Structure and Mechanism of Plant DNA Methyltransferases

  • Jiamu DuEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 945)


DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark that functions in eukaryotes from fungi to animals and plants, where it plays a crucial role in the regulation of epigenetic silencing. Once the methylation mark is established by the de novo DNA methyltransferase (MTase), it requires specific regulatory mechanisms to maintain the methylation state during chromatin replication, both during meiosis and mitosis. Plants have distinct DNA methylation patterns that are both established and maintained by unique DNA MTases and are regulated by plant-specific pathways. This chapter focuses on the exceptional structural and functional features of plant DNA MTases that provide insights into these regulatory mechanisms.


Chromo Domain MTase Activity CXXC Domain MTase Domain Drm1 Drm2 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.












BAH domain

Bromo-adjacent homology domain










Isothermal titration calorimetry








RNA polymerase II/IV/V


RNA-directed DNA methylation




Replication foci targeting domain

SET domain

Su(var)3-9, enhancer of zeste, trithorax domain



SRA domain

SET and RING finger-associated domain




Transposable elements


Target recognition domain


Ubiquitin-associated domain


Ubiquitin-like PHD and RING finger domains 1




Zea methyltransferase 2



I apologize to those whose work was not discussed due to space limitation. I would like to thank Dr. Steven E. Jacobsen, Dr. Suhua Feng (University of California, Los Angeles), and Dr. Dinshaw J. Patel (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) for critical reading of the manuscript and helpful discussions. This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFA0503200), the Thousand Young Talents Program of China, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Center for Plant Stress BiologyShanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina

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