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Possible dual epigenetic role for DNA methyltransferase 2 (DNMT2) in Arabidopsis thaliana

Grant number: 13/21108-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Fabio Tebaldi Silveira Nogueira
Grantee:Cristiane de Santis Alves
Supervisor: Marja C. P. Timmermans
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/19512-6 - Functional analysis of DNA methyltransferase 2 (DNMT2) role in development and stress response and tRNA derived fragments (tRFs) in Arabidopsis thaliana., BP.DR


DNA methylation is associated with genetic regulation, cell memory, silencing of transposable elements, genomic imprinting and repression of pseudo-elements coming from duplicate sequences. Methylation patterns are established, kept and translated via an appropriate functional DNA methylation machinery, which includes a family of proteins classified into three methyltransferase enzyme groups: DNMT1, DNMT3 e DNMT2. DNA methyltransferase2 (DNMT2) was first identified by searching for novel DNA methyltransferase candidates. DNMT2 is highly conserved in different kingdoms and does not have a biological function well defined so far; however, it has been shown that DNMT2 can methylate both DNA and RNA in animal cells, most specifically transfer RNA (tRNA). In human cells, DNMT2 is localized both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm, being capable to migrate from nucleus to cytoplasm under stress conditions. In the cytoplasm, DNMT2 methylates tRNAs, possibly to protect against cleavage events that occur under stress conditions. In Arabidopsis, DNMT2 is probably interacting with HD2A, from HD2 family, a histone deacetylase family find exclusively in plants, and in this case, they might be acting on the genome in order to regulate some earlier cellular events. This finding suggests that plant DNMT2 might act on DNA level as well. This work aims to investigate this events (i.e., regulation of gene expression by DNA and RNA methylation) and better understand the possible dual role(s) of DNMT2 in plants. (AU)

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