1 <h5>Introduction</h5> The regulation of eukaryotic gene expression is a complex process. DNA methylation plays a role in this scheme by acting in cis to modulate protein-DNA interactions. For most genomic DNA, patterns of DNA modification are not inherited from the parental gametes but are actually established anew in each generation through a series of developmentally regulated steps. DNA methylation of the animal genome correlates with gene expression. Thus, tissue-specific genes are mostly methylated in every tissue where they are not expressed, while unmethylated in their tissue of expression  . A notable exception are the constitutively expressed housekeeping genes, which harbor 5′ CpG islands, and remain unmethylated in all tissues [2, 3] . These patterns of methylation are achieved through a process of demethylation and de novo methylation. After first undergoing generalized demethylation in the early preblastula embryo [4–6] , the genome becomes modified at about the time of implantation through a wave of de novo methylation that alters most CpG sites, but leaves CpG islands unmethylated [6, 7] . At later stages of development, tissue specific genes undergo selective demethylation in their cell-type of expression.</P>2 <h5>Methylation and demethylation machinery</h5> The only mammalian DNA methyltransferase enzyme which
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer – Elsevier
Published: Aug 8, 1997
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