A screen for modifiers of epigenetic reprogramming

Yong, Qian Yu (2011) A screen for modifiers of epigenetic reprogramming. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Epigenetic modifiers are the proteins involved in establishing and maintaining the epigenome of an organism. They are particularly important for development.

Changes in epigenetic modifiers have been shown be lethal, or cause diseases.

Our laboratory has developed an ENU mutagenesis screen to produce mouse mutants displaying altered epigenetic gene silencing. The screen relies on a GFP transgene that is expressed in red blood cells in a variegated manner. In the orginal transgenic FVB mice expression occurs in approximately 55% of red blood cells.

During the course of my Masters, I characterised four different Mommes (Modifiers of murine metastable epiallele), MommeD32, MommeD33, MommeD35 and MommeD36. For each Momme, I identified the underlying mutation, and observed the corresponding phenotype. In MommeD32 the causative mutation is in Dnmt1, (DNA methyltransferase 1). This gene was previously identified in the screen, as MommeD2, and the new allele, MommeD32 has a change in the BAH domain of the protein. MommeD33 is the result of a change at the transgene itself. MommeD35 carries a mutation in Suv39h1 (suppressor of variegation 3-9 homolog 1). This gene has not previously been identified in the screen, but it is a known epigenetic modifier. MommeD36 had the same ENU treated sire as MommeD32, and I found that it has the same mutation as MommeD32.

These mutant strains provide valuable tools that can be used to further our knowledge of epigenetic reprogramming. An example being the cancer study done with MommeD9 which has a mutation in Trim28. By crossing MommeD9+/- mutant mice with Trp53+/- mice, it can be seen if Trim28 has an effect on the rate of tumour genesis. However no clear effect of Trim28 haploinsufficiency can be observed in Trp53+/- mice.

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ID Code: 50955
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Whiteside, Eliza & Walsh, Terence
Keywords: epigentics, epigenetic reprogramming, histone code, ENU mutagenesis screen, GFP transgene, epigenetic gene silencing
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 18 Jun 2012 05:06
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2012 05:11

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