CpG methylation in the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) promoter region is not associated with age or social rank of male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Grace McIlmoyle, Jessica Satkoski Trask, Erin Kinnaly, Jillian Ng, David Glenn Smith, Sree Kanthaswamy

Forensic Science Graduate Group, Department of Anthropology, Department of Psychology, California National Primate Center, and Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. Arizona State University, West Campus, Glendale, AZ, USA


Association between serotonin-mediated behaviors and gene expression within the SLC6A4 gene promoter region in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) has been reported. We propose that a relationship exists between the methylation within the CpG island upstream to the promoter region of the SLC6A4 gene, and male rhesus macaque age and social rank. We used a method involving sodium bisulfite treatment followed by restriction digest and qPCR amplification to quantify the amount of CpG methylation upstream to the SLC6A4 transcriptional start site. A methylation range between 0 and 10% of the CpG block upstream to the SLC6A4 gene promoter region were detected in a majority of individuals. Consistent with previous studies, the results indicate that CpG methylation is present only in very low amounts in the region upstream to the rhesus macaque SLC6A4 gene. CpG methylation is not significantly associated with male rhesus macaque age or social rank. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(4):e72, 2015

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