CTCF supports preferentially short lamina-associated domains

Lukasz Stanislaw Kaczmarczyk, Nehora Levi, Tamar Segal, Mali Salmon-Divon, Gabi Gerlitz

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4 Scopus citations


More than one third of the mammalian genome is in a close association with the nuclear lamina, thus these genomic regions were termed lamina-associated domains (LADs). This association is fundamental for many aspects of chromatin biology including transcription, replication, and DNA damage repair. LADs association with the nuclear envelope is thought to be dependent on two major mechanisms: The first mechanism is the interaction between nuclear membrane proteins such as LBR with heterochromatin modifications that are enriched in LADs chromatin. The second mechanism is based on proteins that bind the borders of the LADs and support the association of the LADs with the nuclear envelope. Two factors were suggested to support the second mechanism: CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and YY1 based on their enriched binding to LADs borders. However, this mechanism has not been proven yet at a whole genome level. Here, to test if CTCF supports the LADs landscape, we generated melanoma cells with a partial loss of function (pLoF) of CTCF by the CRISPR-Cas9 system and determined the LADs landscape by lamin B ChIP-seq analysis. We found that under regular growth conditions, CTCF pLoF led to modest changes in the LADs landscape that included an increase in the signal of 2% of the LADs and a decrease in the signal of 8% of the LADs. However, CTCF importance for the LADs landscape was much higher upon induction of a chromatin stress. We induced chromatin stress by inhibiting RNA polymerase II, an intervention that is known to alter chromatin compaction and supercoiling. Notably, only in CTCF pLoF cells, the chromatin stress led to the dissociation of 7% of the LADs from the lamina. The CTCF-dependent LADs had almost three times shorter median length than the non-affected LADs, were enriched in CTCF binding at their borders, and were higher in their facultative-status (cell-type specific). Thus, it appears that CTCF is a key factor in facilitating the association of short facultative LADs with the nuclear lamina upon chromatin stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Chromatin
  • LADs
  • Nuclear architecture
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Transcription


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