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Epigenomics. 2009 Oct;1(1):119-30. doi: 10.2217/epi.09.13.

Evolving role of MeCP2 in Rett syndrome and autism.

Author information

1
Medical Microbiology and Immunology and Rowe Program in Human Genetics, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Davis, CA 95616, USA. jmlasalle@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Rett syndrome is an X-linked autism-spectrum disorder caused by mutations in MECP2, encoding methyl CpG-binding protein 2. Since the discovery of MECP2 mutations as the genetic cause of Rett syndrome, the understanding of MeCP2 function has evolved. Although MeCP2 was predicted to be a global transcriptional repressor of methylated promoters, large-scale combined epigenomic approaches of MeCP2 binding, methylation and gene expression have demonstrated that MeCP2 binds preferentially to intergenic and intronic regions, and sparsely methylated promoters of active genes. This review compares the evolution of thought within two ‘classic’ epigenetic mechanisms of parental imprinting and X chromosome inactivation to that of the MeCP2 field, and considers the future relevance of integrated epigenomic databases to understanding autism and Rett syndrome.

KEYWORDS:

MeCP2; Rett syndrome; X chromosome inactivation; autism; chromatin; epigenetic; imprinting; methylation

PMID:
20473347
PMCID:
PMC2867478
DOI:
10.2217/epi.09.13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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