De novo methylation of nucleosomal DNA by the mammalian Dnmt1 and Dnmt3A DNA methyltransferases

H Gowher, CJ Stockdale, R Goyal, H Ferreira, T Owen-Hughes, A Jeltsch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the cell, DNA is wrapped on histone octamers, which reduces its accessibility for DNA interacting enzymes. We investigated de novo methylation of nucleosomal DNA in vitro and show that the Dnmt3a and Dnmt1 DNA methyltransferases efficiently methylate nucleosomal DNA without dissociation of the histone octamer from the DNA. In contrast, the prokaryotic SssI DNA methyltransferase and the catalytic domain of Dnmt3a are strongly inhibited by nucleosomes. We also found that full-length Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a bind to nucleosomes much stronger than their isolated catalytic domains, demonstrating that the N-terminal parts of the MTases are required for the interaction with nucleosomes. Variations of the DNA sequence or the histone tails did not significantly influence the methylation activity of Dnmt3a. The observation that mammalian methyltransferases directly modify nucleosomal DNA provides an insight into the mechanisms by which histone tail and DNA methylation patterns can influence each other because the DNA methylation pattern can be established while histones remain associated to the DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9899-9904
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemistry
Volume44
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2005

Keywords

  • HISTONE H3 METHYLTRANSFERASE
  • EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS
  • NON-CPG METHYLATION
  • STRUCTURE IN-VIVO
  • CHROMATIN-STRUCTURE
  • CORE PARTICLES
  • PWWP DOMAIN
  • GENE
  • HETEROCHROMATIN
  • MAINTENANCE

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