Conserved and divergent patterns of DNA methylation in higher vertebrates

Ning Jiang, Jing Chen, Lindsey Leach, Zewei Luo, Lin Wang, Luwen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
197 Downloads (Pure)


DNA methylation in the genome plays a fundamental role in the regulation of gene expression and is widespread in the genome of eukaryotic species. For example, in higher vertebrates, there is a “global” methylation pattern involving complete methylation of CpG sites genome-wide, except in promoter regions that are typically enriched for CpG dinucleotides, or so called “CpG islands.” Here, we comprehensively examined and compared the distribution of CpG sites within ten model eukaryotic species and linked the observed patterns to the role of DNA methylation in controlling gene transcription. The analysis revealed two distinct but conserved methylation patterns for gene promoters in human and mouse genomes, involving genes with distinct distributions of promoter CpGs and gene expression patterns. Comparative analysis with four other higher vertebrates revealed that the primary regulatory role of the DNA methylation system is highly conserved in higher vertebrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2998-3014
Number of pages17
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014


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