staff

Andréa Willemin

  • Induction of a chromatin boundary in vivo upon insertion of a tad border. PLoS Genet 2021 Jul;17(7):e1009691. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009691. PGENETICS-D-21-00201.

    abstract

    Mammalian genomes are partitioned into sub-megabase to megabase-sized units of preferential interactions called topologically associating domains or TADs, which are likely important for the proper implementation of gene regulatory processes. These domains provide structural scaffolds for distant cis regulatory elements to interact with their target genes within the three-dimensional nuclear space and architectural proteins such as CTCF as well as the cohesin complex participate in the formation of the boundaries between them. However, the importance of the genomic context in providing a given DNA sequence the capacity to act as a boundary element remains to be fully investigated. To address this question, we randomly relocated a topological boundary functionally associated with the mouse HoxD gene cluster and show that it can indeed act similarly outside its initial genomic context. In particular, the relocated DNA segment recruited the required architectural proteins and induced a significant depletion of contacts between genomic regions located across the integration site. The host chromatin landscape was re-organized, with the splitting of the TAD wherein the boundary had integrated. These results provide evidence that topological boundaries can function independently of their site of origin, under physiological conditions during mouse development.

    view more details on Pubmed

  • Chromatin topology and the timing of enhancer function at the locus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 Nov;():. 2015083117. 10.1073/pnas.2015083117.

    abstract

    The gene cluster is critical for proper limb formation in tetrapods. In the emerging limb buds, different subgroups of genes respond first to a proximal regulatory signal, then to a distal signal that organizes digits. These two regulations are exclusive from one another and emanate from two distinct topologically associating domains (TADs) flanking , both containing a range of appropriate enhancer sequences. The telomeric TAD (T-DOM) contains several enhancers active in presumptive forearm cells and is divided into two sub-TADs separated by a CTCF-rich boundary, which defines two regulatory submodules. To understand the importance of this particular regulatory topology to control gene transcription in time and space, we either deleted or inverted this sub-TAD boundary, eliminated the CTCF binding sites, or inverted the entire T-DOM to exchange the respective positions of the two sub-TADs. The effects of such perturbations on the transcriptional regulation of genes illustrate the requirement of this regulatory topology for the precise timing of gene activation. However, the spatial distribution of transcripts was eventually resumed, showing that the presence of enhancer sequences, rather than either their exact topology or a particular chromatin architecture, is the key factor. We also show that the affinity of enhancers to find their natural target genes can overcome the presence of both a strong TAD border and an unfavorable orientation of CTCF sites.

    view more details on Pubmed

Nothing to show yet