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18 January 2012 The Involvement of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine in Active DNA Demethylation in Mice
Peng Zhang, Li Su, Zhongwei Wang, Sheng Zhang, Jiyu Guan, Yue Chen, Yupeng Yin, Fei Gao, Bo Tang, Ziyi Li
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Abstract

Active DNA demethylation occurs after a sperm enters an egg. However, the mechanisms for the active DNA demethylation remain poorly understood. Ten-eleven translocation enzymes were recently shown to catalyze the conversion of 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). Thus, we decided to investigate the role of 5hmC in active demethylation. We analyzed the methylation and hydroxymethylation status in metaphase II oocytes as well as 1-cell stage and cleavage stage embryos. In zygotes, 5hmC was mainly detected in the paternal pronucleus and it increased from the pronuclear-2 (PN2) to PN5 stages, an indication that 5hmC was involved in paternal genomic DNA demethylation. Bisulfite-sequencing PCR and qGluMS-PCR (DNA glucosylation and digestion before quantitative PCR) results showed that a large reduction of methylcytosine and hydroxymethylcytosine in LINE1 (long interspersed nuclear element 1) occurred between the 4- and 8-cell stages, which indicates that demethylation potentially occurred after the 4-cell stage. We then microinjected mouse zygote with plasmids that were methylated in vitro by SssI methylase and analyzed for the hydroxymethylation status of the plasmids promoter region. We found that the rapid onset of expression of the unmethylated plasmids in mouse embryos happened in <12 h, but the expression of methylated plasmids was delayed until 50 h when most embryos were at the 8-cell stage. Quantitative GluMS-PCR results suggested that 5hmC was present in the plasmid's promoter region at the MspI site where the active demethylation occurred. Our results demonstrate that 5hmC is involved in active demethylation in mice.

© 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.
Peng Zhang, Li Su, Zhongwei Wang, Sheng Zhang, Jiyu Guan, Yue Chen, Yupeng Yin, Fei Gao, Bo Tang, and Ziyi Li "The Involvement of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine in Active DNA Demethylation in Mice," Biology of Reproduction 86(4), (18 January 2012). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.111.096073
Received: 1 September 2011; Accepted: 1 January 2012; Published: 18 January 2012
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