DNA methylation plays an important role in regulating transcriptional change in response to environmental stimuli. In the present study, DNA methylation levels of tissues of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus were analyzed by the fluorescence-labeled methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (F-MSAP) technique over three stages of the aestivation cycle. Overall, a total of 26,963 fragments were amplified including 9112 methylated fragments among four sea cucumber tissues using 18 pairs of selective primers. Results indicated an average DNA methylation level of 33.79% for A. japonicus. The incidence of DNA methylation was different across tissue types in the non-aestivation stage: intestine (30.16%), respiratory tree (27.61%), muscle (27.94%) and body wall (56.25%). Our results show that hypermethylation accompanied deep-aestivation in A. japonicus, which suggests that DNA methylation may have an important role in regulating global transcriptional suppression during aestivation. Further analysis indicated that the main DNA modification sites were focused on intestine and respiratory tree tissues and that full-methylation but not hemi-methylation levels exhibited significant increases in the deep-aestivation stage.

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Keywords A. japonicus, Aestivation, DNA methylation, F-MSAP
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpb.2014.11.001
Journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Zhao, Y. (Ye), Chen, M. (Muyan), Storey, K, Sun, L. (Lina), & Yang, H. (Hongsheng). (2015). DNA methylation levels analysis in four tissues of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus based on fluorescence-labeled methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (F-MSAP) during aestivation. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 181(1), 26–32. doi:10.1016/j.cbpb.2014.11.001