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A differentially methylated imprinting control region within the Kcnq1 locus harbors a methylation-sensitive chromatin insulator.
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Animal Development and Genetics.
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2002 In: JBC, Vol. 277, 18106-18110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 277, 18106-18110 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-91687OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-91687DiVA: diva2:164503
Available from: 2004-04-20 Created: 2004-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Chromatin Insulators and CTCF: Architects of Epigenetic States during Development.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chromatin Insulators and CTCF: Architects of Epigenetic States during Development.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A controlled and efficient coordination of gene expression is the key for normal development of an organism. In mammals, a subset of autosomal genes is expressed monoallelically depending on the sex of the transmitting parent, a phenomenon known as genomic imprinting.

The imprinted state of the H19 and Igf2 genes is controlled by a short stretch of sequences upstream of H19 known as the imprinting control region (ICR). This region is differentially methylated and is responsible for the repression of the maternally inherited Igf2 allele. It harbors hypersensitive sites on the unmethylated maternal allele and functions as an insulator that binds a chromatin insulator protein CTCF. Hence the H19 ICR, which plays an important role in maintaining the imprinting status of H19 and Igf2, was shown to lose the insulator property upon CpG methylation.

Another ICR in the Kcnq1 locus regulates long-range repression of p57Kip2 and Kcnq1 on the paternal allele, and is located on the neighboring subdomain of the imprinted gene cluster containing H19 and Igf2, on the distal end of mouse chromosome 7. Similarly to the H19 ICR, the Kcnq1 ICR appears to possess a unidirectional and methylation-sensitive chromatin insulator property in two different somatic cell types. Hence, methylation dependent insulator activity emerges as a common feature of imprinting control regions.

The protein CTCF is required for the interpretation and propagation of the differentially methylated status of the H19 ICR. Work in this thesis shows that this feature applies genomewide. The mapping of CTCF target sites demonstrated not only a strong link between CTCF, formation of insulator complexes and maintaining methylation-free domains, but also a network of target sites that are involved in pivotal functions. The pattern of CTCF in vivo occupancy varies in a lineage-specific manner, although a small group of target sites show constitutive binding.

In conclusion, the work of this thesis shows that epigenetic marks play an important role in regulating the insulator property. The studies also confirm the importance of CTCF in maintaining methylation-free domains and its role in insulator function. Our study unravels a new range of target sites for CTCF involved in divergent functions and their developmental control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 39 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 972
Developmental biology, DNA methylation, CTCF, Chromatin insulators, Microarray, Utvecklingsbiologi
National Category
Developmental Biology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4241 (URN)91-554-5952-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-05-18, Lindahlsalen, EBC, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, Sweden, Uppsala, 13:30
Available from: 2004-04-20 Created: 2004-04-20 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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