Chromosomal translocations and aneuploidy are hallmarks of cancer genomes; however, the impact of these aberrations on the nucleome (i.e., nuclear structure and gene expression) are not yet understood. Here, the nucleome of the colorectal cancer cell line HT-29 was analyzed using chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) to study genome structure, complemented by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to determine consequent changes in genome function. Importantly, translocations and copy number changes were identified at high resolution from Hi-C data and the structure-function relationships present in normal cells were maintained in cancer. In addition, a new copy number-based normalization method for Hi-C data was developed to analyze the effect of chromosomal aberrations on local chromatin structure. The data demonstrate that at the site of translocations the correlation between chromatin organization and gene expression increases; thus, chromatin accessibility more directly reflects transcription. Additionally, the homogeneously staining region of chromosome band 8q24 of HT-29, which includes the MYC oncogene, interacts with various loci throughout the genome and is composed of open chromatin. The methods, described herein, can be applied to the assessment of the nucleome in other cell types with chromosomal aberrations. Implications: Findings show that chromosome conformation capture identifies chromosomal abnormalities at high resolution in cancer cells and that these abnormalities alter the relationship between structure and function.
- Received October 25, 2016.
- Revision received February 17, 2017.
- Accepted February 28, 2017.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.