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Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Istituto di Ricerca in Biomedicina

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New study by the Monticelli’s lab on epigenetic modifications in human T cells

on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

This study, performed primarily by Lucia Vincenzetti, was recently published in the European Journal of Immunology.

Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation are crucial to the appropriate regulation of gene expression in T lymphocytes, ultimately influencing all aspects of T cell biology. This study determined the dynamics of modifications of cytosines in the genomic DNA (5mC and 5hmC), and addressed whether DNA demethylation processes linked to T cell activation occur primarily through active or passive processes.

The authors found that activation of primary human naïve and memory T lymphocytes led to a global reduction of genomic 5mC and 5hmC, which was crucial for the proper acquisition of T cell effector functions. However, while all T cells relied primarily on proliferation-dependent processes to dilute DNA modifications, naïve T cells appeared to also take advantage of an active component of 5hmC removal.

Activation of primary human naïve and memory T lymphocytes leads to a global reduction of genomic 5mC and 5hmC. While all T cells rely primarily on proliferation-dependent processes to dilute DNA modifications, naïve T cells appear to also take advantage of an active component of 5hmC removal, at least in a window time following activation and preceding the initiation of proliferation. TN: Naïve T lymphocytes; TMEM: memory T lymphocytes

Article

The contribution of active and passive mechanisms of 5mC and 5hmC removal in human T lymphocytes is differentiation- and activation-dependent

by L. Vincenzetti, C. Leoni, M. Chirichella, I. Kwee, S. Monticelli

in Eur J Immunol (2019), DOI: 10.1002/eji.201847967