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Dev Biol October 15, 2015; 406 (2): 271-82.
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Epigenetic modification maintains intrinsic limb-cell identity in Xenopus limb bud regeneration.

Hayashi S , Kawaguchi A , Uchiyama I , Kawasumi-Kita A , Kobayashi T , Nishide H , Tsutsumi R , Tsuru K , Inoue T , Ogino H , Agata K , Tamura K , Yokoyama H .

Many amphibians can regenerate limbs, even in adulthood. If a limb is amputated, the stump generates a blastema that makes a complete, new limb in a process similar to developmental morphogenesis. The blastema is thought to inherit its limb-patterning properties from cells in the stump, and it retains the information despite changes in morphology, gene expression, and differentiation states required by limb regeneration. We hypothesized that these cellular properties are maintained as epigenetic memory through histone modifications. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed genome-wide histone modifications in Xenopus limb bud regeneration. The trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) is closely related to an open chromatin structure that allows transcription factors access to genes, whereas the trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is related to a closed chromatin state that blocks the access of transcription factors. We compared these two modification profiles by high-throughput sequencing of samples prepared from the intact limb bud and the regenerative blastema by chromatin immunoprecipitation. For many developmental genes, histone modifications at the transcription start site were the same in the limb bud and the blastema, were stable during regeneration, and corresponded well to limb properties. These results support our hypothesis that histone modifications function as a heritable cellular memory to maintain limb cell properties, despite dynamic changes in gene expression during limb bud regeneration in Xenopus.

PubMed ID: 26282893
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dusp6 hoxa1 hoxa13 hoxa5 lats1 lats2 mst1 prrx1 shh tbx4 tbx5 yap1

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