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Reference: Hampsey M (2012) Molecular biology. A new direction for gene loops. Science 338(6107):624-5

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Abstract


The textbook illustration of a gene depicts a linear structure, with flanking regulatory sequences?a promoter on the left and a terminator on the right, to start and stop transcription, respectively. However, recent analyses of chromatin architecture have revealed that the promoter and terminator elements are not necessarily separate in three-dimensional space, but can be juxtaposed to form ?gene loops? (1, 2). Gene loops are not static structures; they form transiently in a transcription-dependent manner. But what function do they serve? On page 671 of this issue, Tan-Wong et al. report that gene loops restrict divergent transcription from inherently bidirectional promoters, repressing the synthesis of noncoding RNA (3).

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Comment | Journal Article | Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
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Hampsey M
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