"Our data strongly suggest that this model actually is correct", comments Rowland. "With a number of different experiments we have shown that the longer cohesin embraces the base of the loop, the larger the loops will get; that WAPL by releasing cohesin limits the enlargement of loops; and that SCC2/SCC4 promotes loop extension."
"What is also interesting, is that we noticed that without WAPL, the loops continue to elongate beyond known natural barriers consisting of CTCF proteins attached to the DNA.", says Rowland. "Our findings therefore also tell us a lot about how these barriers regulate the formation of loops. Disruption of loops can affect gene regulation and therefore the cell's behavior. So the proper formation of DNA loops is really important."
For the coming years the researchers will continue to investigate the loop formation process, and what happens when the loop formation goes wrong. Rowland: "It will be very exciting to further study these processes, because they are fundamental to all life on earth."