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Sample records for rna-directed dna methylation

  1. RNA-directed DNA methylation in plants.

    PubMed

    Movahedi, Ali; Sun, Weibu; Zhang, Jiaxin; Wu, Xiaolong; Mousavi, Mohaddesseh; Mohammadi, Kourosh; Yin, Tongming; Zhuge, Qiang

    2015-11-01

    In plants, many small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) direct de novo methylation by DNA methyltransferase. DNA methylation typically occurs by RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM), which directs transcriptional gene silencing of transposons and endogenous transgenes. RdDM is driven by non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) produced by DNA-dependent RNA polymerases IV and V (PolIV and PolV). The production of siRNAs is initiated by PolIV and ncRNAs produced by PolIV are precursors of 24-nucleotide siRNAs. In contrast, ncRNAs produced by PolV are involved in scaffolding RNAs. In this review, we summarize recent studies of RdDM. In particular, we focus on the mechanisms involved in chromatin remodeling by PolIV and PolV. PMID:26183954

  2. siRNA-directed DNA Methylation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Meng; Yu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    DNA cytosine methylationis an important epigenetic process that is correlated with transgene silencing, transposon suppression, and gene imprinting. In plants, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can trigger DNA methylation at loci containing their homolog sequences through a process called RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). In canonical RdDM, 24 nucleotide (nt) siRNAs (ra-siRNAs) will be loaded into their effector protein called ARGONAUTE 4 (AGO4) and subsequently targeted to RdDM loci through base-pairing with the non-coding transcripts produced by DNA-directed RNA Polymerase V. Then, the AGO4-ra-siRNA will recruit the DNA methyltransferase to catalyze de novo DNA methylation. Recent studies also identified non-canonical RdDM pathways that involve microRNAs or 21 nt siRNAs. These RdDM pathways are biologically important since they control responses biotic and abiotic stresses, maintain genome stability and regulate development. Here, we summarize recent pro-gresses of mechanisms governing canonical and non-canonical RdDM pathways. PMID:25937811

  3. RNA-directed DNA methylation and demethylation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Viswanathan, CHINNUSAMY; Jian-Kang, ZHU

    2011-01-01

    RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) is a nuclear process in which small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) direct the cytosine methylation of DNA sequences that are complementary to the siRNAs. In plants, double stranded-RNAs (dsRNAs) generated by RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 2 (RDR2) serve as precursors for Dicer-like 3 dependent biogenesis of 24-nt siRNAs. Plant specific RNA polymerase IV (Pol IV) is presumed to generate the initial RNA transcripts that are substrates for RDR2. siRNAs are loaded onto an argonaute4-containing RISC (RNA-induced silencing complex) that targets the de novo DNA methyltransferase DRM2 to RdDM target loci. Nascent RNA transcripts from the target loci are generated by another plant-specific RNA polymerase, Pol V, and these transcripts help recruit complementary siRNAs and the associated RdDM effector complex to the target loci in a transcription-coupled DNA methylation process. Small RNA binding proteins such as ROS3 may direct target-specific DNA demethylation by the ROS1 family of DNA demethylases. Chromatin remodeling enzymes and histone modifying enzymes also participate in DNA methylation and possibly demethylation. One of the well studied functions of RdDM is transposon silencing and genome stability. In addition, RdDM is important for paramutation, imprinting, gene regulation, and plant development. Locus-specific DNA methylation and demethylation, and transposon activation under abiotic stresses suggest that RdDM is also important in stress responses of plants. Further studies will help illuminate the functions of RdDM in the dynamic control of epigenomes during development and environmental stress responses. PMID:19381459

  4. How Can Plant DNA Viruses Evade siRNA-Directed DNA Methylation and Silencing?

    PubMed Central

    Pooggin, Mikhail M.

    2013-01-01

    Plants infected with DNA viruses produce massive quantities of virus-derived, 24-nucleotide short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which can potentially direct viral DNA methylation and transcriptional silencing. However, growing evidence indicates that the circular double-stranded DNA accumulating in the nucleus for Pol II-mediated transcription of viral genes is not methylated. Hence, DNA viruses most likely evade or suppress RNA-directed DNA methylation. This review describes the specialized mechanisms of replication and silencing evasion evolved by geminiviruses and pararetoviruses, which rescue viral DNA from repressive methylation and interfere with transcriptional and post-transcriptional silencing of viral genes. PMID:23887650

  5. A DNA target of 30 bp is sufficient for RNA-directed DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Pélissier, T; Wassenegger, M

    2000-01-01

    In higher plants, RNA-DNA interactions can trigger de novo methylation of genomic sequences via a process that is termed RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). In potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd)-infected tobacco plants, this process can potentially lead to methylation of all C residues at symmetrical and nonsymmetrical sites within chromosomal inserts that consist of multimers of the 359-bp-long PSTVd cDNA. Using PSTVd cDNA subfragments, we found that genomic targets with as few as 30 nt of sequence complementarity to the viroid RNA are detected and methylated. Genomic sequencing analyses of genome-integrated 30- and 60-bp-long PSTVd subfragments demonstrated that de novo cytosine methylation is not limited to the canonical CpG, CpNpG sites. Sixty-base-pair-long PSTVd cDNA constructs appeared to be densely methylated in nearly all tobacco leaf cells. With the 30-bp-long PSTVd-specific construct, the proportion of cells displaying dense transgene methylation was significantly reduced, suggesting that a minimal target size of about 30 bp is necessary for RdDM. The methylation patterns observed for two different 60-bp constructs further suggested that the sequence identity of the target may influence the methylation mechanism. Finally, a link between viroid pathogenicity and PSTVd RNA-directed methylation of host sequences is proposed. PMID:10668798

  6. Methylation interactions in Arabidopsis hybrids require RNA-directed DNA methylation and are influenced by genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qingzhu; Wang, Dong; Lang, Zhaobo; He, Li; Yang, Lan; Zeng, Liang; Li, Yanqiang; Zhao, Cheng; Huang, Huan; Zhang, Heng; Zhang, Huiming; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2016-07-19

    DNA methylation is a conserved epigenetic mark in plants and many animals. How parental alleles interact in progeny to influence the epigenome is poorly understood. We analyzed the DNA methylomes of Arabidopsis Col and C24 ecotypes, and their hybrid progeny. Hybrids displayed nonadditive DNA methylation levels, termed methylation interactions, throughout the genome. Approximately 2,500 methylation interactions occurred at regions where parental DNA methylation levels are similar, whereas almost 1,000 were at differentially methylated regions in parents. Methylation interactions were characterized by an abundance of 24-nt small interfering RNAs. Furthermore, dysfunction of the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway abolished methylation interactions but did not affect the increased biomass observed in hybrid progeny. Methylation interactions correlated with altered genetic variation within the genome, suggesting that they may play a role in genome evolution. PMID:27382183

  7. INVOLVED IN DE NOVO 2-containing complex involved in RNA-directed DNA methylation in Arabidopsis

    SciTech Connect

    Ausin, Israel; Greenberg, Maxim V.C.; Simanshu, Dhirendra K.; Hale, Christopher J.; Vashisht, Ajay A.; Simon, Stacey A.; Lee, Tzuu-fen; Feng, Suhua; Española, Sophia D.; Meyers, Blake C.; Wohlschlegel, James A.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Jacobsen, Steven E.

    2012-10-23

    At least three pathways control maintenance of DNA cytosine methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway is solely responsible for establishment of this silencing mark. We previously described INVOLVED IN DE NOVO 2 (IDN2) as being an RNA-binding RdDM component that is required for DNA methylation establishment. In this study, we describe the discovery of two partially redundant proteins that are paralogous to IDN2 and that form a stable complex with IDN2 in vivo. Null mutations in both genes, termed IDN2-LIKE 1 and IDN2-LIKE 2 (IDNL1 and IDNL2), result in a phenotype that mirrors, but does not further enhance, the idn2 mutant phenotype. Genetic analysis suggests that this complex acts in a step in the downstream portion of the RdDM pathway. We also have performed structural analysis showing that the IDN2 XS domain adopts an RNA recognition motif (RRM) fold. Finally, genome-wide DNA methylation and expression analysis confirms the placement of the IDN proteins in an RdDM pathway that affects DNA methylation and transcriptional control at many sites in the genome. Results from this study identify and describe two unique components of the RdDM machinery, adding to our understanding of DNA methylation control in the Arabidopsis genome.

  8. Connecting the dots of RNA-directed DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Costa-Nunes, Pedro; Vitins, Alexa; Pontes, Olga

    2014-06-01

    Noncoding RNAs are the rising stars of genome regulation and are crucial to an organism's metabolism, development, and defense. One of their most notable functions is its ability to direct epigenetic modifications through small RNA molecules to specific genomic regions, ensuring transcriptional regulation, proper genome organization, and maintenance of genome integrity. Here, we review the current knowledge of the spatial organization of the Arabidopsis thaliana RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway within the cell nucleus, which, while known to be essential for the proper establishment of epigenetic modifications, remains poorly understood. We will also discuss possible future cytological approaches that have the potential of unveiling functional insights into how small RNA-directed epigenetics is regulated through the spatiotemporal regulation of its major components within the cell. PMID:24846724

  9. RNA-directed DNA methylation enforces boundaries between heterochromatin and euchromatin in the maize genome

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qing; Gent, Jonathan I.; Zynda, Greg; Song, Jawon; Makarevitch, Irina; Hirsch, Cory D.; Hirsch, Candice N.; Dawe, R. Kelly; Madzima, Thelma F.; McGinnis, Karen M.; Lisch, Damon; Schmitz, Robert J.; Vaughn, Matthew W.; Springer, Nathan M.

    2015-01-01

    The maize genome is relatively large (∼2.3 Gb) and has a complex organization of interspersed genes and transposable elements, which necessitates frequent boundaries between different types of chromatin. The examination of maize genes and conserved noncoding sequences revealed that many of these are flanked by regions of elevated asymmetric CHH (where H is A, C, or T) methylation (termed mCHH islands). These mCHH islands are quite short (∼100 bp), are enriched near active genes, and often occur at the edge of the transposon that is located nearest to genes. The analysis of DNA methylation in other sequence contexts and several chromatin modifications revealed that mCHH islands mark the transition from heterochromatin-associated modifications to euchromatin-associated modifications. The presence of an mCHH island is fairly consistent in several distinct tissues that were surveyed but shows some variation among different haplotypes. The presence of insertion/deletions in promoters often influences the presence and position of an mCHH island. The mCHH islands are dependent upon RNA-directed DNA methylation activities and are lost in mop1 and mop3 mutants, but the nearby genes rarely exhibit altered expression levels. Instead, loss of an mCHH island is often accompanied by additional loss of DNA methylation in CG and CHG contexts associated with heterochromatin in nearby transposons. This suggests that mCHH islands and RNA-directed DNA methylation near maize genes may act to preserve the silencing of transposons from activity of nearby genes. PMID:26553984

  10. RNA-directed DNA methylation efficiency depends on trigger and target sequence identity.

    PubMed

    Dalakouras, Athanasios; Dadami, Elena; Wassenegger, Michèle; Krczal, Gabi; Wassenegger, Michael

    2016-07-01

    RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) in plants has been extensively studied, but the RNA molecules guiding the RdDM machinery to their targets are still to be characterized. It is unclear whether these molecules require full complementarity with their target. In this study, we have generated Nicotiana tabacum (Nt) plants carrying an infectious tomato apical stunt viroid (TASVd) transgene (Nt-TASVd) and a non-infectious potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) transgene (Nt-SB2). The two viroid sequences exhibit 81% sequence identity. Nt-TASVd and Nt-SB2 plants were genetically crossed. In the progeny plants (Nt-SB2/TASVd), deep sequencing of small RNAs (sRNAs) showed that TASVd infection was associated with the accumulation of abundant small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that mapped along the entire TASVd but only partially matched the SB2 transgene. TASVd siRNAs efficiently targeted SB2 RNA for degradation, but no transitivity was detectable. Bisulfite sequencing in the Nt-SB2/TASVd plants revealed that the TASVd transgene was targeted for dense cis-RdDM along its entire sequence. In the same plants, the SB2 transgene was targeted for trans-RdDM. The SB2 methylation pattern, however, was weak and heterogeneous, pointing to a positive correlation between trigger-target sequence identity and RdDM efficiency. Importantly, trans-RdDM on SB2 was also detected at sites where no homologous siRNAs were detected. Our data indicate that RdDM efficiency depends on the trigger-target sequence identity, and is not restricted to siRNA occupancy. These findings support recent data suggesting that RNAs with sizes longer than 24 nt (>24-nt RNAs) trigger RdDM. PMID:27121647

  11. Protocol: a beginner’s guide to the analysis of RNA-directed DNA methylation in plants

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    acids that are core components of RNA-directed DNA methylation. Our results not only demonstrated the efficacy of this procedure, but also provide lists of methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes, novel DNA methylation marker loci, and related siRNA sequences, all of which can be valuable for future epigenetic studies. Importantly, step-by-step protocols are provided in details such that the approaches can be easily followed by biologists with little experience in epigenetics. PMID:24955108

  12. Low relative humidity triggers RNA-directed de novo DNA methylation and suppression of genes controlling stomatal development

    PubMed Central

    Tricker, Penny J.; Gibbings, J. George; Rodríguez López, Carlos M.; Hadley, Paul; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental cues influence the development of stomata on the leaf epidermis, and allow plants to exert plasticity in leaf stomatal abundance in response to the prevailing growing conditions. It is reported that Arabidopsis thaliana ‘Landsberg erecta’ plants grown under low relative humidity have a reduced stomatal index and that two genes in the stomatal development pathway, SPEECHLESS and FAMA, become de novo cytosine methylated and transcriptionally repressed. These environmentally-induced epigenetic responses were abolished in mutants lacking the capacity for de novo DNA methylation, for the maintenance of CG methylation, and in mutants for the production of short-interfering non-coding RNAs (siRNAs) in the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway. Induction of methylation was quantitatively related to the induction of local siRNAs under low relative humidity. Our results indicate the involvement of both transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene suppression at these loci in response to environmental stress. Thus, in a physiologically important pathway, a targeted epigenetic response to a specific environmental stress is reported and several of its molecular, mechanistic components are described, providing a tractable platform for future epigenetics experiments. Our findings suggest epigenetic regulation of stomatal development that allows for anatomical and phenotypic plasticity, and may help to explain at least some of the plant’s resilience to fluctuating relative humidity. PMID:22442411

  13. Salt-induced transcription factor MYB74 is regulated by the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Rui; Wang, Yuhan; Zheng, Hao; Lu, Wei; Wu, Changai; Huang, Jinguang; Yan, Kang; Yang, Guodong; Zheng, Chengchao

    2015-01-01

    Salt stress is one of the major abiotic stresses in agriculture worldwide that causes crop failure by interfering with the profile of gene expression and cell metabolism. Transcription factors and RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) play an important role in the regulation of gene activation under abiotic stress in plants. This work characterized AtMYB74, a member of the R2R3-MYB gene family, which is transcriptionally regulated mainly by RdDM as a response in salt stress in Arabidopsis. Bisulphite sequencing indicated that 24-nt siRNAs target a region approximately 500bp upstream of the transcription initiation site of AtMYB74, which is heavily methylated. Levels of DNA methylation in this region were significantly reduced in wild type plants under salt stress, whereas no changes were found in RdDM mutants. Northern blot and quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR analysis showed that the accumulation of 24-nt siRNAs was decreased in WT plants under salt stress. Further promoter deletion analysis revealed that the siRNA target region is essential for maintaining AtMYB74 expression patterns. In addition, transgenic plants overexpressing AtMYB74 displayed hypersensitivity to NaCl during seed germination. These results suggest that changes in the levels of the five 24-nt siRNAs regulate the AtMYB74 transcription factor via RdDM in response to salt stress. PMID:26139822

  14. Accessible DNA and Relative Depletion of H3K9me2 at Maize Loci Undergoing RNA-Directed DNA Methylation[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Gent, Jonathan I.; Madzima, Thelma F.; Bader, Rechien; Kent, Matthew R.; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Stam, Maike; McGinnis, Karen M.; Dawe, R. Kelly

    2014-01-01

    RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) in plants is a well-characterized example of RNA interference-related transcriptional gene silencing. To determine the relationships between RdDM and heterochromatin in the repeat-rich maize (Zea mays) genome, we performed whole-genome analyses of several heterochromatic features: dimethylation of lysine 9 and lysine 27 (H3K9me2 and H3K27me2), chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, and small RNAs; we also analyzed two mutants that affect these processes, mediator of paramutation1 and zea methyltransferase2. The data revealed that the majority of the genome exists in a heterochromatic state defined by inaccessible chromatin that is marked by H3K9me2 and H3K27me2 but that lacks RdDM. The minority of the genome marked by RdDM was predominantly near genes, and its overall chromatin structure appeared more similar to euchromatin than to heterochromatin. These and other data indicate that the densely staining chromatin defined as heterochromatin differs fundamentally from RdDM-targeted chromatin. We propose that small interfering RNAs perform a specialized role in repressing transposons in accessible chromatin environments and that the bulk of heterochromatin is incompatible with small RNA production. PMID:25465407

  15. De Novo Transcriptome Sequence Assembly from Coconut Leaves and Seeds with a Focus on Factors Involved in RNA-Directed DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ya-Yi; Lee, Chueh-Pai; Fu, Jason L.; Chang, Bill Chia-Han; Matzke, Antonius J. M.; Matzke, Marjori

    2014-01-01

    Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is a symbol of the tropics and a source of numerous edible and nonedible products of economic value. Despite its nutritional and industrial significance, coconut remains under-represented in public repositories for genomic and transcriptomic data. We report de novo transcript assembly from RNA-seq data and analysis of gene expression in seed tissues (embryo and endosperm) and leaves of a dwarf coconut variety. Assembly of 10 GB sequencing data for each tissue resulted in 58,211 total unigenes in embryo, 61,152 in endosperm, and 33,446 in leaf. Within each unigene pool, 24,857 could be annotated in embryo, 29,731 could be annotated in endosperm, and 26,064 could be annotated in leaf. A KEGG analysis identified 138, 138, and 139 pathways, respectively, in transcriptomes of embryo, endosperm, and leaf tissues. Given the extraordinarily large size of coconut seeds and the importance of small RNA-mediated epigenetic regulation during seed development in model plants, we used homology searches to identify putative homologs of factors required for RNA-directed DNA methylation in coconut. The findings suggest that RNA-directed DNA methylation is important during coconut seed development, particularly in maturing endosperm. This dataset will expand the genomics resources available for coconut and provide a foundation for more detailed analyses that may assist molecular breeding strategies aimed at improving this major tropical crop. PMID:25193496

  16. De novo transcriptome sequence assembly from coconut leaves and seeds with a focus on factors involved in RNA-directed DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ya-Yi; Lee, Chueh-Pai; Fu, Jason L; Chang, Bill Chia-Han; Matzke, Antonius J M; Matzke, Marjori

    2014-11-01

    Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is a symbol of the tropics and a source of numerous edible and nonedible products of economic value. Despite its nutritional and industrial significance, coconut remains under-represented in public repositories for genomic and transcriptomic data. We report de novo transcript assembly from RNA-seq data and analysis of gene expression in seed tissues (embryo and endosperm) and leaves of a dwarf coconut variety. Assembly of 10 GB sequencing data for each tissue resulted in 58,211 total unigenes in embryo, 61,152 in endosperm, and 33,446 in leaf. Within each unigene pool, 24,857 could be annotated in embryo, 29,731 could be annotated in endosperm, and 26,064 could be annotated in leaf. A KEGG analysis identified 138, 138, and 139 pathways, respectively, in transcriptomes of embryo, endosperm, and leaf tissues. Given the extraordinarily large size of coconut seeds and the importance of small RNA-mediated epigenetic regulation during seed development in model plants, we used homology searches to identify putative homologs of factors required for RNA-directed DNA methylation in coconut. The findings suggest that RNA-directed DNA methylation is important during coconut seed development, particularly in maturing endosperm. This dataset will expand the genomics resources available for coconut and provide a foundation for more detailed analyses that may assist molecular breeding strategies aimed at improving this major tropical crop. PMID:25193496

  17. Two Components of the RNA-Directed DNA Methylation Pathway Associate with MORC6 and Silence Loci Targeted by MORC6 in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhang-Wei; Zhou, Jin-Xing; Huang, Huan-Wei; Li, Yong-Qiang; Shao, Chang-Rong; Li, Lin; Cai, Tao; Chen, She

    2016-01-01

    The SU(VAR)3-9 homolog SUVH9 and the double-stranded RNA-binding protein IDN2 were thought to be components of an RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway in Arabidopsis. We previously found that SUVH9 interacts with MORC6 but how the interaction contributes to transcriptional silencing remains elusive. Here, our genetic analysis indicates that SUVH2 and SUVH9 can either act in the same pathway as MORC6 or act synergistically with MORC6 to mediate transcriptional silencing. Moreover, we demonstrate that IDN2 interacts with MORC6 and mediates the silencing of a subset of MORC6 target loci. Like SUVH2, SUVH9, and IDN2, other RdDM components including Pol IV, Pol V, RDR2, and DRM2 are also required for transcriptional silencing at a subset of MORC6 target loci. MORC6 was previously shown to mediate transcriptional silencing through heterochromatin condensation. We demonstrate that the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex components SWI3B, SWI3C, and SWI3D interact with MORC6 as well as with SUVH9 and then mediate transcriptional silencing. These results suggest that the RdDM components are involved not only in DNA methylation but also in MORC6-mediated heterochromatin condensation. This study illustrates how DNA methylation is linked to heterochromatin condensation and thereby enhances transcriptional silencing at methylated genomic regions. PMID:27171427

  18. Two Components of the RNA-Directed DNA Methylation Pathway Associate with MORC6 and Silence Loci Targeted by MORC6 in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhang-Wei; Zhou, Jin-Xing; Huang, Huan-Wei; Li, Yong-Qiang; Shao, Chang-Rong; Li, Lin; Cai, Tao; Chen, She; He, Xin-Jian

    2016-05-01

    The SU(VAR)3-9 homolog SUVH9 and the double-stranded RNA-binding protein IDN2 were thought to be components of an RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway in Arabidopsis. We previously found that SUVH9 interacts with MORC6 but how the interaction contributes to transcriptional silencing remains elusive. Here, our genetic analysis indicates that SUVH2 and SUVH9 can either act in the same pathway as MORC6 or act synergistically with MORC6 to mediate transcriptional silencing. Moreover, we demonstrate that IDN2 interacts with MORC6 and mediates the silencing of a subset of MORC6 target loci. Like SUVH2, SUVH9, and IDN2, other RdDM components including Pol IV, Pol V, RDR2, and DRM2 are also required for transcriptional silencing at a subset of MORC6 target loci. MORC6 was previously shown to mediate transcriptional silencing through heterochromatin condensation. We demonstrate that the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex components SWI3B, SWI3C, and SWI3D interact with MORC6 as well as with SUVH9 and then mediate transcriptional silencing. These results suggest that the RdDM components are involved not only in DNA methylation but also in MORC6-mediated heterochromatin condensation. This study illustrates how DNA methylation is linked to heterochromatin condensation and thereby enhances transcriptional silencing at methylated genomic regions. PMID:27171427

  19. Angiosperms Are Unique among Land Plant Lineages in the Occurrence of Key Genes in the RNA-Directed DNA Methylation (RdDM) Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lu; Hatlen, Andrea; Kelly, Laura J.; Becher, Hannes; Wang, Wencai; Kovarik, Ales; Leitch, Ilia J.; Leitch, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    The RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway can be divided into three phases: 1) small interfering RNA biogenesis, 2) de novo methylation, and 3) chromatin modification. To determine the degree of conservation of this pathway we searched for key genes among land plants. We used OrthoMCL and the OrthoMCL Viridiplantae database to analyze proteomes of species in bryophytes, lycophytes, monilophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. We also analyzed small RNA size categories and, in two gymnosperms, cytosine methylation in ribosomal DNA. Six proteins were restricted to angiosperms, these being NRPD4/NRPE4, RDM1, DMS3 (defective in meristem silencing 3), SHH1 (SAWADEE homeodomain homolog 1), KTF1, and SUVR2, although we failed to find the latter three proteins in Fritillaria persica, a species with a giant genome. Small RNAs of 24 nt in length were abundant only in angiosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of Dicer-like (DCL) proteins showed that DCL2 was restricted to seed plants, although it was absent in Gnetum gnemon and Welwitschia mirabilis. The data suggest that phases (1) and (2) of the RdDM pathway, described for model angiosperms, evolved with angiosperms. The absence of some features of RdDM in F. persica may be associated with its large genome. Phase (3) is probably the most conserved part of the pathway across land plants. DCL2, involved in virus defense and interaction with the canonical RdDM pathway to facilitate methylation of CHH, is absent outside seed plants. Its absence in G. gnemon, and W. mirabilis coupled with distinctive patterns of CHH methylation, suggest a secondary loss of DCL2 following the divergence of Gnetales. PMID:26338185

  20. Angiosperms Are Unique among Land Plant Lineages in the Occurrence of Key Genes in the RNA-Directed DNA Methylation (RdDM) Pathway.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lu; Hatlen, Andrea; Kelly, Laura J; Becher, Hannes; Wang, Wencai; Kovarik, Ales; Leitch, Ilia J; Leitch, Andrew R

    2015-09-01

    The RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway can be divided into three phases: 1) small interfering RNA biogenesis, 2) de novo methylation, and 3) chromatin modification. To determine the degree of conservation of this pathway we searched for key genes among land plants. We used OrthoMCL and the OrthoMCL Viridiplantae database to analyze proteomes of species in bryophytes, lycophytes, monilophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. We also analyzed small RNA size categories and, in two gymnosperms, cytosine methylation in ribosomal DNA. Six proteins were restricted to angiosperms, these being NRPD4/NRPE4, RDM1, DMS3 (defective in meristem silencing 3), SHH1 (SAWADEE homeodomain homolog 1), KTF1, and SUVR2, although we failed to find the latter three proteins in Fritillaria persica, a species with a giant genome. Small RNAs of 24 nt in length were abundant only in angiosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of Dicer-like (DCL) proteins showed that DCL2 was restricted to seed plants, although it was absent in Gnetum gnemon and Welwitschia mirabilis. The data suggest that phases (1) and (2) of the RdDM pathway, described for model angiosperms, evolved with angiosperms. The absence of some features of RdDM in F. persica may be associated with its large genome. Phase (3) is probably the most conserved part of the pathway across land plants. DCL2, involved in virus defense and interaction with the canonical RdDM pathway to facilitate methylation of CHH, is absent outside seed plants. Its absence in G. gnemon, and W. mirabilis coupled with distinctive patterns of CHH methylation, suggest a secondary loss of DCL2 following the divergence of Gnetales. PMID:26338185

  1. Size and positional effects of promoter RNA segments on virus-induced RNA-directed DNA methylation and transcriptional gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    Otagaki, Shungo; Kawai, Miou; Masuta, Chikara; Kanazawa, Akira

    2011-01-01

    DNA methylation at a gene promoter can be triggered by double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) through the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway and induces transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). Although genes involved in the RdDM pathway have been identified, whether dsRNAs of different promoter regions have different extent of effects on RdDM and/or TGS is unknown. Here, we addressed this question by targeting the CaMV 35S promoter in the plant genome using a recombinant Cucumber mosaic virus that contained various portions of the promoter. The efficiency of the induction of TGS depended on the length of the promoter segment triggering the RdDM; the lower size limit for TGS induction was 81-91 nt. TGS was induced when 70-nt fragments were connected in tandem, none of which solely induced TGS. TGS induction did not simply depend on the production of small interfering RNAs corresponding to the promoter. Along with the induction of RdDM, spreading of DNA methylation from the originally targeted site toward the adjacent regions was detected. The maintenance of TGS in the progeny that lacks an RNA trigger depended on the promoter segments triggering the RdDM in the former generation and was correlated with the number of cytosines at symmetrical sites in the targeted region. These results indicate that both the length of dsRNA above the threshold and the frequency of cytosines at symmetric sites in the region targeted by dsRNA are the major factors that allow induction of heritable TGS via RdDM. PMID:21610318

  2. Arabidopsis RNASE THREE LIKE2 Modulates the Expression of Protein-Coding Genes via 24-Nucleotide Small Interfering RNA-Directed DNA Methylation[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hachet, Mélanie; Comella, Pascale; Zytnicki, Matthias; Vaucheret, Hervé

    2016-01-01

    RNaseIII enzymes catalyze the cleavage of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and have diverse functions in RNA maturation. Arabidopsis thaliana RNASE THREE LIKE2 (RTL2), which carries one RNaseIII and two dsRNA binding (DRB) domains, is a unique Arabidopsis RNaseIII enzyme resembling the budding yeast small interfering RNA (siRNA)-producing Dcr1 enzyme. Here, we show that RTL2 modulates the production of a subset of small RNAs and that this activity depends on both its RNaseIII and DRB domains. However, the mode of action of RTL2 differs from that of Dcr1. Whereas Dcr1 directly cleaves dsRNAs into 23-nucleotide siRNAs, RTL2 likely cleaves dsRNAs into longer molecules, which are subsequently processed into small RNAs by the DICER-LIKE enzymes. Depending on the dsRNA considered, RTL2-mediated maturation either improves (RTL2-dependent loci) or reduces (RTL2-sensitive loci) the production of small RNAs. Because the vast majority of RTL2-regulated loci correspond to transposons and intergenic regions producing 24-nucleotide siRNAs that guide DNA methylation, RTL2 depletion modifies DNA methylation in these regions. Nevertheless, 13% of RTL2-regulated loci correspond to protein-coding genes. We show that changes in 24-nucleotide siRNA levels also affect DNA methylation levels at such loci and inversely correlate with mRNA steady state levels, thus implicating RTL2 in the regulation of protein-coding gene expression. PMID:26764378

  3. NRPD4, a Protein Related to the RPB4 Subunit of RNA Polymerase II, is a Component of RNA Polymerases IV and V and is Required for RNA-directed DNA methylation

    SciTech Connect

    He, Xin-Jian; Hsu, Yi-Feng; Pontes, Olga; Zhu, Jianhua; Lu, Jian; Bressan, Ray A.; Pikaard, Craig S.; Wang, Co-Shine; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2009-01-01

    RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) is an RNAi-based mechanism for establishing transcriptional gene silencing in plants. The plant-specific RNA polymerases IV and V are required for the generation of 24-nucleotide (nt) siRNAs and for guiding sequence-specific DNA methylation by the siRNAs, respectively. However, unlike the extensively studied multisubunit Pol II, our current knowledge about Pol IV and Pol V is restricted to only the two largest subunits NRPD1a/NRPD1 and NRPD1b/NRPE1 and the one second-largest subunit NRPD2a. It is unclear whether other subunits may be required for the functioning of Pol IV and Pol V in RdDM. From a genetic screen for second-site suppressors of the DNA demethylase mutant ros1, we identified a new component (referred to as RDM2) as well as seven known components (NRPD1, NRPE1, NRPD2a, AGO4, HEN1, DRD1, and HDA6) of the RdDM pathway. The differential effects of the mutations on two mechanistically distinct transcriptional silencing reporters suggest that RDM2, NRPD1, NRPE1, NRPD2a, HEN1, and DRD1 function only in the siRNA-dependent pathway of transcriptional silencing, whereas HDA6 and AGO4 have roles in both siRNA-dependent and -independent pathways of transcriptional silencing. In the rdm2 mutants, DNA methylation and siRNA accumulation were reduced substantially at loci previously identified as endogenous targets of Pol IV and Pol V, including 5S rDNA, MEA-ISR, AtSN1, AtGP1, and AtMU1. The amino acid sequence of RDM2 is similar to that of RPB4 subunit of Pol II, but we show evidence that RDM2 has diverged significantly from RPB4 and cannot function in Pol II. An association of RDM2 with both NRPD1 and NRPE1 was observed by coimmunoprecipitation and coimmunolocalization assays. Our results show that RDM2/NRPD4/NRPE4 is a new component of the RdDM pathway in Arabidopsis and that it functions as part of Pol IV and Pol V.

  4. RNA-directed repair of DNA double-strand breaks.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yun-Gui; Qi, Yijun

    2015-08-01

    DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most deleterious DNA lesions, which if unrepaired or repaired incorrectly can cause cell death or genome instability that may lead to cancer. To counteract these adverse consequences, eukaryotes have evolved a highly orchestrated mechanism to repair DSBs, namely DNA-damage-response (DDR). DDR, as defined specifically in relation to DSBs, consists of multi-layered regulatory modes including DNA damage sensors, transducers and effectors, through which DSBs are sensed and then repaired via DNAprotein interactions. Unexpectedly, recent studies have revealed a direct role of RNA in the repair of DSBs, including DSB-induced small RNA (diRNA)-directed and RNA-templated DNA repair. Here, we summarize the recent discoveries of RNA-mediated regulation of DSB repair and discuss the potential impact of these novel RNA components of the DSB repair pathway on genomic stability and plasticity. PMID:25960340

  5. DNA methylation in plants.

    PubMed

    Vanyushin, B F

    2006-01-01

    DNA in plants is highly methylated, containing 5-methylcytosine (m5C) and N6-methyladenine (m6A); m5C is located mainly in symmetrical CG and CNG sequences but it may occur also in other non-symmetrical contexts. m6A but not m5C was found in plant mitochondrial DNA. DNA methylation in plants is species-, tissue-, organelle- and age-specific. It is controlled by phytohormones and changes on seed germination, flowering and under the influence of various pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal). DNA methylation controls plant growth and development, with particular involvement in regulation of gene expression and DNA replication. DNA replication is accompanied by the appearance of under-methylated, newly formed DNA strands including Okazaki fragments; asymmetry of strand DNA methylation disappears until the end of the cell cycle. A model for regulation of DNA replication by methylation is suggested. Cytosine DNA methylation in plants is more rich and diverse compared with animals. It is carried out by the families of specific enzymes that belong to at least three classes of DNA methyltransferases. Open reading frames (ORF) for adenine DNA methyltransferases are found in plant and animal genomes, and a first eukaryotic (plant) adenine DNA methyltransferase (wadmtase) is described; the enzyme seems to be involved in regulation of the mitochondria replication. Like in animals, DNA methylation in plants is closely associated with histone modifications and it affects binding of specific proteins to DNA and formation of respective transcription complexes in chromatin. The same gene (DRM2) in Arabidopsis thaliana is methylated both at cytosine and adenine residues; thus, at least two different, and probably interdependent, systems of DNA modification are present in plants. Plants seem to have a restriction-modification (R-M) system. RNA-directed DNA methylation has been observed in plants; it involves de novo methylation of almost all cytosine residues in a region of siRNA-DNA

  6. DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Marinus, M.G.; Løbner-Olesen, A.

    2014-01-01

    The DNA of E. coli contains 19,120 6-methyladenines and 12,045 5-methylcytosines in addition to the four regular bases and these are formed by the postreplicative action of three DNA methyltransferases. The majority of the methylated bases are formed by the Dam and Dcm methyltransferases encoded by the dam (DNA adenine methyltransferase) and dcm (DNA cytosine methyltransferase) genes. Although not essential, Dam methylation is important for strand discrimination during repair of replication errors, controlling the frequency of initiation of chromosome replication at oriC, and regulation of transcription initiation at promoters containing GATC sequences. In contrast, there is no known function for Dcm methylation although Dcm recognition sites constitute sequence motifs for Very Short Patch repair of T/G base mismatches. In certain bacteria (e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Caulobacter crescentus) adenine methylation is essential and in C. crescentus, it is important for temporal gene expression which, in turn, is required for coordinating chromosome initiation, replication and division. In practical terms, Dam and Dcm methylation can inhibit restriction enzyme cleavage; decrease transformation frequency in certain bacteria; decrease the stability of short direct repeats; are necessary for site-directed mutagenesis; and to probe eukaryotic structure and function. PMID:26442938

  7. Viroid-induced DNA methylation in plants.

    PubMed

    Dalakouras, Athanasios; Dadami, Elena; Wassenegger, Michael

    2013-12-01

    In eukaryotes, DNA methylation refers to the addition of a methyl group to the fifth atom in the six-atom ring of cytosine residues. At least in plants, DNA regions that become de novo methylated can be defined by homologous RNA molecules in a process termed RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). RdDM was first discovered in viroid-infected plants. Viroids are pathogenic circular, non-coding, single-stranded RNA molecules. Members of the Pospiviroidae family replicate in the nucleus through double-stranded RNA intermediates, attracting the host RNA silencing machinery. The recruitment of this machinery results in the production of viroid-derived small RNAs (vd-sRNAs) that mediate RNA degradation and DNA methylation of cognate sequences. Here, we provide an overview of the cumulative data on the field of viroid-induced RdDM and discuss three possible scenarios concerning the mechanistic details of its establishment. PMID:25436756

  8. Isolation of an RNA-directed RNA polymerase-specific cDNA clone from tomato.

    PubMed Central

    Schiebel, W; Pélissier, T; Riedel, L; Thalmeir, S; Schiebel, R; Kempe, D; Lottspeich, F; Sänger, H L; Wassenegger, M

    1998-01-01

    A 3600-bp RNA-directed RNA polymerase (RdRP)-specific cDNA comprising an open reading frame (ORF) of 1114 amino acids was isolated from tomato. The putative protein encoded by this ORF does not share homology with any characterized proteins. Antibodies that were raised against synthetic peptides whose sequences have been deduced from the ORF were shown to specifically detect the 127-kD tomato RdRP protein. The immunoresponse to the antibodies correlated with the enzymatic activity profile of the RdRP after chromatography on Q-, poly(A)-, and poly(U)-Sepharose, hydroxyapatite, and Sephadex G-200 columns. DNA gel blot analysis revealed a single copy of the RdRP gene in tomato. RdRP homologs from petunia, Arabidopsis, tobacco, and wheat were identified by using polymerase chain reaction. A sequence comparison indicated that sequences homologous to RdRP are also present in the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The previously described induction of RdRP activity upon viroid infection is shown to be correlated with an increased steady state level of the corresponding mRNA. The possible involvement of this heretofore functionally elusive plant RNA polymerase in homology-dependent gene silencing is discussed. PMID:9836747

  9. [DNA methylation in obesity].

    PubMed

    Pokrywka, Małgorzata; Kieć-Wilk, Beata; Polus, Anna; Wybrańska, Iwona

    2014-01-01

    The number of overweight and obese people is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in the developed and developing countries. Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and in consequence for premature death. The development of obesity results from the interplay of both genetic and environmental factors, which include sedentary life style and abnormal eating habits. In the past few years a number of events accompanying obesity, affecting expression of genes which are not directly connected with the DNA base sequence (e.g. epigenetic changes), have been described. Epigenetic processes include DNA methylation, histone modifications such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and sumoylation, as well as non-coding micro-RNA (miRNA) synthesis. In this review, the known changes in the profile of DNA methylation as a factor affecting obesity and its complications are described. PMID:25531701

  10. Nutrients and DNA Methylation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epigenetics is a new mechanism responsible for development, aging, and disease process such as cancer development. One major epigenetic phenomenon is DNA methylation, which attributes to gene expression and integrity. Deepening the knowledge on one-carbon metabolism is very important to understandin...

  11. DNA Methylation in Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    den Hollander, Wouter; Meulenbelt, Ingrid

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent disease of articular joints and primarily characterized by degradation and calcification of articular cartilage. Presently, no effective treatment other than pain relief exists and patients ultimately need to undergo replacement surgery of the affected joint. During disease progression articular chondrocytes, the single cell type present in articular cartilage, show altered transcriptional profiles and undergo phenotypic changes that resemble the terminal differentiation route apparent in growth plate chondrocytes. Hence, given its prominent function in both regulating gene expression and maintaining cellular phenotypes, DNA methylation of CpG dinucleotides is intensively studied in the context of OA. An increasing number of studies have been published that employed a targeted approach on genes known to play a role in OA pathophysiology. As of such, it has become clear that OA responsive DNA methylation changes seem to mediate disease associated aberrant gene expression. Furthermore, established OA susceptibility alleles such as GDF5 and DIO2 appear to confer OA risk via DNA methylation and respective pathophysiological expression changes. In more recent years, genome wide profiling of DNA methylation in OA affected articular cartilage has emerged as a powerful tool to address the epigenetic changes in their entirety, which has resulted in the identification of putative patient subgroups as well as generic OA associated pathways. PMID:27019616

  12. DNA Methylation in Osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    den Hollander, Wouter; Meulenbelt, Ingrid

    2015-12-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent disease of articular joints and primarily characterized by degradation and calcification of articular cartilage. Presently, no effective treatment other than pain relief exists and patients ultimately need to undergo replacement surgery of the affected joint. During disease progression articular chondrocytes, the single cell type present in articular cartilage, show altered transcriptional profiles and undergo phenotypic changes that resemble the terminal differentiation route apparent in growth plate chondrocytes. Hence, given its prominent function in both regulating gene expression and maintaining cellular phenotypes, DNA methylation of CpG dinucleotides is intensively studied in the context of OA. An increasing number of studies have been published that employed a targeted approach on genes known to play a role in OA pathophysiology. As of such, it has become clear that OA responsive DNA methylation changes seem to mediate disease associated aberrant gene expression. Furthermore, established OA susceptibility alleles such as GDF5 and DIO2 appear to confer OA risk via DNA methylation and respective pathophysiological expression changes. In more recent years, genome wide profiling of DNA methylation in OA affected articular cartilage has emerged as a powerful tool to address the epigenetic changes in their entirety, which has resulted in the identification of putative patient subgroups as well as generic OA associated pathways. PMID:27019616

  13. DNA methylation in fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Dowson, Christopher; O'Reilly, Steven

    2016-09-01

    Fibrosis is characterised by an exuberant wound healing response and the major cell type responsible is the myofibroblast. The myofibroblast is typified by excessive ECM production and contractile activity and is demarcated by alpha-smooth muscle actin expression. What has recently come to light is that the activation of the fibroblast to myofibroblast may be under epigenetic control, specifically methylation. Methylation of DNA is a conserved mechanism to precisely regulate gene expression in a specific context. Hypermethylation leads to gene repression and hypomethylation results in gene induction. Methylation abnormalities have recently been uncovered in fibrosis, both organ specific and widespread fibrosis. The fact that these methylation changes are rapid and reversible lends themselves amenable to therapeutic intervention. This review considers the role of methylation in fibrosis and the activation of the myofibroblasts and how this could be targeted for fibrosis. Fibrosis is of course currently intractable to therapeutics and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and is an urgent unmet clinical need. PMID:27346523

  14. DNA Methylation Screening and Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sant, Karilyn E.; Nahar, Muna S.; Dolinoy, Dana C.

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic form of gene regulation that is universally important throughout the life course, especially during in utero and postnatal development. DNA methylation aids in cell cycle regulation and cellular differentiation processes. Previous studies have demonstrated that DNA methylation profiles may be altered by diet and the environment, and that these profiles are especially vulnerable during development. Thus, it is important to understand the role of DNA methylation in developmental governance and subsequent disease progression. A variety of molecular methods exist to assay for global, gene-specific, and epigenome-wide methylation. Here we describe these methods and discuss their relative strengths and limitations. PMID:22669678

  15. Synthetic Polymer Hybridization with DNA and RNA Directs Nanoparticle Loading, Silencing Delivery, and Aptamer Function

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhun; Xia, Xin; Bong, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    We report herein discrete triplex hybridization of DNA and RNA with polyacrylates. Length-monodisperse triazine-derivatized polymers were prepared on gram-scale by reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization. Despite stereoregio backbone heterogeneity, the triazine polymers bind T/U-rich DNA or RNA with nanomolar affinity upon mixing in a 1:1 ratio, as judged by thermal melts, circular dichroism, gel-shift assays, and fluorescence quenching. We call these polyacrylates “bifacial polymer nucleic acids” (bPoNAs). Nucleic acid hybridization with bPoNA enables DNA loading onto polymer nanoparticles, siRNA silencing delivery, and can further serve as an allosteric trigger of RNA aptamer function. Thus, bPoNAs can serve as tools for both non-covalent bioconjugation and structure–function nucleation. It is anticipated that bPoNAs will have utility in both bio- and nanotechnology. PMID:26138550

  16. Synthetic Polymer Hybridization with DNA and RNA Directs Nanoparticle Loading, Silencing Delivery, and Aptamer Function.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhun; Xia, Xin; Bong, Dennis

    2015-07-22

    We report herein discrete triplex hybridization of DNA and RNA with polyacrylates. Length-monodisperse triazine-derivatized polymers were prepared on gram-scale by reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization. Despite stereoregio backbone heterogeneity, the triazine polymers bind T/U-rich DNA or RNA with nanomolar affinity upon mixing in a 1:1 ratio, as judged by thermal melts, circular dichroism, gel-shift assays, and fluorescence quenching. We call these polyacrylates "bifacial polymer nucleic acids" (bPoNAs). Nucleic acid hybridization with bPoNA enables DNA loading onto polymer nanoparticles, siRNA silencing delivery, and can further serve as an allosteric trigger of RNA aptamer function. Thus, bPoNAs can serve as tools for both non-covalent bioconjugation and structure-function nucleation. It is anticipated that bPoNAs will have utility in both bio- and nanotechnology. PMID:26138550

  17. Methods of DNA methylation detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maki, Wusi Chen (Inventor); Filanoski, Brian John (Inventor); Mishra, Nirankar (Inventor); Rastogi, Shiva (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention provides for methods of DNA methylation detection. The present invention provides for methods of generating and detecting specific electronic signals that report the methylation status of targeted DNA molecules in biological samples.Two methods are described, direct and indirect detection of methylated DNA molecules in a nano transistor based device. In the direct detection, methylated target DNA molecules are captured on the sensing surface resulting in changes in the electrical properties of a nano transistor. These changes generate detectable electronic signals. In the indirect detection, antibody-DNA conjugates are used to identify methylated DNA molecules. RNA signal molecules are generated through an in vitro transcription process. These RNA molecules are captured on the sensing surface change the electrical properties of nano transistor thereby generating detectable electronic signals.

  18. DNA Methylation and Colorectal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ashktorab, Hassan; Brim, Hassan

    2014-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the major cancers in the world and second death-causing cancer in the US. CRC development involves genetic and epigenetic alterations. Changes in DNA methylation status are believed to be involved at different stages of CRC. Promoter silencing via DNA methylation and hypomethylation of oncogenes alter genes’ expression, and can be used as a tool for the early detection of colonic lesions. DNA methylation use as diagnostic and prognostic marker has been described for many cancers including CRC. CpG Islands Methylator Phenotype (CIMP) is one of the underlying CRC mechanisms. This review aims to define methylation signatures in CRC. The analysis of DNA methylation profile in combination with the pathological diagnosis would be useful in predicting CRC tumors’ evolution and their prognostic behavior. PMID:25580099

  19. Methods of DNA methylation analysis.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this review was to provide guidance for investigators who are new to the field of DNA methylation analysis. Epigenetics is the study of mitotically heritable alterations in gene expression potential that are not mediated by changes in DNA sequence. Recently, it has become clear that n...

  20. DNA methylation and cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiangru

    2015-01-01

    With ever-increasing elder population, the high incidence of age-related diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders has turned out to be a huge public concern. Especially the elders and their families dreadfully suffer from the learning, behavioral and cognitive impairments. The lack of effective therapies for such a horrible symptom makes a great demanding for biological mechanism study for cognitive aging. Epigenetics is an emerging field that broadens the dimensions of mammalian genome blueprint. It is, unlike genetics, not only inheritable but also reversible. Recent studies suggest that DNA methylation, one of major epigenetic mechanisms, plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerations and cognitive defects. In this review, the evolving knowledge of age-related cognitive functions and the potential DNA methylation mechanism of cognitive aging are discussed. That indicates the impairment of DNA methylation may be a crucial but reversible mechanism of behavioral and cognitive related neurodegeneration. The methods to examine the dynamics of DNA methylation patterns at tissue and single cell level and at the representative scale as well as the whole genome single base resolution are also briefly discussed. Importantly, the challenges of DNA methylation mechanism of cognitive aging research are brought up, and the possible solutions to tackle these difficulties are put forward. PMID:26015403

  1. Mobile small RNAs regulate genome-wide DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    Lewsey, Mathew G.; Hardcastle, Thomas J.; Melnyk, Charles W.; Molnar, Attila; Valli, Adrián; Urich, Mark A.; Nery, Joseph R.; Baulcombe, David C.; Ecker, Joseph R.

    2016-01-01

    RNA silencing at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels regulates endogenous gene expression, controls invading transposable elements (TEs), and protects the cell against viruses. Key components of the mechanism are small RNAs (sRNAs) of 21–24 nt that guide the silencing machinery to their nucleic acid targets in a nucleotide sequence-specific manner. Transcriptional gene silencing is associated with 24-nt sRNAs and RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) at cytosine residues in three DNA sequence contexts (CG, CHG, and CHH). We previously demonstrated that 24-nt sRNAs are mobile from shoot to root in Arabidopsis thaliana and confirmed that they mediate DNA methylation at three sites in recipient cells. In this study, we extend this finding by demonstrating that RdDM of thousands of loci in root tissues is dependent upon mobile sRNAs from the shoot and that mobile sRNA-dependent DNA methylation occurs predominantly in non-CG contexts. Mobile sRNA-dependent non-CG methylation is largely dependent on the DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASES 1/2 (DRM1/DRM2) RdDM pathway but is independent of the CHROMOMETHYLASE (CMT)2/3 DNA methyltransferases. Specific superfamilies of TEs, including those typically found in gene-rich euchromatic regions, lose DNA methylation in a mutant lacking 22- to 24-nt sRNAs (dicer-like 2, 3, 4 triple mutant). Transcriptome analyses identified a small number of genes whose expression in roots is associated with mobile sRNAs and connected to DNA methylation directly or indirectly. Finally, we demonstrate that sRNAs from shoots of one accession move across a graft union and target DNA methylation de novo at normally unmethylated sites in the genomes of root cells from a different accession. PMID:26787884

  2. Novel features of telomere biology revealed by the absence of telomeric DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Vega-Vaquero, Alejandro; Bonora, Giancarlo; Morselli, Marco; Vaquero-Sedas, María I; Rubbi, Liudmilla; Pellegrini, Matteo; Vega-Palas, Miguel A

    2016-08-01

    Cytosine methylation regulates the length and stability of telomeres, which can affect a wide variety of biological features, including cell differentiation, development, or illness. Although it is well established that subtelomeric regions are methylated, the presence of methylated cytosines at telomeres has remained controversial. Here, we have analyzed multiple bisulfite sequencing studies to address the methylation status of Arabidopsis thaliana telomeres. We found that the levels of estimated telomeric DNA methylation varied among studies. Interestingly, we estimated higher levels of telomeric DNA methylation in studies that produced C-rich telomeric strands with lower efficiency. However, these high methylation estimates arose due to experimental limitations of the bisulfite technique. We found a similar phenomenon for mitochondrial DNA: The levels of mitochondrial DNA methylation detected were higher in experiments with lower mitochondrial read production efficiencies. Based on experiments with high telomeric C-rich strand production efficiencies, we concluded that Arabidopsis telomeres are not methylated, which was confirmed by methylation-dependent restriction enzyme analyses. Thus, our studies indicate that telomeres are refractory to de novo DNA methylation by the RNA-directed DNA methylation machinery. This result, together with previously reported data, reveals that subtelomeric DNA methylation controls the homeostasis of telomere length. PMID:27405804

  3. DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review)

    PubMed Central

    KOUKOURA, OURANIA; SIFAKIS, STAVROS; SPANDIDOS, DEMETRIOS A.

    2016-01-01

    Endometriosis is defined by the presence and growth of functional endometrial tissue, outside the uterine cavity, primarily in the ovaries, pelvic peritoneum and rectovaginal septum. Although it is a benign disease, it presents with malignant characteristics, such as invasion to surrounding tissues, metastasis to distant locations and recurrence following treatment. Accumulating evidence suggests that various epigenetic aberrations may play an essential role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Aberrant DNA methylation represents a possible mechanism repsonsible for this disease, linking gene expression alterations observed in endometriosis with hormonal and environmental factors. Several lines of evidence indicate that endometriosis may partially be due to selective epigenetic deregulations influenced by extrinsic factors. Previous studies have shed light into the epigenetic component of endometriosis, reporting variations in the epigenetic patterns of genes known to be involved in the aberrant hormonal, immunologic and inflammatory status of endometriosis. Although recent studies, utilizing advanced molecular techniques, have allowed us to further elucidate the possible association of DNA methylation with altered gene expression, whether these molecular changes represent the cause or merely the consequence of the disease is a question which remains to be answered. This review provides an overview of the current literature on the role of DNA methylation in the pathophysiology and malignant evolution of endometriosis. We also provide insight into the mechanisms through which DNA methylation-modifying agents may be the next step in the research of the pharmaceutical treatment of endometriosis. PMID:26934855

  4. DNA methylation in endometriosis (Review).

    PubMed

    Koukoura, Ourania; Sifakis, Stavros; Spandidos, Demetrios A

    2016-04-01

    Endometriosis is defined by the presence and growth of functional endometrial tissue, outside the uterine cavity, primarily in the ovaries, pelvic peritoneum and rectovaginal septum. Although it is a benign disease, it presents with malignant characteristics, such as invasion to surrounding tissues, metastasis to distant locations and recurrence following treatment. Accumulating evidence suggests that various epigenetic aberrations may play an essential role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Aberrant DNA methylation represents a possible mechanism repsonsible for this disease, linking gene expression alterations observed in endometriosis with hormonal and environmental factors. Several lines of evidence indicate that endometriosis may partially be due to selective epigenetic deregulations influenced by extrinsic factors. Previous studies have shed light into the epigenetic component of endometriosis, reporting variations in the epigenetic patterns of genes known to be involved in the aberrant hormonal, immunologic and inflammatory status of endometriosis. Although recent studies, utilizing advanced molecular techniques, have allowed us to further elucidate the possible association of DNA methylation with altered gene expression, whether these molecular changes represent the cause or merely the consequence of the disease is a question which remains to be answered. This review provides an overview of the current literature on the role of DNA methylation in the pathophysiology and malignant evolution of endometriosis. We also provide insight into the mechanisms through which DNA methylation-modifying agents may be the next step in the research of the pharmaceutical treatment of endometriosis. PMID:26934855

  5. Methods in DNA methylation profiling

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Tao; Tycko, Benjamin; Liu, Ta-Ming; Lin, Huey-Jen L; Huang, Tim H-M

    2010-01-01

    Metastable and somatically heritable patterns of DNA methylation provide an important level of genomic regulation. In this article, we review methods for analyzing these genome-wide epigenetic patterns and offer a perspective on the ever-expanding literature, which we hope will be useful for investigators who are new to this area. The historical aspects that we cover will be helpful in interpreting this literature and we hope that our discussion of the newest analytical methods will stimulate future progress. We emphasize that no single approach can provide a complete view of the overall methylome, and that combinations of several modalities applied to the same sample set will give the clearest picture. Given the unexpected epigenomic patterns and new biological principles, as well as new disease markers, that have been uncovered in recent studies, it is likely that important discoveries will continue to be made using genome-wide DNA methylation profiling. PMID:20526417

  6. Electronic transport in methylated fragments of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Almeida, M. L.; Oliveira, J. I. N.; Lima Neto, J. X.; Gomes, C. E. M.; Fulco, U. L.; Albuquerque, E. L.; Freire, V. N.; Caetano, E. W. S.; de Moura, F. A. B. F.; Lyra, M. L.

    2015-11-01

    We investigate the electronic transport properties of methylated deoxyribonucleic-acid (DNA) strands, a biological system in which methyl groups are added to DNA (a major epigenetic modification in gene expression), sandwiched between two metallic platinum electrodes. Our theoretical simulations apply an effective Hamiltonian based on a tight-binding model to obtain current-voltage curves related to the non-methylated/methylated DNA strands. The results suggest potential applications in the development of novel biosensors for molecular diagnostics.

  7. Electronic transport in methylated fragments of DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Almeida, M. L. de; Oliveira, J. I. N.; Lima Neto, J. X.; Gomes, C. E. M.; Fulco, U. L. Albuquerque, E. L.; Freire, V. N.; Caetano, E. W. S.; Moura, F. A. B. F. de; Lyra, M. L.

    2015-11-16

    We investigate the electronic transport properties of methylated deoxyribonucleic-acid (DNA) strands, a biological system in which methyl groups are added to DNA (a major epigenetic modification in gene expression), sandwiched between two metallic platinum electrodes. Our theoretical simulations apply an effective Hamiltonian based on a tight-binding model to obtain current-voltage curves related to the non-methylated/methylated DNA strands. The results suggest potential applications in the development of novel biosensors for molecular diagnostics.

  8. Increased DNA methylation in the suicide brain.

    PubMed

    Haghighi, Fatemeh; Xin, Yurong; Chanrion, Benjamin; O'Donnell, Anne H; Ge, Yongchao; Dwork, Andrew J; Arango, Victoria; Mann, J John

    2014-09-01

    Clinical studies find that childhood adversity and stressful life events in adulthood increase the risk for major depression and for suicide. The predispositions to either major depression or suicide are thought to depend on genetic risk factors or epigenetic effects. We investigated DNA methylation signatures postmortem in brains of suicides with diagnosis of major depressive disorder. DNA methylation levels were determined at single C-phosphate-G (CpG) resolution sites within ventral prefrontal cortex of 53 suicides and nonpsychiatric controls, aged 16 to 89 years. We found that DNA methylation increases throughout the lifespan. Suicides showed an 8-fold greater number of methylated CpG sites relative to controls (P < 2.2 x 10(-16)), with greater DNA methylation changes over and above the increased methylation observed in normal aging. This increased DNA methylation may be a significant contributor to the neuropathology and psychopathology underlying the risk of suicide in depression. PMID:25364291

  9. DNA Methylation Landscapes of Human Fetal Development

    PubMed Central

    van Iperen, Liesbeth; Suchiman, H. Eka D.; Tobi, Elmar W.; Carlotti, Françoise; de Koning, Eelco J. P.; Slagboom, P. Eline; Heijmans, Bastiaan T.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2015-01-01

    Remodelling the methylome is a hallmark of mammalian development and cell differentiation. However, current knowledge of DNA methylation dynamics in human tissue specification and organ development largely stems from the extrapolation of studies in vitro and animal models. Here, we report on the DNA methylation landscape using the 450k array of four human tissues (amnion, muscle, adrenal and pancreas) during the first and second trimester of gestation (9,18 and 22 weeks). We show that a tissue-specific signature, constituted by tissue-specific hypomethylated CpG sites, was already present at 9 weeks of gestation (W9). Furthermore, we report large-scale remodelling of DNA methylation from W9 to W22. Gain of DNA methylation preferentially occurred near genes involved in general developmental processes, whereas loss of DNA methylation mapped to genes with tissue-specific functions. Dynamic DNA methylation was associated with enhancers, but not promoters. Comparison of our data with external fetal adrenal, brain and liver revealed striking similarities in the trajectory of DNA methylation during fetal development. The analysis of gene expression data indicated that dynamic DNA methylation was associated with the progressive repression of developmental programs and the activation of genes involved in tissue-specific processes. The DNA methylation landscape of human fetal development provides insight into regulatory elements that guide tissue specification and lead to organ functionality. PMID:26492326

  10. Conformation-selective methylation of geminivirus DNA.

    PubMed

    Paprotka, T; Deuschle, K; Metzler, V; Jeske, H

    2011-11-01

    Geminiviruses with small circular single-stranded DNA genomes replicate in plant cell nuclei by using various double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) intermediates: distinct open circular and covalently closed circular as well as heterogeneous linear DNA. Their DNA may be methylated partially at cytosine residues, as detected previously by bisulfite sequencing and subsequent PCR. In order to determine the methylation patterns of the circular molecules, the DNAs of tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) and Abutilon mosaic virus were investigated utilizing bisulfite treatment followed by rolling circle amplification. Shotgun sequencing of the products yielded a randomly distributed 50% rate of C maintenance after the bisulfite reaction for both viruses. However, controls with unmethylated single-stranded bacteriophage DNA resulted in the same level of C maintenance. Only one short DNA stretch within the C2/C3 promoter of TYLCSV showed hyperprotection of C, with the protection rate exceeding the threshold of the mean value plus 1 standard deviation. Similarly, the use of methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes suggested that geminiviruses escape silencing by methylation very efficiently, by either a rolling circle or recombination-dependent replication mode. In contrast, attempts to detect methylated bases positively by using methylcytosine-specific antibodies detected methylated DNA only in heterogeneous linear dsDNA, and methylation-dependent restriction enzymes revealed that the viral heterogeneous linear dsDNA was methylated preferentially. PMID:21835804

  11. DNA methylation: old dog, new tricks?

    PubMed

    Spruijt, Cornelia G; Vermeulen, Michiel

    2014-11-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is generally associated with repression of transcription initiation at CpG-island promoters. Here we argue that, on the basis of recent high-throughput genomic and proteomic screenings, DNA methylation can also have different outcomes, including activation of transcription. This is evidenced by the fact that transcription factors can interact with methylated DNA sequences. Furthermore, in certain cellular contexts, genes containing methylated promoters are highly transcribed. Interestingly, this uncoupling between methylated DNA and repression of transcription seems to be particularly evident in germ cells and pluripotent cells. Thus, contrary to previous assumptions, DNA methylation is not exclusively associated with repression of transcription initiation. PMID:25372310

  12. DNA methylation in hematopoietic development and disease.

    PubMed

    Gore, Aniket V; Weinstein, Brant M

    2016-09-01

    DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification that can have profound and widespread effects on gene expression and on cellular fate and function. Recent work has indicated that DNA methylation plays a critical role in hematopoietic development and hematopoietic disease. DNA methyltransferases and Ten-eleven translocation enzymes are required to add and remove methyl "marks" from DNA, respectively, and both sets of genes have been found necessary for proper formation and maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells and for differentiation of downstream hematopoietic lineages during development. DNA methylation and demethylation enzymes have also been implicated in hematopoietic disorders such as acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. Here, we review some of the recent literature regarding the role of DNA methylation in hematopoietic health and disease. PMID:27178734

  13. DNA Methylation Modulates Nociceptive Sensitization after Incision

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuan; Sahbaie, Peyman; Liang, DeYong; Li, Wenwu; Shi, Xiaoyou; Kingery, Paige; Clark, J. David

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mechanism controlling DNA accessibility and gene expression. Blockade of DNA methylation can significantly affect pain behaviors implicated in neuropathic and inflammatory pain. However, the role of DNA methylation with regard to postoperative pain has not yet been explored. In this study we sought to investigate the role of DNA methylation in modulating incisional pain and identify possible targets under DNA methylation and contributing to incisional pain. DNA methyltranferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine significantly reduced incision-induced mechanical allodynia and thermal sensitivity. Aza-2′-deoxycytidine also reduced hindpaw swelling after incision, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect. Global DNA methylation and DNMT3b expression were increased in skin after incision, but none of DNMT1, DNMT3a or DNMT3b was altered in spinal cord or DRG. The expression of proopiomelanocortin Pomc encoding β-endorphin and Oprm1 encoding the mu-opioid receptor were upregulated peripherally after incision; moreover, Oprm1 expression was further increased under DNMT inhibitor treatment. Finally, local peripheral injection of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone significantly exacerbated incision-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. These results suggest that DNA methylation is functionally relevant to incisional nociceptive sensitization, and that mu-opioid receptor signaling might be one methylation regulated pathway controlling sensitization after incision. PMID:26535894

  14. DNA Methylation Modulates Nociceptive Sensitization after Incision.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yuan; Sahbaie, Peyman; Liang, DeYong; Li, Wenwu; Shi, Xiaoyou; Kingery, Paige; Clark, J David

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mechanism controlling DNA accessibility and gene expression. Blockade of DNA methylation can significantly affect pain behaviors implicated in neuropathic and inflammatory pain. However, the role of DNA methylation with regard to postoperative pain has not yet been explored. In this study we sought to investigate the role of DNA methylation in modulating incisional pain and identify possible targets under DNA methylation and contributing to incisional pain. DNA methyltranferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine significantly reduced incision-induced mechanical allodynia and thermal sensitivity. Aza-2'-deoxycytidine also reduced hindpaw swelling after incision, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect. Global DNA methylation and DNMT3b expression were increased in skin after incision, but none of DNMT1, DNMT3a or DNMT3b was altered in spinal cord or DRG. The expression of proopiomelanocortin Pomc encoding β-endorphin and Oprm1 encoding the mu-opioid receptor were upregulated peripherally after incision; moreover, Oprm1 expression was further increased under DNMT inhibitor treatment. Finally, local peripheral injection of the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone significantly exacerbated incision-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. These results suggest that DNA methylation is functionally relevant to incisional nociceptive sensitization, and that mu-opioid receptor signaling might be one methylation regulated pathway controlling sensitization after incision. PMID:26535894

  15. Altered DNA methylation in PAH deficient phenylketonuria.

    PubMed

    Dobrowolski, Steven F; Lyons-Weiler, James; Spridik, Kayla; Biery, Amy; Breck, Jane; Vockley, Jerry; Yatsenko, Svetlana; Sultana, Tamanna

    2015-01-01

    While phenylalanine (PHE) is the toxic insult in phenylketonuria (PKU), mechanisms underlying PHE toxicity remain ill-defined. Altered DNA methylation in response to toxic exposures is well-recognized. DNA methylation patterns were assessed in blood and brain from PKU patients to determine if PHE toxicity impacts methylation. Methylome assessment, utilizing methylated DNA immunoprecipitation and paired-end sequencing, was performed in DNA obtained from brain tissue of classical PKU patients, leukocytes from poorly controlled PKU patients, leukocytes from well controlled PKU patients, and appropriate control tissues. In PKU brain tissue, expression analysis determined the impact of methylation on gene function. Differential methylation was observed in brain tissue of PKU patients and expression studies identified downstream impact on gene expression. Altered patterns of methylation were observed in leukocytes of well controlled and poorly controlled patients with more extensive methylation in patients with high PHE exposure. Differential methylation of noncoding RNA genes was extensive in patients with high PHE exposure but minimal in well controlled patients. Methylome repatterning leading to altered gene expression was present in brain tissue of PKU patients, suggesting a role in neuropathology. Aberrant methylation is observed in leukocytes of PKU patients and is influenced by PHE exposure. DNA methylation may provide a biomarker relating to historic PHE exposure. PMID:25990862

  16. An integrated workflow for DNA methylation analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Pingchuan; Demirci, Feray; Mahalingam, Gayathri; Demirci, Caghan; Nakano, Mayumi; Meyers, Blake C

    2013-05-20

    The analysis of cytosine methylation provides a new way to assess and describe epigenetic regulation at a whole-genome level in many eukaryotes. DNA methylation has a demonstrated role in the genome stability and protection, regulation of gene expression and many other aspects of genome function and maintenance. BS-seq is a relatively unbiased method for profiling the DNA methylation, with a resolution capable of measuring methylation at individual cytosines. Here we describe, as an example, a workflow to handle DNA methylation analysis, from BS-seq library preparation to the data visualization. We describe some applications for the analysis and interpretation of these data. Our laboratory provides public access to plant DNA methylation data via visualization tools available at our "Next-Gen Sequence" websites (http://mpss.udel.edu), along with small RNA, RNA-seq and other data types. PMID:23706300

  17. DNA methylation as a universal biomarker

    PubMed Central

    Levenson, Victor V

    2010-01-01

    Cell-free circulating DNA carries not only tumor-specific changes in its sequence but also distinctive epigenetic marks, namely DNA methylation, in certain GC-rich fragments. These fragments are usually located within the promoters and first exons of many genes, comprising CpG islands. Analysis of DNA methylation using cell-free circulating DNA can facilitate development of very accurate biomarkers for detection, diagnosis, prediction of response to therapy and prognosis of outcomes. Recent data suggest that benign and inflammatory diseases have very specific methylation patterns within cell-free circulating DNA, which are different from the pattern of a malignant tumor of the same organ. In addition, specific methylation patterns have been detected for cancers of different organs, so a differential diagnosis of site-specific cancer appears feasible. Currently, cancer-related applications dominate the field, although methylation-based biomarkers may also be possible for other diseases, including neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. PMID:20465502

  18. DNA Damage, Homology-Directed Repair, and DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Angrisano, Tiziana; Morano, Annalisa; Lee, Bongyong; Pardo, Alba Di; Messina, Samantha; Iuliano, Rodolfo; Fusco, Alfredo; Santillo, Maria R; Muller, Mark T; Chiariotti, Lorenzo; Gottesman, Max E; Avvedimento, Enrico V

    2007-01-01

    To explore the link between DNA damage and gene silencing, we induced a DNA double-strand break in the genome of Hela or mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells using I-SceI restriction endonuclease. The I-SceI site lies within one copy of two inactivated tandem repeated green fluorescent protein (GFP) genes (DR-GFP). A total of 2%–4% of the cells generated a functional GFP by homology-directed repair (HR) and gene conversion. However, ~50% of these recombinants expressed GFP poorly. Silencing was rapid and associated with HR and DNA methylation of the recombinant gene, since it was prevented in Hela cells by 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine. ES cells deficient in DNA methyl transferase 1 yielded as many recombinants as wild-type cells, but most of these recombinants expressed GFP robustly. Half of the HR DNA molecules were de novo methylated, principally downstream to the double-strand break, and half were undermethylated relative to the uncut DNA. Methylation of the repaired gene was independent of the methylation status of the converting template. The methylation pattern of recombinant molecules derived from pools of cells carrying DR-GFP at different loci, or from an individual clone carrying DR-GFP at a single locus, was comparable. ClustalW analysis of the sequenced GFP molecules in Hela and ES cells distinguished recombinant and nonrecombinant DNA solely on the basis of their methylation profile and indicated that HR superimposed novel methylation profiles on top of the old patterns. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and RNA analysis revealed that DNA methyl transferase 1 was bound specifically to HR GFP DNA and that methylation of the repaired segment contributed to the silencing of GFP expression. Taken together, our data support a mechanistic link between HR and DNA methylation and suggest that DNA methylation in eukaryotes marks homologous recombined segments. PMID:17616978

  19. DNA methylation pathways and their crosstalk with histone methylation

    PubMed Central

    Du, Jiamu; Johnson, Lianna M.; Jacobsen, Steven E.; Patel, Dinshaw J.

    2015-01-01

    Methylation of DNA and of histone 3 at Lys 9 (H3K9) are highly correlated with gene silencing in eukaryotes from fungi to humans. Both of these epigenetic marks need to be established at specific regions of the genome and then maintained at these sites through cell division. Protein structural domains that specifically recognize methylated DNA and methylated histones are key for targeting enzymes that catalyse these marks to appropriate genome sites. Genetic, genomic, structural and biochemical data reveal connections between these two epigenetic marks, and these domains mediate much of the crosstalk. PMID:26296162

  20. Turning over DNA methylation in the mind

    PubMed Central

    Lister, Ryan; Mukamel, Eran A.

    2015-01-01

    Cytosine DNA methylation is a stable epigenetic modification with established roles in regulating transcription, imprinting, female X-chromosome inactivation, and silencing of transposons. Dynamic gain or loss of DNA methylation reshapes the genomic landscape of cells during early differentiation, and in post-mitotic mammalian brain cells these changes continue to accumulate throughout the phases of cortical maturation in childhood and adolescence. There is also evidence for dynamic changes in the methylation status of specific genomic loci during the encoding of new memories, and these epigenome dynamics could play a causal role in memory formation. However, the mechanisms that may dynamically regulate DNA methylation in neurons during memory formation and expression, and the function of such epigenomic changes in this context, are unclear. Here we discuss the possible roles of DNA methylation in encoding and retrieval of memory. PMID:26283895

  1. DMEAS: DNA methylation entropy analysis software

    PubMed Central

    He, Jianlin; Sun, Xinxi; Shao, Xiaojian; Liang, Liji; Xie, Hehuang

    2013-01-01

    Summary: DMEAS is the first user-friendly tool dedicated to analyze the distribution of DNA methylation patterns for the quantification of epigenetic heterogeneity. It supports the analysis of both locus-specific and genome-wide bisulfite sequencing data. DMEAS progressively scans the mapping results of bisulfite sequencing reads to extract DNA methylation patterns for contiguous CpG dinucleotides. It determines the DNA methylation level and calculates methylation entropy for genomic segments to enable the quantitative assessment of DNA methylation variations observed in cell populations. Availability and implementation: DMEAS program, user guide and all the testing data are freely available from http://sourceforge.net/projects/dmeas/files/ Contact: davidxie@vt.edu Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23749987

  2. Methylation-Sensitive Expression of a DNA Demethylase Gene Serves As an Epigenetic Rheostat

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Ben P.; Pignatta, Daniela; Henikoff, Steven; Gehring, Mary

    2015-01-01

    Genomes must balance active suppression of transposable elements (TEs) with the need to maintain gene expression. In Arabidopsis, euchromatic TEs are targeted by RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). Conversely, active DNA demethylation prevents accumulation of methylation at genes proximal to these TEs. It is unknown how a cellular balance between methylation and demethylation activities is achieved. Here we show that both RdDM and DNA demethylation are highly active at a TE proximal to the major DNA demethylase gene ROS1. Unexpectedly, and in contrast to most other genomic targets, expression of ROS1 is promoted by DNA methylation and antagonized by DNA demethylation. We demonstrate that inducing methylation in the ROS1 proximal region is sufficient to restore ROS1 expression in an RdDM mutant. Additionally, methylation-sensitive expression of ROS1 is conserved in other species, suggesting it is adaptive. We propose that the ROS1 locus functions as an epigenetic rheostat, tuning the level of demethylase activity in response to methylation alterations, thus ensuring epigenomic stability. PMID:25826366

  3. DNA Methylation of BDNF Gene in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Çöpoğlu, Ümit Sertan; İğci, Mehri; Bozgeyik, Esra; Kokaçya, M. Hanifi; İğci, Yusuf Ziya; Dokuyucu, Recep; Arı, Mustafa; Savaş, Haluk A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Although genetic factors are risk factors for schizophrenia, some environmental factors are thought to be required for the manifestation of disease. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene functions without causing a change in the nucleotide sequence of DNA. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin that regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity. It has been suggested that BDNF may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. It is established that methylation status of the BDNF gene is associated with fear learning, memory, and stressful social interactions. In this study, we aimed to investigate the DNA methylation status of BDNF gene in patients with schizophrenia. Material/Methods The study included 49 patients (33 male and 16 female) with schizophrenia and 65 unrelated healthy controls (46 male and 19 female). Determination of methylation pattern of CpG islands was based on the principle that bisulfite treatment of DNA results in conversion of unmethylated cytosine residues into uracil, whereas methylated cytosine residues remain unmodified. Methylation-specific PCR was performed with primers specific for either methylated or unmethylated DNA. Results There was no significant difference in methylated or un-methylated status for BDNF promoters between schizophrenia patients and controls. The mean duration of illness was significantly lower in the hemi-methylated group compared to the non-methylated group for BDNF gene CpG island-1 in schizophrenia patients. Conclusions Although there were no differences in BDNF gene methylation status between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, there was an association between duration of illness and DNA methylation. PMID:26851233

  4. DNA methylation contributes to natural human variation

    PubMed Central

    Heyn, Holger; Moran, Sebastian; Hernando-Herraez, Irene; Sayols, Sergi; Gomez, Antonio; Sandoval, Juan; Monk, Dave; Hata, Kenichiro; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Wang, Liewei; Esteller, Manel

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation patterns are important for establishing cell, tissue, and organism phenotypes, but little is known about their contribution to natural human variation. To determine their contribution to variability, we have generated genome-scale DNA methylation profiles of three human populations (Caucasian-American, African-American, and Han Chinese-American) and examined the differentially methylated CpG sites. The distinctly methylated genes identified suggest an influence of DNA methylation on phenotype differences, such as susceptibility to certain diseases and pathogens, and response to drugs and environmental agents. DNA methylation differences can be partially traced back to genetic variation, suggesting that differentially methylated CpG sites serve as evolutionarily established mediators between the genetic code and phenotypic variability. Notably, one-third of the DNA methylation differences were not associated with any genetic variation, suggesting that variation in population-specific sites takes place at the genetic and epigenetic levels, highlighting the contribution of epigenetic modification to natural human variation. PMID:23908385

  5. Maternal DNA Methylation Regulates Early Trophoblast Development

    PubMed Central

    Branco, Miguel R.; King, Michelle; Perez-Garcia, Vicente; Bogutz, Aaron B.; Caley, Matthew; Fineberg, Elena; Lefebvre, Louis; Cook, Simon J.; Dean, Wendy; Hemberger, Myriam; Reik, Wolf

    2016-01-01

    Summary Critical roles for DNA methylation in embryonic development are well established, but less is known about its roles during trophoblast development, the extraembryonic lineage that gives rise to the placenta. We dissected the role of DNA methylation in trophoblast development by performing mRNA and DNA methylation profiling of Dnmt3a/3b mutants. We find that oocyte-derived methylation plays a major role in regulating trophoblast development but that imprinting of the key placental regulator Ascl2 is only partially responsible for these effects. We have identified several methylation-regulated genes associated with trophoblast differentiation that are involved in cell adhesion and migration, potentially affecting trophoblast invasion. Specifically, trophoblast-specific DNA methylation is linked to the silencing of Scml2, a Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 protein that drives loss of cell adhesion in methylation-deficient trophoblast. Our results reveal that maternal DNA methylation controls multiple differentiation-related and physiological processes in trophoblast via both imprinting-dependent and -independent mechanisms. PMID:26812015

  6. Dietary and lifestyle factors of DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Lim, Unhee; Song, Min-Ae

    2012-01-01

    Lifestyle factors, such as diet, smoking, physical activity, and body weight management, are known to constitute the majority of cancer causes. Epigenetics has been widely proposed as a main mechanism that mediates the reversible effects of dietary and lifestyle factors on carcinogenesis. This chapter reviews human studies on potential dietary and lifestyle determinants of DNA methylation. Apart from a few prospective investigations and interventions of limited size and duration, evidence mostly comes from cross-sectional observational studies and supports some associations. Studies to date suggest that certain dietary components may alter genomic and gene-specific DNA methylation levels in systemic and target tissues, affecting genomic stability and transcription of tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Most data and supportive evidence exist for folate, a key nutritional factor in one-carbon metabolism that supplies the methyl units for DNA methylation. Other candidate bioactive food components include alcohol and other key nutritional factors of one-carbon metabolism, polyphenols and flavonoids in green tea, phytoestrogen, and lycopene. Some data also support a link of DNA methylation with physical activity and energy balance. Effects of dietary and lifestyle exposures on DNA methylation may be additionally modified by common genetic variants, environmental carcinogens, and infectious agents, an aspect that remains largely unexplored. In addition, growing literature supports that the environmental conditions during critical developmental stages may influence later risk of metabolic disorders in part through persistent programming of DNA methylation. Further research of these modifiable determinants of DNA methylation will improve our understanding of cancer etiology and may present certain DNA methylation markers as attractive surrogate endpoints for prevention research. Considering the plasticity of epigenetic marks and correlated nature of lifestyle factors, more

  7. DNA Methylation in Cancer and Aging.

    PubMed

    Klutstein, Michael; Nejman, Deborah; Greenfield, Razi; Cedar, Howard

    2016-06-15

    DNA methylation is known to be abnormal in all forms of cancer, but it is not really understood how this occurs and what is its role in tumorigenesis. In this review, we take a wide view of this problem by analyzing the strategies involved in setting up normal DNA methylation patterns and understanding how this stable epigenetic mark works to prevent gene activation during development. Aberrant DNA methylation in cancer can be generated either prior to or following cell transformation through mutations. Increasing evidence suggests, however, that most methylation changes are generated in a programmed manner and occur in a subpopulation of tissue cells during normal aging, probably predisposing them for tumorigenesis. It is likely that this methylation contributes to the tumor state by inhibiting the plasticity of cell differentiation processes. Cancer Res; 76(12); 3446-50. ©2016 AACR. PMID:27256564

  8. DNA Methylation Biomarkers: Cancer and Beyond

    PubMed Central

    Mikeska, Thomas; Craig, Jeffrey M.

    2014-01-01

    Biomarkers are naturally-occurring characteristics by which a particular pathological process or disease can be identified or monitored. They can reflect past environmental exposures, predict disease onset or course, or determine a patient’s response to therapy. Epigenetic changes are such characteristics, with most epigenetic biomarkers discovered to date based on the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation. Many tissue types are suitable for the discovery of DNA methylation biomarkers including cell-based samples such as blood and tumor material and cell-free DNA samples such as plasma. DNA methylation biomarkers with diagnostic, prognostic and predictive power are already in clinical trials or in a clinical setting for cancer. Outside cancer, strong evidence that complex disease originates in early life is opening up exciting new avenues for the detection of DNA methylation biomarkers for adverse early life environment and for estimation of future disease risk. However, there are a number of limitations to overcome before such biomarkers reach the clinic. Nevertheless, DNA methylation biomarkers have great potential to contribute to personalized medicine throughout life. We review the current state of play for DNA methylation biomarkers, discuss the barriers that must be crossed on the way to implementation in a clinical setting, and predict their future use for human disease. PMID:25229548

  9. Analysis of DNA Methylation by Pyrosequencing

    PubMed Central

    Delaney, Colin; Garg, Sanjay K.; Yung, Raymond

    2016-01-01

    Pyrosequencing is a technique that uses a sequencing-by-synthesis system which is designed to quantify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Artificial C/T SNP creation via bisulfite modification permits measurement of DNA methylation locally and globally in real time. Alteration in DNA methylation has been implicated in aging, as well as aging-related conditions such as cancer, as well as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and autoimmune diseases. Considering its ubiquitous presence in divergent clinical pathologies, quantitative analysis of DNA CpG methylation both globally and at individual genes helps to elucidate the regulation of genes involved in pathophysiological conditions. The ability to detect and quantify the methylation pattern of DNA has the potential to serve as an early detection marker and potential drug target for several diseases. Here, we provide a detailed technical protocol for pyrosequencing supplemented by critical information about assay design and nuances of the system that provides a strong foundation for beginners in the field. PMID:26420722

  10. Targeting DNA Methylation for Epigenetic Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaojing; Lay, Fides; Han, Han; Jones, Peter A.

    2010-01-01

    DNA methylation patterns are established during embryonic development and faithfully copied through somatic cell divisions. Based on our understanding of DNA methylation and other interrelated epigenetic modifications, a comprehensive view of the epigenetic landscape and cancer epigenome is evolving. The cancer methylome is highly disrupted, making DNA methylation an excellent target for anti-cancer therapies. During the last few decades, an increasing number of drugs targeting DNA methylation have been developed in an effort to increase efficacy, stability and to decrease toxicity. The earliest and the most successful epigenetic drug to date, 5-Azacytidine, is currently recommended as the first-line treatment for high risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. Encouraging results from clinical trials have prompted further efforts to elucidate epigenetic alterations in cancer and subsequently develop new epigenetic therapies. This review delineates the latest cancer epigenetic models, recent discovery of hypomethylation agents and their application in the clinic. PMID:20846732

  11. Epigenetic DNA Methylation Linked to Social Dominance

    PubMed Central

    Lenkov, Kapa; Lee, Mi H.; Lenkov, Olga D.; Swafford, Andrew; Fernald, Russell D.

    2015-01-01

    Social status hierarchies are ubiquitous in vertebrate social systems, including humans. It is well known that social rank can influence quality of life dramatically among members of social groups. For example, high-ranking individuals have greater access to resources, including food and mating prerogatives that, in turn, have a positive impact on their reproductive success and health. In contrast low ranking individuals typically have limited reproductive success and may experience lasting social and physiological costs. Ultimately, social rank and behavior are regulated by changes in gene expression. However, little is known about mechanisms that transduce social cues into transcriptional changes. Since social behavior is a dynamic process, we hypothesized that a molecular mechanism such as DNA methylation might play a role these changes. To test this hypothesis, we used an African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, in which social rank dictates reproductive access. We show that manipulating global DNA methylation state strongly biases the outcomes of social encounters. Injecting DNA methylating and de-methylating agents in low status animals competing for status, we found that animals with chemically increased methylation states were statistically highly likely to ascend in rank. In contrast, those with inhibited methylation processes and thus lower methylation levels were statistically highly unlikely to ascend in rank. This suggests that among its many roles, DNA methylation may be linked to social status and more generally to social behavior. PMID:26717574

  12. Unique cell-type-specific patterns of DNA methylation in the root meristem.

    PubMed

    Kawakatsu, Taiji; Stuart, Tim; Valdes, Manuel; Breakfield, Natalie; Schmitz, Robert J; Nery, Joseph R; Urich, Mark A; Han, Xinwei; Lister, Ryan; Benfey, Philip N; Ecker, Joseph R

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that differs between plant organs and tissues, but the extent of variation between cell types is not known. Here, we report single-base-resolution whole-genome DNA methylomes, mRNA transcriptomes and small RNA transcriptomes for six cell populations covering the major cell types of the Arabidopsis root meristem. We identify widespread cell-type-specific patterns of DNA methylation, especially in the CHH sequence context, where H is A, C or T. The genome of the columella root cap is the most highly methylated Arabidopsis cell characterized so far. It is hypermethylated within transposable elements (TEs), accompanied by increased abundance of transcripts encoding RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway components and 24-nt small RNAs (smRNAs). The absence of the nucleosome remodeller DECREASED DNA METHYLATION 1 (DDM1), required for maintenance of DNA methylation, and low abundance of histone transcripts involved in heterochromatin formation suggests that a loss of heterochromatin may occur in the columella, thus allowing access of RdDM factors to the whole genome, and producing an excess of 24-nt smRNAs in this tissue. Together, these maps provide new insights into the epigenomic diversity that exists between distinct plant somatic cell types. PMID:27243651

  13. DNA methylation in normal and malignant hematopoiesis.

    PubMed

    Celik, Hamza; Kramer, Ashley; Challen, Grant A

    2016-06-01

    The study of DNA methylation has been a rapidly expanding field since its dawn in the 1960s. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays a crucial role in guiding the differentiation of stem cells to their destined lineage, and in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Moreover, aberrant DNA methylation has been well characterized as a significant contributing factor in the pathogenesis of a variety of cancers. Hematopoiesis is a process that is uniquely susceptible to epigenetic changes due to the small pool of actively cycling stem cells that give rise to the entire mature immune-hematopoietic system. Mutations in DNA methyltransferase enzymes have been shown to be initiating events in the development of hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia and, therefore, have become targets for improved diagnostics and therapy. The spatial and temporal regulation of DNA methylation in the hematopoietic developmental hierarchy is critical to hematopoietic homeostasis. An improved understanding of the roles that DNA methylation plays in normal and malignant hematopoiesis will have a significant impact on the future of regenerative stem cell therapy and clinical treatment of hematopoietic malignancies. This review aims to highlight current developments in the field and prioritize future research directions. PMID:26943352

  14. Genomic DNA Methylation Analyses Reveal the Distinct Profiles in Castor Bean Seeds with Persistent Endosperms.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wei; Yang, Tianquan; Dong, Xue; Li, De-Zhu; Liu, Aizhong

    2016-06-01

    Investigations of genomic DNA methylation in seeds have been restricted to a few model plants. The endosperm genomic DNA hypomethylation has been identified in angiosperm, but it is difficult to dissect the mechanism of how this hypomethylation is established and maintained because endosperm is ephemeral and disappears with seed development in most dicots. Castor bean (Ricinus communis), unlike Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), endosperm is persistent throughout seed development, providing an excellent model in which to dissect the mechanism of endosperm genomic hypomethylation in dicots. We characterized the DNA methylation-related genes encoding DNA methyltransferases and demethylases and analyzed their expression profiles in different tissues. We examined genomic methylation including CG, CHG, and CHH contexts in endosperm and embryo tissues using bisulfite sequencing and revealed that the CHH methylation extent in endosperm and embryo was, unexpectedly, substantially higher than in previously studied plants, irrespective of the CHH percentage in their genomes. In particular, we found that the endosperm exhibited a global reduction in CG and CHG methylation extents relative to the embryo, markedly switching global gene expression. However, CHH methylation occurring in endosperm did not exhibit a significant reduction. Combining with the expression of 24-nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) mapped within transposable element (TE) regions and genes involved in the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway, we demonstrate that the 24-nucleotide siRNAs played a critical role in maintaining CHH methylation and repressing the activation of TEs in persistent endosperm development. This study discovered a novel genomic DNA methylation pattern and proposes the potential mechanism occurring in dicot seeds with persistent endosperm. PMID:27208275

  15. DNA Methylation and Demethylation in Plant Immunity.

    PubMed

    Deleris, A; Halter, T; Navarro, L

    2016-08-01

    Detection of plant and animal pathogens triggers a massive transcriptional reprogramming, which is directed by chromatin-based processes, and ultimately results in antimicrobial immunity. Although the implication of histone modifications in orchestrating biotic stress-induced transcriptional reprogramming has been well characterized, very little was known, until recently, about the role of DNA methylation and demethylation in this process. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the dynamics and biological relevance of DNA methylation and demethylation in plant immunity against nonviral pathogens. In particular, we report the implications of these epigenetic regulatory processes in the transcriptional and co-transcriptional control of immune-responsive genes and discuss their relevance in fine-tuning antimicrobial immune responses. Finally, we discuss the possible yet elusive role of DNA methylation and demethylation in systemic immune responses, transgenerational immune priming, and de novo epiallelism, which could be adaptive. PMID:27491436

  16. DNA methylation epigenetically silences crossover hot spots and controls chromosomal domains of meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Yelina, Nataliya E.; Lambing, Christophe; Hardcastle, Thomas J.; Zhao, Xiaohui; Santos, Bruno; Henderson, Ian R.

    2015-01-01

    During meiosis, homologous chromosomes undergo crossover recombination, which is typically concentrated in narrow hot spots that are controlled by genetic and epigenetic information. Arabidopsis chromosomes are highly DNA methylated in the repetitive centromeres, which are also crossover-suppressed. Here we demonstrate that RNA-directed DNA methylation is sufficient to locally silence Arabidopsis euchromatic crossover hot spots and is associated with increased nucleosome density and H3K9me2. However, loss of CG DNA methylation maintenance in met1 triggers epigenetic crossover remodeling at the chromosome scale, with pericentromeric decreases and euchromatic increases in recombination. We used recombination mutants that alter interfering and noninterfering crossover repair pathways (fancm and zip4) to demonstrate that remodeling primarily involves redistribution of interfering crossovers. Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, we show that crossover remodeling is driven by loss of CG methylation within the centromeric regions. Using cytogenetics, we profiled meiotic DNA double-strand break (DSB) foci in met1 and found them unchanged relative to wild type. We propose that met1 chromosome structure is altered, causing centromere-proximal DSBs to be inhibited from maturation into interfering crossovers. These data demonstrate that DNA methylation is sufficient to silence crossover hot spots and plays a key role in establishing domains of meiotic recombination along chromosomes. PMID:26494791

  17. Is the Fungus Magnaporthe Losing DNA Methylation?

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Ken-ichi; Van Vu, Ba; Kadotani, Naoki; Tanaka, Masaki; Murata, Toshiki; Shiina, Kohta; Chuma, Izumi; Tosa, Yukio; Nakayashiki, Hitoshi

    2013-01-01

    The long terminal repeat retrotransposon, Magnaporthe gypsy-like element (MAGGY), has been shown to be targeted for cytosine methylation in a subset of Magnaporthe oryzae field isolates. Analysis of the F1 progeny from a genetic cross between methylation-proficient (Br48) and methylation-deficient (GFSI1-7-2) isolates revealed that methylation of the MAGGY element was governed by a single dominant gene. Positional cloning followed by gene disruption and complementation experiments revealed that the responsible gene was the DNA methyltransferase, MoDMT1, an ortholog of Neurospora crassa Dim-2. A survey of MAGGY methylation in 60 Magnaporthe field isolates revealed that 42 isolates from rice, common millet, wheat, finger millet, and buffelgrass were methylation proficient while 18 isolates from foxtail millet, green bristlegrass, Japanese panicgrass, torpedo grass, Guinea grass, and crabgrass were methylation deficient. Phenotypic analyses showed that MoDMT1 plays no major role in development and pathogenicity of the fungus. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the average copy number of genomic MAGGY elements was not significantly different between methylation-deficient and -proficient field isolates even though the levels of MAGGY transcript were generally higher in the former group. MoDMT1 gene sequences in the methylation-deficient isolates suggested that at least three independent mutations were responsible for the loss of MoDMT1 function. Overall, our data suggest that MoDMT1 is not essential for the natural life cycle of the fungus and raise the possibility that the genus Magnaporthe may be losing the mechanism of DNA methylation on the evolutionary time scale. PMID:23979580

  18. Prognostic DNA Methylation Markers for Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Strand, Siri H.; Orntoft, Torben F.; Sorensen, Karina D.

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed neoplasm and the third most common cause of cancer-related death amongst men in the Western world. PC is a clinically highly heterogeneous disease, and distinction between aggressive and indolent disease is a major challenge for the management of PC. Currently, no biomarkers or prognostic tools are able to accurately predict tumor progression at the time of diagnosis. Thus, improved biomarkers for PC prognosis are urgently needed. This review focuses on the prognostic potential of DNA methylation biomarkers for PC. Epigenetic changes are hallmarks of PC and associated with malignant initiation as well as tumor progression. Moreover, DNA methylation is the most frequently studied epigenetic alteration in PC, and the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers for PC has been demonstrated in multiple studies. The most promising methylation marker candidates identified so far include PITX2, C1orf114 (CCDC181) and the GABRE~miR-452~miR-224 locus, in addition to the three-gene signature AOX1/C1orf114/HAPLN3. Several other biomarker candidates have also been investigated, but with less stringent clinical validation and/or conflicting evidence regarding their possible prognostic value available at this time. Here, we review the current evidence for the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers in PC. PMID:25238417

  19. Prognostic DNA methylation markers for prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Strand, Siri H; Orntoft, Torben F; Sorensen, Karina D

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed neoplasm and the third most common cause of cancer-related death amongst men in the Western world. PC is a clinically highly heterogeneous disease, and distinction between aggressive and indolent disease is a major challenge for the management of PC. Currently, no biomarkers or prognostic tools are able to accurately predict tumor progression at the time of diagnosis. Thus, improved biomarkers for PC prognosis are urgently needed. This review focuses on the prognostic potential of DNA methylation biomarkers for PC. Epigenetic changes are hallmarks of PC and associated with malignant initiation as well as tumor progression. Moreover, DNA methylation is the most frequently studied epigenetic alteration in PC, and the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers for PC has been demonstrated in multiple studies. The most promising methylation marker candidates identified so far include PITX2, C1orf114 (CCDC181) and the GABRE~miR-452~miR-224 locus, in addition to the three-gene signature AOX1/C1orf114/HAPLN3. Several other biomarker candidates have also been investigated, but with less stringent clinical validation and/or conflicting evidence regarding their possible prognostic value available at this time. Here, we review the current evidence for the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers in PC. PMID:25238417

  20. DNA methylation, a hand behind neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Haoyang; Liu, Xinzhou; Deng, Yulin; Qing, Hong

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations represent a sort of functional modifications related to the genome that are not responsible for changes in the nucleotide sequence. DNA methylation is one of such epigenetic modifications that have been studied intensively for the past several decades. The transfer of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine is the key feature of DNA methylation. A simple change as such can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be the cause of many serious diseases including several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have reviewed and summarized recent progress regarding DNA methylation in four major neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The studies of these four major neurodegenerative diseases conclude the strong suggestion of the important role DNA methylation plays in these diseases. However, each of these diseases has not yet been understood completely as details in some areas remain unclear, and will be investigated in future studies. We hope this review can provide new insights into the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases from the epigenetic perspective. PMID:24367332

  1. DNA methylation and healthy human aging.

    PubMed

    Jones, Meaghan J; Goodman, Sarah J; Kobor, Michael S

    2015-12-01

    The process of aging results in a host of changes at the cellular and molecular levels, which include senescence, telomere shortening, and changes in gene expression. Epigenetic patterns also change over the lifespan, suggesting that epigenetic changes may constitute an important component of the aging process. The epigenetic mark that has been most highly studied is DNA methylation, the presence of methyl groups at CpG dinucleotides. These dinucleotides are often located near gene promoters and associate with gene expression levels. Early studies indicated that global levels of DNA methylation increase over the first few years of life and then decrease beginning in late adulthood. Recently, with the advent of microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies, increases in variability of DNA methylation with age have been observed, and a number of site-specific patterns have been identified. It has also been shown that certain CpG sites are highly associated with age, to the extent that prediction models using a small number of these sites can accurately predict the chronological age of the donor. Together, these observations point to the existence of two phenomena that both contribute to age-related DNA methylation changes: epigenetic drift and the epigenetic clock. In this review, we focus on healthy human aging throughout the lifetime and discuss the dynamics of DNA methylation as well as how interactions between the genome, environment, and the epigenome influence aging rates. We also discuss the impact of determining 'epigenetic age' for human health and outline some important caveats to existing and future studies. PMID:25913071

  2. Information Thermodynamics of Cytosine DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Robersy; Mackenzie, Sally A.

    2016-01-01

    Cytosine DNA methylation (CDM) is a stable epigenetic modification to the genome and a widespread regulatory process in living organisms that involves multicomponent molecular machines. Genome-wide cytosine methylation patterning participates in the epigenetic reprogramming of a cell, suggesting that the biological information contained within methylation positions may be amenable to decoding. Adaptation to a new cellular or organismal environment also implies the potential for genome-wide redistribution of CDM changes that will ensure the stability of DNA molecules. This raises the question of whether or not we would be able to sort out the regulatory methylation signals from the CDM background (“noise”) induced by thermal fluctuations. Here, we propose a novel statistical and information thermodynamic description of the CDM changes to address the last question. The physical basis of our statistical mechanical model was evaluated in two respects: 1) the adherence to Landauer’s principle, according to which molecular machines must dissipate a minimum energy ε = kBT ln2 at each logic operation, where kB is the Boltzmann constant, and T is the absolute temperature and 2) whether or not the binary stretch of methylation marks on the DNA molecule comprise a language of sorts, properly constrained by thermodynamic principles. The study was performed for genome-wide methylation data from 152 ecotypes and 40 trans-generational variations of Arabidopsis thaliana and 93 human tissues. The DNA persistence length, a basic mechanical property altered by CDM, was estimated with values from 39 to 66.9 nm. Classical methylome analysis can be retrieved by applying information thermodynamic modelling, which is able to discriminate signal from noise. Our finding suggests that the CDM signal comprises a language scheme properly constrained by molecular thermodynamic principles, which is part of an epigenomic communication system that obeys the same thermodynamic rules as do

  3. Information Thermodynamics of Cytosine DNA Methylation.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Robersy; Mackenzie, Sally A

    2016-01-01

    Cytosine DNA methylation (CDM) is a stable epigenetic modification to the genome and a widespread regulatory process in living organisms that involves multicomponent molecular machines. Genome-wide cytosine methylation patterning participates in the epigenetic reprogramming of a cell, suggesting that the biological information contained within methylation positions may be amenable to decoding. Adaptation to a new cellular or organismal environment also implies the potential for genome-wide redistribution of CDM changes that will ensure the stability of DNA molecules. This raises the question of whether or not we would be able to sort out the regulatory methylation signals from the CDM background ("noise") induced by thermal fluctuations. Here, we propose a novel statistical and information thermodynamic description of the CDM changes to address the last question. The physical basis of our statistical mechanical model was evaluated in two respects: 1) the adherence to Landauer's principle, according to which molecular machines must dissipate a minimum energy ε = kBT ln2 at each logic operation, where kB is the Boltzmann constant, and T is the absolute temperature and 2) whether or not the binary stretch of methylation marks on the DNA molecule comprise a language of sorts, properly constrained by thermodynamic principles. The study was performed for genome-wide methylation data from 152 ecotypes and 40 trans-generational variations of Arabidopsis thaliana and 93 human tissues. The DNA persistence length, a basic mechanical property altered by CDM, was estimated with values from 39 to 66.9 nm. Classical methylome analysis can be retrieved by applying information thermodynamic modelling, which is able to discriminate signal from noise. Our finding suggests that the CDM signal comprises a language scheme properly constrained by molecular thermodynamic principles, which is part of an epigenomic communication system that obeys the same thermodynamic rules as do current

  4. DNA methylation: potential biomarker in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers in the world and it is often associated with poor prognosis. Liver transplantation and resection are two currently available curative therapies. However, most patients cannot be treated with such therapies due to late diagnosis. This underscores the urgent need to identify potential markers that ensure early diagnosis of HCC. As more evidences are suggesting that epigenetic changes contribute hepatocarcinogenesis, DNA methylation was poised as one promising biomarker. Indeed, genome wide profiling reveals that aberrant methylation is frequent event in HCC. Many studies showed that differentially methylated genes and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) status in HCC were associated with clinicopathological data. Some commonly studied hypermethylated genes include p16, SOCS1, GSTP1 and CDH1. In addition, studies have also revealed that methylation markers could be detected in patient blood samples and associated with poor prognosis of the disease. Undeniably, increasing number of methylation markers are being discovered through high throughput genome wide data in recent years. Proper and systematic validation of these candidate markers in prospective cohort is required so that their actual prognostication and surveillance value could be accurately determined. It is hope that in near future, methylation marker could be translate into clinical use, where patients at risk could be diagnosed early and that the progression of disease could be more correctly assessed. PMID:24635883

  5. DNA and histone methylation in gastric carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; Gigek, Carolina Oliveira; Chen, Elizabeth Suchi; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez; Smith, Marília de Arruda Cardoso

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations contribute significantly to the development and progression of gastric cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Epigenetics refers to the number of modifications of the chromatin structure that affect gene expression without altering the primary sequence of DNA, and these changes lead to transcriptional activation or silencing of the gene. Over the years, the study of epigenetic processes has increased, and novel therapeutic approaches that target DNA methylation and histone modifications have emerged. A greater understanding of epigenetics and the therapeutic potential of manipulating these processes is necessary for gastric cancer treatment. Here, we review recent research on the effects of aberrant DNA and histone methylation on the onset and progression of gastric tumors and the development of compounds that target enzymes that regulate the epigenome. PMID:23482412

  6. MTHFD1 controls DNA methylation in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Groth, Martin; Moissiard, Guillaume; Wirtz, Markus; Wang, Haifeng; Garcia-Salinas, Carolina; Ramos-Parra, Perla A; Bischof, Sylvain; Feng, Suhua; Cokus, Shawn J; John, Amala; Smith, Danielle C; Zhai, Jixian; Hale, Christopher J; Long, Jeff A; Hell, Ruediger; Díaz de la Garza, Rocío I; Jacobsen, Steven E

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that has important functions in transcriptional silencing and is associated with repressive histone methylation (H3K9me). To further investigate silencing mechanisms, we screened a mutagenized Arabidopsis thaliana population for expression of SDCpro-GFP, redundantly controlled by DNA methyltransferases DRM2 and CMT3. Here, we identify the hypomorphic mutant mthfd1-1, carrying a mutation (R175Q) in the cytoplasmic bifunctional methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase/methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase (MTHFD1). Decreased levels of oxidized tetrahydrofolates in mthfd1-1 and lethality of loss-of-function demonstrate the essential enzymatic role of MTHFD1 in Arabidopsis. Accumulation of homocysteine and S-adenosylhomocysteine, genome-wide DNA hypomethylation, loss of H3K9me and transposon derepression indicate that S-adenosylmethionine-dependent transmethylation is inhibited in mthfd1-1. Comparative analysis of DNA methylation revealed that the CMT3 and CMT2 pathways involving positive feedback with H3K9me are mostly affected. Our work highlights the sensitivity of epigenetic networks to one-carbon metabolism due to their common S-adenosylmethionine-dependent transmethylation and has implications for human MTHFD1-associated diseases. PMID:27291711

  7. MTHFD1 controls DNA methylation in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Groth, Martin; Moissiard, Guillaume; Wirtz, Markus; Wang, Haifeng; Garcia-Salinas, Carolina; Ramos-Parra, Perla A.; Bischof, Sylvain; Feng, Suhua; Cokus, Shawn J.; John, Amala; Smith, Danielle C.; Zhai, Jixian; Hale, Christopher J.; Long, Jeff A.; Hell, Ruediger; Díaz de la Garza, Rocío I.; Jacobsen, Steven E.

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that has important functions in transcriptional silencing and is associated with repressive histone methylation (H3K9me). To further investigate silencing mechanisms, we screened a mutagenized Arabidopsis thaliana population for expression of SDCpro-GFP, redundantly controlled by DNA methyltransferases DRM2 and CMT3. Here, we identify the hypomorphic mutant mthfd1-1, carrying a mutation (R175Q) in the cytoplasmic bifunctional methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase/methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase (MTHFD1). Decreased levels of oxidized tetrahydrofolates in mthfd1-1 and lethality of loss-of-function demonstrate the essential enzymatic role of MTHFD1 in Arabidopsis. Accumulation of homocysteine and S-adenosylhomocysteine, genome-wide DNA hypomethylation, loss of H3K9me and transposon derepression indicate that S-adenosylmethionine-dependent transmethylation is inhibited in mthfd1-1. Comparative analysis of DNA methylation revealed that the CMT3 and CMT2 pathways involving positive feedback with H3K9me are mostly affected. Our work highlights the sensitivity of epigenetic networks to one-carbon metabolism due to their common S-adenosylmethionine-dependent transmethylation and has implications for human MTHFD1-associated diseases. PMID:27291711

  8. DNA Methylation as a Biomarker for Preeclampsia

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Cindy M.; Ralph, Jody L.; Wright, Michelle L.; Linggi, Bryan E.; Ohm, Joyce E.

    2014-10-01

    Background: Preeclampsia contributes significantly to pregnancy-associated morbidity and mortality as well as future risk of cardiovascular disease in mother and offspring, and preeclampsia in offspring. The lack of reliable methods for early detection limits the opportunities for prevention, diagnosis, and timely treatment. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore distinct DNA methylation patterns associated with preeclampsia in both maternal cells and fetal-derived tissue that represent potential biomarkers to predict future preeclampsia and inheritance in children. Method: A convenience sample of nulliparous women (N = 55) in the first trimester of pregnancy was recruited for this prospective study. Genome-wide DNA methylation was quantified in first-trimester maternal peripheral white blood cells and placental chorionic tissue from normotensive women and those with preeclampsia (n = 6/group). Results: Late-onset preeclampsia developed in 12.7% of women. Significant differences in DNA methylation were identified in 207 individual linked cytosine and guanine (CpG) sites in maternal white blood cells collected in the first trimester (132 sites with gain and 75 sites with loss of methylation), which were common to approximately 75% of the differentially methylated CpG sites identified in chorionic tissue of fetal origin. Conclusion: This study is the first to identify maternal epigenetic targets and common targets in fetal-derived tissue that represent putative biomarkers for early detection and heritable risk of preeclampsia. Findings may pave the way for diagnosis of preeclampsia prior to its clinical presentation and acute damaging effects, and the potential for prevention of the detrimental long-term sequelae.

  9. DNA Methylation Analysis: Choosing the Right Method

    PubMed Central

    Kurdyukov, Sergey; Bullock, Martyn

    2016-01-01

    In the burgeoning field of epigenetics, there are several methods available to determine the methylation status of DNA samples. However, choosing the method that is best suited to answering a particular biological question still proves to be a difficult task. This review aims to provide biologists, particularly those new to the field of epigenetics, with a simple algorithm to help guide them in the selection of the most appropriate assay to meet their research needs. First of all, we have separated all methods into two categories: those that are used for: (1) the discovery of unknown epigenetic changes; and (2) the assessment of DNA methylation within particular regulatory regions/genes of interest. The techniques are then scrutinized and ranked according to their robustness, high throughput capabilities and cost. This review includes the majority of methods available to date, but with a particular focus on commercially available kits or other simple and straightforward solutions that have proven to be useful. PMID:26751487

  10. Oxytocin receptor DNA methylation in postpartum depression.

    PubMed

    Kimmel, Mary; Clive, Makena; Gispen, Fiona; Guintivano, Jerry; Brown, Tori; Cox, Olivia; Beckmann, Matthias W; Kornhuber, Johannes; Fasching, Peter A; Osborne, Lauren M; Binder, Elisabeth; Payne, Jennifer L; Kaminsky, Zachary

    2016-07-01

    The oxytocin receptor (OXTR) is a key regulator of stress and anxiety and may be regulated by both psychosocial risk factors and gonadal hormones, making it an attractive candidate for study in postpartum depression (PPD). The objective of this study was to investigate both serum hormone and PPD specific DNA methylation variation in the OXTR. Illumina HM450 microarray data generated in a prospective PPD cohort identified significant associations (P=0.014) with PPD in an intronic region in the OXTR located 4bp proximal to an estrogen receptor (ER) binding region. Pyrosequencing confirmed moderate evidence for an interaction of CpGs in the region with childhood abuse status to mediate PPD. These CpGs located on chr3 at positions 8810078 and 8810069 exhibited significant associations with postpartum depression scores from an independent cohort of 240 women with no prior psychiatric history. Hormone analysis suggested a PPD specific negative correlation of DNA methylation in the region with serum estradiol levels. Estradiol levels and OXTR DNA methylation exhibited a significant interaction to associate with the ratio of allopregnanolone to progesterone. Cumulatively, the data corroborate our previous hypotheses of a PPD specific increased sensitivity of epigenetic reprogramming at estrogen target genes and suggests that OXTR epigenetic variation may be an important mediator of mood relevant neuroactive steroid production. PMID:27108164

  11. The multivariate association between genomewide DNA methylation and climate across the range of Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Keller, Thomas E; Lasky, Jesse R; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-04-01

    Epigenetic changes can occur due to extracellular environmental conditions. Consequently, epigenetic mechanisms can play an intermediate role to translate environmental signals to intracellular changes. Such a role might be particularly important in plants, which often show strong local adaptation and have the potential for heritable epigenetic states. However, little is currently known about the role of epigenetic variation in the ecological mechanisms of adaptation. Here, we used multivariate redundancy analyses to examine genomewide associations between DNA methylation polymorphisms and climate variation in two independent panels of Arabidopsis accessions, including 122 Eurasian accessions as well as in a regional panel of 148 accessions in Sweden. At the single-nucleotide methylation level, climate and space (geographic spatial structure) explain small yet significant amount of variation in both panels. On the other hand, when viewed in a context of genomic clusters of methylated and unmethylated cytosines, climate and space variables explain much greater amounts of variation in DNA methylation than those explained by variation at the single-nucleotide level. We found that the single-nucleotide methylation polymorphisms with the strongest associations with climate were enriched in transposable elements and in potentially RNA-directed methylation contexts. When viewed in the context of genomic clusters, variation of DNA methylation at different sequence contexts exhibit distinctive segregation along different axes of variation in the redundancy analyses. Genomewide methylation showed much stronger associations with climate within the regional panel (Sweden) compared to the global (Eurasia). Together, these findings indicate that genetic and epigenetic variation across the genome may play a role in response to climate conditions and local adaptation. PMID:26850505

  12. CpG methylation patterns of human mitochondrial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Baojing; Du, Qingqing; Chen, Lu; Fu, Guangping; Li, Shujin; Fu, Lihong; Zhang, Xiaojing; Ma, Chunling; Bin, Cong

    2016-01-01

    The epigenetic modification of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is still in controversy. To clarify this point, we applied the gold standard method for DNA methylation, bisulfite pyrosequencing, to examine human mtDNA methylation status. Before bisulfite conversion, BamHI was used to digest DNA to open the loop of mtDNA. The results demonstrated that the linear mtDNA had significantly higher bisulfite conversion efficiency compared with circular mtDNA. Furthermore, the methylation values obtained from linear mtDNA were significantly lower than that of circular mtDNA, which was verified by SEQUENOM MassARRAY. The above impacts of circular structure were also observed in lung DNA samples but not in saliva DNA samples. Mitochondrial genome methylation of blood samples and saliva samples from 14 unrelated individuals was detected. The detected regions covered 83 CpG sites across mtDNA including D-loop, 12 S rRNA, 16 S rRNA, ND1, COXI, ND3, ND4, ND5, CYTB. We found that the average methylation levels of nine regions were all less than 2% for both sample types. In conclusion, our findings firstly show that the circular structure of mtDNA affects bisulfite conversion efficiency, which leads to overestimation of mtDNA methylation values. CpG methylation in human mtDNA is a very rare event at most DNA regions. PMID:26996456

  13. CpG methylation patterns of human mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Liu, Baojing; Du, Qingqing; Chen, Lu; Fu, Guangping; Li, Shujin; Fu, Lihong; Zhang, Xiaojing; Ma, Chunling; Bin, Cong

    2016-01-01

    The epigenetic modification of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is still in controversy. To clarify this point, we applied the gold standard method for DNA methylation, bisulfite pyrosequencing, to examine human mtDNA methylation status. Before bisulfite conversion, BamHI was used to digest DNA to open the loop of mtDNA. The results demonstrated that the linear mtDNA had significantly higher bisulfite conversion efficiency compared with circular mtDNA. Furthermore, the methylation values obtained from linear mtDNA were significantly lower than that of circular mtDNA, which was verified by SEQUENOM MassARRAY. The above impacts of circular structure were also observed in lung DNA samples but not in saliva DNA samples. Mitochondrial genome methylation of blood samples and saliva samples from 14 unrelated individuals was detected. The detected regions covered 83 CpG sites across mtDNA including D-loop, 12 S rRNA, 16 S rRNA, ND1, COXI, ND3, ND4, ND5, CYTB. We found that the average methylation levels of nine regions were all less than 2% for both sample types. In conclusion, our findings firstly show that the circular structure of mtDNA affects bisulfite conversion efficiency, which leads to overestimation of mtDNA methylation values. CpG methylation in human mtDNA is a very rare event at most DNA regions. PMID:26996456

  14. The methylation status of plant genomic DNA influences PCR efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kiselev, K V; Dubrovina, A S; Tyunin, A P

    2015-03-01

    During the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is a versatile and widely used method, certain DNA sequences are rapidly amplified through thermocycling. Although there are numerous protocols of PCR optimization for different applications, little is known about the effect of DNA modifications, such as DNA methylation, on PCR efficiency. Recent studies show that cytosine methylation alters DNA mechanical properties and suggest that DNA methylation may directly or indirectly influence the effectiveness of DNA amplification during PCR. In the present study, using plant DNA, we found that highly methylated plant DNA genomic regions were amplified with lower efficiencies compared to that for the regions methylated at a lower level. The correlation was observed when amplifying stilbene synthase (STS1, STS10) genes of Vitis amurensis, the Actin2 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana, the internal transcribed spacer (AtITS), and tRNAPro of A. thaliana. The level of DNA methylation within the analyzed DNA regions has been analyzed with bisulfite sequencing. The obtained data show that efficient PCRs of highly methylated plant DNA regions can be hampered. Proteinase K treatment of the plant DNA prior to PCR and using HotTaq DNA polymerase improved amplification of the highly methylated plant DNA regions. We suggest that increased DNA denaturation temperatures of the highly methylated DNA and contamination with DNA-binding proteins contribute to the hampered PCR amplification of highly methylated DNA. The data show that it is necessary to use current DNA purification protocols and commercial kits with caution to ensure appropriate PCR product yield and prevent bias toward unmethylated DNA amplification in PCRs. PMID:25506767

  15. ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF HIGH METHIONINE INTAKE ON DNA METHYLATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methylation of DNA occurs at cytosines within CpG (cytosine-guanine) dinucleotides and is one of several epigenetic mechanisms that serve to establish and maintain tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. The methyl groups transferred in mammalian DNA methylation reactions are ultimately derived...

  16. Global and gene specific DNA methylation changes during zebrafish development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    DNA methylation is dynamic through the life of an organism. In this study, we measured the global and gene specific DNA methylation changes in zebrafish at different developmental stages. We found that the methylation percentage of cytosines was 11.75 ± 0.96% in 3.3 hour post fertilization (hpf) zeb...

  17. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Murphy, P J; Cairns, B R

    2016-01-01

    Genomic DNA methylation functions to repress gene expression by interfering with transcription factor binding and/or recruiting repressive chromatin machinery. Recent data support contribution of regulated DNA methylation to embryonic pluripotency, development, and tissue differentiation; this important epigenetic mark is chemically stable yet enzymatically reversible-and heritable through the germline. Importantly, all the major components involved in dynamic DNA methylation are conserved in zebrafish, including the factors that "write, read, and erase" this mark. Therefore, the zebrafish has become an excellent model for studying most biological processes associated with DNA methylation in mammals. Here we briefly review the zebrafish model for studying DNA methylation and describe a series of methods for performing genome-wide DNA methylation analysis. We address and provide methods for methylated DNA immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (MeDIP-Seq), bisulfite sequencing (BS-Seq), and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS-Seq). PMID:27443935

  18. Alterations of DNA methylation and clinicopathological diversity of human cancers.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Yae

    2008-09-01

    Alterations of DNA methylation can account for the histological heterogeneity, reflected in the stepwise progression and complex biological characteristics of human cancers, that genetic alterations alone cannot explain. Analysis of DNA methylation status in tissue samples can be an aid to understanding the molecular mechanisms of multistage carcinogenesis. Human cancer cells show a drastic change in DNA methylation status, that is, overall DNA hypomethylation and regional DNA hypermethylation, which results in chromosomal instability and silencing of tumor-suppressor genes. Overexpression of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 is not a secondary result of increased cell proliferative activity but may underline the CpG island methylator phenotype of cancers. Splicing alteration of DNMT3B may result in chromosomal instability through DNA hypomethylation of pericentromeric satellite regions. Alterations of DNA methylation are observed even in the precancerous stage frequently associated with chronic inflammation and/or persistent viral infection or with cigarette smoking. Precancerous conditions showing alterations of DNA methylation may generate more malignant cancers. Aberrant DNA methylation is significantly associated with aggressiveness of cancers and poorer outcome of cancer patients. Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation status based on array-based technology may identify DNA methylation profiles that can be used as appropriate indicators for carcinogenetic risk estimation and prognostication. PMID:18801069

  19. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoiesis by DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    Gore, Aniket V; Athans, Brett; Iben, James R; Johnson, Kristin; Russanova, Valya; Castranova, Daniel; Pham, Van N; Butler, Matthew G; Williams-Simons, Lisa; Nichols, James T; Bresciani, Erica; Feldman, Bejamin; Kimmel, Charles B; Liu, Paul P; Weinstein, Brant M

    2016-01-01

    During embryonic development, cell type-specific transcription factors promote cell identities, while epigenetic modifications are thought to contribute to maintain these cell fates. Our understanding of how genetic and epigenetic modes of regulation work together to establish and maintain cellular identity is still limited, however. Here, we show that DNA methyltransferase 3bb.1 (dnmt3bb.1) is essential for maintenance of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) fate as part of an early Notch-runx1-cmyb HSPC specification pathway in the zebrafish. Dnmt3bb.1 is expressed in HSPC downstream from Notch1 and runx1, and loss of Dnmt3bb.1 activity leads to reduced cmyb locus methylation, reduced cmyb expression, and gradual reduction in HSPCs. Ectopic overexpression of dnmt3bb.1 in non-hematopoietic cells is sufficient to methylate the cmyb locus, promote cmyb expression, and promote hematopoietic development. Our results reveal an epigenetic mechanism supporting the maintenance of hematopoietic cell fate via DNA methylation-mediated perdurance of a key transcription factor in HSPCs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11813.001 PMID:26814702

  20. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoiesis by DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Gore, Aniket V; Athans, Brett; Iben, James R; Johnson, Kristin; Russanova, Valya; Castranova, Daniel; Pham, Van N; Butler, Matthew G; Williams-Simons, Lisa; Nichols, James T; Bresciani, Erica; Feldman, Bejamin; Kimmel, Charles B; Liu, Paul P; Weinstein, Brant M

    2016-01-01

    During embryonic development, cell type-specific transcription factors promote cell identities, while epigenetic modifications are thought to contribute to maintain these cell fates. Our understanding of how genetic and epigenetic modes of regulation work together to establish and maintain cellular identity is still limited, however. Here, we show that DNA methyltransferase 3bb.1 (dnmt3bb.1) is essential for maintenance of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) fate as part of an early Notch-runx1-cmyb HSPC specification pathway in the zebrafish. Dnmt3bb.1 is expressed in HSPC downstream from Notch1 and runx1, and loss of Dnmt3bb.1 activity leads to reduced cmyb locus methylation, reduced cmyb expression, and gradual reduction in HSPCs. Ectopic overexpression of dnmt3bb.1 in non-hematopoietic cells is sufficient to methylate the cmyb locus, promote cmyb expression, and promote hematopoietic development. Our results reveal an epigenetic mechanism supporting the maintenance of hematopoietic cell fate via DNA methylation-mediated perdurance of a key transcription factor in HSPCs. PMID:26814702

  1. DNA Methylation: Insights into Human Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Andrew J.; Marques-Bonet, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental initiative for evolutionary biologists is to understand the molecular basis underlying phenotypic diversity. A long-standing hypothesis states that species-specific traits may be explained by differences in gene regulation rather than differences at the protein level. Over the past few years, evolutionary studies have shifted from mere sequence comparisons to integrative analyses in which gene regulation is key to understanding species evolution. DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification involved in the regulation of numerous biological processes. Nevertheless, the evolution of the human methylome and the processes driving such changes are poorly understood. Here, we review the close interplay between Cytosine-phosphate-Guanine (CpG) methylation and the underlying genome sequence, as well as its evolutionary impact. We also summarize the latest advances in the field, revisiting the main literature on human and nonhuman primates. We hope to encourage the scientific community to address the many challenges posed by the field of comparative epigenomics. PMID:26658498

  2. Self-methylation of BspRI DNA-methyltransferase.

    PubMed Central

    Szilák, L; Finta, C; Patthy, A; Venetianer, P; Kiss, A

    1994-01-01

    The DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase (m5C-MTase) M.BspRI is able to accept the methyl group from the methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) in the absence of DNA. Transfer of the methyl group to the enzyme is a slow reaction relative to DNA methylation. Self-methylation is dependent on the native conformation of the enzyme and is inhibited by S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine, DNA and sulfhydryl reagents. Amino acid sequencing of proteolytic peptides obtained from M.BspRI, which had been methylated with [methyl-3H]AdoMet, and thin layer chromatography of the modified amino acid identified two cysteines, Cys156 and Cys181 that bind the methyl group in form of S-methylcysteine. One of the acceptor residues, Cys156 is the highly conserved cysteine which plays the role of the catalytic nucleophile of m5C-MTases. Images PMID:8065896

  3. Folate and DNA methylation during in utero development and aging.

    PubMed

    McKay, J A; Williams, E A; Mathers, J C

    2004-12-01

    DNA methylation is one of several epigenetic mechanisms that play a regulatory role in genome programming and imprinting during embryogenesis. Aberrant DNA methylation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases associated with aging, including cancer and cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Evidence is accumulating that dietary factors in utero modulate disease risk in later life. Although folic acid is a key component of DNA methylation, the impact of folic acid availability in utero on DNA methylation patterns and disease risk in adulthood is at present poorly characterized. This review describes the relationship between folic acid and DNA methylation, and the association between DNA methylation during in utero development and aging. PMID:15506948

  4. Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation Analysis of Mammalian Endogenous Retroviruses.

    PubMed

    Rebollo, Rita; Mager, Dixie L

    2016-01-01

    Endogenous retroviruses are repetitive sequences found abundantly in mammalian genomes which are capable of modulating host gene expression. Nevertheless, most endogenous retrovirus copies are under tight epigenetic control via histone-repressive modifications and DNA methylation. Here we describe a common method used in our laboratory to detect, quantify, and compare mammalian endogenous retrovirus DNA methylation. More specifically we describe methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) followed by quantitative PCR. PMID:26895065

  5. Diamondoids as DNA methylation and mutation probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivaraman, Ganesh; Fyta, Maria

    2014-10-01

    In a recent study we proposed derivatives of lower diamondoids as novel biosensors, as well as possible functionalisation candidates of solid-state nanopores for DNA sequencing. A qualitative analysis has shown the abilities of these molecules to distinguish among different DNA nucleobases. In this letter, we extend the analysis and consider also methylated and mutated nucleobases, often being an indication of genetic diseases. Based on the bonding characteristics of these modified nucleobases to a diamondoid derivative, as well as their electronic properties we could reveal the ability of the diamondoid to clearly distinguish the regular from the modified nucleobases. The results show a clear indication that transport properties along these molecules would give distinct current signals.

  6. Forensic DNA methylation profiling from evidence material for investigative leads.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hwan Young; Lee, Soong Deok; Shin, Kyoung-Jin

    2016-07-01

    DNA methylation is emerging as an attractive marker providing investigative leads to solve crimes in forensic genetics. The identification of body fluids that utilizes tissue-specific DNA methylation can contribute to solving crimes by predicting activity related to the evidence material. The age estimation based on DNA methylation is expected to reduce the number of potential suspects, when the DNA profile from the evidence does not match with any known person, including those stored in the forensic database. Moreover, the variation in DNA implicates environmental exposure, such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, thereby suggesting the possibility to be used as a marker for predicting the lifestyle of potential suspect. In this review, we describe recent advances in our understanding of DNA methylation variations and the utility of DNA methylation as a forensic marker for advanced investigative leads from evidence materials. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(7): 359-369]. PMID:27099236

  7. The Influence of DNA Methylation on Bone Cells

    PubMed Central

    Reppe, Sjur; Datta, Harish; Gautvik, Kaare M.

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation in eukaryotes invokes heritable alterations of the of the cytosine base in DNA without changing the underlying genomic DNA sequence. DNA methylation may be modified by environmental exposures as well as gene polymorphisms and may be a mechanistic link between environmental risk factors and the development of disease. In this review, we consider the role of DNA methylation in bone cells (osteoclasts/osteoblasts/osteocytes) and their progenitors with special focus on in vitro and ex vivo analyses. The number of studies on DNA methylation in bone cells is still somewhat limited, nevertheless it is getting increasingly clear that this type of the epigenetic changes is a critical regulator of gene expression. DNA methylation is necessary for proper development and function of bone cells and is accompanied by disease characteristic functional alterations as presently reviewed including postmenopausal osteoporosis and mechanical strain. PMID:27019613

  8. Chimeric DNA methyltransferases target DNA methylation to specific DNA sequences and repress expression of target genes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fuyang; Papworth, Monika; Minczuk, Michal; Rohde, Christian; Zhang, Yingying; Ragozin, Sergei; Jeltsch, Albert

    2007-01-01

    Gene silencing by targeted DNA methylation has potential applications in basic research and therapy. To establish targeted methylation in human cell lines, the catalytic domains (CDs) of mouse Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b DNA methyltransferases (MTases) were fused to different DNA binding domains (DBD) of GAL4 and an engineered Cys2His2 zinc finger domain. We demonstrated that (i) Dense DNA methylation can be targeted to specific regions in gene promoters using chimeric DNA MTases. (ii) Site-specific methylation leads to repression of genes controlled by various cellular or viral promoters. (iii) Mutations affecting any of the DBD, MTase or target DNA sequences reduce targeted methylation and gene silencing. (iv) Targeted DNA methylation is effective in repressing Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection in cell culture with the viral titer reduced by at least 18-fold in the presence of an MTase fused to an engineered zinc finger DBD, which binds a single site in the promoter of HSV-1 gene IE175k. In short, we show here that it is possible to direct DNA MTase activity to predetermined sites in DNA, achieve targeted gene silencing in mammalian cell lines and interfere with HSV-1 propagation. PMID:17151075

  9. Drugging the methylome: DNA methylation and memory.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Andrew J; Sweatt, J David

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, since epigenetic mechanisms were first implicated in memory formation and synaptic plasticity, dynamic DNA methylation reactions have been identified as integral to long-term memory formation, maintenance, and recall. This review incorporates various new findings that DNA methylation mechanisms are important regulators of non-Hebbian plasticity mechanisms, suggesting that these epigenetic mechanisms are a fundamental link between synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity. Because the field of neuroepigenetics is so young and the biochemical tools necessary to probe gene-specific questions are just now being developed and used, this review also speculates about the direction and potential of therapeutics that target epigenetic mechanisms in the central nervous system and the unique pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties that epigenetic therapies may possess. Mapping the dynamics of the epigenome in response to experiential learning, even a single epigenetic mark in isolation, remains a significant technical and bioinformatic hurdle facing the field, but will be necessary to identify changes to the methylome that govern memory-associated gene expression and effectively drug the epigenome. PMID:26915423

  10. Conformation-Selective Methylation of Geminivirus DNA

    PubMed Central

    Paprotka, T.; Deuschle, K.; Metzler, V.; Jeske, H.

    2011-01-01

    Geminiviruses with small circular single-stranded DNA genomes replicate in plant cell nuclei by using various double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) intermediates: distinct open circular and covalently closed circular as well as heterogeneous linear DNA. Their DNA may be methylated partially at cytosine residues, as detected previously by bisulfite sequencing and subsequent PCR. In order to determine the methylation patterns of the circular molecules, the DNAs of tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) and Abutilon mosaic virus were investigated utilizing bisulfite treatment followed by rolling circle amplification. Shotgun sequencing of the products yielded a randomly distributed 50% rate of C maintenance after the bisulfite reaction for both viruses. However, controls with unmethylated single-stranded bacteriophage DNA resulted in the same level of C maintenance. Only one short DNA stretch within the C2/C3 promoter of TYLCSV showed hyperprotection of C, with the protection rate exceeding the threshold of the mean value plus 1 standard deviation. Similarly, the use of methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes suggested that geminiviruses escape silencing by methylation very efficiently, by either a rolling circle or recombination-dependent replication mode. In contrast, attempts to detect methylated bases positively by using methylcytosine-specific antibodies detected methylated DNA only in heterogeneous linear dsDNA, and methylation-dependent restriction enzymes revealed that the viral heterogeneous linear dsDNA was methylated preferentially. PMID:21835804

  11. Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in hepatoblastoma tissues

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Ximao; Liu, Baihui; Zheng, Shan; Dong, Kuiran; Dong, Rui

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation has a crucial role in cancer biology. In the present study, a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in hepatoblastoma (HB) tissues was performed to verify differential methylation levels between HB and normal tissues. As alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) has a critical role in HB, AFP methylation levels were also detected using pyrosequencing. Normal and HB liver tissue samples (frozen tissue) were obtained from patients with HB. Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in these tissues was performed using an Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip, and the results were confirmed with reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip demonstrated distinctively less methylation in HB tissues than in non-tumor tissues. In addition, methylation enrichment was observed in positions near the transcription start site of AFP, which exhibited lower methylation levels in HB tissues than in non-tumor liver tissues. Lastly, a significant negative correlation was observed between AFP messenger RNA expression and DNA methylation percentage, using linear Pearson's R correlation coefficients. The present results demonstrate differential methylation levels between HB and normal tissues, and imply that aberrant methylation of AFP in HB could reflect HB development. Expansion of these findings could provide useful insight into HB biology. PMID:27446465

  12. Dynamic DNA methylation orchestrates cardiomyocyte development, maturation and disease.

    PubMed

    Gilsbach, Ralf; Preissl, Sebastian; Grüning, Björn A; Schnick, Tilman; Burger, Lukas; Benes, Vladimir; Würch, Andreas; Bönisch, Ulrike; Günther, Stefan; Backofen, Rolf; Fleischmann, Bernd K; Schübeler, Dirk; Hein, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    The heart is a highly specialized organ with essential function for the organism throughout life. The significance of DNA methylation in shaping the phenotype of the heart remains only partially known. Here we generate and analyse DNA methylomes from highly purified cardiomyocytes of neonatal, adult healthy and adult failing hearts. We identify large genomic regions that are differentially methylated during cardiomyocyte development and maturation. Demethylation of cardiomyocyte gene bodies correlates strongly with increased gene expression. Silencing of demethylated genes is characterized by the polycomb mark H3K27me3 or by DNA methylation. De novo methylation by DNA methyltransferases 3A/B causes repression of fetal cardiac genes, including essential components of the cardiac sarcomere. Failing cardiomyocytes partially resemble neonatal methylation patterns. This study establishes DNA methylation as a highly dynamic process during postnatal growth of cardiomyocytes and their adaptation to pathological stress in a process tightly linked to gene regulation and activity. PMID:25335909

  13. Dynamic DNA methylation orchestrates cardiomyocyte development, maturation and disease

    PubMed Central

    Gilsbach, Ralf; Preissl, Sebastian; Grüning, Björn A.; Schnick, Tilman; Burger, Lukas; Benes, Vladimir; Würch, Andreas; Bönisch, Ulrike; Günther, Stefan; Backofen, Rolf; Fleischmann, Bernd K.; Schübeler, Dirk; Hein, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    The heart is a highly specialized organ with essential function for the organism throughout life. The significance of DNA methylation in shaping the phenotype of the heart remains only partially known. Here we generate and analyse DNA methylomes from highly purified cardiomyocytes of neonatal, adult healthy and adult failing hearts. We identify large genomic regions that are differentially methylated during cardiomyocyte development and maturation. Demethylation of cardiomyocyte gene bodies correlates strongly with increased gene expression. Silencing of demethylated genes is characterized by the polycomb mark H3K27me3 or by DNA methylation. De novo methylation by DNA methyltransferases 3A/B causes repression of fetal cardiac genes, including essential components of the cardiac sarcomere. Failing cardiomyocytes partially resemble neonatal methylation patterns. This study establishes DNA methylation as a highly dynamic process during postnatal growth of cardiomyocytes and their adaptation to pathological stress in a process tightly linked to gene regulation and activity. PMID:25335909

  14. Aberrant DNA methylation reprogramming in bovine SCNT preimplantation embryos

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sheng; Chen, Xin; Wang, Fang; An, Xinglan; Tang, Bo; Zhang, Xueming; Sun, Liguang; Li, Ziyi

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation reprogramming plays important roles in mammalian embryogenesis. Mammalian somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos with reprogramming defects fail to develop. Thus, we compared DNA methylation reprogramming in preimplantation embryos from bovine SCNT and in vitro fertilization (IVF) and analyzed the influence of vitamin C (VC) on the reprogramming of DNA methylation. The results showed that global DNA methylation followed a typical pattern of demethylation and remethylation in IVF preimplantation embryos; however, the global genome remained hypermethylated in SCNT preimplantation embryos. Compared with the IVF group, locus DNA methylation reprogramming showed three patterns in the SCNT group. First, some pluripotency genes (POU5F1 and NANOG) and repeated elements (satellite I and α-satellite) showed insufficient demethylation and hypermethylation in the SCNT group. Second, a differentially methylated region (DMR) of an imprint control region (ICR) in H19 exhibited excessive demethylation and hypomethylation. Third, some pluripotency genes (CDX2 and SOX2) were hypomethylated in both the IVF and SCNT groups. Additionally, VC improved the DNA methylation reprogramming of satellite I, α-satellite and H19 but not that of POU5F1 and NANOG in SCNT preimplantation embryos. These results indicate that DNA methylation reprogramming was aberrant and that VC influenced DNA methylation reprogramming in SCNT embryos in a locus-specific manner. PMID:27456302

  15. DNA Methylation is Developmentally Regulated for Genes Essential for Cardiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Chamberlain, Alyssa A.; Lin, Mingyan; Lister, Rolanda L.; Maslov, Alex A.; Wang, Yidong; Suzuki, Masako; Wu, Bingruo; Greally, John M.; Zheng, Deyou; Zhou, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Background DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism altering gene expression in development and disease. However, its role in the regulation of gene expression during heart development is incompletely understood. The aim of this study is to reveal DNA methylation in mouse embryonic hearts and its role in regulating gene expression during heart development. Methods and Results We performed the genome‐wide DNA methylation profiling of mouse embryonic hearts using methyl‐sensitive, tiny fragment enrichment/massively parallel sequencing to determine methylation levels at ACGT sites. The results showed that while global methylation of 1.64 million ACGT sites in developing hearts remains stable between embryonic day (E) 11.5 and E14.5, a small fraction (2901) of them exhibit differential methylation. Gene Ontology analysis revealed that these sites are enriched at genes involved in heart development. Quantitative real‐time PCR analysis of 350 genes with differential DNA methylation showed that the expression of 181 genes is developmentally regulated, and 79 genes have correlative changes between methylation and expression, including hyaluronan synthase 2 (Has2). Required for heart valve formation, Has2 expression in the developing heart valves is downregulated at E14.5, accompanied with increased DNA methylation in its enhancer. Genetic knockout further showed that the downregulation of Has2 expression is dependent on DNA methyltransferase 3b, which is co‐expressed with Has2 in the forming heart valve region, indicating that the DNA methylation change may contribute to the Has2 enhancer's regulating function. Conclusions DNA methylation is developmentally regulated for genes essential to heart development, and abnormal DNA methylation may contribute to congenital heart disease. PMID:24947998

  16. DNA Methylation and Potential for Epigenetic Regulation in Pygospio elegans.

    PubMed

    Kesäniemi, Jenni E; Heikkinen, Liisa; Knott, K Emily

    2016-01-01

    Transitions in developmental mode are common evolutionarily, but how and why they occur is not understood. Developmental mode describes larval phenotypes, including morphology, ecology and behavior of larvae, which typically are generalized across different species. The polychaete worm Pygospio elegans is one of few species polymorphic in developmental mode, with multiple larval phenotypes, providing a possibility to examine the potential mechanisms allowing transitions in developmental mode. We investigated the presence of DNA methylation in P. elegans, and, since maternal provisioning is a key factor determining eventual larval phenotype, we compared patterns of DNA methylation in females during oogenesis in this species. We demonstrate that intragenic CpG site DNA methylation and many relevant genes necessary for DNA methylation occur in P. elegans. Methylation-sensitive AFLP analysis showed that gravid females with offspring differing in larval developmental mode have significantly different methylation profiles and that the females with benthic larvae and non-reproductive females from the same location also differ in their epigenetic profiles. Analysis of CpG sites in transcriptome data supported our findings of DNA methylation in this species and showed that CpG observed/expected ratios differ among females gravid with embryos destined to different developmental modes. The differences in CpG site DNA methylation patterns seen among the samples suggest a potential for epigenetic regulation of gene expression (through DNA methylation) in this species. PMID:27008314

  17. DNA Methylation and Potential for Epigenetic Regulation in Pygospio elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kesäniemi, Jenni E.; Heikkinen, Liisa; Knott, K. Emily

    2016-01-01

    Transitions in developmental mode are common evolutionarily, but how and why they occur is not understood. Developmental mode describes larval phenotypes, including morphology, ecology and behavior of larvae, which typically are generalized across different species. The polychaete worm Pygospio elegans is one of few species polymorphic in developmental mode, with multiple larval phenotypes, providing a possibility to examine the potential mechanisms allowing transitions in developmental mode. We investigated the presence of DNA methylation in P. elegans, and, since maternal provisioning is a key factor determining eventual larval phenotype, we compared patterns of DNA methylation in females during oogenesis in this species. We demonstrate that intragenic CpG site DNA methylation and many relevant genes necessary for DNA methylation occur in P. elegans. Methylation-sensitive AFLP analysis showed that gravid females with offspring differing in larval developmental mode have significantly different methylation profiles and that the females with benthic larvae and non-reproductive females from the same location also differ in their epigenetic profiles. Analysis of CpG sites in transcriptome data supported our findings of DNA methylation in this species and showed that CpG observed/expected ratios differ among females gravid with embryos destined to different developmental modes. The differences in CpG site DNA methylation patterns seen among the samples suggest a potential for epigenetic regulation of gene expression (through DNA methylation) in this species. PMID:27008314

  18. Structural basis for Klf4 recognition of methylated DNA.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwei; Olanrewaju, Yusuf Olatunde; Zheng, Yu; Hashimoto, Hideharu; Blumenthal, Robert M; Zhang, Xing; Cheng, Xiaodong

    2014-04-01

    Transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4), one of the factors directing cellular reprogramming, recognizes the CpG dinucleotide (whether methylated or unmodified) within a specific G/C-rich sequence. The binding affinity of the mouse Klf4 DNA-binding domain for methylated DNA is only slightly stronger than that for an unmodified oligonucleotide. The structure of the C-terminal three Krüppel-like zinc fingers (ZnFs) of mouse Klf4, in complex with fully methylated DNA, was determined at 1.85 Å resolution. An arginine and a glutamate interact with the methyl group. By comparison with two other recently characterized structures of ZnF protein complexes with methylated DNA, we propose a common principle of recognition of methylated CpG by C2H2 ZnF proteins, which involves a spatially conserved Arg-Glu pair. PMID:24520114

  19. An atlas of DNA methylation in diverse bovine tissues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We launched an effort to produce a reference cattle DNA methylation resource to improve animal production. We will employ experimental pipelines built around next generation sequencing technologies to map DNA methylation in cultured cells and primary tissues systems frequently involved in animal pro...

  20. Analyses of cattle DNA methylation patterns in diverse tissues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We launched an effort to produce a reference cattle DNA methylation resource to improve animal production. We will employ experimental pipelines built around next generation sequencing technologies to map DNA methylation in culture cells and primary tissues systems frequently involved in animal prod...

  1. Quantitative DNA methylation analysis of candidate genes in cervical cancer.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Erin M; Riggs, Bridget M; Delmas, Amber L; Koch, Abby; Hakam, Ardeshir; Brown, Kevin D

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation has been observed in cervical cancer; however, most studies have used non-quantitative approaches to measure DNA methylation. The objective of this study was to quantify methylation within a select panel of genes previously identified as targets for epigenetic silencing in cervical cancer and to identify genes with elevated methylation that can distinguish cancer from normal cervical tissues. We identified 49 women with invasive squamous cell cancer of the cervix and 22 women with normal cytology specimens. Bisulfite-modified genomic DNA was amplified and quantitative pyrosequencing completed for 10 genes (APC, CCNA, CDH1, CDH13, WIF1, TIMP3, DAPK1, RARB, FHIT, and SLIT2). A Methylation Index was calculated as the mean percent methylation across all CpG sites analyzed per gene (~4-9 CpG site) per sequence. A binary cut-point was defined at >15% methylation. Sensitivity, specificity and area under ROC curve (AUC) of methylation in individual genes or a panel was examined. The median methylation index was significantly higher in cases compared to controls in 8 genes, whereas there was no difference in median methylation for 2 genes. Compared to HPV and age, the combination of DNA methylation level of DAPK1, SLIT2, WIF1 and RARB with HPV and age significantly improved the AUC from 0.79 to 0.99 (95% CI: 0.97-1.00, p-value = 0.003). Pyrosequencing analysis confirmed that several genes are common targets for aberrant methylation in cervical cancer and DNA methylation level of four genes appears to increase specificity to identify cancer compared to HPV detection alone. Alterations in DNA methylation of specific genes in cervical cancers, such as DAPK1, RARB, WIF1, and SLIT2, may also occur early in cervical carcinogenesis and should be evaluated. PMID:25826459

  2. Quantitative DNA Methylation Analysis of Candidate Genes in Cervical Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Erin M.; Riggs, Bridget M.; Delmas, Amber L.; Koch, Abby; Hakam, Ardeshir; Brown, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation has been observed in cervical cancer; however, most studies have used non-quantitative approaches to measure DNA methylation. The objective of this study was to quantify methylation within a select panel of genes previously identified as targets for epigenetic silencing in cervical cancer and to identify genes with elevated methylation that can distinguish cancer from normal cervical tissues. We identified 49 women with invasive squamous cell cancer of the cervix and 22 women with normal cytology specimens. Bisulfite-modified genomic DNA was amplified and quantitative pyrosequencing completed for 10 genes (APC, CCNA, CDH1, CDH13, WIF1, TIMP3, DAPK1, RARB, FHIT, and SLIT2). A Methylation Index was calculated as the mean percent methylation across all CpG sites analyzed per gene (~4-9 CpG site) per sequence. A binary cut-point was defined at >15% methylation. Sensitivity, specificity and area under ROC curve (AUC) of methylation in individual genes or a panel was examined. The median methylation index was significantly higher in cases compared to controls in 8 genes, whereas there was no difference in median methylation for 2 genes. Compared to HPV and age, the combination of DNA methylation level of DAPK1, SLIT2, WIF1 and RARB with HPV and age significantly improved the AUC from 0.79 to 0.99 (95% CI: 0.97–1.00, p-value = 0.003). Pyrosequencing analysis confirmed that several genes are common targets for aberrant methylation in cervical cancer and DNA methylation level of four genes appears to increase specificity to identify cancer compared to HPV detection alone. Alterations in DNA methylation of specific genes in cervical cancers, such as DAPK1, RARB, WIF1, and SLIT2, may also occur early in cervical carcinogenesis and should be evaluated. PMID:25826459

  3. DNA methylation dynamics in muscle development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Carrió, Elvira; Suelves, Mònica

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic modification for mammalian development and is crucial for the establishment and maintenance of cellular identity. Traditionally, DNA methylation has been considered as a permanent repressive epigenetic mark. However, the application of genome-wide approaches has allowed the analysis of DNA methylation in different genomic contexts revealing a more dynamic regulation than originally thought, since active DNA methylation and demethylation occur during cellular differentiation and tissue specification. Satellite cells are the primary stem cells in adult skeletal muscle and are responsible for postnatal muscle growth, hypertrophy, and muscle regeneration. This review outlines the published data regarding DNA methylation changes along the skeletal muscle program, in both physiological and pathological conditions, to better understand the epigenetic mechanisms that control myogenesis. PMID:25798107

  4. A DNA methylation fingerprint of 1628 human samples

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Agustin F.; Assenov, Yassen; Martin-Subero, Jose Ignacio; Balint, Balazs; Siebert, Reiner; Taniguchi, Hiroaki; Yamamoto, Hiroyuki; Hidalgo, Manuel; Tan, Aik-Choon; Galm, Oliver; Ferrer, Isidre; Sanchez-Cespedes, Montse; Villanueva, Alberto; Carmona, Javier; Sanchez-Mut, Jose V.; Berdasco, Maria; Moreno, Victor; Capella, Gabriel; Monk, David; Ballestar, Esteban; Ropero, Santiago; Martinez, Ramon; Sanchez-Carbayo, Marta; Prosper, Felipe; Agirre, Xabier; Fraga, Mario F.; Graña, Osvaldo; Perez-Jurado, Luis; Mora, Jaume; Puig, Susana; Prat, Jaime; Badimon, Lina; Puca, Annibale A.; Meltzer, Stephen J.; Lengauer, Thomas; Bridgewater, John; Bock, Christoph; Esteller, Manel

    2012-01-01

    Most of the studies characterizing DNA methylation patterns have been restricted to particular genomic loci in a limited number of human samples and pathological conditions. Herein, we present a compromise between an extremely comprehensive study of a human sample population with an intermediate level of resolution of CpGs at the genomic level. We obtained a DNA methylation fingerprint of 1628 human samples in which we interrogated 1505 CpG sites. The DNA methylation patterns revealed show this epigenetic mark to be critical in tissue-type definition and stemness, particularly around transcription start sites that are not within a CpG island. For disease, the generated DNA methylation fingerprints show that, during tumorigenesis, human cancer cells underwent a progressive gain of promoter CpG-island hypermethylation and a loss of CpG methylation in non-CpG-island promoters. Although transformed cells are those in which DNA methylation disruption is more obvious, we observed that other common human diseases, such as neurological and autoimmune disorders, had their own distinct DNA methylation profiles. Most importantly, we provide proof of principle that the DNA methylation fingerprints obtained might be useful for translational purposes by showing that we are able to identify the tumor type origin of cancers of unknown primary origin (CUPs). Thus, the DNA methylation patterns identified across the largest spectrum of samples, tissues, and diseases reported to date constitute a baseline for developing higher-resolution DNA methylation maps and provide important clues concerning the contribution of CpG methylation to tissue identity and its changes in the most prevalent human diseases. PMID:21613409

  5. Quantitative comparison of genome-wide DNA methylation mapping technologies.

    PubMed

    Bock, Christoph; Tomazou, Eleni M; Brinkman, Arie B; Müller, Fabian; Simmer, Femke; Gu, Hongcang; Jäger, Natalie; Gnirke, Andreas; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Meissner, Alexander

    2010-10-01

    DNA methylation plays a key role in regulating eukaryotic gene expression. Although mitotically heritable and stable over time, patterns of DNA methylation frequently change in response to cell differentiation, disease and environmental influences. Several methods have been developed to map DNA methylation on a genomic scale. Here, we benchmark four of these approaches by analyzing two human embryonic stem cell lines derived from genetically unrelated embryos and a matched pair of colon tumor and adjacent normal colon tissue obtained from the same donor. Our analysis reveals that methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq), methylated DNA capture by affinity purification (MethylCap-seq), reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) and the Infinium HumanMethylation27 assay all produce accurate DNA methylation data. However, these methods differ in their ability to detect differentially methylated regions between pairs of samples. We highlight strengths and weaknesses of the four methods and give practical recommendations for the design of epigenomic case-control studies. PMID:20852634

  6. Optimized method for methylated DNA immuno-precipitation

    PubMed Central

    Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Jensen, Per

    2015-01-01

    Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) is one of the most widely used methods to evaluate DNA methylation on a whole genome scale, and involves the capture of the methylated fraction of the DNA by an antibody specific to methyl-cytosine. MeDIP was initially coupled with microarray hybridization to detect local DNA methylation enrichments along the genome. More recently, MeDIP has been coupled with next generation sequencing, which highlights its current and future applicability. In previous studies in which MeDIP was applied, the protocol took around 3 days to be performed. Given the importance of MeDIP for studies involving DNA methylation, it was important to optimize the method in order to deliver faster turnouts. The present article describes optimization steps of the MeDIP method. The length of the procedure was reduced in half without compromising the quality of the results. This was achieved by:•Reduction of the number of washes in different stages of the protocol, after a careful evaluation of the number of indispensable washes.•Reduction of reaction times for detaching methylated DNA fragments from the complex agarose beads:antibody.•Modification of the methods to purify methylated DNA, which incorporates new devices and procedures, and eliminates a lengthy phenol and chloroform:isoamyl alcohol extraction. PMID:26740923

  7. Ras regulation of DNA-methylation and cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Patra, Samir Kumar

    2008-04-01

    Genome wide hypomethylation and regional hypermethylation of cancer cells and tissues remain a paradox, though it has received a convincing confirmation that epigenetic switching systems, including DNA-methylation represent a fundamental regulatory mechanism that has an impact on genome maintenance and gene transcription. Methylated cytosine residues of vertebrate DNA are transmitted by clonal inheritance through the strong preference of DNA methyltransferase, DNMT1, for hemimethylated-DNA. Maintenance of methylation patterns is necessary for normal development of mice, and aberrant methylation patterns are associated with many human tumours. DNMT1 interacts with many proteins during cell cycle progression, including PCNA, p53, EZH2 and HP1. Ras family of GTPases promotes cell proliferation by its oncogenic nature, which transmits signals by multiple pathways in both lipid raft dependent and independent fashion. DNA-methylation-mediated repression of DNA-repair protein O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene and increased rate of K-Ras mutation at codon for amino acids 12 and 13 have been correlated with a secondary role for Ras-effector homologues (RASSFs) in tumourigenesis. Lines of evidence suggest that DNA-methylation associated repression of tumour suppressors and apoptotic genes and ceaseless proliferation of tumour cells are regulated in part by Ras-signaling. Control of Ras GTPase signaling might reduce the aberrant methylation and accordingly may reduce the risk of cancer development.

  8. Conserved and Divergent Patterns of DNA Methylation in Higher Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ning; Wang, Lin; Chen, Jing; Wang, Luwen; Leach, Lindsey; Luo, Zewei

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation in the genome plays a fundamental role in the regulation of gene expression and is widespread in the genome of eukaryotic species. For example, in higher vertebrates, there is a “global” methylation pattern involving complete methylation of CpG sites genome-wide, except in promoter regions that are typically enriched for CpG dinucleotides, or so called “CpG islands.” Here, we comprehensively examined and compared the distribution of CpG sites within ten model eukaryotic species and linked the observed patterns to the role of DNA methylation in controlling gene transcription. The analysis revealed two distinct but conserved methylation patterns for gene promoters in human and mouse genomes, involving genes with distinct distributions of promoter CpGs and gene expression patterns. Comparative analysis with four other higher vertebrates revealed that the primary regulatory role of the DNA methylation system is highly conserved in higher vertebrates. PMID:25355807

  9. Maternal Methyl-Group Donor Intake and Global DNA (Hydroxy)Methylation before and during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Pauwels, Sara; Duca, Radu Corneliu; Devlieger, Roland; Freson, Kathleen; Straetmans, Dany; Van Herck, Erik; Huybrechts, Inge; Koppen, Gurdun; Godderis, Lode

    2016-01-01

    It is still unclear to which extent methyl-group intake during pregnancy can affect maternal global DNA (hydroxyl)methylation. Pregnancy methylation profiling and its link with methyl-group intake in a healthy population could enhance our understanding of the development of pregnancy related disorders. One hundred forty-eight women were enrolled in the MANOE (MAternal Nutrition and Offspring’s Epigenome) study. Thiry-four women were enrolled before pregnancy and 116 during the first trimester of pregnancy. Global DNA (hydroxy)methylation in blood using LC-MS/MS and dietary methyl-group intake (methionine, folate, betaine, and choline) using a food-frequency questionnaire were estimated pre-pregnancy, during each trimester, and at delivery. Global DNA (hydroxy)methylation levels were highest pre-pregnancy and at weeks 18–22 of pregnancy. We observed a positive relation between folic acid and global DNA methylation (p = 0.04) and hydroxymethylation (p = 0.04). A high intake of methionine pre-pregnancy and in the first trimester showed lower (hydroxy)methylation percentage in weeks 11–13 and weeks 18–22, respectively. Choline and betaine intake in the first weeks was negatively associated with hydroxymethylation. Women with a high intake of these three methyl groups in the second and third trimester showed higher hyrdoxymethylation/methylation levels in the third trimester. To conclude, a time trend in DNA (hydroxy)methylation was found and women with higher methyl-group intake showed higher methylation in the third trimester, and not in earlier phases of pregnancy. PMID:27509522

  10. Maternal Methyl-Group Donor Intake and Global DNA (Hydroxy)Methylation before and during Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Sara; Duca, Radu Corneliu; Devlieger, Roland; Freson, Kathleen; Straetmans, Dany; Van Herck, Erik; Huybrechts, Inge; Koppen, Gurdun; Godderis, Lode

    2016-01-01

    It is still unclear to which extent methyl-group intake during pregnancy can affect maternal global DNA (hydroxyl)methylation. Pregnancy methylation profiling and its link with methyl-group intake in a healthy population could enhance our understanding of the development of pregnancy related disorders. One hundred forty-eight women were enrolled in the MANOE (MAternal Nutrition and Offspring's Epigenome) study. Thiry-four women were enrolled before pregnancy and 116 during the first trimester of pregnancy. Global DNA (hydroxy)methylation in blood using LC-MS/MS and dietary methyl-group intake (methionine, folate, betaine, and choline) using a food-frequency questionnaire were estimated pre-pregnancy, during each trimester, and at delivery. Global DNA (hydroxy)methylation levels were highest pre-pregnancy and at weeks 18-22 of pregnancy. We observed a positive relation between folic acid and global DNA methylation (p = 0.04) and hydroxymethylation (p = 0.04). A high intake of methionine pre-pregnancy and in the first trimester showed lower (hydroxy)methylation percentage in weeks 11-13 and weeks 18-22, respectively. Choline and betaine intake in the first weeks was negatively associated with hydroxymethylation. Women with a high intake of these three methyl groups in the second and third trimester showed higher hyrdoxymethylation/methylation levels in the third trimester. To conclude, a time trend in DNA (hydroxy)methylation was found and women with higher methyl-group intake showed higher methylation in the third trimester, and not in earlier phases of pregnancy. PMID:27509522

  11. Curcumin Modulates DNA Methylation in Colorectal Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Link, Alexander; Balaguer, Francesc; Shen, Yan; Lozano, Juan Jose; Leung, Hon-Chiu E.; Boland, C. Richard; Goel, Ajay

    2013-01-01

    Aim Recent evidence suggests that several dietary polyphenols may exert their chemopreventive effect through epigenetic modifications. Curcumin is one of the most widely studied dietary chemopreventive agents for colon cancer prevention, however, its effects on epigenetic alterations, particularly DNA methylation, remain unclear. Using systematic genome-wide approaches, we aimed to elucidate the effect of curcumin on DNA methylation alterations in colorectal cancer cells. Materials and Methods To evaluate the effect of curcumin on DNA methylation, three CRC cell lines, HCT116, HT29 and RKO, were treated with curcumin. 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR) and trichostatin A treated cells were used as positive and negative controls for DNA methylation changes, respectively. Methylation status of LINE-1 repeat elements, DNA promoter methylation microarrays and gene expression arrays were used to assess global methylation and gene expression changes. Validation was performed using independent microarrays, quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing, and qPCR. Results As expected, genome-wide methylation microarrays revealed significant DNA hypomethylation in 5-aza-CdR-treated cells (mean β-values of 0.12), however, non-significant changes in mean β-values were observed in curcumin-treated cells. In comparison to mock-treated cells, curcumin-induced DNA methylation alterations occurred in a time-dependent manner. In contrast to the generalized, non-specific global hypomethylation observed with 5-aza-CdR, curcumin treatment resulted in methylation changes at selected, partially-methylated loci, instead of fully-methylated CpG sites. DNA methylation alterations were supported by corresponding changes in gene expression at both up- and down-regulated genes in various CRC cell lines. Conclusions Our data provide previously unrecognized evidence for curcumin-mediated DNA methylation alterations as a potential mechanism of colon cancer chemoprevention. In contrast to non

  12. Methylating agents and DNA repair responses: methylated bases and sources of strand breaks

    PubMed Central

    Wyatt, Michael D.; Pittman, Douglas L.

    2008-01-01

    The chemical methylating agents methylmethane sulfonate (MMS) and N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) have been used for decades as classical DNA damaging agents. These agents have been utilized to uncover and explore pathways of DNA repair, DNA damage response, and mutagenesis. MMS and MNNG modify DNA by adding methyl groups to a number of nucleophilic sites on the DNA bases, although MNNG produces a greater percentage of O-methyl adducts. There has been substantial progress elucidating direct reversal proteins that remove methyl groups and base excision repair (BER), which removes and replaces methylated bases. Direct reversal proteins and BER thus counteract the toxic, mutagenic and clastogenic effects of methylating agents. Despite recent progress, the complexity of DNA damage responses to methylating agents is still being discovered. In particular, there is growing understanding of pathways such as homologous recombination, lesion bypass, and mismatch repair that react when the response of direct reversal proteins and BER is insufficient. Furthermore, the importance of proper balance within the steps in BER has been uncovered with the knowledge that DNA structural intermediates during BER are deleterious. A number of issues complicate elucidating the downstream responses when direct reversal is insufficient or BER is imbalanced. These include inter-species differences, cell-type specific differences within mammals and between cancer cell lines, and the type of methyl damage or BER intermediate encountered. MMS also carries a misleading reputation of being a ‘radiomimetic,’ i.e., capable of directly producing strand breaks. This review focuses on the DNA methyl damage caused by MMS and MNNG for each site of potential methylation to summarize what is known about the repair of such damage and the downstream responses and consequences if not repaired. PMID:17173371

  13. SINE transcription by RNA polymerase III is suppressed by histone methylation but not by DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    Varshney, Dhaval; Vavrova-Anderson, Jana; Oler, Andrew J.; Cowling, Victoria H.; Cairns, Bradley R.; White, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs), such as Alu, spread by retrotransposition, which requires their transcripts to be copied into DNA and then inserted into new chromosomal sites. This can lead to genetic damage through insertional mutagenesis and chromosomal rearrangements between non-allelic SINEs at distinct loci. SINE DNA is heavily methylated and this was thought to suppress its accessibility and transcription, thereby protecting against retrotransposition. Here we provide several lines of evidence that methylated SINE DNA is occupied by RNA polymerase III, including the use of high-throughput bisulphite sequencing of ChIP DNA. We find that loss of DNA methylation has little effect on accessibility of SINEs to transcription machinery or their expression in vivo. In contrast, a histone methyltransferase inhibitor selectively promotes SINE expression and occupancy by RNA polymerase III. The data suggest that methylation of histones rather than DNA plays a dominant role in suppressing SINE transcription. PMID:25798578

  14. DNA Methylation Variation Trends during the Embryonic Development of Chicken

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shizhao; Zhu, Yufei; Zhi, Lihui; Han, Xiaoying; Shen, Jing; Liu, Yanli; Yao, Junhu; Yang, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The embryogenesis period is critical for epigenetic reprogramming and is thus of great significance in the research field of poultry epigenetics for elucidation of the trends in DNA methylation variations during the embryonic development of birds, particularly due to differences in embryogenesis between birds and mammals. Here, we first examined the variations in genomic DNA methylation during chicken embryogenesis through high-performance liquid chromatography using broilers as the model organism. We then identified the degree of DNA methylation of the promoters and gene bodies involved in two specific genes (IGF2 and TNF-α) using the bisulfite sequencing polymerase chain reaction method. In addition, we measured the expression levels of IGF2, TNF-α and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1, 3a and 3b. Our results showed that the genomic DNA methylation levels in the liver, heart and muscle increased during embryonic development and that the methylation level of the liver was significantly higher in mid-anaphase. In both the muscle and liver, the promoter methylation levels of TNF-α first increased and then decreased, whereas the gene body methylation levels remained lower at embryonic ages E8, 11 and 14 before increasing notably at E17. The promoter methylation level of IGF2 decreased persistently, whereas the methylation levels in the gene body showed a continuous increase. No differences in the expression of TNF-α were found among E8, 11 and 14, whereas a significant increase was observed at E17. IGF2 showed increasing expression level during the examined embryonic stages. In addition, the mRNA and protein levels of DNMTs increased with increasing embryonic ages. These results suggest that chicken shows increasing genomic DNA methylation patterns during the embryonic period. Furthermore, the genomic DNA methylation levels in tissues are closely related to the genes expression levels, and gene expression may be simultaneously regulated by promoter hypomethylation

  15. Heterochromatin Dynamics during the Differentiation Process Revealed by the DNA Methylation Reporter Mouse, MethylRO

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Jun; Maehara, Kazumitsu; Mashiko, Daisuke; Ichinose, Takako; Yao, Tatsuma; Hori, Mayuko; Sato, Yuko; Kimura, Hiroshi; Ohkawa, Yasuyuki; Yamagata, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    Summary In mammals, DNA is methylated at CpG sites, which play pivotal roles in gene silencing and chromatin organization. Furthermore, DNA methylation undergoes dynamic changes during development, differentiation, and in pathological processes. The conventional methods represent snapshots; therefore, the dynamics of this marker within living organisms remains unclear. To track this dynamics, we made a knockin mouse that expresses a red fluorescent protein (RFP)-fused methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) protein from the ROSA26 locus ubiquitously; we named it MethylRO (methylation probe in ROSA26 locus). Using this mouse, we performed RFP-mediated methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq), whole-body section analysis, and live-cell imaging. We discovered that mobility and pattern of heterochromatin as well as DNA methylation signal intensity inside the nuclei can be markers for cellular differentiation status. Thus, the MethylRO mouse represents a powerful bioresource and technique for DNA methylation dynamics studies in developmental biology, stem cell biology, as well as in disease states. PMID:24936475

  16. Heterochromatin dynamics during the differentiation process revealed by the DNA methylation reporter mouse, MethylRO.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Jun; Maehara, Kazumitsu; Mashiko, Daisuke; Ichinose, Takako; Yao, Tatsuma; Hori, Mayuko; Sato, Yuko; Kimura, Hiroshi; Ohkawa, Yasuyuki; Yamagata, Kazuo

    2014-06-01

    In mammals, DNA is methylated at CpG sites, which play pivotal roles in gene silencing and chromatin organization. Furthermore, DNA methylation undergoes dynamic changes during development, differentiation, and in pathological processes. The conventional methods represent snapshots; therefore, the dynamics of this marker within living organisms remains unclear. To track this dynamics, we made a knockin mouse that expresses a red fluorescent protein (RFP)-fused methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) protein from the ROSA26 locus ubiquitously; we named it MethylRO (methylation probe in ROSA26 locus). Using this mouse, we performed RFP-mediated methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq), whole-body section analysis, and live-cell imaging. We discovered that mobility and pattern of heterochromatin as well as DNA methylation signal intensity inside the nuclei can be markers for cellular differentiation status. Thus, the MethylRO mouse represents a powerful bioresource and technique for DNA methylation dynamics studies in developmental biology, stem cell biology, as well as in disease states. PMID:24936475

  17. DNA methylation impacts on learning and memory in aging

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liang; van Groen, Thomas; Kadish, Inga; Tollefsbol, Trygve O.

    2008-01-01

    Learning and memory are two of the fundamental cognitive functions that confer us the ability to accumulate knowledge from our experiences. Although we use these two mental skills continuously, understanding the molecular basis of learning and memory is very challenging. Methylation modification of DNA is an epigenetic mechanism that plays important roles in regulating gene expression, which is one of the key processes underlying the functions of cells including neurons. Interestingly, a genome-wide decline in DNA methylation occurs in the brain during normal aging, which coincides with a functional decline in learning and memory with age. It has been speculated that DNA methylation in neurons might be involved in memory coding. However, direct evidence supporting the role of DNA methylation in memory formation is still under investigation. This particular function of DNA methylation has not drawn wide attention despite several important studies that have provided supportive evidence for the epigenetic control of memory formation. To facilitate further exploration of the epigenetic basis of memory function, we will review existing studies on DNA methylation that are related to the development and function of the nervous system. We will focus on studies illustrating how DNA methylation regulates neural activities and memory formation via the control of gene expression in neurons, and relate these studies to various age-related neurological disorders that affect cognitive functions. PMID:17850924

  18. Protection of CpG islands from DNA methylation is DNA-encoded and evolutionarily conserved.

    PubMed

    Long, Hannah K; King, Hamish W; Patient, Roger K; Odom, Duncan T; Klose, Robert J

    2016-08-19

    DNA methylation is a repressive epigenetic modification that covers vertebrate genomes. Regions known as CpG islands (CGIs), which are refractory to DNA methylation, are often associated with gene promoters and play central roles in gene regulation. Yet how CGIs in their normal genomic context evade the DNA methylation machinery and whether these mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved remains enigmatic. To address these fundamental questions we exploited a transchromosomic animal model and genomic approaches to understand how the hypomethylated state is formed in vivo and to discover whether mechanisms governing CGI formation are evolutionarily conserved. Strikingly, insertion of a human chromosome into mouse revealed that promoter-associated CGIs are refractory to DNA methylation regardless of host species, demonstrating that DNA sequence plays a central role in specifying the hypomethylated state through evolutionarily conserved mechanisms. In contrast, elements distal to gene promoters exhibited more variable methylation between host species, uncovering a widespread dependence on nucleotide frequency and occupancy of DNA-binding transcription factors in shaping the DNA methylation landscape away from gene promoters. This was exemplified by young CpG rich lineage-restricted repeat sequences that evaded DNA methylation in the absence of co-evolved mechanisms targeting methylation to these sequences, and species specific DNA binding events that protected against DNA methylation in CpG poor regions. Finally, transplantation of mouse chromosomal fragments into the evolutionarily distant zebrafish uncovered the existence of a mechanistically conserved and DNA-encoded logic which shapes CGI formation across vertebrate species. PMID:27084945

  19. DNA Methylation and Its Implications and Accessibility for Neuropsychiatric Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Day, Jeremy J.; Kennedy, Andrew J.; Sweatt, J. David

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we discuss the potential pharmacological targeting of a set of powerful epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation control systems in the central nervous system (CNS). Specifically, we focus on the possible use of these targets for novel future treatments for learning and memory disorders. We first describe several unique pharmacological attributes of epigenetic mechanisms, especially DNA cytosine methylation, as potential drug targets. We then present an overview of the existing literature regarding DNA methylation control pathways and enzymes in the nervous system, particularly as related to synaptic function, plasticity, learning and memory. Lastly, we speculate upon potential categories of CNS cognitive disorders that might be amenable to methylomic targeting. PMID:25340930

  20. DNA methylation profiles in preeclampsia and healthy control placentas.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Kristen R; Chiu, Christine L; Pidsley, Ruth; Makris, Angela; Hennessy, Annemarie; Lind, Joanne M

    2016-05-15

    Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that affects 3-5% of all pregnancies. There is evidence to suggest that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, play a role in placental development and function. This study compared DNA methylation profiles of placentas from preeclampsia-affected pregnancies with placentas from healthy pregnancies to identify gene-specific changes in DNA methylation that may contribute to the development of preeclampsia. The methylation status of eight placental biopsies taken from preeclampsia-affected and 16 healthy pregnancies was analyzed using the Illumina Infinium Methylation 450 BeadChip array. Bisulfite pyrosequencing was used to confirm regions found to be differentially methylated between preeclampsia and healthy placentas. A total of 303 differentially methylated regions, 214 hypermethylated and 89 hypomethylated, between preeclampsia cases and controls were identified, after adjusting for gestational age (adjusted P < 0.05). Functional annotation found cell adhesion, wingless type MMTV Integration Site family member 2 (Wnt) signaling pathway, and regulation of transcription were significantly enriched in these gene regions. Hypermethylation of WNT2, sperm equatorial segment protein (SPESP1), NADPH oxidase 5 (NOX5), and activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) in preeclampsia placentas was confirmed with pyrosequencing. This study found differences in methylation in gene regions involved in cell signaling (WNT2), fertilization and implantation (SPESP1), reactive oxygen species signaling (NOX5), and cell adhesion (ALCAM). These results build on recently published studies that have reported significant differences in DNA methylation in preeclampsia placentas. PMID:26968548

  1. DNA methylation characteristics of primary melanomas with distinct biological behaviour.

    PubMed

    Ecsedi, Szilvia; Hernandez-Vargas, Hector; Lima, Sheila C; Vizkeleti, Laura; Toth, Reka; Lazar, Viktoria; Koroknai, Viktoria; Kiss, Timea; Emri, Gabriella; Herceg, Zdenko; Adany, Roza; Balazs, Margit

    2014-01-01

    In melanoma, the presence of promoter related hypermethylation has previously been reported, however, no methylation-based distinction has been drawn among the diverse melanoma subtypes. Here, we investigated DNA methylation changes associated with melanoma progression and links between methylation patterns and other types of somatic alterations, including the most frequent mutations and DNA copy number changes. Our results revealed that the methylome, presenting in early stage samples and associated with the BRAF(V600E) mutation, gradually decreased in the medium and late stages of the disease. An inverse relationship among the other predefined groups and promoter methylation was also revealed except for histologic subtype, whereas the more aggressive, nodular subtype melanomas exhibited hypermethylation as well. The Breslow thickness, which is a continuous variable, allowed for the most precise insight into how promoter methylation decreases from stage to stage. Integrating our methylation results with a high-throughput copy number alteration dataset, local correlations were detected in the MYB and EYA4 genes. With regard to the effects of DNA hypermethylation on melanoma patients' survival, correcting for clinical cofounders, only the KIT gene was associated with a lower overall survival rate. In this study, we demonstrate the strong influence of promoter localized DNA methylation changes on melanoma initiation and show how hypermethylation decreases in melanomas associated with less favourable clinical outcomes. Furthermore, we establish the methylation pattern as part of an integrated apparatus of somatic DNA alterations. PMID:24832207

  2. DNA Methylation Characteristics of Primary Melanomas with Distinct Biological Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Ecsedi, Szilvia; Hernandez-Vargas, Hector; Lima, Sheila C.; Vizkeleti, Laura; Toth, Reka; Lazar, Viktoria; Koroknai, Viktoria; Kiss, Timea; Emri, Gabriella; Herceg, Zdenko; Adany, Roza; Balazs, Margit

    2014-01-01

    In melanoma, the presence of promoter related hypermethylation has previously been reported, however, no methylation-based distinction has been drawn among the diverse melanoma subtypes. Here, we investigated DNA methylation changes associated with melanoma progression and links between methylation patterns and other types of somatic alterations, including the most frequent mutations and DNA copy number changes. Our results revealed that the methylome, presenting in early stage samples and associated with the BRAFV600E mutation, gradually decreased in the medium and late stages of the disease. An inverse relationship among the other predefined groups and promoter methylation was also revealed except for histologic subtype, whereas the more aggressive, nodular subtype melanomas exhibited hypermethylation as well. The Breslow thickness, which is a continuous variable, allowed for the most precise insight into how promoter methylation decreases from stage to stage. Integrating our methylation results with a high-throughput copy number alteration dataset, local correlations were detected in the MYB and EYA4 genes. With regard to the effects of DNA hypermethylation on melanoma patients' survival, correcting for clinical cofounders, only the KIT gene was associated with a lower overall survival rate. In this study, we demonstrate the strong influence of promoter localized DNA methylation changes on melanoma initiation and show how hypermethylation decreases in melanomas associated with less favourable clinical outcomes. Furthermore, we establish the methylation pattern as part of an integrated apparatus of somatic DNA alterations. PMID:24832207

  3. DNA methylation Landscape of body size variation in sheep

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Jiaxue; Wei, Caihong; Liu, Dongming; Wang, Huihua; Wu, Mingming; Xie, Zhiyuan; Capellini, Terence D.; Zhang, Li; Zhao, Fuping; Li, Li; Zhong, Tao; Wang, Linjie; Lu, Jian; Liu, Ruizao; Zhang, Shifang; Du, Yongfei; Zhang, Hongping; Du, Lixin

    2015-01-01

    Sub-populations of Chinese Mongolian sheep exhibit significant variance in body mass. In the present study, we sequenced the whole genome DNA methylation in these breeds to detect whether DNA methylation plays a role in determining the body mass of sheep by Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation – sequencing method. A high quality methylation map of Chinese Mongolian sheep was obtained in this study. We identified 399 different methylated regions located in 93 human orthologs, which were previously reported as body size related genes in human genome-wide association studies. We tested three regions in LTBP1, and DNA methylation of two CpG sites showed significant correlation with its RNA expression. Additionally, a particular set of differentially methylated windows enriched in the “development process” (GO: 0032502) was identified as potential candidates for association with body mass variation. Next, we validated small part of these windows in 5 genes; DNA methylation of SMAD1, TSC1 and AKT1 showed significant difference across breeds, and six CpG were significantly correlated with RNA expression. Interestingly, two CpG sites showed significant correlation with TSC1 protein expression. This study provides a thorough understanding of body size variation in sheep from an epigenetic perspective. PMID:26472088

  4. Tissue-specific patterns of allelically-skewed DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    Marzi, Sarah J.; Meaburn, Emma L.; Dempster, Emma L.; Lunnon, Katie; Paya-Cano, Jose L.; Smith, Rebecca G.; Volta, Manuela; Troakes, Claire; Schalkwyk, Leonard C.; Mill, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT While DNA methylation is usually thought to be symmetrical across both alleles, there are some notable exceptions. Genomic imprinting and X chromosome inactivation are two well-studied sources of allele-specific methylation (ASM), but recent research has indicated a more complex pattern in which genotypic variation can be associated with allelically-skewed DNA methylation in cis. Given the known heterogeneity of DNA methylation across tissues and cell types we explored inter- and intra-individual variation in ASM across several regions of the human brain and whole blood from multiple individuals. Consistent with previous studies, we find widespread ASM with > 4% of the ∼220,000 loci interrogated showing evidence of allelically-skewed DNA methylation. We identify ASM flanking known imprinted regions, and show that ASM sites are enriched in DNase I hypersensitivity sites and often located in an extended genomic context of intermediate DNA methylation. We also detect examples of genotype-driven ASM, some of which are tissue-specific. These findings contribute to our understanding of the nature of differential DNA methylation across tissues and have important implications for genetic studies of complex disease. As a resource to the community, ASM patterns across each of the tissues studied are available in a searchable online database: http://epigenetics.essex.ac.uk/ASMBrainBlood. PMID:26786711

  5. Hemi-methylated DNA regulates DNA methylation inheritance through allosteric activation of H3 ubiquitylation by UHRF1.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Joseph S; Cornett, Evan M; Goldfarb, Dennis; DaRosa, Paul A; Li, Zimeng M; Yan, Feng; Dickson, Bradley M; Guo, Angela H; Cantu, Daniel V; Kaustov, Lilia; Brown, Peter J; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Erie, Dorothy A; Major, Michael B; Klevit, Rachel E; Krajewski, Krzysztof; Kuhlman, Brian; Strahl, Brian D; Rothbart, Scott B

    2016-01-01

    The epigenetic inheritance of DNA methylation requires UHRF1, a histone- and DNA-binding RING E3 ubiquitin ligase that recruits DNMT1 to sites of newly replicated DNA through ubiquitylation of histone H3. UHRF1 binds DNA with selectivity towards hemi-methylated CpGs (HeDNA); however, the contribution of HeDNA sensing to UHRF1 function remains elusive. Here, we reveal that the interaction of UHRF1 with HeDNA is required for DNA methylation but is dispensable for chromatin interaction, which is governed by reciprocal positive cooperativity between the UHRF1 histone- and DNA-binding domains. HeDNA recognition activates UHRF1 ubiquitylation towards multiple lysines on the H3 tail adjacent to the UHRF1 histone-binding site. Collectively, our studies are the first demonstrations of a DNA-protein interaction and an epigenetic modification directly regulating E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. They also define an orchestrated epigenetic control mechanism involving modifications both to histones and DNA that facilitate UHRF1 chromatin targeting, H3 ubiquitylation, and DNA methylation inheritance. PMID:27595565

  6. Hemi-methylated DNA regulates DNA methylation inheritance through allosteric activation of H3 ubiquitylation by UHRF1

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Joseph S; Cornett, Evan M; Goldfarb, Dennis; DaRosa, Paul A; Li, Zimeng M; Yan, Feng; Dickson, Bradley M; Guo, Angela H; Cantu, Daniel V; Kaustov, Lilia; Brown, Peter J; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Erie, Dorothy A; Major, Michael B; Klevit, Rachel E; Krajewski, Krzysztof; Kuhlman, Brian; Strahl, Brian D; Rothbart, Scott B

    2016-01-01

    The epigenetic inheritance of DNA methylation requires UHRF1, a histone- and DNA-binding RING E3 ubiquitin ligase that recruits DNMT1 to sites of newly replicated DNA through ubiquitylation of histone H3. UHRF1 binds DNA with selectivity towards hemi-methylated CpGs (HeDNA); however, the contribution of HeDNA sensing to UHRF1 function remains elusive. Here, we reveal that the interaction of UHRF1 with HeDNA is required for DNA methylation but is dispensable for chromatin interaction, which is governed by reciprocal positive cooperativity between the UHRF1 histone- and DNA-binding domains. HeDNA recognition activates UHRF1 ubiquitylation towards multiple lysines on the H3 tail adjacent to the UHRF1 histone-binding site. Collectively, our studies are the first demonstrations of a DNA-protein interaction and an epigenetic modification directly regulating E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. They also define an orchestrated epigenetic control mechanism involving modifications both to histones and DNA that facilitate UHRF1 chromatin targeting, H3 ubiquitylation, and DNA methylation inheritance. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17101.001 PMID:27595565

  7. Actions of human DNA glycosylases on uracil-containing DNA, methylated DNA and their reconstituted chromatins.

    PubMed

    Ishiwata, K; Oikawa, A

    1979-07-26

    Extracts of human lymphoblastoid cells catalyzed complete release of uracil (Ura) from PBS1 DNA, which contains Ura instead of thymine as a normal component (Ura-DNA), and 3-methyladenine (3-MeAde) from DNA methylated with methyl methanesulfonate (Me-DNA). These two activities, Ura-DNA glycosylase and 3-MeAde-DNA glycosylase, differed in heat stability. Cell extracts released Ura more rapidly and 3-MeAde more slowly from alkali-denatured preparations of Ura- and Me-DNA, respectively, than from native DNA's. On incubation with reconstituted chromatins, prepared from Ura-DNA and Me-DNA, respectively, with calf thymus chromosomal protein by salt gradient dialysis, cell extracts released all the Ura but only about half of the 3-MeAde residues, although both these chromatins were degraded by micrococcal nuclease until about half of the nucleotides became acid soluble. The activities of Ura-DNA and 3-MeAde-DNA glycosylase of xeroderma pigmentosum cells were similar to those of normal cells. PMID:465495

  8. Quantitative reconstruction of leukocyte subsets using DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cell lineage-specific DNA methylation patterns distinguish normal human leukocyte subsets and can be used to detect and quantify these subsets in peripheral blood. We have developed an approach that uses DNA methylation to simultaneously quantify multiple leukocyte subsets, enabling investigation of immune modulations in virtually any blood sample including archived samples previously precluded from such analysis. Here we assess the performance characteristics and validity of this approach. Results Using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 and VeraCode GoldenGate Methylation Assay microarrays, we measure DNA methylation in leukocyte subsets purified from human whole blood and identify cell lineage-specific DNA methylation signatures that distinguish human T cells, B cells, NK cells, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils. We employ a bioinformatics-based approach to quantify these cell types in complex mixtures, including whole blood, using DNA methylation at as few as 20 CpG loci. A reconstruction experiment confirms that the approach could accurately measure the composition of mixtures of human blood leukocyte subsets. Applying the DNA methylation-based approach to quantify the cellular components of human whole blood, we verify its accuracy by direct comparison to gold standard immune quantification methods that utilize physical, optical and proteomic characteristics of the cells. We also demonstrate that the approach is not affected by storage of blood samples, even under conditions prohibiting the use of gold standard methods. Conclusions Cell mixture distributions within peripheral blood can be assessed accurately and reliably using DNA methylation. Thus, precise immune cell differential estimates can be reconstructed using only DNA rather than whole cells. PMID:24598480

  9. New DNA methylation markers and global DNA hypomethylation are associated with oral cancer development.

    PubMed

    Foy, Jean-Philippe; Pickering, Curtis R; Papadimitrakopoulou, Vassiliki A; Jelinek, Jaroslav; Lin, Steven H; William, William N; Frederick, Mitchell J; Wang, Jing; Lang, Wenhua; Feng, Lei; Zhang, Li; Kim, Edward S; Fan, You H; Hong, Waun K; El-Naggar, Adel K; Lee, J Jack; Myers, Jeffrey N; Issa, Jean-Pierre; Lippman, Scott M; Mao, Li; Saintigny, Pierre

    2015-11-01

    DNA promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes and global DNA hypomethylation are common features of head and neck cancers. Our goal was to identify early DNA methylation changes in oral premalignant lesions (OPL) that may serve as predictive markers of developing oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Using high-throughput DNA methylation profiles of 24 OPLs, we found that the top 86 genes differentially methylated between patients who did or did not develop OSCC were simultaneously hypermethylated, suggesting that a CpG island methylation phenotype may occur early during OSCC development. The vast majority of the 86 genes were nonmethylated in normal tissues and hypermethylated in OSCC versus normal mucosa. We used pyrosequencing in a validation cohort of 44 patients to evaluate the degree of methylation of AGTR1, FOXI2, and PENK promoters CpG sites that were included in the top 86 genes and of LINE1 repetitive element methylation, a surrogate of global DNA methylation. A methylation index was developed by averaging the percent methylation of AGTR1, FOXI2, and PENK promoters; patients with a high methylation index had a worse oral cancer-free survival (P = 0.0030). On the other hand, patients with low levels of LINE1 methylation had a significantly worse oral cancer-free survival (P = 0.0153). In conclusion, AGTR1, FOXI2, and PENK promoter methylation and LINE1 hypomethylation may be associated with an increased risk of OSCC development in patients with OPLs. PMID:26342026

  10. Epigenetic Regulation of Myofibroblast Differentiation by DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Biao; Gharaee-Kermani, Mehrnaz; Wu, Zhe; Phan, Sem H.

    2010-01-01

    DNA methylation, a key mechanism of repressing gene expression, is of particular relevance in controlling development and cell differentiation. We analyzed the extent and regulation of DNA methylation of the α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) gene to elucidate its potential role in myofibroblast differentiation. These experiments revealed the presence of three CpG islands that were methylated at different levels in fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, and alveolar epithelial type II cells. Coordinately, these cells expressed low, high, or no α-SMA, respectively. In addition, inhibition of DNA methyltransferase activity or knock down of DNA methyltransferase using specific small interfering RNA caused significant induction of α-SMA in fibroblasts. In contrast, induced overexpression of DNA methyltransferase suppressed α-SMA gene expression. Transforming growth factor β induced myofibroblast differentiation was enhanced or suppressed by knockdown or overexpression of DNA methyltransferase, respectively. Finally, in vitro DNA methylation of the α-SMA promoter suppressed its activity. These findings suggest that DNA methylation mediated by DNA methyltransferase is an important mechanism regulating the α-SMA gene expression during myofibroblast differentiation. PMID:20489138

  11. Label-free and selective photoelectrochemical detection of chemical DNA methylation damage using DNA repair enzymes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yiping; Zhang, Bintian; Guo, Liang-Hong

    2013-07-16

    Exogenous chemicals may produce DNA methylation that is potentially toxic to living systems. Methylated DNA bases are difficult to detect with biosensors because the methyl group is small and chemically inert. In this report, a label-free photoelectrochemical sensor was developed for the selective detection of chemically methylated bases in DNA films. The sensor employed two DNA repair enzymes, human alkyladenine DNA glycosylase and human apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, to convert DNA methylation sites in DNA films on indium tin oxide electrodes into strand breaks. A DNA intercalator, Ru(bpy)2(dppz)(2+) (bpy=2,2'-bipyridine, dppz = dipyrido[3,2-a:2',3'-c]phenazine) was then used as the photoelectrochemical signal indicator to detect the DNA strand breaks. Its photocurrent signal was found to correlate inversely with the amount of 3-methyladenines (metAde) produced with a methylating agent, methylmethane sulfonate (MMS). The sensor detected the methylated bases produced with as low as 1 mM MMS, at which concentration the amount of metAde on the sensor surface was estimated to be 0.5 pg, or 1 metAde in 1.6 × 10(5) normal bases. Other DNA base modification products, such as 5-methylcytosine and DNA adducts with ethyl and styrene groups did not attenuate the photocurrent, demonstrating good selectivity of the sensor. This strategy can be utilized to develop sensors for the detection of other modified DNA bases with specific DNA repair enzymes. PMID:23777269

  12. Horizontal transfer of DNA methylation patterns into bacterial chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jung-Eun; Lin, Chris; Lim, Han N.

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the non-inherited acquisition of novel DNA sequences. HGT is common and important in bacteria because it enables the rapid generation of new phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance. Here we show that in vivo and in vitro DNA methylation patterns can be horizontally transferred into bacterial chromosomes to program cell phenotypes. The experiments were performed using a synthetic system in Escherichia coli where different DNA methylation patterns within the cis-regulatory sequence of the agn43 gene turn on or off a fluorescent reporter (CFP). With this system we demonstrated that DNA methylation patterns not only accompany the horizontal transfer of genes into the bacterial cytoplasm but can be transferred into chromosomes by: (i) bacteriophage P1 transduction; and (ii) transformation of extracellular synthetic DNA. We also modified the experimental system by replacing CFP with the SgrS small RNA, which regulates glucose and methyl α-D-glucoside uptake, and showed that horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can increase or decrease cell fitness. That is, horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can result in the selection for and against cells that have HGT. Findings from these proof-of-concept experiments have applications in synthetic biology and potentially broad implications for bacterial adaptation and evolution. PMID:27084942

  13. Horizontal transfer of DNA methylation patterns into bacterial chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jung-Eun; Lin, Chris; Lim, Han N

    2016-05-19

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the non-inherited acquisition of novel DNA sequences. HGT is common and important in bacteria because it enables the rapid generation of new phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance. Here we show that in vivo and in vitro DNA methylation patterns can be horizontally transferred into bacterial chromosomes to program cell phenotypes. The experiments were performed using a synthetic system in Escherichia coli where different DNA methylation patterns within the cis-regulatory sequence of the agn43 gene turn on or off a fluorescent reporter (CFP). With this system we demonstrated that DNA methylation patterns not only accompany the horizontal transfer of genes into the bacterial cytoplasm but can be transferred into chromosomes by: (i) bacteriophage P1 transduction; and (ii) transformation of extracellular synthetic DNA. We also modified the experimental system by replacing CFP with the SgrS small RNA, which regulates glucose and methyl α-D-glucoside uptake, and showed that horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can increase or decrease cell fitness. That is, horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can result in the selection for and against cells that have HGT. Findings from these proof-of-concept experiments have applications in synthetic biology and potentially broad implications for bacterial adaptation and evolution. PMID:27084942

  14. Redefining regulation of DNA methylation by RNA interference

    PubMed Central

    Muthusamy, Viswanathan; Bosenberg, Marcus; Wajapeyee, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic changes refer to heritable changes that may modulate gene expression without affecting DNA sequence. DNA methylation is one such heritable epigenetic change, which is causally associated with the transcription regulation of many genes in the mammalian genome. Altered DNA methylation has been implicated in a wide variety of human diseases including cancer. Understanding the regulation of DNA methylation is likely to improve the ability to diagnose and treat these diseases. With the advent of high-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) screens, answering epigenetic questions on a genomic scale is now possible. Two recent genome-wide RNAi screens have addressed the regulation of DNA methylation in cancer, leading to the identification of the regulators of epigenetic silencing by oncogenic RAS and how epigenetic silencing of the tumor suppressor RASSF1A is maintained. These RNAi screens have much wider applications, since similar screens can now be adapted to identify the mechanism of silencing of any human disease-associated gene that is epigenetically regulated. In this review, we discuss two recent genome-wide RNAi screens for epigenetic regulators and explore potential applications in understanding DNA methylation and gene expression regulation in mammalian cells. We also discuss some of the key unanswered questions in the field of DNA methylation and suggest genome-wide RNAi screens designed to answer them. PMID:20620207

  15. Factors underlying variable DNA methylation in a human community cohort

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Lucia L.; Emberly, Eldon; Fraser, Hunter B.; Neumann, Sarah M.; Chen, Edith; Miller, Gregory E.; Kobor, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is emerging as an attractive mechanism to explain the persistent genomic embedding of early-life experiences. Tightly linked to chromatin, which packages DNA into chromosomes, epigenetic marks primarily serve to regulate the activity of genes. DNA methylation is the most accessible and characterized component of the many chromatin marks that constitute the epigenome, making it an ideal target for epigenetic studies in human populations. Here, using peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from a community-based cohort stratified for early-life socioeconomic status, we measured DNA methylation in the promoter regions of more than 14,000 human genes. Using this approach, we broadly assessed and characterized epigenetic variation, identified some of the factors that sculpt the epigenome, and determined its functional relation to gene expression. We found that the leukocyte composition of peripheral blood covaried with patterns of DNA methylation at many sites, as did demographic factors, such as sex, age, and ethnicity. Furthermore, psychosocial factors, such as perceived stress, and cortisol output were associated with DNA methylation, as was early-life socioeconomic status. Interestingly, we determined that DNA methylation was strongly correlated to the ex vivo inflammatory response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to stimulation with microbial products that engage Toll-like receptors. In contrast, our work found limited effects of DNA methylation marks on the expression of associated genes across individuals, suggesting a more complex relationship than anticipated. PMID:23045638

  16. Research Advances in Pituitary Adenoma and DNA Methylation.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhen-Qing; Li, Yang; Li, Wei-Hua; Lou, Jia-Cheng; Zhang, Bo

    2016-08-01

    DNA methylation is closely related to the genesis and development of pituitary adenoma. Studies have shown that high methylation in the promoter region of potassium voltage-gated chanel,shaker related subfamily,beta member 2,O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase,echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 2 ,ras homolog family member D ,homeobox B1 ,NNAT, and P16 inhibits the expression of these genes and regulates of the proliferation of pituitary adenoma. DNA methylation is also closely related to invasive pituitary adenoma. Therefore,further study on molecular mechanism of DNA methylation of pituitary adenoma will offer a new strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of pituitary adenoma. PMID:27594164

  17. DNA methylation studies using twins: what are they telling us?

    PubMed

    Bell, Jordana T; Spector, Tim D

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have identified both heritable DNA methylation effects and differential methylation in disease-discordant identical twins. Larger sample sizes, replication, genetic-epigenetic analyses and longitudinal assays are now needed to establish the role of epigenetic variants in disease. PMID:23078798

  18. Expression of DNA methylation genes in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fagone, Paolo; Mangano, Katia; Di Marco, Roberto; Touil-Boukoffa, Chafia; Chikovan, Tinatin; Signorelli, Santo; Lombardo, Giuseppe A G; Patti, Francesco; Mammana, Santa; Nicoletti, Ferdinando

    2016-01-15

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immunoinflammatory disease of the central nervous system that seems to be influenced by DNA methylation. We sought to explore the expression pattern of genes involved in the control of DNA methylation in Secondary Progressive (SP) MS patients' PBMCs. We have found that SP MS is characterized by a significant upregulation of two genes belonging to the MBD family genes, MBD2 and MBD4, and by a downregulation of TDG and TET3. PMID:26711572

  19. The 'golden age' of DNA methylation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuso, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    DNA methylation reactions are regulated, in the first instance, by enzymes and the intermediates that constitute the 'so called' one-carbon metabolism. This is a complex biochemical pathway, also known as the homocysteine cycle, regulated by the presence of B vitamins (folate, B6, B12) and choline, among other metabolites. One of the intermediates of this metabolism is S-adenosylmethionine, which represent the methyl donor in all the DNA methyltransferase reactions in eukaryotes. The one-carbon metabolism therefore produces the substrate necessary for the transferring of a methyl group on the cytosine residues of DNA; S-adenosylmethionine also regulates the activity of the enzymes that catalyze this reaction, namely the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Alterations of this metabolic cycle can therefore be responsible for aberrant DNA methylation processes possibly leading to several human diseases. As a matter of fact, increasing evidences indicate that a number of human diseases with multifactorial origin may have an epigenetic basis. This is also due to the great technical advances in the field of epigenetic research. Among the human diseases associated with epigenetic factors, aging-related and neurodegenerative diseases are probably the object of most intense research. This review will present the main evidences linking several human diseases to DNA methylation, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, together with a short description of the state-of-the-art of methylation assays. PMID:23183753

  20. Genome-wide DNA Methylation Profiles in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Jing; Wang, Shuang; Zhang, Yu-Jing; Kappil, Maya; Wu, Hui-Chen; Kibriya, Muhammad G.; Wang, Qiao; Jasmine, Farzana; Ahsan, Habib; Lee, Po-Huang; Yu, Ming-Whei; Chen, Chien-Jen; Santella, Regina M.

    2012-01-01

    Alterations in DNA methylation frequently occur in hepatocellular cancer (HCC). We have previously demonstrated that hypermethylation in candidate genes can be detected in plasma DNA prior to HCC diagnosis. To identify with a genome-wide approach additional genes hypermethylated in HCC that could be used for more accurate analysis of plasma DNA for early diagnosis, we analyzed tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues from 62 Taiwanese HCC cases using Illumina methylation arrays that screen 26,486 autosomal CpG sites. After Bonferroni adjustment, a total of 2,324 CpG sites significantly differed in methylation level, with 684 CpG sites significantly hypermethylated and 1,640 hypomethylated in tumor compared to non-tumor tissues. Array data were validated with pyrosequencing in a subset of 5 of these genes; correlation coefficients ranged from 0.92 to 0.97. Analysis of plasma DNA from 38 cases demonstrated that 37% to 63% of cases had detectable hypermethylated DNA (≥5% methylation) for these 5 genes individually. At least one of these genes was hypermethylated in 87% of cases, suggesting that measurement of DNA methylation in plasma samples is feasible. The panel of methylated genes indentified in the current study will be further tested in large cohort of prospectively collected samples to determine their utility as early biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma. PMID:22234943

  1. DNA methylation and methylation polymorphism in ecotypes of Jatropha curcas L. using methylation-sensitive AFLP markers.

    PubMed

    Mastan, Shaik G; Rathore, Mangal S; Bhatt, Vacha D; Chikara, J; Ghosh, A

    2014-12-01

    We investigated DNA methylation and polymorphism in the methylated DNA using AFLP based methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MS-AFLP) markers in ecotypes of Jatropha curcas L. growing in similar and different geo-ecological conditions. Three ecotypes growing in different geo-ecological conditions with environmental heterogeneity (Group-1) and five ecotypes growing in similar environmental conditions (Group-2) were assessed. In ecotypes growing in group-1, 44.32 % DNA was methylated and of which 93.59 % DNA was polymorphic. While in group-2, 32.27 % DNA was methylated, of which 51.64 % DNA was polymorphic. In site 1 and site 2 of group-1, overall methylation was 18.94 and 22.44 % respectively with difference of 3.5 %, while overall polymorphism was 41.14 and 39.23 % with a difference of 1.91 %. In site 1 and site 2 of group-2, overall methylation was 24.68 and 24.18 % respectively with difference of 0.5 %, while overall polymorphism was 12.19 and 12.65 % with a difference of 0.46 %. The difference of methylation percentage and percentage of methylation polymorphism throughout the genome of J. curcas at site 1 and 2 of group-1 is higher than that of J. curcas at site 1 and 2 of group-2. These results correlated the physico-chemical properties of soil at these sites. The variations of physico-chemical properties of soil at Chorwadla (site 1 in group-1 and site 2 in group-2) compared to the soil at Brahmapur (site 2 in group-1) is higher than that of soil at Neswad (site 1 in group-2). The study suggests that these homologous nucleotide sequences probably play important role in ecotype adaptation to environmental heterogeneity by creating epiallelic variations hence in evolution of ecotypes/clines or forms of species showing phenotypic/genotypic differences in different geographical areas. PMID:25227523

  2. Adiposity is associated with DNA methylation profile in adipose tissue

    PubMed Central

    Agha, Golareh; Houseman, E Andres; Kelsey, Karl T; Eaton, Charles B; Buka, Stephen L; Loucks, Eric B

    2015-01-01

    Background: Adiposity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, suggesting an important role for adipose tissue in the development of these conditions. The epigenetic underpinnings of adiposity are not well understood, and studies of DNA methylation in relation to adiposity have rarely focused on target adipose tissue. Objectives were to evaluate whether genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in subcutaneous adipose tissue and peripheral blood leukocytes are associated with measures of adiposity, including central fat mass, body fat distribution and body mass index. Methods: Participants were 106 men and women (mean age 47 years) from the New England Family Study. DNA methylation was evaluated using the Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip. Adiposity phenotypes included dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-assessed android fat mass, android:gynoid fat ratio and trunk:limb fat ratio, as well as body mass index. Results: Adipose tissue genome-wide DNA methylation profiles were associated with all four adiposity phenotypes, after adjusting for race, sex and current smoking (omnibus p-values <0.001). After further adjustment for adipose cell-mixture effects, associations with android fat mass, android:gynoid fat ratio, and trunk:limb fat ratio remained. In gene-specific analyses, adiposity phenotypes were associated with adipose tissue DNA methylation in several genes that are biologically relevant to the development of adiposity, such as AOC3, LIPE, SOD3, AQP7 and CETP. Blood DNA methylation profiles were not associated with adiposity, before or after adjustment for blood leukocyte cell mixture effects. Conclusion: Findings show that DNA methylation patterns in adipose tissue are associated with adiposity. PMID:25541553

  3. Principles Governing DNA Methylation during Neuronal Lineage and Subtype Specification

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Ali; Klein, Shifra S.; Barboza, Luendreo; Lohdi, Niraj

    2016-01-01

    Although comprehensively described during early neuronal development, the role of DNA methylation/demethylation in neuronal lineage and subtype specification is not well understood. By studying two distinct neuronal progenitors as they differentiate to principal neurons in mouse hippocampus and striatum, we uncovered several principles governing neuronal DNA methylation during brain development. (1) The program consists of three stages: an initial genome-wide methylation during progenitor proliferation is followed by loss of methylation during the transition of regional progenitors to “young” hippocampal/striatal neurons, which is then reversed by gain in methylation during maturation to subtype-specific neurons. (2) At the first two stages, gain and loss of methylation are limited to CpGs, whereas during the third maturation stage, methylation also occurs at non-CpG sites in both lineages. (3) Methylation/demethylation, similar to transcription, are initially highly similar in the two lineages, whereas diversification in methylation and transcription during maturation creates subtype-specific methylation differences. (4) Initially, methylation targets all genomic locations, whereas later, during early and late differentiation, the preferred targets are intronic/intergenic sequences with enhancer-like activity. (5) Differentially methylated genes are enriched in sequential neurodevelopmental functions (such as progenitor proliferation, migration, neuritogenesis, and synaptic transmission); upregulated genes represent current and consecutive stage-specific functions, and downregulated genes represent preceding functions that are no longer required. The main conclusion of our work is that the neuronal methylation/demethylation program is predominantly developmental with minimal lineage specificity, except in the final stage of development when neuron subtype-specific differences also emerge. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our work is the first to describe a set of

  4. Methylsorb: a simple method for quantifying DNA methylation using DNA-gold affinity interactions.

    PubMed

    Sina, Abu Ali Ibn; Carrascosa, Laura G; Palanisamy, Ramkumar; Rauf, Sakandar; Shiddiky, Muhammad J A; Trau, Matt

    2014-10-21

    The analysis of DNA methylation is becoming increasingly important both in the clinic and also as a research tool to unravel key epigenetic molecular mechanisms in biology. Current methodologies for the quantification of regional DNA methylation (i.e., the average methylation over a region of DNA in the genome) are largely affected by comprehensive DNA sequencing methodologies which tend to be expensive, tedious, and time-consuming for many applications. Herein, we report an alternative DNA methylation detection method referred to as "Methylsorb", which is based on the inherent affinity of DNA bases to the gold surface (i.e., the trend of the affinity interactions is adenine > cytosine ≥ guanine > thymine).1 Since the degree of gold-DNA affinity interaction is highly sequence dependent, it provides a new capability to detect DNA methylation by simply monitoring the relative adsorption of bisulfite treated DNA sequences onto a gold chip. Because the selective physical adsorption of DNA fragments to gold enable a direct read-out of regional DNA methylation, the current requirement for DNA sequencing is obviated. To demonstrate the utility of this method, we present data on the regional methylation status of two CpG clusters located in the EN1 and MIR200B genes in MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. The methylation status of these regions was obtained from the change in relative mass on gold surface with respect to relative adsorption of an unmethylated DNA source and this was detected using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in a label-free and real-time manner. We anticipate that the simplicity of this method, combined with the high level of accuracy for identifying the methylation status of cytosines in DNA, could find broad application in biology and diagnostics. PMID:25226077

  5. Optical mapping discerns genome wide DNA methylation profiles

    PubMed Central

    Ananiev, Gene E; Goldstein, Steve; Runnheim, Rod; Forrest, Dan K; Zhou, Shiguo; Potamousis, Konstantinos; Churas, Chris P; Bergendahl, Veit; Thomson, James A; Schwartz, David C

    2008-01-01

    Background Methylation of CpG dinucleotides is a fundamental mechanism of epigenetic regulation in eukaryotic genomes. Development of methods for rapid genome wide methylation profiling will greatly facilitate both hypothesis and discovery driven research in the field of epigenetics. In this regard, a single molecule approach to methylation profiling offers several unique advantages that include elimination of chemical DNA modification steps and PCR amplification. Results A single molecule approach is presented for the discernment of methylation profiles, based on optical mapping. We report results from a series of pilot studies demonstrating the capabilities of optical mapping as a platform for methylation profiling of whole genomes. Optical mapping was used to discern the methylation profile from both an engineered and wild type Escherichia coli. Furthermore, the methylation status of selected loci within the genome of human embryonic stem cells was profiled using optical mapping. Conclusion The optical mapping platform effectively detects DNA methylation patterns. Due to single molecule detection, optical mapping offers significant advantages over other technologies. This advantage stems from obviation of DNA modification steps, such as bisulfite treatment, and the ability of the platform to assay repeat dense regions within mammalian genomes inaccessible to techniques using array-hybridization technologies. PMID:18667073

  6. DNA methylation detection based on difference of base content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Shinobu; Ohtsuka, Keiichi; Honda, Satoshi; Sato, Yusuke; Takenaka, Shigeori

    2016-04-01

    Methylation frequently occurs in cytosines of CpG sites to regulate gene expression. The identification of aberrant methylation of certain genes is important for cancer marker analysis. The aim of this study was to determine the methylation frequency in DNA samples of unknown length and/or concentration. Unmethylated cytosine is known to be converted to thymine following bisulfite treatment and subsequent PCR. For this reason, the AT content in DNA increases with an increasing number of methylation sites. In this study, the fluorescein-carrying bis-acridinyl peptide (FKA) molecule was used for the detection of methylation frequency. FKA contains fluorescein and two acridine moieties, which together allow for the determination of the AT content of double-stranded DNA fragments. Methylated and unmethylated human genomes were subjected to bisulfide treatment and subsequent PCR using primers specific for the CFTR, CDH4, DBC1, and NPY genes. The AT content in the resulting PCR products was estimated by FKA, and AT content estimations were found to be in good agreement with those determined by DNA sequencing. This newly developed method may be useful for determining methylation frequencies of many PCR products by measuring the fluorescence in samples excited at two different wavelengths.

  7. DNA methylation changes in epithelial ovarian cancer histotypes

    PubMed Central

    Earp, Madalene A.; Cunningham, Julie M.

    2016-01-01

    Survival after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer has not improved, and despite histological differences, treatment is similar for all cases. Understanding the molecular basis for ovarian cancer risk and prognosis is fundamental, and to this end much has been gleaned about genetic changes contributing to risk, and to a lesser extent, survival. There’s considerable evidence for genetic differences between the four pathologically defined histological subtypes; however, the contribution of epigenetics is less well documented. In this report, we review alterations in DNA methylation in ovarian cancer, focusing on histological subtypes, and studies examining the roles of methylation in determining therapy response. As epigenetics is making its way into clinical care, we review the application of cell free DNA methylation to ovarian cancer diagnosis and care. Finally, we comment on recurrent limitations in the DNA methylation literature for ovarian cancer, which can and should be addressed to mature this field. PMID:26363302

  8. DNA methylation markers in the postnatal developing rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Rebecca K.; Stringfellow, Sara A.; Glover, Matthew E.; Wagle, Anjali A.; Clinton, Sarah M.

    2013-01-01

    In spite of intense interest in how altered epigenetic processes including DNA methylation may contribute to psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, there is a limited understanding of how methylation processes change during early postnatal brain development. The present study used in situ hybridization to assess mRNA expression for the three major DNA methyltranserases (DNMTs) – DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b – in the developing rat brain at seven developmental timepoints: postnatal days (P) 1, 4, 7, 10, 14, 21, and 75. We also assessed 5-methylcytosine levels (an indicator of global DNA methylation) in selected brain regions during the first three postnatal weeks. DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b mRNAs are widely expressed throughout the adult and postnatal developing rat brain. Overall, DNMT mRNA levels reached their highest point in the first week of life and gradually decreased over the first three postnatal weeks within the hippocampus, amygdala, striatum, cingulate and lateral septum. Global DNA methylation levels did not follow this developmental pattern; methylation levels gradually increased over the first three postnatal weeks in the hippocampus, and remained stable in the developing amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Our results contribute to a growing understanding of how DNA methylation markers unfold in the developing brain, and highlight how these developmental processes may differ within distinct brain regions. PMID:23954679

  9. Evolutionary patterns of genic DNA methylation vary across land plants.

    PubMed

    Takuno, Shohei; Ran, Jin-Hua; Gaut, Brandon S

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about patterns of genic DNA methylation across the plant kingdom or about the evolutionary processes that shape them. To characterize gene-body methylation (gbM) within exons, we have gathered single-base resolution methylome data that span the phylogenetic breadth of land plants. We find that a basal land plant, Marchantia polymorpha, lacks any evident signal of gbM within exons, but conifers have high levels of both CG and CHG (where H is A, C or T) methylation in expressed genes. To begin to understand the evolutionary forces that shape gbM, we first tested for correlations in methylation levels across orthologues(1,2). Genic CG methylation levels, but not CHG or CHH levels, are correlated across orthologues for species as distantly related as ferns and angiosperms. Hence, relative levels of CG methylation are a consistent property across genes, even for species that diverged ∼400 million years ago(3,4). In contrast, genic CHG methylation correlates with genome size, suggesting that the host epigenetic response to transposable elements also affects genes. Altogether, our data indicate that the evolutionary forces acting on DNA methylation vary substantially across species, genes and methylation contexts. PMID:27249194

  10. Analysis of DNA Methylation in Various Swine Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Weiping; Yang, Runjun; Zhang, Yonghong; Qiu, Zhengyan; Sun, Boxing; Zhao, Zhihui

    2011-01-01

    DNA methylation is known to play an important role in regulating gene expression during biological development and tissue differentiation in eukaryotes. In this study, we used the fluorescence-labeled methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (F-MSAP) method to assess the extent and pattern of cytosine methylation in muscle, heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney and stomach from the swine strain Laiwu, and we also examined specific methylation patterns in the seven tissues. In total, 96,371 fragments, each representing a recognition site cleaved by either or both EcoRI + HpaII and EcoRI + MspI, the HpaII and MspI are isoschizomeric enzymes, were amplified using 16 pairs of selective primers. A total of 50,094 sites were found to be methylated at cytosines in seven tissues. The incidence of DNA methylation was approximately 53.99% in muscle, 51.24% in the heart, 50.18% in the liver, 53.31% in the spleen, 51.97% in the lung, 51.15% in the kidney and 53.39% in the stomach, as revealed by the incidence of differential digestion. Additionally, differences in DNA methylation levels imply that such variations may be related to specific gene expression during tissue differentiation, growth and development. Three types of bands were generated in the F-MSAP profile, the total numbers of these three types of bands in the seven tissues were 46,277, 24,801 and 25,293, respectively. In addition, different methylation patterns were observed in seven tissues from pig, and almost all of the methylation patterns detected by F-MSAP could be confirmed by Southern analysis using the isolated amplified fragments as probes. The results clearly demonstrated that the F-MSAP technique can be adapted for use in large-scale DNA methylation detection in the pig genome. PMID:21283691

  11. DNA methylation alterations in response to pesticide exposure in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao; Wallace, Andrew D.; Du, Pan; Kibbe, Warren A.; Jafari, Nadereh; Xie, Hehuang; Lin, Simon; Baccarelli, Andrea; Soares, Marcelo Bento; Hou, Lifang

    2013-01-01

    Although pesticides are subject to extensive carcinogenicity testing before regulatory approval, pesticide exposure has repeatedly been associated with various cancers. This suggests that pesticides may cause cancer via non-mutagenicity mechanisms. The present study provides evidence to support the hypothesis that pesticide-induced cancer may be mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms. We examined whether exposure to 7 commonly used pesticides (i.e., fonofos, parathion, terbufos, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, and phorate) induces DNA methylation alterations in vitro. We conducted genome-wide DNA methylation analyses on DNA samples obtained from the human hematopoietic K562 cell line exposed to ethanol (control) and several OPs using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip. Bayesian-adjusted t-tests were used to identify differentially methylated gene promoter CpG sites. In this report, we present our results on three pesticides (fonofos, parathion, and terbufos) that clustered together based on principle component analysis and hierarchical clustering. These three pesticides induced similar methylation changes in the promoter regions of 712 genes, while also exhibiting their own OP-specific methylation alterations. Functional analysis of methylation changes specific to each OP, or common to all three OPs, revealed that differential methylation was associated with numerous genes that are involved in carcinogenesis-related processes. Our results provide experimental evidence that pesticides may modify gene promoter DNA methylation levels, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to pesticide-induced carcinogenesis. Further studies in other cell types and human samples are required, as well as determining the impact of these methylation changes on gene expression. PMID:22847954

  12. Dynamic DNA methylation across diverse human cell lines and tissues

    PubMed Central

    Varley, Katherine E.; Gertz, Jason; Bowling, Kevin M.; Parker, Stephanie L.; Reddy, Timothy E.; Pauli-Behn, Florencia; Cross, Marie K.; Williams, Brian A.; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A.; Crawford, Gregory E.; Absher, Devin M.; Wold, Barbara J.; Myers, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    As studies of DNA methylation increase in scope, it has become evident that methylation has a complex relationship with gene expression, plays an important role in defining cell types, and is disrupted in many diseases. We describe large-scale single-base resolution DNA methylation profiling on a diverse collection of 82 human cell lines and tissues using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS). Analysis integrating RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data illuminates the functional role of this dynamic mark. Loci that are hypermethylated across cancer types are enriched for sites bound by NANOG in embryonic stem cells, which supports and expands the model of a stem/progenitor cell signature in cancer. CpGs that are hypomethylated across cancer types are concentrated in megabase-scale domains that occur near the telomeres and centromeres of chromosomes, are depleted of genes, and are enriched for cancer-specific EZH2 binding and H3K27me3 (repressive chromatin). In noncancer samples, there are cell-type specific methylation signatures preserved in primary cell lines and tissues as well as methylation differences induced by cell culture. The relationship between methylation and expression is context-dependent, and we find that CpG-rich enhancers bound by EP300 in the bodies of expressed genes are unmethylated despite the dense gene-body methylation surrounding them. Non-CpG cytosine methylation occurs in human somatic tissue, is particularly prevalent in brain tissue, and is reproducible across many individuals. This study provides an atlas of DNA methylation across diverse and well-characterized samples and enables new discoveries about DNA methylation and its role in gene regulation and disease. PMID:23325432

  13. DNA Methylation Profiling Identifies Global Methylation Differences and Markers of Adrenocortical Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Rechache, Nesrin S.; Wang, Yonghong; Stevenson, Holly S.; Killian, J. Keith; Edelman, Daniel C.; Merino, Maria; Zhang, Lisa; Nilubol, Naris; Stratakis, Constantine A.; Meltzer, Paul S.

    2012-01-01

    Context: It is not known whether there are any DNA methylation alterations in adrenocortical tumors. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the methylation profile of normal adrenal cortex and benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors. Methods: Genome-wide methylation status of CpG regions were determined in normal (n = 19), benign (n = 48), primary malignant (n = 8), and metastatic malignant (n = 12) adrenocortical tissue samples. An integrated analysis of genome-wide methylation and mRNA expression in benign vs. malignant adrenocortical tissue samples was also performed. Results: Methylation profiling revealed the following: 1) that methylation patterns were distinctly different and could distinguish normal, benign, primary malignant, and metastatic tissue samples; 2) that malignant samples have global hypomethylation; and 3) that the methylation of CpG regions are different in benign adrenocortical tumors by functional status. Normal compared with benign samples had the least amount of methylation differences, whereas normal compared with primary and metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma samples had the greatest variability in methylation (adjusted P ≤ 0.01). Of 215 down-regulated genes (≥2-fold, adjusted P ≤ 0.05) in malignant primary adrenocortical tumor samples, 52 of these genes were also hypermethylated. Conclusions: Malignant adrenocortical tumors are globally hypomethylated as compared with normal and benign tumors. Methylation profile differences may accurately distinguish between primary benign and malignant adrenocortical tumors. Several differentially methylated sites are associated with genes known to be dysregulated in malignant adrenocortical tumors. PMID:22472567

  14. Methylation matters? Decreased methylation status of genomic DNA in the blood of schizophrenic twins.

    PubMed

    Bönsch, Dominikus; Wunschel, Michael; Lenz, Bernd; Janssen, Gesa; Weisbrod, Matthias; Sauer, Heinrich

    2012-08-15

    Studies of schizophrenia inheritance in identical twins show a concordance of about 50%, which supports an epigenetic model. In our present study we investigated methylation of genomic DNA and promoter methylation of Reelin and SOX10 genes in peripheral blood of twins suffering from schizophrenia. Global DNA methylation was reduced (52.3%) in schizophrenic twins if compared with healthy control twins (65.7%). The reduced methylation was significant in males only. We also found a similar hypomethylation in the non-affected twins of discordant pairs and a mixed group of psychiatric controls. In discordant twins there was a relative hypermethylation of the SOX10 promoter. Within-pair-difference of methylation of Reelin promoter was significantly lower in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twins. PMID:23102571

  15. Effects of cytosine methylation on DNA charge transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hihath, Joshua; Guo, Shaoyin; Zhang, Peiming; Tao, Nongjian

    2012-04-01

    The methylation of cytosine bases in DNA commonly takes place in the human genome and its abnormality can be used as a biomarker in the diagnosis of genetic diseases. In this paper we explore the effects of cytosine methylation on the conductance of DNA. Although the methyl group is a small chemical modification, and has a van der Waals radius of only 2 Å, its presence significantly changes the duplex stability, and as such may also affect the conductance properties of DNA. To determine if charge transport through the DNA stack is sensitive to this important biological modification we perform multiple conductance measurements on a methylated DNA molecule with an alternating G:C sequence and its non-methylated counterpart. From these studies we find a measurable difference in the conductance between the two types of molecules, and demonstrate that this difference is statistically significant. The conductance values of these molecules are also compared with a similar sequence that has been previously studied to help elucidate the charge transport mechanisms involved in direct DNA conductance measurements.

  16. Genetic and environmental impacts on DNA methylation levels in twins.

    PubMed

    Yet, Idil; Tsai, Pei-Chien; Castillo-Fernandez, Juan E; Carnero-Montoro, Elena; Bell, Jordana T

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics describes the study of cellular modifications that can modify the expression of genes without changing the DNA sequence. DNA methylation is one of the most stable and prevalent epigenetic mechanisms. Twin studies have been a valuable model for unraveling the genetic and epigenetic epidemiology of complex traits, and now offer a potential to dissect the factors that impact DNA methylation variability and its biomedical significance. The twin design specifically allows for the study of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, and their potential interactions, on epigenetic profiles. Furthermore, genetically identical twins offer a unique opportunity to assess nongenetic impacts on epigenetic profiles. Here, we summarize recent findings from twin studies of DNA methylation profiles across tissues, to define current knowledge regarding the genetic and nongenetic factors that influence epigenetic variation. PMID:26678685

  17. DNA methylation: conducting the orchestra from exposure to phenotype?

    PubMed

    Leenen, Fleur A D; Muller, Claude P; Turner, Jonathan D

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation, through 5-methyl- and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5mC and 5hmC), is considered to be one of the principal interfaces between the genome and our environment, and it helps explain phenotypic variations in human populations. Initial reports of large differences in methylation level in genomic regulatory regions, coupled with clear gene expression data in both imprinted genes and malignant diseases, provided easily dissected molecular mechanisms for switching genes on or off. However, a more subtle process is becoming evident, where small (<10 %) changes to intermediate methylation levels are associated with complex disease phenotypes. This has resulted in two clear methylation paradigms. The latter "subtle change" paradigm is rapidly becoming the epigenetic hallmark of complex disease phenotypes, although we are currently hampered by a lack of data addressing the true biological significance and meaning of these small differences. Our initial expectation of rapidly identifying mechanisms linking environmental exposure to a disease phenotype led to numerous observational/association studies being performed. Although this expectation remains unmet, there is now a growing body of literature on specific genes, suggesting wide ranging transcriptional and translational consequences of such subtle methylation changes. Data from the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) has shown that a complex interplay between DNA methylation, extensive 5'UTR splicing, and microvariability gives rise to the overall level and relative distribution of total and N-terminal protein isoforms generated. Additionally, the presence of multiple AUG translation initiation codons throughout the complete, processed mRNA enables translation variability, hereby enhancing the translational isoforms and the resulting protein isoform diversity, providing a clear link between small changes in DNA methylation and significant changes in protein isoforms and cellular locations. Methylation changes in

  18. Global DNA methylation profiling technologies and the ovarian cancer methylome.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jessica; Fang, Fang; Miller, Dave F; Pilrose, Jay M; Matei, Daniela; Huang, Tim Hui-Ming; Nephew, Kenneth P

    2015-01-01

    Cytosine methylation in DNA constitutes an important epigenetic layer of transcriptional and regulatory control in many eukaryotes. Profiling DNA methylation across the genome is critical to understanding the influence of epigenetics in normal biology and disease, such as cancer. Genome-wide analyses such as arrays and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have been used to assess large fractions of the methylome at a single-base-pair resolution. However, the range of DNA methylation profiling techniques can make selecting the appropriate protocol a challenge. This chapter discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various methylome detection approaches to assess which is appropriate for the question at hand. Here, we focus on four prominent genome-wide approaches: whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS); methyl-binding domain capture sequencing (MBDCap-Seq); reduced-representation-bisulfite-sequencing (RRBS); and Infinium Methylation450 BeadChips (450 K, Illumina). We discuss some of the requirements, merits, and challenges that should be considered when choosing a methylome technology to ensure that it will be informative. In addition, we show how genome-wide methylation detection arrays and high-throughput sequencing have provided immense insight into ovarian cancer-specific methylation signatures that may serve as diagnostic biomarkers or predict patient response to epigenetic therapy. PMID:25421685

  19. Prenatal antiepileptic exposure associates with neonatal DNA methylation differences.

    PubMed

    Smith, Alicia K; Conneely, Karen N; Newport, D Jeffrey; Kilaru, Varun; Schroeder, James W; Pennell, Page B; Knight, Bettina T; Cubells, Joseph C; Stowe, Zachary N; Brennan, Patricia A

    2012-05-01

    Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are used to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric illnesses commonly encountered in women during their reproductive years, including epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Despite their widespread use, the impact of prenatal exposure on fetal development remains obscure. To evaluate whether AEDs taken by pregnant mothers influence DNA methylation patterns in their neonates, DNA was extracted from the umbilical cord blood of 201 neonates whose mothers were treated for neuropsychiatric illness during pregnancy and interrogated across 27,578 CpG sites using the Illumina HumanMethylation27 BeadChip. The association of each methylation value with the cumulative duration of prenatal AED exposure was examined using a linear mixed model. The average methylation level across all CpG sites was calculated for each subject, and this global methylation measure was evaluated similarly. Neonates with a longer duration of AED exposure in pregnancy showed a decrease in average global methylation (p = 0.0045). Further, DNA methylation of CpG sites in 14 genes significantly decreased with the duration of prenatal AED exposure even after adjusting for multiple comparisons (FDR < 0.05). For a small subset (n = 19) of these neonates, a second tissue, placenta, was available in addition to cord blood. Methylation of 3 of these 14 CpG sites was also significantly decreased in placental tissue. These novel data suggest decreased DNA methylation in neonates of mothers who took AEDs during pregnancy. The long-term stability and potential impact of these changes warrant further attention, and caution may be warranted before prescribing AEDs to pregnant women. PMID:22419127

  20. The Potential Role of DNA Methylation in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

    PubMed Central

    Ryer, Evan J.; Ronning, Kaitryn E.; Erdman, Robert; Schworer, Charles M.; Elmore, James R.; Peeler, Thomas C.; Nevius, Christopher D.; Lillvis, John H.; Garvin, Robert P.; Franklin, David P.; Kuivaniemi, Helena; Tromp, Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a complex disorder that has a significant impact on the aging population. While both genetic and environmental risk factors have been implicated in AAA formation, the precise genetic markers involved and the factors influencing their expression remain an area of ongoing investigation. DNA methylation has been previously used to study gene silencing in other inflammatory disorders and since AAA has an extensive inflammatory component, we sought to examine the genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in mononuclear blood cells of AAA cases and matched non-AAA controls. To this end, we collected blood samples and isolated mononuclear cells for DNA and RNA extraction from four all male groups: AAA smokers (n = 11), AAA non-smokers (n = 9), control smokers (n = 10) and control non-smokers (n = 11). Methylation data were obtained using the Illumina 450k Human Methylation Bead Chip and analyzed using the R language and multiple Bioconductor packages. Principal component analysis and linear analysis of CpG island subsets identified four regions with significant differences in methylation with respect to AAA: kelch-like family member 35 (KLHL35), calponin 2 (CNN2), serpin peptidase inhibitor clade B (ovalbumin) member 9 (SERPINB9), and adenylate cyclase 10 pseudogene 1 (ADCY10P1). Follow-up studies included RT-PCR and immunostaining for CNN2 and SERPINB9. These findings are novel and suggest DNA methylation may play a role in AAA pathobiology. PMID:25993294

  1. Associations between Serum Perfluoroalkyl Acids and LINE-1 DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Deborah J.; Wellenius, Gregory A.; Butler, Rondi A.; Bartell, Scott M.; Fletcher, Tony; Kelsey, Karl T.

    2014-01-01

    Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent, synthetic compounds that are used in a number of consumer products. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) have been associated with cardiovascular risk factors, and changes in gene expression and DNA methylation in animals and cellular systems. However, whether PFAA exposure is associated with LINE-1 DNA methylation, a potential marker of cardiovascular risk, in humans remains unknown. We sought to evaluate the cross-sectional associations between serum PFAAs and LINE-1 DNA methylation in a population highly exposed to PFOA. We measured serum PFAAs twice four to five years apart in 685 adult participants (47% male, mean age ± SD=42 ± 11 years). We measured percent LINE-1 DNA methylation in peripheral blood leukocytes at the second time point (follow-up), and estimated absolute differences in LINE-1 methylation associated with an interquartile (IQR) shift in mean PFAA serum levels. IQR increases in mean serum PFOA, PFOS, perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) were associated with differences of −0.04 (p=0.16), 0.20 (p=0.001), 0.06 (p=0.19), and 0.02 (p=0.57), respectively, in % LINE-1 methylation at follow-up after adjustment for potential confounders. We observed a monotonic increase in LINE-1 DNA methylation across tertiles of PFOS and PFNA (ptrend=0.02 for both associations), but not across tertiles of PFOA or PFHxS (ptrend=0.71 and 0.44, respectively). In summary, serum PFOS was associated with LINE-1 methylation, while serum PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA were not. Additional research is needed to more precisely determine whether these compounds are epigenetically active. PMID:24263140

  2. Accounting for population stratification in DNA methylation studies.

    PubMed

    Barfield, Richard T; Almli, Lynn M; Kilaru, Varun; Smith, Alicia K; Mercer, Kristina B; Duncan, Richard; Klengel, Torsten; Mehta, Divya; Binder, Elisabeth B; Epstein, Michael P; Ressler, Kerry J; Conneely, Karen N

    2014-04-01

    DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism that has been linked to complex diseases and is of great interest to researchers as a potential link between genome, environment, and disease. As the scale of DNA methylation association studies approaches that of genome-wide association studies, issues such as population stratification will need to be addressed. It is well-documented that failure to adjust for population stratification can lead to false positives in genetic association studies, but population stratification is often unaccounted for in DNA methylation studies. Here, we propose several approaches to correct for population stratification using principal components (PCs) from different subsets of genome-wide methylation data. We first illustrate the potential for confounding due to population stratification by demonstrating widespread associations between DNA methylation and race in 388 individuals (365 African American and 23 Caucasian). We subsequently evaluate the performance of our PC-based approaches and other methods in adjusting for confounding due to population stratification. Our simulations show that (1) all of the methods considered are effective at removing inflation due to population stratification, and (2) maximum power can be obtained with single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based PCs, followed by methylation-based PCs, which outperform both surrogate variable analysis and genomic control. Among our different approaches to computing methylation-based PCs, we find that PCs based on CpG sites chosen for their potential to proxy nearby SNPs can provide a powerful and computationally efficient approach to adjust for population stratification in DNA methylation studies when genome-wide SNP data are unavailable. PMID:24478250

  3. Allele-specific DNA methylation reinforces PEAR1 enhancer activity.

    PubMed

    Izzi, Benedetta; Pistoni, Mariaelena; Cludts, Katrien; Akkor, Pinar; Lambrechts, Diether; Verfaillie, Catherine; Verhamme, Peter; Freson, Kathleen; Hoylaerts, Marc F

    2016-08-18

    Genetic variation in the PEAR1 locus is linked to platelet reactivity and cardiovascular disease. The major G allele of rs12041331, an intronic cytosine guanine dinucleotide-single-nucleotide polymorphism (CpG-SNP), is associated with higher PEAR1 expression in platelets and endothelial cells than the minor A allele. The molecular mechanism underlying this difference remains elusive. We have characterized the histone modification profiles of the intronic region surrounding rs12041331 and identified H3K4Me1 enhancer-specific enrichment for the region that covers the CpG-SNP. Interestingly, methylation studies revealed that the CpG site is fully methylated in leukocytes of GG carriers. Nuclear protein extracts from megakaryocytes, endothelial cells, vs control HEK-293 cells show a 3-fold higher affinity for the methylated G allele compared with nonmethylated G or A alleles in a gel electrophoretic mobility shift assay. To understand the positive relationship between methylation and gene expression, we studied DNA methylation at 4 different loci of PEAR1 during in vitro megakaryopoiesis. During differentiation, the CpG-SNP remained fully methylated, while we observed rapid methylation increases at the CpG-island overlapping the first 5'-untranslated region exon, paralleling the increased PEAR1 expression. In the same region, A-allele carriers of rs12041331 showed significantly lower DNA methylation at CGI1 compared with GG homozygote. This CpG-island contains binding sites for the methylation-sensitive transcription factor CTCF, whose binding is known to play a role in enhancer activation and/or repression. In conclusion, we report the molecular characterization of the first platelet function-related CpG-SNP, a genetic predisposition that reinforces PEAR1 enhancer activity through allele-specific DNA methylation. PMID:27313330

  4. DNA methylation on N6-adenine in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Greer, Eric Lieberman; Blanco, Mario Andres; Gu, Lei; Sendinc, Erdem; Liu, Jianzhao; Aristizábal-Corrales, David; Hsu, Chih-Hung; Aravind, L.; He, Chuan; Shi, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Summary In mammalian cells, DNA methylation on the 5th position of cytosine (5mC) plays an important role as an epigenetic mark. However, DNA methylation was considered to be absent in C. elegans because of the lack of detectable 5mC as well as homologs of the cytosine DNA methyltransferases. Here, using multiple approaches, we demonstrate the presence of adenine N6-methylation (6mA) in C. elegans DNA. We further demonstrate that this modification increases trans-generationally in a paradigm of epigenetic inheritance. Importantly, we identify a DNA demethylase, NMAD-1, and a potential DNA methyltransferase, DAMT-1, which regulate 6mA levels and crosstalk between methylation of histone H3K4me2 and 6mA, and control the epigenetic inheritance of phenotypes associated with the loss of the H3K4me2 demethylase spr-5. Together, these data identify a DNA modification in C. elegans and raise the exciting possibility that 6mA may be a carrier of heritable epigenetic information in eukaryotes. PMID:25936839

  5. Salt stress alters DNA methylation levels in alfalfa (Medicago spp).

    PubMed

    Al-Lawati, A; Al-Bahry, S; Victor, R; Al-Lawati, A H; Yaish, M W

    2016-01-01

    Modification of DNA methylation status is one of the mechanisms used by plants to adjust gene expression at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels when plants are exposed to suboptimal conditions. Under abiotic stress, different cultivars often show heritable phenotypic variation accompanied by epigenetic polymorphisms at the DNA methylation level. This variation may provide the raw materials for plant breeding programs that aim to enhance abiotic stress tolerance, including salt tolerance. In this study, methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analysis was used to assess cytosine methylation levels in alfalfa (Medicago spp) roots exposed to increasing NaCl concentrations (0.0, 8.0, 12.0, and 20.0 dS/m). Eleven indigenous landraces were analyzed, in addition to a salt-tolerant cultivar that was used as a control. There was a slight increase in DNA methylation upon exposure to high levels of soil salinity. Phylogenetic analysis using MSAP showed epigenetic variation within and between the alfalfa landraces when exposed to saline conditions. Based on MSAP and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results, we found that salinity increased global DNA methylation status, particularly in plants exposed to the highest level of salinity (20 dS/m). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction indicated that this might be mediated by the overexpression of methyltransferase homolog genes after exposure to saline conditions. DNA demethylation using 5-azacytidine reduced seedling lengths and dry and fresh weights, indicating a possible decrease in salinity tolerance. These results suggest that salinity affects DNA methylation flexibility. PMID:26985924

  6. Extra-coding RNAs regulate neuronal DNA methylation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Savell, Katherine E.; Gallus, Nancy V. N.; Simon, Rhiana C.; Brown, Jordan A.; Revanna, Jasmin S.; Osborn, Mary Katherine; Song, Esther Y.; O'Malley, John J.; Stackhouse, Christian T.; Norvil, Allison; Gowher, Humaira; Sweatt, J. David; Day, Jeremy J.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are essential regulators of the function and information storage capacity of neurons. DNA methylation is highly dynamic in the developing and adult brain, and is actively regulated by neuronal activity and behavioural experiences. However, it is presently unclear how methylation status at individual genes is targeted for modification. Here, we report that extra-coding RNAs (ecRNAs) interact with DNA methyltransferases and regulate neuronal DNA methylation. Expression of ecRNA species is associated with gene promoter hypomethylation, is altered by neuronal activity, and is overrepresented at genes involved in neuronal function. Knockdown of the Fos ecRNA locus results in gene hypermethylation and mRNA silencing, and hippocampal expression of Fos ecRNA is required for long-term fear memory formation in rats. These results suggest that ecRNAs are fundamental regulators of DNA methylation patterns in neuronal systems, and reveal a promising avenue for therapeutic targeting in neuropsychiatric disease states. PMID:27384705

  7. Extra-coding RNAs regulate neuronal DNA methylation dynamics.

    PubMed

    Savell, Katherine E; Gallus, Nancy V N; Simon, Rhiana C; Brown, Jordan A; Revanna, Jasmin S; Osborn, Mary Katherine; Song, Esther Y; O'Malley, John J; Stackhouse, Christian T; Norvil, Allison; Gowher, Humaira; Sweatt, J David; Day, Jeremy J

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are essential regulators of the function and information storage capacity of neurons. DNA methylation is highly dynamic in the developing and adult brain, and is actively regulated by neuronal activity and behavioural experiences. However, it is presently unclear how methylation status at individual genes is targeted for modification. Here, we report that extra-coding RNAs (ecRNAs) interact with DNA methyltransferases and regulate neuronal DNA methylation. Expression of ecRNA species is associated with gene promoter hypomethylation, is altered by neuronal activity, and is overrepresented at genes involved in neuronal function. Knockdown of the Fos ecRNA locus results in gene hypermethylation and mRNA silencing, and hippocampal expression of Fos ecRNA is required for long-term fear memory formation in rats. These results suggest that ecRNAs are fundamental regulators of DNA methylation patterns in neuronal systems, and reveal a promising avenue for therapeutic targeting in neuropsychiatric disease states. PMID:27384705

  8. DNA methylation perspectives in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

    Sun, Bao; Hu, Lei; Luo, Zhi-Ying; Chen, Xiao-Ping; Zhou, Hong-Hao; Zhang, Wei

    2016-03-01

    DNA methylation is now widely recognized as being critical to maintain the function of immune cells. Recent studies suggest that aberrant DNA methylation levels not only can result in immune cells autoreactivity in vitro, but also are related to autoimmunity in vivo. Environmental factors and genetic polymorphisms cause abnormal methylation, which affects the expression of certain immune-related genes, being becoming hot spot of explaining the mechanism of autoimmune diseases. This paper reviews the importance of abnormal methylation during the development of common autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, aiming at a better understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and providing new ideas for the treatment of these diseases. PMID:26821302

  9. Non-symmetrical cytosine methylation in tobacco pollen DNA.

    PubMed

    Oakeley, E J; Jost, J P

    1996-07-01

    We have detected sequence-specific non-symmetrical cytosine methylation within a 140 bp region of the promoter for the tobacco auxin-binding protein gene T85 in pollen DNA. Direct sequencing of the population of bisulphite reaction products showed that, in this region. 10 out of a possible 49 cytosine residues were methylated at a high frequency in pollen whereas the corresponding region from somatic cells (leaf DNA) did not show a detectable level of methylation. The context of these sites was 1 x m5CpTpC, 1 x m5CpGpT, 1 x m5CpCpT, 2 x m5CpTpT, 2 x m5CpGpG, and 3 x m5CpApT of which only m5CpGpG and m5CpGpT fitted the consensus sequence for symmetrical methylation in plants. PMID:8806424

  10. Predicting DNA methylation level across human tissues.

    PubMed

    Ma, Baoshan; Wilker, Elissa H; Willis-Owen, Saffron A G; Byun, Hyang-Min; Wong, Kenny C C; Motta, Valeria; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Schwartz, Joel; Cookson, William O C M; Khabbaz, Kamal; Mittleman, Murray A; Moffatt, Miriam F; Liang, Liming

    2014-04-01

    Differences in methylation across tissues are critical to cell differentiation and are key to understanding the role of epigenetics in complex diseases. In this investigation, we found that locus-specific methylation differences between tissues are highly consistent across individuals. We developed a novel statistical model to predict locus-specific methylation in target tissue based on methylation in surrogate tissue. The method was evaluated in publicly available data and in two studies using the latest IlluminaBeadChips: a childhood asthma study with methylation measured in both peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) and lymphoblastoid cell lines; and a study of postoperative atrial fibrillation with methylation in PBL, atrium and artery. We found that our method can greatly improve accuracy of cross-tissue prediction at CpG sites that are variable in the target tissue [R(2) increases from 0.38 (original R(2) between tissues) to 0.89 for PBL-to-artery prediction; from 0.39 to 0.95 for PBL-to-atrium; and from 0.81 to 0.98 for lymphoblastoid cell line-to-PBL based on cross-validation, and confirmed using cross-study prediction]. An extended model with multiple CpGs further improved performance. Our results suggest that large-scale epidemiology studies using easy-to-access surrogate tissues (e.g. blood) could be recalibrated to improve understanding of epigenetics in hard-to-access tissues (e.g. atrium) and might enable non-invasive disease screening using epigenetic profiles. PMID:24445802

  11. Predicting DNA methylation level across human tissues

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Baoshan; Wilker, Elissa H.; Willis-Owen, Saffron A. G.; Byun, Hyang-Min; Wong, Kenny C. C.; Motta, Valeria; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Schwartz, Joel; Cookson, William O. C. M.; Khabbaz, Kamal; Mittleman, Murray A.; Moffatt, Miriam F.; Liang, Liming

    2014-01-01

    Differences in methylation across tissues are critical to cell differentiation and are key to understanding the role of epigenetics in complex diseases. In this investigation, we found that locus-specific methylation differences between tissues are highly consistent across individuals. We developed a novel statistical model to predict locus-specific methylation in target tissue based on methylation in surrogate tissue. The method was evaluated in publicly available data and in two studies using the latest IlluminaBeadChips: a childhood asthma study with methylation measured in both peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) and lymphoblastoid cell lines; and a study of postoperative atrial fibrillation with methylation in PBL, atrium and artery. We found that our method can greatly improve accuracy of cross-tissue prediction at CpG sites that are variable in the target tissue [R2 increases from 0.38 (original R2 between tissues) to 0.89 for PBL-to-artery prediction; from 0.39 to 0.95 for PBL-to-atrium; and from 0.81 to 0.98 for lymphoblastoid cell line-to-PBL based on cross-validation, and confirmed using cross-study prediction]. An extended model with multiple CpGs further improved performance. Our results suggest that large-scale epidemiology studies using easy-to-access surrogate tissues (e.g. blood) could be recalibrated to improve understanding of epigenetics in hard-to-access tissues (e.g. atrium) and might enable non-invasive disease screening using epigenetic profiles. PMID:24445802

  12. DNA methylation dynamics in plants and mammals: overview of regulation and dysregulation.

    PubMed

    Elhamamsy, Amr Rafat

    2016-07-01

    DNA methylation is a major epigenetic marking mechanism regulating various biological functions in mammals and plant. The crucial role of DNA methylation has been observed in cellular differentiation, embryogenesis, genomic imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. Furthermore, DNA methylation takes part in disease susceptibility, responses to environmental stimuli and the biodiversity of natural populations. In plant, different types of environmental stress have demonstrated the ability to alter the archetype of DNA methylation through the genome, change gene expression and confer a mechanism of adaptation. DNA methylation dynamics are regulated by three processes de novo DNA methylation, methylation maintenance and DNA demethylation. These processes have their similarities and differences between mammals and plants. Furthermore, the dysregulation of DNA methylation dynamics represents one of the primary molecular mechanisms of developing diseases in mammals. This review discusses the regulation and dysregulation of DNA methylation in plants and mammals. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27003927

  13. High-frequency aberrantly methylated targets in pancreatic adenocarcinoma identified via global DNA methylation analysis using methylCap-seq

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Extensive reprogramming and dysregulation of DNA methylation is an important characteristic of pancreatic cancer (PC). Our study aimed to characterize the genomic methylation patterns in various genomic contexts of PC. The methyl capture sequencing (methylCap-seq) method was used to map differently methylated regions (DMRs) in pooled samples from ten PC tissues and ten adjacent non-tumor (PN) tissues. A selection of DMRs was validated in an independent set of PC and PN samples using methylation-specific PCR (MSP), bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP), and methylation sensitive restriction enzyme-based qPCR (MSRE-qPCR). The mRNA and expressed sequence tag (EST) expression of the corresponding genes was investigated using RT-qPCR. Results A total of 1,131 PC-specific and 727 PN-specific hypermethylated DMRs were identified in association with CpG islands (CGIs), including gene-associated CGIs and orphan CGIs; 2,955 PC-specific and 2,386 PN-specific hypermethylated DMRs were associated with gene promoters, including promoters containing or lacking CGIs. Moreover, 1,744 PC-specific and 1,488 PN-specific hypermethylated DMRs were found to be associated with CGIs or CGI shores. These results suggested that aberrant hypermethylation in PC typically occurs in regions surrounding the transcription start site (TSS). The BSP, MSP, MSRE-qPCR, and RT-qPCR data indicated that the aberrant DNA methylation in PC tissue and in PC cell lines was associated with gene (or corresponding EST) expression. Conclusions Our study characterized the genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in PC and identified DMRs that were distributed among various genomic contexts that might influence the expression of corresponding genes or transcripts to promote PC. These DMRs might serve as diagnostic biomarkers or therapeutic targets for PC. PMID:25276247

  14. Advances in genome-wide DNA methylation analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Romi; Nagarajan, Arvindhan; Wajapeyee, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    The covalent DNA modification of cytosine at position 5 (5-methylcytosine; 5mC) has emerged as an important epigenetic mark most commonly present in the context of CpG dinucleotides in mammalian cells. In pluripotent stem cells and plants, it is also found in non-CpG and CpNpG contexts, respectively. 5mC has important implications in a diverse set of biological processes, including transcriptional regulation. Aberrant DNA methylation has been shown to be associated with a wide variety of human ailments and thus is the focus of active investigation. Methods used for detecting DNA methylation have revolutionized our understanding of this epigenetic mark and provided new insights into its role in diverse biological functions. Here we describe recent technological advances in genome-wide DNA methylation analysis and discuss their relative utility and drawbacks, providing specific examples from studies that have used these technologies for genome-wide DNA methylation analysis to address important biological questions. Finally, we discuss a newly identified covalent DNA modification, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), and speculate on its possible biological function, as well as describe a new methodology that can distinguish 5hmC from 5mC. PMID:20964631

  15. Mitochondrial regulation of cancer associated nuclear DNA methylation

    SciTech Connect

    Xie Chenghui; Naito, Akihiro; Mizumachi, Takatsugu; Evans, Teresa T.; Douglas, Michael G.; Cooney, Craig A.; Fan Chunyang; Higuchi, Masahiro

    2007-12-21

    The onset and progression of cancer is associated with the methylation-dependent silencing of specific genes, however, the mechanism and its regulation have not been established. We previously demonstrated that reduction of mitochondrial DNA content induces cancer progression. Here we found that mitochondrial DNA-deficient LN{rho}0-8 activates the hypermethylation of the nuclear DNA promoters including the promoter CpG islands of the endothelin B receptor, O{sup 6}-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, and E-cadherin. These are unmethylated and the corresponding gene products are expressed in the parental LNCaP containing mitochondrial DNA. The absence of mitochondrial DNA induced DNA methyltransferase 1 expression which was responsible for the methylation patterns observed. Inhibition of DNA methyltransferase eliminated hypermethylation and expressed gene products in LN{rho}0-8. These studies demonstrate loss or reduction of mitochondrial DNA resulted in the induction of DNA methyltransferase 1, hypermethylation of the promoters of endothelin B receptor, O{sup 6}-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, and E-cadherin, and reduction of the corresponding gene products.

  16. Cytosine methylation of sperm DNA in horse semen after cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Aurich, Christine; Schreiner, Bettina; Ille, Natascha; Alvarenga, Marco; Scarlet, Dragos

    2016-09-15

    Semen processing may contribute to epigenetic changes in spermatozoa. We have therefore addressed changes in sperm DNA cytosine methylation induced by cryopreservation of stallion semen. The relative amount of 5-methylcytosine relative to the genomic cytosine content of sperm DNA was analyzed by ELISA. In experiment 1, raw semen (n = 6 stallions, one ejaculate each) was shock-frozen. Postthaw semen motility and membrane integrity were completely absent, whereas DNA methylation was similar in raw (0.4 ± 0.2%) and shock-frozen (0.3 ± 0.1%) semen (not significant). In experiment 2, three ejaculates per stallion (n = 6) were included. Semen quality and DNA methylation was assessed before addition of the freezing extender and after freezing-thawing with either Ghent (G) or BotuCrio (BC) extender. Semen motility, morphology, and membrane integrity were significantly reduced by cryopreservation but not influenced by the extender (e.g., total motility: G 69.5 ± 2.0, BC 68.4 ± 2.2%; P < 0.001 vs. centrifugation). Cryopreservation significantly (P < 0.01) increased the level of DNA methylation (before freezing 0.6 ± 0.1%, postthaw G 6.4 ± 3.7, BC 4.4 ± 1.5%; P < 0.01), but no differences between the freezing extenders were seen. The level of DNA methylation was not correlated to semen motility, morphology, or membrane integrity. The results demonstrate that semen processing for cryopreservation increases the DNA methylation level in stallion semen. We conclude that assessment of sperm DNA methylation allows for evaluation of an additional parameter characterizing semen quality. The lower fertility rates of mares after insemination with frozen-thawed semen may at least in part be explained by cytosine methylation of sperm-DNA induced by the cryopreservation procedure. PMID:27242182

  17. Brain feminization requires active repression of masculinization via DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    Nugent, Bridget M.; Wright, Christopher L.; Shetty, Amol C.; Hodes, Georgia E.; Lenz, Kathryn M.; Mahurkar, Anup; Russo, Scott J.; Devine, Scott E.; McCarthy, Margaret M.

    2015-01-01

    The developing mammalian brain is destined for a female phenotype unless exposed to gonadal hormones during a perinatal sensitive period. It has been assumed that the undifferentiated brain is masculinized by direct induction of transcription by ligand-activated nuclear steroid receptors. We found that a primary effect of gonadal steroids in the highly sexually-dimorphic preoptic area (POA) is to reduce activity of DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) enzymes, thereby decreasing DNA methylation and releasing masculinizing genes from epigenetic repression. Pharmacological inhibition of Dnmts mimicked gonadal steroids, resulting in masculinized neuronal markers and male sexual behavior in females. Conditional knockout of the de novo Dnmt isoform, Dnmt3a, also masculinized sexual behavior in female mice. RNA sequencing revealed gene and isoform variants modulated by methylation that may underlie the divergent reproductive behaviors of males versus females. Our data show that brain feminization is maintained by the active suppression of masculinization via DNA methylation. PMID:25821913

  18. The DNA methylation profile of activated human natural killer cells.

    PubMed

    Wiencke, John K; Butler, Rondi; Hsuang, George; Eliot, Melissa; Kim, Stephanie; Sepulveda, Manuel A; Siegel, Derick; Houseman, E Andres; Kelsey, Karl T

    2016-05-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are now recognized to exhibit characteristics akin to cells of the adaptive immune system. The generation of adaptive memory is linked to epigenetic reprogramming including alterations in DNA methylation. The study herein found reproducible genome wide DNA methylation changes associated with human NK cell activation. Activation led predominately to CpG hypomethylation (81% of significant loci). Bioinformatics analysis confirmed that non-coding and gene-associated differentially methylated sites (DMS) are enriched for immune related functions (i.e., immune cell activation). Known DNA methylation-regulated immune loci were also identified in activated NK cells (e.g., TNFA, LTA, IL13, CSF2). Twenty-one loci were designated high priority and further investigated as potential markers of NK activation. BHLHE40 was identified as a viable candidate for which a droplet digital PCR assay for demethylation was developed. The assay revealed high demethylation in activated NK cells and low demethylation in naïve NK, T- and B-cells. We conclude the NK cell methylome is plastic with potential for remodeling. The differentially methylated region signature of activated NKs revealed similarities with T cell activation, but also provided unique biomarker candidates of NK activation, which could be useful in epigenome-wide association studies to interrogate the role of NK subtypes in global methylation changes associated with exposures and/or disease states. PMID:26967308

  19. DNA methylation age of human tissues and cell types

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background It is not yet known whether DNA methylation levels can be used to accurately predict age across a broad spectrum of human tissues and cell types, nor whether the resulting age prediction is a biologically meaningful measure. Results I developed a multi-tissue predictor of age that allows one to estimate the DNA methylation age of most tissues and cell types. The predictor, which is freely available, was developed using 8,000 samples from 82 Illumina DNA methylation array datasets, encompassing 51 healthy tissues and cell types. I found that DNA methylation age has the following properties: first, it is close to zero for embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells; second, it correlates with cell passage number; third, it gives rise to a highly heritable measure of age acceleration; and, fourth, it is applicable to chimpanzee tissues. Analysis of 6,000 cancer samples from 32 datasets showed that all of the considered 20 cancer types exhibit significant age acceleration, with an average of 36 years. Low age-acceleration of cancer tissue is associated with a high number of somatic mutations and TP53 mutations, while mutations in steroid receptors greatly accelerate DNA methylation age in breast cancer. Finally, I characterize the 353 CpG sites that together form an aging clock in terms of chromatin states and tissue variance. Conclusions I propose that DNA methylation age measures the cumulative effect of an epigenetic maintenance system. This novel epigenetic clock can be used to address a host of questions in developmental biology, cancer and aging research. PMID:24138928

  20. Utilizing Gold Nanoparticle Probes to Visually Detect DNA Methylation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kui; Zhang, Mingyi; Chang, Ya-Nan; Xia, Lin; Gu, Weihong; Qin, Yanxia; Li, Juan; Cui, Suxia; Xing, Gengmei

    2016-06-01

    The surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect endows gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with the ability to visualize biomolecules. In the present study, we designed and constructed a GNP probe to allow the semi-quantitative analysis of methylated tumor suppressor genes in cultured cells. To construct the probe, the GNP surfaces were coated with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) by forming Au-S bonds. The ssDNA contains a thiolated 5'-end, a regulatory domain of 12 adenine nucleotides, and a functional domain with absolute pairing with methylated p16 sequence (Met- p16). The probe, paired with Met- p16, clearly changed the color of aggregating GNPs probe in 5 mol/L NaCl solution. Utilizing the probe, p16 gene methylation in HCT116 cells was semi-quantified. Further, the methylation of E-cadherin, p15, and p16 gene in Caco2, HepG2, and HCT116 cell lines were detected by the corresponding probes, constructed with three domains. This simple and cost-effective method was useful for the diagnosis of DNA methylation-related diseases.

  1. DNA methylation is stable during replication and cell cycle arrest

    PubMed Central

    Vandiver, Amy R.; Idrizi, Adrian; Rizzardi, Lindsay; Feinberg, Andrew P.; Hansen, Kasper D.

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification with important functions in development. Large-scale loss of DNA methylation is a hallmark of cancer. Recent work has identified large genomic blocks of hypomethylation associated with cancer, EBV transformation and replicative senescence, all of which change the proportion of actively proliferating cells within the population measured. We asked if replication or cell-cycle arrest affects the global levels of methylation or leads to hypomethylated blocks as observed in other settings. We used fluorescence activated cell sorting to isolate primary dermal fibroblasts in G0, G1 and G2 based on DNA content and Ki67 staining. We additionally examined G0 cells arrested by contact inhibition for one week to determine the effects of extended arrest. We analyzed genome wide DNA methylation from sorted cells using whole genome bisulfite sequencing. This analysis demonstrated no global changes or large-scale hypomethylated blocks in any of the examined cell cycle phases, indicating that global levels of methylation are stable with replication and arrest. PMID:26648411

  2. Utilizing Gold Nanoparticle Probes to Visually Detect DNA Methylation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kui; Zhang, Mingyi; Chang, Ya-Nan; Xia, Lin; Gu, Weihong; Qin, Yanxia; Li, Juan; Cui, Suxia; Xing, Gengmei

    2016-12-01

    The surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect endows gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with the ability to visualize biomolecules. In the present study, we designed and constructed a GNP probe to allow the semi-quantitative analysis of methylated tumor suppressor genes in cultured cells. To construct the probe, the GNP surfaces were coated with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) by forming Au-S bonds. The ssDNA contains a thiolated 5'-end, a regulatory domain of 12 adenine nucleotides, and a functional domain with absolute pairing with methylated p16 sequence (Met-p16). The probe, paired with Met-p16, clearly changed the color of aggregating GNPs probe in 5 mol/L NaCl solution. Utilizing the probe, p16 gene methylation in HCT116 cells was semi-quantified. Further, the methylation of E-cadherin, p15, and p16 gene in Caco2, HepG2, and HCT116 cell lines were detected by the corresponding probes, constructed with three domains. This simple and cost-effective method was useful for the diagnosis of DNA methylation-related diseases. PMID:27325520

  3. Differential DNA Methylation Analysis without a Reference Genome

    PubMed Central

    Klughammer, Johanna; Datlinger, Paul; Printz, Dieter; Sheffield, Nathan C.; Farlik, Matthias; Hadler, Johanna; Fritsch, Gerhard; Bock, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Summary Genome-wide DNA methylation mapping uncovers epigenetic changes associated with animal development, environmental adaptation, and species evolution. To address the lack of high-throughput methods for DNA methylation analysis in non-model organisms, we developed an integrated approach for studying DNA methylation differences independent of a reference genome. Experimentally, our method relies on an optimized 96-well protocol for reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS), which we have validated in nine species (human, mouse, rat, cow, dog, chicken, carp, sea bass, and zebrafish). Bioinformatically, we developed the RefFreeDMA software to deduce ad hoc genomes directly from RRBS reads and to pinpoint differentially methylated regions between samples or groups of individuals (http://RefFreeDMA.computational-epigenetics.org). The identified regions are interpreted using motif enrichment analysis and/or cross-mapping to annotated genomes. We validated our method by reference-free analysis of cell-type-specific DNA methylation in the blood of human, cow, and carp. In summary, we present a cost-effective method for epigenome analysis in ecology and evolution, which enables epigenome-wide association studies in natural populations and species without a reference genome. PMID:26673328

  4. Genome-wide Mapping of Nucleosome Positioning and DNA Methylation Within Individual DNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yaping; Lay, Fides D.; Liang, Gangning; Berman, Benjamin P.; Jones, Peter A.; Kelly, Terry

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning work together to generate chromatin structures that regulate gene expression. Nucleosomes are typically mapped using nuclease digestion requiring significant amounts of material and varying enzyme concentrations. We have developed a method that uses a GpC methyltransferase (M.CviPI) and next generation sequencing to footprint nucleosome positioning genome-wide using less than 1 million cells, which does not suffer from sequence based biases associated with MNase digestion and retains endogenous DNA methylation information. Using a novel bioinformatics pipeline we identify chromatin configurations associated with a variety of functional genomic loci including distinct promoter types, enhancers, insulators, X-inactivated and imprinted genes. Importantly, DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning information are obtained from the same DNA molecule, giving the first genome-wide DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning correlation at the single molecule level that can be used to monitor disease progression and response to therapy.

  5. Comprehensive Analysis of DNA Methylation Data with RnBeads

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Jörn; Lengauer, Thomas; Bock, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    RnBeads is a software tool for large-scale analysis and interpretation of DNA methylation data, providing a user-friendly analysis workflow that yields detailed hypertext reports (http://rnbeads.mpi-inf.mpg.de). Supported assays include whole genome bisulfite sequencing, reduced representation bisulfite sequencing, Infinium microarrays, and any other protocol that produces high-resolution DNA methylation data. Important applications of RnBeads include the analysis of epigenome-wide association studies and epigenetic biomarker discovery in cancer cohorts. PMID:25262207

  6. Reading the unique DNA methylation landscape of the brain: Non-CpG methylation, hydroxymethylation, and MeCP2

    PubMed Central

    Kinde, Benyam; Gabel, Harrison W.; Gilbert, Caitlin S.; Griffith, Eric C.; Greenberg, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides is an important epigenetic regulator common to virtually all mammalian cell types, but recent evidence indicates that during early postnatal development neuronal genomes also accumulate uniquely high levels of two alternative forms of methylation, non-CpG methylation and hydroxymethylation. Here we discuss the distinct landscape of DNA methylation in neurons, how it is established, and how it might affect the binding and function of protein readers of DNA methylation. We review studies of one critical reader of DNA methylation in the brain, the Rett syndrome protein methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2), and discuss how differential binding affinity of MeCP2 for non-CpG and hydroxymethylation may affect the function of this methyl-binding protein in the nervous system. PMID:25739960

  7. VEZF1 Elements Mediate Protection from DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Strogantsev, Ruslan; Gaszner, Miklos; Hair, Alan; Felsenfeld, Gary; West, Adam G.

    2010-01-01

    There is growing consensus that genome organization and long-range gene regulation involves partitioning of the genome into domains of distinct epigenetic chromatin states. Chromatin insulator or barrier elements are key components of these processes as they can establish boundaries between chromatin states. The ability of elements such as the paradigm β-globin HS4 insulator to block the range of enhancers or the spread of repressive histone modifications is well established. Here we have addressed the hypothesis that a barrier element in vertebrates should be capable of defending a gene from silencing by DNA methylation. Using an established stable reporter gene system, we find that HS4 acts specifically to protect a gene promoter from de novo DNA methylation. Notably, protection from methylation can occur in the absence of histone acetylation or transcription. There is a division of labor at HS4; the sequences that mediate protection from methylation are separable from those that mediate CTCF-dependent enhancer blocking and USF-dependent histone modification recruitment. The zinc finger protein VEZF1 was purified as the factor that specifically interacts with the methylation protection elements. VEZF1 is a candidate CpG island protection factor as the G-rich sequences bound by VEZF1 are frequently found at CpG island promoters. Indeed, we show that VEZF1 elements are sufficient to mediate demethylation and protection of the APRT CpG island promoter from DNA methylation. We propose that many barrier elements in vertebrates will prevent DNA methylation in addition to blocking the propagation of repressive histone modifications, as either process is sufficient to direct the establishment of an epigenetically stable silent chromatin state. PMID:20062523

  8. DNA methylation presents distinct binding sites for human transcription factors

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shaohui; Wan, Jun; Su, Yijing; Song, Qifeng; Zeng, Yaxue; Nguyen, Ha Nam; Shin, Jaehoon; Cox, Eric; Rho, Hee Sool; Woodard, Crystal; Xia, Shuli; Liu, Shuang; Lyu, Huibin; Ming, Guo-Li; Wade, Herschel; Song, Hongjun; Qian, Jiang; Zhu, Heng

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation, especially CpG methylation at promoter regions, has been generally considered as a potent epigenetic modification that prohibits transcription factor (TF) recruitment, resulting in transcription suppression. Here, we used a protein microarray-based approach to systematically survey the entire human TF family and found numerous purified TFs with methylated CpG (mCpG)-dependent DNA-binding activities. Interestingly, some TFs exhibit specific binding activity to methylated and unmethylated DNA motifs of distinct sequences. To elucidate the underlying mechanism, we focused on Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), and decoupled its mCpG- and CpG-binding activities via site-directed mutagenesis. Furthermore, KLF4 binds specific methylated or unmethylated motifs in human embryonic stem cells in vivo. Our study suggests that mCpG-dependent TF binding activity is a widespread phenomenon and provides a new framework to understand the role and mechanism of TFs in epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00726.001 PMID:24015356

  9. DNA methylation presents distinct binding sites for human transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Hu, Shaohui; Wan, Jun; Su, Yijing; Song, Qifeng; Zeng, Yaxue; Nguyen, Ha Nam; Shin, Jaehoon; Cox, Eric; Rho, Hee Sool; Woodard, Crystal; Xia, Shuli; Liu, Shuang; Lyu, Huibin; Ming, Guo-Li; Wade, Herschel; Song, Hongjun; Qian, Jiang; Zhu, Heng

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation, especially CpG methylation at promoter regions, has been generally considered as a potent epigenetic modification that prohibits transcription factor (TF) recruitment, resulting in transcription suppression. Here, we used a protein microarray-based approach to systematically survey the entire human TF family and found numerous purified TFs with methylated CpG (mCpG)-dependent DNA-binding activities. Interestingly, some TFs exhibit specific binding activity to methylated and unmethylated DNA motifs of distinct sequences. To elucidate the underlying mechanism, we focused on Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), and decoupled its mCpG- and CpG-binding activities via site-directed mutagenesis. Furthermore, KLF4 binds specific methylated or unmethylated motifs in human embryonic stem cells in vivo. Our study suggests that mCpG-dependent TF binding activity is a widespread phenomenon and provides a new framework to understand the role and mechanism of TFs in epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00726.001. PMID:24015356

  10. DNA Methylation as Surrogate Marker For Gastric Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Jung-Hwan; Jung, Sung-Hoon; Hong, Seung-Jin; Rhyu, Mun-Gan

    2015-01-01

    Stomach cancer remains, stubbornly, highly prevalent in East Asia. Still, stomach cancer has few biomarkers by which it can be predicted. Helicobacter pylori infection, a known carcinogen of stomach cancer, usually goes undetected prior to cancer diagnosis, due to the poor mucosal environments that its related gastric atrophy causes. We propose, herein, an endoscopic-biopsy-based cancer-predicting DNA methylation marker. We semi-quantitatively examined the methylation-variable sites near the CpG-island margins by radioisotope-labeling methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction in association with H. pylori, which increases age-related over-methylation in CpG islands of gastric mucosa. These age-related methylation patterns of the transitional-CpG sites are proposed as useful surrogate markers for stomach cancer. It would be helpful for setting the optimal screening interval for high-risk subjects as well as for estimating the prognosis and the predictability for recurrence of early gastric cancer in patients having undergone endoscopic submucosal dissection. New screening-interval guidelines for gastric cancer should be suggested considering individual risk based on age, severity of atrophy, H. pylori status, and DNA methylation pattern. PMID:26473155

  11. Genome-wide mapping of DNA methylation in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Ponts, Nadia; Fu, Lijuan; Harris, Elena Y.; Zhang, Jing; Chung, Duk-Won D.; Cervantes, Michael C.; Prudhomme, Jacques; Atanasova-Penichon, Vessela; Zehraoui, Enric; Bunnik, Evelien; Rodrigues, Elisandra M.; Lonardi, Stefano; Hicks, Glenn R.; Wang, Yinsheng; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Cytosine DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark in most eukaryotic cells that regulates numerous processes, including gene expression and stress responses. We performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We mapped the positions of methylated cytosines and identified a single functional DNA methyltransferase, PfDNMT, that may mediate these genomic modifications. These analyses revealed that the malaria genome is asymmetrically methylated, in which only one DNA strand is methylated, and shares common features with undifferentiated plant and mammalian cells. Notably, core promoters are hypomethylated and transcript levels correlate with intra-exonic methylation. Additionally, there are sharp methylation transitions at nucleosome and exon-intron boundaries. These data suggest that DNA methylation could regulate virulence gene expression and transcription elongation. Furthermore, the broad range of action of DNA methylation and uniqueness of PfDNMT suggest that the methylation pathway is a potential target for anti-malarial strategies. PMID:24331467

  12. Regulation of DNA methylation using different tensions of double strands constructed in a defined DNA nanostructure.

    PubMed

    Endo, Masayuki; Katsuda, Yousuke; Hidaka, Kumi; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2010-02-10

    A novel strategy for regulation of an enzymatic DNA modification reaction has been developed by employing a designed nanoscale DNA scaffold. DNA modification using enzymes often requires bending of specific DNA strands to facilitate the reaction. The DNA methylation enzyme EcoRI methyltransferase (M.EcoRI) bends double helix DNA by 55 degrees-59 degrees during the reaction with flipping out of the second adenine in the GAATTC sequence as the methyl transfer reaction proceeds. In this study, two different double helical tensions, tense and relaxed states of double helices, were created to control the methyl transfer reaction of M.EcoRI and examine the structural effect on the methylation. We designed and prepared a two-dimensional (2D) DNA scaffold named the "DNA frame" using the DNA origami method that accommodates two different lengths of the double-strand DNA fragments, a tense 64mer double strand and a relaxed 74mer double strand. Fast-scanning atomic force microscope (AFM) imaging revealed the different dynamic movement of the double-strand DNAs and complexes of M.EcoRI with 64mer and 74mer double-strand DNAs. After treatment of the double strands in the DNA frame with M.EcoRI and the subsequent digestion with restriction enzyme EcoRI (R.EcoRI), AFM analysis revealed that the 74mer double-strand DNA was not effectively cleaved compared with the 64mer double-strand DNA, indicating that the methylation preferentially occurred in the relaxed 74mer double-strand DNA compared with that in the tense 64mer double strand. Biochemical analysis of the methylation and specific digestion using a real-time PCR also supported the above results. These results indicate the importance of the structural flexibility for bending of the duplex DNA during the methyl transfer reaction with M.EcoRI. Therefore, the DNA methylation can be regulated using the structurally controlled double-strand DNAs constructed in the DNA frame nanostructure. PMID:20078043

  13. A new synthesis in epigenetics: towards a unified function of DNA methylation from invertebrates to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Mandrioli, M

    2007-10-01

    DNA methylation is generally limited to CpG doublets located at the gene promoter with an involvement in gene silencing. Surprisingly, two recent papers showed an extensive methylation affecting coding portions of transcriptionally active genes in human and plants prompting a rethink of DNA methylation in eukaryotes. Actually, gene body methylation is not surprising since it has been repeatedly reported in invertebrates, where it interferes with transcriptional elongation preventing aberrant transcription initiations. As a whole, the published data suggest that the most ancestral function of DNA methylation is the control of genes that are susceptible to transcriptional interference and not to gene silencing. The recruitment of DNA methylation for silencing represents a successive tinkered use. In view of this additional function, the invertebrate-vertebrate transition has been accompanied by new constraints on DNA methylation that resulted in the strong conservation of the DNA methylation machinery in vertebrates and in the non-viability of mutants lacking DNA methylation. PMID:17712527

  14. DNA methyltransferase 1 mutations and mitochondrial pathology: is mtDNA methylated?

    PubMed Central

    Maresca, Alessandra; Zaffagnini, Mirko; Caporali, Leonardo; Carelli, Valerio; Zanna, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia-deafness and narcolepsy (ADCA-DN) and Hereditary sensory neuropathy with dementia and hearing loss (HSN1E) are two rare, overlapping neurodegenerative syndromes that have been recently linked to allelic dominant pathogenic mutations in the DNMT1 gene, coding for DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). DNMT1 is the enzyme responsible for maintaining the nuclear genome methylation patterns during the DNA replication and repair, thus regulating gene expression. The mutations responsible for ADCA-DN and HSN1E affect the replication foci targeting sequence domain, which regulates DNMT1 binding to chromatin. DNMT1 dysfunction is anticipated to lead to a global alteration of the DNA methylation pattern with predictable downstream consequences on gene expression. Interestingly, ADCA-DN and HSN1E phenotypes share some clinical features typical of mitochondrial diseases, such as optic atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, and deafness, and some biochemical evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction. The recent discovery of a mitochondrial isoform of DNMT1 and its proposed role in methylating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggests that DNMT1 mutations may directly affect mtDNA and mitochondrial physiology. On the basis of this latter finding the link between DNMT1 abnormal activity and mitochondrial dysfunction in ADCA-DN and HSN1E appears intuitive, however, mtDNA methylation remains highly debated. In the last years several groups demonstrated the presence of 5-methylcytosine in mtDNA by different approaches, but, on the other end, the opposite evidence that mtDNA is not methylated has also been published. Since over 1500 mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome, the altered methylation of these genes may well have a critical role in leading to the mitochondrial impairment observed in ADCA-DN and HSN1E. Thus, many open questions still remain unanswered, such as why mtDNA should be methylated, and how this process is regulated and

  15. Dnmt2-dependent methylomes lack defined DNA methylation patterns

    PubMed Central

    Raddatz, Günter; Guzzardo, Paloma M.; Olova, Nelly; Fantappié, Marcelo Rosado; Rampp, Markus; Schaefer, Matthias; Reik, Wolf; Hannon, Gregory J.; Lyko, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Several organisms have retained methyltransferase 2 (Dnmt2) as their only candidate DNA methyltransferase gene. However, information about Dnmt2-dependent methylation patterns has been limited to a few isolated loci and the results have been discussed controversially. In addition, recent studies have shown that Dnmt2 functions as a tRNA methyltransferase, which raised the possibility that Dnmt2-only genomes might be unmethylated. We have now used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to analyze the methylomes of Dnmt2-only organisms at single-base resolution. Our results show that the genomes of Schistosoma mansoni and Drosophila melanogaster lack detectable DNA methylation patterns. Residual unconverted cytosine residues shared many attributes with bisulfite deamination artifacts and were observed at comparable levels in Dnmt2-deficient flies. Furthermore, genetically modified Dnmt2-only mouse embryonic stem cells lost the DNA methylation patterns found in wild-type cells. Our results thus uncover fundamental differences among animal methylomes and suggest that DNA methylation is dispensable for a considerable number of eukaryotic organisms. PMID:23641003

  16. DNA methylation in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    de Mello, Vanessa Derenji Ferreira; Pulkkinen, Leena; Lalli, Marianne; Kolehmainen, Marjukka; Pihlajamäki, Jussi; Uusitupa, Matti

    2014-05-01

    To elucidate the mechanisms related to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other degenerative diseases at a molecular level, a better understanding of the changes in the chromatin structure and the corresponding functional changes in molecular pathways is still needed. For example, persons with low birth weight are at a high risk for development of T2D later in life, suggesting that the intrauterine environment contributes to the disease. One of the hypotheses is that epigenetic regulation, including changes in DNA methylation leading to modifications in chromatin structure, are behind metabolic alterations, e.g. leading to the phenomenon termed metabolic memory. Altered DNA methylation has been shown to affect healthy aging and also to promote age-related health problems. There is suggestive evidence that lifestyle changes including weight loss can have an impact on DNA methylation and consequently gene expression. In this review we provide an overview of human studies investigating DNA methylation in obesity and T2D and associated risk factors behind these diseases. PMID:24779963

  17. The interplay between DNA methylation, folate and neurocognitive development.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Rachelle E; Pentieva, Kristina; Cassidy, Tony; Lees-Murdock, Diane J; McLaughlin, Marian; Prasad, Girijesh; McNulty, Helene; Walsh, Colum P

    2016-06-01

    DNA methylation provides an attractive possible means for propagating the effects of environmental inputs during fetal life and impacting subsequent adult mental health, which is leading to increasing collaboration between molecular biologists, nutritionists and psychiatrists. An area of interest is the potential role of folate, not just in neural tube closure in early pregnancy, but in later major neurodevelopmental events, with consequences for later sociocognitive maturation. Here, we set the scene for recent discoveries by reviewing the major events of neural development during fetal life, with an emphasis on tissues and structures where dynamic methylation changes are known to occur. Following this, we give an indication of some of the major classes of genes targeted by methylation and important for neurological and behavioral development. Finally, we highlight some cognitive disorders where methylation changes are implicated as playing an important role. PMID:27319574

  18. Ancestry dependent DNA methylation and influence of maternal nutrition.

    PubMed

    Mozhui, Khyobeni; Smith, Alicia K; Tylavsky, Frances A

    2015-01-01

    There is extensive variation in DNA methylation between individuals and ethnic groups. These differences arise from a combination of genetic and non-genetic influences and potential modifiers include nutritional cues, early life experience, and social and physical environments. Here we compare genome-wide DNA methylation in neonatal cord blood from African American (AA; N = 112) and European American (EA; N = 91) participants of the CANDLE Study (Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood). Our goal is to determine if there are replicable ancestry-specific methylation patterns that may implicate risk factors for diseases that have differential prevalence between populations. To identify the most robust ancestry-specific CpG sites, we replicate our results in lymphoblastoid cell lines from Yoruba African and CEPH European panels of HapMap. We also evaluate the influence of maternal nutrition--specifically, plasma levels of vitamin D and folate during pregnancy--on methylation in newborns. We define stable ancestry-dependent methylation of genes that include tumor suppressors and cell cycle regulators (e.g., APC, BRCA1, MCC). Overall, there is lower global methylation in African ancestral groups. Plasma levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D are also considerably lower among AA mothers and about 60% of AA and 40% of EA mothers have concentrations below 20 ng/ml. Using a weighted correlation analysis, we define a network of CpG sites that is jointly modulated by ancestry and maternal vitamin D. Our results show that differences in DNA methylation patterns are remarkably stable and maternal micronutrients can exert an influence on the child epigenome. PMID:25742137

  19. Aberrant DNA Methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 in Borderline Personality Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Teschler, Stefanie; Gotthardt, Julia; Dammann, Gerhard; Dammann, Reinhard H.

    2016-01-01

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious psychic disease with a high risk for suicide. DNA methylation is a hallmark for aberrant epigenetic regulation and could be involved in the etiology of BPD. Previously, it has been reported that increased DNA methylation of neuropsychiatric genes is found in the blood of patients with BPD compared to healthy controls. Here, we analyzed DNA methylation patterns of the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA promoter region and 5′-external transcribed spacer/5′ETS) and the promoter of the proline rich membrane anchor 1 gene (PRIMA1) in peripheral blood samples of 24 female patients (mean age (33 ± 11) years) diagnosed with DSM-IV BPD and in 11 female controls (mean age (32 ± 7) years). A significant aberrant methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 was revealed for BPD patients using pyrosequencing. For the promoter of PRIMA1, the average methylation of six CpG sites was 1.6-fold higher in BPD patients compared to controls. In contrast, the methylation levels of the rDNA promoter region and the 5′ETS were significantly lower (0.9-fold) in patients with BPD compared to controls. Thus, for nine CpGs located in the rDNA promoter region and for four CpGs at the 5′ETS decreased methylation was found in peripheral blood of patients compared to controls. Our results suggest that aberrant methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 is associated with the pathogenesis of BPD. PMID:26742039

  20. Aberrant DNA Methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 in Borderline Personality Disorder.

    PubMed

    Teschler, Stefanie; Gotthardt, Julia; Dammann, Gerhard; Dammann, Reinhard H

    2016-01-01

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious psychic disease with a high risk for suicide. DNA methylation is a hallmark for aberrant epigenetic regulation and could be involved in the etiology of BPD. Previously, it has been reported that increased DNA methylation of neuropsychiatric genes is found in the blood of patients with BPD compared to healthy controls. Here, we analyzed DNA methylation patterns of the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA promoter region and 5'-external transcribed spacer/5'ETS) and the promoter of the proline rich membrane anchor 1 gene (PRIMA1) in peripheral blood samples of 24 female patients (mean age (33 ± 11) years) diagnosed with DSM-IV BPD and in 11 female controls (mean age (32 ± 7) years). A significant aberrant methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 was revealed for BPD patients using pyrosequencing. For the promoter of PRIMA1, the average methylation of six CpG sites was 1.6-fold higher in BPD patients compared to controls. In contrast, the methylation levels of the rDNA promoter region and the 5'ETS were significantly lower (0.9-fold) in patients with BPD compared to controls. Thus, for nine CpGs located in the rDNA promoter region and for four CpGs at the 5'ETS decreased methylation was found in peripheral blood of patients compared to controls. Our results suggest that aberrant methylation of rDNA and PRIMA1 is associated with the pathogenesis of BPD. PMID:26742039

  1. GADD45α inhibition of DNMT1 dependent DNA methylation during homology directed DNA repair

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Bongyong; Morano, Annalisa; Porcellini, Antonio; Muller, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    In this work, we examine regulation of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) by the DNA damage inducible protein, GADD45α. We used a system to induce homologous recombination (HR) at a unique double-strand DNA break in a GFP reporter in mammalian cells. After HR, the repaired DNA is hypermethylated in recombinant clones showing low GFP expression (HR-L expressor class), while in high expressor recombinants (HR-H clones) previous methylation patterns are erased. GADD45α, which is transiently induced by double-strand breaks, binds to chromatin undergoing HR repair. Ectopic overexpression of GADD45α during repair increases the HR-H fraction of cells (hypomethylated repaired DNA), without altering the recombination frequency. Conversely, silencing of GADD45α increases methylation of the recombined segment and amplifies the HR-L expressor (hypermethylated) population. GADD45α specifically interacts with the catalytic site of DNMT1 and inhibits methylation activity in vitro. We propose that double-strand DNA damage and the resulting HR process involves precise, strand selected DNA methylation by DNMT1 that is regulated by GADD45α. Since GADD45α binds with high avidity to hemimethylated DNA intermediates, it may also provide a barrier to spreading of methylation during or after HR repair. PMID:22135303

  2. Transcription Driven Somatic DNA Methylation within the Imprinted Gnas Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Stuti; Williamson, Christine M.; Ball, Simon; Tibbit, Charlotte; Beechey, Colin; Fray, Martin; Peters, Jo

    2015-01-01

    Differential marking of genes in female and male gametes by DNA methylation is essential to genomic imprinting. In female gametes transcription traversing differentially methylated regions (DMRs) is a common requirement for de novo methylation at DMRs. At the imprinted Gnas cluster oocyte specific transcription of a protein-coding transcript, Nesp, is needed for methylation of two DMRs intragenic to Nesp, namely the Nespas-Gnasxl DMR and the Exon1A DMR, thereby enabling expression of the Gnas transcript and repression of the Gnasxl transcript. On the paternal allele, Nesp is repressed, the germline DMRs are unmethylated, Gnas is repressed and Gnasxl is expressed. Using mutant mouse models, we show that on the paternal allele, ectopic transcription of Nesp traversing the intragenic Exon1A DMR (which regulates Gnas expression) results in de novo methylation of the Exon1A DMR and de-repression of Gnas just as on the maternal allele. However, unlike the maternal allele, methylation on the mutant paternal allele occurs post-fertilisation, i.e. in somatic cells. This, to our knowledge is the first example of transcript/transcription driven DNA methylation of an intragenic CpG island, in somatic tissues, suggesting that transcription driven de novo methylation is not restricted to the germline in the mouse. Additionally, Gnasxl is repressed on a paternal chromosome on which Nesp is ectopically expressed. Thus, a paternally inherited Gnas cluster showing ectopic expression of Nesp is “maternalised” in terms of Gnasxl and Gnas expression. We show that these mice have a phenotype similar to mutants with two expressed doses of Gnas and none of Gnasxl. PMID:25659103

  3. Arsenic exposure and DNA methylation among elderly men

    PubMed Central

    Lambrou, Angeliki; Baccarelli, Andrea; Wright, Robert O.; Weisskopf, Marc; Bollati, Valentina; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra; Vokonas, Pantel; Schwartz, Joel

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Arsenic exposure has been linked to epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation in in vitro and animal studies. This association has also been explored in highly exposed human populations, but studies among populations environmentally exposed to low arsenic levels are lacking. METHODS We evaluated the association between exposure to arsenic, measured in toenails, and blood DNA methylation in Alu and Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element-1 (LINE-1) repetitive elements in elderly men environmentally exposed to low levels of arsenic. We also explored potential effect modification by plasma folate, cobalamin (vitamin B12), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). The study population was 581 participants from the Normative Aging Study in Boston, of whom 434, 140, and 7 had 1, 2, and 3 visits, respectively, between 1999-2002 and 2006-2007. We used mixed-effects models and included interaction terms to assess potential effect modification by nutritional factors. RESULTS There was a trend of increasing Alu and decreasing LINE-1 DNA methylation as arsenic exposure increased. In subjects with plasma folate below the median (< 14.1 ng/ml), arsenic was positively associated with Alu DNA methylation (β=0.08 [95% confidence interval = 0.03 to 0.13] for one interquartile range [0.06μg/g] increase in arsenic) while a negative association was observed in subjects with plasma folate above the median (β=-0.08 [-0.17 to 0.01]). CONCLUSIONS We found an association between arsenic exposure and DNA methylation in Alu repetitive elements that varied by folate level. This suggests a potential role for nutritional factors in arsenic toxicity. PMID:22833016

  4. DNA methylation and differential gene regulation in photoreceptor cell death

    PubMed Central

    Farinelli, P; Perera, A; Arango-Gonzalez, B; Trifunovic, D; Wagner, M; Carell, T; Biel, M; Zrenner, E; Michalakis, S; Paquet-Durand, F; Ekström, P A R

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) defines a group of inherited degenerative retinal diseases causing progressive loss of photoreceptors. To this day, RP is still untreatable and rational treatment development will require a thorough understanding of the underlying cell death mechanisms. Methylation of the DNA base cytosine by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) is an important epigenetic factor regulating gene expression, cell differentiation, cell death, and survival. Previous studies suggested an involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in RP, and in this study, increased cytosine methylation was detected in dying photoreceptors in the rd1, rd2, P23H, and S334ter rodent models for RP. Ultrastructural analysis of photoreceptor nuclear morphology in the rd1 mouse model for RP revealed a severely altered chromatin structure during retinal degeneration that coincided with an increased expression of the DNMT isozyme DNMT3a. To identify disease-specific differentially methylated DNA regions (DMRs) on a genomic level, we immunoprecipitated methylated DNA fragments and subsequently analyzed them with a targeted microarray. Genome-wide comparison of DMRs between rd1 and wild-type retina revealed hypermethylation of genes involved in cell death and survival as well as cell morphology and nervous system development. When correlating DMRs with gene expression data, we found that hypermethylation occurred alongside transcriptional repression. Consistently, motif analysis showed that binding sites of several important transcription factors for retinal physiology were hypermethylated in the mutant model, which also correlated with transcriptional silencing of their respective target genes. Finally, inhibition of DNMTs in rd1 organotypic retinal explants using decitabine resulted in a substantial reduction of photoreceptor cell death, suggesting inhibition of DNA methylation as a potential novel treatment in RP. PMID:25476906

  5. DNA methylation and differential gene regulation in photoreceptor cell death.

    PubMed

    Farinelli, P; Perera, A; Arango-Gonzalez, B; Trifunovic, D; Wagner, M; Carell, T; Biel, M; Zrenner, E; Michalakis, S; Paquet-Durand, F; Ekström, P A R

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) defines a group of inherited degenerative retinal diseases causing progressive loss of photoreceptors. To this day, RP is still untreatable and rational treatment development will require a thorough understanding of the underlying cell death mechanisms. Methylation of the DNA base cytosine by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) is an important epigenetic factor regulating gene expression, cell differentiation, cell death, and survival. Previous studies suggested an involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in RP, and in this study, increased cytosine methylation was detected in dying photoreceptors in the rd1, rd2, P23H, and S334ter rodent models for RP. Ultrastructural analysis of photoreceptor nuclear morphology in the rd1 mouse model for RP revealed a severely altered chromatin structure during retinal degeneration that coincided with an increased expression of the DNMT isozyme DNMT3a. To identify disease-specific differentially methylated DNA regions (DMRs) on a genomic level, we immunoprecipitated methylated DNA fragments and subsequently analyzed them with a targeted microarray. Genome-wide comparison of DMRs between rd1 and wild-type retina revealed hypermethylation of genes involved in cell death and survival as well as cell morphology and nervous system development. When correlating DMRs with gene expression data, we found that hypermethylation occurred alongside transcriptional repression. Consistently, motif analysis showed that binding sites of several important transcription factors for retinal physiology were hypermethylated in the mutant model, which also correlated with transcriptional silencing of their respective target genes. Finally, inhibition of DNMTs in rd1 organotypic retinal explants using decitabine resulted in a substantial reduction of photoreceptor cell death, suggesting inhibition of DNA methylation as a potential novel treatment in RP. PMID:25476906

  6. methylKit: a comprehensive R package for the analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation profiles

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation is a chemical modification of cytosine bases that is pivotal for gene regulation, cellular specification and cancer development. Here, we describe an R package, methylKit, that rapidly analyzes genome-wide cytosine epigenetic profiles from high-throughput methylation and hydroxymethylation sequencing experiments. methylKit includes functions for clustering, sample quality visualization, differential methylation analysis and annotation features, thus automating and simplifying many of the steps for discerning statistically significant bases or regions of DNA methylation. Finally, we demonstrate methylKit on breast cancer data, in which we find statistically significant regions of differential methylation and stratify tumor subtypes. methylKit is available at http://code.google.com/p/methylkit. PMID:23034086

  7. methylKit: a comprehensive R package for the analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation profiles.

    PubMed

    Akalin, Altuna; Kormaksson, Matthias; Li, Sheng; Garrett-Bakelman, Francine E; Figueroa, Maria E; Melnick, Ari; Mason, Christopher E

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation is a chemical modification of cytosine bases that is pivotal for gene regulation, cellular specification and cancer development. Here, we describe an R package, methylKit, that rapidly analyzes genome-wide cytosine epigenetic profiles from high-throughput methylation and hydroxymethylation sequencing experiments. methylKit includes functions for clustering, sample quality visualization, differential methylation analysis and annotation features, thus automating and simplifying many of the steps for discerning statistically significant bases or regions of DNA methylation. Finally, we demonstrate methylKit on breast cancer data, in which we find statistically significant regions of differential methylation and stratify tumor subtypes. methylKit is available at http://code.google.com/p/methylkit. PMID:23034086

  8. The dynamic changes of DNA methylation in primordial germ cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Liu, Yongmei; Wang, Jie; Liao, Jiangquan; Hu, Junyuan

    2016-10-15

    The discovery of DNA methylation has provided a new perspective on how DNA may be dynamically regulated in the mammalian genome. DNA methylation is a dynamic process with a demethylation and de novo methylation from primordial germ cell to differentiation. DNA methylation and demethylation have been proposed to play important roles in somatic cell reprogramming. Some essential components were discussed, such as hydroxymethylation which has recently been confirmed as a modification of developmental importance. PMID:27320728

  9. Genome-wide mapping of nucleosome positioning and DNA methylation within individual DNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Theresa K.; Liu, Yaping; Lay, Fides D.; Liang, Gangning; Berman, Benjamin P.; Jones, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning work together to generate chromatin structures that regulate gene expression. Nucleosomes are typically mapped using nuclease digestion requiring significant amounts of material and varying enzyme concentrations. We have developed a method (NOMe-seq) that uses a GpC methyltransferase (M.CviPI) and next generation sequencing to generate a high resolution footprint of nucleosome positioning genome-wide using less than 1 million cells while retaining endogenous DNA methylation information from the same DNA strand. Using a novel bioinformatics pipeline, we show a striking anti-correlation between nucleosome occupancy and DNA methylation at CTCF regions that is not present at promoters. We further show that the extent of nucleosome depletion at promoters is directly correlated to expression level and can accommodate multiple nucleosomes and provide genome-wide evidence that expressed non-CpG island promoters are nucleosome-depleted. Importantly, NOMe-seq obtains DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning information from the same DNA molecule, giving the first genome-wide DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning correlation at the single molecule, and thus, single cell level, that can be used to monitor disease progression and response to therapy. PMID:22960375

  10. Predictors and Consequences of Global DNA Methylation in Cord Blood and at Three Years

    PubMed Central

    Herbstman, Julie B.; Wang, Shuang; Perera, Frederica P.; Lederman, Sally A.; Vishnevetsky, Julia; Rundle, Andrew G.; Hoepner, Lori A.; Qu, Lirong; Tang, Deliang

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation changes have been implicated in many common chronic diseases leading to the hypothesis that environmental and age-related DNA methylation changes within individuals are involved in disease etiology. Few studies have examined DNA methylation changes within an individual over time and all of these studies have been conducted in adults. Here, we aim to characterize how global DNA methylation changes from birth to age three within a longitudinal birth cohort study and to determine whether there are consistent predictors of DNA methylation levels measured three years apart. We measured global DNA methylation in the same children at birth (cord blood) and again at three years of age among 165 children, using an immunoassay. We found that on average, DNA methylation was significantly higher in blood at age 3-years than in cord blood (p<0.01). However, for any individual child, the difference was less than would be expected by chance. We found that pre-pregnancy BMI was negatively predictive of both cord and three-year DNA methylation, even after statistical adjustment to account for the correlation between cord blood and three-year DNA methylation. The biologic implications of small changes in global DNA methylation are unknown. However, the observation that global DNA methylation levels persist within an individual from birth to age three supports the belief that factors that influence global DNA methylation, including pre-pregnancy BMI, may confer long-term effects. PMID:24023780

  11. Histone H1 Limits DNA Methylation in Neurospora crassa

    PubMed Central

    Seymour, Michael; Ji, Lexiang; Santos, Alex M.; Kamei, Masayuki; Sasaki, Takahiko; Basenko, Evelina Y.; Schmitz, Robert J.; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Lewis, Zachary A.

    2016-01-01

    Histone H1 variants, known as linker histones, are essential chromatin components in higher eukaryotes, yet compared to the core histones relatively little is known about their in vivo functions. The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa encodes a single H1 protein that is not essential for viability. To investigate the role of N. crassa H1, we constructed a functional FLAG-tagged H1 fusion protein and performed genomic and molecular analyses. Cell fractionation experiments showed that H1-3XFLAG is a chromatin binding protein. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation combined with sequencing (ChIP-seq) revealed that H1-3XFLAG is globally enriched throughout the genome with a subtle preference for promoters of expressed genes. In mammals, the stoichiometry of H1 impacts nucleosome repeat length. To determine if H1 impacts nucleosome occupancy or nucleosome positioning in N. crassa, we performed micrococcal nuclease digestion in the wild-type and the ΔhH1 strain followed by sequencing (MNase-seq). Deletion of hH1 did not significantly impact nucleosome positioning or nucleosome occupancy. Analysis of DNA methylation by whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (MethylC-seq) revealed a modest but global increase in DNA methylation in the ΔhH1 mutant. Together, these data suggest that H1 acts as a nonspecific chromatin binding protein that can limit accessibility of the DNA methylation machinery in N. crassa. PMID:27172195

  12. Histone H1 Limits DNA Methylation in Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Michael; Ji, Lexiang; Santos, Alex M; Kamei, Masayuki; Sasaki, Takahiko; Basenko, Evelina Y; Schmitz, Robert J; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Lewis, Zachary A

    2016-01-01

    Histone H1 variants, known as linker histones, are essential chromatin components in higher eukaryotes, yet compared to the core histones relatively little is known about their in vivo functions. The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa encodes a single H1 protein that is not essential for viability. To investigate the role of N. crassa H1, we constructed a functional FLAG-tagged H1 fusion protein and performed genomic and molecular analyses. Cell fractionation experiments showed that H1-3XFLAG is a chromatin binding protein. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation combined with sequencing (ChIP-seq) revealed that H1-3XFLAG is globally enriched throughout the genome with a subtle preference for promoters of expressed genes. In mammals, the stoichiometry of H1 impacts nucleosome repeat length. To determine if H1 impacts nucleosome occupancy or nucleosome positioning in N. crassa, we performed micrococcal nuclease digestion in the wild-type and the [Formula: see text]hH1 strain followed by sequencing (MNase-seq). Deletion of hH1 did not significantly impact nucleosome positioning or nucleosome occupancy. Analysis of DNA methylation by whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (MethylC-seq) revealed a modest but global increase in DNA methylation in the [Formula: see text]hH1 mutant. Together, these data suggest that H1 acts as a nonspecific chromatin binding protein that can limit accessibility of the DNA methylation machinery in N. crassa. PMID:27172195

  13. Distinct DNA methylation patterns in cirrhotic liver and hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Ammerpohl, Ole; Pratschke, Johann; Schafmayer, Clemens; Haake, Andrea; Faber, Wladimir; von Kampen, Oliver; Brosch, Mario; Sipos, Bence; von Schönfels, Witigo; Balschun, Katharina; Röcken, Christoph; Arlt, Alexander; Schniewind, Bodo; Grauholm, Jonas; Kalthoff, Holger; Neuhaus, Peter; Stickel, Felix; Schreiber, Stefan; Becker, Thomas; Siebert, Reiner; Hampe, Jochen

    2012-03-15

    Abberrant DNA methylation is one of the hallmarks of cancerogenesis. Our study aims to delineate differential DNA methylation in cirrhosis and hepatic cancerogenesis. Patterns of methylation of 27,578 individual CpG loci in 12 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), 15 cirrhotic controls and 12 normal liver samples were investigated using an array-based technology. A supervised principal component analysis (PCA) revealed 167 hypomethylated loci and 100 hypermethylated loci in cirrhosis and HCC as compared to normal controls. Thus, these loci show a "cirrhotic" methylation pattern that is maintained in HCC. In pairwise supervised PCAs between normal liver, cirrhosis and HCC, eight loci were significantly changed in all analyses differentiating the three groups (p < 0.0001). Of these, five loci showed highest methylation levels in HCC and lowest in control tissue (LOC55908, CELSR1, CRMP1, GNRH2, ALOX12 and ANGPTL7), whereas two loci showed the opposite direction of change (SPRR3 and TNFSF15). Genes hypermethylated between normal liver to cirrhosis, which maintain this methylation pattern during the development of HCC, are depleted for CpG islands, high CpG content promoters and polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) targets in embryonic stem cells. In contrast, genes selectively hypermethylated in HCC as compared to nonmalignant samples showed an enrichment of CpG islands, high CpG content promoters and PRC2 target genes (p < 0.0001). Cirrhosis and HCC show distinct patterns of differential methylation with regards to promoter structure, PRC2 targets and CpG islands. PMID:21500188

  14. Role of CpG context and content in evolutionary signatures of brain DNA methylation

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Yurong; O’Donnell, Anne H.; Ge, Yongchao; Chanrion, Benjamin; Milekic, Maria; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Stankov, Aleksandar; Arango, Victoria; Dwork, Andrew J.; Gingrich, Jay A.; Haghighi, Fatemeh G.

    2011-01-01

    DNA methylation is essential in brain function and behavior; therefore, understanding the role of DNA methylation in brain-based disorders begins with the study of DNA methylation profiles in normal brain. Determining the patterns and scale of methylation conservation and alteration in an evolutionary context enables the design of focused but effective methylation studies of disease states. We applied an enzymatic-based approach, Methylation Mapping Analysis by Paired-end Sequencing (Methyl-MAPS), which utilizes second-generation sequencing technology to provide an unbiased representation of genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of human and mouse brains. In this large-scale study, we assayed CpG methylation in cerebral cortex of neurologically and psychiatrically normal human postmortem specimens, as well as mouse forebrain specimens. Cross-species human-mouse DNA methylation conservation analysis shows that DNA methylation is not correlated with sequence conservation. Instead, greater DNA methylation conservation is correlated with increasing CpG density. In addition to CpG density, these data show that genomic context is a critical factor in DNA methylation conservation and alteration signatures throughout mammalian brain evolution. We identify key genomic features that can be targeted for identification of epigenetic loci that may be developmentally and evolutionarily conserved and wherein aberrations in DNA methylation patterns can confer risk for disease. PMID:22048252

  15. Infant sex-specific placental cadmium and DNA methylation associations

    SciTech Connect

    Mohanty, April F.; Farin, Fred M.; Bammler, Theo K.; MacDonald, James W.; Afsharinejad, Zahra; Burbacher, Thomas M.; Siscovick, David S.; and others

    2015-04-15

    Background: Recent evidence suggests that maternal cadmium (Cd) burden and fetal growth associations may vary by fetal sex. However, mechanisms contributing to these differences are unknown. Objectives: Among 24 maternal-infant pairs, we investigated infant sex-specific associations between placental Cd and placental genome-wide DNA methylation. Methods: We used ANOVA models to examine sex-stratified associations of placental Cd (dichotomized into high/low Cd using sex-specific Cd median cutoffs) with DNA methylation at each cytosine-phosphate-guanine site or region. Statistical significance was defined using a false discovery rate cutoff (<0.10). Results: Medians of placental Cd among females and males were 5 and 2 ng/g, respectively. Among females, three sites (near ADP-ribosylation factor-like 9 (ARL9), siah E3 ubiquitin protein ligase family member 3 (SIAH3), and heparin sulfate (glucosamine) 3-O-sulfotransferase 4 (HS3ST4) and one region on chromosome 7 (including carnitine O-octanoyltransferase (CROT) and TP5S target 1 (TP53TG1)) were hypomethylated in high Cd placentas. Among males, high placental Cd was associated with methylation of three sites, two (hypomethylated) near MDS1 and EVI1 complex locus (MECOM) and one (hypermethylated) near spalt-like transcription factor 1 (SALL1), and two regions (both hypomethylated, one on chromosome 3 including MECOM and another on chromosome 8 including rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) 10 (ARHGEF10). Differentially methylated sites were at or close to transcription start sites of genes involved in cell damage response (SIAH3, HS3ST4, TP53TG1) in females and cell differentiation, angiogenesis and organ development (MECOM, SALL1) in males. Conclusions: Our preliminary study supports infant sex-specific placental Cd-DNA methylation associations, possibly accounting for previously reported differences in Cd-fetal growth associations across fetal sex. Larger studies are needed to replicate and extend these

  16. Minimal evidence for consistent changes in maize DNA methylation patterns following environmental stress

    PubMed Central

    Eichten, Steven R.; Springer, Nathan M.

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is a chromatin modification that is sometimes associated with epigenetic regulation of gene expression. As DNA methylation can be reversible at some loci, it is possible that methylation patterns may change within an organism that is subjected to environmental stress. In order to assess the effects of abiotic stress on DNA methylation patterns in maize (Zea mays), seeding plants were subjected to heat, cold, and UV stress treatments. Tissue was later collected from individual adult plants that had been subjected to stress or control treatments and used to perform DNA methylation profiling to determine whether there were consistent changes in DNA methylation triggered by specific stress treatments. DNA methylation profiling was performed by immunoprecipitation of methylated DNA followed by microarray hybridization to allow for quantitative estimates of DNA methylation abundance throughout the low-copy portion of the maize genome. By comparing the DNA methylation profiles of each individual plant to the average of the control plants it was possible to identify regions of the genome with variable DNA methylation. However, we did not find evidence of consistent DNA methylation changes resulting from the stress treatments used in this study. Instead, the data suggest that there is a low-rate of stochastic variation that is present in both control and stressed plants. PMID:25999972

  17. Compendium of aberrant DNA methylation and histone modifications in cancer.

    PubMed

    Hattori, Naoko; Ushijima, Toshikazu

    2014-12-01

    Epigenetics now refers to the study or research field related to DNA methylation and histone modifications. Historically, global DNA hypomethylation was first revealed in 1983, and, after a decade, silencing of a tumor suppressor gene by regional DNA hypermethylation was reported. After the proposal of the histone code in the 2000s, alterations of histone methylation were also identified in cancers. Now, it is established that aberrant epigenetic alterations are involved in cancer development and progression, along with mutations and chromosomal losses. Recent cancer genome analyses have revealed a large number of mutations of epigenetic modifiers, supporting their important roles in cancer pathogenesis. Taking advantage of the reversibility of epigenetic alterations, drugs targeting epigenetic regulators and readers have been developed for restoration of normal pattern of the epigenome, and some have already demonstrated clinical benefits. In addition, DNA methylation of specific marker genes can be used as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis, including risk diagnosis, detection of cancers, and pathophysiological diagnosis. In this paper, we will summarize the major concepts of cancer epigenetics, placing emphasis on history. PMID:25194808

  18. Dynamic DNA methylation regulates neuronal intrinsic membrane excitability.

    PubMed

    Meadows, Jarrod P; Guzman-Karlsson, Mikael C; Phillips, Scott; Brown, Jordan A; Strange, Sarah K; Sweatt, J David; Hablitz, John J

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA cytosine methylation, contribute to the mechanisms underlying learning and memory by coordinating adaptive gene expression and neuronal plasticity. Transcription-dependent plasticity regulated by DNA methylation includes synaptic plasticity and homeostatic synaptic scaling. Memory-related plasticity also includes alterations in intrinsic membrane excitability mediated by changes in the abundance or activity of ion channels in the plasma membrane, which sets the threshold for action potential generation. We found that prolonged inhibition of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity increased intrinsic membrane excitability of cultured cortical pyramidal neurons. Knockdown of the cytosine demethylase TET1 or inhibition of RNA polymerase blocked the increased membrane excitability caused by DNMT inhibition, suggesting that this effect was mediated by subsequent cytosine demethylation and de novo transcription. Prolonged DNMT inhibition blunted the medium component of the after-hyperpolarization potential, an effect that would increase neuronal excitability, and was associated with reduced expression of the genes encoding small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels. Furthermore, the specific SK channel blocker apamin increased neuronal excitability but was ineffective after DNMT inhibition. Our results suggested that DNMT inhibition enables transcriptional changes that culminate in decreased expression of SK channel-encoding genes and decreased activity of SK channels, thus providing a mechanism for the regulation of neuronal intrinsic membrane excitability by dynamic DNA cytosine methylation. This study has implications for human neurological and psychiatric diseases associated with dysregulated intrinsic excitability. PMID:27555660

  19. Aberrant DNA Methylation: Implications in Racial Health Disparity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xuefeng; Ji, Ping; Zhang, Yuanhao; LaComb, Joseph F.; Tian, Xinyu; Li, Ellen; Williams, Jennie L.

    2016-01-01

    Background Incidence and mortality rates of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) are higher in African Americans (AAs) than in Caucasian Americans (CAs). Deficient micronutrient intake due to dietary restrictions in racial/ethnic populations can alter genetic and molecular profiles leading to dysregulated methylation patterns and the inheritance of somatic to germline mutations. Materials and Methods Total DNA and RNA samples of paired tumor and adjacent normal colon tissues were prepared from AA and CA CRC specimens. Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS) and RNA sequencing were employed to evaluate total genome methylation of 5’-regulatory regions and dysregulation of gene expression, respectively. Robust analysis was conducted using a trimming-and-retrieving scheme for RRBS library mapping in conjunction with the BStool toolkit. Results DNA from the tumor of AA CRC patients, compared to adjacent normal tissues, contained 1,588 hypermethylated and 100 hypomethylated differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Whereas, 109 hypermethylated and 4 hypomethylated DMRs were observed in DNA from the tumor of CA CRC patients; representing a 14.6-fold and 25-fold change, respectively. Specifically; CHL1, 4 anti-inflammatory genes (i.e., NELL1, GDF1, ARHGEF4, and ITGA4), and 7 miRNAs (of which miR-9-3p and miR-124-3p have been implicated in CRC) were hypermethylated in DNA samples from AA patients with CRC. From the same sample set, RNAseq analysis revealed 108 downregulated genes (including 14 ribosomal proteins) and 34 upregulated genes (including POLR2B and CYP1B1 [targets of miR-124-3p]) in AA patients with CRC versus CA patients. Conclusion DNA methylation profile and/or products of its downstream targets could serve as biomarker(s) addressing racial health disparity. PMID:27111221

  20. Comprehensive Analysis of Preeclampsia-Associated DNA Methylation in the Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Tianjiao; Bunce, Kimberly; Shaw, Patricia; Shridhar, Varsha; Althouse, Andrew; Hubel, Carl; Peters, David

    2014-01-01

    Background A small number of recent reports have suggested that altered placental DNA methylation may be associated with early onset preeclampsia. It is important that further studies be undertaken to confirm and develop these findings. We therefore undertook a systematic analysis of DNA methylation patterns in placental tissue from 24 women with preeclampsia and 24 with uncomplicated pregnancy outcome. Methods We analyzed the DNA methylation status of approximately 27,000 CpG sites in placental tissues in a massively parallel fashion using an oligonucleotide microarray. Follow up analysis of DNA methylation at specific CpG loci was performed using the Epityper MassArray approach and high-throughput bisulfite sequencing. Results Preeclampsia-specific DNA methylation changes were identified in placental tissue samples irrespective of gestational age of delivery. In addition, we identified a group of CpG sites within specific gene sequences that were only altered in early onset-preeclampsia (EOPET) although these DNA methylation changes did not correlate with altered mRNA transcription. We found evidence that fetal gender influences DNA methylation at autosomal loci but could find no clear association between DNA methylation and gestational age. Conclusion Preeclampsia is associated with altered placental DNA methylation. Fetal gender should be carefully considered during the design of future studies in which placental DNA is analyzed at the level of DNA methylation. Further large-scale analyses of preeclampsia-associated DNA methylation are necessary. PMID:25247495

  1. Structure of DNMT1-DNA Complex Reveals a Role for Autoinhibition in Maintenance DNA Methylation

    SciTech Connect

    J Song; O Rechkoblit; T Bestor; D Patel

    2011-12-31

    Maintenance of genomic methylation patterns is mediated primarily by DNA methyltransferase-1 (DNMT1). We have solved structures of mouse and human DNMT1 composed of CXXC, tandem bromo-adjacent homology (BAH1/2), and methyltransferase domains bound to DNA-containing unmethylated CpG sites. The CXXC specifically binds to unmethylated CpG dinucleotide and positions the CXXC-BAH1 linker between the DNA and the active site of DNMT1, preventing de novo methylation. In addition, a loop projecting from BAH2 interacts with the target recognition domain (TRD) of the methyltransferase, stabilizing the TRD in a retracted position and preventing it from inserting into the DNA major groove. Our studies identify an autoinhibitory mechanism, in which unmethylated CpG dinucleotides are occluded from the active site to ensure that only hemimethylated CpG dinucleotides undergo methylation.

  2. Dissecting the role of aberrant DNA methylation in human leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Amabile, Giovanni; Di Ruscio, Annalisa; Müller, Fabian; Welner, Robert S; Yang, Henry; Ebralidze, Alexander K; Zhang, Hong; Levantini, Elena; Qi, Lihua; Martinelli, Giovanni; Brummelkamp, Thijn; Le Beau, Michelle M; Figueroa, Maria E; Bock, Christoph; Tenen, Daniel G

    2015-01-01

    Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder characterized by the genetic translocation t(9;22)(q34;q11.2) encoding for the BCR-ABL fusion oncogene. However, many molecular mechanisms of the disease progression still remain poorly understood. A growing body of evidence suggests that epigenetic abnormalities are involved in tyrosine kinase resistance in CML, leading to leukemic clone escape and disease propagation. Here we show that, by applying cellular reprogramming to primary CML cells, aberrant DNA methylation contributes to the disease evolution. Importantly, using a BCR-ABL inducible murine model, we demonstrate that a single oncogenic lesion triggers DNA methylation changes which in turn act as a precipitating event in leukemia progression. PMID:25997600

  3. Emerging technologies for studying DNA methylation for the molecular diagnosis of cancer

    PubMed Central

    Marzese, Diego M.; Hoon, Dave S.B.

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that plays a key role in regulating gene expression and other functions. Although this modification is seen in different sequence contexts, the most frequently detected DNA methylation in mammals involves cytosine-guanine dinucleotides. Pathological alterations in DNA methylation patterns are described in a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Unlike genetic changes, DNA methylation is heavily influenced by subtle modifications in the cellular microenvironment. In all cancers, aberrant DNA methylation is involved in the alteration of a large number of oncological pathways with relevant theranostic utility. Several technologies for DNA methylation mapping were recently developed and successfully applied in cancer studies. The scope of these technologies varies from assessing a single cytosine-guanine locus to genome-wide distribution of DNA methylation. Here, we review the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches in the context of clinical utility for the molecular diagnosis of human cancers. PMID:25797072

  4. DNA methylation dynamics during in vivo differentiation of blood and skin stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Bock, Christoph; Beerman, Isabel; Lien, Wen-Hui; Smith, Zachary D.; Gu, Hongcang; Boyle, Patrick; Gnirke, Andreas; Fuchs, Elaine; Rossi, Derrick J.; Meissner, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation is a mechanism of epigenetic regulation that is common to all vertebrates. Functional studies underscore its relevance for tissue homeostasis, but the global dynamics of DNA methylation during in vivo differentiation remain underexplored. Here we report high-resolution DNA methylation maps of adult stem cell differentiation in mouse, focusing on 19 purified cell populations of the blood and skin lineages. DNA methylation changes were locus-specific and relatively modest in magnitude. They frequently overlapped with lineage-associated transcription factors and their binding sites, suggesting that DNA methylation may protect cells from aberrant transcription factor activation. DNA methylation and gene expression provided complementary information, and combining the two enabled us to infer the cellular differentiation hierarchy of the blood lineage directly from genomic data. In summary, these results demonstrate that in vivo differentiation of adult stem cells is associated with small but informative changes in the genomic distribution of DNA methylation. PMID:22841485

  5. Targeted DNA methylation by homology-directed repair in mammalian cells. Transcription reshapes methylation on the repaired gene

    PubMed Central

    Morano, Annalisa; Angrisano, Tiziana; Russo, Giusi; Landi, Rosaria; Pezone, Antonio; Bartollino, Silvia; Zuchegna, Candida; Babbio, Federica; Bonapace, Ian Marc; Allen, Brittany; Muller, Mark T.; Chiariotti, Lorenzo; Gottesman, Max E.; Porcellini, Antonio; Avvedimento, Enrico V.

    2014-01-01

    We report that homology-directed repair of a DNA double-strand break within a single copy Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) gene in HeLa cells alters the methylation pattern at the site of recombination. DNA methyl transferase (DNMT)1, DNMT3a and two proteins that regulate methylation, Np95 and GADD45A, are recruited to the site of repair and are responsible for selective methylation of the promoter-distal segment of the repaired DNA. The initial methylation pattern of the locus is modified in a transcription-dependent fashion during the 15–20 days following repair, at which time no further changes in the methylation pattern occur. The variation in DNA modification generates stable clones with wide ranges of GFP expression. Collectively, our data indicate that somatic DNA methylation follows homologous repair and is subjected to remodeling by local transcription in a discrete time window during and after the damage. We propose that DNA methylation of repaired genes represents a DNA damage code and is source of variation of gene expression. PMID:24137009

  6. DNA Polymorphism Among American Watermelon Cultivars Based on DNA Methylation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    American watermelon heirlooms are diverse in their growth habits, fruit qualities and responses to biotic and abiotic stress. Wide ranging DNA marker tools resolved a narrow molecular diversity among these collections. The current research explored additional insights such as extent of diversity a...

  7. A genome-wide DNA methylation study in colorectal carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background We performed a genome-wide scan of 27,578 CpG loci covering 14,475 genes to identify differentially methylated loci (DML) in colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Methods We used Illumina's Infinium methylation assay in paired DNA samples extracted from 24 fresh frozen CRC tissues and their corresponding normal colon tissues from 24 consecutive diagnosed patients at a tertiary medical center. Results We found a total of 627 DML in CRC covering 513 genes, of which 535 are novel DML covering 465 genes. We also validated the Illumina Infinium methylation data for top-ranking genes by non-bisulfite conversion q-PCR-based methyl profiler assay in a subset of the same samples. We also carried out integration of genome-wide copy number and expression microarray along with methylation profiling to see the functional effect of methylation. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) showed that among the major "gene sets" that are hypermethylated in CRC are the sets: "inhibition of adenylate cyclase activity by G-protein signaling", "Rac guanyl-nucleotide exchange factor activity", "regulation of retinoic acid receptor signaling pathway" and "estrogen receptor activity". Two-level nested cross validation showed that DML-based predictive models may offer reasonable sensitivity (around 89%), specificity (around 95%), positive predictive value (around 95%) and negative predictive value (around 89%), suggesting that these markers may have potential clinical application. Conclusion Our genome-wide methylation study in CRC clearly supports most of the previous findings; additionally we found a large number of novel DML in CRC tissue. If confirmed in future studies, these findings may lead to identification of genomic markers for potential clinical application. PMID:21699707

  8. DNA methylation dynamics in human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Nishino, Koichiro; Umezawa, Akihiro

    2016-07-01

    Indeed human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are considered to be powerful tools in regenerative medicine. To enable the use of hiPSCs in the field of regenerative medicine, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of reprogramming during the transformation of somatic cells into hiPSCs. Genome-wide epigenetic modification constitutes a critical event in the generation of iPSCs. In other words, to analyze epigenetic changes in iPSCs means to elucidate reprogramming processes. We have established a large number of hiPSCs derived from various human tissues and have obtained their DNA methylation profiles. Comparison analyses indicated that the epigenetic patterns of various hiPSCs, irrespective of their source tissue, were very similar to one another and were similar to those of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). However, the profiles of hiPSCs and hESCs exhibited epigenetic differences, which were caused by random aberrant hypermethylation at early passages. Interestingly, continuous passaging of the hiPSCs diminished the differences between DNA methylation profiles of hiPSCs and hESCs. The number of aberrant DNA methylation regions may thus represent a useful epigenetic index for evaluating hiPSCs in the context of therapeutic applications. PMID:27083573

  9. DNA methylation in Huntington's disease: Implications for transgenerational effects.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Elizabeth A

    2016-06-20

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating, neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat mutation in the HTT gene. A growing body of evidence suggests that epigenetic modifications play a key role in HD pathogenesis. Expression of the disease protein, huntingtin, leads to extensive transcriptional dysregulation due to disruption of histone-modifying complexes and altered interactions with chromatin-related factors. Such epigenetic mechanisms also readily respond to environmental factors, which are now thought to influence the risk, onset and progression of neurodegenerative disorders, including HD. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that has been studied intensively, however, its role in HD is just emerging. In this review, DNA methylation differences associated with HD will be summarized, as well as the role of environmental factors to alter DNA methylation in a manner that could alter disease phenotypes. Further, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance will be discussed in the context of relevant environmental factors and their potential links to HD. The study of epigenetic states in HD presents an opportunity to gain new insights into risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms associated with HD, as well as to inform about treatment options. PMID:26522374

  10. DNA nucleoside composition and methylation in several species of microalgae

    SciTech Connect

    Jarvis, E.E.; Dunahay, T.G.; Brown, L.M. )

    1992-06-01

    Total DNA was isolated from 10 species of microalgae, including representatives of the Chlorophyceae (Chlorella ellipsoidea, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and Monoraphidium minutum), Bacillariophyceae (Cyclotella cryptica, Navicula saprophila, Nitzschia pusilla, and Phaeodactylum tricornutum), Charophyceae (Stichococcus sp.), Dinophyceae (Crypthecodinium cohnii), and Prasinophyceae (Tetraselmis suecica). Control samples of Escherichia coli and calf thymus DNA were also analyzed. The nucleoside base composition of each DNA sample was determined by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. All samples contained 5-methyldeoxycytidine, although at widely varying levels. In M. minutum, about one-third of the cytidine residues were methylated. Restriction analysis supported this high degree of methylation in M. minutum and suggested that methylation is biased toward 5[prime]-CG dinucleotides. The guanosine + cytosine (GC) contents of the green algae were, with the exception of Stichococcus sp., consistently higher than those of the diatoms. Monoraphidium minutum exhibited an extremely high GC content of 71%. Such a value is rare among eukaryotic organisms and might indicate an unusual codon usage. This work is important for developing strategies for transformation and gene cloning in these algae. 46 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.