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CpG islands were originally identified by epigenetic and functional properties, namely, absence of DNA methylation and frequent promoter association. However, this concept was quickly replaced by simple DNA sequence criteria, which allowed for genome-wide annotation of CpG islands in the absence of large-scale epigenetic datasets. Although widely used, the(More)
CpG island methylation plays an important role in epigenetic gene control during mammalian development and is frequently altered in disease situations such as cancer. The majority of CpG islands is normally unmethylated, but a sizeable fraction is prone to become methylated in various cell types and pathological situations. The goal of this study is to show(More)
SUMMARY Manual processing of DNA methylation data from bisulfite sequencing is a tedious and error-prone task. Here we present an interactive software tool that provides start-to-end support for this process. In an easy-to-use manner, the tool helps the user to import the sequence files from the sequencer, to align them, to exclude or correct critical(More)
Genomic DNA methylation profiles exhibit substantial variation within the human population, with important functional implications for gene regulation. So far little is known about the characteristics and determinants of DNA methylation variation among healthy individuals. We performed bioinformatic analysis of high-resolution methylation profiles from(More)
BACKGROUND MicroRNAs play an important functional role in post-transcriptional gene regulation. One of the largest known microRNA clusters is located within the imprinted Dlk1/Gtl2 region on human chromosome 14 and mouse chromosome 12. This cluster contains more than 40 microRNA genes that are expressed only from the maternal chromosome in mouse. RESULTS(More)
BACKGROUND In contrast to the majority of mammalian genes, imprinted genes are monoallelically expressed with the choice of the active allele depending on its parental origin. Due to their special inheritance patterns, maternally and paternally expressed genes might be under different evolutionary pressure. Here, we aimed at assessing the evolutionary(More)
BACKGROUND In mammals, imprinted genes are regulated by an epigenetic mechanism that results in parental origin-specific expression. Though allele-specific regulation of imprinted genes has been studied for several individual genes in detail, little is known about their overall tissue-specific expression patterns and interspecies conservation of expression.(More)
BACKGROUND Genomic imprinting is an evolutionary conserved mechanism of epigenetic gene regulation in placental mammals that results in silencing of one of the parental alleles. In order to decipher interactions between allele-specific DNA methylation of imprinted genes and evolutionary conservation, we performed a genome-wide comparative investigation of(More)
By analyzing the cellular functions of genetically imprinted genes as annotated in the Gene Ontology for human and mouse, we found that imprinted genes are often involved in developmental, transport and regulatory processes. In the human, paternally expressed genes are enriched in GO terms related to the development of organs and of anatomical structures.(More)
During mammalian evolution, complex systems of epigenetic gene regulation have been established: Epigenetic mechanisms control tissue-specific gene expression, X chromosome inactivation in females and genomic imprinting. Studying DNA sequence conservation in imprinted genes, it becomes evident that evolution of gene function and evolution of epigenetic gene(More)