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Studies carried out in cultured cells have implicated modifiers of epigenetic reprogramming in the regulation of telomere length, reporting elongation in cells that were null for DNA methyltransferase DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1), both de novo DNA methyltransferases, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b or various histone methyltransferases. To investigate this further, we assayed telomere length in whole embryos or adult tissue from mice carrying mutations in four different modifiers of epigenetic reprogramming: Dnmt1, DNA methyltransferase 3-like, structural maintenance of chromosomes hinge domain containing 1, and forkhead box O3a. Terminal restriction fragment analysis was used to compare telomere length in homozygous mutants, heterozygous mutants and wild-type littermates. Contrary to expectation, we did not detect overall lengthening in the mutants, raising questions about the role of epigenetic processes in telomere length in vivo.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





377 - 385


Epigenetics Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, QLD, Australia.


Telomere, Animals, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Mice, DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase, Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase, Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone, Electrophoresis, Agar Gel, Restriction Mapping, DNA Methylation, Pregnancy, Gene Dosage, Mutation, Female, Forkhead Transcription Factors, Embryo, Mammalian, Epigenomics, Forkhead Box Protein O3