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Nat Genet. 2000 Jul;25(3):269-77.

DNMT1 binds HDAC2 and a new co-repressor, DMAP1, to form a complex at replication foci.

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  • 1The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Tumor Biology Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


DNA methylation can contribute to transcriptional silencing through several transcriptionally repressive complexes, which include methyl-CpG binding domain proteins (MBDs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). We show here that the chief enzyme that maintains mammalian DNA methylation, DNMT1, can also establish a repressive transcription complex. The non-catalytic amino terminus of DNMT1 binds to HDAC2 and a new protein, DMAP1 (for DNMT1 associated protein), and can mediate transcriptional repression. DMAP1 has intrinsic transcription repressive activity, and binds to the transcriptional co-repressor TSG101. DMAP1 is targeted to replication foci through interaction with the far N terminus of DNMT1 throughout S phase, whereas HDAC2 joins DNMT1 and DMAP1 only during late S phase, providing a platform for how histones may become deacetylated in heterochromatin following replication. Thus, DNMT1 not only maintains DNA methylation, but also may directly target, in a heritable manner, transcriptionally repressive chromatin to the genome during DNA replication.

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