In mammals, DNA is methylated at CpG sites, which play pivotal roles in gene silencing and chromatin organization. Furthermore, DNA methylation undergoes dynamic changes during development, differentiation, and in pathological processes. The conventional methods represent snapshots; therefore, the dynamics of this marker within living organisms remains unclear. To track this dynamics, we made a knockin mouse that expresses a red fluorescent protein (RFP)-fused methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) protein from the ROSA26 locus ubiquitously; we named it MethylRO (methylation probe in ROSA26 locus). Using this mouse, we performed RFP-mediated methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq), whole-body section analysis, and live-cell imaging. We discovered that mobility and pattern of heterochromatin as well as DNA methylation signal intensity inside the nuclei can be markers for cellular differentiation status. Thus, the MethylRO mouse represents a powerful bioresource and technique for DNA methylation dynamics studies in developmental biology, stem cell biology, as well as in disease states.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology