DNA methylation and CpG suppression

Cell Differ. 1985 Sep;17(3):199-205. doi: 10.1016/0045-6039(85)90488-9.


Cytosine methylation in vertebrate genomes occurs predominantly at the dinucleotide CpG. This dinucleotide is deficient in vertebrate DNA, an observation which has hitherto been explained by passive deamination of S-methylcytosine to thymidine. Since the frequency and distribution of CpG may prove to be a useful indirect means to study the function of DNA methylation, it is of interest that the observed 'CpG suppression' is less apparent within and around coding sequences. A variety of different mechanisms now appear to be responsible for maintaining a relatively high CpG level in these regions despite the apparent attendant disadvantage of mutation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytidine Monophosphate / analogs & derivatives
  • Cytidine Monophosphate / genetics*
  • Cytosine Nucleotides / genetics*
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Dinucleoside Phosphates*
  • Genes
  • Guanosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanosine / genetics
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Suppression, Genetic*


  • Cytosine Nucleotides
  • Dinucleoside Phosphates
  • Guanosine
  • cytidylyl-3'-5'-guanosine
  • DNA
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases
  • Cytidine Monophosphate