Little is known about the dynamics of the DNA methylation landscape over the trajectory of mammalian embryogenesis. Mouse has been used as a model system to study various human diseases and human biology. In this ongoing project, our lab is focused on understanding methylation profiles across 70 samples that include six early developmental time points and 12 tissues (including three brain regions, liver, heart etc.) in mouse. We plan to perform integrative analysis of the various datasets and make sense of the regulatory aspects of gene expression. The time points selected for the collection of tissue is such that they reflect the corresponding stages in human development where serious birth defects are manifest. Our study will provide the first whole genome base-resolution maps of temporal DNA methylation across a comprehensive set of mouse tissues during embryogenesis. These deep data sets will greatly extend our view of the dynamic epigenome occurring during early development which may provides new insight into the regulatory elements that guiding tissue differentiation during fetal development.
Prof. Ecker presents ENCODE PIs vision for the ENCODE project here: