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Study Tracks Cytosine Methylation Effects on Transcription, Regulatory Features in Cells

For a paper appearing in Genome Biology, investigators at the University of Western Australia and other international centers characterize the transcriptional consequences of promoter cytosine methylation marks, which tend to prompt silencing effects. With the help of a zinc finger-DNMT3A catalytic domain fusion protein construct, RNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, bisulfite sequencing, ATAC-seq, and other approaches, the team assessed methylation at thousands of promoters in parallel, tracking the transcription, chromatin accessibility, and histone modification effects of these methylation changes, along with the return to methylation-free promoters after the fusion protein was removed. The analyses pointed to sequence context-specific transcriptional effects, for example, while flagging promoters that resisted repression and unearthing other regulatory clues. "These findings have important implications for epigenome engineering and demonstrate that the response of promoters to DNA methylation is more complex than previously appreciated," they write.

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.