NSun2 and RNA methylation
Regulatory RNATools & Technology

More Methylation in RNA!?! RNA Continues to Surprise…

While DNA methylation is an extensively-studied epigenetic modification, relatively little is known about the methylation of cytosine bases in RNA.  Although the functional consequences of RNA modifications are not clear, RNA molecules are known to be extensively modified.  In fact, there are over 100 reported modifications to RNA, which is …

DNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationTools & Technology

The Basics of Bisulfite Conversion for DNA Methylation Analysis

Bisulfite conversion is one of the most popular and powerful methods available to study cytosine methylation in DNA (also known as 5-methylcytosine or 5-mC).  The use of sodium bisulfite to convert unmethylated cytosines to uracil was first reported in 1970 by two groups independently, Shapiro et al. at New York …

Developmental Biology & Stem CellsRegulatory RNA

Soaking up the Competition – Circular RNAs as Molecular Sponges for miRNAs

Numerous families of non-coding RNAs have been identified in mammalian cells, including lncRNA, miRNA, siRNA, and piRNA.  Another type of RNA called circular RNA (circRNA) has remained a mysterious class, as the exact function of these molecules has not been described. Usually, circRNAs result from spicing events and have been …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseRegulatory RNA

The Importance of Epigenetic Modification of RNA in miRNA Maturation and Breast Cancer

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded RNA molecules 18-24 bases in length that are important for the regulation of many biological processes by posttranscriptionally interfering with gene expression.   MiRNAs generally regulate gene expression by either facilitating mRNA degradation or repressing translation.  Generation of the mature and active form of miRNAs requires the …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

AID/APOBEC – Unlikely Contenders for Primary DNA Demethylation Pathway.

Over the past couple of years, extensive efforts have been made to elucidate the 5-methylcytosine demethylation pathway. Two distinctly different families of enzymes were implicated as the most likely candidates.  The TET (ten-eleven translocation) family of α-ketoglutarate-dependent deoxygenases consists of enzymes which iteratively oxidize 5-methylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine, and represents one …

5mc to 5hmc
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Potential of 5-hmC and TET Expression as Cancer Biomarkers

The role of epigenetics in cancer and developmental biology has become the focus of extensive research. 5-hydoxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is an epigenetic modification that arises from the oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) by the epigenetic regulatory proteins belonging to the TET (ten-eleven translocation) family of α-ketoglutarate-dependent deoxygenases.  The TET enzymes are responsible …