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Keywords:

  • cis-regulatory elements;
  • enhancers;
  • evolution;
  • genomics;
  • transcriptional regulation

Abstract

This paper, in the form of a frequently asked questions page (FAQ), addresses outstanding questions about “shadow enhancers”, quasi-redundant cis-regulatory elements, and their proposed roles in transcriptional control. Questions include: What exactly are shadow enhancers? How many genes have shadow/redundant/distributed enhancers? How redundant are these elements? What is the function of distributed enhancers? How modular are enhancers? Is it useful to study a single enhancer in isolation? In addition, a revised definition of “shadow enhancers” is proposed, and possible mechanisms of shadow enhancer function and evolution are discussed.