Research Article

Methylation status and chromatin structure of the myostatin gene promoter region in the sea perch Lateolabrax japonicus (Perciformes)

Published: December 08, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (4) : 3306-3315 DOI: 10.4238/2011.December.8.7

Abstract

Myostatin is a negative regulator of the growth and development of skeletal muscle mass. In fish, myostatin is expressed in several organs in addition to skeletal muscle. To understand the mechanisms regulating myostatin gene expression in the sea perch, Lateolabrax japonicus, we examined the methylation status of the myostatin gene promoter region in several tissues (liver, eye, kidney, brain, and heart) isolated from adult specimens. The frequency of methylated cytosines was very low in all tissues, regardless of the level of myostatin expression, suggesting that DNA methylation is not involved in the tissue-specific regulation of myostatin expression. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA obtained from micrococcal nuclease-treated nuclei showed that chromatin digestion occurs in tissues where the myostatin gene is actively transcribed and that the myostatin gene is protected from micrococcal nuclease in tissues where myostatin is not expressed. The chromatin structure in the myostatin gene region appears to regulate its expression without DNA methylation.

Myostatin is a negative regulator of the growth and development of skeletal muscle mass. In fish, myostatin is expressed in several organs in addition to skeletal muscle. To understand the mechanisms regulating myostatin gene expression in the sea perch, Lateolabrax japonicus, we examined the methylation status of the myostatin gene promoter region in several tissues (liver, eye, kidney, brain, and heart) isolated from adult specimens. The frequency of methylated cytosines was very low in all tissues, regardless of the level of myostatin expression, suggesting that DNA methylation is not involved in the tissue-specific regulation of myostatin expression. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA obtained from micrococcal nuclease-treated nuclei showed that chromatin digestion occurs in tissues where the myostatin gene is actively transcribed and that the myostatin gene is protected from micrococcal nuclease in tissues where myostatin is not expressed. The chromatin structure in the myostatin gene region appears to regulate its expression without DNA methylation.