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© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Although aberrant DNA methylation within imprinted domains has been reported in a variety of neoplastic diseases, it remains largely uncharacterized in the context of carcinogenesis. In this study, we induced T-cell lymphoma in mice by employing a breeding scheme involving mouse strains, LSL-KrasG12D and MMTV-Cre. We then systematically surveyed imprinted domains for DNA methylation changes during tumor progression using combined bisulfite restriction analysis and NGS-based bisulfite sequencing. We detected hyper- or hypo-methylation at the imprinting control regions (ICRs) of the Dlk1, Peg10, Peg3, Grb10, and Gnas domains. These DNA methylation changes at ICRs were more prevalent and consistent than those observed at the promoter regions of well-known tumor suppressors, such as Mgmt, Fhit, and Mlh1. Thus, the changes observed at these imprinted domains are the outcome of isolated incidents affecting DNA methylation settings. Within imprinted domains, DNA methylation changes tend to be restricted to ICRs as nearby somatic differentially methylated regions and promoter regions experience no change. Furthermore, detailed analyses revealed that small cis-regulatory elements within ICRs tend to be resistant to DNA methylation changes, suggesting potential protection by unknown trans-factors. Overall, this study demonstrates that DNA methylation changes at ICRs are dynamic during carcinogenesis and advocates that detection of aberrant DNA methylation at ICRs may serve as a biomarker to enhance diagnostic procedures.

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