Human Enhancers Harboring Specific Sequence Composition, Activity, and Genome Organization Are Linked to the Immune Response.

Lecellier, C.H. , Wasserman W.W., Mathelier, A.


Jun 5. / pages pii: genetics.301116.2018.


The FANTOM5 consortium recently characterized 65,423 human enhancers from 1,829 cell and tissue samples using the Cap Analysis of Gene Expression technology. We showed that the guanine and cytosine content at enhancer regions distinguishes two classes of enhancers harboring distinct DNA structural properties at flanking regions. A functional analysis of their predicted gene targets highlighted one class of enhancers as significantly enriched for associations with immune response genes. Moreover, these enhancers were specifically enriched for regulatory motifs recognized by TFs involved in immune response. We observed that enhancers enriched for links to immune response genes were more cell type specific, preferentially activated upon bacterial infection, and with specific response activity. Looking at chromatin capture data, we found that the two classes of enhancers were lying in distinct topologically-associated domains and chromatin loops. Our results suggest that specific nucleotide compositions encode for classes of enhancers that are functionally distinct and specifically organized in the human genome.

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