Chromosome Conformation Capture (3C) is a cool technique that has lead to more spin-offs than the CSI TV franchise. This technique has been used at enhancers, silencers, boundary elements, and promoters at the individual loci level. But now a cunning team of researchers from Oxford University (UK) have just shown how to take it to an ‘omic level’. Here’ what they created:
- A single, high-throughput experiment, based off of 3C that reveals the genomes cis interactions with an unprecedented genome wide resolution.
- Some clever confirmations of their technology based off of known 3C findings and integrated with their previously published DNase1 analysis of eight strains of mice.
- To flex the muscles of their new technique, the researchers demonstrated how Capture-C can reveal the target genes of these interactions while also showing the functional effects of distal complex disease causing SNPs that often hide in these intergenic cis-acting regulatory elements.
Given that development and differentiation is delicate dance, 3C has taught us a lot about this 3D world of chromatin interaction. It has shown that the genome regulated in a temporal and spatial manner by complex networks of intergenic and intragenic cis-regulatory elements that depend on chromatins 3D dynamics. Not only that, but these bad boys add a complexity to our genome that surpasses that of structural genes.
Go check out the chromosomal contortionists over at Nature Genetics, February 2014