DNA methylation in mammals: a DNA methyltransferase can hide another

Déborah Bourc’his’ team is focused on understanding the nature and the role of the epigenetic information in gametogenesis, fertilization and early embryonic development. Her work is mostly centered on DNA methylation, how it influences gametic production and integrity, and impacts on phenotypes at following generations. Studying the epigenetic setting of germ cells allows investigation of several crucial aspects of mammalian biology such as transposon control, genomic imprinting and early lineage commitment. Studying DNA methylation in the window of conception leads also to mechanistic insights into the spatio-temporal control of genomic methylation specificity, including components of histone modification and RNA-directed pathways. Her work uses fine developmental and molecular dissection, combined with genetic tools (CRISPR) and genome-wide sequencing approaches.