A Journal of Postdoctoral Research.
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Identifying developmental enhancers: changing perspectives with advancing techniques
Patricia Gongal
Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure
Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d’Ulm, 75005, Paris, France.
 Establishing precise, dynamic patterns of gene expression, critical during embryonic development, is under the control of non-coding regulatory DNA sequences. Identifying these regulatory elements, including enhancers, for individual genes of interest remains difficult. Recent genomic studies based on new techniques have provided major insights into the properties and functions of enhancers, highlighting new approaches for their identification. These studies have yielded a deeper understanding of transcription factor binding, chromatin structure, and chromatin dynamics in developmental contexts, facilitating the search for enhancers that regulate individual genes in the embryo. After identifying putative enhancer
sequences, however, confirming their target genes in vivo is critical, and can be done by combining multiple experimental approaches. This review examines how recent work has clarified the most effective approaches for identifying the enhancers that help drive development, how to match them to target genes, and confirm their role in the embryo.

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