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ATF3 drives senescence by reconstructing accessible chromatin profiles

By Chao Zhang, Xuebin Zhang, Yiting Guan, Xiaoke Huang, Lijun Zhang, Xiao-Li Tian, Wei Tao

Posted 13 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.13.249458

Chromatin architecture and gene expression profile undergo tremendous reestablishment during senescence. However, the regulatory mechanism between chromatin reconstruction and gene expression in senescence remain elusive. The chromatin accessibility is an excellent perspective to reveal the latent regulatory elements. Thus, we depicted the landscapes of chromatin accessibility and gene expression during HUVECs senescence. We found that chromatin accessibilities are re-distributed during senescence. The senescence related increased accessible regions (IARs) and the decreased accessible regions (DARs) are mainly distributed in distal intergenic regions. The DARs are correlated with the function declines caused by senescence, whereas the IARs are involved in the regulation for senescence program. Moreover, the heterochromatin contributes most of IARs in senescent cells. We identified that the AP-1 transcription factors, especially ATF3 is responsible for driving chromatin accessibility reconstruction in IARs. In particular, DNA methylation is negatively correlated with chromatin accessibility during senescence. AP-1 motifs with low DNA methylation may improve their binding affinity in IARs and further opens the chromatin nearby. Our results described a dynamic landscape of chromatin accessibility whose remodeling contributes to the senescence program. And we identified a cellular senescence regulator, AP-1, which promotes senescence through organizing the accessibility profile in IARs. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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