We describe here a detailed analysis of the methylation patterns of the apoC-III and apoA-IV genes in adult and embryonic tissues. Together with previously reported data on the human apoA-I gene (4), the results presented here constitute a comprehensive study on the methylation pattern of the apoA-I/C-III/A-IV gene cluster. The two genes (apoC-III and apoA-IV) display tissue-specific methylation patterns that correlate with their activity. This gene-specific methylation pattern indicates that the apoA-I/C-III/A-IV gene cluster is not one entity with respect to methylation. The cluster is almost entirely methylated in tissues that do not express any of the genes; however, individual gene regions are unmethylated in the tissue of expression. A comparison of the observed methylation patterns in adult tissues with those in embryonic tissues suggests that the mature tissue-specific methylation patterns are a result of an interplay between demethylation and de novo methylation events in the embryo. These changes in DNA methylation include demethylation in the early embryo followed by de novo methylation at later stages. A second round of tissue-specific demethylation and methylation de novo occurs in the late embryo as well. Evidence presented here supports the idea that CpG islands are protected in general from methylation de novo by a built-in signal and not by CpG density per se.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 15 Dec 1991|