Differences in three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture can influence the integrity of topologically associating domains (TADs) and rewire specific enhancer–promoter interactions, impacting gene expression and leading to human disease. Here we investigate the 3D chromatin architecture in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) by using primary human leukemia specimens and examine the dynamic responses of this architecture to pharmacological agents. Systematic integration of matched in situ Hi-C, RNA-seq and CTCF ChIP–seq datasets revealed widespread differences in intra-TAD chromatin interactions and TAD boundary insulation in T-ALL. Our studies identify and focus on a TAD ‘fusion’ event associated with absence of CTCF-mediated insulation, enabling direct interactions between the MYC promoter and a distal super-enhancer. Moreover, our data also demonstrate that small-molecule inhibitors targeting either oncogenic signal transduction or epigenetic regulation can alter specific 3D interactions found in leukemia. Overall, our study highlights the impact, complexity and dynamic nature of 3D chromatin architecture in human acute leukemia.
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