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Science. 2007 Feb 23;315(5815):1141-3.

Gene body-specific methylation on the active X chromosome.

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  • 1Center for Human Genetic Research and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA. hellman@chgr.mgh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Differential DNA methylation is important for the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Allele-specific methylation of the inactive X chromosome has been demonstrated at promoter CpG islands, but the overall pattern of methylation on the active X(Xa) and inactive X (Xi) chromosomes is unknown. We performed allele-specific analysis of more than 1000 informative loci along the human X chromosome. The Xa displays more than two times as much allele-specific methylation as Xi. This methylation is concentrated at gene bodies, affecting multiple neighboring CpGs. Before X inactivation, all of these Xa gene body-methylated sites are biallelically methylated. Thus, a bipartite methylation-demethylation program results in Xa-specific hypomethylation at gene promoters and hypermethylation at gene bodies. These results suggest a relationship between global methylation and expression potentiality.

PMID:
17322062
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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