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17 May 2021 at 01:35
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Bibliography on: Topologically Associating Domains


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 17 May 2021 at 01:35 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: 2021-05-11

Wang M, Li J, Wang P, et al (2021)

Comparative genome analyses highlight transposon-mediated genome expansion and the evolutionary architecture of 3D genomic folding in cotton.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6262643 [Epub ahead of print].

Transposable element (TE) amplification has been recognized as a driving force mediating genome size expansion and evolution, but the consequences for shaping 3D genomic architecture remains largely unknown in plants. Here, we report reference-grade genome assemblies for three species of cotton ranging three-fold in genome size, namely Gossypium rotundifolium (K2), G. arboreum (A2), and G. raimondii (D5), using Oxford Nanopore Technologies. Comparative genome analyses document the details of lineage-specific TE amplification contributing to the large genome size differences (K2, 2.44 Gb; A2, 1.62 Gb; D5, 750.19 Mb), and indicate relatively conserved gene content and synteny relationships among genomes. We found that approximately 17% of syntenic genes exhibit chromatin status change between active ("A") and inactive ("B") compartments, and TE amplification was associated with the increase of the proportion of A compartment in gene regions (∼ 7,000 genes) in K2 and A2 relative to D5. Only 42% of topologically associating domain (TAD) boundaries were conserved among the three genomes. Our data implicate recent amplification of TEs following formation of lineage-specific TAD boundaries. This study sheds light on the role of transposon-mediated genome expansion in the evolution of higher-order chromatin structure in plants.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Maksimenko OG, Fursenko DV, Belova EV, et al (2021)

CTCF As an Example of DNA-Binding Transcription Factors Containing Clusters of C2H2-Type Zinc Fingers.

Acta naturae, 13(1):31-46.

In mammals, most of the boundaries of topologically associating domains and all well-studied insulators are rich in binding sites for the CTCF protein. According to existing experimental data, CTCF is a key factor in the organization of the architecture of mammalian chromosomes. A characteristic feature of the CTCF is that the central part of the protein contains a cluster consisting of eleven domains of C2H2-type zinc fingers, five of which specifically bind to a long DNA sequence conserved in most animals. The class of transcription factors that carry a cluster of C2H2-type zinc fingers consisting of five or more domains (C2H2 proteins) is widely represented in all groups of animals. The functions of most C2H2 proteins still remain unknown. This review presents data on the structure and possible functions of these proteins, using the example of the vertebrate CTCF protein and several well- characterized C2H2 proteins in Drosophila and mammals.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Tian L, Ku L, Yuan Z, et al (2021)

Large-scale reconstruction of chromatin structures of maize temperate and tropical inbred lines.

Journal of experimental botany, 72(10):3582-3596.

Maize is a model plant species often used for genetics and genomics research because of its genetic diversity. There are prominent morphological, genetic, and epigenetic variations between tropical and temperate maize lines. However, the genome-wide chromatin conformations of these two maize types remain unexplored. We applied a Hi-C approach to compare the genome-wide chromatin interactions between temperate inbred line D132 and tropical line CML288. A reconstructed maize three-dimensional genome model revealed the spatial segregation of the global A and B compartments. The A compartments contain enriched genes and active epigenome marks, whereas the B compartments are gene-poor, transcriptionally silent chromatin regions. Whole-genome analyses indicated that the global A compartment content of CML288 was 3.12% lower than that of D132. Additionally, global and A/B sub-compartments were associated with differential gene expression and epigenetic changes between two inbred lines. About 25.3% of topologically associating domains (TADs) were determined to be associated with complex domain-level modifications that induced transcriptional changes, indicative of a large-scale reorganization of chromatin structures between the inbred maize lines. Furthermore, differences in chromatin interactions between the two lines correlated with epigenetic changes. These findings provide a solid foundation for the wider plant community to further investigate the genome-wide chromatin structures in other plant species.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Marinov GK, Trevino AE, Xiang T, et al (2021)

Transcription-dependent domain-scale three-dimensional genome organization in the dinoflagellate Breviolum minutum.

Nature genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Dinoflagellate chromosomes represent a unique evolutionary experiment, as they exist in a permanently condensed, liquid crystalline state; are not packaged by histones; and contain genes organized into tandem gene arrays, with minimal transcriptional regulation. We analyze the three-dimensional genome of Breviolum minutum, and find large topological domains (dinoflagellate topologically associating domains, which we term 'dinoTADs') without chromatin loops, which are demarcated by convergent gene array boundaries. Transcriptional inhibition disrupts dinoTADs, implicating transcription-induced supercoiling as the primary topological force in dinoflagellates.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Bohrer CH, DR Larson (2021)

The Stochastic Genome and Its Role in Gene Expression.

Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology pii:cshperspect.a040386 [Epub ahead of print].

Mammalian genomes have distinct levels of spatial organization and structure that have been hypothesized to play important roles in transcription regulation. Although much has been learned about these architectural features with ensemble techniques, single-cell studies are showing a new universal trend: Genomes are stochastic and dynamic at every level of organization. Stochastic gene expression, on the other hand, has been studied for years. In this review, we probe whether there is a causative link between the two phenomena. We specifically discuss the functionality of chromatin state, topologically associating domains (TADs), and enhancer biology in light of their stochastic nature and their specific roles in stochastic gene expression. We highlight persistent fundamental questions in this area of research.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Du G, Li H, Ding Y, et al (2021)

The hierarchical folding dynamics of topologically associating domains are closely related to transcriptional abnormalities in cancers.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 19:1684-1693 pii:S2001-0370(21)00090-8.

Recent studies have shown that the three-dimensional (3D) structure of chromatin is associated with cancer progression. However, the roles of the 3D genome structure and its dynamics in cancer remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated hierarchical topologically associating domain (TAD) structures in cancers and defined a "TAD hierarchical score (TH score)" for genes, which allowed us to assess the TAD nesting level of all genes in a simplified way. We demonstrated that the TAD nesting levels of genes in a tumor differ from those in normal tissue. Furthermore, the hierarchical TAD level dynamics were related to transcriptional changes in cancer, and some of the genes in which the hierarchical level was altered were significantly related to the prognosis of cancer patients. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the folding dynamics of TADs are closely related to transcriptional abnormalities in cancers, emphasizing that the function of hierarchical chromatin organization goes beyond simple chromatin packaging efficiency.

RevDate: 2021-04-21

Zamariolli M, Burssed B, Moysés-Oliveira M, et al (2021)

Novel MYT1 variants expose the complexity of oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum genetic mechanisms.

American journal of medical genetics. Part A [Epub ahead of print].

Oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum (OAVS) is a developmental disorder characterized by anomalies mainly involving the structures derived from the first and second pharyngeal arches. The spectrum presents with heterogeneous clinical features and complex etiology with genetic factors not yet completely understood. To date, MYT1 is the most important gene unambiguously associated with the spectrum and with functional data confirmation. In this work, we aimed to identify new single nucleotide variants (SNVs) affecting MYT1 in a cohort of 73 Brazilian patients diagnosed with OAVS. In addition, we investigated copy number variations (CNVs) encompassing this gene or its cis-regulatory elements and compared the frequency of these events in patients versus a cohort of 455 Brazilian control individuals. A new SNV, predicted as likely deleterious, was identified in five unrelated patients with OAVS. All five patients presented hearing impairment and orbital asymmetry suggesting an association with the variant. CNVs near MYT1, located in its neighboring topologically associating domain (TAD), were found to be enriched in patients when compared to controls, indicating a possible involvement of this region with OAVS pathogenicity. Our findings highlight the genetic complexity of the spectrum that seems to involve more than one variant type and inheritance patterns.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Zhao Y, Hou Y, Xu Y, et al (2021)

A compendium and comparative epigenomics analysis of cis-regulatory elements in the pig genome.

Nature communications, 12(1):2217.

Although major advances in genomics have initiated an exciting new era of research, a lack of information regarding cis-regulatory elements has limited the genetic improvement or manipulation of pigs as a meat source and biomedical model. Here, we systematically characterize cis-regulatory elements and their functions in 12 diverse tissues from four pig breeds by adopting similar strategies as the ENCODE and Roadmap Epigenomics projects, which include RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, and ChIP-seq. In total, we generate 199 datasets and identify more than 220,000 cis-regulatory elements in the pig genome. Surprisingly, we find higher conservation of cis-regulatory elements between human and pig genomes than those between human and mouse genomes. Furthermore, the differences of topologically associating domains between the pig and human genomes are associated with morphological evolution of the head and face. Beyond generating a major new benchmark resource for pig epigenetics, our study provides basic comparative epigenetic data relevant to using pigs as models in human biomedical research.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Majumder K, AJ Morales (2021)

Utilization of Host Cell Chromosome Conformation by Viral Pathogens: Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:633762.

Though viruses have their own genomes, many depend on the nuclear environment of their hosts for replication and survival. A substantial body of work has therefore been devoted to understanding how viral and eukaryotic genomes interact. Recent advances in chromosome conformation capture technologies have provided unprecedented opportunities to visualize how mammalian genomes are organized and, by extension, how packaging of nuclear DNA impacts cellular processes. Recent studies have indicated that some viruses, upon entry into host cell nuclei, produce factors that alter host chromatin topology, and thus, impact the 3D organization of the host genome. Additionally, a variety of distinct viruses utilize host genome architectural factors to advance various aspects of their life cycles. Indeed, human gammaherpesviruses, known for establishing long-term reservoirs of latent infection in B lymphocytes, utilize 3D principles of genome folding to package their DNA and establish latency in host cells. This manipulation of host epigenetic machinery by latent viral genomes is etiologically linked to the onset of B cell oncogenesis. Small DNA viruses, by contrast, are tethered to distinct cellular sites that support virus expression and replication. Here, we briefly review the recent findings on how viruses and host genomes spatially communicate, and how this impacts virus-induced pathology.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Xing H, Wu Y, Zhang MQ, et al (2021)

Deciphering hierarchical organization of topologically associated domains through change-point testing.

BMC bioinformatics, 22(1):183.

BACKGROUND: The nucleus of eukaryotic cells spatially packages chromosomes into a hierarchical and distinct segregation that plays critical roles in maintaining transcription regulation. High-throughput methods of chromosome conformation capture, such as Hi-C, have revealed topologically associating domains (TADs) that are defined by biased chromatin interactions within them.

RESULTS: We introduce a novel method, HiCKey, to decipher hierarchical TAD structures in Hi-C data and compare them across samples. We first derive a generalized likelihood-ratio (GLR) test for detecting change-points in an interaction matrix that follows a negative binomial distribution or general mixture distribution. We then employ several optimal search strategies to decipher hierarchical TADs with p values calculated by the GLR test. Large-scale validations of simulation data show that HiCKey has good precision in recalling known TADs and is robust against random collisions of chromatin interactions. By applying HiCKey to Hi-C data of seven human cell lines, we identified multiple layers of TAD organization among them, but the vast majority had no more than four layers. In particular, we found that TAD boundaries are significantly enriched in active chromosomal regions compared to repressed regions.

CONCLUSIONS: HiCKey is optimized for processing large matrices constructed from high-resolution Hi-C experiments. The method and theoretical result of the GLR test provide a general framework for significance testing of similar experimental chromatin interaction data that may not fully follow negative binomial distributions but rather more general mixture distributions.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Rozenwald MB, Galitsyna AA, Sapunov GV, et al (2020)

A machine learning framework for the prediction of chromatin folding in Drosophila using epigenetic features.

PeerJ. Computer science, 6:e307.

Technological advances have lead to the creation of large epigenetic datasets, including information about DNA binding proteins and DNA spatial structure. Hi-C experiments have revealed that chromosomes are subdivided into sets of self-interacting domains called Topologically Associating Domains (TADs). TADs are involved in the regulation of gene expression activity, but the mechanisms of their formation are not yet fully understood. Here, we focus on machine learning methods to characterize DNA folding patterns in Drosophila based on chromatin marks across three cell lines. We present linear regression models with four types of regularization, gradient boosting, and recurrent neural networks (RNN) as tools to study chromatin folding characteristics associated with TADs given epigenetic chromatin immunoprecipitation data. The bidirectional long short-term memory RNN architecture produced the best prediction scores and identified biologically relevant features. Distribution of protein Chriz (Chromator) and histone modification H3K4me3 were selected as the most informative features for the prediction of TADs characteristics. This approach may be adapted to any similar biological dataset of chromatin features across various cell lines and species. The code for the implemented pipeline, Hi-ChiP-ML, is publicly available: https://github.com/MichalRozenwald/Hi-ChIP-ML.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Miyazaki K, M Miyazaki (2021)

The Interplay Between Chromatin Architecture and Lineage-Specific Transcription Factors and the Regulation of Rag Gene Expression.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:659761.

Cell type-specific gene expression is driven through the interplay between lineage-specific transcription factors (TFs) and the chromatin architecture, such as topologically associating domains (TADs), and enhancer-promoter interactions. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the cell fate decisions and cell type-specific functions, it is important to understand the interplay between chromatin architectures and TFs. Among enhancers, super-enhancers (SEs) play key roles in establishing cell identity. Adaptive immunity depends on the RAG-mediated assembly of antigen recognition receptors. Hence, regulation of the Rag1 and Rag2 (Rag1/2) genes is a hallmark of adaptive lymphoid lineage commitment. Here, we review the current knowledge of 3D genome organization, SE formation, and Rag1/2 gene regulation during B cell and T cell differentiation.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Espinola SM, Götz M, Bellec M, et al (2021)

Cis-regulatory chromatin loops arise before TADs and gene activation, and are independent of cell fate during early Drosophila development.

Nature genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Acquisition of cell fate is thought to rely on the specific interaction of remote cis-regulatory modules (CRMs), for example, enhancers and target promoters. However, the precise interplay between chromatin structure and gene expression is still unclear, particularly within multicellular developing organisms. In the present study, we employ Hi-M, a single-cell spatial genomics approach, to detect CRM-promoter looping interactions within topologically associating domains (TADs) during early Drosophila development. By comparing cis-regulatory loops in alternate cell types, we show that physical proximity does not necessarily instruct transcriptional states. Moreover, multi-way analyses reveal that multiple CRMs spatially coalesce to form hubs. Loops and CRM hubs are established early during development, before the emergence of TADs. Moreover, CRM hubs are formed, in part, via the action of the pioneer transcription factor Zelda and precede transcriptional activation. Our approach provides insight into the role of CRM-promoter interactions in defining transcriptional states, as well as distinct cell types.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Davidson IF, JM Peters (2021)

Genome folding through loop extrusion by SMC complexes.

Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology [Epub ahead of print].

Genomic DNA is folded into loops and topologically associating domains (TADs), which serve important structural and regulatory roles. It has been proposed that these genomic structures are formed by a loop extrusion process, which is mediated by structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) protein complexes. Recent single-molecule studies have shown that the SMC complexes condensin and cohesin are indeed able to extrude DNA into loops. In this Review, we discuss how the loop extrusion hypothesis can explain key features of genome architecture; cellular functions of loop extrusion, such as separation of replicated DNA molecules, facilitation of enhancer-promoter interactions and immunoglobulin gene recombination; and what is known about the mechanism of loop extrusion and its regulation, for example, by chromatin boundaries that depend on the DNA binding protein CTCF. We also discuss how the loop extrusion hypothesis has led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of both genome architecture and the functions of SMC complexes.

RevDate: 2021-03-25

Goldfarb CN, DJ Waxman (2021)

Global analysis of expression, maturation and subcellular localization of mouse liver transcriptome identifies novel sex-biased and TCPOBOP-responsive long non-coding RNAs.

BMC genomics, 22(1):212.

BACKGROUND: While nuclear transcription and RNA processing and localization are well established for protein coding genes (PCGs), these processes are poorly understood for long non-coding (lnc)RNAs. Here, we characterize global patterns of transcript expression, maturation and localization for mouse liver RNA, including more than 15,000 lncRNAs. PolyA-selected liver RNA was isolated and sequenced from four subcellular fractions (chromatin, nucleoplasm, total nucleus, and cytoplasm), and from the chromatin-bound fraction without polyA selection.

RESULTS: Transcript processing, determined from normalized intronic to exonic sequence read density ratios, progressively increased for PCG transcripts in going from the chromatin-bound fraction to the nucleoplasm and then on to the cytoplasm. Transcript maturation was similar for lncRNAs in the chromatin fraction, but was significantly lower in the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm. LncRNA transcripts were 11-fold more likely to be significantly enriched in the nucleus than cytoplasm, and 100-fold more likely to be significantly chromatin-bound than nucleoplasmic. Sequencing chromatin-bound RNA greatly increased the sensitivity for detecting lowly expressed lncRNAs and enabled us to discover and localize hundreds of novel regulated liver lncRNAs, including lncRNAs showing sex-biased expression or responsiveness to TCPOBOP a xenobiotic agonist ligand of constitutive androstane receptor (Nr1i3).

CONCLUSIONS: Integration of our findings with prior studies and lncRNA annotations identified candidate regulatory lncRNAs for a variety of hepatic functions based on gene co-localization within topologically associating domains or transcription divergent or antisense to PCGs associated with pathways linked to hepatic physiology and disease.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Zhang L, Zhao J, Bi H, et al (2021)

Bioinformatic analysis of chromatin organization and biased expression of duplicated genes between two poplars with a common whole-genome duplication.

Horticulture research, 8(1):62.

The nonrandom three-dimensional organization of chromatin plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression. However, it remains unclear whether this organization is conserved and whether it is involved in regulating gene expression during speciation after whole-genome duplication (WGD) in plants. In this study, high-resolution interaction maps were generated using high-throughput chromatin conformation capture (Hi-C) techniques for two poplar species, Populus euphratica and Populus alba var. pyramidalis, which diverged ~14 Mya after a common WGD. We examined the similarities and differences in the hierarchical chromatin organization between the two species, including A/B compartment regions and topologically associating domains (TADs), as well as in their DNA methylation and gene expression patterns. We found that chromatin status was strongly associated with epigenetic modifications and gene transcriptional activity, yet the conservation of hierarchical chromatin organization across the two species was low. The divergence of gene expression between WGD-derived paralogs was associated with the strength of chromatin interactions, and colocalized paralogs exhibited strong similarities in epigenetic modifications and expression levels. Thus, the spatial localization of duplicated genes is highly correlated with biased expression during the diploidization process. This study provides new insights into the evolution of chromatin organization and transcriptional regulation during the speciation process of poplars after WGD.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Wang L, Jia G, Jiang X, et al (2021)

Altered chromatin architecture and gene expression during polyploidization and domestication of soybean.

The Plant cell pii:6175070 [Epub ahead of print].

Polyploidy or whole-genome duplication (WGD) is widespread in plants and is a key driver of evolution and speciation, accompanied by rapid and dynamic changes in genomic structure and gene expression. The three-dimensional structure of the genome is intricately linked to gene expression, but its role in transcription regulation following polyploidy and domestication remains unclear. Here, we generated high-resolution (∼2 kb) Hi-C maps for cultivated soybean (Glycine max), wild soybean (Glycine soja) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). We found polyploidization in soybean may induce architecture changes of topologically associating domains and subsequent diploidization led to chromatin topology alteration around chromosome-rearrangement sites. Compared with single-copy and small-scale duplicated genes, WGD genes displayed more long-range chromosomal interactions and were coupled with higher levels of gene expression and chromatin accessibilities but void of DNA methylation. Interestingly, chromatin loop reorganization was involved in expression divergence of the genes during soybean domestication. Genes with chromatin loops were under stronger artificial selection than genes without loops. These findings provide insights into roles of dynamic chromatin structures on gene expression during polyploidization, diploidization and domestication of soybean.

RevDate: 2021-03-15

Soto C, Bryner D, Neretti N, et al (2021)

Toward a Three-Dimensional Chromosome Shape Alphabet.

Journal of computational biology : a journal of computational molecular cell biology [Epub ahead of print].

The study of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of chromosomes-the largest macromolecules in biology-is one of the most challenging to date in structural biology. Here, we develop a novel representation of 3D chromosome structures, as sequences of shape letters from a finite shape alphabet, which provides a compact and efficient way to analyze ensembles of chromosome shape data, akin to the analysis of texts in a language by using letters. We construct a Chromosome Shape Alphabet from an ensemble of chromosome 3D structures inferred from Hi-C data-via SIMBA3D or other methods-by segmenting curves based on topologically associating domains (TADs) boundaries, and by clustering all TADs' 3D structures into groups of similar shapes. The median shapes of these groups, with some pruning and processing, form the Chromosome Shape Letters (CSLs) of the alphabet. We provide a proof of concept for these CSLs by reconstructing independent test curves by using only CSLs (and corresponding transformations) and comparing these reconstructions with the original curves. Finally, we demonstrate how CSLs can be used to summarize shapes in an ensemble of chromosome 3D structures by using generalized sequence logos.

RevDate: 2021-02-25

Liu X, Sun Q, Wang Q, et al (2021)

Epithelial Cells in 2D and 3D Cultures Exhibit Large Differences in Higher-order Genomic Interactions.

Genomics, proteomics & bioinformatics pii:S1672-0229(21)00026-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent studies have characterized the genomic structures of many eukaryotic cells, often with a focus on their relation to gene expression. So far, these studies have largely only investigated cells grown in 2D culture, although the transcriptomes of 3D cultured cells are generally closer to their in vivo phenotypes. To examine the effects of spatial constraints on chromosome conformation, we investigated the genomic architecture of mouse hepatocytes grown in 2D and 3D cultures using in situ Hi-C. Our results reveal significant differences in higher-order genomic interactions, notably in compartment identity and strength as well as in topologically associating domain (TAD)-TAD interactions, but only minor differences at the TAD level. RNA-seq analysis reveals an up-regulation in the 3D cultured cells of those genes involved in physiological hepatocyte functions. We find that these genes are associated with a subset of the structural changes, suggesting that the differences in genomic structure are indeed critically important for transcriptional regulation. However, there are also many structural differences that are not directly associated with changed expression, whose cause remains to be determined. Overall, our results indicate that growth in 3D significantly alters higher-order genomic interactions, which may be consequential for a subset of genes that are important for the physiological functioning of the cell.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Arnould C, Rocher V, Finoux AL, et al (2021)

Loop extrusion as a mechanism for formation of DNA damage repair foci.

Nature [Epub ahead of print].

The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is essential for safeguarding genome integrity. When a DSB forms, the PI3K-related ATM kinase rapidly triggers the establishment of megabase-sized, chromatin domains decorated with phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), which act as seeds for the formation of DNA-damage response foci1. It is unclear how these foci are rapidly assembled to establish a 'repair-prone' environment within the nucleus. Topologically associating domains are a key feature of 3D genome organization that compartmentalize transcription and replication, but little is known about their contribution to DNA repair processes2,3. Here we show that topologically associating domains are functional units of the DNA damage response, and are instrumental for the correct establishment of γH2AX-53BP1 chromatin domains in a manner that involves one-sided cohesin-mediated loop extrusion on both sides of the DSB. We propose a model in which H2AX-containing nucleosomes are rapidly phosphorylated as they actively pass by DSB-anchored cohesin. Our work highlights the importance of chromosome conformation in the maintenance of genome integrity and demonstrates the establishment of a chromatin modification by loop extrusion.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Li D, Sun X, Yu F, et al (2021)

Application of counter-selectable marker PIGA in engineering designer deletion cell lines and characterization of CRISPR deletion efficiency.

Nucleic acids research pii:6138593 [Epub ahead of print].

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a technology for genome engineering, which has been applied to indel mutations in genes as well as targeted gene deletion and replacement. Here, we describe paired gRNA deletions along the PIGA locus on the human X chromosome ranging from 17 kb to 2 Mb. We found no compelling linear correlation between deletion size and the deletion efficiency, and there is no substantial impact of topologically associating domains on deletion frequency. Using this precise deletion technique, we have engineered a series of designer deletion cell lines, including one with deletions of two X-chromosomal counterselectable (negative selection) markers, PIGA and HPRT1, and additional cell lines bearing each individual deletion. PIGA encodes a component of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor biosynthetic apparatus. The PIGA gene counterselectable marker has unique features, including existing single cell level assays for both function and loss of function of PIGA and the existence of a potent counterselectable agent, proaerolysin, which we use routinely for selection against cells expressing PIGA. These designer cell lines may serve as a general platform with multiple selection markers and may be particularly useful for large scale genome engineering projects such as Genome Project-Write (GP-write).

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Zheng W, Yang Z, Ge X, et al (2020)

Freeze substitution Hi-C, a convenient and cost-effective method for capturing the natural 3D chromatin conformation from frozen samples.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao pii:S1673-8527(20)30188-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Chromatin interactions functionally affect genome architecture and gene regulation, but to date, only fresh samples must be used in Hi-C (High-through chromosome conformation capture) to keep natural chromatin conformation intact. This requirement has impeded the advancement of 3D genome research by limiting sample collection and storage options for researchers and severely limiting the number of samples that can be processed in a short time. Here, we developed a freeze substitution Hi-C (FS-Hi-C) technique that overcomes the need for fresh samples. FS-Hi-C can be used with samples stored in liquid nitrogen (LN2): the water in a vitreous form in the sample cells is replaced with ethanol via automated freeze substitution. After confirming that the FS step preserves the natural chromosome conformation during sample thawing, we tested the performance of FS-Hi-C with Drosophila melanogaster and Gossypium hirsutum. Beyond allowing the use of frozen samples and confirming that FS-Hi-C delivers robust data for generating contact heat maps and delineating A/B compartments and topologically associating domains, we found that FS-Hi-C outperforms the in situ Hi-C in terms of library quality, reproducibility, and valid interactions. Thus, FS-Hi-C will probably extend the application of 3D genome structure analysis to the vast number of experimental contexts in biological and medical research for which Hi-C methods have been unfeasible to date.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Liao Y, Zhang X, Chakraborty M, et al (2021)

Topologically associating domains and their role in the evolution of genome structure and function in Drosophila.

Genome research pii:gr.266130.120 [Epub ahead of print].

Topologically associating domains (TADs) were recently identified as fundamental units of three-dimensional eukaryotic genomic organization, although our knowledge of the influence of TADs on genome evolution remains preliminary. To study the molecular evolution of TADs in Drosophila species, we constructed a new reference-grade genome assembly and accompanying high-resolution TAD map for D. pseudoobscura Comparison of D. pseudoobscura and D. melanogaster, which are separated by ∼49 million years of divergence, showed that ∼30%-40% of their genomes retain conserved TADs. Comparative genomic analysis of 17 Drosophila species revealed that chromosomal rearrangement breakpoints are enriched at TAD boundaries but depleted within TADs. Additionally, genes within conserved TADs show lower expression divergence than those located in nonconserved TADs. Furthermore, we found that a substantial proportion of long genes (>50 kbp) in D. melanogaster (42%) and D. pseudoobscura (26%) constitute their own TADs, implying transcript structure may be one of the deterministic factors for TAD formation. By using structural variants (SVs) identified from 14 D. melanogaster strains, its three closest sibling species from the D. simulans species complex, and two obscura clade species, we uncovered evidence of selection acting on SVs at TAD boundaries, but with the nature of selection differing between SV types. Deletions are depleted at TAD boundaries in both divergent and polymorphic SVs, suggesting purifying selection, whereas divergent tandem duplications are enriched at TAD boundaries relative to polymorphism, suggesting they are adaptive. Our findings highlight how important TADs are in shaping the acquisition and retention of structural mutations that fundamentally alter genome organization.

RevDate: 2021-02-05

McArthur E, JA Capra (2021)

Topologically associating domain boundaries that are stable across diverse cell types are evolutionarily constrained and enriched for heritability.

American journal of human genetics, 108(2):269-283.

Topologically associating domains (TADs) are fundamental units of three-dimensional (3D) nuclear organization. The regions bordering TADs-TAD boundaries-contribute to the regulation of gene expression by restricting interactions of cis-regulatory sequences to their target genes. TAD and TAD-boundary disruption have been implicated in rare-disease pathogenesis; however, we have a limited framework for integrating TADs and their variation across cell types into the interpretation of common-trait-associated variants. Here, we investigate an attribute of 3D genome architecture-the stability of TAD boundaries across cell types-and demonstrate its relevance to understanding how genetic variation in TADs contributes to complex disease. By synthesizing TAD maps across 37 diverse cell types with 41 genome-wide association studies (GWASs), we investigate the differences in disease association and evolutionary pressure on variation in TADs versus TAD boundaries. We demonstrate that genetic variation in TAD boundaries contributes more to complex-trait heritability, especially for immunologic, hematologic, and metabolic traits. We also show that TAD boundaries are more evolutionarily constrained than TADs. Next, stratifying boundaries by their stability across cell types, we find substantial variation. Compared to boundaries unique to a specific cell type, boundaries stable across cell types are further enriched for complex-trait heritability, evolutionary constraint, CTCF binding, and housekeeping genes. Thus, considering TAD boundary stability across cell types provides valuable context for understanding the genome's functional landscape and enabling variant interpretation that takes 3D structure into account.

RevDate: 2021-02-05

Halsall JA, Andrews S, Krueger F, et al (2021)

Histone modifications form a cell-type-specific chromosomal bar code that persists through the cell cycle.

Scientific reports, 11(1):3009.

Chromatin configuration influences gene expression in eukaryotes at multiple levels, from individual nucleosomes to chromatin domains several Mb long. Post-translational modifications (PTM) of core histones seem to be involved in chromatin structural transitions, but how remains unclear. To explore this, we used ChIP-seq and two cell types, HeLa and lymphoblastoid (LCL), to define how changes in chromatin packaging through the cell cycle influence the distributions of three transcription-associated histone modifications, H3K9ac, H3K4me3 and H3K27me3. We show that chromosome regions (bands) of 10-50 Mb, detectable by immunofluorescence microscopy of metaphase (M) chromosomes, are also present in G1 and G2. They comprise 1-5 Mb sub-bands that differ between HeLa and LCL but remain consistent through the cell cycle. The same sub-bands are defined by H3K9ac and H3K4me3, while H3K27me3 spreads more widely. We found little change between cell cycle phases, whether compared by 5 Kb rolling windows or when analysis was restricted to functional elements such as transcription start sites and topologically associating domains. Only a small number of genes showed cell-cycle related changes: at genes encoding proteins involved in mitosis, H3K9 became highly acetylated in G2M, possibly because of ongoing transcription. In conclusion, modified histone isoforms H3K9ac, H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 exhibit a characteristic genomic distribution at resolutions of 1 Mb and below that differs between HeLa and lymphoblastoid cells but remains remarkably consistent through the cell cycle. We suggest that this cell-type-specific chromosomal bar-code is part of a homeostatic mechanism by which cells retain their characteristic gene expression patterns, and hence their identity, through multiple mitoses.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Laffleur B, Lim J, Zhang W, et al (2021)

Noncoding RNA processing by DIS3 regulates chromosomal architecture and somatic hypermutation in B cells.

Nature genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Noncoding RNAs are exquisitely titrated by the cellular RNA surveillance machinery for regulating diverse biological processes. The RNA exosome, the predominant 3' RNA exoribonuclease in mammalian cells, is composed of nine core and two catalytic subunits. Here, we developed a mouse model with a conditional allele to study the RNA exosome catalytic subunit DIS3. In DIS3-deficient B cells, integrity of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (Igh) locus in its topologically associating domain is affected, with accumulation of DNA-associated RNAs flanking CTCF-binding elements, decreased CTCF binding to CTCF-binding elements and disorganized cohesin localization. DIS3-deficient B cells also accumulate activation-induced cytidine deaminase-mediated asymmetric nicks, altering somatic hypermutation patterns and increasing microhomology-mediated end-joining DNA repair. Altered mutation patterns and Igh architectural defects in DIS3-deficient B cells lead to decreased class-switch recombination but increased chromosomal translocations. Our observations of DIS3-mediated architectural regulation at the Igh locus are reflected genome wide, thus providing evidence that noncoding RNA processing is an important mechanism for controlling genome organization.

RevDate: 2021-02-01

Franzini S, Di Stefano M, C Micheletti (2021)

essHi-C: Essential component analysis of Hi-C matrices.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:6125382 [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: Hi-C matrices are cornerstones for qualitative and quantitative studies of genome folding, from its territorial organization to compartments and topological domains. The high dynamic range of genomic distances probed in Hi-C assays reflects in an inherent stochastic background of the interactions matrices, which inevitably convolve the features of interest with largely non-specific ones.

RESULTS: Here we introduce and discuss essHi-C, a method to isolate the specific, or essential component of Hi-C matrices from the non-specific portion of the spectrum that is compatible with random matrices. Systematic comparisons show that essHi-C improves the clarity of the interaction patterns, enhances the robustness against sequencing depth of topologically associating domains identification, allows the unsupervised clustering of experiments in different cell lines and recovers the cell-cycle phasing of single-cells based on Hi-C data. Thus, essHi-C provides means for isolating significant biological and physical features from Hi-C matrices.

AVAILABILITY: The essHi-C software package is available at: https://github.com/stefanofranzini/essHIC .

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2021-01-29

Qi Q, Cheng L, Tang X, et al (2020)

Dynamic CTCF binding directly mediates interactions among cis-regulatory elements essential for hematopoiesis.

Blood pii:474571 [Epub ahead of print].

While constitutive CTCF-binding sites are needed to maintain relatively invariant chromatin structures, such as topologically associating domains, the precise roles of CTCF to control cell type-specific transcriptional regulation remain poorly explored. We examined CTCF occupancy in different types of primary blood cells derived from the same donor to elucidate a new role for CTCF in gene regulation during blood cell development. We identified dynamic, cell type-specific binding sites for CTCF that colocalize with lineage-specific transcription factors. These dynamic sites are enriched for single nucleotide polymorphisms that are associated with blood cell traits in different linages, and they coincide with the key regulatory elements governing hematopoiesis. CRISPR/Cas9-based perturbation experiments demonstrated that these dynamic CTCF-binding sites play a critical role in red blood cell development. Furthermore, precise deletion of CTCF-binding motifs in dynamic sites abolished interactions of erythroid genes, such as RBM38, with their associated enhancers and led to abnormal erythropoiesis. These results suggest a novel, cell type-specific function for CTCF in which it may serve to facilitate interaction of distal regulatory emblements with target promoters. Our study of the dynamic, cell type-specific binding and function of CTCF provides new insights into transcriptional regulation during hematopoiesis.

RevDate: 2021-01-28

Luo X, Liu Y, Dang D, et al (2021)

3D Genome of macaque fetal brain reveals evolutionary innovations during primate corticogenesis.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(21)00001-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of human brain evolution is essential to understanding human cognition and mental disorders. We generated multi-omics profiles and constructed a high-resolution map of 3D genome architecture of rhesus macaque during corticogenesis. By comparing the 3D genomes of human, macaque, and mouse brains, we identified many human-specific chromatin structure changes, including 499 topologically associating domains (TADs) and 1,266 chromatin loops. The human-specific loops are significantly enriched in enhancer-enhancer interactions, and the regulated genes show human-specific expression changes in the subplate, a transient zone of the developing brain critical for neural circuit formation and plasticity. Notably, many human-specific sequence changes are located in the human-specific TAD boundaries and loop anchors, which may generate new transcription factor binding sites and chromatin structures in human. Collectively, the presented data highlight the value of comparative 3D genome analyses in dissecting the regulatory mechanisms of brain development and evolution.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Cavalheiro GR, Pollex T, EE Furlong (2021)

To loop or not to loop: what is the role of TADs in enhancer function and gene regulation?.

Current opinion in genetics & development, 67:119-129 pii:S0959-437X(20)30179-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The past decade has seen a huge jump in the resolution and scale at which we can interrogate the three-dimensional properties of the genome. This revealed different types of chromatin structures including topologically associating domains, partitioning genes and their enhancers into interacting domains. While the visualisation of these topologies and their dynamics has dramatically improved, our understanding of their underlying mechanisms and functional roles in gene expression has lagged behind. A suite of recent studies have addressed this using genetic manipulations to perturb topological features and loops at different scales. Here we assess the new biological insights gained on the functional relationship between genome topology and gene expression, with a particular focus on enhancer function.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Beccari L, Jaquier G, Lopez-Delisle L, et al (2021)

Hox13-Mediated Dbx2 Regulation In Limbs Suggests Inter-Tad Sharing Of Enhancers.

Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: During tetrapod limb development, the HOXA13 and HOXD13 transcription factors are critical for the emergence and organization of the autopod, the most distal aspect where digits will develop. Since previous work had suggested that the Dbx2 gene is a target of these factors, we set up to analyze in detail this potential regulatory interaction.

RESULTS: We show that HOX13 proteins bind to mammalian-specific sequences at the vicinity of the Dbx2 locus that have enhancer activity in developing digits. However, the functional inactivation of the DBX2 protein did not elicit any particular phenotype related to Hox genes inactivation in digits, suggesting either redundant or compensatory mechanisms. We report that the neighboring Nell2 and Ano6 genes are also expressed in distal limb buds and are in part controlled by the same Dbx2 enhancers despite being localized into two different topologically associating domains (TADs) flanking the Dbx2 locus.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that Hoxa13 and Hoxd genes cooperatively activate Dbx2 expression in developing digits through binding to mammalian specific regulatory sequences in the Dbx2 neighborhood. Furthermore, these enhancers can overcome TAD boundaries in either direction to co-regulate a set of genes located in distinct chromatin domains. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Zhang YW, Wang MB, SC Li (2021)

SuperTAD: robust detection of hierarchical topologically associated domains with optimized structural information.

Genome biology, 22(1):45.

Topologically associating domains (TADs) are the organizational units of chromosome structures. TADs can contain TADs, thus forming a hierarchy. TAD hierarchies can be inferred from Hi-C data through coding trees. However, the current method for computing coding trees is not optimal. In this paper, we propose optimal algorithms for this computation. In comparison with seven state-of-art methods using two public datasets, from GM12878 and IMR90 cells, SuperTAD shows a significant enrichment of structural proteins around detected boundaries and histone modifications within TADs and displays a high consistency between various resolutions of identical Hi-C matrices.

RevDate: 2021-01-22

Madani Tonekaboni SA, Haibe-Kains B, M Lupien (2021)

Large organized chromatin lysine domains help distinguish primitive from differentiated cell populations.

Nature communications, 12(1):499.

The human genome is partitioned into a collection of genomic features, inclusive of genes, transposable elements, lamina interacting regions, early replicating control elements and cis-regulatory elements, such as promoters, enhancers, and anchors of chromatin interactions. Uneven distribution of these features within chromosomes gives rise to clusters, such as topologically associating domains (TADs), lamina-associated domains, clusters of cis-regulatory elements or large organized chromatin lysine (K) domains (LOCKs). Here we show that LOCKs from diverse histone modifications discriminate primitive from differentiated cell types. Active LOCKs (H3K4me1, H3K4me3 and H3K27ac) cover a higher fraction of the genome in primitive compared to differentiated cell types while repressive LOCKs (H3K9me3, H3K27me3 and H3K36me3) do not. Active LOCKs in differentiated cells lie proximal to highly expressed genes while active LOCKs in primitive cells tend to be bivalent. Genes proximal to bivalent LOCKs are minimally expressed in primitive cells. Furthermore, bivalent LOCKs populate TAD boundaries and are preferentially bound by regulators of chromatin interactions, including CTCF, RAD21 and ZNF143. Together, our results argue that LOCKs discriminate primitive from differentiated cell populations.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Melnikova LS, Georgiev PG, AK Golovnin (2020)

The Functions and Mechanisms of Action of Insulators in the Genomes of Higher Eukaryotes.

Acta naturae, 12(4):15-33.

The mechanisms underlying long-range interactions between chromatin regions and the principles of chromosomal architecture formation are currently under extensive scrutiny. A special class of regulatory elements known as insulators is believed to be involved in the regulation of specific long-range interactions between enhancers and promoters. This review focuses on the insulators of Drosophila and mammals, and it also briefly characterizes the proteins responsible for their functional activity. It was initially believed that the main properties of insulators are blocking of enhancers and the formation of independent transcription domains. We present experimental data proving that the chromatin loops formed by insulators play only an auxiliary role in enhancer blocking. The review also discusses the mechanisms involved in the formation of topologically associating domains and their role in the formation of the chromosomal architecture and regulation of gene transcription.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Bediaga NG, Coughlan HD, Johanson TM, et al (2021)

Multi-level remodelling of chromatin underlying activation of human T cells.

Scientific reports, 11(1):528.

Remodelling of chromatin architecture is known to regulate gene expression and has been well characterized in cell lineage development but less so in response to cell perturbation. Activation of T cells, which triggers extensive changes in transcriptional programs, serves as an instructive model to elucidate how changes in chromatin architecture orchestrate gene expression in response to cell perturbation. To characterize coordinate changes at different levels of chromatin architecture, we analyzed chromatin accessibility, chromosome conformation and gene expression in activated human T cells. T cell activation was characterized by widespread changes in chromatin accessibility and interactions that were shared between activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and with the formation of active regulatory regions associated with transcription factors relevant to T cell biology. Chromatin interactions that increased and decreased were coupled, respectively, with up- and down-regulation of corresponding target genes. Furthermore, activation was associated with disruption of long-range chromatin interactions and with partitioning of topologically associating domains (TADs) and remodelling of their TAD boundaries. Newly formed/strengthened TAD boundaries were associated with higher nucleosome occupancy and lower accessibility, linking changes in lower and higher order chromatin architecture. T cell activation exemplifies coordinate multi-level remodelling of chromatin underlying gene transcription.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Ha E, Bang SY, Lim J, et al (2021)

Genetic variants shape rheumatoid arthritis-specific transcriptomic features in CD4+ T cells through differential DNA methylation, explaining a substantial proportion of heritability.

Annals of the rheumatic diseases pii:annrheumdis-2020-219152 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: CD4+ T cells have been suggested as the most disease-relevant cell type in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in which RA-risk non-coding variants exhibit allele-specific effects on regulation of RA-driving genes. This study aimed to understand RA-specific signatures in CD4+ T cells using multi-omics data, interpreting inter-omics relationships in shaping the RA transcriptomic landscape.

METHODS: We profiled genome-wide variants, gene expression and DNA methylation in CD4+ T cells from 82 patients with RA and 40 healthy controls using high-throughput technologies. We investigated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and differential methylated regions (DMRs) in RA and localised quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for expression and methylation. We then integrated these based on individual-level correlations to inspect DEG-regulating sources and investigated the potential regulatory roles of RA-risk variants by a partitioned-heritability enrichment analysis with RA genome-wide association summary statistics.

RESULTS: A large number of RA-specific DEGs were identified (n=2575), highlighting T cell differentiation and activation pathways. RA-specific DMRs, preferentially located in T cell regulatory regions, were correlated with the expression levels of 548 DEGs mostly in the same topologically associating domains. In addition, expressional variances in 771 and 83 DEGs were partially explained by expression QTLs for DEGs and methylation QTLs (meQTLs) for DEG-correlated DMRs, respectively. A large number of RA variants were moderately to strongly correlated with meQTLs. DEG-correlated DMRs, enriched with meQTLs, had strongly enriched heritability of RA.

CONCLUSION: Our findings revealed that the methylomic changes, driven by RA heritability-explaining variants, shape the differential expression of a substantial fraction of DEGs in CD4+ T cells in patients with RA, reinforcing the importance of a multidimensional approach in disease-relevant tissues.

RevDate: 2021-01-10

Peters JM (2021)

How DNA loop extrusion mediated by cohesin enables V(D)J recombination.

Current opinion in cell biology, 70:75-83 pii:S0955-0674(20)30163-0 [Epub ahead of print].

'Structural maintenance of chromosomes' (SMC) complexes are required for the folding of genomic DNA into loops. Theoretical considerations and single-molecule experiments performed with the SMC complexes cohesin and condensin indicate that DNA folding occurs via loop extrusion. Recent work indicates that this process is essential for the assembly of antigen receptor genes by V(D)J recombination in developing B and T cells of the vertebrate immune system. Here, I review how recent studies of the mouse immunoglobulin heavy chain locus Igh have provided evidence for this hypothesis and how the formation of chromatin loops by cohesin and regulation of this process by CTCF and Wapl might ensure that all variable gene segments in this locus (VH segments) participate in recombination with a re-arranged DJH segment, to ensure generation of a maximally diverse repertoire of B-cell receptors and antibodies.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Sun Q, Perez-Rathke A, Czajkowsky DM, et al (2021)

High-resolution single-cell 3D-models of chromatin ensembles during Drosophila embryogenesis.

Nature communications, 12(1):205.

Single-cell chromatin studies provide insights into how chromatin structure relates to functions of individual cells. However, balancing high-resolution and genome wide-coverage remains challenging. We describe a computational method for the reconstruction of large 3D-ensembles of single-cell (sc) chromatin conformations from population Hi-C that we apply to study embryogenesis in Drosophila. With minimal assumptions of physical properties and without adjustable parameters, our method generates large ensembles of chromatin conformations via deep-sampling. Our method identifies specific interactions, which constitute 5-6% of Hi-C frequencies, but surprisingly are sufficient to drive chromatin folding, giving rise to the observed Hi-C patterns. Modeled sc-chromatins quantify chromatin heterogeneity, revealing significant changes during embryogenesis. Furthermore, >50% of modeled sc-chromatin maintain topologically associating domains (TADs) in early embryos, when no population TADs are perceptible. Domain boundaries become fixated during development, with strong preference at binding-sites of insulator-complexes upon the midblastula transition. Overall, high-resolution 3D-ensembles of sc-chromatin conformations enable further in-depth interpretation of population Hi-C, improving understanding of the structure-function relationship of genome organization.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Jia J, Xie Y, Cheng J, et al (2021)

Homology-mediated inter-chromosomal interactions in hexaploid wheat lead to specific subgenome territories following polyploidization and introgression.

Genome biology, 22(1):26.

BACKGROUND: Polyploidization and introgression are major events driving plant genome evolution and influencing crop breeding. However, the mechanisms underlying the higher-order chromatin organization of subgenomes and alien chromosomes are largely unknown.

RESULTS: We probe the three-dimensional chromatin architecture of Aikang 58 (AK58), a widely cultivated allohexaploid wheat variety in China carrying the 1RS/1BL translocation chromosome. The regions involved in inter-chromosomal interactions, both within and between subgenomes, have highly similar sequences. Subgenome-specific territories tend to be connected by subgenome-dominant homologous transposable elements (TEs). The alien 1RS chromosomal arm, which was introgressed from rye and differs from its wheat counterpart, has relatively few inter-chromosome interactions with wheat chromosomes. An analysis of local chromatin structures reveals topologically associating domain (TAD)-like regions covering 52% of the AK58 genome, the boundaries of which are enriched with active genes, zinc-finger factor-binding motifs, CHH methylation, and 24-nt small RNAs. The chromatin loops are mostly localized around TAD boundaries, and the number of gene loops is positively associated with gene activity.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study reveals the impact of the genetic sequence context on the higher-order chromatin structure and subgenome stability in hexaploid wheat. Specifically, we characterized the sequence homology-mediated inter-chromosome interactions and the non-canonical role of subgenome-biased TEs. Our findings may have profound implications for future investigations of the interplay between genetic sequences and higher-order structures and their consequences on polyploid genome evolution and introgression-based breeding of crop plants.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Russo R, Marra R, Rosato BE, et al (2020)

Genetics and Genomics Approaches for Diagnosis and Research Into Hereditary Anemias.

Frontiers in physiology, 11:613559.

The hereditary anemias are a relatively heterogeneous set of disorders that can show wide clinical and genetic heterogeneity, which often hampers correct clinical diagnosis. The classical diagnostic workflow for these conditions generally used to start with analysis of the family and personal histories, followed by biochemical and morphological evaluations, and ending with genetic testing. However, the diagnostic framework has changed more recently, and genetic testing is now a suitable approach for differential diagnosis of these patients. There are several approaches to this genetic testing, the choice of which depends on phenotyping, genetic heterogeneity, and gene size. For patients who show complete phenotyping, single-gene testing remains recommended. However, genetic analysis now includes next-generation sequencing, which is generally based on custom-designed targeting panels and whole-exome sequencing. The use of next-generation sequencing also allows the identification of new causative genes, and of polygenic conditions and genetic factors that modify disease severity of hereditary anemias. In the research field, whole-genome sequencing is useful for the identification of non-coding causative mutations, which might account for the disruption of transcriptional factor occupancy sites and cis-regulatory elements. Moreover, advances in high-throughput sequencing techniques have now resulted in the identification of genome-wide profiling of the chromatin structures known as the topologically associating domains. These represent a recurrent disease mechanism that exposes genes to inappropriate regulatory elements, causing errors in gene expression. This review focuses on the challenges of diagnosis and research into hereditary anemias, with indications of both the advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we consider the future perspectives for the use of next-generation sequencing technologies in this era of precision medicine.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Paik S, Maule F, M Gallo (2020)

Dysregulation of chromatin organization in pediatric and adult brain tumors: oncoepigenomic contributions to tumorigenesis and cancer stem cell properties.

Genome [Epub ahead of print].

The three-dimensional (3D) organization of the genome is a crucial enabler of cell fate, identity, and function. In this review, we will focus on the emerging role of altered 3D genome organization in the etiology of disease, with a special emphasis on brain cancers. We discuss how different genetic alterations can converge to disrupt the epigenome in childhood and adult brain tumors, by causing aberrant DNA methylation and by affecting the amounts and genomic distribution of histone post-translational modifications. We also highlight examples that illustrate how epigenomic alterations have the potential to affect 3D genome architecture in brain tumors. Finally, we will propose the concept of "epigenomic erosion" to explain the transition from stem-like cells to differentiated cells in hierarchically organized brain cancers.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Deschamps S, Crow JA, Chaidir N, et al (2021)

Chromatin loop anchors contain core structural components of the gene expression machinery in maize.

BMC genomics, 22(1):23.

BACKGROUND: Three-dimensional chromatin loop structures connect regulatory elements to their target genes in regions known as anchors. In complex plant genomes, such as maize, it has been proposed that loops span heterochromatic regions marked by higher repeat content, but little is known on their spatial organization and genome-wide occurrence in relation to transcriptional activity.

RESULTS: Here, ultra-deep Hi-C sequencing of maize B73 leaf tissue was combined with gene expression and open chromatin sequencing for chromatin loop discovery and correlation with hierarchical topologically-associating domains (TADs) and transcriptional activity. A majority of all anchors are shared between multiple loops from previous public maize high-resolution interactome datasets, suggesting a highly dynamic environment, with a conserved set of anchors involved in multiple interaction networks. Chromatin loop interiors are marked by higher repeat contents than the anchors flanking them. A small fraction of high-resolution interaction anchors, fully embedded in larger chromatin loops, co-locate with active genes and putative protein-binding sites. Combinatorial analyses indicate that all anchors studied here co-locate with at least 81.5% of expressed genes and 74% of open chromatin regions. Approximately 38% of all Hi-C chromatin loops are fully embedded within hierarchical TAD-like domains, while the remaining ones share anchors with domain boundaries or with distinct domains. Those various loop types exhibit specific patterns of overlap for open chromatin regions and expressed genes, but no apparent pattern of gene expression. In addition, up to 63% of all unique variants derived from a prior public maize eQTL dataset overlap with Hi-C loop anchors. Anchor annotation suggests that < 7% of all loops detected here are potentially devoid of any genes or regulatory elements. The overall organization of chromatin loop anchors in the maize genome suggest a loop modeling system hypothesized to resemble phase separation of repeat-rich regions.

CONCLUSIONS: Sets of conserved chromatin loop anchors mapping to hierarchical domains contains core structural components of the gene expression machinery in maize. The data presented here will be a useful reference to further investigate their function in regard to the formation of transcriptional complexes and the regulation of transcriptional activity in the maize genome.

RevDate: 2021-01-05

Kubo N, Ishii H, Xiong X, et al (2021)

Promoter-proximal CTCF binding promotes distal enhancer-dependent gene activation.

Nature structural & molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

The CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) works together with the cohesin complex to drive the formation of chromatin loops and topologically associating domains, but its role in gene regulation has not been fully defined. Here, we investigated the effects of acute CTCF loss on chromatin architecture and transcriptional programs in mouse embryonic stem cells undergoing differentiation to neural precursor cells. We identified CTCF-dependent enhancer-promoter contacts genome-wide and found that they disproportionately affect genes that are bound by CTCF at the promoter and are dependent on long-distance enhancers. Disruption of promoter-proximal CTCF binding reduced both long-range enhancer-promoter contacts and transcription, which were restored by artificial tethering of CTCF to the promoter. Promoter-proximal CTCF binding is correlated with the transcription of over 2,000 genes across a diverse set of adult tissues. Taken together, the results of our study show that CTCF binding to promoters may promote long-distance enhancer-dependent transcription at specific genes in diverse cell types.

RevDate: 2021-01-05

Ulianov SV, Zakharova VV, Galitsyna AA, et al (2021)

Order and stochasticity in the folding of individual Drosophila genomes.

Nature communications, 12(1):41.

Mammalian and Drosophila genomes are partitioned into topologically associating domains (TADs). Although this partitioning has been reported to be functionally relevant, it is unclear whether TADs represent true physical units located at the same genomic positions in each cell nucleus or emerge as an average of numerous alternative chromatin folding patterns in a cell population. Here, we use a single-nucleus Hi-C technique to construct high-resolution Hi-C maps in individual Drosophila genomes. These maps demonstrate chromatin compartmentalization at the megabase scale and partitioning of the genome into non-hierarchical TADs at the scale of 100 kb, which closely resembles the TAD profile in the bulk in situ Hi-C data. Over 40% of TAD boundaries are conserved between individual nuclei and possess a high level of active epigenetic marks. Polymer simulations demonstrate that chromatin folding is best described by the random walk model within TADs and is most suitably approximated by a crumpled globule build of Gaussian blobs at longer distances. We observe prominent cell-to-cell variability in the long-range contacts between either active genome loci or between Polycomb-bound regions, suggesting an important contribution of stochastic processes to the formation of the Drosophila 3D genome.

RevDate: 2021-01-05

Decker B, Liput M, Abdellatif H, et al (2020)

Global Genome Conformational Programming during Neuronal Development Is Associated with CTCF and Nuclear FGFR1-The Genome Archipelago Model.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(1): pii:ijms22010347.

During the development of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) to neuronal committed cells (NCC), coordinated changes in the expression of 2851 genes take place, mediated by the nuclear form of FGFR1. In this paper, widespread differences are demonstrated in the ESC and NCC inter- and intra-chromosomal interactions, chromatin looping, the formation of CTCF- and nFGFR1-linked Topologically Associating Domains (TADs) on a genome-wide scale and in exemplary HoxA-D loci. The analysis centered on HoxA cluster shows that blocking FGFR1 disrupts the loop formation. FGFR1 binding and genome locales are predictive of the genome interactions; likewise, chromatin interactions along with nFGFR1 binding are predictive of the genome function and correlate with genome regulatory attributes and gene expression. This study advances a topologically integrated genome archipelago model that undergoes structural transformations through the formation of nFGFR1-associated TADs. The makeover of the TAD islands serves to recruit distinct ontogenic programs during the development of the ESC to NCC.

RevDate: 2020-12-31

Takemata N, SD Bell (2020)

Multi-scale architecture of archaeal chromosomes.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(20)30893-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Chromosome conformation capture (3C) technologies have identified topologically associating domains (TADs) and larger A/B compartments as two salient structural features of eukaryotic chromosomes. These structures are sculpted by the combined actions of transcription and structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) superfamily proteins. Bacterial chromosomes fold into TAD-like chromosomal interaction domains (CIDs) but do not display A/B compartment-type organization. We reveal that chromosomes of Sulfolobus archaea are organized into CID-like topological domains in addition to previously described larger A/B compartment-type structures. We uncover local rules governing the identity of the topological domains and their boundaries. We also identify long-range loop structures and provide evidence of a hub-like structure that colocalizes genes involved in ribosome biogenesis. In addition to providing high-resolution descriptions of archaeal chromosome architectures, our data provide evidence of multiple modes of organization in prokaryotic chromosomes and yield insights into the evolution of eukaryotic chromosome conformation.

RevDate: 2020-12-30

Rullens PMJ, J Kind (2020)

Attach and stretch: Emerging roles for genome-lamina contacts in shaping the 3D genome.

Current opinion in cell biology, 70:51-57 pii:S0955-0674(20)30156-3 [Epub ahead of print].

A large proportion of the metazoan genome is spatially segregated at the nuclear periphery through genomic contacts with the nuclear lamina, a thin meshwork of lamin filaments that lines the inner-nuclear membrane. Lamina-associated domains are believed to contribute to the regulation of gene transcription and to provide structural three-dimensional support to the organization of the genome in A and B compartments and topologically associating domains. In this review, we will evaluate recent work addressing the role of lamina-associated domains in three-dimensional genome organization and propose experimental frameworks that may expand our understanding of their interdependence.

RevDate: 2020-12-20

Kruse K, Hug CB, JM Vaquerizas (2020)

FAN-C: a feature-rich framework for the analysis and visualisation of chromosome conformation capture data.

Genome biology, 21(1):303.

Chromosome conformation capture data, particularly from high-throughput approaches such as Hi-C, are typically very complex to analyse. Existing analysis tools are often single-purpose, or limited in compatibility to a small number of data formats, frequently making Hi-C analyses tedious and time-consuming. Here, we present FAN-C, an easy-to-use command-line tool and powerful Python API with a broad feature set covering matrix generation, analysis, and visualisation for C-like data (https://github.com/vaquerizaslab/fanc). Due to its compatibility with the most prevalent Hi-C storage formats, FAN-C can be used in combination with a large number of existing analysis tools, thus greatly simplifying Hi-C matrix analysis.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Torosin NS, Anand A, Golla TR, et al (2020)

3D genome evolution and reorganization in the Drosophila melanogaster species group.

PLoS genetics, 16(12):e1009229 pii:PGENETICS-D-20-00777.

Topologically associating domains, or TADs, are functional units that organize chromosomes into 3D structures of interacting chromatin. TADs play an important role in regulating gene expression by constraining enhancer-promoter contacts and there is evidence that deletion of TAD boundaries leads to aberrant expression of neighboring genes. While the mechanisms of TAD formation have been well-studied, current knowledge on the patterns of TAD evolution across species is limited. Due to the integral role TADs play in gene regulation, their structure and organization is expected to be conserved during evolution. However, more recent research suggests that TAD structures diverge relatively rapidly. We use Hi-C chromosome conformation capture to measure evolutionary conservation of whole TADs and TAD boundary elements between D. melanogaster and D. triauraria, two early-branching species from the melanogaster species group which diverged ∼15 million years ago. We find that the majority of TADs have been reorganized since the common ancestor of D. melanogaster and D. triauraria, via a combination of chromosomal rearrangements and gain/loss of TAD boundaries. TAD reorganization between these two species is associated with a localized effect on gene expression, near the site of disruption. By separating TADs into subtypes based on their chromatin state, we find that different subtypes are evolving under different evolutionary forces. TADs enriched for broadly expressed, transcriptionally active genes are evolving rapidly, potentially due to positive selection, whereas TADs enriched for developmentally-regulated genes remain conserved, presumably due to their importance in restricting gene-regulatory element interactions. These results provide novel insight into the evolutionary dynamics of TADs and help to reconcile contradictory reports related to the evolutionary conservation of TADs and whether changes in TAD structure affect gene expression.

RevDate: 2020-12-16
CmpDate: 2020-12-16

Guerrero-Martínez JA, Ceballos-Chávez M, Koehler F, et al (2020)

TGFβ promotes widespread enhancer chromatin opening and operates on genomic regulatory domains.

Nature communications, 11(1):6196.

The Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGFβ) signaling pathway controls transcription by regulating enhancer activity. How TGFβ-regulated enhancers are selected and what chromatin changes are associated with TGFβ-dependent enhancers regulation are still unclear. Here we report that TGFβ treatment triggers fast and widespread increase in chromatin accessibility in about 80% of the enhancers of normal mouse mammary epithelial-gland cells, irrespective of whether they are activated, repressed or not regulated by TGFβ. This enhancer opening depends on both the canonical and non-canonical TGFβ pathways. Most TGFβ-regulated genes are located around enhancers regulated in the same way, often creating domains of several co-regulated genes that we term TGFβ regulatory domains (TRD). CRISPR-mediated inactivation of enhancers within TRDs impairs TGFβ-dependent regulation of all co-regulated genes, demonstrating that enhancer targeting is more promiscuous than previously anticipated. The area of TRD influence is restricted by topologically associating domains (TADs) borders, causing a bias towards co-regulation within TADs.

RevDate: 2020-12-15
CmpDate: 2020-12-15

Sanders JT, Freeman TF, Xu Y, et al (2020)

Radiation-induced DNA damage and repair effects on 3D genome organization.

Nature communications, 11(1):6178.

The three-dimensional structure of chromosomes plays an important role in gene expression regulation and also influences the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage. Genomic aberrations that disrupt chromosome spatial domains can lead to diseases including cancer, but how the 3D genome structure responds to DNA damage is poorly understood. Here, we investigate the impact of DNA damage response and repair on 3D genome folding using Hi-C experiments on wild type cells and ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) patient cells. We irradiate fibroblasts, lymphoblasts, and ATM-deficient fibroblasts with 5 Gy X-rays and perform Hi-C at 30 minutes, 24 hours, or 5 days after irradiation. We observe that 3D genome changes after irradiation are cell type-specific, with lymphoblastoid cells generally showing more contact changes than irradiated fibroblasts. However, all tested repair-proficient cell types exhibit an increased segregation of topologically associating domains (TADs). This TAD boundary strengthening after irradiation is not observed in ATM deficient fibroblasts and may indicate the presence of a mechanism to protect 3D genome structure integrity during DNA damage repair.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Yang H, Luan Y, Liu T, et al (2020)

A map of cis-regulatory elements and 3D genome structures in zebrafish.

Nature, 588(7837):337-343.

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been widely used in the study of human disease and development, and about 70% of the protein-coding genes are conserved between the two species1. However, studies in zebrafish remain constrained by the sparse annotation of functional control elements in the zebrafish genome. Here we performed RNA sequencing, assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation with sequencing, whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, and chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) experiments in up to eleven adult and two embryonic tissues to generate a comprehensive map of transcriptomes, cis-regulatory elements, heterochromatin, methylomes and 3D genome organization in the zebrafish Tübingen reference strain. A comparison of zebrafish, human and mouse regulatory elements enabled the identification of both evolutionarily conserved and species-specific regulatory sequences and networks. We observed enrichment of evolutionary breakpoints at topologically associating domain boundaries, which were correlated with strong histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) signals. We performed single-cell ATAC-seq in zebrafish brain, which delineated 25 different clusters of cell types. By combining long-read DNA sequencing and Hi-C, we assembled the sex-determining chromosome 4 de novo. Overall, our work provides an additional epigenomic anchor for the functional annotation of vertebrate genomes and the study of evolutionarily conserved elements of 3D genome organization.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Rodríguez-Carballo E, Lopez-Delisle L, Willemin A, et al (2020)

Chromatin topology and the timing of enhancer function at the HoxD locus.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(49):31231-31241.

The HoxD gene cluster is critical for proper limb formation in tetrapods. In the emerging limb buds, different subgroups of Hoxd genes respond first to a proximal regulatory signal, then to a distal signal that organizes digits. These two regulations are exclusive from one another and emanate from two distinct topologically associating domains (TADs) flanking HoxD, both containing a range of appropriate enhancer sequences. The telomeric TAD (T-DOM) contains several enhancers active in presumptive forearm cells and is divided into two sub-TADs separated by a CTCF-rich boundary, which defines two regulatory submodules. To understand the importance of this particular regulatory topology to control Hoxd gene transcription in time and space, we either deleted or inverted this sub-TAD boundary, eliminated the CTCF binding sites, or inverted the entire T-DOM to exchange the respective positions of the two sub-TADs. The effects of such perturbations on the transcriptional regulation of Hoxd genes illustrate the requirement of this regulatory topology for the precise timing of gene activation. However, the spatial distribution of transcripts was eventually resumed, showing that the presence of enhancer sequences, rather than either their exact topology or a particular chromatin architecture, is the key factor. We also show that the affinity of enhancers to find their natural target genes can overcome the presence of both a strong TAD border and an unfavorable orientation of CTCF sites.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Eres IE, Y Gilad (2020)

A TAD Skeptic: Is 3D Genome Topology Conserved?.

Trends in genetics : TIG pii:S0168-9525(20)30298-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The notion that topologically associating domains (TADs) are highly conserved across species is prevalent in the field of 3D genomics. However, what exactly is meant by 'highly conserved' and what are the actual comparative data that support this notion? To address these questions, we performed a historical review of the relevant literature and retraced numerous citation chains to reveal the primary data that were used as the basis for the widely accepted conclusion that TADs are highly conserved across evolution. A thorough review of the available evidence suggests the answer may be more complex than what is commonly presented.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Ehrlich KC, Baribault C, M Ehrlich (2020)

Epigenetics of Muscle- and Brain-Specific Expression of KLHL Family Genes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(21):.

KLHL and the related KBTBD genes encode components of the Cullin-E3 ubiquitin ligase complex and typically target tissue-specific proteins for degradation, thereby affecting differentiation, homeostasis, metabolism, cell signaling, and the oxidative stress response. Despite their importance in cell function and disease (especially, KLHL40, KLHL41, KBTBD13, KEAP1, and ENC1), previous studies of epigenetic factors that affect transcription were predominantly limited to promoter DNA methylation. Using diverse tissue and cell culture whole-genome profiles, we examined 17 KLHL or KBTBD genes preferentially expressed in skeletal muscle or brain to identify tissue-specific enhancer and promoter chromatin, open chromatin (DNaseI hypersensitivity), and DNA hypomethylation. Sixteen of the 17 genes displayed muscle- or brain-specific enhancer chromatin in their gene bodies, and most exhibited specific intergenic enhancer chromatin as well. Seven genes were embedded in super-enhancers (particularly strong, tissue-specific clusters of enhancers). The enhancer chromatin regions typically displayed foci of DNA hypomethylation at peaks of open chromatin. In addition, we found evidence for an intragenic enhancer in one gene upregulating expression of its neighboring gene, specifically for KLHL40/HHATL and KLHL38/FBXO32 gene pairs. Many KLHL/KBTBD genes had tissue-specific promoter chromatin at their 5' ends, but surprisingly, two (KBTBD11 and KLHL31) had constitutively unmethylated promoter chromatin in their 3' exons that overlaps a retrotransposed KLHL gene. Our findings demonstrate the importance of expanding epigenetic analyses beyond the 5' ends of genes in studies of normal and abnormal gene regulation.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Chang L, Li M, Shao S, et al (2020)

Nuclear peripheral chromatin-lamin B1 interaction is required for global integrity of chromatin architecture and dynamics in human cells.

Protein & cell pii:10.1007/s13238-020-00794-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The eukaryotic genome is folded into higher-order conformation accompanied with constrained dynamics for coordinated genome functions. However, the molecular machinery underlying these hierarchically organized three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture and dynamics remains poorly understood. Here by combining imaging and sequencing, we studied the role of lamin B1 in chromatin architecture and dynamics. We found that lamin B1 depletion leads to detachment of lamina-associated domains (LADs) from the nuclear periphery accompanied with global chromatin redistribution and decompaction. Consequently, the inter-chromosomal as well as inter-compartment interactions are increased, but the structure of topologically associating domains (TADs) is not affected. Using live-cell genomic loci tracking, we further proved that depletion of lamin B1 leads to increased chromatin dynamics, owing to chromatin decompaction and redistribution toward nucleoplasm. Taken together, our data suggest that lamin B1 and chromatin interactions at the nuclear periphery promote LAD maintenance, chromatin compaction, genomic compartmentalization into chromosome territories and A/B compartments and confine chromatin dynamics, supporting their crucial roles in chromatin higher-order structure and chromatin dynamics.

RevDate: 2020-11-30
CmpDate: 2020-11-30

Nora EP, Caccianini L, Fudenberg G, et al (2020)

Molecular basis of CTCF binding polarity in genome folding.

Nature communications, 11(1):5612.

Current models propose that boundaries of mammalian topologically associating domains (TADs) arise from the ability of the CTCF protein to stop extrusion of chromatin loops by cohesin. While the orientation of CTCF motifs determines which pairs of CTCF sites preferentially stabilize loops, the molecular basis of this polarity remains unclear. By combining ChIP-seq and single molecule live imaging we report that CTCF positions cohesin, but does not control its overall binding dynamics on chromatin. Using an inducible complementation system, we find that CTCF mutants lacking the N-terminus cannot insulate TADs properly. Cohesin remains at CTCF sites in this mutant, albeit with reduced enrichment. Given the orientation of CTCF motifs presents the N-terminus towards cohesin as it translocates from the interior of TADs, these observations explain how the orientation of CTCF binding sites translates into genome folding patterns.

RevDate: 2020-12-09

Kong N, I Jung (2020)

Long-range chromatin interactions in pathogenic gene expression control.

Transcription, 11(5):211-216.

A large number of distal cis-regulatory elements (cREs) have been annotated in the human genome, which plays a central role in orchestrating spatiotemporal gene expression. Since many cREs regulate non-adjacent genes, long-range cRE-promoter interactions are an important factor in the functional characterization of the engaged cREs. In this regard, recent studies have demonstrated that identification of long-range target genes can decipher the effect of genetic mutations residing within cREs on abnormal gene expression. In addition, investigation of altered long-range cREs-promoter interactions induced by chromosomal rearrangements has revealed their critical roles in pathogenic gene expression. In this review, we briefly discuss how the analysis of 3D chromatin structure can help us understand the functional impact of cREs harboring disease-associated genetic variants and how chromosomal rearrangements disrupting topologically associating domains can lead to pathogenic gene expression.

RevDate: 2020-10-28

Chu X, J Wang (2020)

Microscopic Chromosomal Structural and Dynamical Origin of Cell Differentiation and Reprogramming.

Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), 7(20):2001572.

As an essential and fundamental process of life, cell development involves large-scale reorganization of the 3D genome architecture, which forms the basis of gene regulation. Here, a landscape-switching model is developed to explore the microscopic chromosomal structural origin of embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation and somatic cell reprogramming. It is shown that chromosome structure exhibits significant compartment-switching in the unit of topologically associating domain. It is found that the chromosome during differentiation undergoes monotonic compaction with spatial repositioning of active and inactive chromosomal loci toward the chromosome surface and interior, respectively. In contrast, an overexpanded chromosome, which exhibits universal localization of loci at the chromosomal surface with erasing the structural characteristics formed in the somatic cells, is observed during reprogramming. An early distinct differentiation pathway from the ESC to the terminally differentiated cell, giving rise to early bifurcation on the Waddington landscape for the ESC differentiation is suggested. The theoretical model herein including the non-equilibrium effects, draws a picture of the highly irreversible cell differentiation and reprogramming processes, in line with the experiments. The predictions provide a physical understanding of cell differentiation and reprogramming from the chromosomal structural and dynamical perspective and can be tested by future experiments.

RevDate: 2020-10-30

Li Y, Gao G, Lin Y, et al (2020)

Pacific Biosciences assembly with Hi-C mapping generates an improved, chromosome-level goose genome.

GigaScience, 9(10):.

BACKGROUND: The domestic goose is an economically important and scientifically valuable waterfowl; however, a lack of high-quality genomic data has hindered research concerning its genome, genetics, and breeding. As domestic geese breeds derive from both the swan goose (Anser cygnoides) and the graylag goose (Anser anser), we selected a female Tianfu goose for genome sequencing. We generated a chromosome-level goose genome assembly by adopting a hybrid de novo assembly approach that combined Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing, high-throughput chromatin conformation capture mapping, and Illumina short-read sequencing.

FINDINGS: We generated a 1.11-Gb goose genome with contig and scaffold N50 values of 1.85 and 33.12 Mb, respectively. The assembly contains 39 pseudo-chromosomes (2n = 78) accounting for ∼88.36% of the goose genome. Compared with previous goose assemblies, our assembly has more continuity, completeness, and accuracy; the annotation of core eukaryotic genes and universal single-copy orthologs has also been improved. We have identified 17,568 protein-coding genes and a repeat content of 8.67% (96.57 Mb) in this genome assembly. We also explored the spatial organization of chromatin and gene expression in the goose liver tissues, in terms of inter-pseudo-chromosomal interaction patterns, compartments, topologically associating domains, and promoter-enhancer interactions.

CONCLUSIONS: We present the first chromosome-level assembly of the goose genome. This will be a valuable resource for future genetic and genomic studies on geese.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-07

Gu B, Comerci CJ, McCarthy DG, et al (2020)

Opposing Effects of Cohesin and Transcription on CTCF Organization Revealed by Super-resolution Imaging.

Molecular cell, 80(4):699-711.e7.

CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin play critical roles in organizing mammalian genomes into topologically associating domains (TADs). Here, by combining genetic engineering with quantitative super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, we demonstrate that in living cells, CTCF forms clusters typically containing 2-8 molecules. A fraction of CTCF clusters, enriched for those with ≥3 molecules, are coupled with cohesin complexes with a characteristic physical distance suggestive of a defined molecular interaction. Acute degradation of the cohesin unloader WAPL or transcriptional inhibition (TI) result in increased CTCF clustering. Furthermore, the effect of TI on CTCF clusters is alleviated by the acute loss of the cohesin subunit SMC3. Our study provides quantitative characterization of CTCF clusters in living cells, uncovers the opposing effects of cohesin and transcription on CTCF clustering, and highlights the power of quantitative super-resolution microscopy as a tool to bridge the gap between biochemical and genomic methodologies in chromatin research.

RevDate: 2020-10-22

Tinker RJ, Burghel GJ, Garg S, et al (2020)

Haploinsufficiency of ATP6V0C possibly underlies 16p13.3 deletions that cause microcephaly, seizures, and neurodevelopmental disorder.

We recently contributed to the description of eight individuals with a novel condition caused by 16p13.3 microdeletions encompassing TBC1D24, ATP6V0C, and PDPK1 and resulting in epilepsy, microcephaly and neurodevelopmental problems. The phenotypic spectrum, the minimum overlapping region and the underlying disease mechanism for this disorder remain to be clarified. Here we report a 3.5-year-old male, with microcephaly, autism spectrum disorder and a de novo 16p13.3 microdeletion. We performed detailed in silico analysis to show that the minimum overlapping region for the condition is ~80Kb encompassing five protein coding genes. Analysis of loss of function constraint metrics, transcript-aware evaluation of the population variants, GeVIR scores, analysis of reported pathogenic point variants, detailed review of the known functions of gene products and their animal models showed that the haploinsufficiency of ATP6V0C likely underlies the phenotype of this condition. Protein-protein interaction network, gene phenology and analysis of topologically associating domain showed that it was unlikely that the disorder has an epistatic or regulatory basis. 16p13.3 deletions encompassing ATP6V0C cause a neurodevelopmental disorder. Our results broaden the phenotypic spectrum of this disorder and clarify the likely underlying disease mechanism for the condition.

RevDate: 2020-12-29
CmpDate: 2020-12-29

Szabo Q, Donjon A, Jerković I, et al (2020)

Regulation of single-cell genome organization into TADs and chromatin nanodomains.

Nature genetics, 52(11):1151-1157.

The genome folds into a hierarchy of three-dimensional structures within the nucleus. At the sub-megabase scale, chromosomes form topologically associating domains (TADs)1-4. However, how TADs fold in single cells is elusive. Here, we reveal TAD features inaccessible to cell population analysis by using super-resolution microscopy. TAD structures and physical insulation associated with their borders are variable between individual cells, yet chromatin intermingling is enriched within TADs compared to adjacent TADs in most cells. The spatial segregation of TADs is further exacerbated during cell differentiation. Favored interactions within TADs are regulated by cohesin and CTCF through distinct mechanisms: cohesin generates chromatin contacts and intermingling while CTCF prevents inter-TAD contacts. Furthermore, TADs are subdivided into discrete nanodomains, which persist in cells depleted of CTCF or cohesin, whereas disruption of nucleosome contacts alters their structural organization. Altogether, these results provide a physical basis for the folding of individual chromosomes at the nanoscale.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Huang Y, Neijts R, W de Laat (2020)

How chromosome topologies get their shape: views from proximity ligation and microscopy methods.

FEBS letters, 594(21):3439-3449.

The 3D organization of our genome is an important determinant for the transcriptional output of a gene in (patho)physiological contexts. The spatial organization of linear chromosomes within nucleus is dominantly inferred using two distinct approaches, chromosome conformation capture (3C) and DNA fluorescent in situ hybridization (DNA-FISH). While 3C and its derivatives score genomic interaction frequencies based on proximity ligation events, DNA-FISH methods measure physical distances between genomic loci. Despite these approaches probe different characteristics of chromosomal topologies, they provide a coherent picture of how chromosomes are organized in higher-order structures encompassing chromosome territories, compartments, and topologically associating domains. Yet, at the finer topological level of promoter-enhancer communication, the imaging-centered and the 3C methods give more divergent and sometimes seemingly paradoxical results. Here, we compare and contrast observations made applying visual DNA-FISH and molecular 3C approaches. We emphasize that the 3C approach, due to its inherently competitive ligation step, measures only 'relative' proximities. A 3C interaction enriched between loci, therefore does not necessarily translates into a decrease in absolute spatial distance. Hence, we advocate caution when modeling chromosome conformations.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Iwasaki Y, Ikemura T, Kurokawa K, et al (2020)

Implication of a new function of human tDNAs in chromatin organization.

Scientific reports, 10(1):17440.

Transfer RNA genes (tDNAs) are essential genes that encode tRNAs in all species. To understand new functions of tDNAs, other than that of encoding tRNAs, we used ENCODE data to examine binding characteristics of transcription factors (TFs) for all tDNA regions (489 loci) in the human genome. We divided the tDNAs into three groups based on the number of TFs that bound to them. At the two extremes were tDNAs to which many TFs bound (Group 1) and those to which no TFs bound (Group 3). Several TFs involved in chromatin remodeling such as ATF3, EP300 and TBL1XR1 bound to almost all Group 1 tDNAs. Furthermore, almost all Group 1 tDNAs included DNase I hypersensitivity sites and may thus interact with other chromatin regions through their bound TFs, and they showed highly conserved synteny across tetrapods. In contrast, Group 3 tDNAs did not possess these characteristics. These data suggest the presence of a previously uncharacterized function of these tDNAs. We also examined binding of CTCF to tDNAs and their involvement in topologically associating domains (TADs) and lamina-associated domains (LADs), which suggest a new perspective on the evolution and function of tDNAs.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Saha P, Sowpati DT, Soujanya M, et al (2020)

Interplay of pericentromeric genome organization and chromatin landscape regulates the expression of Drosophila melanogaster heterochromatic genes.

Epigenetics & chromatin, 13(1):41.

BACKGROUND: Transcription of genes residing within constitutive heterochromatin is paradoxical to the tenets of epigenetic code. The regulatory mechanisms of Drosophila melanogaster heterochromatic gene transcription remain largely unknown. Emerging evidence suggests that genome organization and transcriptional regulation are inter-linked. However, the pericentromeric genome organization is relatively less studied. Therefore, we sought to characterize the pericentromeric genome organization and understand how this organization along with the pericentromeric factors influences heterochromatic gene expression.

RESULTS: Here, we characterized the pericentromeric genome organization in Drosophila melanogaster using 5C sequencing. Heterochromatic topologically associating domains (Het TADs) correlate with distinct epigenomic domains of active and repressed heterochromatic genes at the pericentromeres. These genes are known to depend on the heterochromatic landscape for their expression. However, HP1a or Su(var)3-9 RNAi has minimal effects on heterochromatic gene expression, despite causing significant changes in the global Het TAD organization. Probing further into this observation, we report the role of two other chromatin proteins enriched at the pericentromeres-dMES-4 and dADD1 in regulating the expression of a subset of heterochromatic genes.

CONCLUSIONS: Distinct pericentromeric genome organization and chromatin landscapes maintained by the interplay of heterochromatic factors (HP1a, H3K9me3, dMES-4 and dADD1) are sufficient to support heterochromatic gene expression despite the loss of global Het TAD structure. These findings open new avenues for future investigations into the mechanisms of heterochromatic gene expression.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-09

de Bruijn SE, Fiorentino A, Ottaviani D, et al (2020)

Structural Variants Create New Topological-Associated Domains and Ectopic Retinal Enhancer-Gene Contact in Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa.

American journal of human genetics, 107(5):802-814.

The cause of autosomal-dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP), which leads to loss of vision and blindness, was investigated in families lacking a molecular diagnosis. A refined locus for adRP on Chr17q22 (RP17) was delineated through genotyping and genome sequencing, leading to the identification of structural variants (SVs) that segregate with disease. Eight different complex SVs were characterized in 22 adRP-affected families with >300 affected individuals. All RP17 SVs had breakpoints within a genomic region spanning YPEL2 to LINC01476. To investigate the mechanism of disease, we reprogrammed fibroblasts from affected individuals and controls into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and differentiated them into photoreceptor precursor cells (PPCs) or retinal organoids (ROs). Hi-C was performed on ROs, and differential expression of regional genes and a retinal enhancer RNA at this locus was assessed by qPCR. The epigenetic landscape of the region, and Hi-C RO data, showed that YPEL2 sits within its own topologically associating domain (TAD), rich in enhancers with binding sites for retinal transcription factors. The Hi-C map of RP17 ROs revealed creation of a neo-TAD with ectopic contacts between GDPD1 and retinal enhancers, and modeling of all RP17 SVs was consistent with neo-TADs leading to ectopic retinal-specific enhancer-GDPD1 accessibility. qPCR confirmed increased expression of GDPD1 and increased expression of the retinal enhancer that enters the neo-TAD. Altered TAD structure resulting in increased retinal expression of GDPD1 is the likely convergent mechanism of disease, consistent with a dominant gain of function. Our study highlights the importance of SVs as a genomic mechanism in unsolved Mendelian diseases.

RevDate: 2020-12-29
CmpDate: 2020-12-29

Akdemir KC, Le VT, Kim JM, et al (2020)

Somatic mutation distributions in cancer genomes vary with three-dimensional chromatin structure.

Nature genetics, 52(11):1178-1188.

Somatic mutations in driver genes may ultimately lead to the development of cancer. Understanding how somatic mutations accumulate in cancer genomes and the underlying factors that generate somatic mutations is therefore crucial for developing novel therapeutic strategies. To understand the interplay between spatial genome organization and specific mutational processes, we studied 3,000 tumor-normal-pair whole-genome datasets from 42 different human cancer types. Our analyses reveal that the change in somatic mutational load in cancer genomes is co-localized with topologically-associating-domain boundaries. Domain boundaries constitute a better proxy to track mutational load change than replication timing measurements. We show that different mutational processes lead to distinct somatic mutation distributions where certain processes generate mutations in active domains, and others generate mutations in inactive domains. Overall, the interplay between three-dimensional genome organization and active mutational processes has a substantial influence on the large-scale mutation-rate variations observed in human cancers.

RevDate: 2020-10-17

Goel VY, AS Hansen (2020)

The macro and micro of chromosome conformation capture.

Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

The 3D organization of the genome facilitates gene regulation, replication, and repair, making it a key feature of genomic function and one that remains to be properly understood. Over the past two decades, a variety of chromosome conformation capture (3C) methods have delineated genome folding from megabase-scale compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs) down to kilobase-scale enhancer-promoter interactions. Understanding the functional role of each layer of genome organization is a gateway to understanding cell state, development, and disease. Here, we discuss the evolution of 3C-based technologies for mapping 3D genome organization. We focus on genomics methods and provide a historical account of the development from 3C to Hi-C. We also discuss ChIP-based techniques that focus on 3D genome organization mediated by specific proteins, capture-based methods that focus on particular regions or regulatory elements, 3C-orthogonal methods that do not rely on restriction digestion and proximity ligation, and methods for mapping the DNA-RNA and RNA-RNA interactomes. We consider the biological discoveries that have come from these methods, examine the mechanistic contributions of CTCF, cohesin, and loop extrusion to genomic folding, and detail the 3D genome field's current understanding of nuclear architecture. Finally, we give special consideration to Micro-C as an emerging frontier in chromosome conformation capture and discuss recent Micro-C findings uncovering fine-scale chromatin organization in unprecedented detail. This article is categorized under: Gene Expression and Transcriptional Hierarchies > Regulatory Mechanisms Gene Expression and Transcriptional Hierarchies > Gene Networks and Genomics.

RevDate: 2020-11-06
CmpDate: 2020-11-06

Xie WJ, Qi Y, B Zhang (2020)

Characterizing chromatin folding coordinate and landscape with deep learning.

PLoS computational biology, 16(9):e1008262.

Genome organization is critical for setting up the spatial environment of gene transcription, and substantial progress has been made towards its high-resolution characterization. The underlying molecular mechanism for its establishment is much less understood. We applied a deep-learning approach, variational autoencoder (VAE), to analyze the fluctuation and heterogeneity of chromatin structures revealed by single-cell imaging and to identify a reaction coordinate for chromatin folding. This coordinate connects the seemingly random structures observed in individual cohesin-depleted cells as intermediate states along a folding pathway that leads to the formation of topologically associating domains (TAD). We showed that folding into wild-type-like structures remain energetically favorable in cohesin-depleted cells, potentially as a result of the phase separation between the two chromatin segments with active and repressive histone marks. The energetic stabilization, however, is not strong enough to overcome the entropic penalty, leading to the formation of only partially folded structures and the disappearance of TADs from contact maps upon averaging. Our study suggests that machine learning techniques, when combined with rigorous statistical mechanical analysis, are powerful tools for analyzing structural ensembles of chromatin.

RevDate: 2020-10-18

Chan WF, Coughlan HD, Iannarella N, et al (2020)

Identification and characterization of the long noncoding RNA Dreg1 as a novel regulator of Gata3.

Immunology and cell biology [Epub ahead of print].

The eukaryotic genome is three-dimensionally segregated into discrete globules of topologically associating domains (TADs), within which numerous cis-regulatory elements such as enhancers and promoters interact to regulate gene expression. In this study, we identify a T-cell-specific sub-TAD containing the Gata3 locus, and reveal a previously uncharacterized long noncoding RNA (Dreg1) within a distant enhancer lying approximately 280 kb downstream of Gata3. Dreg1 expression is highly correlated with that of Gata3 during early immune system development and T helper type 2 cell differentiation. Inhibition and overexpression of Dreg1 suggest that it may be involved in the establishment, but not in the maintenance of Gata3 expression. Overall, we propose that Dreg1 is a novel regulator of Gata3 and may inform therapeutic strategies in diseases such allergy and lymphoma, where Gata3 has a pathological role.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Wang YXR, Sarkar P, Ursu O, et al (2019)


The annals of applied statistics, 13(3):1511-1536.

Chromosome conformation capture experiments such as Hi-C are used to map the three-dimensional spatial organization of genomes. One specific feature of the 3D organization is known as topologically associating domains (TADs), which are densely interacting, contiguous chromatin regions playing important roles in regulating gene expression. A few algorithms have been proposed to detect TADs. In particular, the structure of Hi-C data naturally inspires application of community detection methods. However, one of the drawbacks of community detection is that most methods take exchangeability of the nodes in the network for granted; whereas the nodes in this case, that is, the positions on the chromosomes, are not exchangeable. We propose a network model for detecting TADs using Hi-C data that takes into account this nonexchangeability. in addition, our model explicitly makes use of cell-type specific CTCF binding sites as biological covariates and can be used to identify conserved TADs across multiple cell types. The model leads to a likelihood objective that can be efficiently optimized via relaxation. We also prove that when suitably initialized, this model finds the underlying TAD structure with high probability. using simulated data, we show the advantages of our method and the caveats of popular community detection methods, such as spectral clustering, in this application. Applying our method to real Hi-C data, we demonstrate the domains identified have desirable epigenetic features and compare them across different cell types.

RevDate: 2020-10-14

Mitter M, Gasser C, Takacs Z, et al (2020)

Conformation of sister chromatids in the replicated human genome.

Nature, 586(7827):139-144.

The three-dimensional organization of the genome supports regulated gene expression, recombination, DNA repair, and chromosome segregation during mitosis. Chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C)1,2 analysis has revealed a complex genomic landscape of internal chromosomal structures in vertebrate cells3-7, but the identical sequence of sister chromatids has made it difficult to determine how they topologically interact in replicated chromosomes. Here we describe sister-chromatid-sensitive Hi-C (scsHi-C), which is based on labelling of nascent DNA with 4-thio-thymidine and nucleoside conversion chemistry. Genome-wide conformation maps of human chromosomes reveal that sister-chromatid pairs interact most frequently at the boundaries of topologically associating domains (TADs). Continuous loading of a dynamic cohesin pool separates sister-chromatid pairs inside TADs and is required to focus sister-chromatid contacts at TAD boundaries. We identified a subset of TADs that are overall highly paired and are characterized by facultative heterochromatin and insulated topological domains that form separately within individual sister chromatids. The rich pattern of sister-chromatid topologies and our scsHi-C technology will make it possible to investigate how physical interactions between identical DNA molecules contribute to DNA repair, gene expression, chromosome segregation, and potentially other biological processes.

RevDate: 2020-10-22

Miron E, Oldenkamp R, Brown JM, et al (2020)

Chromatin arranges in chains of mesoscale domains with nanoscale functional topography independent of cohesin.

Science advances, 6(39):.

Three-dimensional (3D) chromatin organization plays a key role in regulating mammalian genome function; however, many of its physical features at the single-cell level remain underexplored. Here, we use live- and fixed-cell 3D super-resolution and scanning electron microscopy to analyze structural and functional nuclear organization in somatic cells. We identify chains of interlinked ~200- to 300-nm-wide chromatin domains (CDs) composed of aggregated nucleosomes that can overlap with individual topologically associating domains and are distinct from a surrounding RNA-populated interchromatin compartment. High-content mapping uncovers confinement of cohesin and active histone modifications to surfaces and enrichment of repressive modifications toward the core of CDs in both hetero- and euchromatic regions. This nanoscale functional topography is temporarily relaxed in postreplicative chromatin but remarkably persists after ablation of cohesin. Our findings establish CDs as physical and functional modules of mesoscale genome organization.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Fu AX, Lui KN, Tang CS, et al (2020)

Whole-genome analysis of noncoding genetic variations identifies multiscale regulatory element perturbations associated with Hirschsprung disease.

Genome research, 30(11):1618-1632.

It is widely recognized that noncoding genetic variants play important roles in many human diseases, but there are multiple challenges that hinder the identification of functional disease-associated noncoding variants. The number of noncoding variants can be many times that of coding variants; many of them are not functional but in linkage disequilibrium with the functional ones; different variants can have epistatic effects; different variants can affect the same genes or pathways in different individuals; and some variants are related to each other not by affecting the same gene but by affecting the binding of the same upstream regulator. To overcome these difficulties, we propose a novel analysis framework that considers convergent impacts of different genetic variants on protein binding, which provides multiscale information about disease-associated perturbations of regulatory elements, genes, and pathways. Applying it to our whole-genome sequencing data of 918 short-segment Hirschsprung disease patients and matched controls, we identify various novel genes not detected by standard single-variant and region-based tests, functionally centering on neural crest migration and development. Our framework also identifies upstream regulators whose binding is influenced by the noncoding variants. Using human neural crest cells, we confirm cell stage-specific regulatory roles of three top novel regulatory elements on our list, respectively in the RET, RASGEF1A, and PIK3C2B loci. In the PIK3C2B regulatory element, we further show that a noncoding variant found only in the patients affects the binding of the gliogenesis regulator NFIA, with a corresponding up-regulation of multiple genes in the same topologically associating domain.

RevDate: 2020-09-25

Serna-Pujol N, Salinas-Pena M, Mugianesi F, et al (2020)

TADs enriched in histone H1.2 strongly overlap with the B compartment, inaccessible chromatin, and AT-rich Giemsa bands.

The FEBS journal [Epub ahead of print].

Giemsa staining of metaphase chromosomes results in a characteristic banding useful for identification of chromosomes and its alterations. We have investigated in silico whether Giemsa bands (G bands) correlate with epigenetic and topological features of the interphase genome. Staining of G-positive bands decreases with GC content; nonetheless, G-negative bands are GC heterogeneous. High GC bands are enriched in active histone marks, RNA polymerase II, and SINEs and associate with gene richness, gene expression, and early replication. Low GC bands are enriched in repressive marks, lamina-associated domains, and LINEs. Histone H1 variants distribute heterogeneously among G bands: H1X is enriched at high GC bands and H1.2 is abundant at low GC, compacted bands. According to epigenetic features and H1 content, G bands can be organized in clusters useful to compartmentalize the genome. Indeed, we have obtained Hi-C chromosome interaction maps and compared topologically associating domains (TADs) and A/B compartments to G banding. TADs with high H1.2/H1X ratio strongly overlap with B compartment, late replicating, and inaccessible chromatin and low GC bands. We propose that GC content is a strong driver of chromatin compaction and 3D genome organization, that Giemsa staining recapitulates this organization denoted by high-throughput techniques, and that H1 variants distribute at distinct chromatin domains. DATABASES: Hi-C data on T47D breast cancer cells have been deposited in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus and are accessible through GEO Series accession number GSE147627.

RevDate: 2020-08-21

Forcato M, S Bicciato (2021)

Computational Analysis of Hi-C Data.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2157:103-125.

The chromatin organization in the 3D nuclear space is essential for genome functionality. This spatial organization encompasses different topologies at diverse scale lengths with chromosomes occupying distinct volumes and individual chromosomes folding into compartments, inside which the chromatin fiber is packed in large domains (as the topologically associating domains, TADs) and forms short-range interactions (as enhancer-promoter loops). The widespread adoption of high-throughput techniques derived from chromosome conformation capture (3C) has been instrumental in investigating the nuclear organization of chromatin. In particular, Hi-C has the potential to achieve the most comprehensive characterization of chromatin 3D structures, as in principle it can detect any pair of restriction fragments connected as a result of ligation by proximity. However, the analysis of the enormous amount of genomic data produced by Hi-C techniques requires the application of complex, multistep computational procedures that may constitute a difficult task also for expert computational biologists. In this chapter, we describe the computational analysis of Hi-C data obtained from the lymphoblastoid cell line GM12878, detailing the processing of raw data, the generation and normalization of the Hi-C contact map, the detection of TADs and chromatin interactions, and their visualization and annotation.

RevDate: 2020-08-21

Di Stefano M, Castillo D, Serra F, et al (2021)

Analysis, Modeling, and Visualization of Chromosome Conformation Capture Experiments.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2157:35-63.

Chromatin Conformation Capture techniques have unveiled several layers of chromosome organization such as the segregation in compartments, the folding in topologically associating domains (TADs), and site-specific looping interactions. The discovery of this genome hierarchical organization emerged from the computational analysis of chromatin capture data. With the increasing availability of such data, automatic pipelines for the robust comparison, grouping, and classification of multiple experiments are needed. Here we present a pipeline based on the TADbit framework that emphasizes reproducibility, automation, quality check, and statistical robustness. This comprehensive modular pipeline covers all the steps from the sequencing products to the visualization of reconstructed 3D models of the chromatin.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Nath N, Hagenau L, Weiss S, et al (2020)

Genome-Wide DNA Alterations in X-Irradiated Human Gingiva Fibroblasts.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(16):.

While ionizing radiation (IR) is a powerful tool in medical diagnostics, nuclear medicine, and radiology, it also is a serious threat to the integrity of genetic material. Mutagenic effects of IR to the human genome have long been the subject of research, yet still comparatively little is known about the genome-wide effects of IR exposure on the DNA-sequence level. In this study, we employed high throughput sequencing technologies to investigate IR-induced DNA alterations in human gingiva fibroblasts (HGF) that were acutely exposed to 0.5, 2, and 10 Gy of 240 kV X-radiation followed by repair times of 16 h or 7 days before whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Our analysis of the obtained WGS datasets revealed patterns of IR-induced variant (SNV and InDel) accumulation across the genome, within chromosomes as well as around the borders of topologically associating domains (TADs). Chromosome 19 consistently accumulated the highest SNVs and InDels events. Translocations showed variable patterns but with recurrent chromosomes of origin (e.g., Chr7 and Chr16). IR-induced InDels showed a relative increase in number relative to SNVs and a characteristic signature with respect to the frequency of triplet deletions in areas without repetitive or microhomology features. Overall experimental conditions and datasets the majority of SNVs per genome had no or little predicted functional impact with a maximum of 62, showing damaging potential. A dose-dependent effect of IR was surprisingly not apparent. We also observed a significant reduction in transition/transversion (Ti/Tv) ratios for IR-dependent SNVs, which could point to a contribution of the mismatch repair (MMR) system that strongly favors the repair of transitions over transversions, to the IR-induced DNA-damage response in human cells. Taken together, our results show the presence of distinguishable characteristic patterns of IR-induced DNA-alterations on a genome-wide level and implicate DNA-repair mechanisms in the formation of these signatures.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Zhang X, Lei F, Wang XM, et al (2020)

NULP1 Alleviates Cardiac Hypertrophy by Suppressing NFAT3 Transcriptional Activity.

Journal of the American Heart Association, 9(16):e016419.

Background The development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy involves the coordination of a series of transcription activators and repressors, while their interplay to trigger pathological gene reprogramming remains unclear. NULP1 (nuclear localized protein 1) is a member of the basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors and its biological functions in pathological cardiac hypertrophy are barely understood. Methods and Results Immunoblot and immunostaining analyses showed that NULP1 expression was consistently reduced in the failing hearts of patients and hypertrophic mouse hearts and rat cardiomyocytes. Nulp1 knockout exacerbates aortic banding-induced cardiac hypertrophy pathology, which was significantly blunted by transgenic overexpression of Nulp1. Signal pathway screening revealed the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) pathway to be dramatically suppressed by NULP1. Coimmunoprecipitation showed that NULP1 directly interacted with the topologically associating domain of NFAT3 via its C-terminal region, which was sufficient to suppress NFAT3 transcriptional activity. Inactivation of the NFAT pathway by VIVIT peptides in vivo rescued the aggravated pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy resulting from Nulp1 deficiency. Conclusions NULP1 is an endogenous suppressor of NFAT3 signaling under hypertrophic stress and thus negatively regulates the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy. Targeting overactivated NFAT by NULP1 may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of pathological cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

RevDate: 2020-10-23

Nanni L, Ceri S, C Logie (2020)

Spatial patterns of CTCF sites define the anatomy of TADs and their boundaries.

Genome biology, 21(1):197.

BACKGROUND: Topologically associating domains (TADs) are genomic regions of self-interaction. Additionally, it is known that TAD boundaries are enriched in CTCF binding sites. In turn, CTCF sites are known to be asymmetric, whereby the convergent configuration of a pair of CTCF sites leads to the formation of a chromatin loop in vivo. However, to date, it has been unclear how to reconcile TAD structure with CTCF-based chromatin loops.

RESULTS: We approach this problem by analysing CTCF binding site strengths and classifying clusters of CTCF sites along the genome on the basis of their relative orientation. Analysis of CTCF site orientation classes as a function of their spatial distribution along the human genome reveals that convergent CTCF site clusters are depleted while divergent CTCF clusters are enriched in the 5- to 100-kb range. We then analyse the distribution of CTCF binding sites as a function of TAD boundary conservation across seven primary human blood cell types. This reveals divergent CTCF site enrichment at TAD boundaries. Furthermore, convergent arrays of CTCF sites separate the left and right sections of TADs that harbour internal CTCF sites, resulting in unequal TAD 'halves'.

CONCLUSIONS: The orientation-based CTCF binding site cluster classification that we present reconciles TAD boundaries and CTCF site clusters in a mechanistically elegant fashion. This model suggests that the emergent structure of nuclear chromatin in the form of TADs relies on the obligate alternation of divergent and convergent CTCF site clusters that occur at different length scales along the genome.

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Khazeem MM, Cowell IG, Harkin LF, et al (2020)

Transcription of carbonyl reductase 1 is regulated by DNA topoisomerase II beta.

FEBS letters, 594(20):3395-3405.

DNA topoisomerase II beta (TOP2B) has a role in transcriptional regulation. Here, to further investigate transcriptional regulation by TOP2B, we used RNA-sequencing and real-time PCR to analyse the differential gene expression profiles of wild-type and two independent TOP2B-null pre-B Nalm-6 cell lines, one generated by targeted insertion and the other using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. We identified carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1) among the most significantly downregulated genes in these TOP2B-null cells. Reduced CBR1 expression was accompanied by loss of binding of the transcription factors USF2 and MAX to the CBR1 promoter. We describe possible mechanisms by which loss of TOP2B results in CBR1 downregulation. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a link between TOP2B and CBR1.

RevDate: 2020-10-23

Heurteau A, Perrois C, Depierre D, et al (2020)

Insulator-based loops mediate the spreading of H3K27me3 over distant micro-domains repressing euchromatin genes.

Genome biology, 21(1):193.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Matthews BJ, DJ Waxman (2020)

Impact of 3D genome organization, guided by cohesin and CTCF looping, on sex-biased chromatin interactions and gene expression in mouse liver.

Epigenetics & chromatin, 13(1):30.

Several thousand sex-differential distal enhancers have been identified in mouse liver; however, their links to sex-biased genes and the impact of any sex-differences in nuclear organization and chromatin interactions are unknown. To address these issues, we first characterized 1847 mouse liver genomic regions showing significant sex differential occupancy by cohesin and CTCF, two key 3D nuclear organizing factors. These sex-differential binding sites were primarily distal to sex-biased genes but rarely generated sex-differential TAD (topologically associating domain) or intra-TAD loop anchors, and were sometimes found in TADs without sex-biased genes. A substantial subset of sex-biased cohesin-non-CTCF binding sites, but not sex-biased cohesin-and-CTCF binding sites, overlapped sex-biased enhancers. Cohesin depletion reduced the expression of male-biased genes with distal, but not proximal, sex-biased enhancers by >10-fold, implicating cohesin in long-range enhancer interactions regulating sex-biased genes. Using circularized chromosome conformation capture-based sequencing (4C-seq), we showed that sex differences in distal sex-biased enhancer-promoter interactions are common. Intra-TAD loops with sex-independent cohesin-and-CTCF anchors conferred sex specificity to chromatin interactions indirectly, by insulating sex-biased enhancer-promoter contacts and by bringing sex-biased genes into closer proximity to sex-biased enhancers. Furthermore, sex-differential chromatin interactions involving sex-biased gene promoters, enhancers, and lncRNAs were associated with sex-biased binding of cohesin and/or CTCF. These studies elucidate how 3D genome organization impacts sex-biased gene expression in a non-reproductive tissue through both direct and indirect effects of cohesin and CTCF looping on distal enhancer interactions with sex-differentially expressed genes.

RevDate: 2020-12-04

Liang M, Soomro A, Tasneem S, et al (2020)

Enhancer-gene rewiring in the pathogenesis of Quebec platelet disorder.

Blood, 136(23):2679-2690.

Quebec platelet disorder (QPD) is an autosomal dominant bleeding disorder with a unique, platelet-dependent, gain-of-function defect in fibrinolysis, without systemic fibrinolysis. The hallmark feature of QPD is a >100-fold overexpression of PLAU, specifically in megakaryocytes. This overexpression leads to a >100-fold increase in platelet stores of urokinase plasminogen activator (PLAU/uPA); subsequent plasmin-mediated degradation of diverse α-granule proteins; and platelet-dependent, accelerated fibrinolysis. The causative mutation is a 78-kb tandem duplication of PLAU. How this duplication causes megakaryocyte-specific PLAU overexpression is unknown. To investigate the mechanism that causes QPD, we used epigenomic profiling, comparative genomics, and chromatin conformation capture approaches to study PLAU regulation in cultured megakaryocytes from participants with QPD and unaffected controls. QPD duplication led to ectopic interactions between PLAU and a conserved megakaryocyte enhancer found within the same topologically associating domain (TAD). Our results support a unique disease mechanism whereby the reorganization of sub-TAD genome architecture results in a dramatic, cell-type-specific blood disorder phenotype.

RevDate: 2020-10-21

Danieli A, A Papantonis (2020)

Spatial genome architecture and the emergence of malignancy.

Human molecular genetics, 29(R2):R197-R204.

Human chromosomes are large spatially and hierarchically structured entities, the integrity of which needs to be preserved throughout the lifespan of the cell and in conjunction with cell cycle progression. Preservation of chromosomal structure is important for proper deployment of cell type-specific gene expression programs. Thus, aberrations in the integrity and structure of chromosomes will predictably lead to disease, including cancer. Here, we provide an updated standpoint with respect to chromatin misfolding and the emergence of various cancer types. We discuss recent studies implicating the disruption of topologically associating domains, switching between active and inactive compartments, rewiring of promoter-enhancer interactions in malignancy as well as the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms in non-coding regions involved in long-range regulatory interactions. In light of these findings, we argue that chromosome conformation studies may now also be useful for patient diagnosis and drug target discovery.

RevDate: 2020-08-31
CmpDate: 2020-08-31

Zhang K, Wu DY, Zheng H, et al (2020)

Analysis of Genome Architecture during SCNT Reveals a Role of Cohesin in Impeding Minor ZGA.

Molecular cell, 79(2):234-250.e9.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) can reprogram a somatic nucleus to a totipotent state. However, the re-organization of 3D chromatin structure in this process remains poorly understood. Using low-input Hi-C, we revealed that, during SCNT, the transferred nucleus first enters a mitotic-like state (premature chromatin condensation). Unlike fertilized embryos, SCNT embryos show stronger topologically associating domains (TADs) at the 1-cell stage. TADs become weaker at the 2-cell stage, followed by gradual consolidation. Compartments A/B are markedly weak in 1-cell SCNT embryos and become increasingly strengthened afterward. By the 8-cell stage, somatic chromatin architecture is largely reset to embryonic patterns. Unexpectedly, we found cohesin represses minor zygotic genome activation (ZGA) genes (2-cell-specific genes) in pluripotent and differentiated cells, and pre-depleting cohesin in donor cells facilitates minor ZGA and SCNT. These data reveal multi-step reprogramming of 3D chromatin architecture during SCNT and support dual roles of cohesin in TAD formation and minor ZGA repression.

RevDate: 2020-12-22
CmpDate: 2020-10-26

Luppino JM, Park DS, Nguyen SC, et al (2020)

Cohesin promotes stochastic domain intermingling to ensure proper regulation of boundary-proximal genes.

Nature genetics, 52(8):840-848.

The human genome can be segmented into topologically associating domains (TADs), which have been proposed to spatially sequester genes and regulatory elements through chromatin looping. Interactions between TADs have also been suggested, presumably because of variable boundary positions across individual cells. However, the nature, extent and consequence of these dynamic boundaries remain unclear. Here, we combine high-resolution imaging with Oligopaint technology to quantify the interaction frequencies across both weak and strong boundaries. We find that chromatin intermingling across population-defined boundaries is widespread but that the extent of permissibility is locus-specific. Cohesin depletion, which abolishes domain formation at the population level, does not induce ectopic interactions but instead reduces interactions across all boundaries tested. In contrast, WAPL or CTCF depletion increases inter-domain contacts in a cohesin-dependent manner. Reduced chromatin intermingling due to cohesin loss affects the topology and transcriptional bursting frequencies of genes near boundaries. We propose that cohesin occasionally bypasses boundaries to promote incorporation of boundary-proximal genes into neighboring domains.

RevDate: 2020-10-06

Chen SL, Hu F, Wang DW, et al (2020)

Prognosis and regulation of an adenylyl cyclase network in acute myeloid leukemia.

Aging, 12(12):11864-11877.

We explored the roles of adenylyl cyclases (ADCYs) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Expression ADCYs in AML and their effect on prognosis was analyzed using data from Oncomine, GEPIA and cBioPortal databases. Frequently altered neighbor genes (FANGs) of ADCYs were detected using the 3D Genome Browser, after which the functions of these FANGs were predicted using Metascape tools. Cell viability and apoptosis were assessed using CCK-8 and Annexin V-FITC/PI kits. Expression levels of ADCYs were higher in AML cells lines and in bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells from AML patients than in control cells, and were predictive of a poor prognosis. A total of 58 ADCY FANGs were identified from the topologically associating domains on the basis of the Hi-C data. Functional analysis of these FANGs revealed abnormal activation of the MAPK signaling pathway. Drug sensitivity tests showed that fasudil plus trametinib or sapanisertib had a synergistic effect suppressing AML cell viability and increasing apoptosis. These findings suggest that dysregulation of ADCY expression leads to altered signaling in the MAPK pathway in AML and that the ADCY expression profile may be predictive of prognosis in AML patients.

RevDate: 2020-08-20

Maharjan M, McKowen JK, CM Hart (2020)

Overlapping but Distinct Sequences Play Roles in the Insulator and Promoter Activities of the Drosophila BEAF-Dependent scs' Insulator.

Genetics, 215(4):1003-1012.

Chromatin domain insulators are thought to help partition the genome into genetic units called topologically associating domains (TADs). In Drosophila, TADs are often separated by inter-TAD regions containing active housekeeping genes and associated insulator binding proteins. This raises the question of whether insulator binding proteins are involved primarily in chromosomal TAD architecture or gene activation, or if these two activities are linked. The Boundary Element-Associated Factor of 32 kDa (BEAF-32, or BEAF for short) is usually found in inter-TADs. BEAF was discovered based on binding to the scs' insulator, and is important for the insulator activity of scs' and other BEAF binding sites. There are divergent promoters in scs' with a BEAF binding site by each. Here, we dissect the scs' insulator to identify DNA sequences important for insulator and promoter activity, focusing on the half of scs' with a high affinity BEAF binding site. We find that the BEAF binding site is important for both insulator and promoter activity, as is another sequence we refer to as LS4. Aside from that, different sequences play roles in insulator and promoter activity. So while there is overlap and BEAF is important for both, insulator and promoter activity can be separated.

RevDate: 2020-09-30
CmpDate: 2020-09-30

Stik G, Vidal E, Barrero M, et al (2020)

CTCF is dispensable for immune cell transdifferentiation but facilitates an acute inflammatory response.

Nature genetics, 52(7):655-661.

Three-dimensional organization of the genome is important for transcriptional regulation1-7. In mammals, CTCF and the cohesin complex create submegabase structures with elevated internal chromatin contact frequencies, called topologically associating domains (TADs)8-12. Although TADs can contribute to transcriptional regulation, ablation of TAD organization by disrupting CTCF or the cohesin complex causes modest gene expression changes13-16. In contrast, CTCF is required for cell cycle regulation17, embryonic development and formation of various adult cell types18. To uncouple the role of CTCF in cell-state transitions and cell proliferation, we studied the effect of CTCF depletion during the conversion of human leukemic B cells into macrophages with minimal cell division. CTCF depletion disrupts TAD organization but not cell transdifferentiation. In contrast, CTCF depletion in induced macrophages impairs the full-blown upregulation of inflammatory genes after exposure to endotoxin. Our results demonstrate that CTCF-dependent genome topology is not strictly required for a functional cell-fate conversion but facilitates a rapid and efficient response to an external stimulus.

RevDate: 2020-11-08
CmpDate: 2020-11-06

Kang H, Shokhirev MN, Xu Z, et al (2020)

Dynamic regulation of histone modifications and long-range chromosomal interactions during postmitotic transcriptional reactivation.

Genes & development, 34(13-14):913-930.

During mitosis, transcription of genomic DNA is dramatically reduced, before it is reactivated during nuclear reformation in anaphase/telophase. Many aspects of the underlying principles that mediate transcriptional memory and reactivation in the daughter cells remain unclear. Here, we used ChIP-seq on synchronized cells at different stages after mitosis to generate genome-wide maps of histone modifications. Combined with EU-RNA-seq and Hi-C analyses, we found that during prometaphase, promoters, enhancers, and insulators retain H3K4me3 and H3K4me1, while losing H3K27ac. Enhancers globally retaining mitotic H3K4me1 or locally retaining mitotic H3K27ac are associated with cell type-specific genes and their transcription factors for rapid transcriptional activation. As cells exit mitosis, promoters regain H3K27ac, which correlates with transcriptional reactivation. Insulators also gain H3K27ac and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) in anaphase/telophase. This increase of H3K27ac in anaphase/telophase is required for posttranscriptional activation and may play a role in the establishment of topologically associating domains (TADs). Together, our results suggest that the genome is reorganized in a sequential order, in which histone methylations occur first in prometaphase, histone acetylation, and CTCF in anaphase/telophase, transcription in cytokinesis, and long-range chromatin interactions in early G1. We thus provide insights into the histone modification landscape that allows faithful reestablishment of the transcriptional program and TADs during cell division.

RevDate: 2020-10-05

Papanicolaou N, A Bonetti (2020)

The New Frontier of Functional Genomics: From Chromatin Architecture and Noncoding RNAs to Therapeutic Targets.

SLAS discovery : advancing life sciences R & D, 25(6):568-580.

Common diseases are complex, multifactorial disorders whose pathogenesis is influenced by the interplay of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have interrogated genetic polymorphisms across genomes of individuals to test associations between genotype and susceptibility to specific disorders, providing insights into the genetic architecture of several complex disorders. However, genetic variants associated with the susceptibility to common diseases are often located in noncoding regions of the genome, such as tissue-specific enhancers or long noncoding RNAs, suggesting that regulatory elements might play a relevant role in human diseases. Enhancers are cis-regulatory genomic sequences that act in concert with promoters to regulate gene expression in a precise spatiotemporal manner. They can be located at a considerable distance from their cognate target promoters, increasing the difficulty of their identification. Genomes are organized in domains of chromatin folding, namely topologically associating domains (TADs). Identification of enhancer-promoter interactions within TADs has revealed principles of cell-type specificity across several organisms and tissues. The vast majority of mammalian genomes are pervasively transcribed, accounting for a previously unappreciated complexity of the noncoding RNA fraction. Particularly, long noncoding RNAs have emerged as key players for the establishment of chromatin architecture and regulation of gene expression. In this perspective, we describe the new advances in the fields of transcriptomics and genome organization, focusing on the role of noncoding genomic variants in the predisposition of common diseases. Finally, we propose a new framework for the identification of the next generation of pharmacological targets for common human diseases.

RevDate: 2020-08-17
CmpDate: 2020-08-17

Oudelaar AM, Beagrie RA, Gosden M, et al (2020)

Dynamics of the 4D genome during in vivo lineage specification and differentiation.

Nature communications, 11(1):2722 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-16598-7.

Mammalian gene expression patterns are controlled by regulatory elements, which interact within topologically associating domains (TADs). The relationship between activation of regulatory elements, formation of structural chromatin interactions and gene expression during development is unclear. Here, we present Tiled-C, a low-input chromosome conformation capture (3C) technique. We use this approach to study chromatin architecture at high spatial and temporal resolution through in vivo mouse erythroid differentiation. Integrated analysis of chromatin accessibility and single-cell expression data shows that regulatory elements gradually become accessible within pre-existing TADs during early differentiation. This is followed by structural re-organization within the TAD and formation of specific contacts between enhancers and promoters. Our high-resolution data show that these enhancer-promoter interactions are not established prior to gene expression, but formed gradually during differentiation, concomitant with progressive upregulation of gene activity. Together, these results provide new insight into the close, interdependent relationship between chromatin architecture and gene regulation during development.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Sparks TM, Harabula I, A Pombo (2020)

Evolving methodologies and concepts in 4D nucleome research.

Current opinion in cell biology, 64:105-111.

The genome requires tight regulation in space and time to maintain viable cell functions. Advances in our understanding of the 3D genome show a complex hierarchical network of structures, involving compartments, membraneless bodies, topologically associating domains, lamina associated domains, protein- or RNA-mediated loops, enhancer-promoter contacts, and accessible chromatin regions, with chromatin state regulation through epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms. Further technology developments are poised to increase genomic resolution, dissect single-cell behaviors, including in vivo dynamics of genome folding, and provide mechanistic perspectives that identify further 3D genome players by integrating multiomics information. We highlight recent key developments in 4D nucleome methodologies and give a perspective on their future directions.

RevDate: 2020-12-07
CmpDate: 2020-10-08

Melo US, Schöpflin R, Acuna-Hidalgo R, et al (2020)

Hi-C Identifies Complex Genomic Rearrangements and TAD-Shuffling in Developmental Diseases.

American journal of human genetics, 106(6):872-884.

Genome-wide analysis methods, such as array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS), have greatly advanced the identification of structural variants (SVs) in the human genome. However, even with standard high-throughput sequencing techniques, complex rearrangements with multiple breakpoints are often difficult to resolve, and predicting their effects on gene expression and phenotype remains a challenge. Here, we address these problems by using high-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) generated from cultured cells of nine individuals with developmental disorders (DDs). Three individuals had previously been identified as harboring duplications at the SOX9 locus and six had been identified with translocations. Hi-C resolved the positions of the duplications and was instructive in interpreting their distinct pathogenic effects, including the formation of new topologically associating domains (neo-TADs). Hi-C was very sensitive in detecting translocations, and it revealed previously unrecognized complex rearrangements at the breakpoints. In several cases, we observed the formation of fused-TADs promoting ectopic enhancer-promoter interactions that were likely to be involved in the disease pathology. In summary, we show that Hi-C is a sensible method for the detection of complex SVs in a clinical setting. The results help interpret the possible pathogenic effects of the SVs in individuals with DDs.

RevDate: 2020-12-03

Lazar JE, Stehling-Sun S, Nandakumar V, et al (2020)

Global Regulatory DNA Potentiation by SMARCA4 Propagates to Selective Gene Expression Programs via Domain-Level Remodeling.

Cell reports, 31(8):107676.

The human genome encodes millions of regulatory elements, of which only a small fraction are active within a given cell type. Little is known about the global impact of chromatin remodelers on regulatory DNA landscapes and how this translates to gene expression. We use precision genome engineering to reawaken homozygously inactivated SMARCA4, a central ATPase of the human SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, in lung adenocarcinoma cells. Here, we combine DNase I hypersensitivity, histone modification, and transcriptional profiling to show that SMARCA4 dramatically increases both the number and magnitude of accessible chromatin sites genome-wide, chiefly by unmasking sites of low regulatory factor occupancy. By contrast, transcriptional changes are concentrated within well-demarcated remodeling domains wherein expression of specific genes is gated by both distal element activation and promoter chromatin configuration. Our results provide a perspective on how global chromatin remodeling activity is translated to gene expression via regulatory DNA.

RevDate: 2020-11-06
CmpDate: 2020-11-06

Boyle S, Flyamer IM, Williamson I, et al (2020)

A central role for canonical PRC1 in shaping the 3D nuclear landscape.

Genes & development, 34(13-14):931-949.

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins silence gene expression by chemically and physically modifying chromatin. A subset of PcG target loci are compacted and cluster in the nucleus; a conformation that is thought to contribute to gene silencing. However, how these interactions influence gross nuclear organization and their relationship with transcription remains poorly understood. Here we examine the role of Polycomb-repressive complex 1 (PRC1) in shaping 3D genome organization in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Using a combination of imaging and Hi-C analyses, we show that PRC1-mediated long-range interactions are independent of CTCF and can bridge sites at a megabase scale. Impairment of PRC1 enzymatic activity does not directly disrupt these interactions. We demonstrate that PcG targets coalesce in vivo, and that developmentally induced expression of one of the target loci disrupts this spatial arrangement. Finally, we show that transcriptional activation and the loss of PRC1-mediated interactions are separable events. These findings provide important insights into the function of PRC1, while highlighting the complexity of this regulatory system.

RevDate: 2020-08-12
CmpDate: 2020-08-12

Chen CH, Zheng R, Tokheim C, et al (2020)

Determinants of transcription factor regulatory range.

Nature communications, 11(1):2472 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-16106-x.

Characterization of the genomic distances over which transcription factor (TF) binding influences gene expression is important for inferring target genes from TF chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) data. Here we systematically examine the relationship between thousands of TF and histone modification ChIP-seq data sets with thousands of gene expression profiles. We develop a model for integrating these data, which reveals two classes of TFs with distinct ranges of regulatory influence, chromatin-binding preferences, and auto-regulatory properties. We find that the regulatory range of the same TF bound within different topologically associating domains (TADs) depend on intrinsic TAD properties such as local gene density and G/C content, but also on the TAD chromatin states. Our results suggest that considering TF type, binding distance to gene locus, as well as chromatin context is important in identifying implicated TFs from GWAS SNPs.

RevDate: 2020-12-15
CmpDate: 2020-12-15

Sumiyama K, A Tanave (2020)

The regulatory landscape of the Dlx gene system in branchial arches: Shared characteristics among Dlx bigene clusters and evolution.

Development, growth & differentiation, 62(5):355-362.

The mammalian Dlx genes encode homeobox-type transcription factors and are physically organized as convergent bigene clusters. The paired Dlx genes share tissue specificity in the expression profile. Genetic regulatory mechanisms, such as intergenic enhancer sharing between paired Dlx genes, have been proposed to explain this conservation of bigene structure. All mammalian Dlx genes have expression and function in developing craniofacial structures, especially in the first and second pharyngeal arches (branchial arches). Each Dlx cluster (Dlx1/2, Dlx3/4, and Dlx5/6) has overlapping, nested expression in the branchial arches which is called the "Dlx code" and plays a key role in organizing craniofacial structure and evolution. Here we summarize cis-regulatory studies on branchial arch expression of the three Dlx bigene clusters and show some shared characteristics among the clusters, including cis-regulatory motifs, TAD (Topologically Associating Domain) boundaries, CTCF loops, and distal enhancer landscapes, together with a molecular condensate model for activation of the Dlx bigene cluster.


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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