Viral Chromosome Conformation Capture (V3C) Assays for Identifying Trans-interaction Sites between Lytic Viruses and the Cellular Genome

Bio Protoc. 2019 Mar 20;9(6):e3198. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3198.


The folding mechanisms of the mammalian genome package our genetic material into the nucleus, and in doing so, dictate its appropriate replication and expression. Chromosome conformation capture technology has enabled the dissection of the folding principles of the cellular genome. This has led to a better understanding of the role played by architectural proteins in forming and dissolving 3D-chromatin-structure. These assays are based on the principle of crosslinking distant cellular sites that are proximal to each other in 3D space using formaldehyde followed by digestion of formed hybrid DNA junctions. Invading viruses, such as the lytic parvovirus Minute Virus of Mice (MVM), establish distinct replication centers within the nuclear environment at cellular sites that preferentially undergo DNA damage, but do not integrate into the cellular DNA. We have adapted chromosome conformation capture technology to study the trans-interaction between MVM and the cellular genome, which we have dubbed V3C, which can be extended to a whole-genome analysis we term V3C-seq. This protocol describes the procedure for performing, as well as analyzing V3C-seq assays, and can be adapted for mapping the cellular interaction sites of any non-integrating DNA virus.

Keywords: Chromosome conformation capture; DNA damage response; Fragile sites; Host-pathogen genome interactions; Parvovirus; Topologically associating domains.