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Comprehensive benchmarking reveals H2BK20 acetylation as a distinctive signature of cell-state-specific enhancers and promoters

Abstract : Although over 35 different histone acetylation marks have been described, the overwhelming majority of regulatory genomics studies focus exclusively on H3K27ac and H3K9ac. In order to identify novel epigenomic traits of regulatory elements, we constructed a benchmark set of validated enhancers by performing 140 enhancer assays in human T cells. We tested 40 chromatin signatures on this unbiased enhancer set and identified H2BK20ac, a little-studied histone modification, as the most predictive mark of active enhancers. Notably, we detected a novel class of functionally distinct enhancers enriched in H2BK20ac but lacking H3K27ac, which was present in all examined cell lines and also in embryonic forebrain tissue. H2BK20ac was also unique in highlighting cell-type-specific promoters. In contrast, other acetylation marks were present in all active promoters, regardless of cell-type specificity. In stimulated microglial cells, H2BK20ac was more correlated with cell-state-specific expression changes than H3K27ac, with TGF-beta signaling decoupling the two acetylation marks at a subset of regulatory elements. In summary, our study reveals a previously unknown connection between histone acetylation and cell-type-specific gene regulation and indicates that H2BK20ac profiling can be used to uncover new dimensions of gene regulation.
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Vibhor Kumar, Nirmala Arul Rayan, Masafumi Muratani, Stefan Lim, Bavani Elanggovan, et al.. Comprehensive benchmarking reveals H2BK20 acetylation as a distinctive signature of cell-state-specific enhancers and promoters. Genome Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2016, 26 (5), pp.612-623. ⟨10.1101/gr.201038.115⟩. ⟨inserm-02457680⟩

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