DNA methylation dynamics: identification and functional annotation

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Abstract

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification of cytosines that undergoes dynamic changes in a temporal, spatial and cell-type-specific manner. Recent advances in technology have permitted the profiling of high-throughput methylomes in large numbers of biological samples. Various computational tools have been developed to identify and analyze DNA methylation dynamics in a variety of critical biological processes. As DNA methylation is becoming increasingly viewed as a dynamic process, the mechanisms governing DNA methylation dynamics and its roles in the transcriptional regulatory network are of great interest. It has been reported that DNA methylation dynamics plays essential roles in multiple biological processes, including development and cancer. As a functional event, the dynamics of DNA methylation have become increasingly relevant to many researchers. Here, we review state-of-the-art advances at three levels (genome-wide identification, regulatory mechanism investigation and the functional annotation) in the field of DNA methylation dynamics, as well as the future perspective of DNA methylation dynamics.

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