S. Henikoff (Steven); F.G. Grosveld (Frank)
textabstractOn 11 to 13 March 2013, BioMed Central will be hosting its inaugural conference, Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and Processes, at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA. Epigenetics & Chromatin has now launched a special article series based on the general themes of the confer
Roloff, Tim C; Nuber, Ulrike A
Epigenetics is a term that has changed its meaning with the increasing biological knowledge on developmental processes. However, its current application to stem cell biology is often imprecise and is conceptually problematic. This article addresses two different subjects, the definition of epigenetics and chromatin states of stem and differentiated cells. We describe mechanisms that regulate chromatin changes and provide an overview of chromatin states of stem and differentiated cells. Moreover, a modification of the current epigenetics definition is proposed that is not restricted by the heritability of gene expression throughout cell divisions and excludes translational gene expression control. PMID:15819395
Bey, Till; Jamge, Suraj; Klemme, Sonja; Komar, Dorota Natalia; Gall, Le Sabine; Mikulski, Pawel; Schmidt, Martin; Zicola, Johan; Berr, Alexandre
In January 2016, the first Epigenetic and Chromatin Regulation of Plant Traits conference was held in Strasbourg, France. An all-star lineup of speakers, a packed audience of 130 participants from over 20 countries, and a friendly scientific atmosphere contributed to make this conference a meetin
Epigenetic mechanisms of silencing via heritable chromatin modifications play a major role in gene regulation and cell fate specification. We consider a model of epigenetic chromatin silencing in budding yeast and study the bifurcation diagram and characterize the bistable and the monostable regimes. The main focus of this paper is to examine how the perturbations altering the activity of histone modifying enzymes affect the epigenetic states. We analyze the implications of having the total number of silencing proteins, given by the sum of proteins bound to the nucleosomes and the ones available in the ambient, to be constant. This constraint couples different regions of chromatin through the shared reservoir of ambient silencing proteins. We show that the response of the system to perturbations depends dramatically on the titration effect caused by the above constraint. In particular, for a certain range of overall abundance of silencing proteins, the hysteresis loop changes qualitatively with certain jump replaced by continuous merger of different states. In addition, we find a nonmonotonic dependence of gene expression on the rate of histone deacetylation activity of Sir2. We discuss how these qualitative predictions of our model could be compared with experimental studies of the yeast system under anti-silencing drugs. (paper)
Cieślik, Marcin; Bekiranov, Stefan
Background Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most widely used method for characterizing the epigenetic states of chromatin on a genomic scale. With the recent availability of large genome-wide data sets, often comprising several epigenetic marks, novel approaches are required to explore functionally relevant interactions between histone modifications. Computational discovery of "chromatin states" defined by such combinatorial interactions enabled desc...
Puri, Deepika; Dhawan, Jyotsna; Mishra, Rakesh K
Epigenetic modifications play a crucial role in developmental gene regulation. These modifications, being reversible, provide a layer of information over and above the DNA sequence, that has plasticity and leads to the generation of cell type-specific epigenomes during cellular differentiation. In almost all higher eukaryotes, the oocyte provides not only its cytoplasm, mitochondria, maternally deposited RNA and proteins but also an epigenetic component in the form of DNA and histone-modifications. During spermeiogenesis however, most of the histones are replaced by protamines, leading to a loss of the epigenetic component. The sperm is, therefore, viewed as a passive carrier of the paternal genome with a disproportionate, lower epigenetic contribution except for DNA methylation, to the next generation. A recent study overturns this view by demonstrating a locus-specific retention of histones, with specific modifications in the sperm chromatin at the promoters of developmentally important genes. This programmed retention of epigenetic marks with a role in embryonic development is suggested to offset, in some measure, the dominant maternal effect. This new finding helps in addressing the question of epigenetic transmission of environmental and 'lifestyle' experiences across generations and raises the question of 'parental conflict' at the loci that may be differentially marked. PMID:20448473
Full Text Available Abstract Background Epigenetic regulators (histone acetyltransferases, methyltransferases, chromatin-remodelling enzymes, etc play a fundamental role in the control of gene expression by modifying the local state of chromatin. However, due to their recent discovery, little is yet known about their own regulation. This paper addresses this point, focusing on alternative splicing regulation, a mechanism already known to play an important role in other protein families, e.g. transcription factors, membrane receptors, etc. Results To this end, we compiled the data available on the presence/absence of alternative splicing for a set of 160 different epigenetic regulators, taking advantage of the relatively large amount of unexplored data on alternative splicing available in public databases. We found that 49 % (70 % in human of these genes express more than one transcript. We then studied their alternative splicing patterns, focusing on those changes affecting the enzyme's domain composition. In general, we found that these sequence changes correspond to different mechanisms, either repressing the enzyme's function (e.g. by creating dominant-negative inhibitors of the functional isoform or creating isoforms with new functions. Conclusion We conclude that alternative splicing of epigenetic regulators can be an important tool for the function modulation of these enzymes. Considering that the latter control the transcriptional state of large sets of genes, we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression is itself strongly regulated by alternative splicing.
Bey, Till; Jamge, Suraj; Klemme, Sonja; Komar, Dorota Natalia; Le Gall, Sabine; Mikulski, Pawel; Schmidt, Martin; Zicola, Johan; Berr, Alexandre
In January 2016, the first Epigenetic and Chromatin Regulation of Plant Traits conference was held in Strasbourg, France. An all-star lineup of speakers, a packed audience of 130 participants from over 20 countries, and a friendly scientific atmosphere contributed to make this conference a meeting to remember. In this article we summarize some of the new insights into chromatin, epigenetics, and epigenomics research and highlight nascent ideas and emerging concepts in this exciting area of research. PMID:27184433
O'Sullivan, Roderick J; Almouzni, Genevieve
Circumvention of the telomere length-dependent mechanisms that control the upper boundaries of cellular proliferation is necessary for the unlimited growth of cancer. Most cancer cells achieve cellular immortality by up-regulating the expression of telomerase to extend and maintain their telomere length. However, a small but significant number of cancers do so via the exchange of telomeric DNA between chromosomes in a pathway termed alternative lengthening of telomeres, or ALT. Although it remains to be clarified why a cell chooses the ALT pathway and how ALT is initiated, recently identified mutations in factors that shape the chromatin and epigenetic landscape of ALT telomeres are shedding light on these mechanisms. In this review, we examine these recent findings and integrate them into the current models of the ALT mechanism. PMID:25172551
Epigenetic regulation can be altered by environmental cues including abiotic and biotic stresses. In most cases, environmentally-induced epigenetic changes are transient, but in some cases they are maintained for extensive periods of time and may even be transmitted to the next generation. However, the underlying mechanisms of transgenerational transmission of environmentally-induced epigenetic states remain largely unknown. Such traits can be adaptive, but also can have negative consequences...
Aguilar, Carlos A.; Craighead, Harold G.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the blueprint on which life is based and transmitted, but the way in which chromatin -- a dynamic complex of nucleic acids and proteins -- is packaged and behaves in the cellular nucleus has only begun to be investigated. Epigenetic modifications sit 'on top of' the genome and affect how DNA is compacted into chromatin and transcribed into ribonucleic acid (RNA). The packaging and modifications around the genome have been shown to exert significant influence on cellular behaviour and, in turn, human development and disease. However, conventional techniques for studying epigenetic or conformational modifications of chromosomes have inherent limitations and, therefore, new methods based on micro- and nanoscale devices have been sought. Here, we review the development of these devices and explore their use in the study of DNA modifications, chromatin modifications and higher-order chromatin structures.
Full Text Available Epigenetics deals with the interactions between genes and the immediate cellular environment. These interactions go a long way in shaping up each and every person’s individuality. Further, reversibility of epigenetic interactions may offer a dynamic control over the expression of various critical genes. Thus, tweaking the epigenetic machinery may help cause or cure diseases, especially cancer. Therefore, cancer epigenetics, especially at a molecular level, needs to be scrutinised closely, as it could potentially serve as the future pharmaceutical goldmine against neoplastic diseases. However, in view of its rapidly enlarging scope of application, it has become difficult to keep abreast of scientific information coming out of various epigenetic studies directed against cancer. Using this review, we have attempted to shed light on two of the most important mechanisms implicated in cancer, that is, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid methylation and histone modifications, and their place in cancer pathogenesis. Further, we have attempted to take stock of the new epigenetic drugs that have emerged onto the market as well as those in the pipeline that offer hope in mankind’s fight against cancer.
Bhattacharjee, Dipanjan; Shenoy, Smita; Bairy, Kurady Laxminarayana
Epigenetics deals with the interactions between genes and the immediate cellular environment. These interactions go a long way in shaping up each and every person's individuality. Further, reversibility of epigenetic interactions may offer a dynamic control over the expression of various critical genes. Thus, tweaking the epigenetic machinery may help cause or cure diseases, especially cancer. Therefore, cancer epigenetics, especially at a molecular level, needs to be scrutinised closely, as it could potentially serve as the future pharmaceutical goldmine against neoplastic diseases. However, in view of its rapidly enlarging scope of application, it has become difficult to keep abreast of scientific information coming out of various epigenetic studies directed against cancer. Using this review, we have attempted to shed light on two of the most important mechanisms implicated in cancer, that is, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) methylation and histone modifications, and their place in cancer pathogenesis. Further, we have attempted to take stock of the new epigenetic drugs that have emerged onto the market as well as those in the pipeline that offer hope in mankind's fight against cancer. PMID:27119045
Persson, Jenna [Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Center for Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden); Ekwall, Karl, E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Center for Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden); School of Life Sciences, University College Sodertorn, NOVUM, Huddinge (Sweden)
Eukaryotic DNA is packaged around octamers of histone proteins into nucleosomes, the basic unit of chromatin. In addition to enabling meters of DNA to fit within the confines of a nucleus, the structure of chromatin has functional implications for cell identity. Covalent chemical modifications to the DNA and to histones, histone variants, ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers, small noncoding RNAs and the level of chromatin compaction all contribute to chromosomal structure and to the activity or silencing of genes. These chromatin-level alterations are defined as epigenetic when they are heritable from mother to daughter cell. The great diversity of epigenomes that can arise from a single genome permits a single, totipotent cell to generate the hundreds of distinct cell types found in humans. Two recent studies in mouse and in fly have highlighted the importance of Chd1 chromatin remodelers for maintaining an open, active chromatin state. Based on evidence from fission yeast as a model system, we speculate that Chd1 remodelers are involved in the disassembly of nucleosomes at promoter regions, thus promoting active transcription and open chromatin. It is likely that these nucleosomes are specifically marked for disassembly by the histone variant H2A.Z.
Bártová, Eva; Krejčí, Jana; Hájek, R.; Harničarová, Andrea; Kozubek, Stanislav
Roč. 9, č. 1 (2009), s. 51-61. ISSN 1871-529X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS500040508; GA ČR(CZ) GA204/06/0978 Grant ostatní: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06027; GA MŠk(CZ) LC535 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507; CEZ:AV0Z50040702 Keywords : tumour cells * chromatin * radiation Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics
Full Text Available In specific regions of the adult mammalian brain, neural stem cells (NSCs generate new neurons throughout life. Emerging evidence indicate that chromatin-based transcriptional regulation is a key epigenetic mechanism for the life-long function of adult NSCs. In the adult mouse brain, NSCs in the subventricular zone (SVZ retain the ability to produce both neurons and glia for the life of the animal. In this review, we discuss the origin and function of SVZ NSCs as they relate to key epigenetic concepts of development and potential underlying mechanism of chromatin-based transcriptional regulation. A central point of discussion is how SVZ NSCs – which possess many characteristics of mature, non-neurogenic astrocytes – maintain a youthful ability to produce both neuronal and glial lineages. In addition to reviewing data regarding the function of chromatin-modifying factors in SVZ neurogenesis, we incorporate our growing understanding that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs serve as an important element to chromatin-based transcriptional regulation, including that of SVZ NSCs. Discoveries regarding the epigenetic mechanisms of adult SVZ NSCs may provide key insights into fundamental principles of adult stem cell biology as well as the more complex and dynamic developmental environment of the embryonic brain.
Avgustinova, Alexandra; Benitah, Salvador Aznar
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in various tumours and are defined by their potential to initiate tumours upon transplantation, self-renew and reconstitute tumour heterogeneity. Modifications of the epigenome can favour tumour initiation by affecting genome integrity, DNA repair and tumour cell plasticity. Importantly, an in-depth understanding of the epigenomic alterations underlying neoplastic transformation may open new avenues for chromatin-targeted cancer treatment, as these epigenetic changes could be inherently more amenable to inhibition and reversal than hard-wired genomic alterations. Here we discuss how CSC function is affected by chromatin state and epigenomic instability. PMID:26874045
Filippova, Darya; Patro, Rob; Duggal, Geet; Kingsford, Carl
Chromosome conformation capture experiments have led to the discovery of dense, contiguous, megabase-sized topological domains that are similar across cell types and conserved across species. These domains are strongly correlated with a number of chromatin markers and have since been included in a number of analyses. However, functionally-relevant domains may exist at multiple length scales. We introduce a new and efficient algorithm that is able to capture persistent domains across various r...
Nagaraj, Vijayalakshmi H.; Mukhopadhyay, Swagatam; Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M.
In addition to gene network switches, local epigenetic modifications to DNA and histones play an important role in all-or-none cellular decision-making. Here, we study the dynamical design of a well-characterized epigenetic chromatin switch: the yeast SIR system, in order to understand the origin of the stability of epigenetic states. We study hysteresis in this system by perturbing it with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We find that SIR silencing has many characteristics of a non-linear bistable system, as observed in conventional genetic switches, which are based on activities of a few promoters affecting each other through the abundance of their gene products. Quite remarkably, our experiments in yeast telomeric silencing show a very distinctive pattern when it comes to the transition from bistability to monostability. In particular, the loss of the stable silenced state, upon increasing the inhibitor concentration, does not seem to show the expected saddle node behavior, instead looking like a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation. In other words, the ‘off’ state merges with the ‘on’ state at a threshold concentration leading to a single state, as opposed to the two states remaining distinct up to the threshold and exhibiting a discontinuous jump from the ‘off’ to the ‘on’ state. We argue that this is an inevitable consequence of silenced and active regions coexisting with dynamic domain boundaries. The experimental observations in our study therefore have broad implications for the understanding of chromatin silencing in yeast and beyond. PMID:25536038
Vijayalakshmi H Nagaraj
Full Text Available In addition to gene network switches, local epigenetic modifications to DNA and histones play an important role in all-or-none cellular decision-making. Here, we study the dynamical design of a well-characterized epigenetic chromatin switch: the yeast SIR system, in order to understand the origin of the stability of epigenetic states. We study hysteresis in this system by perturbing it with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We find that SIR silencing has many characteristics of a non-linear bistable system, as observed in conventional genetic switches, which are based on activities of a few promoters affecting each other through the abundance of their gene products. Quite remarkably, our experiments in yeast telomeric silencing show a very distinctive pattern when it comes to the transition from bistability to monostability. In particular, the loss of the stable silenced state, upon increasing the inhibitor concentration, does not seem to show the expected saddle node behavior, instead looking like a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation. In other words, the 'off' state merges with the 'on' state at a threshold concentration leading to a single state, as opposed to the two states remaining distinct up to the threshold and exhibiting a discontinuous jump from the 'off' to the 'on' state. We argue that this is an inevitable consequence of silenced and active regions coexisting with dynamic domain boundaries. The experimental observations in our study therefore have broad implications for the understanding of chromatin silencing in yeast and beyond.
Anderly C Chueh
Full Text Available We have previously identified and characterized the phenomenon of ectopic human centromeres, known as neocentromeres. Human neocentromeres form epigenetically at euchromatic chromosomal sites and are structurally and functionally similar to normal human centromeres. Recent studies have indicated that neocentromere formation provides a major mechanism for centromere repositioning, karyotype evolution, and speciation. Using a marker chromosome mardel(10 containing a neocentromere formed at the normal chromosomal 10q25 region, we have previously mapped a 330-kb CENP-A-binding domain and described an increased prevalence of L1 retrotransposons in the underlying DNA sequences of the CENP-A-binding clusters. Here, we investigated the potential role of the L1 retrotransposons in the regulation of neocentromere activity. Determination of the transcriptional activity of a panel of full-length L1s (FL-L1s across a 6-Mb region spanning the 10q25 neocentromere chromatin identified one of the FL-L1 retrotransposons, designated FL-L1b and residing centrally within the CENP-A-binding clusters, to be transcriptionally active. We demonstrated the direct incorporation of the FL-L1b RNA transcripts into the CENP-A-associated chromatin. RNAi-mediated knockdown of the FL-L1b RNA transcripts led to a reduction in CENP-A binding and an impaired mitotic function of the 10q25 neocentromere. These results indicate that LINE retrotransposon RNA is a previously undescribed essential structural and functional component of the neocentromeric chromatin and that retrotransposable elements may serve as a critical epigenetic determinant in the chromatin remodelling events leading to neocentromere formation.
Michieletto, Davide; Marenduzzo, Davide
One of the most important problems in development is how epigenetic domains can be first established, and then maintained, within cells. To address this question, we propose a framework which couples 3D chromatin folding dynamics, to a "recolouring" process modelling the writing of epigenetic marks. Because many intra-chromatin interactions are mediated by bridging proteins, we consider a "two-state" model with self-attractive interactions between two epigenetic marks which are alike (either active or inactive). This model displays a first-order-like transition between a swollen, epigenetically disordered, phase, and a compact, epigenetically coherent, chromatin globule. If the self-attraction strength exceeds a threshold, the chromatin dynamics becomes glassy, and the corresponding interaction network freezes. By modifying the epigenetic read-write process according to more biologically-inspired assumptions, our polymer model with recolouring recapitulates the ultrasensitive response of epigenetic switches t...
Kim, Ik Soo; Lee, Minkyoung; Park, Koog Chan; Jeon, Yoon; Park, Joo Hyeon; Hwang, Eun Ju; Jeon, Tae Im; Ko, Seoyoung; Lee, Ho; Baek, Sung Hee; Kim, Keun Il
The Mis18 complex has been identified as a critical factor for the centromeric localization of a histone H3 variant, centromeric protein A (CENP-A), which is responsible for the specification of centromere identity in the chromosome. However, the functional role of Mis18 complex is largely unknown. Here, we generated Mis18α conditional knockout mice and found that Mis18α deficiency resulted in lethality at early embryonic stage with severe defects in chromosome segregation caused by mislocalization of CENP-A. Further, we demonstrate Mis18α's crucial role for epigenetic regulation of centromeric chromatin by reinforcing centromeric localization of DNMT3A/3B. Mis18α interacts with DNMT3A/3B, and this interaction is critical for maintaining DNA methylation and hence regulating epigenetic states of centromeric chromatin. Mis18α deficiency led to reduced DNA methylation, altered histone modifications, and uncontrolled noncoding transcripts in centromere region by decreased DNMT3A/3B enrichment. Together, our findings uncover the functional mechanism of Mis18α and its pivotal role in mammalian cell cycle. PMID:22516971
Nguyen, Huong; Sokpor, Godwin; Pham, Linh; Rosenbusch, Joachim; Stoykova, Anastassia; Staiger, Jochen F; Tuoc, Tran
The multi-subunit chromatin-remodeling SWI/SNF (known as BAF for Brg/Brm-associated factor) complexes play essential roles in development. Studies have shown that the loss of individual BAF subunits often affects local chromatin structure and specific transcriptional programs. However, we do not fully understand how BAF complexes function in development because no animal mutant had been engineered to lack entire multi-subunit BAF complexes. Importantly, we recently reported that double conditional knock-out (dcKO) of the BAF155 and BAF170 core subunits in mice abolished the presence of the other BAF subunits in the developing cortex. The generated dcKO mutant provides a novel and powerful tool for investigating how entire BAF complexes affect cortical development. Using this model, we found that BAF complexes globally control the key heterochromatin marks, H3K27me2 and -3, by directly modulating the enzymatic activity of the H3K27 demethylases, Utx and Jmjd3. Here, we present further insights into how the scaffolding ability of the BAF155 and BAF170 core subunits maintains the stability of BAF complexes in the forebrain and throughout the embryo during development. Furthermore, we show that the loss of BAF complexes in the above-described model up-regulates H3K27me3 and impairs forebrain development and embryogenesis. These findings improve our understanding of epigenetic mechanisms and their modulation by the chromatin-remodeling SWI/SNF complexes that control embryonic development. PMID:26986003
Morgan, William F; Kovalchuk, Olga; Dolinoy, Dana C; Dubrova, Yuri E; Coleman, Matthew A; Schär, Primo; Pogribny, Igor; Hendzel, Michael
The Low Dose Radiation Symposium thoughtfully addressed ionizing radiation non-mutational but transmissable alterations in surviving cells. Deregulation of epigenetic processes has been strongly implicated in carcinogenesis, and there is increasing realization that a significant fraction of non-targeted and adaptive mechanisms in response to ionizing radiation are likely to be epigenetic in nature. Much remains to be learned about how chromatin and epigenetic regulators affect responses to low doses of radiation, and how low dose radiation impacts other epigenetic processes. The Epigenetic Mechanisms Symposium focused on on epigenetic mechanisms and their interplay with DNA repair and chromatin changes. Addressing the fact that the most well understood mediators of epigenetic regulation are histone modifications and DNA methylation. Low levels of radiation can lead to changes in the methylation status of certain gene promoters and the expression of DNA methyltransferases, However, epigenetic regulation can also involve changes in higher order chromosome structure.
Full Text Available Abstract Dynamic chromatin structure is a fundamental property of gene transcriptional regulation, and has emerged as a critical modulator of physiological processes during cellular differentiation and development. Analysis of chromatin structure using molecular biology and biochemical assays in rare somatic stem and progenitor cells is key for understanding these processes but poses a great challenge because of their reliance on millions of cells. Through the development of a miniaturized genome-scale chromatin immunoprecipitation method (miniChIP–chip, we have documented the genome-wide chromatin states of low abundant populations that comprise hematopoietic stem cells and immediate progeny residing in murine bone marrow. In this report, we describe the miniChIP methodology that can be used for increasing an understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell function. Application of this method will reveal the contribution of dynamic chromatin structure in regulating the function of other somatic stem cell populations, and how this process becomes perturbed in pathological conditions. Additional file 1 Click here for file
Martínez Redondo, Paloma
Tesi realitzada a l'Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL) The chromatin consists of a hierarchical and dynamical structure that is modulated during the different cell cycle stages in order to maintain genome integrity and preserve the genetic information coded in the DNA. The dynamic structure of the chromatin depends on the coordination of the different chromatin remodeling processes: histone modifications, chromatin remodeling enzymes/complexes, DNA methylation and chr...
Whey Acidic Protein (WAP) gene expression is specific to the mammary gland and regulated by lactogenic hormones to peak during lactation. It differs markedly from the more constitutive expression of the two flanking genes, Ramp3 and Tbrg4. Our results show that the tight regulation of WAP gene expression parallels variations in the chromatin structure and DNA methylation profile throughout the Ramp3-WAP-Tbrg4 locus. Three Matrix Attachment Regions (MAR) have been predicted in this locus. Two of them are located between regions exhibiting open and closed chromatin structures in the liver. The third, located around the transcription start site of the Tbrg4 gene, interacts with topoisomerase II in HC11 mouse mammary cells, and in these cells anchors the chromatin loop to the nuclear matrix. Furthermore, if lactogenic hormones are present in these cells, the chromatin loop surrounding the WAP gene is more tightly attached to the nuclear structure, as observed after a high salt treatment of the nuclei and the formation of nuclear halos. Taken together, our results point to a combination of several epigenetic events that may explain the differential expression pattern of the WAP locus in relation to tissue and developmental stages
Synaptic plasticity is one of the most fundamental properties of neurons that underlie the formation of the memory in brain. In recent years, epigenetic modification of both DNA and histones such as DNA methylation and histone acetylation and methylation emerges as a potential regulatory mechanism that governs the transcription of several genes responsible for memory formation and behavior. Furthermore, the recent identification of nitrosylation of proteins has shown to either activate or repress gene transcription by modulating histone methylation or acetylation status in mature neuron. Recent studies suggest that the use of major substrates of abuse, e.g., cocaine, induces alterations in molecular and cellular mechanisms of epigenetics that underlie long-term memories in the striatum and prefrontal cortex. Moreover, downregulation of genes due to alterations in epigenetics leads to cognitive deficiencies associated with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, psychiatric disorder such as Rett's syndrome and aging. In this review, I will discuss the evidence for several epigenetic mechanisms in the coordination of complex memory formation and storage. In addition, I will address the current literature highlighting the role of acetylation and methylation of chromatin in memory impairment associated with several neurological disorders, aging, and addiction. PMID:24777294
Episkopou, Charikleia; Draskovic, Irena; Van Beneden, Amandine; Tilman, Gaëlle; Mattiussi, Marina; Gobin, Matthieu; Arnoult, Nausica; Londoño-Vallejo, Arturo; Decottignies, Anabelle
International audience Proper telomeric chromatin configuration is thought to be essential for telomere homeostasis and stability. Previous studies in mouse suggested that loss of heterochromatin marks at telomeres might favor onset of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway, by promoting homologous recombination. However, analysis of chromatin status at human ALT telomeres has never been reported. Here, using isogenic human cell lines and cellular hybrids, which rely either on ...
Kristensen, Dina Graae; Mlynarska, Olga; Nielsen, John E;
series of 36 SS samples. We assessed by immunohistochemistry tumor DNA methylation levels, the expression of methyltransferases DNMT3A, DNMT3B and DNMT3L as well as levels of histone modifications H3K9me2, H3K27me3, H3K4me1, H3K4me2/3, H3K9ac, and H2A.Z. We did not identify any epigenetic marks that...
Wang, Fangnian; Deeney, Jude T.; Denis, Gerald V.
Disturbed body energy balance can lead to obesity and obesity-driven diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, which have reached an epidemic level. Evidence indicates that obesity induced inflammation is a major cause of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Environmental factors, such as nutrients, affect body energy balance through epigenetic or chromatin-based mechanisms. As a bromodomain and external domain family transcription regulator, Brd2 regulates expression of many genes through interpr...
Full Text Available Genomic imprints-parental allele-specific DNA methylation marks at the differentially methylated regions (DMRs of imprinted genes-are erased and reestablished in germ cells according to the individual's sex. Imprint establishment at paternally methylated germ line DMRs occurs in fetal male germ cells. In prospermatogonia, the two unmethylated alleles exhibit different rates of de novo methylation at the H19/Igf2 imprinting control region (ICR depending on parental origin. We investigated the nature of this epigenetic memory using bisulfite sequencing and allele-specific ChIP-SNuPE assays. We found that the chromatin composition in fetal germ cells was biased at the ICR between the two alleles with the maternally inherited allele exhibiting more H3K4me3 and less H3K9me3 than the paternally inherited allele. We determined genetically that the chromatin bias, and also the delayed methylation establishment in the maternal allele, depended on functional CTCF insulator binding sites in the ICR. Our data suggest that, in primordial germ cells, maternally inherited allele-specific CTCF binding sets up allele-specific chromatin differences at the ICR. The erasure of these allele-specific chromatin marks is not complete before the process of de novo methylation imprint establishment begins. CTCF-dependent allele-specific chromatin composition imposes a maternal allele-specific delay on de novo methylation imprint establishment at the H19/Igf2 ICR in prospermatogonia.
Han, Pei; Li, Wei; Yang, Jin; Shang, Ching; Lin, Chiou-Hong; Cheng, Wei; Hang, Calvin T; Cheng, Hsiu-Ling; Chen, Chen-Hao; Wong, Johnson; Xiong, Yiqin; Zhao, Mingming; Drakos, Stavros G; Ghetti, Andrea; Li, Dean Y; Bernstein, Daniel; Chen, Huei-Sheng Vincent; Quertermous, Thomas; Chang, Ching-Pin
Chromatin structure is determined by nucleosome positioning, histone modifications, and DNA methylation. How chromatin modifications are coordinately altered under pathological conditions remains elusive. Here we describe a stress-activated mechanism of concerted chromatin modification in the heart. In mice, pathological stress activates cardiomyocytes to express Brg1 (nucleosome-remodeling factor), G9a/Glp (histone methyltransferase), and Dnmt3 (DNA methyltransferase). Once activated, Brg1 recruits G9a and then Dnmt3 to sequentially assemble repressive chromatin-marked by H3K9 and CpG methylation-on a key molecular motor gene (Myh6), thereby silencing Myh6 and impairing cardiac contraction. Disruption of Brg1, G9a or Dnmt3 erases repressive chromatin marks and de-represses Myh6, reducing stress-induced cardiac dysfunction. In human hypertrophic hearts, BRG1-G9a/GLP-DNMT3 complex is also activated; its level correlates with H3K9/CpG methylation, Myh6 repression, and cardiomyopathy. Our studies demonstrate a new mechanism of chromatin assembly in stressed hearts and novel therapeutic targets for restoring Myh6 and ventricular function. The stress-induced Brg1-G9a-Dnmt3 interactions and sequence of repressive chromatin assembly on Myh6 illustrates a molecular mechanism by which the heart epigenetically responds to environmental signals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cardiomyocyte Biology: Integration of Developmental and Environmental Cues in the Heart edited by Marcus Schaub and Hughes Abriel. PMID:26952936
Xu, Cheng-Ran; Zaret, Kenneth S.
Understanding the basis for multipotency, whereby stem cells and other progenitors can differentiate into certain tissues and not others, provides insights into the mechanism of cell programming in development, homeostasis, and disease. We recently reported a screen of diverse chromatin marks to obtain clues about chromatin states in the multipotent embryonic endoderm. Genetic and pharmacologic tests of certain marks’ function demonstrated that the relevant chromatin modifying factors modulat...
Clynes, David; Jelinska, Clare; Xella, Barbara; Ayyub, Helena; Scott, Caroline; Mitson, Matthew; Taylor, Stephen; Higgs, Douglas R; Gibbons, Richard J
Fifteen per cent of cancers maintain telomere length independently of telomerase by the homologous recombination (HR)-associated alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. A unifying feature of these tumours are mutations in ATRX. Here we show that expression of ectopic ATRX triggers a suppression of the pathway and telomere shortening. Importantly ATRX-mediated ALT suppression is dependent on the histone chaperone DAXX. Re-expression of ATRX is associated with a reduction in replication fork stalling, a known trigger for HR and loss of MRN from telomeres. A G-quadruplex stabilizer partially reverses the effect of ATRX, inferring ATRX may normally facilitate replication through these sequences that, if they persist, promote ALT. We propose that defective telomere chromatinization through loss of ATRX promotes the persistence of aberrant DNA secondary structures, which in turn present a barrier to DNA replication, leading to replication fork stalling, collapse, HR and subsequent recombination-mediated telomere synthesis in ALT cancers. PMID:26143912
James C Robertson
Full Text Available Lysine specific demethylase-1 (LSD1/KDM1A in complex with its corepressor protein CoREST is a promising target for epigenetic drugs. No therapeutic that targets LSD1/CoREST, however, has been reported to date. Recently, extended molecular dynamics (MD simulations indicated that LSD1/CoREST nanoscale clamp dynamics is regulated by substrate binding and highlighted key hinge points of this large-scale motion as well as the relevance of local residue dynamics. Prompted by the urgent need for new molecular probes and inhibitors to understand LSD1/CoREST interactions with small-molecules, peptides, protein partners, and chromatin, we undertake here a configurational ensemble approach to expand LSD1/CoREST druggability. The independent algorithms FTMap and SiteMap and our newly developed Druggable Site Visualizer (DSV software tool were used to predict and inspect favorable binding sites. We find that the hinge points revealed by MD simulations at the SANT2/Tower interface, at the SWIRM/AOD interface, and at the AOD/Tower interface are new targets for the discovery of molecular probes to block association of LSD1/CoREST with chromatin or protein partners. A fourth region was also predicted from simulated configurational ensembles and was experimentally validated to have strong binding propensity. The observation that this prediction would be prevented when using only the X-ray structures available (including the X-ray structure bound to the same peptide underscores the relevance of protein dynamics in protein interactions. A fifth region was highlighted corresponding to a small pocket on the AOD domain. This study sets the basis for future virtual screening campaigns targeting the five novel regions reported herein and for the design of LSD1/CoREST mutants to probe LSD1/CoREST binding with chromatin and various protein partners.
Mirabella, Anne C; Foster, Benjamin M; Bartke, Till
The regulation of chromatin by epigenetic mechanisms plays a central role in gene expression and is essential for development and maintenance of cell identity and function. Aberrant chromatin regulation is observed in many diseases where it leads to defects in epigenetic gene regulation resulting in pathological gene expression programmes. These defects are caused by inherited or acquired mutations in genes encoding enzymes that deposit or remove DNA and histone modifications and that shape chromatin architecture. Chromatin deregulation often results in neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities, frequently linked to physical and developmental abnormalities, but can also cause neurodegenerative diseases, immunodeficiency, or muscle wasting syndromes. Epigenetic diseases can either be of monogenic origin or manifest themselves as complex multifactorial diseases such as in congenital heart disease, autism spectrum disorders, or cancer in which mutations in chromatin regulators are contributing factors. The environment directly influences the epigenome and can induce changes that cause or predispose to diseases through risk factors such as stress, malnutrition or exposure to harmful chemicals. The plasticity of chromatin regulation makes targeting the enzymatic machinery an attractive strategy for therapeutic intervention and an increasing number of small molecule inhibitors against a variety of epigenetic regulators are in clinical use or under development. In this review, we will give an overview of the molecular lesions that underlie epigenetic diseases, and we will discuss the impact of the environment and prospects for epigenetic therapies. PMID:26188466
Christopher Ian Cazzonelli; Nazia eNisar; Roberts, Andrea C.; Kevin eMurray; Borevitz, Justin O; Barry James Pogson
Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzy...
Cazzonelli, Christopher I.; Nisar, Nazia; Roberts, Andrea C.; Murray, Kevin D.; Borevitz, Justin O; Pogson, Barry J.
Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzym...
Strunnikova Maria; Schagdarsurengin, Undraga; Kehlen, Astrid; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; Dammann, Reinhard
Epigenetic inactivation of the RASSF1A tumor suppressor by CpG island methylation was frequently detected in cancer. However, the mechanisms of this aberrant DNA methylation are unknown. In the RASSF1A promoter, we characterized four Sp1 sites, which are frequently methylated in cancer. We examined the functional relationship between DNA methylation, histone modification, Sp1 binding, and RASSF1A expression in proliferating human mammary epithelial cells. With increasing passages, the transcription of RASSF1A was dramatically silenced. This inactivation was associated with deacetylation and lysine 9 trimethylation of histone H3 and an impaired binding of Sp1 at the RASSF1A promoter. In mammary epithelial cells that had overcome a stress-associated senescence barrier, a spreading of DNA methylation in the CpG island promoter was observed. When the RASSF1A-silenced cells were treated with inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase, binding of Sp1 and expression of RASSF1 A reoccurred. In summary, we observed that histone H3 deacetylation and H3 lysine 9 trimethylation occur in the same time window as gene inactivation and precede DNA methylation. Our data suggest that in epithelial cells, histone inactivation may trigger de novo DNA methylation of the RASSF1A promoter and this system may serve as a model for CpG island inactivation of tumor suppressor genes.
Fetter-Pruneda, I; Martínez-Méndez, R; Olivos-Cisneros, L; Diaz, D; Padilla-Cortés, P; Báez-Saldaña, A; Gutiérrez-Ospina, G
Blindness is a pervasive sensory condition that imposes diverse difficulties to carry on with activities of daily living. In blind individuals, the brain is subjected to a large scale reorganization characterized by expanded cortical territories associated with somatosensory and auditory functions and the recruitment of the former visual areas to perform bimodal somatosensory and auditory integration. This poses obstacles to efforts aimed at reassigning visual functions to the recruited visual cortex in the blind, especially after the end of the ontogentic sensitive period. Devising pharmacological measures to modulate the magnitude of brain plasticity could improve our chances of recovering visual functions in the blind. Here, by using the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat as a working model, we showed that valproic acid administered through the mother's milk prevents cortical reorganization in blinded rats by delaying neuronal histone de-acetylation. These results suggest that in the future, we might be able to devise epigenetic pharmacological measures that could improve our chances of reassigning visual functions to the once deprived former visual cortex in the blind, by modulating the magnitude of brain plasticity during critical times of development. PMID:22423589
Kheir, Tony Bou; Lund, Anders H.
Progression of the mammalian cell cycle depends on correct timing and co-ordination of a series of events, which are managed by the cellular transcriptional machinery and epigenetic mechanisms governing genome accessibility. Epigenetic chromatin modifications are dynamic across the cell cycle...... a correct inheritance of epigenetic chromatin modifications to daughter cells. In this chapter, we summarize the current knowledge on the dynamics of epigenetic chromatin modifications during progression of the cell cycle....
Almouzni, Geneviève; Cedar, Howard
SUMMARYThe genome is subject to a diverse array of epigenetic modifications from DNA methylation to histone posttranslational changes. Many of these marks are somatically stable through cell division. This article focuses on our knowledge of the mechanisms governing the inheritance of epigenetic marks, particularly, repressive ones, when the DNA and chromatin template are duplicated in S phase. This involves the action of histone chaperones, nucleosome-remodeling enzymes, histone and DNA methylation binding proteins, and chromatin-modifying enzymes. Last, the timing of DNA replication is discussed, including the question of whether this constitutes an epigenetic mark that facilitates the propagation of epigenetic marks. PMID:27141050
Ariel, Federico D.
The eukaryotic epigenome is shaped by the genome topology in three-dimensional space. Dynamic reversible variations in this epigenome structure directly influence the transcriptional responses to developmental cues. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) APOLO is transcribed by RNA polymerases II and V in response to auxin, a phytohormone controlling numerous facets of plant development. This dual APOLO transcription regulates the formation of a chromatin loop encompassing the promoter of its neighboring gene PID, a key regulator of polar auxin transport. Altering APOLO expression affects chromatin loop formation, whereas RNA-dependent DNA methylation, active DNA demethylation, and Polycomb complexes control loop dynamics. This dynamic chromatin topology determines PID expression patterns. Hence, the dual transcription of a lincRNA influences local chromatin topology and directs dynamic auxin-controlled developmental outputs on neighboring genes. This mechanism likely underscores the adaptive success of plants in diverse environments and may be widespread in eukaryotes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Nestler, Eric J.
Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that epigenetics is a key mechanism through which environmental exposures interact with an individual’s genetic constitution to determine risk for depression throughout life.1 Epigenetics, in its broadest meaning, refers to stable changes in gene expression that are mediated via altered chromatin structure without modification of DNA sequence. According to this hypothesis, severe stress triggers changes—in vulnerable individuals—in chromatin structure ...
The characteristics of epigenetic control, including the potential for long-lasting, stable effects on gene expression that outlive an initial transient signal, could be of singular importance for post-mitotic neurons, which are subject to changes with short- to long-lasting influence on their activity and connectivity. Persistent changes in chromatin structure are thought to contribute to mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance. Recent advances in chromatin biology offer new avenues to investig...
Lund, Anders H; van Lohuizen, Maarten
Epigenetic mechanisms act to change the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional regulation locally and globally via modifications of the DNA and by modification or rearrangement of nucleosomes. Epigenetic gene regulation collaborates with genetic alterations in cancer development....... This is evident from every aspect of tumor biology including cell growth and differentiation, cell cycle control, DNA repair, angiogenesis, migration, and evasion of host immunosurveillance. In contrast to genetic cancer causes, the possibility of reversing epigenetic codes may provide new targets for therapeutic...
Douglas T Carrell
@@ Human sperm chromatin, and the sperm of most mammals, undergoes extensive remodeling during spermiogenesis during which 85%-95% of the histones are removed and replaced with protamines.The replacement of most histones with protamines facilitates a tighter packaging of the chromatin that is necessary for normal sperm function, and may help protect sperm DNA from damage during transport.1 An intriguing question has been why the replacement of histones with protamines is not complete,and if the histones that remain in human sperm chromatin could have a programmatic role in regulating gene expression post-fertilization?
Gan, Qiang; Chepelev, Iouri; Wei, Gang; Tarayrah, Lama; Cui, Kairong; Zhao, Keji; Chen, Xin
Both transcription and post-transcriptional processes, such as alternative splicing, play crucial roles in controlling developmental programs in metazoans. Recently emerged RNA-seq method has brought our understandings of eukaryotic transcriptomes to a new level, because it can resolve both gene expression level and alternative splicing events simultaneously.
Mariana P Torrente
Full Text Available Chromatin proteins provide a scaffold for DNA packaging and a basis for epigenetic regulation and genomic maintenance. Despite understanding its functional roles, mapping the chromatin proteome (i.e. the "Chromatome" is still a continuing process. Here, we assess the biological specificity and proteomic extent of three distinct chromatin preparations by identifying proteins in selected chromatin-enriched fractions using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. These experiments allowed us to produce a chromatin catalog, including several proteins ranging from highly abundant histone proteins to less abundant members of different chromatin machinery complexes. Using a Normalized Spectral Abundance Factor approach, we quantified relative abundances of the proteins across the chromatin enriched fractions giving a glimpse into their chromosomal abundance. The large-scale data sets also allowed for the discovery of a variety of novel post-translational modifications on the identified chromatin proteins. With these comparisons, we find one of the probed methods to be qualitatively superior in specificity for chromatin proteins, but inferior in proteomic extent, evidencing a compromise that must be made between biological specificity and broadness of characterization. Additionally, we attempt to identify proteins in eu- and heterochromatin, verifying the enrichments by characterizing the post-translational modifications detected on histone proteins from these chromatin regions. In summary, our results provide insights into the value of different methods to extract chromatin-associated proteins and provide starting points to study the factors that may be involved in directing gene expression and other chromatin-related processes.
Melcer, Shai; Hezroni, Hadas; Rand, Eyal; Nissim-Rafinia, Malka; Skoultchi, Arthur; Stewart, Colin L.; Bustin, Michael; Meshorer, Eran
Embryonic stem cells are characterized by unique epigenetic features including decondensed chromatin and hyperdynamic association of chromatin proteins with chromatin. Here we investigate the potential mechanisms that regulate chromatin plasticity in embryonic stem cells. Using epigenetic drugs and mutant embryonic stem cells lacking various chromatin proteins, we find that histone acetylation, G9a-mediated histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methylation and lamin A expression, all affect chromatin pr...
Clynes, David; Jelinska, Clare; Xella, Barbara; Ayyub, Helena; Scott, Caroline; Mitson, Matthew; Taylor, Stephen; Higgs, Douglas R.; Gibbons, Richard J.
Fifteen per cent of cancers maintain telomere length independently of telomerase by the homologous recombination (HR)-associated alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. A unifying feature of these tumours are mutations in ATRX. Here we show that expression of ectopic ATRX triggers a suppression of the pathway and telomere shortening. Importantly ATRX-mediated ALT suppression is dependent on the histone chaperone DAXX. Re-expression of ATRX is associated with a reduction in replica...
Fojtová, M.; Fajkus, Jiří
Roč. 143, 1-3 (2014), s. 125-135. ISSN 1424-8581 Institutional support: RVO:68081707 Keywords : Chromatin * DNA methylation * Epigenetics Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 1.561, year: 2014
Fong, Chun Yew; Morison, Jessica; Dawson, Mark A.
A wealth of genomic and epigenomic data has identified abnormal regulation of epigenetic processes as a prominent theme in hematologic malignancies. Recurrent somatic alterations in myeloid malignancies of key proteins involved in DNA methylation, post-translational histone modification and chromatin remodeling have highlighted the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the initiation and maintenance of various malignancies. The rational use of targeted epigenetic therapies...
Berger, Shelley L.; Kouzarides, Tony; Shiekhattar, Ramin; Shilatifard, Ali
A recent meeting (December 2008) regarding chromatin-based epigenetics was hosted by the Banbury Conference Center and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The intent was to discuss aspects of epigenetic control of genomic function, and to arrive at a consensus definition of “epigenetics” to be considered by the broader community. It was evident that multiple mechanistic steps lead to the stable heritance of the epigenetic phenotype. Below we provide our view and interpretation of the proceedings a...
Groth, Anja; Rocha, Walter; Verreault, Alain;
Inheritance and maintenance of the DNA sequence and its organization into chromatin are central for eukaryotic life. To orchestrate DNA-replication and -repair processes in the context of chromatin is a challenge, both in terms of accessibility and maintenance of chromatin organization. To meet the...... challenge of maintenance, cells have evolved efficient nucleosome-assembly pathways and chromatin-maturation mechanisms that reproduce chromatin organization in the wake of DNA replication and repair. The aim of this Review is to describe how these pathways operate and to highlight how the epigenetic...
Helin, Kristian; Dhanak, Dashyant
A plethora of groundbreaking studies have demonstrated the importance of chromatin-associated proteins and post-translational modifications of histones, proteins and DNA (so-called epigenetic modifications) for transcriptional control and normal development. Disruption of epigenetic control is a ...
Deltour, Sophie; Chopin, Valérie; Leprince, Dominique
Epigenetics is defined as "the study of mitotically and/or meiotically heritable changes in gene expression that cannot be explained by changes in the DNA sequence". Setting up the epigenetic program is crucial for correct development and its stable inheritance throughout its lifespan is essential for the maintenance of the tissue- and cell-specific functions of the organism. For many years, the genetic causes of cancer have hold centre stage. However, the recent wealth of information about the molecular mechanisms which, by modulating the chromatin structure, can regulate gene expression has high-lighted the predominant role of epigenetic modifications in the initiation and progression of numerous pathologies, including cancer. The nucleosome is the major target of these epigenetic regulation mechanisms. They include a series of tightly interconnected steps which starting with the setting ("writing") of the epigenetic mark till its "reading" and interpretation will result in long-term gene regulation. The major epigenetic changes associated with tumorigenesis are aberrant DNA methylation of CpG islands located in the promoter region of tumor suppressor gene, global genomic hypomethylation and covalent modifications of histone N-terminal tails which are protruding out from the nucleosome core. In sharp contrast with genetic modifications, epigenetic modifications are highly dynamic and reversible. The characterization of specific inhibitors directed against some key epigenetic players has opened a new and promising therapeutic avenue, the epigenetic therapy, since some inhibitors are already used in clinical trials. PMID:15811306
Ingela Djupedal; Karl Ekwall
The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes not encoded by DNA. The organization of DNA into chromatin fibers affects gene expression in a heritable manner and is therefore one mechanism of epigenetic inheritance. Large parts of eukaryotic genomes consist of constitutively highly condensed heterochromatin, important for maintaining genome integrity but also for silencing of genes within. Small RNA, together with factors typically associated with RNA interference (RNAi) targets homologous DNA sequences and recruits factors that modify the chromatin, com-monly resulting in formation of heterochromatin and silencing of target genes. The scope of this review is to provide an overview of the roles of small RNA and the RNAi components, Dicer, Argonaute and RNA dependent polymeras-es in epigenetic inheritance via heterochromatin formation, exemplified with pathways from unicellular eukaryotes, plants and animals.
Maumus, Florian; Rabinowicz, Pablo; Bowler, Chris; Rivarola, Maximo
Epigenetics include DNA methylation, the modification of histone tails that affect chromatin states, and small RNAs that are involved in the setting and maintenance of chromatin modifications. Marine stramenopiles (MAS), which are a diverse assemblage of algae that acquired photosynthesis from secondary endosymbiosis, include single-celled organisms such as diatoms as well as multicellular forms such as brown algae. The recent publication of two diatom genomes that diverged ~90 million years ...
Hnilicová, Jarmila; Staněk, David
Roč. 2, č. 3 (2011), s. 182-188. ISSN 1949-1034 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP305/10/0424; GA AV ČR KAN200520801 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : chromatin * exon * alternative splicing * transcription * snRNP Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology
Manjinder S. Cheema; Juan Ausió
Histone variants are an important part of the histone contribution to chromatin epigenetics. In this review, we describe how the known structural differences of these variants from their canonical histone counterparts impart a chromatin signature ultimately responsible for their epigenetic contribution. In terms of the core histones, H2A histone variants are major players while H3 variant CenH3, with a controversial role in the nucleosome conformation, remains the genuine epigenetic histone v...
Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Soliman, Karam F A
All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system, rotation of the planets, changes in sunlight, and gravitational pull influence cyclic epigenetic transitions and chromatin remodeling that constitute biological circadian rhythms controlling senescence. In humans, adverse environmental conditions such as poverty, stress, alcohol, malnutrition, exposure to pollutants generated from industrialization, man-made chemicals, and use of synthetic drugs can lead to maladaptive epigenetic-related illnesses with disease-specific genes being atypically activated or silenced. Nutrition and dietary practices are one of the largest facets in epigenetic-related metabolism, where specific "epi-nutrients" can stabilize the genome, given established roles in DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, food-based "epi-bioactive" constituents may reverse maladaptive epigenetic patterns, not only prior to conception and during fetal/early postnatal development but also through adulthood. In summary, in contrast to a static genomic DNA structure, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, raising the hope for therapeutic and/or dietary interventions that can reverse deleterious epigenetic programing as a means to prevent or treat major illnesses. PMID:24861811
Utilizing next-generation sequencing technology in combination with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technology, our study provides systematic and novel insights into the relationships between nutrition and epigenetics. One paradigmatic example of nutrient-epigenetic-phenotype relationship is th...
Sowd, Gregory A; Serrao, Erik; Wang, Hao; Wang, Weifeng; Fadel, Hind J; Poeschla, Eric M; Engelman, Alan N
Integration is vital to retroviral replication and influences the establishment of the latent HIV reservoir. HIV-1 integration favors active genes, which is in part determined by the interaction between integrase and lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF)/p75. Because gene targeting remains significantly enriched, relative to random in LEDGF/p75 deficient cells, other host factors likely contribute to gene-tropic integration. Nucleoporins 153 and 358, which bind HIV-1 capsid, play comparatively minor roles in integration targeting, but the influence of another capsid binding protein, cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor 6 (CPSF6), has not been reported. In this study we knocked down or knocked out CPSF6 in parallel or in tandem with LEDGF/p75. CPSF6 knockout changed viral infectivity kinetics, decreased proviral formation, and preferentially decreased integration into transcriptionally active genes, spliced genes, and regions of chromatin enriched in genes and activating histone modifications. LEDGF/p75 depletion by contrast preferentially altered positional integration targeting within gene bodies. Dual factor knockout reduced integration into genes to below the levels observed with either single knockout and revealed that CPSF6 played a more dominant role than LEDGF/p75 in directing integration to euchromatin. CPSF6 complementation rescued HIV-1 integration site distribution in CPSF6 knockout cells, but complementation with a capsid binding mutant of CPSF6 did not. We conclude that integration targeting proceeds via two distinct mechanisms: capsid-CPSF6 binding directs HIV-1 to actively transcribed euchromatin, where the integrase-LEDGF/p75 interaction drives integration into gene bodies. PMID:26858452
Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin, E-mail: Kliu@gru.edu [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia, and Cancer Center, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA 30912 (United States)
Colorectal cancer (CRC) develops through a multistage process that results from the progressive accumulation of genetic mutations, and frequently as a result of mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway. However, it has become evident over the past two decades that epigenetic alterations of the chromatin, particularly the chromatin components in the promoter regions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes, play key roles in CRC pathogenesis. Epigenetic regulation is organized at multiple levels, involving primarily DNA methylation and selective histone modifications in cancer cells. Assessment of the CRC epigenome has revealed that virtually all CRCs have aberrantly methylated genes and that the average CRC methylome has thousands of abnormally methylated genes. Although relatively less is known about the patterns of specific histone modifications in CRC, selective histone modifications and resultant chromatin conformation have been shown to act, in concert with DNA methylation, to regulate gene expression to mediate CRC pathogenesis. Moreover, it is now clear that not only DNA methylation but also histone modifications are reversible processes. The increased understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the context of CRC pathogenesis has led to development of epigenetic biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and epigenetic drugs for CRC therapy.
In eukaryotes, most of the DNA is located in the nucleus where it is organized with histone proteins in a higher order structure as chromatin. Chromatin and chromatin-associated proteins contribute to DNA-related processes such as replication and transcription as well as epigenetic regulation. Protein functions are often regulated by PTMs among which phosphorylation is one of the most abundant PTM. Phosphorylation of proteins affects important properties, such as enzyme activity, protein stability, or subcellular localization. We here describe the main specificities of protein phosphorylation in plants and review the current knowledge on phosphorylation-dependent regulation of plant chromatin and chromatin-associated proteins. We also outline some future challenges to further elucidate protein phosphorylation and chromatin regulation.
Wang Hongda; Dalal Yamini; Henikoff Steven; Lindsay Stuart
Abstract Background Direct visualization of chromatin has the potential to provide important insights into epigenetic processes. In particular, atomic force microscopy (AFM) can visualize single nucleosomes under physiological ionic conditions. However, AFM has mostly been applied to chromatin that has been reconstituted in vitro, and its potential as a tool for the dissection of native nucleosomes has not been explored. Recently we applied AFM to native Drosophila chromatin containing the ce...
Fog, Cathrine K; Jensen, Klaus T; Lund, Anders Henrik
Chromatin-modifying proteins mold the genome into areas that are accessible for transcriptional activity and areas that are transcriptionally silent. This epigenetic gene regulation allows for different transcriptional programs to be conducted in different cell types at different timepoints-despi...
Epigenetic modifications control gene expression by regulating the access of nuclear proteins to their target DNA and have been implicated in both normal cell differentiation and oncogenic transformation. Epigenetic abnormalities can occur both as a cause and as a consequence of cancer. Oncogenic transformation can deeply alter the epigenetic information enclosed in the pattern of DNA methylation or histone modifications. In addition, in some cancers epigenetic dysfunctions can drive oncogenic transformation. Growing evidence emphasizes the interplay between metabolic disturbances, epigenomic changes and cancer, i.e., mutations in the metabolic enzymes SDH, FH, and IDH may contribute to cancer development. Epigenetic-based mechanisms are reversible and the possibility of “resetting” the abnormal cancer epigenome by applying pharmacological or genetic strategies is an attractive, novel approach. Gliomas are incurable with all current therapeutic approaches and new strategies are urgently needed. Increasing evidence suggests the role of epigenetic events in development and/or progression of gliomas. In this review, we summarize current data on the occurrence and significance of mutations in the epigenetic and metabolic enzymes in pathobiology of gliomas. We discuss emerging therapies targeting specific epigenetic modifications or chromatin modifying enzymes either alone or in combination with other treatment regimens
Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena, E-mail: B.Kaminska@nencki.gov.pl [Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobiology Center, The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur Str., Warsaw 02-093 (Poland)
Epigenetic modifications control gene expression by regulating the access of nuclear proteins to their target DNA and have been implicated in both normal cell differentiation and oncogenic transformation. Epigenetic abnormalities can occur both as a cause and as a consequence of cancer. Oncogenic transformation can deeply alter the epigenetic information enclosed in the pattern of DNA methylation or histone modifications. In addition, in some cancers epigenetic dysfunctions can drive oncogenic transformation. Growing evidence emphasizes the interplay between metabolic disturbances, epigenomic changes and cancer, i.e., mutations in the metabolic enzymes SDH, FH, and IDH may contribute to cancer development. Epigenetic-based mechanisms are reversible and the possibility of “resetting” the abnormal cancer epigenome by applying pharmacological or genetic strategies is an attractive, novel approach. Gliomas are incurable with all current therapeutic approaches and new strategies are urgently needed. Increasing evidence suggests the role of epigenetic events in development and/or progression of gliomas. In this review, we summarize current data on the occurrence and significance of mutations in the epigenetic and metabolic enzymes in pathobiology of gliomas. We discuss emerging therapies targeting specific epigenetic modifications or chromatin modifying enzymes either alone or in combination with other treatment regimens.
Perišić, Ognjen; Schlick, Tamar
While the genetic information is contained in double helical DNA, gene expression is a complex multilevel process that involves various functional units, from nucleosomes to fully formed chromatin fibers accompanied by a host of various chromatin binding enzymes. The chromatin fiber is a polymer composed of histone protein complexes upon which DNA wraps, like yarn upon many spools. The nature of chromatin structure has been an open question since the beginning of modern molecular biology. Many experiments have shown that the chromatin fiber is a highly dynamic entity with pronounced structural diversity that includes properties of idealized zig-zag and solenoid models, as well as other motifs. This diversity can produce a high packing ratio and thus inhibit access to a majority of the wound DNA. Despite much research, chromatin's dynamic structure has not yet been fully described. Long stretches of chromatin fibers exhibit puzzling dynamic behavior that requires interpretation in the light of gene expression patterns in various tissue and organisms. The properties of chromatin fiber can be investigated with experimental techniques, like in vitro biochemistry, in vivo imagining, and high-throughput chromosome capture technology. Those techniques provide useful insights into the fiber's structure and dynamics, but they are limited in resolution and scope, especially regarding compact fibers and chromosomes in the cellular milieu. Complementary but specialized modeling techniques are needed to handle large floppy polymers such as the chromatin fiber. In this review, we discuss current approaches in the chromatin structure field with an emphasis on modeling, such as molecular dynamics and coarse-grained computational approaches. Combinations of these computational techniques complement experiments and address many relevant biological problems, as we will illustrate with special focus on epigenetic modulation of chromatin structure. PMID:27345617
Schwab, David; Bruinsma, Robijn
The role of chromatin structure in gene regulation has recently taken center stage in the field of epigenetics, phenomena that change the phenotype without changing the DNA sequence. Recent work has also shown that nucleosomes, a complex of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer, experience a sequence dependent energy landscape due to the variation in DNA bend stiffness with sequence composition. In this talk, we consider the role nucleosome positioning might play in the formation of heterochromatin, a compact form of DNA generically responsible for gene silencing. In particular, we discuss how different patterns of nucleosome positions, periodic or random, could either facilitate or suppress heterochromatin stability and formation.
Full Text Available Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitic plathyhelminth responsible for intestinal schistosomiasis (or bilharziasis, a disease affecting 67 million people worldwide and causing an important economic burden. The schistosomicides hycanthone, and its later proxy oxamniquine, were widely used for treatments in endemic areas during the 20th century. Recently, the mechanism of action, as well as the genetic origin of a stably and Mendelian inherited resistance for both drugs was elucidated in two strains. However, several observations suggested early on that alternative mechanisms might exist, by which resistance could be induced for these two drugs in sensitive lines of schistosomes. This induced resistance appeared rapidly, within the first generation, but was metastable (not stably inherited. Epigenetic inheritance could explain such a phenomenon and we therefore re-analyzed the historical data with our current knowledge of epigenetics. In addition, we performed new experiments such as ChIP-seq on hycanthone treated worms. We found distinct chromatin structure changes between sensitive worms and induced resistant worms from the same strain. No specific pathway was discovered, but genes in which chromatin structure modification were observed are mostly associated with transport and catabolism, which makes sense in the context of the elimination of the drug. Specific differences were observed in the repetitive compartment of the genome. We finally describe what types of experiments are needed to understand the complexity of heritability that can be based on genetic and/or epigenetic mechanisms for drug resistance in schistosomes.
Canovas, Sebastian; Ross, Pablo Juan
Fertilization is a very dynamic period of comprehensive chromatin remodeling, from which two specialized cells result in a totipotent zygote. The formation of a totipotent cell requires extensive epigenetic remodeling that, although independent of modifications in the DNA sequence, still entails a profound cell-fate change, supported by transcriptional profile modifications. As a result of finely tuned interactions between numerous mechanisms, the goal of fertilization is to form a full healthy new individual. To avoid the persistence of alterations in epigenetic marks, the epigenetic information contained in each gamete is reset during early embryogenesis. Covalent modification of DNA by methylation, as well as posttranslational modifications of histone proteins and noncoding RNAs, appears to be the main epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression. These allow different cells in an organism to express different transcription profiles, despite each cell containing the same DNA sequence. In the context of replacement of spermatic protamine with histones from the oocyte, active cell division, and specification of different lineages, active and passive mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling have been revealed as critical for editing the epigenetic profile of the early embryo. Importantly, redundant factors and mechanisms are likely in place, and only a few have been reported as critical for fertilization or embryo survival by the use of knockout models. The aim of this review is to highlight the main mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling that ensue after fertilization in mammals. PMID:27165992
Noberini, Roberta; Sigismondo, Gianluca; Bonaldi, Tiziana
Chromatin is a macromolecular complex composed of DNA and histones that regulate gene expression and nuclear architecture. The concerted action of DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications and chromatin-associated proteins control the epigenetic regulation of the genome, ultimately determining cell fate and the transcriptional outputs of differentiated cells. Deregulation of this complex machinery leads to disease states, and exploiting epigenetic drugs is becoming increasingly attractive for therapeutic intervention. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics emerged as a powerful tool complementary to genomic approaches for epigenetic research, allowing the unbiased and comprehensive analysis of histone post-translational modifications and the characterization of chromatin constituents and chromatin-associated proteins. Furthermore, MS holds great promise for epigenetic biomarker discovery and represents a useful tool for deconvolution of epigenetic drug targets. Here, we will provide an overview of the applications of MS-based proteomics in various areas of chromatin biology. PMID:26606673
Perišić, Ognjen; Schlick, Tamar
While the genetic information is contained in double helical DNA, gene expression is a complex multilevel process that involves various functional units, from nucleosomes to fully formed chromatin fibers accompanied by a host of various chromatin binding enzymes. The chromatin fiber is a polymer composed of histone protein complexes upon which DNA wraps, like yarn upon many spools. The nature of chromatin structure has been an open question since the beginning of modern molecular biology. Many experiments have shown that the chromatin fiber is a highly dynamic entity with pronounced structural diversity that includes properties of idealized zig-zag and solenoid models, as well as other motifs. This diversity can produce a high packing ratio and thus inhibit access to a majority of the wound DNA. Despite much research, chromatin’s dynamic structure has not yet been fully described. Long stretches of chromatin fibers exhibit puzzling dynamic behavior that requires interpretation in the light of gene expression patterns in various tissue and organisms. The properties of chromatin fiber can be investigated with experimental techniques, like in vitro biochemistry, in vivo imagining, and high-throughput chromosome capture technology. Those techniques provide useful insights into the fiber’s structure and dynamics, but they are limited in resolution and scope, especially regarding compact fibers and chromosomes in the cellular milieu. Complementary but specialized modeling techniques are needed to handle large floppy polymers such as the chromatin fiber. In this review, we discuss current approaches in the chromatin structure field with an emphasis on modeling, such as molecular dynamics and coarse-grained computational approaches. Combinations of these computational techniques complement experiments and address many relevant biological problems, as we will illustrate with special focus on epigenetic modulation of chromatin structure.
Georgel, Philippe T
Within the past two decades, the fields of chromatin structure and function and transcription regulation research started to fuse and overlap, as evidence mounted to support a very strong regulatory role in gene expression that was associated with histone post-translational modifications, DNA methylation, as well as various chromatin-associated proteins (the pillars of the "Epigenetics" building). The fusion and convergence of these complementary fields is now often simply referred to as "Epigenetics". During these same 20 years, numerous new research groups have started to recognize the importance of chromatin composition, conformation, and its plasticity. However, as the field started to grow exponentially, its growth came with the spreading of several important misconceptions, which have unfortunately led to improper or hasty conclusions. The goal of this short "opinion" piece is to attempt to minimize future misinterpretations of experimental results and ensure that the right sets of experiment are used to reach the proper conclusion, at least as far as epigenetic mechanisms are concerned. PMID:26492160
framework of chromatin and carry information to specify higher-order organization and gene expression. When replication forks traverse the chromosomes, nucleosomes are transiently disrupted, allowing the replication machinery to gain access to DNA. Histone recycling, together with new deposition, ensures...... reassembly on nascent DNA strands. The aim of this review is to discuss how histones - new and old - are handled at the replication fork, highlighting new mechanistic insights and revisiting old paradigms.......Chromatin serves structural and functional roles crucial for genome stability and correct gene expression. This organization must be reproduced on daughter strands during replication to maintain proper overlay of epigenetic fabric onto genetic sequence. Nucleosomes constitute the structural...
Lunerová Bedřichová, Jana; Bleys, A.; Fojtová, Miloslava; Crhák Khaitová, Lucie; Depicker, A.; Kovařík, Aleš
Heidelberg, 2007. s. 155-155. [EMBO Conference on Chromatin and Epigenetics. 03.05.2007-06.05.2007, Heidelberg] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06004; GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA600040611 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507 Keywords : DNA methylation * epigenetic inheritance * silencing Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics
Spiegel, Amy M.; Sewal, Angila S.; Rapp, Peter R.
Epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure provide a mechanistic interface for gene-environment interactions that impact the individualization of health trajectories across the lifespan. A growing body of research indicates that dysfunctional epigenetic regulation contributes to poor cognitive outcomes among aged populations. Here we review…
Most of the development and functional differentiation in the mammary gland occur after birth. Epigenetics is defined as the stable alterations in gene expression potential that arise during development and proliferation. Epigenetic changes are mediated at the biochemical level by the chromatin conf...
This chapter is intended to provide a timely overview of the current state of research at the intersection of nutrition and epigenetics. I begin by describing epigenetics and molecular mechanisms of eigenetic regulation, then highlight four classes of nutritional exposures currently being investiga...
Aberrant epigenetic alterations in the genome such as DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling play a significant role in breast cancer development. Since epigenetic alterations are considered to be more easily reversible compared to genetic changes, epigenetic therapy is potentially very useful in ...
Renthal, William; Nestler, Eric J.
Alterations in gene expression are implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatrie disorders, including drug addiction and depression, increasing evidence indicates that changes in gene expression in neurons, in the context of animal models of addiction and depression, are mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms that alter chromatin structure on specific gene promoters. This review discusses recent findings from behavioral, molecular, and bioinformatic approaches that are being u...
Full Text Available Epigenetics has captured the attention of scientists in the past decades, yet its scope has been continuously changing. In this paper, we give an overview on how and why its definition has evolved and suggest several clarification on the concepts used in this field. Waddington coined the term in 1942 to describe genes interaction with each other and with their environment and insisted on dissociating these events from development. Then, Holliday and others argued that epigenetic phenomena are characterized by their heritability. However, differentiated cells can maintain their phenotypes for decades without undergoing division, which points out the limitation of the «heritability» criterion for a particular phenomenon to qualify as epigenetic. «Epigenetic stability» encompasses traits preservation in both dividing and non dividing cells. Likewise, the use of the term «epigenetic regulation» has been misleading as it overlaps with «regulation of gene expression», whereas «epigenetic information» clearly distinguishes epigenetic from genetic phenomena. Consequently, how could epigenetic information be transmitted and perpetuated? The term «epigenetic templating» has been proposed to refer to a general mechanism of perpetuation of epigenetic information that is based on the preferential activity of enzymes that deposit a particular epigenetic mark on macromolecular complexes already containing the same mark. Another issue that we address is the role of epigenetic information. Not only it is important in allowing alternative interpretations of genetic information, but it appears to be important in protecting the genome, as can be illustrated by bacterial endonucleases that targets non methylated DNA – i. e. foreign DNA – and not the endogenous methylated DNA.
Studies have demonstrated that epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling are linked to an increased inflammatory response as well as increased risk for chronic disease development. A few studies have begun to investigate whether dietary nutrients play...
Jasencakova, Zusana; Groth, Anja
. Chromatin organization is transiently disrupted during DNA replication and maintenance of epigenetic information thus relies on faithful restoration of chromatin on the new daughter strands. Acute replication stress challenges proper chromatin restoration by deregulating histone H3 lysine 9 mono......-methylation on new histones and impairing parental histone recycling. This could facilitate stochastic epigenetic silencing by laying down repressive histone marks at sites of fork stalling. Deregulation of replication in response to oncogenes and other tumor-promoting insults is recognized as a significant source...... of genome instability in cancer. We propose that replication stress not only presents a threat to genome stability, but also jeopardizes chromatin integrity and increases epigenetic plasticity during tumorigenesis....
Zhu Hong Chen
Full Text Available Chromatin organization and dynamics are integral to global gene transcription. Histone modification influences chromatin status and gene expression. PTEN plays multiple roles in tumor suppression, development, and metabolism. Here, we report on the interplay of PTEN, histone H1, and chromatin. We show that loss of PTEN leads to dissociation of histone H1 from chromatin and decondensation of chromatin. PTEN deletion also results in elevation of histone H4 acetylation at lysine 16, an epigenetic marker for chromatin activation. We found that PTEN and histone H1 physically interact through their C-terminal domains. Disruption of the PTEN C terminus promotes the chromatin association of MOF acetyltransferase and induces H4K16 acetylation. Hyperacetylation of H4K16 impairs the association of PTEN with histone H1, which constitutes regulatory feedback that may reduce chromatin stability. Our results demonstrate that PTEN controls chromatin condensation, thus influencing gene expression. We propose that PTEN regulates global gene transcription profiling through histones and chromatin remodeling.
Castillo, Araceli G.; Mellone, Barbara G; Partridge, Janet F; William Richardson; Hamilton, Georgina L.; Allshire, Robin C.; Pidoux, Alison L.
The histone H3 variant CENP-A assembles into chromatin exclusively at centromeres. The process of CENP-A chromatin assembly is epigenetically regulated. Fission yeast centromeres are composed of a central kinetochore domain on which CENP-A chromatin is assembled, and this is flanked by heterochromatin. Marker genes are silenced when placed within kinetochore or heterochromatin domains. It is not known if fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin is confined to specific sequences or whether histone...
Kuasne, Hellen; Marchi, Fabio Albuquerque; Rogatto, Silvia Regina;
Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity in diffe......Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity...... in different cell types is acquired by chromatin modifications, which are established by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that the dysregulation in these processes can result in the development of several diseases, including...... cancer. Epigenetic alterations, such as the methylation of CpGs islands, may reveal candidates for the development of specific markers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. There are a few reports on the epigenetic alterations in PeCa, and most of these studies have only focused on alterations...
Bahabri, Rihab R.
Activities of DNA are to a great extent controlled epigenetically through the internal struc- ture of chromatin. This structure is dynamic and is influenced by different modifications of histone proteins. Various combinations of epigenetic modification of histones pinpoint to different functional regions of the DNA determining the so-called chromatin states. How- ever, the characterization of chromatin states by the DNA sequence properties remains largely unknown. In this study we aim to explore whether DNA sequence patterns in the human genome can characterize different chromatin states. Using DNA sequence motifs we built binary classifiers for each chromatic state to eval- uate whether a given genomic sequence is a good candidate for belonging to a particular chromatin state. Of four classification algorithms (C4.5, Naive Bayes, Random Forest, and SVM) used for this purpose, the decision tree based classifiers (C4.5 and Random Forest) yielded best results among those we evaluated. Our results suggest that in general these models lack sufficient predictive power, although for four chromatin states (insulators, het- erochromatin, and two types of copy number variation) we found that presence of certain motifs in DNA sequences does imply an increased probability that such a sequence is one of these chromatin states.
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is characterized by steatosis or fat deposition in the liver and inflammation, which leads to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Induction of target genes without involving changes in DNA sequence seems to contribute greatly to liver injury. Chromatin modifications including alterations in histones and DNA, as well as post-transcriptional changes collectively referred to as epigenetic effects are altered by alcohol. Recent studies have pointed to a significant role for epigenetic mechanisms at the nucleosomal level influencing gene expression and disease outcome in ALD. Specifically, epigenetic alterations by alcohol include histone modifications such as changes in acetylation and phosphorylation, hypomethylation of DNA, and alterations in miRNAs. These modifications can be induced by alcohol-induced oxidative stress that results in altered recruitment of transcriptional machinery and abnormal gene expression. Delineating these mechanisms in initiation and progression of ALD is becoming a major area of interest. This review summarizes key epigenetic mechanisms that are dysregulated by alcohol in the liver. Alterations by alcohol in histone and DNA modifications, enzymes related to histone acetylation such as histone acetyltransferases, histone deacetylases and sirtuins, and methylation enzymes such as DNA methyltransferases are discussed. Chromatin modifications and miRNA alterations that result in immune cell dysfunction contributing to inflammatory cytokine production in ALD is reviewed. Finally, the role of alcohol-mediated oxidative stress in epigenetic regulation in ALD is described. A better understanding of these mechanisms is crucial for designing novel epigenetic based therapies to ameliorate ALD.
Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in genome function that occur without a change in primary DNA sequence. The 2009 Gordon Conference in Epigenetics will feature discussion of various epigenetic phenomena, emerging understanding of their underlying mechanisms, and the growing appreciation that human, animal, and plant health all depend on proper epigenetic control. Special emphasis will be placed on genome-environment interactions particularly as they relate to human disease. Towards improving knowledge of molecular mechanisms, the conference will feature international leaders studying the roles of higher order chromatin structure, noncoding RNA, repeat elements, nuclear organization, and morphogenic evolution. Traditional and new model organisms are selected from plants, fungi, and metazoans.
Iatsyshyna A. P.
Full Text Available O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT is the DNA repair enzyme responsible for removing of alkylation adducts from the O6-guanine in DNA. Despite MGMT prevents mutations and cell death, this enzyme can provide resistance of cancer cells to alkylating agents of chemotherapy. The high intra- and inter-individual variations in the human MGMT expression level have been observed indicating to a complicated regulation of this gene. This review is focused on the study of epigenetic factors which could be potentially involved in regulation of the human MGMT gene expression. These include chromatin remodeling via histone modifications and DNA methylation of promoter region and gene body, as well as RNA-based mechanisms, alternative splicing, protein post- translational modifications, and other.
Wolffe, Alan P
The Third Edition of Chromatin: Structure and Function brings the reader up-to-date with the remarkable progress in chromatin research over the past three years. It has been extensively rewritten to cover new material on chromatin remodeling, histone modification, nuclear compartmentalization, DNA methylation, and transcriptional co-activators and co-repressors. The book is written in a clear and concise fashion, with 60 new illustrations. Chromatin: Structure and Function provides the reader with a concise and coherent account of the nature, structure, and assembly of chromatin and its active
Keating, Samuel T; Plutzky, Jorge; El-Osta, Assam
Cardiovascular complications remain the leading causes of morbidity and premature mortality in patients with diabetes mellitus. Studies in humans and preclinical models demonstrate lasting gene expression changes in the vasculopathies initiated by previous exposure to high glucose concentrations and the associated overproduction of reactive oxygen species. The molecular signatures of chromatin architectures that sensitize the genome to these and other cardiometabolic risk factors of the diabetic milieu are increasingly implicated in the biological memory underlying cardiovascular complications and now widely considered as promising therapeutic targets. Atherosclerosis is a complex heterocellular disease where the contributing cell types possess distinct epigenomes shaping diverse gene expression. Although the extent that pathological chromatin changes can be manipulated in human cardiovascular disease remains to be established, the clinical applicability of epigenetic interventions will be greatly advanced by a deeper understanding of the cell type-specific roles played by writers, erasers, and readers of chromatin modifications in the diabetic vasculature. This review details a current perspective of epigenetic mechanisms of macrovascular disease in diabetes mellitus and highlights recent key descriptions of chromatinized changes associated with persistent gene expression in endothelial, smooth muscle, and circulating immune cells relevant to atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we discuss the challenges associated with pharmacological targeting of epigenetic networks to correct abnormal or deregulated gene expression as a strategy to alleviate the clinical burden of diabetic cardiovascular disease. PMID:27230637
Full Text Available The long-term effects of behaviour and environmental exposures, particularly during childhood, on health outcomes are well documented. Particularly thought provoking is the notion that exposures to different social environments have a long-lasting impact on human physical health. However, the mechanisms mediating the effects of the environment are still unclear. In the last decade, the main focus of attention was the genome, and interindividual genetic polymorphisms were sought after as the principal basis for susceptibility to disease. However, it is becoming clear that recent dramatic increases in the incidence of certain human pathologies, such as asthma and type 2 diabetes, cannot be explained just on the basis of a genetic drift. It is therefore extremely important to unravel the molecular links between the "environmental" exposure, which is believed to be behind this emerging incidence in certain human pathologies, and the disease's molecular mechanisms. Although it is clear that most human pathologies involve long-term changes in gene function, these might be caused by mechanisms other than changes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA sequence. The genome is programmed by the epigenome, which is composed of chromatin and a covalent modification of DNA by methylation. It is postulated here that "epigenetic" mechanisms mediate the effects of behavioural and environmental exposures early in life, as well as lifelong environmental exposures and the susceptibility to disease later in life. In contrast to genetic sequence differences, epigenetic aberrations are potentially reversible, raising the hope for interventions that will be able to reverse deleterious epigenetic programming.
Berdasco, María; Esteller, Manel
The orchestrated organization of epigenetic factors that control chromatin dynamism, including DNA methylation, histone marks, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and chromatin-remodeling proteins, is essential for the proper function of tissue homeostasis, cell identity and development. Indeed, deregulation of epigenetic profiles has been described in several human pathologies, including complex diseases (such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases), metabolic pathologies (type 2 diabetes and obesity) and imprinting disorders. Over the last decade it has become increasingly clear that mutations of genes involved in epigenetic mechanism, such as DNA methyltransferases, methyl-binding domain proteins, histone deacetylases, histone methylases and members of the SWI/SNF family of chromatin remodelers are linked to human disorders, including Immunodeficiency Centromeric instability Facial syndrome 1, Rett syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Sotos syndrome or alpha-thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked syndrome, among others. As new members of the epigenetic machinery are described, the number of human syndromes associated with epigenetic alterations increases. As recent examples, mutations of histone demethylases and members of the non-coding RNA machinery have recently been associated with Kabuki syndrome, Claes-Jensen X-linked mental retardation syndrome and Goiter syndrome. In this review, we describe the variety of germline mutations of epigenetic modifiers that are known to be associated with human disorders, and discuss the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drugs as palliative care strategies in the treatment of such disorders. PMID:23370504
Barua, Subit; Junaid, Mohammed A
Rapidly growing evidences link maternal lifestyle and prenatal factors with serious health consequences and diseases later in life. Extensive epidemiological studies have identified a number of factors such as diet, stress, gestational diabetes, exposure to tobacco and alcohol during gestation as influencing normal fetal development. In light of recent discoveries, epigenetic mechanisms such as alteration of DNA methylation, chromatin modifications and modulation of gene expression during gestation are believed to possibly account for various types of plasticity such as neural tube defects, autism spectrum disorder, congenital heart defects, oral clefts, allergies and cancer. The purpose of this article is to review a number of published studies to fill the gap in our understanding of how maternal lifestyle and intrauterine environment influence molecular modifications in the offspring, with an emphasis on epigenetic alterations. To support these associations, we highlighted laboratory studies of rodents and epidemiological studies of human based on sampling population cohorts. PMID:25687469
LiuWang; AihuaZheng; LingYi; ChongrenXu; MingxiaoDing; HongkuiDeng
Nuclear reprogramming is critical for animal cloning and stem cell creation through nuclear transfer, which requires extensive remodeling of chromosomal architecture involving dramatic changes in chromatin-binding proteins. To understand the mechanism of nuclear reprogramming, it is critical to identify chromatin-binding factors specify the reprogramming process. In this report, we have developed a high-throughput selection method, based on T7 phage display and chromatin immunoprecipitation, to isolate chromatin-binding factors expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells using primary mouse embryonic fibroblast chromatin. Seven chromatin-binding proteins have been isolated by this method. We have also isolated several chromatin-binding proteins involved in hepatocyte differentiation. Our method provides a powerful tool to rapidly and selectively identify chromatin-binding proteins. The method can be used to study epigenetic modification of chromatin during nuclear reprogramming, cell differentiation, and transdifferentiation.
Fork, Christian; Gu, Lunda; Hitzel, Juliane;
OBJECTIVE: Altering endothelial biology through epigenetic modifiers is an attractive novel concept, which is, however, just in its beginnings. We therefore set out to identify chromatin modifiers important for endothelial gene expression and contributing to angiogenesis. APPROACH AND RESULTS...
Lovejoy, Courtney A.; Wendi Li; Steven Reisenweber; Supawat Thongthip; Joanne Bruno; Titia de Lange; Saurav; Petrini, John H.J.; Sung, Patricia A.; Maria Jasin; Joseph Rosenbluh; Yaara Zwang; Weir, Barbara A.; Charlie Hatton; Elena Ivanova
The Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway is a telomerase-independent pathway for telomere maintenance that is active in a significant subset of human cancers and in vitro immortalized cell lines. ALT is thought to involve templated extension of telomeres through homologous recombination, but the genetic or epigenetic changes that unleash ALT are not known. Recently, mutations in the ATRX/DAXX chromatin remodeling complex and histone H3.3 were found to correlate with features of ...
Hnilicová, Jarmila; Staněk, David
There are numerous data suggesting that two key steps in gene expression—transcription and splicing influence each other closely. For a long time it was known that chromatin modifications regulate transcription, but only recently it was shown that chromatin and histone modifications play a significant role in pre-mRNA splicing. Here we summarize interactions between splicing machinery and chromatin and discuss their potential functional significance. We focus mainly on histone acetylation and...
Full Text Available In the context of regenerative medicine, based on the potential of stem cells to restore diseased tissues, epigenetics is becoming a pivotal area of interest. Therapeutic interventions that promote tissue and organ regeneration have as primary objective the selective control of gene expression in adult stem cells. This requires a deep understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms controlling transcriptional programs in tissue progenitors. This review attempts to elucidate the principle epigenetic regulations responsible of stem cells differentiation. In particular we focus on the current understanding of the epigenetic networks that regulate differentiation of muscle progenitors by the concerted action of chromatin-modifying enzymes and noncoding RNAs. The novel exciting role of exosome-bound microRNA in mediating epigenetic information transfer is also discussed. Finally we show an overview of the epigenetic strategies and therapies that aim to potentiate muscle regeneration and counteract the progression of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD.
Bem, Joanna; Grabowska, Iwona
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) self renew their population, also they are pluripotent which means they can differentiate into any given cell type. In specific culture conditions they remain undifferentiated. On the cellular level pluripotency is determined by many transcription factors, e.g. Sox2, Nanog, Klf4, Oct4. Epigenetic regulation is also crucial for both self renewal and pluripotency. This review focuses on epigenetic mechanisms, among them DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications, ATP dependent chromatin remodeling and miRNAs interactions. These mechanisms affect embryonic stem cells functions keeping them poised for differentiation. PMID:24044279
Full Text Available Development of psychiatric diseases such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD invokes, as with most complex diseases, both genetic and environmental factors. The era of genome-wide high throughput technologies has sparked the initiation of genotype screenings in large cohorts of diseased and control individuals, but had limited success in identification of disease causing genetic variants. It has become evident that these efforts at the genomic level need to be complemented with endeavours in elucidating the proteome, transcriptome and epigenetic profiles. Epigenetics is attractive in particular because there is accumulating evidence that the lasting impact of adverse life events is reflected in certain covalent modifications of the chromatin.
Daniel P. Caley
Full Text Available The way in which the genome of a multicellular organism can orchestrate the differentiation of trillions of cells and many organs, all from a single fertilized egg, is the subject of intense study. Different cell types can be defined by the networks of genes they express. This differential expression is regulated at the epigenetic level by chromatin modifications, such as DNA and histone methylation, which interact with structural and enzymatic proteins, resulting in the activation or silencing of any given gene. While detailed mechanisms are emerging on the role of different chromatin modifications and how these functions are effected at the molecular level, it is still unclear how their deposition across the epigenomic landscape is regulated in different cells. A raft of recent evidence is accumulating that implicates long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs in these processes. Most genomes studied to date undergo widespread transcription, the majority of which is not translated into proteins. In this review, we will describe recent work suggesting that lncRNAs are more than transcriptional "noise", but instead play a functional role by acting as tethers and guides to bind proteins responsible for modifying chromatin and mediating their deposition at specific genomic locations. We suggest that lncRNAs are at the heart of developmental regulation, determining the epigenetic status and transcriptional network in any given cell type, and that they provide a means to integrate external differentiation cues with dynamic nuclear responses through the regulation of a metastable epigenome. Better characterization of the lncRNA-protein "interactome" may eventually lead to a new molecular toolkit, allowing researchers and clinicians to modulate the genome at the epigenetic level to treat conditions such as cancer.
The true understanding of what we currently define as epigenetics evolved over time as our knowledge on DNA methylation and chromatin modifications and their effects on gene expression increased. The current explosion of research on epigenetics and the increasing documentation of the effects of various environmental factors on DNA methylation, chromatin modification, as well as on the expression of small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have expanded the scope of research on the etiology of various diseases including cancer. The current review briefly discusses the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and expands the discussion with examples on the role of environment, such as the immediate environment during development, in inducing epigenetic changes and modulating gene expression.
Chromatin is the universal template of genetic information in all eukaryotic organisms. Chemical modifications of the DNA-packaging histone proteins and the DNA bases are crucial signaling events in directing the use and readout of eukaryotic genomes. The enzymes that install and remove these chromatin modifications as well as the proteins that bind these marks govern information that goes beyond the sequence of DNA. Therefore, these so-called epigenetic regulators are intensively studied and represent promising drug targets in modern medicine. We summarize and discuss recent advances in the field of chemical biology that have provided chromatin research with sophisticated tools for investigating the composition, activity, and target sites of chromatin modifying enzymes and reader proteins.
Abel, Ted; Zukin, R. Suzanne
Epigenetic chromatin remodeling and modifications of DNA represent central mechanisms for regulation of gene expression during brain development and in memory formation. Emerging evidence implicates epigenetic modifications in disorders of synaptic plasticity and cognition. This review focuses on recent findings that HDAC inhibitors can ameliorate deficits in synaptic plasticity, cognition and stress-related behaviors in a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric disorders including Huntingto...
De Gobbi Marco
Full Text Available Abstract Background In self-renewing, pluripotent cells, bivalent chromatin modification is thought to silence (H3K27me3 lineage control genes while 'poising' (H3K4me3 them for subsequent activation during differentiation, implying an important role for epigenetic modification in directing cell fate decisions. However, rather than representing an equivalently balanced epigenetic mark, the patterns and levels of histone modifications at bivalent genes can vary widely and the criteria for identifying this chromatin signature are poorly defined. Results Here, we initially show how chromatin status alters during lineage commitment and differentiation at a single well characterised bivalent locus. In addition we have determined how chromatin modifications at this locus change with gene expression in both ensemble and single cell analyses. We also show, on a global scale, how mRNA expression may be reflected in the ratio of H3K4me3/H3K27me3. Conclusions While truly 'poised' bivalently modified genes may exist, the original hypothesis that all bivalent genes are epigenetically premarked for subsequent expression might be oversimplistic. In fact, from the data presented in the present work, it is equally possible that many genes that appear to be bivalent in pluripotent and multipotent cells may simply be stochastically expressed at low levels in the process of multilineage priming. Although both situations could be considered to be forms of 'poising', the underlying mechanisms and the associated implications are clearly different.
Beata M. Gruber
Determination of specific gene profile expression is essential for morphological and functional differentiation of cells in the human organism. The human genome consists of 25–30 thousands genes but only some of them are expressed in each cell. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modifications or non-coding RNA functions are also responsible for the unique gene expression patterns. It is suggested that transcriptional gene activation is related to hypomethy...
Tempera, Italo; Lieberman, Paul M
Epigenetic mechanisms play a fundamental role in generating diverse and heritable patterns of viral and cellular gene expression. Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) can adopt a variety of gene expression programs that are necessary for long-term viral persistence and latency in multiple host-cell types and conditions. The latent viral genomes assemble into chromatin structures with different histone and DNA modifications patterns that control viral gene expression. Variations in nucleosome organization...
Vermeulen, Michiel; Eberl, H Christian; Matarese, Filomena;
Trimethyl-lysine (me3) modifications on histones are the most stable epigenetic marks and they control chromatin-mediated regulation of gene expression. Here, we determine proteins that bind these marks by high-accuracy, quantitative mass spectrometry. These chromatin "readers" are assigned...
Beata M. Gruber
Full Text Available Determination of specific gene profile expression is essential for morphological and functional differentiation of cells in the human organism. The human genome consists of 25–30 thousands genes but only some of them are expressed in each cell. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modifications or non-coding RNA functions are also responsible for the unique gene expression patterns. It is suggested that transcriptional gene activation is related to hypomethylation and the transcriptionally non-active sequences are hypermethylated. Covalent histone modifications and DNA methylation are correlated and interacting. Chromatin modeling is regulated not only by specific enzymes but also by protein kinases or phosphatases and coactivators, such as CBP. Such interaction makes the “histone code” which with the chromatin proteins determines gene expression patterns as the response to external agents. Evidence of a major role for epigenetic modifications in neurological disease has come from three converging lines of enquiry: high conservation throughout evolution of the histone residues that are the target for epigenetic modifications; association between mutations in epigenetic components and multisystem disease syndrome in the nervous system; and broad efficacy of small-molecule epigenetic modulators, e.g. histone deacetylase inhibitors, in models of neurological diseases incurable up to now, such as Huntington’s disease, (HD, Parkinson’s disease (PD and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. This article is a survey of the literature concerning the characterization of gene expression patterns correlated with some neurodegenerative diseases. The processes of DNA hypomethylation and histone acetylation are emphasized. The histone deacetylases are indicated as the basis for design of potential drugs.
van Otterdijk, Sanne D; Michels, Karin B
Epigenetics plays an important role in orchestrating key biologic processes. Epigenetic marks, including DNA methylation, histones, chromatin structure, and noncoding RNAs, are modified throughout life in response to environmental and behavioral influences. With each new generation, DNA methylation patterns are erased in gametes and reset after fertilization, probably to prevent these epigenetic marks from being transferred from parents to their offspring. However, some recent animal studies suggest an apparent resistance to complete erasure of epigenetic marks during early development, enabling transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Whether there are similar mechanisms in humans remains unclear, with the exception of epigenetic imprinting. Nevertheless, a distinctly different mechanism-namely, intrauterine exposure to environmental stressors that may affect establishment of the newly composing epigenetic patterns after fertilization-is often confused with transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. In this review, we delineate the definition of and requirement for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, differentiate it from the consequences of intrauterine exposure, and discuss the available evidence in both animal models and humans.-Van Otterdijk, S. D., Michels, K. B. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals: how good is the evidence? PMID:27037350
Handoko, Lusy; Xu, Han; Li, Guoliang; Ngan, Chew Yee; Chew, Elaine; Schnapp, Marie; Lee, Charlie Wah Heng; Ye, Chaopeng; Ping, Joanne Lim Hui; Mulawadi, Fabianus; Wong, Eleanor; Sheng, Jianpeng; Zhang, Yubo; Poh, Thompson; Chan, Chee Seng; Kunarso, Galih; Shahab, Atif; Bourque, Guillaume; Cacheux-Rataboul, Valere; Sung, Wing-Kin; Ruan, Yijun; Wei, Chia-Lin
Mammalian genomes are viewed as functional organizations that orchestrate spatial and temporal gene regulation. CTCF, the most characterized insulator-binding protein, has been implicated as a key genome organizer. Yet, little is known about CTCF-associated higher order chromatin structures at a global scale. Here, we applied Chromatin Interaction Analysis by Paired-End-Tag sequencing to elucidate the CTCF-chromatin interactome in pluripotent cells. From this analysis, 1,480 cis and 336 trans interacting loci were identified with high reproducibility and precision. Associating these chromatin interaction loci with their underlying epigenetic states, promoter activities, enhancer binding and nuclear lamina occupancy, we uncovered five distinct chromatin domains that suggest potential new models of CTCF function in chromatin organization and transcriptional control. Specifically, CTCF interactions demarcate chromatin-nuclear membrane attachments and influence proper gene expression through extensive crosstalk between promoters and regulatory elements. This highly complex nuclear organization offers insights towards the unifying principles governing genome plasticity and function. PMID:21685913
Full Text Available Thanks to the creative effort of Prof. Trygve O. Tollefsbol (Dept. of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA we can handle the second edition in just seven years of this must needed volume devoted to the study of the epigenome. In the very same window-time the field of epigenetics is dramatically changed as for the technical tools employed by the pupils of this pervasive discipline: actually there is no one hot topics in biology (e.g., development, differentiation, genomic toxicity and medicine .....
Chongyuan Luo; Brittany G.Durgin; Naohide Watanabe; Eric Lam
Development of ChiP-chip and ChlP-seq technologies has allowed genome-wide high-resolution profiling of chromatin-associated marks and binding sites for epigenetic regulators.However,signals for directing epigenetic modi fiers to their target sites are not understood.In this paper,we tested the hypothesis that genome location can affect the involvement of epigenetic regulators using Chromatin Charting (CC) Lines,which have an identical transgene construct inserted at different locations in the Arabidopsis genome.Four CC lines that showed evidence for epigenetic silencing of the luciferase reporter gene were transformed with RNAi vectors individually targeting epigenetic regulators LHP1,MOM1,CMT3,DRD1,DRM2,SUVH2,CLF,and HD1.Involvement of a particular epigenetic regulator in silencing the transgene locus in a CC line was determined by significant alterations in luciferase expression after suppression of the regulator's expression.Our results suggest that the targeting of epigenetic regulators can be influenced by genome location as well as sequence context.In addition,the relative importance of an epigenetic regulator can be influenced by tissue identity.We also report a novel approach to predict interactions between epigenetic regulators through clustering analysis of the regulators using alterations in gene expression of putative downstream targets,including endogenous loci and transgenes,in epigenetic mutants or RNAi lines.Our data support the existence of a complex and dynamic network of epigenetic regulators that serves to coordinate and control global gene expression in higher plants.
@@ Keeping in view the ever-growing importance of understanding the epigenetic phenomena shaping the behavior of life, our team decided to embark on the idea to organize this special issue of Frontiers in Biology on Epigenetics.Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression without changes in DNA sequence, which is accomplished by DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNAs.
Mar, Daniel; Gharib, Sina A; Zager, Richard A.; Johnson, Ali; Denisenko, Oleg; Bomsztyk, Karol
Aberrant gene expression is a molecular hallmark of acute kidney injury (AKI). Since epigenetic processes control gene expression in a cell- and environment-defined manner, understanding the epigenetic pathways that regulate genes altered by AKI may open vital new insights into the complexities of disease pathogenesis and identify possible therapeutic targets. Here we used matrix chromatin immunoprecipitation and integrative analysis to study twenty key permissive and repressive epigenetic hi...
Marian Caikovski; Chotika Yokthongwattana; Yoshiki Habu; Taisuke Nishimura; Olivier Mathieu; Jerzy Paszkowski
Author Summary Epigenetic regulation of transcription usually involves changes in histone modifications, as well as DNA methylation changes in plants and mammals. Previously, we found an exceptional epigenetic regulator in Arabidopsis, MOM1, acting independently of these epigenetic marks. Interestingly, MOM1 controls loci associated with bivalent chromatin marks, intermediate to active euchromatin and silent heterochromatin. Such bivalent marks are often associated with newly inserted and/or ...
Kang, Changwon; Song, Ji-Joon; Lee, Jaeok; Kim, Mi Young
Cancers, like other diseases, arise from gene mutations and/or altered gene expression, which eventually cause dysregulation of numerous proteins and noncoding RNAs. Changes in gene expression, i.e., upregulation of oncogenes and/or downregulation of tumor suppressor genes, can be generated not only by genetic and environmental factors but also by epigenetic factors, which are inheritable but nongenetic modifications of cellular chromosome components. Identification of the factors that contribute to individual cancers is a prerequisite to a full understanding of cancer mechanisms and the development of customized cancer therapies. The search for genetic and environmental factors has a long history in cancer research, but epigenetic factors only recently began to be associated with cancer formation, progression, and metastasis. Epigenetic alterations of chromatin include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which can affect gene-expression profiles. Recent studies have revealed diverse mechanisms by which chromatin modifiers, including writers, erasers and readers of the aforementioned modifications, contribute to the formation and progression of cancer. Furthermore, functional RNAs, such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, have also been identified as key players in these processes. This review highlights recent findings concerning the epigenetic alterations associated with cancers, especially gastric cancer. PMID:24914365
Henikoff, Steven; Greally, John M
The field described as 'epigenetics' has captured the imagination of scientists and the lay public. Advances in our understanding of chromatin and gene regulatory mechanisms have had impact on drug development, fueling excitement in the lay public about the prospects of applying this knowledge to address health issues. However, when describing these scientific advances as 'epigenetic', we encounter the problem that this term means different things to different people, starting within the scientific community and amplified in the popular press. To help researchers understand some of the misconceptions in the field and to communicate the science accurately to each other and the lay audience, here we review the basis for many of the assumptions made about what are currently referred to as epigenetic processes. PMID:27458904
Epigenetics, first described by Conrad Waddington, defines how pathways setting a specific phenotype and heritable cellular functions are activated in a DNA independent way. Epigenetics concerns the study of genome structure and accessibility that regulates patterns of gene expression through the dynamic compaction and opening the chromatin structure. Vincent Allfrey profetically declared in 1964 that histone modifications could influence gene expression. In cancer very often cells show a profound modification of DNA methylation and mutations in chromatin regulators. These evidences provided therefore a clear link between epigenetics and neoplasia. Advanced molecular technology such as Deep-sequencing and ChIP-Seq revealed the frequent relocalization in cancer of many PTM readers such the Ac-Lys binding bromodomain. These results were important for the development of novel classes of epigenetic drugs some of which are inhibitors of histone modifyers or molecule interacting with reader domains. Since cancer imply profound changes in the epigenetic profile and in gene transcription a future challenge of molecular and chemical biology will be to develop novel epigenetic compounds able to correct the epigenetic disfunction and, possibly, coadiuvate canonical therapy in the cure of cancer. PMID:25621778
Vinci, Maria Cristina; Polvani, Gianluca; Pesce, Maurizio
Epigenetics, through control of gene expression circuitries, plays important roles in various physiological processes such as stem cell differentiation and self renewal. This occurs during embryonic development, in different tissues, and in response to environmental stimuli. The language of epigenetic program is based on specific covalent modifications of DNA and chromatin. Thus, in addition to the individual identity, encoded by sequence of the four bases of the DNA, there is a cell type identity characterized by its positioning in the epigenetic "landscape". Aberrant changes in epigenetic marks induced by environmental cues may contribute to the development of abnormal phenotypes associated with different human diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and inflammation. Most of the epigenetic studies have focused on embryonic development and cancer biology, while little has been done to explore the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. This review highlights our current knowledge of epigenetic gene regulation and the evidence that chromatin remodeling and histone modifications play key roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease through (re)programming of cardiovascular (stem) cells commitment, identity and function. PMID:22773406
Full Text Available Centromeres are defined by the presence of CENH3, a variant of histone H3. Centromeres in most plant species contain exclusively highly repetitive DNA sequences, which has hindered research on structure and function of centromeric chromatin. Several maize centromeres have been nearly completely sequenced, providing a sequence-based platform for genomic and epigenomic research of plant centromeres. Here we report a high resolution map of CENH3 nucleosomes in the maize genome. Although CENH3 nucleosomes are spaced ∼190 bp on average, CENH3 nucleosomes that occupied CentC, a 156-bp centromeric satellite repeat, showed clear positioning aligning with CentC monomers. Maize centromeres contain alternating CENH3-enriched and CENH3-depleted subdomains, which account for 87% and 13% of the centromeres, respectively. A number of annotated genes were identified in the centromeres, including 11 active genes that were located exclusively in CENH3-depleted subdomains. The euchromatic histone modification marks, including H3K4me3, H3K36me3 and H3K9ac, detected in maize centromeres were associated mainly with the active genes. Interestingly, maize centromeres also have lower levels of the heterochromatin histone modification mark H3K27me2 relative to pericentromeric regions. We conclude that neither H3K27me2 nor the three euchromatic histone modifications are likely to serve as functionally important epigenetic marks of centromere identity in maize.
Zhao, Hainan; Zhu, Xiaobiao; Wang, Kai; Gent, Jonathan I; Zhang, Wenli; Dawe, R Kelly; Jiang, Jiming
Centromeres are defined by the presence of CENH3, a variant of histone H3. Centromeres in most plant species contain exclusively highly repetitive DNA sequences, which has hindered research on structure and function of centromeric chromatin. Several maize centromeres have been nearly completely sequenced, providing a sequence-based platform for genomic and epigenomic research of plant centromeres. Here we report a high resolution map of CENH3 nucleosomes in the maize genome. Although CENH3 nucleosomes are spaced ∼190 bp on average, CENH3 nucleosomes that occupied CentC, a 156-bp centromeric satellite repeat, showed clear positioning aligning with CentC monomers. Maize centromeres contain alternating CENH3-enriched and CENH3-depleted subdomains, which account for 87% and 13% of the centromeres, respectively. A number of annotated genes were identified in the centromeres, including 11 active genes that were located exclusively in CENH3-depleted subdomains. The euchromatic histone modification marks, including H3K4me3, H3K36me3 and H3K9ac, detected in maize centromeres were associated mainly with the active genes. Interestingly, maize centromeres also have lower levels of the heterochromatin histone modification mark H3K27me2 relative to pericentromeric regions. We conclude that neither H3K27me2 nor the three euchromatic histone modifications are likely to serve as functionally important epigenetic marks of centromere identity in maize. PMID:26564952
Hansen, Klaus H; Bracken, Adrian P; Pasini, Diego;
Organization of chromatin by epigenetic mechanisms is essential for establishing and maintaining cellular identity in developing and adult organisms. A key question that remains unresolved about this process is how epigenetic marks are transmitted to the next cell generation during cell division...... during incorporation of newly synthesized histones. This mechanism ensures maintenance of the H3K27me3 epigenetic mark in proliferating cells, not only during DNA replication when histones synthesized de novo are incorporated, but also outside S phase, thereby preserving chromatin structure...
Khuong, Mai T.; Fei, Jia; Ishii, Haruhiko; Kadonaga, James T.
Chromatin consists of nucleosomes as well as nonnucleosomal histone-containing particles. Here we describe the prenucleosome, which is a stable conformational isomer of the nucleosome that associates with ~80 bp DNA. Prenucleosomes are formed rapidly upon the deposition of histones onto DNA and can be converted into canonical nucleosomes by an ATP-driven chromatin assembly factor such as ACF. Different lines of evidence reveal that there are prenucleosome-sized DNA-containing particles with histones in the upstream region of active promoters. Moreover, p300 acetylates histone H3K56 in prenucleosomes but not in nucleosomes, and H3K56 acetylation is found at active promoters and enhancers. These findings therefore suggest that there may be prenucleosomes or prenucleosome-like particles in the upstream region of active promoters. More generally, we postulate that prenucleosomes or prenucleosome-like particles are present at dynamic chromatin, whereas canonical nucleosomes are at static chromatin. PMID:26767995
Cheema, Manjinder S; Ausió, Juan
Histone variants are an important part of the histone contribution to chromatin epigenetics. In this review, we describe how the known structural differences of these variants from their canonical histone counterparts impart a chromatin signature ultimately responsible for their epigenetic contribution. In terms of the core histones, H2A histone variants are major players while H3 variant CenH3, with a controversial role in the nucleosome conformation, remains the genuine epigenetic histone variant. Linker histone variants (histone H1 family) haven't often been studied for their role in epigenetics. However, the micro-heterogeneity of the somatic canonical forms of linker histones appears to play an important role in maintaining the cell-differentiated states, while the cell cycle independent linker histone variants are involved in development. A picture starts to emerge in which histone H2A variants, in addition to their individual specific contributions to the nucleosome structure and dynamics, globally impair the accessibility of linker histones to defined chromatin locations and may have important consequences for determining different states of chromatin metabolism. PMID:26213973
Manjinder S. Cheema
Full Text Available Histone variants are an important part of the histone contribution to chromatin epigenetics. In this review, we describe how the known structural differences of these variants from their canonical histone counterparts impart a chromatin signature ultimately responsible for their epigenetic contribution. In terms of the core histones, H2A histone variants are major players while H3 variant CenH3, with a controversial role in the nucleosome conformation, remains the genuine epigenetic histone variant. Linker histone variants (histone H1 family haven’t often been studied for their role in epigenetics. However, the micro-heterogeneity of the somatic canonical forms of linker histones appears to play an important role in maintaining the cell-differentiated states, while the cell cycle independent linker histone variants are involved in development. A picture starts to emerge in which histone H2A variants, in addition to their individual specific contributions to the nucleosome structure and dynamics, globally impair the accessibility of linker histones to defined chromatin locations and may have important consequences for determining different states of chromatin metabolism.
Alabert, Constance; Groth, Anja
Stability and function of eukaryotic genomes are closely linked to chromatin structure and organization. During cell division the entire genome must be accurately replicated and the chromatin landscape reproduced on new DNA. Chromatin and nuclear structure influence where and when DNA replication...... initiates, whereas the replication process itself disrupts chromatin and challenges established patterns of genome regulation. Specialized replication-coupled mechanisms assemble new DNA into chromatin, but epigenome maintenance is a continuous process taking place throughout the cell cycle. If DNA...
Full Text Available Background: Cancer development is not restricted to the genetic changes, but also to epigenetic changes. Epigenetic processes are very important in the development of hematological malignancies. The main epigenetic alterations are aberrations in DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histones, chromatin remodeling and microRNAs patterns, and these are associated with tumor genesis. All the various cellular pathways contributing to the neoplastic phenotype are affected by epigenetic genes in cancer. These pathways can be explored as biomarkers in clinical use for early detection of disease, malignancy classification and response to treatment with classical chemotherapy agents and epigenetic drugs. Materials and Method: A literature review was performed using PUBMED from 1985 to 2008. Cross referencing of discovered articles was also reviewed.Results: In chronic lymphocytic leukemia, regional hypermethylation of gene promoters leads to gene silencing. Many of these genes have tumor suppressor phenotypes. In myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, CDKN2B (alias, P15, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that negatively regulates the cell cycle, has been shown to be hypermethylated in marrow stem (CD34+ cells in patients with MDS. At present both Vidaza and Decitabine (DNA methyltransferase inhibitors are approved for the treatment of MDS.Conclusion: Unlike mutations or deletions, DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation are potentially reversible by pharmacological inhibition, therefore those epigenetic changes have been recognized as promising novel therapeutic targets in hematopoietic malignances. In this review, we discussed molecular mechanisms of epigenetics, epigenetic changes in hematological malignancies and epigenetic based treatments
Ernst, Jason; Kellis, Manolis
A plethora of epigenetic modifications have been described in the human genome and shown to play diverse roles in gene regulation, cellular differentiation and the onset of disease. Although individual modifications have been linked to the activity levels of various genetic functional elements, their combinatorial patterns are still unresolved and their potential for systematic de novo genome annotation remains untapped. Here, we use a multivariate Hidden Markov Model to reveal chromatin states in human T cells, based on recurrent and spatially coherent combinations of chromatin marks.We define 51 distinct chromatin states, including promoter-associated, transcription-associated, active intergenic, largescale repressed and repeat-associated states. Each chromatin state shows specific enrichments in functional annotations, sequence motifs and specific experimentally observed characteristics, suggesting distinct biological roles. This approach provides a complementary functional annotation of the human genome that reveals the genome-wide locations of diverse classes of epigenetic function.
Migicovsky, Zoë; Kovalchuk, Igor
Epigenetic information can be passed on from one generation to another via DNA methylation, histone modifications, and changes in small RNAs, a process called epigenetic memory. During a mammal’s lifecycle epigenetic reprogramming, or the resetting of most epigenetic marks, occurs twice. The first instance of reprogramming occurs in primordial germ cells and the second occurs following fertilization. These processes may be both passive and active. In order for epigenetic inheritance to occur ...
Qing Li; Zhiguo Zhang
Chromatin is organized into distinct functional domains.During mitotic cell division,both genetic information encoded in DNA sequence and epigenetic information embedded in chromatin structure must be faithfully duplicated.The inheritance of epigenetic states is critical in maintaining the genome integrity and gene expression state.In this review,we will discuss recent progress on how proteins known to be involved in DNA replication and DNA replication-coupled nucleosome assembly impact on the inheritance and maintenance of heterochromatin,a tightly compact chromatin structure that silences gene transcription.As heterochromatin is important in regulating gene expression and maintaining genome stability,understanding how heterochromatin states are inherited during S phase of the cell cycle is of fundamental importance.
Authors: Marco Antonio Mendoza-Parra, Shankaranarayanan Pattabhiraman & Hinrich Gronemeyer ### Abstract Chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq) is increasingly used to study protein-chromatin interactions or local epigenetic modifications at genome-wide scale. ChIP-seq can be performed directly with several ng of immunoprecipitated DNA, which is generally obtained from a several million cells, depending on the quality of the antibody. ChI...
Kami D. M. Harris
Full Text Available Daphnia offer a variety of benefits for the study of epigenetics. Daphnia’s parthenogenetic life cycle allows the study of epigenetic effects in the absence of confounding genetic differences. Sex determination and sexual reproduction are epigenetically determined as are several other well-studied alternate phenotypes that arise in response to environmental stressors. Additionally, there is a large body of ecological literature available, recently complemented by the genome sequence of one species and transgenic technology. DNA methylation has been shown to be altered in response to toxicants and heavy metals, although investigation of other epigenetic mechanisms is only beginning. More thorough studies on DNA methylation as well as investigation of histone modifications and RNAi in sex determination and predator-induced defenses using this ecologically and evolutionarily important organism will contribute to our understanding of epigenetics.
Ramachandran, Srinivas; Henikoff, Steven
Precise positioning of nucleosomes around regulatory sites is achieved by the action of chromatin remodelers, which use the energy of ATP to slide, evict or change the composition of nucleosomes. Chromatin remodelers act to bind nucleosomes, disrupt histone-DNA interactions and translocate the DNA around the histone core to reposition nucleosomes. Hence, remodeling is expected to involve nucleosomal intermediates with a structural organization that is distinct from intact nucleosomes. We describe the identification of a partially unwrapped nucleosome structure using methods that map histone-DNA contacts genome-wide. This alternative nucleosome structure is likely formed as an intermediate or by-product during nucleosome remodeling by the RSC complex. Identification of the loss of histone-DNA contacts during chromatin remodeling by RSC in vivo has implications for the regulation of transcriptional initiation. PMID:26933790
Wenlin Xu; Minghua Xu
The term epigenetics was coined by Waddington CH in 1940s as a portmanteau of the words genetics and epigenesis to describe the differentiation of cells from their initial totipotent state in embryonic development.With the explosion of knowledge in this field in the recent 10 years,epigenetics is now typically defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that are not due to changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA.The field of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of biology and medicine.Recent studies have been focusing on the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation,including DNA methylation, histone modification,chromatin remodeling,etc.,and on their contributions to development and diseases.In this special issue,nine review articles written by prominent experts in this field are put together,trying to give our readers a broad picture of epigenetics and a summary of most recent research progress in this field.Here is a preview of what you will find in this issue.
Li-Li Li; Xing-Sheng Shu; Zhao-Hui Wang; Ya Cao; Qian Tao
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignancy with remarkable ethnic and geographic distribution in southern China and Southeast Asia. Alternative to genetic changes, aberrant epigenetic events disrupt multiple genes involved in cell signaling pathways through DNA methylation of promoter CpG islands and/ or histone modifications. These epigenetic alterations grant cell growth advantage and contribute to the initiation and progression of NPC. In this review, we summariye the epigenetic deregulation of cell signaling in NPC tumorigenesis and highlight the importance of identifying epigenetic cell signaling regulators in NPC research. Developing pharmacologic strategies to reverse the epigenetic-silencing of cell signaling regulators might thus be useful to NPC prevention and therapy.
Abdelfatah, Eihab; Kerner, Zachary; Nanda, Nainika; Ahuja, Nita
Epigenetics is a relatively recent field of molecular biology that has arisen over the past 25 years. Cancer is now understood to be a disease of widespread epigenetic dysregulation that interacts extensively with underlying genetic mutations. The development of drugs targeting these processes has rapidly progressed; with several drugs already FDA approved as first-line therapy in hematological malignancies. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers possess high degrees of epigenetic dysregulation, exemplified by subtypes such as CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and the potential benefit of epigenetic therapy in these cancers is evident. The application of epigenetic drugs in solid tumors, including GI cancers, is just emerging, with increased understanding of the cancer epigenome. In this review, we provide a brief overview of cancer epigenetics and the epigenetic targets of therapy including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. We discuss the epigenetic drugs currently in use, with a focus on DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and explain the pharmacokinetic and mechanistic challenges in their application. We present the strategies employed in incorporating these drugs into the treatment of GI cancers, and explain the concept of the cancer stem cell in epigenetic reprogramming and reversal of chemo resistance. We discuss the most promising combination strategies in GI cancers including: (1) epigenetic sensitization to radiotherapy, (2) epigenetic sensitization to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and (3) epigenetic immune modulation and priming for immune therapy. Finally, we present preclinical and clinical trial data employing these strategies thus far in various GI cancers including colorectal, esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer. PMID:27366224
L. Preston Mercer
Full Text Available Questions concerning the fundamental effects of nutrition on gene function are now being elucidated as the human genome project has been completed. Nutritional genomics seeks to expand the use of foods to achieve human genetic potential, while reducing the risk of diseases. As issues such as nutrigenomics (dietary influence on gene function and nutrigenetics (genomic reaction to diet are unraveled, thepotential for personalized nutrition becomes attainable. It has been stated that “genomics is to the 21st century what infectious disease was to the 20th century”. The nucleotide sequence of DNA was once seen as the only mechanism by which genetic information could be transmitted between generations. Phenotypic variation resulted from recombination and, occasionally, genetic mutation. This widely accepted concept is now undergoing modification as evidence builds to support the idea that reversible, heritable changes in gene function - termed “epigenetics”- can occur without a change in the sequence of nuclear DNA (i.e., non-Mendelian inheritance. The word epigenetics is of Greek origin and literallymeans over and above (epi the genome. The terminology“same genome, different epigenome” has been demonstrated in several experiments. As research and understanding advances, dietary advice based on the human genome will become more prevalent and new pharmacological interventions may be developed.
Today, epigenetics is a very fashionable field of research. Modification of DNA by methylation, and of chromatin by histone modification or substitution represents a major fraction of the studies; but this special issue shows that epigenetic studies are very diverse, and not limited to the study of chromatin. What is common behind these different uses of the word epigenetics? A brief historical survey shows that epigenetics was invented twice, with different meanings: in the 1940s, by Conrad Waddington, as the study of the relations between the genotype and the phenotype; in the 1960s, as the global mechanisms of gene regulation involved in differentiation and development; what is common is that an approach distinct from genetics was in both cases considered as necessary because genetic models were incapable to address these problems. A good way to appreciate the relations between genetics and epigenetics is to realize that the main aim of organisms is to reproduce, and to consider the way organisms perform this task. Genetics is the precise means organisms have invented to reproduce the structure of their macromolecular components; the genome is also used to control the level and place of this reproduction. All the other means organisms have used to reproduce were more or less the result of tinkering, and constitute the field of epigenetics, with its diversity and richness. PMID:15811300
Legartová, Soňa; Jugová, Alžbeta; Stixová, Lenka; Kozubek, Stanislav; Fojtová, Miloslava; Zdráhal, Z.; Lochmanová, G.; Bártová, Eva
Roč. 95, č. 2 (2013), s. 167-179. ISSN 0300-9084 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/10/1022; GA ČR(CZ) GBP302/12/G157; GA MŠk(CZ) LD11020; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0068 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040702 Institutional support: RVO:68081707 Keywords : Apoptosis * Histones * HP1 Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.123, year: 2013
Sneppen, Kim; Dodd, Ian B
How alternative chromatin-based regulatory states can be made stable and heritable in order to provide robust epigenetic memory is poorly understood. Here, we develop a stochastic model of the silencing system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that incorporates cooperative binding of the repressive SIR complex and antisilencing histone modifications, in addition to positive feedback in Sir2 recruitment. The model was able to reproduce key features of SIR regulation of an HM locus, including heritable bistability, dependence on the silencer elements, and sensitivity to SIR dosage. We found that antisilencing methylation of H3K79 by Dot1 was not needed to generate these features, but acted to reduce spreading of SIR binding, consistent with its proposed role in containment of silencing. In contrast, cooperative inter-nucleosome interactions mediated by the SIR complex were critical for concentrating SIR binding around the silencers in the absence of barriers, and for providing bistability in SIR binding. SIR-SIR interactions magnify the cooperativity in the Sir2-histone deacetylation positive feedback reaction and complete a double-negative feedback circuit involving antisilencing modifications. Thus, our modeling underscores the potential importance of cooperative interactions between nucleosome-bound complexes both in the SIR system and in other chromatin-based complexes in epigenetic regulation. PMID:25830651
W. Fischle; D. Schwarzer; Mootz, H.
Analysing post-translational modifications of histone proteins as they occur within chromatin is challenging due to their large number and chemical diversity. A major step forward has now been achieved by using split intein chemistry to engineer functionalized histones within cells.
Terms to be familiar with before you start to solve the test: chromatin, nucleases, sucrose density gradient centrifugation, melting point, gel electrophoresis, ethidium bromide, autoradiography, Southern blotting, Northern blotting, Sanger sequencing, restriction endonucleases, exonucleases, linker DNA, chloroform extraction, nucleosomes,…
Maccani, Matthew A; Marsit, Carmen J.
Epigenetics is focused on understanding the control of gene expression beyond what is encoded in the sequence of DNA. Central to growing interest in the field is the hope that more can be learned about the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms underlying processes of human development and disease. Researchers have begun to examine epigenetic alterations – such as changes in promoter DNA methylation, genomic imprinting, and expression of miRNA – to learn more about epigenetic regulation in the plac...
Cañas, Carlos A; Cañas, Felipe; Bonilla-Abadía, Fabio; Ospina, Fabio E; Tobón, Gabriel J
Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are chronic conditions initiated by the loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigens and represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organs in different systems. While the pathogenesis of AID remains unclear, its aetiology is multifunctional and includes a combination of genetic, epigenetic, immunological and environmental factors. In AIDs, several epigenetic mechanisms are defective including DNA demethylation, abnormal chromatin positioning associated with autoantibody production and abnormalities in the expression of RNA interference (RNAi). It is known that environmental factors may interfere with DNA methylation and histone modifications, however, little is known about epigenetic changes derived of regulation of RNAi. An approach to the known environmental factors and the mechanisms that alter the epigenetic regulation in AIDs (with emphasis in systemic lupus erythematosus, the prototype of systemic AID) are showed in this review. PMID:26369426
Eun Shik Choi; Annelie Strålfors; Sandra Catania; Castillo, Araceli G.; J Peter Svensson; Pidoux, Alison L.; Karl Ekwall; Allshire, Robin C.
Specialized chromatin containing CENP-A nucleosomes instead of H3 nucleosomes is found at all centromeres. However, the mechanisms that specify the locations at which CENP-A chromatin is assembled remain elusive in organisms with regional, epigenetically regulated centromeres. It is known that normal centromeric DNA is transcribed in several systems including the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, we show that factors which preserve stable histone H3 chromatin during transcriptio...
Full Text Available The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS and its regulation in diseases is one of the most interesting processes of contemporary neuroscience. In the last decade, a growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with CNS´s regulation and neurological disorders are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure.Epigenetics, introduced for the first time by Waddington in the early 1940s, has been traditionally referred to a variety of mechanisms that allow heritable changes in gene expression even in the absence of DNA mutation. However, new definitions acknowledge that many of these mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are used by neurons to control a variety of functions dependent on gene expression. Indeed, in the recent years these mechanisms have shown their importance in the maintenance of a healthy CNS. Moreover, environmental inputs that have shown effects in CNS diseases, such as nutrition, that can modulate the concentration of a variety of metabolites such as acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ and beta hydroxybutyrate (β-HB, regulates some of these epigenetic modifications, linking in a precise way environment with gene expression.This manuscript will portray what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the CNS and their participation in a variety of neurological disorders. We will discuss how the machinery that controls these modifications plays an important role in processes involved in neurological disorders such as neurogenesis and cell growth. Moreover, we will discuss how environmental inputs modulate these modifications producing metabolic and physiological alterations that could exert beneficial effects on neurological diseases. Finally, we will highlight possible future directions in the field of
Florian Joachim Raabe
Full Text Available Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that children exposed to adverse experiences are at increased risk for the development of depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD. A history of child abuse and maltreatment increases the likelihood of being subsequently exposed to traumatic events or of developing PTSD as an adult. The brain is highly plastic during early life and encodes acquired information into lasting memories that normally subserve adaptation. Translational studies in rodents showed that enduring sensitization of neuronal and neuroendocrine circuits in response to early life adversity are likely risk factors of life time vulnerability to stress. Hereby, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis integrates cognitive, behavioural and emotional responses to early-life stress and can be epigenetically programmed during sensitive windows of development. Epigenetic mechanisms, comprising reciprocal regulation of chromatin structure and DNA methylation, are important to establish and maintain sustained, yet potentially reversible, changes in gene transcription. The relevance of these findings for the development of PTSD requires further studies in humans where experience-dependent epigenetic programming can additionally depend on genetic variation in the underlying substrates which may protect from or advance disease development. Overall, identification of early-life stress associated epigenetic risk markers informing on previous stress history can help to advance early diagnosis, personalized prevention and timely therapeutic interventions, thus reducing long-term social and health costs.
Full Text Available Abstract The molecular mechanisms of aging are the subject of much research and have facilitated potential interventions to delay aging and aging-related degenerative diseases in humans. The aging process is frequently affected by environmental factors, and caloric restriction is by far the most effective and established environmental manipulation for extending lifespan in various animal models. However, the precise mechanisms by which caloric restriction affects lifespan are still not clear. Epigenetic mechanisms have recently been recognized as major contributors to nutrition-related longevity and aging control. Two primary epigenetic codes, DNA methylation and histone modification, are believed to dynamically influence chromatin structure, resulting in expression changes of relevant genes. In this review, we assess the current advances in epigenetic regulation in response to caloric restriction and how this affects cellular senescence, aging and potential extension of a healthy lifespan in humans. Enhanced understanding of the important role of epigenetics in the control of the aging process through caloric restriction may lead to clinical advances in the prevention and therapy of human aging-associated diseases.
When the human genome project was completed, it revealed a surprising result. 98% of the genome did not code for protein of which more than 50% are repeats— later known as ”Junk DNA”. However, comparative genomics unveiled that many noncoding elements are evolutionarily constrained; thus luckily to have a role in genome stability and regulation. Though, their exact functions remained largely unknown. Several large international consortia such as the Functional Annotation of Mammalian Genomes (FANTOM) and the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) were set to understand the structure and the regulation of the genome. Specifically, these endeavors aim to measure and reveal the transcribed components and functional elements of the genome. One of the most the striking findings of these efforts is that most of the genome is transcribed, including non-conserved noncoding elements and repeat elements. Specifically, we investigated the evolution and epigenetic properties of noncoding elements. 1. We compared genomes of evolutionarily distant species and showed the ubiquity of constrained noncoding elements in metazoa. 2. By integrating multi-omic data (such as transcriptome, nucleosome profiling, histone modifications), I conducted a comprehensive analysis of epigenetic properties (chromatin states) of conserved noncoding elements in insects. We showed that those elements have distinct and protective sequence features, undergo dynamic epigenetic regulation, and appear to be associated with the structural components of the chromatin, replication origins, and nuclear matrix. 3. I focused on the relationship between enhancers and repetitive elements. Using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) and RNASeq, I compiled a full catalog of active enhancers (a class of noncoding elements) during myogenesis of human primary cells of healthy donors and donors affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Comparing the two time-courses, a significant change in the epigenetic
Chen, Kelan; Hu, Jiang; Moore, Darcy L; Liu, Ruijie; Kessans, Sarah A; Breslin, Kelsey; Lucet, Isabelle S; Keniry, Andrew; Leong, Huei San; Parish, Clare L; Hilton, Douglas J; Lemmers, Richard J L F; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Czabotar, Peter E; Dobson, Renwick C J; Ritchie, Matthew E; Kay, Graham F; Murphy, James M; Blewitt, Marnie E
Structural maintenance of chromosomes flexible hinge domain containing 1 (Smchd1) is an epigenetic repressor with described roles in X inactivation and genomic imprinting, but Smchd1 is also critically involved in the pathogenesis of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy. The underlying molecular mechanism by which Smchd1 functions in these instances remains unknown. Our genome-wide transcriptional and epigenetic analyses show that Smchd1 binds cis-regulatory elements, many of which coincide with CCCTC-binding factor (Ctcf) binding sites, for example, the clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes, where we show Smchd1 and Ctcf act in opposing ways. We provide biochemical and biophysical evidence that Smchd1-chromatin interactions are established through the homodimeric hinge domain of Smchd1 and, intriguingly, that the hinge domain also has the capacity to bind DNA and RNA. Our results suggest Smchd1 imparts epigenetic regulation via physical association with chromatin, which may antagonize Ctcf-facilitated chromatin interactions, resulting in coordinated transcriptional control. PMID:26091879
Schirmer, Eric C. [Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Kings Buildings, Michael Swann Building, Room 5.22, Edinburgh EH9 3JR (United Kingdom)], E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mammalian chromosomes and some specific genes have non-random positions within the nucleus that are tissue-specific and heritable. Work in many organisms has shown that genes at the nuclear periphery tend to be inactive and altering their partitioning to the interior results in their activation. Proteins of the nuclear envelope can recruit chromatin with specific epigenetic marks and can also recruit silencing factors that add new epigenetic modifications to chromatin sequestered at the periphery. Together these findings indicate that the nuclear envelope is a significant epigenetic regulator. The importance of this function is emphasized by observations of aberrant distribution of peripheral heterochromatin in several human diseases linked to mutations in NE proteins. These debilitating inherited diseases range from muscular dystrophies to the premature aging progeroid syndromes and the heterochromatin changes are just one early clue for understanding the molecular details of how they work. The architecture of the nuclear envelope provides a unique environment for epigenetic regulation and as such a great deal of research will be required before we can ascertain the full range of its contributions to epigenetics.
Mammalian chromosomes and some specific genes have non-random positions within the nucleus that are tissue-specific and heritable. Work in many organisms has shown that genes at the nuclear periphery tend to be inactive and altering their partitioning to the interior results in their activation. Proteins of the nuclear envelope can recruit chromatin with specific epigenetic marks and can also recruit silencing factors that add new epigenetic modifications to chromatin sequestered at the periphery. Together these findings indicate that the nuclear envelope is a significant epigenetic regulator. The importance of this function is emphasized by observations of aberrant distribution of peripheral heterochromatin in several human diseases linked to mutations in NE proteins. These debilitating inherited diseases range from muscular dystrophies to the premature aging progeroid syndromes and the heterochromatin changes are just one early clue for understanding the molecular details of how they work. The architecture of the nuclear envelope provides a unique environment for epigenetic regulation and as such a great deal of research will be required before we can ascertain the full range of its contributions to epigenetics
Full Text Available Retinopathy is a debilitating vascular complication of diabetes. As with other diabetic complications, diabetic retinopathy (DR is characterized by the metabolic memory, which has been observed both in DR patients and in DR animal models. Evidences have provided that after a period of poor glucose control insulin or diabetes drug treatment fails to prevent the development and progression of DR even when good glycemic control is reinstituted (glucose normalization, suggesting a metabolic memory phenomenon. Recent studies also underline the role of epigenetic chromatin modifications as mediators of the metabolic memory. Indeed, epigenetic changes may lead to stable modification of gene expression, participating in DR pathogenesis. Moreover, increasing evidences suggest that environmental factors such as chronic hyperglycemia are implicated DR progression and may also affect the epigenetic state. Here we review recent findings demonstrating the key role of epigenetics in the progression of DR. Further elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms, acting both at the cis- and trans-chromatin structural elements, will yield new insights into the pathogenesis of DR and will open the way for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets to prevent DR progression.
Andrews, Forest H; Strahl, Brian D; Kutateladze, Tatiana G
The field of chromatin biology has been advancing at an accelerated pace. Recent discoveries of previously uncharacterized sites and types of post-translational modifications (PTMs) and the identification of new sets of proteins responsible for the deposition, removal, and reading of these marks continue raising the complexity of an already exceedingly complicated biological phenomenon. In this Perspective article we examine the biological importance of new types and sites of histone PTMs and summarize the molecular mechanisms of chromatin engagement by newly discovered epigenetic readers. We also highlight the imperative role of structural insights in understanding PTM-reader interactions and discuss future directions to enhance the knowledge of PTM readout. PMID:27538025
Teperek, Marta; Simeone, Angela; Gaggioli, Vincent; Miyamoto, Kei; Allen, George E; Erkek, Serap; Kwon, Taejoon; Marcotte, Edward M; Zegerman, Philip; Bradshaw, Charles R; Peters, Antoine H F M; Gurdon, John B; Jullien, Jerome
For a long time, it has been assumed that the only role of sperm at fertilization is to introduce the male genome into the egg. Recently, ideas have emerged that the epigenetic state of the sperm nucleus could influence transcription in the embryo. However, conflicting reports have challenged the existence of epigenetic marks on sperm genes, and there are no functional tests supporting the role of sperm epigenetic marking on embryonic gene expression. Here, we show that sperm is epigenetically programmed to regulate embryonic gene expression. By comparing the development of sperm- and spermatid-derived frog embryos, we show that the programming of sperm for successful development relates to its ability to regulate transcription of a set of developmentally important genes. During spermatid maturation into sperm, these genes lose H3K4me2/3 and retain H3K27me3 marks. Experimental removal of these epigenetic marks at fertilization de-regulates gene expression in the resulting embryos in a paternal chromatin-dependent manner. This demonstrates that epigenetic instructions delivered by the sperm at fertilization are required for correct regulation of gene expression in the future embryos. The epigenetic mechanisms of developmental programming revealed here are likely to relate to the mechanisms involved in transgenerational transmission of acquired traits. Understanding how parental experience can influence development of the progeny has broad potential for improving human health. PMID:27034506
Cells often exhibit different and stable phenotypes from the same DNA sequence. Robustness and plasticity of such cellular states are controlled by diverse transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms, among them the modification of biochemical marks on chromatin. Here, we develop a stochastic model that describes the dynamics of epigenetic marks along a given DNA region. Through mathematical analysis, we show the emergence of bistable and persistent epigenetic states from the cooperative recruitment of modifying enzymes. We also find that the dynamical system exhibits a critical point and displays, in the presence of asymmetries in recruitment, a bifurcation diagram with hysteresis. These results have deep implications for our understanding of epigenetic regulation. In particular, our study allows one to reconcile within the same formalism the robust maintenance of epigenetic identity observed in differentiated cells, the epigenetic plasticity of pluripotent cells during differentiation, and the effects of epigenetic misregulation in diseases. Moreover, it suggests a possible mechanism for developmental transitions where the system is shifted close to the critical point to benefit from high susceptibility to developmental cues.
Feinberg, Andrew P; Koldobskiy, Michael A; Göndör, Anita
This year is the tenth anniversary of the publication in this journal of a model suggesting the existence of 'tumour progenitor genes'. These genes are epigenetically disrupted at the earliest stages of malignancies, even before mutations, and thus cause altered differentiation throughout tumour evolution. The past decade of discovery in cancer epigenetics has revealed a number of similarities between cancer genes and stem cell reprogramming genes, widespread mutations in epigenetic regulators, and the part played by chromatin structure in cellular plasticity in both development and cancer. In the light of these discoveries, we suggest here a framework for cancer epigenetics involving three types of genes: 'epigenetic mediators', corresponding to the tumour progenitor genes suggested earlier; 'epigenetic modifiers' of the mediators, which are frequently mutated in cancer; and 'epigenetic modulators' upstream of the modifiers, which are responsive to changes in the cellular environment and often linked to the nuclear architecture. We suggest that this classification is helpful in framing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to cancer. PMID:26972587
Anderson, Aimee E.; Galko, Michael J.
The drastic cellular changes required for epidermal cells to dedifferentiate and become motile during wound closure are accompanied by changes in gene transcription, suggesting corresponding alterations in chromatin. However, the epigenetic changes that underlie wound-induced transcriptional programs remain poorly understood partly because a comprehensive study of epigenetic factor expression during wound healing has not been practical. To determine which chromatin modifying factors might con...
Ugarte, Fernando; Sousae, Rebekah; Cinquin, Bertrand; Martin, Eric W; Krietsch, Jana; Sanchez, Gabriela; Inman, Margaux; Tsang, Herman; Warr, Matthew; Passegué, Emmanuelle; Larabell, Carolyn A; Forsberg, E Camilla
Epigenetic regulation serves as the basis for stem cell differentiation into distinct cell types, but it is unclear how global epigenetic changes are regulated during this process. Here, we tested the hypothesis that global chromatin organization affects the lineage potential of stem cells and that manipulation of chromatin dynamics influences stem cell function. Using nuclease sensitivity assays, we found a progressive decrease in chromatin digestion among pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs), multipotent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and mature hematopoietic cells. Quantitative high-resolution microscopy revealed that ESCs contain significantly more euchromatin than HSCs, with a further reduction in mature cells. Increased cellular maturation also led to heterochromatin localization to the nuclear periphery. Functionally, prevention of heterochromatin formation by inhibition of the histone methyltransferase G9A resulted in delayed HSC differentiation. Our results demonstrate global chromatin rearrangements during stem cell differentiation and that heterochromatin formation by H3K9 methylation regulates HSC differentiation. PMID:26489895
Full Text Available Epigenetic regulation serves as the basis for stem cell differentiation into distinct cell types, but it is unclear how global epigenetic changes are regulated during this process. Here, we tested the hypothesis that global chromatin organization affects the lineage potential of stem cells and that manipulation of chromatin dynamics influences stem cell function. Using nuclease sensitivity assays, we found a progressive decrease in chromatin digestion among pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs, multipotent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs, and mature hematopoietic cells. Quantitative high-resolution microscopy revealed that ESCs contain significantly more euchromatin than HSCs, with a further reduction in mature cells. Increased cellular maturation also led to heterochromatin localization to the nuclear periphery. Functionally, prevention of heterochromatin formation by inhibition of the histone methyltransferase G9A resulted in delayed HSC differentiation. Our results demonstrate global chromatin rearrangements during stem cell differentiation and that heterochromatin formation by H3K9 methylation regulates HSC differentiation.
DuPage, Michel; Chopra, Gaurav; Quiros, Jason; Rosenthal, Wendy L.; Morar, Malika M.; Holohan, Dan; Zhang, Ruan; Turka, Laurence; Marson, Alexander; Bluestone, Jeffrey A.
Regulatory T cells (Treg cells) are required for immune homeostasis. Chromatin remodeling is essential for establishing diverse cellular identities, but how the epigenetic program in Treg cells is maintained throughout the dynamic activation process remains unclear. Here we have shown that CD28 co-stimulation, an extracellular cue intrinsically required for Treg cell maintenance, induced the chromatin-modifying enzyme, Ezh2. Treg-specific ablation of Ezh2 resulted in spontaneous autoimmunity ...
Lawaetz, Andreas C.; Almstrup, Kristian
cell is a fetal germ cell that has been arrested during development due to testicular dysgenesis. CIS cells retain a fetal and open chromatin structure, and recently several epigenetic modifiers have been suggested to be involved in testicular dysgenesis in mice. We here review the possible involvement...... of epigenetic modifiers with a focus on jumonji C enzymes in the development of testicular dysgenesis and germ cell cancer in men....
Full Text Available Pain remains a poorly understood and managed symptom. A limited mechanistic understanding of interindividual differences in pain and analgesia response shapes current approaches to assessment and treatment. Opportunities exist to improve pain care through increased understanding of how dynamic epigenomic remodeling shapes injury, illness, pain, and treatment response. Tightly regulated alterations of the DNA-histone chromatin complex enable cells to control transcription, replication, gene expression, and protein production. Pathological alterations to chromatin shape the ability of the cell to respond to physiologic and environmental cues leading to disease and reduced treatment effectiveness. This review provides an overview of critical epigenetic processes shaping pathology and pain, highlights current research support for the role of epigenomic modification in the development of chronic pain, and summarizes the therapeutic potential to alter epigenetic processes to improve health outcomes.
Barkal, Amira A.; Srinivasan, Sharanya; Hashimoto, Tatsunori; Gifford, David K.; Sherwood, Richard I.
Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding.
Barkal, Amira A.; Srinivasan, Sharanya; Gifford, David K.; Sherwood, Richard I.; Hashimoto, Tatsunori Benjamin
Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding.
Amira A Barkal
Full Text Available Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding.
Barkal, Amira A.; Srinivasan, Sharanya; Hashimoto, Tatsunori; Gifford, David K.; Sherwood, Richard I.
Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding. PMID:27031353
Debra L Foley; Craig, Jeffrey M; Morley, Ruth; Olsson, Craig J.; Dwyer, Terence; Smith, Katherine; Saffery, Richard
Epigenetic modification can mediate environmental influences on gene expression and can modulate the disease risk associated with genetic variation. Epigenetic analysis therefore holds substantial promise for identifying mechanisms through which genetic and environmental factors jointly contribute to disease risk. The spatial and temporal variance in epigenetic profile is of particular relevance for developmental epidemiology and the study of aging, including the variable age at onset for man...
Mann, Derek A.
Epigenetics is a term that encompasses a variety of regulatory processes that are able to crosstalk in order to influence gene expression and cell phenotype in response to environmental cues. A deep understanding of epigenetics offers the potential for fresh insights into the basis for complex chronic diseases and improved diagnostic and prognostic tools. Moreover, as epigenetic modifications are highly plastic and responsive to the environment, there is much excitement around the theme of ep...
We investigated thymine dimer excision from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) chromatin in the cell-free reconstruction system. The normal-cell extract performed specific dimer excision from native chromatin and DNA isolated from 100 J/m2-irradiated cells. Such an excision in vitro was rapid and required high concentrations of extract. The extracts of XP group A, C and G cells were unable to excise from their own native-chromatin, but capable of excising from chromatin deprived of loosely bound nonhistone proteins with 0.35 M NaCl, as were from purified DNA. Thus, group A, C and G cells are most likely to be defective in the specific XP factors facilitating the excising activity under multicomponent regulation at the chromatin level. Further, either of group A, C and G extracts successfully complemented the native chromatin of the alternative groups. Uniquely, the XP group D extract excised dimers from native chromatin in the normal fashion under the condition. These results suggest that XP group A, C, D and G cells examined may not be defective in the dimer specific endonuclease and exonuclease per se. 19 references, 3 figures, 2 tables
Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K.
Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer. PMID:27482540
Silva, Mariana C.C.; Bodor, Dani L.; Stellfox, Madison E.; Martins, Nuno M.C.; Hochegger, Helfrid; Foltz, Daniel R.; Jansen, Lars E.T.
Centromeres form the site of chromosome attachment to microtubules during mitosis. Identity of these loci is maintained epigenetically by nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A. Propagation of CENP-A chromatin is uncoupled from DNA replication initiating only during mitotic exit. We now demonstrate that inhibition of Cdk1 and Cdk2 activities is sufficient to trigger CENP-A assembly throughout the cell cycle in a manner dependent on the canonical CENP-A assembly machinery. We fur...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Direct visualization of chromatin has the potential to provide important insights into epigenetic processes. In particular, atomic force microscopy (AFM can visualize single nucleosomes under physiological ionic conditions. However, AFM has mostly been applied to chromatin that has been reconstituted in vitro, and its potential as a tool for the dissection of native nucleosomes has not been explored. Recently we applied AFM to native Drosophila chromatin containing the centromere-specific histone 3 (CenH3, showing that it is greatly enriched in smaller particles. Taken together with biochemical analyses of CenH3 nucleosomes, we propose that centromeric nucleosomes are hemisomes, with one turn of DNA wrapped around a particle consisting of one molecule each of centromere-specific CenH3, H4, H2A and H2B. Results Here we apply a recognition mode of AFM imaging to directly identify CenH3 within histone core particles released from native centromeric chromatin. More than 90% of these particles were found to be tetrameric in height. The specificity of recognition was confirmed by blocking with a CenH3 peptide, and the strength of the interaction was quantified by force measurements. These results imply that the particles imaged by AFM are indeed mature CenH3-containing hemisomes. Conclusion Efficient and highly specific recognition of CenH3 in histone core particles isolated from native centromeric chromatin demonstrates that tetramers are the predominant form of centromeric nucleosomes in mature tetramers. Our findings provide proof of principle that this approach can yield insights into chromatin biology using direct and rapid detection of native nucleosomes in physiological salt concentrations.
This review considers the hypothesis that nutrition during infancy affects developmental epigenetics in the gut, causing metabolic imprinting of gastrointestinal (GI) structure and function. Fundamentals of epigenetic gene regulation are reviewed, with an emphasis on the epigenetic mechanism of DNA ...
Lulla, Rishi R; Saratsis, Amanda Muhs; Hashizume, Rintaro
Pediatric central nervous system tumors are the most common solid tumor of childhood. Of these, approximately one-third are gliomas that exhibit diverse biological behaviors in the unique context of the developing nervous system. Although low-grade gliomas predominate and have favorable outcomes, up to 20% of pediatric gliomas are high-grade. These tumors are a major contributor to cancer-related morbidity and mortality in infants, children, and adolescents, with long-term survival rates of only 10 to 15%. The recent discovery of somatic oncogenic mutations affecting chromatin regulation in pediatric high-grade glioma has markedly improved our understanding of disease pathogenesis, and these findings have stimulated the development of novel therapeutic approaches targeting epigenetic regulators for disease treatment. We review the current perspective on pediatric high-grade glioma genetics and epigenetics, and discuss the emerging and experimental therapeutics targeting the unique molecular abnormalities present in these deadly childhood brain tumors. PMID:27034984
Choi, Eun Shik; Strålfors, Annelie; Castillo, Araceli G; Durand-Dubief, Mickaël; Ekwall, Karl; Allshire, Robin C
The histone H3 variant CENP-A is the most favored candidate for an epigenetic mark that specifies the centromere. In fission yeast, adjacent heterochromatin can direct CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin establishment, but the underlying features governing where CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin assembles are unknown. We show that, in addition to centromeric regions, a low level of CENP-A(Cnp1) associates with gene promoters where histone H3 is depleted by the activity of the Hrp1(Chd1) chromatin-remodeling factor. Moreover, we demonstrate that noncoding RNAs are transcribed by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) from CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin at centromeres. These analyses reveal a similarity between centromeres and a subset of RNAPII genes and suggest a role for remodeling at RNAPII promoters within centromeres that influences the replacement of histone H3 with CENP-A(Cnp1). PMID:21531710
Klosin, Adam; Lehner, Ben
Development never starts from a blank slate of DNA. Therefore, in principle, plenty beyond DNA could transmit phenotypic information from one generation to the next. However, the extent to which epigenetic information is actually transmitted between generations and whether this information is modulated by the environment are questions that have only recently started to be investigated at the molecular level. Here we review molecular work on inter-generation epigenetic effects in animals and highlight some principles of epigenetic transmission. We argue that the need to stably repress repetitive DNA facilitated the evolution of mechanisms conferring long-term epigenetic memory, that individual effectors such as small RNAs can provide short-term epigenetic memory, and that feedback between different epigenetic mechanisms - for example between chromatin and small RNAs - could contribute to more stable long-term inheritance. Environmentally-triggered epigenetic 'wounds' in heterochromatin that take one or more generations to 'heal' may also represent quite a generic mechanism for the transmission of acquired traits. Whether and how somatic cells alter epigenetic information in the germline, and whether and how long-term epigenetic memory can be transmitted without establishing permanent epigenetic states are key questions for future research. PMID:27140512
Singh, Narendra Nath; Peer, Aakanksha; Nair, Sherin; Chaturvedi, Rupesh K
Much controversy has existed over the etiopathogenesis and management of oral lesions, especially oral malignancies. The knowledge of genetic basis is proving to be inadequate in the light of emerging new mechanisms termed epigenetic phenomena. The present review article aims to understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in oral lesions. Epigenetics is the study of acquired changes in chromatin structure that arise independently of a change in the underlying deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nucleotide sequence. Key components involved in epigenetic regulation are DNA methylation, histone modifications and modifications in micro ribonucleic acids (miRNA). Epigenetics is a reversible system that can be affected by various environmental factors such as diet, drugs, mental stress, physical activity and addictive substances such as tobacco, nicotine and alcohol. Epigenetics may also play a role in explaining the etiopathogenesis of developmental anomalies, genetic defects, cancer as well as substance addiction (tobacco, cigarette and alcohol). Epigenetic modifications may contribute to aberrant epigenetic mechanisms seen in oral precancers and cancers. In the near future, epigenetic variations found in oral dysplastic cells can act as a molecular fingerprint for malignancies. The literature in English language was searched and a structured scientific review and meta-analysis of scientific publications from the year 2000 to year 2015 was carried out from various journals. It was observed that epigenetic marks can prove to be novel markers for early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of oral cancers as well as other oral diseases. PMID:27194874
Ibeagha-Awemu, Eveline M; Zhao, Xin
Improvement in animal productivity has been achieved over the years through careful breeding and selection programs. Today, variations in the genome are gaining increasing importance in livestock improvement strategies. Genomic information alone, however, explains only a part of the phenotypic variance in traits. It is likely that a portion of the unaccounted variance is embedded in the epigenome. The epigenome encompasses epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, chromatin remodeling, and other molecules that can transmit epigenetic information such as non-coding RNA species. Epigenetic factors respond to external or internal environmental cues such as nutrition, pathogens, and climate, and have the ability to change gene expression leading to emergence of specific phenotypes. Accumulating evidence shows that epigenetic marks influence gene expression and phenotypic outcome in livestock species. This review examines available evidence of the influence of epigenetic marks on livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, and pig) traits and discusses the potential for consideration of epigenetic markers in livestock improvement programs. However, epigenetic research activities on farm animal species are currently limited partly due to lack of recognition, funding and a global network of researchers. Therefore, considerable less attention has been given to epigenetic research in livestock species in comparison to extensive work in humans and model organisms. Elucidating therefore the epigenetic determinants of animal diseases and complex traits may represent one of the principal challenges to use epigenetic markers for further improvement of animal productivity. PMID:26442116
Full Text Available Plants have evolved sophisticated genetic and epigenetic regulatory systems to respond quickly to unfavorable environmental conditions such as heat, cold, drought, and pathogen infections. In particular, heat greatly affects plant growth and development, immunity and circadian rhythm, and poses a serious threat to the global food supply. According to temperatures exposing, heat can be usually classified as warm ambient temperature (about 22-27℃, high temperature (27-30℃ and extremely high temperature (37-42℃, also known as heat stress for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The genetic mechanisms of plant responses to heat have been well studied, mainly focusing on elevated ambient temperature-mediated morphological acclimation and acceleration of flowering, modulation of plant immunity and circadian clock by high temperatures, and thermotolerance to heat stress. Recently, great progress has been achieved on epigenetic regulation of heat responses, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, histone chaperones, small RNAs, long non-coding RNAs and other undefined epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic modifications regulate the expression of heat-responsive genes and function to prevent heat-related damage. This review focuses on recent progresses regarding the genetic and epigenetic control of heat responses in plants, and pays more attention to the role of the major epigenetic mechanisms in plant heat responses. Further research perspectives are also discussed.
Qureshi, Irfan A. [Rosyln and Leslie Goldstein Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Mehler, Mark F., E-mail: email@example.com [Rosyln and Leslie Goldstein Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States)
Recent advances have begun to elucidate how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are responsible for establishing and maintaining cell identity during development and adult life and how the disruption of these processes is, not surprisingly, one of the hallmarks of cancer. In this review, we describe the major epigenetic mechanisms (i.e., DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modification, non-coding RNA deployment, RNA editing, and nuclear reorganization) and discuss the broad spectrum of epigenetic alterations that have been uncovered in pediatric and adult nervous system tumors. We also highlight emerging evidence that suggests epigenetic deregulation is a characteristic feature of so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are thought to be present in a range of nervous system tumors and responsible for tumor maintenance, progression, treatment resistance, and recurrence. We believe that better understanding how epigenetic mechanisms operate in neural cells and identifying the etiologies and consequences of epigenetic deregulation in tumor cells and CSCs, in particular, are likely to promote the development of enhanced molecular diagnostics and more targeted and effective therapeutic agents for treating recalcitrant nervous system tumors.
Recent advances have begun to elucidate how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are responsible for establishing and maintaining cell identity during development and adult life and how the disruption of these processes is, not surprisingly, one of the hallmarks of cancer. In this review, we describe the major epigenetic mechanisms (i.e., DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modification, non-coding RNA deployment, RNA editing, and nuclear reorganization) and discuss the broad spectrum of epigenetic alterations that have been uncovered in pediatric and adult nervous system tumors. We also highlight emerging evidence that suggests epigenetic deregulation is a characteristic feature of so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are thought to be present in a range of nervous system tumors and responsible for tumor maintenance, progression, treatment resistance, and recurrence. We believe that better understanding how epigenetic mechanisms operate in neural cells and identifying the etiologies and consequences of epigenetic deregulation in tumor cells and CSCs, in particular, are likely to promote the development of enhanced molecular diagnostics and more targeted and effective therapeutic agents for treating recalcitrant nervous system tumors
Krause, Bernardo; Sobrevia, Luis; Casanello, Paola
The hypothesis of 'Developmental Origins of Health and Disease' (DOHaD) relies on the presence of mechanisms sensing and signalling a diversity of stimuli during fetal development. The mechanisms that have been broadly suggested to be involved in these processes are the epigenetic modifications that could 'record' perinatal stimuli. Since the definition of epigenetic and the associated mechanisms are conflictive, in this review epigenetic was defined as 'chromosome-based mechanisms that can change the phenotypic plasticity in a cell or organism'. The most understood epigenetic mechanisms (i.e. DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications (PTM), ATP-dependent chromatin modifications and non-coding RNAs) and reported evidence for their role in fetal programming were briefly reviewed. The development of the vascular system is strongly influenced by epigenetic mechanisms. For that reason vascular cells are good candidates to be explored regarding epigenetic programming since its proved susceptibility to be imprinted. This has been described in pregnancy diseases such as intra-uterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, where changes in vascular function are preserved in vitro. PMID:19485890
Tania L Roth
Full Text Available This brief review will focus on a new hypothesis for the role of epigenetic mechanisms in aging-related disruptions of synaptic plasticity and memory. Epigenetics refers to a set of potentially self-perpetuating, covalent modifications of DNA and post-translational modifications of nuclear proteins that produce lasting alterations in chromatin structure. These mechanisms, in turn, result in alterations in specific patterns of gene expression. Aging-related memory decline is manifest prominently in declarative/episodic memory and working memory, memory modalities anatomically based largely in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, respectively. The neurobiological underpinnings of age-related memory deficits include aberrant changes in gene transcription that ultimately affect the ability of the aged brain to be “plastic”. The molecular mechanisms underlying these changes in gene transcription are not currently known, but recent work points toward a potential novel mechanism, dysregulation of epigenetic mechanisms. This has led us to hypothesize that dysregulation of epigenetic control mechanisms and aberrant epigenetic “marks” drive aging-related cognitive dysfunction. Here we focus on this theme, reviewing current knowledge concerning epigenetic molecular mechanisms, as well as recent results suggesting disruption of plasticity and memory formation during aging. Finally, several open questions will be discussed that we believe will fuel experimental discovery.
Full Text Available Epigenetic information can be passed on from one generation to another via DNA methylation, histone modifications and changes in small RNAs, a process called epigenetic memory. During a mammal’s lifecycle epigenetic reprogramming, or the resetting of most epigenetic marks, occurs twice. The first instance of reprogramming occurs in primordial germ cells and the second occurs following fertilization. These processes may be both passive and active. In order for epigenetic inheritance to occur the epigenetic modifications must be able to escape reprogramming. There are several examples supporting this non-Mendelian mechanism of inheritance including the prepacking of early developmental genes in histones instead of protamines in sperm, genomic imprinting via methylation marks, the retention of CenH3 in mammalian sperm and the inheritance of piwi-associated interfering RNAs. The ability of mammals to pass on epigenetic information to their progeny provides clear evidence that inheritance is not restricted to DNA sequence and epigenetics plays a key role in producing viable offspring.
The eukaryotic genome is organized into chromatin, a nucleoprotein complex and a dynamic entity that regulates the spatio-temporal expression of genes in response to the intracellular and extracellular signals. This dynamicity is maintained by several factors, including the chromatin modifying Machineries. Chromatin modifying enzymes (for example, lysine (K) acetyl transferases for acetylation, lysine and arginine (R) methyltransferases for methylation, etc.) by virtue of their modifying abilities of both histones and the non histone components, are vital regulatory factors for gene expression both in physiological as well as pathophysiological conditions. Hence the modulators (inhibitors/activators) of these enzymes, which are capable of altering the gene expression globally, could also be useful in understanding the epigenetic mechanism of gene expression as well as for therapeutic purposes. We have found that acetylation of histone chaperone NPM1 and histones is essential for chromatin-mediated transcriptional activation. Remarkably, NPM1 as well as histones get hyperacetylated predominantly in oral cancer patient samples. We identified NPM1 as a positive regulator of the KAT, p300 autoacetylation, the possible causal mechanism of hyperacetylation. Targeting the acetylation by a water-soluble KAT inhibitor, CTK7A in oral tumour xenografted mice, we could demonstrate that the tumour growth could indeed be retarded upon the inhibition of KAT autoacetylation. Presently, we are studying the histone modification language in oral cancer, especially in the context of acetylation and methylation which could be potential targets for combinatorial epigenetic therapeutics. (author)
Vicent, Guillermo P; Nacht, A Silvina; Zaurín, Roser; Ballaré, Cecilia; Clausell, Jaime; Beato, Miguel
Steroid hormones regulate gene expression by interaction of their receptors with hormone-responsive elements on DNA or with other transcription factors, but they can also activate cytoplasmic signaling cascades. Rapid activation of Erk by progestins via an interaction of the progesterone receptor (PR) with the estrogen receptor is critical for transcriptional activation of the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter and other progesterone target genes. Erk activation leads to the phosphorylation of PR, activation of mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1, and the recruitment of a complex of the three activated proteins and of P300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) to a single nucleosome, resulting in the phosphoacetylation of histone H3 and the displacement of heterochromatin protein 1γ. Hormone-dependent gene expression requires ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes. Two switch/sucrose nonfermentable-like complexes, Brahma-related gene 1-associated factor (BAF) and polybromo-BAF are present in breast cancer cells, but only BAF is recruited to the MMTV promoter and cooperates with PCAF during activation of hormone-responsive promoters. PCAF acetylates histone H3 at K14, an epigenetic mark recognized by BAF subunits, thus anchoring the complex to chromatin. BAF catalyzes localized displacement of histones H2A and H2B, facilitating access of nuclear factor 1 and additional PR complexes to the hidden hormone-responsive elements on the MMTV promoter. The linker histone H1 is a structural component of chromatin generally regarded as a general repressor of transcription. However, it contributes to a better regulation of the MMTV promoter by favoring a more homogeneous nucleosome positioning, thus reducing basal transcription and actually enhancing hormone induced transcription. During transcriptional activation, H1 is phosphorylated and displaced from the promoter. The kinase cyclin-dependent kinase 2 is activated after progesterone treatment and could
Dhar, Manjima; Khojah, Reem; Tay, Andy; Di Carlo, Dino
Individual cells are the fundamental unit of life with diverse functions from metabolism to motility. In multicellular organisms, a single genome can give rise to tremendous variability across tissues at the single-cell level due to epigenetic differences in the genes that are expressed. Signals from the local environment or a history of signals can drive these variations, and tissues have many cell types that play separate roles. This epigenetic heterogeneity is of biological importance in normal functions such as tissue morphogenesis and can contribute to development or resistance of cancer, or other disease states. Therefore, an improved understanding of variations at the single cell level are fundamental to understanding biology and developing new approaches to combating disease. Traditional approaches to characterize epigenetic modifications of chromatin or the transcriptome of cells have often focused on blended responses of many cells in a tissue; however, such bulk measures lose spatial and temporal differences that occur from cell to cell, and cannot uncover novel or rare populations of cells. Here we highlight a flurry of recent activity to identify the mRNA profiles from thousands of single-cells as well as chromatin accessibility and histone marks on single to few hundreds of cells. Microfluidics and microfabrication have played a central role in the range of new techniques, and will likely continue to impact their further development towards routine single-cell epigenetic analysis. PMID:26405849
In the recent years, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have gained tremendous attention for their anticancer, tumor radiosensitising and chemosensitising properties. HDACi enhance the acetylation status of histone proteins of the chromatin besides other non-histone target proteins, an effect that is regulated by the HDACs (histone deacetylases) and HATs (histone acetyltransferases) in the cells. HDACi affect the cell cycle progression, differentiation, DNA damage and repair processes and cell death which contributes to their anticancer properties. One of the main reasons for HDACi gaining attention as potential anticancer therapeutics is their profound action on cancer cells with minimal or no effect on normal cells. However, in recent years, the possible non-oncological applications of HDACi are being explored extensively viz, in neurodegenerative diseases. Ionizing radiation exposure leads to significant alterations in signal transduction processes, changes gene expression patterns, affects DNA damage and repair processes, cell cycle progression and the underlying epigenetic changes (acetylation of histones and methylation of DNA and histones in particular) are now emerging. Some recent literatures suggest that HDACi can render cytoprotective properties in normal tissues. We at INMAS evaluated certain weak HDACi molecules of dietary origin for their ability to modulate cellular radiation in normal cells and animals. As per our expectations, post irradiation treatment with selected HDACi molecules rendered significant reduction in radiation induced damages. The possible mechanisms of action of HDACi in reducing radiation injuries with be discussed based on our won results and recent reports. (author)
Mann, Monica; Cortez, Valerie [Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, UTHSCSA, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Vadlamudi, Ratna K., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UTHSCSA, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)
Estrogen receptor (ERα) signaling plays a key role in hormonal cancer progression. ERα is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that modulates gene transcription via recruitment to the target gene chromatin. Emerging evidence suggests that ERα signaling has the potential to contribute to epigenetic changes. Estrogen stimulation is shown to induce several histone modifications at the ERα target gene promoters including acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation via dynamic interactions with histone modifying enzymes. Deregulation of enzymes involved in the ERα -mediated epigenetic pathway could play a vital role in ERα driven neoplastic processes. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are reversible, and hence offer novel therapeutic opportunities to reverse ERα driven epigenetic changes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on mechanisms by which ERα signaling potentiates epigenetic changes in cancer cells via histone modifications.
Estrogen receptor (ERα) signaling plays a key role in hormonal cancer progression. ERα is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that modulates gene transcription via recruitment to the target gene chromatin. Emerging evidence suggests that ERα signaling has the potential to contribute to epigenetic changes. Estrogen stimulation is shown to induce several histone modifications at the ERα target gene promoters including acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation via dynamic interactions with histone modifying enzymes. Deregulation of enzymes involved in the ERα -mediated epigenetic pathway could play a vital role in ERα driven neoplastic processes. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are reversible, and hence offer novel therapeutic opportunities to reverse ERα driven epigenetic changes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on mechanisms by which ERα signaling potentiates epigenetic changes in cancer cells via histone modifications
Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe
Epigenetics is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the life sciences. Its rise is frequently framed as a revolutionary turn that heralds a new epoch both for gene-based epistemology and for the wider discourse on life that pervades knowledge-intensive societies of the molecular age. The fundamentals of this revolution remain however to be scrutinized, and indeed the very contours of what counts as 'epigenetic' are often blurred. This is reflected also in the mounting discourse on the societal implications of epigenetics, in which vast expectations coexist with significant uncertainty about what aspects of this science are most relevant for politics or policy alike. This is therefore a suitable time to reflect on the directions that social theory could most productively take in the scrutiny of this revolution. Here we take this opportunity in both its scholarly and normative dimension, that is, proposing a roadmap for social theorizing on epigenetics that does not shy away from, and indeed hopefully guides, the framing of its most socially relevant outputs. To this end, we start with an epistemological reappraisal of epigenetic discourse that valorizes the blurring of meanings as a critical asset for the field and privileged analytical entry point. We then propose three paths of investigation. The first looks at the structuring elements of controversies and visions around epigenetics. The second probes the mutual constitution between the epigenetic reordering of living phenomena and the normative settlements that orient individual and collective responsibilities. The third highlights the material import of epigenetics and the molecularization of culture that it mediates. We suggest that these complementary strands provide both an epistemically and socially self-reflective framework to advance the study of epigenetics as a molecular juncture between nature and nurture and thus as the new critical frontier in the social studies of the life sciences. PMID
Zerihun, Mehari B; Vaillant, Cédric; Jost, Daniel
Gene activity in eukaryotes is in part regulated at the level of chromatin through the assembly of local chromatin states that are more or less permissive to transcription. How do these chromatin states achieve their functions and whether or not they contribute to the epigenetic inheritance of the transcriptional program remain to be elucidated. In cycling cells, stability is indeed strongly challenged by the periodic occurrence of replication and cell division. To address this question, we perform simulations of the stochastic dynamics of chromatin states when driven out-of-equilibrium by periodic perturbations. We show how epigenetic memory is significantly affected by the cell cycle length. In addition, we develop a simple model to connect the epigenetic state to the transcriptional state and gene activity. In particular, it suggests that replication may induce transcriptional bursting at repressive loci. Finally, we discuss how our findings-effect of replication and link to gene transcription-have original and deep implications to various biological contexts of epigenetic memory. PMID:25884278
During the development of tissues, complex programs take place to reach terminally differentiated states with specific gene expression profiles. Epigenetic regulations such as, histone modifications and chromatin condensation have been implicated in the short and long-term control of transcription. ...
genomic material can show quiet diverse phenotypes characterized by organ speci c gene expression patterns. The mechanisms responsible for this phenotypic plasticity are characterized as epigenetic, as they in ict their e ect \\epi-" (Greek for \\above" or \\on top") of the genetic code. For a gene...... regulatory mechanism to be classi ed as epigenetic, it is required that it is self-sustainable in the sense that the governed gene expression or repression should prevail for the lifetime of the cell and must be inherited by possible daughter cells. An example of epigenetic di erentiation is the bistable...
Shelby, Richard D.; Monier, Karine; Sullivan, Kevin F.
The specification of metazoan centromeres does not depend strictly on centromeric DNA sequences, but also requires epigenetic factors. The mechanistic basis for establishing a centromeric “state” on the DNA remains unclear. In this work, we have directly examined replication timing of the prekinetochore domain of human chromosomes. Kinetochores were labeled by expression of epitope-tagged CENP-A, which stably marks prekinetochore domains in human cells. By immunoprecipitating CENP-A mononucleosomes from synchronized cells pulsed with [3H]thymidine we demonstrate that CENP-A–associated DNA is replicated in mid-to-late S phase. Cytological analysis of DNA replication further demonstrated that centromeres replicate asynchronously in parallel with numerous other genomic regions. In contrast, quantitative Western blot analysis demonstrates that CENP-A protein synthesis occurs later, in G2. Quantitative fluorescence microscopy and transient transfection in the presence of aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA replication, show that CENP-A can assemble into centromeres in the absence of DNA replication. Thus, unlike most genomic chromatin, histone synthesis and assembly are uncoupled from DNA replication at the kinetochore. Uncoupling DNA replication from CENP-A synthesis suggests that regulated chromatin assembly or remodeling could play a role in epigenetic centromere propagation. PMID:11086012
Julie Mireille Joé Lepesant
Full Text Available As in perhaps all eukaryotes, schistosomes use a supplementary information transmitting system, the epigenetic inheritance system, to shape genetic information and to produce different phenotypes. In contrast to other important parasites, the study of epigenetic phenomena in schistosomes is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, we are beginning to grasp what goes on behind the epigenetic scene in this parasite. We have developed techniques of native chromatin immunoprecipitation (N-ChIP and associated the necessary bioinformatics tools that allow us to run genome-wide comparative chromatin studies on Schistosoma mansoni at different stages of its life cycle, on different strains and on different sexes. We present here an application of such an approach to study the genetic and epigenetic basis for a phenotypic trait, the compatibility of S. mansoni with its invertebrate host Biomphalaria glabrata. We have applied the ChIP procedure to two strains that are either compatible or incompatible with their intermediate host. The precipitated DNA was sequenced and aligned to a reference genome and this information was used to determine regions in which both strands differ in their genomic sequence and/or chromatin structure. This procedure allowed us to identify candidate genes that display either genetic or epigenetic difference between the two strains.
Epigenetics, the term was introduced by Conrad H.Waddington, in 1942,he said that to compare genetics with epigenetics, the study of the processes by which genotype gives rise to phenotype. In 1987, Robin Holliday redefined epigenetic as "Nuclear inheritance which is not based on differences in DNA sequence". The author of this paper introduced that in Science,10 August 2001,there was a special collection of review articles focused on the topic of epigenetics. The new "histone code" hypothesis states that the highly modifiable amino termini could carry their own combinatorial codes to help control phenotype,and that part of this code is heritable. And in light of this hypothesis,researchers are approaching further possibilities in human biology and types of cancer and other diseases. PMID:15979980
The genetic information encoded in the DNA sequence provides a blueprint of the entire organism. The epigenetic modifications, in particular DNA methylation and histone modifications, determine how and when this information is made available and define the specific gene transcription pattern of a given cell. Epigenetic modifications determine the functional differences of genetically identical cells in multicellular organisms and are important factors in various processes from embryonic development to learning and memory consolidation. DNA methylation patterns are altered by environmental conditions and some alterations are preserved through mitosis and meiosis. Thus, DNA methylation can mediate environmental impact on health and disease, contributes to the severity of diseases and probably contributes to the effects and side effects of drugs. In addition to the classical monogenic epigenetic diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Rett syndrome, recent data point to an epigenetic component also in sporadic neuro-psychiatric disorders. PMID:27299943
Jorgensen, Richard A
The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider. PMID:22639577
Richard A Jorgensen
Full Text Available The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920's and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.
Finn, Elizabeth H; Misteli, Tom; Shachar, Sigal
Elucidating chromatin's 3D shape is critical to understanding its function, but the fine structure of chromatin domains remains poorly resolved. In a recent report in Nature, Boettiger et al. (2016) visualize chromatin in super-resolution, gaining unprecedented insight into chromatin architecture. PMID:26906730
Cadet, J L; McCoy, M T; Jayanthi, S
Addictions are public health menaces. However, despite advances in addiction research, the cellular or molecular mechanisms that cause transition from recreational use to addiction remain to be elucidated. We have recently suggested that addiction may be secondary to long-term epigenetic modifications that determine the clinical course of substance use disorders. A better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in animal models that mimic human conditions should help to usher in a new area of drug development against addiction. PMID:26841306
Burdge, Graham C; Lillycrop, Karen A.
Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to assess the findings of recent studies on the effects of fatty acids on epigenetic process and the role of epigenetics in regulating fatty acid metabolism. Recent findings The DNA methylation status of the Fads2 promoter was increased in the liver of the offspring of mice fed an ?-linolenic acid-enriched diet during pregnancy. In rats, increasing total maternal fat intake during pregnancy and lactation induced persistent hypermethyl...
Langevin, Scott M; Kratzke, Robert A.; Kelsey, Karl T.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNA expression, have widely been reported in the literature to play a major role in the genesis of lung cancer. The goal of this review is to summarize the common epigenetic changes associated with lung cancer to give some clarity to its etiology, and provide an overview of the potential translational applications of these ...
Development is a stepwise process in which multi-potent progenitor cells undergo lineage commitment, differentiation, proliferation and maturation to produce mature cells with restricted developmental potentials. This process is directed by spatiotemporally distinct gene expression programs that allow cells to stringently orchestrate intricate transcriptional activation or silencing events. In eukaryotes, chromatin structure contributes to developmental progression as a blueprint for coordinated gene expression by actively participating in the regulation of gene expression. Changes in higher order chromatin structure or covalent modification of its components are considered to be critical events in dictating lineage-specific gene expression during development. Mammalian cells utilize multi-subunit nuclear complexes to alter chromatin structure. Histone-modifying complex catalyzes covalent modifications of histone tails including acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination. ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex, which disrupts histone-DNA contacts and induces nucleosome mobilization, requires energy from ATP hydrolysis for its catalytic activity. Here, we discuss the diverse functions of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes during mammalian development. In particular, the roles of these complexes during embryonic and hematopoietic development are reviewed in depth. In addition, pathological conditions such as tumor development that are induced by mutation of several key subunits of the chromatin remodeling complex are discussed, together with possible mechanisms that underlie tumor suppression by the complex
Johannes, Frank; Wardenaar, Rene; Colomé Tatché, Maria; Mousson, Florence; de Graaf, Petra; Mokry, Michal; Guryev, Victor; Timmers, H. Th. Marc; Cuppen, Edwin; Ritsert C Jansen; Bateman, Alex
Motivation: ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq technologies provide genomewide measurements of various types of chromatin marks at an unprecedented resolution. With ChIP samples collected from different tissue types and/ or individuals, we can now begin to characterize stochastic or systematic changes in epigenetic patterns during development (intra-individual) or at the population level (inter-individual). This requires statistical methods that permit a simultaneous comparison of multiple ChIP samples o...
Dambacher, Silvia; Deng, Wen; Hahn, Matthias; Sadic, Dennis; Fröhlich, Jonathan; Nuber, Alexander; Hoischen, Christian; Diekmann, Stephan; Leonhardt, Heinrich; Schotta, Gunnar
Centromeres are important structural constituents of chromosomes that ensure proper chromosome segregation during mitosis by providing defined sites for kinetochore attachment. In higher eukaryotes, centromeres have no specific DNA sequence and thus, they are rather determined through epigenetic mechanisms. A fundamental process in centromere establishment is the incorporation of the histone variant CENP-A into centromeric chromatin, which provides a binding platform for the other centromeric...
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment encourages the use of mechanistic data in the assessment of human cancer risk at low (environmental) exposure levels. The key events that define a particular mode of action for tumor formation have been concentrated to date more on mutational responses that are broadly the result of induced DNA damage and enhanced cell proliferation. While it is clear that these processes are important in terms of tumor induction, other modes that fall under the umbrella of epigenetic responses are increasingly being considered to play an important role in susceptibility to tumor induction by environmental chemicals and as significant modifiers of tumor responses. Alterations in gene expression, DNA repair, cell cycle control, genome stability and genome reprogramming could be the result of modification of DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling patterns as a consequence of exposure to environmental chemicals. These concepts are described and discussed
Yang, Pei-Liang; Chen, Xiao-Guang
Toxoplasma gondii undergoes a complex life cycle that involves multiple development stages, hosts and environments. The ability to transform from one stage to another and adapt to changing environments demands precise regulation of gene expression. Bioinformatic surveys of the sequenced genomes of T. gondii revealed a peculiar absence of DNA-binding transcription factors that are well-conserved from yeast through humans, but a wealth of epigenetic machinery present in T. gondii. Evidence from reports demonstrates that remodeling of the chromatin structure particularly through post-translational modifications of histones, such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and sumoylation, is potentially a major process that coordinates regulation of its gene expression. In addition, no-coding RNAs may play an important role in modulating gene expression of T. gondii. These results provide reliable foundations for prevention of toxoplasmosis by revealing its pathogenic mechanism. PMID:23072142
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a global health problem. The current therapies for COPD are poorly effective and the mainstays of pharmacotherapy are bronchodilators. A better understanding of the pathobiology of COPD is critical for the development of novel therapies. In the present review, we have discussed the roles of oxidative/aldehyde stress, inflammation/immunity, and chromatin remodeling in the pathogenesis of COPD. An imbalance of oxidants/antioxidants caused by cigarette smoke and other pollutants/biomass fuels plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD by regulating redox-sensitive transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB), autophagy and unfolded protein response leading to chronic lung inflammatory response. Cigarette smoke also activates canonical/alternative NF-κB pathways and their upstream kinases leading to sustained inflammatory response in lungs. Recently, epigenetic regulation has been shown to be critical for the development of COPD because the expression/activity of enzymes that regulate these epigenetic modifications have been reported to be abnormal in airways of COPD patients. Hence, the significant advances made in understanding the pathophysiology of COPD as described herein will identify novel therapeutic targets for intervention in COPD.
Full Text Available Somatic cell reprogramming has dramatically changed stem cell research inrecent years. The high pace of new findings in the field and an ever increasingamount of data from new high throughput techniques make it challengingto isolate core principles of the process. In order to analyze suchmechanisms, we developed an abstract mechanistic model of a subset of theknown regulatory processes during cell differentiation and production of inducedpluripotent stem cells. This probabilistic Boolean network describesthe interplay between gene expression, chromatin modifications and DNAmethylation. The model incorporates recent findings in epigenetics and reproducesexperimentally observed reprogramming efficiencies and changes inmethylation and chromatin remodeling. It enables us to investigate in detail,how the temporal progression of the process is regulated. It also explicitlyincludes the transduction of factors using viral vectors and their silencing inreprogrammed cells, since this is still a standard procedure in somatic cellreprogramming. Based on the model we calculate an epigenetic landscape.Simulation results show good reproduction of experimental observations duringreprogramming, despite the simple stucture of the model. An extensiveanalysis and introduced variations hint towards possible optimizations of theprocess, that could push the technique closer to clinical applications. Fasterchanges in DNA methylation increase the speed of reprogramming at theexpense of efficiency, while accelerated chromatin modifications moderatelyimprove efficiency.
Background Many noncoding genomic loci have remained constant over long evolutionary periods, suggesting that they are exposed to strong selective pressures. The molecular functions of these elements have been partially elucidated, but the fundamental reason for their extreme conservation is still unknown. Results To gain new insights into the extreme selection of highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs), we used a systematic analysis of multi-omic data to study the epigenetic regulation of such elements during the development of Drosophila melanogaster. At the sequence level, HCNEs are GC-rich and have a characteristic oligomeric composition. They have higher levels of stable nucleosome occupancy than their flanking regions, and lower levels of mononucleosomes and H3.3, suggesting that these regions reside in compact chromatin. Furthermore, these regions showed remarkable modulations in histone modification and the expression levels of adjacent genes during development. Although HCNEs are primarily initiated late in replication, about 10% were related to early replication origins. Finally, HCNEs showed strong enrichment within lamina-associated domains. Conclusion HCNEs have distinct and protective sequence properties, undergo dynamic epigenetic regulation, and appear to be associated with the structural components of the chromatin, replication origins, and nuclear matrix. These observations indicate that such elements are likely to have essential cellular functions, and offer insights into their epigenetic properties.
It is necessary to determine whether chemicals or drugs have the potential to pose a threat to human health. Research conducted over the last two decades has led to the paradigm that chemicals can cause cancer either by damaging DNA or by altering cellular growth, probably via receptor-mediated changes in gene expression. However, recent evidence suggests that gene expression can be altered markedly via several diverse epigenetic mechanisms that can lead to permanent or reversible changes in cellular behavior. Key molecular events underlying these mechanisms include the alteration of DNA methylation and chromatin, and changes in the function of cell surface molecules. Thus, for example, DNA methyltransferase enzymes together with chromatin-associated proteins such as histone modifying enzymes and remodelling factors can modify the genetic code and contribute to the establishment and maintenance of altered epigenetic states. This is relevant to many types of toxicity including but not limited to cancer. In this paper, we describe the potential for interplay between genetic alteration and epigenetic changes in cell growth regulation and discuss the implications for drug discovery and safety assessment
This dissertation examines the structure and structural transitions of chromatin in relation to DNA damage. The ability of intact and histone H1 depleted chromatin fibers to fold into higher ordered structures in vitro was examined following DNA photodamage introduced by two different agents. (1) 254-nm UV radiation and (2) trimethylpsoralen (plus near-UV radiation). Both agents are highly specific for DNA and form adducts predicted to cause different degrees of distortion in the DNA helix. The salt-induced structural transitions of intact and histone H1 depleted chromatin fibers were monitored by both analytical ultracentrifugation and light scattering. Our results show that even in the presence of extremely large, nonphysiological amounts of photodamage by either agent the ability of chromatin to fold into higher ordered structures is not affected. The compact, 30 nm fiber must therefore be able to accommodate a large amount of DNA damage without any measurable changes in the overall size or degree of compaction of this structure. The distribution of pyrimidine dimers was mapped at the single nucleotide level in nucleosome core DNA from UV-irradiated mononucleosomes, chromatin fibers, and human cells in culture using the 3' → 5' exonuclease activity of T4 DNA polymerase
Jeans, C; Thelen, M P; Noy, A
In eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged as chromatin, a highly ordered structure formed through the wrapping of the DNA around histone proteins, and further packed through interactions with a number of other proteins. In order for processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription to occur, the structure of chromatin must be remodeled such that the necessary enzymes can access the DNA. A number of remodeling enzymes have been described, but our understanding of the remodeling process is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the fine structure of chromatin, and how this structure is modulated in the living cell. We have carried out single molecule experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the packaging arrangements in chromatin from a variety of cell types. Comparison of the structures observed reveals differences which can be explained in terms of the cell type and its transcriptional activity. During the course of this project, sample preparation and AFM techniques were developed and optimized. Several opportunities for follow-up work are outlined which could provide further insight into the dynamic structural rearrangements of chromatin.
XU Xue-feng; DU Li-zhong
Objective To review the role of epigenetic regulation in neonatal diseases and better understand Barker's "fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis".Data sources The data cited in this review were mainly obtained from the articles published in Medline/PubMed between January 1953 and December 2009.Study selection Articles associated with epigenetics and neonatal diseases were selected.Results There is a wealth of epidemiological evidence that lower birth weight is strongly correlated with an increased risk of adult diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. This phenomenon of fetal origins of adult disease is strongly associated with fetal insults to epigenetic modifications of genes. A potential role of epigenetic modifications in congenital disorders, transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM), intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) have been studied.Conclusions Acknowledgment of the role of these epigenetic modifications in neonatal diseases would be conducive to better understanding the pathogenesis of these diseases, and provide new insight for improved treatment and prevention of later adult diseases.
Cortini, Ruggero; Barbi, Maria; Caré, Bertrand R.; Lavelle, Christophe; Lesne, Annick; Mozziconacci, Julien; Victor, Jean-Marc
In higher organisms, all cells share the same genome, but every cell expresses only a limited and specific set of genes that defines the cell type. During cell division, not only the genome, but also the cell type is inherited by the daughter cells. This intriguing phenomenon is achieved by a variety of processes that have been collectively termed epigenetics: the stable and inheritable changes in gene expression patterns. This article reviews the extremely rich and exquisitely multiscale physical mechanisms that govern the biological processes behind the initiation, spreading, and inheritance of epigenetic states. These include not only the changes in the molecular properties associated with the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, such as methylation and acetylation, but also less conventional changes, typically in the physics that governs the three-dimensional organization of the genome in cell nuclei. Strikingly, to achieve stability and heritability of epigenetic states, cells take advantage of many different physical principles, such as the universal behavior of polymers and copolymers, the general features of dynamical systems, and the electrostatic and mechanical properties related to chemical modifications of DNA and histones. By putting the complex biological literature in this new light, the emerging picture is that a limited set of general physical rules play a key role in initiating, shaping, and transmitting this crucial "epigenetic landscape." This new perspective not only allows one to rationalize the normal cellular functions, but also helps to understand the emergence of pathological states, in which the epigenetic landscape becomes dysfunctional.
The DNA in the eukaryotic nucleus is organized into a complex DNA-protein structure called chromatin. The basic repeating unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which consists of 147 bp of DNA wrapped around a histone protein octamer. The nucleosomes form a “beads on a string” structure, which can be folded into higherorder structures that allow an extensive degree of DNA compaction. This compaction is so effective that 2 meters of DNA can fit into the human cell nucleus with a ...
Radiation carcinogenic risk prediction requires fundamental mechanistic assumptions about relationships between dose, DNA damage in certain regions leukemogenesis in the mouse may be viewed as specific chromosome aberration. Model of transformation by radiation induced chromosome aberrations is analyzed. Model is able to fit dose-response data for cell neoplastic transformation and cancer incidence in rodents. Alternative model is studied in which an induction of neoplastic phenotype is considered as delayed indirect effects of radiation. Initiating event is triggered by an epigenetic genomic modifications and represents a change in the program of cell senescence due to in part functional inactivation of senescence gene(s). The following possibilities are modeled. Radiation induces an unstable cell phenotype which reverses to normal one after many cell generations. Induction of highly unstable phenotype. Altered cells are assumed to acquire ability to generate new phenotype. Induction of stable alterations of cell phenotype following irradiation. Model suggests an essential role for selection of cells resistant to growth inhibition signals during promotion in vivo or sub culturing in vitro for development of cancer cell clones. Appearance the damage at specific sequences during the oncogenic transformation are predicted. The model fits data on dynamics of X-ray transformation of rodent cells in culture. Results are in qualitative agreement with data on radiation induced mouse mammary cancer and delayed expression of p53 mutations. The changes in hetero-chromating may cause significant changes in the control of gene expression during oncogeny. Chromatin structural alterations which are observed for chemical and viral transformation are expected to be an earliest and general phenomenon for radiation carcinogenesis. (authors)
Full Text Available Like other cancers, most gynecologic cancers caused by aberrant expression of cancer-related genes. Epigenetics is one of important gene expression mechanisms which contribute to cancer development and progression by regulating cancer-related genes. Since the discovery of differential gene expression patterns in cancer cells compared with normal cells, extensive efforts have been made to explore the origins of abnormal gene expression in cancer. Epigenetics, the study inheritable changes in gene expression that do not alter DNA sequence, is a key area of this research. DNA methylation and histone modification are well-known epigenetic mechanisms, microRNAs and alternative splicing have recently been identified as important regulators of epigenetic changes. These epigenetic mechanisms not only affect specific target gene expression but also regulate the functioning of other epigenetic mechanisms. Moreover, these diverse epigenetic regulations occur simultaneously. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is extraordinarily complicated and requires that all epigenetic mechanisms be studied at once to determine the exact gene regulation mechanisms. Traditionally, the contribution of epigenetics to cancer is thought to be mediated through the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs expression. But recently it is arising that some oncogenes or cancer-promoting genes (CPGs are overexpressed in diverse type of cancers through epigenetic derepression mechanism, such as DNA demethylation, histone demethylation. Epigenetic derepression arises from diverse epigenetic changes, and all of these mechanisms are actively interact each other to increase oncogenes or CPGs expression in cancer cell. Oncogenes or CPGs overexpressed through epigenetic derepression can initiate cancer development, and the accumulation of these abnormal epigenetic changes makes cancer more aggressive and resistant to treatment. This review discusses epigenetic mechanisms involved
Brower-Toland, Brent; Findley, Seth D; Jiang, Ling; Liu, Li; Yin, Hang; Dus, Monica; Zhou, Pei; Elgin, Sarah C R; Lin, Haifan
The interface between cellular systems involving small noncoding RNAs and epigenetic change remains largely unexplored in metazoans. RNA-induced silencing systems have the potential to target particular regions of the genome for epigenetic change by locating specific sequences and recruiting chromatin modifiers. Noting that several genes encoding RNA silencing components have been implicated in epigenetic regulation in Drosophila, we sought a direct link between the RNA silencing system and heterochromatin components. Here we show that PIWI, an ARGONAUTE/PIWI protein family member that binds to Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), strongly and specifically interacts with heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a), a central player in heterochromatic gene silencing. The HP1a dimer binds a PxVxL-type motif in the N-terminal domain of PIWI. This motif is required in fruit flies for normal silencing of transgenes embedded in heterochromatin. We also demonstrate that PIWI, like HP1a, is itself a chromatin-associated protein whose distribution in polytene chromosomes overlaps with HP1a and appears to be RNA dependent. These findings implicate a direct interaction between the PIWI-mediated small RNA mechanism and heterochromatin-forming pathways in determining the epigenetic state of the fly genome. PMID:17875665
Full Text Available Prostate cancer (PC is the most commonly diagnosed nonskin malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer death among men in the United States. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequences. Two common epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation and histone modification, have demonstrated critical roles in prostate cancer growth and metastasis. DNA hypermethylation of cytosine-guanine (CpG rich sequence islands within gene promoter regions is widespread during neoplastic transformation of prostate cells, suggesting that treatment-induced restoration of a “normal” epigenome could be clinically beneficial. Histone modification leads to altered tumor gene function by changing chromosome structure and the level of gene transcription. The reversibility of epigenetic aberrations and restoration of tumor suppression gene function have made them attractive targets for prostate cancer treatment with modulators that demethylate DNA and inhibit histone deacetylases.
Cortini, Ruggero; Caré, Bertrand R; Lavelle, Christophe; Lesne, Annick; Mozziconacci, Julien; Victor, Jean-Marc
In higher organisms, all cells share the same genome, but every cell expresses only a limited and specific set of genes that defines the cell type. During cell division, not only the genome, but also the cell type is inherited by the daughter cells. This intriguing phenomenon is achieved by a variety of processes that have been collectively termed epigenetics: the stable and inheritable changes in gene expression patterns. This article reviews the extremely rich and exquisitely multi-scale physical mechanisms that govern the biological processes behind the initiation, spreading and inheritance of epigenetic states. These include not only the change in the molecular properties associated with the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins - such as methylation and acetylation - but also less conventional ones, such as the physics that governs the three-dimensional organization of the genome in cell nuclei. Strikingly, to achieve stability and heritability of epigenetic states, cells take advantage of m...
Full Text Available Medulloblastoma (MB is a malignant pediatric brain tumor arising in the cerebellum consisting of four distinct subgroups: WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4, which exhibit different molecular phenotypes. We studied the expression of Dickkopf (DKK 1–4 family genes, inhibitors of the Wnt signaling cascade, in MB by screening 355 expression profiles derived from four independent datasets. Upregulation of DKK1, DKK2 and DKK4 mRNA was observed in the WNT subgroup, whereas DKK3 was downregulated in 80% MBs across subgroups with respect to the normal cerebellum (p < 0.001. Since copy number aberrations targeting the DKK3 locus (11p15.3 are rare events, we hypothesized that epigenetic factors could play a role in DKK3 regulation. Accordingly, we studied 77 miRNAs predicting to repress DKK3; however, no significant inverse correlation between miRNA/mRNA expression was observed. Moreover, the low methylation levels in the DKK3 promoters (median: 3%, 5% and 5% for promoter 1, 2 and 3, respectively excluded the downregulation of gene expression by methylation. On the other hand, the treatment of MB cells with Trichostatin A (TSA, a potent inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDAC, was able to restore both DKK3 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, DKK3 downregulation across all MB subgroups may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, in particular, through chromatin condensation.
Xiao-Yan Zhong; Feng-Feng Cai; Corina Kohler; Wei-Jie Chen; Bei Zhang; Ming-Hong Wang
Both genetic and epigenetic alterations can control the progression of cancer. Genetic alterations are impossible to reverse, while epigenetic alterations are reversible. This advantage suggests that epigenetic modifications should be preferred in therapy applications. DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases have become the primary targets for studies in epigenetic therapy. Some DNA methylation inhibitors and histone deacetylation inhibitors are approved by the US Food and Drug Admini...
Liu, Stephen V.; Fabbri, Muller; Gitlitz, Barbara J.; Laird-Offringa, Ite A.
Epigenetic deregulation of gene function has been strongly implicated in carcinogenesis and is one of the mechanisms contributing to the development of lung cancer. The inherent reversibility of epigenetic alterations makes them viable therapeutic targets. Here, we review the therapeutic implications of epigenetic changes in lung cancer, and recent advances in therapeutic strategies targeting DNA methylation and histone acetylation.
Dodd, Ian B; Micheelsen, Mille A; Sneppen, Kim;
Chromosomal regions can adopt stable and heritable alternative states resulting in bistable gene expression without changes to the DNA sequence. Such epigenetic control is often associated with alternative covalent modifications of histones. The stability and heritability of the states are thought...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chromatin adapts and responds to extrinsic and intrinsic cues. We hypothesize that inheritable aberrant chromatin states in cancer and aging are caused by genetic/environmental factors. In previous studies we demonstrated that either genetic mutations, or loss, of retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha, can impair the integration of the retinoic acid (RA signal at the chromatin of RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha, and can lead to aberrant repressive chromatin states marked by epigenetic modifications. In this study we tested whether the mere interference with the availability of RA signal at RARalpha, in cells with an otherwise functional RARalpha, can also induce epigenetic repression at RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To hamper the availability of RA at RARalpha in untransformed human mammary epithelial cells, we targeted the cellular RA-binding protein 2 (CRABP2, which transports RA from the cytoplasm onto the nuclear RARs. Stable ectopic expression of a CRABP2 mutant unable to enter the nucleus, as well as stable knock down of endogenous CRABP2, led to the coordinated transcriptional repression of a few RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha. The chromatin at these genes acquired an exacerbated repressed state, or state "of no return". This aberrant state is unresponsive to RA, and therefore differs from the physiologically repressed, yet "poised" state, which is responsive to RA. Consistent with development of homozygosis for epigenetically repressed loci, a significant proportion of cells with a defective CRABP2-mediated RA transport developed heritable phenotypes indicative of loss of function. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Derangement/lack of a critical factor necessary for RARalpha function induces epigenetic repression of a RA-regulated gene network downstream of RARalpha, with major pleiotropic biological outcomes.
Purpose: To conclude the relationship between epigenetics regulation and radiation responses, especially in low-dose area. Methods: The literature was examined for papers related to the topics of DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNA modulation in low-dose radiation responses. Results: DNA methylation and radiation can regulate reciprocally, especially in low-dose radiation responses. The relationship between histone methylation and radiation mainly exists in the high-dose radiation area; histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors show a promising application to enhance radiation sensitivity, no matter whether in low-dose or high-dose areas; the connection between γ-H2AX and LDR has been remained unknown, although γ-H2AX has been shown no radiation sensitivities with 1-15 Gy irradiation; histone ubiquitination play an important role in DNA damage repair mechanism. Moreover, chromatin remodeling has an integral role in DSB repair and the chromatin response, in general, may be precede DNA end resection. Finally, the effect of radiation on miRNA expression seems to vary according to cell type, radiation dose, and post-irradiation time point. Conclusion: Although the advance of epigenetic regulation on radiation responses, which we are managing to elucidate in this review, has been concluded, there are many questions and blind blots deserved to investigated, especially in low-dose radiation area. However, as progress on epigenetics, we believe that many new elements will be identified in the low-dose radiation responses which may put new sights into the mechanisms of radiation responses and radiotherapy. (authors)
Altmeyer, Matthias; Lukas, Jiri
Signal amplifications are vital for chromatin function, yet they also bear the risk of transforming into unrestrained, self-escalating, and potentially harmful responses. Examples of inbuilt limitations are emerging, revealing how chromatin transactions are confined within physiological boundaries....
Del Savio, Lorenzo; Loi, Michele; Stupka, Elia
Recent evidence of intergenerational epigenetic programming of disease risk broadens the scope of public health preventive interventions to future generations, i.e. non existing people. Due to the transmission of epigenetic predispositions, lifestyles such as smoking or unhealthy diet might affect the health of populations across several generations. While public policy for the health of future generations can be justified through impersonal considerations, such as maximizing aggregate well-being, in this article we explore whether there are rights-based obligations supervening on intergenerational epigenetic programming despite the non-identity argument, which challenges this rationale in case of policies that affect the number and identity of future people. We propose that rights based obligations grounded in the interests of non-existing people might fall upon existing people when generations overlap. In particular, if environmental exposure in F0 (i.e. existing people) will affect the health of F2 (i.e. non-existing people) through epigenetic programming, then F1 (i.e. existing and overlapping with both F0 and F2) might face increased costs to address F2's condition in the future: this might generate obligations upon F0 from various distributive principles, such as the principle of equal opportunity for well being. PMID:25644664
Statham Aaron L
Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer is commonly associated with widespread disruption of DNA methylation, chromatin modification and miRNA expression. In this study, we established a robust discovery pipeline to identify epigenetically deregulated miRNAs in cancer. Results Using an integrative approach that combines primary transcription, genome-wide DNA methylation and H3K9Ac marks with microRNA (miRNA expression, we identified miRNA genes that were epigenetically modified in cancer. We find miR-205, miR-21, and miR-196b to be epigenetically repressed, and miR-615 epigenetically activated in prostate cancer cells. Conclusions We show that detecting changes in primary miRNA transcription levels is a valuable method for detection of local epigenetic modifications that are associated with changes in mature miRNA expression.
Even-Faitelson, Liron; Hassan-Zadeh, Vahideh; Baghestani, Zahra; Bazett-Jones, David P
Chromatin, once thought to serve only as a means to package DNA, is now recognized as a major regulator of gene activity. As a result of the wide range of methods used to describe the numerous levels of chromatin organization, the terminology that has emerged to describe these organizational states is often imprecise and sometimes misleading. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of chromatin architecture and propose terms to describe the various biochemical and structural states of chromatin. PMID:26223534
Lara-Astiaso, David; Weiner, Assaf; Lorenzo-Vivas, Erika; Zaretsky, Irina; Jaitin, Diego Adhemar; David, Eyal; Keren-Shaul, Hadas; Mildner, Alexander; Winter, Deborah; Jung, Steffen; Friedman, Nir; Amit, Ido
Chromatin modifications are crucial for development, yet little is known about their dynamics during differentiation. Hematopoiesis provides a well-defined model to study chromatin state dynamics, however technical limitations impede profiling of homogeneous differentiation intermediates. We developed a high sensitivity indexing-first chromatin immunoprecipitation approach (iChIP) to profile the dynamics of four chromatin modifications across 16 stages of hematopoietic differentiation. We ide...
Huang, Jialiang; Marco, Eugenio; Pinello, Luca; Yuan, Guo-Cheng
Genome-wide mapping of three dimensional chromatin organization is an important yet technically challenging task. To aid experimental effort and to understand the determinants of long-range chromatin interactions, we have developed a computational model integrating Hi-C and histone mark ChIP-seq data to predict two important features of chromatin organization: chromatin interaction hubs and topologically associated domain (TAD) boundaries. Our model accurately and robustly predicts these feat...
Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms encode information above and beyond DNA sequence and play a critical role in brain development and the long-lived effects of environmental cues on the pre- and postnatal brain. Switch-like, rather than graded changes, illustrate par excellence how epigenetic events perpetuate altered activity states in the absence of the initial cue. They occur from early neural development to maturation and can give rise to distinct diseases upon deregulation. Many neurodevelopmental genes harbor bivalently marked chromatin domains, states of balanced inhibition, which guide dynamic ‘ON or OFF’ decisions once the balance is tilted in response to developmental or environmental cues. Examples discussed in this review include neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells into progenitors and beyond, activation of Kiss1 at puberty onset, and early experience-dependent programming of Avp, a major stress gene. At the genome-scale, genomic imprinting can be epigenetically switched on or off at select genes in a tightly controlled temporospatial manner and provides a versatile mechanism for dosage regulation of genes with important roles in stem cell quiescence or differentiation. Moreover, retrotransposition in neural progenitors provides an intriguing example of an epigenetic-like switch, which is stimulated by bivalently marked neurodevelopmental genes and possibly results in increased genomic flexibility regarding unprecedented challenge. Overall, we propose that epigenetic switches illuminate the catalyzing function of epigenetic mechanisms in guiding dynamic changes in gene expression underpinning robust transitions in cellular and organismal phenotypes as well as in the mediation between dynamically changing environments and the static genetic blueprint.
Wu, Yadi; Zhou, Binhua P
Inheritable epigenetic regulation is integral to the dynamic control of gene expression under different stimuli for cellular homeostasis and disease progression. Histone methylation is a common and important type of chromatin modification. LSD1, the first known histone lysine-specific demethylase, operates as a key component of several corepressor complexes during development and in disease states. In this review, we focus on the regulation of LSD1 in mammary carcinogenesis. LSD1 plays a role in promoting mammary tumor metastasis and proliferation and in maintaining mammary cancer stem cells. Therefore, LSD1 represents a viable therapeutic target for effective treatment of mammary carcinogenesis. PMID:27308339
Abdel-Hameed, Enass A; Ji, Hong; Shata, Mohamed Tarek
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a member of the Retroviridae family, is a positive-sense, enveloped RNA virus. HIV, the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has two major types, HIV-1 and HIV-2 In HIV-infected cells the single stranded viral RNA genome is reverse transcribed and the double-stranded viral DNA integrates into the cellular DNA, forming a provirus. The proviral HIV genome is controlled by the host epigenetic regulatory machinery. Cellular epigenetic regulators control HIV latency and reactivation by affecting the chromatin state in the vicinity of the viral promoter located to the 5' long terminal repeat (LTR) sequence. In turn, distinct HIV proteins affect the epigenotype and gene expression pattern of the host cells. HIV-1 infection of CD4(+) T cells in vitro upregulated DNMT activity and induced hypermethylation of distinct cellular promoters. In contrast, in the colon mucosa and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HIV-infected patients demethylation of the FOXP3 promoter was observed, possibly due to the downregulation of DNA methyltransferase 1. For a curative therapy of HIV infected individuals and AIDS patients, a combination of antiretroviral drugs with epigenetic modifying compounds have been suggested for the reactivation of latent HIV-1 genomes. These epigenetic drugs include histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACI), histone methyltransferase inhibitors (HMTI), histone demethylase inhibitors, and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTI). PMID:26659262
Allopolyploid speciation is widespread in plants, yet the molecular requirements for successful orchestration of coordinated gene expression for two divergent and reunited genomes are poorly understood. Recent studies in several plant systems have revealed that allopolyploid genesis under both synthetic and natural conditions often is accompanied by rapid and sometimes evolutionarily conserved epigeuetic changes, including alteration in cytosine methylation patterns, rapid silencing in ribosomal RNA and proteincoding genes, and de-repression of dormant transposable elements. These changes are inter-related and likely arise from chromatin remodeling and its effects on epigenetic codes during and subsequent to allopolyploid formation. Epigenetic modifications could produce adaptive epimutations and novel phenotypes, some of which may be evolutionarily stable for millions of years, thereby representing a vast reservoir of latent variation that may be episodically released and made visible to selection. This epigenetic variation may contribute to several important attributes of allopolyploidy, including functional diversification or subfunctionalization of duplicated genes, genetic and cytological diploidization, and quenching of incompatible inter-genomic interactions that are characteristic of allopolyploids. It is likely that the evolutionary success of allopolyploidy is in part attributatble to epigenetic phenomena that we are only just beginning to understand.
Agosto, Luis M.; Matthew Gagne; Henderson, Andrew J.
Chromatin influences Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) integration and replication. This review highlights critical host factors that influence chromatin structure and organization and that also impact HIV integration, transcriptional regulation and latency. Furthermore, recent attempts to target chromatin associated factors to reduce the HIV proviral load are discussed.