Job Dekker

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (82)1310.39 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade, development and application of a set of molecular genomic approaches based on the chromosome conformation capture method (3C), combined with increasingly powerful imaging approaches, have enabled high resolution and genome-wide analysis of the spatial organization of chromosomes. The aim of this paper is to provide guidelines for analyzing and interpreting data obtained with genome-wide 3C methods such as Hi-C and 3C-seq that rely on deep sequencing to detect and quantify pairwise chromatin interactions genome-wide.
    Methods 11/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic genomes are folded into three-dimensional structures, such as self-associating topological domains, the borders of which are enriched in cohesin and CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) required for long-range interactions. How local chromatin interactions govern higher-order folding of chromatin fibres and the function of cohesin in this process remain poorly understood. Here we perform genome-wide chromatin conformation capture (Hi-C) analysis to explore the high-resolution organization of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genome, which despite its small size exhibits fundamental features found in other eukaryotes. Our analyses of wild-type and mutant strains reveal key elements of chromosome architecture and genome organization. On chromosome arms, small regions of chromatin locally interact to form 'globules'. This feature requires a function of cohesin distinct from its role in sister chromatid cohesion. Cohesin is enriched at globule boundaries and its loss causes disruption of local globule structures and global chromosome territories. By contrast, heterochromatin, which loads cohesin at specific sites including pericentromeric and subtelomeric domains, is dispensable for globule formation but nevertheless affects genome organization. We show that heterochromatin mediates chromatin fibre compaction at centromeres and promotes prominent inter-arm interactions within centromere-proximal regions, providing structural constraints crucial for proper genome organization. Loss of heterochromatin relaxes constraints on chromosomes, causing an increase in intra- and inter-chromosomal interactions. Together, our analyses uncover fundamental genome folding principles that drive higher-order chromosome organization crucial for coordinating nuclear functions.
    Nature 10/2014; · 38.60 Impact Factor
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2014; 111(33):E3366. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new level of chromosome organization, topologically associating domains (TADs), was recently uncovered by chromosome conformation capture (3C) techniques. To explore TAD structure and function, we developed a polymer model that can extract the full repertoire of chromatin conformations within TADs from population-based 3C data. This model predicts actual physical distances and to what extent chromosomal contacts vary between cells. It also identifies interactions within single TADs that stabilize boundaries between TADs and allows us to identify and genetically validate key structural elements within TADs. Combining the model's predictions with high-resolution DNA FISH and quantitative RNA FISH for TADs within the X-inactivation center (Xic), we dissect the relationship between transcription and spatial proximity to cis-regulatory elements. We demonstrate that contacts between potential regulatory elements occur in the context of fluctuating structures rather than stable loops and propose that such fluctuations may contribute to asymmetric expression in the Xic during X inactivation.
    Cell 05/2014; 157(4):950-63. · 31.96 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Investigative Dermatology 05/2014; 134(1}, Meeting Abstract = {444):S77. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the completion of the human genome sequence, attention turned to identifying and annotating its functional DNA elements. As a complement to genetic and comparative genomics approaches, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project was launched to contribute maps of RNA transcripts, transcriptional regulator binding sites, and chromatin states in many cell types. The resulting genome-wide data reveal sites of biochemical activity with high positional resolution and cell type specificity that facilitate studies of gene regulation and interpretation of noncoding variants associated with human disease. However, the biochemically active regions cover a much larger fraction of the genome than do evolutionarily conserved regions, raising the question of whether nonconserved but biochemically active regions are truly functional. Here, we review the strengths and limitations of biochemical, evolutionary, and genetic approaches for defining functional DNA segments, potential sources for the observed differences in estimated genomic coverage, and the biological implications of these discrepancies. We also analyze the relationship between signal intensity, genomic coverage, and evolutionary conservation. Our results reinforce the principle that each approach provides complementary information and that we need to use combinations of all three to elucidate genome function in human biology and disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Noam Kaplan, Job Dekker
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in DNA sequencing technology, assembly of complex genomes remains a major challenge, particularly for genomes sequenced using short reads, which yield highly fragmented assemblies. Here we show that genome-wide in vivo chromatin interaction frequency data, which are measurable with chromosome conformation capture-based experiments, can be used as genomic distance proxies to accurately position individual contigs without requiring any sequence overlap. We also use these data to construct approximate genome scaffolds de novo. Applying our approach to incomplete regions of the human genome, we predict the positions of 65 previously unplaced contigs, in agreement with alternative methods in 26/31 cases attempted in common. Our approach can theoretically bridge any gap size and should be applicable to any species for which global chromatin interaction data can be generated.
    Nature Biotechnology 11/2013; · 32.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: V(D)J joining is mediated by RAG recombinase during early B-lymphocyte development in the bone marrow (BM). Activation-induced deaminase initiates isotype switching in mature B cells of secondary lymphoid structures. Previous studies questioned the strict ontological partitioning of these processes. We show that pro-B cells undergo robust switching to a subset of immunoglobulin H (IgH) isotypes. Chromatin studies reveal that in pro-B cells, the spatial organization of the Igh locus may restrict switching to this subset of isotypes. We demonstrate that in the BM, V(D)J joining and switching are interchangeably inducible, providing an explanation for the hyper-IgE phenotype of Omenn syndrome.
    Genes & development 11/2013; 27(22):2439-44. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitotic chromosomes are among the most recognizable structures in the cell, yet for over a century their internal organization remains largely unsolved. We applied chromosome conformation capture methods, 5C and Hi-C, across the cell cycle and revealed two alternative three-dimensional folding states of the human genome. We show that the highly compartmentalized and cell-type-specific organization described previously for non-synchronous cells is restricted to interphase. In metaphase, we identify a homogenous folding state, which is locus-independent, common to all chromosomes, and consistent among cell types, suggesting a general principle of metaphase chromosome organization. Using polymer simulations, we find that metaphase Hi-C data are inconsistent with classic hierarchical models, and is instead best described by a linearly-organized longitudinally compressed array of consecutive chromatin loops.
    Science 11/2013; · 31.20 Impact Factor
  • Job Dekker, Leonid Mirny
    Nature 09/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosome conformation capture approaches have shown that interphase chromatin is partitioned into spatially segregated Mb-sized compartments and sub-Mb-sized topological domains. This compartmentalization is thought to facilitate the matching of genes and regulatory elements, but its precise function and mechanistic basis remain unknown. Cohesin controls chromosome topology to enable DNA repair and chromosome segregation in cycling cells. In addition, cohesin associates with active enhancers and promoters and with CTCF to form long-range interactions important for gene regulation. Although these findings suggest an important role for cohesin in genome organization, this role has not been assessed on a global scale. Unexpectedly, we find that architectural compartments are maintained in non-cycling mouse thymocytes after genetic depletion of cohesin in vivo. Cohesin was however required for specific long-range interactions within compartments where cohesin-regulated genes reside. Cohesin depletion diminished interactions between cohesin-bound sites, while alternative interactions between chromatin features associated with transcriptional activation and repression became more prominent, with corresponding changes in gene expression. Our findings indicate that cohesin-mediated long-range interactions facilitate discrete gene expression states within pre-existing chromosomal compartments.
    Genome Research 09/2013; · 14.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss here a series of testable hypotheses concerning the role of chromosome folding into topologically associating domains (TADs). Several lines of evidence suggest that segmental packaging of chromosomal neighborhoods may underlie features of chromatin that span large domains, such as heterochromatin blocks, association with the nuclear lamina and replication timing. By defining which DNA elements preferentially contact each other, the segmentation of chromosomes into TADs may also underlie many properties of long-range transcriptional regulation. Several observations suggest that TADs can indeed provide a structural basis to regulatory landscapes, by controlling enhancer sharing and allocation. We also discuss how TADs may shape the evolution of chromosomes, by causing maintenance of synteny over large chromosomal segments. Finally we suggest a series of experiments to challenge these ideas and provide concrete examples illustrating how they could be practically applied.
    BioEssays 07/2013; · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the topological configurations of chromatin may reveal valuable insights into how the genome and epigenome act in concert to control cell fate during development. Here, we generate high-resolution architecture maps across seven genomic loci in embryonic stem cells and neural progenitor cells. We observe a hierarchy of 3D interactions that undergo marked reorganization at the submegabase scale during differentiation. Distinct combinations of CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), Mediator, and cohesin show widespread enrichment in chromatin interactions at different length scales. CTCF/cohesin anchor long-range constitutive interactions that might form the topological basis for invariant subdomains. Conversely, Mediator/cohesin bridge short-range enhancer-promoter interactions within and between larger subdomains. Knockdown of Smc1 or Med12 in embryonic stem cells results in disruption of spatial architecture and downregulation of genes found in cohesin-mediated interactions. We conclude that cell-type-specific chromatin organization occurs at the submegabase scale and that architectural proteins shape the genome in hierarchical length scales.
    Cell 05/2013; · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: How DNA is organized in three dimensions inside the cell nucleus and how this affects the ways in which cells access, read and interpret genetic information are among the longest standing questions in cell biology. Using newly developed molecular, genomic and computational approaches based on the chromosome conformation capture technology (such as 3C, 4C, 5C and Hi-C), the spatial organization of genomes is being explored at unprecedented resolution. Interpreting the increasingly large chromatin interaction data sets is now posing novel challenges. Here we describe several types of statistical and computational approaches that have recently been developed to analyse chromatin interaction data.
    Nature Reviews Genetics 05/2013; · 41.06 Impact Factor
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    Epigenetics & Chromatin 04/2013; 6(1). · 4.19 Impact Factor
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    Epigenetics & Chromatin 04/2013; 6(1). · 4.19 Impact Factor
  • Johan H Gibcus, Job Dekker
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian genomes encode genetic information in their linear sequence, but appropriate expression of their genes requires chromosomes to fold into complex three-dimensional structures. Transcriptional control involves the establishment of physical connections among genes and regulatory elements, both along and between chromosomes. Recent technological innovations in probing the folding of chromosomes are providing new insights into the spatial organization of genomes and its role in gene regulation. It is emerging that folding of large complex chromosomes involves a hierarchy of structures, from chromatin loops that connect genes and enhancers to larger chromosomal domains and nuclear compartments. The larger these structures are along this hierarchy, the more stable they are within cells, while becoming more stochastic between cells. Here, we review the experimental and theoretical data on this hierarchy of structures and propose a key role for the recently discovered topologically associating domains.
    Molecular cell 03/2013; 49(5):773-82. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    Epigenetics & Chromatin 03/2013; 6(1). · 4.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a premature aging disease that is frequently caused by a de novo point mutation at position 1824 in LMNA. This mutation activates a cryptic splice donor site in exon 11, and leads to an in-frame deletion within the prelamin A mRNA and the production of a dominant negative lamin A protein, known as progerin. Here we show that primary HGPS skin fibroblasts experience genome-wide correlated alterations in patterns of H3K27me3 deposition, DNA-lamin A/C associations, and, at late passages, genome-wide loss of spatial compartmentalization of active and inactive chromatin domains. We further demonstrate that the H3K27me3 changes associate with gene expression alterations in HGPS cells. Our results support a model that the accumulation of progerin in the nuclear lamina leads to altered H3K27me3 marks in heterochromatin, possibly through the down-regulation of EZH2, and disrupts heterochromatin-lamina interactions. These changes may result in transcriptional misregulation and eventually trigger the global loss of spatial chromatin compartmentalization in late passage HGPS fibroblasts.
    Genome Research 11/2012; · 14.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, genome organization can be observed on many levels and at different scales. This organization is important not only to reduce chromosome length but also for the proper execution of various biological processes. High-resolution mapping of spatial chromatin structure was made possible by the development of the chromosome conformation capture (3C) technique. 3C uses chemical cross-linking followed by proximity-based ligation of fragmented DNA to capture frequently interacting chromatin segments in cell populations. Several 3C-related methods capable of higher chromosome conformation mapping throughput were reported afterwards. These techniques include the 3C-carbon copy (5C) approach, which offers the advantage of being highly quantitative and reproducible. We provide here an updated reference protocol for the production of 5C libraries analyzed by next-generation sequencing or onto microarrays. A procedure used to verify that 3C library templates bear the high quality required to produce superior 5C libraries is also described. We believe that this detailed protocol will help guide researchers in probing spatial genome organization and its role in various biological processes.
    Methods 11/2012; · 3.64 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,310.39 Total Impact Points

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Institutions

  • 2004–2014
    • University of Massachusetts Medical School
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
      Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2013
    • Institut Curie
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2012
    • University Medical Center Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • Division of Genetics
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2010
    • Netherlands Cancer Institute
      • Division of Gene Regulation
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2009
    • Stanford Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States
    • Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States