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Gestational choline deficiency causes global and Igf2 gene DNA hypermethylation by up-regulation of Dnmt1 expression.

Authors: Kovacheva, VP  Mellott, TJ  Davison, JM  Wagner, N  Lopez-Coviella, I  Schnitzler, AC  Blusztajn, JK 
Citation: Kovacheva VP, etal., J Biol Chem. 2007 Oct 26;282(43):31777-88. Epub 2007 Aug 27.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:17724018
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1074/jbc.M705539200

During gestation there is a high demand for the essential nutrient choline. Adult rats supplemented with choline during embryonic days (E) 11-17 have improved memory performance and do not exhibit age-related memory decline, whereas prenatally choline-deficient animals have memory deficits. Choline, via betaine, provides methyl groups for the production of S-adenosylmethionine, a substrate of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). We describe an apparently adaptive epigenomic response to varied gestational choline supply in rat fetal liver and brain. S-Adenosylmethionine levels increased in both organs of E17 fetuses whose mothers consumed a choline-supplemented diet. Surprisingly, global DNA methylation increased in choline-deficient animals, and this was accompanied by overexpression of Dnmt1 mRNA. Previous studies showed that the prenatal choline supply affects the expression of multiple genes, including insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2), whose expression is regulated in a DNA methylation-dependent manner. The differentially methylated region 2 of Igf2 was hypermethylated in the liver of E17 choline-deficient fetuses, and this as well as Igf2 mRNA levels correlated with the expression of Dnmt1 and with hypomethylation of a regulatory CpG within the Dnmt1 locus. Moreover, mRNA expression of brain and liver Dnmt3a and methyl CpG-binding domain 2 (Mbd2) protein as well as cerebral Dnmt3l was inversely correlated to the intake of choline. Thus, choline deficiency modulates fetal DNA methylation machinery in a complex fashion that includes hypomethylation of the regulatory CpGs within the Dnmt1 gene, leading to its overexpression and the resultant increased global and gene-specific (e.g. Igf2) DNA methylation. These epigenomic responses to gestational choline supply may initiate the long term developmental changes observed in rats exposed to varied choline intake in utero.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 9588267
Created: 2014-10-23
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2014-10-23
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.