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Boosting transcription by transcription: enhancer-associated transcripts.


ABSTRACT: Enhancers are traditionally viewed as DNA sequences located some distance from a promoter that act in cis and in an orientation-independent fashion to increase utilization of specific promoters and thereby regulate gene expression. Much progress has been made over the last decade toward understanding how these distant elements interact with target promoters, but how transcription is enhanced remains an object of active inquiry. Recent reports convey the prevalence and diversity of enhancer transcription and transcripts and support both as key factors with mechanistically distinct, but not mutually exclusive roles in enhancer function. Decoupling the causes and effects of transcription on the local chromatin landscape and understanding the role of enhancer transcripts in the context of long-range interactions are challenges that require additional attention. In this review, we focus on the possible functions of enhancer transcription by highlighting several recent enhancer RNA papers and, within the context of other enhancer studies, speculate on the role of enhancer transcription in regulating differential gene expression.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3867273 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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