Phase-separated multi-molecular assemblies provide a general regulatory mechanism to compartmentalize biochemical reactions within cells. We propose that a phase separation model explains established and recently described features of transcriptional control. These features include the formation of super-enhancers, the sensitivity of super-enhancers to perturbation, the transcriptional bursting patterns of enhancers, and the ability of an enhancer to produce simultaneous activation at multiple genes. This model provides a conceptual framework to further explore principles of gene control in mammals.
Keywords: bursting; co-operativity; enhancer; gene control; nuclear body; phase separation; super-enhancer; transcription; transcriptional burst.
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