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Parp1 Localizes within the Dnmt1 Promoter and Protects Its Unmethylated State by Its Enzymatic Activity

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
4
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004717
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Cell Biology/Gene Expression
  • Genetics And Genomics/Epigenetics
  • Molecular Biology/Dna Methylation
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Background Aberrant hypermethylation of CpG islands in housekeeping gene promoters and widespread genome hypomethylation are typical events occurring in cancer cells. The molecular mechanisms behind these cancer-related changes in DNA methylation patterns are not well understood. Two questions are particularly important: (i) how are CpG islands protected from methylation in normal cells, and how is this protection compromised in cancer cells, and (ii) how does the genome-wide demethylation in cancer cells occur. The latter question is especially intriguing since so far no DNA demethylase enzyme has been found. Methodology/Principal Findings Our data show that the absence of ADP-ribose polymers (PARs), caused by ectopic over-expression of poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG) in L929 mouse fibroblast cells leads to aberrant methylation of the CpG island in the promoter of the Dnmt1 gene, which in turn shuts down its transcription. The transcriptional silencing of Dnmt1 may be responsible for the widespread passive hypomethylation of genomic DNA which we detect on the example of pericentromeric repeat sequences. Chromatin immunoprecipitation results show that in normal cells the Dnmt1 promoter is occupied by poly(ADP-ribosyl)ated Parp1, suggesting that PARylated Parp1 plays a role in protecting the promoter from methylation. Conclusions/Significance In conclusion, the genome methylation pattern following PARG over-expression mirrors the pattern characteristic of cancer cells, supporting our idea that the right balance between Parp/Parg activities maintains the DNA methylation patterns in normal cells. The finding that in normal cells Parp1 and ADP-ribose polymers localize on the Dnmt1 promoter raises the possibility that PARylated Parp1 marks those sequences in the genome that must remain unmethylated and protects them from methylation, thus playing a role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression.

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