Widespread changes in nucleosome accessibility without changes in nucleosome occupancy during a rapid transcriptional induction.
ABSTRACT: Activation of transcription requires alteration of chromatin by complexes that increase the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA. Removing nucleosomes from regulatory sequences has been proposed to play a significant role in activation. We tested whether changes in nucleosome occupancy occurred on the set of genes that is activated by the unfolded protein response (UPR). We observed no decrease in occupancy on most promoters, gene bodies, and enhancers. Instead, there was an increase in the accessibility of nucleosomes, as measured by micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion and ATAC-seq (assay for transposase-accessible chromatin [ATAC] using sequencing), that did not result from removal of the nucleosome. Thus, changes in nucleosome accessibility predominate over changes in nucleosome occupancy during rapid transcriptional induction during the UPR.
Project description:Chromatin accessibility plays a fundamental role in gene regulation. Nucleosome placement, usually measured by quantifying protection of DNA from enzymatic digestion, can regulate accessibility. We introduce a metric that uses micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion in a novel manner to measure chromatin accessibility by combining information from several digests of increasing depths. This metric, MACC (MNase accessibility), quantifies the inherent heterogeneity of nucleosome accessibility in which some nucleosomes are seen preferentially at high MNase and some at low MNase. MACC interrogates each genomic locus, measuring both nucleosome location and accessibility in the same assay. MACC can be performed either with or without a histone immunoprecipitation step, and thereby compares histone and non-histone protection. We find that changes in accessibility at enhancers, promoters and other regulatory regions do not correlate with changes in nucleosome occupancy. Moreover, high nucleosome occupancy does not necessarily preclude high accessibility, which reveals novel principles of chromatin regulation.
Project description:Activation of transcription requires alteration of chromatin by complexes that increase the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA. Removing nucleosomes from regulatory sequences has been proposed to play a significant role in activation. We tested whether changes in nucleosome occupancy occurred on the set of genes that are activated by the unfolded protein response (UPR). We observed no decrease in occupancy on most promoters, gene bodies, and enhancers. Instead there was an increase in the accessibility of nucleosomes, as measured by MNase digestion and by ATAC-seq, that did not result from removal of the nucleosome. Thus changes in nucleosome accessibility predominate over changes in nucleosome occupancy during rapid transcriptional induction during the UPR. Overall design: Time series of nucleosome occupancy, MNase-seq, ATAC-seq, H3K27ac, RNAseq and Pol2 profiles for UPR-induced S2 cells.
Project description:During mammalian spermatogenesis, germ cell chromatin undergoes dramatic histone acetylation-mediated reorganization, whereby 90%-99% of histones are evicted. Given the potential role of retained histones in fertility and embryonic development, the genomic location of retained nucleosomes is of great interest. However, the ultimate position and mechanisms underlying nucleosome eviction or retention are poorly understood, including several studies utilizing micrococcal-nuclease sequencing (MNase-seq) methodologies reporting remarkably dissimilar locations. We utilized assay for transposase accessible chromatin sequencing (ATAC-seq) in mouse sperm and found nucleosome enrichment at promoters but also retention at inter- and intragenic regions and repetitive elements. We further generated germ-cell-specific, conditional knockout mice for the key histone acetyltransferase Gcn5, which resulted in abnormal chromatin dynamics leading to increased sperm histone retention and severe reproductive phenotypes. Our findings demonstrate that Gcn5-mediated histone acetylation promotes chromatin accessibility and nucleosome eviction in spermiogenesis and that loss of histone acetylation leads to defects that disrupt male fertility and potentially early embryogenesis.
Project description:Micrococcal nuclease (MNase) is widely used to map nucleosomes. However, its aggressive endo-/exo-nuclease activities make MNase-seq unreliable for determining nucleosome occupancies, because cleavages within linker regions produce oligo- and mono-nucleosomes, whereas cleavages within nucleosomes destroy them. Here, we introduce a theoretical framework for predicting nucleosome occupancies and an experimental protocol with appropriate spike-in normalization that confirms our theory and provides accurate occupancy levels over an MNase digestion time course. As with human cells, we observe no overall differences in nucleosome occupancies between Drosophila euchromatin and heterochromatin, which implies that heterochromatic compaction does not reduce MNase accessibility of linker DNA.
Project description:Nucleosomes may undergo a conformational change in which a stretch of DNA peels off the histone octamer surface as a result of thermal fluctuations or interactions with chromatin remodelers. Thus, neighboring nucleosomes may invade each other's territories by DNA unwrapping and translocation, or through initial assembly in partially wrapped states. A recent high-resolution map of distances between dyads of neighboring nucleosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveals that nucleosomes frequently overlap DNA territories of their neighbors. This conclusion is supported by lower-resolution maps of S. cerevisiae nucleosome lengths based on micrococcal nuclease digestion and paired-end sequencing. The average length of wrapped DNA follows a stereotypical pattern in genes and promoters, correlated with the well-known distribution of nucleosome occupancy: nucleosomal DNA tends to be shorter in promoters and longer in coding regions. To explain these observations, we have developed a biophysical model that uses a 10-11-bp periodic histone-DNA binding energy profile. The profile is based on the pattern of histone-DNA contacts in nucleosome crystal structures, as well as the idea of linker length discretization caused by higher-order chromatin structure. Our model is in agreement with the observed genome-wide distributions of interdyad distances, wrapped DNA lengths, and nucleosome occupancies. Furthermore, our approach explains in vitro measurements of the accessibility of nucleosome-covered target sites and nucleosome-induced cooperativity between DNA-binding factors. We rule out several alternative scenarios of histone-DNA interactions as inconsistent with the genomic data.
Project description:Nucleosome positioning is critical to chromatin accessibility and is associated with gene expression programs in cells<sup>1-3</sup>. Previous nucleosome mapping methods assemble profiles from cell populations and reveal a cell-averaged pattern: nucleosomes are positioned and form a phased array that surrounds the transcription start sites of active genes<sup>3-6</sup> and DNase I hypersensitive sites<sup>7</sup>. However, even in a homogenous population of cells, cells exhibit heterogeneity in expression in response to active signalling<sup>8,9</sup> that may be related to heterogeneity in chromatin accessibility<sup>10-12</sup>. Here we report a technique, termed single-cell micrococcal nuclease sequencing (scMNase-seq), that can be used to simultaneously measure genome-wide nucleosome positioning and chromatin accessibility in single cells. Application of scMNase-seq to NIH3T3 cells, mouse primary naive CD4 T cells and mouse embryonic stem cells reveals two principles of nucleosome organization: first, nucleosomes in heterochromatin regions, or that surround the transcription start sites of silent genes, show large variation in positioning across different cells but are highly uniformly spaced along the nucleosome array; and second, nucleosomes that surround the transcription start sites of active genes and DNase I hypersensitive sites show little variation in positioning across different cells but are relatively heterogeneously spaced along the nucleosome array. We found a bimodal distribution of nucleosome spacing at DNase I hypersensitive sites, which corresponds to inaccessible and accessible states and is associated with nucleosome variation and variation in accessibility across cells. Nucleosome variation is smaller within single cells than across cells, and smaller within the same cell type than across cell types. A large fraction of naive CD4 T cells and mouse embryonic stem cells shows depleted nucleosome occupancy at the de novo enhancers detected in their respective differentiated lineages, revealing the existence of cells primed for differentiation to specific lineages in undifferentiated cell populations.
Project description:Transcription factors canonically bind nucleosome-free DNA, making the positioning of nucleosomes within regulatory regions crucial to the regulation of gene expression. Using the assay of transposase accessible chromatin (ATAC-seq), we observe a highly structured pattern of DNA fragment lengths and positions around nucleosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and use this distinctive two-dimensional nucleosomal "fingerprint" as the basis for a new nucleosome-positioning algorithm called NucleoATAC. We show that NucleoATAC can identify the rotational and translational positions of nucleosomes with up to base-pair resolution and provide quantitative measures of nucleosome occupancy in S. cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and human cells. We demonstrate the application of NucleoATAC to a number of outstanding problems in chromatin biology, including analysis of sequence features underlying nucleosome positioning, promoter chromatin architecture across species, identification of transient changes in nucleosome occupancy and positioning during a dynamic cellular response, and integrated analysis of nucleosome occupancy and transcription factor binding.
Project description:The yeast Ssn6-Tup1 complex regulates gene expression through a variety of mechanisms, including positioning of nucleosomes over promoters of some target genes to limit accessibility to the transcription machinery. To further define the functions of Ssn6-Tup1 in gene regulation and chromatin remodeling, we performed genome-wide profiling of changes in nucleosome organization and gene expression that occur upon loss of SSN6 or TUP1, and observed extensive nucleosome alterations in both promoters and gene bodies of derepressed genes. Our improved nucleosome profiling and analysis approaches revealed low-occupancy promoter nucleosomes (P nucleosomes) at locations previously defined as nucleosome-free regions. In the absence of SSN6 or TUP1, this P nucleosome is frequently lost, whereas nucleosomes are gained at -1 and +1 positions, accompanying up-regulation of downstream genes. Our analysis of public ChIP-seq data revealed that Ssn6 and Tup1 preferentially bind TATA-containing promoters, which are also enriched in genes derepressed upon loss of SSN6 or TUP1. These results suggest that stabilization of the P nucleosome on TATA-containing promoters may be a central feature of the repressive chromatin architecture created by the Ssn6-Tup1 corepressor, and that releasing the P nucleosome contributes to gene activation. nucleosomes were prepared from isogenic wild type (BY4742), ssn6 KO and tup1 KO cells after varying degrees of micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion, followed by isolation of mononucleosomal DNA and sequencing. Three replicates of each strain (9 samples) were subjected to Illumina sequencing.
Project description:Mapping of nucleosomes, the basic DNA packaging unit in eukaryotes, is fundamental for understanding genome regulation because nucleosomes modulate DNA access by their positioning along the genome. A cell-population nucleosome map requires two observables: nucleosome positions along the DNA ("Where?") and nucleosome occupancies across the population ("In how many cells?"). All available genome-wide nucleosome mapping techniques are yield methods because they score either nucleosomal (e.g., MNase-seq, chemical cleavage-seq) or nonnucleosomal (e.g., ATAC-seq) DNA but lose track of the total DNA population for each genomic region. Therefore, they only provide nucleosome positions and maybe compare relative occupancies between positions, but cannot measure absolute nucleosome occupancy, which is the fraction of all DNA molecules occupied at a given position and time by a nucleosome. Here, we established two orthogonal and thereby cross-validating approaches to measure absolute nucleosome occupancy across the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome via restriction enzymes and DNA methyltransferases. The resulting high-resolution (9-bp) map shows uniform absolute occupancies. Most nucleosome positions are occupied in most cells: 97% of all nucleosomes called by chemical cleavage-seq have a mean absolute occupancy of 90 ± 6% (±SD). Depending on nucleosome position calling procedures, there are 57,000 to 60,000 nucleosomes per yeast cell. The few low absolute occupancy nucleosomes do not correlate with highly transcribed gene bodies, but correlate with increased presence of the nucleosome-evicting chromatin structure remodeling (RSC) complex, and are enriched upstream of highly transcribed or regulated genes. Our work provides a quantitative method and reference frame in absolute terms for future chromatin studies.
Project description:Nucleosomes, which consist of DNA wrapped around histone octamers, are dynamic, and their structure, including their location, size, and occupancy, can be transformed. Nucleosomes can regulate gene expression by controlling the DNA accessibility of proteins. Using next-generation sequencing techniques along with such laboratory methods as micrococcal nuclease digestion, predicting the genomic locations of nucleosomes is possible. However, the true locations of nucleosomes are unknown, and it is difficult to determine their exact locations using next-generation sequencing data. This paper proposes a novel voting algorithm, NucVoter, for the reliable prediction of nucleosome locations. Multiple models verify the consensus areas in which nucleosomes are placed by the model with the highest priority. NucVoter significantly improves the performance of nucleosome prediction.