Determining chromatin architecture with Micro Capture-C.
Hamley JC., Li H., Denny N., Downes D., Davies JOJ.
Micro Capture-C (MCC) is a chromatin conformation capture (3C) method for visualizing reproducible three-dimensional contacts of specified regions of the genome at base pair resolution. These methods are an established family of techniques that use proximity ligation to assay the topology of chromatin. MCC can generate data at substantially higher resolution than previous techniques through multiple refinements of the 3C method. Using a sequence agnostic nuclease, the maintenance of cellular integrity and full sequencing of the ligation junctions, MCC achieves subnucleosomal levels of resolution, which can be used to reveal transcription factor binding sites analogous to DNAse I footprinting. Gene dense regions, close-range enhancer-promoter contacts, individual enhancers within super-enhancers and multiple other types of loci or regulatory regions that were previously challenging to assay with conventional 3C techniques, are readily observed using MCC. MCC requires training in common molecular biology techniques and bioinformatics to perform the experiment and analyze the data. The protocol can be expected to be completed in a 3 week timeframe for experienced molecular biologists.