This review provides an overview of the unique features of DNA methylation in the human placenta. We discuss the importance of understanding placental development, structure, and function in the interpretation of DNA methylation data. Examples are given of how DNA methylation is important in regulating placental-specific gene expression, including monoallelic expression and X-chromosome inactivation in the placenta. We also discuss studies of global DNA methylation changes in the context of placental pathology and environmental exposures.
Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.