Super-enhancers in transcriptional regulation and genome organization

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11481–11496
Journal / PublicationNucleic Acids Research
Volume47
Issue number22
Online published14 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019

Abstract

Gene expression is precisely controlled in a stage and cell-type-specific manner, largely through the interaction between cis-regulatory elements and their associated trans-acting factors. Where these components aggregate in promoters and enhancers, they are able to cooperate to modulate chromatin structure and support the engagement in long-range 3D superstructures that shape the dynamics of a cell's genomic architecture. Recently, the term 'super-enhancer' has been introduced to describe a hyper-active regulatory domain comprising a complex array of sequence elements that work together to control the key gene networks involved in cell identity. Here, we survey the unique characteristics of super-enhancers compared to other enhancer types and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of their biological role in gene regulation. In particular, we discuss their capacity to attract the formation of phase-separated condensates, and capacity to generate three-dimensional genome structures that precisely activate their target genes. We also propose a multi-stage transition model to explain the evolutionary pressure driving the development of super-enhancers in complex organisms, and highlight the potential for involvement in tumorigenesis. Finally, we discuss more broadly the role of super-enhancers in human health disorders and related potential in therapeutic interventions.

Citation Format(s)

Super-enhancers in transcriptional regulation and genome organization. / Wang, Xi; Cairns, Murray J.; Yan, Jian.

In: Nucleic Acids Research, Vol. 47, No. 22, 16.12.2019, p. 11481–11496.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review