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Genes Dev. 2011 Apr 1;25(7):679-84. doi: 10.1101/gad.2036011.

Genome-wide analysis of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine distribution reveals its dual function in transcriptional regulation in mouse embryonic stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Recent studies have demonstrated that the Ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family proteins can enzymatically convert 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). While 5mC has been studied extensively, little is known about the distribution and function of 5hmC. Here we present a genome-wide profile of 5hmC in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. A combined analysis of global 5hmC distribution and gene expression profile in wild-type and Tet1-depleted ES cells suggests that 5hmC is enriched at both gene bodies of actively transcribed genes and extended promoter regions of Polycomb-repressed developmental regulators. Thus, our study reveals the first genome-wide 5hmC distribution in pluripotent stem cells, and supports its dual function in regulating gene expression.

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