Germ cells have unique features strikingly distinguishable from somatic cells. The functional divergence between these two cell lineages has been postulated to result from epigenetic mechanisms. Here we show that the chromosomal centric and pericentric (C/P) regions in male and female germline cells are specifically DNA-hypomethylated, despite the hypermethylation status in somatic cells. In multipotent germline stem cells, the C/P region was initially hypomethylated and then shifted to the hypermethylation status during differentiation into somatic lineage in vitro. Moreover, the somatic-type hypermethylation pattern was maintained in the somatic cell-derived nuclear transfer embryos throughout preimplantation development. These results imply that the identity of germ cell lineage may be warranted by the hypomethylation status of the C/P region as an epigenetic signature. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yamagata, K., Yamazaki, T., Miki, H., Ogonuki, N., Inoue, K., Ogura, A., & Baba, T. (2007). Centromeric DNA hypomethylation as an epigenetic signature discriminates between germ and somatic cell lineages. Developmental Biology, 312(1), 419–426. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2007.09.041