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22.10.20 Distinct gene regulatory architectures in germline and somatic tissues in C. elegans

last modified Oct 28, 2020 02:11 PM
The Ahringer lab profiled and compared transcriptional and regulatory element activities across five tissues of C. elegans, demonstrating fundamental differences in regulatory architectures of germline and somatic tissue-specific genes

Distinctive regulatory architectures of germline-active and somatic genes in C. elegans

 

Serizay J et al. (2020) Genome Research. Advance online publication DOI: 10.1101/gr.265934.120.

 

Abstract from the paper

RNA profiling has provided increasingly detailed knowledge of gene expression patterns, yet the different regulatory architectures that drive them are not well understood. To address this, we profiled and compared transcriptional and regulatory element activities across five tissues of C. elegans, covering ~90% of cells.

We find that the majority of promoters and enhancers have tissue-specific accessibility, and we discover regulatory grammars associated with ubiquitous, germline and somatic tissue-specific gene expression patterns.

In addition, we find that germline-active and soma-specific promoters have distinct features. Germline-active promoters have well positioned +1 and -1 nucleosomes associated with a periodic 10-bp WW signal (W = A/T). Somatic tissue-specific promoters lack positioned nucleosomes and this signal, have wide nucleosome depleted regions, and are more enriched for core promoter elements, which differ between tissues. We observe the 10-bp periodic WW signal at ubiquitous promoters in other animals suggesting it is an ancient conserved signal.

Our results demonstrate fundamental differences in regulatory architectures of germline and somatic tissue-specific genes, uncover regulatory rules for generating diverse gene expression patterns, and provide a tissue-specific resource for future studies.

 

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