DISCLAIMER: This article is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at last review, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information.
Véron, Nathalie Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.
- The search for pathways removing DNA methylation
- Tet proteins: a new enzyme class modifying methylcytosine bases
- Tet proteins and hydroxymethylcytosine in development
- Functional roles in gene regulation
- Mechanistic models for transforming methylated bases
- Tet function in demethylation?
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
At the beginning of life, one single cell, the fertilized oocyte, has the capacity to generate all cell types of the body through cellular division and execution of differentiation programs. As the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence in most of the cells of an organism is identical, cellular identity relies on the interpretation of genomic information. The driving force in this process is a correct spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression that prevents errors causing developmental failure and disease. Partly, this is controlled by cell-specific enzymatic modifications of chromatin, which is the tight association of acidic DNA and basic protein complexes (the histone-containing nucleosomes). Enzymes involved in the shaping of chromatin can, for example, posttranslationally modify amino acids of histones by adding methyl or acetyl groups. Furthermore, small proteins such as ubiquitin or small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins can be enzymatically coupled to histones, regulating the interpretation of the underlying genomic information. Other enzyme classes directly add functional groups to DNA bases. Various combinations of these so-called epigenetic modifications activate or repress gene expression and define a cell-specific genome function, which is heritable from one cell to another on cell division. Epigenetic configurations of cell types dynamically respond to environmental cues and vary among individuals, as has been shown for monozygotic twins (whose DNA sequences are nearly identical).
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information