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Brief Funct Genomics. 2013 May;12(3):191-204. doi: 10.1093/bfgp/elt010. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

TET proteins: on the frenetic hunt for new cytosine modifications.

Abstract

Epigenetic genome marking and chromatin regulation are central to establishing tissue-specific gene expression programs, and hence to several biological processes. Until recently, the only known epigenetic mark on DNA in mammals was 5-methylcytosine, established and propagated by DNA methyltransferases and generally associated with gene repression. All of a sudden, a host of new actors-novel cytosine modifications and the ten eleven translocation (TET) enzymes-has appeared on the scene, sparking great interest. The challenge is now to uncover the roles they play and how they relate to DNA demethylation. Knowledge is accumulating at a frantic pace, linking these new players to essential biological processes (e.g. cell pluripotency and development) and also to cancerogenesis. Here, we review the recent progress in this exciting field, highlighting the TET enzymes as epigenetic DNA modifiers, their physiological roles, and their functions in health and disease. We also discuss the need to find relevant TET interactants and the newly discovered TET-O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT) pathway.

KEYWORDS:

DNA methylation; OGT; TET proteins; epigenetics; hydroxymethylation

PMID:
23625996
PMCID:
PMC3662890
DOI:
10.1093/bfgp/elt010
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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