DNA methylation is a type of epigenetic modification where a methyl group is added to the cytosine or adenine residue of a given DNA sequence. It has been observed that DNA methylation is achieved by some collaborative agglomeration of certain proteins and non-coding RNAs. The assembly of IDN2 and its homologous proteins with siRNAs recruits the enzyme DRM2, which adds a methyl group at certain cytosine residues within the DNA sequence. In this study, it was found that de novo DNA methylation might be regulated by miRNAs through systematic targeting of the genes involved in DNA methylation. A comprehensive genome-wide and system-level study of miRNA targeting, transcription factors, DNA-methylation-causing genes and their target genes has provided a clear picture of an interconnected relationship of all these factors which regulate DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. The study has identified a DNA methylation system that is controlled by four different genes: IDN2, IDNl1, IDNl2 and DRM2. These four genes along with various critical transcription factors appear to be controlled by five different miRNAs. Altogether, DNA methylation appears to be a finely tuned process of opposite control systems of DNA-methylation-causing genes and certain miRNAs pitted against each other.
Volume 46, 2020
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