DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) are a family of enzymes that catalyze the addition of methyl groups onto DNA. The mechanism of action involves the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) to the target DNA; this is similar to the mechanism employed by histone methyltransferases.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that alters protein expression. DNA methylation commonly occurs at sites known as "CpG islands" - these are genomic areas rich in cytosine and guanine nucleotide base pairs that are often present near or at the promoter region of a gene. Methylation of cytosine residues can prevent transcription factor binding, thereby directly inhibiting transcription. DNA methylation also prompts the recruitment of methyl-CpG-binding proteins which indirectly inhibit transcription through chromatin remodeling. In addition to CpG islands, areas of DNA proximal to these islands - termed "CpG shores" - are also 'hotspots' for DNA methylation.
DNMTs can be classified according to their target nucleotide. The most common form of DNA methylation occurs on cytosine nucleotides, generating C5-methylcytosine, though lower eukaryotes and prokaryotes also express enzymes that generate N6-methyladenine and N4-methylcytosine. DNA methylation also occurs on guanine nucleotides through the biological activity of MGMT. Dysregulation of DNA methylation has been implicated in diseases including cancer, where hypomethylation of oncogenes and hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes occurring in cancer cell lines is thought to promote tumorigenesis.View all products for DNA Methyltransferases »
|Gene||Species||Gene Symbol||Gene Accession No.||Protein Accession No.|
|DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 1||Human||DNMT1||NM_001379||P26358|
|DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 3 α||Human||DNMT3A||NM_022552||Q9Y6K1|
|View all DNA Methyltransferase Gene Data »|
Literature for DNA Methyltransferases
A collection of over 750 products for cancer research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:
- Cancer Metabolism
- Epigenetics in Cancer
- Receptor Signaling
- Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Repair
- Invasion and Metastasis
This review gives an overview of the development of chemical probes for epigenetic targets, as well as the impact of these tool compounds being made available to the scientific community. In addition, their biological effects are also discussed. Epigenetic compounds available from Tocris are listed.Request copy | Download PDF | View all reviews
Produced by Tocris and updated in 2014, the epigenetics research bulletin gives an introduction into mechanisms of epigenetic regulation, and highlights key Tocris products for epigenetics targets including:
- DNA Methyltransferases
- Histone Deacetylases
- Histone Demethylases
- Histone Methyltransferases
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