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CTCF organizes inter-A compartment interactions through RYBP-dependent phase separation


Dr. Cheng Li published a paper in Cell Research with his collaborator.

Chromatin is spatially organized into three-dimensional structures at different levels including A/B compartments, topologically associating domains and loops. The canonical CTCF-mediated loop extrusion model can explain the formation of loops. However, the organization mechanisms underlying long-range chromatin interactions such as interactions between A–A compartments are still poorly understood. Here we show that different from the canonical loop extrusion model, RYBP-mediated phase separation of CTCF organizes inter-A compartment interactions. Based on this model, we designed and verified an induced CTCF phase separation system in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which facilitated inter-A compartment interactions, improved self-renewal of ESCs and inhibited their differentiation toward neural progenitor cells. These findings support a novel and non-canonical role of CTCF in organizing long-range chromatin interactions via phase separation.

Original link: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-022-00676-0.