Hypomethylation of CNG targets induced with dihydroxypropyladenine is rapidly reversed in the course of mitotic cell division in tobacco
We followed the mitotic transmission of an experimentally induced hypomethylated state of several tobacco repetitive sequences in callus culture and plants. The initial hypomethylation was induced by a hypomethylation drug, dihydroxypropyladenine (DHPA), the competitive inhibitor of cellular S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase, which is known to preferentially inhibit methylation at CNG and non-symmetrical motifs while having a negligible effect on methylation at CG motifs. The deprivation of this drug resulted in an almost immediate remethylation of cytosines at CNG motifs (MspI and EcoRII sites) leading us to conclude that, the hypomethylation effect of dihydroxypropyladenine is rather transient and differs from that of 5-azacytidine which often induces heritable changes in methylation patterns. The results suggest that de novo methylation of CNG motifs is a rapid and meiotically independent process on DNA sequences with pre-existing CG methylation.