From our friends at GenomeWeb.com:
Two researchers from Rockefeller University have identified a new nucleotide…
While evaluating 5-methylcytosine levels in two types of mouse brain cells, the team detected a nucleotide that they could not identify. When they looked more closely at this nucleotide using thin layer chromatography, high pressure liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and other approaches, the researchers discovered that they were dealing with 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, a form of methylated cytosine found stably in bacterial viruses.
Their subsequent experiments suggest the nucleotide is enriched in brain cells but apparently absent from several other cell types. Based on these findings, the researchers speculated that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine may contribute to epigenetic regulation, particularly in neurons.