Nature communications

Enhancer repertoires are reshaped independently of early priming and heterochromatin dynamics during B cell differentiation.

PMID 26477271


A widely accepted model posits that activation of enhancers during differentiation goes through a priming step prior to lineage commitment. To investigate the chronology of enhancer repertoire establishment during hematopoiesis, we monitored epigenome dynamics during three developmental stages representing hematopoietic stem cells, B-cell progenitors and mature B-cells. We find that only a minority of enhancers primed in stem cells or progenitors become active at later stages. Furthermore, most enhancers active in differentiated cells were not primed in earlier stages. Thus, the enhancer repertoire is reshaped dynamically during B-cell differentiation and enhancer priming in early stages does not appear to be an obligate step for enhancer activation. Furthermore, our data reveal that heterochromatin and Polycomb-mediated silencing have only a minor contribution in shaping enhancer repertoires during cell differentiation. Together, our data revisit the prevalent model about epigenetic reprogramming during hematopoiesis and give insights into the formation of gene regulatory networks.