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Bibliography on: Topologically Associating Domains

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Jan 2020 at 01:46 Created: 

Topologically Associating Domains

"Recent studies have shown that chromosomes in a range of organisms are compartmentalized in different types of chromatin domains. In mammals, chromosomes form compartments that are composed of smaller Topologically Associating Domains (TADs). TADs are thought to represent functional domains of gene regulation but much is still unknown about the mechanisms of their formation and how they exert their regulatory effect on embedded genes. Further, similar domains have been detected in other organisms, including flies, worms, fungi and bacteria. Although in all these cases these domains appear similar as detected by 3C-based methods, their biology appears to be quite distinct with differences in the protein complexes involved in their formation and differences in their internal organization." QUOTE FROM: Dekker Job and Heard Edith (2015), Structural and functional diversity of Topologically Associating Domains, FEBS Letters, 589, doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2015.08.044

Created with PubMed® Query: "Topologically Associating Domains" OR "Topologically Associating Domain" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Achinger-Kawecka J, Valdes-Mora F, Luu PL, et al (2020)

Epigenetic reprogramming at estrogen-receptor binding sites alters 3D chromatin landscape in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Nature communications, 11(1):320 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-14098-x.

Endocrine therapy resistance frequently develops in estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that 3-dimensional (3D) chromatin interactions both within and between topologically associating domains (TADs) frequently change in ER+ endocrine-resistant breast cancer cells and that the differential interactions are enriched for resistance-associated genetic variants at CTCF-bound anchors. Ectopic chromatin interactions are preferentially enriched at active enhancers and promoters and ER binding sites, and are associated with altered expression of ER-regulated genes, consistent with dynamic remodelling of ER pathways accompanying the development of endocrine resistance. We observe that loss of 3D chromatin interactions often occurs coincidently with hypermethylation and loss of ER binding. Alterations in active A and inactive B chromosomal compartments are also associated with decreased ER binding and atypical interactions and gene expression. Together, our results suggest that 3D epigenome remodelling is a key mechanism underlying endocrine resistance in ER+ breast cancer.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Cameron CJ, Dostie J, M Blanchette (2020)

HIFI: estimating DNA-DNA interaction frequency from Hi-C data at restriction-fragment resolution.

Genome biology, 21(1):11 pii:10.1186/s13059-019-1913-y.

Hi-C is a popular technique to map three-dimensional chromosome conformation. In principle, Hi-C's resolution is only limited by the size of restriction fragments. However, insufficient sequencing depth forces researchers to artificially reduce the resolution of Hi-C matrices at a loss of biological interpretability. We present the Hi-C Interaction Frequency Inference (HIFI) algorithms that accurately estimate restriction-fragment resolution Hi-C matrices by exploiting dependencies between neighboring fragments. Cross-validation experiments and comparisons to 5C data and known regulatory interactions demonstrate HIFI's superiority to existing approaches. In addition, HIFI's restriction-fragment resolution reveals a new role for active regulatory regions in structuring topologically associating domains.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Beagan JA, JE Phillips-Cremins (2020)

On the existence and functionality of topologically associating domains.

Nature genetics pii:10.1038/s41588-019-0561-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Genomes across a wide range of eukaryotic organisms fold into higher-order chromatin domains. Topologically associating domains (TADs) were originally discovered empirically in low-resolution Hi-C heat maps representing ensemble average interaction frequencies from millions of cells. Here, we discuss recent advances in high-resolution Hi-C, single-cell imaging experiments, and functional genetic studies, which provide an increasingly complex view of the genome's hierarchical structure-function relationship. On the basis of these new findings, we update the definitions of distinct classes of chromatin domains according to emerging knowledge of their structural, mechanistic and functional properties.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Khoury A, Achinger-Kawecka J, Bert SA, et al (2020)

Constitutively bound CTCF sites maintain 3D chromatin architecture and long-range epigenetically regulated domains.

Nature communications, 11(1):54.

The architectural protein CTCF is a mediator of chromatin conformation, but how CTCF binding to DNA is orchestrated to maintain long-range gene expression is poorly understood. Here we perform RNAi knockdown to reduce CTCF levels and reveal a shared subset of CTCF-bound sites are robustly resistant to protein depletion. The 'persistent' CTCF sites are enriched at domain boundaries and chromatin loops constitutive to all cell types. CRISPR-Cas9 deletion of 2 persistent CTCF sites at the boundary between a long-range epigenetically active (LREA) and silenced (LRES) region, within the Kallikrein (KLK) locus, results in concordant activation of all 8 KLK genes within the LRES region. CTCF genome-wide depletion results in alteration in Topologically Associating Domain (TAD) structure, including the merging of TADs, whereas TAD boundaries are not altered where persistent sites are maintained. We propose that the subset of essential CTCF sites are involved in cell-type constitutive, higher order chromatin architecture.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Kentepozidou E, Aitken SJ, Feig C, et al (2020)

Clustered CTCF binding is an evolutionary mechanism to maintain topologically associating domains.

Genome biology, 21(1):5.

BACKGROUND: CTCF binding contributes to the establishment of a higher-order genome structure by demarcating the boundaries of large-scale topologically associating domains (TADs). However, despite the importance and conservation of TADs, the role of CTCF binding in their evolution and stability remains elusive.

RESULTS: We carry out an experimental and computational study that exploits the natural genetic variation across five closely related species to assess how CTCF binding patterns stably fixed by evolution in each species contribute to the establishment and evolutionary dynamics of TAD boundaries. We perform CTCF ChIP-seq in multiple mouse species to create genome-wide binding profiles and associate them with TAD boundaries. Our analyses reveal that CTCF binding is maintained at TAD boundaries by a balance of selective constraints and dynamic evolutionary processes. Regardless of their conservation across species, CTCF binding sites at TAD boundaries are subject to stronger sequence and functional constraints compared to other CTCF sites. TAD boundaries frequently harbor dynamically evolving clusters containing both evolutionarily old and young CTCF sites as a result of the repeated acquisition of new species-specific sites close to conserved ones. The overwhelming majority of clustered CTCF sites colocalize with cohesin and are significantly closer to gene transcription start sites than nonclustered CTCF sites, suggesting that CTCF clusters particularly contribute to cohesin stabilization and transcriptional regulation.

CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic conservation of CTCF site clusters is an apparently important feature of CTCF binding evolution that is critical to the functional stability of a higher-order chromatin structure.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Liu CF, WHW Tang (2019)

Epigenetics in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Heart Failure.

JACC. Basic to translational science, 4(8):976-993.

Heart failure (HF) is a complex syndrome affecting millions of people around the world. Over the past decade, the therapeutic potential of targeting epigenetic regulators in HF has been discussed extensively. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing techniques have contributed substantial progress in our understanding of the role of DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histones, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent chromatin conformation and remodeling, and non-coding RNAs in HF pathophysiology. In this review, we summarize epigenomic studies on human and animal models in HF.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Chang LH, Ghosh S, D Noordermeer (2019)

TADs and Their Borders: Free Movement or Building a Wall?.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30742-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The tridimensional (3D) organization of mammalian genomes combines structures from different length scales. Within this organization, Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) are visible in Hi-C heat maps at the sub-megabase scale. The integrity of TADs is important for correct gene expression, but in a context-dependent and variable manner. The correct structure and function of TADs require the binding of the CTCF protein at both borders, which appears to block an active and dynamic mechanism of "Cohesin-mediated loop extrusion." As a result, mammalian TADs appear as so-called "loop domains" in Hi-C data, which are the focus of this review. Here, we present a reanalysis of TADs from three "golden-standard" mammalian Hi-C data sets. Despite the prominent presence of TADs in Hi-C heat maps from all studies, we find consistently that regions within these domains are only moderately insulated from their surroundings. Moreover, single-cell Hi-C and superresolution microscopy have revealed that the structure of TADs and the position of their borders can vary from cell to cell. The function of TADs as units of gene regulation may thus require additional aspects, potentially incorporating the mechanism of loop extrusion as well. Recent developments in single-cell and multi-contact genomics and superresolution microscopy assays will be instrumental to link TAD formation and structure to their function in transcriptional regulation.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Foissac S, Djebali S, Munyard K, et al (2019)

Multi-species annotation of transcriptome and chromatin structure in domesticated animals.

BMC biology, 17(1):108.

BACKGROUND: Comparative genomics studies are central in identifying the coding and non-coding elements associated with complex traits, and the functional annotation of genomes is a critical step to decipher the genotype-to-phenotype relationships in livestock animals. As part of the Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes (FAANG) action, the FR-AgENCODE project aimed to create reference functional maps of domesticated animals by profiling the landscape of transcription (RNA-seq), chromatin accessibility (ATAC-seq) and conformation (Hi-C) in species representing ruminants (cattle, goat), monogastrics (pig) and birds (chicken), using three target samples related to metabolism (liver) and immunity (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells).

RESULTS: RNA-seq assays considerably extended the available catalog of annotated transcripts and identified differentially expressed genes with unknown function, including new syntenic lncRNAs. ATAC-seq highlighted an enrichment for transcription factor binding sites in differentially accessible regions of the chromatin. Comparative analyses revealed a core set of conserved regulatory regions across species. Topologically associating domains (TADs) and epigenetic A/B compartments annotated from Hi-C data were consistent with RNA-seq and ATAC-seq data. Multi-species comparisons showed that conserved TAD boundaries had stronger insulation properties than species-specific ones and that the genomic distribution of orthologous genes in A/B compartments was significantly conserved across species.

CONCLUSIONS: We report the first multi-species and multi-assay genome annotation results obtained by a FAANG project. Beyond the generation of reference annotations and the confirmation of previous findings on model animals, the integrative analysis of data from multiple assays and species sheds a new light on the multi-scale selective pressure shaping genome organization from birds to mammals. Overall, these results emphasize the value of FAANG for research on domesticated animals and reinforces the importance of future meta-analyses of the reference datasets being generated by this community on different species.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Gan W, Luo J, Li YZ, et al (2019)

A computational method to predict topologically associating domain boundaries combining histone Marks and sequence information.

BMC genomics, 20(Suppl 13):980.

BACKGROUND: The three-dimensional (3D) structure of chromatins plays significant roles during cell differentiation and development. Hi-C and other 3C-based technologies allow us to look deep into the chromatin architectures. Many studies have suggested that topologically associating domains (TAD), as the structure and functional unit, are conserved across different organs. However, our understanding about the underlying mechanism of the TAD boundary formation is still limited.

RESULTS: We developed a computational method, TAD-Lactuca, to infer this structure by taking the contextual information of the epigenetic modification signals and the primary DNA sequence information on the genome. TAD-Lactuca is found stable in the case of multi-resolutions and different datasets. It could achieve high accuracy and even outperforms the state-of-art methods when the sequence patterns were incorporated. Moreover, several transcript factor binding motifs, besides the well-known CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) motif, were found significantly enriched on the boundaries.

CONCLUSIONS: We provided a low cost, effective method to predict TAD boundaries. Above results suggested the incorporation of sequence features could significantly improve the performance. The sequence motif enrichment analysis indicates several gene regulation motifs around the boundaries, which is consistent with TADs may serve as the functional units of gene regulation and implies the sequence patterns would be important in chromatin folding.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Daban JR (2019)

Supramolecular multilayer organization of chromosomes: possible functional roles of planar chromatin in gene expression and DNA replication and repair.

FEBS letters [Epub ahead of print].

Experimental evidence indicates that the chromatin filament is self-organized into a multilayer planar structure that is densely stacked in metaphase and unstacked in interphase. This chromatin organization is unexpected, but it is shown that diverse supramolecular assemblies, including dinoflagellate chromosomes, are multilayered. The mechanical strength of planar chromatin protects the genome integrity, even when double-strand breaks are produced. Here, it is hypothesized that the chromatin filament in the loops and topologically associating domains is folded within the thin layers of the multilaminar chromosomes. It is also proposed that multilayer chromatin has two states: inactive when layers are stacked and active when layers are unstacked. Importantly, the well-defined topology of planar chromatin may facilitate DNA replication without entanglements and DNA repair by homologous recombination.

RevDate: 2020-01-05

Schilit SLP, Menon S, Friedrich C, et al (2020)

SYCP2 Translocation-Mediated Dysregulation and Frameshift Variants Cause Human Male Infertility.

American journal of human genetics, 106(1):41-57.

Unexplained infertility affects 2%-3% of reproductive-aged couples. One approach to identifying genes involved in infertility is to study subjects with this clinical phenotype and a de novo balanced chromosomal aberration (BCA). While BCAs may reduce fertility by production of unbalanced gametes, a chromosomal rearrangement may also disrupt or dysregulate genes important in fertility. One such subject, DGAP230, has severe oligozoospermia and 46,XY,t(20;22)(q13.3;q11.2). We identified exclusive overexpression of SYCP2 from the der(20) allele that is hypothesized to result from enhancer adoption. Modeling the dysregulation in budding yeast resulted in disrupted structural integrity of the synaptonemal complex, a common cause of defective spermatogenesis in mammals. Exome sequencing of infertile males revealed three heterozygous SYCP2 frameshift variants in additional subjects with cryptozoospermia and azoospermia. In sum, this investigation illustrates the power of precision cytogenetics for annotation of the infertile genome, suggests that these mechanisms should be considered as an alternative etiology to that of segregation of unbalanced gametes in infertile men harboring a BCA, and provides evidence of SYCP2-mediated male infertility in humans.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Lesne A, Baudement MO, Rebouissou C, et al (2019)

Exploring Mammalian Genome within Phase-Separated Nuclear Bodies: Experimental Methods and Implications for Gene Expression.

Genes, 10(12): pii:genes10121049.

The importance of genome organization at the supranucleosomal scale in the control of gene expression is increasingly recognized today. In mammals, Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) and the active/inactive chromosomal compartments are two of the main nuclear structures that contribute to this organization level. However, recent works reviewed here indicate that, at specific loci, chromatin interactions with nuclear bodies could also be crucial to regulate genome functions, in particular transcription. They moreover suggest that these nuclear bodies are membrane-less organelles dynamically self-assembled and disassembled through mechanisms of phase separation. We have recently developed a novel genome-wide experimental method, High-salt Recovered Sequences sequencing (HRS-seq), which allows the identification of chromatin regions associated with large ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes and nuclear bodies. We argue that the physical nature of such RNP complexes and nuclear bodies appears to be central in their ability to promote efficient interactions between distant genomic regions. The development of novel experimental approaches, including our HRS-seq method, is opening new avenues to understand how self-assembly of phase-separated nuclear bodies possibly contributes to mammalian genome organization and gene expression.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Chen C, Yu W, Tober J, et al (2019)

Spatial Genome Re-organization between Fetal and Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cells.

Cell reports, 29(12):4200-4211.e7.

Fetal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) undergo a developmental switch to become adult HSCs with distinct functional properties. To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental switch, we have conducted deep sequencing of the 3D genome, epigenome, and transcriptome of fetal and adult HSCs in mouse. We find that chromosomal compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs) are largely conserved between fetal and adult HSCs. However, there is a global trend of increased compartmentalization and TAD boundary strength in adult HSCs. In contrast, intra-TAD chromatin interactions are much more dynamic and widespread, involving over a thousand gene promoters and distal enhancers. These developmental-stage-specific enhancer-promoter interactions are mediated by different sets of transcription factors, such as TCF3 and MAFB in fetal HSCs, versus NR4A1 and GATA3 in adult HSCs. Loss-of-function studies of TCF3 confirm the role of TCF3 in mediating condition-specific enhancer-promoter interactions and gene regulation in fetal HSCs.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Kempfer R, A Pombo (2019)

Methods for mapping 3D chromosome architecture.

Nature reviews. Genetics pii:10.1038/s41576-019-0195-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Determining how chromosomes are positioned and folded within the nucleus is critical to understanding the role of chromatin topology in gene regulation. Several methods are available for studying chromosome architecture, each with different strengths and limitations. Established imaging approaches and proximity ligation-based chromosome conformation capture (3C) techniques (such as DNA-FISH and Hi-C, respectively) have revealed the existence of chromosome territories, functional nuclear landmarks (such as splicing speckles and the nuclear lamina) and topologically associating domains. Improvements to these methods and the recent development of ligation-free approaches, including GAM, SPRITE and ChIA-Drop, are now helping to uncover new aspects of 3D genome topology that confirm the nucleus to be a complex, highly organized organelle.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

An L, Yang T, Yang J, et al (2019)

OnTAD: hierarchical domain structure reveals the divergence of activity among TADs and boundaries.

Genome biology, 20(1):282.

The spatial organization of chromatin in the nucleus has been implicated in regulating gene expression. Maps of high-frequency interactions between different segments of chromatin have revealed topologically associating domains (TADs), within which most of the regulatory interactions are thought to occur. TADs are not homogeneous structural units but appear to be organized into a hierarchy. We present OnTAD, an optimized nested TAD caller from Hi-C data, to identify hierarchical TADs. OnTAD reveals new biological insights into the role of different TAD levels, boundary usage in gene regulation, the loop extrusion model, and compartmental domains. OnTAD is available at

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Llères D, Moindrot B, Pathak R, et al (2019)

CTCF modulates allele-specific sub-TAD organization and imprinted gene activity at the mouse Dlk1-Dio3 and Igf2-H19 domains.

Genome biology, 20(1):272.

BACKGROUND: Genomic imprinting is essential for mammalian development and provides a unique paradigm to explore intra-cellular differences in chromatin configuration. So far, the detailed allele-specific chromatin organization of imprinted gene domains has mostly been lacking. Here, we explored the chromatin structure of the two conserved imprinted domains controlled by paternal DNA methylation imprints-the Igf2-H19 and Dlk1-Dio3 domains-and assessed the involvement of the insulator protein CTCF in mouse cells.

RESULTS: Both imprinted domains are located within overarching topologically associating domains (TADs) that are similar on both parental chromosomes. At each domain, a single differentially methylated region is bound by CTCF on the maternal chromosome only, in addition to multiple instances of bi-allelic CTCF binding. Combinations of allelic 4C-seq and DNA-FISH revealed that bi-allelic CTCF binding alone, on the paternal chromosome, correlates with a first level of sub-TAD structure. On the maternal chromosome, additional CTCF binding at the differentially methylated region adds a further layer of sub-TAD organization, which essentially hijacks the existing paternal-specific sub-TAD organization. Perturbation of maternal-specific CTCF binding site at the Dlk1-Dio3 locus, using genome editing, results in perturbed sub-TAD organization and bi-allelic Dlk1 activation during differentiation.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal allele-specific CTCF binding at the imprinted Igf2-H19 and the Dlk1-Dio3 domains adds an additional layer of sub-TAD organization, on top of an existing three-dimensional configuration and prior to imprinted activation of protein-coding genes. We speculate that this allele-specific sub-TAD organization provides an instructive or permissive context for imprinted gene activation during development.

RevDate: 2019-12-12

Barajas-Mora EM, AJ Feeney (2019)

Enhancers as regulators of antigen receptor loci three-dimensional chromatin structure.

Transcription [Epub ahead of print].

Enhancers are defined as regulatory elements that control transcription in a cell-type and developmental stage-specific manner. They achieve this by physically interacting with their cognate gene promoters. Significantly, these interactions can occur through long genomic distances since enhancers may not be near their cognate promoters. The optimal coordination of enhancer-regulated transcription is essential for the function and identity of the cell. Although great efforts to fully understand the principles of this type of regulation are ongoing, other potential functions of the long-range chromatin interactions (LRCIs) involving enhancers are largely unexplored. We recently uncovered a new role for enhancer elements in determining the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the immunoglobulin kappa (Igκ) light chain receptor locus suggesting a structural function for these DNA elements. This enhancer-mediated locus configuration shapes the resulting Igκ repertoire. We also propose a role for enhancers as critical components of sub-topologically associating domain (subTAD) formation and nuclear spatial localization.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

van Schoonhoven A, Huylebroeck D, Hendriks RW, et al (2019)

3D genome organization during lymphocyte development and activation.

Briefings in functional genomics pii:5670376 [Epub ahead of print].

Chromosomes have a complex three-dimensional (3D) architecture comprising A/B compartments, topologically associating domains and promoter-enhancer interactions. At all these levels, the 3D genome has functional consequences for gene transcription and therefore for cellular identity. The development and activation of lymphocytes involves strict control of gene expression by transcription factors (TFs) operating in a three-dimensionally organized chromatin landscape. As lymphocytes are indispensable for tissue homeostasis and pathogen defense, and aberrant lymphocyte activity is involved in a wide range of human morbidities, acquiring an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control lymphocyte identity is highly relevant. Here we review current knowledge of the interplay between 3D genome organization and transcriptional control during B and T lymphocyte development and antigen-dependent activation, placing special emphasis on the role of TFs.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Zhang S, Chasman D, Knaack S, et al (2019)

In silico prediction of high-resolution Hi-C interaction matrices.

Nature communications, 10(1):5449 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-13423-8.

The three-dimensional (3D) organization of the genome plays an important role in gene regulation bringing distal sequence elements in 3D proximity to genes hundreds of kilobases away. Hi-C is a powerful genome-wide technique to study 3D genome organization. Owing to experimental costs, high resolution Hi-C datasets are limited to a few cell lines. Computational prediction of Hi-C counts can offer a scalable and inexpensive approach to examine 3D genome organization across multiple cellular contexts. Here we present HiC-Reg, an approach to predict contact counts from one-dimensional regulatory signals. HiC-Reg predictions identify topologically associating domains and significant interactions that are enriched for CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) bidirectional motifs and interactions identified from complementary sources. CTCF and chromatin marks, especially repressive and elongation marks, are most important for HiC-Reg's predictive performance. Taken together, HiC-Reg provides a powerful framework to generate high-resolution profiles of contact counts that can be used to study individual locus level interactions and higher-order organizational units of the genome.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Muro EM, Ibn-Salem J, MA Andrade-Navarro (2019)

The distributions of protein coding genes within chromatin domains in relation to human disease.

Epigenetics & chromatin, 12(1):72.

BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the nuclear chromatin structure has increased hugely during the last years mainly as a consequence of the advances in chromatin conformation capture methods like Hi-C. The unprecedented resolution of genome-wide interaction maps shows functional consequences that extend the initial thought of an efficient DNA packaging mechanism: gene regulation, DNA repair, chromosomal translocations and evolutionary rearrangements seem to be only the peak of the iceberg. One key concept emerging from this research is the topologically associating domains (TADs) whose functional role in gene regulation and their association with disease is not fully untangled.

RESULTS: We report that the lower the number of protein coding genes inside TADs, the higher the tendency of those genes to be associated with disease (p-value = 4 × [Formula: see text]). Moreover, housekeeping genes are less associated with disease than other genes. Accordingly, they are depleted in TADs containing less than three protein coding genes (p-value = 3.9 × [Formula: see text]). We observed that TADs with higher ratios of enhancers versus genes contained higher numbers of disease-associated genes. We interpret these results as an indication that sharing enhancers among genes reduces their involvement in disease. Larger TADs would have more chances to accommodate many genes and select for enhancer sharing along evolution.

CONCLUSIONS: Genes associated with human disease do not distribute randomly over the TADs. Our observations suggest general rules that confer functional stability to TADs, adding more evidence to the role of TADs as regulatory units.

RevDate: 2019-12-16

Chen X, Ke Y, Wu K, et al (2019)

Key role for CTCF in establishing chromatin structure in human embryos.

Nature, 576(7786):306-310.

In the interphase of the cell cycle, chromatin is arranged in a hierarchical structure within the nucleus1,2, which has an important role in regulating gene expression3-6. However, the dynamics of 3D chromatin structure during human embryogenesis remains unknown. Here we report that, unlike mouse sperm, human sperm cells do not express the chromatin regulator CTCF and their chromatin does not contain topologically associating domains (TADs). Following human fertilization, TAD structure is gradually established during embryonic development. In addition, A/B compartmentalization is lost in human embryos at the 2-cell stage and is re-established during embryogenesis. Notably, blocking zygotic genome activation (ZGA) can inhibit TAD establishment in human embryos but not in mouse or Drosophila. Of note, CTCF is expressed at very low levels before ZGA, and is then highly expressed at the ZGA stage when TADs are observed. TAD organization is significantly reduced in CTCF knockdown embryos, suggesting that TAD establishment during ZGA in human embryos requires CTCF expression. Our results indicate that CTCF has a key role in the establishment of 3D chromatin structure during human embryogenesis.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Middelkamp S, Vlaar JM, Giltay J, et al (2019)

Prioritization of genes driving congenital phenotypes of patients with de novo genomic structural variants.

Genome medicine, 11(1):79.

BACKGROUND: Genomic structural variants (SVs) can affect many genes and regulatory elements. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms driving the phenotypes of patients carrying de novo SVs are frequently unknown.

METHODS: We applied a combination of systematic experimental and bioinformatic methods to improve the molecular diagnosis of 39 patients with multiple congenital abnormalities and/or intellectual disability harboring apparent de novo SVs, most with an inconclusive diagnosis after regular genetic testing.

RESULTS: In 7 of these cases (18%), whole-genome sequencing analysis revealed disease-relevant complexities of the SVs missed in routine microarray-based analyses. We developed a computational tool to predict the effects on genes directly affected by SVs and on genes indirectly affected likely due to the changes in chromatin organization and impact on regulatory mechanisms. By combining these functional predictions with extensive phenotype information, candidate driver genes were identified in 16/39 (41%) patients. In 8 cases, evidence was found for the involvement of multiple candidate drivers contributing to different parts of the phenotypes. Subsequently, we applied this computational method to two cohorts containing a total of 379 patients with previously detected and classified de novo SVs and identified candidate driver genes in 189 cases (50%), including 40 cases whose SVs were previously not classified as pathogenic. Pathogenic position effects were predicted in 28% of all studied cases with balanced SVs and in 11% of the cases with copy number variants.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate an integrated computational and experimental approach to predict driver genes based on analyses of WGS data with phenotype association and chromatin organization datasets. These analyses nominate new pathogenic loci and have strong potential to improve the molecular diagnosis of patients with de novo SVs.

RevDate: 2019-12-04

Moretti C, Stévant I, Y Ghavi-Helm (2019)

3D genome organisation in Drosophila.

Briefings in functional genomics pii:5641099 [Epub ahead of print].

Ever since Thomas Hunt Morgan's discovery of the chromosomal basis of inheritance by using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, the fruit fly has remained an essential model system in studies of genome biology, including chromatin organisation. Very much as in vertebrates, in Drosophila, the genome is organised in territories, compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs). However, these domains might be formed through a slightly different mechanism than in vertebrates due to the presence of a large and potentially redundant set of insulator proteins and the minor role of dCTCF in TAD boundary formation. Here, we review the different levels of chromatin organisation in Drosophila and discuss mechanisms and factors that might be involved in TAD formation. The dynamics of TADs and enhancer-promoter interactions in the context of transcription are covered in the light of currently conflicting results. Finally, we illustrate the value of polymer modelling approaches to infer the principles governing the three-dimensional organisation of the Drosophila genome.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Liu T, Z Wang (2019)

Exploring the 2D and 3D structural properties of topologically associating domains.

BMC bioinformatics, 20(Suppl 16):592.

BACKGROUND: Topologically associating domains (TADs) are genomic regions with varying lengths. The interactions within TADs are more frequent than those between different TADs. TADs or sub-TADs are considered the structural and functional units of the mammalian genomes. Although TADs are important for understanding how genomes function, we have limited knowledge about their 3D structural properties.

RESULTS: In this study, we designed and benchmarked three metrics for capturing the three-dimensional and two-dimensional structural signatures of TADs, which can help better understand TADs' structural properties and the relationships between structural properties and genetic and epigenetic features. The first metric for capturing 3D structural properties is radius of gyration, which in this study is used to measure the spatial compactness of TADs. The mass value of each DNA bead in a 3D structure is novelly defined as one or more genetic or epigenetic feature(s). The second metric is folding degree. The last metric is exponent parameter, which is used to capture the 2D structural properties based on TADs' Hi-C contact matrices. In general, we observed significant correlations between the three metrics and the genetic and epigenetic features. We made the same observations when using H3K4me3, transcription start sites, and RNA polymerase II to represent the mass value in the modified radius-of-gyration metric. Moreover, we have found that the TADs in the clusters of depleted chromatin states apparently correspond to smaller exponent parameters and larger radius of gyrations. In addition, a new objective function of multidimensional scaling for modelling chromatin or TADs 3D structures was designed and benchmarked, which can handle the DNA bead-pairs with zero Hi-C contact values.

CONCLUSIONS: The web server for reconstructing chromatin 3D structures using multiple different objective functions and the related source code are publicly available at

RevDate: 2019-11-30

Clemens AW, Wu DY, Moore JR, et al (2019)

MeCP2 Represses Enhancers through Chromosome Topology-Associated DNA Methylation.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(19)30811-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The genomes of mammalian neurons contain uniquely high levels of non-CG DNA methylation that can be bound by the Rett syndrome protein, MeCP2, to regulate gene expression. How patterns of non-CG methylation are established in neurons and the mechanism by which this methylation works with MeCP2 to control gene expression is unclear. Here, we find that genes repressed by MeCP2 are often located within megabase-scale regions of high non-CG methylation that correspond with topologically associating domains of chromatin folding. MeCP2 represses enhancers found in these domains that are enriched for non-CG and CG methylation, with the strongest repression occurring for enhancers located within MeCP2-repressed genes. These alterations in enhancer activity provide a mechanism for how MeCP2 disruption in disease can lead to widespread changes in gene expression. Hence, we find that DNA topology can shape non-CG DNA methylation across the genome to dictate MeCP2-mediated enhancer regulation in the brain.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Li L, Barth NKH, Pilarsky C, et al (2019)

Cancer Is Associated with Alterations in the Three-Dimensional Organization of the Genome.

Cancers, 11(12): pii:cancers11121886.

The human genome is organized into topologically associating domains (TADs), which represent contiguous regions with a higher frequency of intra-interactions as opposed to inter-interactions. TADs contribute to gene expression regulation by restricting the interactions between their regulatory elements, and TAD disruption has been associated with cancer. Here, we provide a proof of principle that mutations within TADs can be used to predict the survival of cancer patients. Specifically, we constructed a set of 1467 consensus TADs representing the three-dimensional organization of the human genome and used Cox regression analysis to identify a total of 35 prognostic TADs in different cancer types. Interestingly, only 46% of the 35 prognostic TADs comprised genes with known clinical relevance. Moreover, in the vast majority of such cases, the prognostic value of the TAD was not directly related to the presence/absence of mutations in the gene(s), emphasizing the importance of regulatory mutations. In addition, we found that 34% of the prognostic TADs show strong structural perturbations in the cancer genome, consistent with the widespread, global epigenetic dysregulation often observed in cancer patients. In summary, this study elucidates the mechanisms through which non-coding variants may influence cancer progression and opens new avenues for personalized medicine.

RevDate: 2019-12-09

Zhang H, Emerson DJ, Gilgenast TG, et al (2019)

Chromatin structure dynamics during the mitosis-to-G1 phase transition.

Nature, 576(7785):158-162.

Features of higher-order chromatin organization-such as A/B compartments, topologically associating domains and chromatin loops-are temporarily disrupted during mitosis1,2. Because these structures are thought to influence gene regulation, it is important to understand how they are re-established after mitosis. Here we examine the dynamics of chromosome reorganization by Hi-C after mitosis in highly purified, synchronous mouse erythroid cell populations. We observed rapid establishment of A/B compartments, followed by their gradual intensification and expansion. Contact domains form from the 'bottom up'-smaller subTADs are formed initially, followed by convergence into multi-domain TAD structures. CTCF is partially retained on mitotic chromosomes and immediately resumes full binding in ana/telophase. By contrast, cohesin is completely evicted from mitotic chromosomes and regains focal binding at a slower rate. The formation of CTCF/cohesin co-anchored structural loops follows the kinetics of cohesin positioning. Stripe-shaped contact patterns-anchored by CTCF-grow in length, which is consistent with a loop-extrusion process after mitosis. Interactions between cis-regulatory elements can form rapidly, with rates exceeding those of CTCF/cohesin-anchored contacts. Notably, we identified a group of rapidly emerging transient contacts between cis-regulatory elements in ana/telophase that are dissolved upon G1 entry, co-incident with the establishment of inner boundaries or nearby interfering chromatin loops. We also describe the relationship between transcription reactivation and architectural features. Our findings indicate that distinct but mutually influential forces drive post-mitotic chromatin reconfiguration.

RevDate: 2019-11-24

Galupa R, Nora EP, Worsley-Hunt R, et al (2019)

A Conserved Noncoding Locus Regulates Random Monoallelic Xist Expression across a Topological Boundary.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(19)30808-1 [Epub ahead of print].

cis-Regulatory communication is crucial in mammalian development and is thought to be restricted by the spatial partitioning of the genome in topologically associating domains (TADs). Here, we discovered that the Xist locus is regulated by sequences in the neighboring TAD. In particular, the promoter of the noncoding RNA Linx (LinxP) acts as a long-range silencer and influences the choice of X chromosome to be inactivated. This is independent of Linx transcription and independent of any effect on Tsix, the antisense regulator of Xist that shares the same TAD as Linx. Unlike Tsix, LinxP is well conserved across mammals, suggesting an ancestral mechanism for random monoallelic Xist regulation. When introduced in the same TAD as Xist, LinxP switches from a silencer to an enhancer. Our study uncovers an unsuspected regulatory axis for X chromosome inactivation and a class of cis-regulatory effects that may exploit TAD partitioning to modulate developmental decisions.

RevDate: 2019-12-16

Davidson IF, Bauer B, Goetz D, et al (2019)

DNA loop extrusion by human cohesin.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 366(6471):1338-1345.

Eukaryotic genomes are folded into loops and topologically associating domains, which contribute to chromatin structure, gene regulation, and gene recombination. These structures depend on cohesin, a ring-shaped DNA-entrapping adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) complex that has been proposed to form loops by extrusion. Such an activity has been observed for condensin, which forms loops in mitosis, but not for cohesin. Using biochemical reconstitution, we found that single human cohesin complexes form DNA loops symmetrically at rates up to 2.1 kilo-base pairs per second. Loop formation and maintenance depend on cohesin's ATPase activity and on NIPBL-MAU2, but not on topological entrapment of DNA by cohesin. During loop formation, cohesin and NIPBL-MAU2 reside at the base of loops, which indicates that they generate loops by extrusion. Our results show that cohesin and NIPBL-MAU2 form an active holoenzyme that interacts with DNA either pseudo-topologically or non-topologically to extrude genomic interphase DNA into loops.

RevDate: 2019-11-26

Di Filippo L, Righelli D, Gagliardi M, et al (2019)

HiCeekR: A Novel Shiny App for Hi-C Data Analysis.

Frontiers in genetics, 10:1079.

The High-throughput Chromosome Conformation Capture (Hi-C) technique combines the power of the Next Generation Sequencing technologies with chromosome conformation capture approach to study the 3D chromatin organization at the genome-wide scale. Although such a technique is quite recent, many tools are already available for pre-processing and analyzing Hi-C data, allowing to identify chromatin loops, topological associating domains and A/B compartments. However, only a few of them provide an exhaustive analysis pipeline or allow to easily integrate and visualize other omic layers. Moreover, most of the available tools are designed for expert users, who have great confidence with command-line applications. In this paper, we present HiCeekR (, a novel R Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows researchers to easily perform a complete Hi-C data analysis. With the aid of the Shiny libraries, it integrates several R/Bioconductor packages for Hi-C data analysis and visualization, guiding the user during the entire process. Here, we describe its architecture and functionalities, then illustrate its capabilities using a publicly available dataset.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Huang Y, Mouttet B, Warnatz HJ, et al (2019)

The Leukemogenic TCF3-HLF Complex Rewires Enhancers Driving Cellular Identity and Self-Renewal Conferring EP300 Vulnerability.

Cancer cell, 36(6):630-644.e9.

The chimeric transcription factor TCF3-HLF defines an incurable acute lymphoblastic leukemia subtype. Here we decipher the regulome of endogenous TCF3-HLF and dissect its essential transcriptional components and targets by functional genomics. We demonstrate that TCF3-HLF recruits HLF binding sites at hematopoietic stem cell/myeloid lineage associated (super-) enhancers to drive lineage identity and self-renewal. Among direct targets, hijacking an HLF binding site in a MYC enhancer cluster by TCF3-HLF activates a conserved MYC-driven transformation program crucial for leukemia propagation in vivo. TCF3-HLF pioneers the cooperation with ERG and recruits histone acetyltransferase p300 (EP300), conferring susceptibility to EP300 inhibition. Our study provides a framework for targeting driving transcriptional dependencies in this fatal leukemia.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Bernardi G (2019)

The Genomic Code: A Pervasive Encoding/Molding of Chromatin Structures and a Solution of the "Non-Coding DNA" Mystery.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 41(12):e1900106.

Recent investigations have revealed 1) that the isochores of the human genome group into two super-families characterized by two different long-range 3D structures, and 2) that these structures, essentially based on the distribution and topology of short sequences, mold primary chromatin domains (and define nucleosome binding). More specifically, GC-poor, gene-poor isochores are low-heterogeneity sequences with oligo-A spikes that mold the lamina-associated domains (LADs), whereas GC-rich, gene-rich isochores are characterized by single or multiple GC peaks that mold the topologically associating domains (TADs). The formation of these "primary TADs" may be followed by extrusion under the action of cohesin and CTCF. Finally, the genomic code, which is responsible for the pervasive encoding and molding of primary chromatin domains (LADs and primary TADs, namely the "gene spaces"/"spatial compartments") resolves the longstanding problems of "non-coding DNA," "junk DNA," and "selfish DNA" leading to a new vision of the genome as shaped by DNA sequences.

RevDate: 2019-12-06

Jerković I, Szabo Q, Bantignies F, et al (2019)

Higher-Order Chromosomal Structures Mediate Genome Function.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30610-2 [Epub ahead of print].

How chromosomes are organized within the tridimensional space of the nucleus and how can this organization affect genome function have been long-standing questions on the path to understanding genome activity and its link to disease. In the last decade, high-throughput chromosome conformation capture techniques, such as Hi-C, have facilitated the discovery of new principles of genome folding. Chromosomes are folded in multiple high-order structures, with local contacts between enhancers and promoters, intermediate-level contacts forming Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) and higher-order chromatin structures sequestering chromatin into active and repressive compartments. However, despite the increasing evidence that genome organization can influence its function, we are still far from understanding the underlying mechanisms. Deciphering these mechanisms represents a major challenge for the future, which large, international initiatives, such as 4DN, HCA and LifeTime, aim to collaboratively tackle by using a conjunction of state-of-the-art population-based and single-cell approaches.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Mozziconacci J, Merle M, A Lesne (2019)

The 3D Genome Shapes the Regulatory Code of Developmental Genes.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30613-8 [Epub ahead of print].

We revisit the notion of gene regulatory code in embryonic development in the light of recent findings about genome spatial organization. By analogy with the genetic code, we posit that the concept of code can only be used if the corresponding adaptor can clearly be identified. An adaptor is here defined as an intermediary physical entity mediating the correspondence between codewords and objects in a gratuitous and evolvable way. In the context of the gene regulatory code, the encoded objects are the gene expression levels, while the concentrations of specific transcription factors in the cell nucleus provide the codewords. The notion of code is meaningful in the absence of direct physicochemical relationships between the objects and the codewords, when the mediation by an adaptor is required. We propose that a plausible adaptor for this code is the gene domain, that is, the genome segment delimited by topological insulators and comprising the gene and its enhancer regulatory sequences. We review recent evidences, based on genome-wide chromosome conformation capture experiments, showing that preferential contact domains found in metazoan genomes are the physical traces of gene domains. Accordingly, genome 3D folding plays a direct role in shaping the developmental gene regulatory code.

RevDate: 2019-11-19

Abramo K, Valton AL, Venev SV, et al (2019)

A chromosome folding intermediate at the condensin-to-cohesin transition during telophase.

Nature cell biology, 21(11):1393-1402.

Chromosome folding is modulated as cells progress through the cell cycle. During mitosis, condensins fold chromosomes into helical loop arrays. In interphase, the cohesin complex generates loops and topologically associating domains (TADs), while a separate process of compartmentalization drives segregation of active and inactive chromatin. We used synchronized cell cultures to determine how the mitotic chromosome conformation transforms into the interphase state. Using high-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) analysis, chromatin binding assays and immunofluorescence, we show that, by telophase, condensin-mediated loops are lost and a transient folding intermediate is formed that is devoid of most loops. By cytokinesis, cohesin-mediated CTCF-CTCF loops and the positions of TADs emerge. Compartment boundaries are also established early, but long-range compartmentalization is a slow process and proceeds for hours after cells enter G1. Our results reveal the kinetics and order of events by which the interphase chromosome state is formed and identify telophase as a critical transition between condensin- and cohesin-driven chromosome folding.

RevDate: 2019-11-04

Grob S (2019)

Three-dimensional chromosome organization in flowering plants.

Briefings in functional genomics pii:5611253 [Epub ahead of print].

Research on plant three-dimensional (3D) genome architecture made rapid progress over the past 5 years. Numerous Hi-C interaction data sets were generated in a wide range of plant species, allowing for a comprehensive overview on 3D chromosome folding principles in the plant kingdom. Plants lack important genes reported to be vital for chromosome folding in animals. However, similar 3D structures such as topologically associating domains and chromatin loops were identified. Recent studies in Arabidopsis thaliana revealed how chromosomal regions are positioned within the nucleus by determining their association with both, the nuclear periphery and the nucleolus. Additionally, many plant species exhibit high-frequency interactions among KNOT entangled elements, which are associated with safeguarding the genome from invasive DNA elements. Many of the recently published Hi-C data sets were generated to aid de novo genome assembly and remain to date little explored. These data sets represent a valuable resource for future comparative studies, which may lead to a more profound understanding of the evolution of 3D chromosome organization in plants.

RevDate: 2019-11-04

Kantidze OL, Gurova KV, Studitsky VM, et al (2019)

The 3D Genome as a Target for Anticancer Therapy.

Trends in molecular medicine pii:S1471-4914(19)30268-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The role of 3D genome organization in the precise regulation of gene expression is well established. Accordingly, the mechanistic connections between 3D genome alterations and disease development are becoming increasingly apparent. This opinion article provides a snapshot of our current understanding of the 3D genome alterations associated with cancers. We discuss potential connections of the 3D genome and cancer transcriptional addiction phenomenon as well as molecular mechanisms of action of 3D genome-disrupting drugs. Finally, we highlight issues and perspectives raised by the discovery of the first pharmaceutical strongly affecting 3D genome organization.

RevDate: 2019-12-27

de Wit E (2019)

TADs as the Caller Calls Them.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30592-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Developments in proximity ligation methods and sequencing technologies have provided high-resolution views of the organization of the genome inside the nucleus. A prominent feature of Hi-C maps is regions of increased self-interaction called topologically associating domains (TADs). Despite the strong evolutionary conservation and clear link with gene expression, the exact role of TADs and even their definition remains debatable. Here, I review the discovery of TADs, how they are commonly identified, and the mechanisms that lead to their formation. Furthermore, I discuss recent results that have created a more nuanced view of the role of TADs in the regulation of genes. In light of this, I propose that when we define TADs, we also consider the mechanisms that shape them.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Lhoumaud P, Badri S, Rodriguez-Hernaez J, et al (2019)

NSD2 overexpression drives clustered chromatin and transcriptional changes in a subset of insulated domains.

Nature communications, 10(1):4843.

CTCF and cohesin play a key role in organizing chromatin into topologically associating domain (TAD) structures. Disruption of a single CTCF binding site is sufficient to change chromosomal interactions leading to alterations in chromatin modifications and gene regulation. However, the extent to which alterations in chromatin modifications can disrupt 3D chromosome organization leading to transcriptional changes is unknown. In multiple myeloma, a 4;14 translocation induces overexpression of the histone methyltransferase, NSD2, resulting in expansion of H3K36me2 and shrinkage of antagonistic H3K27me3 domains. Using isogenic cell lines producing high and low levels of NSD2, here we find oncogene activation is linked to alterations in H3K27ac and CTCF within H3K36me2 enriched chromatin. A logistic regression model reveals that differentially expressed genes are significantly enriched within the same insulated domain as altered H3K27ac and CTCF peaks. These results identify a bidirectional relationship between 2D chromatin and 3D genome organization in gene regulation.

RevDate: 2019-12-18
CmpDate: 2019-11-19

Ochs F, Karemore G, Miron E, et al (2019)

Stabilization of chromatin topology safeguards genome integrity.

Nature, 574(7779):571-574.

To safeguard genome integrity in response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), mammalian cells mobilize the neighbouring chromatin to shield DNA ends against excessive resection that could undermine repair fidelity and cause damage to healthy chromosomes1. This form of genome surveillance is orchestrated by 53BP1, whose accumulation at DSBs triggers sequential recruitment of RIF1 and the shieldin-CST-POLα complex2. How this pathway reflects and influences the three-dimensional nuclear architecture is not known. Here we use super-resolution microscopy to show that 53BP1 and RIF1 form an autonomous functional module that stabilizes three-dimensional chromatin topology at sites of DNA breakage. This process is initiated by accumulation of 53BP1 at regions of compact chromatin that colocalize with topologically associating domain (TAD) sequences, followed by recruitment of RIF1 to the boundaries between such domains. The alternating distribution of 53BP1 and RIF1 stabilizes several neighbouring TAD-sized structures at a single DBS site into an ordered, circular arrangement. Depletion of 53BP1 or RIF1 (but not shieldin) disrupts this arrangement and leads to decompaction of DSB-flanking chromatin, reduction in interchromatin space, aberrant spreading of DNA repair proteins, and hyper-resection of DNA ends. Similar topological distortions are triggered by depletion of cohesin, which suggests that the maintenance of chromatin structure after DNA breakage involves basic mechanisms that shape three-dimensional nuclear organization. As topological stabilization of DSB-flanking chromatin is independent of DNA repair, we propose that, besides providing a structural scaffold to protect DNA ends against aberrant processing, 53BP1 and RIF1 safeguard epigenetic integrity at loci that are disrupted by DNA breakage.

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Zou D, Zhang H, Ke J, et al (2019)

Three functional variants were identified to affect RPS24 expression and significantly associated with risk of colorectal cancer.

Archives of toxicology pii:10.1007/s00204-019-02600-9 [Epub ahead of print].

GWAS-identified 10q22.3 loci with lead SNP rs704017 are significantly associated with CRC risk in both Asian and European populations. However, the functional mechanism of this region is unclear. In this study, we performed a fine-mapping analysis to identify the causal SNPs. To identify potential functional SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with the lead SNP, we searched for the potential target genes using a Hi-C database and an RNA interfering-based on-chip approach. The results indicated that rs12263636 (r2 = 0.41) showed the highest potential to be functional. It resided in a region with enhancer markers and a topologically associating domain. We found that RPS24 was the only gene that significantly promoted the proliferation rate of CRC cells and might have promoter-enhancer interaction with rs12263636. Dual-luciferase reporter assays confirmed that the risk alleles of two variants (rs3740253 and rs7071351) in RPS24 promoter could increase the expression of luciferase. Case control study consisting of 1134 cases and 2039 health controls confirmed that both the two variants were associated with risk of CRC (rs3740253: P = 0.0079, OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.04-1.28; rs7071351: P = 0.0085, OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.04-1.28). And plasmid containing mutant haplotypes containing all the three mutations (rs12263636 or rs3740253 and rs7071351) could most significantly increase luciferase expression, compared with any haplotype of the three mutations. The study explained the functional mechanism for the 10q22.3 loci and provided new insights into the prevention and treatment of CRC.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Ghavi-Helm Y (2019)

Functional Consequences of Chromosomal Rearrangements on Gene Expression: Not So Deleterious After All?.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30564-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Chromosomes are folded and organized into topologically associating domains (TADs) which provide a framework for the interaction of enhancers with the promoter of their target gene(s). Structural rearrangements observed during evolution or in disease contexts suggest that changes in genome organization strongly affect gene expression and can have drastic phenotypic effects. In this review, I will discuss how recent genomic engineering experiments reveal a more contrasted picture, suggesting that TADs are important but not always essential for gene expression regulation.

RevDate: 2019-12-30

Viets K, Sauria MEG, Chernoff C, et al (2019)

Characterization of Button Loci that Promote Homologous Chromosome Pairing and Cell-Type-Specific Interchromosomal Gene Regulation.

Developmental cell, 51(3):341-356.e7.

Homologous chromosomes colocalize to regulate gene expression in processes including genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, and transvection. In Drosophila, homologous chromosomes pair throughout development, promoting transvection. The "button" model of pairing proposes that specific regions along chromosomes pair with high affinity. Here, we identify buttons interspersed across the fly genome that pair with their homologous sequences, even when relocated to multiple positions in the genome. A majority of transgenes that span a full topologically associating domain (TAD) function as buttons, but not all buttons contain TADs. Additionally, buttons are enriched for insulator protein clusters. Fragments of buttons do not pair, suggesting that combinations of elements within a button are required for pairing. Pairing is necessary but not sufficient for transvection. Additionally, pairing and transvection are stronger in some cell types than in others, suggesting that pairing strength regulates transvection efficiency between cell types. Thus, buttons pair homologous chromosomes to facilitate cell-type-specific interchromosomal gene regulation.

RevDate: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-06

Renschler G, Richard G, Valsecchi CIK, et al (2019)

Hi-C guided assemblies reveal conserved regulatory topologies on X and autosomes despite extensive genome shuffling.

Genes & development, 33(21-22):1591-1612.

Genome rearrangements that occur during evolution impose major challenges on regulatory mechanisms that rely on three-dimensional genome architecture. Here, we developed a scaffolding algorithm and generated chromosome-length assemblies from Hi-C data for studying genome topology in three distantly related Drosophila species. We observe extensive genome shuffling between these species with one synteny breakpoint after approximately every six genes. A/B compartments, a set of large gene-dense topologically associating domains (TADs), and spatial contacts between high-affinity sites (HAS) located on the X chromosome are maintained over 40 million years, indicating architectural conservation at various hierarchies. Evolutionary conserved genes cluster in the vicinity of HAS, while HAS locations appear evolutionarily flexible, thus uncoupling functional requirement of dosage compensation from individual positions on the linear X chromosome. Therefore, 3D architecture is preserved even in scenarios of thousands of rearrangements highlighting its relevance for essential processes such as dosage compensation of the X chromosome.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Le Caignec C, Pichon O, Briand A, et al (2019)

Fryns type mesomelic dysplasia of the upper limbs caused by inverted duplications of the HOXD gene cluster.

European journal of human genetics : EJHG pii:10.1038/s41431-019-0522-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The HoxD cluster is critical for vertebrate limb development. Enhancers located in both the telomeric and centromeric gene deserts flanking the cluster regulate the transcription of HoxD genes. In rare patients, duplications, balanced translocations or inversions misregulating HOXD genes are responsible for mesomelic dysplasia of the upper and lower limbs. By aCGH, whole-genome mate-pair sequencing, long-range PCR and fiber fluorescent in situ hybridization, we studied patients from two families displaying mesomelic dysplasia limited to the upper limbs. We identified microduplications including the HOXD cluster and showed that microduplications were in an inverted orientation and inserted between the HOXD cluster and the telomeric enhancers. Our results highlight the existence of an autosomal dominant condition consisting of isolated ulnar dysplasia caused by microduplications inserted between the HOXD cluster and the telomeric enhancers. The duplications likely disconnect the HOXD9 to HOXD11 genes from their regulatory sequences. This presumptive loss-of-function may have contributed to the phenotype. In both cases, however, these rearrangements brought HOXD13 closer to telomeric enhancers, suggesting that the alterations derive from the dominant-negative effect of this digit-specific protein when ectopically expressed during the early development of forearms, through the disruption of topologically associating domain structure at the HOXD locus.

RevDate: 2019-09-22

Ooi WF, Nargund AM, Lim KJ, et al (2019)

Integrated paired-end enhancer profiling and whole-genome sequencing reveals recurrent CCNE1 and IGF2 enhancer hijacking in primary gastric adenocarcinoma.

Gut pii:gutjnl-2018-317612 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Genomic structural variations (SVs) causing rewiring of cis-regulatory elements remain largely unexplored in gastric cancer (GC). To identify SVs affecting enhancer elements in GC (enhancer-based SVs), we integrated epigenomic enhancer profiles revealed by paired-end H3K27ac ChIP-sequencing from primary GCs with tumour whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data (PeNChIP-seq/WGS).

DESIGN: We applied PeNChIP-seq to 11 primary GCs and matched normal tissues combined with WGS profiles of >200 GCs. Epigenome profiles were analysed alongside matched RNA-seq data to identify tumour-associated enhancer-based SVs with altered cancer transcription. Functional validation of candidate enhancer-based SVs was performed using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, chromosome conformation capture assays (4C-seq, Capture-C) and Hi-C analysis of primary GCs.

RESULTS: PeNChIP-seq/WGS revealed ~150 enhancer-based SVs in GC. The majority (63%) of SVs linked to target gene deregulation were associated with increased tumour expression. Enhancer-based SVs targeting CCNE1, a key driver of therapy resistance, occurred in 8% of patients frequently juxtaposing diverse distal enhancers to CCNE1 proximal regions. CCNE1-rearranged GCs were associated with high CCNE1 expression, disrupted CCNE1 topologically associating domain (TAD) boundaries, and novel TAD interactions in CCNE1-rearranged primary tumours. We also observed IGF2 enhancer-based SVs, previously noted in colorectal cancer, highlighting a common non-coding genetic driver alteration in gastric and colorectal malignancies.

CONCLUSION: Integrated paired-end NanoChIP-seq and WGS of gastric tumours reveals tumour-associated regulatory SV in regions associated with both simple and complex genomic rearrangements. Genomic rearrangements may thus exploit enhancer-hijacking as a common mechanism to drive oncogene expression in GC.

RevDate: 2019-11-09

Hansen AS, Hsieh TS, Cattoglio C, et al (2019)

Distinct Classes of Chromatin Loops Revealed by Deletion of an RNA-Binding Region in CTCF.

Molecular cell, 76(3):395-411.e13.

Mammalian genomes are folded into topologically associating domains (TADs), consisting of chromatin loops anchored by CTCF and cohesin. Some loops are cell-type specific. Here we asked whether CTCF loops are established by a universal or locus-specific mechanism. Investigating the molecular determinants of CTCF clustering, we found that CTCF self-association in vitro is RNase sensitive and that an internal RNA-binding region (RBRi) mediates CTCF clustering and RNA interaction in vivo. Strikingly, deleting the RBRi impairs about half of all chromatin loops in mESCs and causes deregulation of gene expression. Disrupted loop formation correlates with diminished clustering and chromatin binding of RBRi mutant CTCF, which in turn results in a failure to halt cohesin-mediated extrusion. Thus, CTCF loops fall into at least two classes: RBRi-independent and RBRi-dependent loops. We speculate that evidence for RBRi-dependent loops may provide a molecular mechanism for establishing cell-specific CTCF loops, potentially regulated by RNA(s) or other RBRi-interacting partners.

RevDate: 2019-12-23
CmpDate: 2019-12-23

Rhie SK, Perez AA, Lay FD, et al (2019)

A high-resolution 3D epigenomic map reveals insights into the creation of the prostate cancer transcriptome.

Nature communications, 10(1):4154 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-12079-8.

To better understand the impact of chromatin structure on regulation of the prostate cancer transcriptome, we develop high-resolution chromatin interaction maps in normal and prostate cancer cells using in situ Hi-C. By combining the in situ Hi-C data with active and repressive histone marks, CTCF binding sites, nucleosome-depleted regions, and transcriptome profiling, we identify topologically associating domains (TADs) that change in size and epigenetic states between normal and prostate cancer cells. Moreover, we identify normal and prostate cancer-specific enhancer-promoter loops and involved transcription factors. For example, we show that FOXA1 is enriched in prostate cancer-specific enhancer-promoter loop anchors. We also find that the chromatin structure surrounding the androgen receptor (AR) locus is altered in the prostate cancer cells with many cancer-specific enhancer-promoter loops. This creation of 3D epigenomic maps enables a better understanding of prostate cancer biology and mechanisms of gene regulation.

RevDate: 2019-10-01

Williamson I, Kane L, Devenney PS, et al (2019)

Developmentally regulated Shh expression is robust to TAD perturbations.

Development (Cambridge, England), 146(19): pii:dev.179523.

Topologically associating domains (TADs) have been proposed to both guide and constrain enhancer activity. Shh is located within a TAD known to contain all its enhancers. To investigate the importance of chromatin conformation and TAD integrity on developmental gene regulation, we have manipulated the Shh TAD - creating internal deletions, deleting CTCF sites, and deleting and inverting sequences at TAD boundaries. Chromosome conformation capture and fluorescence in situ hybridisation assays were used to investigate the changes in chromatin conformation that result from these manipulations. Our data suggest that these substantial alterations in TAD structure have no readily detectable effect on Shh expression patterns or levels of Shh expression during development - except where enhancers are deleted - and result in no detectable phenotypes. Only in the case of a larger deletion at one TAD boundary could ectopic influence of the Shh limb enhancer be detected on a gene (Mnx1) in the neighbouring TAD. Our data suggests that, contrary to expectations, the developmental regulation of Shh expression is remarkably robust to TAD perturbations.

RevDate: 2019-09-15

Liu Q, Lv H, R Jiang (2019)

hicGAN infers super resolution Hi-C data with generative adversarial networks.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 35(14):i99-i107.

MOTIVATION: Hi-C is a genome-wide technology for investigating 3D chromatin conformation by measuring physical contacts between pairs of genomic regions. The resolution of Hi-C data directly impacts the effectiveness and accuracy of downstream analysis such as identifying topologically associating domains (TADs) and meaningful chromatin loops. High resolution Hi-C data are valuable resources which implicate the relationship between 3D genome conformation and function, especially linking distal regulatory elements to their target genes. However, high resolution Hi-C data across various tissues and cell types are not always available due to the high sequencing cost. It is therefore indispensable to develop computational approaches for enhancing the resolution of Hi-C data.

RESULTS: We proposed hicGAN, an open-sourced framework, for inferring high resolution Hi-C data from low resolution Hi-C data with generative adversarial networks (GANs). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to apply GANs to 3D genome analysis. We demonstrate that hicGAN effectively enhances the resolution of low resolution Hi-C data by generating matrices that are highly consistent with the original high resolution Hi-C matrices. A typical scenario of usage for our approach is to enhance low resolution Hi-C data in new cell types, especially where the high resolution Hi-C data are not available. Our study not only presents a novel approach for enhancing Hi-C data resolution, but also provides fascinating insights into disclosing complex mechanism underlying the formation of chromatin contacts.

We release hicGAN as an open-sourced software at

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Ray J, Munn PR, Vihervaara A, et al (2019)

Chromatin conformation remains stable upon extensive transcriptional changes driven by heat shock.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(39):19431-19439.

Heat shock (HS) initiates rapid, extensive, and evolutionarily conserved changes in transcription that are accompanied by chromatin decondensation and nucleosome loss at HS loci. Here we have employed in situ Hi-C to determine how heat stress affects long-range chromatin conformation in human and Drosophila cells. We found that compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs) remain unchanged by an acute HS. Knockdown of Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1), the master transcriptional regulator of the HS response, identified HSF1-dependent genes and revealed that up-regulation is often mediated by distal HSF1 bound enhancers. HSF1-dependent genes were usually found in the same TAD as the nearest HSF1 binding site. Although most interactions between HSF1 binding sites and target promoters were established in the nonheat shock (NHS) condition, a subset increased contact frequency following HS. Integrating information about HSF1 binding strength, RNA polymerase abundance at the HSF1 bound sites (putative enhancers), and contact frequency with a target promoter accurately predicted which up-regulated genes were direct targets of HSF1 during HS. Our results suggest that the chromatin conformation necessary for a robust HS response is preestablished in NHS cells of diverse metazoan species.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Kikuchi M, Hara N, Hasegawa M, et al (2019)

Enhancer variants associated with Alzheimer's disease affect gene expression via chromatin looping.

BMC medical genomics, 12(1):128 pii:10.1186/s12920-019-0574-8.

BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may be genetic factors underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, how these AD-associated SNPs (AD SNPs) contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease is poorly understood because most of them are located in non-coding regions, such as introns and intergenic regions. Previous studies reported that some disease-associated SNPs affect regulatory elements including enhancers. We hypothesized that non-coding AD SNPs are located in enhancers and affect gene expression levels via chromatin loops.

METHODS: To characterize AD SNPs within non-coding regions, we extracted 406 AD SNPs with GWAS p-values of less than 1.00 × 10- 6 from the GWAS catalog database. Of these, we selected 392 SNPs within non-coding regions. Next, we checked whether those non-coding AD SNPs were located in enhancers that typically regulate gene expression levels using publicly available data for enhancers that were predicted in 127 human tissues or cell types. We sought expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) genes affected by non-coding AD SNPs within enhancers because enhancers are regulatory elements that influence the gene expression levels. To elucidate how the non-coding AD SNPs within enhancers affect the gene expression levels, we identified chromatin-chromatin interactions by Hi-C experiments.

RESULTS: We report the following findings: (1) nearly 30% of non-coding AD SNPs are located in enhancers; (2) eQTL genes affected by non-coding AD SNPs within enhancers are associated with amyloid beta clearance, synaptic transmission, and immune responses; (3) 95% of the AD SNPs located in enhancers co-localize with their eQTL genes in topologically associating domains suggesting that regulation may occur through chromatin higher-order structures; (4) rs1476679 spatially contacts the promoters of eQTL genes via CTCF-CTCF interactions; (5) the effect of other AD SNPs such as rs7364180 is likely to be, at least in part, indirect through regulation of transcription factors that in turn regulate AD associated genes.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that non-coding AD SNPs may affect the function of enhancers thereby influencing the expression levels of surrounding or distant genes via chromatin loops. This result may explain how some non-coding AD SNPs contribute to AD pathogenesis.

RevDate: 2019-11-08

Anderson EC, Frankino PA, Higuchi-Sanabria R, et al (2019)

X Chromosome Domain Architecture Regulates Caenorhabditis elegans Lifespan but Not Dosage Compensation.

Developmental cell, 51(2):192-207.e6.

Mechanisms establishing higher-order chromosome structures and their roles in gene regulation are elusive. We analyzed chromosome architecture during nematode X chromosome dosage compensation, which represses transcription via a dosage-compensation condensin complex (DCC) that binds hermaphrodite Xs and establishes megabase-sized topologically associating domains (TADs). We show that DCC binding at high-occupancy sites (rex sites) defines eight TAD boundaries. Single rex deletions disrupted boundaries, and single insertions created new boundaries, demonstrating that a rex site is necessary and sufficient to define DCC-dependent boundary locations. Deleting eight rex sites (8rexΔ) recapitulated TAD structure of DCC mutants, permitting analysis when chromosome-wide domain architecture was disrupted but most DCC binding remained. 8rexΔ animals exhibited no changes in X expression and lacked dosage-compensation mutant phenotypes. Hence, TAD boundaries are neither the cause nor the consequence of DCC-mediated gene repression. Abrogating TAD structure did, however, reduce thermotolerance, accelerate aging, and shorten lifespan, implicating chromosome architecture in stress responses and aging.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Kaaij LJT, Mohn F, van der Weide RH, et al (2019)

The ChAHP Complex Counteracts Chromatin Looping at CTCF Sites that Emerged from SINE Expansions in Mouse.

Cell, 178(6):1437-1451.e14.

CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin are key players in three-dimensional chromatin organization. The topologically associating domains (TADs) demarcated by CTCF are remarkably well conserved between species, although genome-wide CTCF binding has diverged substantially following transposon-mediated motif expansions. Therefore, the CTCF consensus motif poorly predicts TADs, and additional factors must modulate CTCF binding and subsequent TAD formation. Here, we demonstrate that the ChAHP complex (CHD4, ADNP, HP1) competes with CTCF for a common set of binding motifs. In Adnp knockout cells, novel insulated regions are formed at sites normally bound by ChAHP, whereas proximal canonical boundaries are weakened. These data reveal that CTCF-mediated loop formation is modulated by a distinct zinc-finger protein complex. Strikingly, ChAHP-bound loci are mainly situated within less diverged SINE B2 transposable elements. This implicates ChAHP in maintenance of evolutionarily conserved spatial chromatin organization by buffering novel CTCF binding sites that emerged through SINE expansions.

RevDate: 2019-12-27

Tan G, Polychronopoulos D, B Lenhard (2019)

CNEr: A toolkit for exploring extreme noncoding conservation.

PLoS computational biology, 15(8):e1006940 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-19-00365.

Conserved Noncoding Elements (CNEs) are elements exhibiting extreme noncoding conservation in Metazoan genomes. They cluster around developmental genes and act as long-range enhancers, yet nothing that we know about their function explains the observed conservation levels. Clusters of CNEs coincide with topologically associating domains (TADs), indicating ancient origins and stability of TAD locations. This has suggested further hypotheses about the still elusive origin of CNEs, and has provided a comparative genomics-based method of estimating the position of TADs around developmentally regulated genes in genomes where chromatin conformation capture data is missing. To enable researchers in gene regulation and chromatin biology to start deciphering this phenomenon, we developed CNEr, a R/Bioconductor toolkit for large-scale identification of CNEs and for studying their genomic properties. We apply CNEr to two novel genome comparisons-fruit fly vs tsetse fly, and two sea urchin genomes-and report novel insights gained from their analysis. We also show how to reveal interesting characteristics of CNEs by coupling CNEr with existing Bioconductor packages. CNEr is available at Bioconductor ( and maintained at github (

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Li X, An Z, Z Zhang (2019)

Comparison of computational methods for 3D genome analysis at single-cell Hi-C level.

Methods (San Diego, Calif.) pii:S1046-2023(19)30089-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Hi-C is a high-throughput chromosome conformation capture technology that is becoming routine in the literature. Although the price of sequencing has been dropping dramatically, high-resolution Hi-C data are not always an option for many studies, such as in single cells. However, the performance of current computational methods based on Hi-C at the ultra-sparse data condition has yet to be fully assessed. Therefore, in this paper, after briefly surveying the primary computational methods for Hi-C data analysis, we assess the performance of representative methods on data normalization, identification of compartments, Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) and chromatin loops under the condition of ultra-low resolution. We showed that most state-of-the-art methods do not work properly for that condition. Then, we applied the three best-performing methods on real single-cell Hi-C data, and their performance indicates that compartments may be a statistical feature emerging from the cell population, while TADs and chromatin loops may dynamically exist in single cells.

RevDate: 2019-12-31
CmpDate: 2019-12-31

Abdalla MOA, Yamamoto T, Maehara K, et al (2019)

The Eleanor ncRNAs activate the topological domain of the ESR1 locus to balance against apoptosis.

Nature communications, 10(1):3778 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-11378-4.

MCF7 cells acquire estrogen-independent proliferation after long-term estrogen deprivation (LTED), which recapitulates endocrine therapy resistance. LTED cells can become primed for apoptosis, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. We previously reported that Eleanor non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) upregulate the ESR1 gene in LTED cells. Here, we show that Eleanors delineate the topologically associating domain (TAD) of the ESR1 locus in the active nuclear compartment of LTED cells. The TAD interacts with another transcriptionally active TAD, which is 42.9 Mb away from ESR1 and contains a gene encoding the apoptotic transcription factor FOXO3. Inhibition of a promoter-associated Eleanor suppresses all genes inside the Eleanor TAD and the long-range interaction between the two TADs, but keeps FOXO3 active to facilitate apoptosis in LTED cells. These data indicate a role of ncRNAs in chromatin domain regulation, which may underlie the apoptosis-prone nature of therapy-resistant breast cancer cells and could be good therapeutic targets.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Zhang Y, Li T, Preissl S, et al (2019)

Transcriptionally active HERV-H retrotransposons demarcate topologically associating domains in human pluripotent stem cells.

Nature genetics, 51(9):1380-1388.

Chromatin architecture has been implicated in cell type-specific gene regulatory programs, yet how chromatin remodels during development remains to be fully elucidated. Here, by interrogating chromatin reorganization during human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) differentiation, we discover a role for the primate-specific endogenous retrotransposon human endogenous retrovirus subfamily H (HERV-H) in creating topologically associating domains (TADs) in hPSCs. Deleting these HERV-H elements eliminates their corresponding TAD boundaries and reduces the transcription of upstream genes, while de novo insertion of HERV-H elements can introduce new TAD boundaries. The ability of HERV-H to create TAD boundaries depends on high transcription, as transcriptional repression of HERV-H elements prevents the formation of boundaries. This ability is not limited to hPSCs, as these actively transcribed HERV-H elements and their corresponding TAD boundaries also appear in pluripotent stem cells from other hominids but not in more distantly related species lacking HERV-H elements. Overall, our results provide direct evidence for retrotransposons in actively shaping cell type- and species-specific chromatin architecture.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Miura H, Takahashi S, Poonperm R, et al (2019)

Single-cell DNA replication profiling identifies spatiotemporal developmental dynamics of chromosome organization.

Nature genetics, 51(9):1356-1368.

In mammalian cells, chromosomes are partitioned into megabase-sized topologically associating domains (TADs). TADs can be in either A (active) or B (inactive) subnuclear compartments, which exhibit early and late replication timing (RT), respectively. Here, we show that A/B compartments change coordinately with RT changes genome wide during mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) differentiation. While A to B compartment changes and early to late RT changes were temporally inseparable, B to A changes clearly preceded late to early RT changes and transcriptional activation. Compartments changed primarily by boundary shifting, altering the compartmentalization of TADs facing the A/B compartment interface, which was conserved during reprogramming and confirmed in individual cells by single-cell Repli-seq. Differentiating mESCs altered single-cell Repli-seq profiles gradually but uniformly, transiently resembling RT profiles of epiblast-derived stem cells (EpiSCs), suggesting that A/B compartments might also change gradually but uniformly toward a primed pluripotent state. These results provide insights into how megabase-scale chromosome organization changes in individual cells during differentiation.

RevDate: 2019-08-24

Arnould C, G Legube (2019)

The Secret Life of Chromosome Loops upon DNA Double-Strand Break.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(19)30497-8 [Epub ahead of print].

DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are harmful lesions that severely challenge genomic integrity, and recent evidence suggests that DSBs occur more frequently on the genome than previously thought. These lesions activate a complex and multilayered response called the DNA damage response, which allows to coordinate their repair with the cell cycle progression. While the mechanistic details of repair processes have been narrowed, thanks to several decades of intense studies, our knowledge of the impact of DSB on chromatin composition and chromosome architecture is still very sparse. However, the recent development of various tools to induce DSB at annotated loci, compatible with next-generation sequencing-based approaches, is opening a new framework to tackle these questions. Here we discuss the influence of initial and DSB-induced chromatin conformation and the strong potential of 3C-based technologies to decipher the contribution of chromosome architecture during DSB repair.

RevDate: 2019-08-10

Yao S, Dong SS, Ding JM, et al (2019)

Sex-specific SNP-SNP interaction analyses within topologically associated domains reveals ANGPT1 as a novel tumor suppressor gene for lung cancer.

Genes, chromosomes & cancer [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic interaction has been recognized to be an important cause of the missing heritability. The topologically associating domain (TAD) is a self-interacting genomic region, and the DNA sequences within a TAD physically interact with each other more frequently. Sex differences influence cancer susceptibility at the genetic level. Here, we performed both regular and sex-specific genetic interaction analyses within TAD to identify susceptibility genes for lung cancer in 5204 lung cancer patients and 7389 controls. We found that one SNP pair, rs4262299-rs1654701, was associated with lung cancer in women after multiple testing corrections (combined P = 8.52 × 10-9). Single-SNP analyses did not detect significant association signals for these two SNPs. Both identified SNPs are located in the intron region of ANGPT1. We further found that 5% of nonsmall cell lung cancer patients have an alteration in ANGPT1, indicated the potential role of ANGPT1 in the neoplastic progression in lung cancer. The expression of ANGPT1 was significantly down-regulated in patients in lung squamous cell carcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma. We checked the interaction effect on the ANGPT1 expression and lung cancer and found that the minor allele "G" of rs1654701 increased ANGPT1 gene expression and decreased lung cancer risk with the increased dosage of "A" of rs4262299, which consistent with the tumor suppressor function of ANGPT1. Survival analyses found that the high expression of ANGPT1 was individually associated with a higher survival probability in lung cancer patients. In summary, our results suggest that ANGPT1 may be a novel tumor suppressor gene for lung cancer.

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Xie T, Zhang FG, Zhang HY, et al (2019)

Biased gene retention during diploidization in Brassica linked to three-dimensional genome organization.

Nature plants, 5(8):822-832.

The non-random three-dimensional (3D) organization of the genome in the nucleus is critical to gene regulation and genome function. Using high-throughput chromatin conformation capture, we generated chromatin interaction maps for Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea at a high resolution and characterized the conservation and divergence of chromatin organization in these two species. Large-scale chromatin structures, including A/B compartments and topologically associating domains, are notably conserved between B. rapa and B. oleracea, yet their KNOT structures are highly divergent. We found that genes retained in less fractionated subgenomes exhibited stronger interaction strengths, and diploidization-resistant duplicates retained in pairs or triplets are more likely to be colocalized in both B. rapa and B. oleracea. These observations suggest that spatial constraint in duplicated genes is correlated to their biased retention in the diploidization process. In addition, we found strong similarities in the epigenetic modification and Gene Ontology terms of colocalized paralogues, which were largely conserved across B. rapa and B. oleracea, indicating functional constraints on their 3D positioning in the nucleus. This study presents an investigation of the spatial organization of genomes in Brassica and provides insights on the role of 3D organization in the genome evolution of this genus.

RevDate: 2019-08-08

Kim D, An H, Shearer RS, et al (2019)

A principled strategy for mapping enhancers to genes.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11043 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-47521-w.

Mapping enhancers to genes is a fundamental goal of modern biology. We have developed an innovative strategy that maps enhancers to genes in a principled manner. We illustrate its power by applying it to Myrf. Despite being a master regulator of oligodendrocytes, oligodendrocyte enhancers governing Myrf expression remain elusive. Since chromatin conformation capture studies have shown that a gene and its enhancer tend to be found in the same topologically associating domain (TAD), we started with the delineation of the Myrf TAD. A genome-wide map of putative oligodendrocyte enhancers uncovered 6 putative oligodendrocyte enhancers in the Myrf TAD, narrowing down the search space for Myrf enhancers from the entire genome to 6 loci in a principled manner. Epigenome editing experiments revealed that two of them govern Myrf expression for oligodendrocyte development. Our new method is simple, principled, and powerful, providing a systematic way to find enhancers that regulate the expression of a gene of interest. Since it can be applied to most cell types, it would greatly facilitate our effort to unravel transcriptional regulatory networks of diverse cell types.

RevDate: 2020-01-09
CmpDate: 2019-10-25

Sadowski M, Kraft A, Szalaj P, et al (2019)

Spatial chromatin architecture alteration by structural variations in human genomes at the population scale.

Genome biology, 20(1):148 pii:10.1186/s13059-019-1728-x.

BACKGROUND: The number of reported examples of chromatin architecture alterations involved in the regulation of gene transcription and in disease is increasing. However, no genome-wide testing has been performed to assess the abundance of these events and their importance relative to other factors affecting genome regulation. This is particularly interesting given that a vast majority of genetic variations identified in association studies are located outside coding sequences. This study attempts to address this lack by analyzing the impact on chromatin spatial organization of genetic variants identified in individuals from 26 human populations and in genome-wide association studies.

RESULTS: We assess the tendency of structural variants to accumulate in spatially interacting genomic segments and design an algorithm to model chromatin conformational changes caused by structural variations. We show that differential gene transcription is closely linked to the variation in chromatin interaction networks mediated by RNA polymerase II. We also demonstrate that CTCF-mediated interactions are well conserved across populations, but enriched with disease-associated SNPs. Moreover, we find boundaries of topological domains as relatively frequent targets of duplications, which suggest that these duplications can be an important evolutionary mechanism of genome spatial organization.

CONCLUSIONS: This study assesses the critical impact of genetic variants on the higher-order organization of chromatin folding and provides insight into the mechanisms regulating gene transcription at the population scale, of which local arrangement of chromatin loops seems to be the most significant. It provides the first insight into the variability of the human 3D genome at the population scale.

RevDate: 2019-12-17

Dumur T, Duncan S, Graumann K, et al (2019)

Probing the 3D architecture of the plant nucleus with microscopy approaches: challenges and solutions.

Nucleus (Austin, Tex.), 10(1):181-212.

The eukaryotic cell nucleus is a central organelle whose architecture determines genome function at multiple levels. Deciphering nuclear organizing principles influencing cellular responses and identity is a timely challenge. Despite many similarities between plant and animal nuclei, plant nuclei present intriguing specificities. Complementary to molecular and biochemical approaches, 3D microscopy is indispensable for resolving nuclear architecture. However, novel solutions are required for capturing cell-specific, sub-nuclear and dynamic processes. We provide a pointer for utilising high-to-super-resolution microscopy and image processing to probe plant nuclear architecture in 3D at the best possible spatial and temporal resolution and at quantitative and cell-specific levels. High-end imaging and image-processing solutions allow the community now to transcend conventional practices and benefit from continuously improving approaches. These promise to deliver a comprehensive, 3D view of plant nuclear architecture and to capture spatial dynamics of the nuclear compartment in relation to cellular states and responses. Abbreviations: 3D and 4D: Three and Four dimensional; AI: Artificial Intelligence; ant: antipodal nuclei (ant); CLSM: Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy; CTs: Chromosome Territories; DL: Deep Learning; DLIm: Dynamic Live Imaging; ecn: egg nucleus; FACS: Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting; FISH: Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization; FP: Fluorescent Proteins (GFP, RFP, CFP, YFP, mCherry); FRAP: Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching; GPU: Graphics Processing Unit; KEEs: KNOT Engaged Elements; INTACT: Isolation of Nuclei TAgged in specific Cell Types; LADs: Lamin-Associated Domains; ML: Machine Learning; NA: Numerical Aperture; NADs: Nucleolar Associated Domains; PALM: Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy; Pixel: Picture element; pn: polar nuclei; PSF: Point Spread Function; RHF: Relative Heterochromatin Fraction; SIM: Structured Illumination Microscopy; SLIm: Static Live Imaging; SMC: Spore Mother Cell; SNR: Signal to Noise Ratio; SRM: Super-Resolution Microscopy; STED: STimulated Emission Depletion; STORM: STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy; syn: synergid nuclei; TADs: Topologically Associating Domains; Voxel: Volumetric pixel.

RevDate: 2019-12-27
CmpDate: 2019-12-27

Kim K, Eom J, I Jung (2019)

Characterization of Structural Variations in the Context of 3D Chromatin Structure.

Molecules and cells, 42(7):512-522.

Chromosomes located in the nucleus form discrete units of genetic material composed of DNA and protein complexes. The genetic information is encoded in linear DNA sequences, but its interpretation requires an understanding of threedimensional (3D) structure of the chromosome, in which distant DNA sequences can be juxtaposed by highly condensed chromatin packing in the space of nucleus to precisely control gene expression. Recent technological innovations in exploring higher-order chromatin structure have uncovered organizational principles of the 3D genome and its various biological implications. Very recently, it has been reported that large-scale genomic variations may disrupt higher-order chromatin organization and as a consequence, greatly contribute to disease-specific gene regulation for a range of human diseases. Here, we review recent developments in studying the effect of structural variation in gene regulation, and the detection and the interpretation of structural variations in the context of 3D chromatin structure.

RevDate: 2019-07-30

Caporale AL, Gonda CM, LF Franchini (2019)

Transcriptional Enhancers in the FOXP2 Locus Underwent Accelerated Evolution in the Human Lineage.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5540333 [Epub ahead of print].

Unique human features such as complex language are the result of molecular evolutionary changes that modified developmental programs of our brain. The human-specific evolution of the forkhead box P2 (FOXP2) gene coding region has been linked to the emergence of speech and language in the human kind. However, little is known about how the expression of FOXP2 is regulated and if its regulatory machinery evolved in a lineage-specific manner in humans. In order to identify FOXP2 regulatory regions containing human-specific changes we used databases of human accelerated non-coding sequences or HARs. We found that the topologically associating domain (TAD) determined using developing human cerebral cortex containing the FOXP2 locus includes two clusters of 12 HARs, placing the locus occupied by FOXP2 among the top regions showing fast acceleration rates in non-coding regions in the human genome. Using in vivo enhancer assays in zebrafish, we found that at least five FOXP2-HARs behave as transcriptional enhancers throughout different developmental stages. In addition, we found that at least two FOXP2-HARs direct the expression of the reporter gene EGFP to foxP2 expressing regions and cells. Moreover, we uncovered two FOXP2-HARs showing reporter expression gain of function in the nervous system when compared with the chimpanzee ortholog sequences. Our results indicate that regulatory sequences in the FOXP2 locus underwent a human-specific evolutionary process suggesting that the transcriptional machinery controlling this gene could have also evolved differentially in the human lineage.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Despang A, Schöpflin R, Franke M, et al (2019)

Functional dissection of the Sox9-Kcnj2 locus identifies nonessential and instructive roles of TAD architecture.

Nature genetics, 51(8):1263-1271.

The genome is organized in three-dimensional units called topologically associating domains (TADs), through a process dependent on the cooperative action of cohesin and the DNA-binding factor CTCF. Genomic rearrangements of TADs have been shown to cause gene misexpression and disease, but genome-wide depletion of CTCF has no drastic effects on transcription. Here, we investigate TAD function in vivo in mouse limb buds at the Sox9-Kcnj2 locus. We show that the removal of all major CTCF sites at the boundary and within the TAD resulted in a fusion of neighboring TADs, without major effects on gene expression. Gene misexpression and disease phenotypes, however, were achieved by redirecting regulatory activity through inversions and/or the repositioning of boundaries. Thus, TAD structures provide robustness and precision but are not essential for developmental gene regulation. Aberrant disease-related gene activation is not induced by a mere loss of insulation but requires CTCF-dependent redirection of enhancer-promoter contacts.

RevDate: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-17

Eres IE, Luo K, Hsiao CJ, et al (2019)

Reorganization of 3D genome structure may contribute to gene regulatory evolution in primates.

PLoS genetics, 15(7):e1008278 pii:PGENETICS-D-18-02323.

A growing body of evidence supports the notion that variation in gene regulation plays a crucial role in both speciation and adaptation. However, a comprehensive functional understanding of the mechanisms underlying regulatory evolution remains elusive. In primates, one of the crucial missing pieces of information towards a better understanding of regulatory evolution is a comparative annotation of interactions between distal regulatory elements and promoters. Chromatin conformation capture technologies have enabled genome-wide quantifications of such distal 3D interactions. However, relatively little comparative research in primates has been done using such technologies. To address this gap, we used Hi-C to characterize 3D chromatin interactions in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from humans and chimpanzees. We also used RNA-seq to collect gene expression data from the same lines. We generally observed that lower-order, pairwise 3D genomic interactions are conserved in humans and chimpanzees, but higher order genomic structures, such as topologically associating domains (TADs), are not as conserved. Inter-species differences in 3D genomic interactions are often associated with gene expression differences between the species. To provide additional functional context to our observations, we considered previously published chromatin data from human stem cells. We found that inter-species differences in 3D genomic interactions, which are also associated with gene expression differences between the species, are enriched for both active and repressive marks. Overall, our data demonstrate that, as expected, an understanding of 3D genome reorganization is key to explaining regulatory evolution.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Ghavi-Helm Y, Jankowski A, Meiers S, et al (2019)

Highly rearranged chromosomes reveal uncoupling between genome topology and gene expression.

Nature genetics, 51(8):1272-1282.

Chromatin topology is intricately linked to gene expression, yet its functional requirement remains unclear. Here, we comprehensively assessed the interplay between genome topology and gene expression using highly rearranged chromosomes (balancers) spanning ~75% of the Drosophila genome. Using transheterozyte (balancer/wild-type) embryos, we measured allele-specific changes in topology and gene expression in cis, while minimizing trans effects. Through genome sequencing, we resolved eight large nested inversions, smaller inversions, duplications and thousands of deletions. These extensive rearrangements caused many changes to chromatin topology, disrupting long-range loops, topologically associating domains (TADs) and promoter interactions, yet these are not predictive of changes in expression. Gene expression is generally not altered around inversion breakpoints, indicating that mis-appropriate enhancer-promoter activation is a rare event. Similarly, shuffling or fusing TADs, changing intra-TAD connections and disrupting long-range inter-TAD loops does not alter expression for the majority of genes. Our results suggest that properties other than chromatin topology ensure productive enhancer-promoter interactions.

RevDate: 2019-11-08
CmpDate: 2019-11-08

Rodríguez-Carballo E, Lopez-Delisle L, Yakushiji-Kaminatsui N, et al (2019)

Impact of genome architecture on the functional activation and repression of Hox regulatory landscapes.

BMC biology, 17(1):55 pii:10.1186/s12915-019-0677-x.

BACKGROUND: The spatial organization of the mammalian genome relies upon the formation of chromatin domains of various scales. At the level of gene regulation in cis, collections of enhancer sequences define large regulatory landscapes that usually match with the presence of topologically associating domains (TADs). These domains often contain ranges of enhancers displaying similar or related tissue specificity, suggesting that in some cases, such domains may act as coherent regulatory units, with a global on or off state. By using the HoxD gene cluster, which specifies the topology of the developing limbs via highly orchestrated regulation of gene expression, as a paradigm, we investigated how the arrangement of regulatory domains determines their activity and function.

RESULTS: Proximal and distal cells in the developing limb express different levels of Hoxd genes, regulated by flanking 3' and 5' TADs, respectively. We characterized the effect of large genomic rearrangements affecting these two TADs, including their fusion into a single chromatin domain. We show that, within a single hybrid TAD, the activation of both proximal and distal limb enhancers globally occurred as when both TADs are intact. However, the activity of the 3' TAD in distal cells is generally increased in the fused TAD, when compared to wild type where it is silenced. Also, target gene activity in distal cells depends on whether or not these genes had previously responded to proximal enhancers, which determines the presence or absence of H3K27me3 marks. We also show that the polycomb repressive complex 2 is mainly recruited at the Hox gene cluster and can extend its coverage to far-cis regulatory sequences as long as confined to the neighboring TAD structure.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that antagonistic limb proximal and distal enhancers can exert their specific effects when positioned into the same TAD and in the absence of their genuine target genes. We also conclude that removing these target genes reduced the coverage of a regulatory landscape by chromatin marks associated with silencing, which correlates with its prolonged activity in time.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Mizi A, Gade Gusmao E, A Papantonis (2020)

iHi-C 2.0: A simple approach for mapping native spatial chromatin organisation from low cell numbers.

Methods (San Diego, Calif.), 170:33-37.

Genome organization is now understood to be tightly linked to all genomic functions. Thus, the high-resolution mapping of higher-order chromosomal structures via 3C-based approaches has become an integral tool for studying transcriptional and cell cycle regulation, signaling effects or disease onset. Nonetheless, 3C-based protocols are not without caveats, like dependencies on fixation conditions, restriction enzyme pervasiveness in crosslinked chromatin and ligation efficiency. To address some of these caveats, we describe here the streamlined iHi-C 2.0 protocol that allows for the genome-wide interrogation of native spatial chromatin contacts without a need for chemical fixation. This approach improves ligation efficiency and presents minimal material losses, and is thus suitable for analysing samples with limiting cell numbers. Following high throughput sequencing, iHi-C 2.0 generates high signal-to-noise and focal maps of the interactions within and between mammalian chromosomes under native conditions.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Huang H, Chen ST, Titus KR, et al (2019)

A subset of topologically associating domains fold into mesoscale core-periphery networks.

Scientific reports, 9(1):9526 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-45457-9.

Mammalian genomes are folded into a hierarchy of compartments, topologically associating domains (TADs), subTADs, and long-range looping interactions. The higher-order folding patterns of chromatin contacts within TADs and how they localize to disease-associated single nucleotide variants (daSNVs) remains an open area of investigation. Here, we analyze high-resolution Hi-C data with graph theory to understand possible mesoscale network architecture within chromatin domains. We identify a subset of TADs exhibiting strong core-periphery mesoscale structure in embryonic stem cells, neural progenitor cells, and cortical neurons. Hyper-connected core nodes co-localize with genomic segments engaged in multiple looping interactions and enriched for occupancy of the architectural protein CCCTC binding protein (CTCF). CTCF knockdown and in silico deletion of CTCF-bound core nodes disrupts core-periphery structure, whereas in silico mutation of cell type-specific enhancer or gene nodes has a negligible effect. Importantly, neuropsychiatric daSNVs are significantly more likely to localize with TADs folded into core-periphery networks compared to domains devoid of such structure. Together, our results reveal that a subset of TADs encompasses looping interactions connected into a core-periphery mesoscale network. We hypothesize that daSNVs in the periphery of genome folding networks might preserve global nuclear architecture but cause local topological and functional disruptions contributing to human disease. By contrast, daSNVs co-localized with hyper-connected core nodes might cause severe topological and functional disruptions. Overall, these findings shed new light into the mesoscale network structure of fine scale genome folding within chromatin domains and its link to common genetic variants in human disease.

RevDate: 2019-11-08

Li Y, Wu A, Liu G, et al (2019)

A Review of Methods to Quantify the Genomic Similarity of Topological Associating Domains.

Journal of computational biology : a journal of computational molecular cell biology, 26(11):1326-1338.

Topologically associating domains (TADs) are the most fundamental elements and significant structures of the eukaryotic genome. Currently, algorithms have been developed to find the TADs. But few algorithms are reported to compare the similarity of TADs between genomes. In this study, mice Hi-C sequencing data of four contrasts were enrolled. Seventeen algorithms, including BPscore, Jaccard index (JI) distance, VI distance, image hash, image subtraction, image variance, and so on, were used to quantify the genomic similarity of TADs. Image subtraction, Euclidean distance, and Manhattan distance were significantly better for TAD difference detection than the others. Deferent Hash (dHash) with the best zoom size ranked the second, followed by improved Hamming distance algorithm and JI distance. Advantages and disadvantages of various algorithms for quantifying the similarity of TADs were compared. Our work could provide the fundament for TADs comparison.

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Zhou J, Ma J, Chen Y, et al (2019)

Robust single-cell Hi-C clustering by convolution- and random-walk-based imputation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(28):14011-14018.

Three-dimensional genome structure plays a pivotal role in gene regulation and cellular function. Single-cell analysis of genome architecture has been achieved using imaging and chromatin conformation capture methods such as Hi-C. To study variation in chromosome structure between different cell types, computational approaches are needed that can utilize sparse and heterogeneous single-cell Hi-C data. However, few methods exist that are able to accurately and efficiently cluster such data into constituent cell types. Here, we describe scHiCluster, a single-cell clustering algorithm for Hi-C contact matrices that is based on imputations using linear convolution and random walk. Using both simulated and real single-cell Hi-C data as benchmarks, scHiCluster significantly improves clustering accuracy when applied to low coverage datasets compared with existing methods. After imputation by scHiCluster, topologically associating domain (TAD)-like structures (TLSs) can be identified within single cells, and their consensus boundaries were enriched at the TAD boundaries observed in bulk cell Hi-C samples. In summary, scHiCluster facilitates visualization and comparison of single-cell 3D genomes.

RevDate: 2019-06-19

Cuadrado A, Giménez-Llorente D, Kojic A, et al (2019)

Specific Contributions of Cohesin-SA1 and Cohesin-SA2 to TADs and Polycomb Domains in Embryonic Stem Cells.

Cell reports, 27(12):3500-3510.e4.

Cohesin exists in two variants carrying either STAG/SA1 or SA2. Here we have addressed their specific contributions to the unique spatial organization of the mouse embryonic stem cell genome, which ensures super-enhancer-dependent transcription of pluripotency factors and repression of lineage-specification genes within Polycomb domains. We find that cohesin-SA2 facilitates Polycomb domain compaction through Polycomb repressing complex 1 (PRC1) recruitment and promotes the establishment of long-range interaction networks between distant Polycomb-bound promoters that are important for gene repression. Cohesin-SA1, in contrast, disrupts these networks, while preserving topologically associating domain (TAD) borders. The diverse effects of both complexes on genome topology may reflect two modes of action of cohesin. One, likely involving loop extrusion, establishes overall genome arrangement in TADs together with CTCF and prevents excessive segregation of same-class compartment regions. The other is required for organization of local transcriptional hubs such as Polycomb domains and super-enhancers, which define cell identity.

RevDate: 2019-10-16

Cattoglio C, Pustova I, Walther N, et al (2019)

Determining cellular CTCF and cohesin abundances to constrain 3D genome models.

eLife, 8: pii:40164.

Achieving a quantitative and predictive understanding of 3D genome architecture remains a major challenge, as it requires quantitative measurements of the key proteins involved. Here, we report the quantification of CTCF and cohesin, two causal regulators of topologically associating domains (TADs) in mammalian cells. Extending our previous imaging studies (Hansen et al., 2017), we estimate bounds on the density of putatively DNA loop-extruding cohesin complexes and CTCF binding site occupancy. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation studies of an endogenously tagged subunit (Rad21) suggest the presence of cohesin dimers and/or oligomers. Finally, based on our cell lines with accurately measured protein abundances, we report a method to conveniently determine the number of molecules of any Halo-tagged protein in the cell. We anticipate that our results and the established tool for measuring cellular protein abundances will advance a more quantitative understanding of 3D genome organization, and facilitate protein quantification, key to comprehend diverse biological processes.

RevDate: 2019-10-16

Holzmann J, Politi AZ, Nagasaka K, et al (2019)

Absolute quantification of cohesin, CTCF and their regulators in human cells.

eLife, 8: pii:46269.

The organisation of mammalian genomes into loops and topologically associating domains (TADs) contributes to chromatin structure, gene expression and recombination. TADs and many loops are formed by cohesin and positioned by CTCF. In proliferating cells, cohesin also mediates sister chromatid cohesion, which is essential for chromosome segregation. Current models of chromatin folding and cohesion are based on assumptions of how many cohesin and CTCF molecules organise the genome. Here we have measured absolute copy numbers and dynamics of cohesin, CTCF, NIPBL, WAPL and sororin by mass spectrometry, fluorescence-correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in HeLa cells. In G1-phase, there are ~250,000 nuclear cohesin complexes, of which ~ 160,000 are chromatin-bound. Comparison with chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing data implies that some genomic cohesin and CTCF enrichment sites are unoccupied in single cells at any one time. We discuss the implications of these findings for how cohesin can contribute to genome organisation and cohesion.

RevDate: 2019-07-09
CmpDate: 2019-07-09

Shukron O, Piras V, Noordermeer D, et al (2019)

Statistics of chromatin organization during cell differentiation revealed by heterogeneous cross-linked polymers.

Nature communications, 10(1):2626 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-10402-x.

Chromatin of mammalian nucleus folds into discrete contact enriched regions such as Topologically Associating Domains (TADs). Folding hierarchy and internal organization of TADs is highly dynamic throughout cellular differentiation, and are correlated with gene activation and silencing. To account for multiple interacting TADs, we developed a parsimonious randomly cross-linked (RCL) polymer model that maps high frequency Hi-C encounters within and between TADs into direct loci interactions using cross-links at a given base-pair resolution. We reconstruct three TADs of the mammalian X chromosome for three stages of differentiation. We compute the radius of gyration of TADs and the encounter probability between genomic segments. We found 1) a synchronous compaction and decompaction of TADs throughout differentiation and 2) high order organization into meta-TADs resulting from weak inter-TAD interactions. Finally, the present framework allows to infer transient properties of the chromatin from steady-state statistics embedded in the Hi-C/5C data.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Zheng H, W Xie (2019)

The role of 3D genome organization in development and cell differentiation.

Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology, 20(9):535-550.

In eukaryotes, the genome does not exist as a linear molecule but instead is hierarchically packaged inside the nucleus. This complex genome organization includes multiscale structural units of chromosome territories, compartments, topologically associating domains, which are often demarcated by architectural proteins such as CTCF and cohesin, and chromatin loops. The 3D organization of chromatin modulates biological processes such as transcription, DNA replication, cell division and meiosis, which are crucial for cell differentiation and animal development. In this Review, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the general principles of chromatin folding, its regulation and its functions in mammalian development. Specifically, we discuss the dynamics of 3D chromatin and genome organization during gametogenesis, embryonic development, lineage commitment and stem cell differentiation, and focus on the functions of chromatin architecture in transcription regulation. Finally, we discuss the role of 3D genome alterations in the aetiology of developmental disorders and human diseases.

RevDate: 2019-12-02
CmpDate: 2019-12-02

Qi Y, B Zhang (2019)

Predicting three-dimensional genome organization with chromatin states.

PLoS computational biology, 15(6):e1007024 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-18-02053.

We introduce a computational model to simulate chromatin structure and dynamics. Starting from one-dimensional genomics and epigenomics data that are available for hundreds of cell types, this model enables de novo prediction of chromatin structures at five-kilo-base resolution. Simulated chromatin structures recapitulate known features of genome organization, including the formation of chromatin loops, topologically associating domains (TADs) and compartments, and are in quantitative agreement with chromosome conformation capture experiments and super-resolution microscopy measurements. Detailed characterization of the predicted structural ensemble reveals the dynamical flexibility of chromatin loops and the presence of cross-talk among neighboring TADs. Analysis of the model's energy function uncovers distinct mechanisms for chromatin folding at various length scales and suggests a need to go beyond simple A/B compartment types to predict specific contacts between regulatory elements using polymer simulations.

RevDate: 2019-08-14

Elias MS, Wright SC, Remenyi J, et al (2019)

EMSY expression affects multiple components of the skin barrier with relevance to atopic dermatitis.

The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 144(2):470-481.

BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common, complex, and highly heritable inflammatory skin disease. Genome-wide association studies offer opportunities to identify molecular targets for drug development. A risk locus on chromosome 11q13.5 lies between 2 candidate genes, EMSY and LRRC32 (leucine-rich repeat-containing 32) but the functional mechanisms affecting risk of AD remain unclear.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to apply a combination of genomic and molecular analytic techniques to investigate which genes are responsible for genetic risk at this locus and to define mechanisms contributing to atopic skin disease.

METHODS: We used interrogation of available genomic and chromosome conformation data in keratinocytes, small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown in skin organotypic culture and functional assessment of barrier parameters, mass spectrometric global proteomic analysis and quantitative lipid analysis, electron microscopy of organotypic skin, and immunohistochemistry of human skin samples.

RESULTS: Genomic data indicate active promoters in the genome-wide association study locus and upstream of EMSY; EMSY, LRRC32, and intergenic variants all appear to be within a single topologically associating domain. siRNA-knockdown of EMSY in organotypic culture leads to enhanced development of barrier function, reflecting increased expression of structural and functional proteins, including filaggrin and filaggrin-2, as well as long-chain ceramides. Conversely, overexpression of EMSY in keratinocytes leads to a reduction in markers of barrier formation. Skin biopsy samples from patients with AD show greater EMSY staining in the nucleus, which is consistent with an increased functional effect of this transcriptional control protein.

CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate an important role for EMSY in transcriptional regulation and skin barrier formation, supporting EMSY inhibition as a therapeutic approach.

RevDate: 2019-11-27
CmpDate: 2019-07-09

van Bemmel JG, Galupa R, Gard C, et al (2019)

The bipartite TAD organization of the X-inactivation center ensures opposing developmental regulation of Tsix and Xist.

Nature genetics, 51(6):1024-1034.

The mouse X-inactivation center (Xic) locus represents a powerful model for understanding the links between genome architecture and gene regulation, with the non-coding genes Xist and Tsix showing opposite developmental expression patterns while being organized as an overlapping sense/antisense unit. The Xic is organized into two topologically associating domains (TADs) but the role of this architecture in orchestrating cis-regulatory information remains elusive. To explore this, we generated genomic inversions that swap the Xist/Tsix transcriptional unit and place their promoters in each other's TAD. We found that this led to a switch in their expression dynamics: Xist became precociously and ectopically upregulated, both in male and female pluripotent cells, while Tsix expression aberrantly persisted during differentiation. The topological partitioning of the Xic is thus critical to ensure proper developmental timing of X inactivation. Our study illustrates how the genomic architecture of cis-regulatory landscapes can affect the regulation of mammalian developmental processes.

RevDate: 2019-11-27

Redolfi J, Zhan Y, Valdes-Quezada C, et al (2019)

DamC reveals principles of chromatin folding in vivo without crosslinking and ligation.

Nature structural & molecular biology, 26(6):471-480.

Current understanding of chromosome folding is largely reliant on chromosome conformation capture (3C)-based experiments, where chromosomal interactions are detected as ligation products after chromatin crosslinking. To measure chromosome structure in vivo, quantitatively and without crosslinking and ligation, we implemented a modified version of DNA adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID) named DamC, which combines DNA methylation-based detection of chromosomal interactions with next-generation sequencing and biophysical modeling of methylation kinetics. DamC performed in mouse embryonic stem cells provides the first in vivo validation of the existence of topologically associating domains (TADs), CTCF loops and confirms 3C-based measurements of the scaling of contact probabilities. Combining DamC with transposon-mediated genomic engineering shows that new loops can be formed between ectopic and endogenous CTCF sites, which redistributes physical interactions within TADs. DamC provides the first crosslinking- and ligation-free demonstration of the existence of key structural features of chromosomes and provides novel insights into how chromosome structure within TADs can be manipulated.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Bompadre O, G Andrey (2019)

Chromatin topology in development and disease.

Current opinion in genetics & development, 55:32-38.

The discovery of domains of preferential interaction or Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) has provided a framework to understand the relation between enhancers and promoters within intricate regulatory landscapes. It has also enabled the conceptualization of the effect of non-coding structural variants on TADs structure and insulation and reveal new patho-mechanisms leading to disease. Here, we will review current knowledge on enhancer-promoter communication in relation to TAD structure. In particular, we will discuss how enhancer-promoter interaction dynamics is established within or outside of TADs. We will further provide an overview of how mutations affect the normal organization of the genome and how it impacts the normal ability of enhancers to induce transcription at their cognate promoters in disease. Finally, we will discuss the future directions to be explored to understand the mutual influences between 3D chromatin topology and gene regulation.

RevDate: 2019-12-03

Borsos M, Perricone SM, Schauer T, et al (2019)

Genome-lamina interactions are established de novo in the early mouse embryo.

Nature, 569(7758):729-733.

In mammals, the emergence of totipotency after fertilization involves extensive rearrangements of the spatial positioning of the genome1,2. However, the contribution of spatial genome organization to the regulation of developmental programs is unclear3. Here we generate high-resolution maps of genomic interactions with the nuclear lamina (a filamentous meshwork that lines the inner nuclear membrane) in mouse pre-implantation embryos. We reveal that nuclear organization is not inherited from the maternal germline but is instead established de novo shortly after fertilization. The two parental genomes establish lamina-associated domains (LADs)4 with different features that converge after the 8-cell stage. We find that the mechanism of LAD establishment is unrelated to DNA replication. Instead, we show that paternal LAD formation in zygotes is prevented by ectopic expression of Kdm5b, which suggests that LAD establishment may be dependent on remodelling of H3K4 methylation. Our data suggest a step-wise assembly model whereby early LAD formation precedes consolidation of topologically associating domains.

RevDate: 2019-07-20
CmpDate: 2019-07-09

Dellino GI, Palluzzi F, Chiariello AM, et al (2019)

Release of paused RNA polymerase II at specific loci favors DNA double-strand-break formation and promotes cancer translocations.

Nature genetics, 51(6):1011-1023.

It is not clear how spontaneous DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) form and are processed in normal cells, and whether they predispose to cancer-associated translocations. We show that DSBs in normal mammary cells form upon release of paused RNA polymerase II (Pol II) at promoters, 5' splice sites and active enhancers, and are processed by end-joining in the absence of a canonical DNA-damage response. Logistic and causal-association models showed that Pol II pausing at long genes is the main predictor and determinant of DSBs. Damaged introns with paused Pol II-pS5, TOP2B and XRCC4 are enriched in translocation breakpoints, and map at topologically associating domain boundary-flanking regions showing high interaction frequencies with distal loci. Thus, in unperturbed growth conditions, release of paused Pol II at specific loci and chromatin territories favors DSB formation, leading to chromosomal translocations.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Lesage A, Dahirel V, Victor JM, et al (2019)

Polymer coil-globule phase transition is a universal folding principle of Drosophila epigenetic domains.

Epigenetics & chromatin, 12(1):28 pii:10.1186/s13072-019-0269-6.

BACKGROUND: Localized functional domains within chromosomes, known as topologically associating domains (TADs), have been recently highlighted. In Drosophila, TADs are biochemically defined by epigenetic marks, this suggesting that the 3D arrangement may be the "missing link" between epigenetics and gene activity. Recent observations (Boettiger et al. in Nature 529(7586):418-422, 2016) provide access to structural features of these domains with unprecedented resolution thanks to super-resolution experiments. In particular, they give access to the distribution of the radii of gyration for domains of different linear length and associated with different transcriptional activity states: active, inactive or repressed. Intriguingly, the observed scaling laws lack consistent interpretation in polymer physics.

RESULTS: We develop a new methodology conceived to extract the best information from such super-resolution data by exploiting the whole distribution of gyration radii, and to place these experimental results on a theoretical framework. We show that the experimental data are compatible with the finite-size behavior of a self-attracting polymer. The same generic polymer model leads to quantitative differences between active, inactive and repressed domains. Active domains behave as pure polymer coils, while inactive and repressed domains both lie at the coil-globule crossover. For the first time, the "color-specificity" of both the persistence length and the mean interaction energy are estimated, leading to important differences between epigenetic states.

CONCLUSION: These results point toward a crucial role of criticality to enhance the system responsivity, resulting in both energy transitions and structural rearrangements. We get strong indications that epigenetically induced changes in nucleosome-nucleosome interaction can cause chromatin to shift between different activity states.

RevDate: 2019-12-06

Battle SL, Doni Jayavelu N, Azad RN, et al (2019)

Enhancer Chromatin and 3D Genome Architecture Changes from Naive to Primed Human Embryonic Stem Cell States.

Stem cell reports, 12(5):1129-1144.

During mammalian embryogenesis, changes in morphology and gene expression are concurrent with epigenomic reprogramming. Using human embryonic stem cells representing the preimplantation blastocyst (naive) and postimplantation epiblast (primed), our data in 2iL/I/F naive cells demonstrate that a substantial portion of known human enhancers are premarked by H3K4me1, providing an enhanced open chromatin state in naive pluripotency. The 2iL/I/F enhancer repertoire occupies 9% of the genome, three times that of primed cells, and can exist in broad chromatin domains over 50 kb. Enhancer chromatin states are largely poised. Seventy-seven percent of 2iL/I/F enhancers are decommissioned in a stepwise manner as cells become primed. While primed topologically associating domains are largely unaltered upon differentiation, naive 2iL/I/F domains expand across primed boundaries, affecting three-dimensional genome architecture. Differential topologically associating domain edges coincide with 2iL/I/F H3K4me1 enrichment. Our results suggest that naive-derived 2iL/I/F cells have a unique chromatin landscape, which may reflect early embryogenesis.

RevDate: 2019-10-31
CmpDate: 2019-10-31

Delaneau O, Zazhytska M, Borel C, et al (2019)

Chromatin three-dimensional interactions mediate genetic effects on gene expression.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 364(6439):.

Studying the genetic basis of gene expression and chromatin organization is key to characterizing the effect of genetic variability on the function and structure of the human genome. Here we unravel how genetic variation perturbs gene regulation using a dataset combining activity of regulatory elements, gene expression, and genetic variants across 317 individuals and two cell types. We show that variability in regulatory activity is structured at the intra- and interchromosomal levels within 12,583 cis-regulatory domains and 30 trans-regulatory hubs that highly reflect the local (that is, topologically associating domains) and global (that is, open and closed chromatin compartments) nuclear chromatin organization. These structures delimit cell type-specific regulatory networks that control gene expression and coexpression and mediate the genetic effects of cis- and trans-acting regulatory variants on genes.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Yu J, Hu M, C Li (2019)

Joint analyses of multi-tissue Hi-C and eQTL data demonstrate close spatial proximity between eQTLs and their target genes.

BMC genetics, 20(1):43 pii:10.1186/s12863-019-0744-x.

BACKGROUND: Gene regulation is important for cells and tissues to function. It has been studied from two aspects at the genomic level, the identification of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) and identification of long-range chromatin interactions. It is important to understand their relationship, such as whether eQTLs regulate their target genes through physical chromatin interaction. Although chromatin interactions have been widely believed to be one of the main mechanisms underlying eQTLs, most evidence came from studies of cell lines and yet no direct evidence exists for tissues.

RESULTS: We performed various joint analyses of eQTL and high-throughput chromatin conformation capture (Hi-C) data from 11 human primary tissue types and 2 human cell lines. We found that chromatin interaction frequency is positively associated with the number of genes that have eQTLs and that eQTLs and their target genes tend to fall into the same topologically associating domain (TAD). These results are consistent across all tissues and cell lines we evaluated. Moreover, in 6 out of 11 tissues (aorta, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, pancreas, small bowel, and spleen), tissue-specific eQTLs are significantly enriched in tissue-specific frequently interacting regions (FIREs).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data have demonstrated the close spatial proximity between eQTLs and their target genes among multiple human primary tissues.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Majumder K, Boftsi M, DJ Pintel (2019)

Viral Chromosome Conformation Capture (V3C) Assays for Identifying Trans-interaction Sites between Lytic Viruses and the Cellular Genome.

Bio-protocol, 9(6):.

The folding mechanisms of the mammalian genome package our genetic material into the nucleus, and in doing so, dictate its appropriate replication and expression. Chromosome conformation capture technology has enabled the dissection of the folding principles of the cellular genome. This has led to a better understanding of the role played by architectural proteins in forming and dissolving 3D-chromatin-structure. These assays are based on the principle of crosslinking distant cellular sites that are proximal to each other in 3D space using formaldehyde followed by digestion of formed hybrid DNA junctions. Invading viruses, such as the lytic parvovirus Minute Virus of Mice (MVM), establish distinct replication centers within the nuclear environment at cellular sites that preferentially undergo DNA damage, but do not integrate into the cellular DNA. We have adapted chromosome conformation capture technology to study the trans-interaction between MVM and the cellular genome, which we have dubbed V3C, which can be extended to a whole-genome analysis we term V3C-seq. This protocol describes the procedure for performing, as well as analyzing V3C-seq assays, and can be adapted for mapping the cellular interaction sites of any non-integrating DNA virus.

RevDate: 2019-10-15
CmpDate: 2019-10-15

Liu G, A Dean (2019)

Enhancer long-range contacts: The multi-adaptor protein LDB1 is the tie that binds.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene regulatory mechanisms, 1862(6):625-633.

The eukaryotic genome is organized at varying levels into chromosome territories, transcriptional compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs), which are architectural features largely shared between different cell types and across species. In contrast, within TADs, chromatin loops connect enhancers and their target genes to establish unique transcriptomes that distinguish cells and tissues from each other and underlie development and differentiation. How these tissue-specific and temporal stage-specific long-range contacts are formed and maintained is a fundamental question in biology. The widely expressed Lim domain binding 1 protein, LDB1, plays a critical role in connecting enhancers and genes by forming complexes with cell-type specificity across diverse developmental pathways including neurogenesis, cardiogenesis, retinogenesis and hematopoiesis. Here we review the multiple roles of LDB1 in cell fate determination and in chromatin loop formation, with an emphasis on mammalian systems, to illuminate how LDB1 functions in normal cells and in diseases such as cancer.

RevDate: 2019-06-14
CmpDate: 2019-06-10

Paulsen J, Liyakat Ali TM, Nekrasov M, et al (2019)

Long-range interactions between topologically associating domains shape the four-dimensional genome during differentiation.

Nature genetics, 51(5):835-843.

Genomic information is selectively used to direct spatial and temporal gene expression during differentiation. Interactions between topologically associating domains (TADs) and between chromatin and the nuclear lamina organize and position chromosomes in the nucleus. However, how these genomic organizers together shape genome architecture is unclear. Here, using a dual-lineage differentiation system, we report long-range TAD-TAD interactions that form constitutive and variable TAD cliques. A differentiation-coupled relationship between TAD cliques and lamina-associated domains suggests that TAD cliques stabilize heterochromatin at the nuclear periphery. We also provide evidence of dynamic TAD cliques during mouse embryonic stem-cell differentiation and somatic cell reprogramming and of inter-TAD associations in single-cell high-resolution chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) data. TAD cliques represent a level of four-dimensional genome conformation that reinforces the silencing of repressed developmental genes.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Ma CY, Madden P, Gontarz P, et al (2019)

FeatSNP: An Interactive Database for Brain-Specific Epigenetic Annotation of Human SNPs.

Frontiers in genetics, 10:262.

FeatSNP is an online tool and a curated database for exploring 81 million common SNPs' potential functional impact on the human brain. FeatSNP uses the brain transcriptomes of the human population to improve functional annotation of human SNPs by integrating transcription factor binding prediction, public eQTL information, and brain specific epigenetic landscape, as well as information of Topologically Associating Domains (TADs). FeatSNP supports both single and batched SNP searching, and its interactive user interface enables users to explore the functional annotations and generate publication-quality visualization results. FeatSNP is freely available on the internet at with all major web browsers supported.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Szabo Q, Bantignies F, G Cavalli (2019)

Principles of genome folding into topologically associating domains.

Science advances, 5(4):eaaw1668 pii:aaw1668.

Understanding the mechanisms that underlie chromosome folding within cell nuclei is essential to determine the relationship between genome structure and function. The recent application of "chromosome conformation capture" techniques has revealed that the genome of many species is organized into domains of preferential internal chromatin interactions called "topologically associating domains" (TADs). This chromosome chromosome folding has emerged as a key feature of higher-order genome organization and function through evolution. Although TADs have now been described in a wide range of organisms, they appear to have specific characteristics in terms of size, structure, and proteins involved in their formation. Here, we depict the main features of these domains across species and discuss the relation between chromatin structure, genome activity, and epigenome, highlighting mechanistic principles of TAD formation. We also consider the potential influence of TADs in genome evolution.

RevDate: 2019-12-07

Luo H, Sobh A, Vulpe CD, et al (2019)

HOX Loci Focused CRISPR/sgRNA Library Screening Identifying Critical CTCF Boundaries.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF)-mediated stable topologically associating domains (TADs) play a critical role in constraining interactions of DNA elements that are located in neighboring TADs. CTCF plays an important role in regulating the spatial and temporal expression of HOX genes that control embryonic development, body patterning, hematopoiesis, and leukemogenesis. However, it remains largely unknown whether and how HOX loci associated CTCF boundaries regulate chromatin organization and HOX gene expression. In the current protocol, a specific sgRNA pooled library targeting all CTCF binding sites in the HOXA/B/C/D loci has been generated to examine the effects of disrupting CTCF-associated chromatin boundaries on TAD formation and HOX gene expression. Through CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screening, the CTCF binding site located between HOXA7/HOXA9 genes (CBS7/9) has been identified as a critical regulator of oncogenic chromatin domain, as well as being important for maintaining ectopic HOX gene expression patterns in MLL-rearranged acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Thus, this sgRNA library screening approach provides novel insights into CTCF mediated genome organization in specific gene loci and also provides a basis for the functional characterization of the annotated genetic regulatory elements, both coding and noncoding, during normal biological processes in the post-human genome project era.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Laugsch M, Bartusel M, Rehimi R, et al (2019)

Modeling the Pathological Long-Range Regulatory Effects of Human Structural Variation with Patient-Specific hiPSCs.

Cell stem cell, 24(5):736-752.e12.

The pathological consequences of structural variants disrupting 3D genome organization can be difficult to elucidate in vivo due to differences in gene dosage sensitivity between mice and humans. This is illustrated by branchiooculofacial syndrome (BOFS), a rare congenital disorder caused by heterozygous mutations within TFAP2A, a neural crest regulator for which humans, but not mice, are haploinsufficient. Here, we present a BOFS patient carrying a heterozygous inversion with one breakpoint located within a topologically associating domain (TAD) containing enhancers essential for TFAP2A expression in human neural crest cells (hNCCs). Using patient-specific hiPSCs, we show that, although the inversion shuffles the TFAP2A hNCC enhancers with novel genes within the same TAD, this does not result in enhancer adoption. Instead, the inversion disconnects one TFAP2A allele from its cognate enhancers, leading to monoallelic and haploinsufficient TFAP2A expression in patient hNCCs. Our work illustrates the power of hiPSC differentiation to unveil long-range pathomechanisms.

RevDate: 2019-04-29
CmpDate: 2019-04-29

Yang M, Vesterlund M, Siavelis I, et al (2019)

Proteogenomics and Hi-C reveal transcriptional dysregulation in high hyperdiploid childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Nature communications, 10(1):1519 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-09469-3.

Hyperdiploidy, i.e. gain of whole chromosomes, is one of the most common genetic features of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but its pathogenetic impact is poorly understood. Here, we report a proteogenomic analysis on matched datasets from genomic profiling, RNA-sequencing, and mass spectrometry-based analysis of >8,000 genes and proteins as well as Hi-C of primary patient samples from hyperdiploid and ETV6/RUNX1-positive pediatric ALL. We show that CTCF and cohesin, which are master regulators of chromatin architecture, display low expression in hyperdiploid ALL. In line with this, a general genome-wide dysregulation of gene expression in relation to topologically associating domain (TAD) borders were seen in the hyperdiploid group. Furthermore, Hi-C of a limited number of hyperdiploid childhood ALL cases revealed that 2/4 cases displayed a clear loss of TAD boundary strength and 3/4 showed reduced insulation at TAD borders, with putative leukemogenic effects.

RevDate: 2019-11-26
CmpDate: 2019-11-25

Ye Y, Gao L, S Zhang (2019)

MSTD: an efficient method for detecting multi-scale topological domains from symmetric and asymmetric 3D genomic maps.

Nucleic acids research, 47(11):e65.

The chromosome conformation capture (3C) technique and its variants have been employed to reveal the existence of a hierarchy of structures in three-dimensional (3D) chromosomal architecture, including compartments, topologically associating domains (TADs), sub-TADs and chromatin loops. However, existing methods for domain detection were only designed based on symmetric Hi-C maps, ignoring long-range interaction structures between domains. To this end, we proposed a generic and efficient method to identify multi-scale topological domains (MSTD), including cis- and trans-interacting regions, from a variety of 3D genomic datasets. We first applied MSTD to detect promoter-anchored interaction domains (PADs) from promoter capture Hi-C datasets across 17 primary blood cell types. The boundaries of PADs are significantly enriched with one or the combination of multiple epigenetic factors. Moreover, PADs between functionally similar cell types are significantly conserved in terms of domain regions and expression states. Cell type-specific PADs involve in distinct cell type-specific activities and regulatory events by dynamic interactions within them. We also employed MSTD to define multi-scale domains from typical symmetric Hi-C datasets and illustrated its distinct superiority to the-state-of-art methods in terms of accuracy, flexibility and efficiency.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )