Functional and mechanistic diversity of distal transcription enhancers.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cell, Volume 144, Issue 3, p.327-39 (2011)


2011, Animals, Basic Sciences Division, chromatin, Enhancer Elements, Genetic, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Promoter Regions, Genetic, TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS, Transcription, Genetic


Biological differences among metazoans and between cell types in a given organism arise in large part due to differences in gene expression patterns. Gene-distal enhancers are key contributors to these expression patterns, exhibiting both sequence diversity and cell type specificity. Studies of long-range interactions indicate that enhancers are often important determinants of nuclear organization, contributing to a general model for enhancer function that involves direct enhancer-promoter contact. However, mechanisms for enhancer function are emerging that do not fit solely within such a model, suggesting that enhancers as a class of DNA regulatory element may be functionally and mechanistically diverse.