Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24398455
Genome Res. 2014 Mar;24(3):390-400
Long-range regulatory interactions play an important role in shaping gene-expression programs. However, the genomic features that organize these activities are still poorly characterized. We conducted a large operational analysis to chart the distribution of gene regulatory activities along the mouse genome, using hundreds of insertions of a regulatory sensor. We found that enhancers distribute their activities along broad regions and not in a gene-centric manner, defining large regulatory domains. Remarkably, these domains correlate strongly with the recently described TADs, which partition the genome into distinct self-interacting blocks. Different features, including specific repeats and CTCF-binding sites, correlate with the transition zones separating regulatory domains, and may help to further organize promiscuously distributed regulatory influences within large domains. These findings support a model of genomic organization where TADs confine regulatory activities to specific but large regulatory domains, contributing to the establishment of specific gene expression profiles.