Epigenomic analysis reveals prevalent contribution of transposable elements to cis-regulatory elements, tissue-specific expression, and alternative promoters in zebrafish

Hyung Joo Lee, Yiran Hou, Ju Heon Maeng, Nakul M. Shah, Yujie Chen, Heather A. Lawson, Hongbo Yang, Feng Yue, Ting Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transposable elements (TEs) encode regulatory elements that impact gene expression in multiple species, yet a comprehensive analysis of zebrafish TEs in the context of gene regulation is lacking. Here, we systematically investigate the epigenomic and transcriptomic landscape of TEs across 11 adult zebrafish tissues using multidimensional sequencing data. We find that TEs contribute substantially to a diverse array of regulatory elements in the zebrafish genome and that 37% of TEs are positioned in active regulatory states in adult zebrafish tissues. We identify TE subfamilies enriched in highly specific regulatory elements among different tissues. We use transcript assembly to discover TE-derived transcriptional units expressed across tissues. Finally, we show that novel TE-derived promoters can initiate tissue-specific transcription of alternate gene isoforms. This work provides a comprehensive profile of TE activity across normal zebrafish tissues, shedding light on mechanisms underlying the regulation of gene expression in this widely used model organism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1436
Number of pages13
JournalGenome research
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

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