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Lindeman L.C.,University of Oslo | Lindeman L.C.,Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research | Winata C.L.,Genome Institute of Singapore | Havard A.,BasAM | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Developmental Biology | Year: 2010

Embryo development proceeds from a cascade of gene activation and repression events controlled by epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones. Little is known about epigenetic states in the developing zebrafish, despite its importance as a model organism. We report here DNA methylation and histone modification profiles of promoters of developmentallyregulated genes (pou5f1, sox2, sox3, klf4, nnr, otx1b, nes, vasa), as well as tert and bactin2, in zebrafish embryos at the mid-late blastula transition, shortly after embryonic genome activation. We identify four classes of promoters based on the following profiles: (i) those enriched in marks of active genes (H3K9ac, H4ac, H3K4me3) without transcriptionally repressing H3K9me3 or H3K27me3; (ii) those enriched in H3K9ac, H4ac and H3K27me3, without H3K9me3; one such gene was klf4, shown by in situ hybridization to be mosaically expressed, likely accounting for the detection of both activating and repressive marks on its promoter; (iii) those enriched in H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 without acetylation; and (iv) those enriched in all histone modifications examined. Culture of embryo-derived cells under differentiation conditions leads to H3K9 and H4 deacetylation and H3K9 and H3K27 trimethylation on genes that are inactivated, yielding an epigenetic profile similar to those of fibroblasts or muscle. All promoters however retain H3K4me3, indicating an uncoupling of H3K4me3 occupancy and gene expression. All non-CpG island developmentally-regulated promoters are DNA unmethylated in embryos, but hypermethylated in fibroblasts. Our results suggest that differentially expressed embryonic genes are regulated by various patterns of histone modifications on unmethylated DNA, which create a developmentally permissive chromatin state. © 2010 UBC Press.

Lindeman L.C.,University of Oslo | Reiner A.H.,University of Oslo | Mathavan S.,Genome Institute of Singapore | Alestrom P.,BasAM | Collas P.,University of Oslo
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background:Uncovering epigenetic states by chromatin immunoprecipitation and microarray hybridization (ChIP-chip) has significantly contributed to the understanding of gene regulation at the genome-scale level. Many studies have been carried out in mice and humans; however limited high-resolution information exists to date for non-mammalian vertebrate species. Principal Findings:We report a 2.1-million feature high-resolution Nimblegen tiling microarray for ChIP-chip interrogations of epigenetic states in zebrafish (Danio rerio). The array covers 251 megabases of the genome at 92 base-pair resolution. It includes ~15 kb of upstream regulatory sequences encompassing all RefSeq promoters, and over 5 kb in the 59 end of coding regions. We identify with high reproducibility, in a fibroblast cell line, promoters enriched in H3K4me3, H3K27me3 or co-enriched in both modifications. ChIP-qPCR and sequential ChIP experiments validate the ChIP-chip data and support the co-enrichment of trimethylated H3K4 and H3K27 on a subset of genes. H3K4me3- and/or H3K27me3-enriched genes are associated with distinct transcriptional status and are linked to distinct functional categories. Conclusions: We have designed and validated for the scientific community a comprehensive high-resolution tiling microarray for investigations of epigenetic states in zebrafish, a widely used developmental and disease model organism. © 2010 Lindeman et al.

Aanes H.,BasAM | Winata C.,Genome Institute of Singapore | Moen L.F.,BasAM | Ostrup O.,University of Oslo | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Methods for normalization of RNA-sequencing gene expression data commonly assume equal total expression between compared samples. In contrast, scenarios of global gene expression shifts are many and increasing. Here we compare the performance of three normalization methods when polyA+ RNA content fluctuates significantly during zebrafish early developmental stages. As a benchmark we have used reverse transcription-quantitative PCR. The results show that reads per kilobase per million (RPKM) and trimmed mean of M-values (TMM) normalization systematically leads to biased gene expression estimates. Biological scaling normalization (BSN), designed to handle differences in total expression, showed improved accuracy compared to the two other methods in estimating transcript level dynamics. The results have implications for past and future studies using RNA-sequencing on samples with different levels of total or polyA+ RNA. © 2014 Aanes et al.

Aanes H.,BasAM | Winata C.L.,Genome Institute of Singapore | Lin C.H.,Genome Institute of Singapore | Chen J.P.,Genome Institute of Singapore | And 11 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2011

Maternally deposited mRNAs direct early development before the initiation of zygotic transcription during mid-blastula transition (MBT). To study mechanisms regulating this developmental event in zebrafish, we applied mRNA deep sequencing technology and generated comprehensive information and valuable resources on transcriptome dynamics during early embryonic (egg to early gastrulation) stages. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis documented at least 8000 maternal genes and identified the earliest cohort of zygotic transcripts. We determined expression levels of maternal and zygotic transcripts with the highest resolution possible using mRNA-seq and clustered them based on their expression pattern. We unravel delayed polyadenylation in a large cohort of maternal transcripts prior to the MBT for the first time in zebrafish. Blocking polyadenylation of these transcripts confirms their role in regulating development from the MBT onward. Our study also identified a large number of novel transcribed regions in annotated and unannotated regions of the genome, which will facilitate reannotation of the zebrafish genome. We also identified splice variants with an estimated frequency of 50%-60%. Taken together, our data constitute a useful genomic information and valuable transcriptome resource for gene discovery and for understanding the mechanisms of early embryogenesis in zebrafish. © 2011 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Andersen I.S.,University of Oslo | Reiner A.H.,University of Oslo | Aanes H.,BasAM | Alestrom P.,BasAM | Collas P.,University of Oslo
Genome Biology | Year: 2012

Background: Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) occurs at the mid-blastula transition (MBT) in zebrafish and is a period of extensive chromatin remodeling. Genome-scale gametic demethylation and remethylation occurs after fertilization, during blastula stages, but how ZGA relates to promoter DNA methylation states is unknown. Using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation coupled to high-density microarray hybridization, we characterize genome-wide promoter DNA methylation dynamics before, during and after ZGA onset, in relation to changes in post-translational histone modifications and gene expression.Results: We show methylation of thousands of promoters before ZGA and additional methylation after ZGA, finding more dynamic methylation -1 to 0 kb upstream of the transcription start site than downstream. The MBT is marked by differential methylation of high and low CpG promoters, and we identify hypomethylated promoters that are mostly CG-rich and remain hypomethylated through the MBT. Hypomethylated regions constitute a platform for H3K4me3, whereas H3K9me3 preferentially associates with methylated regions. H3K27me3 associates with either methylation state depending on its coincidence with H3K4me3 or H3K9me3. Cohorts of genes differentially expressed through the MBT period display distinct promoter methylation patterns related to CG content rather than transcriptional fate. Lastly, although a significant proportion of genes methylated in sperm are unmethylated in embryos, over 90% of genes methylated in embryos are also methylated in sperm.Conclusions: Our results suggest a pre-patterning of developmental gene expression potential by a combination of DNA hypomethylation and H3K4 trimethylation on CG-rich promoters, and are consistent with a transmission of DNA methylation states from gametes to early embryos. © 2012 Andersen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ostrup O.,University of Oslo | Reiner A.H.,University of Oslo | Alestrom P.,BasAM | Collas P.,University of Oslo
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms | Year: 2014

Early embryo development constitutes a unique opportunity to study acquisition of epigenetic marks, including histone methylation. This study investigates the in vivo function and specificity of 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep), a promising anti-cancer drug that targets polycomb complex genes. One- to two-cell stage embryos were cultured with DZNep, and subsequently evaluated at the post-mid blastula transition stage for H3K27me3, H3K4me3 and H3K9me3 occupancy and enrichment at promoters using ChIP-chip microarrays. DZNep affected promoter enrichment of H3K27me3 and H3K9me3, whereas H3K4me3 remained stable. Interestingly, DZNep induced a loss of H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 from a substantial number of promoters but did not prevent de novo acquisition of these marks on others, indicating gene-specific targeting of its action. Loss/gain of H3K27me3 on promoters did not result in changes in gene expression levels until 24. h post-fertilization. In contrast, genes gaining H3K9me3 displayed strong and constant down-regulation upon DZNep treatment. H3K9me3 enrichment on these gene promoters was observed not only in the proximal area as expected, but also over the transcription start site. Altered H3K9me3 profiles were associated with severe neuronal and cranial phenotypes at day 4-5 post-fertilization. Thus, DZNep was shown to affect enrichment patterns of H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 at promoters in a gene-specific manner. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Andersen I.S.,University of Oslo | Ostrup O.,University of Oslo | Lindeman L.C.,University of Oslo | Aanes H.,BasAM | And 4 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2012

The zebrafish developmental transcription program is determined by temporal post-translational histone modifications established in a step-wise and combinatorial manner on specific promoters around the time of zygotic genome activation (ZGA). Here, we characterize this increasing epigenetic complexity before, during and after ZGA. H3K4me3/H3K27me3 co-enrichment prevails over H3K4me3/H3K9me3 at the time of ZGA. Whereas most H3K4me3-marked promoters are devoid of transcriptionally repressive H3K9me3 or H3K27me3, the latter marks rarely occur in absence of H3K4me3. On co-enriched genomic regions, H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 can overlap regardless of H3K9me3 enrichment, but H3K4me3 and H3K9me3 are mutually exclusive. H3K4me3 and H3K9me3 may however overlap only when H3K27me3 also marks the overlapping domain, suggesting that H3K27me3 may modulate chromatin states. On metagenes, H3K27me3 enrichment correlates with local alteration in H3K4me3 density, and co-enrichment in H3K9me3 is linked to alterations in both H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 profiles. This suggests physical proximity of these marks and supports a view of existence of bi- or tri-valent chromatin domains. Thus enrichment in trimethylated H3K9 or H3K27 is associated with local remodeling of chromatin manifested by changes in H3K4me3 density. We propose that metagenes can provide information on the multivalency of chromatin sates. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Andersen I.S.,University of Oslo | Lindeman L.C.,University of Oslo | Reiner A.H.,University of Oslo | Ostrup O.,University of Oslo | And 3 more authors.
Current Topics in Developmental Biology | Year: 2013

A characteristic of anamniote development is a relatively long period of embryonic cell divisions in the absence of on-going transcription. In zebrafish, this period lasts for 10 cell cycles, or ∼. 3-h postfertilization, after which zygotic genome activation (ZGA) takes place during the midblastula transition. How the embryo establishes transcriptional competence and how ZGA is spatially and temporally regulated have not been examined until recently. We review here recent data on the transitions in DNA methylation and posttranslational histone modifications occurring during early zebrafish development, as the embryo acquires transcriptional competence and initiates its own gene expression program. We also address models accounting for the origin of epigenetic states detected in early embryos. From these observations, a concept of epigenetic prepatterning of the embryonic gene expression program prior to the onset of ZGA is emerging. The recent data collectively start shedding light on how ZGA may be programmed and regulated. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Lindeman L.C.,University of Oslo | Andersen I.S.,University of Oslo | Reiner A.H.,University of Oslo | Li N.,University of Birmingham | And 8 more authors.
Developmental Cell | Year: 2011

A hallmark of anamniote vertebrate development is a window of embryonic transcription-independent cell divisions before onset of zygotic genome activation (ZGA). Chromatin determinants of ZGA are unexplored; however, marking of developmental genes by modified histones in sperm suggests a predictive role of histone marks for ZGA. In zebrafish, pre-ZGA development for ten cell cycles provides an opportunity to examine whether genomic enrichment in modified histones is present before initiation of transcription. By profiling histone H3 trimethylation on all zebrafish promoters before and after ZGA, we demonstrate here an epigenetic prepatterning of developmental gene expression. This involves pre-ZGA marking of transcriptionally inactive genes involved in homeostatic and developmental regulation by permissive H3K4me3 with or without repressive H3K9me3 or H3K27me3. Our data suggest that histone modifications are instructive for the developmental gene expression program. PaperClip: © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Aanes H.,BasAM
Briefings in functional genomics | Year: 2014

Recent years advances in high-throughput sequencing have improved our understanding of how transcripts regulate early vertebrate development. Here, we review the transcriptome dynamics and diversity during early stages of zebrafish embryogenesis. Transcriptome dynamics is characterized by different patterns of mRNA degradation, activation of dormant transcripts and onset of transcription. Several studies have shown a striking diversity of both coding and non-coding transcripts. However, in the aftermath of this immense increase in data, functional studies of both protein-coding and non-coding transcripts are lagging behind. We anticipate that the forthcoming years will see studies relying on different high-throughput sequencing technologies and genomic tools developed for zebrafish embryos to further pin down yet un-annotated transcript-function relationships.

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