Cytosine methylation and the ecology of intragenomic parasites

JA Yoder, CP Walsh, TH Bestor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1386 Citations (Scopus)

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.
LanguageEnglish
Pages335-340
JournalTrends in Genetics
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997

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Genomic Imprinting
X Chromosome Inactivation
Cytosine
Ecology
Methylation
Parasites
5-Methylcytosine
Developmental Genes
Genes
Alleles
Genome
Gene Expression
Mutation
DNA

Cite this

Yoder, JA ; Walsh, CP ; Bestor, TH. / Cytosine methylation and the ecology of intragenomic parasites. In: Trends in Genetics. 1997 ; Vol. 13, No. 8. pp. 335-340.
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Cytosine methylation and the ecology of intragenomic parasites. / Yoder, JA; Walsh, CP; Bestor, TH.

In: Trends in Genetics, Vol. 13, No. 8, 08.1997, p. 335-340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Walsh, CP

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