Nucleosome positions alone can be used to predict domains in yeast chromosomes

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We use molecular dynamics simulations based on publicly available micrococcal nuclease sequencing data for nucleosome positions to predict the 3D structure of chromatin in the yeast genome. Our main aim is to shed light on the mechanism underlying the formation of chromosomal interaction domains, chromosome regions of around 0.5 to 10 kbp which show enriched self-interactions, which were experimentally observed in recent MicroC experiments (importantly these are at a different length scale from the 100- to 1,000-kbp–sized domains observed in higher eukaryotes). We show that the sole input of nucleosome positioning data is already sufficient to determine the patterns of chromatin interactions and domain boundaries seen experimentally to a high degree of accuracy. Since the nucleosome spacing so strongly affects the larger-scale domain structure, we next examine the genome-wide linker-length distribution in more detail, finding that it is highly irregular and varies in different genomic regions such as gene bodies, promoters, and active and inactive genes. Finally we use our simple simulation model to characterize in more detail how irregular nucleosome spacing may affect local chromatin structure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019


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