Modeling cis-regulation with a compendium of genome-wide histone H3K27ac profiles

Su Wang, Chongzhi Zang, Tengfei Xiao, Jingyu Fan, Shenglin Mei, Qian Qin, Qiu Wu, Xujuan Li, Kexin Xu, Housheng Hansen He, Myles Brown, Clifford A. Meyer, X. Shirley Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Model-based analysis of regulation of gene expression (MARGE) is a framework for interpreting the relationship between the H3K27ac chromatin environment and differentially expressed gene sets. The framework has three main functions: MARGE-potential, MARGE-express, and MARGE-cistrome. MARGE-potential defines a regulatory potential (RP) for each gene as the sum of H3K27ac ChIP-seq signals weighted by a function of genomic distance from the transcription start site. The MARGE framework includes a compendium of RPs derived from 365 human and 267 mouse H3K27ac ChIP-seq data sets. Relative RPs, scaled using this compendium, are superior to superenhancers in predicting BET (bromodomain and extraterminal domain) -inhibitor repressed genes. MARGE-express, which uses logistic regression to retrieve relevant H3K27ac profiles from the compendium to accurately model a query set of differentially expressed genes, was tested on 671 diverse gene sets from MSigDB. MARGE-cistrome adopts a novel semisupervised learning approach to identify cis-regulatory elements regulating a gene set. MARGE-cistrome exploits information from H3K27ac signal at DNase I hypersensitive sites identified from published human and mouse DNase-seq data. We tested the framework on newly generated RNAseq and H3K27ac ChIP-seq profiles upon siRNA silencing of multiple transcriptional and epigenetic regulators in a prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP-abl. MARGE-cistrome can predict the binding sites of silenced transcription factors without matched H3K27ac ChIP-seq data. Even when the matching H3K27ac ChIP-seq profiles are available, MARGE leverages public H3K27ac profiles to enhance these data. This study demonstrates the advantage of integrating a large compendium of historical epigenetic data for genomic studies of transcriptional regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1429
Number of pages13
JournalGenome Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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