Global Chromatin State Analysis Reveals Lineage-Specific Enhancers during the Initiation of Human T helper 1 and T helper 2 Cell Polarization.

Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, 20520 Turku, Finland. Electronic address: .
Immunity (Impact Factor: 19.75). 06/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.05.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Naive CD4(+) T cells can differentiate into specific helper and regulatory T cell lineages in order to combat infection and disease. The correct response to cytokines and a controlled balance of these populations is critical for the immune system and the avoidance of autoimmune disorders. To investigate how early cell-fate commitment is regulated, we generated the first human genome-wide maps of histone modifications that reveal enhancer elements after 72 hr of in vitro polarization toward T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) cell lineages. Our analysis indicated that even at this very early time point, cell-specific gene regulation and enhancers were at work directing lineage commitment. Further examination of lineage-specific enhancers identified transcription factors (TFs) with known and unknown T cell roles as putative drivers of lineage-specific gene expression. Lastly, an integrative analysis of immunopathogenic-associated SNPs suggests a role for distal regulatory elements in disease etiology.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The first functions of macrophages to be identified by Metchnikoff were phagocytosis and microbial killing. Although these are important features, macrophages are functionally very complex and involved in virtually all aspects of life, from immunity and host defense, to homeostasis, tissue repair and development. To accommodate for this, macrophages adopt a plethora of polarization states. Understanding their transcriptional regulation and phenotypic heterogeneity is vital because macrophages are critical in many diseases and have emerged as attractive targets for therapy. Here, we review how epigenetic mechanisms control macrophage polarization.
    Current opinion in lipidology. 10/2014; 25(5):367-373.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chromatin remodeler complexes exhibit the ability to alter nucleosome composition and positions, with seemingly divergent roles in the regulation of chromatin architecture and gene expression. The outcome is directed by subunit variation and interactions with accessory factors. Recent studies have revealed that subunits of chromatin remodelers display an unexpectedly high mutation rate and/or are inactivated in a number of cancers. Consequently, a repertoire of epigenetic processes are likely to be affected, including interactions with histone modifying factors, as well as the ability to precisely modulate nucleosome positions, DNA methylation patterns and potentially, higher-order genome structure. However, the true significance of chromatin remodeler genetic aberrations in promoting a cascade of epigenetic changes, particularly during initiation and progression of cancer, remains largely unknown.
    Epigenomics 10/2014; 6(4):397-414. · 5.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of variants associated with a risk for autoimmune and immune-related disorders (AID), our understanding of the disease mechanisms is still limited. In particular, more than 90% of the risk variants lie in non-coding regions, and almost 10% of these map to long non-coding RNA transcripts (lncRNAs). lncRNAs are known to show more cell-type specificity than protein-coding genes. We aimed to characterize lncRNAs and protein-coding genes located in loci associated with nine AIDs which have been well-defined by Immunochip analysis and by transcriptome analysis across seven populations of peripheral blood leukocytes (granulocytes, monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, B cells, memory T cells, naive CD4(+) and naive CD8(+) T cells) and four populations of cord blood-derived T-helper cells (precursor, primary, and polarized (Th1, Th2) T-helper cells). We show that lncRNAs mapping to loci shared between AID are significantly enriched in immune cell types compared to lncRNAs from the whole genome (α <0.005). We were not able to prioritize single cell types relevant for specific diseases, but we observed five different cell types enriched (α <0.005) in five AID (NK cells for inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and psoriasis; memory T and CD8(+) T cells in juvenile idiopathic arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis; Th0 and Th2 cells for inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis). Furthermore, we show that co-expression analyses of lncRNAs and protein-coding genes can predict the signaling pathways in which these AID-associated lncRNAs are involved. The observed enrichment of lncRNA transcripts in AID loci implies lncRNAs play an important role in AID etiology and suggests that lncRNA genes should be studied in more detail to interpret GWAS findings correctly. The co-expression results strongly support a model in which the lncRNA and protein-coding genes function together in the same pathways.
    Genome Medicine 10/2014; 6(10):88. · 4.94 Impact Factor


Available from
May 20, 2014