Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Science, Duke University, Chemistry, Conc. in Biochem (2007)
Long noncoding RNAs are key regulators of chromatin states for important biological processes such as dosage compensation, imprinting, and developmental gene expression (1,2,3,4,5,6,7). The recent discovery of thousands of lncRNAs in association with specific chromatin modification complexes, such as Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) that mediates histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), suggests broad roles for numerous lncRNAs in managing chromatin states in a gene-specific fashion (8,9). While some lncRNAs are thought to work in cis on neighboring genes, other lncRNAs work in trans to regulate distantly located genes. For instance, Drosophila lncRNAs roX1 and roX2 bind numerous regions on the X chromosome of male cells, and are critical for dosage compensation (10,11). However, the exact locations of their binding sites are not known at high resolution. Similarly, human lncRNA HOTAIR can affect PRC2 occupancy on hundreds of genes genome-wide( 3,12,13), but how specificity is achieved is unclear. LncRNAs can also serve as modular scaffolds to recruit the assembly of multiple protein complexes. The classic trans-acting RNA scaffold is the TERC RNA that serves as the template and scaffold for the telomerase complex (14); HOTAIR can also serve as a scaffold for PRC2 and a H3K4 demethylase complex (13). Prior studies mapping RNA occupancy at chromatin have revealed substantial insights (15,16), but only at a single gene locus at a time. The occupancy sites of most lncRNAs are not known, and the roles of lncRNAs in chromatin regulation have been mostly inferred from the indirect effects of lncRNA perturbation. Just as chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by microarray or deep sequencing (ChIP-chip or ChIP-seq, respectively) has greatly improved our understanding of protein-DNA interactions on a genomic scale, here we illustrate a recently published strategy to map long RNA occupancy genome-wide at high resolution (17). This method, Chromatin Isolation by RNA Purification (ChIRP) (Figure 1), is based on affinity capture of target lncRNA:chromatin complex by tiling antisense-oligos, which then generates a map of genomic binding sites at a resolution of several hundred bases with high sensitivity and low background. ChIRP is applicable to many lncRNAs because the design of affinity-probes is straightforward given the RNA sequence and requires no knowledge of the RNA's structure or functional domains.
View details for DOI 10.3791/3912
View details for PubMedID 22472705
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are key regulators of chromatin state, yet the nature and sites of RNA-chromatin interaction are mostly unknown. Here we introduce Chromatin Isolation by RNA Purification (ChIRP), where tiling oligonucleotides retrieve specific lncRNAs with bound protein and DNA sequences, which are enumerated by deep sequencing. ChIRP-seq of three lncRNAs reveal that RNA occupancy sites in the genome are focal, sequence-specific, and numerous. Drosophila roX2 RNA occupies male X-linked gene bodies with increasing tendency toward the 3' end, peaking at CES sites. Human telomerase RNA TERC occupies telomeres and Wnt pathway genes. HOTAIR lncRNA preferentially occupies a GA-rich DNA motif to nucleate broad domains of Polycomb occupancy and histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation. HOTAIR occupancy occurs independently of EZH2, suggesting the order of RNA guidance of Polycomb occupancy. ChIRP-seq is generally applicable to illuminate the intersection of RNA and chromatin with newfound precision genome wide.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.08.027
View details for Web of Science ID 000297387800017
View details for PubMedID 21963238
Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog are key components of a core transcriptional regulatory network that controls the ability of embryonic stem cells to differentiate into all cell types. Here we show that Zfp281, a zinc finger transcription factor, is a key component of the network and that it is required to maintain pluripotency. Zfp281 was shown to directly activate Nanog expression by binding to a site in the promoter in very close proximity to the Oct4 and Sox2 binding sites. We present data showing that Zfp281 physically interacts with Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments identified 2,417 genes that are direct targets for regulation by Zfp281, including several transcription factors that are known regulators of pluripotency, such as Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog. Gene expression microarray analysis indicated that some Zfp281 target genes were activated, whereas others were repressed, upon knockdown of Zfp281. The identification of both activation and repression domains within Zfp281 suggests that this transcription factor plays bifunctional roles in regulating gene expression within the network. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
View details for DOI 10.1634/stemcells.2008-0443
View details for Web of Science ID 000261156500009
View details for PubMedID 18757296