JOURNAL OF SHANGHAI JIAOTONG UNIVERSITY (MEDICAL SCIENCE) ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (10): 1378-1383.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2021.10.017

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Research advances in mechanisms of super-enhancers-driven oncogenesis

Peng GU(), Xing SUN()   

  1. Department of General Surgery, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 201620, China
  • Online:2021-10-28 Published:2021-09-22
  • Contact: Xing SUN;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(81270556);Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai(19ZR1441300)


Transcriptional dysregulation is one of the core mechanisms of tumorigenesis. Recently, the term "super-enhancer" has been introduced to describe a hyperactive regulatory domain which comprises a complex array of sequence elements that are critical to maintain the identity of tumor cells and promot oncogenic transcription. Super-enhancers are highly occupied by transcriptional factors, co-activators and histone modifications. Cooperative interactions amongst these components make super-enhancers have higher transcriptional activity than typical enhancers. This article reviews basic structural and functional characteristics of super-enhancers, formation of the phase-separated condensates, the mechanisms of super-enhancer-driven oncogenesis, and the formation and significance of topologically associating domains.

Key words: super-enhancers (SEs), transcriptional regulation, cancer, phase-separated condensate, topologically associating domain

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