Normal placental development is essential for a healthy pregnancy, and is contingent upon tight spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression. One level of transcriptional control is via enhancer elements in the genome. Enhancers are distal cis-regulatory elements that can impact gene expression regardless of their position or orientation. The study of enhancers in the placenta is usually focused on one or two at a time, and the simultaneous identification of all enhancers has been limited. However, such a holistic approach is necessary if we are to gain a systems-level understanding of gene expression regulation in the placenta. Here, we review current methods for genome-scale enhancer identification, as well as studies that have applied those techniques in the placenta, with the aim of guiding future research.
Keywords: ATAC-seq; ChIP-seq; DNase-seq; Enhancer elements; FAIRE-seq; cis-regulation.
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