4.5 years ago by
In order to understand this paper, you need to first understand the 3C-based technologies and how the experiment is performed. Please have a look at this review which will help you understand these technologies. You specifically want to focus on 3C part and then move to the HiC the part.
A decade of 3C technologies: insights into nuclear organization
You also want to read and understand the original HiC paper to understand what a looping interaction means:
Comprehensive mapping of long range interactions reveals folding principles of the human genome
Overview of Hi-C.
(A) Cells are cross-linked with formaldehyde, resulting in covalent links between spatially adjacent chromatin segments (DNA fragments: dark blue, red; Proteins, which can mediate such interactions, are shown in light blue and cyan). Chromatin is digested with a restriction enzyme (here, HindIII; restriction site: dashed line, see inset) and the resulting sticky ends are filled in with nucleotides, one of which is biotinylated (purple dot). Ligation is performed under extremely dilute conditions to create chimeric molecules; the HindIII site is lost and a NheI site is created (inset). DNA is purified and sheared. Biotinylated junctions are isolated with streptavidin beads and identified by paired-end sequencing.
(B) Hi-C produces a genome-wide contact matrix. The submatrix shown here corresponds to intrachromosomal interactions on chromosome 14. Each pixel represents all interactions between a 1Mb locus and another 1Mb locus; intensity corresponds to the total number of reads (0-50). Tick marks appear every 10Mb.
(C, D) We compared the original experiment to a biological repeat using the same restriction enzyme (C, range: 0-50 reads) and to results with a different restriction enzyme (D, range: 0- 100 reads, NcoI).
The topological domains comes later which are basically regions of genome where the elements involved in looping tends to happen in one domain.
I hope this helps a bit.