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The pattern of DNA methylation in the δ-Crystallin genes in transdifferentiating neural retina cultures

Errington, Laurence H., Cooper, David Neil and Clayton, Ruth M. 1983. The pattern of DNA methylation in the δ-Crystallin genes in transdifferentiating neural retina cultures. Differentiation 24 (1-3) , pp. 33-38. 10.1111/j.1432-0436.1983.tb01299.x

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Abstract. Terminally differentiated lens fibre cells are formed in the vertebrate lens throughout life. Lens fibre cells may also be obtained by an in vitro process termed transdifferentiation, from certain tissues of different developmental origin from lens, such as embryo neural retina. δ-Crystallin is the major protein in the chick embryo lens fibre cells, and also in transdifferentiated lens cells obtained from cultured embryonic neural retina. Lens crystallin proteins and mRNA are present at low levels in the intact embryonic neural retina but are no longer detectable in the early stages of neural retina cell culture. However, levels rise steeply in the later stages and crystallins become the major products in terminally transdifferentiating neural retina cultures. We have used this system to test the hypothesis that the patterns of DNA methylation in particular genes are correlated with gene expression. A number of developmentally regulated genes have been found to be undermethylated in tissues where they are expressed, and methylated in tissues where they are not. However this correspondence does not always hold true. Eight-day-old embryonic neural retina was cultured for the period of time during which crystallin gene expression increases 100-fold. DNA methylation in the δ-crystallin gene region was analysed at several stages of cell culture by using the restriction endonucleases HpaII and MspI which cleave at the sequence CCGG. The former enzyme cannot cleave internally methylated cytosine (CmCGG) while the latter cannot cleave externally methylated cytosine (mCCGG). We detect no change in the methylation of CCGG sites within the δ-crystallin gene regions during transdifferentiation. Since dramatic changes in δ-crystallin gene expression occur during this process we conclude that large scale alterations in the pattern of DNA methylation are not a necessary accompaniment to changes in gene activity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0301-4681
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:33

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