Architectural proteins: regulators of 3D genome organization in cell fate

Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Nov;24(11):703-11. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Sep 10.


The relation between alterations in chromatin structure and changes in gene expression during cell differentiation has served as a paradigm to understand the link between genome organization and function. Yet, the factors involved and the mechanisms by which the 3D organization of the nucleus is established remain poorly understood. The use of Chromosome Conformation-Capture (3C)-based approaches has resulted in a new appreciation of the role of architectural proteins in the establishment of 3D genome organization. Architectural proteins orchestrate higher-order chromatin organization through the establishment of interactions between regulatory elements across multiple spatial scales. The regulation of these proteins, their interaction with DNA, and their co-occurrence in the genome, may be responsible for the plasticity of 3D chromatin architecture that dictates cell and time-specific blueprints of gene expression.

Keywords: CTCF; chromatin; development; differentiation; transcription.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • DNA
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • DNA