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Vavouri T.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC | Lehner B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Genome Biology | Year: 2012

Background: More than 50% of human genes initiate transcription from CpG dinucleotide-rich regions referred to as CpG islands. These genes show differences in their patterns of transcription initiation, and have been reported to have higher levels of some activation-associated chromatin modifications.Results: Here we report that genes with CpG island promoters have a characteristic transcription-associated chromatin organization. This signature includes high levels of the transcription elongation-associated histone modifications H4K20me1, H2BK5me1 and H3K79me1/2/3 in the 5' end of the gene, depletion of the activation marks H2AK5ac, H3K14ac and H3K23ac immediately downstream of the transcription start site (TSS), and characteristic epigenetic asymmetries around the TSS. The chromosome organization factor CTCF may be bound upstream of RNA polymerase in most active CpG island promoters, and an unstable nucleosome at the TSS may be specifically marked by H4K20me3, the first example of such a modification. H3K36 monomethylation is only detected as enriched in the bodies of active genes that have CpG island promoters. Finally, as expression levels increase, peak modification levels of the histone methylations H3K9me1, H3K4me1, H3K4me2 and H3K27me1 shift further away from the TSS into the gene body. Conclusions: These results suggest that active genes with CpG island promoters have a distinct step-like series of modified nucleosomes after the TSS. The identity, positioning, shape and relative ordering of transcription-associated histone modifications differ between genes with and without CpG island promoters. This supports a model where chromatin organization reflects not only transcription activity but also the type of promoter in which transcription initiates. © 2012 Vavouri and Lehner; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Sanchez M.,EMBL | Sanchez M.,University of Heidelberg | Sanchez M.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC | Schwanhaeusser B.,Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine | And 7 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

Iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) 1 and 2 are RNA-binding proteins that control cellular iron metabolism by binding to conserved RNA motifs called iron-responsive elements (IREs). The currently known IRP-binding mRNAs encode proteins involved in iron uptake, storage, and release as well as heme synthesis. To systematically define the IRE/IRP regulatory network on a transcriptome-wide scale, IRP1/IRE and IRP2/IRE messenger ribonucleoprotein complexes were immunoselected, and the mRNA composition was determined using microarrays. We identify 35 novel mRNAs that bind both IRP1 and IRP2, and we also report for the first time cellular mRNAs with exclusive specificity for IRP1 or IRP2. To further explore cellular iron metabolism at a system-wide level, we undertook proteomic analysis by pulsed stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture in an iron-modulated mouse hepatic cell line and in bone marrow-derived macrophages from IRP1- and IRP2-deficient mice. This work investigates cellular iron metabolism in unprecedented depth and defines a wide network of mRNAs and proteins with iron-dependent regulation, IRP-dependent regulation, or both. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.


Vavouri T.,University Pompeu Fabra | Vavouri T.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC | Lehner B.,University Pompeu Fabra
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2011

Chromatin in sperm is different from that in other cells, with most of the genome packaged by protamines not nucleosomes. Nucleosomes are, however, retained at some genomic sites, where they have the potential to transmit paternal epigenetic information. It is not understood how this retention is specified. Here we show that base composition is the major determinant of nucleosome retention in human sperm, predicting retention very well in both genic and non-genic regions of the genome. The retention of nucleosomes at GC-rich sequences with high intrinsic nucleosome affinity accounts for the previously reported retention at transcription start sites and at genes that regulate development. It also means that nucleosomes are retained at the start sites of most housekeeping genes. We also report a striking link between the retention of nucleosomes in sperm and the establishment of DNA methylation-free regions in the early embryo. Taken together, this suggests that paternal nucleosome transmission may facilitate robust gene regulation in the early embryo. We propose that chromatin organization in the male germline, rather than in somatic cells, is the major functional consequence of fine-scale base composition variation in the human genome. The selective pressure driving base composition evolution in mammals could, therefore, be the need to transmit paternal epigenetic information to the zygote. © 2011 Vavouri, Lehner.


Cebola I.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC | Peinado M.A.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2012

Inflammation is a major cause of cancer and may condition its progression. The deregulation of the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway is implicated in several pathophysiological processes, including inflammation and cancer. Although, its targeting with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and COX-2 selective inhibitors has been investigated for years with promising results at both preventive and therapeutic levels, undesirable side effects and the limited understanding of the regulation and functionalities of the COX pathway compromise a more extensive application of these drugs. Epigenetics is bringing additional levels of complexity to the understanding of basic biological and pathological processes. The deregulation of signaling and biosynthetic pathways by epigenetic mechanisms may account for new molecular targets in cancer therapeutics. Genes of the COX pathway are seldom mutated in neoplastic cells, but a large proportion of them show aberrant expression in different types of cancer. A growing body of evidence indicates that epigenetic alterations play a critical role in the deregulation of the genes of the COX pathway. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the contribution of epigenetic processes to the deregulation of the COX pathway in cancer, getting insights into how these alterations may be relevant for the clinical management of patients. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Carrio E.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC | Suelves M.,Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer IMPPC
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience | Year: 2015

DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic modification for mammalian development and is crucial for the establishment and maintenance of cellular identity. Traditionally, DNA methylation has been considered as a permanent repressive epigenetic mark. However, the application of genome-wide approaches has allowed the analysis of DNA methylation in different genomic contexts revealing a more dynamic regulation than originally thought, since active DNA methylation and demethylation occur during cellular differentiation and tissue specification. Satellite cells are the primary stem cells in adult skeletal muscle and are responsible for postnatal muscle growth, hypertrophy, and muscle regeneration. This review outlines the published data regarding DNA methylation changes along the skeletal muscle program, in both physiological and pathological conditions, to better understand the epigenetic mechanisms that control myogenesis. © 2015 Carrió and Suelves.

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