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Genes Dev. 2014 Jul 15;28(14):1544-9. doi: 10.1101/gad.244350.114.

Two waves of de novo methylation during mouse germ cell development.

Author information

1
Watson School of Biological Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA;
2
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA;
3
Ansary Stem Cell Institute, Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10065, USA;
4
Molecular and Computational Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA.

Abstract

During development, mammalian germ cells reprogram their epigenomes via a genome-wide erasure and de novo rewriting of DNA methylation marks. We know little of how methylation patterns are specifically determined. The piRNA pathway is thought to target the bulk of retrotransposon methylation. Here we show that most retrotransposon sequences are modified by default de novo methylation. However, potentially active retrotransposon copies evade this initial wave, likely mimicking features of protein-coding genes. These elements remain transcriptionally active and become targets of piRNA-mediated methylation. Thus, we posit that these two waves play essential roles in resetting germ cell epigenomes at each generation.

KEYWORDS:

DNA methylation; LINE; LTR; germ cells; piRNA; retrotransposon

PMID:
25030694
PMCID:
PMC4102761
DOI:
10.1101/gad.244350.114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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