On and off: scientists describe mechanism to regulate gene transcription

The development of organisms depends on the correct regulation of gene expression, including the silencing of genes that should not be active. This repression is controlled by specialised transcription factors that recruit co-repressors to silence transcription, even in the presence of activating cues. Until now, scientists did not know whether co-repressors can broadly silence all enhancers or display distinct specificities. In the current issue of the journal Science, a team of researchers from the lab of Alexander Stark at the IMP show that most enhancers can be repressed by only a subset of co-repressors.

A 3D illustration of a brown DNA molecule twirls on a black background.

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