Finding partners to play the music of regulation

Ross C. Hardison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this issue of Blood, Wilson et al generate and analyze a treasure trove of epigenetic data, such as transcription factor occupancy, histone modifications, and chromatin interaction frequencies, genome-wide (ie, epigenomic data), in a cell line model of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs).1 To appreciate the importance of these data, consider an analogy of gene expression being a song or symphony (transcripts) played by musicians (transcription factors and transcriptional machinery) reading the score encoded in the genome sequence. Previous studies2 revealed the positions of a few transcription factors across the genome, so we only knew about, for example, the violinists and oboists. No wonder we did not understand how the music was being generated (how expression was regulated). By mapping the sites of occupancy of many more transcription factors (now a total of 29), as well as positions of 4 histone modifications and DNase hypersensitive sites, Wilson et al1 reveal many more of the players and their partners. Furthermore, their data on 3-dimensional interaction frequencies of chromatin show how groups of musicians (protein complexes) come together in an orchestra to read the score and perform a symphony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1624-1626
Number of pages3
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 31 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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