DNA Methylation and Histone Acetylation


DNA methylation is central to the establishment and heritability of states of expression. Gene silencing that is dependent on DNA methylation involves histone deacetylation. The relevance of the correct maintenance of these modifications patterns is illustrated by cancer, in which alterations in DNA methylation patterns occur.

Keywords: DNA methylation; histone acetylation; epigenetics; hypermethylation; gene repression

Figure 1.

The coupling between DNA methylation and histone deacetylation. A short array of nucleosomes is shown. Histone octamers are depicted as cylinders, DNA is depicted as the thick line wrapped around the octamers, and histone tails are depicted as protruding thin lines from the octamers. The methyl‐CpG binding protein MeCP2 and its partners (mSin3A, RbAp48, HDAC1 and HDAC2) are also shown. Ac: acetyl groups.

Figure 2.

Changes in methylation associated with the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. Filled boxes indicate gene exons. Methylated and unmethylated CpG dinucleotides are indicated by the filled and open circles respectively.

Figure 3.

Interplay between histone modifications and DNA methylation. Shown is a nucleosome in which the histone octamers are depicted as cylinders, DNA is depicted as a thick line wrapped around the cylinders, and histone tails are depicted as protruding thin lines from the octamers. The tails include histone H3 acetylated on lysine 9 (AcH3K9) and H3 methylated on lysine 9 (MetH3K9). The filled circle indicates DNA methylation.



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Further Reading

Ballestar E and Esteller M (2002) The impact of chromatin in human cancer: linking DNA methylation to gene silencing. Carcinogenesis 23: 1103–1109.

Jones PA and Baylin SB (2002) The fundamental role of epigenetic events in cancer. Nature Reviews Genetics 3: 415–428.

Web Links

DNA (cytosine‐5‐)‐methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1); LocusID: 1786. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=1786

DNA (cytosine‐5‐)‐methyltransferase 3 alpha (DNMT3A); LocusID: 1788. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=1788

DNA (cytosine‐5‐)‐methyltransferase 3 beta (DNMT3B); LocusID: 1789. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=1789

Histone acetyltransferase 1 (HAT1); LocusID: 8520. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=8520

Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1); LocusID: 3065. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=3065

DNA (cytosine‐5‐)‐methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1); MIM number: 126375. OMIM: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?126375

DNA (cytosine‐5‐)‐methyltransferase 3 alpha (DNMT3A); MIM number: 602769. OMIM: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?602769

DNA (cytosine‐5‐)‐methyltransferase 3 beta (DNMT3B); MIM number: 602900. OMIM: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?602900

Histone acetyltransferase 1 (HAT1); MIM number: 603053. OMIM: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?603053

Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1); MIM number: 601241. OMIM: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?601241

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How to Cite close
Ballestar, Esteban, and Esteller, Manel(Jan 2006) DNA Methylation and Histone Acetylation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0006158]