Long-range phasing of dynamic, tissue-specific and allele-specific regulatory elements.

Nature Genetics

Epigenomic maps identify gene regulatory elements by their chromatin state. However, prevailing short-read sequencing methods cannot effectively distinguish alleles, evaluate the interdependence of elements in a locus or capture single-molecule dynamics. Here, we apply targeted nanopore sequencing to profile chromatin accessibility and DNA methylation on contiguous ~100-kb DNA molecules that span loci relevant to development, immunity and imprinting. We detect promoters, enhancers, insulators and transcription factor footprints on single molecules based on exogenous GpC methylation. We infer relationships among dynamic elements within immune loci, and order successive remodeling events during T cell stimulation. Finally, we phase primary sequence and regulatory elements across the H19/IGF2 locus, uncovering primate-specific features. These include a segmental duplication that stabilizes the imprinting control region and a noncanonical enhancer that drives biallelic IGF2 expression in specific contexts. Our study advances emerging strategies for phasing gene regulatory landscapes and reveals a mechanism that overrides IGF2 imprinting in human cells.