More than 8,000 genes are turned on or off as progenitor cells produce the 7 classes of retinal cell types during development. Thousands of enhancers are also active in the developing retinae, many having features of cell- and developmental stage-specific activity. We studied dynamic changes in the 3D chromatin landscape important for precisely orchestrated changes in gene expression during retinal development by ultra-deep in situ Hi-C analysis on murine retinae. We identified developmental-stage-specific changes in chromatin compartments and enhancer-promoter interactions. We developed a machine learning-based algorithm to map euchromatin and heterochromatin domains genome-wide and overlaid it with chromatin compartments identified by Hi-C. Single-cell ATAC-seq and RNA-seq were integrated with our Hi-C and previous ChIP-seq data to identify cell- and developmental-stage-specific super-enhancers (SEs). We identified a bipolar neuron-specific core regulatory circuit SE upstream of Vsx2, whose deletion in mice led to the loss of bipolar neurons.
Keywords: Hi-C; Vsx2; bipolar neuron; core regulatory circuit; euchromatin; heterochromatin; machine learning; nucleome; retina; super-enhancer.
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