Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Sep 1;39(17):7371-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr476. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Enhancers in embryonic stem cells are enriched for transposable elements and genetic variations associated with cancers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.


Using an enhancer-associated epigenetic signature, we made genome-wide predictions of transcriptional enhancers in human B and T lymphocytes and embryonic stem cells (ES cells). We validated and characterized the predicted enhancers using four types of information, including overlap with other genomic marks for enhancers; association with cell-type-specific genes; enrichment of cell-type-specific transcription factor binding sites; and genetic polymorphisms in predicted enhancers. We find that enhancers from ES cells, but not B or T cells, are significantly enriched for DNA sequences derived from transposable elements. This may be due to the generally relaxed repressive epigenetic state and increased activity of transposable elements in ES cells. We demonstrate that the wealth of new enhancer sequences discerned here provides an invaluable resource for the functional annotation of gene-distal single nucleotide polymorphisms identified through expression quantitative trait loci and genome-wide association studies analyses. Notably, we find GWAS SNPs associated with various cancers are enriched in ES cell enhancers. In comparison, GWAS SNPs associated with diseases due to immune dysregulation are enriched in B and T cell enhancers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center