We have examined the role of Fam60a, a gene highly expressed in embryonic stem cells, in mouse development. Fam60a interacts with components of the Sin3a-Hdac transcriptional corepressor complex, and most Fam60a-/- embryos manifest hypoplasia of visceral organs and die in utero. Fam60a is recruited to the promoter regions of a subset of genes, with the expression of these genes being either up- or down-regulated in Fam60a-/- embryos. The DNA methylation level of the Fam60a target gene Adhfe1 is maintained at embryonic day (E) 7.5 but markedly reduced at E9.5 in Fam60a-/- embryos, suggesting that DNA demethylation is enhanced in the mutant. Examination of genome-wide DNA methylation identified several differentially methylated regions, which were preferentially hypomethylated, in Fam60a-/- embryos. Our data suggest that Fam60a is required for proper embryogenesis, at least in part as a result of its regulation of DNA methylation at specific gene promoters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)