Digestion-ligation-only Hi-C is an efficient and cost-effective method for chromosome conformation capture
Researchers at China’s Huazhong Agricultural University and colleagues in the US have improved a technique that maps the three-dimensional (3D) structure of a cell’s genome, simplifying 3D genome mapping and making it cheaper.
Genetic material is tightly packed into cell nuclei, forming folding coils of chromatin. Researchers have developed techniques to investigate how these folds interact with each other as they cross and touch in order to regulate gene expression, DNA replication and cell fate; and how abnormal folding may lead to disease.
Gang Cao and colleagues modified the well-established ‘Hi-C’ technique for studying 3D chromatin structure. Their ‘digestion-ligation-only Hi-C’ approach is simpler and cheaper, and cuts the amount of uninformative DNA data produced. Improvements are still needed, but the technique promises to facilitate 3D genome mapping.
- Nature Genetics 50, 754–763 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0111-2