Epigenetic regulation is known to be important in embryonic development, cell differentiation and regulation of cancer cells. Molecular mechanisms of epigenetic modification have DNA methylation and histone tail modification such as acetylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination. Until now, many kinds of enzymes that modify histone tail with various functional groups have been reported and regulate the epigenetic state of genes. Among them, Prdm genes were identified as histone methyltransferase. Prdm genes are characterized by an N-terminal PR/SET domain and C-terminal some zinc finger domains and therefore they are considered to have both DNA-binding ability and methylation activity. Among vertebrate, fifteen members are estimated to belong to Prdm genes family. Even though Prdm genes are thought to play important roles for cell fate determination and cell differentiation, there is an incomplete understanding of their expression and functions in early development. Here, we report that Prdm genes exhibit dynamic expression pattern in Xenopus embryogenesis. By whole mount in situ hybridization analysis, we show that Prdm genes are expressed in spatially localized manners in embryo and all of Prdm genes are expressed in neural cells in developing central nervous systems. Our study suggests that Prdm genes may be new candidates to function in neural cell differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology