We have isolated the DNMT3L gene that is related to the cytosine-5- methyltransferase 3 (DNMT3) family. The gene is located on chromosome 21q22.3 between the AIRE and the KIAA0653 genes and spans approximately 16 kb of genomic sequence. The encoded protein of 387 amino acids has a cysteine-rich region containing a novel-type zinc finger domain that is conserved in DNMT3A and DNMT3B but also in ATRX, a member of the SNF2 protein family. The novel domain, called an ADD (ATRX, DNMT3, DNMT3L)-type zinc finger, contains two subparts: a C2C2 and an imperfect PHD zinc finger. Expression of the DNMT3L mRNA was not detectable by Northern blotting; however, RT-PCR amplification revealed that it is expressed at low levels in several tissues including testis, ovary, and thymus. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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