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Regulation of DNA methylation on key parasitism genes of Cysticercus cellulosae revealed by integrative epigenomic-transcriptomic analyses

By Shumin Sun, Xiaolei Liu, Guanyu Ji, Xuelin Wang, Junwen Wang, Xue Bai, Jing Xu, Jianda Pang, Yining Song, Xinrui Wang, Fei Gao, Mingyuan Liu

Posted 21 Jun 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/353417

Background: The life cycle of Taenia solium is characterized by different stages of development, requiring various kinds of hosts that can appropriately harbor the eggs (proglottids), the oncospheres, the larvae and the adults. Similar to other metazoan pathogens, T. solium undergoes transcriptional and developmental regulation via epigenetics during its complex lifecycle and host interactions. Result: In the present study, we integrated whole-genome bisulfite sequencing and RNA-seq technologies to characterize the genome-wide DNA methylation and its effect on transcription of Cysticercus cellulosae of T. solium. We confirm that the T. solium genome in the cysticercus stage is epigenetically modified by DNA methylation in a pattern similar to that of other invertebrate genomes, i.e., sparsely or moderately methylated. We also observed an enrichment of non-CpG methylation in defined genetic elements of the T. solium genome. Furthermore, an integrative analysis of both the transcriptome and the DNA methylome indicated a strong correlation between these two datasets, suggesting that gene expression are tightly regulated by DNA methylation. Importantly, our data suggested that DNA methylation might play an important role in repressing key parasitism-related genes, including genes encoding excretion-secretion proteins, thereby raising the possibility of targeting DNA methylation processes as a useful strategy in therapeutics of cysticercosis. Conclusion: Our study will provide a foundation for future studies to explore this key epigenetic modification in development of Cysticercus cellulosae and in human cysticercus disease.

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