Author(s): Weber M, Schbeler D
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Abstract Methylation of cytosines can mediate epigenetic gene silencing and is the only known DNA modification in eukaryotes. Recent efforts to map DNA methylation across mammalian genomes revealed limited DNA methylation at regulatory regions but widespread methylation in intergenic regions and repeats. This is consistent with the idea that hypermethylation is the default epigenetic state and serves in maintaining genome integrity. DNA methylation patterns at regulatory regions are generally stable, but a minor subset of regulatory regions show variable DNA methylation between cell types, suggesting an additional dynamic component. Such promoter de novo methylation might be involved in the maintenance rather than the initiation of silencing of defined genes during development. How frequently such dynamic methylation occurs, its biological relevance and the pathways involved deserve investigation.
This article was published in Curr Opin Cell Biol
and referenced in Gene Technology