DNA Methylation

DNA methylation is a biochemical process that is important for normal development in higher organisms. It involves the addition of a methyl group to the 5 position of the cytosine pyrimidine ring or the number 6 nitrogen of the adenine purine ring (cytosine and adenine are two of the four bases of DNA). This modification can be inherited through cell division.

DNA methylation is a crucial part of normal organismal development and cellular differentiation in higher organisms. DNA methylation stably alters the gene expression pattern in cells such that cells can "remember where they have been" or decrease gene expression; for example, cells programmed to be pancreatic islets during embryonic development remain pancreatic islets throughout the life of the organism without continuing signals telling them that they need to remain islets. DNA methylation is typically removed during zygote formation and re-established through successive cell divisions during development. However, the latest research shows that hydroxylation of methyl groups occurs rather than complete removal of methyl groups in zygote. Some methylation modifications that regulate gene expression are inheritable and cause genomic imprinting.

In addition, DNA methylation suppresses the expression of viral genes and other deleterious elements that have been incorporated into the genome of the host over time. DNA methylation also forms the basis of chromatin structure, which enables cells to form the myriad characteristics necessary for multicellular life from a single immutable sequence of DNA. DNA methylation also plays a crucial role in the development of nearly all types of cancer.

DNA methylation at the 5 position of cytosine has the specific effect of reducing gene expression and has been found in every vertebrate examined. In adult somatic tissues, DNA methylation typically occurs in a CpG dinucleotide context; non-CpG methylation is prevalent in embryonic stem cells.

Read more about DNA MethylationIn Mammals, DNA Methyltransferases, In Plants, In Fungi, In Bacteria, Detection, Computational Prediction

Other articles related to "dna methylation, methylation, dna":

Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation - Downstream Bioinformatics Analysis
... The DNA methylation level estimations can be confounded by varying densities of methylated CpG sites across the genome when observing data generated by MeDIP ... developed a tool to estimate absolute methylation levels from data generated by MeDIP by modeling the density of methylated CpG sites ... This tool is called Bayesian tool for methylation analysis (Batman) ...
DNA Methylation - Computational Prediction
... DNA methylation can also be detected by computational models through sophisticated algorithms and methods ... models can facilitate the global profiling of DNA methylation across chromosomes, and often times such models are faster and cheaper to perform than biological assays ... Together with biological assay, these methods greatly facilitate the DNA methylation analysis ...
Epigenetics - Epigenetic Effects in Humans - Cancer and Developmental Abnormalities - DNA Methylation in Cancer
... DNA methylation is an important regulator of gene transcription and a large body of evidence has demonstrated that aberrant DNA methylation is associated with ... DNA methylation is essential during embryonic development, and in somatic cells, patterns of DNA methylation are in general transmitted to daughter ... Aberrant DNA methylation patterns have been associated with a large number of human malignancies and found in two distinct forms hypermethylation ...
Computational Epigenetics - Epigenetics Databases
... MethDB Contains information on 19,905 DNA methylation content data and 5,382 methylation patterns for 48 species, 1,511 individuals, 198 tissues and cell lines and 79 phenotypes ... REBASE Contains over 22,000 DNA methyltransferases genes derived from GenBank ... MeInfoText Contains gene methylation information across 205 human cancer types ...
... Gene EC number Gene Ontology Molecular function • DNA binding • chromatin binding • DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase activity • protein binding • unmethylated CpG binding • metal ion ... CpG methylation is an epigenetic modification that is important for embryonic development, imprinting, and X-chromosome inactivation ... Studies in mice have demonstrated that DNA methylation is required for mammalian development ...

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