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Enhancers, enhancers - from their discovery to today's universe of transcription enhancers


Schaffner, Walter (2015). Enhancers, enhancers - from their discovery to today's universe of transcription enhancers. Biological Chemistry, 396(4):311-327.

Abstract

Transcriptional enhancers are short (200-1500 base pairs) DNA segments that are able to dramatically boost transcription from the promoter of a target gene. Originally discovered in simian virus 40 (SV40), a small DNA virus, transcription enhancers were soon also found in immunoglobulin genes and other cellular genes as key determinants of cell-type-specific gene expression. Enhancers can exert their effect over long distances of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of base pairs, either from upstream, downstream, or from within a transcription unit. The number of enhancers in eukaryotic genomes correlates with the complexity of the organism; a typical mammalian gene is likely controlled by several enhancers to fine-tune its expression at different developmental stages, in different cell types and in response to different signaling cues. Here, I provide a personal account of how enhancers were discovered more than 30 years ago, and also address the amazing development of the field since then.

Abstract

Transcriptional enhancers are short (200-1500 base pairs) DNA segments that are able to dramatically boost transcription from the promoter of a target gene. Originally discovered in simian virus 40 (SV40), a small DNA virus, transcription enhancers were soon also found in immunoglobulin genes and other cellular genes as key determinants of cell-type-specific gene expression. Enhancers can exert their effect over long distances of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of base pairs, either from upstream, downstream, or from within a transcription unit. The number of enhancers in eukaryotic genomes correlates with the complexity of the organism; a typical mammalian gene is likely controlled by several enhancers to fine-tune its expression at different developmental stages, in different cell types and in response to different signaling cues. Here, I provide a personal account of how enhancers were discovered more than 30 years ago, and also address the amazing development of the field since then.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:April 2015
Deposited On:16 Feb 2016 15:34
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 18:43
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:1431-6730
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2014-0303
PubMed ID:25719310

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