Cell type specificity of chromatin organization mediated by CTCF and cohesin.

Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/2010; 107(8):3651-6. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912087107
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT CTCF sites are abundant in the genomes of diverse species but their function is enigmatic. We used chromosome conformation capture to determine long-range interactions among CTCF/cohesin sites over 2 Mb on human chromosome 11 encompassing the beta-globin locus and flanking olfactory receptor genes. Although CTCF occupies these sites in both erythroid K562 cells and fibroblast 293T cells, the long-range interaction frequencies among the sites are highly cell type specific, revealing a more densely clustered organization in the absence of globin gene activity. Both CTCF and cohesins are required for the cell-type-specific chromatin conformation. Furthermore, loss of the organizational loops in K562 cells through reduction of CTCF with shRNA results in acquisition of repressive histone marks in the globin locus and reduces globin gene expression whereas silent flanking olfactory receptor genes are unaffected. These results support a genome-wide role for CTCF/cohesin sites through loop formation that both influences transcription and contributes to cell-type-specific chromatin organization and function.

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