3 years ago

Epigenomics in 3D: importance of long-range spreading and specific interactions in epigenomic maintenance.

Cédric Vaillant, Daniel Jost
Recent progresses of genome-wide chromatin conformation capture techniques have shown that the genome is segmented into hierarchically organized spatial compartments. However, whether this non-random 3D organization only reflects or indeed contributes-and how-to the regulation of genome function remain to be elucidated. The observation in many species that 3D domains correlate strongly with the 1D epigenomic information along the genome suggests a dynamic coupling between chromatin organization and epigenetic regulation. Here, we posit that chromosome folding may contribute to the maintenance of a robust epigenomic identity via the formation of spatial compartments like topologically-associating domains. Using a novel theoretical framework, the living chromatin model, we show that 3D compartmentalization leads to the spatial colocalization of epigenome regulators, thus increasing their local concentration and enhancing their ability to spread an epigenomic signal at long-range. Interestingly, we find that the presence of 1D insulator elements, like CTCF, may contribute greatly to the stable maintenance of adjacent antagonistic epigenomic domains. We discuss the generic implications of our findings in the light of various biological contexts from yeast to human. Our approach provides a modular framework to improve our understanding and to investigate in details the coupling between the structure and function of chromatin.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky009

DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky009

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