Journal Article

Reorganized 3D genome structures support transcriptional regulation in mouse spermatogenesis

Three-dimensional chromatin structures undergo dynamic reorganization during mammalian spermatogenesis; however, their impacts on gene regulation remain unclear. Here, we focused on understanding the structure-function regulation of meiotic chromosomes by Hi-C and other omics techniques in mouse spermatogenesis across five stages. Beyond confirming recent reports regarding changes in compartmentalization and reorganization of topologically associating domains (TADs), we further demonstrated that chromatin loops are present prior to and after, but not at, the pachytene stage. By integrating Hi-C and RNA-seq data, we showed that the switching of A/B compartments between spermatogenic stages is tightly associated with meiosis-specific mRNAs and piRNAs expression. Moreover, our ATAC-seq data indicated that chromatin accessibility per se is not responsible for the TAD and loop diminishment at pachytene. Additionally, our ChIP-seq data demonstrated that CTCF and cohesin remain bound at TAD boundary regions throughout meiosis, suggesting that dynamic reorganization of TADs does not require CTCF and cohesin clearance.