Methylation of cytosine to 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) is a major epigenetic event which interferes with the binding of proteins to DNA resulting in the exquisite control of gene expression and cell differentiation.
5-mC can be further modified to 5-hydroxymethyl Cytosine (5-hmC) by the TET family of methyl-cytosine dioxygenases. 5-hmC is an oxidative product of 5-mC that appears to participate in several active DNA demethylation pathways. 5-hmC is a key marker related to pluripotency in embryonic stem cells and in cancer cells. Hence, this event may be important for normal processes, as well as during cancer cell development and progression.
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