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1.  Standardized collection of MNase-seq experiments enables unbiased dataset comparisons 
BMC Molecular Biology  2012;13:15.
Background
The organization of eukaryotic DNA into chromatin has a strong influence on the accessibility and regulation of genetic information. The locations and occupancies of a principle component of chromatin, nucleosomes, are typically assayed through use of enzymatic digestion with micrococcal nuclease (MNase). MNase is an endo-exo nuclease that preferentially digests naked DNA and the DNA in linkers between nucleosomes, thus enriching for nucleosome-associated DNA. To determine nucleosome organization genome-wide, DNA remaining from MNase digestion is sequenced using high-throughput sequencing technologies (MNase-seq). Unfortunately, the results of MNase-seq can vary dramatically due to technical differences and this confounds comparisons between MNase-seq experiments, such as examining condition-dependent chromatin organizations.
Results
In this study we use MNase digestion simulations to demonstrate how MNase-seq signals can vary for different nucleosome configuration when experiments are performed with different extents of MNase digestion. Signal variation in these simulations reveals an important DNA sampling bias that results from a neighborhood effect of MNase digestion techniques. The presence of this neighborhood effect ultimately confounds comparisons between different MNase-seq experiments. To address this issue we present a standardized chromatin preparation which controls for technical variance between MNase-based chromatin preparations and enables the collection of similarly sampled (matched) chromatin populations. Standardized preparation of chromatin includes a normalization step for DNA input into MNase digestions and close matching of the extent of digestion between each chromatin preparation using gel densitometry analysis. The protocol also includes directions for successful pairing with multiplex sequencing reactions.
Conclusions
We validated our method by comparing the experiment-to-experiment variation between biological replicates of chromatin preparations from S. cerevisiae. Results from our matched preparation consistently produced MNase-seq datasets that were more closely correlated than other unstandardized approaches. Additionally, we validated the ability of our approach at enabling accurate downstream comparisons of chromatin structures, by comparing the specificity of detecting Tup1-dependent chromatin remodeling events in comparisons between matched and un-matched wild-type and tup1Δ MNase-seq datasets. Our matched MNase-seq datasets demonstrated a significant reduction in non-specific (technical) differences between experiments and were able to maximize the detection of biologically-relevant (Tup1-dependent) changes in chromatin structure.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-13-15
PMCID: PMC3464627  PMID: 22559821
Next-generation sequencing; High-throughput sequencing; Chromatin; Nucleosomes; Histones; MNase-seq; Micrococcal nuclease (MNase)
2.  Genome-wide search identifies Ccnd2 as a direct transcriptional target of Elf5 in mouse mammary gland 
BMC Molecular Biology  2010;11:68.
Background
The ETS transcription factor Elf5 (also known as ESE-2) is highly expressed in the mammary gland and plays an important role in its development and differentiation. Indeed studies in mice have illustrated an essential role for Elf5 in directing alveologenesis during pregnancy. Although the molecular mechanisms that underlie the developmental block in Elf5 null mammary glands are beginning to be unraveled, this investigation has been hampered by limited information about the identity of Elf5-target genes. To address this shortcoming, in this study we have performed ChIP-cloning experiments to identify the specific genomic segments that are occupied by Elf5 in pregnant mouse mammary glands.
Results
Sequencing and genomic localization of cis-regulatory regions bound by Elf5 in vivo has identified several potential target genes covering broad functional categories. A subset of these target genes demonstrates higher expression levels in Elf5-null mammary glands suggesting a repressive functional role for this transcription factor. Here we focus on one putative target of Elf5, the Ccnd2 gene that appeared in our screen. We identify a novel Elf5-binding segment upstream of the Ccnd2 gene and demonstrate that Elf5 can transcriptionally repress Ccnd2 by directly binding to the proximal promoter region. Finally, using Elf5-null mammary epithelial cells and mammary glands, we show that loss of Elf5 in vivo leads to up regulation of Ccnd2 and an altered expression pattern in luminal cells.
Conclusions
Identification of Elf5-targets is an essential first step in elucidating the transcriptional landscape that is shaped by this important regulator. Our studies offer new toolbox in examining the biological role of Elf5 in mammary gland development and differentiation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-11-68
PMCID: PMC2949602  PMID: 20831799

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