Meta-analysis of Chromatin Programming by Steroid Receptors

Ville Paakinaho, Erin E. Swinstead, Diego M. Presman, Lars Grøntved, Gordon L. Hager*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Transcription factors (TFs) must access chromatin to bind to their response elements and regulate gene expression. A widely accepted model proposes that only a special subset of TFs, pioneer factors, can associate with condensed chromatin and initiate chromatin opening. We previously reported that steroid receptors (SRs), not considered pioneer factors, can assist the binding of an archetypal pioneer, the forkhead box protein 1 (FOXA1), at a subset of receptor-activated enhancers. These findings have been challenged recently, with the suggestion that newly acquired data fully support the prevailing pioneer model. Here, we reexamine our results and confirm the original conclusions. We also analyze and discuss a number of available datasets relevant to chromatin penetration by SRs and find a general consensus supporting our original observations. Hence, we propose that chromatin opening at some sites can be initiated by SRs, with a parallel recruitment of factors often treated as having a unique pioneer function. This Matters Arising paper is in response to Glont et al. (2019), published in Cell Reports.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Reports
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)3523-3534
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 24. Sep 2019


  • chromatin
  • chromatin remodelers
  • dynamic assisted loading
  • FOXA1
  • pioneer factors
  • steroid receptors
  • transcription factors


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