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Identification of methylated deoxyadenosines in vertebrates reveals diversity in DNA modifications.

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Koziol, Magdalena J 
Bradshaw, Charles R 
Allen, George E 
Costa, Ana SH 


Methylation of cytosine deoxynucleotides generates 5-methylcytosine (m(5)dC), a well-established epigenetic mark. However, in higher eukaryotes much less is known about modifications affecting other deoxynucleotides. Here, we report the detection of N(6)-methyldeoxyadenosine (m(6)dA) in vertebrate DNA, specifically in Xenopus laevis but also in other species including mouse and human. Our methylome analysis reveals that m(6)dA is widely distributed across the eukaryotic genome and is present in different cell types but is commonly depleted from gene exons. Thus, direct DNA modifications might be more widespread than previously thought.



Animals, DNA Methylation, Deoxyadenosines, Humans, Site-Specific DNA-Methyltransferase (Adenine-Specific), Vertebrates

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Nat Struct Mol Biol

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12022/6)
Wellcome Trust (101050/Z/13/Z)
Wellcome Trust (092096/Z/10/Z)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/M022994/1)
Medical Research Council (G1001690)
MRC (unknown)
Medical Research Council (MR/K011022/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/P000479/1)
Cancer Research Uk (None)
M.J.K. was supported by the Long-Term Human Frontiers Fellowship (LT000149/2010-L), the Medical Research Council grant (G1001690), and by the Isaac Newton Trust Fellowship (R G76588). The work was sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council grant BB/M022994/1 (J.B.G. and M.J.K.). The Gurdon laboratory is funded by the grant 101050/Z/13/Z (J.B.G.) from the Wellcome Trust, and is supported by the Gurdon Institute core grants, namely by the Wellcome Trust Core Grant (092096/Z/10/Z) and by the Cancer Research UK Grant (C6946/A14492). C.R.B. and G.E.A. are funded by the Wellcome Trust Core Grant. We are grateful to D. Simpson and R. Jones-Green for preparing X. laevis eggs and oocytes, F. Miller for providing us with M. musculus tissue, T. Dyl for X. laevis eggs and D. rerio samples, and to Gurdon laboratory members for their critical comments. We thank U. Ruether for providing us with M. musculus kidney DNA (Entwicklungs- und Molekularbiologie der Tiere, Heinrich Heine Universitaet Duesseldorf, Germany). We also thank J. Ahringer, S. Jackson, A. Bannister and T. Kouzarides for critical input and advice, M. Sciacovelli and E. Gaude for suggestions.