DNA demethylation by DNA repair
Author(s)Gehring, Mary; Reik, Wolf; Henikoff, Steven
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Active DNA demethylation underlies key facets of reproduction in flowering plants and mammals and serves a general genome housekeeping function in plants. A family of 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylases catalyzes plant demethylation via the well-known DNA base-excision-repair process. Although the existence of active demethylation has been known for a longer time in mammals, the means of achieving it remain murky and mammals lack counterparts to the plant demethylases. Several intriguing experiments have indicated, but not conclusively proven, that DNA repair is also a plausible mechanism for animal demethylation. Here, we examine what is known from flowering plants about the pathways and function of enzymatic demethylation and discuss possible mechanisms whereby DNA repair might also underlie global demethylation in mammals.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology
Trends in Genetics
Elsevier Science Publishers
Gehring, Mary, Wolf Reik, and Steven Henikoff. “DNA demethylation by DNA repair.” Trends in Genetics 25 (2009): 82-90.
Author's final manuscript