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Enzymology of mammalian DNA methyltransferases

Jurkowska, Renata Z. ORCID: and Jeltsch, Albert 2016. Enzymology of mammalian DNA methyltransferases. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 945 , pp. 87-122. 10.1007/978-3-319-43624-1_5

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DNA methylation is currently one of the hottest topics in basic and biomedical research. Despite tremendous progress in understanding the structures and biochemical properties of the mammalian DNA nucleotide methyltransferases (DNMTs), principles of their regulation in cells have only begun to be uncovered. In mammals, DNA methylation is introduced by the DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B enzymes, which are all large multi-domain proteins. These enzymes contain a catalytic C-terminal domain with a characteristic cytosine-C5 methyltransferase fold and an N-terminal part with different domains that interacts with other proteins and chromatin and is involved in targeting and regulation of the DNMTs. The subnuclear localization of the DNMT enzymes plays an important role in their biological function: DNMT1 is localized to replicating DNA via interaction with PCNA and UHRF1. DNMT3 enzymes bind to heterochromatin via protein multimerization and are targeted to chromatin by their ADD and PWWP domains. Recently, a novel regulatory mechanism has been discovered in DNMTs, as latest structural and functional data demonstrated that the catalytic activities of all three enzymes are under tight allosteric control of their N-terminal domains having autoinhibitory functions. This mechanism provides numerous possibilities for the precise regulation of the methyltransferases via controlling the binding and release of autoinhibitory domains by protein factors, noncoding RNAs, or by posttranslational modifications of the DNMTs. In this chapter, we summarize key enzymatic properties of DNMTs, including their specificity and processivity, and afterward we focus on the regulation of their activity and targeting via allosteric processes, protein interactors, and posttranslational modifications.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
ISSN: 0065-2598
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 08:09

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