CTCF depletion alters chromatin structure and transcription of myeloid-specific factors

Lylia Ouboussad, Sarah Kreuz, Pascal F. Lefevre*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Differentiation is a multistep process tightly regulated and controlled by complex transcription factor networks. Here, we show that the rate of differentiation of common myeloid precursor cells increases after depletion of CTCF, a protein emerging as a potential key factor regulating higher-order chromatin structure. We identified CTCF binding in the vicinity of important transcription factors regulating myeloid differentiation and showed that CTCF depletion impacts on the expression of these genes in concordance with the observed acceleration of the myeloid commitment. Furthermore, we observed a loss of the histone variant H2A.Z within the selected promoter regions and an increase in non-coding RNA transcription upstream of these genes. Both abnormalities suggest a global chromatin structure destabilization and an associated increase of non-productive transcription in response to CTCF depletion but do not drive the CTCF-mediated transcription alterations of the neighbouring genes. Finally, we detected a transient eviction of CTCF at the Egr1 locus in correlation with Egr1 peak of expression in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment in macrophages. This eviction is also correlated with the expression of an antisense non-coding RNA transcribing through the CTCF-binding region indicating that non-coding RNA transcription could be the cause and the consequence of CTCF eviction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-322
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • CTCF
  • H2A.Z
  • RNA polymerase II
  • myeloid
  • non-coding RNA
  • transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics


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