DNA Methylation

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The DNA of Escherichia coli contains 19,120 6-methyladenines and 12,045 5-methylcytosines in addition to the four regular bases, and these are formed by the postreplicative action of three DNA methyltransferases. The majority of the methylated bases are formed by the Dam and Dcmmethyltransferases encoded by the dam (DNA adenine methyltransferase) and dcm (DNA cytosine methyltransferase) genes. Although not essential, Dam methylation is important for strand discrimination during repair of replication errors, controlling the frequency of initiation of chromosome replication at oriC, and regulation of transcription initiation at promoters containing GATC sequences. In contrast, there is no known function for Dcm methylation, although Dcm recognition sites constitute sequence motifs for Very Short Patch repair of T/G base mismatches. In certain bacteria (e.g., Vibrio cholera and Caulobactercrescentus) adenine methylation is essential, and in C.crescentus it is important for temporal gene expression which, in turn, is required for coordination of chromosome initiation, replication, and division. In practical terms, Dam and Dcm methylation can inhibit restriction enzyme cleavage,decrease transformation frequency in certain bacteria,and decrease the stability of short direct repeats andare necessary for site-directed mutagenesis and to probe eukaryotic structure and function.

TidsskriftEcoSal Plus
Udgave nummer2
StatusUdgivet - 2009
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 200971536