Seminar details

August 25, 2020, 3:00 pm @ Zoom

Srinivas Ramachandran, University of Colorado

Host: Constance Alabert


Enhancers harbor binding motifs that recruit transcription factors (TFs) for gene activation. While cooperative binding of TFs at enhancers is known to be critical for transcriptional activation of a handful of developmental enhancers, the extent TF cooperativity genome-wide is unknown. Here, we couple high-resolution nuclease footprinting with single-molecule methylation profiling to characterize TF cooperativity at active enhancers in the Drosophila genome. Enrichment of short MNase-protected DNA segments indicates that the majority of enhancers harbor two or more TF binding sites, and we uncover protected fragments that correspond to co-bound sites in thousands of enhancers. We integrate MNase-seq, methylation accessibility profiling, and CUT&RUN chromatin profiling as a comprehensive strategy to characterize co-binding of the Trithorax-like (TRL) DNA binding protein and multiple other TFs and identify states where an enhancer is bound by no TF, by either single factor, by multiple factors, or where binding sites are occluded by nucleosomes. From the analysis of co-binding, we find that cooperativity dominates TF binding in vivo at a majority of active enhancers. TF cooperativity can occur without apparent protein-protein interactions and provides a mechanism to effectively clear nucleosomes and promote enhancer function.