Roles of Lineage-Determining Transcription Factors in Establishing Open Chromatin: Lessons From High-Throughput Studies

  • Sven Heinz
  • Christopher K. GlassEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 356)


The interpretation of the regulatory information of the genome by sequence-specific transcription factors lies at the heart of the specification of cellular identity and function. While most cells in a complex metazoan organism express hundreds of such transcription factors, the underlying mechanisms by which they ultimately achieve their functional locations within different cell types remain poorly understood. Here, we contrast various models of how cell type-specific binding patterns may arise using available evidence from ChIP-Seq experiments obtained in tractable developmental model systems, particularly the hematopoietic system. The data suggests a model whereby relatively small sets of lineage-determining transcription factors jointly compete with nucleosomes to establish their cell type-specific binding patterns. These binding sites gain histone marks indicative of active cis-regulatory elements and define a large fraction of the enhancer-like regions differentiated cell types. The formation of these regions of open chromatin enables the recruitment of secondary transcription factors that contribute additional transcription regulatory functionality required for the cell type-appropriate expression of genes with both general and specialized cellular functions.


Open Chromatin Histone H3K4 Ternary Complex Formation Histone Modification Pattern Transcription Factor Motif 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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