Quantification of global mitochondrial DNA methylation levels and inverse correlation with age at two CpG sites.
ABSTRACT: Mammalian ageing features biological attrition evident at cellular, genetic and epigenetic levels. Mutation of mitochondrial DNA, and nuclear DNA methylation changes are well established correlates of ageing. The methylation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a new and incompletely described phenomenon with unknown biological control and significance. Here we describe the bisulphite sequencing of mtDNA from 82 individuals aged 18-91 years. We detected low and variable levels of mtDNA methylation at 54 of 133 CpG sites interrogated. Regression analysis of methylation levels at two CpG sites (M1215 and M1313) located within the 12S ribosomal RNA gene showed an inverse correlation with subject age suggesting their utility as epigenetic markers of ageing.
Project description:DNA methylation is an essential mechanism controlling gene expression during differentiation and development. We investigated the epigenetic regulation of the nuclear-encoded, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymerase ? catalytic subunit (PolgA) by examining the methylation status of a CpG island within exon 2 of PolgA. Bisulphite sequencing identified low methylation levels (<10%) within exon 2 of mouse oocytes, blastocysts and embryonic stem cells (ESCs), while somatic tissues contained significantly higher levels (>40%). In contrast, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and somatic nuclear transfer ESCs were hypermethylated (>20%), indicating abnormal epigenetic reprogramming. Real time PCR analysis of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) immunoprecipitated DNA suggests active DNA methylation and demethylation within exon 2 of PolgA. Moreover, neural differentiation of ESCs promoted de novo methylation and demethylation at the exon 2 locus. Regression analysis demonstrates that cell-specific PolgA expression levels were negatively correlated with DNA methylation within exon 2 and mtDNA copy number. Finally, using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) against RNA polymerase II (RNApII) phosphorylated on serine 2, we show increased DNA methylation levels are associated with reduced RNApII transcriptional elongation. This is the first study linking nuclear DNA epigenetic regulation with mtDNA regulation during differentiation and cell specialization.
Project description:DNA methylation is a common epigenetic modification of the mammalian genome. Conflicting data regarding the possible presence of methylated cytosines within mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have been reported. To clarify this point, we analysed the methylation status of mtDNA control region (D-loop) on human and murine DNA samples from blood and cultured cells by bisulphite sequencing and methylated/hydroxymethylated DNA immunoprecipitation assays. We found methylated and hydroxymethylated cytosines in the L-strand of all samples analysed. MtDNA methylation particularly occurs within non-C-phosphate-G (non-CpG) nucleotides, mainly in the promoter region of the heavy strand and in conserved sequence blocks, suggesting its involvement in regulating mtDNA replication and/or transcription. We observed DNA methyltransferases within the mitochondria, but the inactivation of Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, and Dnmt3b in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells results in a reduction of the CpG methylation, while the non-CpG methylation shows to be not affected. This suggests that D-loop epigenetic modification is only partially established by these enzymes. Our data show that DNA methylation occurs in the mtDNA control region of mammals, not only at symmetrical CpG dinucleotides, typical of nuclear genome, but in a peculiar non-CpG pattern previously reported for plants and fungi. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this pattern remain an open question.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a circular genome of 16?kb that is present in multiple copies in mitochondria. mtDNA codes for genes that contribute to mitochondrial structure and function. A long-standing question has asked whether mtDNA is epigenetically regulated similarly to the nuclear genome. Recently published data suggest that unlike the nuclear genome where CpG methylation is the norm, mtDNA is methylated predominantly at non-CpG cytosines. This raises important methodological considerations for future investigations. In particular, existing bisulphite PCR techniques may be unsuitable due to primers being biased towards amplification from unmethylated mtDNA. Here, we describe how this may have led to previous studies underestimating the level of mtDNA methylation and reiterate methodological strategies for its accurate assessment.
Project description:Fetal development largely depends on thyroid hormone availability and proper placental function with an important role played by placental mitochondria. The biological mechanisms by which thyroid hormones exert their effects on mitochondrial function are not well understood. We investigated the role of fetal thyroid hormones on placental mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content and mtDNA methylation. We collected placental tissue and cord blood from 305 mother-child pairs that were enrolled between February 2010 and June 2014 in the ENVIRONAGE (ENVIRonmental influence ON early AGEing) birth cohort (province of Limburg, Belgium). Placental mtDNA content was determined by qPCR and placental mtDNA methylation by bisulfite-pyrosequencing in two regions, i.e., the D-loop control region and 12S ribosomal RNA (MT-RNR1). The levels of free thyroid hormones (FT3, FT4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured in cord blood.Cord blood FT3 and FT4 were inversely associated with placental mtDNA methylation at the MT-RNR1 (p???0.01) and D-loop (p???0.05) regions, whereas a positive association was observed for both hormones with placental mtDNA content (p???0.04). Assuming causality, we estimated that MT-RNR1 and D-loop methylation mediated, respectively, 77% [indirect effect +14.61% (95% CI 2.64 to 27.98%, p?=?0.01)] and 47% [indirect effect +8.60% (95% CI 1.23 to 16.50%, p?=?0.02] of the positive association between FT3 and placental mtDNA content. Mediation models with FT4 gave similar results but the estimated effect proportions were smaller compared with those of FT3 (54% and 24%, respectively).We showed that epigenetic modification at specific loci of the mitochondrial genome could intervene with the thyroid-dependent regulation of mitochondrial DNA copy numbers.
Project description:The epigenetic modification of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is still in controversy. To clarify this point, we applied the gold standard method for DNA methylation, bisulfite pyrosequencing, to examine human mtDNA methylation status. Before bisulfite conversion, BamHI was used to digest DNA to open the loop of mtDNA. The results demonstrated that the linear mtDNA had significantly higher bisulfite conversion efficiency compared with circular mtDNA. Furthermore, the methylation values obtained from linear mtDNA were significantly lower than that of circular mtDNA, which was verified by SEQUENOM MassARRAY. The above impacts of circular structure were also observed in lung DNA samples but not in saliva DNA samples. Mitochondrial genome methylation of blood samples and saliva samples from 14 unrelated individuals was detected. The detected regions covered 83 CpG sites across mtDNA including D-loop, 12?S?rRNA, 16?S?rRNA, ND1, COXI, ND3, ND4, ND5, CYTB. We found that the average methylation levels of nine regions were all less than 2% for both sample types. In conclusion, our findings firstly show that the circular structure of mtDNA affects bisulfite conversion efficiency, which leads to overestimation of mtDNA methylation values. CpG methylation in human mtDNA is a very rare event at most DNA regions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The degradation of epigenetic control with age is associated with progressive diseases of ageing, including cancers, immunodeficiency and diabetes. Reduced caloric intake slows the effects of ageing and age-related disease in vertebrates and invertebrates, a process potentially mediated by the impact of caloric restriction on epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation. We used whole genome bisulphite sequencing to study how DNA methylation patterns change with diet in a small invertebrate, the crustacean Daphnia magna. Daphnia show the classic response of longer life under caloric restriction (CR), and they reproduce clonally, which permits the study of epigenetic changes in the absence of genetic variation. RESULTS:Global cytosine followed by guanine (CpG) methylation was 0.7-0.9%, and there was no difference in overall methylation levels between normal and calorie restricted replicates. However, 333 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were evident between the normally fed and CR replicates post-filtering. Of these 65% were hypomethylated in the CR group, and 35% were hypermethylated in the CR group. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate an effect of CR on the genome-wide methylation profile. This adds to a growing body of research in Daphnia magna that demonstrate an epigenomic response to environmental stimuli. Specifically, gene Ontology (GO) term enrichment of genes associated with hyper and hypo-methylated DMRs showed significant enrichment for methylation and acyl-CoA dehydrogenase activity, which are linked to current understanding of their roles in CR in invertebrate model organisms.
Project description:An altered pattern of epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation and histone modification, is critical to many common human diseases, including cancer. Recently, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was reported to be associated with tumorigenesis through epigenetic regulation of methylation patterns. One of the promising approaches to study DNA methylation and CpG islands (CGIs) is sequencing and analysis of clones derived from the physical library generated by methyl-CpG-binding domain proteins and restriction enzyme MseI. In this study, we observed that the most redundant sequences of 349 clones in a human CGI library were all generated from the human mitochondrial genome. Further analysis indicated that there was a 5,845-bp DNA transfer from mtDNA to chromosome 1, and all the clones should be the products of a 510-bp MseI fragment, which contained a putative CGI of 270 bp. The 510-bp fragment was annotated as part of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COXII), and phylogenetic analysis of homologous sequences containing COXII showed three DNA transfer events from mtDNA to nuclear genome, one of which underwent secondary transfer events between different chromosomes. These results may further our understanding of how the mtDNA regulates DNA methylation in the nucleus.
Project description:Most research to date has focused on epigenetic modifications in the nuclear genome, with little attention devoted to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Placental mtDNA content has been shown to respond to environmental exposures that induce oxidative stress, including airborne particulate matter (PM). Damaged or non-functioning mitochondria are specifically degraded through mitophagy, exemplified by lower mtDNA content, and could be primed by epigenetic modifications in the mtDNA. We studied placental mtDNA methylation in the context of the early life exposome. We investigated placental tissue from 381 mother-newborn pairs that were enrolled in the ENVIRONAGE birth cohort. We determined mtDNA methylation by bisulfite-pyrosequencing in 2 regions, i.e., the D-loop control region and 12S rRNA (MT-RNR1), and measured mtDNA content by qPCR. PM2.5 exposure was calculated for each participant's home address using a dispersion model. An interquartile range (IQR) increment in PM2.5 exposure over the entire pregnancy was positively associated with mtDNA methylation (MT-RNR1: +0.91%, P = 0.01 and D-loop: +0.21%, P = 0.05) and inversely associated with mtDNA content (relative change of -15.60%, P = 0.001) in placental tissue. mtDNA methylation was estimated to mediate 54% [P = 0.01 (MT-RNR1)] and 27% [P = 0.06 (D-loop)] of the inverse association between PM2.5 exposure and mtDNA content. This study provides new insight into the mechanisms of altered mitochondrial function in the early life environment. Epigenetic modifications in the mitochondrial genome, especially in the MT-RNR1 region, substantially mediate the association between PM2.5 exposure during gestation and placental mtDNA content, which could reflect signs of mitophagy and mitochondrial death.
Project description:Mitochondrial dysfunction plays critical roles in cancer development and related therapeutic response; however, exact molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Recently, alongside the discovery of mitochondrial-specific DNA methyltransferases, global and site-specific methylation of the mitochondrial genome has been described. Investigation of any functional consequences however remains unclear and debated due to insufficient evidence of the quantitative degree and frequency of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation. This study uses WGBS to provide the first quantitative report of mtDNA methylation at single base pair resolution. The data show that mitochondrial genomes are extensively methylated predominantly at non-CpG sites. Importantly, these methylation patterns display notable differences between normal and cancer cells. Furthermore, knockdown of DNA methyltransferase enzymes resulted in a marked global reduction of mtDNA methylation levels, indicating these enzymes may be associated with the establishment and/or maintenance of mtDNA methylation. DNMT3B knockdown cells displayed a comparatively pronounced global reduction in mtDNA methylation with concomitant increases in gene expression, suggesting a potential functional link between methylation and gene expression. Together these results demonstrate reproducible, non-random methylation patterns of mtDNA and challenge the notion that mtDNA is lowly methylated. This study discusses key differences in methodology that suggest future investigations must allow for techniques that assess both CpG and non-CpG methylation.
Project description:In human beings, there is a ?16,569 bp circular mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encoding 22 tRNAs, 12S and 16S rRNAs, 13 polypeptides that constitute the central core of ETC/OxPhos complexes, and some non-coding RNAs. Recently, mtDNA has been shown to have some covalent modifications such as methylation or hydroxylmethylation, which play pivotal epigenetic roles in mtDNA replication and transcription. Post-translational modifications of proteins in mitochondrial nucleoids such as mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) also emerge as essential epigenetic modulations in mtDNA replication and transcription. Post-transcriptional modifications of mitochondrial RNAs (mtRNAs) including mt-rRNAs, mt-tRNAs and mt-mRNAs are important epigenetic modulations. Besides, mtDNA or nuclear DNA (n-DNA)-derived non-coding RNAs also play important roles in the regulation of translation and function of mitochondrial genes. These evidences introduce a novel concept of mitoepigenetics that refers to the study of modulations in the mitochondria that alter heritable phenotype in mitochondria itself without changing the mtDNA sequence. Since mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to carcinogenesis and tumor development, mitoepigenetics is also essential for cancer. Understanding the mode of actions of mitoepigenetics in cancers may shade light on the clinical diagnosis and prevention of these diseases. In this review, we summarize the present study about modifications in mtDNA, mtRNA and nucleoids and modulations of mtDNA/nDNA-derived non-coding RNAs that affect mtDNA translation/function, and overview recent studies of mitoepigenetic alterations in cancer.