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High-resolution DNA methylome analysis of primordial germ cells identifies gender-specific reprogramming in mice

High-resolution DNA methylome analysis of primordial germ cells identifies gender-specific reprogramming in mice

Genome Research 23(4): 616-627

ISSN/ISBN: 1088-9051

PMID: 23410886

DOI: 10.1101/gr.148023.112

Dynamic epigenetic reprogramming occurs during mammalian germ cell development, although the targets of this process, including DNA demethylation and de novo methylation, remain poorly understood. We performed genome-wide DNA methylation analysis in male and female mouse primordial germ cells at embryonic days 10.5, 13.5, and 16.5 by whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing. Our high-resolution DNA methylome maps demonstrated gender-specific differences in CpG methylation at genome-wide and gene-specific levels during fetal germline progression. There was extensive intra- and intergenic hypomethylation with erasure of methylation marks at imprinted, X-linked, or germline-specific genes during gonadal sex determination and partial methylation at particular retrotransposons. Following global demethylation and sex determination, CpG sites switched to de novo methylation in males, but the X-linked genes appeared resistant to the wave of de novo methylation. Significant differential methylation at a subset of imprinted loci was identified in both genders, and non-CpG methylation occurred only in male gonocytes. Our data establish the basis for future studies on the role of epigenetic modifications in germline development and other biological processes.

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Accession: 053549027

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