5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) antibody (mAb)
DNA methylation is an epigenetic event in which DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) catalyze the reaction of a methyl group to the fifth carbon of cytosine in a CpG dinucleotide. This modification helps to control gene expression and is also involved in genomic imprinting, while aberrant DNA methylation is often associated with disease. 5-methylcytosine is a modified base that is found in the DNA of plants and vertebrates. A second type of DNA methylation exists, 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hydroxy methylcytosine, 5-hmC). This results from the enzymatic conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine by the TET family of cytosine oxygenases. This antibody was developed specifically to distinguish 5-hydroxymethylcytosine from 5-methylcytosine as conventional methods (enrichment by antibody or methyl DNA binding protein, enzymatic digestion and bisulfite sequencing) cannot do so. It is possible that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) represents a pathway to demethylate DNA, as 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is repaired as mismatched DNA and replaced with unmethylated cytosine.