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Transgenerational stability of the Arabidopsis epigenome is coordinated by CG methylation

Mathieu, Olivier
Smathajitt, Chotika
Published in Cell. 2007, vol. 130, no. 5, p. 851-62
Abstract Maintenance of CG methylation ((m)CG) patterns is essential for chromatin-mediated epigenetic regulation of transcription in plants and mammals. However, functional links between (m)CG and other epigenetic mechanisms in vivo remain obscure. Using successive generations of an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant deficient in maintaining (m)CG, we find that (m)CG loss triggers genome-wide activation of alternative epigenetic mechanisms. However, these mechanisms, which involve RNA-directed DNA methylation, inhibiting expression of DNA demethylases, and retargeting of histone H3K9 methylation, act in a stochastic and uncoordinated fashion. As a result, new and aberrant epigenetic patterns are progressively formed over several plant generations in the absence of (m)CG. Interestingly, the unconventional redistribution of epigenetic marks is necessary to "rescue" the loss of (m)CG, since mutant plants impaired in rescue activities are severely dwarfed and sterile. Our results provide evidence that (m)CG is a central coordinator of epigenetic memory that secures stable transgenerational inheritance in plants.
Keywords Arabidopsis/enzymology/genetics/metabolismArabidopsis Proteins/genetics/metabolismBase CompositionCell Nucleus/enzymology/metabolismChromatin Assembly and DisassemblyDNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase/genetics/metabolismDNA MethylationDNA, PlantDNA, Ribosomal/metabolismDNA-Binding Proteins/metabolismEpigenesis, GeneticEvolution, MolecularGene Expression Regulation, DevelopmentalGene Expression Regulation, PlantGenome, PlantGenomic InstabilityGenotypeHeterochromatin/metabolismHistones/metabolismMethylationMethyltransferases/metabolismMutationNuclear Proteins/metabolismPhenotypeRNA InterferenceRNA, Small Interfering/metabolismTranscription Factors/metabolismTranscription, Genetic
PMID: 17803908
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MATHIEU, Olivier et al. Transgenerational stability of the Arabidopsis epigenome is coordinated by CG methylation. In: Cell, 2007, vol. 130, n° 5, p. 851-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.07.007 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:6849

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Deposited on : 2010-06-10

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