Tissue-specific DNA demethylation is required for proper B-cell differentiation and function


  • S. Orlanski
  • V. Labi
  • Y. Reizel
  • A. Spiro
  • M. Lichtenstein
  • R. Levin-Klein
  • S.B. Koralov
  • Y. Skversky
  • K. Rajewsky
  • H. Cedar
  • Y. Bergman


  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113 (18): 5018-5023


  • There is ample evidence that somatic cell differentiation during development is accompanied by extensive DNA demethylation of specific sites that vary between cell types. Although the mechanism of this process has not yet been elucidated, it is likely to involve the conversion of 5mC to 5hmC by Tet enzymes. We show that a Tet2/Tet3 conditional knockout at early stages of B-cell development largely prevents lineage-specific programmed demethylation events. This lack of demethylation affects the expression of nearby B-cell lineage genes by impairing enhancer activity, thus causing defects in B-cell differentiation and function. Thus, tissue-specific DNA demethylation appears to be necessary for proper somatic cell development in vivo.