Tandem B1 elements located in a mouse methylation center provide a target for de novo DNA methylation

Phillip A. Yates, Robert W. Burman, Padmaja Mummaneni, Sandra Krussel, Mitchell S. Turker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


A cis-acting methylation center that signals de novo DNA methylation is located upstream of the mouse Aprt gene. In the current study, two approaches were taken to determine if tandem B1 repetitive elements found at the 3' end of the methylation center contribute to the methylation signal. First, bisulfite genomic sequencing demonstrated that CpG sites within the B1 elements were methylated at relative levels of 43% in embryonal stem cells deficient for the maintenance DNA methyl-transferase when compared with wild type embryonal stem cells. Second, the ability of the B1 elements to signal de novo methylation upon stable transfection into mouse embryonal carcinoma cells was examined. This approach demonstrated that the B1 elements were methylated de novo to a high level in the embryonal carcinoma cells and that the B1 elements acted synergistically. The results from these experiments provide strong evidence that the tandem B1 repetitive elements provide a significant fraction of the methylation center signal. By extension, they also support the hypothesis that one role for DNA methylation in mammals is to protect the genome from expression and transposition of parasitic elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36357-36361
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 17 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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