DNA methylation constitutes a critical epigenetic modification that plays pivotal roles in chromatin structure remolding, gene silencing, embryonic development, differentiation and maintenance of cellular identity. Recent studies demonstrate that 5mC can be converted to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) which may represent a new epigenetic modification of cytosine. Experiments were done with transgenic model mice strains and showed a marked reduction of 5-hmCsignalin YAC128 when compared to wild-type mice, suggesting changes in canonical pathways involving neuronal differentiation.

CAS press release, June 20, 2013