DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark involved in gene silencing, X chromosome and transposon inactivation, genomic imprinting, and chromosome stability. Recently, it has been increasingly recognized that DNA methylation plays an essential regulatory function in mammalian development and cancer biology, serving to repress nontranscribed genes stably in differentiated adult somatic cells. DNA methylation is subject to reprogramming during development, involving both demethylation (active and passive) and de novo methylation phases. Recent data show deregulation of genome-wide DNA methylation levels in embryos generated by somatic nuclear transfer, suggesting this epigenetic mark and its regulation are essential to ensure viable embryos. Immunofluorescence using antibodies against 5-methylcytosine is an invaluable method for the large-scale screening of genome-wide methylation. This method has a high degree of reproducibility, essential for the analysis of small numbers of valuable samples, providing information on methylation profiles of individual cells and embryos.
Key Words: DNA methylation; immunofluorescence; preimplantation; mammalian; embryos; reprogramming.
Was this article helpful?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...