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Tn5 transposase-based epigenomic profiling methods are prone to open chromatin bias

By Meng Wang, Yi Zhang

Posted 10 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.09.451758

Epigenetic studies of rare biological samples like mammalian oocytes and preimplantation embryos require low input or even single cell epigenomic profiling methods. To reduce sample loss and avoid inefficient immunoprecipitation, several chromatin immuno-cleavage-based methods using Tn5 transposase fused with Protein A/G have been developed to profile histone modifications and transcription factor bindings using small number of cells. The Tn5 transposase-based epigenomic profiling methods are featured with simple library construction steps in the same tube, by taking advantage of Tn5 transposase's capability of simultaneous DNA fragmentation and adaptor ligation. However, the Tn5 transposase prefers to cut open chromatin regions. Our comparative analysis shows that Tn5 transposase-based profiling methods are prone to open chromatin bias. The high false positive signals due to biased cleavage in open chromatin could cause misinterpretation of signal distributions and dynamics. Rigorous validation is needed when employing and interpreting results from Tn5 transposase-based epigenomic profiling methods.

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