May 18, 2021

Sex-specific multi-level 3D genome dynamics in the mouse brain

<p>The female mammalian brain exhibits sex-hormone-driven plasticity during the reproductive period. Evidence implicates chromatin dynamics in gene regulation underlying this plasticity. However, whether ovarian hormones impact higher-order chromatin organization in post-mitotic neurons in vivo is unknown. Here, we mapped 3D genome of ventral hippocampal neurons across the estrous cycle and by sex in mice. In females, we found cycle-driven dynamism in 3D chromatin organization, including in estrogen-response-elements-enriched X-chromosome compartments, autosomal CTCF loops, and enhancer-promoter interactions. With rising estrogen levels, the female 3D genome becomes more similar to the male genome. Cyclical enhancer-promoter interactions are partially associated with gene expression and enriched for brain disorder-relevant genes. Our study reveals unique 3D genome dynamics in the female brain relevant to female-specific gene regulation, neuroplasticity, and disease risk.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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