Characterization of the human DNA methyltransferase splice variant Dnmt1b.

Article Details


Bonfils C, Beaulieu N, Chan E, Cotton-Montpetit J, MacLeod AR

Characterization of the human DNA methyltransferase splice variant Dnmt1b.

J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 14;275(15):10754-60.

PubMed ID
10753866 [ View in PubMed

Tissue- and gene-specific patterns of cytosine-DNA methylation are characteristic features of vertebrate genomes. The generation and proper maintenance of DNA methylation patterns are essential for embryonic development, as demonstrated by the lethal phenotypes of mice with either a targeted disruption of Dnmt1, the gene responsible for the maintenance of DNA methylation, or targeted disruption of Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b, the genes involved in generation of newly formed methylation patterns. Recently, a novel mRNA, Dnmt1b, resulting from alternative splicing of Dnmt1 was identified (Hsu, D. W., Lin, M. J., Lee, T. L., Wen, S. C., Chen, X., and Shen, C. K., (1999) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 96, 9751-9756). The abundance of Dnmt1b mRNA was estimated by semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and was suggested to encode a major C-5 DNA methyltransferase isoform. Here we report characterization of this novel DNA methyltransferase transcript, Dnmt1b, and its protein product in human cell lines and in freshly isolated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The abundance of Dnmt1b transcript, as determined by quantitative RNase protection analysis, was determined to range from 6% to 25% of Dnmt1 in human cells. Second generation antisense inhibitors targeted to the 5'- and 3'-ends of Dnmt1 inhibited the accumulation of both Dnmt1 and Dnmt1b in cells. Dnmt1b protein purified from a baculovirus expression system was demonstrated to be a functional DNA methyltransferase, and to have Michaelis constants for both DNA and S-adenosyl-L-methionine similar to baculovirus-expressed Dnmt1. However, antibodies raised against Dnmt1b epitopes demonstrated that Dnmt1b protein was present at approximately 2-5% of the level of Dnmt1 and therefore represents only a minor DNA methyltransferase isoform in human cells.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1P26358Details