What is DNA methylation?


Quick Answer

DNA methylation is a genetic signaling tool. This process locks genes into the "off" position. This process is crucial for cell differentiation, genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, chromosome stability and embryonic development.

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Full Answer

DNA methylation occurs at the cytosine bases of eukaryotic DNA. If DNA methylation has an error, it can lead to various diseases. Research shows the link between DNA methylation and cancer, lupus, muscular dystrophy and various birth defects. More research has been done to focus on cancer. It has been found that tumor-suppressing genes are disrupted by hypermethylation. DNA methylation can be measured in humans to determine age because there is a global loss of DNA methylation when we age.

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