Scientific reports

Epigenetic Enhancement of the Post-replicative DNA Mismatch Repair of Mammalian Genomes by a Hemi-(m)CpG-Np95-Dnmt1 Axis.

PMID 27886214


DNA methylation at C of CpG dyads ((m)CpG) in vertebrate genomes is essential for gene regulation, genome stability and development. We show in this study that proper functioning of post-replicative DNA mismatch repair (MMR) in mammalian cells relies on the presence of genomic (m)CpG, as well as on the maintenance DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 independently of its catalytic activity. More importantly, high efficiency of mammalian MMR surveillance is achieved through a hemi-(m)CpG-Np95(Uhrf1)-Dnmt1 axis, in which the MMR surveillance complex(es) is recruited to post-replicative DNA by Dnmt1, requiring its interactions with MutSα, as well as with Np95 bound at the hemi-methylated CpG sites. Thus, efficiency of MMR surveillance over the mammalian genome in vivo is enhanced at the epigenetic level. This synergy endows vertebrate CpG methylation with a new biological significance and, consequently, an additional mechanism for the maintenance of vertebrate genome stability.