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Trends Biochem Sci. 2013 Apr;38(4):177-83. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2012.12.005. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

A common mode of recognition for methylated CpG.

Author information

1
Departments of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Abstract

Much is known about vertebrate DNA methylation, however it is not known how methylated CpG within particular sequences is recognized. Two recent structures of C2H2 zinc finger (ZnF) proteins in complex with methylated DNA reveal a common recognition mode for 5-methylcytosine (5mC) that involves a 5mC-Arg-G triad. In the two ZnF proteins, an arginine that precedes the first Zn-binding histidine (RH motif) can interact with a 5mCpG or TpG dinucleotide. Among a family of >300 human Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) domain containing ZnF proteins examined, two-thirds contained at least one ZnF that included an RH motif. We propose that the RH-ZnF motifs provide specificity for 5mCpG, whereas the neighboring Zn fingers recognize the surrounding DNA sequence context.

PMID:
23352388
PMCID:
PMC3608759
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibs.2012.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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