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Gene-specific transcriptional activation using DNA
(cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 1

(DNMT1)-RNA interactions

Suppression of DNMT1-mediated gene methylation using gene-specific RNAs could provide a mechanism for activating gene expression. A DNMT1-binding, noncoding RNA sequence was identified at the CCAAT enhancer binding protein-a (CEBPA) gene that suppressed local DNA methylation and increased CEBPA transcription. In a genomewide survey, thousands of DNMT1-RNA interactions were discovered, suggesting this could be a previously unknown, gene-specific activating mechanism. Next steps include using clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology to guide noncoding RNA-derived oligonucleotides to disease-suppressing genes to increase their activation.

SciBX 6(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1241
Published online Nov. 7, 2013

Patent applications filed; available for licensing

Di Ruscio, A. et al. Nature; published online Oct. 9, 2013;
Contact: Daniel G. Tenen, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
Boston, Mass.