A new perspective is emerging in the transcription field towards understanding gene regulation not only at its most fundamental level but also in the context of chromatin, nuclear compartmentalization, and physiological processes. This direction is being fueled by several key observations. Among them is the discovery of multi-protein complexes whose components reveal a link between gene activity, nuclear structure, and cellular signaling pathways. This information will no doubt be extended by identifying expanded regulatory circuitry using the microchip oligonucleotide array technology. In addition to elucidating the regulatory consequences of these intricate connections, another frontier will be to analyze gene expression within chromosomes. This requires deciphering the mechanism of action of a variety of DNA elements that create a genetic domain such as locus control regions, distal enhancers, insulators, silencers, and matrix attachment regions. Hopefully, with the development of new assays these elements can be as rigorously defined as promoters have been. We can also look forward to capturing critical transcriptional processes by increasingly refined structural analyses. Thus, the scope of problems being addressed in gene regulation has been greatly expanded and the opportunity exists to answer very sophisticated questions in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research