mercoledì 23 dicembre 2015

# s-gene: epigenetics: much more (m6dA)

<< Epigenetics (epi - the Greek prefix meaning ‘on top of’) is the study of how genes are switched on or off. It is thought to be one explanation for how our environment and behaviour, such as our diet or smoking habit, can affect our DNA and how these changes may even be passed down to our children and grandchildren >>

<< Methylation of cytosine deoxynucleotides generates 5-methylcytosine (m5dC), a well-established epigenetic mark. However, in higher eukaryotes much less is known about modifications affecting other deoxynucleotides. Here, we report the detection of N6-methyldeoxyadenosine (m6dA) in vertebrate DNA, specifically in Xenopus laevis but also in other species including mouse and human. Our methylome analysis reveals that m6dA is widely distributed across the eukaryotic genome and is present in different cell types but is commonly depleted from gene exons. Thus, direct DNA modifications might be more widespread than previously thought >>

Magdalena J Koziol, Charles R Bradshaw, et al. Identification of methylated deoxyadenosines in vertebrates reveals diversity in DNA modifications. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2015; DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3145

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