Recent studies have shown that disease-susceptibility variants frequently lie in cell-type-specific enhancer elements. To identify, interpret, and prioritize such risk variants, we must identify the enhancers active in disease-relevant cell types, their upstream transcription factor (TF) binding, and their downstream target genes. To address this need, we built HACER (http://bioinfo.vanderbilt.edu/AE/HACER/), an atlas of Human ACtive Enhancers to interpret Regulatory variants. The HACER atlas catalogues and annotates in-vivo transcribed cell-type-specific enhancers, as well as placing enhancers within transcriptional regulatory networks by integrating ENCODE TF ChIP-Seq and predicted/validated chromatin interaction data. We demonstrate the utility of HACER in (i) offering a mechanistic hypothesis to explain the association of SNP rs614367 with ER-positive breast cancer risk, (ii) exploring tumor-specific enhancers in selective MYC dysregulation and (iii) prioritizing/annotating non-coding regulatory regions targeting CCND1. HACER provides a valuable resource for studies of GWAS, non-coding variants, and enhancer-mediated regulation.
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