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H3k27ac-HiChIP in prostate cell lines identifies risk genes for prostate cancer susceptibility

By Claudia Giambartolomei, Ji-Heui Seo, Tommer Schwarz, Malika K Freund, Ruth Dolly Johnson, Sandor Spisak, Sylvan C Baca, Alexander Gusev, Nicholas Mancuso, Bogdan Pasaniuc, Matthew L Freedman

Posted 25 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.23.352351

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 140 prostate cancer (PrCa) risk regions which provide potential insights into causal mechanisms. Multiple lines of evidence show that a significant proportion of PrCa risk can be explained by germline causal variants that dysregulate nearby target genes in prostate-relevant tissues thus altering disease risk. The traditional approach to explore this hypothesis has been correlating GWAS variants with steady-state transcript levels, referred to as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs). In this work, we assess the utility of chromosome conformation capture (3C) coupled with immunoprecipitation (HiChIP) to identify target genes for PrCa GWAS risk loci. We find that interactome data confirms previously reported PrCa target genes identified through GWAS/eQTL overlap (e.g., MLPH). Interestingly, HiChIP identified links between PrCa GWAS variants and genes well-known to play a role in prostate cancer biology (e.g., AR) that are not detected by eQTL-based methods. We validate these findings through CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) perturbation of the variant-containing regulatory elements for NKX3-1 and AR in the LNCaP cell line. Our results demonstrate that looping data harbor additional information beyond eQTLs and expand the number of PrCa GWAS loci that can be linked to candidate susceptibility genes. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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