Several lines of evidence suggest that DNA methylation may play a role in gene regulation in eukaryotes. Studies of many tissue specific genes using methyl-specific restriction endonucleases have shown a correlation between the methylation levels and the active or inactive status of the genes: most genes are undermethylated in the tissues in wich they are expressed, while they are heavily methylated in non expressing tissues and in the germline (Yisraeli and Szif, 1984). Furthermore “in vitro” DNA methylation of a few specific gene sequences inhibited the activity of these genes when inserted into animal cells (Stein et al., 1982; Busslinger et al., 1983; Kruczek et al., 1983).
KeywordsMethylation Level Methylation Pattern Sperm Cell Specific Gene Sequence Italian National Research Council
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