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Journal Article

Recent evolution of a TET-controlled and DPPA3/STELLA-driven pathway of passive DNA demethylation in mammals

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Ugur,  Enes
Mann, Matthias / Proteomics and Signal Transduction, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Wierer,  Michael
Mann, Matthias / Proteomics and Signal Transduction, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Mulholland, C. B., Nishiyama, A., Ryan, J., Nakamura, R., Yigit, M., Glueck, I. M., et al. (2020). Recent evolution of a TET-controlled and DPPA3/STELLA-driven pathway of passive DNA demethylation in mammals. Nature Communications, 11(1): 5972. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19603-1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-D4D0-E
Abstract
Genome-wide DNA demethylation is a unique feature of mammalian development and naive pluripotent stem cells. Here, we describe a recently evolved pathway in which global hypomethylation is achieved by the coupling of active and passive demethylation. TET activity is required, albeit indirectly, for global demethylation, which mostly occurs at sites devoid of TET binding. Instead, TET-mediated active demethylation is locus-specific and necessary for activating a subset of genes, including the naive pluripotency and germline marker Dppa3 (Stella, Pgc7). DPPA3 in turn drives large-scale passive demethylation by directly binding and displacing UHRF1 from chromatin, thereby inhibiting maintenance DNA methylation. Although unique to mammals, we show that DPPA3 alone is capable of inducing global DNA demethylation in non-mammalian species (Xenopus and medaka) despite their evolutionary divergence from mammals more than 300 million years ago. Our findings suggest that the evolution of Dppa3 facilitated the emergence of global DNA demethylation in mammals. Active and passive demethylation pathways have been implicated in the genome-wide erasure of 5mC accompanying mammalian preimplantation development. Here the authors reveal a recently evolved, mammalian-specific pathway in which global hypomethylation is achieved by the coupling of active and passive demethylation.