Keith D. Robertson

Learn More
DNA methylation is a crucial epigenetic modification of the genome that is involved in regulating many cellular processes. These include embryonic development, transcription, chromatin structure, X chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting and chromosome stability. Consistent with these important roles, a growing number of human diseases have been found(More)
The field of epigenetics has recently moved to the forefront of studies relating to diverse processes such as transcriptional regulation, chromatin structure, genome integrity, and tumorigenesis. Recent work has revealed how DNA methylation and chromatin structure are linked at the molecular level and how methylation anomalies play a direct causal role in(More)
Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal dominant muscular dystrophy in which no mutation of pathogenic gene(s) has been identified. Instead, the disease is, in most cases, genetically linked to a contraction in the number of 3.3 kb D4Z4 repeats on chromosome 4q. How contraction of the 4qter D4Z4 repeats causes muscular dystrophy is not(More)
DNA methylation in mammals is required for embryonic development, X chromosome inactivation and imprinting. Previous studies have shown that methylation patterns become abnormal in malignant cells and may contribute to tumorigenesis by improper de novo methylation and silencing of the promoters for growth-regulatory genes. RNA and protein levels of the DNA(More)
Methylation of CpG islands is associated with transcriptional silencing and the formation of nuclease-resistant chromatin structures enriched in hypoacetylated histones. Methyl-CpG-binding proteins, such as MeCP2, provide a link between methylated DNA and hypoacetylated histones by recruiting histone deacetylase, but the mechanisms establishing the(More)
The Wnt signaling pathway is a powerful and prominent oncogenic mechanism dysregulated in numerous cancer types. While evidence from transgenic mouse models and studies of human tumors clearly indicate that this pathway is of likely importance in human breast cancer, few clues as to the exact molecular nature of Wnt dysregulation have been uncovered in this(More)
DNA methylation has recently moved to centre stage in the aetiology of human neurodevelopmental syndromes such as the fragile X, ICF and Rett syndromes. These diseases result from the misregulation of genes that occurs with the loss of appropriate epigenetic controls during neuronal development. Recent advances have connected DNA methylation to(More)
Genome-wide DNA methylation patterns are frequently deregulated in cancer. There is considerable interest in targeting the methylation machinery in tumor cells using nucleoside analogs of cytosine, such as 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-azadC). 5-azadC exerts its antitumor effects by reactivation of aberrantly hypermethylated growth regulatory genes and(More)
Genome-wide DNA methylation patterns are established and maintained by the coordinated action of three DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B. DNMT3B hypomorphic germline mutations are responsible for two-thirds of immunodeficiency, centromere instability, facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome cases, a rare recessive disease characterized by(More)