Howard Chang, Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
Coupled Single-Cell CRISPR Screening and Epigenomic Profiling Reveals Causal Gene Regulatory Networks.
Here, we present Perturb-ATAC, a method that combines multiplexed CRISPR interference or knockout with genome-wide chromatin accessibility profiling in single cells based on the simultaneous detection of CRISPR guide RNAs and open chromatin sites by assay of transposase-accessible chromatin with sequencing (ATAC-seq). We applied Perturb-ATAC to transcription factors (TFs), chromatin-modifying factors, and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in 4,300 single cells, encompassing more than 63 genotype-phenotype relationships. Perturb-ATAC in human Blymphocytes uncovered regulators of chromatin accessibility, TF occupancy, and nucleosome positioning and identified a hierarchy of TFs that govern B cell state, variation, and disease-associated cis-regulatory elements. Perturb-ATAC in primary human epidermal cells revealed three sequential modules of cis-elements that specify keratinocyte fate. Combinatorial deletion of all pairs of these TFsuncovered their epistatic relationships and highlighted genomic co-localization as a basis for synergistic interactions. Thus, Perturb-ATAC is a powerful strategy to dissect gene regulatory networks in development and disease.
View details for PubMedID 30580963
Transcript-indexed ATAC-seq for precision immune profiling.
T cells create vast amounts of diversity in the genes that encode their T cell receptors (TCRs), which enables individual clones to recognize specific peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) ligands. Here we combined sequencing of the TCR-encoding genes with assay for transposase-accessible chromatin with sequencing (ATAC-seq) analysis at the single-cell level to provide information on the TCR specificity and epigenomic state of individual T cells. By using this approach, termed transcript-indexed ATAC-seq (T-ATAC-seq), we identified epigenomic signatures in immortalized leukemic T cells, primary human T cells from healthy volunteers and primary leukemic T cells from patient samples. In peripheral blood CD4+ T cells from healthy individuals, we identified cis and trans regulators of naive and memory T cell states and found substantial heterogeneity in surface-marker-defined T cell populations. In patients with a leukemic form of cutaneous T cell lymphoma, T-ATAC-seq enabled identification of leukemic and nonleukemic regulatory pathways in T cells from the same individual by allowing separation of the signals that arose from the malignant clone from the background T cell noise. Thus, T-ATAC-seq is a new tool that enables analysis of epigenomic landscapes in clonal T cells and should be valuable for studies of T cell malignancy, immunity and immunotherapy.
View details for PubMedID 29686426
ciRS-7 exonic sequence is embedded in a long non-coding RNA locus
2017; 13 (12): e1007114
ciRS-7 is an intensely studied, highly expressed and conserved circRNA. Essentially nothing is known about its biogenesis, including the location of its promoter. A prevailing assumption has been that ciRS-7 is an exceptional circRNA because it is transcribed from a locus lacking any mature linear RNA transcripts of the same sense. To study the biogenesis of ciRS-7, we developed an algorithm to define its promoter and predicted that the human ciRS-7 promoter coincides with that of the long non-coding RNA, LINC00632. We validated this prediction using multiple orthogonal experimental assays. We also used computational approaches and experimental validation to establish that ciRS-7 exonic sequence is embedded in linear transcripts that are flanked by cryptic exons in both human and mouse. Together, this experimental and computational evidence generates a new model for regulation of this locus: (a) ciRS-7 is like other circRNAs, as it is spliced into linear transcripts; (b) expression of ciRS-7 is primarily determined by the chromatin state of LINC00632 promoters; (c) transcription and splicing factors sufficient for ciRS-7 biogenesis are expressed in cells that lack detectable ciRS-7 expression. These findings have significant implications for the study of the regulation and function of ciRS-7, and the analytic framework we developed to jointly analyze RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data reveal the potential for genome-wide discovery of important biological regulation missed in current reference annotations.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007114
View details for Web of Science ID 000419103000010
View details for PubMedID 29236709
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5745005