Anatomy of an enhancer

Catherine C. Thompson, Steven L. McKnight

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Enhancers, the elements that regulate spatial and temporal gene expression in eukaryotic cells, act as templates for the assembly of multiprotein complexes. Studies on the enhancers associated with immediate-early genes of herpes simplex virus reveal an unanticipated recurrence of specific protein-protein interactions, comparable to a three-dimensional 'jigsaw' puzzle. The arrangement of cis regulatory motifs - the DNA sequence of an enhancer-forms the puzzle template. Specific regulatory proteins, by forming contours of appropriate fit for both DNA template and neighboring proteins, constitute the puzzle pieces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-236
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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