New 5' regions of the murine and human genes for DNA (cytosine-5)- methyltransferase

Jeffrey A. Yoder, Ray Whay Chiu Yen, Paula M. Vertino, Timothy H. Bestor, Stephen B. Baylin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferases (EC maintain patterns of methylated cytosine residues in the mammalian genome; faithful maintenance of methylation patterns is required for normal development of mice, and aberrant methylation patterns are associated with certain human tumors and developmental abnormalities. The organization of coding sequences at the 5'- end of the murine and human DNA methyltransferase genes was investigated, and the DNA methyltransferase open reading frame was found to be longer than previously suspected. Expression of the complete open reading frame by in vitro transcription-translation and by transfection of expression constructs into COS7 cells resulted in the production of an active DNA methyltransferase of the same apparent mass as the endogenous protein, while translation from the second inframe ATG codon produced a slightly smaller but fully active protein. Characterization of mRNA 5' sequences and the intron-exon structure of the 5' region of the murine and human genes indicated that a previously described promoter element (Rouleau, J., Tanigawa, G., and Szyf, M. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 267, 7368-7377) actually lies in an intron that is more than 5 kilobases downstream of the transcription start sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31092-31097
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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