We propose to work cooperatively with other Mapping Centers and the Data Coordination Center (EDACC) funded by this Roadmap mechanism to comprehensively map epigenomes of select human cells with significant relevance to complex human disease. Our group, consisting of scientists at UCSF, UC Davis, UCSC and the British Columbia Genome Sciences Centre has the broad expertise that this project requires. We will focus on cells relevant to human health and complex disease including cells from the blood, brain, breast and U.S. Government-approved lines of human embryonic stem cells (aim 1). We will incorporate high quality, homogeneous cells from males and females, and two predominant racial groups, and biological replicates of each cell type. Production of comprehensive maps will include 6 histone modifications selected for their opposing roles in regulating active and inactive chromatin (aim 2), DNA methylation (aim 3) and miRNA and gene expression (aim 4). This epigenetic data, along with genetic and expression data will be integrated using advanced informatics (aim 5) to address fundamental roles of epigenetics in differentiation, maintenance of cell-type identity and gene expression. Our cell and data production pipeline will incorporate verification and data validation with independent methods, and will operate under a model motivated by increased data production and decrease cost. We summarize the analysis capacity of our instruments and our explicit strategy for data sharing of our proposed REMC-generated resources including biological specimens, protocols, data, software tools and intellectual resources. We envision that our group in conjunction with the other REMC teams, the EDACC, ENCODE, future EHHD (Epigenetics of Human Health and Disease) centers and the NIH Roadmap program will develop methods, tools and reference epigenome maps for the research community that will make the promise of epigenetics in understand and treating human complex disease a reality. Our reference epigenomes will enable new disciplines including human population epigenetics, comparative epigenomics, neuroepigenetics, and therapeutic epigenetics for tissue regeneration and reversal of disease.
The epigenome is the dynamic interface between our changing environment and the static genome, and understanding it is a goal of immense importance to human health. We will map reference cell epigenomes of the brain, breast, blood and approved embryonic stem cells, inclusive of males and females and different racial groups. This cooperative work will transform our understanding of the short and long-lasting consequences of environment impact on human health and disease.
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