Cell Research, 24 June, 2020, DOI：https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-020-0359-9
Kinetics and mechanisms of mitotic inheritance of DNA methylation and their roles in aging-associated methylome deterioration
Xuan Ming, Zhuqiang Zhang, Zhuoning Zou, Cong Lv, Qiang Dong, Qixiang He, Yangyang Yi, Yingfeng Li, Hailin Wang & Bing Zhu
Mitotic inheritance of the DNA methylome is a challenging task for the maintenance of cell identity. Whether DNA methylation pattern in different genomic contexts can all be faithfully maintained is an open question. A replication-coupled DNA methylation maintenance model was proposed decades ago, but some observations suggest that a replication-uncoupled maintenance mechanism exists. However, the capacity and the underlying molecular events of replication-uncoupled maintenance are unclear. By measuring maintenance kinetics at the single-molecule level and assessing mutant cells with perturbation of various mechanisms, we found that the kinetics of replication-coupled maintenance are governed by the UHRF1–Ligase 1 and PCNA–DNMT1 interactions, whereas nucleosome occupancy and the interaction between UHRF1 and methylated H3K9 specifically regulate replication-uncoupled maintenance. Surprisingly, replication-uncoupled maintenance is sufficiently robust to largely restore the methylome when replication-coupled maintenance is severely impaired. However, solo-WCGW sites and other CpG sites displaying aging- and cancer-associated hypomethylation exhibit low maintenance efficiency, suggesting that although quite robust, mitotic inheritance of methylation is imperfect and that this imperfection may contribute to selective hypomethylation during aging and tumorigenesis.