Standard Article

DNA Methylation

  1. David P Hornby

Published Online: 22 MAR 2002

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001165



How to Cite

Hornby, D. P. 2002. DNA Methylation. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 MAR 2002


DNA methylation occurs in most living organisms and is the enzyme-mediated transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-l-methionine to specific cytosine or adenine bases within the genome of that organism. The biological consequences of DNA methylation are thought to be diverse, ranging from resistance to bacteriophage infection in microorganisms to the programming of gene expression in mammals.


  • epigenetics;
  • restriction and modification;
  • S-adenosyl-l-methionine;
  • DNA methyltransferase;
  • methyl transfer;
  • cytosine;
  • adenine;
  • 5-methylcytosine