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PLoS Genet. 2008 Mar 7;4(3):e1000013. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000013.

GADD45A does not promote DNA demethylation.

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Division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California, United States of America.


Although DNA methylation patterns in somatic cells are thought to be relatively stable, they undergo dramatic changes during embryonic development, gametogenesis, and during malignant transformation. The enzymology of DNA methyltransferases is well understood, but the mechanism that removes methylated cytosines from DNA (active DNA demethylation) has remained enigmatic. Recently, a role of the growth arrest and DNA damage inducible protein GADD45A in DNA demethylation has been reported [1]. We have investigated the function of GADD45A in DNA demethylation in more detail using gene reactivation and DNA methylation assays. Contrary to the previous report, we were unable to substantiate a functional role of GADD45A in DNA demethylation. The mechanism of active DNA demethylation in mammalian cells remains unknown.

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