Special Issue "DNA Methylation"
A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014) | Viewed by 119807
Interests: DNA methylation; chromatin epigenetics; regulation of skeletal muscle development; cancer epigenetics
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Improvements in methodology for analyzing animal and plant DNA methylation, especially in genome-wide studies (methylome analysis), are bringing new insights into the functions of modification of genomic cytosine residues(5-methylcytosine, 5mC, and the much less plentiful 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5hmC). DNA methylation profiles coupled with data on gene expression, histone modification, transcription factor binding, open chromatin and the results of experimental manipulation of DNA methylation are greatly advancing our understanding of the roles of genomic 5mC in normal development, physiology, and disease. These studies are revealing increasingly varied and context-dependent consequences of increases and decreases in DNA methylation on gene expression that are only beginning to be generally recognized.
Recent investigations of mammalian genomic 5hmC, which is generated from 5mC residues, indicate distinct functional and chromatin structural associations from those of 5mC. The role of genomic 5hmC as an intermediate in the conversion of 5mC to unmodified C residues and the biological significance of the stable fraction of this DNA base in differentiation, cellular function (especially in the nervous system), and pathology are being intensively investigated. Tissue-specific differences and cancer-associated reductions in genomic 5hmC content suggest not only its importance in vivo, but also reaffirm that of the parent 5mC DNA residue. For this special issue we invite research articles on any of the frontiers of DNA methylation research.
Prof. Dr. Melanie Ehrlich
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- DNA methylation
- methylome epigenetics
- chromatin modification
- regulation of gene expression