Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

DNA methylation is implicated in neuronal biology via the protein MeCP2, the mutation of which causes Rett syndrome. MeCP2 recruits the NCOR1/2 co-repressor complexes to methylated cytosine in the CG dinucleotide, but also to sites of non-CG methylation, which are abundant in neurons. To test the biological significance of the dual-binding specificity of MeCP2, we replaced its DNA binding domain with an orthologous domain from MBD2, which can only bind mCG motifs. Knockin mice expressing the domain-swap protein displayed severe Rett-syndrome-like phenotypes, indicating that normal brain function requires the interaction of MeCP2 with sites of non-CG methylation, specifically mCAC. The results support the notion that the delayed onset of Rett syndrome is due to the simultaneous post-natal accumulation of mCAC and its reader MeCP2. Intriguingly, genes dysregulated in both Mecp2 null and domain-swap mice are implicated in other neurological disorders, potentially highlighting targets of relevance to the Rett syndrome phenotype.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.molcel.2021.01.011

Type

Journal article

Journal

Mol Cell

Publication Date

29/01/2021

Keywords

DNA methylation, MeCP2, Rett syndrome, epigenetic reader, mouse, neuronal maintenance, transcriptional regulation