Chromatin signature of widespread monoallelic expression

Anwesha Nag, Virginia Savova, Ho Lim Fung, Alexander Miron, Guo Cheng Yuan, Kun Zhang, Alexander A. Gimelbrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

In mammals, numerous autosomal genes are subject to mitotically stable monoallelic expression (MAE), including genes that play critical roles in a variety of human diseases. Due to challenges posed by the clonal nature of MAE, very little is known about its regulation; in particular, no molecular features have been specifically linked to MAE. In this study, we report an approach that distinguishes MAE genes in human cells with great accuracy: a chromatin signature consisting of chromatin marks associated with active transcription (H3K36me3) and silencing (H3K27me3) simultaneously occurring in the gene body. The MAE signature is present in ~20% of ubiquitously expressed genes and over 30% of tissue-specific genes across cell types. Notably, it is enriched among key developmental genes that have bivalent chromatin structure in pluripotent cells. Our results open a new approach to the study of MAE that is independent of polymorphisms, and suggest that MAE is linked to cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01256
JournaleLife
Volume2013
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

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