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The distribution of the dinucleotide CpG and cytosine methylation in the vitellogenin gene family

Cooper, David Neil, Gerber-Huber, Susan, Nardelli, Denise, Schubiger, Jean-Luc and Wahli, Walter 1987. The distribution of the dinucleotide CpG and cytosine methylation in the vitellogenin gene family. Journal of Molecular Evolution 25 (2) , pp. 107-115. 10.1007/BF02101752

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Sequence data from regions of five vertebrate vitellogenin genes were used to examine the frequency, distribution, and mutability of the dinucleotide CpG, the preferred modification site for eukaryotic DNA methyltransferases. The observed level of the CpG dinucleotide in all five genes was markedly lower than that expected from the known mononucleotide frequencies. CpG suppression was greater in introns than in exons. CpG-containing codons were found to be avoided in the vitellogenin genes, but not completely despite the redundancy of the genetic code. Frequency and distribution patterns of this dinucleotide varied dramatically among these otherwise closely related genes. Dense clusters of CpG dinucleotides tended to appear in regions of either functional or structural interest (e.g., in the transposon-like Vi-element ofXenopus) and these clusters contained 5-methylcytosine (5 mC). 5 mC is known to undergo deamination to form thymidine, but the extent to which this transition occurs in the heavily methylated genomes of vertebrates and its contribution to CpG suppression are still unclear. Sequence comparison of the methylated vitellogenin gene regions identified C→T and G→A substitutions that were found to occur at relatively high frequencies. The predicted products of CpG deamination, TpG and CpA, were elevated. These findings are consistent with the view that CpG distribution and methylation are interdependent and that deamination of 5 mC plays an important role in promoting evolutionary change at the nucleotide sequence level.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
ISSN: 0022-2844
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:33

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