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Gene Review

Mecp2  -  methyl CpG binding protein 2

Rattus norvegicus

Synonyms: MeCp-2 protein, MeCp2, Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2
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Disease relevance of Mecp2


Psychiatry related information on Mecp2


High impact information on Mecp2

  • In extracts from rodent tissues, cultured cells, and Xenopus laevis oocytes, we find that only a small amount of mammalian MeCP2 interacts with Sin3a and that this interaction is not stable [4].
  • We propose that genome-wide and/or -specific local DNA methylation may be maintained by the Dnmt1-MeCP2 complexes, bound to hemimethylated DNA [5].
  • Here we show that the methyl-CpG binding protein, MeCP2, interacts directly with the maintenance DNA methyltransferase, Dnmt1 [5].
  • Our data highlight GABAergic neurons as major target cells expressing Mecp2 in response to the serotonin-elevating agents and suggest that serotonin signaling enhances gene silencing in postmitotic neurons [6].
  • Using immunohistochemistry, we found that Mecp2, as well as the methyl-CpG-binding protein MBD1, were significantly induced in normal adult rat brain after repeated injections of fluoxetine or cocaine for 10 days (one injection per day) [6].

Biological context of Mecp2


Anatomical context of Mecp2

  • Although more subtle, the degree of MeCP2 expression in cortex and hippocampus was most closely correlated with synaptogenesis in both regions [9].
  • The expression of methyl CpG binding factor MeCP2 correlates with cellular differentiation in the developing rat brain and in cultured cells [7].
  • At the protein level, MeCP2 was strongly expressed in adult forebrain neurons, but was not detected in astrocytes [7].
  • For example, the early-generated Purkinje cells became MeCP2 positive by P6, while the late-generated granule cells did not express MeCP2 until the fourth postnatal week [9].
  • The nonubiquitous expression of MeCP2 was also observed in the embryonic cortex, as about one-third of acutely dissociated embryonic day 14 neuroepithelial cells failed to stain with MeCP2 [7].

Associations of Mecp2 with chemical compounds

  • Mecp2 was not induced by repeated injections of 1-(2-bis(4-fluorphenyl)-methoxy)-ethyl)-4-(3-phenyl-propyl)piperazine (GBR-12909) or nortriptyline [6].
  • Methyl deficiency causes reduction of the methyl-CpG-binding protein, MeCP2, in rat liver [1].

Other interactions of Mecp2

  • Except in the olfactive nuclei, very few cells showed detectable MeCP2 protein at birth [3].
  • Although strong MeCP2 expression was detected in approximately 75% of beta-III tubulin-positive cells, only about 25% of nestin-positive precursor cells were MeCP2 positive [7].
  • In addition, a marked inhibition of neurite extension and proper localization of a marker for synapse formation, synapsin I, were observed when MeCP2 expression was decreased by the addition of an antisense morpholino oligomer directed to the translational initiation site for MeCP2beta [10].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Mecp2

  • By measuring the amount of protein using the Western blot technique, or by determining the percentage of immunoreactive cells, significant heterogeneity in MeCP2 distribution among various brain areas was observed [3].
  • At 3, 6 and 12 h following reperfusion, MeCP2 and MBD1 expression is maintained at control levels throughout the hippocampus [11].


  1. Methyl deficiency causes reduction of the methyl-CpG-binding protein, MeCP2, in rat liver. Esfandiari, F., Green, R., Cotterman, R.F., Pogribny, I.P., James, S.J., Miller, J.W. Carcinogenesis (2003) [Pubmed]
  2. Role of de novo DNA methyltransferases and methyl CpG-binding proteins in gene silencing in a rat hepatoma. Majumder, S., Ghoshal, K., Datta, J., Bai, S., Dong, X., Quan, N., Plass, C., Jacob, S.T. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Expression of the methyl-CpG-binding protein MeCP2 in rat brain. An ontogenetic study. Cassel, S., Revel, M.O., Kelche, C., Zwiller, J. Neurobiol. Dis. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. MeCP2 behaves as an elongated monomer that does not stably associate with the Sin3a chromatin remodeling complex. Klose, R.J., Bird, A.P. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. Methyl-CpG-binding protein, MeCP2, is a target molecule for maintenance DNA methyltransferase, Dnmt1. Kimura, H., Shiota, K. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Fluoxetine and cocaine induce the epigenetic factors MeCP2 and MBD1 in adult rat brain. Cassel, S., Carouge, D., Gensburger, C., Anglard, P., Burgun, C., Dietrich, J.B., Aunis, D., Zwiller, J. Mol. Pharmacol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. The expression of methyl CpG binding factor MeCP2 correlates with cellular differentiation in the developing rat brain and in cultured cells. Jung, B.P., Jugloff, D.G., Zhang, G., Logan, R., Brown, S., Eubanks, J.H. J. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  8. Kindling induces the mRNA expression of methyl DNA-binding factors in the adult rat hippocampus. Francis, J., Jung, B., Zhang, G., Cheng, J., Ho, W., Burnham, W.M., Eubanks, J.H. Neuroscience (2002) [Pubmed]
  9. Developmental expression of methyl-CpG binding protein 2 is dynamically regulated in the rodent brain. Mullaney, B.C., Johnston, M.V., Blue, M.E. Neuroscience (2004) [Pubmed]
  10. Suppression of MeCP2beta expression inhibits neurite extension in PC12 cells. Cusack, S.M., Rohn, T.T., Medeck, R.J., Irwin, K.M., Brown, R.J., Mercer, L.M., Oxford, J.T. Exp. Cell Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
  11. Transient forebrain ischemia alters the mRNA expression of methyl DNA-binding factors in the adult rat hippocampus. Jung, B.P., Zhang, G., Ho, W., Francis, J., Eubanks, J.H. Neuroscience (2002) [Pubmed]
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