Imperial College London

ProfessorPetraHajkova

Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Clinical Sciences

Professor of Developmental Epigenetics
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 3313 8264petra.hajkova Website

 
 
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Location

 

4006CRB (Clinical Research Building)Hammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

64 results found

Gillberg L, Orskov AD, Nasif A, Ohtani H, Madaj Z, Hansen JW, Rapin N, Mogensen JB, Liu M, Dufva IH, Lykkesfeldt J, Hajkova P, Jones PA, Gronbaek Ket al., 2019, Oral vitamin C supplementation to patients with myeloid cancer on azacitidine treatment: Normalization of plasma vitamin C induces epigenetic changes, CLINICAL EPIGENETICS, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1868-7075

Journal article

Carrillo-Jimenez A, Deniz Ö, Niklison-Chirou MV, Ruiz R, Bezerra-Salomão K, Stratoulias V, Amouroux R, Yip PK, Vilalta A, Cheray M, Scott-Egerton AM, Rivas E, Tayara K, García-Domínguez I, Garcia-Revilla J, Fernandez-Martin JC, Espinosa-Oliva AM, Shen X, St George-Hyslop P, Brown GC, Hajkova P, Joseph B, Venero JL, Branco MR, Burguillos MAet al., 2019, TET2 regulates the neuroinflammatory response in microglia, Cell Reports, Vol: 29, Pages: 697-713.e8, ISSN: 2211-1247

Epigenomic mechanisms regulate distinct aspects of the inflammatory response in immune cells. Despite the central role for microglia in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, little is known about their epigenomic regulation of the inflammatory response. Here, we show that Ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2) methylcytosine dioxygenase expression is increased in microglia upon stimulation with various inflammogens through a NF-κB-dependent pathway. We found that TET2 regulates early gene transcriptional changes, leading to early metabolic alterations, as well as a later inflammatory response independently of its enzymatic activity. We further show that TET2 regulates the proinflammatory response in microglia of mice intraperitoneally injected with LPS. We observed that microglia associated with amyloid β plaques expressed TET2 in brain tissue from individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in 5xFAD mice. Collectively, our findings show that TET2 plays an important role in the microglial inflammatory response and suggest TET2 as a potential target to combat neurodegenerative brain disorders.

Journal article

Dukatz M, Requena CE, Emperle M, Hajkova P, Sarkies P, Jeltsch Aet al., 2019, Mechanistic insights into Cytosine-N3 Methylation by DNA Methyltransferase DNMT3A., Journal of Molecular Biology, ISSN: 0022-2836

Recently, it has been discovered that different DNA-(cytosine C5)-methyltransferases including DNMT3A generate low levels of 3mC [Rosic et al. (2018), Nat. Genet., 50, 452-459]. This reaction resulted in the co-evolution of DNMTs and ALKB2 DNA repair enzymes, but its mechanism remained elusive. Here, we investigated the catalytic mechanism of DNMT3A for cytosine N3 methylation. We generated several DNMT3A variants with mutated catalytic residues and measured their activities in 5mC and 3mC generation by liquid chromatography linked to tandem mass spectrometry. Our data suggest that the methylation of N3 instead of C5 is caused by an inverted binding of the flipped cytosine target base into the active-site pocket of the DNA methyltransferase, which is partially compatible with the arrangement of catalytic amino acid residues. Given that all DNA-(cytosine C5)-methyltransferases have a common catalytic mechanism, it is likely that other enzymes of this class generate 3mC following the same mechanism.

Journal article

Carrillo-Jimenez A, Deniz Ö, Niklison-Chirou MV, Ruiz R, Bezerra-Salomão K, Stratoulias V, Amouroux R, Yip PK, Vilalta A, Cheray M, Scott-Egerton AM, Rivas E, Tayara K, García-Domínguez I, Garcia-Revilla J, Fernandez-Martin JC, Espinosa-Oliva AM, Shen X, StGeorge-Hyslop P, Brown GC, Hajkova P, Joseph B, Venero JL, Branco MR, Burguillos MAet al., 2019, TET2 regulates the neuroinflammatory response in microglia, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

<jats:title>Summary</jats:title><jats:p>Epigenetic mechanisms regulate distinct aspects of the inflammatory response in various immune cell types. Despite the central role for microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain, in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration little is known about their epigenetic regulation of the inflammatory response. Here, we show that Ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2) methylcytosine dioxygenase expression is increased in microglia upon stimulation with various inflammogens through a NF-κB-dependent pathway. We found that TET2 regulates early gene transcriptional changes that lead to early metabolic alterations, as well as a later inflammatory response independently of its 5mC oxidation activity at the affected genes. We further show that TET2 regulates the proinflammatory response in microglia induced by intraperitoneal injection of LPS <jats:italic>in vivo</jats:italic>. We observed that microglia associated to amyloid β plaques, recently defined as disease-associated microglia, expressed TET2 in brain tissue from individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in 5×FAD mice. Collectively, our findings show that TET2 plays an important role in the microglial inflammatory response, and suggest TET2 as a potential target to combat neurodegenerative brain disorders.</jats:p>

Working paper

Cvetesic N, Leitch HG, Borkowska M, Mueller F, Carninci P, Hajkova P, Lenhard Bet al., 2018, SLIC-CAGE: high-resolution transcription start site mapping using nanogram-levels of total RNA, Genome Research, Vol: 28, Pages: 1943-1956, ISSN: 1088-9051

Cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) is a methodology for genome-wide quantitative mapping of mRNA 5′ ends to precisely capture transcription start sites at a single nucleotide resolution. In combination with high-throughput sequencing, CAGE has revolutionized our understanding of rules of transcription initiation, led to discovery of new core promoter sequence features and discovered transcription initiation at enhancers genome-wide. The biggest limitation of CAGE is that even the most recently improved version (nAnT-iCAGE) still requires large amounts of total cellular RNA (5 micrograms), preventing its application to scarce biological samples such as those from early embryonic development or rare cell types. Here, we present SLIC-CAGE, a Super-Low Input Carrier-CAGE approach to capture 5′ ends of RNA polymerase II transcripts from as little as 5-10 ng of total RNA. The dramatic increase in sensitivity is achieved by specially designed, selectively degradable carrier RNA. We demonstrate the ability of SLIC-CAGE to generate data for genome-wide promoterome with 1000-fold less material than required by existing CAGE methods by generating a complex, high quality library from mouse embryonic day (E) 11.5 primordial germ cells.

Journal article

Gillberg L, Orskov AD, Nasif A, Otani H, Madaj Z, Hansen JW, Mogensen JB, Liu M, Dufva IH, Jens L, Hajkova P, Jones PA, Gronbaek Ket al., 2018, Oral Vitamin C Supplementation to Azacitidine in Patients with Myeloid Cancer: Normalization of Plasma Vitamin C Induces Epigenetic Changes, 60th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Hematology (ASH), Publisher: AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY, ISSN: 0006-4971

Conference paper

Wyck S, Herrera C, Requena CE, Bittner L, Hajkova P, Bollwein H, Santoro Ret al., 2018, Oxidative stress in sperm affects the epigenetic reprogramming in early embryonic development, Epigenetics & Chromatin, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1756-8935

BackgroundReactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced oxidative stress is well known to play a major role in male infertility. Sperm are sensitive to ROS damaging effects because as male germ cells form mature sperm they progressively lose the ability to repair DNA damage. However, how oxidative DNA lesions in sperm affect early embryonic development remains elusive.ResultsUsing cattle as model, we show that fertilization using sperm exposed to oxidative stress caused a major developmental arrest at the time of embryonic genome activation. The levels of DNA damage response did not directly correlate with the degree of developmental defects. The early cellular response for DNA damage, γH2AX, is already present at high levels in zygotes that progress normally in development and did not significantly increase at the paternal genome containing oxidative DNA lesions. Moreover, XRCC1, a factor implicated in the last step of base excision repair (BER) pathway, was recruited to the damaged paternal genome, indicating that the maternal BER machinery can repair these DNA lesions induced in sperm. Remarkably, the paternal genome with oxidative DNA lesions showed an impairment of zygotic active DNA demethylation, a process that previous studies linked to BER. Quantitative immunofluorescence analysis and ultrasensitive LC–MS-based measurements revealed that oxidative DNA lesions in sperm impair active DNA demethylation at paternal pronuclei, without affecting 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), a 5-methylcytosine modification that has been implicated in paternal active DNA demethylation in mouse zygotes. Thus, other 5hmC-independent processes are implicated in active DNA demethylation in bovine embryos. The recruitment of XRCC1 to damaged paternal pronuclei indicates that oxidative DNA lesions drive BER to repair DNA at the expense of DNA demethylation. Finally, this study highlighted striking differences in DNA methylation dynamics between bovine and mouse zygotes that will f

Journal article

Luo C, Hajkova P, Ecker JR, 2018, Dynamic DNA methylation: In the right place at the right time, SCIENCE, Vol: 361, Pages: 1336-1340, ISSN: 0036-8075

Journal article

Leitch HG, Hajkova P, 2018, Publisher Correction: Eggs sense high-fat diet.

In the version of this article originally published, a box was misplaced in Fig. 1. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

Other

McEwen KR, Linnett S, Leitch HG, Srivastava P, Al-Zouabi L, Huang T-C, Rotival M, Sardini A, Chan TE, Filippi S, Stumpf MPH, Petretto E, Hajkova Pet al., 2018, Signalling pathways drive heterogeneity of ground state pluripotency

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can self-renew indefinitely while maintaining the ability to generate all cell types of the body. This plasticity is proposed to require heterogeneity in gene expression, driving a metastable state which may allow flexible cell fate choices. Contrary to this, naive PSC grown in fully defined ‘2i’ environmental conditions, containing small molecule inhibitors of MEK and GSK3 kinases, show homogenous pluripotency and lineage marker expression. However, here we show that 2i induces greater genome-wide heterogeneity than traditional serum-containing growth environments at the population level across both male and female PSCs. This heterogeneity is dynamic and reversible over time, consistent with a dynamic metastable equilibrium of the pluripotent state. We further show that the 2i environment causes increased heterogeneity in the calcium signalling pathway at both the population and single-cell level. Mechanistically, we identify loss of robustness regulators in the form of negative feedback to the upstream EGF receptor. Our findings advance the current understanding of the plastic nature of the pluripotent state and highlight the role of signalling pathways in the control of transcriptional heterogeneity. Furthermore, our results have critical implications for the current use of kinase inhibitors in the clinic, where inducing heterogeneity may increase the risk of cancer metastasis and drug resistance.</jats:p>

Journal article

Cvetesic N, Leitch HG, Borkowska M, Müller F, Carninci P, Hajkova P, Lenhard Bet al., 2018, SLIC-CAGE: high-resolution transcription start site mapping using nanogram-levels of total RNA, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>Cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) is a methodology for genome-wide quantitative mapping of mRNA 5’ends to precisely capture transcription start sites at a single nucleotide resolution. In combination with high-throughput sequencing, CAGE has revolutionized our understanding of rules of transcription initiation, led to discovery of new core promoter sequence features and discovered transcription initiation at enhancers genome-wide. The biggest limitation of CAGE is that even the most recently improved version (nAnT-iCAGE) still requires large amounts of total cellular RNA (5 micrograms), preventing its application to scarce biological samples such as those from early embryonic development or rare cell types. Here, we present SLIC-CAGE, a Super-Low Input Carrier-CAGE approach to capture 5’ends of RNA polymerase II transcripts from as little as 5-10 ng of total RNA. The dramatic increase in sensitivity is achieved by specially designed, selectively degradable carrier RNA. We demonstrate the ability of SLIC-CAGE to generate data for genome-wide promoterome with 1000-fold less material than required by existing CAGE methods by generating a complex, high quality library from mouse embryonic day (E) 11.5 primordial germ cells.</jats:p>

Working paper

Hill PWS, Leitch HG, Requena CE, Sun Z, Amouroux R, Roman-Trufero M, Borkowska M, Terragni J, Vaisvila R, Linnett S, Bagci H, Dharmalingham G, Haberle V, Lenhard B, Zheng Y, Pradhan S, Hajkova Pet al., 2018, Epigenetic reprogramming enables the transition from primordial germ cell to gonocyte, Nature, Vol: 555, Pages: 392-396, ISSN: 0028-0836

Gametes are highly specialized cells that can give rise to the next generation through their ability to generate a totipotent zygote. In mice, germ cells are first specified in the developing embryo around embryonic day (E) 6.25 as primordial germ cells (PGCs)1. Following subsequent migration into the developing gonad, PGCs undergo a wave of extensive epigenetic reprogramming around E10.5–E11.52,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, including genome-wide loss of 5-methylcytosine2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11. The underlying molecular mechanisms of this process have remained unclear, leading to our inability to recapitulate this step of germline development in vitro12,13,14. Here we show, using an integrative approach, that this complex reprogramming process involves coordinated interplay among promoter sequence characteristics, DNA (de)methylation, the polycomb (PRC1) complex and both DNA demethylation-dependent and -independent functions of TET1 to enable the activation of a critical set of germline reprogramming-responsive genes involved in gamete generation and meiosis. Our results also reveal an unexpected role for TET1 in maintaining but not driving DNA demethylation in gonadal PGCs. Collectively, our work uncovers a fundamental biological role for gonadal germline reprogramming and identifies the epigenetic principles of the PGC-to-gonocyte transition that will help to guide attempts to recapitulate complete gametogenesis in vitro.

Journal article

Hajkova P, Leitch HG, 2018, Eggs sense high-fat diet, Nature Genetics, Vol: 50, Pages: 318-319, ISSN: 1061-4036

Maternal high-fat diet has a negative impact on fertility—including an apparent direct effect on early development. In this issue, a new study connects this phenotype to depletion of Stella protein in oocytes, demonstrating environmental regulation of a maternal-effect gene.

Journal article

Rosic S, Amouroux R, Requena C, Gomes A, Rane J, Beltran T, Linnett S, Emperle M, Jeltsch A, Selkirk M, Grencis R, Bancroft A, Hajkova P, Sarkies Pet al., 2018, Evolutionary analysis indicates that DNA alkylation damage is a byproduct of cytosine DNA methyltransferase activity, Nature Genetics, Vol: 50, Pages: 452-459, ISSN: 1061-4036

Methylation at the 5 position of cytosine in DNA (5meC) is a key epigenetic mark in eukaryotes. Once introduced, 5meC can be maintained through DNA replication by the activity of ‘maintenance’ DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Despite their ancient origin, DNA methylation pathways differ widely across animals, such that 5meC is either confined to transcribed genes or lost altogether in several lineages. We used comparative epigenomics to investigate the evolution of DNA methylation. Although the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans lacks DNA methylation, more basal nematodes retain cytosine DNA methylation, which is targeted to repeat loci. We found that DNA methylation coevolved with the DNA alkylation repair enzyme ALKB2 across eukaryotes. In addition, we found that DNMTs introduced the toxic lesion 3-methylcytosine into DNA both in vitro and in vivo. Alkylation damage is therefore intrinsically associated with DNMT activity, and this may promote the loss of DNA methylation in many species.

Journal article

Ferry L, Fournier A, Tsusaka T, Adelmant G, Shimazu T, Matano S, Kirsh O, Amouroux R, Dohmae N, Suzuki T, Filion GJ, Deng W, de Dieuleveult M, Fritsch L, Kudithipudi S, Jeltsch A, Leonhardt H, Hajkova P, Marto JA, Arita K, Shinkai Y, Defossez P-Aet al., 2017, Methylation of DNA Ligase 1 by G9a/GLP Recruits UHRF1 to Replicating DNA and Regulates DNA Methylation., Molecular Cell, Vol: 67, Pages: 550-565.e5, ISSN: 1097-2765

DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic mark in mammals that has to be re-established after each round of DNA replication. The protein UHRF1 is essential for this process; it has been proposed that the protein targets newly replicated DNA by cooperatively binding hemi-methylated DNA and H3K9me2/3, but this model leaves a number of questions unanswered. Here, we present evidence for a direct recruitment of UHRF1 by the replication machinery via DNA ligase 1 (LIG1). A histone H3K9-like mimic within LIG1 is methylated by G9a and GLP and, compared with H3K9me2/3, more avidly binds UHRF1. Interaction with methylated LIG1 promotes the recruitment of UHRF1 to DNA replication sites and is required for DNA methylation maintenance. These results further elucidate the function of UHRF1, identify a non-histone target of G9a and GLP, and provide an example of a histone mimic that coordinates DNA replication and DNA methylation maintenance.

Journal article

Hajkova P, Schneider R, 2017, Dynamic changes in H1 subtype composition during epigenetic reprogramming, Journal of Cell Biology, Vol: 216, Pages: 3017-3028, ISSN: 1540-8140

In mammals, histone H1 consists of a family of related proteins, including five replication-dependent (H1.1–H1.5) and two replication-independent (H1.10 and H1.0) subtypes, all expressed in somatic cells. To systematically study the expression and function of H1 subtypes, we generated knockin mouse lines in which endogenous H1 subtypes are tagged. We focused on key developmental periods when epigenetic reprogramming occurs: early mouse embryos and primordial germ cell development. We found that dynamic changes in H1 subtype expression and localization are tightly linked with chromatin remodeling and might be crucial for transitions in chromatin structure during reprogramming. Although all somatic H1 subtypes are present in the blastocyst, each stage of preimplantation development is characterized by a different combination of H1 subtypes. Similarly, the relative abundance of somatic H1 subtypes can distinguish male and female chromatin upon sex differentiation in developing germ cells. Overall, our data provide new insights into the chromatin changes underlying epigenetic reprogramming. We suggest that distinct H1 subtypes may mediate the extensive chromatin remodeling occurring during epigenetic reprogramming and that they may be key players in the acquisition of cellular totipotency and the establishment of specific cellular states.

Journal article

Wyck S, Herrera C, Requena-Torres C, Bittner L, Hajkova P, Bollwein H, Santoro Ret al., 2017, Oxidative stress in sperm causes developmental and epigenetic defects during bovine early embryonic development, 21st Annual Conference of the European-Society-for-Domestic-Animal-Reproduction (ESDAR), Publisher: WILEY, Pages: 143-143, ISSN: 0936-6768

Conference paper

Benesova M, Trejbalova K, Kucerova D, Vernerova Z, Hron T, Amouroux R, Klezl P, Hajkova P, Hejnar Jet al., Overexpression of TET dioxygenases in seminomas associates with low levels of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation, Molecular Carcinogenesis, ISSN: 1098-2744

Germ cell tumors and particularly seminomas reflect the epigenomic features of their parental primordial germ cells, including the genomic DNA hypomethylation and expression of pluripotent cell markers. Because the DNA hypomethylation might be a result of TET dioxygenase activity, we examined expression of TET1-3 enzymes and the level of their product, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, in a panel of histologically characterized seminomas and non-seminomatous germ cell tumors. Expression of TET dioxygenase mRNAs was quantified by real-time PCR. TET1 expression and the level of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine were examined immunohistochemically. Quantitative assessment of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine levels was done by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy technique. We found highly increased expression of TET1 dioxygenase in most seminomas and a strong TET1 staining in seminoma cells. Is ocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 mutations were not detected suggest ing the enzymatic activity of TET1. The levels of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in seminomas were found decreased in comparison to non-seminoma to us germ cell tumors and healthy testicular tissue. We propose TET1 expression as a marker of seminoma and mixed germ cell tumor and we suggest that high levels of TET1 expression are associated with the maintenance of low DNA methylation levels in seminomas. This “anti-methylator” phenotype of seminomas is in contrast to the CpG island methylator phenotype observed in a fraction of tumors of various types.

Journal article

Benešová M, Trejbalová K, Kučerová D, Vernerová Z, Hron T, Szabó A, Amouroux R, Klézl P, Hajkova P, Hejnar Jet al., 2017, Overexpression of TET dioxygenases in seminomas associates with low levels of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation., Molecular Carcinogenesis, Vol: 56, Pages: 1837-1850, ISSN: 1098-2744

Germ cell tumors and particularly seminomas reflect the epigenomic features of their parental primordial germ cells, including genomic DNA hypomethylation and expression of pluripotent cell markers. Because the DNA hypomethylation might be a result of TET dioxygenase activity, we examined expression of TET1-3 enzymes and the level of their product, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, in a panel of histologically characterized seminomas and non-seminomatous germ cell tumors. Expression of TET dioxygenase mRNAs was quantified by real-time PCR. TET1 expression and the level of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine were examined immunohistochemically. Quantitative assessment of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine levels was done by the liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy technique. We found highly increased expression of TET1 dioxygenase in most seminomas and strong TET1 staining in seminoma cells. Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 mutations were not detected, suggesting the enzymatic activity of TET1. The levels of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in seminomas were found decreased in comparison to non-seminomatous germ cell tumors and healthy testicular tissue. We propose that TET1 expression should be studied as a potential marker of seminomas and mixed germ cell tumors and we suggest that elevated expression of TET dioxygenase enzymes is associated with the maintenance of low DNA methylation levels in seminomas. This "anti-methylator" phenotype of seminomas is in contrast to the CpG island methylator phenotype observed in a fraction of tumors of various types.

Journal article

Trejbalova K, Benesova M, Kucerova D, Vernerova Z, Amouroux R, Hajkova P, Hejnar Jet al., 2016, Aberrant expression of ERVWE1 endogenous retrovirus and overexpression of TET dioxygenases are characteristic features of seminoma, Publisher: BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, ISSN: 1742-4690

Conference paper

Leitch HG, Surani MA, Hajkova P, 2016, DNA (de)methylation: the passive route to naivety?, Trends in Genetics, Vol: 32, Pages: 592-595, ISSN: 0168-9525

Journal article

Eguizabal C, Herrera L, De Onate L, Montserrat N, Hajkova P, Izpisua Belmonte JCet al., 2016, Characterisation of the Epigenetic Changes During Human Gonadal Primordial Germ Cells Reprogramming, Stem Cells, Vol: 34, Pages: 2418-2428, ISSN: 1066-5099

Epigenetic reprogramming is a central process during mammalian germline development. Genome-wide DNA demethylation in primordial germ cells (PGCs) is a prerequisite for the erasure of epigenetic memory, preventing the transmission of epimutations to the next generation. Apart from DNA demethylation, germline reprogramming has been shown to entail reprogramming of histone marks and chromatin remodelling. Contrary to other animal models, there is limited information about the epigenetic dynamics during early germ cell development in humans. Here, we provide further characterization of the epigenetic configuration of the early human gonadal PGCs. We show that early gonadal human PGCs are DNA hypomethylated and their chromatin is characterized by low H3K9me2 and high H3K27me3 marks. Similarly to previous observations in mice, human gonadal PGCs undergo dynamic chromatin changes concomitant with the erasure of genomic imprints. Interestingly, and contrary to mouse early germ cells, expression of BLIMP1/PRDM1 persists in through all gestational stages in human gonadal PGCs and is associated with nuclear lysine-specific demethylase-1. Our work provides important additional information regarding the chromatin changes associated with human PGCs development between 6 and 13 weeks of gestation in male and female gonads.

Journal article

Amouroux R, Nashun B, Shirane K, Nakagawa S, Hill PW, D'Souza Z, Nakayama M, Matsuda M, Turp A, Ndjetehe E, Encheva V, Kudo NR, Koseki H, Sasaki H, Hajkova Pet al., 2016, De novo DNA methylation drives 5hmC accumulation in mouse zygotes., Nature Cell Biology, Vol: 18, Pages: 225-233, ISSN: 1476-4679

Zygotic epigenetic reprogramming entails genome-wide DNA demethylation that is accompanied by Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 3 (Tet3)-driven oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC; refs ,,,). Here we demonstrate using detailed immunofluorescence analysis and ultrasensitive LC-MS-based quantitative measurements that the initial loss of paternal 5mC does not require 5hmC formation. Small-molecule inhibition of Tet3 activity, as well as genetic ablation, impedes 5hmC accumulation in zygotes without affecting the early loss of paternal 5mC. Instead, 5hmC accumulation is dependent on the activity of zygotic Dnmt3a and Dnmt1, documenting a role for Tet3-driven hydroxylation in targeting de novo methylation activities present in the early embryo. Our data thus provide further insights into the dynamics of zygotic reprogramming, revealing an intricate interplay between DNA demethylation, de novo methylation and Tet3-driven hydroxylation.

Journal article

Hajkova P, Nashun B, Hill PWS, Smallwood S, Dharmalingam G, Amouroux R, Sharma V, Clark S, Ndjetehe E, Pelczar P, Festenstein R, Kelsey Get al., 2015, Continuous histone replacement by Hira is essential for normal transcriptional regulation and efficient de novo DNA methylation during mouse oogenesis, Molecular Cell, Vol: 60, Pages: 611-625, ISSN: 1097-4164

The integrity of chromatin, which provides a dynamic template for all DNA-related processes in eukaryotes, is maintained through replication-dependent and -independent assembly pathways. To address the role of histone deposition in the absence of DNA replication, we deleted the H3.3 chaperone Hira in developing mouse oocytes. We show that chromatin of non-replicative developing oocytes is dynamic and that lack of continuous H3.3/H4 deposition alters chromatin structure, resulting in increased DNase I sensitivity, the accumulation of DNA damage, and a severe fertility phenotype. On the molecular level, abnormal chromatin structure leads to a dramatic decrease in the dynamic range of gene expression, the appearance of spurious transcripts, and inefficient de novo DNA methylation. Our study thus unequivocally shows the importance of continuous histone replacement and chromatin homeostasis for transcriptional regulation and normal developmental progression in a non-replicative system in vivo.

Journal article

Nashun B, Hill PW, Hajkova P, 2015, Reprogramming of cell fate: epigenetic memory and the erasure of memories past., EMBO Journal, Vol: 34, Pages: 1296-1308, ISSN: 0261-4189

Cell identity is a reflection of a cell type-specific gene expression profile, and consequently, cell type-specific transcription factor networks are considered to be at the heart of a given cellular phenotype. Although generally stable, cell identity can be reprogrammed in vitro by forced changes to the transcriptional network, the most dramatic example of which was shown by the induction of pluripotency in somatic cells by the ectopic expression of defined transcription factors alone. Although changes to cell fate can be achieved in this way, the efficiency of such conversion remains very low, in large part due to specific chromatin signatures constituting an epigenetic barrier to the transcription factor-mediated reprogramming processes. Here we discuss the two-way relationship between transcription factor binding and chromatin structure during cell fate reprogramming. We additionally explore the potential roles and mechanisms by which histone variants, chromatin remodelling enzymes, and histone and DNA modifications contribute to the stability of cell identity and/or provide a permissive environment for cell fate change during cellular reprogramming.

Journal article

Hill PS, Amouroux R, Hajkova P, 2014, DNA demethylation, Tet proteins and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in epigenetic reprogramming: An emerging complex story, GENOMICS, Vol: 104, Pages: 324-333, ISSN: 0888-7543

Journal article

Supek F, Lehner B, Hajkova P, Warnecke Tet al., 2014, Hydroxymethylated Cytosines Are Associated with Elevated C to G Transversion Rates, PLOS GENETICS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1553-7404

Journal article

Amouroux R, McEwen KR, Hajkova P, 2014, Current technological advances in mapping new DNA modifications, Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models, Vol: 12, Pages: 15-26, ISSN: 1740-6757

Journal article

McEwen KR, Leitch HG, Amouroux R, Hajkova Pet al., 2013, The impact of culture on epigenetic properties of pluripotent stem cells and pre-implantation embryos, BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS, Vol: 41, Pages: 711-719, ISSN: 0300-5127

Journal article

Piccolo FM, Bagci H, Brown KE, Landeira D, Soza-Ried J, Feytout A, Mooijman D, Hajkova P, Leitch HG, Tada T, Kriaucionis S, Dawlaty MM, Jaenisch R, Merkenschlager M, Fisher AGet al., 2013, Different Roles for Tet1 and Tet2 Proteins in Reprogramming-Mediated Erasure of Imprints Induced by EGC Fusion, MOLECULAR CELL, Vol: 49, Pages: 1023-1033, ISSN: 1097-2765

Journal article

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