Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Reprod Biomed Online. 2011 Jun;22(6):529-35. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2011.02.016. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

The role of DNA methylation in mammalian development.

Author information

Laboratory of Epigenetics, The Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK.


DNA methylation is involved in a number of important processes such as maintaining genome stability, silencing of retrotransposons, co-ordinating mono-alleleic expression of parentally imprinted genes and ensuring transcriptional repression of genes on the inactive X chromosome. Further, correct DNA methylation patterns are necessary for normal development and lineage commitment. DNA methylation provides a stable and heritable epigenetic mark. However, it can be removed, either actively or passively, during periods of reprogramming in primordial germ cells and preimplantation embryos. By combining immunofluorescence data with recent insights from genome-wide studies utilizing techniques such as Bisulphite-seq and MeDIP-ChIP, a clearer picture of the dynamic patterns of DNA methylation throughout gametogenesis, preimplantation development and early lineage commitment is beginning to emerge. The continuing use of these next-generation technologies to elucidate genome-wide methylation patterns in a variety of cellular contexts will further understanding of how this epigenetic mark contributes to lineage commitment, differentiation and pluripotency and, ultimately, to human health and disease.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center