Conserved Site

DNA methylase, N-6 adenine-specific, conserved site (IPR002052)

Short name: DNA_methylase_N6_adenine_CS


In prokaryotes, the major role of DNA methylation is to protect host DNA against degradation by restriction enzymes. There are 2 major classes of DNA methyltransferase that differ in the nature of the modifications they effect. The members of one class (C-MTases) methylate a ring carbon and form C5-methylcytosine (see PRINTS signature C5METTRFRASE). Members of the second class (N-MTases) methylate exocyclic nitrogens and form either N4-methylcytosine (N4-MTases) or N6-methyladenine (N6-MTases). Both classes of MTase utilise the cofactor S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) as the methyl donor and are active as monomeric enzymes [PMID: 7663118].

N-6 adenine-specific DNA methylases (EC: (A-Mtase) are enzymes that specifically methylate the amino group at the C-6 position of adenines in DNA. Such enzymes are found in the three existing types of bacterial` restriction-modification systems (in type I system the A-Mtase is the product of the hsdM gene, and in type III it is the product of the mod gene). All of these enzymes recognise a specific sequence in DNA and methylate an adenine in that sequence. It has been shown [PMID: 3323532, PMID: 3248728, PMID: 2541254, PMID: 7607512] that A-Mtases contain a conserved motif Asp/Asn-Pro-Pro-Tyr/Phe in their N-terminal section, this conserved region could be involved in substrate binding or in the catalytic activity.

The structure of N6-MTase TaqI (M.TaqI) has been resolved to 2.4 A [PMID: 7971991]. The molecule folds into 2 domains, an N-terminal catalytic domain, which contains the catalytic and cofactor binding sites, and comprises a central 9-stranded beta-sheet, surrounded by 5 helices; and a C-terminal DNA recognition domain, which is formed by 4 small beta-sheets and 8 alpha-helices. The N- and C-terminal domains form a cleft that accommodates the DNA substrate. A classification of N-MTases has been proposed, based on conserved motif (CM) arrangements [PMID: 7607512]. Three such classes include the D12, D21 and N12 classes.

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0032259 methylation

Molecular Function

GO:0008168 methyltransferase activity
GO:0003676 nucleic acid binding

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.
PROSITE patterns