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Nucleus. 2012 Nov-Dec;3(6):565-9. doi: 10.4161/nucl.22799. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

5-Carboxylcytosine is localized to euchromatic regions in the nuclei of follicular cells in axolotl ovary.

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School of Biology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


5-Methylcytosine (5-mC) is an epigenetic modification associated with gene repression. Recent studies demonstrated that 5-mC can be enzymatically oxidised into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and further into 5-formylcytosine (5-fC) and 5-carboxylcytsine (5-caC). 5-caC has been found in embryonic stem cells and in mouse pre-implantation embryos but no detectable levels of this modification have been reported for somatic tissues to date. Whereas it has been suggested that 5-caC can serve as an intermediate in the process of active demethylation, the function of this form of modified cytosine remains obscure. Here we show that 5-caC is immunochemically detectable in somatic cells of axolotl ovary. We demonstrate that both 5-hmC and 5-caC are localized to the euchromatin in the nuclei of axolotl follicular cells with similar patterns of spatial distribution. Our results suggest that 5-carboxylcytosine may play a distinct functional role in certain biological contexts.

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