Chromosome Compartments on the Inactive X Guide TAD Formation Independently of Transcription during X-Reactivation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
M. BauerBernhard Payer


A hallmark of chromosome organization is the partition into transcriptionally active A and repressed B compartments and into topologically associating domains (TADs). Both structures were regarded absent from the inactive X chromosome, but to be re-established with transcriptional reactivation and chromatin opening during X-reactivation. Here, we combine a tailor-made mouse iPSC-reprogramming system and high-resolution Hi-C to produce the first time-course combining gene reactivation, chromatin opening and chromosome topology during X-reactivation. Contrary to previous observations, we uncover A/B-like compartments on the inactive X harboring multiple subcompartments. While partial X-reactivation initiates within a compartment rich in X-inactivation escapees, it then occurs rapidly along the chromosome, coinciding with acquisition of naive pluripotency, leading to downregulation of Xist. Importantly, we find that TAD formation precedes transcription, suggesting them to be causally independent. Instead, TADs form first within Xist-poor compartments, establishing Xist as common denominator, opposing both gene reactivation and TAD formation through separate mechanisms.

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