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J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 5;277(14):11728-34. Epub 2002 Jan 30.

Inhibition of histone deacetylases alters allelic chromatin conformation at the imprinted U2af1-rs1 locus in mouse embryonic stem cells.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Genetics, CNRS UMR-5535, IFR-24, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France.


Most loci that are regulated by genomic imprinting have differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Previously, we showed that the DMRs of the mouse Snrpn and U2af1-rs1 genes have paternal allele-specific patterns of acetylation on histones H3 and H4. To investigate the maintenance of acetylation at these DMRs, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation on trichostatin-A (TSA)-treated and control cells. In embryonic stem (ES) cells and fibroblasts, brief (6-h) TSA treatment induces global hyperacetylation of H3 and H4. In ES cells only, TSA led to a selective increase in maternal acetylation at U2af1-rs1, at lysine 5 of H4 and at lysine 14 of H3. TSA treatment of ES cells did not affect DNA methylation or expression of U2af1-rs1, but was sufficient to increase DNase I sensitivity along the maternal allele to a level comparable with that of the paternal allele. In fibroblasts, TSA did not alter U2af1-rs1 acetylation, and the parental alleles retained their differential DNase I sensitivity. At Snrpn, no changes in acetylation were observed in the TSA-treated cells. Our data suggest that the mechanisms regulating histone acetylation at DMRs are locus and developmental stage-specific and are distinct from those effecting global levels of acetylation. Furthermore, it seems that the allelic U2af1-rs1 acetylation determines DNase I sensitivity/chromatin conformation.

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