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The Effects of Structural Variation on 3D Chromatin Structure


Three-dimensional spatial organization of chromosomes is defined by highly self-interacting regions 0.1-1 Mb in size termed Topological Associating Domains (TADs). Genetic factors that explain dynamic variation in TAD structure are not understood. We hypothesize that common structural variation (SV) in the human population; including deletions, insertions and inversions of >50 bp; can disrupt regulatory sequences and thereby influence TAD formation. To determine the effects of SVs on 3D chromatin organization, we performed chromosome conformation capture sequencing (Hi-C) of lymphoblastoid cell lines from 19 subjects for which SVs had been previously characterized in the 1000 genomes project. Large (>10kb) deletions had significant effects on long-range chromatin interactions. Deletions overall were associated with increased contacts that span the deleted region but had a modest effect on contacts in adjacent regions. Deletions at TAD boundaries were associated with diminished contacts in the adjacent domains, consistent with the structure of TADs being dependent on regulatory sequences at their boundaries. Large inversions in the population had a common signature characterized by a rearrangement of contacts that span its breakpoints. Our results suggest that common SVs in the population impact long range chromatin structure.

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