DNA methylation patterns in the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Although DNA methylation is found to be a major epigenetic regulator of vital cellular processes in most organisms, its role in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, remains largely unknown. In this study, we report detection of 5-methyl cytosine (m5C) in T. cruzi DNA and also determine the genomic distribution of m5C by methyl DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP). Some of the methylated genomic loci identified were within repetitive retrotransposons or pseudogenes, suggesting a probable role for DNA methylation in transcriptional silencing similar to what has been reported in various organisms. DNA methylation was also found at intergenic regions close to putative transcription start sites, as well as in regions of transcriptional termination, suggesting that these loci are characterized by a complex combination of activating (e.g. acH3, H3K4me3) and silencing (e.g. m5C) epigenetic modifications. Interestingly, both immunostaining and immunoprecipitation results clearly demonstrated that DNA methylation is especially abundant in kinetoplast minicircles DNA. Both global and locus-specific differences in DNA methylation were observed between non-replicative (i.e. trypomastigotes, stationary-phase epimastigotes) and replicative (i.e. logarithmic epimastigotes) stages of the parasite, suggesting a role for DNA methylation in T. cruzi development.
Trypanosoma cruzi; DNA methylation; minicircle
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-100262OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-100262DiVA: diva2:210557