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

Molaro A, Falciatori I, Hodges E, Aravin AA, Marran K, Rafii S, McCombie WR, Smith AD, Hannon GJ
Genes Dev. 2014 28 (14): 1544-9

PMID: 25030694 · PMCID: PMC4102761 · DOI:10.1101/gad.244350.114

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.

© 2014 Molaro et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

MeSH Terms (11)

Animals Cellular Reprogramming DNA Methylation Epigenesis, Genetic Male Mice Retroelements RNA, Small Interfering Spermatocytes Spermatogenesis Transcription, Genetic

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