Genome-wide profiling of DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine during rat Sertoli cell maturation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCell Discovery. 2017, 3:170013 1-14. 10.1038/celldisc.2017.13
Sertoli cells have dual roles during the cells’ lifetime. In the juvenile mammal, Sertoli cells proliferate and create the structure of the testis, and during puberty they cease to proliferate and take on the adult role of supporting germ cells through spermatogenesis. Accordingly, many genes expressed in Sertoli cells during testis formation are repressed during spermatogenesis. 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) is a DNA modification enzymatically generated from 5mC and present in all investigated mammalian tissues at varying levels. Using mass spectrometry and immunofluorescence staining we identified a substantial Sertoli cell-specific global 5hmC increase during rat puberty. Chemical labeling, pull-down and sequencing of 5hmC-containing genomic DNA from juvenile and adult rat Sertoli cells revealed that genes that lose or gain 5hmC belong to different functional pathways and mirror the functions of the cells in the two different states. Loss of 5hmC is associated with genes involved in development and cell structure, whereas gain of 5hmC is associated with genes involved in cellular pathways pertaining to the function of the adult Sertoli cells. This redistribution during maturation shows that 5hmC is a dynamic nucleotide modification, correlated to gene expression.