Functional CpG methylation system in a social insect

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Base Composition; Bees; Computational Biology; DNA; DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase; *DNA Methylation; DNA-Binding Proteins; Dinucleoside Phosphates; Genes, Insect; Genome, Insect; Insect Proteins; Molecular Sequence Data


Bioinformatics | Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics


DNA methylation systems are well characterized in vertebrates, but methylation in Drosophila melanogaster and other invertebrates remains controversial. Using the recently sequenced honey bee genome, we present a bioinformatic, molecular, and biochemical characterization of a functional DNA methylation system in an insect. We report on catalytically active orthologs of the vertebrate DNA methyltransferases Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a and b, two isoforms that contain a methyl-DNA binding domain, genomic 5-methyl-deoxycytosine, and CpG-methylated genes. The honey bee provides an opportunity to study the roles of methylation in social contexts.

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Citation: Science. 2006 Oct 27;314(5799):645-7. Link to article on publisher's site


At the time of publication, Peter Jones was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID