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Function of DNA methyltransferases and caracterization of the DNA methylation profile in the aging process of honey bees (Apis mellifera, Apidae, Hymenoptera)

Grant number: 14/26659-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2015
Effective date (End): September 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Klaus Hartmann Hartfelder
Grantee:Carlos Antônio Mendes Cardoso Júnior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/03171-5 - Causal analysis of Apis mellifera development: regulatory genes and hierachical networks of gene expression in the specification of tissue and organs, AP.TEM


DNA methylation (DNAm), which leads to chromatin remodeling, has been identified as one of the most important epigenetic modifications regulating gene transcriptional activity in vertebrates through controlling the accessibility of gene promoters to transcription factors. In invertebrates, however, this role has not been as well defined, yet. In fact, there are only few studies that elucidate the molecular mechanisms that DNAm could control in the life cycle of invertebrates, and interestingly, most of these address questions involved in behavioral/phenot ypic plasticity of social insects, and the honey bee Apis mellifera, has gained a model organism status in this respect due to its full complement of DnMT genes. For example, workers and queens of the honey bee can develop from the same genotype depending on the nutritional regime to which the larvae are exposed. Similarly, a type of nutritional control also modulates the adult life cycle of this insect, leading to queens that live up to 20 times longer than workers. Nonetheless, there is still little information on, epigenetic mechanism (s) that could potentially underly the differential aging of these bees. Thus, the purpose of this project is to investigate the role (s) of DNAm associated with differential longevity. This will be done through relative quantification of the expression of the three genes encoding DNA methyltransferase (DnMT) enzymes and biochemical assays on their activity in adult honey bee queens and workers of different age classes. Furthermore, through pharmacologically blocking DnMT activity we will try to assess effects on longevity caused by down-regulation of DnMT activity. And finally, depending on the previous findings on DnMT expression and activity we propose to investigate differentially methylated regions in queens and workers with different ages by means of an RRSB (Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing) approach. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARDOSO-JUNIOR, CARLOS A. M.; GUIDUGLI-LAZZARINI, KARINA R.; HARTFELDER, KLAUS. DNA methylation affects the lifespan of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers - Evidence for a regulatory module that involves vitellogenin expression but is independent of juvenile hormone function. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, v. 92, p. 21-29, . (16/15881-0, 14/26659-1, 11/03171-5)

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