Check out our latest paper published in bioRxiv! You can read the abstract below, for the full text: click here
Cis-regulatory elements (CREs) orchestrate the dynamic and diverse transcriptional programs that assemble the human central nervous system (CNS) during development and maintain its function throughout life. Genetic variation within CREs plays a central role in phenotypic variation in complex traits including the risk of developing disease. However, the cellular complexity of the human brain has largely precluded the identification of functional regulatory variation within the human CNS. We took advantage of the retina, a well-characterized region of the CNS with reduced cellular heterogeneity, to establish a roadmap for characterizing regulatory variation in the human CNS. This comprehensive resource of tissue-specific regulatory elements, transcription factor binding, and gene expression programs in three regions of the human visual system (retina, macula, retinal pigment epithelium/choroid) reveals features of regulatory element evolution that shape tissue-specific gene expression programs and defines the regulatory elements with the potential to contribute to mendelian and complex disorders of human vision.