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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

Insulator Elements

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High impact information on Insulator Elements

  • Htz1 is enriched in these euchromatic regions and acts synergistically with a boundary element to prevent the spread of heterochromatin [1].
  • Here we identify two CTCF-binding sites that flank the CTG repeat and form an insulator element between DMPK and SIX5 [2].
  • These results support the model that Fab-7 functions as a domain boundary within the context of the bithorax complex, making Fab-7 one of the first boundary elements that is known to have an essential function in vivo [3].
  • Prior studies of the DM1 locus have shown that the CTG repeats are a component of a CTCF-dependent insulator element and that repeat expansion results in conversion of the region to heterochromatin [4].
  • The chicken beta-globin 5'HS4 insulator element acts as a barrier to the encroachment of chromosomal silencing [5].

Biological context of Insulator Elements


Associations of Insulator Elements with chemical compounds

  • Notably, there is a very strong constitutive focus of hyperacetylation at the 5' insulator element separating the globin locus from the folate receptor region, which suggests that this insulator element may harbor a high concentration of histone acetylases [7].
  • We suggest that histone H3 modification at lysine 9 directly regulates chromatin condensation by recruiting MENT to chromatin in a fashion that is spatially constrained from active genes by gene boundary elements and histone hyperacetylation [8].
  • Electrostatic potentials computed using a hybrid boundary element and finite difference nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann approach [Boschitsch, A.H. and Fenley, M.O. (2004) J. Comput. Chem., 25, 935-955] revealed a region of exceptionally negative potential in the major groove surrounding the 2'-OH of the branch site adenosine [9].

Gene context of Insulator Elements


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Insulator Elements

  • Simulation studies with a concentric spheres model and a more realistic boundary element model indicate that this method has several advantages, even if only a few EEG sensors are added to a MEG configuration [15].


  1. Conserved histone variant H2A.Z protects euchromatin from the ectopic spread of silent heterochromatin. Meneghini, M.D., Wu, M., Madhani, H.D. Cell (2003) [Pubmed]
  2. CTCF-binding sites flank CTG/CAG repeats and form a methylation-sensitive insulator at the DM1 locus. Filippova, G.N., Thienes, C.P., Penn, B.H., Cho, D.H., Hu, Y.J., Moore, J.M., Klesert, T.R., Lobanenkov, V.V., Tapscott, S.J. Nat. Genet. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Fab-7 functions as a chromatin domain boundary to ensure proper segment specification by the Drosophila bithorax complex. Hagstrom, K., Muller, M., Schedl, P. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Antisense transcription and heterochromatin at the DM1 CTG repeats are constrained by CTCF. Cho, D.H., Thienes, C.P., Mahoney, S.E., Analau, E., Filippova, G.N., Tapscott, S.J. Mol. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. Recruitment of histone modifications by USF proteins at a vertebrate barrier element. West, A.G., Huang, S., Gaszner, M., Litt, M.D., Felsenfeld, G. Mol. Cell (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Identification of a multicopy chromatin boundary element at the borders of silenced chromosomal domains. Cuvier, O., Hart, C.M., Käs, E., Laemmli, U.K. Chromosoma (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Transitions in histone acetylation reveal boundaries of three separately regulated neighboring loci. Litt, M.D., Simpson, M., Recillas-Targa, F., Prioleau, M.N., Felsenfeld, G. EMBO J. (2001) [Pubmed]
  8. Insulation of the chicken beta-globin chromosomal domain from a chromatin-condensing protein, MENT. Istomina, N.E., Shushanov, S.S., Springhetti, E.M., Karpov, V.L., Krasheninnikov, I.A., Stevens, K., Zaret, K.S., Singh, P.B., Grigoryev, S.A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Recognition of the spliceosomal branch site RNA helix on the basis of surface and electrostatic features. Xu, D., Greenbaum, N.L., Fenley, M.O. Nucleic Acids Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. Transcription defines the embryonic domains of cis-regulatory activity at the Drosophila bithorax complex. Drewell, R.A., Bae, E., Burr, J., Lewis, E.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2002) [Pubmed]
  11. In situ dissection of the Fab-7 region of the bithorax complex into a chromatin domain boundary and a Polycomb-response element. Mihaly, J., Hogga, I., Gausz, J., Gyurkovics, H., Karch, F. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  12. The chicken beta-globin insulator element conveys chromatin boundary activity but not imprinting at the mouse Igf2/H19 domain. Szabó, P.E., Tang, S.H., Reed, M.R., Silva, F.J., Tsark, W.M., Mann, J.R. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  13. RAP, RAP, open up! New wrinkles for RAP1 in yeast. Morse, R.H. Trends Genet. (2000) [Pubmed]
  14. The 5'-HS4 chicken beta-globin insulator is a CTCF-dependent nuclear matrix-associated element. Yusufzai, T.M., Felsenfeld, G. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  15. Simultaneous MEG and EEG source analysis. Huizenga, H.M., van Zuijen, T.L., Heslenfeld, D.J., Molenaar, P.C. Physics in medicine and biology. (2001) [Pubmed]
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