|Title||Epigenetic features in the oyster Crassostrea gigas suggestive of functionally relevant promoter DNA methylation in invertebrates.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Journal||Frontiers in Physiology|
|Type of Article||Research Perspective|
DNA methylation is evolutionarily conserved. Vertebrates exhibit high, widespread DNA methylation whereas invertebrate genomes are less methylated, predominantly within gene bodies. DNA methylation in invertebrates is associated with transcription level, alternative splicing and genome evolution, but functional outcomes of DNA methylation remain poorly described in lophotrochozoans. Recent genome-wide approaches improve understanding in distant taxa such as molluscs, where the phylogenetic position and life traits of Crassostrea gigas make this bivalve an ideal model to study the physiological and evolutionary implications of DNA methylation. We review the literature about DNA methylation in invertebrates and focus on DNA methylation features in the oyster. Indeed, though our MeDIP-seq results confirm predominant intragenic methylation, the profiles depend on the oyster’s developmental and reproductive stage. We discuss the perspective that oyster DNA methylation could be biased toward the 5’-end of some genes, depending on physiological status, suggesting important functional outcomes of putative promoter methylation from cell differentiation during early development to sustained adaptation of the species to the environment.