Transposons, DNA methylation and gene control

Martienssen, R. (1998) Transposons, DNA methylation and gene control. Trends in Genetics, 14 (7). pp. 263-264. ISSN 0168-9525

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9676527
DOI: 10.1016/s0168-9525(98)01518-2

Abstract

The issues raised by Adrian Bird and Tim Bestor concerning the role of DNA methylation in mammalian genomes1 and 2might usefully be addressed by revisiting some old ideas in plants. Bestor has proposed that DNA methylation is restricted almost entirely to transposable elements, which constitute more than a third of the mouse genome. The primary role of DNA methylation might thus be to prevent transposition[3]which would otherwise be expected to `lacerate the genome'. Bird points out that, if methylation were to regulate transposon spread, then it has been singularly unsuccessful, as large amplifications of transposons have occurred in recent vertebrate evolution, as well as in those insects, such as Drosophila, that do not have methylation. Bird proposes that the primary role of methylation is to limit `background' transcriptional noise, including transcription from transposons themselves. These points of view might be reconciled by re-examining the role of DNA methylation and transposable elements in plant gene regulation as well as in mammals.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: retrotransposons regions
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > DNA methylation
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > transposons
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Martienssen lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 16:17
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2013 16:17
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/28987

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