Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

CCCTC-Binding Factor

  • Elena Klenova
  • Dmitri Loukinov
  • Victor Lobanenkov
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_902-2



CTCF (acronym for a “CCCTC-binding factor”) is a highly conserved and ubiquitous protein with multiple functions, which include regulation of transcription, chromatin insulation, and genomic imprinting.


The CTCF protein was originally identified for its ability to bind to a promoter element of the chicken c-myc gene. The sequence recognized by CTCF contained the CCCTC repeats and therefore the protein was defined as CTCF (the CCCTC-binding factor). However, it was later discovered that other CTCF-target sequences (or CTSs) were remarkably dissimilar, and the term “multivalent transcription factor” was coined for CTCF. Another unusual feature of the CTSs is their length: the analysis of binding patterns of CTCF to multiple sites demonstrated that CTCF requires about 50–60-bp-long sequence to form a complex with DNA.

The ability of CTCF to bind such diverse targets has been attributed to its DNA-binding domain, which is composed of 11 zinc fingers...


Insulator Function CTCF Binding BRCA1 Promoter Imprint Control Region CTCF Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Klenova
    • 1
  • Dmitri Loukinov
    • 2
  • Victor Lobanenkov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of EssexColchesterUK
  2. 2.Section of Molecular Pathology, Laboratory of ImmunopathologyNIAID, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA