Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 1995 Apr 25;23(8):1380-7.

HhaI and HpaII DNA methyltransferases bind DNA mismatches, methylate uracil and block DNA repair.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kenneth Norris Jr Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


The hydrolytic deamination of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) to thymine (T) is believed to be responsible for the high mutability of the CpG dinucleotide in DNA. We have shown a possible alternate mechanism for mutagenesis at CpG in which HpaII DNA-(cytosine-5) methyltransferase (M.HpaII) can enzymatically deaminate cytosine (C) to uracil (U) in DNA [Shen, J.-C., Rideout, W.M., III and Jones, P.A., Cell, 71, 1073-1080, (1992)]. Both the hydrolytic deamination of 5-mC and enzymatic deamination of C create premutagenic DNA mismatches (G:U and G:T) with the guanine (G) originally paired to the normal C. Surprisingly, we found that DNA-(cytosine-5) methyltransferases have higher affinities for these DNA mismatches than for their normal G:C targets and are capable of transferring a methyl group to the 5-position of U, creating T at low efficiencies. This binding by methyltransferase to mismatches at the recognition site prevented repair of G:U mismatches by uracil DNA glycosylase in vitro.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk