De novo DNA methylation by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is dispensable for nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state
ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are generated from somatic cells by the transduction of defined transcription factors and involves dynamic changes in DNA methylation. While the reprogramming of somatic cells is accompanied by de-methylation of pluripotency genes, the functional importance of de novo DNA methylation has not been clarified. Here, using loss-of-function studies, we generated iPSCs from fibroblasts that were deficient in de novo DNA methylation mediated by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. These iPSCs reactivated pluripotency genes, underwent self-renewal and showed restricted developmental potential which was rescued upon re-introduction of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. We conclude that de novo DNA methylation by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is dispensable for nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells. RNA levels of Dnmt3ab deficient iPSC cell lines were compared to control iPSC cell lines
Project description:The de novo DNA methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b play crucial roles in developmental and cellular processes. Their enzymatic activities are stimulated by a regulatory protein Dnmt3L (Dnmt3-like) in vitro. However, genetic evidence indicates that Dnmt3L functions predominantly as a regulator of Dnmt3a in germ cells. How Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b activities are regulated during embryonic development and in somatic cells remains largely unknown. Here we show that Dnmt3b3, a catalytically inactive Dnmt3b isoform expressed in differentiated cells, positively regulates de novo methylation by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b with a preference for Dnmt3b. Dnmt3b3 is equally potent as Dnmt3L in stimulating the activities of Dnmt3a2 and Dnmt3b2 in vitro. Like Dnmt3L, Dnmt3b3 forms a complex with Dnmt3a2 with a stoichiometry of 2:2. However, rescue experiments in Dnmt3a/3b/3l triple-knockout (TKO) mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) reveal that Dnmt3b3 prefers Dnmt3b2 over Dnmt3a2 in remethylating genomic sequences. Dnmt3a2, an active isoform that lacks the N-terminal uncharacterized region of Dnmt3a1 including a nuclear localization signal, has very low activity in TKO mESCs, indicating that an accessory protein is absolutely required for its function. Our results suggest that Dnmt3b3 and perhaps similar Dnmt3b isoforms facilitate de novo DNA methylation during embryonic development and in somatic cells.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are generated from somatic cells by the transduction of defined transcription factors and involves dynamic changes in DNA methylation. While the reprogramming of somatic cells is accompanied by de-methylation of pluripotency genes, the functional importance of de novo DNA methylation has not been clarified. Here, using loss-of-function studies, we generated iPSCs from fibroblasts that were deficient in de novo DNA methylation mediated by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. These iPSCs reactivated pluripotency genes, underwent self-renewal and showed restricted developmental potential which was rescued upon re-introduction of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. We conclude that de novo DNA methylation by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is dispensable for nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells. Overall design: RNA levels of Dnmt3ab deficient iPSC cell lines were compared to control iPSC cell lines
Project description:BACKGROUND: In the mouse, the patterns of DNA methylation are established during early embryonic development in the epiblast. We quantified the targets and kinetics of DNA methylation acquisition in epiblast cells, and determined the contribution of the de novo methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B to this process. RESULTS: We generated single-base maps of DNA methylation from the blastocyst to post-implantation stages and in embryos lacking DNMT3A or DNMT3B activity. DNA methylation is established within two days of implantation between embryonic days 4.5 and 6.5. The kinetics of de novo methylation are uniform throughout the genome, suggesting a random mechanism of deposition. In contrast, many CpG islands acquire methylation slowly in late epiblast cells. Five percent of CpG islands gain methylation and are found in the promoters of germline genes and in exons of important developmental genes. The onset of global methylation correlates with the upregulation of Dnmt3a/b genes in the early epiblast. DNMT3A and DNMT3B act redundantly to methylate the bulk genome and repetitive elements, whereas DNMT3B has a prominent role in the methylation of CpG islands on autosomes and the X chromosome. Reduced CpG island methylation in Dnmt3b-deficient embryos correlates with gene reactivation in promoters but reduced transcript abundance in gene bodies. Finally, DNMT3B establishes secondary methylation marks at imprinted loci, which distinguishes bona fide germline from somatic methylation imprints. CONCLUSIONS: We reveal that the DNMT3 de novo methyltransferases play both redundant and specific functions in the establishment of DNA methylation in the mouse embryo.
Project description:De novo establishment of DNA methylation is accomplished by DNMT3A and DNMT3B. Here, we analyze de novo DNA methylation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (2i-MEFs) derived from DNA-hypomethylated 2i/L ES cells with genetic ablation of Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b. We identify 355 and 333 uniquely unmethylated genes in Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b knockout (KO) 2i-MEFs, respectively. We find that Dnmt3a is exclusively required for de novo methylation at both TSS regions and gene bodies of Polycomb group (PcG) target developmental genes, while Dnmt3b has a dominant role on the X chromosome. Consistent with this, tissue-specific DNA methylation at PcG target genes is substantially reduced in Dnmt3a KO embryos. Finally, we find that human patients with DNMT3 mutations exhibit reduced DNA methylation at regions that are hypomethylated in Dnmt3 KO 2i-MEFs. In conclusion, here we report a set of unique de novo DNA methylation target sites for both DNMT3 enzymes during mammalian development that overlap with hypomethylated sites in human patients.
Project description:In early embryos, DNA methylation is remodelled to initiate the developmental program but for mostly unknown reasons, methylation marks are acquired unequally between embryonic and placental cells. To better understand this, we generated high-resolution DNA methylation maps of mouse mid-gestation (E10.5) embryo and placenta. We uncovered specific subtypes of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that contribute directly to the developmental asymmetry existing between mid-gestation embryonic and placental DNA methylation patterns. We show that the asymmetry occurs rapidly during the acquisition of marks in the post-implanted conceptus (E3.5-E6.5), and that these patterns are long-lasting across subtypes of DMRs throughout prenatal development and in somatic tissues. We reveal that at the peri-implantation stages, the <i>de novo</i> methyltransferase activity of DNMT3B is the main driver of methylation marks on asymmetric DMRs, and that DNMT3B can largely compensate for lack of DNMT3A in the epiblast and extraembryonic ectoderm, whereas DNMT3A can only partially compensate in the absence of DNMT3B. However, as development progresses and as DNMT3A becomes the principal <i>de novo</i> methyltransferase, the compensatory DNA methylation mechanism of DNMT3B on DMRs becomes less effective.
Project description:The putative de novo methyltransferases, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b, were reported to have weak methyltransferase activity in methylating the 3' long terminal repeat of Moloney murine leukemia virus in vitro. The activity of these enzymes was evaluated in vivo, using a stable episomal system that employs plasmids as targets for DNA methylation in human cells. De novo methylation of a subset of the CpG sites on the stable episomes is detected in human cells overexpressing the murine Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b1 protein. This de novo methylation activity is abolished when the cysteine in the P-C motif, which is the catalytic site of cytosine methyltransferases, is replaced by a serine. The pattern of methylation on the episome is nonrandom, and different regions of the episome are methylated to different extents. Furthermore, Dnmt3a also methylates the sequence methylated by Dnmt3a on the stable episome in the corresponding chromosomal target. Overexpression of human DNMT1 or murine Dnmt3b does not lead to the same pattern or degree of de novo methylation on the episome as overexpression of murine Dnmt3a. This finding suggests that these three enzymes may have different targets or requirements, despite the fact that weak de novo methyltransferase activity has been demonstrated in vitro for all three enzymes. It is also noteworthy that both Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b proteins coat the metaphase chromosomes while displaying a more uniform pattern in the nucleus. This is the first evidence that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b have de novo methyltransferase function in vivo and the first indication that the Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b proteins may have preferred target sites.
Project description:DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification essential for development. The DNA methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b execute de novo DNA methylation in gastrulating embryos and differentiating germline cells. It has been assumed that these enzymes generally play a role in regulating cell differentiation. To test this hypothesis, we examined the role of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b in adult stem cells. CD34(-/low), c-Kit(+), Sca-1(+), lineage marker(-) (CD34(-) KSL) cells, a fraction of mouse bone marrow cells highly enriched in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), expressed both Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. Using retroviral Cre gene transduction, we conditionally disrupted Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b, or both Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b (Dnmt3a/Dnmt3b) in CD34(-) KSL cells purified from mice in which the functional domains of these genes are flanked by two loxP sites. We found that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b function as de novo DNA methyltransferases during differentiation of hematopoietic cells. Unexpectedly, in vitro colony assays and in vivo transplantation assays showed that both myeloid and lymphoid lineage differentiation potentials were maintained in Dnmt3a-, Dnmt3b-, and Dnmt3a/Dnmt3b-deficient HSCs. However, Dnmt3a/Dnmt3b-deficient HSCs, but not Dnmt3a- or Dnmt3b-deficient HSCs, were incapable of long-term reconstitution in transplantation assays. These findings establish a critical role for DNA methylation by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b in HSC self-renewal.
Project description:Promoter DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mechanism for stable gene silencing, but is correlated with expression when located in gene bodies. Maintenance and de novo DNA methylation by catalytically active DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1 and DNMT3A/B) require accessory proteins such as UHRF1 and DNMT3L. DNMT3B isoforms are widely expressed, although some do not have active catalytic domains and their expression can be altered during cell development and tumourigenesis, questioning their biological roles. Here, we show that DNMT3B isoforms stimulate gene body methylation and re-methylation after methylation-inhibitor treatment. This occurs independently of the isoforms' catalytic activity, demonstrating a similar functional role to the accessory protein DNMT3L, which is only expressed in undifferentiated cells and recruits DNMT3A to initiate DNA methylation. This unexpected role for DNMT3B suggests that it might substitute for the absent accessory protein DNMT3L to recruit DNMT3A in somatic cells.
Project description:We have previously shown that the DNA methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b carry out de novo methylation of the mouse genome during early postimplantation development and of maternally imprinted genes in the oocyte. In the present study, we demonstrate that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b are also essential for the stable inheritance, or "maintenance," of DNA methylation patterns. Inactivation of both Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b in embryonic stem (ES) cells results in progressive loss of methylation in various repeats and single-copy genes. Interestingly, introduction of the Dnmt3a, Dnmt3a2, and Dnmt3b1 isoforms back into highly demethylated mutant ES cells restores genomic methylation patterns; these isoforms appear to have both common and distinct DNA targets, but they all fail to restore the maternal methylation imprints. In contrast, overexpression of Dnmt1 and Dnmt3b3 failed to restore DNA methylation patterns due to their inability to catalyze de novo methylation in vivo. We also show that hypermethylation of genomic DNA by Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is necessary for ES cells to form teratomas in nude mice. These results indicate that genomic methylation patterns are determined partly through differential expression of different Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b isoforms.
Project description:Dnmt3L is required for the establishment of maternal methylation imprints at imprinting centers (ICs). Dnmt3L, however, lacks the conserved catalytic domain common to DNA methyltransferases. In an attempt to define its function, we coexpressed DNMT3L with each of the two known de novo methyltransferases, Dnmt3a and DNMT3B, in human cells and monitored de novo methylation by using replicating minichromosomes carrying various ICs as targets. Coexpression of DNMT3L with DNMT3B led to little or no change in target methylation. However, coexpression of DNMT3L with Dnmt3a resulted in a striking stimulation of de novo methylation by Dnmt3a. Stimulation was observed at maternally methylated ICs such as small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N (SNRPN), Snrpn, and Igf2rAir, as well as at various nonimprinted sequences present on the episomes. Stimulation of Dnmt3a by DNMT3L was also observed at endogenous sequences in the genome. Therefore, DNMT3L acts as a general stimulatory factor for de novo methylation by Dnmt3a. The implications of these findings for the function of DNMT3L and Dnmt3a in DNA methylation and genomic imprinting are discussed.