Cytosine methylation can induce local distortions in the structure of duplex DNA

Yvonne Hodges-Garcia, Paul J Hagerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Methyl groups at the C5 position of pyrimidines located within oligopurine-oligopyrimidine tracts in DNA have been shown previously to modulate curvature generated by those tracts. However, it was not known whether the influence of such methyl groups is consequent to the altered helical structure within the tracts themselves. In the current study, it is demonstrated that methylation of cytosines up to three base pairs away from a (dA)5·(dT)5 tract (A-tract) can still result in alterations of the net curvature of the A-tract-containing DNA, as measured by alterations in electrophoretic mobility. This latter effect depends strongly on both the sequence of the non-A-tract DNA and the positions of the methylated C residues. The current results lend further support to the notion that the biological consequences of cytosine methylation may be effected through local alterations in DNA structure as well as through direct protein-DNA interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7595-7599
Number of pages5
Issue number33
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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