Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2004 Oct;61(19-20):2571-87.

Biochemistry and biology of mammalian DNA methyltransferases.

Author information

1
Institut f├╝r Biochemie, FB 8, Justus-Liebig-Universit├Ąt, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 58, 35392, Giessen, Germany.

Abstract

DNA methylation is a stable but not irreversible epigenetic signal that silences gene expression. It has a variety of important functions in mammals, including control of gene expression, cellular differentiation and development, preservation of chromosomal integrity, parental imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. In addition, it has been implicated in brain function and the development of the immune system. Somatic alterations in genomic methylation patterns contribute to the etiology of human cancers and ageing. It is tightly interwoven with the modification of histone tails and other epigenetic signals. Here we review our current understanding of the molecular enzymology of the mammalian DNA methyltransferases Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b and Dnmt2 and the roles of the enzymes in the above-mentioned biological processes.

PMID:
15526163
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-004-4201-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center