My research project studies the ten eleven translocation (Tet) enzymes which are epigenetic modifiers catalysing the oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC).
Tets have been shown to play a role in the maintenance of pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) are developmentally related to ESCs but committed to the extraembryonic trophoblast lineage instead of the embryonic lineage; therefore, our hypothesis is that Tet enzymes and 5hmC play a role in safeguarding the developmental plasticity of TSCs, as well.
Moreover, Tet enzymes require oxygen in order to carry out their catalytic activity, meaning that possibly oxygen tension has an effect on Tet/5hmC levels in TSCs.
(1) Roper, S. J., S. Chrysanthou, C. E. Senner, A. Sienerth, S. Gnan, A. Murray, M. Masutani, P. Latos and M. Hemberger (2014). "ADP-ribosyltransferases Parp1 and Parp7 safeguard pluripotency of ES cells." Nucleic Acids Res 42(14): 8914-8927.
(2) Hadjipanagi, D., S. Chrysanthou, K. Voskarides and C. Deltas (2014). "Genetic polymorphisms in warfarin and tacrolimus-related genes VKORC1, CYP2C9 and CYP3A5 in the Greek-Cypriot population." BMC Res Notes 7: 123