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The transcription factor RUNX1 is a critical regulator of developmental hematopoiesis and is frequently disrupted in leukemia. Runx1 is a large, complex gene that is expressed from two alternative promoters under the spatiotemporal control of multiple hematopoietic enhancers. To dissect the dynamic regulation of Runx1 in hematopoietic development, we analyzed its three-dimensional chromatin conformation in mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation cultures. Runx1 resides in a 1.1 Mb topologically associating domain (TAD) demarcated by convergent CTCF motifs. As ESCs differentiate to mesoderm, chromatin accessibility, Runx1 enhancer-promoter (E-P) interactions, and CTCF-CTCF interactions increased in the TAD, along with initiation of Runx1 expression from the P2 promoter. Differentiation to hematopoietic progenitor cells was associated with the formation of tissue-specific sub-TADs over Runx1 , a shift in E-P interactions, P1 promoter demethylation, and robust expression from both Runx1 promoters. Deletions of promoter-proximal CTCF sites at the sub-TAD boundaries had no obvious effects on E-P interactions but led to partial loss of domain structure, mildly affected gene expression, and delayed hematopoietic development. Together, our analyses of gene regulation at a large multi-promoter developmental gene revealed that dynamic sub-TAD chromatin boundaries play a role in establishing TAD structure and coordinated gene expression.

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