Rube HT, Lee W, Hejna M, Chen H, Yasui DH, Hess JF, LaSalle JM, Song JS, Gong Q
Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is critical for proper brain development and expressed at near-histone levels in neurons, but the mechanism of its genomic localization remains poorly understood. Using high-resolution MeCP2-binding data, we show that DNA sequence features alone can predict binding with 88% accuracy. Integrating MeCP2 binding and DNA methylation in a probabilistic graphical model, we demonstrate that previously reported genome-wide association with methylation is in part due to MeCP2’s affinity to GC-rich chromatin, a result replicated using published data. Furthermore, MeCP2 co-localizes with nucleosomes. Finally, MeCP2 binding downstream of promoters correlates with increased expression in Mecp2-deficient neurons.