DNA methylation is known to play an important role in regulating gene expression during biological development and tissue differentiation in eukaryotes. In this study, we used the fluorescence-labeled methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (F-MSAP) method to assess the extent and pattern of cytosine methylation in muscle, heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney and stomach from the swine strain Laiwu, and we also examined specific methylation patterns in the seven tissues. In total, 96,371 fragments, each representing a recognition site cleaved by either or both EcoRI + HpaII and EcoRI + MspI, the HpaII and MspI are isoschizomeric enzymes, were amplified using 16 pairs of selective primers. A total of 50,094 sites were found to be methylated at cytosines in seven tissues. The incidence of DNA methylation was approximately 53.99% in muscle, 51.24% in the heart, 50.18% in the liver, 53.31% in the spleen, 51.97% in the lung, 51.15% in the kidney and 53.39% in the stomach, as revealed by the incidence of differential digestion. Additionally, differences in DNA methylation levels imply that such variations may be related to specific gene expression during tissue differentiation, growth and development. Three types of bands were generated in the F-MSAP profile, the total numbers of these three types of bands in the seven tissues were 46,277, 24,801 and 25,293, respectively.
In addition, different methylation patterns were observed in seven tissues from pig, and almost all of the methylation patterns detected by F-MSAP could be confirmed by Southern analysis using the isolated amplified fragments as probes. The results clearly demonstrated that the F-MSAP technique can be adapted for use in large-scale DNA methylation detection in the pig genome.
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