Eukaryotic gene expression is regulated through chromatin conformation, in which enhancers and promoters physically interact (E-P interactions). How such chromatin-mediated E-P interactions affect gene expression is not yet fully understood, but the roles of histone acetylation and methylation, pioneer transcription factors, and architectural proteins such as CCCTC binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin have recently attracted attention. Moreover, accumulated data suggest that E-P interactions are mechanistically involved in biophysical events, including liquid-liquid phase separation, and in biological events, including cancers. In this review, we discuss various mechanisms that regulate eukaryotic gene expression, focusing on emerging views regarding chromatin conformations that are involved in E-P interactions and factors that establish and maintain them.
Keywords: cancer; enhancer; gene expression; histone modifications; liquid–liquid phase separation; promoter.