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Epigenetics & Chromatin



After more than three decades since the discovery of transcription activation domains (ADs) in gene-specific activators, the mechanism of their function remains enigmatic. The widely accepted model of direct recruitment by ADs of co-activators and basal transcriptional machinery components, however, is not always compatible with the short size yet very high degree of sequence randomness and intrinsic structural disorder of natural and synthetic ADs. In this review, we formulate the basis for an alternative and complementary model, whereby sequence randomness and intrinsic structural disorder of ADs are necessary for transient distorting interactions with promoter nucleosomes, triggering promoter nucleosome translocation and subsequently gene activation.


Article by Tamara Y. Erkina and Alexandre M. Erkine originally published by Springer under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License in Epigenetics & Chromatin, 2016, Volume 9, Issue 40. DOI: 10.1186/s13072-016-0092-2.