Roles of chromatin insulator proteins in higher-order chromatin organization and transcription regulation

Nucleus. Sep-Oct 2011;2(5):358-69. doi: 10.4161/nucl.2.5.17860. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Abstract

Eukaryotic chromosomes are condensed into several hierarchical levels of complexity: DNA is wrapped around core histones to form nucleosomes, nucleosomes form a higher-order structure called chromatin, and chromatin is subsequently compartmentalized in part by the combination of multiple specific or unspecific long-range contacts. The conformation of chromatin at these three levels greatly influences DNA metabolism and transcription. One class of chromatin regulatory proteins called insulator factors may organize chromatin both locally, by setting up barriers between heterochromatin and euchromatin, and globally by establishing platforms for long-range interactions. Here, we review recent data revealing a global role of insulator proteins in the regulation of transcription through the formation of clusters of long-range interactions that impact different levels of chromatin organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism

Substances

  • BEAF-32 protein, Drosophila
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • CTCF protein, human
  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins