Mutat Res 2012 Jan 20;729(1-2):100-5. Epub 2011 Oct 20.
Unidad de Investigación Biomédica en Cáncer, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología-Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México, D.F., Mexico.
Satellite sequences are an important part of the pericentromeric regions in mammalian genomes; they play a relevant role in chromosome stability and DNA hypomethylation of these sequences has been reported in ICF syndrome and in some cancers that are closely associated with chromosomal abnormalities. Epigenetic modifications of satellite sequences and their consequences have not been extensively studied in human cells. In the present work, we evaluated satellite 2 methylation patterns in human lymphocytes exposed to 5-azacytidine (5-azaC) and assessed the relationship between these patterns and chromosome missegregation. Human lymphocytes were exposed to 10μM 5-azaC for 24, 48, and 72h. Segregation errors were evaluated in binucleate cells using FISH against pericentromeric regions of chromosomes 1, 9, and 16. DNA methylation patterns were evaluated by immunodetection, and by bisulfite plus urea conversion and sequencing. We have identified that 5-azaC induced missegregation of chromosomes 1 and 16, which have highly methylated satellite 2, after 72h of exposure. Chromosome methylation patterns showed a notable decrease in pericentromeric methylation. Bisulfite conversion and sequencing analysis demonstrated demethylation of satellite 2 associated to 5-azaC exposure, principally after 72h of treatment. This change occurred in a non-specific pattern. Our study demonstrates an association between loss of satellite 2 DNA methylation and chromosome loss in human lymphocytes.