DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase inhibitors: a therapeutic agent for schizophrenia?

I think increasing DNA demethylation by increasing activity of TET enzymes, which demethylate DNA, would be much safer. Cancers are associated with a global hypomethylation in what are called seas as opposed to CpG islands which are hypermethylated

DNA methyltransferase inhibitors coordinately induce expression of the human reelin and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 genes

Marija Kundakovic  1 Ying ChenErminio CostaDennis R Grayson Affiliations


Reelin and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) mRNAs and protein levels are substantially reduced in postmortem brains of patients with schizophrenia. Increasing evidence suggests that the observed down-regulation of reelin and GAD67 gene expression may be caused by dysfunction of the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms operative in cortical GABAergic interneurons. To explore whether human reelin and GAD67 mRNAs are coordinately regulated through DNA methylation-dependent mechanisms, we studied the effects of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors on reelin and GAD67 expression in NT-2 neuronal precursor cells. Competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction with internal standards was used to quantitate mRNA levels. The data showed that reelin and GAD67 mRNAs are induced in the same dose- and time-dependent manners. We further demonstrated that the activation of these two genes correlated with a reduction in DNA methyl-transferase activity and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) protein levels. Time course Western blot analysis showed that DNMT1 protein down-regulation occurs temporally before the reelin and GAD67 mRNA increase. In addition, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that the activation of the reelin gene correlates with the dissociation of DNMT1 and methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) from the promoter, and an increased acetylation of histones H3 in the region. Together, our data strongly imply that human reelin and GAD67 genes are coordinately regulated through epigenetic mechanisms that include the action of DNMT1. Our study also suggests that negative regulation of the reelin gene involves methylation-dependent recruitment of DNMT1, MeCP2, and certain histone deacetylases, which most likely reduce the activity of the promoter by shifting the surrounding chromatin into a more compact state.

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