Z-DNA, a left-handed double helical DNA is structurally different from the most abundant B-DNA. Z-DNA has been known to play a significant role in transcription and genome stability but the biological meaning and positions of Z-DNA-forming sites (ZFSs) in the human genome has not been fully explored. To obtain genome-wide map of ZFSs, Zaa with two Z-DNA-binding domains was used for ChIP-Seq analysis. A total of 391 ZFSs were found and their functions were examined in vivo. A large portion of ZFSs was enriched in the promoter regions and contain sequences with high potential to form Z-DNA. Genes containing ZFSs were occupied by RNA polymerase II at the promoters and showed high levels of expression. Moreover, ZFSs were significantly related to active histone marks such as H3K4me3 and H3K9ac. The association of Z-DNA with active transcription was confirmed by the reporter assay system. Overall, our results suggest that Z-DNA formation depends on chromatin structure as well as sequence composition, and is associated with active transcription in human cells. The global information about ZFSs positioning will provide a useful resource for further understanding of DNA structure-dependent transcriptional regulation.
Shin, S. I., Ham, S., Park, J., Seo, S. H., Lim, C. H., Jeon, H., … Roh, T. Y. (2016). Z-DNA-forming sites identified by ChIP-Seq are associated with actively transcribed regions in the human genome. DNA Research, 23(5), 477–486. https://doi.org/10.1093/dnares/dsw031