DNA methylation in early development

Authors

  • Theresa M. Geiman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, SAIC-Frederick, Frederick, Maryland
    • Laboratory of Cancer Prevention National Cancer Institute-Frederick SAIC-Frederick, Bldg. 560, Rm. 12-25 Frederick, MD 21702.
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  • Kathrin Muegge

    1. Laboratory of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, SAIC-Frederick, Frederick, Maryland
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  • This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

Development from separate parental germ cells through fertilization and proceeding to a fully functioning adult animal occurs through an intricate program of transcriptional and chromatin changes. Epigenetic alterations such as DNA methylation are an important part of this process. This review looks at the role of DNA methylation in early embryonic development, as well as how this epigenetic mark affects stem cell differentiation and tissue-specific gene expression in somatic cells. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 77: 105–113, 2010. Published 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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