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PLoS One. 2018 Nov 29;13(11):e0208054. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208054. eCollection 2018.

Agnostic detection of genomic alterations by holistic DNA structural interrogation.

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Leidos, Inc., San Diego, CA, United States of America.
Arima Genomics Inc., San Diego, CA, United States of America.


There is an established relationship between primary DNA sequence, secondary and tertiary chromatin structure, and transcriptional activity, suggesting that observed differences in one of these properties may reflect changes in the others. Here, we exploit these relationships to show that variations in DNA structure can be used to identify a wide range of genomic alterations in mammalian samples. In this proof-of-concept study we characterized and compared genome-wide histone occupancy by ChIP-Seq, DNA accessibility by ATAC-Seq, and chromosomal conformation by Hi-C for five CRISPR/Cas9-modified mammalian cell lines and their unmodified parent strains, as well as in one modified tissue sample and its parent strain. The results showed that the impact of genomic alterations on each of the levels of DNA organization varied depending on mutation type (insertion or deletion), size, and genomic location. The largest genomic alterations we identified included chromosomal rearrangements and deletions (greater than 200 Kb) in four of the modified cell lines, which can be difficult to identify by standard whole genome sequencing analysis. This multi-level DNA organizational analysis provides a sensitive approach for identifying a wide range of genomic and epigenomic perturbations that can be utilized for biomedical and biosecurity applications.

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