'; ?> geneimprint : Hot off the Press http://www.geneimprint.com/site/hot-off-the-press Daily listing of the most recent articles in epigenetics and imprinting, collected from the PubMed database. en-us Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:34:06 PDT Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:34:06 PDT jirtle@radonc.duke.edu james001@jirtle.com Biomarkers in neonatology: the new "omics" of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Piersigilli F, Bhandari V
J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med (Jul 2015)

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a complex disorder resulting from gene-environmental interactions. An improved understanding of the pathogenesis of this most common chronic lung disease in infants has been made by utilizing animal models and correlating with human data. Currently, while some (vitamin A, caffeine) pharmacotherapeutic options are being utilized to ameliorate this condition, there is still no specific or effective treatment for BPD. It would be helpful for prognostication and targeted potential novel therapeutic strategies to identify those babies accurately who are at risk for developing this disease. A reliable biomarker would have the capacity to be detected in the initial phase of the disease, to allow early interventions to avoid or minimize the detrimental effects of the disease. This review will focus on human studies performed with the "omic" techniques, specifically genomics, epigenomics, microbiomics, transciptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, and summarize the information available in the literature, as it pertains to biomarker identification for BPD. Using "omics" technologies, investigators have reported markers that have the potential to be used as biomarkers of BPD: SPOCK2, VEGF -624C > G, VEGF -460T > C, mast cells specific markers, miR-219 pathway, miR-152, -30a-3p, -133b, -206, -7, lactate, taurine, trimethylamine-N-oxide, gluconate, myoinositol and alterations in surfactant lipid profile.]]>
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Epigenetic alterations in sperm associated with male infertility. Kitamura A, Miyauchi N, Hamada H, Hiura H, Chiba H, Okae H, Sato A, John RM, Arima T
Congenit Anom (Kyoto) (Aug 2015)

The most common form of male infertility is a low sperm count, known as oligozoospermia. Studies suggest that oligozoospermia is associated with epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic alterations in sperm, which may arise due to the exposure of gametes to environmental factors or those that pre-exist in the sperm of infertile individuals, may contribute to the increased incidence of normally rare imprinting disorders in babies conceived after assisted reproductive technology using the sperm of infertile men. Genomic imprinting is an important developmental process whereby the allelic activity of certain genes is regulated by DNA methylation established during gametogenesis. The aberrant expression of several imprinted genes has been linked to various diseases, malignant tumors, lifestyle and mental disorders in humans. Understanding how infertility and environmental factors such as reproductive toxicants, certain foods, and drug exposures during gametogenesis contribute to the origins of these disorders via defects in sperm is of paramount importance. In this review, we discuss the association of epigenetic alterations with abnormal spermatogenesis and the evidence that epigenetic processes, including those required for genomic imprinting, may be sensitive to environmental exposures during gametogenesis, fertilization and early embryonic development. In addition, we review imprinting diseases and their relationships with environmental factors. While the plasticity of epigenetic marks may make these more susceptible to modification by the environment, this also suggests that aberrant epigenetic marks may be reversible. A greater understanding of this process and the function of epidrugs may lead to the development of new treatment methods for many adult diseases in the future.]]>
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Quantitative and functional interrogation of parent-of-origin allelic expression biases in the brain. Perez JD, Rubinstein ND, Fernandez DE, Santoro SW, Needleman LA, Ho-Shing O, Choi JJ, Zirlinger M, Chen SK, Liu JS, Dulac C
Elife (2015)

The maternal and paternal genomes play different roles in mammalian brains as a result of genomic imprinting, an epigenetic regulation leading to differential expression of the parental alleles of some genes. Here we investigate genomic imprinting in the cerebellum using a newly developed Bayesian statistical model that provides unprecedented transcript-level resolution. We uncover 160 imprinted transcripts, including 41 novel and independently validated imprinted genes. Strikingly, many genes exhibit parentally biased-rather than monoallelic-expression, with different magnitudes according to age, organ, and brain region. Developmental changes in parental bias and overall gene expression are strongly correlated, suggesting combined roles in regulating gene dosage. Finally, brain-specific deletion of the paternal, but not maternal, allele of the paternally-biased Bcl-x, (Bcl2l1) results in loss of specific neuron types, supporting the functional significance of parental biases. These findings reveal the remarkable complexity of genomic imprinting, with important implications for understanding the normal and diseased brain.]]>
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Faithful expression of imprinted genes in donor cells of SCNT cloned pigs. Wang D, Yuan L, Sui T, Song Y, Lv Q, Wang A, Li Z, Lai L
FEBS Lett (Jul 2015)

To understand if the genomic imprinting status of the donor cells is altered during the process of SCNT (somatic cell nuclear transfer), cloned pigs were produced by SCNT using PEF (porcine embryonic fibroblast) and P-PEF (parthenogenetic-PEF) cells as donors. Then, the gene expression and methylation patterns of H19, IGF2, NNAT and MEST were compared between PEF vs. C-PEF (cloned-PEF), P-PEF vs. CP-PEF (cloned-P-PEF), respectively. Taken together, the results revealed that there was no significant difference in the expression of imprinted genes and conserved genomic imprints between the donor and cloned cells.]]>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
A trans-homologue interaction between reciprocally imprinted miR-127 and Rtl1 regulates placenta development. Ito M, Sferruzzi-Perri AN, Edwards CA, Adalsteinsson BT, Allen SE, Loo TH, Kitazawa M, Kaneko-Ishino T, Ishino F, Stewart CL, Ferguson-Smith AC
Development (Jul 2015)

The paternally expressed imprinted retrotransposon-like 1 (Rtl1) is a retrotransposon-derived gene that has evolved a function in eutherian placentation. Seven miRNAs, including miR-127, are processed from a maternally expressed antisense Rtl1 transcript (Rtl1as) and regulate Rtl1 levels through RNAi-mediated post-transcriptional degradation. To determine the relative functional role of Rtl1as miRNAs in Rtl1 dosage, we generated a mouse specifically deleted for miR-127. The miR-127 knockout mice exhibit placentomegaly with specific defects within the labyrinthine zone involved in maternal-fetal nutrient transfer. Although fetal weight is unaltered, specific Rtl1 transcripts and protein levels are increased in both the fetus and placenta. Phenotypic analysis of single (ΔmiR-127/Rtl1 or miR-127/ΔRtl1) and double (ΔmiR-127/ΔRtl1) heterozygous miR-127- and Rtl1-deficient mice indicate that Rtl1 is the main target gene of miR-127 in placental development. Our results demonstrate that miR-127 is an essential regulator of Rtl1, mediated by a trans-homologue interaction between reciprocally imprinted genes on the maternally and paternally inherited chromosomes.]]>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Expression of imprinted genes in placenta is associated with infant neurobehavioral development. Green BB, Kappil M, Lambertini L, Armstrong DA, Guerin DG, Sharp AJ, Lester BM, Chen J, Marsit CJ
Epigenetics (Jul 2015)

Genomic imprinting disorders often exhibit delayed neurobehavioral development, suggesting this unique mechanism of epigenetic regulation plays a role in mental and neurological health. While major errors in imprinting have been linked to adverse health outcomes, there has been little research conducted on how moderate variability in imprinted gene expression within a population contributes to differences in neurobehavioral outcomes, particularly at birth. Here, we profiled the expression of 108 known and putative imprinted genes in human placenta samples from 615 infants assessed by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Network Neurobehavioral Scales (NNNS). Data reduction identified ten genes (DLX5, DHCR24, VTRNA2-1, PHLDA2, NPAP1, FAM50B, GNAS-AS1, PAX8-AS1, SHANK2, and COPG2IT1) whose expression could distinguish between newborn neurobehavioral profiles derived from the NNNS. Clustering infants based on the expression pattern of these genes identified 2 groups of infants characterized by reduced quality of movement, increased signs of asymmetrical and non-optimal reflexes, and increased odds of demonstrating increased signs of physiologic stress and abstinence. Overall, these results suggest that common variation in placental imprinted gene expression is linked to suboptimal performance on scales of neurological functioning as well as with increased signs of physiologic stress, highlighting the central importance of the control of expression of these genes in the placenta for neurobehavioral development.]]>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Association of folate and other one-carbon related nutrients with hypermethylation status and expression of RARB, BRCA1, and RASSF1A genes in breast cancer patients. Pirouzpanah S, Taleban FA, Mehdipour P, Atri M
J Mol Med (Berl) (Aug 2015)

Dietary methyl group donors could influence the hypermethylation status of certain putative genes. The present study explored the possible associations of dietary intake of one-carbon metabolism-related nutrients with promoter hypermethylation status and expression of retinoic acid receptor-beta (RARB), breast cancer-1 (BRCA1), and Ras association domain family-1, isoform A (RASSF1A) genes in Iranian women with breast cancer (BC). The hypermethylation status was investigated in 146 dissected BC tissue samples using methylation-specific PCR. The expression level was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR. Dietary nutrients were estimated using a validated 136-item food frequency questionnaire. Expression levels of the genes were associated with the unmethylated status of related promoters (p < 0.05). The crude dietary folate and adjusted cobalamin intakes were inversely associated with methylated RARB and BRCA1. Low intake of residual folate and cobalamin was correlated with the methylated status of RARB for subjects at <48 years of age, and folate alone was linked to BRCA1 at >48 years of age. High dietary intake of riboflavin and pyridoxine was the only determinant of the methylated promoter of RARB at odds ratios (ORs) of 4.15 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.28-13.50) and 2.53 (95 % CI 1.14-3.83) in multivariate models, respectively. One-carbon nutrients most often correlated inversely with the methylation-influenced expression of RARB. Although high folate intake increased the chance of unmethylation-dependent overexpression of BRCA1 3-fold, cobalamin and methionine were inversely linked to methylation-mediated expression. Nutritional epigenomics less actively influenced RASSF1A. These findings provide new insights into and a basic understanding of the selective contributions of individual B vitamins on hypermethylation and methylation-related expression of RARB and BRCA1 in BC.]]>
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Epigenome data release: a participant-centered approach to privacy protection. Dyke SO, Cheung WA, Joly Y, Ammerpohl O, Lutsik P, Rothstein MA, Caron M, Busche S, Bourque G, Rönnblom L, Flicek P, Beck S, Hirst M, Stunnenberg H, Siebert R, Walter J, Pastinen T
Genome Biol (2015)

Large-scale epigenome mapping by the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Project, the ENCODE Consortium and the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) produces genome-wide DNA methylation data at one base-pair resolution. We examine how such data can be made open-access while balancing appropriate interpretation and genomic privacy. We propose guidelines for data release that both reduce ambiguity in the interpretation of open-access data and limit immediate access to genetic variation data that are made available through controlled access.]]>
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Differential Promoter Methylation of Macrophage Genes Is Associated With Impaired Vascular Growth in Ischemic Muscles of Hyperlipidemic and Type 2 Diabetic Mice: Genome-Wide Promoter Methylation Study. Babu M, Durga Devi T, Mäkinen P, Kaikkonen M, Lesch HP, Junttila S, Laiho A, Ghimire B, Gyenesei A, Ylä-Herttuala S
Circ Res (Jul 2015)

Hyperlipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) severely impair adaptive vascular growth responses in ischemic muscles. This is largely attributed to dysregulated gene expression, although details of the changes are unknown.]]>
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Comparative Genomics Reveals Chd1 as a Determinant of Nucleosome Spacing in Vivo. Hughes AL, Rando OJ
G3 (Bethesda) (Jul 2015)

Packaging of genomic DNA into nucleosomes is nearly universally-conserved in eukaryotes, and many features of the nucleosome landscape are quite conserved. Nonetheless, quantitative aspects of nucleosome packaging differ between species, as for example the average length of linker DNA between nucleosomes can differ significantly even between closely-related species. We recently showed that the difference in nucleosome spacing between two Hemiascomycete species - Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lactis - is established by trans-acting factors rather than being encoded in cis in the DNA sequence. Here, we generated several S. cerevisiae strains in which endogenous copies of candidate nucleosome spacing factors are deleted and replaced with the orthologous factors from K. lactis. We find no change in nucleosome spacing in such strains in which histone H1 or Isw1 complexes are swapped. In contrast, the K. lactis gene encoding the ATP-dependent remodeler Chd1 was found to direct longer internucleosomal spacing in S. cerevisiae, establishing that this remodeler is partially responsible for the relatively long internucleosomal spacing observed in K. lactis. By analyzing several chimaeric proteins, we find that sequence differences that contribute to the spacing activity of this remodeler are dispersed throughout the coding sequence, but that the strongest spacing effect is linked to the understudied N-terminal end of Chd1. Taken together, our data find a role for sequence evolution of a chromatin remodeler in establishing quantitative aspects of the chromatin landscape in a species-specific manner.]]>
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Dynamic epigenetic regulation of glioblastoma tumorigenicity through LSD1 modulation of MYC expression. Kozono D, Li J, Nitta M, Sampetrean O, Gonda D, Kushwaha DS, Merzon D, Ramakrishnan V, Zhu S, Zhu K, Matsui H, Harismendy O, Hua W, Mao Y, Kwon CH, Saya H, Nakano I, Pizzo DP, VandenBerg SR, Chen CC
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Jul 2015)

The available evidence suggests that the lethality of glioblastoma is driven by small subpopulations of cells that self-renew and exhibit tumorigenicity. It remains unclear whether tumorigenicity exists as a static property of a few cells or as a dynamically acquired property. We used tumor-sphere and xenograft formation as assays for tumorigenicity and examined subclones isolated from established and primary glioblastoma lines. Our results indicate that glioblastoma tumorigenicity is largely deterministic, yet the property can be acquired spontaneously at low frequencies. Further, these dynamic transitions are governed by epigenetic reprogramming through the lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). LSD depletion increases trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 4 at the avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC) locus, which elevates MYC expression. MYC, in turn, regulates oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 2 (OLIG2), SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2 (SOX2), and POU class 3 homeobox 2 (POU3F2), a core set of transcription factors required for reprogramming glioblastoma cells into stem-like states. Our model suggests epigenetic regulation of key transcription factors governs transitions between tumorigenic states and provides a framework for glioblastoma therapeutic development.]]>
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Development of novel tools for the in vitro investigation of drug-induced liver injury. Jiang J, Wolters JE, van Breda SG, Kleinjans JC, de Kok TM
Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol (Jul 2015)

Due to its complex mechanisms and unpredictable occurrence, drug-induced liver injury (DILI) complicates drug identification and classification. Since species-specific differences in metabolism and pharmacokinetics exist, data obtained from animal studies may not be sufficient to predict DILI in humans. Areas covered: Over the last few decades, numerous in vitro models have been developed to replace animal testing. The advantages and disadvantages of commonly used liver-derived in vitro models (e.g., cell lines, hepatocyte models, liver slices, three-dimensional (3D) hepatospheres, etc.) are discussed. Toxicogenomics-based methodologies (genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and next-generation sequencing have also been used to enhance the reliability of DILI prediction. This review presents an overview of the currently used alternative toxicological models and of the most advanced approaches in the field of DILI research. Expert opinion: It seems unlikely that a single in vitro system will be able to mimic the complex interactions in the human liver. Three-dimensional multicellular systems may bridge the gap between conventional 2D models and in vivo clinical studies in humans and provide a reliable basis for hepatic toxicity assay development. Next-generation sequencing technologies, in comparison to microarray-based technologies, may overcome the current limitations and are promising for the development of predictive models in the near future.]]>
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Paternal allelic mutation at the Kcnq1 locus reduces pancreatic β-cell mass by epigenetic modification of Cdkn1c. Asahara S, Etoh H, Inoue H, Teruyama K, Shibutani Y, Ihara Y, Kawada Y, Bartolome A, Hashimoto N, Matsuda T, Koyanagi-Kimura M, Kanno A, Hirota Y, Hosooka T, Nagashima K, Nishimura W, Inoue H, Matsumoto M, Higgins MJ, Yasuda K, Inagaki N, Seino S, Kasuga M, Kido Y
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Jul 2015)

Genetic factors are important determinants of the onset and progression of diabetes mellitus. Numerous susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes, including potassium voltage-gated channel, KQT-like subfamily Q, member1 (KCNQ1), have been identified in humans by genome-wide analyses and other studies. Experiments with genetically modified mice have also implicated various genes in the pathogenesis of diabetes. However, the possible effects of the parent of origin for diabetes susceptibility alleles on disease onset have remained unclear. Here, we show that a mutation at the Kcnq1 locus reduces pancreatic β-cell mass in mice by epigenetic modulation only when it is inherited from the father. The noncoding RNA KCNQ1 overlapping transcript1 (Kcnq1ot1) is expressed from the Kcnq1 locus and regulates the expression of neighboring genes on the paternal allele. We found that disruption of Kcnq1 results in reduced Kcnq1ot1 expression as well as the increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C (Cdkn1c), an imprinted gene that encodes a cell cycle inhibitor, only when the mutation is on the paternal allele. Furthermore, histone modification at the Cdkn1c promoter region in pancreatic islets was found to contribute to this phenomenon. Our observations suggest that the Kcnq1 genomic region directly regulates pancreatic β-cell mass and that genomic imprinting may be a determinant of the onset of diabetes mellitus.]]>
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Genome-wide binding and mechanistic analyses of Smchd1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Chen K, Hu J, Moore DL, Liu R, Kessans SA, Breslin K, Lucet IS, Keniry A, Leong HS, Parish CL, Hilton DJ, Lemmers RJ, van der Maarel SM, Czabotar PE, Dobson RC, Ritchie ME, Kay GF, Murphy JM, Blewitt ME
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (Jul 2015)

Structural maintenance of chromosomes flexible hinge domain containing 1 (Smchd1) is an epigenetic repressor with described roles in X inactivation and genomic imprinting, but Smchd1 is also critically involved in the pathogenesis of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy. The underlying molecular mechanism by which Smchd1 functions in these instances remains unknown. Our genome-wide transcriptional and epigenetic analyses show that Smchd1 binds cis-regulatory elements, many of which coincide with CCCTC-binding factor (Ctcf) binding sites, for example, the clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes, where we show Smchd1 and Ctcf act in opposing ways. We provide biochemical and biophysical evidence that Smchd1-chromatin interactions are established through the homodimeric hinge domain of Smchd1 and, intriguingly, that the hinge domain also has the capacity to bind DNA and RNA. Our results suggest Smchd1 imparts epigenetic regulation via physical association with chromatin, which may antagonize Ctcf-facilitated chromatin interactions, resulting in coordinated transcriptional control.]]>
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Lncing Epigenetic Control of Transcription to Cardiovascular Development and Disease. Rizki G, Boyer LA
Circ Res (Jul 2015)

Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation is critical for proper heart development, cardiac homeostasis, and pathogenesis. Long noncoding RNAs have emerged as key components of the transcriptional regulatory pathways that govern cardiac development as well as stress response, signaling, and remodeling in cardiac pathologies. Within the past few years, studies have identified many long noncoding RNAs in the context of cardiovascular biology and have begun to reveal the key functions of these transcripts. In this review, we discuss the growing roles of long noncoding RNAs in different aspects of cardiovascular development as well as pathological responses during injury or disease. In addition, we discuss diverse mechanisms by which long noncoding RNAs orchestrate cardiac transcriptional programs. Finally, we explore the exciting potential of this novel class of transcripts as biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets for cardiovascular diseases.]]>
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Living long and ageing well: is epigenomics the missing link between nature and nurture? Rea IM, Dellet M, Mills KI,  
Biogerontology (Jul 2015)

Human longevity is a complex trait and increasingly we understand that both genes and lifestyle interact in the longevity phenotype. Non-genetic factors, including diet, physical activity, health habits, and psychosocial factors contribute approximately 50 % of the variability in human lifespan with another 25 % explained by genetic differences. Family clusters of nonagenarian and centenarian siblings, who show both exceptional age-span and health-span, are likely to have inherited facilitatory gene groups, but also have nine decades of life experiences and behaviours which have interacted with their genetic profiles. Identification of their shared genes is just one small step in the link from genes to their physical and psychological profiles. Behavioural genomics is beginning to demonstrate links to biological mechanisms through regulation of gene expression, which directs the proteome and influences the personal phenotype. Epigenetics has been considered the missing link between nature and nurture. Although there is much that remains to be discovered, this article will discuss some of genetic and environmental factors which appear important in good quality longevity and link known epigenetic mechanisms to themes identified by nonagenarians themselves related to their longevity. Here we suggest that exceptional 90-year old siblings have adopted a range of behaviours and life-styles which have contributed to their ageing-well-phenotype and which link with important public health messages.]]>
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome prenatal diagnosis by methylation analysis in chorionic villi. Paganini L, Carlessi N, Fontana L, Silipigni R, Motta S, Fiori S, Guerneri S, Lalatta F, Cereda A, Sirchia S, Miozzo M, Tabano S
Epigenetics (Jul 2015)

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an imprinting disorder that can be prenatally suspected or diagnosed based on established clinical guidelines. Molecular confirmation is commonly performed on amniocytes. The possibility to use fresh (CVF) and cultured (CVC) chorionic villi has never been investigated. To verify whether CVF and CVC are reliable sources of DNA to study fetal methylation, we used pyrosequencing to test the methylation level of a number of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) at several imprinted loci (ICR1, ICR2, H19, PWS/AS-ICR, GNASXL, GNAS1A, ZAC/PLAGL1, and MEST) and at non-imprinted MGMT and RASSF1A promoters. We analyzed these regions in 19 healthy pregnancies and highlighted stable methylation levels between CVF and CVC at ICR1, ICR2, GNASXL, PWS/AS-ICR, and MEST. Conversely, the methylation levels at H19 promoter, GNAS1A and ZAC/PLAGL1 were different in CVC compared to fresh CV. We also investigated ICR1 and ICR2 methylation level of CVF/CVC of 2 BWS-suspected fetuses (P1 and P2). P1 showed ICR2 hypomethylation, P2 showed normal methylation at both ICR1 and ICR2. Our findings, although limited to one case of BWS fetus with an imprinting defect, can suggest that ICR1 and ICR2, but not H19, could be reliable targets for prenatal BWS diagnosis by methylation test in CVF and CVC. In addition, PWS/AS-ICR, GNASXL, and MEST, but not GNAS1A and ZAC/PLAGL1, are steadily hemimethylated in CV from healthy pregnancies, independently from culture. Thus, prenatal investigation of genomic imprinting in CV needs to be validated in a locus-specific manner.]]>
Sat, 27 Jun 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Maternal-fetal conflict, genomic imprinting and mammalian vulnerabilities to cancer. Haig D
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci (Jul 2015)

Antagonistic coevolution between maternal and fetal genes, and between maternally and paternally derived genes may have increased mammalian vulnerability to cancer. Placental trophoblast has evolved to invade maternal tissues and evade structural and immunological constraints on its invasion. These adaptations can be co-opted by cancer in intrasomatic selection. Imprinted genes of maternal and paternal origin favour different degrees of proliferation of particular cell types in which they reside. As a result, the set of genes favouring greater proliferation will be selected to evade controls on cell-cycle progression imposed by the set of genes favouring lesser proliferation. The dynamics of stem cell populations will be a particular focus of this intragenomic conflict. Gene networks that are battlegrounds of intragenomic conflict are expected to be less robust than networks that evolve in the absence of conflict. By these processes, maternal-fetal and intragenomic conflicts may undermine evolved defences against cancer.]]>
Tue, 09 Jun 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Ultrasensitive homogeneous electrochemical strategy for DNA methyltransferase activity assay based on autonomous exonuclease III-assisted isothermal cycling signal amplification. Li W, Liu X, Hou T, Li H, Li F
Biosens Bioelectron (Aug 2015)

DNA methylation catalyzed by methyltransferase (MTase) plays an important role in many biological processes, including gene transcription, genomic imprinting and cellular differentiation. Herein, a simple and novel homogeneous electrochemical strategy for ultrasensitive DNA MTase activity assay has been successfully developed, which is based on methylation-triggered exonuclease (Exo) III-assisted autonomous isothermal cycling signal amplification. A duplex DNA (P1-P2 hybrid) containing the methylation-responsive sequence is ingeniously designed. In the presence of DNA adenine methylation (Dam) methyltransferase (MTase), P1-P2 hybrid is methylated and subsequently recognized and cleaved by Dpn I endonuclease, which triggers the Exo III-catalyzed autonomous cycling cleavage processes. Therefore, a large amount of methylene blue-labeled mononucleotides are released, generating a significantly amplified electrochemical signal toward the Dam MTase activity assay. The directly measured detection limit down to 0.004 U/mL is obtained, which is one or two orders magnitude lower than that of the approaches reported in literature. Since this assay is carried out in homogeneous solution phase under isothermal condition and sophisticated probe immobilization processes are avoided, it is very simple and easy to implement. Due to its advantages of ultrahigh sensitivity, excellent selectivity and simple operation, the as-proposed strategy has great potential in the applications in DNA methylation related clinical practices and biochemical researches.]]>
Sat, 30 May 2015 00:00:00 PDT
Aberrant methylation of imprinted genes is associated with negative hormone receptor status in invasive breast cancer. Barrow TM, Barault L, Ellsworth RE, Harris HR, Binder AM, Valente AL, Shriver CD, Michels KB
Int J Cancer (Aug 2015)

Epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes enables monoallelic expression according to parental origin, and its disruption is implicated in many cancers and developmental disorders. The expression of hormone receptors is significant in breast cancer because they are indicators of cancer cell growth rate and determine response to endocrine therapies. We investigated the frequency of aberrant events and variation in DNA methylation at nine imprinted sites in invasive breast cancer and examined the association with estrogen and progesterone receptor status. Breast tissue and blood from patients with invasive breast cancer (n = 38) and benign breast disease (n = 30) were compared with those from healthy individuals (n = 36), matched with the cancer patients by age at diagnosis, ethnicity, body mass index, menopausal status and familial history of cancer. DNA methylation and allele-specific expression were analyzed by pyrosequencing. Tumor-specific methylation changes at IGF2 DMR2 were observed in 59% of cancer patients, IGF2 DMR0 in 38%, DIRAS3 DMR in 36%, GRB10 ICR in 23%, PEG3 DMR in 21%, MEST ICR in 19%, H19 ICR in 18%, KvDMR in 8% and SNRPN/SNURF ICR in 4%. Variation in methylation was significantly greater in breast tissue from cancer patients compared with that in healthy individuals and benign breast disease. Aberrant methylation of three or more sites was significantly associated with negative estrogen-alpha (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.02) and progesterone-A (p = 0.02) receptor status. Aberrant events and increased variation in imprinted gene DNA methylation, therefore, seem to be frequent in invasive breast cancer and are associated with negative estrogen and progesterone receptor status, without loss of monoallelic expression.]]>
Mon, 18 May 2015 00:00:00 PDT