Protein-DNA interactions provide the basis for chromatin structure and gene regulation. Comprehensive identification of protein-occupied sites is thus vital to an in-depth understanding of genome function. Dimethyl sulfate (DMS) is a chemical probe that has long been used to detect footprints of DNA-bound proteins in vitro and in vivo. Here, we describe a genomic footprinting method, dimethyl sulfate sequencing (DMS-seq), which exploits the cell-permeable nature of DMS to obviate the need for nuclear isolation. This feature makes DMS-seq simple in practice and removes the potential risk of protein re-localization during nuclear isolation. DMS-seq successfully detects transcription factors bound to cis-regulatory elements and non-canonical chromatin particles in nucleosome-free regions. Furthermore, an unexpected preference of DMS confers on DMS-seq a unique potential to directly detect nucleosome centers without using genetic manipulation. We expect that DMS-seq will serve as a characteristic method for genome-wide interrogation of in vivo protein-DNA interactions. Umeyama and Ito develop DMS-seq for nuclear isolation-free genomic footprinting by exploiting the cell-permeable nature of dimethyl sulfate (DMS). DMS-seq detects trans-acting factors bound to cis-regulatory elements, as well as non-canonical chromatin particles in nucleosome-free regions. It also has the unique potential to directly locate nucleosome centers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)