[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early B cell development is characterized by large-scale Igh locus contraction prior to V(D)J recombination to facilitate a highly diverse Ig repertoire. However, an understanding of the molecular architecture that mediates locus contraction remains unclear. We have combined high-resolution chromosome conformation capture (3C) techniques with 3D DNA FISH to identify three conserved topological subdomains. Each of these topological folds encompasses a major VH gene family that become juxtaposed in pro-B cells via megabase-scale chromatin looping. The transcription factor Pax5 organizes the subdomain that spans the VHJ558 gene family. In its absence, the J558 VH genes fail to associate with the proximal VH genes, thereby providing a plausible explanation for reduced VHJ558 gene rearrangements in Pax5-deficient pro-B cells. We propose that Igh locus contraction is the cumulative effect of several independently controlled chromatin subdomains that provide the structural infrastructure to coordinate optimal antigen receptor assembly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three-dimensional genome structure plays an important role in gene regulation. Globally, chromosomes are organized into active and inactive compartments while, at the gene level, looping interactions connect promoters to regulatory elements. Topologically associating domains (TADs), typically several hundred kilobases in size, form an intermediate level of organization. Major questions include how TADs are formed and how they are related to looping interactions between genes and regulatory elements. Here we performed a focused 5C analysis of a 2.8 Mb chromosome 7 region surrounding CFTR in a panel of cell types. We find that the same TAD boundaries are present in all cell types, indicating that TADs represent a universal chromosome architecture. Furthermore, we find that these TAD boundaries are present irrespective of the expression and looping of genes located between them. In contrast, looping interactions between promoters and regulatory elements are cell-type specific and occur mostly within TADs. This is exemplified by the CFTR promoter that in different cell types interacts with distinct sets of distal cell-type-specific regulatory elements that are all located within the same TAD. Finally, we find that long-range associations between loci located in different TADs are also detected, but these display much lower interaction frequencies than looping interactions within TADs. Interestingly, interactions between TADs are also highly cell-type-specific and often involve loci clustered around TAD boundaries. These data point to key roles of invariant TAD boundaries in constraining as well as mediating cell-type-specific long-range interactions and gene regulation.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HiC-Pro is an optimized and flexible pipeline for processing Hi-C data from raw reads to normalized contact maps. HiC-Pro maps reads, detects valid ligation products, performs quality controls and generates intra- and inter-chromosomal contact maps. It includes a fast implementation of the iterative correction method and is based on a memory-efficient data format for Hi-C contact maps. In addition, HiC-Pro can use phased genotype data to build allele-specific contact maps. We applied HiC-Pro to different Hi-C datasets, demonstrating its ability to easily process large data in a reasonable time. Source code and documentation are available at http://github.com/nservant/HiC-Pro.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0831-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mating-type switching in yeast occurs through gene conversion between the MAT locus and one of two silent loci (HML or HMR) on opposite ends of the chromosome. MATa cells choose HML as template, whereas MATα cells use HMR. The recombination enhancer (RE) located on the left arm regulates this process. One long-standing hypothesis is that switching is guided by mating-type-specific and possibly RE-dependent chromosome folding. Here, we use Hi-C, 5C, and live-cell imaging to characterize the conformation of chromosome III in both mating types. We discovered a mating-type-specific conformational difference in the left arm. Deletion of a 1-kb subregion within the RE, which is not necessary during switching, abolished mating-type-dependent chromosome folding. The RE is therefore a composite element with one subregion essential for donor selection during switching and a separate region involved in modulating chromosome conformation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dosage compensation mechanisms provide a paradigm to study the contribution of chromosomal conformation toward targeting and spreading of epigenetic regulators over a specific chromosome. By using Hi-C and 4C analyses, we show that high-affinity sites (HAS), landing platforms of the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex, are enriched around topologically associating domain (TAD) boundaries on the X chromosome and harbor more long-range contacts in a sex-independent manner. Ectopically expressed roX1 and roX2 RNAs target HAS on the X chromosome in trans and, via spatial proximity, induce spreading of the MSL complex in cis, leading to increased expression of neighboring autosomal genes. We show that the MSL complex regulates nucleosome positioning at HAS, therefore acting locally rather than influencing the overall chromosomal architecture. We propose that the sex-independent, three-dimensional conformation of the X chromosome poises it for exploitation by the MSL complex, thereby facilitating spreading in males.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Higher-order chromatin structure is often perturbed in cancer and other pathological states. Although several genetic and epigenetic differences have been charted between normal and breast cancer tissues, changes in higher-order chromatin organization during tumorigenesis have not been fully explored. To probe the differences in higher-order chromatin structure between mammary epithelial and breast cancer cells, we performed Hi-C analysis on MCF-10A mammary epithelial and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines.
Our studies reveal that the small, gene-rich chromosomes chr16 through chr22 in the MCF-7 breast cancer genome display decreased interaction frequency with each other compared to the inter-chromosomal interaction frequency in the MCF-10A epithelial cells. Interestingly, this finding is associated with a higher occurrence of open compartments on chr16–22 in MCF-7 cells. Pathway analysis of the MCF-7 up-regulated genes located in altered compartment regions on chr16–22 reveals pathways related to repression of WNT signaling. There are also differences in intra-chromosomal interactions between the cell lines; telomeric and sub-telomeric regions in the MCF-10A cells display more frequent interactions than are observed in the MCF-7 cells.
We show evidence of an intricate relationship between chromosomal organization and gene expression between epithelial and breast cancer cells. Importantly, this work provides a genome-wide view of higher-order chromatin dynamics and a resource for studying higher-order chromatin interactions in two cell lines commonly used to study the progression of breast cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0768-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian interphase chromosomes interact with the nuclear lamina (NL) through hundreds of large lamina-associated domains (LADs). We report a method to map NL contacts genome-wide in single human cells. Analysis of nearly 400 maps reveals a core architecture consisting of gene-poor LADs that contact the NL with high cell-to-cell consistency, interspersed by LADs with more variable NL interactions. The variable contacts tend to be cell-type specific and are more sensitive to changes in genome ploidy than the consistent contacts. Single-cell maps indicate that NL contacts involve multivalent interactions over hundreds of kilobases. Moreover, we observe extensive intra-chromosomal coordination of NL contacts, even over tens of megabases. Such coordinated loci exhibit preferential interactions as detected by Hi-C. Finally, the consistency of NL contacts is inversely linked to gene activity in single cells and correlates positively with the heterochromatic histone modification H3K9me3. These results highlight fundamental principles of single-cell chromatin organization. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that chromosomes in a range of organisms are compartmentalized in different types of chromatin domains. In mammals, chromosomes form compartments that are composed of smaller Topologically Associating Domains (TADs). TADs are thought to represent functional domains of gene regulation but much is still unknown about the mechanisms of their formation and how they exert their regulatory effect on embedded genes. Further, similar domains have been detected in other organisms, including flies, worms, fungi and bacteria. Although in all these cases these domains appear similar as detected by 3C-based methods, their biology appears to be quite distinct with differences in the protein complexes involved in their formation and differences in their internal organization. Here we outline our current understanding of such domains in different organisms and their roles in gene regulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The three-dimensional organization of a genome plays a critical role in regulating gene expression, yet little is known about the machinery and mechanisms that determine higher-order chromosome structure. Here we perform genome-wide chromosome conformation capture analysis, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and RNA-seq to obtain comprehensive three-dimensional (3D) maps of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome and to dissect X chromosome dosage compensation, which balances gene expression between XX hermaphrodites and XO males. The dosage compensation complex (DCC), a condensin complex, binds to both hermaphrodite X chromosomes via sequence-specific recruitment elements on X (rex sites) to reduce chromosome-wide gene expression by half. Most DCC condensin subunits also act in other condensin complexes to control the compaction and resolution of all mitotic and meiotic chromosomes. By comparing chromosome structure in wild-type and DCC-defective embryos, we show that the DCC remodels hermaphrodite X chromosomes into a sex-specific spatial conformation distinct from autosomes. Dosage-compensated X chromosomes consist of self-interacting domains (∼1 Mb) resembling mammalian topologically associating domains (TADs). TADs on X chromosomes have stronger boundaries and more regular spacing than on autosomes. Many TAD boundaries on X chromosomes coincide with the highest-affinity rex sites and become diminished or lost in DCC-defective mutants, thereby converting the topology of X to a conformation resembling autosomes. rex sites engage in DCC-dependent long-range interactions, with the most frequent interactions occurring between rex sites at DCC-dependent TAD boundaries. These results imply that the DCC reshapes the topology of X chromosomes by forming new TAD boundaries and reinforcing weak boundaries through interactions between its highest-affinity binding sites. As this model predicts, deletion of an endogenous rex site at a DCC-dependent TAD boundary using CRISPR/Cas9 greatly diminished the boundary. Thus, the DCC imposes a distinct higher-order structure onto X chromosomes while regulating gene expression chromosome-wide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to mediating sister chromatid cohesion during the cell cycle, the cohesin complex associates with CTCF and with active gene regulatory elements to form long-range interactions between its binding sites. Genome-wide chromosome conformation capture had shown that cohesin's main role in interphase genome organization is in mediating interactions within architectural chromosome compartments, rather than specifying compartments per se. However, it remained unclear how cohesin-mediated interactions contribute to the regulation of gene expression. We have found that the binding of CTCF and cohesin is highly enriched at enhancers and in particular at enhancer arrays or 'super-enhancers' in mouse thymocytes. Using local and global chromosome conformation capture we demonstrate that enhancer elements associate not just in linear sequence, but also in 3-D, and that spatial enhancer clustering is facilitated by cohesin. The conditional deletion of cohesin from non-cycling thymocytes preserved enhancer position, H3K27ac, H4K4me1 and enhancer transcription, but weakened interactions between enhancers. Interestingly, ~50% of deregulated genes reside in the vicinity of enhancer elements, suggesting that cohesin regulates gene expression through spatial clustering of enhancer elements. We propose a model for cohesin-dependent gene regulation where spatial clustering of enhancer elements acts as a unified mechanism for both, enhancer-promoter 'connections' and 'insulation'.
Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic and epigenetic inheritance through mitosis is critical for dividing cells to maintain their state. This process occurs in the context of large-scale re-organization of chromosome conformation during prophase leading to the formation of mitotic chromosomes, and during the reformation of the interphase nucleus during telophase and early G1. This review highlights how recent studies over the last 5 years employing chromosome conformation capture combined with classical models of chromosome organization based on decades of microscopic observations, are providing new insights into the three-dimensional organization of chromatin inside the interphase nucleus and within mitotic chromosomes. One striking observation is that interphase genome organization displays cell type-specific features that are related to cell type-specific gene expression, whereas mitotic chromosome folding appears universal and tissue invariant. This raises the question of whether or not there is a need for an epigenetic memory for genome folding. Herein, the two different folding states of mammalian genomes are reviewed and then models are discussed wherein instructions for cell type-specific genome folding are locally encoded in the linear genome and transmitted through mitosis, e.g., as open chromatin sites with or without continuous binding of transcription factors. In the next cell cycle these instructions are used to re-assemble protein complexes on regulatory elements which then drive three-dimensional folding of the genome from the bottom up through local action and self-assembly into higher order levels of cell type-specific organization. In this model, no explicit epigenetic memory for cell type-specific chromosome folding is required.
Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Epigenetics & Chromatin