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Detecting local changes in chromatin architecture with false discovery control

By Hillary Koch, Tao Yang, Maxim Imakaev, Ross C Hardison, Qunhua Li

Posted 04 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.03.281972

Hi-C experiments are a powerful means to describe the organization of chromatin interactions genome-wide. By using Hi-C data to identify differentially organized genomic regions, relationships between this organization, gene expression, and cell identity may be established. However, Hi-C data exhibit a unique and challenging spatial structure, as genomic loci can show strong correlations when they are nearby in 3D space within the nucleus or 1D space along the chromosome. Consequently, the development of methods that can accurately detect differences between Hi-C samples while controlling false discoveries has remained difficult. To meet this need, we introduce a spatial modeling approach based on sliding window statistics. Using polymer simulations, we illustrate the improved power and precision of our method to identify differentially interacting genomic regions. We further demonstrate our method’s ability to reveal biologically meaningful changes in chromatin architecture through two data analyses concerning the loss of architectural and chromatin remodeling proteins. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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