We would like to present the abstract of our keynote speaker Skirmantas Kriaučionis, who is an Associate Professor in University of Oxford, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
Roles of DNA modifications in Epigenetic Regulation of Transcription
In complex eukaryotic genomes epigenetic mechanisms provide an extra layer capable of regulating transcription. DNA modifications are one of the key components of epigenetic machinery in vertebrates. Two most abundant DNA modification are 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). In humans, defects in enzymes responsible of generating these modifications have been linked to cancer and ICF syndrome. The current view places 5mC as a silencing mark and 5hmC as an intermediate in the removal of 5mC in cycling cells. However, in some post-mitotic cell types, such as terminally differentiated neurons, 5hmC accumulates, suggesting roles outside de-methylation intermediate. Our data demonstrates that 5hmC is capable of affecting transcription of nearly 200 genes in two cell lines by counteracting repressive activity of 5mC.