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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (Igh) features higher-order chromosomal interactions to facilitate stage-specific assembly of the Ig molecule. Cohesin, a ring-like protein complex required for sister chromatid cohesion, shapes chromosome architecture and chromatin interactions important for transcriptional regulation and often acts together with CTCF. Cohesin is likely involved in B cell activation and Ig class switch recombination. Hence, binding profiles of cohesin in resting mature murine splenic B lymphocytes and at two stages after cell activation were elucidated by chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing. Comparative genomic analysis revealed cohesin extensively changes its binding to transcriptional control elements after 48 h of stimulation with LPS/IL-4. Cohesin was clearly underrepresented at switch regions regardless of their activation status, suggesting that switch regions need to be cohesin-poor. Specific binding changes of cohesin at B-cell specific gene loci Pax5 and Blimp-1 indicate new cohesin-dependent regulatory pathways. Together with conserved cohesin/CTCF sites at the Igh 3'RR, a prominent cohesin/CTCF binding site was revealed near the 3' end of Cα where PolII localizes to 3' enhancers. Our study shows that cohesin likely regulates B cell activation and maturation, including Ig class switching.
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e111748. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Folding of the chromosomal fibre in interphase nuclei is an important element in the regulation of gene expression. For instance, physical contacts between promoters and enhancers are a key element in cell-type-specific transcription. We know remarkably little about the principles that control chromosome folding. Here we explore the view that intrachromosomal interactions, forming a complex pattern of loops, are a key element in chromosome folding. CTCF and cohesin are two abundant looping proteins of interphase chromosomes of higher eukaryotes. To investigate the role of looping in large-scale (supra Mb) folding of human chromosomes, we knocked down the gene that codes for CTCF and the one coding for Rad21, an essential subunit of cohesin. We measured the effect on chromosome folding using systematic 3D fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Results show that chromatin becomes more compact after reducing the concentration of these two looping proteins. The molecular basis for this counter-intuitive behaviour is explored by polymer modelling usingy the Dynamic Loop model (Bohn M, Heermann DW (2010) Diffusion-driven looping provides a consistent framework for chromatin organization. PLoS ONE 5: e12218.). We show that compaction can be explained by selectively decreasing the number of short-range loops, leaving long-range looping unchanged. In support of this model prediction it has recently been shown by others that CTCF and cohesin indeed are responsible primarily for short-range looping. Our results suggest that the local and the overall changes in of chromosome structure are controlled by a delicate balance between short-range and long-range loops, allowing easy switching between, for instance, open and more compact chromatin states.
    PLoS Computational Biology 10/2014; 10(10):e1003877. · 4.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a method to obtain numerically accurate values of configurational free energies of semiflexible macromolecular systems, based on the technique of thermodynamic integration combined with normal-mode analysis of a reference system subject to harmonic constraints. Compared with previous free-energy calculations that depend on a reference state, our approach introduces two innovations, namely the use of internal coordinates to constrain the reference states and the ability to freely select these reference states. As a consequence, it is possible to explore systems that undergo substantially larger fluctuations than those considered in previous calculations, including semiflexible biopolymers having arbitrary ratios of contour length L to persistence length P. To validate the method, high accuracy is demonstrated for free energies of prime DNA knots with L/P=20 and L/P=40, corresponding to DNA lengths of 3000 and 6000 base pairs, respectively. We then apply the method to study the free-energy landscape for a model of a synaptic nucleoprotein complex containing a pair of looped domains, revealing a bifurcation in the location of optimal synapse (crossover) sites. This transition is relevant to target-site selection by DNA-binding proteins that occupy multiple DNA sites separated by large linear distances along the genome, a problem that arises naturally in gene regulation, DNA recombination, and the action of type-II topoisomerases.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 10/2014; 141(17). · 3.12 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from