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Expression of the C-Terminal Domain of Mammalian TET3 DNA Dioxygenase in Arabidopsis thaliana Induces Heritable Methylation Changes at rDNA Loci

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DOI: 10.4236/abb.2016.75023    2,056 Downloads   2,836 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

In plants, demethylation of 5-methylcytosine (5 mC) residues is controlled by DNA glycosylases, while in mammals it requires oxidation of 5 mC by TET proteins, a group of Fe(II)/2-oxoglutaratedependent dioxygenases. We analysed the effects of expressing the C-terminal catalytic domain of the human TET3 gene (TET3c) in Arabidopsis thaliana, using an rDNA region as a methylation reporter. In TET3c transformants, epialleles with hypomethylation or hypermethylation patterns can be induced, which is each stably retained in progeny lines even after removal of the TET3c transgene. In TET3c transformants, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5 hmC) marks are detected, indicative of the oxidative activity of the transgenic enzyme. 5-formylcytosine (5 fC) is only detectable in TET3c transformants with a DNA glycosylase mutant background suggesting further oxidation of 5 hmC residues to 5 fC by TET3c, and efficient recognition and removal of 5 fC by plant glycosylases. The results suggest that TET3c can be employed to induce heritable locus-specific changes in DNA methylation, and that accumulation of 5 hmC can be used as a marker for TET3c target regions.

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Hollwey, E. , Watson, M. and Meyer, P. (2016) Expression of the C-Terminal Domain of Mammalian TET3 DNA Dioxygenase in Arabidopsis thaliana Induces Heritable Methylation Changes at rDNA Loci. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 7, 243-250. doi: 10.4236/abb.2016.75023.

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