The mechanisms responsible for active DNA demethylation remain elusive in Metazoa. A previous study that utilized zebrafish embryos provided a potent mechanism for active demethylation in which three proteins, AID, MBD4, and GADD45 are involved. We recently found age-dependent DNA hypomethylation in zebrafish, and it prompted us to examine if AID and MBD4 could be involved in the phenomenon. Unexpectedly, however, we found that most of the findings in the previous study were not reproducible. First, the injection of a methylated DNA fragment into zebrafish eggs did not affect either the methylation of genomic DNA, injected methylated DNA itself, or several loci tested or the expression level of aid, which has been shown to play a role in demethylation. Second, aberrant methylation was not observed at certain CpG islands following the injection of antisense morpholino oligonucleotides against aid and mbd4. Furthermore, we demonstrated that zebrafish MBD4 cDNA lacked a coding region for the methyl- CpG binding domain, which was assumed to be necessary for guidance to target regions. Taken together, we concluded that there is currently no evidence to support the proposed roles of AID and MBD4 in active demethylation in zebrafish embryos.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)