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Functions of DNA methyltransferase 3-like in germ cells and beyond.

Research paper by Hung-Fu HF Liao, Kang-Yu KY Tai, Wendy S-C WS Chen, Luca C W LC Cheng, Hong-Nerng HN Ho, Shau-Ping SP Lin

Indexed on: 08 Jun '12Published on: 08 Jun '12Published in: Biology of the Cell



Abstract

DNA methyltransferase 3-like (DNMT3L) is one of the key players in de novo DNA methylation of imprinting control elements and retrotransposons, which occurs after genome-wide epigenetic erasure during germ cell development. In this review, we summarise the biochemical properties of DNMT3L and discuss the possible mechanisms behind DNMT3L-mediated imprinting establishment and retrotransposon silencing in germ cells. We also discuss possible connections between DNMT3L and non-coding RNA-mediated epigenetic remodelling, the roles of DNMT3L in germ cell development and the implications in stem cell and cancer research.