Macronuclear DNA demethylation is involved in the encystment process of the ciliate Colpoda inflata.

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ABSTRACT

Ciliate encystment is an eukaryotic cell differentiation process which involves a specific gene expression, to form the resting stage. In this study, we investigate, for first time, the DNA methylation pattern changes during encystment in the ciliate Colpoda inflata, and the 5-azacytidine effect on growing cells and encystment. Results indicate that 5-methylcytosine is present in macronuclear DNA of this ciliate and the 5-azacytidine treatment induces encystment in growth conditions. From restriction enzyme digestion and 5-azacytidine experiments, we conclude that a specific DNA demethylation is probably involved in the encystment gene expression of this ciliate.

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