J Korean Assoc Maxillofac Plast Reconstr Surg.  2008 May;30(3):302-309.

Understanding of epigenetics and DNA methylation

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyung-Hee University Dental School, Korea. omsojh@khu.ac.kr

Abstract

Epigenetic is usually referring to heritable traits that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. DNA methylation is known to serve as cellular memory, and is one of the most important mechanism of epigenetic. DNA methylation is a covalent modification in which the target molecules for methylation in mammalian DNA are cytosine bases in CpG dinucleotides. The 5' position of cytosine is methylated in a reaction catalyzed by DNA methyltransferases; DNMT1, DNMT3a, and DNMT3b. There are two different regions in the context of DNA methylation: CpG poor regions and CpG islands. The intergenic and the intronic region is considered to be CpG poor, and CpG islands are discrete CpG-rich regions which are often found in promoter regions. Normally, CpG poor regions are usually methylated whereas CpG islands are generally hypomethylated. DNA methylation is involved in various biological processes such as tis ue-specific gene expression, genomic imprinting, and X chromosome inactivation. In general, cancer cells are characterized by global genomic hypomethylation and focal hypermethylation of CpG islands, which are generally unmethylated in normal cells. Gene silencing by CpG hypermethylation at the promotors of tumor suppressor genes is probably the most common mechanism of tumor suppressor inactivation in cancer.

Keyword

Epigenetic; DNA methylation; CpG islands; Gene silencing

MeSH Terms

Base Sequence
Biological Processes
CpG Islands
Cytosine
DNA
DNA Methylation
Epigenomics
Gene Expression
Gene Silencing
Genes, Tumor Suppressor
Genomic Imprinting
Introns
Memory
Methylation
Promoter Regions, Genetic
X Chromosome Inactivation
Cytosine
DNA
Full Text Links
  • JKAMPRS
Actions
Cited
CITED
export Copy
Close
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2022 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr