Structure and Mechanism of Plant DNA Methyltransferases

Sarah M. Leichter, Jiamu Du, Xuehua Zhong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark conserved in eukaryotes from fungi to animals and plants, where it plays a crucial role in regulating gene expression and transposon silencing. Once the methylation mark is established by de novo DNA methyltransferases, specific regulatory mechanisms are required to maintain the methylation state during chromatin replication, both during meiosis and mitosis. Plant DNA methylation is found in three contexts; CG, CHG, and CHH (H = A, T, C), which are established and maintained by a unique set of DNA methyltransferases and are regulated by plant-specific pathways. DNA methylation in plants is often associated with other epigenetic modifications, such as noncoding RNA and histone modifications. This chapter focuses on the structure, function, and regulatory mechanism of plant DNA methyltransferases and their crosstalk with other epigenetic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • CXXC domain
  • Chromodomain
  • DRM1 DRM2
  • MTase activity
  • MTase domain


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