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Spatial co-fragmentation pattern of cell-free DNA recapitulatesin vivochromatin organization and identifies tissues-of-origin

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Three-dimensional chromatin organization varies across cell types and is essential for gene regulation. However, current technologies are unable to assess in vivo genome-wide chromatin organization non-invasively. Here we show that distant correlations in the fragment length of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) recapitulate three-dimensional chromatin organization. The inferred organization is highly concordant with that measured by Hi-C in white blood cells from healthy donors, and is not explained by technical bias or sequence composition. Furthermore, the inferred organization reflects different genomic organization in the various cell types contributing to cfDNA, allowing identification and quantification of tissues of origin. This approach is concordant with previous methods, but with more complete representations of cfDNA. Our results, demonstrated in cfDNA from healthy individuals and cancer patients, may enable noninvasive monitoring of in vivo genome organization and accurate quantification of cell death in different clinical conditions.

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