Chromosomal organization in 3D plays a central role in regulating cell-type specific transcriptional and DNA replication timing programs. Yet it remains unclear to what extent the resulting long-range contacts depend on specific molecular drivers. Here we propose a model that comprehensively assesses the influence on contacts of DNA-binding proteins, cis-regulatory elements and DNA consensus motifs. Using real data, we validate a large number of predictions for long-range contacts involving known architectural proteins and DNA motifs. Our model outperforms existing approaches including enrichment test, random forests and correlation, and it uncovers numerous novel long-range contacts in Drosophila and human. The model uncovers the orientation-dependent specificity for long-range contacts between CTCF motifs in Drosophila, highlighting its conserved property in 3D organization of metazoan genomes. Our model further unravels long-range contacts depending on co-factors recruited to DNA indirectly, as illustrated by the influence of cohesin in stabilizing long-range contacts between CTCF sites. It also reveals asymmetric contacts such as enhancer-promoter contacts that highlight opposite influences of the transcription factors EBF1, EGR1 or MEF2C depending on RNA Polymerase II pausing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Computational Theory and Mathematics