A novel virus-inducible enhancer of the interferon-? gene with tightly linked promoter and enhancer activities.
ABSTRACT: Long-range enhancers of transcription are a key component of the genomic regulatory architecture. Recent studies have identified bi-directionally transcribed RNAs emanating from these enhancers known as eRNAs. However, it remains unclear how tightly coupled eRNA production is with enhancer activity. Through our systematic search for long-range elements that interact with the interferon-? gene, a model system for studying inducible transcription, we have identified a novel enhancer, which we have named L2 that regulates the expression of interferon-?. We have demonstrated its virus-inducible enhancer activity by analyzing epigenomic profiles, transcription factor association, nascent RNA production and activity in reporter assays. This enhancer exhibits intimately linked virus-inducible enhancer and bidirectional promoter activity that is largely dependent on a conserved Interferon Stimulated Response Element and robustly generates virus inducible eRNAs. Notably, its enhancer and promoter activities are fully retained in reporter assays even upon a complete elimination of its associated eRNA sequences. Finally, we show that L2 regulates IFNB1 expression by siRNA knockdown of eRNAs, and the deletion of L2 in a BAC transfection assay. Thus, L2 is a novel enhancer that regulates IFNB1 and whose eRNAs exert significant activity in vivo that is distinct from those activities recapitulated in the luciferase reporter assays.
Project description:Active enhancers of the human genome generate long noncoding transcripts known as enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). How dynamic transcriptional changes of eRNAs are physically and functionally linked with target gene transcription remains unclear. To investigate the dynamic functional relationships among eRNAs and target promoters, we obtained a dense time series of GRO-seq and ChIP-seq data to generate a time-resolved enhancer activity map of a cell undergoing an innate antiviral immune response. Dynamic changes in eRNA and pre-mRNA transcription activities suggest distinct regulatory roles of enhancers. Using a criterion based on proximity and transcriptional inducibility, we identified 123 highly confident pairs of virus-inducible enhancers and their target genes. These enhancers interact with their target promoters transiently and concurrently at the peak of gene activation. Accordingly, their physical disassociation from the promoters is likely involved in post-induction repression. Functional assessments further establish that these eRNAs are necessary for full induction of the target genes and that a complement of inducible eRNAs functions together to achieve full activation. Lastly, we demonstrate the potential for eRNA-targeted transcriptional reprogramming through targeted reduction of eRNAs for a clinically relevant gene, TNFSF10, resulting in a selective control of interferon-induced apoptosis.
Project description:Genomic enhancer elements regulate gene expression programs important for neuronal fate and function and are implicated in brain disease states. Enhancers undergo bidirectional transcription to generate non-coding enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). However, eRNA function remains controversial. Here, we combined Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using Sequencing (ATAC-Seq) and RNA-Seq datasets from three distinct neuronal culture systems in two activity states, enabling genome-wide enhancer identification and prediction of putative enhancer-gene pairs based on correlation of transcriptional output. Notably, stimulus-dependent enhancer transcription preceded mRNA induction, and CRISPR-based activation of eRNA synthesis increased mRNA at paired genes, functionally validating enhancer-gene predictions. Focusing on enhancers surrounding the Fos gene, we report that targeted eRNA manipulation bidirectionally modulates Fos mRNA, and that Fos eRNAs directly interact with the histone acetyltransferase domain of the enhancer-linked transcriptional co-activator CREB-binding protein (CBP). Together, these results highlight the unique role of eRNAs in neuronal gene regulation and demonstrate that eRNAs can be used to identify putative target genes.
Project description:Recent studies have disclosed the function of enhancer RNAs (eRNAs), which are long non-coding RNAs transcribed from gene enhancer regions, in transcriptional regulation. However, it remains unclear whether eRNAs are involved in the regulation of human heme oxygenase-1 gene (HO-1) induction. Here, we report that multiple nuclear-enriched eRNAs are transcribed from the regions adjacent to two human HO-1 enhancers (i.e. the distal E2 and proximal E1 enhancers), and some of these eRNAs are induced by the oxidative stress-causing reagent diethyl maleate (DEM). We demonstrated that the expression of one forward direction (5' to 3') eRNA transcribed from the human HO-1 E2 enhancer region (named human HO-1enhancer RNA E2-3; hereafter called eRNA E2-3) was induced by DEM in an NRF2-dependent manner in HeLa cells. Conversely, knockdown of BACH1, a repressor of HO-1 transcription, further increased DEM-inducible eRNA E2-3 transcription as well as HO-1 expression. In addition, we showed that knockdown of eRNA E2-3 selectively down-regulated DEM-induced HO-1 expression. Furthermore, eRNA E2-3 knockdown attenuated DEM-induced Pol II binding to the promoter and E2 enhancer regions of HO-1 without affecting NRF2 recruitment to the E2 enhancer. These findings indicate that eRNAE2-3 is functional and is required for HO-1 induction.
Project description:Emerging evidence supports roles of enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) in regulating target gene. Here, we study eRNA regulation and function during skeletal myoblast differentiation. We provide a panoramic view of enhancer transcription and categorization of eRNAs. Master transcription factor MyoD is crucial in activating eRNA production. Super enhancer (se) generated seRNA-1 and -2 promote myogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo. seRNA-1 regulates expression levels of two nearby genes, myoglobin (Mb) and apolipoprotein L6 (Apol6), by binding to heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L (hnRNPL). A CAAA tract on seRNA-1 is essential in mediating seRNA-1/hnRNPL binding and function. Disruption of seRNA-1-hnRNPL interaction attenuates Pol II and H3K36me3 deposition at the Mb locus, in coincidence with the reduction of its transcription. Furthermore, analyses of hnRNPL binding transcriptome-wide reveal its association with eRNAs is a general phenomenon in multiple cells. Collectively, we propose that eRNA-hnRNPL interaction represents a mechanism contributing to target mRNA activation.
Project description:Enhancer-derived RNAs (eRNAs) are a group of RNAs transcribed by RNA polymerase II from the domain of transcription enhancers, a major type of cis-regulatory elements in the genome. The correlation between eRNA production and enhancer activity has stimulated studies on the potential role of eRNAs in transcriptional regulation. Additionally, eRNA has also served as a marker for global identification of enhancers. Here I review the brief history and fascinating properties of eRNAs.
Project description:Enhancer RNA (eRNA) is a type of noncoding RNA transcribed from the enhancer. Although critical roles of eRNA in gene transcription control have been increasingly realized, the systemic landscape and potential function of eRNAs in cancer remains largely unexplored. Here, we report the integration of multi-omics and pharmacogenomics data across large-scale patient samples and cancer cell lines. We observe a cancer-/lineage-specificity of eRNAs, which may be largely driven by tissue-specific TFs. eRNAs are involved in multiple cancer signaling pathways through putatively regulating their target genes, including clinically actionable genes and immune checkpoints. They may also affect drug response by within-pathway or cross-pathway means. We characterize the oncogenic potential and therapeutic liability of one eRNA, NET1e, supporting the clinical feasibility of eRNA-targeted therapy. We identify a panel of clinically relevant eRNAs and developed a user-friendly data portal. Our study reveals the transcriptional landscape and clinical utility of eRNAs in cancer.
Project description:Enhancers play a crucial role in gene regulation but the participation of enhancer transcripts (i.e. enhancer RNA, eRNAs) in regulatory systems remains unclear. We provide a computational analysis on eRNAs using genome-wide data across 12 mouse tissues. The expression of genes targeted by transcribing enhancer is positively correlated with eRNA expression and significantly higher than expression of genes targeted by non-transcribing enhancers. This result implies eRNA transcription indicates a state of enhancer that further increases gene expression. This state of enhancer is tissue-specific, as the same enhancer differentially transcribes eRNAs across tissues. Therefore, the presence of eRNAs describes a tissue-specific state of enhancer that is generally associated with higher expressed target genes, surmising as to whether eRNAs have gene activation potential. We further found a large number of eRNAs contain regions in which sequences and secondary structures are similar to microRNAs. Interestingly, an increasing number of recent studies hypothesize that microRNAs may switch from their general repressive role to an activating role when targeting promoter sequences. Collectively, our results provide speculation that eRNAs may be associated with the selective activation of enhancer target genes.
Project description:Enhancers are intergenic DNA elements that regulate the transcription of target genes in response to signaling pathways by interacting with promoters over large genomic distances. Recent studies have revealed that enhancers are bi-directionally transcribed into enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). Using single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH), we investigated the eRNA-mediated regulation of transcription during estrogen induction in MCF-7 cells. We demonstrate that eRNAs are localized exclusively in the nucleus and are induced with similar kinetics as target mRNAs. However, eRNAs are mostly nascent at enhancers and their steady-state levels remain lower than those of their cognate mRNAs. Surprisingly, at the single-allele level, eRNAs are rarely co-expressed with their target loci, demonstrating that active gene transcription does not require the continuous transcription of eRNAs or their accumulation at enhancers. When co-expressed, sub-diffraction distance measurements between nascent mRNA and eRNA signals reveal that co-transcription of eRNAs and mRNAs rarely occurs within closed enhancer-promoter loops. Lastly, basal eRNA transcription at enhancers, but not E2-induced transcription, is maintained upon depletion of MLL1 and ER?, suggesting some degree of chromatin accessibility prior to signal-dependent activation of transcription. Together, our findings suggest that eRNA accumulation at enhancer-promoter loops is not required to sustain target gene transcription.
Project description:Enhancers play a pivotal role in regulating the transcription of distal genes. Although certain chromatin features, such as the histone acetyltransferase P300 and the histone modification H3K4me1, indicate the presence of enhancers, only a fraction of enhancers are functionally active. Individual chromatin marks, such as H3K27ac and H3K27me3, have been identified to distinguish active from inactive enhancers. However, the systematic identification of the most informative single modification, or combination thereof, is still lacking. Furthermore, the discovery of enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) provides an alternative approach to directly predicting enhancer activity. However, it remains challenging to link chromatin modifications to eRNA transcription. Herein, we develop a logistic regression model to unravel the relationship between chromatin modifications and eRNA synthesis. We perform a systematic assessment of 24 chromatin modifications in fetal lung fibroblast and demonstrate that a combination of four modifications is sufficient to accurately predict eRNA transcription. Furthermore, we compare the ability of eRNAs and H3K27ac to discriminate enhancer activity. We demonstrate that eRNA is more indicative of enhancer activity. Finally, we apply our fibroblast trained model to six other cell-types and successfully predict eRNA synthesis. Thus, we demonstrate the learned relationships are general and independent of cell-type. We provided a powerful tool to identify active enhancers and reveal the relationship between chromatin modifications, eRNA production and enhancer activity.
Project description:The functional importance of gene enhancers in regulated gene expression is well established. In addition to widespread transcription of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in mammalian cells, bidirectional ncRNAs are transcribed on enhancers, and are thus referred to as enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). However, it has remained unclear whether these eRNAs are functional or merely a reflection of enhancer activation. Here we report that in human breast cancer cells 17?-oestradiol (E2)-bound oestrogen receptor ? (ER-?) causes a global increase in eRNA transcription on enhancers adjacent to E2-upregulated coding genes. These induced eRNAs, as functional transcripts, seem to exert important roles for the observed ligand-dependent induction of target coding genes, increasing the strength of specific enhancer-promoter looping initiated by ER-? binding. Cohesin, present on many ER-?-regulated enhancers even before ligand treatment, apparently contributes to E2-dependent gene activation, at least in part by stabilizing E2/ER-?/eRNA-induced enhancer-promoter looping. Our data indicate that eRNAs are likely to have important functions in many regulated programs of gene transcription.