Protein Binding

Methyl-C binding may explain Rett late onset

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Science  08 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6235, pp. 645-646
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6235.645-b

Girls with Rett syndrome develop normally for the first 1 or 2 years of life before suffering from progressive neurological problems, perhaps due to mutations in methyl-CpG–binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Chen et al. analyzed the binding of MeCP2 to genomic DNA in the mouse brain and found that before birth, MeCP2 binds predominantly to methylated CG sequences. After birth, there is an increase in the genome of methylated C in a non-CG context (mCH). MeCP2 binds to many of these mCH sites, which are enriched in genes with neuronal functions. MeCP2 binding modulates the transcription of these genes, some of which are implicated in Rett syndrome, potentially explaining the late onset of the disease.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. doi/10.1073/pnas.1505909112 (2015).

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