The Regulatory Genome and Cistrome

The Regulatory Genome and Cistrome (调控基因组与顺式作用元件组)

The cistrome refers to “the set of cis-acting targets of a trans-acting factor on a genome-wide scale, also known as the in vivo genome-wide location of [transcription factor binding-sites] or histone modifications”. The term cistrome is a portmanteau of cistr (from cistron) + ome (from genome). The term cistrome was coined by investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Technologies such as chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with microarray analysis “ChIP-on-chip” or with massively parallel DNA sequencing “ChIP-Seq” have greatly facilitated the definition of the cistrome of transcription factors and other chromatin associated proteins.

The Regulatory Genome beautifully explains the control of animal development in terms of structure/function relations of inherited regulatory DNA sequence, and the emergent properties of the gene regulatory networks composed of these sequences.

The sequencing of the whole genome of multiple species provides us with the instruction book of how to build an organism and make it work, plus a detailed history of how diversity was generated during evolution. Unfortunately, we still understand only a small fraction, which is locating where genes are and deciphering the proteins they code for. The next step is to understand how the correct amount of gene products are produced in space and time to obtain a fully functioning organism, from the egg to the adult. This is what is known as the regulatory genome, a term coined by Eric H. Davidson.

References and Further Reading:

(cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors)


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