Enhancers and silencers: an integrated and simple model for their function
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
Epigenetics & Chromatin 2012, 5:1 doi:10.1186/1756-8935-5-1Published: 9 January 2012
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').