Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Genet. 2008 Jun 27;4(6):e1000116. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000116.

Global mapping of DNA methylation in mouse promoters reveals epigenetic reprogramming of pluripotency genes.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Developmental Genetics and Imprinting, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Abstract

DNA methylation patterns are reprogrammed in primordial germ cells and in preimplantation embryos by demethylation and subsequent de novo methylation. It has been suggested that epigenetic reprogramming may be necessary for the embryonic genome to return to a pluripotent state. We have carried out a genome-wide promoter analysis of DNA methylation in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, embryonic germ (EG) cells, sperm, trophoblast stem (TS) cells, and primary embryonic fibroblasts (pMEFs). Global clustering analysis shows that methylation patterns of ES cells, EG cells, and sperm are surprisingly similar, suggesting that while the sperm is a highly specialized cell type, its promoter epigenome is already largely reprogrammed and resembles a pluripotent state. Comparisons between pluripotent tissues and pMEFs reveal that a number of pluripotency related genes, including Nanog, Lefty1 and Tdgf1, as well as the nucleosome remodeller Smarcd1, are hypomethylated in stem cells and hypermethylated in differentiated cells. Differences in promoter methylation are associated with significant differences in transcription levels in more than 60% of genes analysed. Our comparative approach to promoter methylation thus identifies gene candidates for the regulation of pluripotency and epigenetic reprogramming. While the sperm genome is, overall, similarly methylated to that of ES and EG cells, there are some key exceptions, including Nanog and Lefty1, that are highly methylated in sperm. Nanog promoter methylation is erased by active and passive demethylation after fertilisation before expression commences in the morula. In ES cells the normally active Nanog promoter is silenced when targeted by de novo methylation. Our study suggests that reprogramming of promoter methylation is one of the key determinants of the epigenetic regulation of pluripotency genes. Epigenetic reprogramming in the germline prior to fertilisation and the reprogramming of key pluripotency genes in the early embryo is thus crucial for transmission of pluripotency.

PMID:
18584034
PMCID:
PMC2432031
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1000116
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center