Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Epigenetics & Chromatin and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Enhancers and silencers: an integrated and simple model for their function

Petros Kolovos12, Tobias A Knoch123, Frank G Grosveld2, Peter R Cook4 and Argyris Papantonis4*

Author Affiliations

1 Biophysical Genomics, Erasmus MC, Faculty Building, Dr Molewaterplein 50, NL-3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Cell Biology & Genetics, Erasmus MC, Faculty Building, Dr Molewaterplein 50, NL-3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

3 Genome Organization & Function, BioQuant & German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 267, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

4 Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RE, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

Epigenetics & Chromatin 2012, 5:1  doi:10.1186/1756-8935-5-1

Published: 9 January 2012

Abstract

Regulatory DNA elements such as enhancers, silencers and insulators are embedded in metazoan genomes, and they control gene expression during development. Although they fulfil different roles, they share specific properties. Herein we discuss some examples and a parsimonious model for their function is proposed. All are transcription units that tether their target promoters close to, or distant from, transcriptional hot spots (or 'factories').

Keywords:
enhancer; silencer; insulator; transcription factory; hub; long-range interactions; chromosome conformation capture; three-dimensional genome architecture