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Genomewide and parental allele-specific analysis of CTCF and cohesin DNA binding in mouse brain reveals a tissue-specific binding pattern and an association with imprinted differentially methylated regions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1624-1635
Number of pages12
JournalGenome Research
Issue number10
PublishedOct 2013

King's Authors


DNA binding factors are essential for regulating gene expression. CTCF and cohesin are DNA binding factors with central roles in chromatin organization and gene expression. We determined the sites of CTCF and cohesin binding to DNA in mouse brain, genomewide and in an allele-specific manner with high read-depth ChIP-seq. By comparing our results to existing data for mouse liver and ES cells, we investigated the tissue-specificity of CTCF binding sites. ES cells have fewer unique CTCF binding sites occupied than liver and brain, consistent with a ground state pattern of CTCF binding that is elaborated during differentiation. CTCF binding sites without the canonical consensus motif were highly tissue-specific. In brain, a third of CTCF and cohesin binding sites coincide, consistent with the potential for many interactions between cohesin and CTCF but also many instances of independent action. In the context of genomic imprinting, CTCF and/or cohesin bind to a majority but not all differentially methylated regions, with preferential binding to the unmethylated parental allele. Whether the parental allele-specific methylation was established in the parental germlines or post fertilization in the embryo is not a determinant in CTCF or cohesin binding. These findings link CTCF and cohesin with the control regions of a subset of imprinted genes, supporting the notion that imprinting control is mechanistically diverse.

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