Recently Evolved Enhancers Emerge with High Interindividual Variability and Less Frequently Associate with Disease

Bas Castelijns, Mirna L Baak, Geert Geeven, Marit W Vermunt, Caroline R M Wiggers, Ilia S Timpanaro, Ivanela Kondova, Wouter de Laat, Menno P Creyghton

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Mutations in non-coding regulatory DNA such as enhancers underlie a wide variety of diseases including developmental disorders and cancer. As enhancers rapidly evolve, understanding their function and configuration in non-human disease models can have important clinical applications. Here, we analyze enhancer configurations in tissues isolated from the common marmoset, a widely used primate model for human disease. Integrating these data with human and mouse data, we find that enhancers containing trait-associated variants are preferentially conserved. In contrast, most human-specific enhancers are highly variable between individuals, with a subset failing to contact promoters. These are located further away from genes and more often reside in inactive B-compartments. Our data show that enhancers typically emerge as instable elements with minimal biological impact prior to their integration in a transcriptional program. Furthermore, our data provide insight into which trait variations in enhancers can be faithfully modeled using the common marmoset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107799
JournalCell Reports
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020

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