Traditional methods used to map the three-dimensional organization of chromatin in-situ generally involve chromatin conformation capture by formaldehyde crosslinking, followed by detergent solubilization and enzymatic digestion of DNA. Ligation of proximal DNA fragments followed by next generation sequencing (NGS) generates contact information that enables a global view of the chromatin conformation. Here, we explore the use of cryomilling to physically fragmentize the cells under cryogenic conditions to probe chromatin interactions in the cryomilled cell fragments by the tethered chromatin conformation capture (TCC). Our results show that cryomilling TCC (CTCC) can generate a global contact map similar to that obtained with in-situ Hi-C. This result suggests that summation of chromatin interactions mapped in individual subcellular fragments can reconstitute the global contact map of intact cells in an ensemble manner, paving the way for chromatin conformation analyses of solid tissue by CTCC. Compared with the conventional in-situ methods such as Hi-C, CTCC shows more uniform access to different subcompartments of the folded genome. On the other hand, most inter-chromosomal (trans) contacts are diminished or lost in CTCC except for a group of unique trans contacts that remain intact throughout the cryomilling and in- vitro crosslinking steps. These apparently ultra-stable trans interactions have much enhanced signal in CTCC due to the elimination of signals of most, presumably weak and transient trans interactions. Systematic and comparative analyses between CTCC and in-situ Hi-C provide further insights into the chromatin structure organization and reveal a generally unentangled chromosome interface and the existence of stable inter-chromosomal contacts that may represent intermingled inter-chromosomal interfaces.
Xu J • Kumar S • Hua N • Kou Y • Lei X • Rout M • Aitchison J • Alber F • Chen L
February 12th, 2022