Network analysis of promoter interactions reveals the hierarchical differences in genome organisation between human pluripotent states
A complex and poorly understood interplay between 3D genome organisation, transcription factors and chromatin state underpins cell identity. To gain a systems-level understanding of this interplay, we generated a high-resolution atlas of annotated chromatin interactions in naive and primed human pluripotent stem cells and developed a network graph approach to examine the atlas at multiple spatial scales. Investigating chromatin interactions as a network uncovered highly connected hubs that changed substantially in interaction frequency and in transcriptional co regulation between pluripotent states. Small hubs frequently merged to form larger networks in primed cells, often linked by newly-formed Polycomb-associated interactions. Importantly, we identified state-specific differences in enhancer activity and interactivity that corresponded with widespread reconfiguration of transcription factor binding and target gene expression. These findings provide multilayered insights into the gene regulatory control of human pluripotency and our systems-based network approach could be applied broadly to uncover new principles of 3D genome organisation.
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