On the Mechanisms of Generation, Recognition, and Erasure of DNA 5-methylcytosine and thymine Oxidations [Enzymology]

July 7th, 2015 by Hashimoto, H., Zhang, X., Vertino, P. M., Cheng, X.

One of the most fundamental questions in the control of gene expression in mammals is how the pattern of epigenetic modifications of DNA are generated, recognized, and erased. This includes covalent cytosine methylation of DNA and its associated oxidation states. An array of AdoMet-dependent methyltransferases, Fe(II)- and α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases, base excision glycosylases, and sequence specific transcription factors is responsible for changing, maintaining, and interpreting the modification status of specific regions of chromatin. This review focuses on recent developments in characterizing the functional and structural links between the modification status of two DNA bases 5-methylcytosine and thymine (5-methyluracil).