Cosmas D. Arnold

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Genomic enhancers are important regulators of gene expression, but their identification is a challenge, and methods depend on indirect measures of activity. We developed a method termed STARR-seq to directly and quantitatively assess enhancer activity for millions of candidates from arbitrary sources of DNA, which enables screens across entire genomes. When(More)
Gene transcription in animals involves the assembly of RNA polymerase II at core promoters and its cell-type-specific activation by enhancers that can be located more distally. However, how ubiquitous expression of housekeeping genes is achieved has been less clear. In particular, it is unknown whether ubiquitously active enhancers exist and how(More)
Phenotypic differences between closely related species are thought to arise primarily from changes in gene expression due to mutations in cis-regulatory sequences (enhancers). However, it has remained unclear how frequently mutations alter enhancer activity or create functional enhancers de novo. Here we use STARR-seq, a recently developed quantitative(More)
Gene expression is determined by genomic elements called enhancers, which contain short motifs bound by different transcription factors (TFs). However, how enhancer sequences and TF motifs relate to enhancer activity is unknown, and general sequence requirements for enhancers or comprehensive sets of important enhancer sequence elements have remained(More)
Steroid hormones act as important developmental switches, and their nuclear receptors regulate many genes. However, few hormone-dependent enhancers have been characterized, and important aspects of their sequence architecture, cell-type-specific activating and repressing functions, or the regulatory roles of their chromatin structure have remained unclear.(More)
Differential gene expression is the basis for cell type diversity in multicellular organisms and the driving force of development and differentiation. It is achieved by cell type-specific transcriptional enhancers, which are genomic DNA sequences that activate the transcription of their target genes. Their identification and characterization is fundamental(More)
Gene expression is controlled by enhancers that activate transcription from the core promoters of their target genes. Although a key function of core promoters is to convert enhancer activities into gene transcription, whether and how strongly they activate transcription in response to enhancers has not been systematically assessed on a genome-wide level.(More)
The identification of transcriptional enhancers in the human genome is a prime goal in biology. Enhancers are typically predicted via chromatin marks, yet their function is primarily assessed with plasmid-based reporter assays. Here, we show that two previous observations relating to plasmid-transfection into human cells render such assays unreliable: (1)(More)
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