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The genome-wide, multi-layered architecture of chromosome pairing in early Drosophila embryos

By Jelena Erceg, Jumana AlHaj Abed, Anton Goloborodko, Bryan R. Lajoie, Geoffrey Fudenberg, Nezar Abdennur, Maxim Imakaev, Ruth B. McCole, Son C. Nguyen, Wren Saylor, Eric F. Joyce, T. Niroshini Senaratne, Mohammed A. Hannan, Guy Nir, Job Dekker, Leonid A. Mirny, Chao-ting Wu

Posted 17 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/443028 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12211-8)

Genome organization involves cis and trans chromosomal interactions, both implicated in gene regulation, development, and disease. Here, we focused on trans interactions in Drosophila, where homologous chromosomes are paired in somatic cells from embryogenesis through adulthood. We first addressed the long-standing question of whether pairing extends genome-wide and, to this end, developed a haplotype-resolved Hi-C approach that uses a new strategy to minimize homolog misassignment and thus robustly distinguish trans-homolog from cis contacts. This approach revealed striking genome-wide pairing in Drosophila embryos. Moreover, we discovered pairing to be surprisingly structured, with trans-homolog domains and interaction peaks, many coinciding with the positions of analogous cis features. We also found a significant correlation between pairing and the chromatin accessibility mediated by the pioneer factor Zelda. Our findings reveal a complex, highly structured organization underlying homolog pairing, first discovered more than a century ago.

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