Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Methylation

  • Christoph Plass
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_3684-2

Definition

An epigenetic modification of DNA is the addition of a methyl (CH3) group to position 5 of a cytosine residue. The majority of methylation events in humans occur on cytosines that are located next to a guanine (5′-CpG-3′ dinucleotides).

Characteristics

DNA methylation results from the addition of a methyl (CH3) group to position 5 of a cytosine (Fig. 1). The addition of a methyl group by DNA methyltransferases is an epigenetic modification to DNA that is maintained after cell division and does not change the DNA sequence. 5′-CpG-3′ dinucleotides are not uniformly distributed in the human genome. CpG islandsare short stretches of DNA, usually located in promoter regions of genes, with an unusually high GC content and a significantly higher frequency of 5′-CpG-3′ dinucleotides compared to the rest of the genome. It is well accepted that DNA methylation is involved in gene regulation. Inhibition of transcription factor binding by methylation of the target sequence was the...

Keywords

Methylation Pattern Imprint Gene Pericentromeric Heterochromatin Restriction Landmark Genome Scanning Underlying Regulatory Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Baylin SB, Herman JG, Graff JR et al (1998) Alterations in DNA methylation: a fundamental aspect of neoplasia. Adv Cancer Res 72:141–196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Costello JF, Fruhwald MC, Smiraglia DJ et al (2000) Aberrant CpG-island methylation has non-random and tumour-type-specific patterns. Nat Genet 24:132–138CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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  4. Okano M, Bell DW, Haber DA et al (1999) DNA methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b are essential for de novo methylation and mammalian development. Cell 99:247–257CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Rountree MR, Bachman KE, Baylin SB (2000) DNMT1 binds HDAC2 and a new co-repressor, DMAP1, to form a complex at replication foci. Nat Genet 25:269–277CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany