Chromatin Immunoprecipitation in Early Mouse Embryos
Epigenetic regulation is achieved at many levels by different factors such as tissue-specific transcription factors, members of the basal transcriptional apparatus, chromatin-binding proteins, and noncoding RNAs. Importantly, chromatin structure dictates the availability of a specific genomic locus for transcriptional activation as well as the efficiency with which transcription can occur. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a method that allows elucidating gene regulation at the molecular level by assessing if chromatin modifications or proteins are present at a specific locus. Initially, the majority of ChIP experiments were performed on cultured cell lines and more recently this technique has been adapted to a variety of tissues in different model organisms. Using ChIP on mouse embryos, it is possible to document the presence or absence of specific proteins and chromatin modifications at genomic loci in vivo during mammalian development and to get biological meaning from observations made on tissue culture analyses. We describe here a ChIP protocol on freshly isolated mouse embryonic somites for in vivo analysis of muscle specific transcription factor binding on chromatin. This protocol has been easily adapted to other mouse embryonic tissues and has also been successfully scaled up to perform ChIP-Seq.
Key wordsChromatin immunoprecipitation Embryo Gene regulation Epigenetics Myogenesis Somites MyoD Myogenin
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