A SNF2-like protein facilitates dynamic control of DNA methylation

Tatsuo Kanno, Werner Aufsatz, Estelle Jaligot, Michael Florian Mette, Marjori Matzke*, Antonius J.M. Matzke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


DRD1 is a SNF2-like protein previously identified in a screen for mutants defective in RNA-directed DNA methylation of a seed promoter in Arabidopsis. Although the initial study established a role for DRD1 in RNA-directed DNA methylation, it did not address whether DRD1 is needed for de novo or maintenance methylation, or whether it is required for methylation of other target sequences. We show here that DRD1 is essential for RNA-directed de novo methylation and acts on different target promoters. In addition, an unanticipated role for DRD1 in erasure of CG methylation was shown when investigating maintenance methylation after segregating away the silencing trigger. DRD1 is unique among known SNF2-like proteins in facilitating not only de novo methylation of target sequences in response to RNA signals, but also loss of methylation when the silencing inducer is withdrawn. The opposing roles of DRD1 could contribute to the dynamic regulation of DNA methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-655
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • De novo methylation
  • Demethylation
  • Maintenance methylation
  • RNA-directed DNA methylation
  • SNF2-like protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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