Rodríguez-Gil A, Riedlinger T, Ritter O, Saul VV, Schmitz ML



Appropriate gene expression in response to extracellular cues, that is, tissue- and lineage-specific gene transcription, critically depends on highly defined states of chromatin organization. The dynamic architecture of the nucleus is controlled by multiple mechanisms and shapes the transcriptional output programs. It is, therefore, important to determine locus-specific chromatin accessibility in a reliable fashion that is preferably independent from antibodies, which can be a potentially confounding source of experimental variability. Chromatin accessibility can be measured by various methods, including the Formaldehyde-Assisted Isolation of Regulatory Elements (FAIRE) assay, that allow the determination of general chromatin accessibility in a relatively low number of cells. Here we describe a FAIRE protocol that allows simple, reliable, and fast identification of genomic regions with a low protein occupancy. In this method, the DNA is covalently bound to the chromatin proteins using formaldehyde as a crosslinking agent and sheared to small pieces. The free DNA is afterwards enriched using phenol:chloroform extraction. The ratio of free DNA is determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) or DNA sequencing (DNA-seq) compared to a control sample representing total DNA. The regions with a looser chromatin structure are enriched in the free DNA sample, thus allowing the identification of genomic regions with lower chromatin compaction.

Webinar accessible via the JoVE Journal webpages

dzl Titelfolie Formaldehyde assisted Isolation