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The constant variation: DNA methylation changes during preimplantation development.

Febs Letters

Restriction Mapping, Models, Biological, Mice, genetics, Genome, Environment, Embryonic Development, DNA Methylation, Blastocyst, Animals

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      Studies on the DNA methylation changes in the mouse preimplantation embryo suggested a simple and attractive model explaining the process believed to be general in mammals. However, recent reports revealed marked differences between different species that abrogates the universal validity of the model. In order to find an explanation to the differences, we have analyzed the published mouse data and compared them to the observations available in other species. The emerging common theme is the high variability of the methylation at all scales of observation and all levels of organization. This variability is the likely consequence of a dynamic and active redistribution process of the cytosine methylation in the genome.

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