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EMBO J. 2001 Aug 1;20(15):4309-23.

dim-2 encodes a DNA methyltransferase responsible for all known cytosine methylation in Neurospora.

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Department of Biology and Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, OR 97403-1229, USA.


To understand better the control of DNA methylation, we cloned and characterized the dim-2 gene of Neurospora crassa, the only eukaryotic gene currently known in which mutations appear to eliminate DNA methylation. The dim-2 gene is responsible for methylation in both symmetrical and asymmetrical sites. We mapped dim-2 between wc-1 and un-10 on linkage group (LG) VIIR and identified the gene by RFLP mapping and genetic complementation. Dim-2 encodes a 1454 amino acid protein including a C-terminal domain homologous to known DNA methyltransferases (MTases) and a novel N-terminal domain. Neither a deletion that removed the first 186 amino acids of the protein nor a mutation in a putative nucleotide binding site abolished function, but a single amino acid substitution in the predicted catalytic site did. Tests for repeat-induced point mutation (RIP) indicated that dim-2 does not play a role in this process, i.e. duplicated sequences are mutated in dim-2 strains, as usual, but the mutated sequences are not methylated, unlike the situation in dim-2+ strains. We conclude that dim-2 encodes an MTase that is responsible for all DNA methylation in vegetative tissues of NEUROSPORA.

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