The genomics of gene expression

John A Stamatoyannopoulos
Genomics 2004, 84 (3): 449-57
The study of gene regulation on a genomic scale has been constrained by the modest pace with which new trans-regulatory factors have been identified and by the fact that cis-regulatory sequences have to date been described even in part for only a small fraction of vertebrate genes. An indirect approach for assessing the significance of cis- and trans-regulatory mechanisms on a global scale is to utilize gene expression as a surrogate for transcriptional regulation and to combine genome-scale transcriptional profiling with studies of genetic variation, classical genetic techniques such as linkage analysis, and examination of allelic expression patterns that reveal cis-regulatory variability. A number of recent studies employing these methods provide insight into questions of central importance to our understanding of the larger role of transcriptional regulation in the organization of the human and other complex genomes.

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