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

Non-coding RNA directed DNA demethylation of Sphk1 CpG island.

The formation of DNA methylation patterns is one of the epigenetic events that underlie mammalian development. The Sphk1 CpG island is a target for tissue-dependent DNA methylation as well as a template for generating multiple subtypes. The number of mammalian non-coding RNA genes is rapidly expanding. In this study, we found endogenous antisense transcripts, Khps1 subtypes with different sizes (600-20,000nt). A subtype, Khps1a, was a 1290-bp, non-coding, 5'-capped and 3'-polyadenylated RNA that originated from the CpG island and overlapped with a tissue-dependent differentially methylated region (T-DMR) of Sphk1. Intriguingly, overexpression of two fragments of Khps1 caused demethylation of CG sites in the T-DMR. Furthermore, this RNA-directed demethylation was associated with DNA methylation at three CC(A/T)GG sites in the T-DMR. The link between the RNA-directed CG demethylation and non-CG methylation provides a novel mechanism of epigenetic regulation and potential tool for epigenetic manipulation of mammalian cells.[1]


  1. Non-coding RNA directed DNA demethylation of Sphk1 CpG island. Imamura, T., Yamamoto, S., Ohgane, J., Hattori, N., Tanaka, S., Shiota, K. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2004) [Pubmed]
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