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Epigenomes, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Signals from Sperm Methylome Analysis and Genome-Wide Association Study for a Better Understanding of Male Fertility in Cattle
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
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Abstract
Decreased male fertility is a big concern in both human society and the livestock industry. Sperm DNA methylation is commonly believed to be associated with male fertility. However, due to the lack of accurate male fertility records (i.e., limited mating times), few studies [...] Read more.
Decreased male fertility is a big concern in both human society and the livestock industry. Sperm DNA methylation is commonly believed to be associated with male fertility. However, due to the lack of accurate male fertility records (i.e., limited mating times), few studies have investigated the comprehensive impacts of sperm DNA methylation on male fertility in mammals. In this study, we generated 10 sperm DNA methylomes and performed a preliminary correlation analysis between signals from sperm DNA methylation and signals from large-scale (n = 27,214) genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 35 complex traits (including 12 male fertility-related traits). We detected genomic regions, which experienced DNA methylation alterations in sperm and were associated with aging and extreme fertility phenotypes (e.g., sire-conception rate or SCR). In dynamic hypomethylated regions (HMRs) and partially methylated domains (PMDs), we found genes (e.g., HOX gene clusters and microRNAs) that were involved in the embryonic development. We demonstrated that genomic regions, which gained rather than lost methylations during aging, and in animals with low SCR were significantly and selectively enriched for GWAS signals of male fertility traits. Our study discovered 16 genes as the potential candidate markers for male fertility, including SAMD5 and PDE5A. Collectively, this initial effort supported a hypothesis that sperm DNA methylation may contribute to male fertility in cattle and revealed the usefulness of functional annotations in enhancing biological interpretation and genomic prediction for complex traits and diseases. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
5-Methylcytosine and 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Signatures Underlying Pediatric Cancers
Received: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
In addition to the genetic variations, recent evidence has shown that DNA methylation of both 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) underlies the pathogenesis of pediatric cancer. Given the high mortality rate, there is an urgent need to study the mechanisms contributing to the [...] Read more.
In addition to the genetic variations, recent evidence has shown that DNA methylation of both 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) underlies the pathogenesis of pediatric cancer. Given the high mortality rate, there is an urgent need to study the mechanisms contributing to the pathogenicity of pediatric cancer. Over the past decades, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has enabled us to perform genome-wide screening to study the complex regulatory mechanisms of 5mC and 5hmC underlying pediatric tumorigenesis. To shed light on recent developments on pediatric cancer predisposition and tumor progression, here we discuss the role of both genome-wide and locus-specific dysregulation of 5mC and 5hmC in hematopoiesis malignancy and neuroblastoma, the most common types of pediatric cancer, together with their therapeutic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Methylation in Development and Cancer)
Open AccessBrief Report
Global DNA Methylation in the Limbic System of Cattle
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
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Abstract
To elucidate the extent to which DNA methylation varies across multiple tissues in the brain and between animals, we have quantified global DNA methylation in tissues comprising the limbic system for six Red Angus x Simmental steers. Global DNA methylation was measured in [...] Read more.
To elucidate the extent to which DNA methylation varies across multiple tissues in the brain and between animals, we have quantified global DNA methylation in tissues comprising the limbic system for six Red Angus x Simmental steers. Global DNA methylation was measured in nine regions of the bovine brain: amygdala, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, cingulate gyrus, dorsal raphe, hippocampus, hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, periaqueductal gray and prefrontal cortex. DNA methylation varies among animals for each tissue type and varies among tissue types for each animal. The highest amounts of DNA methylation were found in the amygdala, cingulate gyrus and dorsal raphe, while the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, nucleus accumbens and periaqueductal gray had the lowest amounts of DNA methylation. A heatmap sorted by k-means clustering was generated to graphically display percent DNA methylation in relation to tissue type and animal number. This is the first study to report measures of DNA methylation in the limbic system of the bovine brain and can be used to inform the cattle genomics community of expected variation in cattle brain methylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics of the Nervous System 2.0)
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Epigenomes EISSN 2075-4655 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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