Slow chromatin dynamics enhances promoter accessibility to transcriptional condensates

Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 May 21;49(9):5017-5027. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab275.


Enhancers are DNA sequences at a long genomic distance from target genes. Recent experiments suggest that enhancers are anchored to the surfaces of condensates of transcription machinery and that the loop extrusion process enhances the transcription level of their target genes. Here, we theoretically study the polymer dynamics driven by the loop extrusion of the linker DNA between an enhancer and the promoter of its target gene to calculate the contact probability of the promoter to the transcription machinery in the condensate. Our theory predicts that when the loop extrusion process is active, the contact probability increases with increasing linker DNA length. This finding reflects the fact that the relaxation time, with which the promoter stays in proximity to the surface of the transcriptional condensate, increases as the length of the linker DNA increases. This contrasts the equilibrium case for which the contact probability between the promoter and the transcription machineries is smaller for longer linker DNA lengths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / chemistry*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • DNA

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.14102156