Genome-wide chromatin accessibility and nucleosome occupancy profiles have been widely investigated, while the long-range dynamics remains poorly studied at the single-cell level. Here we present a new experimental approach MeSMLR-seq (methyltransferase treatment followed by single-molecule long-read sequencing) for long-range mapping of nucleosomes and chromatin accessibility at single DNA molecules, and thus achieve comprehensive-coverage characterization of the corresponding heterogeneity. MeSMLR-seq offers direct measurements of both nucleosome-occupied and nucleosome-evicted regions on a single DNA molecule, which is challenging for many existing methods. We applied MeSMLR-seq to haploid yeast, where single DNA molecules represent single cells, and thus we could investigate the combinatorics of many (up to 356) nucleosomes at long range in single cells. We illustrated the differential organization principles of nucleosomes surrounding the transcription start site for silently- and actively-transcribed genes, at the single-cell level and in the long-range scale. The heterogeneous patterns of chromatin status spanning multiple genes were phased. Together with single-cell RNA-seq data, we quantitatively revealed how chromatin accessibility correlated with gene transcription positively in a highly-heterogeneous scenario. Moreover, we quantified the openness of promoters and investigated the coupled chromatin changes of adjacent genes at single DNA molecules during transcription reprogramming. Especially, we revealed the coupled changes of chromatin accessibility for two neighboring glucose transporter genes in response to the change of glucose concentration.
Newly published on Genome Research: https://genome.cshlp.org/content/early/2019/06/14/gr.251116.119.abstract