A Long Polymorphic GT Microsatellite within a Gene Promoter Mediates Non-Imprinted Allele-Specific DNA Methylation of a CpG Island in a Goldfish Inter-Strain Hybrid.
ABSTRACT: It is now widely accepted that allele-specific DNA methylation (ASM) commonly occurs at non-imprinted loci. Most of the non-imprinted ASM regions observed both within and outside of the CpG island show a strong correlation with DNA polymorphisms. However, what polymorphic cis-acting elements mediate non-imprinted ASM of the CpG island remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the impact of polymorphic GT microsatellites within the gene promoter on non-imprinted ASM of the local CpG island in goldfish. We generated various goldfish heterozygotes, in which the length of GT microsatellites or some non-repetitive sequences in the promoter of no tail alleles was different. By examining the methylation status of the downstream CpG island in these heterozygotes, we found that polymorphisms of a long GT microsatellite can lead to the ASM of the downstream CpG island during oogenesis and embryogenesis, polymorphisms of short GT microsatellites and non-repetitive sequences in the promoter exhibited no significant effect on the methylation of the CpG island. We also observed that the ASM of the CpG island was associated with allele-specific expression in heterozygous embryos. These results suggest that a long polymorphic GT microsatellite within a gene promoter mediates non-imprinted ASM of the local CpG island in a goldfish inter-strain hybrid.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is widely conserved amongst placental mammals. Imprinted expression of IGF2R, however, differs between mice and humans. In mice, Igf2r imprinted expression is seen in all fetal and adult tissues. In humans, adult tissues lack IGF2R imprinted expression, but it is found in fetal tissues and Wilms' tumors where it is polymorphic and only seen in a small proportion of tested samples. Mouse Igf2r imprinted expression is controlled by the Air (Airn) ncRNA whose promoter lies in an intronic maternally-methylated CpG island. The human IGF2R gene carries a homologous intronic maternally-methylated CpG island of unknown function. Here, we use transfection and transgenic studies to show that the human IGF2R intronic CpG island is a ncRNA promoter. We also identify the same ncRNA at the endogenous human locus in 16-40% of Wilms' tumors. Thus, the human IGF2R gene shows evolutionary conservation of key features that control imprinted expression in the mouse.
Project description:Imprinted maternal-allele-specific expression of the mouse insulin-like growth-factor type 2 receptor (Igf2r) gene depends on a 3.7-kb element named region 2, located in the second intron of the gene. Region 2 carries a maternal-allele-specific methylation imprint and contains an imprinted CpG island promoter (Air) that expresses a noncoding antisense RNA from the paternal inherited allele only. Here, we use transgenes to test the minimal requirements for imprinting of Air and to test if the action of region 2 is restricted to Igf2r. Transgenes up to 9 kb with Air as a single promoter are expressed but not imprinted. When coupled to the Igf2r CpG island promoter on a 44-kb transgene, Air was imprinted in one of three lines. However, Air on a 4.6-kb fragment is also imprinted in 2 of 14 lines when inserted in an intron of an adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (Aprt) transgene, and in one line, the imprinted methylation and expression of Air have been transferred onto the Aprt CpG island promoter. These data suggest that a dual CpG island promoter setting may facilitate Air imprinting as a short transgene and also show that Air can transfer imprinting onto other genes. However, for reliable Air imprinting, elements are necessary that are located outside a 44-kb region spanning the Air-Igf2r promoters.
Project description:BACKGROUND:DNA methylation is a highly studied epigenetic signature that is associated with regulation of gene expression, whereby genes with high levels of promoter methylation are generally repressed. Genomic imprinting occurs when one of the parental alleles is methylated, i.e., when there is inherited allele-specific methylation (ASM). A special case of imprinting occurs during X chromosome inactivation in females, where one of the two X chromosomes is silenced, to achieve dosage compensation between the sexes. Another more widespread form of ASM is sequence dependent (SD-ASM), where ASM is linked to a nearby heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). RESULTS:We developed a method to screen for genomic regions that exhibit loss or gain of ASM in samples from two conditions (treatments, diseases, etc.). The method relies on the availability of bisulfite sequencing data from multiple samples of the two conditions. We leverage other established computational methods to screen for these regions within a new R package called DAMEfinder. It calculates an ASM score for all CpG sites or pairs in the genome of each sample, and then quantifies the change in ASM between conditions. It then clusters nearby CpG sites with consistent change into regions. In the absence of SNP information, our method relies only on reads to quantify ASM. This novel ASM score compares favorably to current methods that also screen for ASM. Not only does it easily discern between imprinted and non-imprinted regions, but also females from males based on X chromosome inactivation. We also applied DAMEfinder to a colorectal cancer dataset and observed that colorectal cancer subtypes are distinguishable according to their ASM signature. We also re-discover known cases of loss of imprinting. CONCLUSION:We have designed DAMEfinder to detect regions of differential ASM (DAMEs), which is a more refined definition of differential methylation, and can therefore help in breaking down the complexity of DNA methylation and its influence in development and disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In somatic cells, homologous recombination (HR) is a rare event caused by eventual DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In contrast, germ cells show high frequency of HR caused by programmed DSBs. Microsatellites are prone to DSBs during genome replication and, thereby, capable of promoting HR. It remains unclear whether HR occurs frequently at microsatellites both in normal somatic cells and germ cells in a similar manner. RESULTS:By examining the linkage pattern of multiple paternal and maternal markers flanking innate GT microsatellites, we measured HR at the GT microsatellites in various somatic cells and germ cells in a goldfish intraspecific heterozygote. During embryogenesis, the HR products accumulate gradually with the increase of the number of cell divisions. The frequency of HR at the GT microsatellites in advanced embryos, adult tissues and germ cells is surprisingly high. The type of exchanges between the homologous chromosomes is similar in normal advanced embryos and germ cells. Furthermore, a long GT microsatellite is more active than a short one in promoting HR in both somatic and germ cells. CONCLUSIONS:HR occurs frequently at innate GT microsatellites in normal somatic cells and germ cells in a similar manner.
Project description:In this study, we performed the first systematic survey of DNA methylation status of the CpG islands of the PEG3 (Paternally expressed gene 3) imprinted domain in the mouse, cow, and human genomes. Previous studies have shown that the region surrounding the first exon of PEG3 contains a differentially methylated CpG island. In addition, we have discovered two previously unreported differentially methylated regions (DMR): one in the promoter region of mouse Zim3 and another in the promoter region of human USP29. In the cow, the Peg3-CpG island was the only area that showed DMR status. We have also examined the methylation status of several CpG islands in this region using human tumor-derived DNA. The CpG islands near PEG3 and USP29 both showed hypermethylation in DNA derived from breast and ovarian tumors. Overall, this study shows that the PEG3 imprinted domain of humans, cows, and mice contains differing numbers of DMRs, but the PEG3-CpG island is the only DMR that is conserved among these three species.
Project description:The role of CpG island methylation in normal development and cell differentiation is of keen interest, but remains poorly understood. We performed comprehensive DNA methylation profiling of promoter regions in normal peripheral blood by methylated CpG island amplification in combination with microarrays. This technique allowed us to simultaneously determine the methylation status of 6,177 genes, 92% of which include dense CpG islands. Among these 5,549 autosomal genes with dense CpG island promoters, we have identified 4.0% genes that are nearly completely methylated in normal blood, providing another exception to the general rule that CpG island methylation in normal tissue is limited to X inactivation and imprinted genes. We examined seven genes in detail, including ANKRD30A, FLJ40201, INSL6, SOHLH2, FTMT, C12orf12, and DPPA5. Dense promoter CpG island methylation and gene silencing were found in normal tissues studied except testis and sperm. In both tissues, bisulfite cloning and sequencing identified cells carrying unmethylated alleles. Interestingly, hypomethylation of several genes was associated with gene activation in cancer. Furthermore, reactivation of silenced genes could be induced after treatment with a DNA demethylating agent or in a cell line lacking DNMT1 and/or DNMT3b. Sequence analysis identified five motifs significantly enriched in this class of genes, suggesting that cis-regulatory elements may facilitate preferential methylation at these promoter CpG islands. We have identified a group of non-X-linked bona fide promoter CpG islands that are densely methylated in normal somatic tissues, escape methylation in germline cells, and for which DNA methylation is a primary mechanism of tissue-specific gene silencing.
Project description:In diploid mammalian genomes, parental alleles can exhibit different methylation patterns (allele-specific DNA methylation, ASM), which have been documented in a small number of cases except for the imprinted regions and X chromosomes in females. We carried out a chromosome-wide survey of ASM across 16 human pluripotent and adult cell lines using Illumina bisulfite sequencing. We applied the principle of linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis to characterize the correlation of methylation between adjacent CpG sites on single DNA molecules, and also investigated the correlation between CpG methylation and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We observed ASM on 23% approximately 37% heterozygous SNPs in any given cell line. ASM is often cell-type-specific. Furthermore, we found that a significant fraction (38%-88%) of ASM regions is dependent on the presence of heterozygous SNPs in CpG dinucleotides that disrupt their methylation potential. This study identified distinct types of ASM across many cell types and suggests a potential role for CpG-SNP in connecting genetic variation with the epigenome.
Project description:In this study, we identified an antisense transcript to ZIM2 (zinc finger imprinted gene 2) in the human, called ZIM2as. Sequence analysis of the 110 kb region spanned by this transcript revealed a cluster of tandemly repeated sequence in the human, orangutan, and chimpanzee as well as a loss of approximately 70 kb from the corresponding region in the rhesus. The homologous region in most mammals contains a cluster of olfactory receptor (OLFR) genes, but this gene cluster has been lost from the primate lineage. Expression analyses confirmed that ZIM2as is expressed in the human brain and testis. Two CpG islands near the promoter region of ZIM2as showed different methylation patterns in these three species. The CpG island distal to ZIM2as showed an allele-specific DNA methylation pattern in the human testis, while the CpG island proximal to the ZIM2as promoter showed a mosaic methylation pattern in the chimpanzee. The methylation status of several nearby zinc finger genes was unchanged among the primates tested. Overall, this study reports the presence of a previously unreported primate-specific antisense transcript in the PEG3 imprinted domain, suggesting that the formation of this transcript may coincide with the loss of the OLFR cluster.
Project description:Allele-specific DNA methylation (ASM) is well studied in imprinted domains, but this type of epigenetic asymmetry is actually found more commonly at non-imprinted loci, where the ASM is dictated not by parent-of-origin but instead by the local haplotype. We identified loci with strong ASM in human tissues from methylation-sensitive SNP array data. Two index regions (bisulfite PCR amplicons), one between the C3orf27 and RPN1 genes in chromosome band 3q21 and the other near the VTRNA2-1 vault RNA in band 5q31, proved to be new examples of imprinted DMRs (maternal alleles methylated) while a third, between STEAP3 and C2orf76 in chromosome band 2q14, showed non-imprinted haplotype-dependent ASM. Using long-read bisulfite sequencing (bis-seq) in 8 human tissues we found that in all 3 domains the ASM is restricted to single differentially methylated regions (DMRs), each less than 2kb. The ASM in the C3orf27-RPN1 intergenic region was placenta-specific and associated with allele-specific expression of a long non-coding RNA. Strikingly, the discrete DMRs in all 3 regions overlap with binding sites for the insulator protein CTCF, which we found selectively bound to the unmethylated allele of the STEAP3-C2orf76 DMR. Methylation mapping in two additional genes with non-imprinted haplotype-dependent ASM, ELK3 and CYP2A7, showed that the CYP2A7 DMR also overlaps a CTCF site. Thus, two features of imprinted domains, highly localized DMRs and allele-specific insulator occupancy by CTCF, can also be found in chromosomal domains with non-imprinted ASM. Arguing for biological importance, our analysis of published whole genome bis-seq data from hES cells revealed multiple genome-wide association study (GWAS) peaks near CTCF binding sites with ASM.
Project description:Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is the lipid hydrolase that is deficient in types A and B Niemann-Pick disease (NPD). Here, we demonstrate that the gene encoding ASM (SMPD1) is paternally imprinted and that differential expression of the mutant alleles in patients with ASM-deficient NPD and in carriers influences the disease phenotype. Comparison of the results of genomic sequencing versus reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction sequencing for several patients with NPD revealed preferential expression of one mutant allele. Further analysis of one family showed that the expressed allele was maternally inherited and that the distinct clinical presentations of the individual patients were correlated with the amount of residual ASM activity expressed from the maternal mutation. Treatment of NPD cell lines with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine enhanced the expression of the paternal SMPD1 allele, and bisulfite genomic sequencing identified which CpG dinucleotides within the SMPD1 promoter were methylated. In a related set of studies, we identified a carrier individual who had approximately 15% of normal ASM activity and clinical features of ASM-deficient NPD. DNA sequencing confirmed that this individual carried a single SMPD1 mutation and that this mutant allele was preferentially expressed. These data thus demonstrate, for the first time, imprinting at the SMPD1 gene and reveal the influence of this epigenetic modification on the presentation of ASM-deficient NPD.