This gene encodes a member of the methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) family. The MBD consists of about 70 residues and is the minimal region required for a methyl-CpG-binding protein binding specifically to methylated DNA. In addition to the MBD domain, this protein contains a PWWP domain (Pro-Trp-Trp-Pro motif), which consists of 100-150 amino acids and is found in numerous proteins that are involved in cell division, growth and differentiation. Mutations in this gene cause mental retardation autosomal dominant type 1. Haploinsufficiency of this gene is associated with a syndrome involving microcephaly, intellectual disabilities, severe speech impairment, and seizures. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found, but their full-length nature is not determined. [provided by RefSeq]
Expression regulated by
The human proteins MBD5 and MBD6 associate with heterochromatin but they do not bind methylated DNA. Laget S et al. BACKGROUND: MBD5 and MBD6 are two uncharacterized mammalian proteins that contain a putative Methyl-Binding Domain (MBD). In the proteins MBD1, MBD2, MBD4, and MeCP2, this domain allows the specific recognition of DNA containing methylated cytosine; as a consequence, the proteins serve as interpreters of DNA methylation, an essential epigenetic mark. It is unknown whether MBD5 or MBD6 also bind methylated DNA; this question has interest for basic research, but also practical consequences for human health, as MBD5 deletions are the likely cause of certain cases of mental retardation. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report the first functional characterization of MBD5 and MBD6. We have observed that the proteins colocalize with heterochromatin in cultured cells, and that this localization requires the integrity of their MBD. However, heterochromatic localization is maintained in cells with severely decreased levels of DNA methylation. In vitro, neither MBD5 nor MBD6 binds any of the methylated sequences DNA that were tested. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that MBD5 and MBD6 are unlikely to be methyl-binding proteins, yet they may contribute to the formation or function of heterochromatin. One isoform of MBD5 is highly expressed in oocytes, which suggests a possible role in epigenetic reprogramming after fertilization.