Dnmt1 is one of three families of enzymes (Dnmt1, Dnmt2, Dnmt3 (a and b)) that have a role in the establishment and regulation of tissue-specific patterns of methylated cytosine residues. Abnormal methylation patterns are associated with certain human tumors and developmental abnormalities (1). Dnmt1 is responsible for maintenance of the DNA methylation pattern after DNA replication. Dnmt1 is a large protein and can be subdivided into an N- and a C-terminal part. The C-terminal domain harbors the catalytic center. The N-terminal part of the enzyme comprises several individual domains, and plays a role in intracellular targeting and regulation of the enzyme's activity. Dnmt1 shows a preference for hemimethylated CG sites and the specificity of Dnmt1 for hemimethylated target sites is a key property for that function (2).
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