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Int J Med Microbiol. 2007 Feb;297(1):1-7. Epub 2006 Nov 27.

DNA adenine methylation and bacterial pathogenesis.

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Institut für Infektiologie, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Universitätsklinikum Münster, von-Esmarch-Strasse 56, D-48149 Münster, Germany.


Methylation of DNA by the DNA adenine methyltransferase (Dam) provides an epigenetic signal that influences and regulates numerous physiological processes in the bacterial cell including chromosome replication, mismatch repair, transposition, and transcription. A growing number of reports describe a role for DNA adenine methylation in regulating the expression of various bacterial genes related to virulence in diverse pathogens, suggesting that DNA methylation may be a widespread and versatile regulator of virulence gene expression. Here, we summarize the current knowledge about the influence of DNA methylation on virulence functions and discuss perspectives for future research.

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