Recent sequence-based profiling technologies such as high-throughput sequencing to detect fragment nucleotide sequence (Hi-C) and chromatin interaction analysis by paired-end tag sequencing (ChIA-PET) have revolutionized the field of three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture. It is now recognized that human genome functions as folded 3D chromatin units and looping paradigm is the basic principle of gene regulation. To better interpret the 3D data dramatically accumulating in past five years and to gain deep biological insights, huge efforts have been made in developing novel quantitative analysis methods. However, the full understanding of genome regulation requires thorough knowledge in both genomic technologies and their related data analyses. We summarize the recent advances in genomic technologies in identifying the 3D chromatin structure and interaction, and illustrate the quantitative analysis methods to infer functional domains and chromatin interactions, and further elucidate the emerging single-cell Hi-C technique and its computational analysis, and finally discuss the future directions such as advances of 3D chromatin techniques in diseases.
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