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Identifying transcriptional targets.

Taverner NV, Smith JC, Wardle FC - Genome Biol. (2004)

Bottom Line: Identifying the targets of transcription factors is important for understanding cellular processes.We review how targets have previously been isolated and outline new technologies that are being developed to identify novel direct targets, including chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with microarray screening and bioinformatic approaches.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK.

ABSTRACT
Identifying the targets of transcription factors is important for understanding cellular processes. We review how targets have previously been isolated and outline new technologies that are being developed to identify novel direct targets, including chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with microarray screening and bioinformatic approaches.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental procedures for identifying transcription-factor targets in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Dam methylase identification (DamID), using microarrays. (a) In ChIP, formaldehyde is used to fix proteins bound to DNA in vivo. The DNA is then isolated and sheared by sonication into fragments of 200-700 base-pairs. An antibody against the transcription factor of interest is used to immunoprecipitate the factor and associated chromatin; or, if an epitope-tagged version of the protein is expressed in cells, an antibody can be used that is specific to the epitope. Protein is then removed from the DNA by reversal of the crosslinks and digestion with proteinase K. At this point, the isolated DNA can be used to verify targets by PCR or dot blot, or the DNA may be sub-cloned and sequenced to identify new targets [44]. For ChIP array analysis, the purified DNA is amplified by PCR and then labeled with a fluorophore, such as Cy3. As a reference for background binding, input DNA that is not enriched by immunoprecipitation is also amplified and labeled with another fluorophore, such as Cy5 [16,18]. Alternatively, non-enriched reference DNA is isolated after immunoprecipitation from cells that do not contain the transcription factor of interest [15]. The two populations of DNA are then hybridized to a microarray containing genomic sequences, and target sequences bound by the factor are identified according to the relative fluorescent intensity of each spot. (b) With DamID, the transcription factor of interest is fused to the Escherichia coli enzyme DNA adenine methylase (Dam). The fusion protein is expressed in vivo and Dam methylates DNA in the immediate vicinity of the binding site of the transcription factor, specifically acting on adenines in the sequence GATC. Dam alone is also expressed in cells as a reference, to identify background binding and methylation. Given that endogenous methylation of adenine does not occur in the DNA of most eukaryotes, methylated DNA can then be digested with Dpn1 (which cuts at the sequence GAmeTC) and isolated from uncut genomic DNA by size fractionation. The resulting DNA can then be analyzed by Southern blot to verify putative targets [14]. For genome-wide analysis, DNA from the experimental and reference samples is labeled with two different fluorophores (such as Cy3 and Cy5) and hybridized to a microarray [17,28,29].
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Figure 2: Experimental procedures for identifying transcription-factor targets in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Dam methylase identification (DamID), using microarrays. (a) In ChIP, formaldehyde is used to fix proteins bound to DNA in vivo. The DNA is then isolated and sheared by sonication into fragments of 200-700 base-pairs. An antibody against the transcription factor of interest is used to immunoprecipitate the factor and associated chromatin; or, if an epitope-tagged version of the protein is expressed in cells, an antibody can be used that is specific to the epitope. Protein is then removed from the DNA by reversal of the crosslinks and digestion with proteinase K. At this point, the isolated DNA can be used to verify targets by PCR or dot blot, or the DNA may be sub-cloned and sequenced to identify new targets [44]. For ChIP array analysis, the purified DNA is amplified by PCR and then labeled with a fluorophore, such as Cy3. As a reference for background binding, input DNA that is not enriched by immunoprecipitation is also amplified and labeled with another fluorophore, such as Cy5 [16,18]. Alternatively, non-enriched reference DNA is isolated after immunoprecipitation from cells that do not contain the transcription factor of interest [15]. The two populations of DNA are then hybridized to a microarray containing genomic sequences, and target sequences bound by the factor are identified according to the relative fluorescent intensity of each spot. (b) With DamID, the transcription factor of interest is fused to the Escherichia coli enzyme DNA adenine methylase (Dam). The fusion protein is expressed in vivo and Dam methylates DNA in the immediate vicinity of the binding site of the transcription factor, specifically acting on adenines in the sequence GATC. Dam alone is also expressed in cells as a reference, to identify background binding and methylation. Given that endogenous methylation of adenine does not occur in the DNA of most eukaryotes, methylated DNA can then be digested with Dpn1 (which cuts at the sequence GAmeTC) and isolated from uncut genomic DNA by size fractionation. The resulting DNA can then be analyzed by Southern blot to verify putative targets [14]. For genome-wide analysis, DNA from the experimental and reference samples is labeled with two different fluorophores (such as Cy3 and Cy5) and hybridized to a microarray [17,28,29].

Mentions: To overcome this difficulty, two methods have been developed to demonstrate direct binding of a transcription factor to promoter regions of DNA in vivo: chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Dam methylase identification (DamID; both are described in Figure 2). In addition to being used to ask whether a particular candidate gene is a direct target of a transcription factor, these techniques can also be adapted to identify new target genes. For example, regulatory DNA sequences enriched by ChIP can be used as probes to identify the coding regions of direct target genes [12-14]. Even these approaches have their limitations, however. In ChIP, protein-DNA interactions may not survive the procedure, and there is the risk of artifactual binding being introduced during the fixation process; similarly, expression of a fusion protein with DamID may not accurately replicate the situation in vivo. Nevertheless, these approaches prove to be very powerful and, as described below, can be scaled up to analyze the binding of transcription factors across the entire genome (so-called genome-wide location analysis).


Identifying transcriptional targets.

Taverner NV, Smith JC, Wardle FC - Genome Biol. (2004)

Experimental procedures for identifying transcription-factor targets in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Dam methylase identification (DamID), using microarrays. (a) In ChIP, formaldehyde is used to fix proteins bound to DNA in vivo. The DNA is then isolated and sheared by sonication into fragments of 200-700 base-pairs. An antibody against the transcription factor of interest is used to immunoprecipitate the factor and associated chromatin; or, if an epitope-tagged version of the protein is expressed in cells, an antibody can be used that is specific to the epitope. Protein is then removed from the DNA by reversal of the crosslinks and digestion with proteinase K. At this point, the isolated DNA can be used to verify targets by PCR or dot blot, or the DNA may be sub-cloned and sequenced to identify new targets [44]. For ChIP array analysis, the purified DNA is amplified by PCR and then labeled with a fluorophore, such as Cy3. As a reference for background binding, input DNA that is not enriched by immunoprecipitation is also amplified and labeled with another fluorophore, such as Cy5 [16,18]. Alternatively, non-enriched reference DNA is isolated after immunoprecipitation from cells that do not contain the transcription factor of interest [15]. The two populations of DNA are then hybridized to a microarray containing genomic sequences, and target sequences bound by the factor are identified according to the relative fluorescent intensity of each spot. (b) With DamID, the transcription factor of interest is fused to the Escherichia coli enzyme DNA adenine methylase (Dam). The fusion protein is expressed in vivo and Dam methylates DNA in the immediate vicinity of the binding site of the transcription factor, specifically acting on adenines in the sequence GATC. Dam alone is also expressed in cells as a reference, to identify background binding and methylation. Given that endogenous methylation of adenine does not occur in the DNA of most eukaryotes, methylated DNA can then be digested with Dpn1 (which cuts at the sequence GAmeTC) and isolated from uncut genomic DNA by size fractionation. The resulting DNA can then be analyzed by Southern blot to verify putative targets [14]. For genome-wide analysis, DNA from the experimental and reference samples is labeled with two different fluorophores (such as Cy3 and Cy5) and hybridized to a microarray [17,28,29].
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC395755&req=5

Figure 2: Experimental procedures for identifying transcription-factor targets in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Dam methylase identification (DamID), using microarrays. (a) In ChIP, formaldehyde is used to fix proteins bound to DNA in vivo. The DNA is then isolated and sheared by sonication into fragments of 200-700 base-pairs. An antibody against the transcription factor of interest is used to immunoprecipitate the factor and associated chromatin; or, if an epitope-tagged version of the protein is expressed in cells, an antibody can be used that is specific to the epitope. Protein is then removed from the DNA by reversal of the crosslinks and digestion with proteinase K. At this point, the isolated DNA can be used to verify targets by PCR or dot blot, or the DNA may be sub-cloned and sequenced to identify new targets [44]. For ChIP array analysis, the purified DNA is amplified by PCR and then labeled with a fluorophore, such as Cy3. As a reference for background binding, input DNA that is not enriched by immunoprecipitation is also amplified and labeled with another fluorophore, such as Cy5 [16,18]. Alternatively, non-enriched reference DNA is isolated after immunoprecipitation from cells that do not contain the transcription factor of interest [15]. The two populations of DNA are then hybridized to a microarray containing genomic sequences, and target sequences bound by the factor are identified according to the relative fluorescent intensity of each spot. (b) With DamID, the transcription factor of interest is fused to the Escherichia coli enzyme DNA adenine methylase (Dam). The fusion protein is expressed in vivo and Dam methylates DNA in the immediate vicinity of the binding site of the transcription factor, specifically acting on adenines in the sequence GATC. Dam alone is also expressed in cells as a reference, to identify background binding and methylation. Given that endogenous methylation of adenine does not occur in the DNA of most eukaryotes, methylated DNA can then be digested with Dpn1 (which cuts at the sequence GAmeTC) and isolated from uncut genomic DNA by size fractionation. The resulting DNA can then be analyzed by Southern blot to verify putative targets [14]. For genome-wide analysis, DNA from the experimental and reference samples is labeled with two different fluorophores (such as Cy3 and Cy5) and hybridized to a microarray [17,28,29].
Mentions: To overcome this difficulty, two methods have been developed to demonstrate direct binding of a transcription factor to promoter regions of DNA in vivo: chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and Dam methylase identification (DamID; both are described in Figure 2). In addition to being used to ask whether a particular candidate gene is a direct target of a transcription factor, these techniques can also be adapted to identify new target genes. For example, regulatory DNA sequences enriched by ChIP can be used as probes to identify the coding regions of direct target genes [12-14]. Even these approaches have their limitations, however. In ChIP, protein-DNA interactions may not survive the procedure, and there is the risk of artifactual binding being introduced during the fixation process; similarly, expression of a fusion protein with DamID may not accurately replicate the situation in vivo. Nevertheless, these approaches prove to be very powerful and, as described below, can be scaled up to analyze the binding of transcription factors across the entire genome (so-called genome-wide location analysis).

Bottom Line: Identifying the targets of transcription factors is important for understanding cellular processes.We review how targets have previously been isolated and outline new technologies that are being developed to identify novel direct targets, including chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with microarray screening and bioinformatic approaches.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK.

ABSTRACT
Identifying the targets of transcription factors is important for understanding cellular processes. We review how targets have previously been isolated and outline new technologies that are being developed to identify novel direct targets, including chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with microarray screening and bioinformatic approaches.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus