Local Genome Topology Can Exhibit an Incompletely Rewired 3D-Folding State during Somatic Cell Reprogramming

Cell Stem Cell. 2016 May 5;18(5):611-24. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.04.004.


Pluripotent genomes are folded in a topological hierarchy that reorganizes during differentiation. The extent to which chromatin architecture is reconfigured during somatic cell reprogramming is poorly understood. Here we integrate fine-resolution architecture maps with epigenetic marks and gene expression in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), neural progenitor cells (NPCs), and NPC-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We find that most pluripotency genes reconnect to target enhancers during reprogramming. Unexpectedly, some NPC interactions around pluripotency genes persist in our iPSC clone. Pluripotency genes engaged in both "fully-reprogrammed" and "persistent-NPC" interactions exhibit over/undershooting of target expression levels in iPSCs. Additionally, we identify a subset of "poorly reprogrammed" interactions that do not reconnect in iPSCs and display only partially recovered, ESC-specific CTCF occupancy. 2i/LIF can abrogate persistent-NPC interactions, recover poorly reprogrammed interactions, reinstate CTCF occupancy, and restore expression levels. Our results demonstrate that iPSC genomes can exhibit imperfectly rewired 3D-folding linked to inaccurately reprogrammed gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics*
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Clone Cells
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics
  • Genome*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • Protein Binding
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism


  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • Chromatin
  • Ctcf protein, mouse
  • Repressor Proteins