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Mammalian DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferases (DNMT) have roles in the establishment and regulation of the transcriptome by methylating DNA. DNMTs are attractive cancer therapy targets with numerous clinical trials ongoing. Dnmt1 plays a role in the establishment and regulation of tissue-specific patterns of methylated cytosine residues. In the context of embryonic development, imprinting, and X-chromosome inactivation, Dnmt3A and 3B are thought to function in de novo methylation, rather than maintenance methylation. Researchers are exploring the expression levels of these DNMTs and their resulting tissue-specific methylation patterns as possible biomarkers for various cancers and developmental abnormalities.

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  • What is Epigenetics?

    What Is Epigenetics?

    If all cells are created from the same genetic material, why are there so many different cell types? Listen to Sriharsa Pradhan, Senior Scientist, RNA Biology at NEB, as he describes how DNA is methylated and how this affects the path of reading the DNA code the same way an obstruction would derail a train off its tracks.