Aberrant promoter methylation and associated chromatin changes are primarily studied in human malignancies. Thus far, mouse models for human cancer have been rarely utilized to study the role of DNA methylation in tumor onset and progression. It would be advantageous to use mouse tumor models to a greater extent to study the role and mechanism of DNA methylation in cancer because mouse models allow manipulation of the genome, study of samples/populations with a homogeneous genetic background, the possibility of modulating gene expression in vivo, the statistical power of using large numbers of tumor samples, access to various tumor stages, and the possibility of preclinical trials. Therefore, it is likely that the mouse will emerge as an increasingly utilized model to study DNA methylation in cancer. To foster the use of mouse models, we developed an arrayed mouse NotI-EcoRV genomic library, with clones from three commonly used mouse strains (129SvIMJ, FVB/NJ, and C57BL/6J). A total of 23,040 clones representing an estimated three- to fourfold coverage of the mouse genome were arrayed in 60 × 384-well plates. We developed restriction landmark genomic scanning (RLGS) mixing gels with 32 plates to enable the cloning of methylated sequences from RLGS profiles run with NotI-EcoRV-HinfI. RLGS was used to study aberrant methylation in two mouse models that overexpressed IL-15 or c-Myc and developed either T/NK-cell leukemia or T-cell lymphomas, respectively. Careful analysis of 198 sequences showed that 188 (94.9%) identified CpG-island sequences, 132 sequences (66.7%) had homology to the 5′ regions of known genes or mRNAs, and all 132 NotI-EcoRV clones were located at the same CpG islands with the predicted promoter sequences. We have also developed a modified pGL3-based luciferase vector that now contains the NotI, AscI, and EcoRV restriction sites and allows the rapid cloning of NotI-EcoRV library fragments in both orientations. Luciferase assays using NotI-EcoRV clones confirmed that the library is enriched for promoter sequences. Thus, this library will support future genetic and epigenetic studies in mouse models.
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