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Master Transcription Factors Regulate the DNA Methylation Landscape During Hepatocyte Differentiation

By Takahiro Suzuki, Erina Furuhata, Shiori Maeda, Mami Kishima, Yurina Miyajima, Yuki Tanaka, Joanne Lim, Hajime Nishimura, Yuri Nakanish, Aiko Shojima, Harukazu Suzuki

Posted 17 Dec 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.16.423165

BackgroundHepatocytes are the dominant cell type of the human liver, with functions in metabolism, detoxification, and in producing secreted proteins. During the process of hepatocyte differentiation, gene regulation and master transcription factors have been extensively investigated, whereas little is known about how the epigenome is regulated, particularly the dynamics of DNA methylation, and the upstream factors that have critical roles. ResultsBy examining changes in the transcriptome and the methylome during in vitro hepatocyte differentiation, we identified putative DNA methylation-regulating transcription factors, which are likely involved in DNA demethylation and maintenance of hypo-methylation in a differentiation stage-specific manner. Of these factors, we further reveal that GATA6 induces DNA demethylation together with chromatin activation at a binding-site-specific manner during endoderm differentiation. ConclusionsThese results provide an insight into the spatiotemporal regulatory mechanisms exerted on the DNA methylation landscape by transcription factors, and uncover a new role for transcription factors in early liver development.

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