Insulator region

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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boundary elements; Insulator; Insulator elements; Isolator; Limit elements

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In the genetics of eukaryotes, the insulator region or isolator region of a chromatin is a DNA sequence that delimits and isolates various genetic control elements such as enhancers and promoters from each other. Insulator regions act via DNA-binding proteins that are specific for their sequence.

It is essential for the functionality of an insulator that it is always positioned between the enhancer region and the promoter region of a chromatin. If two isolator regions are located directly next to each other, their isolating properties antagonize each other.

For example, insulators can prevent transcription factors from activating genes that are located upstream, so that they are only able to act downstream.

Insulators can influence genes that are already "imprinted". This opens up possibilities for epigenetic regulation.

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  1. Schoborg T et al (2014) Expanding the roles of chromatin insulators in nuclear architecture, chromatin organization and genome function. Cell Mol Life Sci 71:4089-4113.

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Epigenetics; Transcription factors;


Last updated on: 29.10.2020