Methylation Ltd., provides innovative reagents and kits for researchers working on DNA methylation and with DNA methyltransferases. The company offers product support with advice and assistance for technology transfer.
Gene silencing through methylation is a well conserved and important feature of gene expression in virtually all eukaryotic and many prokaryotic organisms. In animals, the process is complex and essential in growth and development. There is additional evidence that inappropriate silencing can lead to serious genetic defects as well as cancer. Specifically, there is new evidence to suggest that the balance between growth promoting (oncogenes) and growth suppressor (tumor suppressor) genes is altered by inappropriate methylation. This can lead to aggressive cell growth associated with cancer. Inappropriate silencing can be partially reversed using hypomethylating agents such as the drug aza-deoxycytidine (aza-dC). Aza-dC (also aza-C) is in fact a useful tool to explore methylation events in vivo with endogenous methylation enzymes (DNA methyltransferases or DNMTs). Our lead technology to examine methylation in vivo (The ICM Assay Kit) is based on use of aza-dC to actually track endogenous DNMTs on specific genes inside tumor cells. Kits are available to assay endogenous DNMTs (ICM Assay) and to recover sites of activity on the human genome. We also have in vitro assay kits for DNMT binding to DNA (SDSK+) as well as antibodies, DNA targets and drugs used in hypomethylation studies.