Expression profiling by high throughput sequencing Genome binding/occupancy profiling by high throughput sequencing Other
Cohesin, which consists of SMC1, SMC3, Rad21 and either SA1 or SA2, topologically embraces the chromatin fibers to hold sister chromatids together and to stabilize chromatin loops. Increasing evidence indicates that these loops are the organizing principle of higher-order chromatin architecture, which in turn is critical for gene expression. To determine how cohesin contributes to the establishment of tissue-specific transcriptional programs, we compared genome-wide cohesin distribution, gene expression and chromatin architecture in cerebral cortex and pancreas from adult mice. More than one third of cohesin binding sites differ between the two tissues and these are enriched at the regulatory regions of tissue-specific genes. Cohesin colocalizes extensively with the CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF). Cohesin/CTCF sites at active enhancers and promoters contain, at least, cohesin-SA1 whereas either cohesin-SA1 or cohesin-SA2 are present at active promoters independently of CTCF. Analyses of chromatin contacts at the Protocadherin gene cluster and the Regenerating islet-derived (Reg) gene cluster, mostly expressed in brain and pancreas respectively, revealed remarkable differences in the architecture of these loci in the two tissues that correlate with the presence of cohesin. Moreover, we found decreased binding of cohesin and reduced transcription of the Reg genes in the pancreas of SA1 heterozygous mice. Given that Reg proteins are involved in the control of inflammation in pancreas, such reduction may contribute to the increased incidence of pancreatic cancer reported in these animals.
Examination of the relationship between gene expression, genome wide cohesin distribution and chromatin structure