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Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Feb;76(2):302-11. Epub 2004 Dec 29.

Role of replication and CpG methylation in fragile X syndrome CGG deletions in primate cells.

Author information

  • 1Program of Genetics and Genomic Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Instability of the fragile X CGG repeat involves both maternally derived expansions and deletions in the gametes of full-mutation males. It has also been suggested that the absence of aberrant CpG methylation may enhance repeat deletions through an unknown process. The effect of CGG tract length, DNA replication direction, location of replication initiation, and CpG methylation upon CGG stability were investigated using an SV40 primate replication system. Replication-dependant deletions with 53 CGG repeats were observed when replication was initiated proximal to the repeat, with CGG as the lagging-strand template. When we initiated replication further from the repeat, while maintaining CGG as the lagging-strand template or using CCG as the lagging-strand template, significant instability was not observed. CpG methylation of the unstable template stabilized the repeat, decreasing both the frequency and the magnitude of deletion events. Furthermore, CpG methylation slowed the efficiency of replication for all templates. Interestingly, replication forks displayed no evidence of a block at the CGG repeat tract, regardless of replication direction or CpG methylation status. Templates with 20 CGG repeats were stable under all circumstances. These results reveal that CGG deletions occur during replication and are sensitive to replication-fork dynamics, tract length, and CpG methylation.

PMID:
15625623
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1196375
Free PMC Article

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