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First analysis of tumor-suppressor interactions with whole genome in normal human cells
Date:11/30/2011

gh-resolution genome-wide p53-binding map for normal human cells, and to correlate those findings with the "epigenetic landscape" of the genome.

"We analyzed the p53 binding in the context of the human epigenome, by correlating the p53 binding profile we obtained in normal human cells with a published high-resolution map of DNA methylation a type of chemical modification that is one of the most important epigenetic modifications to DNA that had been generated for the same cells," Botcheva said.

Key findings

In the normal human cells, the scientists found p53 binding sites located in close proximity to genes and particularly at the sites in the genome, known as transcriptions start sites, which represent "start" signals for transcribing the genes. Though this association of binding sites with genes and transcription start sites was previously observed in studies of functional, individually analyzed binding sites, it was not seen in high-throughput whole-genome studies of cancer-derived cell lines. In those earlier studies, the identified p53 binding sites were found not close to genes, and not close to the sites in the human genome where transcription starts.

Additionally, nearly half of the newly identified p53 binding sites in the normal cells (in contrast to about five percent of the sites reported in cancer cells) reside in so-called CpG islands. These are short DNA sequences with unusually high numbers of cytosine and guanine bases (the C and G of the four-letter genetic code alphabet, consisting of A, T, C, and G). CpG islands tend to be hypo- (or under-) methylated relative to the heavily methylated mammalian genome.

"This association of binding sites with CpG islands in the normal cells is what prompted us to investigate a possible genome-wide correlation between the identified sites and the CpG methylation status," Botcheva said.

The scientists found that p53 binding sites were enriched at hypo
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Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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