DNA Methylation: Development, Genetic Disease and Cancer by C. Bonifer, P. Lefevre (auth.), Prof. Dr. Walter Doerfler,

By C. Bonifer, P. Lefevre (auth.), Prof. Dr. Walter Doerfler, Petra Böhm (eds.)

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An association of MBD2/3 with RPD3 and MI-2 has been suggested previously, based on results from co-immunoprecipitation experiments (Tweedie et al. 1999). Biochemical fractionation of protein extracts also suggested the presence of MBD2/3Δ in the Drosophila MI-2/NuRD complex (Ballestar et al. 2001; Marhold et al. 2004a). MBD2/3 associates with DNA during embryogenesis. During cleavage and syncytial blastoderm stages, MBD2/3 is excluded from DNA. This pattern changes dramatically during cellular blastoderm, when the protein forms Epigenetic Regulation in Drosophila 29 bright foci that precisely colocalize with DNA (Marhold et al.

Until recently, the ability of the protein to bind methylated DNA has only been analyzed in a very restricted experimental context. All in vitro assays were performed with probes that were methylated at CpGs, which does not reflect the endogenous pattern of DNA methylation in the fly. In addition, the binding of MBD2/3 to Drosophila DNA had not been investigated in vivo. Recent results demonstrate that MBD2/3 binds specifically to CpT/A-methylated probes in vitro and that the protein becomes mislocalized in embryos with reduced DNA methylation (Marhold et al.

32 8 PC-Containing PcG Complexes and the Compaction of Chromatin . . . 33 9 ESC/E(Z)-Containing Complexes and Histone Deacetylation/Methylation 35 10 The Complexity of PcG/TrxG-Regulated Chromatin . . . . . . . . 36 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Abstract Epigenetic regulation of gene transcription relies on molecular marks like DNA methylation or histone modifications. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic regulation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

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