Use of low resolution single cell DNA FISH and population based high resolution chromosome conformation capture techniques have highlighted the importance of pairwise chromatin interactions in gene regulation. However, it is unlikely that associations involving regulatory elements act in isolation of other interacting partners that also influence their impact. Indeed, the influence of multi-loci interactions remains something of an enigma as beyond low-resolution DNA FISH we do not have the appropriate tools to analyze these. Here we present a method that uses standard 4C-seq data to identify multi-loci interactions from the same cell. We demonstrate the feasibility of our method using 4C-seq data sets that identify known pairwise and novel tri-loci interactions involving the Tcrb and Igk antigen receptor enhancers. We further show that the three Igk enhancers, MiEκ, 3'Eκ and Edκ, interact simultaneously in this super-enhancer cluster, which add to our previous findings showing that loss of one element decreases interactions between all three elements as well as reducing their transcriptional output. These findings underscore the functional importance of simultaneous interactions and provide new insight into the relationship between enhancer elements. Our method opens the door for studying multi-loci interactions and their impact on gene regulation in other biological settings.
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