Promoter DNA Hypermethylation and Gene Repression in Undifferentiated Arabidopsis Cells
Fernández, Agustín F.
Tiburcio, Antonio F.
Canal, María Jesús
Fraga, Mario F.
Editor/esPublic Library of Science
DNA sequence analysis
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Maintaining and acquiring the pluripotent cell state in plants is critical to tissue regeneration and vegetative multiplication. Histone-based epigenetic mechanisms are important for regulating this undifferentiated state. Here we report the use of genetic and pharmacological experimental approaches to show that Arabidopsis cell suspensions and calluses specifically repress some genes as a result of promoter DNA hypermethylation. We found that promoters of the MAPK12, GSTU10 and BXL1 genes become hypermethylated in callus cells and that hypermethylation also affects the TTG1, GSTF5, SUVH8, fimbrin and CCD7 genes in cell suspensions. Promoter hypermethylation in undifferentiated cells was associated with histone hypoacetylation and primarily occurred at CpG sites. Accordingly, we found that the process specifically depends on MET1 and DRM2 methyltransferases, as demonstrated with DNA methyltransferase mutants. Our results suggest that promoter DNA methylation may be another important epigenetic mechanism for the establishment and/or maintenance of the undifferentiated state in plant cells.