A novel gene encoding a cytosine-5-DNA methyltransferase recognizing the dinucleotide GpC was cloned from Chlorella virus NYs-1 and expressed in both Escherichia coil and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The gene was sequenced and a predicted polypeptide of 362 amino acids with a molecular weight of 41.903 kDa was identified. The protein contains several amino acid motifs with high similarity to those of other known 5-methylcytosine-forming methyltransferases. In addition, this enzyme, named M.CviPI, shares 66% identity and 76% similarity with M. CviJI, the only other cytosine-5-DNA methyltransferase cloned from a Chlorella virus. The short, frequently occurring recognition sequence of the new methyltransferase will be very useful for in vivo chromatin structure studies in both yeast and higher organisms.
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