Topology of mammalian developmental enhancers and their regulatory landscapes

Nature. 2013 Oct 24;502(7472):499-506. doi: 10.1038/nature12753.


How a complex animal can arise from a fertilized egg is one of the oldest and most fascinating questions of biology, the answer to which is encoded in the genome. Body shape and organ development, and their integration into a functional organism all depend on the precise expression of genes in space and time. The orchestration of transcription relies mostly on surrounding control sequences such as enhancers, millions of which form complex regulatory landscapes in the non-coding genome. Recent research shows that high-order chromosome structures make an important contribution to enhancer functionality by triggering their physical interactions with target genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics*
  • Genome / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics


  • DNA