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J Biol Chem. 2011 May 27;286(21):18347-53. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R110.205286. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

DNA methylation and demethylation in mammals.

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  • 1Division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California 91010, USA.

Abstract

Cell type-specific DNA methylation patterns are established during mammalian development and maintained in adult somatic cells. Understanding how these patterns of 5-methylcytosine are established and maintained requires the elucidation of mechanisms for both DNA methylation and demethylation. The enzymes involved in the de novo methylation of DNA and the maintenance of the resulting methylation patterns have been fairly well characterized. However, important remaining challenges are to understand how DNA methylation systems function in vivo and in the context of chromatin. In addition, the enzymes and mechanisms for demethylation remain to be elucidated. There is still no consensus as to how active enzymatic demethylation is achieved in mammalian cells, but recent studies implicate base excision repair for genome-wide DNA demethylation in germ cells and early embryos.

PMID:
21454628
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3099650
Free PMC Article

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