DNA元件百科全书(Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, ENCODE)项目旨在描述人类基因组中所编码的全部功能性序列元件。ENCODE计划于2003年9月正式启动，吸引了来自美国、英国、西班牙、日本和新加坡五国32个研究机构的440多名科学家的参与，经过了9年的努力，研究了147个组织类型，进行了1478次实验，获得并分析了超过15万亿字节的原始数据，确定了400万个基因开关，明确了哪些DNA片段能打开或关闭特定的基因，以及不同类型细胞之间的“开关”存在的差异。证明所谓“垃圾DNA”都是十分有用的基因成分，担任着基因调控重任。证明人体内没有一个DNA片段是无用的。
目前所有数据均全部公开(http://genome.ucsc.edu/ENCODE/)，并以30篇论文在Nature、Science、Cell、JBC、Genome Biol、Genome Research同时发表(http://www.nature.com/encode)。成为一个互动的百科全书，并可以免费公开获得和利用这些全部的资料和数据。这是迄今最详细的人类基因组分析数据，是对人类生命科学的又一重大贡献。
对41种不同的细胞和组织类型进行基因组DNase I足迹分析(genomic DNase I footprinting)，研究人员在DNA调节区内鉴定出4500万个转录因子结合事件，从而代表着这些转录因子与840万个不同的短DNA序列元件存在差异性地结合。他们还发现影响等位基因染色质状态的基因变异体集中分布在这些足迹之中，并且这些序列元件优先得到DNA甲基化的保护。他们鉴定出一个固定不变的50个碱基对长的足迹，并且这种足迹精确地确定着上千个人启动子内的转录起始位点。最后，他们描述了一个新的调节因子识别基序集合，其中这些基序在序列和功能上是高度保守的。
An expansive human regulatory lexicon encoded in transcription factor footprints
Regulatory factor binding to genomic DNA protects the underlying sequence from cleavage by DNase I, leaving nucleotide-resolution footprints. Using genomic DNase I footprinting across 41 diverse cell and tissue types, we detected 45 million transcription factor occupancy events within regulatory regions, representing differential binding to 8.4 million distinct short sequence elements. Here we show that this small genomic sequence compartment, roughly twice the size of the exome, encodes an expansive repertoire of conserved recognition sequences for DNA-binding proteins that nearly doubles the size of the human cis–regulatory lexicon. We find that genetic variants affecting allelic chromatin states are concentrated in footprints, and that these elements are preferentially sheltered from DNA methylation. High-resolution DNase I cleavage patterns mirror nucleotide-level evolutionary conservation and track the crystallographic topography of protein–DNA interfaces, indicating that transcription factor structure has been evolutionarily imprinted on the human genome sequence. We identify a stereotyped 50-base-pair footprint that precisely defines the site of transcript origination within thousands of human promoters. Finally, we describe a large collection of novel regulatory factor recognition motifs that are highly conserved in both sequence and function, and exhibit cell-selective occupancy patterns that closely parallel major regulators of development, differentiation and pluripotency.
An integrated encyclopedia of DNA elements in the human genome
The human genome encodes the blueprint of life, but the function of the vast majority of its nearly three billion bases is unknown. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has systematically mapped regions of transcription, transcription factor association, chromatin structure and histone modification. These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions. Many discovered candidate regulatory elements are physically associated with one another and with expressed genes, providing new insights into the mechanisms of gene regulation. The newly identified elements also show a statistical correspondence to sequence variants linked to human disease, and can thereby guide interpretation of this variation. Overall, the project provides new insights into the organization and regulation of our genes and genome, and is an expansive resource of functional annotations for biomedical research.
Landscape of transcription in human cells
Eukaryotic cells make many types of primary and processed RNAs that are found either in specific subcellular compartments or throughout the cells. A complete catalogue of these RNAs is not yet available and their characteristic subcellular localizations are also poorly understood. Because RNA represents the direct output of the genetic information encoded by genomes and a significant proportion of a cell’s regulatory capabilities are focused on its synthesis, processing, transport, modification and translation, the generation of such a catalogue is crucial for understanding genome function. Here we report evidence that three-quarters of the human genome is capable of being transcribed, as well as observations about the range and levels of expression, localization, processing fates, regulatory regions and modifications of almost all currently annotated and thousands of previously unannotated RNAs. These observations, taken together, prompt a redefinition of the concept of a gene.
DNase I超敏感位点(DNase I hypersensitive sites, DHSs)是调节性DNA序列的标记物。研究人员通过对125个不同的细胞和组织类型进行全基因组谱分析而鉴定出大约290万个人DHSs，并且首次大范围地绘制出人DHSs图谱。
The accessible chromatin landscape of the human genome
DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) are markers of regulatory DNA and have underpinned the discovery of all classes of cis-regulatory elements including enhancers, promoters, insulators, silencers and locus control regions. Here we present the first extensive map of human DHSs identified through genome-wide profiling in 125 diverse cell and tissue types. We identify ~2.9 million DHSs that encompass virtually all known experimentally validated cis-regulatory sequences and expose a vast trove of novel elements, most with highly cell-selective regulation. Annotating these elements using ENCODE data reveals novel relationships between chromatin accessibility, transcription, DNA methylation and regulatory factor occupancy patterns. We connect ~580,000 distal DHSs with their target promoters, revealing systematic pairing of different classes of distal DHSs and specific promoter types. Patterning of chromatin accessibility at many regulatory regions is organized with dozens to hundreds of co-activated elements, and the transcellular DNase I sensitivity pattern at a given region can predict cell-type-specific functional behaviours. The DHS landscape shows signatures of recent functional evolutionary constraint. However, the DHS compartment in pluripotent and immortalized cells exhibits higher mutation rates than that in highly differentiated cells, exposing an unexpected link between chromatin accessibility, proliferative potential and patterns of human variation.
Architecture of the human regulatory network derived from ENCODE data
Transcription factors bind in a combinatorial fashion to specify the on-and-off states of genes; the ensemble of these binding events forms a regulatory network, constituting the wiring diagram for a cell. To examine the principles of the human transcriptional regulatory network, we determined the genomic binding information of 119 transcription-related factors in over 450 distinct experiments. We found the combinatorial, co-association of transcription factors to be highly context specific: distinct combinations of factors bind at specific genomic locations. In particular, there are significant differences in the binding proximal and distal to genes. We organized all the transcription factor binding into a hierarchy and integrated it with other genomic information (for example, microRNA regulation), forming a dense meta-network. Factors at different levels have different properties; for instance, top-level transcription factors more strongly influence expression and middle-level ones co-regulate targets to mitigate information-flow bottlenecks. Moreover, these co-regulations give rise to many enriched network motifs (for example, noise-buffering feed-forward loops). Finally, more connected network components are under stronger selection and exhibit a greater degree of allele-specific activity (that is, differential binding to the two parental alleles). The regulatory information obtained in this study will be crucial for interpreting personal genome sequences and understanding basic principles of human biology and disease.
在ENCODE项目中，研究人员选择1%的基因组作为项目试点区域，并且利用染色体构象捕获碳拷贝(chromosome conformation capture carbon copy, 简称为5C)技术来综合性地分析了这个区域中转录起始位点和远端序列元件之间的相互作用。他们获得GM12878、K562和HeLa-S3细胞的5C图谱。在每个细胞系，他们发现启动子和远端序列元件之间存在1000多个远距离相互作用。
The long-range interaction landscape of gene promoters
The vast non-coding portion of the human genome is full of functional elements and disease-causing regulatory variants. The principles defining the relationships between these elements and distal target genes remain unknown. Promoters and distal elements can engage in looping interactions that have been implicated in gene regulation. Here we have applied chromosome conformation capture carbon copy (5C) to interrogate comprehensively interactions between transcription start sites (TSSs) and distal elements in 1% of the human genome representing the ENCODE pilot project regions. 5C maps were generated for GM12878, K562 and HeLa-S3 cells and results were integrated with data from the ENCODE consortium. In each cell line we discovered >1,000 long-range interactions between promoters and distal sites that include elements resembling enhancers, promoters and CTCF-bound sites. We observed significant correlations between gene expression, promoter–enhancer interactions and the presence of enhancer RNAs. Long-range interactions show marked asymmetry with a bias for interactions with elements located ~120 kilobases upstream of the TSS. Long-range interactions are often not blocked by sites bound by CTCF and cohesin, indicating that many of these sites do not demarcate physically insulated gene domains. Furthermore, only ~7% of looping interactions are with the nearest gene, indicating that genomic proximity is not a simple predictor for long-range interactions. Finally, promoters and distal elements are engaged in multiple long-range interactions to form complex networks. Our results start to place genes and regulatory elements in three-dimensional context, revealing their functional relationships.
研究人员将ENCODE项目产生的转录因子结合图谱、他们之前发布的数据以及其他的人和果蝇等基因系中基因组变异数据来源结合在一起，来研究转录因子结合位点(transcription factor binding sites, TFBSs)的变异性。他们引入一种TFBS变异性的衡量标准和依据不断出现的每个人的转录因子结合数据来证实TFBS突变，尤其是在进化保守性位点上发生的那些突变，能够被有效地缓解从而确保转录因子结合水平保持一致性。
Analysis of variation at transcription factor binding sites inDrosophila and humans
Advances in sequencing technology have boosted population genomics and made it possible to map the positions of transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) with high precision. Here we investigate TFBS variability by combining transcription factor binding maps generated by ENCODE, modENCODE, our previously published data and other sources with genomic variation data for human individuals and Drosophila isogenic lines.
We introduce a metric of TFBS variability that takes into account changes in motif match associated with mutation and makes it possible to investigate TFBS functional constraints instance-by-instance as well as in sets that share common biological properties. We also take advantage of the emerging per-individual transcription factor binding data to show evidence that TFBS mutations, particularly at evolutionarily conserved sites, can be efficiently buffered to ensure coherent levels of transcription factor binding.
Our analyses provide insights into the relationship between individual and interspecies variation and show evidence for the functional buffering of TFBS mutations in both humans and flies. In a broad perspective, these results demonstrate the potential of combining functional genomics and population genetics approaches for understanding gene regulation.
Cell type-specific binding patterns reveal that TCF7L2 can be tethered to the genome by association with GATA3
The TCF7L2 transcription factor is linked to a variety of human diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cancer. One mechanism by which TCF7L2 could influence expression of genes involved in diverse diseases is by binding to distinct regulatory regions in different tissues. To test this hypothesis, we performed ChIP-seq for TCF7L2 in six human cell lines.
We identified 116,000 non-redundant TCF7L2 binding sites, with only 1,864 sites common to the six cell lines. Using ChIP-seq, we showed that many genomic regions that are marked by both H3K4me1 and H3K27Ac are also bound by TCF7L2, suggesting that TCF7L2 plays a critical role in enhancer activity. Bioinformatic analysis of the cell type-specific TCF7L2 binding sites revealed enrichment for multiple transcription factors, including HNF4alpha and FOXA2 motifs in HepG2 cells and the GATA3 motif in MCF7 cells. ChIP-seq analysis revealed that TCF7L2 co-localizes with HNF4alpha and FOXA2 in HepG2 cells and with GATA3 in MCF7 cells. Interestingly, in MCF7 cells the TCF7L2 motif is enriched in most TCF7L2 sites but is not enriched in the sites bound by both GATA3 and TCF7L2. This analysis suggested that GATA3 might tether TCF7L2 to the genome at these sites. To test this hypothesis, we depleted GATA3 in MCF7 cells and showed that TCF7L2 binding was lost at a subset of sites. RNA-seq analysis suggested that TCF7L2 represses transcription when tethered to the genome via GATA3.
Our studies demonstrate a novel relationship between GATA3 and TCF7L2, and reveal important insights into TCF7L2-mediated gene regulation.
Modeling gene expression using chromatin features in various cellular contexts
Previous work has demonstrated that chromatin feature levels correlate with gene expression. The ENCODE project enables us to further explore this relationship using an unprecedented volume of data. Expression levels from more than 100,000 promoters were measured using a variety of high-throughput techniques applied to RNA extracted by different protocols from different cellular compartments of several human cell lines. ENCODE also generated the genome-wide mapping of eleven histone marks, one histone variant, and DNase I hypersensitivity sites in seven cell lines.
We built a novel quantitative model to study the relationship between chromatin features and expression levels. Our study not only confirms that the general relationships found in previous studies hold across various cell lines, but also makes new suggestions about the relationship between chromatin features and gene expression levels. We found that expression status and expression levels can be predicted by different groups of chromatin features, both with high accuracy. We also found that expression levels measured by CAGE are better predicted than by RNA-PET or RNA-Seq, and different categories of chromatin features are the most predictive of expression for different RNA measurement methods. Additionally, PolyA+ RNA is overall more predictable than PolyA- RNA among different cell compartments, and PolyA+ cytosolic RNA measured with RNA-Seq is more predictable than PolyA+ nuclear RNA, while the opposite is true for PolyA- RNA.
Our study provides new insights into transcriptional regulation by analyzing chromatin features in different cellular contexts.
The GENCODE pseudogene resource
Pseudogenes have long been considered as nonfunctional genomic sequences. However, recent evidence suggests that many of them might have some form of biological activity, and the possibility of functionality has increased interest in their accurate annotation and integration with functional genomics data.
As part of the GENCODE annotation of the human genome, we present the first genome-wide pseudogene assignment for protein-coding genes, based on both large-scale manual annotation and in silico pipelines. A key aspect of this coupled approach is that it allows us to identify pseudogenes in an unbiased fashion as well as untangle complex events through manual evaluation. We integrate the pseudogene annotations with the extensive ENCODE functional genomics information. In particular, we determine the expression level, transcription-factor and RNA polymerase II binding, and chromatin marks associated with each pseudogene. Based on their distribution, we develop simple statistical models for each type of activity, which we validate with large-scale RT-PCR-Seq experiments. Finally, we compare our pseudogenes with conservation and variation data from primate alignments and the 1000 Genomes project, producing lists of pseudogenes potentially under selection.
At one extreme, some pseudogenes possess conventional characteristics of functionality; these may represent genes that have recently died. On the other hand, we find interesting patterns of partial activity, which may suggest that dead genes are being resurrected as functioning non-coding RNAs. The activity data of each pseudogene are stored in an associated resource, psiDR, which will be useful for the initial identification of potentially functional pseudogenes.
为了大规模地描述转录因子结合位点功能，研究人员预测了人启动子中的455个结合位点，并对它们进行突变。在四个不同的永生化人细胞系中，他们利用瞬时转染和荧光素酶报告检测在这些位点上对主要的转录因子CTCF, GABP, GATA2, E2F, STAT和YY1进行功能性的测试。在每个细胞系中，36%到49%的结合位点提高启动子活性，并且在这些细胞系中的任何一个当中，观察到这种提高启动子活性的功能的整体发生率为70%。
Functional analysis of transcription factor binding sites in human promoters
The binding of transcription factors to specific locations in the genome is integral to the orchestration of transcriptional regulation in cells. To characterize transcription factor binding site function on a large scale, we predicted and mutagenized 455 binding sites in human promoters. We carried out functional tests on these sites in four different immortalized human cell lines using transient transfections with a luciferase reporter assay, primarily for the transcription factors CTCF, GABP, GATA2, E2F, STAT, and YY1.
In each cell line, between 36% and 49% of binding sites made a functional contribution to the promoter activity; the overall rate for observing function in any of the cell lines was 70%. Transcription factor binding resulted in transcriptional repression in more than a third of functional sites. When compared with predicted binding sites whose function was not experimentally verified, the functional binding sites had higher conservation and were located closer to transcriptional start sites (TSSs). Among functional sites, repressive sites tended to be located further from TSSs than were activating sites. Our data provide significant insight into the functional characteristics of YY1 binding sites, most notably the detection of distinct activating and repressing classes of YY1 binding sites. Repressing sites were located closer to, and often overlapped with, translational start sites and presented a distinctive variation on the canonical YY1 binding motif.
The genomic properties that we found to associate with functional TF binding sites on promoters -- conservation, TSS proximity, motifs and their variations -- point the way to improved accuracy in future TFBS predictions.
研究人员通过机器学习方法构建出统计学模型来捕获三种匹配类型的区域的基因组特征：活性结合或不活性结合的区域；极端高程度共同结合区域(high degree of co-binding, HOT)和极端低程度共同结合区域(low degree of co-binding, LOT)；位于基因近端或远端的调节性组件。总之，这种区域在染色体位置、染色质特征、结合到它们之上的转录因子和细胞类型特异性上存在复杂的差异。
Classification of human genomic regions based on experimentally determined binding sites of more than 100 transcription-related factors
Transcription factors function by binding different classes of regulatory elements. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has recently produced binding data for more than 100 transcription factors from about 500 ChIP-seq experiments in multiple cell types. While this large amount of data creates a valuable resource, it is nonetheless overwhelmingly complex and simultaneously incomplete since it covers only a small fraction of all human transcription factors.
As part of the consortium effort in providing a concise abstraction of the data for facilitating various types of downstream analyses, we constructed statistical models that capture the genomic features of three paired types of regions by machine-learning methods: firstly, regions with active or inactive binding; secondly, those with extremely high or low degrees of co-binding, termed HOT and LOT regions; and finally, regulatory modules proximal or distal to genes. From the distal regulatory modules, we developed computational pipelines to identify potential enhancers, many of which were validated experimentally. We further associated the predicted enhancers with potential target transcripts and the transcription factors involved. For HOT regions, we found a significant fraction of transcription factor binding without clear sequence motifs and showed that this observation could be related to strong DNA accessibility of these regions.
Overall, the three pairs of regions exhibit intricate differences in chromosomal locations, chromatin features, factors that bind them, and cell-type specificity. Our machine learning approach enables us to identify features potentially general to all transcription factors, including those not included in the data.
Annotation of functional variation in personal genomes using RegulomeDB
As the sequencing of healthy and disease genomes becomes more commonplace, detailed annotation provides interpretation for individual variation responsible for normal and disease phenotypes. Current approaches focus on direct changes in protein coding genes, particularly nonsynonymous mutations that directly affect the gene product. However, most individual variation occurs outside of genes and, indeed, most markers generated from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identify variants outside of coding segments. Identification of potential regulatory changes that perturb these sites will lead to a better localization of truly functional variants and interpretation of their effects. We have developed a novel approach and database, RegulomeDB, which guides interpretation of regulatory variants in the human genome. RegulomeDB includes high-throughput, experimental data sets from ENCODE and other sources, as well as computational predictions and manual annotations to identify putative regulatory potential and identify functional variants. These data sources are combined into a powerful tool that scores variants to help separate functional variants from a large pool and provides a small set of putative sites with testable hypotheses as to their function. We demonstrate the applicability of this tool to the annotation of noncoding variants from 69 full sequenced genomes as well as that of a personal genome, where thousands of functionally associated variants were identified. Moreover, we demonstrate a GWAS where the database is able to quickly identify the known associated functional variant and provide a hypothesis as to its function. Overall, we expect this approach and resource to be valuable for the annotation of human genome sequences.
根据研究人员进行ChIP-seq实验的经历，ENCODE和modENCODE(model organism ENCODE, 模式生物ENCODE)为经常更新的ChIP-seq实验制定出一套工作标准和指导准则。
ChIP-seq guidelines and practices of the ENCODE and modENCODE consortia
Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq) has become a valuable and widely used approach for mapping the genomic location of transcription-factor binding and histone modifications in living cells. Despite its widespread use, there are considerable differences in how these experiments are conducted, how the results are scored and evaluated for quality, and how the data and metadata are archived for public use. These practices affect the quality and utility of any global ChIP experiment. Through our experience in performing ChIP-seq experiments, the ENCODE and modENCODE consortia have developed a set of working standards and guidelines for ChIP experiments that are updated routinely. The current guidelines address antibody validation, experimental replication, sequencing depth, data and metadata reporting, and data quality assessment. We discuss how ChIP quality, assessed in these ways, affects different uses of ChIP-seq data. All data sets used in the analysis have been deposited for public viewing and downloading at the ENCODE (http://encodeproject.org/ENCODE/) and modENCODE (http://www.modencode.org/) portals.
Combining RT-PCR-seq and RNA-seq to catalog all genic elements encoded in the human genome
Within the ENCODE Consortium, GENCODE aimed to accurately annotate all protein-coding genes, pseudogenes, and noncoding transcribed loci in the human genome through manual curation and computational methods. Annotated transcript structures were assessed, and less well-supported loci were systematically, experimentally validated. Predicted exon–exon junctions were evaluated by RT-PCR amplification followed by highly multiplexed sequencing readout, a method we called RT-PCR-seq. Seventy-nine percent of all assessed junctions are confirmed by this evaluation procedure, demonstrating the high quality of the GENCODE gene set. RT-PCR-seq was also efficient to screen gene models predicted using the Human Body Map (HBM) RNA-seq data. We validated 73% of these predictions, thus confirming 1168 novel genes, mostly noncoding, which will further complement the GENCODE annotation. Our novel experimental validation pipeline is extremely sensitive, far more than unbiased transcriptome profiling through RNA sequencing, which is becoming the norm. For example, exon–exon junctions unique to GENCODE annotated transcripts are five times more likely to be corroborated with our targeted approach than with extensive large human transcriptome profiling. Data sets such as the HBM and ENCODE RNA-seq data fail sampling of low-expressed transcripts. Our RT-PCR-seq targeted approach also has the advantage of identifying novel exons of known genes, as we discovered unannotated exons in ∼11% of assessed introns. We thus estimate that at least 18% of known loci have yet-unannotated exons. Our work demonstrates that the cataloging of all of the genic elements encoded in the human genome will necessitate a coordinated effort between unbiased and targeted approaches, like RNA-seq and RT-PCR-seq.
研究人员分析了K562细胞系中通过RNA-seq测序而获得的细胞内RNA组分。他们发现在人基因组中，RNA剪接主要是在转录期间完成的。通过引入coSI 测量方法，他们证实在细胞质polyA+ RNA中，剪接几乎完全完成。因此，大多数RNA在被转录的同时进行剪接，即共转录剪接。
Deep sequencing of subcellular RNA fractions shows splicing to be predominantly co-transcriptional in the human genome but inefficient for lncRNAs
Splicing remains an incompletely understood process. Recent findings suggest that chromatin structure participates in its regulation. Here, we analyze the RNA from subcellular fractions obtained through RNA-seq in the cell line K562. We show that in the human genome, splicing occurs predominantly during transcription. We introduce the coSI measure, based on RNA-seq reads mapping to exon junctions and borders, to assess the degree of splicing completion around internal exons. We show that, as expected, splicing is almost fully completed in cytosolic polyA+ RNA. In chromatin-associated RNA (which includes the RNA that is being transcribed), for 5.6% of exons, the removal of the surrounding introns is fully completed, compared with 0.3% of exons for which no intron-removal has occurred. The remaining exons exist as a mixture of spliced and fewer unspliced molecules, with a median coSI of 0.75. Thus, most RNAs undergo splicing while being transcribed: “co-transcriptional splicing.” Consistent with co-transcriptional spliceosome assembly and splicing, we have found significant enrichment of spliceosomal snRNAs in chromatin-associated RNA compared with other cellular RNA fractions and other nonspliceosomal snRNAs. CoSI scores decrease along the gene, pointing to a “first transcribed, first spliced” rule, yet more downstream exons carry other characteristics, favoring rapid, co-transcriptional intron removal. Exons with low coSI values, that is, in the process of being spliced, are enriched with chromatin marks, consistent with a role for chromatin in splicing during transcription. For alternative exons and long noncoding RNAs, splicing tends to occur later, and the latter might remain unspliced in some cases.
非典型的miRNA模板并不适合经常用来标注典型miRNA的策略。通过对737个小鼠和人类小RNA数据集进行大规模分析，研究人员采取严格且保守性的策略对237个小鼠剪接来源miRNA(splicing-derived miRNAs, mirtrons)和240个人mirtrons进行标注。在哺乳动物中，这些mirtrons可以分为三类：常规性的mirtrons、5'加尾mirtrons和3'加尾mirtrons。
Discovery of hundreds of mirtrons in mouse and human small RNA data
Atypical miRNA substrates do not fit criteria often used to annotate canonical miRNAs, and can escape the notice of miRNA genefinders. Recent analyses expanded the catalogs of invertebrate splicing-derived miRNAs (“mirtrons”), but only a few tens of mammalian mirtrons have been recognized to date. We performed meta-analysis of 737 mouse and human small RNA data sets comprising 2.83 billion raw reads. Using strict and conservative criteria, we provide confident annotation for 237 mouse and 240 human splicing-derived miRNAs, the vast majority of which are novel genes. These comprise three classes of splicing-derived miRNAs in mammals: conventional mirtrons, 5′-tailed mirtrons, and 3′-tailed mirtrons. In addition, we segregated several hundred additional human and mouse loci with candidate (and often compelling) evidence. Most of these loci arose relatively recently in their respective lineages. Nevertheless, some members in each of the three mirtron classes are conserved, indicating their incorporation into beneficial regulatory networks. We also provide the first Northern validation for mammalian mirtrons, and demonstrate Dicer-dependent association of mature miRNAs from all three classes of mirtrons with Ago2. The recognition of hundreds of mammalian mirtrons provides a new foundation for understanding the scope and evolutionary dynamics of Dicer substrates in mammals.
GENCODE项目旨在利用计算分析、人工标注和实验验证来鉴定出人基因组中所有的基因特征。GENCODE第七版(GENCODE v7)公开发布了基因组标注数据集，包含了20687个蛋白编码的RNA基因座位、9640个长链非编码RNA基因座位，并且拥有33977个在UCSC基因数据库和RefSeq数据库中不存在的编码性转录本。它还对公开获得的长链非编码RNA(long noncoding RNA, lncRNA)进行最全面的标注。
GENCODE: The reference human genome annotation for The ENCODE Project
The GENCODE Consortium aims to identify all gene features in the human genome using a combination of computational analysis, manual annotation, and experimental validation. Since the first public release of this annotation data set, few new protein-coding loci have been added, yet the number of alternative splicing transcripts annotated has steadily increased. The GENCODE 7 release contains 20,687 protein-coding and 9640 long noncoding RNA loci and has 33,977 coding transcripts not represented in UCSC genes and RefSeq. It also has the most comprehensive annotation of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) loci publicly available with the predominant transcript form consisting of two exons. We have examined the completeness of the transcript annotation and found that 35% of transcriptional start sites are supported by CAGE clusters and 62% of protein-coding genes have annotated polyA sites. Over one-third of GENCODE protein-coding genes are supported by peptide hits derived from mass spectrometry spectra submitted to Peptide Atlas. New models derived from the Illumina Body Map 2.0 RNA-seq data identify 3689 new loci not currently in GENCODE, of which 3127 consist of two exon models indicating that they are possibly unannotated long noncoding loci. GENCODE 7 is publicly available from gencodegenes.org and via the Ensembl and UCSC Genome Browsers.
Linking disease associations with regulatory information in the human genome
Genome-wide association studies have been successful in identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with a large number of phenotypes. However, an associated SNP is likely part of a larger region of linkage disequilibrium. This makes it difficult to precisely identify the SNPs that have a biological link with the phenotype. We have systematically investigated the association of multiple types of ENCODE data with disease-associated SNPs and show that there is significant enrichment for functional SNPs among the currently identified associations. This enrichment is strongest when integrating multiple sources of functional information and when highest confidence disease-associated SNPs are used. We propose an approach that integrates multiple types of functional data generated by the ENCODE Consortium to help identify “functional SNPs” that may be associated with the disease phenotype. Our approach generates putative functional annotations for up to 80% of all previously reported associations. We show that for most associations, the functional SNP most strongly supported by experimental evidence is a SNP in linkage disequilibrium with the reported association rather than the reported SNP itself. Our results show that the experimental data sets generated by the ENCODE Consortium can be successfully used to suggest functional hypotheses for variants associated with diseases and other phenotypes.
Long noncoding RNAs are rarely translated in two human cell lines
Data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project show over 9640 human genome loci classified as long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), yet only ∼100 have been deeply characterized to determine their role in the cell. To measure the protein-coding output from these RNAs, we jointly analyzed two recent data sets produced in the ENCODE project: tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) data mapping expressed peptides to their encoding genomic loci, and RNA-seq data generated by ENCODE in long polyA+ and polyA− fractions in the cell lines K562 and GM12878. We used the machine-learning algorithm RuleFit3 to regress the peptide data against RNA expression data. The most important covariate for predicting translation was, surprisingly, the Cytosol polyA− fraction in both cell lines. LncRNAs are ∼13-fold less likely to produce detectable peptides than similar mRNAs, indicating that ∼92% of GENCODE v7 lncRNAs are not translated in these two ENCODE cell lines. Intersecting 9640 lncRNA loci with 79,333 peptides yielded 85 unique peptides matching 69 lncRNAs. Most cases were due to a coding transcript misannotated as lncRNA. Two exceptions were an unprocessed pseudogene and a bona fide lncRNA gene, both with open reading frames (ORFs) compromised by upstream stop codons. All potentially translatable lncRNA ORFs had only a single peptide match, indicating low protein abundance and/or false-positive peptide matches. We conclude that with very few exceptions, ribosomes are able to distinguish coding from noncoding transcripts and, hence, that ectopic translation and cryptic mRNAs are rare in the human lncRNAome.
为了更好地界定人基因组调节性序列变异的模式，研究人员选择了来自不同地理位置的53个人的全基因组序列，将他们的138个细胞和组织类型的DNase I超敏感位点(DNase I hypersensitive sites, DHSs)标记的全基因组调节性DNA序列图谱结合起来。研究人员估计相比于蛋白编码的DNA序列，每个人可能拥有很多更加具有功能重要性的调节性DNA序列变异体，尽管平均而言，它们可能产生更加小的影响。
Personal and population genomics of human regulatory variation
The characteristics and evolutionary forces acting on regulatory variation in humans remains elusive because of the difficulty in defining functionally important noncoding DNA. Here, we combine genome-scale maps of regulatory DNA marked by DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) from 138 cell and tissue types with whole-genome sequences of 53 geographically diverse individuals in order to better delimit the patterns of regulatory variation in humans. We estimate that individuals likely harbor many more functionally important variants in regulatory DNA compared with protein-coding regions, although they are likely to have, on average, smaller effect sizes. Moreover, we demonstrate that there is significant heterogeneity in the level of functional constraint in regulatory DNA among different cell types. We also find marked variability in functional constraint among transcription factor motifs in regulatory DNA, with sequence motifs for major developmental regulators, such as HOX proteins, exhibiting levels of constraint comparable to protein-coding regions. Finally, we perform a genome-wide scan of recent positive selection and identify hundreds of novel substrates of adaptive regulatory evolution that are enriched for biologically interesting pathways such as melanogenesis and adipocytokine signaling. These data and results provide new insights into patterns of regulatory variation in individuals and populations and demonstrate that a large proportion of functionally important variation lies beyond the exome.
Predicting cell-type–specific gene expression from regions of open chromatin
Complex patterns of cell-type–specific gene expression are thought to be achieved by combinatorial binding of transcription factors (TFs) to sequence elements in regulatory regions. Predicting cell-type–specific expression in mammals has been hindered by the oftentimes unknown location of distal regulatory regions. To alleviate this bottleneck, we used DNase-seq data from 19 diverse human cell types to identify proximal and distal regulatory elements at genome-wide scale. Matched expression data allowed us to separate genes into classes of cell-type–specific up-regulated, down-regulated, and constitutively expressed genes. CG dinucleotide content and DNA accessibility in the promoters of these three classes of genes displayed substantial differences, highlighting the importance of including these aspects in modeling gene expression. We associated DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) with genes, and trained classifiers for different expression patterns. TF sequence motif matches in DHSs provided a strong performance improvement in predicting gene expression over the typical baseline approach of using proximal promoter sequences. In particular, we achieved competitive performance when discriminating up-regulated genes from different cell types or genes up- and down-regulated under the same conditions. We identified previously known and new candidate cell-type–specific regulators. The models generated testable predictions of activating or repressive functions of regulators. DNase I footprints for these regulators were indicative of their direct binding to DNA. In summary, we successfully used information of open chromatin obtained by a single assay, DNase-seq, to address the problem of predicting cell-type–specific gene expression in mammalian organisms directly from regulatory sequence.
RNA editing in the human ENCODE RNA-seq data
RNA-seq data can be mined for sequence differences relative to the reference genome to identify both genomic SNPs and RNA editing events. We analyzed the long, polyA-selected, unstranded, deeply sequenced RNA-seq data from the ENCODE Project across 14 human cell lines for candidate RNA editing events. On average, 43% of the RNA sequencing variants that are not in dbSNP and are within gene boundaries are A-to-G(I) RNA editing candidates. The vast majority of A-to-G(I) edits are located in introns and 3′ UTRs, with only 123 located in protein-coding sequence. In contrast, the majority of non–A-to-G variants (60%–80%) map near exon boundaries and have the characteristics of splice-mapping artifacts. After filtering out all candidates with evidence of private genomic variation using genome resequencing or ChIP-seq data, we find that up to 85% of the high-confidence RNA variants are A-to-G(I) editing candidates. Genes with A-to-G(I) edits are enriched in Gene Ontology terms involving cell division, viral defense, and translation. The distribution and character of the remaining non–A-to-G variants closely resemble known SNPs. We find no reproducible A-to-G(I) edits that result in nonsynonymous substitutions in all three lymphoblastoid cell lines in our study, unlike RNA editing in the brain. Given that only a fraction of sites are reproducibly edited in multiple cell lines and that we find a stronger association of editing and specific genes suggests that the editing of the transcript is more important than the editing of any individual site.
Sequence and chromatin determinants of cell-type–specific transcription factor binding
Gene regulatory programs in distinct cell types are maintained in large part through the cell-type–specific binding of transcription factors (TFs). The determinants of TF binding include direct DNA sequence preferences, DNA sequence preferences of cofactors, and the local cell-dependent chromatin context. To explore the contribution of DNA sequence signal, histone modifications, and DNase accessibility to cell-type–specific binding, we analyzed 286 ChIP-seq experiments performed by the ENCODE Consortium. This analysis included experiments for 67 transcriptional regulators, 15 of which were profiled in both the GM12878 (lymphoblastoid) and K562 (erythroleukemic) human hematopoietic cell lines. To model TF-bound regions, we trained support vector machines (SVMs) that use flexible k-mer patterns to capture DNA sequence signals more accurately than traditional motif approaches. In addition, we trained SVM spatial chromatin signatures to model local histone modifications and DNase accessibility, obtaining significantly more accurate TF occupancy predictions than simpler approaches. Consistent with previous studies, we find that DNase accessibility can explain cell-line–specific binding for many factors. However, we also find that of the 10 factors with prominent cell-type–specific binding patterns, four display distinct cell-type–specific DNA sequence preferences according to our models. Moreover, for two factors we identify cell-specific binding sites that are accessible in both cell types but bound only in one. For these sites, cell-type–specific sequence models, rather than DNase accessibility, are better able to explain differential binding. Our results suggest that using a single motif for each TF and filtering for chromatin accessible loci is not always sufficient to accurately account for cell-type–specific binding profiles.
Sequence features and chromatin structure around the genomic regions bound by 119 human transcription factors
Chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) has become the dominant technique for mapping transcription factor (TF) binding regions genome-wide. We performed an integrative analysis centered around 457 ChIP-seq data sets on 119 human TFs generated by the ENCODE Consortium. We identified highly enriched sequence motifs in most data sets, revealing new motifs and validating known ones. The motif sites (TF binding sites) are highly conserved evolutionarily and show distinct footprints upon DNase I digestion. We frequently detected secondary motifs in addition to the canonical motifs of the TFs, indicating tethered binding and cobinding between multiple TFs. We observed significant position and orientation preferences between many cobinding TFs. Genes specifically expressed in a cell line are often associated with a greater occurrence of nearby TF binding in that cell line. We observed cell-line–specific secondary motifs that mediate the binding of the histone deacetylase HDAC2 and the enhancer-binding protein EP300. TF binding sites are located in GC-rich, nucleosome-depleted, and DNase I sensitive regions, flanked by well-positioned nucleosomes, and many of these features show cell type specificity. The GC-richness may be beneficial for regulating TF binding because, when unoccupied by a TF, these regions are occupied by nucleosomes in vivo. We present the results of our analysis in a TF-centric web repository Factorbook (http://factorbook.org) and will continually update this repository as more ENCODE data are generated.
The GENCODE v7 catalog of human long noncoding RNAs: Analysis of their gene structure, evolution, and expression
The human genome contains many thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). While several studies have demonstrated compelling biological and disease roles for individual examples, analytical and experimental approaches to investigate these genes have been hampered by the lack of comprehensive lncRNA annotation. Here, we present and analyze the most complete human lncRNA annotation to date, produced by the GENCODE consortium within the framework of the ENCODE project and comprising 9277 manually annotated genes producing 14,880 transcripts. Our analyses indicate that lncRNAs are generated through pathways similar to that of protein-coding genes, with similar histone-modification profiles, splicing signals, and exon/intron lengths. In contrast to protein-coding genes, however, lncRNAs display a striking bias toward two-exon transcripts, they are predominantly localized in the chromatin and nucleus, and a fraction appear to be preferentially processed into small RNAs. They are under stronger selective pressure than neutrally evolving sequences—particularly in their promoter regions, which display levels of selection comparable to protein-coding genes. Importantly, about one-third seem to have arisen within the primate lineage. Comprehensive analysis of their expression in multiple human organs and brain regions shows that lncRNAs are generally lower expressed than protein-coding genes, and display more tissue-specific expression patterns, with a large fraction of tissue-specific lncRNAs expressed in the brain. Expression correlation analysis indicates that lncRNAs show particularly striking positive correlation with the expression of antisense coding genes. This GENCODE annotation represents a valuable resource for future studies of lncRNAs.
在许多种细胞系中，研究人员将14个染色质信号(12个染色质标记、DNase和核小体定位)与119个DNA结合蛋白的结合位点相关联在一起。他们开发出一种被称作CAGT(Clustered AGgregation Tool)的方法来解释染色质标记在信号强度、形状和隐性链定位上的异质性。
Ubiquitous heterogeneity and asymmetry of the chromatin environment at regulatory elements
Gene regulation at functional elements (e.g., enhancers, promoters, insulators) is governed by an interplay of nucleosome remodeling, histone modifications, and transcription factor binding. To enhance our understanding of gene regulation, the ENCODE Consortium has generated a wealth of ChIP-seq data on DNA-binding proteins and histone modifications. We additionally generated nucleosome positioning data on two cell lines, K562 and GM12878, by MNase digestion and high-depth sequencing. Here we relate 14 chromatin signals (12 histone marks, DNase, and nucleosome positioning) to the binding sites of 119 DNA-binding proteins across a large number of cell lines. We developed a new method for unsupervised pattern discovery, the Clustered AGgregation Tool (CAGT), which accounts for the inherent heterogeneity in signal magnitude, shape, and implicit strand orientation of chromatin marks. We applied CAGT on a total of 5084 data set pairs to obtain an exhaustive catalog of high-resolution patterns of histone modifications and nucleosome positioning signals around bound transcription factors. Our analyses reveal extensive heterogeneity in how histone modifications are deposited, and how nucleosomes are positioned around binding sites. With the exception of the CTCF/cohesin complex, asymmetry of nucleosome positioning is predominant. Asymmetry of histone modifications is also widespread, for all types of chromatin marks examined, including promoter, enhancer, elongation, and repressive marks. The fine-resolution signal shapes discovered by CAGT unveiled novel correlation patterns between chromatin marks, nucleosome positioning, and sequence content. Meta-analyses of the signal profiles revealed a common vocabulary of chromatin signals shared across multiple cell lines and binding proteins.
Understanding transcriptional regulation by integrative analysis of transcription factor binding data
Statistical models have been used to quantify the relationship between gene expression and transcription factor (TF) binding signals. Here we apply the models to the large-scale data generated by the ENCODE project to study transcriptional regulation by TFs. Our results reveal a notable difference in the prediction accuracy of expression levels of transcription start sites (TSSs) captured by different technologies and RNA extraction protocols. In general, the expression levels of TSSs with high CpG content are more predictable than those with low CpG content. For genes with alternative TSSs, the expression levels of downstream TSSs are more predictable than those of the upstream ones. Different TF categories and specific TFs vary substantially in their contributions to predicting expression. Between two cell lines, the differential expression of TSS can be precisely reflected by the difference of TF-binding signals in a quantitative manner, arguing against the conventional on-and-off model of TF binding. Finally, we explore the relationships between TF-binding signals and other chromatin features such as histone modifications and DNase hypersensitivity for determining expression. The models imply that these features regulate transcription in a highly coordinated manner.
Widespread plasticity in CTCF occupancy linked to DNA methylation
CTCF is a ubiquitously expressed regulator of fundamental genomic processes including transcription, intra- and interchromosomal interactions, and chromatin structure. Because of its critical role in genome function, CTCF binding patterns have long been assumed to be largely invariant across different cellular environments. Here we analyze genome-wide occupancy patterns of CTCF by ChIP-seq in 19 diverse human cell types, including normal primary cells and immortal lines. We observed highly reproducible yet surprisingly plastic genomic binding landscapes, indicative of strong cell-selective regulation of CTCF occupancy. Comparison with massively parallel bisulfite sequencing data indicates that 41% of variable CTCF binding is linked to differential DNA methylation, concentrated at two critical positions within the CTCF recognition sequence. Unexpectedly, CTCF binding patterns were markedly different in normal versus immortal cells, with the latter showing widespread disruption of CTCF binding associated with increased methylation. Strikingly, this disruption is accompanied by up-regulation of CTCF expression, with the result that both normal and immortal cells maintain the same average number of CTCF occupancy sites genome-wide. These results reveal a tight linkage between DNA methylation and the global occupancy patterns of a major sequence-specific regulatory factor.
A highly integrated and complex PPARGC1A transcription factor binding network in HepG2 cells
PPARGC1A is a transcriptional coactivator that binds to and coactivates a variety of transcription factors (TFs) to regulate the expression of target genes. PPARGC1A plays a pivotal role in regulating energy metabolism and has been implicated in several human diseases, most notably type II diabetes. Previous studies have focused on the interplay between PPARGC1A and individual TFs, but little is known about how PPARGC1A combines with all of its partners across the genome to regulate transcriptional dynamics. In this study, we describe a core PPARGC1A transcriptional regulatory network operating in HepG2 cells treated with forskolin. We first mapped the genome-wide binding sites of PPARGC1A using chromatin-IP followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) and uncovered overrepresented DNA sequence motifs corresponding to known and novel PPARGC1A network partners. We then profiled six of these site-specific TF partners using ChIP-seq and examined their network connectivity and combinatorial binding patterns with PPARGC1A. Our analysis revealed extensive overlap of targets including a novel link between PPARGC1A and HSF1, a TF regulating the conserved heat shock response pathway that is misregulated in diabetes. Importantly, we found that different combinations of TFs bound to distinct functional sets of genes, thereby helping to reveal the combinatorial regulatory code for metabolic and other cellular processes. In addition, the different TFs often bound near the promoters and coding regions of each other's genes suggesting an intricate network of interdependent regulation. Overall, our study provides an important framework for understanding the systems-level control of metabolic gene expression in humans.