Control of Genic DNA Methylation by a jmjC Domain-Containing Protein in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Science  25 Jan 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5862, pp. 462-465
DOI: 10.1126/science.1150987

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Differential cytosine methylation of repeats and genes is important for coordination of genome stability and proper gene expression. Through genetic screen of mutants showing ectopic cytosine methylation in a genic region, we identified a jmjC-domain gene, IBM1 (increase in bonsai methylation 1), in Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition to the ectopic cytosine methylation, the ibm1 mutations induced a variety of developmental phenotypes, which depend on methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9. Paradoxically, the developmental phenotypes of the ibm1 were enhanced by the mutation in the chromatin-remodeling gene DDM1 (decrease in DNA methylation 1), which is necessary for keeping methylation and silencing of repeated heterochromatin loci. Our results demonstrate the importance of chromatin remodeling and histone modifications in the differential epigenetic control of repeats and genes.

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