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Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic. 2005 May;4(1):58-68.

Strategies for characterising cis-regulatory elements in Xenopus.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.


Understanding the cis-regulatory architecture of metazoan organisms is the greatest challenge facing genome biology today. In vertebrate organisms, distinct sequence elements mediate transcriptional regulation and are scattered throughout the genome, either proximal or distal to promoters. The identification of transcriptional enhancers has proven rather difficult by conventional experimental approaches. In the past decade, the rapid generation of genomic sequences for multiple vertebrate organisms, accompanied by sophisticated comparative tools, has facilitated the identification of non-coding evolutionarily conserved regions that may encode cis-regulatory elements. Validating computational predictions and characterising cis-regulatory elements in vivo, however, has been a major bottleneck, mainly because the most commonly used organism for these experiments has been the mouse, and generating transgenic mice or modifying the mouse genome continues to be a labour-intensive, low-throughput, expensive process. This has led to the use of Xenopus, which holds great promise for high-throughput interrogation of putative cis-regulatory elements. In particular, Xenopus tropicalis may become particularly powerful for elucidating regulatory networks, chiefly because it is amenable to genetic manipulations, and its genome is being sequenced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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