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Publication “A WIZ/Cohesin/CTCF Complex Anchors DNA Loops to Define Gene Expression and Cell Identity” in Cell Reports

Dowen image of research in Cell ReportsJustice et al. report a role for the protein WIZ (Widely Interspaced Zinc fingers) in spatially organizing the genome inside the nucleus and maintaining the identity of a cell. The genome is highly compacted in order to fit the roughly 2 meters of DNA inside of the nucleus of every cell. This organization of DNA is not random, in fact some specific long-range DNA contacts are important for the regulation of genes that define a cell type. The work described here is important because it identifies a new structural regulator of genome organization. Furthermore, it demonstrates that WIZ is required to maintain the identity of stem cells. Overall, this research sheds molecular insight on the proteins and processes that link three-dimensional genome structure and genome function. With knowledge of how DNA organization regulates the expression of genes, we may better understand how this process goes wrong in human disease.

Check out our paper on WIZ and its role with Cohesin and CTCF in gene control and genome organization in embryonic stem cells. Congratulations Megan Justice, Zach Carico and Holden Stefan! — Jill Dowen, Ph.D. Read the publication in Cell Reports

Megan Justice
Megan Justice, first author graduate student in Dowen lab
Zach in Dowen lab
Zach Carico, postdoctoral fellow
Jill Dowen
Jill Dowen, PhD, Assistant Professor

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