22 September 2011
Trends in Genetics review
Eivind Valen and Albin Sandelin published a review in Trends in Genetics, entitled "Genomic and chromatin signals underlying transcription start-site selection" . The review describes the various types of signals that are important for transcription initiation - from sequence elements to chromatin marks. The article can be downloaded here.
A central question in cellular biology is how the cell regulates transcription and discerns when and where to initiate it. Locating transcription start sites (TSSs), the signals that specify them, and ultimately elucidating the mechanisms of regulated initiation has therefore been a recurrent theme. In recent years substantial progress has been made towards this goal, spurred by the possibility of applying genome-wide, sequencing-based analysis. We now have a large collection of high-resolution datasets identifying locations of TSSs, protein–DNA interactions, and chromatin features over whole genomes; the field is now faced with the daunting challenge of translating these descriptive maps into quantitative and predictive models describing the underlying biology. We review here the genomic and chromatin features that underlie TSS selection and usage, focusing on the differences between the major classes of core promoters.