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Mammalian transcriptional hotspots are enriched for tissue specific enhancers near cell type specific highly expressed genes and are predicted to act as transcriptional activator hubs

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    Rights statement: © 2014 Joshi; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number412
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2014

Abstract

BackgroundTranscriptional hotspots are defined as genomic regions bound by multiple factors. They have been identified recently as cell type specific enhancers regulating developmentally essential genes in many species such as worm, fly and humans. The in-depth analysis of hotspots across multiple cell types in same species still remains to be explored and can bring new biological insights.ResultsWe therefore collected 108 transcription-related factor (TF) ChIP sequencing data sets in ten murine cell types and classified the peaks in each cell type in three groups according to binding occupancy as singletons (low-occupancy), combinatorials (mid-occupancy) and hotspots (high-occupancy). The peaks in the three groups clustered largely according to the occupancy, suggesting priming of genomic loci for mid occupancy irrespective of cell type. We then characterized hotspots for diverse structural functional properties. The genes neighbouring hotspots had a small overlap with hotspot genes in other cell types and were highly enriched for cell type specific function. Hotspots were enriched for sequence motifs of key TFs in that cell type and more than 90% of hotspots were occupied by pioneering factors. Though we did not find any sequence signature in the three groups, the H3K4me1 binding profile had bimodal peaks at hotspots, distinguishing hotspots from mono-modal H3K4me1 singletons. In ES cells, differentially expressed genes after perturbation of activators were enriched for hotspot genes suggesting hotspots primarily act as transcriptional activator hubs. Finally, we proposed that ES hotspots might be under control of SetDB1 and not DNMT for silencing.ConclusionTranscriptional hotspots are enriched for tissue specific enhancers near cell type specific highly expressed genes. In ES cells, they are predicted to act as transcriptional activator hubs and might be under SetDB1 control for silencing.

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