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3D Epigenomic Characterization Reveals Insights Into Gene Regulation and Lineage Specification During Corticogenesis

By Michael Song, Mark-Phillip Pebworth, Xiaoyu Yang, Armen Abnousi, Changxu Fan, Jia Wen, Jonathan D Rosen, Mayank Choudhary, Xiekui Cui, Ian R Jones, Seth Bergenholtz, Ugomma C. Eze, Ivan Juric, Bingkun Li, Lenka Maliskova, Weifang Liu, Alex A. Pollen, Yun Li, Ting Wang, Ming Hu, Arnold Kriegstein, Yin Shen

Posted 25 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.24.963652 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2825-4)

Lineage-specific epigenomic changes during human corticogenesis have previously remained elusive due to challenges with tissue heterogeneity and sample availability. Here, we analyze cis-regulatory chromatin interactions, open chromatin regions, and transcriptomes for radial glia, intermediate progenitor cells, excitatory neurons, and interneurons isolated from mid-gestational human brain samples. We show that chromatin looping underlies transcriptional regulation for lineage-specific genes, with transcription factor motifs, families of transposable elements, and disease-associated variants enriched at distal interacting regions in a cell type-specific manner. A subset of promoters exhibit unusually high degrees of chromatin interactivity, which we term super interactive promoters. Super interactive promoters are enriched for critical lineage-specific genes, suggesting that interactions at these loci contribute to the fine-tuning of cell type-specific transcription. Finally, we present CRISPRview, a novel approach for validating distal interacting regions in primary cells. Our study presents the first characterization of cell type-specific 3D epigenomic landscapes during human corticogenesis, advancing our understanding of gene regulation and lineage specification during human brain development.

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