Ten-eleven translocation (TET) methylcytosine dioxygenases are enzymes that catalyze the demethylation of 5-methylcytosine on DNA. Through global and site-specific demethylation, they regulate cell fate decisions during development and in embryonic stem cells by maintaining pluripotency or by regulating differentiation. In this Primer, we provide an updated overview of TET functions in development and stem cells. We discuss the catalytic and noncatalytic activities of TETs, and their roles as epigenetic regulators of both DNA and RNA hydroxymethylation, highlighting how TET proteins function in regulating gene expression at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.
- DNA demethylation