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DNA Conformation Regulates Gene Expression: The MYC Promoter and Beyond

Zaytseva, Olga, Quinn, Leonie M.
BioEssays 2018 v.40 no.4 pp. e1700235
DNA, DNA conformation, gene expression, gene expression regulation, neoplasms, oncogenes, proteins, topology, torsional stress, transcription (genetics)
Emerging evidence suggests that DNA topology plays an instructive role in cell fate control through regulation of gene expression. Transcription produces torsional stress, and the resultant supercoiling of the DNA molecule generates an array of secondary structures. In turn, local DNA architecture is harnessed by the cell, acting within sensory feedback mechanisms to mediate transcriptional output. MYC is a potent oncogene, which is upregulated in the majority of cancers; thus numerous studies have focused on detailed understanding of its regulation. Dissection of regulatory regions within the MYC promoter provided the first hint that intimate feedback between DNA topology and associated DNA remodeling proteins is critical for moderating transcription. As evidence of such regulation is also found in the context of many other genes, here we expand on the prototypical example of the MYC promoter, and also explore DNA architecture in a genome‐wide context as a global mechanism of transcriptional control.