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Cytosine methylation and the ecology of intragenomic parasites

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Yoder, JA, Walsh, CP and Bestor, TH (1997) Cytosine methylation and the ecology of intragenomic parasites. TRENDS IN GENETICS, 13 (8). pp. 335-340. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9525(97)01181-5

Abstract

Most of the 5-methylcytosine in mammalian DNA resides in transposons, which are specialized intragenomic parasites that represent at least 35% of the genome. Transposon promoters are inactive when methylated and, over time, C --> T transition mutations at methylated sites destroy many transposons. Apart from that subset of genes subject to X inactivation and genomic imprinting, no cellular gene in a non-expressing tissue has been proven to be methylated in a pattern that prevents transcription. It has become increasingly difficult to hold that reversible promoter methylation is commonly involved in developmental gene control; instead, suppression of parasitic sequence elements appears to be the primary function of cytosine methylation, with crucial secondary roles in allele-specific gene expression as seen in X inactivation and genomic imprinting.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Molecular Medicine
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Molecular Medicine > Transcriptional Regulation & Epigenetics
ID Code:21722
Deposited By:Professor Colum Walsh
Deposited On:02 Apr 2012 10:52
Last Modified:11 Dec 2012 14:49

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