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Mol Biol (Mosk). 2005 Jul-Aug;39(4):557-66.

[Methylation of adenine residues in DNA of eukaryotes].

[Article in Russian]


Like in bacteria, DNA in these organisms is subjected to enzymatic modification (methylation) both at adenine and cytosine residues. There is an indirect evidence that adenine DNA methylation takes place also in animals. In plants m6A was detected in total, mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs; in plants one and the same gene (DRM2) can be methylated both at adenine and cytosine residues. ORF homologous to bacterial adenine DNA-methyltransferases are present in nuclear DNA of protozoa, yeasts, insects, nematodes, higher plants, vertebrates and other eukaryotes. Thus, adenine DNA-methyltransferases can be found in the various evolutionary distant eukaryotes. First N6-adenine DNA-methyltransferase (wadmtase) of higher eukaryotes was isolated from vacuolar fraction of vesicles obtained from aging wheat coleoptiles; in the presence of S-adenosyl-L-methionine this Mg2+ -, Ca2+ -dependent enzyme de novo methylates first adenine residue in TGATCA sequence in single- and double-stranded DNA but it prefers single-stranded DNA structures. Adenine DNA methylation in eukaryotes seems to be involved in regulation of both gene expression and DNA replication including replication of mitochondrial DNA. It can control persistence of foreign DNA in a cell and seems to be an element of R-M system in plants. Thus, in eukaryotic cell there are, at least, two different systems of the enzymatic DNA methylations (adenine and cytosine ones) and a special type of regulation of gene functioning based on the combinatory hierarchy of these interdependent genome modifications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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