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Cytosine methylation and the ecology of intragenomic parasites

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 > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Genomic Medicine > Transcriptional Regulation & Epigenetics
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Genomic Medicine
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:21722
Deposited By: Professor Colum Walsh
Deposited On:02 Apr 2012 09:52
Last Modified:11 Dec 2012 14:49

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