Alternative splicing of RNA molecules transcribed from DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferases has been proposed as a mechanism by which methylation is able to effect diverse biological processes in higher eukaryotes. This study has investigated transcriptional versatility of DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase 2, which may methylate cytosine residues within 5'-CCTGG-3' pentanucleotides in regions Of the human genome devoid of 5'-CG-3' methylation. Five novel splice variants of DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase 2 were identified in the peripheral blood leukocytes of healthy subjects following cloning and sequencing of RT-PCR products amplified using gene specific oligodcoxyribonucleotide primers. The generation of some of these splice variants may be influenced by the formation of secondary structures within pre-mRNA due to the repetition of sequences flanking alternatively spliced exons in a reverse and complementary orientation on the same strand. These findings enable novel approaches to investigate the role of RNA secondary structures in alternative splicing. The DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase 2 splice variants are generated in all the major cell types of peripheral blood, as well as in neoplastic lymphoid cells indicating that they are unlikely to generate proteins involved in control of the cell cycle or cellular differentiation. Interestingly, the gene products generated by some splice variants completely or partially lack highly conserved amino acid motifs shown to be important for the catalysis of cytosine methylation. The possibility cannot be excluded, therefore, that alternative splicing of DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase 2 pre-mRNA may generate protein isoforms which have different methylating capabilities or which are involved in biological processes other than the catalysis of cytosine methylation. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Journal||International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|