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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

DNA methylation is linked to deacetylation of histone H3, but not H4, on the imprinted genes Snrpn and U2af1-rs1.

The relationship between DNA methylation and histone acetylation at the imprinted mouse genes U2af1-rs1 and Snrpn is explored by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and resolution of parental alleles using single-strand conformational polymorphisms. The U2af1-rs1 gene lies within a differentially methylated region (DMR), while Snrpn has a 5' DMR (DMR1) with sequences homologous to the imprinting control center of the Prader-Willi/Angelman region. For both DMR1 of Snrpn and the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) and 3'-UTR of U2af1-rs1, the methylated and nonexpressed maternal allele was underacetylated, relative to the paternal allele, at all H3 lysines tested (K14, K9, and K18). For H4, underacetylation of the maternal allele was exclusively (U2af1-rs1) or predominantly (Snrpn) at lysine 5. Essentially the same patterns of differential acetylation were found in embryonic stem (ES) cells, embryo fibroblasts, and adult liver from F1 mice and in ES cells from mice that were dipaternal or dimaternal for U2af1-rs1. In contrast, in a region within Snrpn that has biallelic methylation in the cells and tissues analyzed, the paternal (expressed) allele showed relatively increased acetylation of H4 but not of H3. The methyl-CpG-binding-domain (MBD) protein MeCP2 was found, by ChIP, to be associated exclusively with the maternal U2af1-rs1 allele. To ask whether DNA methylation is associated with histone deacetylation, we produced mice with transgene-induced methylation at the paternal allele of U2af1-rs1. In these mice, H3 was underacetylated across both the parental U2af1-rs1 alleles whereas H4 acetylation was unaltered. Collectively, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that CpG methylation leads to deacetylation of histone H3, but not H4, through a process that involves selective binding of MBD proteins.[1]


  1. DNA methylation is linked to deacetylation of histone H3, but not H4, on the imprinted genes Snrpn and U2af1-rs1. Gregory, R.I., Randall, T.E., Johnson, C.A., Khosla, S., Hatada, I., O'Neill, L.P., Turner, B.M., Feil, R. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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