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author:("hira, Hitoshi")
1.  Genome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation Dynamics during Early Human Development 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(12):e1004868.
DNA methylation is globally reprogrammed during mammalian preimplantation development, which is critical for normal development. Recent reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) studies suggest that the methylome dynamics are essentially conserved between human and mouse early embryos. RRBS is known to cover 5–10% of all genomic CpGs, favoring those contained within CpG-rich regions. To obtain an unbiased and more complete representation of the methylome during early human development, we performed whole genome bisulfite sequencing of human gametes and blastocysts that covered>70% of all genomic CpGs. We found that the maternal genome was demethylated to a much lesser extent in human blastocysts than in mouse blastocysts, which could contribute to an increased number of imprinted differentially methylated regions in the human genome. Global demethylation of the paternal genome was confirmed, but SINE-VNTR-Alu elements and some other tandem repeat-containing regions were found to be specifically protected from this global demethylation. Furthermore, centromeric satellite repeats were hypermethylated in human oocytes but not in mouse oocytes, which might be explained by differential expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases. These data highlight both conserved and species-specific regulation of DNA methylation during early mammalian development. Our work provides further information critical for understanding the epigenetic processes underlying differentiation and pluripotency during early human development.
Author Summary
DNA methylation reprogramming after fertilization is critical for normal mammalian development. Early embryos are sensitive to environmental stresses and a number of reports have pointed out the increased risk of DNA methylation errors associated with assisted reproduction technologies. Therefore, it is very important to understand normal DNA methylation patterns during early human development. Recent reduced representation bisulfite sequencing studies reported partial methylomes of human gametes and early embryos. To provide a more comprehensive view of DNA methylation dynamics during early human development, we report on whole genome bisulfite sequencing of human gametes and blastocysts. We show that the paternal genome is globally demethylated in blastocysts whereas the maternal genome is demethylated to a much lesser extent. We also reveal unique regulation of imprinted differentially methylated regions, gene bodies and repeat sequences during early human development. Our high-resolution methylome maps are essential to understand epigenetic reprogramming by human oocytes and will aid in the preimplantation epigenetic diagnosis of human embryos.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004868
PMCID: PMC4263407  PMID: 25501653
2.  Imprinting methylation errors in ART 
Reproductive Medicine and Biology  2014;13(4):193-202.
There has been an increase in incidence reports of rare imprinting disorders associated with assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART, including in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injections, is an important treatment for infertile people of reproductive age and increasingly produces children. The identification of epigenetic changes at imprinted loci in ART infants has led to the suggestion that ART techniques themselves may predispose embryos to acquire imprinting errors and diseases. In this review, we note that the particular steps of ART may be prone to induction of imprinting methylation errors during gametogenesis, fertilization and early embryonic development. In addition, we explain imprint-associated diseases and their causes. Moreover, from a Japanese nationwide epidemiological study of imprint-associated diseases, we determine their associations with ART. Epigenetic studies will be required to understand the pathogenesis, ART-related risk factor(s) and what precautions can be taken to prevent the occurrence of input methylation errors. We hope that the constitution of children born after each ART procedure will reveal the safest and most ethical approach to use, which will be invaluable for the future development of standard ART.
doi:10.1007/s12522-014-0183-3
PMCID: PMC4182590  PMID: 25298744
Assisted reproductive technologies (ART); DNA methylation; Genomic imprinting; Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI); In vitro fertilization (IVF)
3.  Stability of genomic imprinting in human induced pluripotent stem cells 
BMC Genetics  2013;14:32.
Background
hiPSCs are generated through epigenetic reprogramming of somatic tissue. Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon through which monoallelic gene expression is regulated in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. Reprogramming relies on the successful erasure of marks of differentiation while maintaining those required for genomic imprinting. Loss of imprinting (LOI), which occurs in many types of malignant tumors, would hinder the clinical application of hiPSCs.
Results
We examined the imprinting status, expression levels and DNA methylation status of eight imprinted genes in five independently generated hiPSCs. We found a low frequency of LOI in some lines. Where LOI was identified in an early passage cell line, we found that this was maintained through subsequent passages of the cells. Just as normal imprints are maintained in long-term culture, this work suggests that abnormal imprints are also stable in culture.
Conclusions
Analysis of genomic imprints in hiPSCs is a necessary safety step in regenerative medicine, with relevance both to the differentiation potential of these stem cells and also their potential tumorigenic properties.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-32
PMCID: PMC3751563  PMID: 23631808
Genomic imprinting; Loss of imprinting (LOI); DNA methylation; Histone modification; Human induced pluripotent cells
4.  Role for piRNAs and Noncoding RNA in de Novo DNA Methylation of the Imprinted Mouse Rasgrf1 Locus 
Science (New York, N.y.)  2011;332(6031):848-852.
Genomic imprinting causes parental origin–specific monoallelic gene expression through differential DNA methylation established in the parental germ line. However, the mechanisms underlying how specific sequences are selectively methylated are not fully understood. We have found that the components of the PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway are required for de novo methylation of the differentially methylated region (DMR) of the imprinted mouse Rasgrf1 locus, but not other paternally imprinted loci. A retrotransposon sequence within a noncoding RNA spanning the DMR was targeted by piRNAs generated from a different locus. A direct repeat in the DMR, which is required for the methylation and imprinting of Rasgrf1, served as a promoter for this RNA. We propose a model in which piRNAs and a target RNA direct the sequence-specific methylation of Rasgrf1.
doi:10.1126/science.1203919
PMCID: PMC3368507  PMID: 21566194
5.  High-throughput detection of aberrant imprint methylation in the ovarian cancer by the bisulphite PCR-Luminex method 
Background
Aberrant DNA methylation leads to loss of heterozygosity (LOH) or loss of imprinting (LOI) as the first hit during human carcinogenesis. Recently we developed a new high-throughput, high-resolution DNA methylation analysis method, bisulphite PCR-Luminex (BPL), using sperm DNA and demonstrated the effectiveness of this novel approach in rapidly identifying methylation errors.
Results
In the current study, we applied the BPL method to the analysis of DNA methylation for identification of prognostic panels of DNA methylation cancer biomarkers of imprinted genes. We found that the BPL method precisely quantified the methylation status of specific DNA regions in somatic cells. We found a higher frequency of LOI than LOH. LOI at IGF2, PEG1 and H19 were frequent alterations, with a tendency to show a more hypermethylated state. We detected changes in DNA methylation as an early event in ovarian cancer. The degree of LOI (LOH) was associated with altered DNA methylation at IGF2/H19 and PEG1.
Conclusions
The relative ease of BPL method provides a practical method for use within a clinical setting. We suggest that DNA methylation of H19 and PEG1 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) may provide novel biomarkers useful for screening, diagnosis and, potentially, for improving the clinical management of women with human ovarian cancer.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-5-8
PMCID: PMC3342152  PMID: 22443985
Genomic imprinting; Ovarian cancer; DNA methylation; Bisulphite PCR-Luminex(BPL)method; LOI (loss of imprinting)
6.  Autonomous silencing of the imprinted Cdkn1c gene in stem cells 
Parent-of-origin specific expression of imprinted genes relies on the differential DNA methylation of specific genomic regions. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) acquire DNA methylation either during gametogenesis (primary DMR) or after fertilization when allele-specific expression is established (secondary DMR). Little is known about the function of these secondary DMRs. We investigated the DMR spanning Cdkn1c in mouse embryonic stem cells, androgenetic stem cells and embryonic germ stem cells. In all cases, expression of Cdkn1c was appropriately repressed in in vitro differentiated cells. However, stem cells failed to de novo methylate the silenced gene even after sustained differentiation. In the absence of maintained DNA methylation (Dnmt1−/−), Cdkn1c escapes silencing demonstrating the requirement for DNA methylation in long term silencing in vivo. We propose that post-fertilization differential methylation reflects the importance of retaining single gene dosage of a subset of imprinted loci in the adult.
PMCID: PMC3033483  PMID: 20372090
DNA methylation; imprinted; secondary DMR; stem cells
7.  A tripartite paternally methylated region within the Gpr1-Zdbf2 imprinted domain on mouse chromosome 1 identified by meDIP-on-chip 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(15):4929-4945.
The parent-of-origin specific expression of imprinted genes relies on DNA methylation of CpG-dinucleotides at differentially methylated regions (DMRs) during gametogenesis. To date, four paternally methylated DMRs have been identified in screens based on conventional approaches. These DMRs are linked to the imprinted genes H19, Gtl2 (IG-DMR), Rasgrf1 and, most recently, Zdbf2 which encodes zinc finger, DBF-type containing 2. In this study, we applied a novel methylated-DNA immunoprecipitation-on-chip (meDIP-on-chip) method to genomic DNA from mouse parthenogenetic- and androgenetic-derived stem cells and sperm and identified 458 putative DMRs. This included the majority of known DMRs. We further characterized the paternally methylated Zdbf2/ZDBF2 DMR. In mice, this extensive germ line DMR spanned 16 kb and possessed an unusual tripartite structure. Methylation was dependent on DNA methyltransferase 3a (Dnmt3a), similar to H19 DMR and IG-DMR. In both humans and mice, the adjacent gene, Gpr1/GPR1, which encodes a G-protein-coupled receptor 1 protein with transmembrane domain, was also imprinted and paternally expressed. The Gpr1-Zdbf2 domain was most similar to the Rasgrf1 domain as both DNA methylation and the actively expressed allele were in cis on the paternal chromosome. This work demonstrates the effectiveness of meDIP-on-chip as a technique for identifying DMRs.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq200
PMCID: PMC2926594  PMID: 20385583
8.  DNA methylation errors at imprinted loci after assisted conception originate in the parental sperm 
European Journal of Human Genetics   2009;17(12):1582-1591.
There is an increased prevalence of imprinting disorders, such as Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome, associated with human assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Work on animal models suggests that in vitro culture may be the source of these imprinting errors. However, in this study we report that, in some cases, the errors are inherited from the father. We analyzed DNA methylation at seven autosomal imprinted loci and the XIST locus in 78 paired DNA samples. In seven out of seventeen cases where there was abnormal DNA methylation in the ART sample (41%), the identical alterations were present in the parental sperm. Furthermore, we also identified DNA sequence variations in the gene encoding DNMT3L, which were associated with the abnormal paternal DNA methylation. Both the imprinting errors and the DNA sequence variants were more prevalent in patients with oligospermia. Our data suggest that the increase in the incidence of imprinting disorders in individuals born by ART may be due, in some cases, to the use of sperm with intrinsic imprinting mutations.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.68
PMCID: PMC2845511  PMID: 19471309
genomic imprinting; assisted reproductive technologies; DNA methylation; oligospermic patients; DNA methyltransferase 3-like protein
9.  DNA methylation errors at imprinted loci after assisted conception originate in the parental sperm 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2009;17(12):1582-1591.
There is an increased prevalence of imprinting disorders, such as Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome, associated with human assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Work on animal models suggests that in vitro culture may be the source of these imprinting errors. However, in this study we report that, in some cases, the errors are inherited from the father. We analyzed DNA methylation at seven autosomal imprinted loci and the XIST locus in 78 paired DNA samples. In seven out of seventeen cases where there was abnormal DNA methylation in the ART sample (41%), the identical alterations were present in the parental sperm. Furthermore, we also identified DNA sequence variations in the gene encoding DNMT3L, which were associated with the abnormal paternal DNA methylation. Both the imprinting errors and the DNA sequence variants were more prevalent in patients with oligospermia. Our data suggest that the increase in the incidence of imprinting disorders in individuals born by ART may be due, in some cases, to the use of sperm with intrinsic imprinting mutations.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.68
PMCID: PMC2845511  PMID: 19471309
genomic imprinting; assisted reproductive technologies; DNA methylation; oligospermic patients; DNA methyltransferase 3-like protein

Results 1-9 (9)