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ChIP-seq Accurately Predicts Tissue-Specific Activity of Enhancers

Abstract

A major yet unresolved quest in decoding the human genome is the identification of the regulatory sequences that control the spatial and temporal expression of genes. Distant-acting transcriptional enhancers are particularly challenging to uncover since they are scattered amongst the vast non-coding portion of the genome. Evolutionary sequence constraint can facilitate the discovery of enhancers, but fails to predict when and where they are active in vivo. Here, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation with the enhancer-associated protein p300, followed by massively-parallel sequencing, to map several thousand in vivo binding sites of p300 in mouse embryonic forebrain, midbrain, and limb tissue. We tested 86 of these sequences in a transgenic mouse assay, which in nearly all cases revealed reproducible enhancer activity in those tissues predicted by p300 binding. Our results indicate that in vivo mapping of p300 binding is a highly accurate means for identifying enhancers and their associated activities and suggest that such datasets will be useful to study the role of tissue-specific enhancers in human biology and disease on a genome-wide scale.

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