Methylation of DNA is the most studied epigenetic modification. Many restriction enzymes are sensitive to the DNA methylation states. Cleavage may be blocked, or impaired, when a particular base in the enzyme's recognition site is modified.
Methylation sensitive restriction enzymes can be used to generate fragments for further epigenetic analysis. When used in conjunction with an isoschizomer that has the same recognition site, but is methylation insensitive, information about methylation status can be obtained. Examples of methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes important in epigenetics include:
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This tutorial explains the effect of DNA methylation on restriction enzyme digestion; including dam, dcm and CpG methylation.
If all cells are created from the same genetic material, why are there so many different cell types? Listen to Sriharsa Pradhan, Senior Scientist, RNA Biology at NEB, as he describes how DNA is methylated and how this affects the path of reading the DNA code the same way an obstruction would derail a train off its tracks.