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Nat Methods. 2013 Feb;10(2):171-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2332. Epub 2013 Jan 13.

Detection of histone modifications at specific gene loci in single cells in histological sections.

Author information

1
Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Abstract

Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays have contributed greatly to our understanding of the role of histone modifications in gene regulation. However, they do not permit analysis with single-cell resolution, thus confounding analyses of heterogeneous cell populations. Here we present a method that permits visualization of histone modifications of single genomic loci with single-cell resolution in formaldehyde-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections based on combined use of in situ hybridization and proximity ligation assays. We show that dimethylation of lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4me2) at the MYH11 locus is restricted to the smooth muscle cell (SMC) lineage in human and mouse tissue sections and that the mark persists even in phenotypically modulated SMC in atherosclerotic lesions that show no detectable expression of SMC marker genes. This methodology has promise for broad applications in the study of epigenetic mechanisms in complex multicellular tissues in development and disease.

PMID:
23314172
PMCID:
PMC3560316
DOI:
10.1038/nmeth.2332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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