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1.  DEMETER DNA Glycosylase Establishes MEDEA Polycomb Gene Self-Imprinting by Allele-Specific Demethylation 
Cell  2006;124(3):495-506.
MEDEA (MEA) is an Arabidopsis Polycomb group gene that is imprinted in the endosperm. The maternal allele is expressed and the paternal allele is silent. MEA is controlled by DEMETER (DME), a DNA glycosylase required to activate MEA expression, and METHYLTRANSFERASE I (MET1), which maintains CG methylation at the MEA locus. Here we show that DME is responsible for endosperm maternal-allele-specific hypomethylation at the MEA gene. DME can excise 5-methylcytosine in vitro and when expressed in E. coli. Abasic sites opposite 5-methylcytosine inhibit DME activity and might prevent DME from generating double-stranded DNA breaks. Unexpectedly, paternal-allele silencing is not controlled by DNA methylation. Rather, Polycomb group proteins that are expressed from the maternal genome, including MEA, control paternal MEA silencing. Thus, DME establishes MEA imprinting by removing 5-methylcytosine to activate the maternal allele. MEA imprinting is subsequently maintained in the endosperm by maternal MEA silencing the paternal allele.
PMCID: PMC4106368  PMID: 16469697
2.  Genome-Wide Demethylation of Arabidopsis Endosperm 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2009;324(5933):1451-1454.
Parent-of-origin-specific (imprinted) gene expression is regulated in Arabidopsis thaliana endosperm by cytosine demethylation of the maternal genome mediated by the DNA glycosylase DEMETER, but the extent of the methylation changes is not known. Here, we show that virtually the entire endosperm genome is demethylated, coupled with extensive local non-CG hypermethylation of small interfering RNA–targeted sequences. Mutation of DEMETER partially restores endosperm CG methylation to levels found in other tissues, indicating that CG demethylation is specific to maternal sequences. Endosperm demethylation is accompanied by CHH hypermethylation of embryo transposable elements. Our findings demonstrate extensive reconfiguration of the endosperm methylation landscape that likely reinforces transposon silencing in the embryo.
PMCID: PMC4044190  PMID: 19520962
3.  Active DNA Demethylation in Plant Companion Cells Reinforces Transposon Methylation in Gametes 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2012;337(6100):1360-1364.
The Arabidopsis thaliana central cell, the companion cell of the egg, undergoes DNA demethylation before fertilization, but the targeting preferences, mechanism, and biological significance of this process remain unclear. Here, we show that active DNA demethylation mediated by the DEMETER DNA glycosylase accounts for all of the demethylation in the central cell and preferentially targets small, AT-rich, and nucleosome-depleted euchromatic transposable elements. The vegetative cell, the companion cell of sperm, also undergoes DEMETER-dependent demethylation of similar sequences, and lack of DEMETER in vegetative cells causes reduced small RNA–directed DNA methylation of transposons in sperm. Our results demonstrate that demethylation in companion cells reinforces transposon methylation in plant gametes and likely contributes to stable silencing of transposable elements across generations.
PMCID: PMC4034762  PMID: 22984074
4.  MethylCoder: software pipeline for bisulfite-treated sequences 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(17):2435-2436.
Motivation: MethylCoder is a software program that generates per-base methylation data given a set of bisulfite-treated reads. It provides the option to use either of two existing short-read aligners, each with different strengths. It accounts for soft-masked alignments and overlapping paired-end reads. MethylCoder outputs data in text and binary formats in addition to the final alignment in SAM format, so that common high-throughput sequencing tools can be used on the resulting output. It is more flexible than existing software and competitive in terms of speed and memory use.
Availability: MethylCoder requires only a python interpreter and a C compiler to run. Extensive documentation and the full source code are available under the MIT license at:
PMCID: PMC3157921  PMID: 21724594
5.  Endosperm Gene Imprinting and Seed Development 
Imprinting occurs in the endosperm of flowering plants. Endosperm, produced by fertilization of the central cell in the female gametophyte, is essential for embryo and seed development. Several imprinted genes play an important role in endosperm development. The mechanism of gene imprinting involves DNA methylation and histone modification. DNA methylation is actively removed at the imprinted alleles to be activated. Histone methylation mediated by the Polycomb group complex provides another layer of epigenetic regulation at the silenced alleles. Endosperm gene imprinting can be uncoupled from seed development when fertilization of the central cell is prevented. Imprinting may be a mechanism to ensure fertilization of the central cell thereby preventing parthenogenic development of the endosperm.
PMCID: PMC2180190  PMID: 17962010
6.  Gene expression in the developing mouse retina by EST sequencing and microarray analysis 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(24):4983-4993.
Retinal development occurs in mice between embryonic day E11.5 and post-natal day P8 as uncommitted neuroblasts assume retinal cell fates. The genetic pathways regulating retinal development are being identified but little is understood about the global networks that link these pathways together or the complexity of the expressed gene set required to form the retina. At E14.5, the retina contains mostly uncommitted neuroblasts and newly differentiated neurons. Here we report a sequence analysis of an E14.5 retinal cDNA library. To date, we have archived 15 268 ESTs and have annotated 9035, which represent 5288 genes. The fraction of singly occurring ESTs as a function of total EST accrual suggests that the total number of expressed genes in the library could approach 27 000. The 9035 ESTs were categorized by their known or putative functions. Representation of the genes involved in eye development was significantly higher in the retinal clone set compared with the NIA mouse 15K cDNA clone set. Screening with a microarray containing 864 cDNA clones using wild-type and brn-3b (–/–) retinal cDNA probes revealed a potential regulatory linkage between the transcription factor Brn-3b and expression of GAP-43, a protein associated with axon growth. The retinal EST database will be a valuable platform for gene expression profiling and a new source for gene discovery.
PMCID: PMC97568  PMID: 11812828

Results 1-6 (6)