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Promoter-anchored chromatin interactions (PAIs) play a pivotal role in transcriptional regulation. Current high-throughput technologies for detecting PAIs, such as promoter capture Hi-C, are not scalable to large cohorts. Here, we present an analytical approach that uses summary-level data from cohort-based DNA methylation (DNAm) quantitative trait locus (mQTL) studies to predict PAIs. Using mQTL data from human peripheral blood ([Formula: see text]), we predict 34,797 PAIs which show strong overlap with the chromatin contacts identified by previous experimental assays. The promoter-interacting DNAm sites are enriched in enhancers or near expression QTLs. Genes whose promoters are involved in PAIs are more actively expressed, and gene pairs with promoter-promoter interactions are enriched for co-expression. Integration of the predicted PAIs with GWAS data highlight interactions among 601 DNAm sites associated with 15 complex traits. This study demonstrates the use of mQTL data to predict PAIs and provides insights into the role of PAIs in complex trait variation.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Chromatin, Crohn Disease, DNA Methylation, DNA Replication, Data Analysis, Epigenomics, Gene Expression Regulation, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Quantitative Trait Loci