Non-CG methylation patterns shape the epigenetic landscape in Arabidopsis

Hume Stroud, Truman Do, Jiamu Du, Xuehua Zhong, Suhua Feng, Lianna Johnson, Dinshaw J. Patel, Steven E. Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

557 Scopus citations


DNA methylation occurs in CG and non-CG sequence contexts. Non-CG methylation is abundant in plants and is mediated by CHROMOMETHYLASE (CMT) and DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASE (DRM) proteins; however, its roles remain poorly understood. Here we characterize the roles of non-CG methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that a poorly characterized methyltransferase, CMT2, is a functional methyltransferase in vitro and in vivo. CMT2 preferentially binds histone H3 Lys9 (H3K9) dimethylation and methylates non-CG cytosines that are regulated by H3K9 methylation. We revealed the contributions and redundancies between each non-CG methyltransferase in DNA methylation patterning and in regulating transcription. We also demonstrate extensive dependencies of small-RNA accumulation and H3K9 methylation patterning on non-CG methylation, suggesting self-reinforcing mechanisms between these epigenetic factors. The results suggest that non-CG methylation patterns are critical in shaping the landscapes of histone modification and small noncoding RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalNature Structural and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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