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30 Mar 2020 at 01:44
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Bibliography on: Topologically Associating Domains


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2020 at 01:44 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: 2020-03-27

Krietenstein N, Abraham S, Venev SV, et al (2020)

Ultrastructural Details of Mammalian Chromosome Architecture.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(20)30151-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Over the past decade, 3C-related methods have provided remarkable insights into chromosome folding in vivo. To overcome the limited resolution of prior studies, we extend a recently developed Hi-C variant, Micro-C, to map chromosome architecture at nucleosome resolution in human ESCs and fibroblasts. Micro-C robustly captures known features of chromosome folding including compartment organization, topologically associating domains, and interactions between CTCF binding sites. In addition, Micro-C provides a detailed map of nucleosome positions and localizes contact domain boundaries with nucleosomal precision. Compared to Hi-C, Micro-C exhibits an order of magnitude greater dynamic range, allowing the identification of ∼20,000 additional loops in each cell type. Many newly identified peaks are localized along extrusion stripes and form transitive grids, consistent with their anchors being pause sites impeding cohesin-dependent loop extrusion. Our analyses comprise the highest-resolution maps of chromosome folding in human cells to date, providing a valuable resource for studies of chromosome organization.

RevDate: 2020-03-27

Hsieh TS, Cattoglio C, Slobodyanyuk E, et al (2020)

Resolving the 3D Landscape of Transcription-Linked Mammalian Chromatin Folding.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(20)30150-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Whereas folding of genomes at the large scale of epigenomic compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs) is now relatively well understood, how chromatin is folded at finer scales remains largely unexplored in mammals. Here, we overcome some limitations of conventional 3C-based methods by using high-resolution Micro-C to probe links between 3D genome organization and transcriptional regulation in mouse stem cells. Combinatorial binding of transcription factors, cofactors, and chromatin modifiers spatially segregates TAD regions into various finer-scale structures with distinct regulatory features including stripes, dots, and domains linking promoters-to-promoters (P-P) or enhancers-to-promoters (E-P) and bundle contacts between Polycomb regions. E-P stripes extending from the edge of domains predominantly link co-expressed loci, often in the absence of CTCF and cohesin occupancy. Acute inhibition of transcription disrupts these gene-related folding features without altering higher-order chromatin structures. Our study uncovers previously obscured finer-scale genome organization, establishing functional links between chromatin folding and gene regulation.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Kloetgen A, Thandapani P, Ntziachristos P, et al (2020)

Three-dimensional chromatin landscapes in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Nature genetics pii:10.1038/s41588-020-0602-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Differences in three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture can influence the integrity of topologically associating domains (TADs) and rewire specific enhancer-promoter interactions, impacting gene expression and leading to human disease. Here we investigate the 3D chromatin architecture in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) by using primary human leukemia specimens and examine the dynamic responses of this architecture to pharmacological agents. Systematic integration of matched in situ Hi-C, RNA-seq and CTCF ChIP-seq datasets revealed widespread differences in intra-TAD chromatin interactions and TAD boundary insulation in T-ALL. Our studies identify and focus on a TAD 'fusion' event associated with absence of CTCF-mediated insulation, enabling direct interactions between the MYC promoter and a distal super-enhancer. Moreover, our data also demonstrate that small-molecule inhibitors targeting either oncogenic signal transduction or epigenetic regulation can alter specific 3D interactions found in leukemia. Overall, our study highlights the impact, complexity and dynamic nature of 3D chromatin architecture in human acute leukemia.

RevDate: 2020-03-21

Ibrahim DM, S Mundlos (2020)

The role of 3D chromatin domains in gene regulation: a multi-facetted view on genome organization.

Current opinion in genetics & development, 61:1-8 pii:S0959-437X(20)30020-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The causal relationship between 3D chromatin domains and gene regulation has been of considerable debate in recent years. Initial Hi-C studies profiling the 3D chromatin structure of the genome described evolutionarily conserved Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) that correlated with gene expression. Subsequent evidence from mouse models and human disease directly linked TADs to gene regulation. However, a number of focused genetic and genome-wide studies questioned the relevance of 3D chromatin domains for orchestrating gene expression, ultimately yielding a more multi-layered view of 3D chromatin structure and gene regulation. We review the evidence for and against the importance of 3D chromatin structure for gene regulation and argue for a more comprehensive classification of regulatory chromatin domains that integrates 3D chromatin structure with genomic, functional, and evolutionary conservation.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Carstens S, Nilges M, M Habeck (2020)

Bayesian inference of chromatin structure ensembles from population-averaged contact data.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1910364117 [Epub ahead of print].

Mounting experimental evidence suggests a role for the spatial organization of chromatin in crucial processes of the cell nucleus such as transcription regulation. Chromosome conformation capture techniques allow us to characterize chromatin structure by mapping contacts between chromosomal loci on a genome-wide scale. The most widespread modality is to measure contact frequencies averaged over a population of cells. Single-cell variants exist, but suffer from low contact numbers and have not yet gained the same resolution as population methods. While intriguing biological insights have already been garnered from ensemble-averaged data, information about three-dimensional (3D) genome organization in the underlying individual cells remains largely obscured because the contact maps show only an average over a huge population of cells. Moreover, computational methods for structure modeling of chromatin have mostly focused on fitting a single consensus structure, thereby ignoring any cell-to-cell variability in the model itself. Here, we propose a fully Bayesian method to infer ensembles of chromatin structures and to determine the optimal number of states in a principled, objective way. We illustrate our approach on simulated data and compute multistate models of chromatin from chromosome conformation capture carbon copy (5C) data. Comparison with independent data suggests that the inferred ensembles represent the underlying sample population faithfully. Harnessing the rich information contained in multistate models, we investigate cell-to-cell variability of chromatin organization into topologically associating domains, thus highlighting the ability of our approach to deliver insights into chromatin organization of great biological relevance.

RevDate: 2020-03-19

Shinkai S, Sugawara T, Miura H, et al (2020)

Microrheology for Hi-C Data Reveals the Spectrum of the Dynamic 3D Genome Organization.

Biophysical journal pii:S0006-3495(20)30185-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The one-dimensional information of genomic DNA is hierarchically packed inside the eukaryotic cell nucleus and organized in a three-dimensional (3D) space. Genome-wide chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) methods have uncovered the 3D genome organization and revealed multiscale chromatin domains of compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs). Moreover, single-nucleosome live-cell imaging experiments have revealed the dynamic organization of chromatin domains caused by stochastic thermal fluctuations. However, the mechanism underlying the dynamic regulation of such hierarchical and structural chromatin units within the microscale thermal medium remains unclear. Microrheology is a way to measure dynamic viscoelastic properties coupling between thermal microenvironment and mechanical response. Here, we propose a new, to our knowledge, microrheology for Hi-C data to analyze the dynamic compliance property as a measure of rigidness and flexibility of genomic regions along with the time evolution. Our method allows the conversion of an Hi-C matrix into the spectrum of the dynamic rheological property along the genomic coordinate of a single chromosome. To demonstrate the power of the technique, we analyzed Hi-C data during the neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. We found that TAD boundaries behave as more rigid nodes than the intra-TAD regions. The spectrum clearly shows the dynamic viscoelasticity of chromatin domain formation at different timescales. Furthermore, we characterized the appearance of synchronous and liquid-like intercompartment interactions in differentiated cells. Together, our microrheology data derived from Hi-C data provide physical insights into the dynamics of the 3D genome organization.

RevDate: 2020-03-13

Luo Z, Hu T, Jiang H, et al (2020)

Rearrangement of macronucleus chromosomes correspond to TAD-like structures of micronucleus chromosomes in Tetrahymena thermophila.

Genome research pii:gr.241687.118 [Epub ahead of print].

The somatic macronucleus (MAC) and germline micronucleus (MIC) of Tetrahymena thermophila differ in chromosome numbers, sizes, functions, transcriptional activities, and cohesin complex location. However, the higher-order chromatin organization in T. thermophila is still largely unknown. Here, we explored the higher-order chromatin organization in the two distinct nuclei of T. thermophila using the Hi-C and HiChIP methods. We found that the meiotic crescent MIC has specific chromosome interaction pattern, with all the telomeres or centromeres on the five MIC chromosomes clustering together, respectively, which is also helpful to identify the midpoints of centromeres in the MIC. We revealed that the MAC chromosomes lack A/B compartments, topologically associating domains (TADs) and chromatin loops. The MIC chromosomes have TAD-like structures, but not A/B compartments and chromatin loops. The boundaries of the TAD-like structures in the MIC are highly consistent with the chromatin breakage sequence (CBS) sites, suggesting that each TAD-like structure of the MIC chromosomes develops into one MAC chromosome during MAC development, which provides a mechanism of the formation of MAC chromosomes during conjugation. Overall, we demonstrated the distinct higher-order chromatin organization in the two nuclei of the T. thermophila and suggest that the higher-order chromatin structures may play important roles during the development of the MAC chromosomes.

RevDate: 2020-03-11

Santana JF, Parida M, Long A, et al (2020)

The Dm-Myb Oncoprotein Contributes to Insulator Function and Stabilizes Repressive H3K27me3 PcG Domains.

Cell reports, 30(10):3218-3228.e5.

Drosophila Myb (Dm-Myb) encodes a protein that plays a key role in regulation of mitotic phase genes. Here, we further refine its role in the context of a developing tissue as a potentiator of gene expression required for proper RNA polymerase II (RNA Pol II) function and efficient H3K4 methylation at promoters. In contrast to its role in gene activation, Myb is also required for repression of many genes, although no specific mechanism for this role has been proposed. We now reveal a critical role for Myb in contributing to insulator function, in part by promoting binding of insulator proteins BEAF-32 and CP190 and stabilizing H3K27me3 Polycomb-group (PcG) domains. In the absence of Myb, H3K27me3 is markedly reduced throughout the genome, leading to H3K4me3 spreading and gene derepression. Finally, Myb is enriched at boundaries that demarcate chromatin environments, including chromatin loop anchors. These results reveal functions of Myb that extend beyond transcriptional regulation.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Mourad R (2020)

Studying 3D genome evolution using genomic sequence.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 36(5):1367-1373.

MOTIVATION: The three dimensions (3D) genome is essential to numerous key processes such as the regulation of gene expression and the replication-timing program. In vertebrates, chromatin looping is often mediated by CTCF, and marked by CTCF motif pairs in convergent orientation. Comparative high-throughput sequencing technique (Hi-C) recently revealed that chromatin looping evolves across species. However, Hi-C experiments are complex and costly, which currently limits their use for evolutionary studies over a large number of species.

RESULTS: Here, we propose a novel approach to study the 3D genome evolution in vertebrates using the genomic sequence only, e.g. without the need for Hi-C data. The approach is simple and relies on comparing the distances between convergent and divergent CTCF motifs by computing a ratio we named the 3D ratio or '3DR'. We show that 3DR is a powerful statistic to detect CTCF looping encoded in the human genome sequence, thus reflecting strong evolutionary constraints encoded in DNA and associated with the 3D genome. When comparing vertebrate genomes, our results reveal that 3DR which underlies CTCF looping and topologically associating domain organization evolves over time and suggest that ancestral character reconstruction can be used to infer 3DR in ancestral genomes.

The R code is available at https://github.com/morphos30/PhyloCTCFLooping.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2020-03-02

Van der Veen DR, Laing EE, Bae SE, et al (2020)

A Topological Cluster of Differentially Regulated Genes in Mice Lacking PER3.

Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, 13:15.

Polymorphisms in the human circadian clock gene PERIOD3 (PER3) are associated with a wide variety of phenotypes such as diurnal preference, delayed sleep phase disorder, sleep homeostasis, cognitive performance, bipolar disorder, type 2 diabetes, cardiac regulation, cancer, light sensitivity, hormone and cytokine secretion, and addiction. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these phenotypic associations remain unknown. Per3 knockout mice (Per3-/-) have phenotypes related to activity, sleep homeostasis, anhedonia, metabolism, and behavioral responses to light. Using a protocol that induces behavioral differences in response to light in wild type and Per3-/- mice, we compared genome-wide expression in the eye and hypothalamus in the two genotypes. Differentially expressed transcripts were related to inflammation, taste, olfactory and melatonin receptors, lipid metabolism, cell cycle, ubiquitination, and hormones, as well as receptors and channels related to sleep regulation. Differentially expressed transcripts in both tissues co-localized with Per3 on an ∼8Mbp region of distal chromosome 4. The most down-regulated transcript is Prdm16, which is involved in adipocyte differentiation and may mediate altered body mass accumulation in Per3-/- mice. eQTL analysis with BXD mouse strains showed that the expression of some of these transcripts and also others co-localized at distal chromosome 4, is correlated with brain tissue expression levels of Per3 with a highly significant linkage to genetic variation in that region. These data identify a cluster of transcripts on mouse distal chromosome 4 that are co-regulated with Per3 and whose expression levels correlate with those of Per3. This locus lies within a topologically associating domain island that contains many genes with functional links to several of the diverse non-circadian phenotypes associated with polymorphisms in human PER3.

RevDate: 2020-03-01

Ji L, Huo X, Zhang Y, et al (2020)

TOPORS, a tumor suppressor protein, contributes to the maintenance of higher-order chromatin architecture.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene regulatory mechanisms pii:S1874-9399(19)30411-0 [Epub ahead of print].

In the nucleus, chromosomes are hierarchically folded into active (A) and inactive (B) compartments composed of topologically associating domains (TADs). Genomic regions interact with nuclear lamina, termed lamina-associated domains (LADs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these 3D chromatin architectures remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of a potential tumor suppressor, TOP1 Binding Arginine/Serine Rich Protein (TOPORS), in genome organization. In mouse hepatocytes, chromatin interactions between A and B compartments increase and compartmentalization strength is reduced significantly upon Topors knockdown. Correspondingly, strength of TAD boundaries located at A/B borders is weakened. In the absence of TOPORS, chromatin-lamina interactions decrease and the coverage of LADs reduces from 53.31% to 46.52%. Interestingly, these changes in 3D genome are associated with PML nuclear bodies and PML-associated domains (PADs). Moreover, chromatin accessibility is altered predominantly at intergenic regions upon Topors knockdown, including a subset of enhancers. These alterations of chromatin are concordant with transcriptome changes, which are associated with carcinogenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that TOPORS functions as a regulator in chromatin structure, providing novel insight into the architectural roles of tumor suppressors in higher-order genome organization.

RevDate: 2020-02-28

Sjakste T, Leonova E, Petrovs R, et al (2020)

Tight DNA-protein complexes isolated from barley seedlings are rich in potential guanine quadruplex sequences.

PeerJ, 8:e8569 pii:8569.

Background: The concept of chromatin domains attached to the nuclear matrix is being revisited, with nucleus described as a set of topologically associating domains. The significance of the tightly bound to DNA proteins (TBP), a protein group that remains attached to DNA after its deproteinization should be also revisited, as the existence of these interactions is in good agreement with the concept of the topologically associating domain. The work aimed to characterize the DNA component of TBP isolated from barley seedlings.

Methods: The tight DNA-protein complexes from the first leaves, coleoptiles, and roots of barley seedlings were isolated by purification with chromatography on nitrocellulose or exhaustive digestion of DNA with DNase I. Cloning and transformation were performed using pMOSBBlue Blunt Ended Cloning Kit. Inserts were amplified by PCR, and sequencing was performed on the MegaBace 1000 Sequencing System. The BLAST search was performed using sequence databases at NCBI, CR-EST, and TREP and Ensembl Plants databases. Comparison to MAR/SAR sequences was performed using http://smartdb.bioinf.med.uni-goettingen.de/cgi-bin/SMARtDB/smar.cgi database. The prediction of G quadruplexes (GQ) was performed with the aid of R-studio library pqsfinder. CD spectra were recorded on a Chirascan CS/3D spectrometer.

Results: Although the barley genome is AT-rich (43% of GC pairs), most DNA fragments associated with TBP were GC-rich (up to 70% in some fractions). Both fractionation procedures yielded a high proportion of CT-motif sequences presented predominantly by the 16-bp CC(TCTCCC)2 TC fragment present in clones derived from the TBP-bound DNA and absent in free DNA. BLAST analysis revealed alignment with different barley repeats. Some clones, however, aligned with both nuclear and chloroplast structural genes. Alignments with MAR/SAR motifs were very few. The analysis produced by the pqsfinder program revealed numerous potential quadruplex-forming sites in the TBP-bound sequences. A set of oligonucleotides containing sites of possible GQs were designed and ordered. Three of them represented the minus strand of the CT-repeat. Two were derived from sequences of two clones of nitrocellulose retained fraction from leaves and contained GC-rich motifs different from the CT motif. Circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed profound changes in spectra when oligonucleotides were incubated with 100 mM KCl. There was either an increase of positive band in the area of 260 nm or the formation of a positive band at 290 nm. In the former case, changes are typical for parallel G-quadruplexes and, in the latter, 3 + 1 structures.

Discussion: The G-quadruplexes anchor proteins are probably involved in the maintenance of the topologically associated domain structure.

RevDate: 2020-02-28

Yokoshi M, Segawa K, T Fukaya (2020)

Visualizing the Role of Boundary Elements in Enhancer-Promoter Communication.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(20)30077-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Formation of self-associating loop domains is a fundamental organizational feature of metazoan genomes. Here, we employed quantitative live-imaging methods to visualize impacts of higher-order chromosome topology on enhancer-promoter communication in developing Drosophila embryos. Evidence is provided that distal enhancers effectively produce transcriptional bursting from target promoters over distances when they are flanked with boundary elements. Importantly, neither inversion nor deletion of a boundary element abrogates this "enhancer-assisting activity," suggesting that they can facilitate intra-domain enhancer-promoter interaction and production of transcriptional bursting independently of topologically associating domain (TAD) formation. In contrast, domain-skipping activity of distal enhancers was lost after disruption of topological domains. This observation raises a possibility that intra-domain and inter-domain enhancer-promoter interactions are differentially regulated by chromosome topology.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Lazaris C, Aifantis I, A Tsirigos (2020)

On Epigenetic Plasticity and Genome Topology.

Trends in cancer, 6(3):177-180.

Mounting evidence links genetic lesions with genome topology alterations and aberrant gene activation. However, the role of epigenetic plasticity remains elusive. Emerging studies implicate DNA methylation, transcriptional elongation, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF)-RNA interactions, but systematic approaches are needed to fully decipher the role of epigenetic plasticity in genome integrity and function.

RevDate: 2020-02-22

Li Y, Liao Z, Luo H, et al (2020)

Alteration of CTCF-associated chromatin neighborhood inhibits TAL1-driven oncogenic transcription program and leukemogenesis.

Nucleic acids research pii:5747515 [Epub ahead of print].

Aberrant activation of the TAL1 is associated with up to 60% of T-ALL cases and is involved in CTCF-mediated genome organization within the TAL1 locus, suggesting that CTCF boundary plays a pathogenic role in T-ALL. Here, we show that -31-Kb CTCF binding site (-31CBS) serves as chromatin boundary that defines topologically associating domain (TAD) and enhancer/promoter interaction required for TAL1 activation. Deleted or inverted -31CBS impairs TAL1 expression in a context-dependent manner. Deletion of -31CBS reduces chromatin accessibility and blocks long-range interaction between the +51 erythroid enhancer and TAL1 promoter-1 leading to inhibition of TAL1 expression in erythroid cells, but not T-ALL cells. However, in TAL1-expressing T-ALL cells, the leukemia-prone TAL1 promoter-IV specifically interacts with the +19 stem cell enhancer located 19 Kb downstream of TAL1 and this interaction is disrupted by the -31CBS inversion in T-ALL cells. Inversion of -31CBS in Jurkat cells alters chromatin accessibility, histone modifications and CTCF-mediated TAD leading to inhibition of TAL1 expression and TAL1-driven leukemogenesis. Thus, our data reveal that -31CBS acts as critical regulator to define +19-enhancer and the leukemic prone promoter IV interaction for TAL1 activation in T-ALL. Manipulation of CTCF boundary can alter TAL1 TAD and oncogenic transcription networks in leukemogenesis.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Soler-Vila P, Cuscó P, Farabella I, et al (2020)

Hierarchical chromatin organization detected by TADpole.

Nucleic acids research pii:5742820 [Epub ahead of print].

The rapid development of Chromosome Conformation Capture (3C-based techniques), as well as imaging together with bioinformatics analyses, has been fundamental for unveiling that chromosomes are organized into the so-called topologically associating domains or TADs. While TADs appear as nested patterns in the 3C-based interaction matrices, the vast majority of available TAD callers are based on the hypothesis that TADs are individual and unrelated chromatin structures. Here we introduce TADpole, a computational tool designed to identify and analyze the entire hierarchy of TADs in intra-chromosomal interaction matrices. TADpole combines principal component analysis and constrained hierarchical clustering to provide a set of significant hierarchical chromatin levels in a genomic region of interest. TADpole is robust to data resolution, normalization strategy and sequencing depth. Domain borders defined by TADpole are enriched in main architectural proteins (CTCF and cohesin complex subunits) and in the histone mark H3K4me3, while their domain bodies, depending on their activation-state, are enriched in either H3K36me3 or H3K27me3, highlighting that TADpole is able to distinguish functional TAD units. Additionally, we demonstrate that TADpole's hierarchical annotation, together with the new DiffT score, allows for detecting significant topological differences on Capture Hi-C maps between wild-type and genetically engineered mouse.

RevDate: 2020-02-15

Arzate-Mejía RG, Josué Cerecedo-Castillo A, Guerrero G, et al (2020)

In situ dissection of domain boundaries affect genome topology and gene transcription in Drosophila.

Nature communications, 11(1):894 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-14651-z.

Chromosomes are organized into high-frequency chromatin interaction domains called topologically associating domains (TADs), which are separated from each other by domain boundaries. The molecular mechanisms responsible for TAD formation are not yet fully understood. In Drosophila, it has been proposed that transcription is fundamental for TAD organization while the participation of genetic sequences bound by architectural proteins (APs) remains controversial. Here, we investigate the contribution of domain boundaries to TAD organization and the regulation of gene expression at the Notch gene locus in Drosophila. We find that deletion of domain boundaries results in TAD fusion and long-range topological defects that are accompanied by loss of APs and RNA Pol II chromatin binding as well as defects in transcription. Together, our results provide compelling evidence of the contribution of discrete genetic sequences bound by APs and RNA Pol II in the partition of the genome into TADs and in the regulation of gene expression in Drosophila.

RevDate: 2020-02-09

Ibrahim DM, S Mundlos (2020)

Three-dimensional chromatin in disease: What holds us together and what drives us apart?.

Current opinion in cell biology, 64:1-9 pii:S0955-0674(20)30004-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent advances in understanding spatial genome organization inside the nucleus have shown that chromatin is compartmentalized into megabase-scale units known as topologically associating domains (TADs). In further studies, TADs were linked to differing transcriptional activity, suggesting that they might provide a scaffold for gene regulation by promoting enhancer-promoter interaction and by insulating regulatory activities. One strong argument for this hypothesis was provided by the effects of disease-causing structural variations in congenital disease and cancer. By rearranging TADs, these mutations result in a rewiring of enhancer-promoter contacts, consecutive gene misexpression, and ultimately disease. However, not all rearrangements are equally effective in creating these effects. Here, we review several recent studies aiming to understand the mechanisms by which disease-causing mutations achieve gene misregulation. We will discuss which regulatory effects are to be expected by different disease mutations and how this new knowledge can be used for diagnostics in the clinic.

RevDate: 2020-02-06

Akdemir KC, Le VT, Chandran S, et al (2020)

Disruption of chromatin folding domains by somatic genomic rearrangements in human cancer.

Nature genetics pii:10.1038/s41588-019-0564-y [Epub ahead of print].

Chromatin is folded into successive layers to organize linear DNA. Genes within the same topologically associating domains (TADs) demonstrate similar expression and histone-modification profiles, and boundaries separating different domains have important roles in reinforcing the stability of these features. Indeed, domain disruptions in human cancers can lead to misregulation of gene expression. However, the frequency of domain disruptions in human cancers remains unclear. Here, as part of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), which aggregated whole-genome sequencing data from 2,658 cancers across 38 tumor types, we analyzed 288,457 somatic structural variations (SVs) to understand the distributions and effects of SVs across TADs. Notably, SVs can lead to the fusion of discrete TADs, and complex rearrangements markedly change chromatin folding maps in the cancer genomes. Notably, only 14% of the boundary deletions resulted in a change in expression in nearby genes of more than twofold.

RevDate: 2020-02-04

Bolt CC, D Duboule (2020)

The regulatory landscapes of developmental genes.

Development (Cambridge, England), 147(3): pii:147/3/dev171736.

Regulatory landscapes have been defined in vertebrates as large DNA segments containing diverse enhancer sequences that produce coherent gene transcription. These genomic platforms integrate multiple cellular signals and hence can trigger pleiotropic expression of developmental genes. Identifying and evaluating how these chromatin regions operate may be difficult as the underlying regulatory mechanisms can be as unique as the genes they control. In this brief article and accompanying poster, we discuss some of the ways in which regulatory landscapes operate, illustrating these mechanisms using genes important for vertebrate development as examples. We also highlight some of the techniques available to researchers for analysing regulatory landscapes.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Kumar V, Leclerc S, Y Taniguchi (2020)

BHi-Cect: a top-down algorithm for identifying the multi-scale hierarchical structure of chromosomes.

Nucleic acids research pii:5713458 [Epub ahead of print].

High-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) technology enables the investigation of genome-wide interactions among chromosome loci. Current algorithms focus on topologically associating domains (TADs), that are contiguous clusters along the genome coordinate, to describe the hierarchical structure of chromosomes. However, high resolution Hi-C displays a variety of interaction patterns beyond what current TAD detection methods can capture. Here, we present BHi-Cect, a novel top-down algorithm that finds clusters by considering every locus with no assumption of genomic contiguity using spectral clustering. Our results reveal that the hierarchical structure of chromosome is organized as 'enclaves', which are complex interwoven clusters at both local and global scales. We show that the nesting of local clusters within global clusters characterizing enclaves, is associated with the epigenomic activity found on the underlying DNA. Furthermore, we show that the hierarchical nesting that links different enclaves integrates their respective function. BHi-Cect provides means to uncover the general principles guiding chromatin architecture.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Brackley CA, D Marenduzzo (2020)

Bridging-induced microphase separation: photobleaching experiments, chromatin domains and the need for active reactions.

Briefings in functional genomics pii:5710983 [Epub ahead of print].

We review the mechanism and consequences of the 'bridging-induced attraction', a generic biophysical principle that underpins some existing models for chromosome organization in 3D. This attraction, which was revealed in polymer physics-inspired computer simulations, is a generic clustering tendency arising in multivalent chromatin-binding proteins, and it provides an explanation for the biogenesis of nuclear bodies and transcription factories via microphase separation. Including post-translational modification reactions involving these multivalent proteins can account for the fast dynamics of the ensuing clusters, as is observed via microscopy and photobleaching experiments. The clusters found in simulations also give rise to chromatin domains that conform well with the observation of A/B compartments in HiC experiments.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Rhodes JDP, Feldmann A, Hernández-Rodríguez B, et al (2020)

Cohesin Disrupts Polycomb-Dependent Chromosome Interactions in Embryonic Stem Cells.

Cell reports, 30(3):820-835.e10.

How chromosome organization is related to genome function remains poorly understood. Cohesin, loop extrusion, and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) have been proposed to create topologically associating domains (TADs) to regulate gene expression. Here, we examine chromosome conformation in embryonic stem cells lacking cohesin and find, as in other cell types, that cohesin is required to create TADs and regulate A/B compartmentalization. However, in the absence of cohesin, we identify a series of long-range chromosomal interactions that persist. These correspond to regions of the genome occupied by the polycomb repressive system and are dependent on PRC1. Importantly, we discover that cohesin counteracts these polycomb-dependent interactions, but not interactions between super-enhancers. This disruptive activity is independent of CTCF and insulation and appears to modulate gene repression by the polycomb system. Therefore, we discover that cohesin disrupts polycomb-dependent chromosome interactions to modulate gene expression in embryonic stem cells.

RevDate: 2020-01-21

Hu G (2020)

Evaluation of 3D Chromatin Interactions Using Hi-C.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2117:65-78.

The invention of Hi-C has greatly facilitated 3D genome research through an unbiased probing of 3D chromatin interactions. It produces enormous amount of sequencing data that capture multiscale chromatin conformation structures. In the last decade, numerous computational methods have been developed to analyze Hi-C data and predict A/B compartments, topologically associating domains (TADs), and significant chromatin contacts. This chapter introduced the iHiC package that provides several utilities to facilitate Hi-C data analysis with public software and demonstrated its application to a Hi-C dataset generated for mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Yang K, Xue Z, X Lv (2020)

Molecular mechanism of the 3D genome structure and function regulation during cell terminal differentiation.

Yi chuan = Hereditas, 42(1):32-44.

The eukaryotic chromatin is folded into highly complex three-dimensional (3D) structures, which plays an important role in the precise regulation of gene expression and normal physiological function. During differentiation and terminal maturation, cells usually undergo dramatic morphology and gene expression changes, accompanied by significant changes in the 3D structure of the genome. In this review, we provide a comprehensive view of the spatial hierarchical organization of the genome, including chromosome territories, A/B compartment, topologically associating domains (TADs) and looping, focusing on recent progresses in the dynamic 3D genomic structural changes and functional regulation during cell differentiation and terminal maturation. In the end, we summarize the unsolved issues as well as prospects of the 3D genome research in cell differentiation and maturation.

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 https://github.com/anlin00007/OnTAD.

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 http://dna.cs.miami.edu/3DChrom/.

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 (https://github.com/lucidif/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 https://github.com/kimmo1019/hicGAN.

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 (https://bioconductor.org/packages/CNEr/) and maintained at github (https://github.com/ge11232002/CNEr).

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.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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