DNA Hydroxymethylation Overview
Over the past several years, many laboratories have been intensely investigating DNA hydroxymethylation, yet its biological role is still not completely understood. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is found in many organisms and is present at high levels in human and mouse neurological tissue. This modified base, often considered the “sixth base”, is speculated to be an intermediate in oxidative DNA demethylation pathways, but could itself constitute a new layer of epigenetic regulation. 5-hmC has gained attention in recent years as a potential epigenetic factor in many fields, including stem cell renewal, cancer development and progression, and neurological disorders. Furthermore, many standard methods used for detecting methylated DNA, such as bisulfite conversion, cannot distinguish between 5-mC and 5-hmC, so therefore it is critical to accompany DNA methylation studies with experiments that can differentiate between these two modifications.
Zymo Research was one of the pioneers to provide products and services to investigate 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC). Today, Zymo Research remains the industry leader for investigating this novel epigenetic modification. A complete line of products is available to aid researchers interested in investigating DNA hydroxymethylation, including hydroxymethylated DNA standards, enzymes, kits, and services for both region-specific and genome-wide determination of 5-hmC levels.