CTCF-mediated chromatin loops enclose inducible gene regulatory domains
SourceBMC Genomics, 17, 1, (2016), pp. 252
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
BACKGROUND: The CCTC-binding factor (CTCF) protein is involved in genome organization, including mediating three-dimensional chromatin interactions. Human patient lymphocytes with mutations in a single copy of the CTCF gene have reduced expression of enhancer-associated genes involved in response to stimuli. We hypothesize that CTCF interactions stabilize enhancer-promoter chromatin interaction domains, facilitating increased expression of genes in response to stimuli. Here we systematically investigate this model using computational analyses. RESULTS: We use CTCF ChIA-PET data from the ENCODE project to show that CTCF-associated chromatin loops have a tendency to enclose regions of enhancer-regulated stimulus responsive genes, insulating them from neighboring regions of constitutively expressed housekeeping genes. To facilitate cell type-specific CTCF loop identification, we develop an algorithm to predict CTCF loops from ChIP-seq data alone by exploiting the CTCF motif directionality in loop anchors. We apply this algorithm to a hundred ENCODE cell line datasets, confirming the universality of our observations as well as identifying a general distinction between primary and immortal cells in loop-enclosed gene content. Finally, we combine the existing evidence to propose a model for the formation of CTCF loops in which partner sites are brought together by chromatin template reeling through stationary RNA polymerases, consistent with the transcription factory hypothesis. CONCLUSIONS: We provide computational evidence that CTCF-mediated chromatin interactions enclose domains of stimulus responsive enhancer-regulated genes, insulating them from nearby housekeeping genes.
Upload full text