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, 5 (6), 400-2

Cytosine-5-methyltransferases Add Aldehydes to DNA

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Cytosine-5-methyltransferases Add Aldehydes to DNA

Zita Liutkeviciute et al. Nat Chem Biol.

Abstract

Targeted methylation of cytosine residues by S-adenosylmethionine-dependent DNA methyltransferases modulates gene expression in vertebrates. Here we show that cytosine-5-methyltransferases catalyze reversible covalent addition of exogenous aliphatic aldehydes to their target residues in DNA, thus yielding corresponding 5-hydroxyalkylcytosines. Such atypical enzymatic reactions with non-cofactor-like substrates open new ways for sequence-specific derivatization of DNA and demonstrate enzymatic exchange of 5-hydroxymethyl groups on cytosine in support of an oxidative mechanism of DNA demethylation.

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