Transcriptionally active enhancers in human cancer cells


Lidschreiber K, Jung LA, von der Emde H, Dave K, Taipale J, Cramer P, Lidschreiber M


Molecular Systems Biology


Mol Syst Biol. 2021 Jan;17(1):e9873.


The growth of human cancer cells is driven by aberrant enhancer and gene transcription activity. Here, we use transient transcriptome sequencing (TT-seq) to map thousands of transcriptionally active putative enhancers in fourteen human cancer cell lines covering seven types of cancer. These enhancers were associated with cell type-specific gene expression, enriched for genetic variants that predispose to cancer, and included functionally verified enhancers. Enhancer-promoter (E-P) pairing by correlation of transcription activity revealed ~ 40,000 putative E-P pairs, which were depleted for housekeeping genes and enriched for transcription factors, cancer-associated genes, and 3D conformational proximity. The cell type specificity and transcription activity of target genes increased with the number of paired putative enhancers. Our results represent a rich resource for future studies of gene regulation by enhancers and their role in driving cancerous cell growth.



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