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WELCOME -- Advances in DNA methylation

About the site...

This site is part of the O3ED835 research project, implemented within the framework of the "Reinforcement Programme of Human Research Manpower" (PENED) and co-financed by National and Community Funds (25% from the Greek Ministry of Development-General Secretariat of Research and Technology and 75% from E.U.-European Social Fund).

About us...

Lab. of Biological Chemistry, Medical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GREECE

Basic Concepts

DNA methylation and reactivity

Two of the principle aspects of DNA methylation are the changes it can introduce to DNA conformation and the modification of its reactivity. DNA methylation locally alters the DNA conformation and introduces Watson-Crick double helix distortion (in synthetic oligonucleotides the DNA conformation undergoes a B->Z transition). This means that several DNA properties can be locally modified. The recognition of interacting proteins (methyl-binding proteins) can be influenced. In addition, triple strands which modify the transcriptional activity are also strongly favoured by cytosine methylation. Finally the conformational modification associated with DNA methylation probably contributes to the increase of G:C pair reactivity. Thus, adduct formation and higher rates of C>T transitions rates are frequently observed at methylated G:C base pairs.