DNA methylation

DNA methylation is a biological process that involves the addition of methyl groups to the DNA molecule. Without affecting the sequence, methylation can modify the activity of a DNA region. When DNA methylation occurs at a gene promoter, it usually suppresses gene transcription. In mammals, DNA methylation is essential for normal development and is associated with a number of key processes including genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, repression of transposable elements, aging, and carcinogenesis.

Aging, environmental effects, and lifestyle variables such as smoking and food all cause biochemical changes in the DNA over time. These frequently result in DNA methylation, which is the addition of methyl groups to specific DNA sequences without affecting the DNA sequence.


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