Regulatory DNA loops

Example work: DNA looping is vital for establishing many regulatory interactions. While CTCF is known to anchor many cohesin-mediated loops, recent work has shown that the the looped chromatin fiber appears to predominantly exist in a poorly characterized actively extruding state. To better characterize extruding chromatin loop structures, we used CTCF MNase HiChIP data to determine both CTCF binding at high resolution and 3D contact information. Here we present FactorFinder, a tool that identifies CTCF binding sites at near base-pair resolution. We leverage this substantial advance in resolution to determine that the fully extruded (CTCF-CTCF) state is rare genome-wide with locus-specific variation from ∼1-10%. We further investigate the impact of chromatin state on loop extrusion dynamics, and find that active enhancers and RNA Pol II impede cohesin extrusion, facilitating an enrichment of enhancer-promoter contacts in the partially extruded loop state. We propose a model of topological regulation whereby the transient, partially extruded states play active roles in transcription.

Cohesin-extruded DNA loops are shorter in active compared to quiescent chromatin regions. Sept et al. biorXiv 2023.