Demethylation of satellite I DNA during senescence of bovine adrenocortical cells in culture

Peter J. Hornsby, Lianqing Yang, L. Emory Gunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Over the finite proliferative life span of cultured bovine adrenocortical cells, satellite I DNA shows a progressive and extensive loss of methylation at CCGG sites. This was shown by Southern blotting after digestion with the methylation-sensitive enzyme HpaII alone, which provides a sensitive indicator of methylation loss, or digestion with the combination of EcoRI and HpaII, which provides a quantitative indication of loss of methylation. Bovine tissues, including adrenal cortex, all showed a much higher level of satellite methylation than cultured adrenocortical cells. After adrenocortical cells are placed in culture, some demethylation of satellite I is seen as early as 10 population doublings. By 80 population doublings, loss of satellite DNA methylation is extensive. The loss does not appear to prevent continued cell division, since an extended life span clone of bovine adrenocortical cells transfected with SV40 T antigen showed a similar pattern of extensive demethylation. Satellite demethylation has been reported in aging in vivo and the present cell culture system may provide an in vitro model for this form of genetic instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research DNAging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenocortical cells
  • Cattle
  • Methylation
  • Satellite DNA
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology


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