Last revised by Francesco Sciacca on 15 May 2023

DNA-methylation is an epigenetic modification of DNA by the addition of methyl groups (-CH3) which in turn results in changes to numerous processes including how genes are expressed. 

The specific pattern of methylation is specific to different tissues, can change over time depending on physiological influences and pathology and is heritable 1

The addition of a methyl group is primarily to the fifth carbon of cytosine (C), forming 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and is catalyzed by DNA methyltransferases 1.

The pattern of methylation in a specific organism or tissue sample (e.g. tumor) can be assessed by DNA-methylation profiling and is an increasingly important technique leading to novel disease identification and classification (e.g. high-grade astrocytoma with piloid features 2). 

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