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Super interactive promoters provide insight into cell type-specific regulatory networks in blood lineage cell types

By Taylor M Lagler, Yuchen Yang, Yuriko Harigaya, Vijay G. Sankaran, Ming Hu, Alexander P Reiner, Laura Raffield, Jia Wen, Yun Li

Posted 16 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.15.435494

Existing studies of chromatin conformation have primarily focused on potential enhancers interacting with gene promoters. By contrast, the interactivity of promoters per se, while equally critical to understanding transcriptional control, has been largely unexplored, particularly in a cell type-specific manner for blood lineage cell types. In this study, we leverage promoter capture Hi-C data across a compendium of blood lineage cell types to identify and characterize cell type-specific super-interactive promoters (SIPs). Notably, promoter-interacting regions (PIRs) of SIPs are more likely to overlap with cell type-specific ATAC-seq peaks and GWAS variants for relevant blood cell traits than PIRs of non-SIPs. Further, SIP genes tend to express at a higher level in the corresponding cell type, and show enriched heritability of relevant blood cell trait(s). Importantly, this analysis shows the potential of using promoter-centric analyses of chromatin spatial organization data to identify biologically important genes and their regulatory regions.

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