European Union

BLUEPRINT - A BLUEPRINT of Haematopoietic Epigenomes

The project proposal from the BLUEPRINT consortium, consisting of 41 leading European universities, research institutes and industry entrepreneurs, was selected for funding early 2011. The project officially started on October 1, 2011 and will run for 4,5 year. BLUEPRINT has an overall budget of 39.4 M€ for which it receives 30 M€ funding from the European Commission.

Overall project goal

Blueprint aims to generate at least 100 reference epigenomes and studying them to advance and exploit knowledge of the underlying biological processes and mechanisms in health and disease. BLUEPRINT will focus on distinct types of haematopoietic cells from healthy individuals and on their malignant leukaemic counterparts.

The BLUEPRINT reference epigenome will entail analysis of 19 ‘marks’. A IHEC CORE set (DNAme, H3K4me3, H3K4me1, H3K9me3, H3K27me3, H3K27ac, H3K36me3, RNA-seq, DNaseI hypersensitivity) and a ‘BLUEPRINT set’ (H3K79me3, H3K9/14ac, H4K20me3, H4pan/H4K16ac, H2AZ-ac, H2AZ, p300 and RNA PolII).

Cell types

Normal cells

Diseased cells

Mouse cells

For further details see: www.blueprint-epigenome.eu/index.cfm?p=7BCEDA45-EC73-3496-2C823D929DD423DB

Non-mapping activities/sub-projects

The core activity (Research Area 1) of BLUEPRINT will be to generate the 100 reference epigenomes.

Other activities include:

  1. Identification and validation of epigenetic markers and exploration of the epigenome interplay with genetic variation: address the causes and consequences of epigenetic variation and utilize this knowledge for improved diagnostics of human diseases. Where appropriate, this will be complemented by studies involving relevant animal models.
  2. Development and validation of novel technology for high throughput epigenome mapping: improve epigenome analysis, resolution and efficiency with a focus on DNA methylation and miniaturizing Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP).
  3. Identification of new compounds interfering with the regulators of epigenetic profiles: definition of epigenome relevant drug targets involved in cancer and development of small molecule approaches for their inhibition.
  4. Training, networking, communication and outreach: topical workshops will be organized and a lab exchange program will be set up. Furthermore, collaboration will be established with related networks in Europe and worldwide.

Additional remarks

The involvement of innovative companies is expected to energize epigenomic research in the private sector by the development of smart technologies for better diagnostic tests and by identifying new targets for compounds. Thus the results of the BLUEPRINT project may lead to targeted diagnostics, new treatments and preventive measures for specific diseases in individual patients, an approach known as 'personalised medicine'.