Gene body DNA hydroxymethylation restricts the magnitude oftranscriptional changes during aging.

Occean J. R. et al.

DNA hydroxymethylation (5hmC) is the most abundant oxidative derivative of DNA methylation (5mC) and is typically enriched at enhancers and gene bodies of transcriptionally active and tissue-specific genes. Although aberrant genomic 5hmC has been implicated in many age-related diseases, the functional role of the modification in aging remains largely unknown. Here, we report that 5hmC is stably enriched in multiple aged organs. Using the liver and cerebellum as model organs, we show that 5hmC accumulates in gene bodies associated with tissue-specific function and thereby restricts the magnitude of gene expression changes during aging. Mechanistically, we found that 5hmC decreases binding affinity of splicing factors compared to unmodified cytosine and 5mC, and is correlated with age-related alternative splicing events, suggesting RNA splicing as a potential mediator of 5hmC’s transcriptionally restrictive function. Furthermore, we show that various age-related contexts, such as prolonged quiescence and senescence, are partially responsible for driving the accumulation of 5hmC with age. We provide evidence that this age-related function is conserved in mouse and human tissues, and further show that the modification is altered by regimens known to modulate lifespan. Our findings reveal that 5hmC is a regulator of tissue-specific function and may play a role in regulating longevity.

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February, 2023


Products used in this publication

  • MagMeDIP qPCR Kit box
    MagMeDIP Kit
  • Mouse IgG
    5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) Antibody (mouse)
  • Mouse IgG
    5-methylcytosine (5-mC) Antibody - clone 33D3


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