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Molecules 2018, 23(8), 1914;

Pioneer Factors in Animals and Plants—Colonizing Chromatin for Gene Regulation

Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire et Végétale, CNRS, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CEA, INRA, BIG, 38000 Grenoble, France
These two authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 28 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein-DNA Interactions: From Biophysics to Genomics)
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Unlike most transcription factors (TF), pioneer TFs have a specialized role in binding closed regions of chromatin and initiating the subsequent opening of these regions. Thus, pioneer TFs are key factors in gene regulation with critical roles in developmental transitions, including organ biogenesis, tissue development, and cellular differentiation. These developmental events involve some major reprogramming of gene expression patterns, specifically the opening and closing of distinct chromatin regions. Here, we discuss how pioneer TFs are identified using biochemical and genome-wide techniques. What is known about pioneer TFs from animals and plants is reviewed, with a focus on the strategies used by pioneer factors in different organisms. Finally, the different molecular mechanisms pioneer factors used are discussed, highlighting the roles that tertiary and quaternary structures play in nucleosome-compatible DNA-binding. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcription factor; pioneer activity; cell fate transition; chromatin accessibility transcription factor; pioneer activity; cell fate transition; chromatin accessibility

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lai, X.; Verhage, L.; Hugouvieux, V.; Zubieta, C. Pioneer Factors in Animals and Plants—Colonizing Chromatin for Gene Regulation. Molecules 2018, 23, 1914.

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