Caister Academic Press

Pyknons as Putative Novel and Organism-Specific Regulatory Motifs

Isidore Rigoutsos
from: RNA and the Regulation of Gene Expression: A Hidden Layer of Complexity (Edited by: Kevin V. Morris). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


In recent work, we introduced a new type of putative regulatory motif that we named "pyknon" from the greek adjective for dense. By definition, pyknons are variable length sequences with a statistically significant number of intact copies in the intergenic and intronic regions of the genome and additional copies in the untranslated or amino acid coding regions of known transcripts. Even though the original presentation discussed pyknons in the context of the human genome, we think that pyknons likely represent a more general architectural component of eukaryotic genomes. The exact role of pyknons is currently unclear but the findings so far support a regulatory responsibility. In this chapter, we review the process that led to this discovery, the results so far, and briefly present some thoughts about the possibility that pyknons hint at a previously unseen layer of cell process regulation read more ...
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