An Unprecedented View of Gene Regulation
Published:26 May2023    Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Much of the human genome is made of regulatory regions that control which genes are expressed at a given time within a cell. Those regulatory elements can be located near a target gene or up to 2 million base pairs away from the target.


To enable those interactions, the genome loops itself in a 3D structure that brings distant regions close together. Using a new technique, MIT researchers have shown that they can map these interactions with 100 times higher resolution than has previously been possible. Using this method, they generate the highest-resolution maps of the 3D genome that have ever been generated, and it can be seen that a lot of interactions between enhancers and promoters that haven't been seen previously.


Researchers can now affordably study the interactions between genes and their regulators, opening a world of possibilities not just for us but also for dozens of labs that have already expressed interest in our method, says Viraat Goel, an MIT graduate student and one of the lead authors of the paper.