Table of Contents
Genes, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Development is orchestrated by regulatory elements that turn genes ON or OFF in precise patterns. [...] Read more. Development is orchestrated by regulatory elements that turn genes ON or OFF in precise patterns. Many safety mechanisms prevent a regulatory element from inappropriately regulating the wrong gene. In flies and mammals, dedicated DNA elements called insulators recruit insulator binding proteins (IBPs) to shield promoters from regulatory elements. A single IBP called CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is known in mammals, whereas functional studies in Drosophila have identified several IBPs. How insulators function at the molecular level is unclear, but they may fold chromosomes into conformations that affect regulatory element-promoter communication. We compare and contrast recent studies in flies and mice to ask: Is insulation important for animal development? Though requirements for insulation differ, insulation emerges as a conserved and critical gene regulation strategy. View this paper.