DNA hydroxymethylation: Implications for toxicology and epigenetic epidemiology

Jairus Pulczinski, Bonnie H.Y. Yeung, Qian Wu, Robert Y.S. Cheng, Wan Yee Tang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), much like its relative 5-methylcytosine, plays crucial roles in early development and disease pathogenesis. In certain contexts, 5-hmC appears to be a stable epigenetic mark, rather than serving simply as a transient marker of demethylation. As our understanding of the multifaceted role of 5-hmC in the genome expands, so has the interest in the occurrence of changes in 5-hmC upon exposure to environmental toxicants and in disease states. In this review, we introduce the chemistry of DNA hydroxymethylation, the role of ten-eleven translocation (TET)-mediated DNA hydroxymethylation in gene regulation, the techniques for 5-hmC measurement, and the interaction between environmental exposures and the changes in 5-hmC in both in vitro and in vivo models. We also discuss the current challenges in understanding the responses of this unique “signature” of the epigenome to environmental stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationToxicoepigenetics
Subtitle of host publicationCore Principles and Applications
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780128124338
ISBN (Print)9780128124345
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine
  • DNA demethylation
  • DNA hydroxymethylation
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetic epidemiology
  • Ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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