulation; insulators; loop topology; looped domain

PMID:
28133765
PMCID:
PMC5536339
DOI:
10.1002/bies.201600233
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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