Genome-wide identification of enhancer elements in the placenta

Placenta. 2019 Apr:79:72-77. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2018.09.003. Epub 2018 Sep 15.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Female
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Placentation*
  • Pregnancy