Chromatin accessibility dynamics across c. Elegans development and ageing

Jürgen Jänes, Yan Dong, Michael Schoof, Jacques Serizay, Alex Appert, Chiara Cerrato, Carson Woodbury, Ron Chen, Carolina Gemma, Ni Huang, Djem Kissiov, Przemyslaw Stempor, Annette Steward, Eva Zeiser, Sascha Sauer, Julie Ahringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


An essential step for understanding the transcriptional circuits that control development and physiology is the global identification and characterization of regulatory elements. Here, we present the first map of regulatory elements across the development and ageing of an animal, identifying 42,245 elements accessible in at least one Caenorhabditis elegans stage. Based on nuclear transcription profiles, we define 15,714 protein-coding promoters and 19,231 putative enhancers, and find that both types of element can drive orientation-independent transcription. Additionally, more than 1000 promoters produce transcripts antisense to protein coding genes, suggesting involvement in a widespread regulatory mechanism. We find that the accessibility of most elements changes during development and/or ageing and that patterns of accessibility change are linked to specific developmental or physiological processes. The map and characterization of regulatory elements across C. elegans life provides a platform for understanding how transcription controls development and ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere37344
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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