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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A component of the transcriptional repressor MeCP1 shares a motif with DNA methyltransferase and HRX proteins.

Methylation of cytosines within the sequence CpG is essential for mouse development and has been linked to transcriptional suppression in vertebrate systems. Methyl-CpG binding proteins (MeCPs) 1 and 2 bind preferentially to methylated DNA and can inhibit transcription. The gene for MeCP2 has been cloned and a methyl-CpG binding domain ( MBD) within it has been defined. A search of DNA sequence databases with the MBD sequence identified a human cDNA with potential to encode an MBD-like region. Sequencing of the complete cDNA revealed that the open reading frame also encodes two cysteine-rich domains that are found in animal DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and in the mammalian HRX protein (also known as MLL and All-1). HRX is related to Drosophila trithorax. The protein, known as Protein Containing MBD ( PCM1), was expressed in bacteria and shown to bind specifically to methylated DNA. PCM1 also repressed transcription in vitro in a methylation-dependent manner. A polyclonal antibody raised against the protein was able to 'supershift' the native MeCP11 complex from HeLa cells, indicating that PCM1 is a component of mammalian MeCP1.[1]


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