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Journal Articles Nature Structural and Molecular Biology Year : 2022

Current challenges in understanding the role of enhancers in disease

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Abstract

Enhancers play a central role in the spatiotemporal control of gene expression and tend to work in a cell-type-specific manner. In addition, they are suggested to be major contributors to phenotypic variation, evolution and disease. There is growing evidence that enhancer dysfunction due to genetic, structural or epigenetic mechanisms contributes to a broad range of human diseases referred to as enhanceropathies. Such mechanisms often underlie the susceptibility to common diseases, but can also play a direct causal role in cancer or Mendelian diseases. Despite the recent gain of insights into enhancer biology and function, we still have a limited ability to predict how enhancer dysfunction impacts gene expression. Here we discuss the major challenges that need to be overcome when studying the role of enhancers in disease etiology and highlight opportunities and directions for future studies, aiming to disentangle the molecular basis of enhanceropathies.
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hal-03934940 , version 1 (13-01-2023)

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Judith Barbara Zaugg, Pelin Sahlén, Robin Andersson, Meritxell Alberich-Jorda, Wouter de Laat, et al.. Current challenges in understanding the role of enhancers in disease. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 2022, 29 (12), pp.1148-1158. ⟨10.1038/s41594-022-00896-3⟩. ⟨hal-03934940⟩

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