Gary Felsenfeld

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The expression of the insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) and H19 genes is imprinted. Although these neighbouring genes share an enhancer, H19 is expressed only from the maternal allele, and Igf2 only from the paternally inherited allele. A region of paternal-specific methylation upstream of H19 appears to be the site of an epigenetic mark that is required(More)
We have characterized an element near the 5' boundary of the chicken beta-globin domain that insulates a reporter gene from the activating effects of a nearby beta-globin locus control region (5'HS2) when assayed in the human erythroid cell line K562. We show that the insulation mechanism is directional, that it operates at the level of transcription, and(More)
Insulators are DNA sequence elements that prevent inappropriate interactions between adjacent chromatin domains. One type of insulator establishes domains that separate enhancers and promoters to block their interaction, whereas a second type creates a barrier against the spread of heterochromatin. Recent studies have provided important advances in our(More)
To understand how chromatin structure is organized by different histone variants, we have measured the genome-wide distribution of nucleosome core particles (NCPs) containing the histone variants H3.3 and H2A.Z in human cells. We find that a special class of NCPs containing both variants is enriched at 'nucleosome-free regions' of active promoters,(More)
An insulator is a DNA sequence that can act as a barrier to the influences of neighboring cis-acting elements, preventing gene activation, for example, when located between an enhancer and a promoter. We have identified a 42 bp fragment of the chicken beta-globin insulator that is both necessary and sufficient for enhancer blocking activity in human cells.(More)
Chromatin is the complex of DNA and proteins in which the genetic material is packaged inside the cells of organisms with nuclei. Chromatin structure is dynamic and exerts profound control over gene expression and other fundamental cellular processes. Changes in its structure can be inherited by the next generation, independent of the DNA sequence itself.
Nucleosomes containing the histone variant H3.3 tend to be clustered in vivo in the neighborhood of transcriptionally active genes and over regulatory elements. It has not been clear, however, whether H3.3-containing nucleosomes possess unique properties that would affect transcription. We report here that H3.3 nucleosomes isolated from vertebrates,(More)
When placed between an enhancer and promoter, certain DNA sequence elements inhibit enhancer-stimulated gene expression. The best characterized of these enhancer-blocking insulators, gypsy in Drosophila and the CTCF-binding element in vertebrates and flies, stabilize contacts between distant genomic regulatory sites leading to the formation of loop domains.(More)
The constitutive DNase I hypersensitive site at the 5' end of the chicken beta-globin locus marks the boundary of the active chromatin domain in erythroid cells. The DNA sequence containing this site has the properties of an insulator, as shown by its ability in stable transformation experiments to block enhancer-promoter interaction when it lies between(More)
Insulators can block an enhancer of one gene from activating a promoter on another nearby gene. Almost all described vertebrate insulators require binding of the regulatory protein CTCF for their activity. We show that CTCF copurifies with the nucleolar protein nucleophosmin and both are present at insulator sites in vivo. Furthermore, exogenous insulator(More)