Levels of modified DNA base pairs examined in cells
from Johns Hopkins News-Letter
Researchers have found that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine content closely correlates with the differentiation state of cells. Terminally differentiated cells contain the highest levels of 5hmC, while less differentiated stem/progenitor cell compartments exhibit very low levels. In addition, 5hmC levels are significantly reduced in prostate, breast and colon carcinomas as compared to normal tissues, a finding which sheds some light on the characteristics that enable cancer cells to survive.
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