The Properties of Genome Conformation and Spatial Gene Interaction and Regulation Networks of Normal and Malignant Human Cell Types

University of Geneva, Switzerland
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 03/2013; 8(3):e58793. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058793

ABSTRACT The spatial conformation of a genome plays an important role in the long-range regulation of genome-wide gene expression and methylation, but has not been extensively studied due to lack of genome conformation data. The recently developed chromosome conformation capturing techniques such as the Hi-C method empowered by next generation sequencing can generate unbiased, large-scale, high-resolution chromosomal interaction (contact) data, providing an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the spatial structure of a genome and its applications in gene regulation, genomics, epigenetics, and cell biology. In this work, we conducted a comprehensive, large-scale computational analysis of this new stream of genome conformation data generated for three different human leukemia cells or cell lines by the Hi-C technique. We developed and applied a set of bioinformatics methods to reliably generate spatial chromosomal contacts from high-throughput sequencing data and to effectively use them to study the properties of the genome structures in one-dimension (1D) and two-dimension (2D). Our analysis demonstrates that Hi-C data can be effectively applied to study tissue-specific genome conformation, chromosome-chromosome interaction, chromosomal translocations, and spatial gene-gene interaction and regulation in a three-dimensional genome of primary tumor cells. Particularly, for the first time, we constructed genome-scale spatial gene-gene interaction network, transcription factor binding site (TFBS) - TFBS interaction network, and TFBS-gene interaction network from chromosomal contact information. Remarkably, all these networks possess the properties of scale-free modular networks.

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    ABSTRACT: We propose a network-based approach for surmising the spatial organization of genomes from high-throughput interaction data. Our strategy is based on methods for inferring architectural features of networks. Specifically, we employ a community detection algorithm to partition networks of genomic interactions. These community partitions represent an intuitive interpretation of genomic organization from interaction data. Furthermore, they are able to recapitulate known aspects of the spatial organization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome, such as the rosette conformation of the genome, the clustering of centromeres, as well as tRNAs, and telomeres. We also demonstrate that simple architectural features of genomic interaction networks, such as cliques, can give meaningful insight into the functional role of the spatial organization of the genome. We show that there is a correlation between inter-chromosomal clique size and replication timing, as well as cohesin enrichment. Together, our network-based approach represents an effective and intuitive framework for interpreting high-throughput genomic interaction data. Importantly, there is a great potential for this strategy, given the rich literature and extensive set of existing tools in the field of network analysis.
    PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e81972. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0081972
  • 14th Workshop on Algorithms in Bioinformatics, Wroclaw, Poland; 09/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosomes are not positioned randomly within a nucleus, but instead, they adopt preferred spatial conformations to facilitate necessary long-range gene-gene interactions and regulations. Thus, obtaining the 3D shape of chromosomes of a genome is critical for understanding how the genome folds, functions and how its genes interact and are regulated. Here, we describe a method to reconstruct preferred 3D structures of individual chromosomes of the human genome from chromosomal contact data generated by the Hi-C chromosome conformation capturing technique. A novel parameterized objective function was designed for modeling chromosome structures, which was optimized by a gradient descent method to generate chromosomal structural models that could satisfy as many intra-chromosomal contacts as possible. We applied the objective function and the corresponding optimization method to two Hi-C chromosomal data sets of both a healthy and a cancerous human B-cell to construct 3D models of individual chromosomes at resolutions of 1 MB and 200 KB, respectively. The parameters used with the method were calibrated according to an independent fluorescence in situ hybridization experimental data. The structural models generated by our method could satisfy a high percentage of contacts (pairs of loci in interaction) and non-contacts (pairs of loci not in interaction) and were compatible with the known two-compartment organization of human chromatin structures. Furthermore, structural models generated at different resolutions and from randomly permuted data sets were consistent.
    Nucleic Acids Research 01/2014; DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt1411


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May 23, 2014