[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mouse monoclonal antibodies were raised against human recombinant CTCF expressed in Pichia pastoris. Protein for immunization was prepared as described below (FOOTNOTE). Briefly, recombinant yeasts were induced with methanol and then were washed and frozen at –80oC. Cells were homogenized in a homogenizing buffer (40mM HEPES, pH 7.6, 2mM MgCl2, 0.1mM EDTA, 100uM ZnSO4, 5% glycerol, 100mM KCl, 5mM DTT and 1M urea) with subsequent centrifugations at 16000g for 20 min and 35000g for 90 min. Supernatants were filtered and were subjected to three steps of chromatography on SP-Sepharose, Ni2+-Sepharose and heparin-Sepharose. For immunization CTCF was further purified by SDS-PAGE and the band was cut from the gel and was injected into mice directly. For the screening purposes we used protein after chromatography. Total of 9 clones were isolated and antibodies were checked in two assays – immunoblotting and EMSA supershift. The results of both assays were presented on the Supplementary Fig.1 panels A and B. Total cell extracts from Jurkat cells were loaded in duplicates and stained with antibodies (total ascites) in dilution 1:100. All 9 antibodies showed specific staining of 140kDa band corresponding to CTCF, while negative control, non-specific rabbit IgG antibody, didn’t detect specific CTCF band. Some minor bands did show up with different antibodies, which might be staining of degradation products. All 9 antibodies also alter EMSA CTCF band suggesting that all of them can recognize native protein bound to DNA. To increase the efficiency of ChIP assay we used a mixture of all 9 CTCF antibodies to perform ChIPs with CTCF. This mixture shows far superior results in terms of reproducibility then all polyclonal antibodies tested so far (Upstate Biotechnologies and Abcam).
FOOTNOTE REF.: Lobanenkov , et al. United States Patent 5,972,643 ( Filed in June 7, 1995) issued in October 26, 1999 for proprietary FULL LENGTH CTCF cDNA SEQUENCE resulted from the following first ab initio decade of CTCF-centered work carried out from 1983 to 1993 as chronologically documented in the References to follow:
1) Lobanenkov et al., "Sequence-specific DNA-binding Proteins which Interact with (G+C)-rich Sequences Flanking the Chicken c-myc Gene", Eur. J. Biochem. 159:181-188 (1986).
2) Lobanenkov et al., "CCCTC-Binding Factore (CTCF): A Novel Sequence-specific DNA Binding Protein Which Interacts with the 5'-Flanking Sequence of the Chicken c-myc Gene", Gene Reg. and AIDS, Portfolio Publishing Corp., Tx, 45-68 (1989).
3) Lobanenkov et al., "A Novel Sequence-specific DNA Binding Protein which Interacts with Three Regularly Spaced Direct Repeats of the CCTC-motif in the 5'-flanking Sequence of the Chicken c-myc Gene", Oncogene 5:1743-1753 (1990).
4) Tevosian et al., "Regulatory Protein Factor CTCF Interacts with a Segment of the Chicken c-myc Oncogene Promoter, Capable of Changing to a Noncanonical Conformation," Molecul. Biol. (Moscow) (Abst) 25:1013-1023 (1991).
5) Klenova et al., "CTCF, a Conserved Nuclear Factor Required for Optimal Transcriptional Activity of the Chicken c-myc Gene, is an 11-Zn-Finger Protein Differentially Expressed in Multiple Forms", Mol. Cell. Biol. 13:7612-7624 (1993).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pluripotency, the ability of a cell to differentiate and give rise to all embryonic lineages, defines a small number of mammalian cell types such as embryonic stem (ES) cells. While it has been generally held that pluripotency is the product of a transcriptional regulatory network that activates and maintains the expression of key stem cell genes, accumulating evidence is pointing to a critical role for epigenetic processes in establishing and safeguarding the pluripotency of ES cells, as well as maintaining the identity of differentiated cell types. In order to better understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in pluripotency, we have examined the dynamics of chromatin modifications genome-wide in human ES cells (hESCs) undergoing differentiation into a mesendodermal lineage. We found that chromatin modifications at promoters remain largely invariant during differentiation, except at a small number of promoters where a dynamic switch between acetylation and methylation at H3K27 marks the transition between activation and silencing of gene expression, suggesting a hierarchy in cell fate commitment over most differentially expressed genes. We also mapped over 50 000 potential enhancers, and observed much greater dynamics in chromatin modifications, especially H3K4me1 and H3K27ac, which correlate with expression of their potential target genes. Further analysis of these enhancers revealed potentially key transcriptional regulators of pluripotency and a chromatin signature indicative of a poised state that may confer developmental competence in hESCs. Our results provide new evidence supporting the role of chromatin modifications in defining enhancers and pluripotency.
Cell Research 08/2011; 21(10):1393-409. DOI:10.1038/cr.2011.146 · 12.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with genome tile path microarrays or deep sequencing can be used to study genome-wide epigenetic profiles and the transcription factor binding repertoire. Although well studied in a variety of cell lines, these genome-wide profiles have so far been little explored in vertebrate embryos.
Here we report on two genome tile path ChIP-chip designs for interrogating the Xenopus tropicalis genome. In particular, a whole-genome microarray design was used to identify active promoters by close proximity to histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation. A second microarray design features these experimentally derived promoter regions in addition to currently annotated 5' ends of genes. These regions truly represent promoters as shown by binding of TBP, a key transcription initiation factor.
A whole-genome and a promoter tile path microarray design was developed. Both designs can be used to study epigenetic phenomena and transcription factor binding in developing Xenopus embryos.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8820. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0008820 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenome profiling has led to the paradigm that promoters of active genes are decorated with H3K4me3 and H3K9ac marks. To explore the epigenome of Plasmodium falciparum asexual stages, we performed MS analysis of histone modifications and found a general preponderance of H3/H4 acetylation and H3K4me3. ChIP-on-chip profiling of H3, H3K4me3, H3K9me3, and H3K9ac from asynchronous parasites revealed an extensively euchromatic epigenome with heterochromatin restricted to variant surface antigen gene families (VSA) and a number of genes hitherto unlinked to VSA. Remarkably, the vast majority of the genome shows an unexpected pattern of enrichment of H3K4me3 and H3K9ac. Analysis of synchronized parasites revealed significant developmental stage specificity of the epigenome. In rings, H3K4me3 and H3K9ac are homogenous across the genes marking active and inactive genes equally, whereas in schizonts, they are enriched at the 5' end of active genes. This study reveals an unforeseen and unique plasticity in the use of the epigenetic marks and implies the presence of distinct epigenetic pathways in gene silencing/activation throughout the erythrocytic cycle.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 106(24):9655-60. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0902515106 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many genome-wide assays involve the generation of a subset (or representation) of the genome following restriction enzyme
digestion. The use of enzymes sensitive to cytosine methylation allows high-throughput analysis of this epigenetic regulatory
process. We show that the use of a dual-adapter approach allows us to generate genomic representations that includes fragments
of <200 bp in size, previously not possible when using the standard approach of using a single adapter. By expanding the representation
to smaller fragments using HpaII or MspI, we increase the representation by these isoschizomers to more than 1.32 million
loci in the human genome, representing 98.5% of CpG islands and 91.1% of refSeq promoters. This advance allows the development
of a new, high-resolution version of our HpaII-tiny fragment Enrichment by Ligation-mediated PCR (HELP) assay to study cytosine
methylation. We also show that the MspI representation generates information about copy-number variation, that the assay can
be used on as little as 10 ng of DNA and that massively parallel sequencing can be used as an alternative to microarrays to
read the output of the assay, making this a powerful discovery platform for studies of genomic and epigenomic abnormalities.
Nucleic Acids Research 05/2009; 37(12):3829-39. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkp260 · 9.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human body is composed of diverse cell types with distinct functions. Although it is known that lineage specification depends on cell-specific gene expression, which in turn is driven by promoters, enhancers, insulators and other cis-regulatory DNA sequences for each gene, the relative roles of these regulatory elements in this process are not clear. We have previously developed a chromatin-immunoprecipitation-based microarray method (ChIP-chip) to locate promoters, enhancers and insulators in the human genome. Here we use the same approach to identify these elements in multiple cell types and investigate their roles in cell-type-specific gene expression. We observed that the chromatin state at promoters and CTCF-binding at insulators is largely invariant across diverse cell types. In contrast, enhancers are marked with highly cell-type-specific histone modification patterns, strongly correlate to cell-type-specific gene expression programs on a global scale, and are functionally active in a cell-type-specific manner. Our results define over 55,000 potential transcriptional enhancers in the human genome, significantly expanding the current catalogue of human enhancers and highlighting the role of these elements in cell-type-specific gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dimethylation of histone H3 Arg2 (H3R2me2) maintains transcriptional silencing by inhibiting Set1 mediated trimethylation of H3K4. Here we demonstrate that Arg2 is also monomethylated (H3R2me1) in yeast but that its functional characteristics are distinct from H3R2me2: (i) H3R2me1 does not inhibit histone H3 Lys4 (H3K4) methylation; (ii) it is present throughout the coding region of genes; and (iii) it correlates with active transcription. Collectively, these results indicate that different H3R2 methylation states have defined roles in gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most genome-level analysis treats the two parental alleles equivalently, yet diploid genomes contain two parental genomes that are often epigenetically distinct. While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can be used to distinguish these genomes, it would be useful to develop a generalized strategy for identifying candidate genes or regions showing allele-specific differences, independent of SNPs. We have explored this problem by looking for overlapping marks in the genome related to both euchromatin (histone H3 dimethyl lysine-4 [H3K4Me2]) and heterochromatin (DNA methylation [DNAm]). "Double hits" were defined by the intersection of H3K4Me2 and DNAm. For the top 5% of marks, defined by a sliding window, imprinted gene regions were enriched for double hits 5.4-fold. When the location information of CTCF binding sites were integrated, the "triple hits" were enriched 76-fold for known imprinted genes in the regions studied. The double hits in imprinted genes were found to occur usually at the site of alternative or antisense transcripts. In addition, four of four imprinted genes tested showing double hits also showed allele-specific methylation. We suggest that overlapping euchromatin/heterochromatin marks are common and are enriched for epigenetically distinct parental chromosome regions. Furthermore, we developed a novel approach to identifying allele-specific marks that is SNP independent, by fractionating using H3K4Me2 antibodies followed by DNA methylation analysis.
Genome Research 11/2008; 18(11):1806-13. DOI:10.1101/gr.067587.108 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tissue development and function are exquisitely dependent on proper regulation of gene expression, but it remains controversial whether the genomic signals controlling this process are subject to strong selective constraint. While some studies show that highly constrained noncoding regions act to enhance transcription, other studies show that DNA segments with biochemical signatures of regulatory regions, such as occupancy by a transcription factor, are seemingly unconstrained across mammalian evolution. To test the possible correlation of selective constraint with enhancer activity, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation as an approach unbiased by either evolutionary constraint or prior knowledge of regulatory activity to identify DNA segments within a 66-Mb region of mouse chromosome 7 that are occupied by the erythroid transcription factor GATA1. DNA segments bound by GATA1 were identified by hybridization to high-density tiling arrays, validated by quantitative PCR, and tested for gene regulatory activity in erythroid cells. Whereas almost all of the occupied segments contain canonical WGATAR binding site motifs for GATA1, in only 45% of the cases is the motif deeply preserved (found at the orthologous position in placental mammals or more distant species). However, GATA1-bound segments with high enhancer activity tend to be the ones with an evolutionarily preserved WGATAR motif, and this relationship was confirmed by a loss-of-function assay. Thus, GATA1 binding sites that regulate gene expression during erythroid maturation are under strong selective constraint, while nonconstrained binding may have only a limited or indirect role in regulation.
Genome Research 10/2008; 18(12):1896-905. DOI:10.1101/gr.083089.108 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most genome-level analysis treats the two parental alleles equivalently, yet diploid genomes contain two parental genomes that are often epigenetically distinct. While SNPs can be used to distinguish these genomes, it would be useful to develop a generalized strategy for identifying candidate genes or regions showing allele-specific differences, independent of SNPs. We have explored this problem by looking for overlapping marks in the genome related to both euchromatin (histone H3 dimethyl lysine-4 [H3K4Me2]) and heterochromatin (DNA methylation [DNAm]). "Double hits" were defined by the intersection of H3K4Me2 and DNAm. For the top 5% of marks, defined by a sliding window, imprinted gene regions were enriched for double hits 5.4-fold. When the location information of CTCF binding sites were integrated, the "triple hits" were enriched 76-fold for known imprinted genes in the regions studied. The double hits in imprinted genes were found to occur usually at the site of alternative or antisense transcripts. In addition, 4 of 4 imprinted genes tested showing double hits also showed allele-specific methylation. We suggest that overlapping euchromatin/heterochromatin marks are common and are enriched for epigenetically distinct parental chromosome regions. Furthermore, we developed a novel approach to identifying allele-specific marks that is SNP-independent, by fractionating using H3K4Me2 antibodies followed by DNA methylation analysis.
Genome Research 10/2008; DOI:10.1101/gr.067587.107 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In all eukaryotes, histone variants are incorporated into a subset of nucleosomes to create functionally specialized regions of chromatin. One such variant, H2A.Z, replaces histone H2A and is required for development and viability in all animals tested to date. However, the function of H2A.Z in development remains unclear. Here, we use ChIP-chip, genetic mutation, RNAi, and immunofluorescence microscopy to interrogate the function of H2A.Z (HTZ-1) during embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans, a key model of metazoan development. We find that HTZ-1 is expressed in every cell of the developing embryo and is essential for normal development. The sites of HTZ-1 incorporation during embryogenesis reveal a genome wrought by developmental processes. HTZ-1 is incorporated upstream of 23% of C. elegans genes. While these genes tend to be required for development and occupied by RNA polymerase II, HTZ-1 incorporation does not specify a stereotypic transcription program. The data also provide evidence for unexpectedly widespread independent regulation of genes within operons during development; in 37% of operons, HTZ-1 is incorporated upstream of internally encoded genes. Fewer sites of HTZ-1 incorporation occur on the X chromosome relative to autosomes, which our data suggest is due to a paucity of developmentally important genes on X, rather than a direct function for HTZ-1 in dosage compensation. Our experiments indicate that HTZ-1 functions in establishing or maintaining an essential chromatin state at promoters regulated dynamically during C. elegans embryogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed an optimized array-based approach for customizable allele-specific gene expression (ASE) analysis. The central features of the approach are the ability to select SNPs at will for detection, and the absence of need to PCR amplify the target. A surprisingly long probe length (39-49 nt) was needed for allelic discrimination. Reconstitution experiments demonstrate linearity of ASE over a broad range. Using this approach, we have discovered at least two novel imprinted genes, NLRP2, which encodes a member of the inflammasome, and OSBPL1A, which encodes a presumed oxysterol-binding protein, were both preferentially expressed from the maternal allele. In contrast, ERAP2, which encodes an aminopeptidase, did not show preferential parent-of-origin expression, but rather, cis-acting nonimprinted differential allelic control. The approach is scalable to the whole genome and can be used for discovery of functional epigenetic modifications in patient samples.
Genome Research 06/2008; 18(5):771-9. DOI:10.1101/gr.073254.107 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most widely used method for detecting genome-wide protein-DNA interactions is chromatin immunoprecipitation on tiling microarrays, commonly known as ChIP-chip. Here, we conducted the first objective analysis of tiling array platforms, amplification procedures, and signal detection algorithms in a simulated ChIP-chip experiment. Mixtures of human genomic DNA and "spike-ins" comprised of nearly 100 human sequences at various concentrations were hybridized to four tiling array platforms by eight independent groups. Blind to the number of spike-ins, their locations, and the range of concentrations, each group made predictions of the spike-in locations. We found that microarray platform choice is not the primary determinant of overall performance. In fact, variation in performance between labs, protocols, and algorithms within the same array platform was greater than the variation in performance between array platforms. However, each array platform had unique performance characteristics that varied with tiling resolution and the number of replicates, which have implications for cost versus detection power. Long oligonucleotide arrays were slightly more sensitive at detecting very low enrichment. On all platforms, simple sequence repeats and genome redundancy tended to result in false positives. LM-PCR and WGA, the most popular sample amplification techniques, reproduced relative enrichment levels with high fidelity. Performance among signal detection algorithms was heavily dependent on array platform. The spike-in DNA samples and the data presented here provide a stable benchmark against which future ChIP platforms, protocol improvements, and analysis methods can be evaluated.
Genome Research 04/2008; 18(3):393-403. DOI:10.1101/gr.7080508 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By integrating genome-wide maps of RNA polymerase II (Polr2a) binding with gene expression data and H3ac and H3K4me3 profiles, we characterized promoters with enriched activity in mouse embryonic stem cells (mES) as well as adult brain, heart, kidney, and liver. We identified approximately 24,000 promoters across these samples, including 16,976 annotated mRNA 5' ends and 5153 additional sites validating cap-analysis of gene expression (CAGE) 5' end data. We showed that promoters with CpG islands are typically non-tissue specific, with the majority associated with Polr2a and the active chromatin modifications in nearly all the tissues examined. By contrast, the promoters without CpG islands are generally associated with Polr2a and the active chromatin marks in a tissue-dependent way. We defined 4396 tissue-specific promoters by adapting a quantitative index of tissue-specificity based on Polr2a occupancy. While there is a general correspondence between Polr2a occupancy and active chromatin modifications at the tissue-specific promoters, a subset of them appear to be persistently marked by active chromatin modifications in the absence of detectable Polr2a binding, highlighting the complexity of the functional relationship between chromatin modification and gene expression. Our results provide a resource for exploring promoter Polr2a binding and epigenetic states across pluripotent and differentiated cell types in mammals.
Genome Research 02/2008; 18(1):46-59. DOI:10.1101/gr.6654808 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecular heterogeneity of acute leukemias and other tumors constitutes a major obstacle towards understanding disease pathogenesis and developing new targeted-therapies. Aberrant gene regulation is a hallmark of cancer and plays a central role in determining tumor phenotype. We predicted that integration of different genome-wide epigenetic regulatory marks along with gene expression levels would provide greater power in capturing biological differences between leukemia subtypes. Gene expression, cytosine methylation and histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) acetylation were measured using high-density oligonucleotide microarrays in primary human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) specimens. We found that DNA methylation and H3K9 acetylation distinguished these leukemias of distinct cell lineage, as expected, but that an integrative analysis combining the information from each platform revealed hundreds of additional differentially expressed genes that were missed by gene expression arrays alone. This integrated analysis also enhanced the detection and statistical significance of biological pathways dysregulated in AML and ALL. Integrative epigenomic studies are thus feasible using clinical samples and provide superior detection of aberrant transcriptional programming than single-platform microarray studies.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(3):e1882. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0001882 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modifications on histones control important biological processes through their effects on chromatin structure. Methylation at lysine 4 on histone H3 (H3K4) is found at the 5' end of active genes and contributes to transcriptional activation by recruiting chromatin-remodelling enzymes. An adjacent arginine residue (H3R2) is also known to be asymmetrically dimethylated (H3R2me2a) in mammalian cells, but its location within genes and its function in transcription are unknown. Here we show that H3R2 is also methylated in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and by using an antibody specific for H3R2me2a in a chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip analysis we determine the distribution of this modification on the entire yeast genome. We find that H3R2me2a is enriched throughout all heterochromatic loci and inactive euchromatic genes and is present at the 3' end of moderately transcribed genes. In all cases the pattern of H3R2 methylation is mutually exclusive with the trimethyl form of H3K4 (H3K4me3). We show that methylation at H3R2 abrogates the trimethylation of H3K4 by the Set1 methyltransferase. The specific effect on H3K4me3 results from the occlusion of Spp1, a Set1 methyltransferase subunit necessary for trimethylation. Thus, the inability of Spp1 to recognize H3 methylated at R2 prevents Set1 from trimethylating H3K4. These results provide the first mechanistic insight into the function of arginine methylation on chromatin.