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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Spatial compartmentalization at the nuclear periphery characterized by genome-wide mapping

Feinan Wu and Jie Yao*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:591  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-591

Published: 30 August 2013



How gene positioning to the nuclear periphery regulates transcription remains largely unclear. By cell imaging, we have previously observed the differential compartmentalization of transcription factors and histone modifications at the nuclear periphery in mouse C2C12 myoblasts. Here, we aim to identify DNA sequences associated with the nuclear lamina (NL) and examine this compartmentalization at the genome-wide level.


We have integrated high throughput DNA sequencing into the DNA adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID) assay, and have identified ~15, 000 sequencing-based Lamina-Associated Domains (sLADs) in mouse 3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts. These genomic regions range from a few kb to over 1 Mb and cover ~30% of the genome, and are spatially proximal to the NL. Active histone modifications such as H3K4me2/3, H3K9Ac and H3K36me3 are distributed predominantly out of sLADs, consistent with observations from cell imaging that they are localized away from the nuclear periphery. Genomic regions around transcription start sites of expressed sLAD genes display reduced association with the NL; additionally, expressed sLAD genes possess lower levels of active histone modifications than expressed non-sLAD genes.


Our work has shown that genomic regions associated with the NL are characterized by the paucity of active histone modifications in mammalian cells, and has revealed novel connections between subnuclear gene positioning, histone modifications and gene expression.

Nuclear periphery; Nuclear lamina; DamID; High-throughput sequencing; Histone modification; Transcription