Constancy of Adenine Methylation in Tetrahymena Macronuclear DNA

Document Type




Format of Original

6 p.

Publication Date



International Society of Protistologists

Source Publication

The Journal of Protozoology

Source ISSN



Macronuclear DNA from Tetrahymena was examined in order to determine whether the pattern of adenine methylation changed with the transcriptional activity of nearby genes. The DNA from growing, starved and conjugating cells was digested with six restriction enzymes which are sensitive to methylation of adenine within their recognition site. Southern blots of the restricted DNAs were probed with seven cDNA clones and one genomic clone which are homologous to polyA+RNAs, whose transcriptional activity varies with the physiological state of the cell. One of the cDNA clones, BC11, had not been described previously. It hybridized to a 1.3kb transcript which was present in populations of starved and conjugating, but not in growing cells. On Southern blots of genomic DNA it hybridized to a complex pattern of bands which was highly polymorphic between the DNAs of closely related strains.

It was estimated that between 137 and 272 sites were assayed for changes in methylation, including at least 27 sites which were known to be methylated. No differences were seen in the size of restriction fragments from cells in different physiological states. The data suggested that the methylation pattern, which is determined during macronuclear development, does not vary with the physiological state of the cell.


The Journal of Protozoology, Vol. 37, No. 5 (September 1990): 409-414. DOI.