Advanced Tools for Genomic Mapping
One of the major challenges in the field of genomics is deciphering how complex programs of gene expression and regulation contribute to human disease. Over the past decade, a wealth of new high-throughput genomics tools has revolutionized the ability to identify active genomic regions, but the application of most of the technologies has been limited to established cell lines. In addition, current approaches to mapping functional elements across the genome have sought to combine data from several different experimental assays. This process is impractical and costly for small clinical samples or new cell lines—the sources that may be most useful to interrogate.
With his team, Charles G. Danko, Biomedical Sciences/Baker Institute for Animal Health, is developing efficient new tools to comprehensively map the repertoire of functional elements across the genome. The technology platform—the chromatin run-on and sequencing (ChRO-seq) assay and a suite of computational tools for mapping transcription in limited tissue samples—gives researchers the ability to directly measure the transcriptional regulation of genes, enhancers, and certain noncoding RNAs in limited clinical samples. In preliminary studies, Danko’s lab applied the ChRO-seq technology to several primary tumors, revealing new insights into how transcriptional regulation underlies cancer development and progression.
The tools will have a major impact on the biomedical sciences, enabling the genome-wide interrogation of transcription during virtually any disease process or cell type for the first time. NIH Award Number: 1R01HG009309-01