Regulatory elements interact with the genes they control mediating tridimensional loops of chromatin called the Topological Associated Domains (TADs). These structures are essential during embryonic development, and their disruption can lead to disease. While these structures have been well-characterised in vertebrate models, general principles governing their function and evolution in animals remain elusive. Using the sea urchin as a model for their dynamic yet simpler mode of genome evolution, the project is aimed at investigating the dynamics of TAD boundaries during development, the role of CTCF in the establishment of these loops and the impact of transposable elements and DNA methylation exert on these structures.
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