N6-methyladenine is an epigenetic marker of mammalian early life stress

Stacey L. Kigar, Liza Chang, Candace R. Guerrero, Jacqueline R. Sehring, Amelia Cuarenta, Laurie L. Parker, Vaishali P. Bakshi, Anthony P. Auger

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23 Scopus citations


Recent evidence described 6-methyladenine (6 mA) as a novel epigenetic regulator in a variety of multicellular species, including rodents; however, its capacity to influence gene expression in the mammalian brain remains unknown. We examined if 6 mA is present and regulated by early life stress associated with predator odor exposure (POE) within the developing rat amygdala. Our results provide evidence that 6 mA is present in the mammalian brain, is altered within the Htr2a gene promoter by early life stress and biological sex, and increased 6 mA is associated with gene repression. These data suggest that methylation of adenosine within mammalian DNA may be used as an additional epigenetic biomarker for investigating the development of stress-induced neuropathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18078
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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© 2017 The Author(s).


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