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Mol Syst Biol. 2010 Nov 2;6:426. doi: 10.1038/msb.2010.79.

Intra- and inter-chromosomal interactions correlate with CTCF binding genome wide.

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Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.


A prime goal in systems biology is the comprehensive use of existing high-throughput genomic datasets to gain a better understanding of chromatin organization and genome function. In this report, we use chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) data that map protein-binding sites on the genome, and Hi-C data that map interactions between DNA fragments in the genome in an integrative approach. We first reanalyzed the contact map of the human genome as determined with Hi-C and found that long-range interactions are highly nonrandom; the same DNA fragments are often found interacting together. We then show using ChIP data that these interactions can be explained by the action of the CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF). These CTCF-mediated interactions are found both within chromosomes and in between different chromosomes. This makes CTCF a major organizer of both the structure of the chromosomal fiber within each individual chromosome and of the chromosome territories within the cell nucleus.

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