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Title: Zinc Finger Readers of Methylated DNA
DNA methylation is a prevalent epigenetic modification involved in regulating a number of essential cellular processes, including genomic accessibility and transcriptional outcomes. As such, aberrant alterations in global DNA methylation patterns have been associated with a growing number of disease conditions. Nevertheless, the full mechanisms by which DNA methylation information is interpreted and translated into genomic responses is not yet fully understood. Methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBPs) function as important mediators of this essential process by selectively reading DNA methylation signals and translating this information into down-stream cellular outcomes. The Cys2His2 zinc finger scaffold is one of the most abundant DNA binding motifs found within human transcription factors, yet only a few zinc finger containing proteins capable of conferring selectivity for mCpG over CpG sites have been characterized. This review summarizes our current structural understanding for the mechanisms by which the zinc finger MBPs evaluated to date read this essential epigenetic mark. Further, some of the biological implications for mCpG readout elicited by this family of MBPs are discussed.
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National Science Foundation
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