A Well-Known Mechanism of Epigenetic Regulation—Methylation


Methylation is the most important aspect in the protein post-translational modification. Here I will introduce the basic information about the methylation for you.




Methylation is a process, which can transfer the methylation from the methyl compound to other compounds. In biological systems, methylation is catalyzed by the enzyme. This kind of methylation is modified by heavy metals, regulated by genes and protein function and processed by ribonucleic acid.

Types of methylation

There are two types of methylation---DNA methylation and protein methylation.

DNA methylation

DNA methylation of Vertebrate is generally occurring at the CpG sites. Cytosine will be transferred into 5-methylcytosine through the help of DNA methyltransferase enzyme. Parts, which have been methylated, take up 80% to 90%, apart from some special sites.

Protein methylation

Generally, protein methylation is referring to the methylation of Arginine or lysine in the protein sequence. Arginine can be methylated for only one time or two times. And lysine can be methylated for once, twice or three times. In the histones, protein methylation is studied commonly.

The function of methylation

Methylation is an important protein and nucleic acid modification, regulating gene expression. It is really important for cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. And methylation is an important field in the epigenetic research.

The function of DNA methylation

This kind of methylation can turn off the activity of some genes; Demethylation can offer the chances for the reactivation of the gene. And it can cause changes to the interaction among the Chromatin Structure, DNA conformation, DNA stability and DNA-protein interactions in order to control the expression of genes.

The function of protein methylation

Protein methylation has a profound influence in Heterochromatin formation, gene imprinting, X chromosome inactivation and transcriptional regulation. What’s more, the Demethylase, which offer the dynamic in the protein methylation field, was found by scientists.

As for the detection methods of methylation, there are four approaches. They are Methylation-specific PCR,MSP, Bisulfite sequencing PCR,BSP and High Resolution Melting,HRM.

This is the main introduction of methylation. We can get more information in Creative Proteomics.

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