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Heritable Individual-Specific and Allele-Specific Chromatin Signatures in Humans

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Science  09 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5975, pp. 235-239
DOI: 10.1126/science.1184655

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Like Father, Like Mother, Like Child

Transcriptional regulation is mediated by chromatin structure, which may affect the binding of transcription factors, but the extent of how individual-to-individual genetic variation affects such regulation is not well understood. Kasowski et al. (p. 232, published online 18 March) investigated the binding of two transcription factors across the genomes of human individuals and one chimpanzee. Transcription factor binding was associated with genomic features such as nucleotide variation, insertions and deletions, and copy number variation. Thus, genomic sequence variation affects transcription factor binding and may explain expression difference among individuals. McDaniell et al. (p. 235, published online 18 March) provide a genome-wide catalog of variation in chromatin and transcription factor binding in two parent-child trios of European and African ancestry. Up to 10% of active chromatin binding sites were specific to a set of individuals and were often inherited. Furthermore, variation in active chromatin sites showed heritable allele-specific correlation with variation in gene expression.

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