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When the human genome folds up inside the cell nucleus, it is spatially partitioned into numerous loops and contact domains. How these structures form is unknown. Here, we show that data from high-resolution spatial proximity maps are consistent with a model in which a complex, including the proteins CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin, mediates the formation of loops by a process of extrusion.
(Sanborn et al., 2015) Chromatin extrusion explains key features of loop and domain formation in wild-type and engineered genomes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.