DNA adenine methylase (DAM) is an enzyme that methylates adenine residues in the 4-base pair DNA sequence, GATC. This methylation reaction has been shown to be crucial in a variety of cellular processes in bacteria. These include (i) the control of initiation of DNA replication (GATC occurs 11 times in the highly conserved bacterial origin of replication sequence); (ii) methyldirected mismatch repair; (iii) control of transposition of certain transposable DNA elements; and (iv) control of gene expression. With regard to gene expression, the recent report by Heithoff et al. (Science; 284:967-970; 1999) showed that the deletion of the DAM gene rendered Salmonella typhimurium totally avirulent.
DAM; DAM methylase
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