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Type: Journal article
Title: DNA methylation signatures of the AIRE promoter in thymic epithelial cells, thymomas and normal tissues
Author: Kont, V.
Murumagi, A.
Tykocinski, L.
Kinkel, S.
Webster, K.
Kisand, K.
Tserel, L.
Pihlap, M.
Strobel, P.
Scott, H.
Marx, A.
Kyewski, B.
Peterson, P.
Citation: Molecular Immunology, 2011; 49(3):518-526
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0161-5890
Statement of
Vivian Kont, Astrid Murumägi, Lars-Oliver Tykocinski, Sarah A. Kinkel, Kylie E. Webster, Kai Kisand, Liina Tserel, Maire Pihlap, Philipp Ströbel, Hamish S. Scott, Alexander Marx, Bruno Kyewski, Pärt Peterson
Abstract: Mutations in the AIRE gene cause autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis ectodermal dystrophy (APECED), which is associated with autoimmunity towards several peripheral organs. The AIRE protein is almost exclusively expressed in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTEC) and CpG methylation in the promoter of the AIRE gene has been suggested to control its tissue-specific expression pattern. We found that in human AIRE-positive medullary and AIRE-negative cortical epithelium, the AIRE promoter is hypomethylated, whereas in thymocytes, the promoter had high level of CpG methylation. Likewise, in mouse mTECs the AIRE promoter was uniformly hypomethylated. In the same vein, the AIRE promoter was hypomethylated in AIRE-negative thymic epithelial tumors (thymomas) and in several peripheral tissues. Our data are compatible with the notion that promoter hypomethylation is necessary but not sufficient for tissue-specific regulation of the AIRE gene. In contrast, a positive correlation between AIRE expression and histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation, an active chromatin mark, was found in the AIRE promoter in human and mouse TECs.
Keywords: Thymus; Autoimmune regulator; Genomic methylation; Histone modification; Gene regulation
Rights: © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020125052
DOI: 10.1016/j.molimm.2011.09.022
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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