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Nature reviews. Microbiology

N6-methyl-adenine: an epigenetic signal for DNA-protein interactions.


PMID 16489347

Abstract

N(6)-methyl-adenine is found in the genomes of bacteria, archaea, protists and fungi. Most bacterial DNA adenine methyltransferases are part of restriction-modification systems. Certain groups of Proteobacteria also harbour solitary DNA adenine methyltransferases that provide signals for DNA-protein interactions. In gamma-proteobacteria, Dam methylation regulates chromosome replication, nucleoid segregation, DNA repair, transposition of insertion elements and transcription of specific genes. In Salmonella, Haemophilus, Yersinia and Vibrio species and in pathogenic Escherichia coli, Dam methylation is required for virulence. In alpha-proteobacteria, CcrM methylation regulates the cell cycle in Caulobacter, Rhizobium and Agrobacterium, and has a role in Brucella abortus infection.