, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 201-214
Date: 24 Mar 2009

How cohesin and CTCF cooperate in regulating gene expression

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Abstract

Cohesin is a DNA-binding protein complex that is essential for sister chromatid cohesion and facilitates the repair of damaged DNA. In addition, cohesin has important roles in regulating gene expression, but the molecular mechanisms of this function are poorly understood. Recent experiments have revealed that cohesin binds to the same sites in mammalian genomes as the zinc finger transcription factor CTCF. At a few loci CTCF has been shown to function as an enhancer-blocking transcriptional insulator, and recent observations indicate that this function depends on cohesin. Here we review what is known about the roles of cohesin and CTCF in regulating gene expression in mammalian cells, and we discuss how cohesin might mediate the insulator function of CTCF.

Responsible Editor: Christian Haering.