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Dynamic alterations in methylation of global DNA and growth-related genes in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) in response to starvation stress

Zhang, Yu, Shen, Weiliang, Cao, Mingyue, Li, Juan, Zheng, Baoxiao, Lou, Zhengjia, Qian, Baoying, Xue, Liangyi
Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.227 pp. 98-105
DNA, DNA methylation, Larimichthys crocea, bisulfites, environmental factors, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, exons, gene expression, genomic islands, growth and development, liver, messenger RNA, metabolism, muscles, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, refeeding, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, salinity, sequence analysis, starvation, temperature
DNA methylation is susceptible to various environmental factors such as salinity, temperature and nutritional conditions, and can affect gene function, organ metabolism, body growth and development. In order to explore the effect of starvation on growth-related genes in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea), we studied methylation of the global DNA and growth-related genes (MSTN1,MSTN2,IGF1,IGF2) and the corresponding mRNA expressions, using ELISA-based technique, bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP) technique and quantitative Real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) respectively. The results showed that the global DNA methylation levels were significantly different (p <0.05) between the experimental group and the control group at starvation 14d, 21d in muscle and at starvation 7d, 14d, 28d, and re-feeding 7d in liver. The CpG islands of MSTN1, MSTN2, IGF1 and IGF2 were enriched in exons rather than promoters. The proximal promoter of MSTN1 and IGF1 and the exon1 of MSTN2 had almost no methylation at all treatment stages. The methylation status in MSTN1 exon 1 and IGF2 exon 2 varied from different starvation time, and started to have significant differences on starvation 7d (p <0.05) both in liver and muscle. In the liver there was a strong positive correlation between IGF2 exon 2 methylation and global DNA methylation (r = 0.7558). The mRNA expression levels of these growth-related genes were significantly different at starvation 14d (p <0.05), but did not have significant correlation with the methylation of these exons. The results implied that exon methylation of these growth-related genes might affect post-transcriptional process.