A Critical Role for Dnmt1 and DNA Methylation in T Cell Development, Function, and Survival

Immunity. 2001 Nov;15(5):763-74. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(01)00227-8.

Abstract

The role of DNA methylation and of the maintenance DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 in the epigenetic regulation of developmental stage- and cell lineage-specific gene expression in vivo is uncertain. This is addressed here through the generation of mice in which Dnmt1 was inactivated by Cre/loxP-mediated deletion at sequential stages of T cell development. Deletion of Dnmt1 in early double-negative thymocytes led to impaired survival of TCRalphabeta(+) cells and the generation of atypical CD8(+)TCRgammadelta(+) cells. Deletion of Dnmt1 in double-positive thymocytes impaired activation-induced proliferation but differentially enhanced cytokine mRNA expression by naive peripheral T cells. We conclude that Dnmt1 and DNA methylation are required for the proper expression of certain genes that define fate and determine function in T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cell Lineage / immunology
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase 1
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases / genetics
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases / immunology*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*

Substances

  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase 1
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases
  • Dnmt1 protein, mouse