One of the longest-known and most studied epigenetic markers is DNA methylation, which can regulate gene expression and genomic organization in nearly all organisms. In eukaryotes, the primary modification of DNA is found in cytosines (C), where DNA Methyltransferases mediate the transfer of a methyl group to cytosines, converting them to 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), minor modifications with broad implications for the activity of the DNA.
DNA methylation appears almost exclusively in the context of CpG dinucleotides, which are actually relatively rare in the mammalian genome and are mainly clustered in what are called CpG islands of 500-2,000 base pairs in length, most often found in gene promoter regions. The cyclical nature of methylation and demethylation of these regions are still of intense interest, both genome-wide and more recently at the single cell level. Here we take a look at some particularly interesting publications on both the epigenetic mechanisms and new methods being applied to this exciting field.
Table of Contents:
DNA Methylation – the Aging Connection
DNA Methylation in Disease
Gene Regulation & DNA Methylation
Outside Influences on DNA Methylation
New Methods, New Modifications!
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