2Pushchino State Institute of Natural Sciences, Science av. 3, 142290 Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia
3Republican Research and Production Center of Transfusiology and Medical Biotechnologies, Dolginovskii Trakt 160, 220053 Minsk, Republic of Belarus; fax: (37517) 289-8745
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received October 17, 2013; Revision received October 28, 2013
DNA methyltransferases might be used as powerful tools for studies in molecular and cell biology due to their ability to recognize and modify nitrogen bases in specific sequences of the genome. Methylation of the eukaryotic genome using exogenous DNA methyltransferases appears to be a promising approach for studies on chromatin structure. Currently, the development of new methods for targeted methylation of specific genetic loci using DNA methyltransferases fused with DNA-binding proteins is especially interesting. In the present review, expression of exogenous DNA methyltransferase for purposes of in vivo analysis of the functional chromatin structure along with investigation of the functional role of DNA methylation in cell processes are discussed, as well as future prospects for application of DNA methyltransferases in epigenetic therapy and in plant selection.
KEY WORDS: DNA methyltransferases, targeted DNA methylation, chromatin structure, functions of DNA methylation