Genome-Wide Analysis of Abnormal H3K9 Acetylation in Cloned Mice

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Genome-Wide Analysis of Abnormal H3K9 Acetylation in Cloned Mice

Public Library of Science
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001905
  • Research Article
  • Genetics And Genomics/Epigenetics
  • Genetics And Genomics/Gene Expression
  • Molecular Biology/Chromatin Structure


Somatic nuclear transfer is a cloning technique that shows great promise in the application to regenerative medicine. Although cloned animals are genetically identical to their donor counterparts, abnormalities in phenotype and gene expression are frequently observed. One hypothesis is that the cause of these abnormalities is due to epigenetic aberration. In this report, we focused our analysis on the acetylation of histone H3 at lysine9 (H3K9Ac). Through the use of whole genome tiling arrays and quantitative PCR, we examined this epigenetic event and directly compared and assessed the differences between a cloned mouse (C1) and its parental nuclear donor (D1) counterpart. We identified 4720 regions of chromosomal DNA that showed notable differences in H3K9Ac and report here many genes identified in these hyper- and hypo-acetylated regions. Analysis of a second clone (C2) and its parental donor counterpart (D2) for H3K9Ac showed a high degree of similarity to the C1/D1 pair. This conservation of aberrant acetylation is suggestive of a reproducible epigenetic phenomenon that may lead to the frequent abnormalities observed in cloned mice, such as obesity. Furthermore, we demonstrated Crp which was identified as a hyper-acetylated gene in this study is related to the body mass, suggesting that Crp is a possible candidate of a cause for the abnormal obesity in cloned mice. In this, one of the first reports describing genome-wide epigenetic abberation between parental and nuclear transfer-cloned mammals, we propose that aberrant acetylation of histones (H3K9Ac) flanking promoter regions highly correlates with gene-expression and may itself be an epigenetic change that accounts for variable expression patterns observed in cloned animals.

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