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      The interplay of epigenetic marks during stem cell differentiation and development

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      Nature Reviews Genetics

      Springer Nature

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          Abstract

          Cell state transitions during embryonic development are associated with epigenetic changes that alter chromatin structure and gene expression. Interplay between epigenetic regulatory layers can be studied using genomic technologies and embryonic stem cell cultures that reflect in vivo cell states.

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          Most cited references 119

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          A unique chromatin signature uncovers early developmental enhancers in humans.

          Cell-fate transitions involve the integration of genomic information encoded by regulatory elements, such as enhancers, with the cellular environment. However, identification of genomic sequences that control human embryonic development represents a formidable challenge. Here we show that in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), unique chromatin signatures identify two distinct classes of genomic elements, both of which are marked by the presence of chromatin regulators p300 and BRG1, monomethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me1), and low nucleosomal density. In addition, elements of the first class are distinguished by the acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27ac), overlap with previously characterized hESC enhancers, and are located proximally to genes expressed in hESCs and the epiblast. In contrast, elements of the second class, which we term 'poised enhancers', are distinguished by the absence of H3K27ac, enrichment of histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), and are linked to genes inactive in hESCs and instead are involved in orchestrating early steps in embryogenesis, such as gastrulation, mesoderm formation and neurulation. Consistent with the poised identity, during differentiation of hESCs to neuroepithelium, a neuroectoderm-specific subset of poised enhancers acquires a chromatin signature associated with active enhancers. When assayed in zebrafish embryos, poised enhancers are able to direct cell-type and stage-specific expression characteristic of their proximal developmental gene, even in the absence of sequence conservation in the fish genome. Our data demonstrate that early developmental enhancers are epigenetically pre-marked in hESCs and indicate an unappreciated role of H3K27me3 at distal regulatory elements. Moreover, the wealth of new regulatory sequences identified here provides an invaluable resource for studies and isolation of transient, rare cell populations representing early stages of human embryogenesis.
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            Naive and primed pluripotent states.

            After maternal predetermination gives way to zygotic regulation, a ground state is established within the mammalian embryo. This tabula rasa for embryogenesis is present only transiently in the preimplantation epiblast. Here, we consider how unrestricted cells are first generated and then prepared for lineage commitment. We propose that two phases of pluripotency can be defined: naive and primed. This distinction extends to pluripotent stem cells derived from embryos or by molecular reprogramming ex vivo.
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              Architectural protein subclasses shape 3D organization of genomes during lineage commitment.

              Understanding the topological configurations of chromatin may reveal valuable insights into how the genome and epigenome act in concert to control cell fate during development. Here, we generate high-resolution architecture maps across seven genomic loci in embryonic stem cells and neural progenitor cells. We observe a hierarchy of 3D interactions that undergo marked reorganization at the submegabase scale during differentiation. Distinct combinations of CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), Mediator, and cohesin show widespread enrichment in chromatin interactions at different length scales. CTCF/cohesin anchor long-range constitutive interactions that might form the topological basis for invariant subdomains. Conversely, Mediator/cohesin bridge short-range enhancer-promoter interactions within and between larger subdomains. Knockdown of Smc1 or Med12 in embryonic stem cells results in disruption of spatial architecture and downregulation of genes found in cohesin-mediated interactions. We conclude that cell-type-specific chromatin organization occurs at the submegabase scale and that architectural proteins shape the genome in hierarchical length scales. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Genetics
                Nat Rev Genet
                Springer Nature
                1471-0056
                1471-0064
                August 14 2017
                August 14 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/nrg.2017.57
                © 2017
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