Gene expression is controlled by the collective binding of transcription factors to cis-regulatory regions. Deciphering gene-centered regulatory networks is vital to understanding and controlling gene misexpression in human disease; however, systematic approaches to uncovering regulatory networks have been lacking. Here we present high-throughput interrogation of gene-centered activation networks (HIGAN), a pipeline that employs a suite of multifaceted genomic approaches to connect upstream signaling inputs, trans-acting TFs, and cis-regulatory elements. We apply HIGAN to understand the aberrant activation of the cytidine deaminase APOBEC3B, an intrinsic source of cancer hypermutation. We reveal that nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and AP-1 pathways are the most salient trans-acting inputs, with minor roles for other inflammatory pathways. We identify a cis-regulatory architecture dominated by a major intronic enhancer that requires coordinated NF-κB and AP-1 activity with secondary inputs from distal regulatory regions. Our data demonstrate how integration of cis and trans genomic screening platforms provides a paradigm for building gene-centered regulatory networks.
Keywords: AP-1 signaling; CRISPR-Cas9 screening; NF-κB signaling; cytidine deaminase; in-cis and in-trans regulation.
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