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From compartments to gene loops: Functions of the 3D genome in the human brain

By Samir Rahman, Pengfei Dong, Pasha Apontes, Michael B. Fernando, Kayla G. Townsley, Kiran Girdhar, Jaroslav Bendl, Zhiping Shao, Ruth Misir, Nadia Tsankova, Steven P Kleopoulos, Kristen J. Brennand, John Fullard, Panos Roussos

Posted 14 Oct 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.12.464094

The 3D genome plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal organization of chromatin during human brain development. We investigated the 3D genome in human fetal cortical plate and in adult prefrontal cortical neurons and glia. We found that neurons have weaker compartments than glia that emerge during fetal development. Furthermore, neurons form loop domains whereas glia form compartment domains. We show through CRISPRi on CNTNAP2 that transcription is coupled to loop domain insulation. Gene regulation during neural development involves increased use of enhancer-promoter and repressor-promoter loops. Finally, transcription is associated with gene loops. Altogether, we provide novel insights into the relationship between gene expression and different scales of chromatin organization in the human brain.

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