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Keywords:

  • zebrafish;
  • no tail;
  • methylation;
  • methyltransferase;
  • morpholino oligo (MO)

Abstract

The zebrafish no tail gene (ntl) is indispensable for tail and notochord development. We have shown previously that ntl is de novo methylated during early embryogenesis. To find the gene that de novo methylates ntl and understand the meaning of this methylation, we cloned seven genes that encode the conserved catalytic domain of methyltransferases. We found that injection of antisense morpholino oligonucleotides against one of them, termed dnmt7, into eggs significantly reduced the level of ntl methylation, although no apparent phenotype was induced by the injection. Inhibition of Dnmt7 activity did not change the level of genome-wide methylation nor did it affect de novo methylation of injected plasmid DNA, indicating that Dnmt7 specifically methylates ntl in the genome. Developmental Dynamics 233:1509–1516, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.