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Sample records for age-associated epigenetic modifications

  1. Epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngollo, Marjolaine; Dagdemir, Aslihan; Karsli-Ceppioglu, Seher; Judes, Gaelle; Pajon, Amaury; Penault-Llorca, Frederique; Boiteux, Jean-Paul; Bignon, Yves-Jean; Guy, Laurent; Bernard-Gallon, Dominique J

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in France. Apart from the genetic alterations in prostate cancer, epigenetics modifications are involved in the development and progression of this disease. Epigenetic events are the main cause in gene regulation and the three most epigenetic mechanisms studied include DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression. In this review, we summarized epigenetic mechanisms in prostate cancer. Epigenetic drugs that inhibit DNA methylation, histone methylation and histone acetylation might be able to reactivate silenced gene expression in prostate cancer. However, further understanding of interactions of these enzymes and their effects on transcription regulation in prostate cancer is needed and has become a priority in biomedical research. In this study, we summed up epigenetic changes with emphasis on pharmacologic epigenetic target agents.

  2. Epigenetic Modifications and Diabetic Retinopathy

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    Renu A. Kowluru

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetic retinopathy remains one of the most debilitating chronic complications, but despite extensive research in the field, the exact mechanism(s responsible for how retina is damaged in diabetes remains ambiguous. Many metabolic pathways have been implicated in its development, and genes associated with these pathways are altered. Diabetic environment also facilitates epigenetics modifications, which can alter the gene expression without permanent changes in DNA sequence. The role of epigenetics in diabetic retinopathy is now an emerging area, and recent work has shown that genes encoding mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (Sod2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9 are epigenetically modified, activates of epigenetic modification enzymes, histone lysine demethylase 1 (LSD1, and DNA methyltransferase are increased, and the micro RNAs responsible for regulating nuclear transcriptional factor and VEGF are upregulated. With the growing evidence of epigenetic modifications in diabetic retinopathy, better understanding of these modifications has potential to identify novel targets to inhibit this devastating disease. Fortunately, the inhibitors and mimics targeted towards histone modification, DNA methylation, and miRNAs are now being tried for cancer and other chronic diseases, and better understanding of the role of epigenetics in diabetic retinopathy will open the door for their possible use in combating this blinding disease.

  3. Epigenetic modifications and diabetic nephropathy

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    Marpadga A. Reddy

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Diabetic nephropathy (DN is a major complication associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and a leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Conventional therapeutic strategies are not fully efficacious in the treatment of DN, suggesting an incomplete understanding of the gene regulation mechanisms involved in its pathogenesis. Furthermore, evidence from clinical trials has demonstrated a “metabolic memory” of prior exposure to hyperglycemia that continues to persist despite subsequent glycemic control. This remains a major challenge in the treatment of DN and other vascular complications. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, nucleosomal histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs control gene expression through regulation of chromatin structure and function and post-transcriptional mechanisms without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Emerging evidence indicates that multiple factors involved in the etiology of diabetes can alter epigenetic mechanisms and regulate the susceptibility to diabetes complications. Recent studies have demonstrated the involvement of histone lysine methylation in the regulation of key fibrotic and inflammatory genes related to diabetes complications including DN. Interestingly, histone lysine methylation persisted in vascular cells even after withdrawal from the diabetic milieu, demonstrating a potential role of epigenetic modifications in metabolic memory. Rapid advances in high-throughput technologies in the fields of genomics and epigenomics can lead to the identification of genome-wide alterations in key epigenetic modifications in vascular and renal cells in diabetes. Altogether, these findings can lead to the identification of potential predictive biomarkers and development of novel epigenetic therapies for diabetes and its associated complications.

  4. Epigenetic Modifications: Therapeutic Potential in Cancer

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    Manisha Sachan

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications and alterations in chromatin structure and function contribute to the cumulative changes observed as normal cells undergo malignant transformation. These modifications and enzymes (DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, histone methyltransferases, and demethylases related to them have been deeply studied to develop new drugs, epigenome-targeted therapies and new diagnostic tools. Epigenetic modifiers aim to restore normal epigenetic modification patterns through the inhibition of epigenetic modifier enzymes. Four of them (azacitidine, decitabine, vorinostat and romidepsin are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This article provides an overview about the known functional roles of epigenetic enzymes in cancer development.

  5. Epigenetics and Evolution: Transposons and the Stochastic Epigenetic Modification Model

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    Sergio Branciamore

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In addition to genetic variation, epigenetic variation and transposons can greatly affect the evolutionary fitnesses landscape and gene expression. Previously we proposed a mathematical treatment of a general epigenetic variation model that we called Stochastic Epigenetic Modification (SEM model. In this study we follow up with a special case, the Transposon Silencing Model (TSM, with, once again, emphasis on quantitative treatment. We have investigated the evolutionary effects of epigenetic changes due to transposon (T insertions; in particular, we have considered a typical gene locus A and postulated that (i the expression level of gene A depends on the epigenetic state (active or inactive of a cis- located transposon element T, (ii stochastic variability in the epigenetic silencing of T occurs only in a short window of opportunity during development, (iii the epigenetic state is then stable during further development, and (iv the epigenetic memory is fully reset at each generation. We develop the model using two complementary approaches: a standard analytical population genetics framework (di usion equations and Monte-Carlo simulations. Both approaches led to similar estimates for the probability of fixation and time of fixation of locus TA with initial frequency P in a randomly mating diploid population of effective size Ne. We have ascertained the e ect that ρ, the probability of transposon Modification during the developmental window, has on the population (species. One of our principal conclusions is that as ρ increases, the pattern of fixation of the combined TA locus goes from "neutral" to "dominant" to "over-dominant". We observe that, under realistic values of ρ, epigenetic Modifications can provide an e cient mechanism for more rapid fixation of transposons and cis-located gene alleles. The results obtained suggest that epigenetic silencing, even if strictly transient (being reset at each generation, can still have signi cant

  6. Epigenetic Modifications of Major Depressive Disorder

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    Kathleen Saavedra

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Major depressive disorder (MDD is a chronic disease whose neurological basis and pathophysiology remain poorly understood. Initially, it was proposed that genetic variations were responsible for the development of this disease. Nevertheless, several studies within the last decade have provided evidence suggesting that environmental factors play an important role in MDD pathophysiology. Alterations in epigenetics mechanism, such as DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA expression could favor MDD advance in response to stressful experiences and environmental factors. The aim of this review is to describe genetic alterations, and particularly altered epigenetic mechanisms, that could be determinants for MDD progress, and how these alterations may arise as useful screening, diagnosis and treatment monitoring biomarkers of depressive disorders.

  7. Analysis of epigenetic modifications of DNA in human cells

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    Kristensen, Lasse Sommer; Treppendahl, Marianne Bach; Grønbæk, Kirsten

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetics, the study of somatically heritable changes in gene expression not related to changes in the DNA sequence, is a rapidly expanding research field that plays important roles in healthy as well as in diseased cells. DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation are epigenetic modifications found...

  8. Role of Oxidative Stress in Epigenetic Modification in Endometriosis.

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    Ito, Fuminori; Yamada, Yuki; Shigemitsu, Aiko; Akinishi, Mika; Kaniwa, Hiroko; Miyake, Ryuta; Yamanaka, Shoichiro; Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    2017-11-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation and histone modification are associated with an increased risk of reproductive disorders such as endometriosis. However, a cause-effect relationship between epigenetic mechanisms and endometriosis development has not been fully determined. This review provides current information based on oxidative stress in epigenetic modification in endometriosis. This article reviews the English-language literature on epigenetics, DNA methylation, histone modification, and oxidative stress associated with endometriosis in an effort to identify epigenetic modification that causes a predisposition to endometriosis. Oxidative stress, secondary to the influx of hemoglobin, heme, and iron during retrograde menstruation, is involved in the expression of CpG demethylases, ten-eleven translocation, and jumonji (JMJ). Ten-eleven translocation and JMJ recognize a wide range of endogenous DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). The increased expression levels of DNMTs may be involved in the subsequent downregulation of the decidualization-related genes. This review supports the hypothesis that there are at least 2 distinct phases of epigenetic modification in endometriosis: the initial wave of iron-induced oxidative stress would be followed by the second big wave of epigenetic modulation of endometriosis susceptibility genes. We summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the underlying epigenetic mechanisms focusing on oxidative stress in endometriosis.

  9. Epigenetic modifications: An important mechanism in diabetic disturbances.

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    Rorbach-Dolata, Anna; Kubis, Adriana; Piwowar, Agnieszka

    2017-11-29

    In the search for explanations of diabetes pathomechanisms, especially the development of its vascular complications (micro- and macrovascular ), although current, good metabolic control of diabetes, attention was drawn to the role of epigenetic inheritance associated with epigenetic modifications of histone proteins and DNA in hyperglycemia conditions. This study showed the significant role of DNA methylation and histone epigenetic modifications (a different nature and a different degree) in the transmission of information that is not connected with gene inheritance but concerns the persistent changes induced by hyperglycemia..Attention was paid to the role of DNA methylation of pancreatic cells in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, but also type 2. The important role of DNA methylation changes in a so-called intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) as reason of subsequent development of diabetes was particularly emphasized. In the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and its complications, especially microvascular complications, the greatest share and importance of epigenetic modifications on mitochondrial DNA metylation are the most important. The multidirectionality Complicaand complexity of epigenetic modifications of histone proteins indicate their importance in the development of diabetic disturbances. An especially important role is attributed to methylation and acetylation of histone proteins, in particular on arginine and lysine, whose changes occur most frequently. Moreover, epigenetic modifications of the enzymes, especially methylases, responsible for these processes are the underlying. It has been indicated that the identification of epigenetic differences within the DNA or histone proteins may be a useful prognostic biomarker of susceptibility to the disease development in the future. Moreover, they may become a potential target for future therapeutic interventions for clinical disorders in diabetes.

  10. Epigenetic Modifications and Potential New Treatment Targets in Diabetic Retinopathy

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    Lorena Perrone

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. Epigenetic remodeling and modification to preserve skeletogenesis in vivo.

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    Godfrey, Tanner C; Wildman, Benjamin J; Javed, Amjad; Lengner, Christopher J; Hassan, Mohammad Quamarul

    2018-12-01

    Current studies offer little insight on how epigenetic remodeling of bone-specific chromatin maintains bone mass in vivo. Understanding this gap and precise mechanism is pivotal for future therapeutic innovation to prevent bone loss. Recently, we found that low bone mass is associated with decreased H3K27 acetylation (activating histone modification) of bone specific gene promoters. Here, we aim to elucidate the epigenetic mechanisms by which a miRNA cluster controls bone synthesis and homeostasis by regulating chromatin accessibility and H3K27 acetylation. In order to decipher the epigenetic axis that regulates osteogenesis, we studied a drug inducible anti-miR-23a cluster (miR-23a Cl ZIP ) knockdown mouse model. MiR-23a cluster knockdown (heterozygous) mice developed high bone mass. These mice displayed increased expression of Runx2 and Baf45a, essential factors for skeletogenesis; and decreased expression of Ezh2, a chromatin repressor indispensable for skeletogenesis. ChIP assays using miR-23a Cl knockdown calvarial cells revealed a BAF45A-EZH2 epigenetic antagonistic mechanism that maintains bone formation. Together, our findings support that the miR-23a Cl connection with tissue-specific RUNX2-BAF45A-EZH2 function is a novel molecular epigenetic axis through which a miRNA cluster orchestrates chromatin modification to elicit major effects on osteogenesis in vivo.

  12. Epigenetic modification and inheritance in sexual reversal of fish.

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    Shao, Changwei; Li, Qiye; Chen, Songlin; Zhang, Pei; Lian, Jinmin; Hu, Qiaomu; Sun, Bing; Jin, Lijun; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Zongji; Zhao, Hongmei; Jin, Zonghui; Liang, Zhuo; Li, Yangzhen; Zheng, Qiumei; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-04-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) occurs in divergent, phylogenetically unrelated taxa, and in some species, co-occurs with genetic sex determination (GSD) mechanisms. Although epigenetic regulation in response to environmental effects has long been proposed to be associated with ESD, a systemic analysis on epigenetic regulation of ESD is still lacking. Using half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) as a model-a marine fish that has both ZW chromosomal GSD and temperature-dependent ESD-we investigated the role of DNA methylation in transition from GSD to ESD. Comparative analysis of the gonadal DNA methylomes of pseudomale, female, and normal male fish revealed that genes in the sex determination pathways are the major targets of substantial methylation modification during sexual reversal. Methylation modification in pseudomales is globally inherited in their ZW offspring, which can naturally develop into pseudomales without temperature incubation. Transcriptome analysis revealed that dosage compensation occurs in a restricted, methylated cytosine enriched Z chromosomal region in pseudomale testes, achieving equal expression level in normal male testes. In contrast, female-specific W chromosomal genes are suppressed in pseudomales by methylation regulation. We conclude that epigenetic regulation plays multiple crucial roles in sexual reversal of tongue sole fish. We also offer the first clues on the mechanisms behind gene dosage balancing in an organism that undergoes sexual reversal. Finally, we suggest a causal link between the bias sex chromosome assortment in the offspring of a pseudomale family and the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of sexual reversal in tongue sole fish.

  13. Epigenetic modifications: basic mechanisms and role in cardiovascular disease (2013 Grover Conference series)

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    Loscalzo, Joseph; Handy, Diane E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Epigenetics refers to heritable traits that are not a consequence of DNA sequence. Three classes of epigenetic regulation exist: DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA action. In the cardiovascular system, epigenetic regulation affects development, differentiation, and disease propensity or expression. Defining the determinants of epigenetic regulation offers opportunities for novel strategies for disease prevention and treatment.

  14. Epigenetic modifications: basic mechanisms and role in cardiovascular disease (2013 Grover Conference series).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loscalzo, Joseph; Handy, Diane E

    2014-06-01

    Epigenetics refers to heritable traits that are not a consequence of DNA sequence. Three classes of epigenetic regulation exist: DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA action. In the cardiovascular system, epigenetic regulation affects development, differentiation, and disease propensity or expression. Defining the determinants of epigenetic regulation offers opportunities for novel strategies for disease prevention and treatment.

  15. Epigenetic modifications in valproic acid-induced teratogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tung, Emily W.Y.; Winn, Louise M.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to the anticonvulsant drug valproic acid (VPA) in utero is associated with a 1-2% increase in neural tube defects (NTDs), however the molecular mechanisms by which VPA induces teratogenesis are unknown. Previous studies demonstrated that VPA, a direct inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can induce histone hyperacetylation and other epigenetic changes such as histone methylation and DNA demethylation. The objective of this study was to determine if maternal exposure to VPA in mice has the ability to cause these epigenetic alterations in the embryo and thus contribute to its mechanism of teratogenesis. Pregnant CD-1 mice (GD 9.0) were administered a teratogenic dose of VPA (400 mg/kg, s.c.) and embryos extracted 1, 3, 6, and 24 h after injection. To assess embryonic histone acetylation and histone methylation, Western blotting was performed on whole embryo homogenates, as well as immunohistochemical staining on embryonic sections. To measure DNA methylation changes, the cytosine extension assay was performed. Results demonstrated that a significant increase in histone acetylation that peaked 3 h after VPA exposure was accompanied by an increase in histone methylation at histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) and a decrease in histone methylation at histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9). Immunohistochemical staining revealed increased histone acetylation in the neuroepithelium, heart, and somites. A decrease in methylated histone H3K9 staining was observed in the neuroepithelium and somites, METHYLATED histone H3K4 staining was observed in the neuroepithelium. No significant differences in global or CpG island DNA methylation were observed in embryo homogenates. These results support the possibility that epigenetic modifications caused by VPA during early mouse organogenesis results in congenital malformations.

  16. Small molecule modulators of epigenetic modifications: implications in therapeutics

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    Ruthrotha Selvi, B.; Senapati, Parijat; Kundu, Tapas K.

    2012-01-01

    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)

  17. Transgenerational inheritance or resetting of stress-induced epigenetic modifications: two sides of the same coin.

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    Penny J Tricker

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The transgenerational inheritance of stress-induced epigenetic modifications is still controversial. Despite several examples of defence ‘priming’ and induced genetic rearrangements, the involvement and persistence of transgenerational epigenetic modifications is not known to be general. Here I argue that non-transmission of epigenetic marks through meiosis may be regarded as an epigenetic modification in itself, and that we should understand the implications for plant evolution in the context of both selection for and selection against transgenerational epigenetic memory. Recent data suggest that both epigenetic inheritance and resetting are mechanistically directed and targeted. Stress-induced epigenetic modifications may buffer against DNA sequence-based evolution to maintain plasticity, or may form part of plasticity’s adaptive potential. To date we have tended to concentrate on the question of whether and for how long epigenetic memory persists. I argue that we should now re-direct our question to investigate the differences between where it persists and where it does not, to understand the higher order evolutionary methods in play and their contribution.

  18. Transgenerational inheritance or resetting of stress-induced epigenetic modifications: two sides of the same coin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tricker, Penny J

    2015-01-01

    The transgenerational inheritance of stress-induced epigenetic modifications is still controversial. Despite several examples of defense "priming" and induced genetic rearrangements, the involvement and persistence of transgenerational epigenetic modifications is not known to be general. Here I argue that non-transmission of epigenetic marks through meiosis may be regarded as an epigenetic modification in itself, and that we should understand the implications for plant evolution in the context of both selection for and selection against transgenerational epigenetic memory. Recent data suggest that both epigenetic inheritance and resetting are mechanistically directed and targeted. Stress-induced epigenetic modifications may buffer against DNA sequence-based evolution to maintain plasticity, or may form part of plasticity's adaptive potential. To date we have tended to concentrate on the question of whether and for how long epigenetic memory persists. I argue that we should now re-direct our question to investigate the differences between where it persists and where it does not, to understand the higher order evolutionary methods in play and their contribution.

  19. Changes in Structural-Mechanical Properties and Degradability of Collagen during Aging-associated Modifications*

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    Panwar, Preety; Lamour, Guillaume; Mackenzie, Neil C. W.; Yang, Heejae; Ko, Frank; Li, Hongbin; Brömme, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    During aging, changes occur in the collagen network that contribute to various pathological phenotypes in the skeletal, vascular, and pulmonary systems. The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of age-related modifications on the mechanical stability and in vitro proteolytic degradation of type I collagen. Analyzing mouse tail and bovine bone collagen, we found that collagen at both fibril and fiber levels varies in rigidity and Young's modulus due to different physiological changes, which correlate with changes in cathepsin K (CatK)-mediated degradation. A decreased susceptibility to CatK-mediated hydrolysis of fibrillar collagen was observed following mineralization and advanced glycation end product-associated modification. However, aging of bone increased CatK-mediated osteoclastic resorption by ∼27%, and negligible resorption was observed when osteoclasts were cultured on mineral-deficient bone. We observed significant differences in the excavations generated by osteoclasts and C-terminal telopeptide release during bone resorption under distinct conditions. Our data indicate that modification of collagen compromises its biomechanical integrity and affects CatK-mediated degradation both in bone and tissue, thus contributing to our understanding of extracellular matrix aging. PMID:26224630

  20. Epigenetic modification and inheritance in sexual reversal of fish

    OpenAIRE

    Shao, Changwei; Li, Qiye; Chen, Songlin; Zhang, Pei; Lian, Jinmin; Hu, Qiaomu; Sun, Bing; Jin, Lijun; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Zongji; Zhao, Hongmei; Jin, Zonghui; Liang, Zhuo; Li, Yangzhen; Zheng, Qiumei

    2014-01-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) occurs in divergent, phylogenetically unrelated taxa, and in some species, co-occurs with genetic sex determination (GSD) mechanisms. Although epigenetic regulation in response to environmental effects has long been proposed to be associated with ESD, a systemic analysis on epigenetic regulation of ESD is still lacking. Using half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) as a model—a marine fish that has both ZW chromosomal GSD and temperature-dependen...

  1. How stable 'should' epigenetic modifications be? Insights from adaptive plasticity and bet hedging.

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    Herman, Jacob J; Spencer, Hamish G; Donohue, Kathleen; Sultan, Sonia E

    2014-03-01

    Although there is keen interest in the potential adaptive value of epigenetic variation, it is unclear what conditions favor the stability of these variants either within or across generations. Because epigenetic modifications can be environmentally sensitive, existing theory on adaptive phenotypic plasticity provides relevant insights. Our consideration of this theory suggests that stable maintenance of environmentally induced epigenetic states over an organism's lifetime is most likely to be favored when the organism accurately responds to a single environmental change that subsequently remains constant, or when the environmental change cues an irreversible developmental transition. Stable transmission of adaptive epigenetic states from parents to offspring may be selectively favored when environments vary across generations and the parental environment predicts the offspring environment. The adaptive value of stability beyond a single generation of parent-offspring transmission likely depends on the costs of epigenetic resetting. Epigenetic stability both within and across generations will also depend on the degree and predictability of environmental variation, dispersal patterns, and the (epi)genetic architecture underlying phenotypic responses to environment. We also discuss conditions that favor stability of random epigenetic variants within the context of bet hedging. We conclude by proposing research directions to clarify the adaptive significance of epigenetic stability. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Epigenetic Modifications and Head and Neck Cancer: Implications for Tumor Progression and Resistance to Therapy

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    Rogerio M. Castilho

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC is the sixth most prevalent cancer and one of the most aggressive malignancies worldwide. Despite continuous efforts to identify molecular markers for early detection, and to develop efficient treatments, the overall survival and prognosis of HNSCC patients remain poor. Accumulated scientific evidences suggest that epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation, histone covalent modifications, chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNAs, are frequently involved in oral carcinogenesis, tumor progression, and resistance to therapy. Epigenetic alterations occur in an unsystematic manner or as part of the aberrant transcriptional machinery, which promotes selective advantage to the tumor cells. Epigenetic modifications also contribute to cellular plasticity during tumor progression and to the formation of cancer stem cells (CSCs, a small subset of tumor cells with self-renewal ability. CSCs are involved in the development of intrinsic or acquired therapy resistance, and tumor recurrences or relapse. Therefore, the understanding and characterization of epigenetic modifications associated with head and neck carcinogenesis, and the prospective identification of epigenetic markers associated with CSCs, hold the promise for novel therapeutic strategies to fight tumors. In this review, we focus on the current knowledge on epigenetic modifications observed in HNSCC and emerging Epi-drugs capable of sensitizing HNSCC to therapy.

  3. Epigenetics modifications and therapeutic prospects in human thyroid cancer

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    Maria Graziella eCatalano

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available At present no successful treatment is available for advanced thyroid cancer, which comprises poorly differentiated, anaplastic, and metastatic or recurrent differentiated thyroid cancer not responding to radioiodine. In the last few years, biologically targeted therapies for advanced thyroid carcinomas have been proposed on the basis of the recognition of key oncogenic mutations. Although the results of several phase II trials look promising, none of the patients treated had a complete response, and only a minority of them had a partial response, suggesting that the treatment is, at best, effective in stabilizing patients with progressive disease. Epigenetic refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without any alteration in the primary DNA sequence. The epigenetic processes establish and maintain the global and local chroma¬tin states that determine gene expression. Epigenetic abnormalities are present in almost all cancers and, together with genetic changes, drive tumour progression. Various genes involved in the control of cell proliferation and invasion (p16INK4A, RASSF1A,PTEN, Rap1GAP, TIMP3, DAPK, RARβ2, E-cadherin, and CITED1 as well as genes specific of thyroid differentiation (Na+/I- symport, TSH receptor, pendrin, SL5A8, and TTF-1 present aberrant methylation in thyroid cancer.This review deals with the most frequent epigenetic alterations in thyroid cancer and focuses on epigenetic therapy, whose goal is to target the chromatin in rapidly dividing tumour cells and potentially restore normal cell functions. Experimental data and clinical trials, especially using deacetylase inhibitors and demethylating agents, are discussed.

  4. Heterogeneity of chromatin modifications in testicular spermatocytic seminoma point toward an epigenetically unstable phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Dina Graae; Mlynarska, Olga; Nielsen, John E

    2012-01-01

    Testicular spermatocytic seminoma (SS) is a rare tumor type predominantly found in elderly men. It is thought to originate from spermatogonia and shows cytological and genetic heterogeneity. In this study, we performed for the first time a comprehensive analysis of epigenetic modifications in a s...

  5. Generalized nucleation and looping model for epigenetic memory of histone modifications

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    Erdel, Fabian; Greene, Eric C.

    2016-01-01

    Histone modifications can redistribute along the genome in a sequence-independent manner, giving rise to chromatin position effects and epigenetic memory. The underlying mechanisms shape the endogenous chromatin landscape and determine its response to ectopically targeted histone modifiers. Here, we simulate linear and looping-driven spreading of histone modifications and compare both models to recent experiments on histone methylation in fission yeast. We find that a generalized nucleation-and-looping mechanism describes key observations on engineered and endogenous methylation domains including intrinsic spatial confinement, independent regulation of domain size and memory, variegation in the absence of antagonists, and coexistence of short- and long-term memory at loci with weak and strong constitutive nucleation. These findings support a straightforward relationship between the biochemical properties of chromatin modifiers and the spatiotemporal modification pattern. The proposed mechanism gives rise to a phase diagram for cellular memory that may be generally applicable to explain epigenetic phenomena across different species. PMID:27382173

  6. Theoretical analysis of epigenetic cell memory by nucleosome modification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dodd, Ian B; Micheelsen, Mille A; Sneppen, Kim

    2007-01-01

    to involve positive feedback where modified nucleosomes recruit enzymes that similarly modify nearby nucleosomes. We developed a simplified stochastic model for dynamic nucleosome modification based on the silent mating-type region of the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that the mechanism can give...

  7. Interplay of Inflammatory Mediators with Epigenetics and Cartilage Modifications in Osteoarthritis

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    Swarna Raman

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis (OA, a degenerative disease of diarthrodial joints, is influenced by mechanical and inflammatory factors with aging, obesity, chronic injuries, and secondary diseases thought to be major factors driving the process of articular cartilage degeneration. Chondrocytes, the cellular component of cartilage, reside in an avascular environment and normally have limited potential to replicate. However, extrinsic factors such as injury to the joint or intrinsic alterations to the chondrocytes themselves can lead to an altered phenotype and development of OA. Synovial inflammation is also a pivotal element of the osteoarthritic, degenerative process: influx of pro-inflammatory cytokines and production of matrix metalloproteinases accelerate advanced cellular processes such as synovitis and cartilage damage. As well as a genetic input, recent data have highlighted epigenetic factors as contributing to disease. Studies conducted over the last decade have focused on three key aspects in OA; inflammation and the immune response, genome-wide association studies that have identified important genes undergoing epigenetic modifications, and finally how chondrocytes transform in their function during development and disease. Data highlighted here have identified critical inflammatory genes involved in OA and how these factors impact chondrocyte hypertrophy in the disease. This review also addresses key inflammatory factors in synovial inflammation, epigenetics, and chondrocyte fate, and how agents that inhibit epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation and histone modifications could aid in development of long-term treatment strategies for the disease.

  8. DLEC1 Expression Is Modulated by Epigenetic Modifications in Hepatocelluar Carcinoma Cells: Role of HBx Genotypes

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    Niu, Dandan; Feng, Huixing; Chen, Wei Ning

    2010-01-01

    Deleted in Lung and Esophageal Cancer 1 (DLEC1) is a functional tumor suppressor gene (TSG). It has been found to be silenced in a variety of human cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The silencing of DLEC1 can be modulated by epigenetic modifications, such as DNA hypermethylation and histone hypoacetylation. In the case of HCC, hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) has been implicated in methylation of target promoters resulting in the down-regulation of tumor suppressor genes, which in turn contributes to the development of HCC. In the present study, we first established a cell system in which epigenetic modifications can be modulated using inhibitors of either DNA methylation or histone deacetylation. The cell system was used to reveal that the expression of DLEC1 was upregulated by HBx in a genotype-dependent manner. In particular, HBx genotype A was found to decrease DNA methylation of the DLEC1 promoter. Our results have provided new insights on the impact of HBx in HCC development by epigenetic modifications

  9. Role of methionine on epigenetic modification of DNA methylation and gene expression in animals

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    Naifeng Zhang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available DNA methylation is one of the main epigenetic phenomena affecting gene expression. It is an important mechanism for the development of embryo, growth and health of animals. As a key nutritional factor limiting the synthesis of protein, methionine serves as the precursor of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM in the hepatic one-carbon metabolism. The dietary fluctuation of methionine content can alter the levels of metabolic substrates in one-carbon metabolism, e.g., the SAM, S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH, and change the expression of genes related to the growth and health of animals by DNA methylation reactions. The ratio of SAM to SAH is called ‘methylation index’ but it should be carefully explained because the complexity of methylation reaction. Alterations of methylation in a specific cytosine-guanine (CpG site, rather than the whole promoter region, might be enough to change gene expression. Aberrant methionine cycle may provoke molecular changes of one-carbon metabolism that results in deregulation of cellular hemostasis and health problems. The importance of DNA methylation has been underscored but the mechanisms of methionine affecting DNA methylation are poorly understood. Nutritional epigenomics provides a promising insight into the targeting epigenetic changes in animals from a nutritional standpoint, which will deepen and expand our understanding of genes, molecules, tissues, and animals in which methionine alteration influences DNA methylation and gene expression. Keywords: Epigenetics, Methionine, DNA methylation, Gene expression, Epigenetic modification

  10. The Interactions of microRNA and Epigenetic Modifications in Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prashant Kumar Singh

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifiers play important roles in fine-tuning the cellular transcriptome. Any imbalance in these processes may lead to abnormal transcriptional activity and thus result in disease state. Distortions of the epigenome have been reported in cancer initiation and progression. DNA methylation and histone modifications are principle components of this epigenome, but more recently it has become clear that microRNAs (miRNAs are another major component of the epigenome. Interactions of these components are apparent in prostate cancer (CaP, which is the most common non-cutaneous cancer and second leading cause of death from cancer in the USA. Changes in DNA methylation, altered histone modifications and miRNA expression are functionally associated with CaP initiation and progression. Various aspects of the epigenome have also been investigated as biomarkers for different stages of CaP detection, though with limited success. This review aims to summarize key aspects of these mechanistic interactions within the epigenome and to highlight their translational potential as functional biomarkers. To this end, exploration of TCGA prostate cancer data revealed that expression of key CaP miRNAs inversely associate with DNA methylation. Given the importance and prevalence of these epigenetic events in CaP biology it is timely to understand further how different epigenetic components interact and influence each other.

  11. Asymmetric epigenetic modification and elimination of rDNA sequences by polyploidization in wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiang; Han, Fangpu

    2014-11-01

    rRNA genes consist of long tandem repeats clustered on chromosomes, and their products are important functional components of the ribosome. In common wheat (Triticum aestivum), rDNA loci from the A and D genomes were largely lost during the evolutionary process. This biased DNA elimination may be related to asymmetric transcription and epigenetic modifications caused by the polyploid formation. Here, we observed both sets of parental nucleolus organizing regions (NORs) were expressed after hybridization, but asymmetric silencing of one parental NOR was immediately induced by chromosome doubling, and reversing the ploidy status could not reactivate silenced NORs. Furthermore, increased CHG and CHH DNA methylation on promoters was accompanied by asymmetric silencing of NORs. Enrichment of H3K27me3 and H3K9me2 modifications was also observed to be a direct response to increased DNA methylation and transcriptional inactivation of NOR loci. Both A and D genome NOR loci with these modifications started to disappear in the S4 generation and were completely eliminated by the S7 generation in synthetic tetraploid wheat. Our results indicated that asymmetric epigenetic modification and elimination of rDNA sequences between different donor genomes may lead to stable allopolyploid wheat with increased differentiation and diversity. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  12. Role of Epigenetic Histone Modifications in Diabetic Kidney Disease Involving Renal Fibrosis

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    Jing Sun

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the commonest causes of end-stage renal disease is diabetic kidney disease (DKD. Renal fibrosis, characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM proteins in glomerular basement membranes and the tubulointerstitium, is the final manifestation of DKD. The TGF-β pathway triggers epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT, which plays a key role in the accumulation of ECM proteins in DKD. DCCT/EDIC studies have shown that DKD often persists and progresses despite glycemic control in diabetes once DKD sets in due to prior exposure to hyperglycemia called “metabolic memory.” These imply that epigenetic factors modulate kidney gene expression. There is evidence to suggest that in diabetes and hyperglycemia, epigenetic histone modifications have a significant effect in modulating renal fibrotic and ECM gene expression induced by TGF-β1, as well as its downstream profibrotic genes. Histone modifications are also implicated in renal fibrosis through its ability to regulate the EMT process triggered by TGF-β signaling. In view of this, efforts are being made to develop HAT, HDAC, and HMT inhibitors to delay, stop, or even reverse DKD. In this review, we outline the latest advances that are being made to regulate histone modifications involved in DKD.

  13. Deoxynivalenol exposure induces autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modification changes during porcine oocyte maturation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Jun; Wang, Qiao-Chu; Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Yu [College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095 (China); Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung [Department of Animal Science, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763 (Korea, Republic of); Sun, Shao-Chen, E-mail: sunsc@njau.edu.cn [College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095 (China)

    2016-06-01

    Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a widespread trichothecene mycotoxin which contaminates agricultural staples and elicits a complex spectrum of toxic effects on humans and animals. It has been shown that DON impairs oocyte maturation, reproductive function and causes abnormal fetal development in mammals; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigate the possible reasons of the toxic effects of DON on porcine oocytes. Our results showed that DON significantly inhibited porcine oocyte maturation and disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK protein level, which caused retardation of cell cycle progression. In addition, up-regulated LC3 protein expression and aberrant Lamp2, LC3 and mTOR mRNA levels were observed with DON exposure, together with Annexin V-FITC staining assay analysis, these results indicated that DON treatment induced autophagy/apoptosis in porcine oocytes. We also showed that DON exposure increased DNA methylation level in porcine oocytes through altering DNMT3A mRNA levels. Histone methylation levels were also changed showing with increased H3K27me3 and H3K4me2 protein levels, and mRNA levels of their relative methyltransferase genes, indicating that epigenetic modifications were affected. Taken together, our results suggested that DON exposure reduced porcine oocytes maturation capability through affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, cell cycle, autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modifications. - Highlights: • DON exposure disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK expression. • DON exposure caused retardation of cell cycle progression in porcine oocytes. • DON triggered autophagy and early-apoptosis in porcine oocytes. • DON exposure led to aberrant epigenetic modifications in porcine oocytes.

  14. Deoxynivalenol exposure induces autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modification changes during porcine oocyte maturation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Jun; Wang, Qiao-Chu; Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Yu; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2016-01-01

    Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a widespread trichothecene mycotoxin which contaminates agricultural staples and elicits a complex spectrum of toxic effects on humans and animals. It has been shown that DON impairs oocyte maturation, reproductive function and causes abnormal fetal development in mammals; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigate the possible reasons of the toxic effects of DON on porcine oocytes. Our results showed that DON significantly inhibited porcine oocyte maturation and disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK protein level, which caused retardation of cell cycle progression. In addition, up-regulated LC3 protein expression and aberrant Lamp2, LC3 and mTOR mRNA levels were observed with DON exposure, together with Annexin V-FITC staining assay analysis, these results indicated that DON treatment induced autophagy/apoptosis in porcine oocytes. We also showed that DON exposure increased DNA methylation level in porcine oocytes through altering DNMT3A mRNA levels. Histone methylation levels were also changed showing with increased H3K27me3 and H3K4me2 protein levels, and mRNA levels of their relative methyltransferase genes, indicating that epigenetic modifications were affected. Taken together, our results suggested that DON exposure reduced porcine oocytes maturation capability through affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, cell cycle, autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modifications. - Highlights: • DON exposure disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK expression. • DON exposure caused retardation of cell cycle progression in porcine oocytes. • DON triggered autophagy and early-apoptosis in porcine oocytes. • DON exposure led to aberrant epigenetic modifications in porcine oocytes.

  15. Epi-genetics modifications induced by a depleted uranium exposure in the zebra fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gombeau, K.; Pereira, S.; Adam-Guillermin, C. [IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO (France); Bourdineaud, J.P. [UMR CNRS 5805 EPOC (France); Ravanat, J.L. [INAC/Scib UMR E3 CEA-UJF (France)

    2014-07-01

    The work presented here integrates in the general framework of assessment of effects of chronic exposure to low doses of radionuclides. This evaluation necessarily involves the study of the mechanisms of toxic action at the cellular or subcellular level, in order to better understand the processes of propagation of effects to the level of the populations or ecosystems. As such, the question of the mechanisms underlying the trans-generational effects and the adaptive capacity of organisms is central, both in humans and in animal species. Epigenetic refer to changes in gene function that do not involve changes in DNA sequence, and which are transmitted in a hereditary manner by mitosis or meiosis. The latter plays a key role in these trans-generational effects. Among these changes, DNA-methylation is one of the most studied epigenetic parameters. This work is part of a PhD, included in the European COMET project (Euratom 7. Framework Program), and focuses on epigenetic modifications induced in zebra fish after a chronic exposure to radionuclides. Male and female fishes were exposed to 2 and 20 μg.L{sup -1} of depleted uranium for 24 days. After 7 and 24 days of exposure, brain, gonads, and eyes were collected in order to study changes in DNA methylation. In addition, genotoxicity was measured by the γH2AX assay. The overall changes in DNA methylation were studied by AFLP-MS and HPLC-MS, in order to know if the exposure to depleted uranium changes the global status of DNA methylation. We have found a decrease in the global level of methylation in the eyes of males after 24 days of exposure, the diminution being much more important and significant at the higher concentration of exposure (11.79 ± 3.62 against 52.43 ± 3.01 for controls) This study will be refined by analyzing the methylation of specific regions of the genome, because it represent the sequences of genes involved in major physiological functions and that may be subject to variations in the methylation

  16. Status of epigenetic chromatin modification enzymes and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma risk in northeast Indian population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Virendra; Singh, Laishram C; Singh, Avninder P; Sharma, Jagannath; Borthakur, Bibhuti B; Debnath, Arundhati; Rai, Avdhesh K; Phukan, Rup K; Mahanta, Jagadish; Kataki, Amal C; Kapur, Sujala; Saxena, Sunita

    2015-01-01

    Esophageal cancer incidence is reported in high frequency in northeast India. The etiology is different from other population at India due to wide variations in dietary habits or nutritional factors, tobacco/betel quid chewing and alcohol habits. Since DNA methylation, histone modification and miRNA-mediated epigenetic processes alter the gene expression, the involvement of these processes might be useful to find out epigenetic markers of esophageal cancer risk in northeast Indian population. The present investigation was aimed to carryout differential expression profiling of chromatin modification enzymes in tumor and normal tissue collected from esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients. Differential mRNA expression profiling and their validation was done by quantitative real time PCR and tissue microarray respectively. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to analyze the epidemiological data. mRNA expression data was analyzed by Student t-test. Fisher exact test was used for tissue microarray data analysis. Higher expression of enzymes regulating methylation (DOT1L and PRMT1) and acetylation (KAT7, KAT8, KAT2A and KAT6A) of histone was found associated with ESCC risk. Tissue microarray done in independent cohort of 75 patients revealed higher nuclear protein expression of KAT8 and PRMT1 in tumor similar to mRNA expression. Expression status of PRMT1 and KAT8 was found declined as we move from low grade to high grade tumor. Betel nut chewing, alcohol drinking and dried fish intake were significantly associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer among the study subject. Study suggests the association of PRMT1 and KAT8 with esophageal cancer risk and its involvement in the transition process of low to high grade tumor formation. The study exposes the differential status of chromatin modification enzymes between tumor and normal tissue and points out that relaxed state of chromatin facilitates more transcriptionally active

  17. Prostate cancer: The main risk and protective factors-Epigenetic modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adjakly, Mawussi; Ngollo, Marjolaine; Dagdemir, Aslihan; Judes, Gaëlle; Pajon, Amaury; Karsli-Ceppioglu, Seher; Penault-Llorca, Frédérique; Boiteux, Jean-Paul; Bignon, Yves-Jean; Guy, Laurent; Bernard-Gallon, Dominique

    2015-02-01

    With 13 million new cases worldwide every year, prostate cancer is as a very real public health concern. Prostate cancer is common in over-50s men and the sixth-leading cause of cancer-related death in men worldwide. Like all cancers, prostate cancer is multifactorial - there are non-modifiable risk factors like heredity, ethnicity and geographic location, but also modifiable risk factors such as diet. Diet-cancer linkages have risen to prominence in the last few years, with accruing epidemiological data pointing to between-population incidence differentials in numerous cancers. Indeed, there are correlations between fat-rich diet and risk of hormone-dependent cancers like prostate cancer and breast cancer. Diet is a risk factor for prostate cancer, but certain micronutrients in specific diets are considered protective factors against prostate cancer. Examples include tomato lycopene, green tea epigallocatechin gallate, and soy phytoestrogens. These micronutrients are thought to exert cancer-protective effects via anti-oxidant pathways and inhibition of cell proliferation. Here, we focus in on the effects of phytoestrogens, and chiefly genistein and daidzein, which are the best-researched to date. Soy phytoestrogens are nonsteroid molecules whose structural similarity lends them the ability to mimic the effects of 17ß-estradiol. On top of anti-oxidant effects, there is evidence that soy phytoestrogens can modulate the epigenetic modifications found in prostate cancer. We also studied the impact of phytoestrogens on epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer, with special focus on DNA methylation, miRNA-mediated regulation and histone modifications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Artificial Epigenetic Networks: Automatic Decomposition of Dynamical Control Tasks Using Topological Self-Modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Alexander P; Caves, Leo S D; Stepney, Susan; Tyrrell, Andy M; Lones, Michael A

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes the artificial epigenetic network, a recurrent connectionist architecture that is able to dynamically modify its topology in order to automatically decompose and solve dynamical problems. The approach is motivated by the behavior of gene regulatory networks, particularly the epigenetic process of chromatin remodeling that leads to topological change and which underlies the differentiation of cells within complex biological organisms. We expected this approach to be useful in situations where there is a need to switch between different dynamical behaviors, and do so in a sensitive and robust manner in the absence of a priori information about problem structure. This hypothesis was tested using a series of dynamical control tasks, each requiring solutions that could express different dynamical behaviors at different stages within the task. In each case, the addition of topological self-modification was shown to improve the performance and robustness of controllers. We believe this is due to the ability of topological changes to stabilize attractors, promoting stability within a dynamical regime while allowing rapid switching between different regimes. Post hoc analysis of the controllers also demonstrated how the partitioning of the networks could provide new insights into problem structure.

  19. Genetic variation and epigenetic modification of the prodynorphin gene in peripheral blood cells in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Addario, Claudio; Shchetynsky, Klementy; Pucci, Mariangela; Cifani, Carlo; Gunnar, Agneta; Vukojević, Vladana; Padyukov, Leonid; Terenius, Lars

    2017-06-02

    Dynorphins are critically involved in the development, maintenance and relapse of alcoholism. Alcohol-induced changes in the prodynorphin gene expression may be influenced by both gene polymorphisms and epigenetic modifications. The present study of human alcoholics aims to evaluate DNA methylation patterns in the prodynorphin gene (PDYN) promoter and to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with alcohol dependence and with altered DNA methylation. Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood cells of alcoholics and healthy controls, and DNA methylation was studied in the PDYN promoter by bisulfite pyrosequencing. In alcoholics, DNA methylation increased in three of the seven CpG sites investigated, as well as in the average of the seven CpG sites. Data stratification showed lower increase in DNA methylation levels in individuals reporting craving and with higher levels of alcohol consumption. Association with alcoholism was observed for rs2235751 and the presence of the minor allele G was associated with reduced DNA methylation at PDYN promoter in females and younger subjects. Genetic and epigenetic factors within PDYN are related to risk for alcoholism, providing further evidence of its involvement on ethanol effects. These results might be of relevance for developing new biomarkers to predict disease trajectories and therapeutic outcome. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Polymicrobial infection and bacterium-mediated epigenetic modification of DNA tumor viruses contribute to pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, J M; Webster-Cyriaque, J

    2014-04-29

    ABSTRACT The human body plays host to a wide variety of microbes, commensal and pathogenic. In addition to interacting with their host, different microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, interact with each other, sometimes in ways that exacerbate disease. In particular, gene expression of a number of viruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is known to be regulated by epigenetic modifications induced by bacteria. These viruses establish latent infection in their host cells and can be reactivated by bacterial products. Viral reactivation has been suggested to contribute to periodontal disease and AIDS. In addition, bacterium-virus interactions may play a role in cancers, such as Kaposi's sarcoma, gastric cancer, and head and neck cancer. It is important to consider the effects of coexisting bacterial infections when studying viral diseases in vivo.

  1. Epigenetic and Posttranslational Modifications in Light Signal Transduction and the Circadian Clock in Neurospora crassa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Proietto

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Blue light, a key abiotic signal, regulates a wide variety of physiological processes in many organisms. One of these phenomena is the circadian rhythm presents in organisms sensitive to the phase-setting effects of blue light and under control of the daily alternation of light and dark. Circadian clocks consist of autoregulatory alternating negative and positive feedback loops intimately connected with the cellular metabolism and biochemical processes. Neurospora crassa provides an excellent model for studying the molecular mechanisms involved in these phenomena. The White Collar Complex (WCC, a blue-light receptor and transcription factor of the circadian oscillator, and Frequency (FRQ, the circadian clock pacemaker, are at the core of the Neurospora circadian system. The eukaryotic circadian clock relies on transcriptional/translational feedback loops: some proteins rhythmically repress their own synthesis by inhibiting the activity of their transcriptional factors, generating self-sustained oscillations over a period of about 24 h. One of the basic mechanisms that perpetuate self-sustained oscillations is post translation modification (PTM. The acronym PTM generically indicates the addition of acetyl, methyl, sumoyl, or phosphoric groups to various types of proteins. The protein can be regulatory or enzymatic or a component of the chromatin. PTMs influence protein stability, interaction, localization, activity, and chromatin packaging. Chromatin modification and PTMs have been implicated in regulating circadian clock function in Neurospora. Research into the epigenetic control of transcription factors such as WCC has yielded new insights into the temporal modulation of light-dependent gene transcription. Here we report on epigenetic and protein PTMs in the regulation of the Neurospora crassa circadian clock. We also present a model that illustrates the molecular mechanisms at the basis of the blue light control of the circadian clock.

  2. Epigenetic modifications and glucocorticoid sensitivity in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vega, Wilfred C; Herrera, Santiago; Vernon, Suzanne D; McGowan, Patrick O

    2017-02-23

    Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating idiopathic disease characterized by unexplained fatigue that fails to resolve with sufficient rest. Diagnosis is based on a list of symptoms and exclusion of other fatigue-related health conditions. Despite a heterogeneous patient population, immune and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function differences, such as enhanced negative feedback to glucocorticoids, are recurring findings in ME/CFS studies. Epigenetic modifications, such as CpG methylation, are known to regulate long-term phenotypic differences and previous work by our group found DNA methylome differences in ME/CFS, however the relationship between DNA methylome modifications, clinical and functional characteristics associated with ME/CFS has not been examined. We examined the DNA methylome in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of a larger cohort of female ME/CFS patients using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip Array. In parallel to the DNA methylome analysis, we investigated in vitro glucocorticoid sensitivity differences by stimulating PBMCs with phytohaemagglutinin and suppressed growth with dexamethasone. We explored DNA methylation differences using bisulfite pyrosequencing and statistical permutation. Linear regression was implemented to discover epigenomic regions associated with self-reported quality of life and network analysis of gene ontology terms to biologically contextualize results. We detected 12,608 differentially methylated sites between ME/CFS patients and healthy controls predominantly localized to cellular metabolism genes, some of which were also related to self-reported quality of life health scores. Among ME/CFS patients, glucocorticoid sensitivity was associated with differential methylation at 13 loci. Our results indicate DNA methylation modifications in cellular metabolism in ME/CFS despite a heterogeneous patient population, implicating these processes in immune and HPA

  3. Epigenetics modifications and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The EPIOSA study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Jose M; Artal, Jorge; Martin, Teresa; Carrizo, Santiago J; Andres, Marta; Martin-Burriel, Inmaculada; Bolea, Rosa; Sanz, Arianne; Varona, Luis; Godino, Javier; Gallego, Begoña; Garcia-Erce, Jose A; Villar, Isabel; Gil, Victoria; Forner, Marta; Cubero, Jose P; Ros, Luis

    2014-07-12

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Epidemiological and animal models studies generate hypotheses for innovative strategies in OSA management by interfering intermediates mechanisms associated with cardiovascular complications. We have thus initiated the Epigenetics modification in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (EPIOSA) study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02131610). EPIOSA is a prospective cohort study aiming to recruit 350 participants of caucasian ethnicity and free of other chronic or inflammatory diseases: 300 patients with prevalent OSA and 50 non-OSA subjects. All of them will be follow-up for at least 5 years. Recruitment and study visits are performed in single University-based sleep clinic using standard operating procedures. At baseline and at each one year follow-up examination, patients are subjected to a core phenotyping protocol. This includes a standardized questionnaire and physical examination to determine incident comorbidities and health resources utilization, with a primary focus on cardiovascular events. Confirmatory outcomes information is requested from patient records and the regional Department of Health Services. Every year, OSA status will be assessed by full sleep study and blood samples will be obtained for immediate standard biochemistry, hematology, inflammatory cytokines and cytometry analysis. For biobanking, aliquots of serum, plasma, urine, mRNA and DNA are also obtained. Bilateral carotid echography will be performed to assess subclinical atherosclerosis and atherosclerosis progression. OSA patients are treated according with national guidelines. EPIOSA will enable the prospective evaluation of inflammatory and epigenetics mechanism involved in cardiovascular complication of treated and non-treated patients with OSA compared with non OSA subjects.

  4. Epigenetic modification of the oxytocin and glucocorticoid receptor genes is linked to attachment avoidance in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ein-Dor, Tsachi; Verbeke, Willem J M I; Mokry, Michal; Vrtička, Pascal

    2018-08-01

    Attachment in the context of intimate pair bonds is most frequently studied in terms of the universal strategy to draw near, or away, from significant others at moments of personal distress. However, important interindividual differences in the quality of attachment exist, usually captured through secure versus insecure - anxious and/or avoidant - attachment orientations. Since Bowlby's pioneering writings on the theory of attachment, it has been assumed that attachment orientations are influenced by both genetic and social factors - what we would today describe and measure as gene by environment interaction mediated by epigenetic DNA modification - but research in humans on this topic remains extremely limited. We for the first time examined relations between intra-individual differences in attachment and epigenetic modification of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) gene promoter in 109 young adult human participants. Our results revealed that attachment avoidance was significantly and specifically associated with increased OXTR and NR3C1 promoter methylation. These findings offer first tentative clues on the possible etiology of attachment avoidance in humans by showing epigenetic modification in genes related to both social stress regulation and HPA axis functioning.

  5. Visualization of multivalent histone modification in a single cell reveals highly concerted epigenetic changes on differentiation of embryonic stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hattori, Naoko; Niwa, Tohru; Kimura, Kana

    2013-01-01

    . Bivalent modification was clearly visualized by iChmo in wild-type embryonic stem cells (ESCs) known to have it, whereas rarely in Suz12 knockout ESCs and mouse embryonic fibroblasts known to have little of it. iChmo was applied to analysis of epigenetic and phenotypic changes of heterogeneous cell......Combinations of histone modifications have significant biological roles, such as maintenance of pluripotency and cancer development, but cannot be analyzed at the single cell level. Here, we visualized a combination of histone modifications by applying the in situ proximity ligation assay, which...... population, namely, ESCs at an early stage of differentiation, and this revealed that the bivalent modification disappeared in a highly concerted manner, whereas phenotypic differentiation proceeded with large variations among cells. Also, using this method, we were able to visualize a combination...

  6. Male germ cell apoptosis and epigenetic histone modification induced by Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Xiong

    Full Text Available Multiglycosides of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f (GTW, a Chinese herb-derived medicine used as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, are considered to be a reversible anti-fertility drug affecting the mammalian spermatids. However, the mechanism behind this effect is still unknown. To study the possible mechanism behind the impact of GTW on spermatogenesis, we administered 4 groups of 4-week-old male mice with different doses of GTW. We found a dose-dependent decrease in the number of germ cells after 40 days of GTW treatment, and an increase in apoptotic cells from the low-dose to the high-dose group. During this same period the dimethylated level of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me2 in GTW-treated testes germ cells declined. Additionally, spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs from 6-day-old mice were isolated to evaluate the possible effect of GTW or triptolide on development of SSCs. We found a significantly higher incidence of apoptosis and lower dimethylation level of H3K9me2 in the SSCs of GTW or triptolide treatment than in controls. Thus, these data suggest that the GTW-induced apoptosis might be responsible for the fertility impairment in mice. This damage could be traced back to the early stages of spermatogenesis. GTW also affected the epigenetic modification of H3K9 in spermatogenesis. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that triptolide and dimethylated or trimethylated H3K9 might have similar interaction mechanisms with EED (embryonic ectoderm development. These candidate activation mechanisms provide the first glimpse into the pathway of GTW-induced gonad toxicity, which is crucial for further research and clinical application.

  7. In vitro profiling of epigenetic modifications underlying heavy metal toxicity of tungsten-alloy and its components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, Ranjana; Xu, Xiufen; Jaiswal, Manoj K.; Olsen, Cara; Mears, David; Caretti, Giuseppina; Galdzicki, Zygmunt

    2011-01-01

    Tungsten-alloy has carcinogenic potential as demonstrated by cancer development in rats with intramuscular implanted tungsten-alloy pellets. This suggests a potential involvement of epigenetic events previously implicated as environmental triggers of cancer. Here, we tested metal induced cytotoxicity and epigenetic modifications including H3 acetylation, H3-Ser10 phosphorylation and H3-K4 trimethylation. We exposed human embryonic kidney (HEK293), human neuroepithelioma (SKNMC), and mouse myoblast (C2C12) cultures for 1-day and hippocampal primary neuronal cultures for 1-week to 50-200 μg/ml of tungsten-alloy (91% tungsten/6% nickel/3% cobalt), tungsten, nickel, and cobalt. We also examined the potential role of intracellular calcium in metal mediated histone modifications by addition of calcium channel blockers/chelators to the metal solutions. Tungsten and its alloy showed cytotoxicity at concentrations > 50 μg/ml, while we found significant toxicity with cobalt and nickel for most tested concentrations. Diverse cell-specific toxic effects were observed, with C2C12 being relatively resistant to tungsten-alloy mediated toxic impact. Tungsten-alloy, but not tungsten, caused almost complete dephosphorylation of H3-Ser10 in C2C12 and hippocampal primary neuronal cultures with H3-hypoacetylation in C2C12. Dramatic H3-Ser10 dephosphorylation was found in all cobalt treated cultures with a decrease in H3 pan-acetylation in C2C12, SKNMC and HEK293. Trimethylation of H3-K4 was not affected. Both tungsten-alloy and cobalt mediated H3-Ser10 dephosphorylation were reversed with BAPTA-AM, highlighting the role of intracellular calcium, confirmed with 2-photon calcium imaging. In summary, our results for the first time reveal epigenetic modifications triggered by tungsten-alloy exposure in C2C12 and hippocampal primary neuronal cultures suggesting the underlying synergistic effects of tungsten, nickel and cobalt mediated by changes in intracellular calcium homeostasis and

  8. Modification of epigenetic patterns in low birth weight children: importance of hypomethylation of the ACE gene promoter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel, Marina; dos Santos, Jéssica Cassilla; Ortiz, Paula Helena Lima; Hirata, Mario; Jasiulionis, Miriam Galvonas; Araujo, Ronaldo C; Ierardi, Daniela Filippini; Franco, Maria do Carmo

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that epigenetic alterations are involved in the pathological mechanisms of many chronic disorders linked to fetal programming. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) appears as one candidate gene that brings new insights into the epigenetic control and later development of diseases. In this view, we have postulated that epigenetic modifications in the ACE gene might show different interactions between birth weight (BW), blood pressure levels, plasma ACE activity and ACE I/D polymorphism. To explore this hypothesis, we performed a cross-sectional study to evaluate the DNA methylation of 3 CpG sites using pyrosequencing within the ACE gene promoter of peripheral blood leukocytes from 45 LBW children compared with 70 NBW children. Our results have revealed that LBW children have lower methylation levels (PACE activity (P = 0.001). Adjusting for prematurity, gender, age, body mass index, and family history of cardiovascular disease did not alter these findings. We have also performed analyses of individual CpG sites. The frequency of DNA methylation was significantly different at two CpG sites (site 1: nucleotide position +555; and site 3: nucleotide position +563). In addition, we have found a significant inverse correlation between degree of DNA methylation and both ACE activity (PACE gene promoter is associated with LBW in 6 to 12 year-old children. The magnitude of these epigenetic changes appears to be clinically important, which is supported by the observation that discrete changes in DNA methylation can affect systolic blood pressure and ACE protein activity levels.

  9. Childhood exposure to ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is linked to epigenetic modifications and impaired systemic immunity in T cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hew, K. M.; Walker, A. I.; Kohli, A.; Garcia, M.; Syed, A.; McDonald-Hyman, C.; Noth, E. M.; Mann, J. K.; Pratt, B.; Balmes, J.; Hammond, S. Katharine; Eisen, E. A.; Nadeau, K. C.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background Evidence suggests that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) increases atopy; it is unclear how PAH exposure is linked to increased severity of atopic diseases. Objective We hypothesized that ambient PAH exposure is linked to impairment of immunity in atopic children (defined as children with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis) from Fresno, California, an area with elevated ambient PAHs. Methods We recruited 256 subjects from Fresno, CA. Ambient PAH concentrations (ng/m3) were measured using a spatial-temporal regression model over multiple time periods. Asthma diagnosis was determined by current NHLBI criteria. Phenotyping and functional immune measurements were performed from isolated cells. For epigenetic measurements, DNA was isolated and pyrosequenced. Results We show that higher average PAH exposure was significantly associated with impaired Treg function and increased methylation in the forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) locus (P < 0.05), conditional on atopic status. These epigenetic modifications were significantly linked to differential protein expression of FOXP3 (P < 0.001). Methylation was associated with cellular functional changes, specifically Treg dysfunction, and an increase in total plasma IgE levels. Protein expression of IL-10 decreased and IFN-γ increased as the extent of PAH exposure increased. The strength of the associations generally increased as the time window for average PAH exposure increased from 24 hr to 1 year, suggesting more of a chronic response. Significant associations with chronic PAH exposure and immune outcomes were also observed in subjects with allergic rhinitis. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance Collectively, these results demonstrate that increased ambient PAH exposure is associated with impaired systemic immunity and epigenetic modifications in a key locus involved in atopy: FOXP3, with a higher impact on atopic children. The results suggest that increased atopic clinical symptoms in children

  10. Advancement of Phenotype Transformation of Cancer-associated Fibroblasts: 
from Genetic Alterations to Epigenetic Modification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dali CHEN

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the field of human cancer research, even though the vast majority attentions were paid to tumor cells as “the seeds”, the roles of tumor microenvironments as “the soil” are gradually explored in recent years. As a dominant compartment of tumor microenvironments, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs were discovered to correlated with tumorigenesis, tumor progression and prognosis. And the exploration of the mechanisms of CAF phenotype transformation would conducive to the further understand of the CAFs function in human cancers. As we known that CAFs have four main origins, including epithelial cells, endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs and local mesenchymal cells. However, researchers found that all these origins finally conduct similiar phenotypes from intrinsic to extrinsic ones. Thus, what and how a mechanism can conduct the phenotype transformation of CAFs with different origins? Two viewpoints are proposed to try to answer the quetsion, involving genetic alterations and epigenetic modifications. This review will systematically summarize the advancement of mechanisms of CAF phenotype transformations in the aspect of genentic and epigenetic modifications.

  11. A survey of Type III restriction-modification systems reveals numerous, novel epigenetic regulators controlling phase-variable regulons; phasevarions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atack, John M; Yang, Yuedong; Jennings, Michael P

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Many bacteria utilize simple DNA sequence repeats as a mechanism to randomly switch genes on and off. This process is called phase variation. Several phase-variable N6-adenine DNA-methyltransferases from Type III restriction-modification systems have been reported in bacterial pathogens. Random switching of DNA methyltransferases changes the global DNA methylation pattern, leading to changes in gene expression. These epigenetic regulatory systems are called phasevarions — phase-variable regulons. The extent of these phase-variable genes in the bacterial kingdom is unknown. Here, we interrogated a database of restriction-modification systems, REBASE, by searching for all simple DNA sequence repeats in mod genes that encode Type III N6-adenine DNA-methyltransferases. We report that 17.4% of Type III mod genes (662/3805) contain simple sequence repeats. Of these, only one-fifth have been previously identified. The newly discovered examples are widely distributed and include many examples in opportunistic pathogens as well as in environmental species. In many cases, multiple phasevarions exist in one genome, with examples of up to 4 independent phasevarions in some species. We found several new types of phase-variable mod genes, including the first example of a phase-variable methyltransferase in pathogenic Escherichia coli. Phasevarions are a common epigenetic regulation contingency strategy used by both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. PMID:29554328

  12. Repetitive sequences and epigenetic modification: inseparable partners play important roles in the evolution of plant sex chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shu-Fen; Zhang, Guo-Jun; Yuan, Jin-Hong; Deng, Chuan-Liang; Gao, Wu-Jun

    2016-05-01

    The present review discusses the roles of repetitive sequences played in plant sex chromosome evolution, and highlights epigenetic modification as potential mechanism of repetitive sequences involved in sex chromosome evolution. Sex determination in plants is mostly based on sex chromosomes. Classic theory proposes that sex chromosomes evolve from a specific pair of autosomes with emergence of a sex-determining gene(s). Subsequently, the newly formed sex chromosomes stop recombination in a small region around the sex-determining locus, and over time, the non-recombining region expands to almost all parts of the sex chromosomes. Accumulation of repetitive sequences, mostly transposable elements and tandem repeats, is a conspicuous feature of the non-recombining region of the Y chromosome, even in primitive one. Repetitive sequences may play multiple roles in sex chromosome evolution, such as triggering heterochromatization and causing recombination suppression, leading to structural and morphological differentiation of sex chromosomes, and promoting Y chromosome degeneration and X chromosome dosage compensation. In this article, we review the current status of this field, and based on preliminary evidence, we posit that repetitive sequences are involved in sex chromosome evolution probably via epigenetic modification, such as DNA and histone methylation, with small interfering RNAs as the mediator.

  13. Epigenetic modifications by Trithorax group proteins during early embryogenesis: do members of Trx-G function as maternal effect genes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreu-Vieyra, Claudia; Matzuk, Martin M

    2007-02-01

    Maternal effect genes encode transcripts that are expressed during oogenesis. These gene products are stored in the oocyte and become functional during resumption of meiosis and zygote genome activation, and in embryonic stem cells. To date, a few maternal effect genes have been identified in mammals. Epigenetic modifications have been shown to be important during early embryonic development and involve DNA methylation and post-translational modification of core histones. During development, two families of proteins have been shown to be involved in epigenetic changes: Trithorax group (Trx-G) and Polycomb group (Pc-G) proteins. Trx-G proteins function as transcriptional activators and have been shown to accumulate in the oocyte. Deletion of Trx-G members using conventional knockout technology results in embryonic lethality in the majority of the cases analysed to date. Recent studies using conditional knockout mice have revealed that at least one family member is necessary for zygote genome activation. We propose that other Trx-G members may also regulate embryonic genome activation and that the use of oocyte-specific deletor mouse lines will help clarify their roles in this process.

  14. Dietary regulation of developmental programming in ruminants: epigenetic modifications in the germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, K D; Karamitri, A; Gardner, D S

    2010-01-01

    Ruminants have been utilised extensively to investigate the developmental origins of health and disease, with the sheep serving as the model species of choice to complement dietary studies in the rat and mouse. Surprisingly few studies, however, have investigated delayed effects of maternal undernutrition during pregnancy on adult offspring health and a consistent phenotype, together with underlying mechanistic pathways, has not emerged. Nevertheless, when broad consideration is given to all studies with ruminants it is apparent that interventions that are initiated very early in gestation, and/or prior to conception, lead to greater effects on adult physiology than those that are specifically targeted to late gestation. Effects induced following dietary interventions at the earliest stages of mammalian development have been shown to arise as a consequence of alterations to key epigenetic processes that occur in germ cells and pluripotent embryonic cells. Currently, our understanding of epigenetic programming in the germline is greatest for the mouse, and is considered in detail in this article together with what is known in ruminants. This species imbalance, however, looks set to change as fully annotated genomic maps are developed for domesticated large animal species, and with the advent of 'next-generation' DNA sequencing technologies that have the power to globally map the epigenome at single-base-pair resolution. These developments would help to address such issues as sexually dimorphic epigenetic alterations to DNA methylation that have been found to arise following dietary restrictions during the peri-conceptional period, the effects of paternal nutritional status on epigenetic programming through the germline, and transgenerational studies where, in future, greater emphasis in domesticated ruminants should be placed on traits of agricultural importance.

  15. Cell cycle arrest induced by inhibitors of epigenetic modifications in maize (Zea mays) seedling leaves: characterization of the process and possible mechanisms involved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pu; Zhang, Hao; Hou, Haoli; Wang, Qing; Li, Yingnan; Huang, Yan; Xie, Liangfu; Gao, Fei; He, Shibin; Li, Lijia

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetic modifications play crucial roles in the regulation of chromatin architecture and are involved in cell cycle progression, including mitosis and meiosis. To explore the relationship between epigenetic modifications and the cell cycle, we treated maize (Zea mays) seedlings with six different epigenetic modification-related inhibitors and identified the postsynthetic phase (G2 ) arrest via flow cytometry analysis. Total H4K5ac levels were significantly increased and the distribution of H3S10ph signalling was obviously changed in mitosis under various treatments. Further statistics of the cells in different periods of mitosis confirmed that the cell cycle was arrested at preprophase. Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide were relatively higher in the treated plants and the antioxidant thiourea could negate the influence of the inhibitors. Moreover, all of the treated plants displayed negative results in the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labelling (TUNEL) and γ-H2AX immunostaining assays after exposure for 3 d. Additionally, the expression level of topoisomerase genes in the treated plants was relatively lower than that in the untreated plants. These results suggest that these inhibitors of epigenetic modifications could cause preprophase arrest via reactive oxygen species formation inhibiting the expression of DNA topoisomerase genes, accompanied by changes in the H4K5ac and H3S10ph histone modifications. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Microarray-based analysis of plasma cirDNA epigenetic modification profiling in xenografted mice exposed to intermittent hypoxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Cortese

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Intermittent hypoxia (IH during sleep is one of the major abnormalities occurring in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA, a highly prevalent disorder affecting 6–15% of the general population, particularly among obese people. IH has been proposed as a major determinant of oncogenetically-related processes such as tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. During the growth and expansion of tumors, fragmented DNA is released into the bloodstream and enters the circulation. Circulating tumor DNA (cirDNA conserves the genetic and epigenetic profiles from the tumor of origin and can be isolated from the plasma fraction. Here we report a microarray-based epigenetic profiling of cirDNA isolated from blood samples of mice engrafted with TC1 epithelial lung cancer cells and controls, which were exposed to IH during sleep (XenoIH group, n = 3 or control conditions, (i.e., room air (RA; XenoRA group, n = 3 conditions. To prepare the targets for microarray hybridization, we applied a previously developed method that enriches the modified fraction of the cirDNA without amplification of genomic DNA. Regions of differential cirDNA modification between the two groups were identified by hybridizing the enriched fractions for each sample to Affymetrix GeneChip Human Promoter Arrays 1.0R. Microarray raw and processed data were deposited in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO database (accession number: GSE61070.

  17. Repressive but not activating epigenetic modifications are aberrant on the inactive X chromosome in live cloned cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng-Sheng, Cao; Yu, Gao; Kun, Wang; Fang-Rong, Ding; Ning, Li

    2009-08-01

    X inactivation is the process of a chromosome-wide silencing of the majority of genes on the X chromosome during early mammalian development. This process may be aberrant in cloned animals. Here we show that repressive modifications, such as methylation of DNA, and the presence of methylated histones, H3K9me2 and H3K27me3, exhibit distinct aberrance on the inactive X chromosome in live clones. In contrast, H3K4me3, an active gene marker, is obviously missing from the inactive X chromosome in all cattle studied. This suggests that the disappearance of active histone modifications (H3K4me3) seems to be more important for X inactivation than deposition of marks associated with heterochromatin (DNA methylation, H3K27me3 and H3K9me2). It also implies that even apparently normal clones may have subtle abnormalities in repressive, but not activating epigenetic modifications on the inactive X when they survive to term. We also found that the histone H3 methylations were enriched and co-localized at q21-31 of the active X chromosome, which may be associated with an abundance of LINE1 repeat elements. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  18. Investigating the effects of in utero benzene exposure on epigenetic modifications in maternal and fetal CD-1 mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Philbrook, Nicola A.; Winn, Louise M.

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to the ubiquitous environmental pollutant benzene is positively correlated with leukemia in adults and may be associated with childhood leukemia following in utero exposure. While numerous studies implicate oxidative stress and DNA damage as playing a role in benzene-mediated carcinogenicity, emerging evidence suggests that alterations in epigenetic regulations may be involved. The present study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation and/or various histone modifications were altered following in utero benzene exposure in CD-1 mice. Global DNA methylation and promoter-specific methylation of the tumor suppressor gene, p15, were assessed. Additionally, levels of acetylated histones H3, H4, and H3K56, as well as methylated histones H3K9 and H3K27 were assessed by Western blotting. A significant decrease in global DNA methylation of maternal bone marrow was observed following benzene exposure; however no effect on global DNA methylation was detected in fetal livers. Additionally, no effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation or any measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers. These results suggest that the methodology used in the present study did not reveal alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications following in utero exposure to benzene; however further experimentation investigating these modifications at the whole genome/epigenome level, as well as at later stages of benzene-induced carcinogenesis, are warranted. - Highlights: • Benzene exposure in pregnant mice decreased global DNA methylation in maternal bone marrow. • Benzene exposure in pregnant mice had no effect on global DNA methylation in fetal livers. • No effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation. • No effect of benzene on measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers was observed.

  19. Investigating the effects of in utero benzene exposure on epigenetic modifications in maternal and fetal CD-1 mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Philbrook, Nicola A. [Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Queen' s University, Kingston, ON K7L3N6 (Canada); Winn, Louise M., E-mail: winnl@queensu.ca [Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Queen' s University, Kingston, ON K7L3N6 (Canada); School of Environmental Studies, Queen' s University, Kingston, ON K7L3N6 (Canada)

    2015-11-15

    Exposure to the ubiquitous environmental pollutant benzene is positively correlated with leukemia in adults and may be associated with childhood leukemia following in utero exposure. While numerous studies implicate oxidative stress and DNA damage as playing a role in benzene-mediated carcinogenicity, emerging evidence suggests that alterations in epigenetic regulations may be involved. The present study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation and/or various histone modifications were altered following in utero benzene exposure in CD-1 mice. Global DNA methylation and promoter-specific methylation of the tumor suppressor gene, p15, were assessed. Additionally, levels of acetylated histones H3, H4, and H3K56, as well as methylated histones H3K9 and H3K27 were assessed by Western blotting. A significant decrease in global DNA methylation of maternal bone marrow was observed following benzene exposure; however no effect on global DNA methylation was detected in fetal livers. Additionally, no effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation or any measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers. These results suggest that the methodology used in the present study did not reveal alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications following in utero exposure to benzene; however further experimentation investigating these modifications at the whole genome/epigenome level, as well as at later stages of benzene-induced carcinogenesis, are warranted. - Highlights: • Benzene exposure in pregnant mice decreased global DNA methylation in maternal bone marrow. • Benzene exposure in pregnant mice had no effect on global DNA methylation in fetal livers. • No effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation. • No effect of benzene on measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers was observed.

  20. Induced mutation and epigenetics modification in plants for crop improvement by targeting CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Muhammad Hafeez Ullah; Khan, Shahid U; Muhammad, Ali; Hu, Limin; Yang, Yang; Fan, Chuchuan

    2018-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats associated protein Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9), originally an adaptive immunity system of prokaryotes, is revolutionizing genome editing technologies with minimal off-targets in the present era. The CRISPR/Cas9 is now highly emergent, advanced, and highly specific tool for genome engineering. The technology is widely used to animal and plant genomes to achieve desirable results. The present review will encompass how CRISPR-Cas9 is revealing its beneficial role in characterizing plant genetic functions, genomic rearrangement, how it advances the site-specific mutagenesis, and epigenetics modification in plants to improve the yield of field crops with minimal side-effects. The possible pitfalls of using and designing CRISPR-Cas9 for plant genome editing are also discussed for its more appropriate applications in plant biology. Therefore, CRISPR/Cas9 system has multiple benefits that mostly scientists select for genome editing in several biological systems. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Genetic Mutations and Epigenetic Modifications: Driving Cancer and Informing Precision Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyle, Krysta Mila; Boudreau, Jeanette E.

    2017-01-01

    Cancer treatment is undergoing a significant revolution from “one-size-fits-all” cytotoxic therapies to tailored approaches that precisely target molecular alterations. Precision strategies for drug development and patient stratification, based on the molecular features of tumors, are the next logical step in a long history of approaches to cancer therapy. In this review, we discuss the history of cancer treatment from generic natural extracts and radical surgical procedures to site-specific and combinatorial treatment regimens, which have incrementally improved patient outcomes. We discuss the related contributions of genetics and epigenetics to cancer progression and the response to targeted therapies and identify challenges and opportunities for the success of precision medicine. The identification of patients who will benefit from targeted therapies is more complex than simply identifying patients whose tumors harbour the targeted aberration, and intratumoral heterogeneity makes it difficult to determine if a precision therapy is successful during treatment. This heterogeneity enables tumors to develop resistance to targeted approaches; therefore, the rational combination of therapeutic agents will limit the threat of acquired resistance to therapeutic success. By incorporating the view of malignant transformation modulated by networks of genetic and epigenetic interactions, molecular strategies will enable precision medicine for effective treatment across cancer subtypes. PMID:28685150

  2. NF-Y dependent epigenetic modifications discriminate between proliferating and postmitotic tissue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gurtner, Aymone; Fuschi, Paola; Magi, Fiorenza

    2008-01-01

    The regulation of gene transcription requires posttranslational modifications of histones that, in concert with chromatin remodeling factors, shape the structure of chromatin. It is currently under intense investigation how this structure is modulated, in particular in the context of proliferatio...

  3. Acrolein enhances epigenetic modifications, FasL expression and hepatocyte toxicity induced by anti-HIV drug Zidovudine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghare, Smita S; Donde, Hridgandh; Chen, Wei-Yang; Barker, David F; Gobejishvilli, Leila; McClain, Craig J; Barve, Shirish S; Joshi-Barve, Swati

    2016-09-01

    Zidovudine (AZT) remains the mainstay of antiretroviral therapy against HIV in resource-poor countries; however, its use is frequently associated with hepatotoxicity. Not all HIV patients on AZT develop hepatotoxicity, and the determining factors are unclear. Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are known risk factors for HIV hepatotoxicity, and both are significant sources of acrolein, a highly reactive and toxic aldehyde. This study examines the potential hepatotoxic interactions between acrolein and AZT. Our data demonstrate that acrolein markedly enhanced AZT-induced transcriptionally permissive histone modifications (H3K9Ac and H3K9Me3) allowing the recruitment of transcription factor NF-kB and RNA polymerase II at the FasL gene promoter, resulting in FasL upregulation and apoptosis in hepatocytes. Notably, the acrolein scavenger, hydralazine prevented these promoter-associated epigenetic changes and inhibited FasL upregulation and apoptosis induced by the combination of AZT and acrolein, as well as AZT alone. Our data strongly suggest that acrolein enhancement of promoter histone modifications and FasL upregulation are major pathogenic mechanisms driving AZT-induced hepatotoxicity. Moreover, these data also indicate the therapeutic potential of hydralazine in mitigating AZT hepatotoxicity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Promotes Proliferation of Human Uterine Leiomyoma: A Biological Link to a New Epigenetic Modification in Benign Tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Antonia; Yin, Ping; Ono, Masanori; Monsivais, Diana; Moravek, Molly B.; Coon, John S.; Dyson, Matthew T.; Wei, Jian-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Context: Uterine leiomyoma, or fibroids, represent the most common benign tumors of the female reproductive tract. A newly discovered epigenetic modification, 5-hydroxymethylation (5-hmC), and its regulators, the TET (Ten Eleven Translocation) enzymes, were implicated in the pathology of malignant tumors; however, their roles in benign tumors, including uterine fibroids, remain unknown. Objective: To determine the role of 5-hmC and TET proteins in the pathogenesis of leiomyoma using human uterine leiomyoma and normal matched myometrial tissues and primary cells. Design: 5-hmC levels were determined by ELISA and immunofluorescent staining in matched myometrial and leiomyoma tissues. TET expression was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting. TET1 or TET3 were silenced or inhibited by small interfering RNA or 2-hydroxyglutarate to study their effects on 5-hmC content and cell proliferation. Results: We demonstrated significantly higher 5-hmC levels in the genomic DNA of leiomyoma tissue compared to normal myometrial tissue. The increase in 5-hmC levels was associated with the up-regulation of TET1 or TET3 mRNA and protein expression in leiomyoma tissue. TET1 or TET3 knockdown significantly reduced 5-hmC levels in leiomyoma cells and decreased cell proliferation. Treatment with 2-hydroxyglutarate, a competitive TET enzyme inhibitor, significantly decreased both 5-hmC content and cell proliferation of leiomyoma cells. Conclusion: An epigenetic imbalance in the 5-hmC content of leiomyoma tissue, caused by up-regulation of the TET1 and TET3 enzymes, might lead to discovery of new therapeutic targets in leiomyoma. PMID:25057885

  5. Advanced aging phenotype is revealed by epigenetic modifications in rat liver after in utero malnutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, Hye J; Tozour, Jessica N; Delahaye, Fabien; Zhao, Yongmei; Cui, Lingguang; Barzilai, Nir; Einstein, Francine Hughes

    2016-10-01

    Adverse environmental exposures of mothers during fetal period predispose offspring to a range of age-related diseases earlier in life. Here, we set to determine whether a deregulated epigenetic pattern is similar in young animals whose mothers' nutrition was modulated during fetal growth to that acquired during normal aging in animals. Using a rodent model of maternal undernutrition (UN) or overnutrition (ON), we examined cytosine methylation profiles of liver from young female offspring and compared them to age-matched young controls and aged (20-month-old) animals. HELP-tagging, a genomewide restriction enzyme and sequencing assay demonstrates that fetal exposure to two different maternal diets is associated with nonrandom dysregulation of methylation levels with profiles similar to those seen in normal aging animals and occur in regions mapped to genes relevant to metabolic diseases and aging. Functional consequences were assessed by gene expression at 9 weeks old with more significant changes at 6 months of age. Early developmental exposures to unfavorable maternal diets result in altered methylation profiles and transcriptional dysregulation in Prkcb, Pc, Ncor2, and Smad3 that is also seen with normal aging. These Notch pathway and lipogenesis genes may be useful for prediction of later susceptibility to chronic disease. © 2016 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Area-specific development of distinct projection neuron subclasses is regulated by postnatal epigenetic modifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harb, Kawssar; Magrinelli, Elia; Nicolas, Céline S; Lukianets, Nikita; Frangeul, Laura; Pietri, Mariel; Sun, Tao; Sandoz, Guillaume; Grammont, Franck; Jabaudon, Denis; Studer, Michèle; Alfano, Christian

    2016-01-01

    During cortical development, the identity of major classes of long-distance projection neurons is established by the expression of molecular determinants, which become gradually restricted and mutually exclusive. However, the mechanisms by which projection neurons acquire their final properties during postnatal stages are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that the number of neurons co-expressing Ctip2 and Satb2, respectively involved in the early specification of subcerebral and callosal projection neurons, progressively increases after birth in the somatosensory cortex. Ctip2/Satb2 postnatal co-localization defines two distinct neuronal subclasses projecting either to the contralateral cortex or to the brainstem suggesting that Ctip2/Satb2 co-expression may refine their properties rather than determine their identity. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that the transcriptional adaptor Lmo4 drives this maturation program through modulation of epigenetic mechanisms in a time- and area-specific manner, thereby indicating that a previously unknown genetic program postnatally promotes the acquisition of final subtype-specific features. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09531.001 PMID:26814051

  7. Epigenetic modification of gene expression in honey bees by heterospecific gland secretions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Yuan Shi

    Full Text Available In the honey bee (Apis mellifera, queen and workers have different behavior and reproductive capacity despite possessing the same genome. The primary substance that leads to this differentiation is royal jelly (RJ, which contains a range of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and nucleic acids. MicroRNA (miRNA has been found to play an important role in regulating the expression of protein-coding genes and cell biology. In this study, we characterized the miRNAs in RJ from two honey bee sister species and determined their possible effect on transcriptome in one species.We sequenced the miRNAs in RJ either from A. mellifera (RJM or A. cerana (RJC. We then determined the global transcriptomes of adult A. mellifera developed from larvae fed either with RJM (mRJM or RJC (mRJC. Finally we analyzed the target genes of those miRNA that are species specific or differentially expressed in the two honey bee species. We show that there were differences in miRNA between RJM and RJC, and that transcriptomes of adult A. mellifera were affected by the two types of RJ. A high proportion (23.3% of the affected genes were target genes of differential miRNAs.We show for the first time that there are differences in miRNAs in RJ between A. mellifera and A. cerana. Further, the differences in transcriptomes of bees reared from these two RJs might be related to miRNA differences of the two species. This study provides the first evidence that heterospecific royal jelly can modify gene expression in honey bees through an epigenetic mechanism.

  8. Epigenetic and Transcriptional Modifications in Repetitive Elements in Petrol Station Workers Exposed to Benzene and MTBE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Rota

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Benzene, a known human carcinogen, and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity, are fuel-related pollutants. This study investigated the effect of these chemicals on epigenetic and transcriptional alterations in DNA repetitive elements. In 89 petrol station workers and 90 non-occupationally exposed subjects the transcriptional activity of retrotransposons (LINE-1, Alu, the methylation on repeated-element DNA, and of H3K9 histone, were investigated in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Median work shift exposure to benzene and MTBE was 59 and 408 µg/m3 in petrol station workers, and 4 and 3.5 µg/m3, in controls. Urinary benzene (BEN-U, S-phenylmercapturic acid, and MTBE were significantly higher in workers than in controls, while trans,trans-muconic acid (tt-MA was comparable between the two groups. Increased BEN-U was associated with increased Alu-Y and Alu-J expression; moreover, increased tt-MA was associated with increased Alu-Y and Alu-J and LINE-1 (L1-5′UTR expression. Among repetitive element methylation, only L1-Pa5 was hypomethylated in petrol station workers compared to controls. While L1-Ta and Alu-YD6 methylation was not associated with benzene exposure, a negative association with urinary MTBE was observed. The methylation status of histone H3K9 was not associated with either benzene or MTBE exposure. Overall, these findings only partially support previous observations linking benzene exposure with global DNA hypomethylation.

  9. Epigenetic modifications and their relation to caste and sex determination and adult division of labor in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos A M; Fujimura, Patrícia Tieme; Santos-Júnior, Célio Dias; Borges, Naiara Araújo; Ueira-Vieira, Carlos; Hartfelder, Klaus; Goulart, Luiz Ricardo; Bonetti, Ana Maria

    2017-01-01

    Stingless bees of the genus Melipona, have long been considered an enigmatic case among social insects for their mode of caste determination, where in addition to larval food type and quantity, the genotype also has a saying, as proposed over 50 years ago by Warwick E. Kerr. Several attempts have since tried to test his Mendelian two-loci/two-alleles segregation hypothesis, but only recently a single gene crucial for sex determination in bees was evidenced to be sex-specifically spliced and also caste-specifically expressed in a Melipona species. Since alternative splicing is frequently associated with epigenetic marks, and the epigenetic status plays a major role in setting the caste phenotype in the honey bee, we investigated here epigenetic chromatin modification in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. We used an ELISA-based methodology to quantify global methylation status and western blot assays to reveal histone modifications. The results evidenced DNA methylation/demethylation events in larvae and pupae, and significant differences in histone methylation and phosphorylation between newly emerged adult queens and workers. The epigenetic dynamics seen in this stingless bee species represent a new facet in the caste determination process in Melipona bees and suggest a possible mechanism that is likely to link a genotype component to the larval diet and adult social behavior of these bees.

  10. Epigenetic modifications and their relation to caste and sex determination and adult division of labor in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A.M. Cardoso-Júnior

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Stingless bees of the genus Melipona, have long been considered an enigmatic case among social insects for their mode of caste determination, where in addition to larval food type and quantity, the genotype also has a saying, as proposed over 50 years ago by Warwick E. Kerr. Several attempts have since tried to test his Mendelian two-loci/two-alleles segregation hypothesis, but only recently a single gene crucial for sex determination in bees was evidenced to be sex-specifically spliced and also caste-specifically expressed in a Melipona species. Since alternative splicing is frequently associated with epigenetic marks, and the epigenetic status plays a major role in setting the caste phenotype in the honey bee, we investigated here epigenetic chromatin modification in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. We used an ELISA-based methodology to quantify global methylation status and western blot assays to reveal histone modifications. The results evidenced DNA methylation/demethylation events in larvae and pupae, and significant differences in histone methylation and phosphorylation between newly emerged adult queens and workers. The epigenetic dynamics seen in this stingless bee species represent a new facet in the caste determination process in Melipona bees and suggest a possible mechanism that is likely to link a genotype component to the larval diet and adult social behavior of these bees.

  11. Mapping of histone modifications in episomal HBV cccDNA uncovers an unusual chromatin organization amenable to epigenetic manipulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropberger, Philipp; Mercier, Alexandre; Robinson, Margaret; Zhong, Weidong; Ganem, Don E.; Holdorf, Meghan

    2015-01-01

    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects 240 million people worldwide and is a major risk factor for liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current antiviral therapy inhibits cytoplasmic HBV genomic replication, but is not curative because it does not directly affect nuclear HBV closed circular DNA (cccDNA), the genomic form that templates viral transcription and sustains viral persistence. Novel approaches that directly target cccDNA regulation would therefore be highly desirable. cccDNA is assembled with cellular histone proteins into chromatin, but little is known about the regulation of HBV chromatin by histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Here, using a new cccDNA ChIP-Seq approach, we report, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide maps of PTMs in cccDNA-containing chromatin from de novo infected HepG2 cells, primary human hepatocytes, and from HBV-infected liver tissue. We find high levels of PTMs associated with active transcription enriched at specific sites within the HBV genome and, surprisingly, very low levels of PTMs linked to transcriptional repression even at silent HBV promoters. We show that transcription and active PTMs in HBV chromatin are reduced by the activation of an innate immunity pathway, and that this effect can be recapitulated with a small molecule epigenetic modifying agent, opening the possibility that chromatin-based regulation of cccDNA transcription could be a new therapeutic approach to chronic HBV infection. PMID:26438841

  12. EZH2 regulates neuroblastoma cell differentiation via NTRK1 promoter epigenetic modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhenghao; Takenobu, Hisanori; Setyawati, Amallia Nuggetsiana; Akita, Nobuhiro; Haruta, Masayuki; Satoh, Shunpei; Shinno, Yoshitaka; Chikaraishi, Koji; Mukae, Kyosuke; Akter, Jesmin; Sugino, Ryuichi P; Nakazawa, Atsuko; Nakagawara, Akira; Aburatani, Hiroyuki; Ohira, Miki; Kamijo, Takehiko

    2018-05-01

    The polycomb repressor complex 2 molecule EZH2 is now known to play a role in essential cellular processes, namely, cell fate decisions, cell cycle regulation, senescence, cell differentiation, and cancer development/progression. EZH2 inhibitors have recently been developed; however, their effectiveness and underlying molecular mechanisms in many malignancies have not yet been elucidated in detail. Although the functional role of EZH2 in tumorigenesis in neuroblastoma (NB) has been investigated, mutations of EZH2 have not been reported. A Kaplan-Meier analysis on the event free survival and overall survival of NB patients indicated that the high expression of EZH2 correlated with an unfavorable prognosis. In order to elucidate the functional roles of EZH2 in NB tumorigenesis and its aggressiveness, we knocked down EZH2 in NB cell lines using lentivirus systems. The knockdown of EZH2 significantly induced NB cell differentiation, e.g., neurite extension, and the neuronal differentiation markers, NF68 and GAP43. EZH2 inhibitors also induced NB cell differentiation. We performed a comprehensive transcriptome analysis using Human Gene Expression Microarrays and found that NTRK1 (TrkA) is one of the EZH2-related suppression targets. The depletion of NTRK1 canceled EZH2 knockdown-induced NB cell differentiation. Our integrative methylome, transcriptome, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays using NB cell lines and clinical samples clarified that the NTRK1 P1 and P2 promoter regions were regulated differently by DNA methylation and EZH2-related histone modifications. The NTRK1 transcript variants 1/2, which were regulated by EZH2-related H3K27me3 modifications at the P1 promoter region, were strongly expressed in favorable, but not unfavorable NB. The depletion and inhibition of EZH2 successfully induced NTRK1 transcripts and functional proteins. Collectively, these results indicate that EZH2 plays important roles in preventing the differentiation of NB cells and also

  13. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinborg, Anja; Loft, Anne; Romundstad, Liv Bente

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic modification controls gene activity without changes in the DNA sequence. The genome undergoes several phases of epigenetic programming during gametogenesis and early embryo development coinciding with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) treatments. Imprinting disorders have been...

  14. Epigenetic Basis of Morphological Variation and Phenotypic Plasticity in Arabidopsis thaliana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooke, R.; Johannes, F.; Wardenaar, R.; Becker, F.F.M.; Etcheverry, M.; Colot, V.; Vreugdenhil, D.; Keurentjes, J.J.B.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics is receiving growing attention in the plant science community. Epigenetic modifications are thought to play a particularly important role in fluctuating environments. It is hypothesized that epigenetics contributes to plant phenotypic plasticity because epigenetic modifications, in

  15. Epigenetic Regulation of Adipokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tho X. Pham

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Adipose tissue expansion in obesity leads to changes in the expression of adipokines, adipocyte-specific hormones that can regulate whole body energy metabolism. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is a mechanism by which cells can alter gene expression through the modifications of DNA and histones. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, are intimately tied to energy metabolism due to their dependence on metabolic intermediates such as S-adenosylmethionine and acetyl-CoA. Altered expression of adipokines in obesity may be due to epigenetic changes. The goal of this review is to highlight current knowledge of epigenetic regulation of adipokines.

  16. Epigenetics and cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Anders H; van Lohuizen, Maarten

    2004-01-01

    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 e......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...

  17. Maternal obesity programs increased leptin gene expression in rat male offspring via epigenetic modifications in a depot-specific manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Lecoutre

    2017-08-01

    Conclusions: Consistent with the DOHaD hypothesis, persistent epigenetic remodeling occurs at regulatory regions especially within intergenic sequences, linked to higher leptin gene expression in adult HF offspring in a depot-specific manner.

  18. Epigenetics in plant tissue culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smulders, M.J.M.; Klerk, de G.J.M.

    2011-01-01

    Plants produced vegetatively in tissue culture may differ from the plants from which they have been derived. Two major classes of off-types occur: genetic ones and epigenetic ones. This review is about epigenetic aberrations. We discuss recent studies that have uncovered epigenetic modifications at

  19. Epigenetic dynamics across the cell cycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kheir, Tony Bou; Lund, Anders H.

    2010-01-01

    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....

  20. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenyi Xu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Living eukaryotic systems evolve delicate cellular mechanisms for responding to various environmental signals. Among them, epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs, etc. is the hub in transducing external stimuli into transcriptional response. Emerging evidence reveals the concept that epigenetic signatures are essential for the proper maintenance of cellular metabolism. On the other hand, the metabolite, a main environmental input, can also influence the processing of epigenetic memory. Here, we summarize the recent research progress in the epigenetic regulation of cellular metabolism and discuss how the dysfunction of epigenetic machineries influences the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity; then, we focus on discussing the notion that manipulating metabolites, the fuel of cell metabolism, can function as a strategy for interfering epigenetic machinery and its related disease progression as well.

  1. Epigenetic regulation of caloric restriction in aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Michael

    2011-08-01

    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.

  2. A new epigenetic marker: The replication-coupled, cell cycle-dependent, dual modification of the histone H4 tail

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fidlerová, Helena; Kalinová, Jana; Blechová, Miroslava; Velek, Jiří; Raška, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 167, č. 1 (2009), s. 76-82 ISSN 1047-8477 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/06/1691 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) LC535 Program:LC Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509; CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : epigenetics * H4K16 * H4K20 Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.673, year: 2009

  3. Epigenetic inheritance in apomictic dandelions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Preite, V.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic variation, such as changes in DNA methylations, regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) and chromatin modifications can be induced by environmental stress. There is increasing information that such induced epigenetic modifications can be transmitted to offspring, potentially mediating adaptive

  4. Epigenetics of reproductive infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Laxmidhar; Parbin, Sabnam; Pradhan, Nibedita; Kausar, Chahat; Patra, Samir K

    2017-06-01

    Infertility is a complex pathophysiological condition. It may caused by specific or multiple physical and physiological factors, including abnormalities in homeostasis, hormonal imbalances and genetic alterations. In recent times various studies implicated that, aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are associated with reproductive infertility. There might be transgenerational effects associated with epigenetic modifications of gametes and studies suggest the importance of alterations in epigenetic modification at early and late stages of gametogenesis. To determine the causes of infertility it is necessary to understand the altered epigenetic modifications of associated gene and mechanisms involved therein. This review is devoted to elucidate the recent mechanistic advances in regulation of genes by epigenetic modification and emphasizes their possible role related to reproductive infertility. It includes environmental, nutritional, hormonal and physiological factors and influence of internal structural architecture of chromatin nucleosomes affecting DNA and histone modifications in both male and female gametes, early embryogenesis and offspring. Finally, we would like to emphasize that research on human infertility by gene knock out of epigenetic modifiers genes must be relied upon animal models.

  5. Epigenetic memory in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe eMigicovsky

    2011-06-01

    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.

  6. Epigenetic considerations in aquaculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mackenzie R. Gavery

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics has attracted considerable attention with respect to its potential value in many areas of agricultural production, particularly under conditions where the environment can be manipulated or natural variation exists. Here we introduce key concepts and definitions of epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNA, review the current understanding of epigenetics in both fish and shellfish, and propose key areas of aquaculture where epigenetics could be applied. The first key area is environmental manipulation, where the intention is to induce an ‘epigenetic memory’ either within or between generations to produce a desired phenotype. The second key area is epigenetic selection, which, alone or combined with genetic selection, may increase the reliability of producing animals with desired phenotypes. Based on aspects of life history and husbandry practices in aquaculture species, the application of epigenetic knowledge could significantly affect the productivity and sustainability of aquaculture practices. Conversely, clarifying the role of epigenetic mechanisms in aquaculture species may upend traditional assumptions about selection practices. Ultimately, there are still many unanswered questions regarding how epigenetic mechanisms might be leveraged in aquaculture.

  7. Epigenetic modification of hippocampal Bdnf DNA in adult rats in an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tania L; Zoladz, Phillip R; Sweatt, J David; Diamond, David M

    2011-07-01

    Epigenetic alterations of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene have been linked with memory, stress, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we examined whether there was a link between an established rat model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Bdnf DNA methylation. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were given psychosocial stress composed of two acute cat exposures in conjunction with 31 days of daily social instability. These manipulations have been shown previously to produce physiological and behavioral sequelae in rats that are comparable to symptoms observed in traumatized people with PTSD. We then assessed Bdnf DNA methylation patterns (at exon IV) and gene expression. We have found here that the psychosocial stress regimen significantly increased Bdnf DNA methylation in the dorsal hippocampus, with the most robust hypermethylation detected in the dorsal CA1 subregion. Conversely, the psychosocial stress regimen significantly decreased methylation in the ventral hippocampus (CA3). No changes in Bdnf DNA methylation were detected in the medial prefrontal cortex or basolateral amygdala. In addition, there were decreased levels of Bdnf mRNA in both the dorsal and ventral CA1. These results provide evidence that traumatic stress occurring in adulthood can induce CNS gene methylation, and specifically, support the hypothesis that epigenetic marking of the Bdnf gene may underlie hippocampal dysfunction in response to traumatic stress. Furthermore, this work provides support for the speculative notion that altered hippocampal Bdnf DNA methylation is a cellular mechanism underlying the persistent cognitive deficits which are prominent features of the pathophysiology of PTSD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Wenyi Xu; Fengzhong Wang; Zhongsheng Yu; Fengjiao Xin

    2016-01-01

    Living eukaryotic systems evolve delicate cellular mechanisms for responding to various environmental signals. Among them, epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs, etc.) is the hub in transducing external stimuli into transcriptional response. Emerging evidence reveals the concept that epigenetic signatures are essential for the proper maintenance of cellular metabolism. On the other hand, the metabolite, a main environmental input, can also influence the proce...

  9. Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Albany, Costantine; Alva, Ajjai S.; Aparicio, Ana M.; Singal, Rakesh; Yellapragada, Sarvari; Sonpavde, Guru; Hahn, Noah M.

    2011-01-01

    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 sequ...

  10. Role of Viral miRNAs and Epigenetic Modifications in Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Gastric Carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giudice, Aldo; D'Arena, Giovanni; Crispo, Anna; Tecce, Mario Felice; Nocerino, Flavia; Grimaldi, Maria; Rotondo, Emanuela; D'Ursi, Anna Maria; Scrima, Mario; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Ciliberto, Gennaro; Capunzo, Mario; Franci, Gianluigi; Barbieri, Antonio; Bimonte, Sabrina; Montella, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs are short (21-23 nucleotides), noncoding RNAs that typically silence posttranscriptional gene expression through interaction with target messenger RNAs. Currently, miRNAs have been identified in almost all studied multicellular eukaryotes in the plant and animal kingdoms. Additionally, recent studies reported that miRNAs can also be encoded by certain single-cell eukaryotes and by viruses. The vast majority of viral miRNAs are encoded by the herpesviruses family. These DNA viruses including Epstein-Barr virus encode their own miRNAs and/or manipulate the expression of cellular miRNAs to facilitate respective infection cycles. Modulation of the control pathways of miRNAs expression is often involved in the promotion of tumorigenesis through a specific cascade of transduction signals. Notably, latent infection with Epstein-Barr virus is considered liable of causing several types of malignancies, including the majority of gastric carcinoma cases detected worldwide. In this review, we describe the role of the Epstein-Barr virus in gastric carcinogenesis, summarizing the functions of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded viral proteins and related epigenetic alterations as well as the roles of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded and virally modulated cellular miRNAs.

  11. Epigenetic modifications and chromatin loop organization explain the different expression profiles of the Tbrg4, WAP and Ramp3 genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer-Torbati, Mohammad Bagher; Hue-Beauvais, Cathy; Droineau, Stephanie; Ballester, Maria; Coant, Nicolas; Aujean, Etienne; Petitbarat, Marie; Rijnkels, Monique; Devinoy, Eve

    2008-01-01

    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

  12. Epigenetics in women's health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozharny, Yevgeniya; Lambertini, Luca; Clunie, Garfield; Ferrara, Lauren; Lee, Men-Jean

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to structural modifications to genes that do not change the nucleotide sequence itself but instead control and regulate gene expression. DNA methylation, histone modification, and RNA regulation are some of the mechanisms involved in epigenetic modification. Epigenetic changes are believed to be a result of changes in an organism's environment that result in fixed and permanent changes in most differentiated cells. Some environmental changes that have been linked to epigenetic changes include starvation, folic acid, and various chemical exposures. There are periods in an organism's life cycle in which the organism is particularly susceptible to epigenetic influences; these include fertilization, gametogenesis, and early embryo development. These are also windows of opportunity for interventions during the reproductive life cycle of women to improve maternal-child health. New data suggest that epigenetic influences might be involved in the regulation of fetal development and the pathophysiology of adult diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Various epigenetic mechanisms may also be involved in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. Additionally, environmental exposures are being held responsible for causing epigenetic changes that lead to a disease process. Exposure to heavy metals, bioflavonoids, and endocrine disruptors, such as bisphenol A and phthalates, has been shown to affect the epigenetic memory of an organism. Their long-term effects are unclear at this point, but many ongoing studies are attempting to elucidate the pathophysiological effects of such gene-environment interactions. (c) 2010 Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

  13. Early life ethanol exposure causes long-lasting disturbances in rat mesenchymal stem cells via epigenetic modifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leu, Yu-Wei; Chu, Pei-Yi; Chen, Chien-Min; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Liu, Yu Ming; Lee, Yen-Hui; Kuo, Shan-Tsu; Hsiao, Shu-Huei

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Ethanol exposure alters proliferation and differentiation of MSCs. • Ethanol exposure suppresses osteogenesis and adipogenesis of MSCs. • H3K27me3-associated genes/pathways are affected in ethanol-exposed MSCs. • Expression of lineage-specific genes is dysregulated in ethanol-exposed MSCs. - Abstract: Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect due to maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the main somatic stem cells in adults and may contribute to tissue homeostasis and repair in adulthood, we investigated whether early life ethanol exposure affects MSCs and contributes to the propensity for disease onset in later life. Using a rodent model of FAS, we found that ethanol exposure (5.25 g/kg/day) from postnatal days 4 to 9 in rat pups (mimic of human third trimester) caused long-term anomalies in bone marrow-derived MSCs. MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed animals were prone to neural induction but resistant to osteogenic and adipogenic inductions compared to their age-matched controls. The altered differentiation may contribute to the severe trabecular bone loss seen in ethanol-exposed animals at 3 months of age as well as overt growth retardation. Expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, aP2, and PPARγ were substantially inhibited, but BDNF was up-regulated in MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed 3 month-old animals. Several signaling pathways were distorted in ethanol-exposed MSCs via altered trimethylation at histone 3 lysine 27. These results demonstrate that early life ethanol exposure can have long-term impacts in rat MSCs by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms

  14. Early life ethanol exposure causes long-lasting disturbances in rat mesenchymal stem cells via epigenetic modifications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leu, Yu-Wei [Department of Life Science and Institute of Molecular Biology, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan (China); Chu, Pei-Yi [Department of Pathology, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua 500, Taiwan (China); Chen, Chien-Min [Division of Neurosurgery, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 500, Taiwan (China); Yeh, Kun-Tu [Department of Pathology, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 500, Taiwan (China); Liu, Yu Ming; Lee, Yen-Hui; Kuo, Shan-Tsu [Department of Life Science and Institute of Molecular Biology, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan (China); Hsiao, Shu-Huei, E-mail: bioshh@ccu.edu.tw [Department of Life Science and Institute of Molecular Biology, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan (China)

    2014-10-24

    Highlights: • Ethanol exposure alters proliferation and differentiation of MSCs. • Ethanol exposure suppresses osteogenesis and adipogenesis of MSCs. • H3K27me3-associated genes/pathways are affected in ethanol-exposed MSCs. • Expression of lineage-specific genes is dysregulated in ethanol-exposed MSCs. - Abstract: Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect due to maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the main somatic stem cells in adults and may contribute to tissue homeostasis and repair in adulthood, we investigated whether early life ethanol exposure affects MSCs and contributes to the propensity for disease onset in later life. Using a rodent model of FAS, we found that ethanol exposure (5.25 g/kg/day) from postnatal days 4 to 9 in rat pups (mimic of human third trimester) caused long-term anomalies in bone marrow-derived MSCs. MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed animals were prone to neural induction but resistant to osteogenic and adipogenic inductions compared to their age-matched controls. The altered differentiation may contribute to the severe trabecular bone loss seen in ethanol-exposed animals at 3 months of age as well as overt growth retardation. Expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, aP2, and PPARγ were substantially inhibited, but BDNF was up-regulated in MSCs isolated from ethanol-exposed 3 month-old animals. Several signaling pathways were distorted in ethanol-exposed MSCs via altered trimethylation at histone 3 lysine 27. These results demonstrate that early life ethanol exposure can have long-term impacts in rat MSCs by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.

  15. Epigenetic modification of miR-10a regulates renal damage by targeting CREB1 in type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shan, Qun, E-mail: shanp@jsnu.edu.cn; Zheng, Guihong, E-mail: ghzhengsd@jsnu.edu.cn; Zhu, Aihua, E-mail: ahzhu@jsnu.edu.cn; Cao, Li, E-mail: 948113717@qq.com; Lu, Jun, E-mail: lu-jun75@163.com; Wu, Dongmei, E-mail: wdm8610@jsnu.edu.cn; Zhang, ZiFeng, E-mail: zhangzifengsuper@jsnu.edu.cn; Fan, Shaohua, E-mail: fshfly@126.com; Sun, Chunhui, E-mail: 306484866@qq.com; Hu, Bin, E-mail: hubin@jsnu.edu.cn; Zheng, Yuanlin, E-mail: ylzheng@jsnu.edu.cn

    2016-09-01

    implicates in kidney impairment. • HDAC3 regulates kidney damage by epigenetically modulating miR-10a.

  16. Epigenetic modification of miR-10a regulates renal damage by targeting CREB1 in type 2 diabetes mellitus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shan, Qun; Zheng, Guihong; Zhu, Aihua; Cao, Li; Lu, Jun; Wu, Dongmei; Zhang, ZiFeng; Fan, Shaohua; Sun, Chunhui; Hu, Bin; Zheng, Yuanlin

    2016-01-01

    implicates in kidney impairment. • HDAC3 regulates kidney damage by epigenetically modulating miR-10a.

  17. Epigenetics and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campión, Javier; Milagro, Fermin; Martínez, J Alfredo

    2010-01-01

    The etiology of obesity is multifactorial, involving complex interactions among the genetic makeup, neuroendocrine status, fetal programming, and different unhealthy environmental factors, such as sedentarism or inadequate dietary habits. Among the different mechanisms causing obesity, epigenetics, defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the DNA sequence, has emerged as a very important determinant. Experimental evidence concerning dietary factors influencing obesity development through epigenetic mechanisms has been described. Thus, identification of those individuals who present with changes in DNA methylation profiles, certain histone modifications, or other epigenetically related processes could help to predict their susceptibility to gain or lose weight. Indeed, research concerning epigenetic mechanisms affecting weight homeostasis may play a role in the prevention of excessive fat deposition, the prediction of the most appropriate weight reduction plan, and the implementation of newer therapeutic approaches. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopomo, A; Burgio, E; Migliore, L

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a metabolic disease, which is becoming an epidemic health problem: it has been recently defined in terms of Global Pandemic. Over the years, the approaches through family, twins and adoption studies led to the identification of some causal genes in monogenic forms of obesity but the origins of the pandemic of obesity cannot be considered essentially due to genetic factors, because human genome is not likely to change in just a few years. Epigenetic studies have offered in recent years valuable tools for the understanding of the worldwide spread of the pandemic of obesity. The involvement of epigenetic modifications-DNA methylation, histone tails, and miRNAs modifications-in the development of obesity is more and more evident. In the epigenetic literature, there are evidences that the entire embryo-fetal and perinatal period of development plays a key role in the programming of all human organs and tissues. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms involved in the epigenetic programming require a new and general pathogenic paradigm, the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease theory, to explain the current epidemiological transition, that is, the worldwide increase of chronic, degenerative, and inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Obesity and its related complications are more and more associated with environmental pollutants (obesogens), gut microbiota modifications and unbalanced food intake, which can induce, through epigenetic mechanisms, weight gain, and altered metabolic consequences. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Epigenetics in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albany, Costantine; Alva, Ajjai S; Aparicio, Ana M; Singal, Rakesh; Yellapragada, Sarvari; Sonpavde, Guru; Hahn, Noah M

    2011-01-01

    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.

  20. Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costantine Albany

    2011-01-01

    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.

  1. Current and upcoming approaches to exploit the reversibility of epigenetic mutations in breast cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Falahi, Fahimeh; van Kruchten, Michel; Martinet, Nadine; Hospers, Geesiena; Rots, Marianne G.

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation and histone modifications are important epigenetic modifications associated with gene (dys) regulation. The epigenetic modifications are balanced by epigenetic enzymes, so-called writers and erasers, such as DNA (de)methylases and histone (de)acetylases. Aberrant epigenetic

  2. Epigenetics primer: why the clinician should care about epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Julio D

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetics describes heritable alterations of gene expression that do not involve DNA sequence variation and are changeable throughout an organism's lifetime. Not only can epigenetic status influence drug response, but it can also be modulated by drugs. In this review, the three major epigenetic mechanisms are described: covalent DNA modification, histone protein modification, and regulation by noncoding RNA. Further, this review describes how drug therapy can influence, and be influenced by, these mechanisms. Drugs with epigenetic mechanisms are already in use, with many more likely to be approved within the next few years. As the understanding of epigenetic processes improves, so will the ability to use these data in the clinic to improve patient care. © 2013 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.

  3. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. Epigenetics of autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schanen, N Carolyn

    2006-10-15

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a complex group of behaviorally related disorders that are primarily genetic in origin. Involvement of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in the pathogenesis of ASD has been suggested by the occurrence of ASD in patients with disorders arising from epigenetic mutations (fragile X syndrome) or that involve key epigenetic regulatory factors (Rett syndrome). Moreover, the most common recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities in ASD involve maternally derived duplications of the imprinted domain on chromosome 15q11-13. Thus, parent of origin effects on sharing and linkage to imprinted regions on chromosomes 15q and 7q suggest that these regions warrant specific examination from an epigenetic perspective, particularly because epigenetic modifications do not change the primary genomic sequence, allowing risk epialleles to evade detection using standard screening strategies. This review examines the potential role of epigenetic factors in the etiology of ASD.

  5. The physics of epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortini, Ruggero; Barbi, Maria; Caré, Bertrand R.; Lavelle, Christophe; Lesne, Annick; Mozziconacci, Julien; Victor, Jean-Marc

    2016-04-01

    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.

  6. Expression of 5 S rRNA genes linked to 35 S rDNA in plants, their epigenetic modification and regulatory element divergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garcia Sònia

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In plants, the 5 S rRNA genes usually occur as separate tandems (S-type arrangement or, less commonly, linked to 35 S rDNA units (L-type. The activity of linked genes remains unknown so far. We studied the homogeneity and expression of 5 S genes in several species from family Asteraceae known to contain linked 35 S-5 S units. Additionally, their methylation status was determined using bisulfite sequencing. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was applied to reveal the sub-nuclear positions of rDNA arrays. Results We found that homogenization of L-type units went to completion in most (4/6 but not all species. Two species contained major L-type and minor S-type units (termed Ls-type. The linked genes dominate 5 S rDNA expression while the separate tandems do not seem to be expressed. Members of tribe Anthemideae evolved functional variants of the polymerase III promoter in which a residing C-box element differs from the canonical angiosperm motif by as much as 30%. On this basis, a more relaxed consensus sequence of a plant C-box: (5’-RGSWTGGGTG-3’ is proposed. The 5 S paralogs display heavy DNA methylation similarly as to their unlinked counterparts. FISH revealed the close association of 35 S-5 S arrays with nucleolar periphery indicating that transcription of 5 S genes may occur in this territory. Conclusions We show that the unusual linked arrangement of 5 S genes, occurring in several plant species, is fully compatible with their expression and functionality. This extraordinary 5 S gene dynamics is manifested at different levels, such as variation in intrachromosomal positions, unit structure, epigenetic modification and considerable divergence of regulatory motifs.

  7. Promoter- and cell-specific epigenetic regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN by Methyl-CpG binding proteins and histone modifications

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    Schwarzenbach Heidi

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of the current study was to analyze the involvement of methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBDs and histone modifications on the regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN in different cellular contexts such as the prostate cancer cells DU145 and LNCaP, and the breast cancer cells MCF-7. Since global chromatin changes have been shown to occur in tumours and regions of tumour-associated genes are affected by epigenetic modifications, these may constitute important regulatory mechanisms for the pathogenesis of malignant transformation. Methods In DU145, LNCaP and MCF-7 cells mRNA expression levels of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN were determined by quantitative RT-PCR at the basal status as well as after treatment with demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A. Furthermore, genomic DNA was bisulfite-converted and sequenced. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed with the stimulated and unstimulated cells using antibodies for MBD1, MBD2 and MeCP2 as well as 17 different histone antibodies. Results Comparison of the different promoters showed that MeCP2 and MBD2a repressed promoter-specifically Cyclin D2 in all cell lines, whereas in MCF-7 cells MeCP2 repressed cell-specifically all methylated promoters. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that all methylated promoters associated with at least one MBD. Treatment of the cells by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR caused dissociation of the MBDs from the promoters. Only MBD1v1 bound and repressed methylation-independently all promoters. Real-time amplification of DNA immunoprecipitated by 17 different antibodies showed a preferential enrichment for methylated lysine of histone H3 (H3K4me1, H3K4me2 and H3K4me3 at the particular promoters. Notably, the silent promoters were associated with unmodified histones which were acetylated following treatment by 5-aza-CdR. Conclusions This study is one

  8. Promoter- and cell-specific epigenetic regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN by Methyl-CpG binding proteins and histone modifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Müller, Imke; Wischnewski, Frank; Pantel, Klaus; Schwarzenbach, Heidi

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to analyze the involvement of methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBDs) and histone modifications on the regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN in different cellular contexts such as the prostate cancer cells DU145 and LNCaP, and the breast cancer cells MCF-7. Since global chromatin changes have been shown to occur in tumours and regions of tumour-associated genes are affected by epigenetic modifications, these may constitute important regulatory mechanisms for the pathogenesis of malignant transformation. In DU145, LNCaP and MCF-7 cells mRNA expression levels of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN were determined by quantitative RT-PCR at the basal status as well as after treatment with demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A. Furthermore, genomic DNA was bisulfite-converted and sequenced. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed with the stimulated and unstimulated cells using antibodies for MBD1, MBD2 and MeCP2 as well as 17 different histone antibodies. Comparison of the different promoters showed that MeCP2 and MBD2a repressed promoter-specifically Cyclin D2 in all cell lines, whereas in MCF-7 cells MeCP2 repressed cell-specifically all methylated promoters. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that all methylated promoters associated with at least one MBD. Treatment of the cells by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR) caused dissociation of the MBDs from the promoters. Only MBD1v1 bound and repressed methylation-independently all promoters. Real-time amplification of DNA immunoprecipitated by 17 different antibodies showed a preferential enrichment for methylated lysine of histone H3 (H3K4me1, H3K4me2 and H3K4me3) at the particular promoters. Notably, the silent promoters were associated with unmodified histones which were acetylated following treatment by 5-aza-CdR. This study is one of the first to reveal the histone code and MBD profile

  9. Epigenetics and lifestyle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alegría-Torres, Jorge Alejandro; Baccarelli, Andrea; Bollati, Valentina

    2011-06-01

    The concept of 'lifestyle' includes different factors such as nutrition, behavior, stress, physical activity, working habits, smoking and alcohol consumption. Increasing evidence shows that environmental and lifestyle factors may influence epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and miRNA expression. It has been identified that several lifestyle factors such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress and working on night shifts might modify epigenetic patterns. Most of the studies conducted so far have been centered on DNA methylation, whereas only a few investigations have studied lifestyle factors in relation to histone modifications and miRNAs. This article reviews current evidence indicating that lifestyle factors might affect human health via epigenetic mechanisms.

  10. Nutritional epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  11. Epigenetics and depression: return of the repressed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Victoria S; Kolshus, Erik; McLoughlin, Declan M

    2014-02-01

    Epigenetics has recently emerged as a potential mechanism by which adverse environmental stimuli can result in persistent changes in gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms function alongside the DNA sequence to modulate gene expression and ultimately influence protein production. The current review provides an introduction and overview of epigenetics with a particular focus on preclinical and clinical studies relevant to major depressive disorder (MDD). PubMed and Web of Science databases were interrogated from January 1995 up to December 2012 using combinations of search terms, including "epigenetic", "microRNA" and "DNA methylation" cross referenced with "depression", "early life stress" and "antidepressant". There is an association between adverse environmental stimuli, such as early life stress, and epigenetic modification of gene expression. Epigenetic changes have been reported in humans with MDD and may serve as biomarkers to improve diagnosis. Antidepressant treatments appear to reverse or initiate compensatory epigenetic alterations that may be relevant to their mechanism of action. As a narrative review, the current report was interpretive and qualitative in nature. Epigenetic modification of gene expression provides a mechanism for understanding the link between long-term effects of adverse life events and the changes in gene expression that are associated with depression. Although still a developing field, in the future, epigenetic modifications of gene expression may provide novel biomarkers to predict future susceptibility and/or onset of MDD, improve diagnosis, and aid in the development of epigenetics-based therapies for depression. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. [Epigenetics of prostate cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Xiao-Ming; Zhou, Wen-Quan

    2010-07-01

    Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors in males, and its etiology and pathogenesis remain unclear. Epigenesis is involved in prostate cancer at all stages of the process, and closely related with its growth and metastasis. DNA methylation and histone modification are the most important manifestations of epigenetics in prostate cancer. The mechanisms of carcinogenesis of DNA methylation include whole-genome hypomethylation, aberrant local hypermethylation of promoters and genomic instability. DNA methylation is closely related to the process of prostate cancer, as in DNA damage repair, hormone response, tumor cell invasion/metastasis, cell cycle regulation, and so on. Histone modification causes corresponding changes in chromosome structure and the level of gene transcription, and it may affect the cycle, differentiation and apoptosis of cells, resulting in prostate cancer. Some therapies have been developed targeting the epigenetic changes in prostate cancer, including DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylase inhibitors, and have achieved certain desirable results.

  13. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manukyan, Maria; Singh, Prim B

    2012-05-01

    Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have provided a rational means of obtaining histo-compatible tissues for 'patient-specific' regenerative therapies (Hanna et al. 2010; Yamanaka & Blau 2010). Despite the obvious potential of iPS cell-based therapies, there are certain problems that must be overcome before these therapies can become safe and routine (Ohi et al. 2011; Pera 2011). As an alternative, we have recently explored the possibility of using 'epigenetic rejuvenation', where the specialized functions of an old cell are rejuvenated in the absence of any change in its differentiated state (Singh & Zacouto 2010). The mechanism(s) that underpin 'epigenetic rejuvenation' are unknown and here we discuss model systems, using key epigenetic modifiers, which might shed light on the processes involved. Epigenetic rejuvenation has advantages over iPS cell techniques that are currently being pursued. First, the genetic and epigenetic abnormalities that arise through the cycle of dedifferentiation of somatic cells to iPS cells followed by redifferentiation of iPS cells into the desired cell type are avoided (Gore et al. 2011; Hussein et al. 2011; Pera 2011): epigenetic rejuvenation does not require passage through the de-/redifferentiation cycle. Second, because the aim of epigenetic rejuvenation is to ensure that the differentiated cell type retains its specialized function it makes redundant the question of transcriptional memory that is inimical to iPS cell-based therapies (Ohi et al. 2011). Third, to produce unrelated cell types using the iPS technology takes a long time, around three weeks, whereas epigenetic rejuvenation of old cells will take only a matter of days. Epigenetic rejuvenation provides the most safe, rapid and cheap route to successful regenerative medicine. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 by the Molecular Biology Society of Japan/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Epigenetics in autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyake, Kunio; Hirasawa, Takae; Koide, Tsuyoshi; Kubota, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Autism was previously thought to be caused by environmental factors. However, genetic factors are now considered to be more contributory to the pathogenesis of autism, based on the recent findings of mutations in the genes which encode synaptic molecules associated with the communication between neurons. Epigenetic is a mechanism that controls gene expression without changing DNA sequence but by changing chromosomal histone modifications and its abnormality is associated with several neurodevelopmental diseases. Since epigenetic modifications are known to be affected by environmental factors such as nutrition, drugs and mental stress, autistic diseases are not only caused by congenital genetic defects, but may also be caused by environmental factors via epigenetic mechanism. In this chapter, we introduce autistic diseases caused by epigenetic failures and discuss epigenetic changes by environmental factors and discuss new treatments for neurodevelopmental diseases based on the recent epigenetic findings.

  15. Epigenetics of kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanner, Nicola; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke

    2017-07-01

    DNA methylation and histone modifications determine renal programming and the development and progression of renal disease. The identification of the way in which the renal cell epigenome is altered by environmental modifiers driving the onset and progression of renal diseases has extended our understanding of the pathophysiology of kidney disease progression. In this review, we focus on current knowledge concerning the implications of epigenetic modifications during renal disease from early development to chronic kidney disease progression including renal fibrosis, diabetic nephropathy and the translational potential of identifying new biomarkers and treatments for the prevention and therapy of chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease.

  16. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2013-06-05

    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.

  17. Epigenetics and colorectal cancer pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-06-05

    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.

  18. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-01-01

    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

  19. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kebin Liu

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Epigenetics in Breast and Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Yanyuan; Sarkissyan, Marianna; Vadgama, Jaydutt V.

    2015-01-01

    Most recent investigations into cancer etiology have identified a key role played by epigenetics. Specifically, aberrant DNA and histone modifications which silence tumor suppressor genes or promote oncogenes have been demonstrated in multiple cancer models. While the role of epigenetics in several solid tumor cancers such as colorectal cancer are well established, there is emerging evidence that epigenetics also plays a critical role in breast and prostate cancer. In breast cancer, DNA methy...

  1. Epigenetic impact of curcumin on stroke prevention

    OpenAIRE

    Kalani, Anuradha; Kamat, Pradip K; Kalani, Komal; Tyagi, Neetu

    2014-01-01

    The epigenetic impact of curcumin in stroke and neurodegenerative disorders is curiosity-arousing. It is derived from Curcuma longa (spice), possesses anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-lipidemic, neuro-protective and recently shown to exhibit epigenetic modulatory properties. Epigenetic studies include DNA methylation, histone modifications and RNA-based mechanisms which regulate gene expression without altering nucleotide sequences. Curcumin has been shown to affect cancer by altering ...

  2. Epigenetic regulation in dental pulp inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, T; Wang, C; Chen, D; Zheng, L; Huang, D; Ye, L

    2016-01-01

    Dental caries, trauma, and other possible factors could lead to injury of the dental pulp. Dental infection could result in immune and inflammatory responses mediated by molecular and cellular events and tissue breakdown. The inflammatory response of dental pulp could be regulated by genetic and epigenetic events. Epigenetic modifications play a fundamental role in gene expression. The epigenetic events might play critical roles in the inflammatory process of dental pulp injury. Major epigenetic events include methylation and acetylation of histones and regulatory factors, DNA methylation, and small non-coding RNAs. Infections and other environmental factors have profound effects on epigenetic modifications and trigger diseases. Despite growing evidences of literatures addressing the role of epigenetics in the field of medicine and biology, very little is known about the epigenetic pathways involved in dental pulp inflammation. This review summarized the current knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms during dental pulp inflammation. Progress in studies of epigenetic alterations during inflammatory response would provide opportunities for the development of efficient medications of epigenetic therapy for pulpitis. PMID:26901577

  3. The Interaction between Epigenetics, Nutrition and the Development of Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen S. Bishop

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike the genome, the epigenome can be modified and hence some epigenetic risk markers have the potential to be reversed. Such modifications take place by means of drugs, diet or environmental exposures. It is widely accepted that epigenetic modifications take place during early embryonic and primordial cell development, but it is also important that we gain an understanding of the potential for such changes later in life. These “later life” epigenetic modifications in response to dietary intervention are the focus of this paper. The epigenetic modifications investigated include DNA methylation, histone modifications and the influence of microRNAs. The epigenotype could be used not only to predict susceptibility to certain cancers but also to assess the effectiveness of dietary modifications to reduce such risk. The influence of diet or dietary components on epigenetic modifications and the impact on cancer initiation or progression has been assessed herein.

  4. Developmental exposure to 50 parts-per-billion arsenic influences histone modifications and associated epigenetic machinery in a region- and sex-specific manner in the adult mouse brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyler, Christina R.; Hafez, Alexander K.; Solomon, Elizabeth R.; Allan, Andrea M.

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological studies report that arsenic exposure via drinking water adversely impacts cognitive development in children and, in adults, can lead to greater psychiatric disease susceptibility, among other conditions. While it is known that arsenic toxicity has a profound effect on the epigenetic landscape, very few studies have investigated its effects on chromatin architecture in the brain. We have previously demonstrated that exposure to a low level of arsenic (50 ppb) during all three trimesters of fetal/neonatal development induces deficits in adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG), depressive-like symptoms, and alterations in gene expression in the adult mouse brain. As epigenetic processes control these outcomes, here we assess the impact of our developmental arsenic exposure (DAE) paradigm on global histone posttranslational modifications and associated chromatin-modifying proteins in the dentate gyrus and frontal cortex (FC) of adult male and female mice. DAE influenced histone 3 K4 trimethylation with increased levels in the male DG and FC and decreased levels in the female DG (no change in female FC). The histone methyltransferase MLL exhibited a similar sex- and region-specific expression profile as H3K4me3 levels, while histone demethylase KDM5B expression trended in the opposite direction. DAE increased histone 3 K9 acetylation levels in the male DG along with histone acetyltransferase (HAT) expression of GCN5 and decreased H3K9ac levels in the male FC along with decreased HAT expression of GCN5 and PCAF. DAE decreased expression of histone deacetylase enzymes HDAC1 and HDAC2, which were concurrent with increased H3K9ac levels but only in the female DG. Levels of H3 and H3K9me3 were not influenced by DAE in either brain region of either sex. These findings suggest that exposure to a low, environmentally relevant level of arsenic during development leads to long-lasting changes in histone methylation and acetylation in the adult

  5. Developmental exposure to 50 parts-per-billion arsenic influences histone modifications and associated epigenetic machinery in a region- and sex-specific manner in the adult mouse brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tyler, Christina R.; Hafez, Alexander K.; Solomon, Elizabeth R.; Allan, Andrea M., E-mail: aallan@salud.unm.edu

    2015-10-01

    Epidemiological studies report that arsenic exposure via drinking water adversely impacts cognitive development in children and, in adults, can lead to greater psychiatric disease susceptibility, among other conditions. While it is known that arsenic toxicity has a profound effect on the epigenetic landscape, very few studies have investigated its effects on chromatin architecture in the brain. We have previously demonstrated that exposure to a low level of arsenic (50 ppb) during all three trimesters of fetal/neonatal development induces deficits in adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG), depressive-like symptoms, and alterations in gene expression in the adult mouse brain. As epigenetic processes control these outcomes, here we assess the impact of our developmental arsenic exposure (DAE) paradigm on global histone posttranslational modifications and associated chromatin-modifying proteins in the dentate gyrus and frontal cortex (FC) of adult male and female mice. DAE influenced histone 3 K4 trimethylation with increased levels in the male DG and FC and decreased levels in the female DG (no change in female FC). The histone methyltransferase MLL exhibited a similar sex- and region-specific expression profile as H3K4me3 levels, while histone demethylase KDM5B expression trended in the opposite direction. DAE increased histone 3 K9 acetylation levels in the male DG along with histone acetyltransferase (HAT) expression of GCN5 and decreased H3K9ac levels in the male FC along with decreased HAT expression of GCN5 and PCAF. DAE decreased expression of histone deacetylase enzymes HDAC1 and HDAC2, which were concurrent with increased H3K9ac levels but only in the female DG. Levels of H3 and H3K9me3 were not influenced by DAE in either brain region of either sex. These findings suggest that exposure to a low, environmentally relevant level of arsenic during development leads to long-lasting changes in histone methylation and acetylation in the adult

  6. Epigenetics Europe conference. Munich, Germany, 8-9 September 2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeltsch, Albert

    2011-12-01

    At the Epigenetics Europe conference in Munich, Germany, held on 8-9 September 2011, 19 speakers from different European countries were presenting novel data and concepts on molecular epigenetics. The talks were mainly focused on questions of the generation, maintenance, flexibility and erasure of DNA methylation patterns in context of other epigenetic signals like histone tail modifications and ncRNAs.

  7. Epigenetic variation, phenotypic heritability, and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Furrow, Robert E.; Christiansen, Freddy Bugge; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2014-01-01

    families. The potential importance of this interaction, recognized in classical studies of the genetic epidemiology of complex diseases and other quantitative characters, has reemerged in studies of the effects of epigenetic modifications, their variation, and their transmission between generations....

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-09-01

    Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder that lacks a unifying neuropathology, while currently available pharmacological treatments provide only limited benefits to many patients. This review will discuss how the field of neuroepigenetics could contribute to advancements of the existing knowledge on the neurobiology and treatment of psychosis. Genome-scale mapping of DMA methylation, histone modifications and variants, and chromosomal loopings for promoter-enhancer interactions and other epigenetic determinants of genome organization and function are likely to provide important clues about mechanisms contributing to dysregulated expression of synaptic and metabolic genes in schizophrenia brain, including the potential links to the underlying genetic risk architecture and environmental exposures. In addition, studies in animal models are providing a rapidly increasing list of chromatin-regulatory mechanisms with significant effects on cognition and complex behaviors, thereby pointing to the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drug targets in the nervous system.

  9. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua; Christiansen, Lene; von Bornemann Hjelmborg, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    of diseases to molecular phenotypes in functional genomics especially in epigenetics, a thriving field of research that concerns the environmental regulation of gene expression through DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA and long non-coding RNA expression, etc. The application of the twin method...

  10. Epigenetic cell response to an influence of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mikheev, A.N.; Gushcha, N.I.; Malinovskij, Yu.Yu.

    1999-01-01

    Importance of radiation modification of epigenetic activity in the general mechanism of radiobiological reactions is proved. Inheritable epigenetic changes induced by irradiation are one of the basic reasons of formation of the remote radiation pathology. It is noted that epigenetic inheritable changes of cells have the determined character distinguishing them mutation changes, being individual and not directed. It is underlined the ability of ionizing radiation to modify level of spontaneous genetic instability inherited in a number of cell generations on epigenetic mechanism [ru

  11. Behavioral epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, David S

    2017-01-01

    Why do we grow up to have the traits we do? Most 20th century scientists answered this question by referring only to our genes and our environments. But recent discoveries in the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics have revealed factors at the interface between genes and environments that also play crucial roles in development. These factors affect how genes work; scientists now know that what matters as much as which genes you have (and what environments you encounter) is how your genes are affected by their contexts. The discovery that what our genes do depends in part on our experiences has shed light on how Nature and Nurture interact at the molecular level inside of our bodies. Data emerging from the world's behavioral epigenetics laboratories support the idea that a person's genes alone cannot determine if, for example, he or she will end up shy, suffering from cardiovascular disease, or extremely smart. Among the environmental factors that can influence genetic activity are parenting styles, diets, and social statuses. In addition to influencing how doctors treat diseases, discoveries about behavioral epigenetics are likely to alter how biologists think about evolution, because some epigenetic effects of experience appear to be transmissible from generation to generation. This domain of research will likely change how we think about the origins of human nature. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2017, 9:e1333. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1333 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Epigenetics, autism spectrum, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangasamy, Sampathkumar; D'Mello, Santosh R; Narayanan, Vinodh

    2013-10-01

    Epigenetic marks are modifications of DNA and histones. They are considered to be permanent within a single cell during development, and are heritable across cell division. Programming of neurons through epigenetic mechanisms is believed to be critical in neural development. Disruption or alteration in this process causes an array of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Recent studies have provided evidence for an altered epigenetic landscape in ASDs and demonstrated the central role of epigenetic mechanisms in their pathogenesis. Many of the genes linked to the ASDs encode proteins that are involved in transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. In this review we highlight selected neurodevelopmental disorders in which epigenetic dysregulation plays an important role. These include Rett syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Kabuki syndrome. For each of these disorders, we discuss how advances in our understanding of epigenetic mechanisms may lead to novel therapeutic approaches.

  13. Using Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Julius; Figg, William D

    2016-01-01

    It has been known for decades that as cancer progresses, tumors develop genetic alterations, making them highly prone to developing resistance to therapies. Classically, it has been thought that these acquired genetic changes are fixed. This has led to the paradigm of moving from one cancer therapy to the next while avoiding past therapies. However, emerging data on epigenetic changes during tumor progression and use of epigenetic therapies have shown that epigenetic modifications leading to chemotherapy resistance have the potential to be reversible with epigenetic therapy. In fact, promising clinical data exist that treatment with epigenetic agents can diminish chemotherapy resistance in a number of tumor types including chronic myelogenous leukemia, colorectal, ovarian, lung and breast cancer. The potential for epigenetic-modifying drugs to allow for treatment of resistant disease is exciting and clinical trials have just begun to evaluate this area. Copyright© 2016 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.

  14. Increased transgenerational epigenetic variation, but not predictable epigenetic variants, after environmental exposure in two apomictic dandelion lineages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Preite, Veronica; Oplaat, Carla; Biere, Arjen; Kirschner, Jan; van der Putten, Wim H; Verhoeven, Koen J F

    DNA methylation is one of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic modifications. DNA methylations can be environmentally induced and such induced modifications can at times be transmitted to successive generations. However, it remains speculative how common such environmentally induced

  15. Increased transgenerational epigenetic variation, but not predictable epigenetic variants, after environmental exposure in two apomictic dandelion lineages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Preite, Veronica; Oplaat, Carla; Biere, Arjen; Kirschner, Jan; Putten, van der Wim H.; Verhoeven, Koen J.F.

    2018-01-01

    DNA methylation is one of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic modifications. DNA methylations can be environmentally induced and such induced modifications can at times be transmitted to successive generations. However, it remains speculative how common such environmentally induced

  16. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on animal behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Per

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade a shift in paradigm has occurred with respect to the interaction between environment and genes. It is now clear that animal genomes are regulated to a large extent as a result of input from environmental events and experiences, which cause short- and long-term modifications in epigenetic markings of DNA and histones. In this review, the evidence that such epigenetic modifications can affect the behaviour of animals is explored, and whether such acquired behaviour alterations can transfer across generation borders. First, the mechanisms by which experiences cause epigenetic modifications are examined. This includes, for example, methylation of cytosine in CpG positions and acetylation of histones, and studies showing that this can be modified by early experiences. Secondly, the evidence that specific modifications in the epigenome can be the cause of behaviour variation is reviewed. Thirdly, the extent to which this phenotypically active epigenetic variants can be inherited either through the germline or through reoccurring environmental conditions is examined. A particularly interesting observation is that epigenetic modifications are often linked to stress, and may possibly be mediated by steroid effects. Finally, the idea that transgenerationally stable epigenetic variants may serve as substrates for natural selection is explored, and it is speculated that they may even predispose for directed, non-random mutations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Computational Micromodel for Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghavan, Karthika; Ruskin, Heather J.; Perrin, Dimitri; Goasmat, Francois; Burns, John

    2010-01-01

    Characterization of the epigenetic profile of humans since the initial breakthrough on the human genome project has strongly established the key role of histone modifications and DNA methylation. These dynamic elements interact to determine the normal level of expression or methylation status of the constituent genes in the genome. Recently, considerable evidence has been put forward to demonstrate that environmental stress implicitly alters epigenetic patterns causing imbalance that can lead to cancer initiation. This chain of consequences has motivated attempts to computationally model the influence of histone modification and DNA methylation in gene expression and investigate their intrinsic interdependency. In this paper, we explore the relation between DNA methylation and transcription and characterize in detail the histone modifications for specific DNA methylation levels using a stochastic approach. PMID:21152421

  18. Computational micromodel for epigenetic mechanisms.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Raghavan, Karthika

    2010-11-01

    Characterization of the epigenetic profile of humans since the initial breakthrough on the human genome project has strongly established the key role of histone modifications and DNA methylation. These dynamic elements interact to determine the normal level of expression or methylation status of the constituent genes in the genome. Recently, considerable evidence has been put forward to demonstrate that environmental stress implicitly alters epigenetic patterns causing imbalance that can lead to cancer initiation. This chain of consequences has motivated attempts to computationally model the influence of histone modification and DNA methylation in gene expression and investigate their intrinsic interdependency. In this paper, we explore the relation between DNA methylation and transcription and characterize in detail the histone modifications for specific DNA methylation levels using a stochastic approach.

  19. [Epigenetics of schizophrenia: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivollier, F; Lotersztajn, L; Chaumette, B; Krebs, M-O; Kebir, O

    2014-10-01

    Schizophrenia is a frequent and disabling disease associated with heterogeneous psychiatric phenotypes. It emerges during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood and has dramatic consequences for the affected individuals, causing considerable familial and social burden, as well as increasing health expenses. Although some progress has been made in the understanding of their physiopathology, many questions remain unsolved, and the disease is still poorly understood. The prevailing hypothesis regarding psychotic disorders proposes that a combination of genetic and/or environmental factors, during critical periods of brain development increases the risk for these illnesses. Epigenetic regulations, such as DNA methylation, can mediate gene x environment interactions at the level of the genome and may provide a potential substrate to explain the variability in symptom severity and family heritability. Initially, epigenetics was used to design mitotic and meiotic changes in gene transcription that could not be attributed to genetic mutations. It referred later to changes in the epigenome not transmitted through the germline. Thus, epigenetics refers to a wide range of molecular mechanisms including DNA methylation of cytosine residues in CpG dinucleotides and post-translational histone modifications. These mechanisms alter the way the transcriptional factors bind the DNA, modulating its expression. Prenatal and postnatal environmental factors may affect these epigenetics factors, having responsability in long-term DNA transcription, and influencing the development of psychiatric disorders. The object of this review is to present the state of knowledge in epigenetics of schizophrenia, outlining the most recent findings in the matter. We did so using Pubmed, researching words such as 'epigenetics', 'epigenetic', 'schizophrenia', 'psychosis', 'psychiatric'. This review summarizes evidences mostly for two epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation and post

  20. [Epigenetics and obesity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casanello, Paola; Krause, Bernardo J; Castro-Rodríguez, José A; Uauy, Ricardo

    Current evidence supports the notion that exposure to various environmental conditions in early life may induce permanent changes in the epigenome that persist throughout the life-course. This article focuses on early changes associated with obesity in adult life. A review is presented on the factors that induce changes in whole genome (DNA) methylation in early life that are associated with adult onset obesity and related disorders. In contrast, reversal of epigenetic changes associated with weight loss in obese subjects has not been demonstrated. This contrasts with well-established associations found between obesity related DNA methylation patterns at birth and adult onset obesity and diabetes. Epigenetic markers may serve to screen indivuals at risk for obesity and assess the effects of interventions in early life that may delay or prevent obesity in early life. This might contribute to lower the obesity-related burden of death and disability at the population level. The available evidence indicates that epigenetic marks are in fact modifiable, based on modifications in the intrauterine environment and changes in food intake, physical activity and dietary patterns patterns during pregnancy and early years of adult life. This offers the opportunity to intervene before conception, during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and also in later life. There must be documentation on the best preventive actions in terms of diet and physical activity that will modify or revert the adverse epigenetic markers, thus preventing obesity and diabetes in suceptible individuals and populations. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Chilena de Pediatría. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  1. Environmental chemical exposures and human epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Lifang; Zhang, Xiao; Wang, Dong; Baccarelli, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Every year more than 13 million deaths worldwide are due to environmental pollutants, and approximately 24% of diseases are caused by environmental exposures that might be averted through preventive measures. Rapidly growing evidence has linked environmental pollutants with epigenetic variations, including changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs. Environ mental chemicals and epigenetic changes All of these mechanisms are likely to play important roles in disease aetiology, and their modifications due to environmental pollutants might provide further understanding of disease aetiology, as well as biomarkers reflecting exposures to environmental pollutants and/or predicting the risk of future disease. We summarize the findings on epigenetic alterations related to environmental chemical exposures, and propose mechanisms of action by means of which the exposures may cause such epigenetic changes. We discuss opportunities, challenges and future directions for future epidemiology research in environmental epigenomics. Future investigations are needed to solve methodological and practical challenges, including uncertainties about stability over time of epigenomic changes induced by the environment, tissue specificity of epigenetic alterations, validation of laboratory methods, and adaptation of bioinformatic and biostatistical methods to high-throughput epigenomics. In addition, there are numerous reports of epigenetic modifications arising following exposure to environmental toxicants, but most have not been directly linked to disease endpoints. To complete our discussion, we also briefly summarize the diseases that have been linked to environmental chemicals-related epigenetic changes. PMID:22253299

  2. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeo Kubota

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Both environmental factors and genetic factors are involved in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. Epigenetics, an essential mechanism for gene regulation based on chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, is also involved in congenital ASDs. It was recently demonstrated that environmental factors, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and mental stress in early life, can change epigenetic status and gene expression, and can cause ASDs. Moreover, environmentally induced epigenetic changes are not erased during gametogenesis and are transmitted to subsequent generations, leading to changes in behavior phenotypes. However, epigenetics has a reversible nature since it is based on the addition or removal of chemical residues, and thus the original epigenetic status may be restored. Indeed, several antidepressants and anticonvulsants used for mental disorders including ASDs restore the epigenetic state and gene expression. Therefore, further epigenetic understanding of ASDs is important for the development of new drugs that take advantages of epigenetic reversibility.

  3. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Takeo; Mochizuki, Kazuki

    2016-05-14

    Both environmental factors and genetic factors are involved in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Epigenetics, an essential mechanism for gene regulation based on chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, is also involved in congenital ASDs. It was recently demonstrated that environmental factors, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and mental stress in early life, can change epigenetic status and gene expression, and can cause ASDs. Moreover, environmentally induced epigenetic changes are not erased during gametogenesis and are transmitted to subsequent generations, leading to changes in behavior phenotypes. However, epigenetics has a reversible nature since it is based on the addition or removal of chemical residues, and thus the original epigenetic status may be restored. Indeed, several antidepressants and anticonvulsants used for mental disorders including ASDs restore the epigenetic state and gene expression. Therefore, further epigenetic understanding of ASDs is important for the development of new drugs that take advantages of epigenetic reversibility.

  4. The epigenetic footprint of poleward range-expanding plants in apomictic dandelions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Preite, V.; Snoek, L.B.; Oplaat, C.; Biere, A.; Putten, van der W.H.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation variation, can generate heritable phenotypic variation independent of the underlying genetic code. However, epigenetic variation in natural plant populations is poorly documented and little understood. Here, we test if northward range expansion of

  5. Cellular and epigenetic drivers of stem cell ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ermolaeva, Maria; Neri, Francesco; Ori, Alessandro; Rudolph, K Lenhard

    2018-06-01

    Adult tissue stem cells have a pivotal role in tissue maintenance and regeneration throughout the lifespan of multicellular organisms. Loss of tissue homeostasis during post-reproductive lifespan is caused, at least in part, by a decline in stem cell function and is associated with an increased incidence of diseases. Hallmarks of ageing include the accumulation of molecular damage, failure of quality control systems, metabolic changes and alterations in epigenome stability. In this Review, we discuss recent evidence in support of a novel concept whereby cell-intrinsic damage that accumulates during ageing and cell-extrinsic changes in ageing stem cell niches and the blood result in modifications of the stem cell epigenome. These cumulative epigenetic alterations in stem cells might be the cause of the deregulation of developmental pathways seen during ageing. In turn, they could confer a selective advantage to mutant and epigenetically drifted stem cells with altered self-renewal and functions, which contribute to the development of ageing-associated organ dysfunction and disease.

  6. Daphnia as an Emerging Epigenetic Model Organism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kami D. M. Harris

    2012-01-01

    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.

  7. Epigenetics in schistosomes: what we know and what we need know

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Weiwei

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomes are metazoan parasites and can cause schistosomiasis. Epigenetic modifications include DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs. Some enzymes involved in epigenetic modification and microRNA processes have been developed as drugs to treat the disease. Compared with humans and vertebrates, an in-depth understanding of epigenetic modifications in schistosomes is starting to be realized. DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs play important roles in the development and reproduction of schistosomes and in interactions between the host and schistosomes. Therefore, exploring and investigating the epigenetic modifications in schistosomes will facilitate drug development and therapy for schistosomiasis. Here, we review the role of epigenetic modifications in the development, growth and reproduction of schistosomes, and the interactions between the host and schistosome. We further discuss potential epigenetic targets for drug discovery for the treatment of schistosomiasis.

  8. Transgenerational epigenetics and environmental justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Mark A; Harrell, Heather L; Marchant, Gary E

    2017-07-01

    Human transmission to offspring and future generations of acquired epigenetic modifications has not been definitively established, although there are several environmental exposures with suggestive evidence. This article uses three examples of hazardous substances with greater exposures in vulnerable populations: pesticides, lead, and diesel exhaust. It then considers whether, if there were scientific evidence of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, there would be greater attention given to concerns about environmental justice in environmental laws, regulations, and policies at all levels of government. To provide a broader perspective on environmental justice the article discusses two of the most commonly cited approaches to environmental justice. John Rawls's theory of justice as fairness, a form of egalitarianism, is frequently invoked for the principle that differential treatment of individuals is justified only if actions are designed to benefit those with the greatest need. Another theory, the capabilities approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, focuses on whether essential capabilities of society, such as life and health, are made available to all individuals. In applying principles of environmental justice the article considers whether there is a heightened societal obligation to protect the most vulnerable individuals from hazardous exposures that could adversely affect their offspring through epigenetic mechanisms. It concludes that unless there were compelling evidence of transgenerational epigenetic harms, it is unlikely that there would be a significant impetus to adopt new policies to prevent epigenetic harms by invoking principles of environmental justice.

  9. Denys-Drash syndrome associated WT1 glutamine 369 mutants have altered sequence-preferences and altered responses to epigenetic modifications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashimoto, Hideharu; Zhang, Xing; Zheng, Yu; Wilson, Geoffrey G.; Cheng, Xiaodong

    2016-09-04

    Mutations in human zinc-finger transcription factor WT1 result in abnormal development of the kidneys and genitalia and an array of pediatric problems including nephropathy, blastoma, gonadal dysgenesis and genital discordance. Several overlapping phenotypes are associated with WT1 mutations, including Wilms tumors, Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS), Frasier syndrome (FS) and WAGR syndrome (Wilms tumor, aniridia, genitourinary malformations, and mental retardation). These conditions vary in severity from individual to individual; they can be fatal in early childhood, or relatively benign into adulthood. DDS mutations cluster predominantly in zinc fingers (ZF) 2 and 3 at the C-terminus of WT1, which together with ZF4 determine the sequence-specificity of DNA binding. We examined three DDS associated mutations in ZF2 of human WT1 where the normal glutamine at position 369 is replaced by arginine (Q369R), lysine (Q369K) or histidine (Q369H). These mutations alter the sequence-specificity of ZF2, we find, changing its affinity for certain bases and certain epigenetic forms of cytosine. X-ray crystallography of the DNA binding domains of normal WT1, Q369R and Q369H in complex with preferred sequences revealed the molecular interactions responsible for these affinity changes. DDS is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, implying a gain of function by mutant WT1 proteins. This gain, we speculate, might derive from the ability of the mutant proteins to sequester WT1 into unproductive oligomers, or to erroneously bind to variant target sequences.

  10. Epigenetic changes in solid and hematopoietic tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, Minoru; Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2005-10-01

    There are three connected molecular mechanisms of epigenetic cellular memory in mammalian cells: DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA interference. The first two have now been firmly linked to neoplastic transformation. Hypermethylation of CpG-rich promoters triggers local histone code modifications resulting in a cellular camouflage mechanism that sequesters gene promoters away from transcription factors and results in stable silencing. This normally restricted mechanism is ubiquitously used in cancer to silence hundreds of genes, among which some critically contribute to the neoplastic phenotype. Virtually every pathway important to cancer formation is affected by this process. Methylation profiling of human cancers reveals tissue-specific epigenetic signatures, as well as tumor-specific signatures, reflecting in particular the presence of epigenetic instability in a subset of cancers affected by the CpG island methylator phenotype. Generally, methylation patterns can be traced to a tissue-specific, proliferation-dependent accumulation of aberrant promoter methylation in aging tissues, a process that can be accelerated by chronic inflammation and less well-defined mechanisms including, possibly, diet and genetic predisposition. The epigenetic machinery can also be altered in cancer by specific lesions in epigenetic effector genes, or by aberrant recruitment of these genes by mutant transcription factors and coactivators. Epigenetic patterns are proving clinically useful in human oncology via risk assessment, early detection, and prognostic classification. Pharmacologic manipulation of these patterns-epigenetic therapy-is also poised to change the way we treat cancer in the clinic.

  11. The multifaceted interplay between lipids and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekkers, Koen F; Slagboom, P Eline; Jukema, J Wouter; Heijmans, Bastiaan T

    2016-06-01

    The interplay between lipids and epigenetic mechanisms has recently gained increased interest because of its relevance for common diseases and most notably atherosclerosis. This review discusses recent advances in unravelling this interplay with a particular focus on promising approaches and methods that will be able to establish causal relationships. Complementary approaches uncovered close links between circulating lipids and epigenetic mechanisms at multiple levels. A characterization of lipid-associated genetic variants suggests that these variants exert their influence on lipid levels through epigenetic changes in the liver. Moreover, exposure of monocytes to lipids persistently alters their epigenetic makeup resulting in more proinflammatory cells. Hence, epigenetic changes can both impact on and be induced by lipids. It is the combined application of technological advances to probe epigenetic modifications at a genome-wide scale and methodological advances aimed at causal inference (including Mendelian randomization and integrative genomics) that will elucidate the interplay between circulating lipids and epigenetics. Understanding its role in the development of atherosclerosis holds the promise of identifying a new category of therapeutic targets, since epigenetic changes are amenable to reversal.

  12. Epigenetics in breast and prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yanyuan; Sarkissyan, Marianna; Vadgama, Jaydutt V

    2015-01-01

    Most recent investigations into cancer etiology have identified a key role played by epigenetics. Specifically, aberrant DNA and histone modifications which silence tumor suppressor genes or promote oncogenes have been demonstrated in multiple cancer models. While the role of epigenetics in several solid tumor cancers such as colorectal cancer are well established, there is emerging evidence that epigenetics also plays a critical role in breast and prostate cancer. In breast cancer, DNA methylation profiles have been linked to hormone receptor status and tumor progression. Similarly in prostate cancer, epigenetic patterns have been associated with androgen receptor status and response to therapy. The regulation of key receptor pathways and activities which affect clinical therapy treatment options by epigenetics renders this field high priority for elucidating mechanisms and potential targets. A new set of methylation arrays are now available to screen epigenetic changes and provide the cutting-edge tools needed to perform such investigations. The role of nutritional interventions affecting epigenetic changes particularly holds promise. Ultimately, determining the causes and outcomes from epigenetic changes will inform translational applications for utilization as biomarkers for risk and prognosis as well as candidates for therapy.

  13. Fatty acid binding protein 3 (fabp3) is associated with insulin, lipids and cardiovascular phenotypes of the metabolic syndrome through epigenetic modifications in a Northern European family population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Kent, Jack W; Lee, Adam; Cerjak, Diana; Ali, Omar; Diasio, Robert; Olivier, Michael; Blangero, John; Carless, Melanie A; Kissebah, Ahmed H

    2013-03-19

    Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) play regulatory roles at the nexus of lipid metabolism and signaling. Dyslipidemia in clinical manifestation frequently co-occurs with obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension in the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). Animal studies have suggested FABPs play regulatory roles in expressing MetS phenotypes. In our family cohort of Northern European descent, transcript levels in peripheral white blood cells (PWBCs) of a key FABPs, FABP3, is correlated with the MetS leading components. However, evidence supporting the functions of FABPs in humans using genetic approaches has been scarce, suggesting FABPs may be under epigenetic regulation. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that CpG methylation status of a key regulator of lipid homeostasis, FABP3, is a quantitative trait associated with status of MetS phenotypes in humans. We used a mass-spec based quantitative method, EpiTYPER®, to profile a CpG island that extends from the promoter to the first exon of the FABP3 gene in our family-based cohort of Northern European descent (n=517). We then conducted statistical analysis of the quantitative relationship of CpG methylation and MetS measures following the variance-component association model. Heritability of each methylation and the effect of age and sex on CpG methylation were also assessed in our families. We find that methylation levels of individual CpG units and the regional average are heritable and significantly influenced by age and sex. Regional methylation was strongly associated with plasma total cholesterol (p=0.00028) and suggestively associated with LDL-cholesterol (p=0.00495). Methylation at individual units was significantly associated with insulin sensitivity, lipid particle sizing and diastolic blood pressure (pmetabolism (βWHR=-0.72; βLDL-c=-0.53) while positively correlated with plasma adiponectin (β=0.24). Further, we show that differential methylation of FABP3 affects binding activity with

  14. Cocaine promotes both initiation and elongation phase of HIV-1 transcription by activating NF-κB and MSK1 and inducing selective epigenetic modifications at HIV-1 LTR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Geetaram; Farley, Kalamo; El-Hage, Nazira; Aiamkitsumrit, Benjamas; Fassnacht, Ryan; Kashanchi, Fatah; Ochem, Alex; Simon, Gary L.; Karn, Jonathan; Hauser, Kurt F.; Tyagi, Mudit

    2015-01-01

    Cocaine accelerates human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication by altering specific cell-signaling and epigenetic pathways. We have elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms through which cocaine exerts its effect in myeloid cells, a major target of HIV-1 in central nervous system (CNS). We demonstrate that cocaine treatment promotes HIV-1 gene expression by activating both nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1). MSK1 subsequently catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10, and p65 subunit of NF-κB at 276th serine residue. These modifications enhance the interaction of NF-κB with P300 and promote the recruitment of the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) to the HIV-1 LTR, supporting the development of an open/relaxed chromatin configuration, and facilitating the initiation and elongation phases of HIV-1 transcription. Results are also confirmed in primary monocyte derived macrophages (MDM). Overall, our study provides detailed insights into cocaine-driven HIV-1 transcription and replication. PMID:25980739

  15. Drug Addiction and DNA Modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Amber N; Feng, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Drug addiction is a complex disorder which can be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Research has shown that epigenetic modifications can translate environmental signals into changes in gene expression, suggesting that epigenetic changes may underlie the causes and possibly treatment of substance use disorders. This chapter will focus on epigenetic modifications to DNA, which include DNA methylation and several recently defined additional DNA epigenetic changes. We will discuss the functions of DNA modifications and methods for detecting them, followed by a description of the research investigating the function and consequences of drug-induced changes in DNA methylation patterns. Understanding these epigenetic changes may provide us translational tools for the diagnosis and treatment of addiction in the future.

  16. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihye eYun

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Cancer progression is accompanied by widespread transcriptional changes and metabolic alterations. Although it is widely accepted that the origin of cancer can be traced to the mutations that accumulate over time, relatively recent evidence favors a similarly fundamental role for alterations in the epigenome during tumorigenesis. Changes in epigenetics that arise from post-translational modifications of histones and DNA, are exploited by cancer cells to upregulate and/or downregulate the expression levels of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively. Although the mechanisms behind these modifications, in particular how they lead to gene silencing and activation, are still being understood, many enzymes that carry out post-translational modifications that alter epigenetics require metabolites as substrates or cofactors. As a result, their activities can be influenced by the metabolic state of the cell. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of cancer epigenetics and metabolism and provide examples of where they converge.

  17. Stress, Epigenetics, and Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonat, Sachin; Pandey, Subhash C.

    2012-01-01

    Acute and chronic stressors have been associated with alterations in mood and increased anxiety that may eventually result in the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders. Stress and associated disorders, including anxiety, are key factors in the development of alcoholism because alcohol consumption can temporarily reduce the drinker’s dysphoria. One molecule that may help mediate the relationship between stress and alcohol consumption is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that regulates the structure and function of the sites where two nerve cells interact and exchange nerve signals (i.e., synapses) and which is involved in numerous physiological processes. Aberrant regulation of BDNF signaling and alterations in synapse activity (i.e., synaptic plasticity) have been associated with the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders and alcoholism. Mechanisms that contribute to the regulation of genetic information without modification of the DNA sequence (i.e., epigenetic mechanisms) may play a role in the complex control of BDNF signaling and synaptic plasticity—for example, by modifying the structure of the DNA–protein complexes (i.e., chromatin) that make up the chromosomes and thereby modulating the expression of certain genes. Studies regarding the epigenetic control of BDNF signaling and synaptic plasticity provide a promising direction to understand the mechanisms mediating the interaction between stress and alcoholism. PMID:23584115

  18. [Epigenetic alterations in acute lymphoblastic leukemia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete-Meneses, María Del Pilar; Pérez-Vera, Patricia

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer. It is well-known that genetic alterations constitute the basis for the etiology of ALL. However, genetic abnormalities are not enough for the complete development of the disease, and additional alterations such as epigenetic modifications are required. Such alterations, like DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNA regulation have been identified in ALL. DNA hypermethylation in promoter regions is one of the most frequent epigenetic modifications observed in ALL. This modification frequently leads to gene silencing in tumor suppressor genes, and in consequence, contributes to leukemogenesis. Alterations in histone remodeling proteins have also been detected in ALL, such as the overexpression of histone deacetylases enzymes, and alteration of acetyltransferases and methyltransferases. ALL also shows alteration in the expression of miRNAs, and in consequence, the modification in the expression of their target genes. All of these epigenetic modifications are key events in the malignant transformation since they lead to the deregulation of oncogenes as BLK, WNT5B and WISP1, and tumor suppressors such as FHIT, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, and TP53, which alter fundamental cellular processes and potentially lead to the development of ALL. Both genetic and epigenetic alterations contribute to the development and evolution of ALL. Copyright © 2017 Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez. Publicado por Masson Doyma México S.A. All rights reserved.

  19. Epigenetics and maternal nutrition: nature v. nurture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Rebecca

    2011-02-01

    Under- and over-nutrition during pregnancy has been linked to the later development of diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Epigenetic modifications may be one mechanism by which exposure to an altered intrauterine milieu or metabolic perturbation may influence the phenotype of the organism much later in life. Epigenetic modifications of the genome provide a mechanism that allows the stable propagation of gene expression from one generation of cells to the next. This review highlights our current knowledge of epigenetic gene regulation and the evidence that chromatin remodelling and histone modifications play key roles in adipogenesis and the development of obesity. Epigenetic modifications affecting processes important to glucose regulation and insulin secretion have been described in the pancreatic β-cells and muscle of the intrauterine growth-retarded offspring, characteristics essential to the pathophysiology of type-2 diabetes. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression contributes to both adipocyte determination and differentiation in in vitro models. The contributions of histone acetylation, histone methylation and DNA methylation to the process of adipogenesis in vivo remain to be evaluated.

  20. Epigenetics: general characteristics and implications for oral health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Yun Seo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Genetic information such as DNA sequences has been limited to fully explain mechanisms of gene regulation and disease process. Epigenetic mechanisms, which include DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, can regulate gene expression and affect progression of disease. Although studies focused on epigenetics are being actively investigated in the field of medicine and biology, epigenetics in dental research is at the early stages. However, studies on epigenetics in dentistry deserve attention because epigenetic mechanisms play important roles in gene expression during tooth development and may affect oral diseases. In addition, understanding of epigenetic alteration is important for developing new therapeutic methods. This review article aims to outline the general features of epigenetic mechanisms and describe its future implications in the field of dentistry.

  1. Epigenetic regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell function in atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findeisen, Hannes M; Kahles, Florian K; Bruemmer, Dennis

    2013-04-01

    Epigenetics involve heritable and acquired changes in gene transcription that occur independently of the DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms constitute a hierarchic upper-level of transcriptional control through complex modifications of chromosomal components and nuclear structures. These modifications include, for example, DNA methylation or post-translational modifications of core histones; they are mediated by various chromatin-modifying enzymes; and ultimately they define the accessibility of a transcriptional complex to its target DNA. Integrating epigenetic mechanisms into the pathophysiologic concept of complex and multifactorial diseases such as atherosclerosis may significantly enhance our understanding of related mechanisms and provide promising therapeutic approaches. Although still in its infancy, intriguing scientific progress has begun to elucidate the role of epigenetic mechanisms in vascular biology, particularly in the control of smooth muscle cell phenotypes. In this review, we will summarize epigenetic pathways in smooth muscle cells, focusing on mechanisms involved in the regulation of vascular remodeling.

  2. Individuality and epigenetics in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campión, J; Milagro, F I; Martínez, J A

    2009-07-01

    Excessive weight gain arises from the interactions among environmental factors, genetic predisposition and the individual behavior. However, it is becoming evident that interindividual differences in obesity susceptibility depend also on epigenetic factors. Epigenetics studies the heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. These processes include DNA methylation, covalent histone modifications, chromatin folding and, more recently described, the regulatory action of miRNAs and polycomb group complexes. In this review, we focus on experimental evidences concerning dietary factors influencing obesity development by epigenetic mechanisms, reporting treatment doses and durations. Moreover, we present a bioinformatic analysis of promoter regions for the search of future epigenetic biomarkers of obesity, including methylation pattern analyses of several obesity-related genes (epiobesigenes), such as FGF2, PTEN, CDKN1A and ESR1, implicated in adipogenesis, SOCS1/SOCS3, in inflammation, and COX7A1 LPL, CAV1, and IGFBP3, in intermediate metabolism and insulin signalling. The identification of those individuals that at an early age could present changes in the methylation profiles of specific genes could help to predict their susceptibility to later develop obesity, which may allow to prevent and follow-up its progress, as well as to research and develop newer therapeutic approaches.

  3. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Masri, Selma; Kinouchi, Kenichiro; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    The interplay between circadian rhythm and cancer has been suggested for more than a decade based on the observations that shift work and cancer incidence are linked. Accumulating evidence implicates the circadian clock in cancer survival and proliferation pathways. At the molecular level, multiple control mechanisms have been proposed to link circadian transcription and cell-cycle control to tumorigenesis.The circadian gating of the cell cycle and subsequent control of cell proliferation is an area of active investigation. Moreover, the circadian clock is a transcriptional system that is intricately regulated at the epigenetic level. Interestingly, the epigenetic landscape at the level of histone modifications, DNA methylation, and small regulatory RNAs are differentially controlled in cancer cells. This concept raises the possibility that epigenetic control is a common thread linking the clock with cancer, though little scientific evidence is known to date.This review focuses on the link between circadian clock and cancer, and speculates on the possible connections at the epigenetic level that could further link the circadian clock to tumor initiation or progression.

  4. Imaging epigenetics in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lista, Simone; Garaci, Francesco G; Toschi, Nicola; Hampel, Harald

    2013-01-01

    Sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a prevalent, complex and chronically progressive brain disease. Its course is non-linear, dynamic, adaptive to maladaptive, and compensatory to decompensatory, affecting large-scale neural networks through a plethora of mechanistic and signaling pathway alterations that converge into regional and cell type-specific neurodegeneration and, finally, into clinically overt cognitive and behavioral decline. This decline includes reductions in the activities of daily living, quality of life, independence, and life expectancy. Evolving lines of research suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a crucial role during AD development and progression. Epigenetics designates molecular mechanisms that alter gene expression without modifications of the genetic code. This topic includes modifications on DNA and histone proteins, the primary elements of chromatin structure. Accumulating evidence has revealed the relevant processes that mediate epigenetic modifications and has begun to elucidate how these processes are apparently dysregulated in AD. This evidence has led to the clarification of the roles of specific classes of therapeutic compounds that affect epigenetic pathways and characteristics of the epigenome. This insight is accompanied by the development of new methods for studying the global patterns of DNA methylation and chromatin alterations. In particular, high-throughput sequencing approaches, such as next-generation DNA sequencing techniques, are beginning to drive the field into the next stage of development. In parallel, genetic imaging is beginning to answer additional questions through its ability to uncover genetic variants, with or without genome-wide significance, that are related to brain structure, function and metabolism, which impact disease risk and fundamental network-based cognitive processes. Neuroimaging measures can further be used to define AD systems and endophenotypes. The integration of genetic neuroimaging

  5. Nutritional influences on epigenetics and age-related disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutritional epigenetics has emerged as a novel mechanism underlying gene–diet interactions, further elucidating the modulatory role of nutrition in aging and age-related disease development. Epigenetics is defined as a heritable modification to the DNA that regulates chromosome architecture and modu...

  6. Epigenetic Dysregulation in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thian-Sze Wong

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Laryngeal carcinoma is a common head and neck cancer with poor prognosis. Patients with laryngeal carcinoma usually present late leading to the reduced treatment efficacy and high rate of recurrence. Despite the advance in the use of molecular markers for monitoring human cancers in the past decades, there are still no reliable markers for use to screen laryngeal carcinoma and follow the patients after treatment. Epigenetics emerged as an important field in understanding the biology of the human malignancies. Epigenetic alterations refer to the dysregulation of gene, which do not involve the alterations of the DNA sequence. Major epigenetic changes including methylation imbalance, histone modification, and small RNA dysregulation could play a role in the development of human malignancies. Global epigenetic change is now regarded as a molecular signature of cancer. The characteristics and behavior of a cancer could be predicted based on the specific epigenetic pattern. We here provide a review on the understanding of epigenetic dysregulation in laryngeal carcinoma. Further knowledge on the initiation and progression of laryngeal carcinoma at epigenetic level could promote the translation of the knowledge to clinical use.

  7. Learning epigenetic regulation from mycobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Khosla

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In a eukaryotic cell, the transcriptional fate of a gene is determined by the profile of the epigenetic modifications it is associated with and the conformation it adopts within the chromatin. Therefore, the function that a cell performs is dictated by the sum total of the chromatin organization and the associated epigenetic modifications of each individual gene in the genome (epigenome. As the function of a cell during development and differentiation is determined by its microenvironment, any factor that can alter this microenvironment should be able to alter the epigenome of a cell. In the study published in Nature Communications (Yaseen [2015] Nature Communications 6:8922 doi: 10.1038/ncomms9922, we show that pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis has evolved strategies to exploit this pliability of the host epigenome for its own survival. We describe the identification of a methyltransferase from M. tuberculosis that functions to modulate the host epigenome by methylating a novel, non-canonical arginine, H3R42 in histone H3. In another study, we showed that the mycobacterial protein Rv2966c methylates cytosines present in non-CpG context within host genomic DNA upon infection. Proteins with ability to directly methylate host histones H3 at a novel lysine residue (H3K14 has also been identified from Legionella pnemophilia (RomA. All these studies indicate the use of non-canonical epigenetic mechanisms by pathogenic bacteria to hijack the host transcriptional machinery.

  8. Epigenetic control of plant immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, María E; Nota, Florencia; Cambiagno, Damián A

    2010-07-01

    In eukaryotic genomes, gene expression and DNA recombination are affected by structural chromatin traits. Chromatin structure is shaped by the activity of enzymes that either introduce covalent modifications in DNA and histone proteins or use energy from ATP to disrupt histone-DNA interactions. The genomic 'marks' that are generated by covalent modifications of histones and DNA, or by the deposition of histone variants, are susceptible to being altered in response to stress. Recent evidence has suggested that proteins generating these epigenetic marks play crucial roles in the defence against pathogens. Histone deacetylases are involved in the activation of jasmonic acid- and ethylene-sensitive defence mechanisms. ATP-dependent chromatin remodellers mediate the constitutive repression of the salicylic acid-dependent pathway, whereas histone methylation at the WRKY70 gene promoter affects the activation of this pathway. Interestingly, bacterial-infected tissues show a net reduction in DNA methylation, which may affect the disease resistance genes responsible for the surveillance against pathogens. As some epigenetic marks can be erased or maintained and transmitted to offspring, epigenetic mechanisms may provide plasticity for the dynamic control of emerging pathogens without the generation of genomic lesions.

  9. Epigenetics and Epigenomics of Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Chandra Bhan; Pandey, Garima; Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Prasad, Manoj

    2018-01-23

    The genetic material DNA in association with histone proteins forms the complex structure called chromatin, which is prone to undergo modification through certain epigenetic mechanisms including cytosine DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small RNA-mediated methylation. Alterations in chromatin structure lead to inaccessibility of genomic DNA to various regulatory proteins such as transcription factors, which eventually modulates gene expression. Advancements in high-throughput sequencing technologies have provided the opportunity to study the epigenetic mechanisms at genome-wide levels. Epigenomic studies using high-throughput technologies will widen the understanding of mechanisms as well as functions of regulatory pathways in plant genomes, which will further help in manipulating these pathways using genetic and biochemical approaches. This technology could be a potential research tool for displaying the systematic associations of genetic and epigenetic variations, especially in terms of cytosine methylation onto the genomic region in a specific cell or tissue. A comprehensive study of plant populations to correlate genotype to epigenotype and to phenotype, and also the study of methyl quantitative trait loci (QTL) or epiGWAS, is possible by using high-throughput sequencing methods, which will further accelerate molecular breeding programs for crop improvement. Graphical Abstract.

  10. Epigenetics: relevance and implications for public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozek, Laura S; Dolinoy, Dana C; Sartor, Maureen A; Omenn, Gilbert S

    2014-01-01

    Improved understanding of the multilayer regulation of the human genome has led to a greater appreciation of environmental, nutritional, and epigenetic risk factors for human disease. Chromatin remodeling, histone tail modifications, and DNA methylation are dynamic epigenetic changes responsive to external stimuli. Careful interpretation can provide insights for actionable public health through collaboration between population and basic scientists and through integration of multiple data sources. We review key findings in environmental epigenetics both in human population studies and in animal models, and discuss the implications of these results for risk assessment and public health protection. To ultimately succeed in identifying epigenetic mechanisms leading to complex phenotypes and disease, researchers must integrate the various animal models, human clinical approaches, and human population approaches while paying attention to life-stage sensitivity, to generate effective prescriptions for human health evaluation and disease prevention.

  11. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2017-10-06

    The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (MS) forged in the mid-twentieth century was built on a notion of heredity that excluded soft inheritance, the inheritance of the effects of developmental modifications. However, the discovery of molecular mechanisms that generate random and developmentally induced epigenetic variations is leading to a broadening of the notion of biological heredity that has consequences for ideas about evolution. After presenting some old challenges to the MS that were raised, among others, by Karl Popper, I discuss recent research on epigenetic inheritance, which provides experimental and theoretical support for these challenges. There is now good evidence that epigenetic inheritance is ubiquitous and is involved in adaptive evolution and macroevolution. I argue that the many evolutionary consequences of epigenetic inheritance open up new research areas and require the extension of the evolutionary synthesis beyond the current neo-Darwinian model.

  12. Epigenetics: a new bridge between nutrition and health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutrients can reverse or change epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby modifying the expression of critical genes associated with physiologic and pathologic processes, including embryonic development, aging, and carcinogenesis. It appears that nutrients and b...

  13. Cocaine promotes both initiation and elongation phase of HIV-1 transcription by activating NF-κB and MSK1 and inducing selective epigenetic modifications at HIV-1 LTR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahu, Geetaram; Farley, Kalamo; El-Hage, Nazira; Aiamkitsumrit, Benjamas; Fassnacht, Ryan; Kashanchi, Fatah; Ochem, Alex; Simon, Gary L.; Karn, Jonathan; Hauser, Kurt F.; Tyagi, Mudit

    2015-01-01

    Cocaine accelerates human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication by altering specific cell-signaling and epigenetic pathways. We have elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms through which cocaine exerts its effect in myeloid cells, a major target of HIV-1 in central nervous system (CNS). We demonstrate that cocaine treatment promotes HIV-1 gene expression by activating both nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-ĸB) and mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1). MSK1 subsequently catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10, and p65 subunit of NF-ĸB at 276th serine residue. These modifications enhance the interaction of NF-ĸB with P300 and promote the recruitment of the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) to the HIV-1 LTR, supporting the development of an open/relaxed chromatin configuration, and facilitating the initiation and elongation phases of HIV-1 transcription. Results are also confirmed in primary monocyte derived macrophages (MDM). Overall, our study provides detailed insights into cocaine-driven HIV-1 transcription and replication. - Highlights: • Cocaine induces the initiation phase of HIV transcription by activating NF-ĸB. • Cocaine induced NF-ĸB phosphorylation promotes its interaction with P300. • Cocaine enhances the elongation phase of HIV transcription by stimulating MSK1. • Cocaine activated MSK1 catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at its Ser10. • Cocaine induced H3S10 phosphorylation facilitates the recruitment of P-TEFb at LTR

  14. Cocaine promotes both initiation and elongation phase of HIV-1 transcription by activating NF-κB and MSK1 and inducing selective epigenetic modifications at HIV-1 LTR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sahu, Geetaram; Farley, Kalamo [Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC (United States); El-Hage, Nazira [Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (United States); Aiamkitsumrit, Benjamas; Fassnacht, Ryan [Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC (United States); Kashanchi, Fatah [George Mason University, Manassas, VA (United States); Ochem, Alex [ICGEB, Wernher and Beit Building, Anzio Road, Observatory, 7925 Cape Town (South Africa); Simon, Gary L. [Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC (United States); Karn, Jonathan [Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (United States); Hauser, Kurt F. [Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (United States); Tyagi, Mudit, E-mail: tmudit@email.gwu.edu [Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC (United States); Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037 (United States)

    2015-09-15

    Cocaine accelerates human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication by altering specific cell-signaling and epigenetic pathways. We have elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms through which cocaine exerts its effect in myeloid cells, a major target of HIV-1 in central nervous system (CNS). We demonstrate that cocaine treatment promotes HIV-1 gene expression by activating both nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-ĸB) and mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1). MSK1 subsequently catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10, and p65 subunit of NF-ĸB at 276th serine residue. These modifications enhance the interaction of NF-ĸB with P300 and promote the recruitment of the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) to the HIV-1 LTR, supporting the development of an open/relaxed chromatin configuration, and facilitating the initiation and elongation phases of HIV-1 transcription. Results are also confirmed in primary monocyte derived macrophages (MDM). Overall, our study provides detailed insights into cocaine-driven HIV-1 transcription and replication. - Highlights: • Cocaine induces the initiation phase of HIV transcription by activating NF-ĸB. • Cocaine induced NF-ĸB phosphorylation promotes its interaction with P300. • Cocaine enhances the elongation phase of HIV transcription by stimulating MSK1. • Cocaine activated MSK1 catalyzes the phosphorylation of histone H3 at its Ser10. • Cocaine induced H3S10 phosphorylation facilitates the recruitment of P-TEFb at LTR.

  15. Environment, epigenetics and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K

    2017-07-01

    A conference summary of the third biannual Kenya Africa Conference "Environment, Epigenetics and Reproduction" is provided. A partial special Environmental Epigenetics issue containing a number of papers in Volume 3, Issue 3 and 4 are discussed.

  16. Epigenetic Effects of Cannabis Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szutorisz, Henrietta; Hurd, Yasmin L.

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a number of societal and political changes that have raised critical questions about the long-term impact of marijuana (Cannabis sativa) that are especially important given the prevalence of its abuse and that potential long-term effects still largely lack scientific data. Disturbances of the epigenome have generally been hypothesized as the molecular machinery underlying the persistent, often tissue-specific transcriptional and behavioral effects of cannabinoids that have been observed within one’s lifetime and even into the subsequent generation. Here, we provide an overview of the current published scientific literature that examined epigenetic effects of cannabinoids. Though mechanistic insights about the epigenome remain sparse, accumulating data in humans and animal models have begun to reveal aberrant epigenetic modifications in brain and the periphery linked to cannabis exposure. Expansion of such knowledge and causal molecular relationships could help provide novel targets for future therapeutic interventions. PMID:26546076

  17. Environmental Epigenetics: Crossroad between Public Health, Lifestyle, and Cancer Prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romani, Massimo; Pistillo, Maria Pia; Banelli, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the key to transform the genetic information into phenotype and because of its reversibility it is considered an ideal target for therapeutic interventions. This paper reviews the basic mechanisms of epigenetic control: DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and ncRNA expression and their role in disease development. We describe also the influence of the environment, lifestyle, nutritional habits, and the psychological influence on epigenetic marks and how these factors are related to cancer and other diseases development. Finally we discuss the potential use of natural epigenetic modifiers in the chemoprevention of cancer to link together public health, environment, and lifestyle. PMID:26339624

  18. MicroRNAs, epigenetics and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silahtaroglu, Asli; Stenvang, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the heritable chances that affect gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression can be through different mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and nucleosome positioning. MicroRNAs are short RNA molecules...... which do not code for a protein but have a role in post-transcriptional silencing of multiple target genes by binding to their 3' UTRs (untranslated regions). Both epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, and the microRNAs are crucial for normal differentiation...... diseases. In the present chapter we will mainly focus on microRNAs and methylation and their implications in human disease, mainly in cancer....

  19. Rice epigenomics and epigenetics: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiangsong; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2013-05-01

    During recent years rice genome-wide epigenomic information such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, which are important for genome activity has been accumulated. The function of a number of rice epigenetic regulators has been studied, many of which are found to be involved in a diverse range of developmental and stress-responsive pathways. Analysis of epigenetic variations among different rice varieties indicates that epigenetic modification may lead to inheritable phenotypic variation. Characterizing phenotypic consequences of rice epigenomic variations and the underlining chromatin mechanism and identifying epialleles related to important agronomic traits may provide novel strategies to enhance agronomically favorable traits and grain productivity in rice. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yun, Jihye; Johnson, Jared L.; Hanigan, Christin L.; Locasale, Jason W.

    2012-01-01

    Cancer progression is accompanied by widespread transcriptional changes and metabolic alterations. While it is widely accepted that the origin of cancer can be traced to the mutations that accumulate over time, relatively recent evidence favors a similarly fundamental role for alterations in the epigenome during tumorigenesis. Changes in epigenetics that arise from post-translational modifications of histones and DNA are exploited by cancer cells to upregulate and/or downregulate the expression levels of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, respectively. Although the mechanisms behind these modifications, in particular how they lead to gene silencing and activation, are still being understood, most of the enzymatic machinery of epigenetics require metabolites as substrates or cofactors. As a result, their activities can be influenced by the metabolic state of the cell. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of cancer epigenetics and metabolism and provide examples of where they converge.

  1. Landscaping plant epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, Peter C; Spillane, Charles

    2014-01-01

    The understanding of epigenetic mechanisms is necessary for assessing the potential impacts of epigenetics on plant growth, development and reproduction, and ultimately for the response of these factors to evolutionary pressures and crop breeding programs. This volume highlights the latest in laboratory and bioinformatic techniques used for the investigation of epigenetic phenomena in plants. Such techniques now allow genome-wide analyses of epigenetic regulation and help to advance our understanding of how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms affect cellular and genome function. To set the scene, we begin with a short background of how the field of epigenetics has evolved, with a particular focus on plant epigenetics. We consider what has historically been understood by the term "epigenetics" before turning to the advances in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics which have led to current-day definitions of the term. Following this, we pay attention to key discoveries in the field of epigenetics that have emerged from the study of unusual and enigmatic phenomena in plants. Many of these phenomena have involved cases of non-Mendelian inheritance and have often been dismissed as mere curiosities prior to the elucidation of their molecular mechanisms. In the penultimate section, consideration is given to how advances in molecular techniques are opening the doors to a more comprehensive understanding of epigenetic phenomena in plants. We conclude by assessing some opportunities, challenges, and techniques for epigenetic research in both model and non-model plants, in particular for advancing understanding of the regulation of genome function by epigenetic mechanisms.

  2. Epigenetics of inflammation, maternal infection and nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  3. Epigenetics: Making your mark on DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Bryan T.; He, Chuan

    2017-11-01

    Understanding the biological roles of modifications to DNA, RNA and proteins is critical to revealing how cells regulate gene expression in development and disease. Two papers now present a combination of new tools and discoveries that could enable biologists and chemical biologists to better study epigenetic regulation in mammals.

  4. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, John; Cooley, Vic

    2016-01-01

    The International Space Station (ISS) is a state-of-the orbiting laboratory focused on advancing science and technology research. Experiments being conducted on the ISS include investigations in the emerging field of Epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to stably heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype (the transcriptional potential of a cell) resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations to the underlying DNA nucleotide sequence (the genetic code), which are caused by external or environmental factors, such as spaceflight microgravity. Molecular mechanisms associated with epigenetic alterations regulating gene expression patterns include covalent chemical modifications of DNA (e.g., methylation) or histone proteins (e.g., acetylation, phorphorylation, or ubiquitination). For example, Epigenetics ("Epigenetics in Spaceflown C. elegans") is a recent JAXA investigation examining whether adaptations to microgravity transmit from one cell generation to another without changing the basic DNA of the organism. Mouse Epigenetics ("Transcriptome Analysis and Germ-Cell Development Analysis of Mice in Space") investigates molecular alterations in organ-specific gene expression patterns and epigenetic modifications, and analyzes murine germ cell development during long term spaceflight, as well as assessing changes in offspring DNA. NASA's first foray into human Omics research, the Twins Study ("Differential effects of homozygous twin astronauts associated with differences in exposure to spaceflight factors"), includes investigations evaluating differential epigenetic effects via comprehensive whole genome analysis, the landscape of DNA and RNA methylation, and biomolecular changes by means of longitudinal integrated multi-omics research. And the inaugural Genes in Space student challenge experiment (Genes in Space-1) is aimed at understanding how epigenetics plays a role in immune system dysregulation by assaying DNA methylation in immune cells

  5. Advances in epigenetics and epigenomics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2011-10-01

    In the post-genomic era, epigenetic factors-literally those that are "over" or "above" genetic ones and responsible for controlling the expression and function of genes-have emerged as important mediators of development and aging; gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions; and the pathophysiology of complex disease states. Here, we provide a brief overview of the major epigenetic mechanisms (ie, DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA regulation). We highlight the nearly ubiquitous profiles of epigenetic dysregulation that have been found in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also review innovative methods and technologies that enable the characterization of individual epigenetic modifications and more widespread epigenomic states at high resolution. We conclude that, together with complementary genetic, genomic, and related approaches, interrogating epigenetic and epigenomic profiles in neurodegenerative diseases represent important and increasingly practical strategies for advancing our understanding of and the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders.

  6. Epigenetic targets in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murugesan Manoharan

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer (PC is one of leading cause of cancer related deaths in men. Various aspects of cancer epigenetics are rapidly evolving and the role of 2 major epigenetic changes including DNA methylation and histone modifications in prostate cancer is being studied widely. The epigenetic changes are early event in the cancer development and are reversible. Novel epigenetic markers are being studied, which have the potential as sensitive diagnostic and prognostic marker. Variety of drugs targeting epigenetic changes are being studied, which can be effective individually or in combination with other conventional drugs in PC treatment. In this review, we discuss epigenetic changes associated with PC and their potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications including future areas of research.

  7. Epigenetic Impact on EBV Associated B-Cell Lymphomagenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shatadru Ghosh Roy

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications leading to either transcriptional repression or activation, play an indispensable role in the development of human cancers. Epidemiological study revealed that approximately 20% of all human cancers are associated with tumor viruses. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, the first human tumor virus, demonstrates frequent epigenetic alterations on both viral and host genomes in associated cancers—both of epithelial and lymphoid origin. The cell type-dependent different EBV latent gene expression patterns appear to be determined by the cellular epigenetic machinery and similarly viral oncoproteins recruit epigenetic regulators in order to deregulate the cellular gene expression profile resulting in several human cancers. This review elucidates the epigenetic consequences of EBV–host interactions during development of multiple EBV-induced B-cell lymphomas, which may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic interventions against EBV-associated B-cell lymphomas by alteration of reversible patho-epigenetic markings.

  8. Epigenetics: ambiguities and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola; Griffiths, Paul

    2016-12-01

    Everyone has heard of 'epigenetics', but the term means different things to different researchers. Four important contemporary meanings are outlined in this paper. Epigenetics in its various senses has implications for development, heredity, and evolution, and also for medicine. Concerning development, it cements the vision of a reactive genome strongly coupled to its environment. Concerning heredity, both narrowly epigenetic and broader 'exogenetic' systems of inheritance play important roles in the construction of phenotypes. A thoroughly epigenetic model of development and evolution was Waddington's aim when he introduced the term 'epigenetics' in the 1940s, but it has taken the modern development of molecular epigenetics to realize this aim. In the final sections of the paper we briefly outline some further implications of epigenetics for medicine and for the nature/nurture debate.

  9. Epigenetic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Perspectives for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunio Miyake

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The number of children with mild neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, has been recently increasing in advanced countries. This increase is probably caused by environmental factors rather than genetic factors, because it is unlikely that genetic mutation rates suddenly increased within a short period. Epigenetics is a mechanism that regulates gene expression, depending not on the underlying DNA sequence but on the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins. Because mental stress can alter the epigenetic status in neuronal cells, environmental factors may alter brain function through epigenetic changes. However, one advantage of epigenetic changes is their reversibility. Therefore, diseases due to abnormal epigenetic regulation are theoretically treatable. In fact, several drugs for treating mental diseases are known to have restoring effects on aberrant epigenetic statuses, and a novel therapeutic strategy targeting gene has been developed. In this review, we discuss epigenetic mechanisms of congenital and acquired neurodevelopmental disorders, drugs with epigenetic effects, novel therapeutic strategies for epigenetic diseases, and future perspectives in epigenetic medicine.

  10. Bioinformatics Tools for Genome-Wide Epigenetic Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angarica, Vladimir Espinosa; Del Sol, Antonio

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetics play a central role in the regulation of many important cellular processes, and dysregulations at the epigenetic level could be the source of serious pathologies, such as neurological disorders affecting brain development, neurodegeneration, and intellectual disability. Despite significant technological advances for epigenetic profiling, there is still a need for a systematic understanding of how epigenetics shapes cellular circuitry, and disease pathogenesis. The development of accurate computational approaches for analyzing complex epigenetic profiles is essential for disentangling the mechanisms underlying cellular development, and the intricate interaction networks determining and sensing chromatin modifications and DNA methylation to control gene expression. In this chapter, we review the recent advances in the field of "computational epigenetics," including computational methods for processing different types of epigenetic data, prediction of chromatin states, and study of protein dynamics. We also discuss how "computational epigenetics" has complemented the fast growth in the generation of epigenetic data for uncovering the main differences and similarities at the epigenetic level between individuals and the mechanisms underlying disease onset and progression.

  11. New insights into the epigenetics of inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballestar, Esteban; Li, Tianlu

    2017-10-01

    Over the past decade, awareness of the importance of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases has grown in parallel with a general recognition of the fundamental role of epigenetics in the regulation of gene expression. Large-scale efforts to generate genome-wide maps of epigenetic modifications in different cell types, as well as in physiological and pathological contexts, illustrate the increasing recognition of the relevance of epigenetics. To date, although several reports have demonstrated the occurrence of epigenetic alterations in a wide range of inflammatory rheumatic conditions, epigenomic information is rarely used in a clinical setting. By contrast, several epigenetic biomarkers and treatments are currently in use for personalized therapies in patients with cancer. This Review highlights advances from the past 5 years in the field of epigenetics and their application to inflammatory rheumatic diseases, delineating the future lines of development for a rational use of epigenetic information in clinical settings and in personalized medicine. These advances include the identification of epipolymorphisms associated with clinical outcomes, DNA methylation as a contributor to disease susceptibility in rheumatic conditions, the discovery of novel epigenetic mechanisms that modulate disease susceptibility and the development of new epigenetic therapies.

  12. Chromatin proteins and modifications as drug targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helin, Kristian; Dhanak, Dashyant

    2013-01-01

    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 frequent event in disease, and the first epigenetic-based therapies for cancer treatment have been approved. A generation of new classes of potent and specific inhibitors for several chromatin-associated proteins have shown promise in preclinical trials. Although the biology of epigenetic regulation...

  13. The danger of epigenetics misconceptions (epigenetics and stuff…).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgel, Philippe T

    2015-12-01

    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.

  14. Shared molecular and cellular mechanisms of premature ageing and ageing-associated diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubben, Nard; Misteli, Tom

    2017-10-01

    Ageing is the predominant risk factor for many common diseases. Human premature ageing diseases are powerful model systems to identify and characterize cellular mechanisms that underpin physiological ageing. Their study also leads to a better understanding of the causes, drivers and potential therapeutic strategies of common diseases associated with ageing, including neurological disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Using the rare premature ageing disorder Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome as a paradigm, we discuss here the shared mechanisms between premature ageing and ageing-associated diseases, including defects in genetic, epigenetic and metabolic pathways; mitochondrial and protein homeostasis; cell cycle; and stem cell-regenerative capacity.

  15. Epigenetic modulators of thyroid cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Rodero, Sandra; Delgado-Álvarez, Elías; Díaz-Naya, Lucía; Martín Nieto, Alicia; Menéndez Torre, Edelmiro

    2017-01-01

    There are some well known factors involved in the etiology of thyroid cancer, including iodine deficiency, radiation exposure at early ages, or some genetic changes. However, epigenetic modulators that may contribute to development of these tumors and be helpful to for both their diagnosis and treatment have recently been discovered. The currently known changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs in each type of thyroid carcinoma are reviewed here. Copyright © 2016 SEEN. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  16. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beerman, Isabel; Rossi, Derrick J.

    2014-01-01

    Aging is invariably associated with alterations of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment, including loss of functional capacity, altered clonal composition, and changes in lineage contribution. Although accumulation of DNA damage occurs during HSC aging, it is unlikely such consistent aging phenotypes could be solely attributed to changes in DNA integrity. Another mechanism by which heritable traits could contribute to the changes in the functional potential of aged HSCs is through alterations in the epigenetic landscape of adult stem cells. Indeed, recent studies on hematopoietic stem cells have suggested that altered epigenetic profiles are associated with HSC aging and play a key role in modulating the functional potential of HSCs at different stages during ontogeny. Even small changes of the epigenetic landscape can lead to robustly altered expression patterns, either directly by loss of regulatory control or through indirect, additive effects, ultimately leading to transcriptional changes of the stem cells. Potential drivers of such changes in the epigenetic landscape of aged HSCs include proliferative history, DNA damage, and deregulation of key epigenetic enzymes and complexes. This review will focus largely on the two most characterized epigenetic marks – DNA methylation and histone modifications – but will also discuss the potential role of non-coding RNAs in regulating HSC function during aging

  17. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razvi, Enal S

    2011-02-01

    The field of epigenetics is now on a geometric rise, driven in a large part by the realization that modifiers of chromatin are key regulators of biological processes in vivo. The three major classes of epigenetic effectors are DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications (such as acetylation, methylation or phosphorylation) and small noncoding RNAs (most notably microRNAs). In this article, I report from Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010 industry conference held on 14-15 September 2010 at The Burlington Hotel, Dublin, Ireland. This industry conference was extremely well attended with a global pool of delegates representing the academic research community, biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies, as well as the technology/tool developers. This conference represented the current state of the epigenetics community with cancer/oncology as a key driver. In fact, it has been estimated that approximately 45% of epigenetic researchers today identify cancer/oncology as their main area of focus vis-à-vis their epigenetic research efforts.

  18. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beerman, Isabel, E-mail: isabel.beerman@childrens.harvard.edu [Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children' s Hospital, MA 02116 (United States); Rossi, Derrick J. [Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children' s Hospital, MA 02116 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    Aging is invariably associated with alterations of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment, including loss of functional capacity, altered clonal composition, and changes in lineage contribution. Although accumulation of DNA damage occurs during HSC aging, it is unlikely such consistent aging phenotypes could be solely attributed to changes in DNA integrity. Another mechanism by which heritable traits could contribute to the changes in the functional potential of aged HSCs is through alterations in the epigenetic landscape of adult stem cells. Indeed, recent studies on hematopoietic stem cells have suggested that altered epigenetic profiles are associated with HSC aging and play a key role in modulating the functional potential of HSCs at different stages during ontogeny. Even small changes of the epigenetic landscape can lead to robustly altered expression patterns, either directly by loss of regulatory control or through indirect, additive effects, ultimately leading to transcriptional changes of the stem cells. Potential drivers of such changes in the epigenetic landscape of aged HSCs include proliferative history, DNA damage, and deregulation of key epigenetic enzymes and complexes. This review will focus largely on the two most characterized epigenetic marks – DNA methylation and histone modifications – but will also discuss the potential role of non-coding RNAs in regulating HSC function during aging.

  19. Conference Scene: epigenetics eh! The first formal meeting of the Canadian epigenetics community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underhill, Alan; Hendzel, Michael J

    2011-08-01

    In recognition of Canada's longstanding interest in epigenetics - and a particular linguistic interjection - the inaugural 'Epigenetics, Eh!' conference was held between 4-7 May 2011 in London, Ontario. The meeting struck an excellent balance between Canadian and international leaders in epigenetic research while also providing a venue to showcase up-and-coming talent. Almost without exception, presentations touched on the wide-ranging and severe consequences of epigenetic dysfunction, as well as current and emerging therapeutic opportunities. While gaining a deeper understanding of how DNA and histone modifications, together with multiple classes of ncRNAs, act to functionalize our genome, participants were also provided with a glimpse of the astounding complexity of chromatin structure, challenging existing dogma.

  20. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andee Weisbeck

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths with a dismal average five-year survival rate of six percent. Substitutional progress has been made in understanding how pancreatic cancer develops and progresses. Evidence is mounting which demonstrates that diet and nutrition are key factors in carcinogenesis. In particular, diets low in folate and high in fruits, vegetables, red/processed meat, and saturated fat have been identified as pancreatic cancer risk factors with a proposed mechanism involving epigenetic modifications or gene regulation. We review the current literature assessing the correlation between diet, epigenetics, and pancreatic cancer.

  1. Epigenetic Aspects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Schmidt

    2011-01-01

    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.

  2. An introduction to the science of epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JB Thapa

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics has emerged as an important new discipline. This review provides deeper insights into understanding basic defects in methylation, histone modification, and RNA induced silencing of tumours. These mechanisms have important diagnostic and therapeutic implications for many tumours and diseases. New anti-epigenetic based drug therapies have been developed and drug trials are underway. The future will see further developments in this field. Journal of Pathology of Nepal (2013 Vol. 3, No.1, Issue 5, 408-410 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/jpn.v3i5.7870

  3. Epigenetics application in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harb-de la Rosa, Alfredo; Acker, Matthew; Kumar, Raj A; Manoharan, Murugesan

    2015-10-01

    Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the Western world. Patients with bladder cancer require close monitoring, which may include frequent cystoscopy and urine cytology. Such monitoring results in significant health care cost. The application of epigenetics may allow for a risk adapted approach and more cost-effective method of monitoring. A number of epigenetic changes have been described for many cancer sites, including the urinary bladder. In this review, we discuss the use of epigenetics in bladder cancer and the potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications. A comprehensive search of the English medical literature was conducted in PubMed using the terms microRNA regulation, DNA methylation, histone modification and bladder cancer. The most important epigenetic changes include DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA regulation. Both DNA hypomethylation and hypermethylation have been associated with higher rate of cancer. The association of epigenetic changes with bladder cancer has led to the research of its diagnostic and prognostic implications as well as to the development of novel drugs to target these changes with the aim of achieving a survival benefit. Recently, epigenetics has been shown to play a much greater role than previously anticipated in the initiation and propagation of many tumors. The use of epigenetics for the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer is an evolving and promising field. The possibility of reversing epigenetic changes may facilitate additional cancer treatment options in the future.

  4. Epigenetics and obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Stöger, Reinhard

    2008-01-01

    Common DNA sequence variants inadequately explain variability in fat mass among individuals. Abnormal body weights are characteristic of specific imprinted-gene disorders. However, the relevance of imprinted genes to our understanding of obesity among the general population is uncertain. Hitherto unidentified imprinted genes and epigenetic mosaicism are two of the challenges for this emerging field of epigenetics. Subtle epigenetic differences in imprinted genes and gene networks are likely t...

  5. Epigenetics: beyond genes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fossey, A

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available in forestry breeding. Keywords Gene regulation; chromatin; histone code hyporthesis; RNA silencing; post transcriptional gene silencing; forestry. Introduction to epigenetic phenomena Most living organisms share a vast amount of genetic information... (Rapp and Wendel, 2005). Epigenetic phenomena pervade all aspects of cell proliferation and plant development and are often in conflict with Mendelian models of genetics (Grant-Downton and Dickinson, 2005). A key element in many epigenetic effects...

  6. Recent developments in epigenetics of acute and chronic kidney diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Marpadga A; Natarajan, Rama

    2015-08-01

    The growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, the aging population as well as prevalence of drug abuse has led to significant increases in the rates of the closely associated acute and chronic kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy. Furthermore, evidence shows that parental behavior and diet can affect the phenotype of subsequent generations via epigenetic transmission mechanisms. These data suggest a strong influence of the environment on disease susceptibility and that, apart from genetic susceptibility, epigenetic mechanisms need to be evaluated to gain critical new information about kidney diseases. Epigenetics is the study of processes that control gene expression and phenotype without alterations in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, including cytosine DNA methylation and covalent post-translational modifications of histones in chromatin, are part of the epigenome, the interface between the stable genome and the variable environment. This dynamic epigenetic layer responds to external environmental cues to influence the expression of genes associated with disease states. The field of epigenetics has seen remarkable growth in the past few years with significant advances in basic biology, contributions to human disease, as well as epigenomics technologies. Further understanding of how the renal cell epigenome is altered by metabolic and other stimuli can yield novel new insights into the pathogenesis of kidney diseases. In this review, we have discussed the current knowledge on the role of epigenetic mechanisms (primarily DNAme and histone modifications) in acute and chronic kidney diseases, and their translational potential to identify much needed new therapies.

  7. Computational Modelling Approaches on Epigenetic Factors in Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases and Their Mechanistic Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afroza Khanam Irin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative as well as autoimmune diseases have unclear aetiologies, but an increasing number of evidences report for a combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations that predispose for the development of disease. This review examines the major milestones in epigenetics research in the context of diseases and various computational approaches developed in the last decades to unravel new epigenetic modifications. However, there are limited studies that systematically link genetic and epigenetic alterations of DNA to the aetiology of diseases. In this work, we demonstrate how disease-related epigenetic knowledge can be systematically captured and integrated with heterogeneous information into a functional context using Biological Expression Language (BEL. This novel methodology, based on BEL, enables us to integrate epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation or acetylation of histones into a specific disease network. As an example, we depict the integration of epigenetic and genetic factors in a functional context specific to Parkinson’s disease (PD and Multiple Sclerosis (MS.

  8. Epigenetic Control of Stem Cell Potential During Homeostasis, Aging, and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerman, Isabel; Rossi, Derrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Stem cell decline is an important cellular driver of aging-associated pathophysiology in multiple tissues. Epigenetic regulation is central to establishing and maintaining stem cell function, and emerging evidence indicates that epigenetic dysregulation contributes to the altered potential of stem cells during aging. Unlike terminally differentiated cells, the impact of epigenetic dysregulation in stem cells is propagated beyond self; alterations can be heritably transmitted to differentiated progeny, in addition to being perpetuated and amplified within the stem cell pool through self-renewal divisions. This review focuses on recent studies examining epigenetic regulation of tissue-specific stem cells in homeostasis, aging, and aging-related disease. PMID:26046761

  9. The role of non-genetic inheritance in evolutionary rescue: epigenetic buffering, heritable bet hedging and epigenetic traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Dea, Rose E; Noble, Daniel W A; Johnson, Sheri L; Hesselson, Daniel; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2016-01-01

    Rapid environmental change is predicted to compromise population survival, and the resulting strong selective pressure can erode genetic variation, making evolutionary rescue unlikely. Non-genetic inheritance may provide a solution to this problem and help explain the current lack of fit between purely genetic evolutionary models and empirical data. We hypothesize that epigenetic modifications can facilitate evolutionary rescue through 'epigenetic buffering'. By facilitating the inheritance of novel phenotypic variants that are generated by environmental change-a strategy we call 'heritable bet hedging'-epigenetic modifications could maintain and increase the evolutionary potential of a population. This process may facilitate genetic adaptation by preserving existing genetic variation, releasing cryptic genetic variation and/or facilitating mutations in functional loci. Although we show that examples of non-genetic inheritance are often maladaptive in the short term, accounting for phenotypic variance and non-adaptive plasticity may reveal important evolutionary implications over longer time scales. We also discuss the possibility that maladaptive epigenetic responses may be due to 'epigenetic traps', whereby evolutionarily novel factors (e.g. endocrine disruptors) hack into the existing epigenetic machinery. We stress that more ecologically relevant work on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is required. Researchers conducting studies on transgenerational environmental effects should report measures of phenotypic variance, so that the possibility of both bet hedging and heritable bet hedging can be assessed. Future empirical and theoretical work is required to assess the relative importance of genetic and epigenetic variation, and their interaction, for evolutionary rescue.

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in the initiation of hematological malignancies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Maleki

    2011-10-01

    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

  11. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Simon J; Haendler, Bernard

    2017-05-09

    Prostate cancer affects an increasing number of men worldwide and is a leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. Beside genetic mutations, many epigenetic alterations including DNA and histone modifications have been identified in clinical prostate tumor samples. They have been linked to aberrant activity of enzymes and reader proteins involved in these epigenetic processes, leading to the search for dedicated inhibitory compounds. In the wake of encouraging anti-tumor efficacy results in preclinical models, epigenetic modulators addressing different targets are now being tested in prostate cancer patients. In addition, the assessment of microRNAs as stratification biomarkers, and early clinical trials evaluating suppressor microRNAs as potential prostate cancer treatment are being discussed.

  12. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J. Baumgart

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer affects an increasing number of men worldwide and is a leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. Beside genetic mutations, many epigenetic alterations including DNA and histone modifications have been identified in clinical prostate tumor samples. They have been linked to aberrant activity of enzymes and reader proteins involved in these epigenetic processes, leading to the search for dedicated inhibitory compounds. In the wake of encouraging anti-tumor efficacy results in preclinical models, epigenetic modulators addressing different targets are now being tested in prostate cancer patients. In addition, the assessment of microRNAs as stratification biomarkers, and early clinical trials evaluating suppressor microRNAs as potential prostate cancer treatment are being discussed.

  13. Epigenetics and the Developmental Origins of Health and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epigenetic programming is likely to be an important mechanism underlying the lasting influence of the developmental environment on lifelong health, a concept known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). DNA methylation, posttranslational histone protei n modifications, noncoding RNAs and recruited protein complexes are elements of the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. These heritable but reversible changes in gene function are dynamic and labile during specific stages of the reproductive cycle and development. Epigenetic marks may be maintained throughout an individual's lifespan and can alter the life-long risk of disease; the nature of these epigenetic marks and their potential alteration by environmental factors is an area of active research. This chapter provides an overview of epigenetic regulation, particularly as it occurs as an essential component of embryo-fetal development. In this chapter we will present key features of DNA methylation and histone protein modifications, including the enzymes involved and the effects of these modifications on gene transcription. We will discuss the interplay of these dynamic modifications and the emerging role of noncoding RNAs in epigenetic gene regulation.

  14. Maternal BMI at the start of pregnancy and offspring epigenome-wide DNA methylation: Findings from the pregnancy and childhood epigenetics (PACE) consortium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G.C. Sharp (Gemma C.); L.A. Salas (Lucas A.); C. Monnereau; C. Allard (Catherine); P. Yousefi (Paul); Everson, T.M. (Todd M.); J. Bohlin (Jon); Z. Xu (Zongli); Huang, R.-C. (Rae-Chi); S.E. Reese (Sarah E.); C.-J. Xu (Cheng-Jian); N. Baïz (Nour); Hoyo, C. (Cathrine); Agha, G. (Golareh); Roy, R. (Ritu); J. Holloway (John); Ghantous, A. (Akram); S.K. Merid (Simon Kebede); K.M. Bakulski (Kelly M.); A.M. Küpers (Marlijn); Zhang, H. (Hongmei); R.C. Richmond (Rebecca C.); Page, C.M. (Christian M.); Duijts, L. (Liesbeth); Lie, R.T. (Rolv T.); Melton, P.E. (Phillip E.); J.M. Vonk (Judith); C. Nohr (Christian); Williams-DeVane, C. (ClarLynda); K. Huen (Karen); S.L. Rifas-Shiman (Sheryl); Ruiz-Arenas, C. (Carlos); Gonseth, S. (Semira); Rezwan, F.I. (Faisal I.); Z. Herceg (Zdenko); Ekström, S. (Sandra); Croen, L. (Lisa); F. Falahi (Fahimeh); Perron, P. (Patrice); M.R. Karagas (Margaret); B.M. Quraishi (Bilal M.); M.J. Suderman (Matthew J.); Magnus, M.C. (Maria C.); V.W.V. Jaddoe (Vincent); Taylor, J.A. (Jack A.); D. Anderson (Denise); Zhao, S. (Shanshan); H.A. Smit (Henriëtte); Josey, M.J. (Michele J.); Bradman, A. (Asa); A.A. Baccarelli (Andrea A.); M. Bustamante (Mariona); S.E. Håberg (Siri E); G. Pershagen (Göran); I. Hertz-Picciotto (Irva); Newschaffer, C. (Craig); W.E. Corpeleijn (Willemijn); L. Bouchard (Luigi); Lawlor, D.A. (Debbie A.); Maguire, R.L. (Rachel L.); L.F. Barcellos (Lisa); Smith, G.D. (George Davey); B. Eskenazi (B.); Karmaus, W. (Wilfried); Marsit, C.J. (Carmen J.); M.-F. Hivert (Marie-France); H. Snieder (Harold); Fallin, M.D. (M. Daniele); Melén, E. (Erik); M.C. Munthe-Kaas (Monica Cheng); H. Arshad (Hasan); J. Wiemels (Joseph); I. Annesi-Maesano; M. Vrijheid (Martine); E. Oken (Emily); Holland, N. (Nina); Murphy, S.K. (Susan K.); T.I.A. Sørensen (Thorkild); G.H. Koppelman (Gerard); J.P. Newnham (John); A.J. Wilcox (Allen); W. Nystad (Wenche); S.J. London (Stephanie J.); J.F. Felix (Janine); C.L. Relton (Caroline)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractPre-pregnancy maternal obesity is associated with adverse offspring outcomes at birth and later in life. Individual studies have shown that epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation could contribute. Within the Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium, we

  15. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

    Epigenetics, defined as inheritable and reversible phenomena that affect gene expression without altering the underlying base pair sequence has been shown to play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of obesity. Obesity is associated with extensive gene expression changes in tissues throughout the body. Epigenetics is emerging as perhaps the most important mechanism through which the lifestyle-choices we make can directly influence the genome. Considerable epidemiological, experimental and clinical data have been amassed showing that the risk of developing disease in later life is dependent on early life conditions, mainly operating within the normative range of developmental exposures. In addition to the 'maternal' interactions, there has been increasing interest in the epigenetic mechanisms through which 'paternal' influences on offspring development can be achieved. Nutrition, among many other environmental factors, is a key player that can induce epigenetic changes not only in the directly exposed organisms but also in subsequent generations through the transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic traits. Overall, significant progress has been made in the field of epigenetics and obesity and the first potential epigenetic markers for obesity that could be detected at birth have been identified. Fortunately, epigenetic phenomena are dynamic and rather quickly reversible with intensive lifestyle changes. This is a very promising and sustainable resolution to the obesity pandemic.

  16. The Real Culprit in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Abnormal Epigenetic Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haijing; Zhao, Ming; Chang, Christopher; Lu, Qianjin

    2015-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease involving multiple organs and the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies. The pathogenesis of SLE has been intensively studied but remains far from clear. B and T lymphocyte abnormalities, dysregulation of apoptosis, defects in the clearance of apoptotic materials, and various genetic and epigenetic factors are attributed to the development of SLE. The latest research findings point to the association between abnormal epigenetic regulation and SLE, which has attracted considerable interest worldwide. It is the purpose of this review to present and discuss the relationship between aberrant epigenetic regulation and SLE, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs in patients with SLE, the possible mechanisms of immune dysfunction caused by epigenetic changes, and to better understand the roles of aberrant epigenetic regulation in the initiation and development of SLE and to provide an insight into the related therapeutic options in SLE. PMID:25988383

  17. Multiple levels of epigenetic control for bone biology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montecino, Martin; Stein, Gary; Stein, Janet; Zaidi, Kaleem; Aguilar, Rodrigo

    2015-12-01

    Multiple dimensions of epigenetic control contribute to regulation of gene expression that governs bone biology and pathology. Once confined to DNA methylation and a limited number of post-translational modifications of histone proteins, the definition of epigenetic mechanisms is expanding to include contributions of non-coding RNAs and mitotic bookmarking, a mechanism for retaining phenotype identity during cell proliferation. Together these different levels of epigenetic control of physiological processes and their perturbations that are associated with compromised gene expression during the onset and progression of disease, have contributed to an unprecedented understanding of the activities (operation) of the genomic landscape. Here, we address general concepts that explain the contribution of epigenetic control to the dynamic regulation of gene expression during eukaryotic transcription. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Epigenetics and Bone. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular targets of epigenetic regulation and effectors of environmental influences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhuri, Supratim; Cui Yue; Klaassen, Curtis D.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  19. Effects of environmental stressors on histone modifications and their relevance to carcinogenesis: a systematic review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dik, S.; Scheepers, P.T.J.; Godderis, L.

    2012-01-01

    Carcinogenesis is a complex process involving both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The cellular molecular epigenetic machinery, including histone modifications, is associated with changes in gene expression induced by exposure to environmental agents. In this paper, we systematically reviewed

  20. Regulation of gene expression and pain states by epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Géranton, Sandrine M; Tochiki, Keri K

    2015-01-01

    The induction of inflammatory or neuropathic pain states is known to involve molecular activity in the spinal superficial dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia, including intracellular signaling events which lead to changes in gene expression. These changes ultimately cause alterations in macromolecular synthesis, synaptic transmission, and structural architecture which support central sensitization, a process required for the establishment of long-term pain states. Epigenetic mechanisms are essential for long-term synaptic plasticity and modulation of gene expression. This is because epigenetic modifications are known to regulate gene transcription by aiding the physical relaxation or condensation of chromatin. These processes are therefore potential regulators of the molecular changes underlying permanent pain states. A handful of studies have emerged in the field of pain epigenetics; however, the field is still very much in its infancy. This chapter draws upon other specialities which have extensively investigated epigenetic mechanisms, such as learning and memory and oncology. After defining epigenetics as well as the recent field of "neuroepigenetics" and the main molecular mechanisms involved, this chapter describes the role of these mechanisms in the synaptic plasticity seen in learning and memory, and address those epigenetic mechanisms that have been linked with the development of acute and prolonged pain states. Finally, the idea that long-lasting epigenetic modifications could contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain states by supporting maladaptive molecular changes is discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco smoke, and epigenetic remodeling in asthma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingbeil, E. C.; Hew, K. M.; Nygaard, U. C.; Nadeau, K. C.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental determinants including aerosolized pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tobacco smoke have been associated with exacerbation and increased incidence of asthma. The influence of aerosolized pollutants on the development of immune dysfunction in asthmatics has been suggested to be mediated through epigenetic remodeling. Genome accessibility and transcription are regulated primarily through DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA transcript silencing. Epigenetic remodeling has been shown in studies to be associated with Th2 polarization and associated cytokine and chemokine regulation in the development of asthma. This review will present evidence for the contribution of the aerosolized pollutants PAH and environmental tobacco smoke to epigenetic remodeling in asthma. PMID:24760221

  2. Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crews, David; Gillette, Ross; Miller-Crews, Isaac; Gore, Andrea C.; Skinner, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Real life by definition combines heritability (e.g., the legacy of exposures) and experience (e.g. stress during sensitive or ‘critical’ periods), but how to study or even model this interaction has proven difficult. The hoary concept of evaluating traits according to nature vs. nurture continues to persist despite repeated demonstrations that it retards, rather than advances, our understanding of biological processes. Behavioral genetics has proven the obvious, that genes influences behavior and, vice versa, that behavior influences genes. The concept of Genes X Environment (G X E) and its modern variants was viewed as an improvement on nature-nurture but has proven that, except in rare instances, it is not possible to fractionate phenotypes into these constituent elements. The entanglement inherent in terms such as nature-nurture or GXE is a Gordian knot that cannot be dissected or even split. Given that the world today is not what it was less than a century ago, yet the arbitrator (differential survival and reproduction) has stayed constant, de novo principles and practices are needed to better predict what the future holds. Put simply, the transformation that is now occurring within and between individuals as a product of global endocrine disruption is quite independent of what has been regarded as evolution by selection. This new perspective should focus on how epigenetic modifications might revise approaches to understand how the phenotype and, in particular its components, is shaped. In this review we summarize the literature in this developing area, focusing on our research on the fungicide vinclozolin. PMID:25102229

  3. Nature, nurture and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crews, David; Gillette, Ross; Miller-Crews, Isaac; Gore, Andrea C; Skinner, Michael K

    2014-12-01

    Real life by definition combines heritability (e.g., the legacy of exposures) and experience (e.g. stress during sensitive or 'critical' periods), but how to study or even model this interaction has proven difficult. The hoary concept of evaluating traits according to nature versus nurture continues to persist despite repeated demonstrations that it retards, rather than advances, our understanding of biological processes. Behavioral genetics has proven the obvious, that genes influence behavior and, vice versa, that behavior influences genes. The concept of Genes X Environment (G X E) and its modern variants was viewed as an improvement on nature-nurture but has proven that, except in rare instances, it is not possible to fractionate phenotypes into these constituent elements. The entanglement inherent in terms such as nature-nurture or G X E is a Gordian knot that cannot be dissected or even split. Given that the world today is not what it was less than a century ago, yet the arbitrator (differential survival and reproduction) has stayed constant, de novo principles and practices are needed to better predict what the future holds. Put simply, the transformation that is now occurring within and between individuals as a product of global endocrine disruption is quite independent of what has been regarded as evolution by selection. This new perspective should focus on how epigenetic modifications might revise approaches to understand how the phenotype and, in particular its components, is shaped. In this review we summarize the literature in this developing area, focusing on our research on the fungicide vinclozolin. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. Epigenetics in adipose tissue, obesity, weight loss, and diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, J Alfredo; Milagro, Fermín I; Claycombe, Kate J; Schalinske, Kevin L

    2014-01-01

    Given the role that diet and other environmental factors play in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the implication of different epigenetic processes is being investigated. Although it is well known that external factors can cause cell type-dependent epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, and chromatin remodeling, the regulation of these processes, the magnitude of the changes and the cell types in which they occur, the individuals more predisposed, and the more crucial stages of life remain to be elucidated. There is evidence that obese and diabetic people have a pattern of epigenetic marks different from nonobese and nondiabetic individuals. The main long-term goals in this field are the identification and understanding of the role of epigenetic marks that could be used as early predictors of metabolic risk and the development of drugs or diet-related treatments able to delay these epigenetic changes and even reverse them. But weight gain and insulin resistance/diabetes are influenced not only by epigenetic factors; different epigenetic biomarkers have also been identified as early predictors of weight loss and the maintenance of body weight after weight loss. The characterization of all the factors that are able to modify the epigenetic signatures and the determination of their real importance are hindered by the following factors: the magnitude of change produced by dietary and environmental factors is small and cumulative; there are great differences among cell types; and there are many factors involved, including age, with multiple interactions between them.

  6. Epigenetics in Adipose Tissue, Obesity, Weight Loss, and Diabetes12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, J. Alfredo; Milagro, Fermín I.; Claycombe, Kate J.; Schalinske, Kevin L.

    2014-01-01

    Given the role that diet and other environmental factors play in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the implication of different epigenetic processes is being investigated. Although it is well known that external factors can cause cell type-dependent epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, and chromatin remodeling, the regulation of these processes, the magnitude of the changes and the cell types in which they occur, the individuals more predisposed, and the more crucial stages of life remain to be elucidated. There is evidence that obese and diabetic people have a pattern of epigenetic marks different from nonobese and nondiabetic individuals. The main long-term goals in this field are the identification and understanding of the role of epigenetic marks that could be used as early predictors of metabolic risk and the development of drugs or diet-related treatments able to delay these epigenetic changes and even reverse them. But weight gain and insulin resistance/diabetes are influenced not only by epigenetic factors; different epigenetic biomarkers have also been identified as early predictors of weight loss and the maintenance of body weight after weight loss. The characterization of all the factors that are able to modify the epigenetic signatures and the determination of their real importance are hindered by the following factors: the magnitude of change produced by dietary and environmental factors is small and cumulative; there are great differences among cell types; and there are many factors involved, including age, with multiple interactions between them. PMID:24425725

  7. Cancer Development, Progression, and Therapy: An Epigenetic Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Sibaji; Horn, Garrick; Moulton, Kimberly; Oza, Anuja; Byler, Shannon; Kokolus, Shannon; Longacre, McKenna

    2013-01-01

    Carcinogenesis involves uncontrolled cell growth, which follows the activation of oncogenes and/or the deactivation of tumor suppression genes. Metastasis requires down-regulation of cell adhesion receptors necessary for tissue-specific, cell–cell attachment, as well as up-regulation of receptors that enhance cell motility. Epigenetic changes, including histone modifications, DNA methylation, and DNA hydroxymethylation, can modify these characteristics. Targets for these epigenetic changes include signaling pathways that regulate apoptosis and autophagy, as well as microRNA. We propose that predisposed normal cells convert to cancer progenitor cells that, after growing, undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This process, which is partially under epigenetic control, can create a metastatic form of both progenitor and full-fledged cancer cells, after which metastasis to a distant location may occur. Identification of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms has provided potential therapeutic avenues. In particular, epigenetic drugs appear to potentiate the action of traditional therapeutics, often by demethylating and re-expressing tumor suppressor genes to inhibit tumorigenesis. Epigenetic drugs may inhibit both the formation and growth of cancer progenitor cells, thus reducing the recurrence of cancer. Adopting epigenetic alteration as a new hallmark of cancer is a logical and necessary step that will further encourage the development of novel epigenetic biomarkers and therapeutics. PMID:24152442

  8. Cancer Development, Progression, and Therapy: An Epigenetic Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McKenna Longacre

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Carcinogenesis involves uncontrolled cell growth, which follows the activation of oncogenes and/or the deactivation of tumor suppression genes. Metastasis requires down-regulation of cell adhesion receptors necessary for tissue-specific, cell–cell attachment, as well as up-regulation of receptors that enhance cell motility. Epigenetic changes, including histone modifications, DNA methylation, and DNA hydroxymethylation, can modify these characteristics. Targets for these epigenetic changes include signaling pathways that regulate apoptosis and autophagy, as well as microRNA. We propose that predisposed normal cells convert to cancer progenitor cells that, after growing, undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This process, which is partially under epigenetic control, can create a metastatic form of both progenitor and full-fledged cancer cells, after which metastasis to a distant location may occur. Identification of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms has provided potential therapeutic avenues. In particular, epigenetic drugs appear to potentiate the action of traditional therapeutics, often by demethylating and re-expressing tumor suppressor genes to inhibit tumorigenesis. Epigenetic drugs may inhibit both the formation and growth of cancer progenitor cells, thus reducing the recurrence of cancer. Adopting epigenetic alteration as a new hallmark of cancer is a logical and necessary step that will further encourage the development of novel epigenetic biomarkers and therapeutics.

  9. Testicular cancer from diagnosis to epigenetic factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boccellino, Mariarosaria; Vanacore, Daniela; Zappavigna, Silvia; Cavaliere, Carla; Rossetti, Sabrina; D’Aniello, Carmine; Chieffi, Paolo; Amler, Evzen; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Di Franco, Rossella; Izzo, Alessandro; Piscitelli, Raffaele; Iovane, Gelsomina; Muto, Paolo; Botti, Gerardo; Perdonà, Sisto; Caraglia, Michele; Facchini, Gaetano

    2017-01-01

    Testicular cancer (TC) is one of the most common neoplasms that occurs in male and includes germ cell tumors (GCT), sex cord-gonadal stromal tumors and secondary testicular tumors. Diagnosis of TC involves the evaluation of serum tumor markers alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin and lactate dehydrogenase, but clinically several types of immunohistochemical markers are more useful and more sensitive in GCT, but not in teratoma. These new biomarkers are genes expressed in primordial germ cells/gonocytes and embryonic pluripotency-related cells but not in normal adult germ cells and they include PLAP, OCT3/4 (POU5F1), NANOG, SOX2, REX1, AP-2γ (TFAP2C) and LIN28. Gene expression in GCT is regulated, at least in part, by DNA and histone modifications, and the epigenetic profile of these tumours is characterised by genome-wide demethylation. There are different epigenetic modifications in TG-subtypes that reflect the normal developmental switch in primordial germ cells from an under- to normally methylated genome. The main purpose of this review is to illustrate the findings of recent investigations in the classification of male genital organs, the discoveries in the use of prognostic and diagnostic markers and the epigenetic aberrations mainly affecting the patterns of DNA methylation/histone modifications of genes (especially tumor suppressors) and microRNAs (miRNAs). PMID:29262668

  10. Eating Disorders and Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, Lea; Steiger, Howard

    2017-01-01

    Eating disorders (EDs) are characterized by intense preoccupation with shape and weight and maladaptive eating practices. The complex of symptoms that characterize EDs often arise through the activation of latent genetic potentials by environmental exposures, and epigenetic mechanisms are believed to link environmental exposures to gene expression. This chapter provides an overview of genetic factors acting in the etiology of EDs. It then provides a background to the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms link stresses such as obstetric complications and childhood abuse as well as effects of malnutrition to eating disorders (EDs). The chapter then summarizes the emerging body of literature on epigenetics and EDs-mainly studies on DNA methylation in samples of anorexia and bulimia. The available evidence base suggests that an epigenetically informed perspective contributes in valuable ways to the understanding of why people develop EDs.

  11. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

    .... Recently, several labs have published manuscripts identifying RNA interference as being crucial for the establishment of such epigenetic changes in species as diverse as Drosophila, plants, and the fission yeast S. pombe...

  12. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

    .... Recently, several labs have published manuscripts identifying RNA interference as being crucial for the establishment of such epigenetic changes in species as diverse as Drosophila, plants, and the fission yeast S. pombe...

  13. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

    .... Recently, several labs have published manuscripts identifying RNA interference as being crucial for the establishment of such epigenetic changes in species as diverse as Drosphilia, plants, and the fission yeast S. pombe...

  14. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

    .... However, this is only part of the picture. Increasingly, we are learning that epigenetic changes, that is, changes in chromatin structure, are critically important in regulating cellular gene expression...

  15. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

    .... However, this is only part of the picture. Increasingly, we are learning that epigenetic changes, that is, changes in chromatin structure, are critically important in regulating cellular gene expression...

  16. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

    .... However, this is only part of the picture. Increasingly, we are learning that epigenetic changes, that is, changes in chromatin structure, are critically important in regulation cellular gene expression...

  17. Epigenetics and Vasculitis: a Comprehensive Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renauer, Paul; Coit, Patrick; Sawalha, Amr H

    2016-06-01

    Vasculitides represent a group of relatively rare systemic inflammatory diseases of the blood vessels. Despite recent progress in understanding the genetic basis and the underlying pathogenic mechanisms in vasculitis, the etiology and pathogenesis of vasculitis remain incompletely understood. Epigenetic dysregulation plays an important role in immune-mediated diseases, and the contribution of epigenetic aberrancies in vasculitis is increasingly being recognized. Histone modifications in the PR3 and MPO gene loci might be mechanistically involved in the pathogenesis of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Similarly, other studies revealed important epigenetic contribution to other vasculitides, including Kawasaki disease and IgA vasculitis. More recently, genome-wide epigenomic studies have been performed in several vasculitides. A recent genome-wide DNA methylation study uncovered an important role for epigenetic remodeling of cytoskeleton-related genes in the pathogenesis of Behçet's disease and suggested that reversal of some of these DNA methylation changes associates with disease remission. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling characterized the inflammatory response in temporal artery tissue from patients with giant cell arteritis and showed increased activation of calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) signaling, prompting the suggestion that a specific calcineurin/NFAT inhibitor that is well tolerated and with the added beneficial anti-platelet activity, such as dipyridamole, might be of therapeutic potential in giant cell arteritis. While epigenetic studies in systemic vasculitis are still in their infancy, currently available data clearly indicate that investigating the epigenetic mechanisms underlying these diseases will help to better understand the pathogenesis of vasculitis and provide novel targets for the development of disease biomarkers and new therapies.

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2012-08-01

    The exploration of brain epigenomes, which consist of various types of DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, is providing new and unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of neural development, neurological disease and aging. Traditionally, chromatin defects in the brain were considered static lesions of early development that occurred in the context of rare genetic syndromes, but it is now clear that mutations and maladaptations of the epigenetic machinery cover a much wider continuum that includes adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Here, we describe how recent advances in neuroepigenetics have contributed to an improved mechanistic understanding of developmental and degenerative brain disorders, and we discuss how they could influence the development of future therapies for these conditions.

  19. Epigenetics in prostate cancer: biologic and clinical relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerónimo, Carmen; Bastian, Patrick J; Bjartell, Anders; Carbone, Giuseppina M; Catto, James W F; Clark, Susan J; Henrique, Rui; Nelson, William G; Shariat, Shahrokh F

    2011-10-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common human malignancies and arises through genetic and epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic modifications include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs (miRNA) and produce heritable changes in gene expression without altering the DNA coding sequence. To review progress in the understanding of PCa epigenetics and to focus upon translational applications of this knowledge. PubMed was searched for publications regarding PCa and DNA methylation, histone modifications, and miRNAs. Reports were selected based on the detail of analysis, mechanistic support of data, novelty, and potential clinical applications. Aberrant DNA methylation (hypo- and hypermethylation) is the best-characterized alteration in PCa and leads to genomic instability and inappropriate gene expression. Global and locus-specific changes in chromatin remodeling are implicated in PCa, with evidence suggesting a causative dysfunction of histone-modifying enzymes. MicroRNA deregulation also contributes to prostate carcinogenesis, including interference with androgen receptor signaling and apoptosis. There are important connections between common genetic alterations (eg, E twenty-six fusion genes) and the altered epigenetic landscape. Owing to the ubiquitous nature of epigenetic alterations, they provide potential biomarkers for PCa detection, diagnosis, assessment of prognosis, and post-treatment surveillance. Altered epigenetic gene regulation is involved in the genesis and progression of PCa. Epigenetic alterations may provide valuable tools for the management of PCa patients and be targeted by pharmacologic compounds that reverse their nature. The potential for epigenetic changes in PCa requires further exploration and validation to enable translation to the clinic. Copyright © 2011 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Epigenetic features of testicular germ cell tumours in relation to epigenetic characteristics of foetal germ cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Dina Graae; Skakkebæk, Niels E; Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa

    2013-01-01

    in humans. However, the common precursor of testicular cancers- the carcinoma in situ (CIS) cell- is thought to be an arrested foetal germ cell. Therefore studies of CIS cells may leverage information on human foetal germ cell development and, in particular, when neoplastic transformation is initiated....... In this review, we will focus on current knowledge of the epigenetics of CIS cells and relate it to the epigenetic changes occurring in early developing germ cells of mice during specification, migration and colonization. We will focus on DNA methylation and some of the best studied histone modifications like H3...... event in the initiation of testicular germ cell cancer. Even though only sparse information is available on epigenetic cues in human foetal germ cells, these indicate that the developmental patterns differ from the findings in mice and emphasize the need for further studies of foetal germ cell...

  1. Epigenetic regulation in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Elaine M; Gibney, Eileen R

    2013-07-01

    Research suggests that 65% of variation in obesity is genetic. However, much of the known genetic associations have little known function and their effect size small, thus the gene-environment interaction, including epigenetic influences on gene expression, is suggested to be an important factor in the susceptibilty to obesity. This review will explore the potential of epigenetic markers to influence expression of genes associated with obesity. Epigenetic changes in utero are known to have direct implications on the phenotype of the offspring. More recently work has focused on how such epigenetic changes continue to regulate risk of obesity from infancy through to adulthood. Work has shown that, for example, hypomethylation of the MC4 gene causes an increase in expression, and has a direct impact on appetite and intake, and thus influences risk of obesity. Similar influences are also seen in other aspects of obesity including inflammation and adiposity. Maternal diet during foetal development has many epigenetic implications, which affect the offspring's risk factors for obesity during childhood and adulthood, and even in subsequent generations. Genes associated with risk of obesity, are susceptible to epigenetic mutations, which have subsequent effects on disease mechanisms, such as appetite and impaired glucose and insulin tolerance.

  2. Investigating Epigenetic Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Toxic Metals in Newborns: Challenges and Benefits

    OpenAIRE

    Nye, Monica D.; Fry, Rebecca C.; Hoyo, Cathrine; Murphy, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggest that epigenetic alterations can greatly impact human health, and that epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs) may be particularly relevant in responding to environmental toxicant exposure early in life. The epigenome plays a vital role in embryonic development, tissue differentiation and disease development by controlling gene expression. In this review we discuss what is currently known about epigenetic alterations in response...

  3. Epigenetics in comparative biology: why we should pay attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggren, Warren W; Crews, David

    2014-07-01

    The past decade has seen an explosion of articles in scientific journals involving non-genetic influences on phenotype through modulation of gene function without changes in gene sequence. The excitement in modern molecular biology surrounding the impact exerted by the environment on development of the phenotype is focused largely on mechanism and has not incorporated questions asked (and answers provided) by early philosophers, biologists, and psychologists. As such, this emergence of epigenetic studies is somewhat "old wine in new bottles" and represents a reformulation of the old debate of preformationism versus epigenesis-one resolved in the 1800s. Indeed, this tendency to always look forward, with minimal concern or regard of what has gone before, has led to the present situation in which "true" epigenetic studies are believed to consist of one of two schools. The first is primarily medically based and views epigenetic mechanisms as pathways for disease (e.g., "the epigenetics of cancer"). The second is primarily from the basic sciences, particularly molecular genetics, and regards epigenetics as a potentially important mechanism for organisms exposed to variable environments across multiple generations. There is, however, a third, and separate, school based on the historical literature and debates and regards epigenetics as more of a perspective than a phenomenon. Against this backdrop, comparative integrative biologists are particularly well-suited to understand epigenetic phenomena as a way for organisms to respond rapidly with modified phenotypes (relative to natural selection) to changes in the environment. Using evolutionary principles, it is also possible to interpret "sunsetting" of modified phenotypes when environmental conditions result in a disappearance of the epigenetic modification of gene regulation. Comparative integrative biologists also recognize epigenetics as a potentially confounding source of variation in their data. Epigenetic

  4. Epigenetic modification of histone 3 lysine 27: mediator subunit MED25 is required for the dissociation of polycomb repressive complex 2 from the promoter of cytochrome P450 2C9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englert, Neal A; Luo, George; Goldstein, Joyce A; Surapureddi, Sailesh

    2015-01-23

    The Mediator complex is vital for the transcriptional regulation of eukaryotic genes. Mediator binds to nuclear receptors at target response elements and recruits chromatin-modifying enzymes and RNA polymerase II. Here, we examine the involvement of Mediator subunit MED25 in the epigenetic regulation of human cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9). MED25 is recruited to the CYP2C9 promoter through association with liver-enriched HNF4α, and we show that MED25 influences the H3K27 status of the HNF4α binding region. This region was enriched for the activating marker H3K27ac and histone acetyltransferase CREBBP after MED25 overexpression but was trimethylated when MED25 expression was silenced. The epigenetic regulator Polycomb repressive complex (PRC2), which represses expression by methylating H3K27, plays an important role in target gene regulation. Silencing MED25 correlated with increased association of PRC2 not only with the promoter region chromatin but with HNF4α itself. We confirmed the involvement of MED25 for fully functional preinitiation complex recruitment and transcriptional output in vitro. Formaldehyde-assisted isolation of regulatory elements (FAIRE) revealed chromatin conformation changes that were reliant on MED25, indicating that MED25 induced a permissive chromatin state that reflected increases in CYP2C9 mRNA. For the first time, we showed evidence that a functionally relevant human gene is transcriptionally regulated by HNF4α via MED25 and PRC2. CYP2C9 is important for the metabolism of many exogenous chemicals including pharmaceutical drugs as well as endogenous substrates. Thus, MED25 is important for regulating the epigenetic landscape resulting in transcriptional activation of a highly inducible gene, CYP2C9. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Microbiome, inflammation, epigenetic alterations, and mental diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Reza; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M; Zhou, Jin-Rong

    2017-09-01

    Major mental diseases such as autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder are debilitating illnesses with complex etiologies. Recent findings show that the onset and development of these illnesses cannot be well described by the one-gene; one-disease approach. Instead, their clinical presentation is thought to result from the regulative interplay of a large number of genes. Even though the involvement of many genes are likely, up regulating and activation or down regulation and silencing of these genes by the environmental factors play a crucial role in contributing to their pathogenesis. Much of this interplay may be moderated by epigenetic changes. Similar to genetic mutations, epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA interference can influence gene expression and therefore may cause behavioral and neuronal changes observed in mental disorders. Environmental factors such as diet, gut microbiota, and infections have significant role in these epigenetic modifications. Studies show that bioactive nutrients and gut microbiota can alter either DNA methylation and histone signatures through a variety of mechanisms. Indeed, microbes within the human gut may play a significant role in the regulation of various elements of "gut-brain axis," via their influence on inflammatory cytokines and production of antimicrobial peptides that affect the epigenome through their involvement in generating short chain fatty acids, vitamin synthesis, and nutrient absorption. In addition, they may participate in-gut production of many common neurotransmitters. In this review we will consider the potential interactions of diet, gastrointestinal microbiome, inflammation, and epigenetic alterations in psychiatric disorders. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Maintaining epigenetic inheritance during DNA replication in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco eIglesias

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Biotic and abiotic stresses alter the pattern of gene expression in plants. Depending on the frequency and duration of stress events, the effects on the transcriptional state of genes are remembered temporally or transmitted to daughter cells and, in some instances, even to offspring (transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. This memory effect, which can be found even in the absence of the original stress, has an epigenetic basis, through molecular mechanisms that take place at the chromatin and DNA level but do not imply changes in the DNA sequence. Many epigenetic mechanisms have been described and involve covalent modifications on the DNA and histones, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, and RNAi dependent silencing mechanisms. Some of these chromatin modifications need to be stable through cell division in order to be truly epigenetic. During DNA replication, histones are recycled during the formation of the new nucleosomes and this process is tightly regulated. Perturbations to the DNA replication process and/or the recycling of histones lead to epigenetic changes. In this mini-review, we discuss recent evidence aimed at linking DNA replication process to epigenetic inheritance in plants.

  7. Dietary factors and epigenetic regulation for prostate cancer prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Emily; Beaver, Laura M; Williams, David E; Dashwood, Roderick H

    2011-11-01

    The role of epigenetic alterations in various human chronic diseases has gained increasing attention and has resulted in a paradigm shift in our understanding of disease susceptibility. In the field of cancer research, e.g., genetic abnormalities/mutations historically were viewed as primary underlying causes; however, epigenetic mechanisms that alter gene expression without affecting DNA sequence are now recognized as being of equal or greater importance for oncogenesis. Methylation of DNA, modification of histones, and interfering microRNA (miRNA) collectively represent a cadre of epigenetic elements dysregulated in cancer. Targeting the epigenome with compounds that modulate DNA methylation, histone marks, and miRNA profiles represents an evolving strategy for cancer chemoprevention, and these approaches are starting to show promise in human clinical trials. Essential micronutrients such as folate, vitamin B-12, selenium, and zinc as well as the dietary phytochemicals sulforaphane, tea polyphenols, curcumin, and allyl sulfur compounds are among a growing list of agents that affect epigenetic events as novel mechanisms of chemoprevention. To illustrate these concepts, the current review highlights the interactions among nutrients, epigenetics, and prostate cancer susceptibility. In particular, we focus on epigenetic dysregulation and the impact of specific nutrients and food components on DNA methylation and histone modifications that can alter gene expression and influence prostate cancer progression.

  8. Genetic and epigenetic control of plant heat responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junzhong eLiu

    2015-04-01

    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.

  9. Bifurcation in epigenetics: Implications in development, proliferation, and diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jost, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    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.

  10. Mapping the Technological Knowledge Landscape: The Case of Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chie Hoon; Yoon, Janghyeok; Ko, Namuk; Han, Jeung-Whan

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics is a biomedical novelty in drug design and disease control whose mechanisms play a significant role in transferring environmental signals to determine patterns of gene expression. Systematic identification of the main trends in epigenetics patenting activity provides insights into fundamental building blocks of this research field and policy guidance to funding agencies. The review aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the research and development trend in epigenetics by mapping the knowledge structure in patent landscape. Citation-based patent network analysis was performed to visualize the technological landscape. We focus on identifying the structure of the knowledge networks to study the technological trajectories. Patents that play an integral part in the dissemination and bridging of the technical knowledge are located and ranked. The latent topics in patent documents are highlighted by means of a topic modeling technique. Visualization of the patent network results in four main clusters. The first two clusters deal with the inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC). The third cluster covers inventions related to DNA methylation, which represents an epigenetic signaling tool that cells use to control gene expression. The fourth cluster encompasses computing systems and data mining techniques for identifying combinations of genetic and epigenetic attributes related to health and lifestyle improvements. We are in the growth period of gathering knowledge on various mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. There is enormous potential for improving healthcare through better understanding of the interrelationships between epigenetic control of gene expression and compounds that trigger these modifications.

  11. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  12. Prostate Cancer: Epigenetic Alterations, Risk Factors, and Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mankgopo M. Kgatle

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer (PCa is the most prevalent urological cancer that affects aging men in South Africa, and mechanisms underlying prostate tumorigenesis remain elusive. Research advancements in the field of PCa and epigenetics have allowed for the identification of specific alterations that occur beyond genetics but are still critically important in the pathogenesis of tumorigenesis. Anomalous epigenetic changes associated with PCa include histone modifications, DNA methylation, and noncoding miRNA. These mechanisms regulate and silence hundreds of target genes including some which are key components of cellular signalling pathways that, when perturbed, promote tumorigenesis. Elucidation of mechanisms underlying epigenetic alterations and the manner in which these mechanisms interact in regulating gene transcription in PCa are an unmet necessity that may lead to novel chemotherapeutic approaches. This will, therefore, aid in developing combination therapies that will target multiple epigenetic pathways, which can be used in conjunction with the current conventional PCa treatment.

  13. Nanotechnology Approaches to Studying Epigenetic Changes in Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riehn, Robert

    2011-03-01

    Placing polyelectrolytes into confined geometries has a profound effect on their molecular configuration. For instance, placing long DNA molecules into channels with a cross-section of about 100 nm 2 stretches them out to about 70% of their contour length. We are using this effect to map epigenetic changes on single DNA and chromatin strands. This mapping on single molecules becomes central in the study of the heterogeneity of cell population in cancer, since rapid change of epigenetic makeup, propagated through rare cancer stem cells, is a hallmark of its progression. We demonstrate the basic building blocks for the single-molecule epigenetic analysis of genomic sized DNA. In particular, we have achieved the mapping of methylated regions in DNA with heterogeneous 5-methyl cytosine modification using a specific fluorescent marker. We further show that chromatin with an intact histone structure can be stretched similar to DNA, and that the epigenetic state of histone tails can be detected using fluorescent antibodies.

  14. Connections Between Metabolism and Epigenetics in Programming Cellular Differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisolm, Danielle A; Weinmann, Amy S

    2018-04-26

    Researchers are intensifying efforts to understand the mechanisms by which changes in metabolic states influence differentiation programs. An emerging objective is to define how fluctuations in metabolites influence the epigenetic states that contribute to differentiation programs. This is because metabolites such as S-adenosylmethionine, acetyl-CoA, α-ketoglutarate, 2-hydroxyglutarate, and butyrate are donors, substrates, cofactors, and antagonists for the activities of epigenetic-modifying complexes and for epigenetic modifications. We discuss this topic from the perspective of specialized CD4 + T cells as well as effector and memory T cell differentiation programs. We also highlight findings from embryonic stem cells that give mechanistic insight into how nutrients processed through pathways such as glycolysis, glutaminolysis, and one-carbon metabolism regulate metabolite levels to influence epigenetic events and discuss similar mechanistic principles in T cells. Finally, we highlight how dysregulated environments, such as the tumor microenvironment, might alter programming events.

  15. Epigenetic control of CD8+ T cell differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Amanda N; Roychoudhuri, Rahul; Restifo, Nicholas P

    2018-05-01

    Upon stimulation, small numbers of naive CD8 + T cells proliferate and differentiate into a variety of memory and effector cell types. CD8 + T cells can persist for years and kill tumour cells and virally infected cells. The functional and phenotypic changes that occur during CD8 + T cell differentiation are well characterized, but the epigenetic states that underlie these changes are incompletely understood. Here, we review the epigenetic processes that direct CD8 + T cell differentiation and function. We focus on epigenetic modification of DNA and associated histones at genes and their regulatory elements. We also describe structural changes in chromatin organization that affect gene expression. Finally, we examine the translational potential of epigenetic interventions to improve CD8 + T cell function in individuals with chronic infections and cancer.

  16. Elusive inheritance: Transgenerational effects and epigenetic inheritance in human environmental disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martos, Suzanne N; Tang, Wan-Yee; Wang, Zhibin

    2015-07-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone modification, histone variants and nucleosome positioning, and noncoding RNAs regulate cell-, tissue-, and developmental stage-specific gene expression by influencing chromatin structure and modulating interactions between proteins and DNA. Epigenetic marks are mitotically inherited in somatic cells and may be altered in response to internal and external stimuli. The idea that environment-induced epigenetic changes in mammals could be inherited through the germline, independent of genetic mechanisms, has stimulated much debate. Many experimental models have been designed to interrogate the possibility of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and provide insight into how environmental exposures influence phenotypes over multiple generations in the absence of any apparent genetic mutation. Unexpected molecular evidence has forced us to reevaluate not only our understanding of the plasticity and heritability of epigenetic factors, but of the stability of the genome as well. Recent reviews have described the difference between transgenerational and intergenerational effects; the two major epigenetic reprogramming events in the mammalian lifecycle; these two events making transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of environment-induced perturbations rare, if at all possible, in mammals; and mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in non-mammalian eukaryotic organisms. This paper briefly introduces these topics and mainly focuses on (1) transgenerational phenotypes and epigenetic effects in mammals, (2) environment-induced intergenerational epigenetic effects, and (3) the inherent difficulties in establishing a role for epigenetic inheritance in human environmental disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Investigation of epigenetic gene regulation in Arabidopsis modulated by gamma radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Hye Ryun; Kim, Jae Sung; Lee, Myung Jin; Lee, Dong Joon; Kim, Young Min; Jung, Joon Yong; Han, Wan Keun; Kang, Soo Jin

    2011-12-01

    To investigate epigenetic gene regulation in Arabidopsis modulated by gamma radiation, we examined the changes in DNA methylation and histone modification after gamma radiation and investigated the effects of gamma radiation on epigenetic information and gene expression. We have selected 14 genes with changes in DNA methylation by gamma radiation, analyzed the changes of histone modification in the selected genes to reveal the relationship between DNA methylation and histone modification by gamma radiation. We have also analyzed the effects of gamma radiation on gene expression to investigate the relationship between epigenetic information and gene expression by gamma radiation. The results will be useful to reveal the effects of gamma radiation on DNA methylation, histone modification and gene expression. We anticipate that the information generated in this proposal will help to find out the mechanism underlying the changes in epigenetic information by gamma radiation

  18. Anxiety and Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Andrew A; Singh, Rumani; Hunter, Richard G

    2017-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent psychiatric disorders often comorbid with depression and substance abuse. Twin studies have shown that anxiety disorders are moderately heritable. Yet, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have failed to identify gene(s) significantly associated with diagnosis suggesting a strong role for environmental factors and the epigenome. A number of anxiety disorder subtypes are considered "stress related." A large focus of research has been on the epigenetic and anxiety-like behavioral consequences of stress. Animal models of anxiety-related disorders have provided strong evidence for the role of stress on the epigenetic control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and of stress-responsive brain regions. Neuroepigenetics may continue to explain individual variation in susceptibility to environmental perturbations and consequently anxious behavior. Behavioral and pharmacological interventions aimed at targeting epigenetic marks associated with anxiety may prove fruitful in developing treatments.

  19. Epigenetics and cerebral organoids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, Sheena Louise; Ilieva, Mirolyuba; Maria Michel, Tanja

    2018-01-01

    also play a role. Some studies indicate a set of candidate genes with different DNA methylation profiles in ASD compared to healthy individuals. Thus epigenetic alterations could help bridging the gene-environment gap in deciphering the underlying neurobiology of autism. However, epigenome......-wide association studies (EWAS) have mainly included a very limited number of postmortem brain samples. Hence, cellular models mimicking brain development in vitro will be of great importance to study the critical epigenetic alterations and when they might happen. This review will give an overview of the state...... of the art concerning knowledge on epigenetic changes in autism and how new, cutting edge expertise based on three-dimensional (3D) stem cell technology models (brain organoids) can contribute in elucidating the multiple aspects of disease mechanisms....

  20. New clinical developments in histone deacetylase inhibitors for epigenetic therapy of cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Yuehua

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract DNA methylation and histone acetylation are two well known epigenetic chromatin modifications. Epigenetic agents leading to DNA hypomethylation and histone hyperacetylation have been approved for treatment of hematological disorders. The first histone deacetylase inhibitor, vorinostat, has been licensed for cutaneous T cell lymphoma treatment. More than 11 new epigenetic agents are in various stages of clinical development for therapy of multiple cancer types. In this review we summarize novel histone deacetylase inhibitors and new regimens from clinical trials for epigenetic therapy of cancer.

  1. The Relevance of Epigenetics to PTSD: Implications for the DSM-V

    OpenAIRE

    Yehuda, Rachel; Bierer, Linda M.

    2009-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, can occur in response to environmental influences to alter the functional expression of genes in an enduring and potentially, intergenerationally transmissible manner. As such, they may explain inter-individual variation, as well as the long-lasting effects of trauma exposure. While there are currently no findings that suggest epigenetic modifications that are specific to PTSD or PTSD risk, many recent observations are compatible with epigene...

  2. Combining genomic and proteomic approaches for epigenetics research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yumiao; Garcia, Benjamin A

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype that do not change the DNA sequence. In this review, current methods, both genomic and proteomic, associated with epigenetics research are discussed. Among them, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by sequencing and other ChIP-based techniques are powerful techniques for genome-wide profiling of DNA-binding proteins, histone post-translational modifications or nucleosome positions. However, mass spectrometry-based proteomics is increasingly being used in functional biological studies and has proved to be an indispensable tool to characterize histone modifications, as well as DNA–protein and protein–protein interactions. With the development of genomic and proteomic approaches, combination of ChIP and mass spectrometry has the potential to expand our knowledge of epigenetics research to a higher level. PMID:23895656

  3. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen V Liu

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic dysregulation 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.

  4. Bisphenol A in Reproduction: Epigenetic Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chianese, Rosanna; Troisi, Jacopo; Richards, Sean; Scafuro, Marika; Fasano, Silvia; Guida, Maurizio; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria

    2018-02-21

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin to produce a multitude of consumer products, food and drink containers, and medical devices. BPA is similar to estradiol in structure and thus interferes in steroid signalling with different outcomes on reproductive health depending on doses, life stage, mode, and timing of exposure. In this respect, it has an emerging and controversial role as a "reproductive toxicant" capable of inducing short and long-term effects including the modulation of gene expression through epigenetic modification (i.e. methylation of CpG islands, histone modifications and production of non-coding RNA) with direct and trans-generational effects on exposed organisms and their offspring, respectively. This review provides an overview about BPA effects on reproductive health and aims to summarize the epigenetic effects of BPA in male and female reproduction. BPA exerts epigenetic effects in both male and female reproduction. In males, BPA affects spermatogenesis and sperm quality and possible trans-generational effects on the reproductive ability of the offspring. In females, BPA affects ovary, embryo development, and gamete quality for successful in vivo and in vitro fertilization (IVF). The exact mechanisms of BPA-mediated effects in reproduction are not fully understood; however, the environmental exposure to BPA - especially in fetal and neonatal period - deserves attention to preserve the reproductive ability in both sexes and to reduce the epigenetic risk for the offspring. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  5. Regulation of mitochondrial gene expression, the epigenetic enigma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mposhi, Archibold; van der Wijst, Monique G. P.; Faber, Klaas Nico; Rots, Marianne G.

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetics provides an important layer of information on top of the DNA sequence and is essential for establishing gene expression profiles. Extensive studies have shown that nuclear DNA methylation and histone modifications influence nuclear gene expression. However, it remains unclear whether

  6. Epigenetics of host-pathogen interactions: the road ahead and the road behind.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Gómez-Díaz

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence points towards epigenetic mechanisms being responsible for a wide range of biological phenomena, from the plasticity of plant growth and development to the nutritional control of caste determination in honeybees and the etiology of human disease (e.g., cancer. With the (partial elucidation of the molecular basis of epigenetic variation and the heritability of certain of these changes, the field of evolutionary epigenetics is flourishing. Despite this, the role of epigenetics in shaping host-pathogen interactions has received comparatively little attention. Yet there is plenty of evidence supporting the implication of epigenetic mechanisms in the modulation of the biological interaction between hosts and pathogens. The phenotypic plasticity of many key parasite life-history traits appears to be under epigenetic control. Moreover, pathogen-induced effects in host phenotype may have transgenerational consequences, and the bases of these changes and their heritability probably have an epigenetic component. The significance of epigenetic modifications may, however, go beyond providing a mechanistic basis for host and pathogen plasticity. Epigenetic epidemiology has recently emerged as a promising area for future research on infectious diseases. In addition, the incorporation of epigenetic inheritance and epigenetic plasticity mechanisms to evolutionary models and empirical studies of host-pathogen interactions will provide new insights into the evolution and coevolution of these associations. Here, we review the evidence available for the role epigenetics on host-pathogen interactions, and the utility and versatility of the epigenetic technologies available that can be cross-applied to host-pathogen studies. We conclude with recommendations and directions for future research on the burgeoning field of epigenetics as applied to host-pathogen interactions.

  7. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lao, Victoria Valinluck; Grady, William M.

    2012-01-01

    Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. It results from an accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes in colon epithelial cells that transforms them into adenocarcinomas. There have been major advances in our understanding of cancer epigenetics over the last decade, particularly regarding aberrant DNA methylation. Assessment of the colon cancer epigenome has revealed that virtually all colorectal cancers have aberrantly methylated genes and the average colorectal cancer methylome has hundreds to thousands of abnormally methylated genes. As with gene mutations in the cancer genome, a subset of these methylated genes, called driver genes, is presumed to play a functional role in colorectal cancer. The assessment of methylated genes in colorectal cancers has also revealed a unique molecular subgroup of colorectal cancers called CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP) cancers; these tumors have a particularly high frequency of methylated genes. The advances in our understanding of aberrant methylation in colorectal cancer has led to epigenetic alterations being developed as clinical biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic applications. Progress in the assessment of epigenetic alterations in colorectal cancer and their clinical applications has shown that these alterations will be commonly used in the near future as molecular markers to direct the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer. PMID:22009203

  8. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Explanations for biological evolution in terms of changes in gene frequencies refer to outcomes rather than process. Integrating epigenetic studies with older evolutionary theories has drawn attention to the ways in which evolution occurs. Adaptation at the level of the gene is givingway to adaptation at the level of the ...

  9. Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Helene Myrtue; Andersen, Christen Lykkegaard; Westman, Maj

    2017-01-01

    , in 'inflammatory disease' in MF mononuclear cells, and in 'immunological diseases' in MF granulocytes. Only few differentially methylated CpG sites were common among the three cell populations. Mutations in the epigenetic regulators ASXL1 (47%) and TET2 (20%) were not associated with a specific DNA methylation...

  10. The epigenetics of obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maternal nutrition at the time of conception and during pregnancy is considered a factor for individual differences in having obesity. The mechanisms underlying this association are likely partially epigenetic in nature, but pinning down the exact nature, location, and timing of these changes remain...

  11. Epigenetics of Estrogen Receptor Signaling: Role in Hormonal Cancer Progression and Therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, Monica; Cortez, Valerie; Vadlamudi, Ratna K.

    2011-01-01

    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

  12. Epigenetics of Estrogen Receptor Signaling: Role in Hormonal Cancer Progression and Therapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: vadlamudi@uthscsa.edu [Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UTHSCSA, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2011-03-29

    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.

  13. Epigenetic regulation in the inner ear and its potential roles in development, protection, and regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian eZuo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The burgeoning field of epigenetics is beginning to make a significant impact on our understanding of tissue development, maintenance, and function. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate the structure and activity of the genome in response to intracellular and environmental cues that direct cell-type specific gene networks. The inner ear is comprised of highly specialized cell types with identical genomes that originate from a single totipotent zygote. During inner ear development specific combinations of transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers must function in a coordinated manner to establish and maintain cellular identity. These epigenetic regulatory mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of distinct chromatin states and cell-type specific gene expression patterns. In this review, we highlight emerging paradigms for epigenetic modifications related to inner ear development, and how epigenetics may have a significant role in hearing loss, protection, and regeneration.

  14. Environmental toxicants, incidence of degenerative diseases, and therapies from the epigenetic point of view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodjat, Mahshid; Rahmani, Soheila; Khan, Fazlullah; Niaz, Kamal; Navaei-Nigjeh, Mona; Mohammadi Nejad, Solmaz; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2017-07-01

    Epigenotoxicology is an emerging field of study that investigates the non-genotoxic epigenetic effects of environmental toxicants resulting in alteration of normal gene expression and disruption of cell function. Recent findings on the role of toxicant-induced epigenetic modifications in the development of degenerative diseases have opened up a promising research direction to explore epigenetic therapy approaches and related prognostic biomarkers. In this review, we presented comprehensive data on epigenetic alterations identified in various diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, pulmonary conditions as well as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and bone disease. Although data on abnormalities of DNA methylation and their role in the development of diseases are abundant, less is known about the impact of histone modifications and microRNA expressions. Further, we discussed the effects of selected common environmental toxicants on epigenetic modifications and their association with particular abnormalities. A number of different environmental toxicants have been identified for their role in aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA expression. Such epigenetic effects were shown to be tissue-type specific and highly associated with the level and duration of exposure. Finally, we described present and future therapeutic strategies, including medicines and dietary compounds for combating the toxicant-induced epigenetic alterations. There are currently seven histone deacetylase inhibitors and two DNA methyltransferase inhibitors approved for clinical use and many other promising candidates are in preclinical and clinical testing. Dietary compounds are thought to be the effective and safe strategies for treating and prevention of epigenetic pathophysiological conditions. Still more concentrated epigenetic researches are required for evaluation of chemical toxicity and identifying the causal association between key epigenetic alteration and

  15. Epigenetic marks: regulators of livestock phenotypes and conceivable sources of missing variation in livestock improvement programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eveline M Ibeagha-Awemu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. Transgenic Epigenetics: Using Transgenic Organisms to Examine Epigenetic Phenomena

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori A. McEachern

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Non-model organisms are generally more difficult and/or time consuming to work with than model organisms. In addition, epigenetic analysis of model organisms is facilitated by well-established protocols, and commercially-available reagents and kits that may not be available for, or previously tested on, non-model organisms. Given the evolutionary conservation and widespread nature of many epigenetic mechanisms, a powerful method to analyze epigenetic phenomena from non-model organisms would be to use transgenic model organisms containing an epigenetic region of interest from the non-model. Interestingly, while transgenic Drosophila and mice have provided significant insight into the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary conservation of the epigenetic processes that target epigenetic control regions in other model organisms, this method has so far been under-exploited for non-model organism epigenetic analysis. This paper details several experiments that have examined the epigenetic processes of genomic imprinting and paramutation, by transferring an epigenetic control region from one model organism to another. These cross-species experiments demonstrate that valuable insight into both the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary conservation of epigenetic processes may be obtained via transgenic experiments, which can then be used to guide further investigations and experiments in the species of interest.

  17. Epigenetics, Nervous System Tumors, and Cancer Stem Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2011-01-01

    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

  18. Epigenetic diet: impact on the epigenome and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Tabitha M; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2011-01-01

    A number of bioactive dietary components are of particular interest in the field of epigenetics. Many of these compounds display anticancer properties and may play a role in cancer prevention. Numerous studies suggest that a number of nutritional compounds have epigenetic targets in cancer cells. Importantly, emerging evidence strongly suggests that consumption of dietary agents can alter normal epigenetic states as well as reverse abnormal gene activation or silencing. Epigenetic modifications induced by bioactive dietary compounds are thought to be beneficial. Substantial evidence is mounting proclaiming that commonly consumed bioactive dietary factors act to modify the epigenome and may be incorporated into an ‘epigenetic diet’. Bioactive nutritional components of an epigenetic diet may be incorporated into one’s regular dietary regimen and used therapeutically for medicinal or chemopreventive purposes. This article will primarily focus on dietary factors that have been demonstrated to influence the epigenome and that may be used in conjunction with other cancer prevention and chemotherapeutic therapies. PMID:22022340

  19. Epigenetics and obesity: a relationship waiting to be explained.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symonds, Michael E; Budge, Helen; Frazier-Wood, Alexis C

    2013-01-01

    Obesity can have multifactorial causes that may change with development and are not simply attributable to one's genetic constitution. To date, expensive and laborious genome-wide association studies have only ascribed a small contribution of genetic variants to obesity. The emergence of the field of epigenetics now offers a new paradigm with which to study excess fat mass. Currently, however, there are no compelling epigenetic studies to explain the role of epigenetics in obesity, especially from a developmental perspective. It is clear that until there are advances in the understanding of the main mechanisms by which different fat types, i.e. brown, beige, and white, are established and how these differ between depots and species, population-based studies designed to determine specific aspects of epigenetics will be potentially limited. Obesity is a slowly evolving condition that is not simply explained by changes in the intake of one macronutrient. The latest advances in epigenetics, coupled with the establishment of relevant longitudinal models of obesity, which incorporate functionally relevant end points, may now permit the precise contribution of epigenetic modifications to excess fat mass to be effectively studied. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms in experience-driven memory formation and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckett, Rosemary E; Lubin, Farah D

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms have long been associated with the regulation of gene-expression changes accompanying normal neuronal development and cellular differentiation; however, until recently these mechanisms were believed to be statically quiet in the adult brain. Behavioral neuroscientists have now begun to investigate these epigenetic mechanisms as potential regulators of gene-transcription changes in the CNS subserving synaptic plasticity and long-term memory (LTM) formation. Experimental evidence from learning and memory animal models has demonstrated that active chromatin remodeling occurs in terminally differentiated postmitotic neurons, suggesting that these molecular processes are indeed intimately involved in several stages of LTM formation, including consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction. Such chromatin modifications include the phosphorylation, acetylation and methylation of histone proteins and the methylation of associated DNA to subsequently affect transcriptional gene readout triggered by learning. The present article examines how such learning-induced epigenetic changes contribute to LTM formation and influence behavior. In particular, this article is a survey of the specific epigenetic mechanisms that have been demonstrated to regulate gene expression for both transcription factors and growth factors in the CNS, which are critical for LTM formation and storage, as well as how aberrant epigenetic processing can contribute to psychological states such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. Together, the findings highlighted in this article support a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in the adult CNS serving as potential key molecular regulators of gene-transcription changes necessary for LTM formation and adult behavior. PMID:22126252

  1. Epigenetics, Nervous System Tumors, and Cancer Stem Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: mark.mehler@einstein.yu.edu [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)

    2011-09-13

    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.

  2. From Genetics to Epigenetics: New Perspectives in Tourette Syndrome Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaroli, Luca; Vető, Borbála; Arányi, Tamás; Barta, Csaba

    2016-01-01

    Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by the appearance of multiple involuntary motor and vocal tics. TS presents high comorbidity rates with other disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). TS is highly heritable and has a complex polygenic background. However, environmental factors also play a role in the manifestation of symptoms. Different epigenetic mechanisms may represent the link between these two causalities. Epigenetic regulation has been shown to have an impact in the development of many neuropsychiatric disorders, however very little is known about its effects on Tourette Syndrome. This review provides a summary of the recent findings in genetic background of TS, followed by an overview on different epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs in the regulation of gene expression. Epigenetic studies in other neurological and psychiatric disorders are discussed along with the TS-related epigenetic findings available in the literature to date. Moreover, we are proposing that some general epigenetic mechanisms seen in other neuropsychiatric disorders may also play a role in the pathogenesis of TS. PMID:27462201

  3. DNA Methylation and Chromatin Remodeling: The Blueprint of Cancer Epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipanjan Bhattacharjee

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. Epigenetics in Medullary Thyroid Cancer: From Pathogenesis to Targeted Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitale, Giovanni; Dicitore, Alessandra; Messina, Erika; Sciammarella, Concetta; Faggiano, Antongiulio; Colao, Annamaria

    2016-01-01

    Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) originates from the parafollicular C cells of the thyroid gland. Mutations of the RET proto-oncogene are implicated in the pathogenesis of MTC. Germline activating mutations of this gene have been reported in about 88-98% of familial MTCs, while somatic mutations of RET gene have been detected in about 23-70% of sporadic forms. Although these genetic events are well characterized, much less is known about the role of epigenetic abnormalities in MTC. The present review reports a detailed description of epigenetic abnormalities (DNA methylation, histone modifications and miRNA profile), probably involved in the pathogenesis and progression of MTC. A systematic review was performed using Pubmed and Google patents databases. We report the current understanding of epigenetic patterns in MTC and discuss the potential use of current knowledge in designing novel therapeutic strategies through epigenetic drugs, focusing on recent patents in this field. Taking into account the reversibility of epigenetic alterations and the recent development in this field, epigenetic therapy may emerge for clinical use in the near future for patients with advanced MTC.

  5. Neurological and Epigenetic Implications of Nutritional Deficiencies on Psychopathology: Conceptualization and Review of Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianghong; Zhao, Sophie R.; Reyes, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, a role for epigenetic modifications in the pathophysiology of disease has received significant attention. Many studies are now beginning to explore the gene–environment interactions, which may mediate early-life exposure to risk factors, such as nutritional deficiencies and later development of behavioral problems in children and adults. In this paper, we review the current literature on the role of epigenetics in the development of psychopathology, with a specific focus on the potential for epigenetic modifications to link nutrition and brain development. We propose a conceptual framework whereby epigenetic modifications (e.g., DNA methylation) mediate the link between micro- and macro-nutrient deficiency early in life and brain dysfunction (e.g., structural aberration, neurotransmitter perturbation), which has been linked to development of behavior problems later on in life. PMID:26251900

  6. Neurological and Epigenetic Implications of Nutritional Deficiencies on Psychopathology: Conceptualization and Review of Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianghong Liu

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a role for epigenetic modifications in the pathophysiology of disease has received significant attention. Many studies are now beginning to explore the gene–environment interactions, which may mediate early-life exposure to risk factors, such as nutritional deficiencies and later development of behavioral problems in children and adults. In this paper, we review the current literature on the role of epigenetics in the development of psychopathology, with a specific focus on the potential for epigenetic modifications to link nutrition and brain development. We propose a conceptual framework whereby epigenetic modifications (e.g., DNA methylation mediate the link between micro- and macro-nutrient deficiency early in life and brain dysfunction (e.g., structural aberration, neurotransmitter perturbation, which has been linked to development of behavior problems later on in life.

  7. Epigenetics of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: opportunities for novel chemotherapeutic targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Cameron; Seikaly, Hadi; Biron, Vincent L

    2017-01-31

    Epigenetic modifications are heritable changes in gene expression that do not directly alter DNA sequence. These modifications include DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications, small and non-coding RNAs. Alterations in epigenetic profiles cause deregulation of fundamental gene expression pathways associated with carcinogenesis. The role of epigenetics in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has recently been recognized, with implications for novel biomarkers, molecular diagnostics and chemotherapeutics. In this review, important epigenetic pathways in human papillomavirus (HPV) positive and negative OPSCC are summarized, as well as the potential clinical utility of this knowledge.This material has never been published and is not currently under evaluation in any other peer-reviewed publication.

  8. Epigenetics in natural animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J; Barrett, R D H

    2017-09-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is an important mechanism for populations to buffer themselves from environmental change. While it has long been appreciated that natural populations possess genetic variation in the extent of plasticity, a surge of recent evidence suggests that epigenetic variation could also play an important role in shaping phenotypic responses. Compared with genetic variation, epigenetic variation is more likely to have higher spontaneous rates of mutation and a more sensitive reaction to environmental inputs. In our review, we first provide an overview of recent studies on epigenetically encoded thermal plasticity in animals to illustrate environmentally-mediated epigenetic effects within and across generations. Second, we discuss the role of epigenetic effects during adaptation by exploring population epigenetics in natural animal populations. Finally, we evaluate the evolutionary potential of epigenetic variation depending on its autonomy from genetic variation and its transgenerational stability. Although many of the causal links between epigenetic variation and phenotypic plasticity remain elusive, new data has explored the role of epigenetic variation in facilitating evolution in natural populations. This recent progress in ecological epigenetics will be helpful for generating predictive models of the capacity of organisms to adapt to changing climates. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Epigenetic regulation in Autism spectrum disorder

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    Sraboni Chaudhury

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by an impaired social communication skill and often results in repetitive, stereotyped behavior which is observed in children during the first few years of life. Other characteristic of this disorder includes language disabilities, difficulties in sensory integration, lack of reciprocal interactions and in some cases, cognitive delays. One percentage of the general population is affected by ASD and is four times more common in boys than girls. There are hundreds of genes, which has been identified to be associated with ASD etiology. However it remains difficult to comprehend our understanding in defining the genetic architecture necessary for complete exposition of its pathophysiology. Seeing the complexity of the disease, it is important to adopt a multidisciplinary approach which should not only focus on the “genetics” of autism but also on epigenetics, transcriptomics, immune system disruption and environmental factors that could all impact the pathogenesis of the disease. As environmental factors also play a key role in regulating the trigger of ASD, the role of chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation has started to emerge. Such epigenetic modifications directly link molecular regulatory pathways and environmental factors, which might be able to explain some aspects of complex disorders like ASD. The present review will focus on the role of epigenetic regulation in defining the underlying cause for ASD

  10. Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viatte, Sebastien; Plant, Darren; Raychaudhuri, Soumya

    2013-01-01

    Investigators have made key advances in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) genetics in the past 10 years. Although genetic studies have had limited influence on clinical practice and drug discovery, they are currently generating testable hypotheses to explain disease pathogenesis. Firstly, we review here the major advances in identifying RA genetic susceptibility markers both within and outside of the MHC. Understanding how genetic variants translate into pathogenic mechanisms and ultimately into phenotypes remains a mystery for most of the polymorphisms that confer susceptibility to RA, but functional data are emerging. Interplay between environmental and genetic factors is poorly understood and in need of further investigation. Secondly, we review current knowledge of the role of epigenetics in RA susceptibility. Differences in the epigenome could represent one of the ways in which environmental exposures translate into phenotypic outcomes. The best understood epigenetic phenomena include post-translational histone modifications and DNA methylation events, both of which have critical roles in gene regulation. Epigenetic studies in RA represent a new area of research with the potential to answer unsolved questions. PMID:23381558

  11. Epigenetic regulation of axon and dendrite growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ephraim F Trakhtenberg

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuroregenerative therapies for central nervous system (CNS injury, neurodegenerative disease, or stroke require axons of damaged neurons to grow and reinnervate their targets. However, mature mammalian CNS neurons do not regenerate their axons, limiting recovery in these diseases (Yiu and He, 2006. CNS’ regenerative failure may be attributable to the development of an inhibitory CNS environment by glial-associated inhibitory molecules (Yiu and He, 2006, and by various cell-autonomous factors (Sun and He, 2010. Intrinsic axon growth ability also declines developmentally (Li et al., 1995; Goldberg et al., 2002; Bouslama-Oueghlani et al., 2003; Blackmore and Letourneau, 2006 and is dependent on transcription (Moore et al., 2009. Although neurons’ intrinsic capacity for axon growth may depend in part on the panoply of expressed transcription factors (Moore and Goldberg, 2011, epigenetic factors such as the accessibility of DNA and organization of chromatin are required for downstream genes to be transcribed. Thus a potential approach to overcoming regenerative failure focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms regulating regenerative gene expression in the CNS. Here we review molecular mechanisms regulating the epigenetic state of DNA through chromatin modifications, their implications for regulating axon and dendrite growth, and important new directions for this field of study.

  12. Epigenetic codes programming class switch recombination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bharat eVaidyanathan

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Class switch recombination imparts B cells with a fitness-associated adaptive advantage during a humoral immune response by using a precision-tailored DNA excision and ligation process to swap the default constant region gene of the antibody with a new one that has unique effector functions. This secondary diversification of the antibody repertoire is a hallmark of the adaptability of B cells when confronted with environmental and pathogenic challenges. Given that the nucleotide sequence of genes during class switching remains unchanged (genetic constraints, it is logical and necessary therefore, to integrate the adaptability of B cells to an epigenetic state, which is dynamic and can be heritably modulated before, after or even during an antibody-dependent immune response. Epigenetic regulation encompasses heritable changes that affect function (phenotype without altering the sequence information embedded in a gene, and include histone, DNA and RNA modifications. Here, we review current literature on how B cells use an epigenetic code language as a means to ensure antibody plasticity in light of pathogenic insults.

  13. Titration and hysteresis in epigenetic chromatin silencing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M

    2013-01-01

    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)

  14. The role of DNA methylation and histone modifications in neurodegenerative diseases: A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    K.-X. Wen (Ke-Xin); J. Milic (Jelena); El-Khodor, B. (Bassem); K. Dhana (Klodian); J. Nano (Jana); Pulido, T. (Tammy); B. Kraja (Bledar); A. Zaciragic (Asija); W.M. Bramer (Wichor); J. Troup; R. Chowdhury (Rajiv); Arfam Ikram, M.; A. Dehghan (Abbas); T. Muka (Taulant); O.H. Franco (Oscar)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractImportance Epigenetic modifications of the genome, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, have been reported to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases (ND) such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Objective To systematically review studies

  15. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Milne

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  16. Epigenetic variation in mangrove plants occurring in contrasting natural environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Fonseca Lira-Medeiros

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications, such as cytosine methylation, are inherited in plant species and may occur in response to biotic or abiotic stress, affecting gene expression without changing genome sequence. Laguncularia racemosa, a mangrove species, occurs in naturally contrasting habitats where it is subjected daily to salinity and nutrient variations leading to morphological differences. This work aims at unraveling how CpG-methylation variation is distributed among individuals from two nearby habitats, at a riverside (RS or near a salt marsh (SM, with different environmental pressures and how this variation is correlated with the observed morphological variation.Significant differences were observed in morphological traits such as tree height, tree diameter, leaf width and leaf area between plants from RS and SM locations, resulting in smaller plants and smaller leaf size in SM plants. Methyl-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP was used to assess genetic and epigenetic (CpG-methylation variation in L. racemosa genomes from these populations. SM plants were hypomethylated (14.6% of loci had methylated samples in comparison to RS (32.1% of loci had methylated samples. Within-population diversity was significantly greater for epigenetic than genetic data in both locations, but SM also had less epigenetic diversity than RS. Frequency-based (G(ST and multivariate (beta(ST methods that estimate population structure showed significantly greater differentiation among locations for epigenetic than genetic data. Co-Inertia analysis, exploring jointly the genetic and epigenetic data, showed that individuals with similar genetic profiles presented divergent epigenetic profiles that were characteristic of the population in a particular environment, suggesting that CpG-methylation changes may be associated with environmental heterogeneity.In spite of significant morphological dissimilarities, individuals of L. racemosa from salt marsh and riverside presented

  17. Epigenetics of psoriatic disease: A systematic review and critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Remy A; Abji, Fatima; Gladman, Dafna D

    2017-03-01

    Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin that is sometimes accompanied by an auto-inflammatory arthritis called psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Psoriasis and PsA are multifactorial diseases that result from complex interactions of environmental and genetic risk factors. Epigenetic marks, which are labile chemical marks with diverse functions, form a layer of biological information that sits at the interface of genetics and the environment. Aberrant epigenetic regulation has been previously implicated in other rheumatological disorders. The purpose of this review is to summarize and critically evaluate the nascent literature on epigenetics in psoriasis and PsA. A systematic review yielded 52 primary articles after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data were extracted using a standardized template and study quality assessed using a methodological quality checklist. Studies reflect a broad range of epigenetic sub-disciplines, the most common being DNA methylation, followed by the parent of origin effect or genomic imprinting, expression or activity of epigenetic modifying enzymes, and histone modifications. Epidemiological studies demonstrating excessive paternal transmission provided the earliest evidence of epigenetic deregulation in psoriatic disease, however few studies have examined its molecular mechanisms. Methylation studies evolved rapidly from low resolution global to targeted analyses of known psoriatic disease susceptibility loci such as HLA-C*0602. The recent explosion of epigenome-wide association studies has provided us with novel insights into psoriasis pathogenesis, and the mechanism of action of UVB, methotrexate, and anti-TNF therapies, as well as molecular signatures of psoriasis that may have clinical relevance. Finally, recent studies of pharmacological inhibitors of epigenetic modifier enzymes demonstrate their potential applicability as novel treatment modalities for psoriasis. Challenges of epigenetics research in psoriasis and Ps

  18. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A., E-mail: thomas.milne@imm.ox.ac.uk [MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital Headington, Oxford OX3 9DS (United Kingdom)

    2012-09-10

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  19. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis

  20. Theory of epigenetic coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elder, D

    1984-06-07

    The logic of genetic control of development may be based on a binary epigenetic code. This paper revises the author's previous scheme dealing with the numerology of annelid metamerism in these terms. Certain features of the code had been deduced to be combinatorial, others not. This paradoxical contrast is resolved here by the interpretation that these features relate to different operations of the code; the combinatiorial to coding identity of units, the non-combinatorial to coding production of units. Consideration of a second paradox in the theory of epigenetic coding leads to a new solution which further provides a basis for epimorphic regeneration, and may in particular throw light on the "regeneration-duplication" phenomenon. A possible test of the model is also put forward.

  1. Epigenetics and brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keverne, Eric B

    2011-04-01

    Fundamental aspects of mammalian brain evolution occurred in the context of viviparity and placentation brought about by the epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes. Since the fetal placenta hormonally primes the maternal brain, two genomes in one individual are transgenerationally co-adapted to ensure maternal care and nurturing. Advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution has shown very few genetic changes between monkeys and humans. Although these lineages diverged at approximately the same time as the rat and mouse (20 million years ago), synonymous sequence divergence between the rat and mouse is double that when comparing monkey with human sequences. Paradoxically, encephalization of rat and mouse are remarkably similar, while comparison of the human and monkey shows the human cortex to be three times the size of the monkey. This suggests an element of genetic stability between the brains of monkey and man with a greater emphasis on epigenetics providing adaptable variability.

  2. Epigenetics and Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    This review identifies mechanisms for altering DNA-histone interactions of cell chromatin to upregulate or downregulate gene expression that could serve as epigenetic targets for therapeutic interventions in autism. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) can phosphorylate histone H3 at T6. Aided by protein kinase C ? 1, the DNMT lysine-specific demethylase-1 prevents demethylation of H3 at K4. During androgen-receptor-(AR-) dependent gene activation, this sequence may produce AR-dependent gene overac...

  3. Epigenetics and human obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, S J; Molloy, P L; Varinli, H; Morrison, J L; Muhlhausler, B S

    2015-01-01

    Recent technological advances in epigenome profiling have led to an increasing number of studies investigating the role of the epigenome in obesity. There is also evidence that environmental exposures during early life can induce persistent alterations in the epigenome, which may lead to an increased risk of obesity later in life. This paper provides a systematic review of studies investigating the association between obesity and either global, site-specific or genome-wide methylation of DNA. Studies on the impact of pre- and postnatal interventions on methylation and obesity are also reviewed. We discuss outstanding questions, and introduce EpiSCOPE, a multidisciplinary research program aimed at increasing the understanding of epigenetic changes in emergence of obesity. An electronic search for relevant articles, published between September 2008 and September 2013 was performed. From the 319 articles identified, 46 studies were included and reviewed. The studies provided no consistent evidence for a relationship between global methylation and obesity. The studies did identify multiple obesity-associated differentially methylated sites, mainly in blood cells. Extensive, but small, alterations in methylation at specific sites were observed in weight loss intervention studies, and several associations between methylation marks at birth and later life obesity were found. Overall, significant progress has been made in the field of epigenetics and obesity and the first potential epigenetic markers for obesity that could be detected at birth have been identified. Eventually this may help in predicting an individual's obesity risk at a young age and opens possibilities for introducing targeted prevention strategies. It has also become clear that several epigenetic marks are modifiable, by changing the exposure in utero, but also by lifestyle changes in adult life, which implies that there is the potential for interventions to be introduced in postnatal life to modify

  4. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, David

    2015-05-29

    It is not really helpful to consider modern environmental epigenetics as neo-Lamarckian; and there is no evidence that Lamarck considered the idea original to himself. We must all keep learning about inheritance, but attributing modern ideas to early researchers is not helpful, and can be misleading. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. Theory for the stability and regulation of epigenetic landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Micheelsen, Mille A; Mitarai, Namiko; Sneppen, Kim; Dodd, Ian B

    2010-01-01

    Cells can often choose among several stably heritable phenotypes. Examples are the expressions of genes in eukaryotic cells where long chromosomal regions can adopt persistent and heritable silenced or active states that may be associated with positive feedback in dynamic modification of nucleosomes. We generalize this mechanism in terms of bistability associated with valleys in an epigenetic landscape. A transfer matrix method was used to rigorously follow the system through the disruptive process of cell division. This combined treatment of noisy dynamics both between and during cell division provides an efficient way to calculate the stability of alternative states in a broad range of epigenetic systems

  6. Distinguishing epigenetic marks of developmental and imprinting regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McEwen Kirsten R

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The field of epigenetics is developing rapidly, however we are only beginning to comprehend the complexity of its influence on gene regulation. Using genomic imprinting as a model we examine epigenetic profiles associated with different forms of gene regulation. Imprinting refers to the expression of a gene from only one of the chromosome homologues in a parental-origin-specific manner. This is dependent on heritable germline epigenetic control at a cis-acting imprinting control region that influences local epigenetic states. Epigenetic modifications associated with imprinting regulation can be compared to those associated with the more canonical developmental regulation, important for processes such as differentiation and tissue specificity. Here we test the hypothesis that these two mechanisms are associated with different histone modification enrichment patterns. Results Using high-throughput data extraction with subsequent analysis, we have found that particular histone modifications are more likely to be associated with either imprinting repression or developmental repression of imprinted genes. H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 are together enriched at imprinted genes with differentially methylated promoters and do not show a correlation with developmental regulation. H3K27me3 and H3K4me3, however, are more often associated with developmental regulation. We find that imprinted genes are subject to developmental regulation through bivalency with H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 enrichment on the same allele. Furthermore, a specific tri-mark signature comprising H3K4me3, H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 has been identified at all imprinting control regions. Conclusion A large amount of data is produced from whole-genome expression and epigenetic profiling studies of cellular material. We have shown that such publicly available data can be mined and analysed in order to generate novel findings for categories of genes or regulatory elements. Comparing two

  7. [Epigenetics' implication in autism spectrum disorders: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamza, M; Halayem, S; Mrad, R; Bourgou, S; Charfi, F; Belhadj, A

    2017-08-01

    The etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is complex and multifactorial, and the roles of genetic and environmental factors in its emergence have been well documented. Current research tends to indicate that these two factors act in a synergistic manner. The processes underlying this interaction are still poorly known, but epigenetic modifications could be the mediator in the gene/environment interface. The epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in susceptibility to stress and also in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders including depression and schizophrenia. Currently, several studies focus on the consideration of the etiological role of epigenetic regulation in ASD. The object of this review is to present a summary of current knowledge of an epigenetic hypothesis in ASD, outlining the recent findings in this field. Using Pubmed, we did a systematic review of the literature researching words such as: autism spectrum disorders, epigenetics, DNA methylation and histone modification. Epigenetic refers to the molecular process modulating gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence. The most studied epigenetic mechanisms are those that alter the chromatin structure including DNA methylation of cytosine residues in CpG dinucleotides and post-translational histone modifications. In ASD several arguments support the epigenetic hypothesis. In fact, there is a frequent association between ASD and genetic diseases whose epigenetic etiologies are recognized. A disturbance in the expression of genes involved in the epigenetic regulation has also been described in this disorder. Some studies have demonstrated changes in the DNA methylation of several autism candidate genes including the gene encoding the oxytocin receptor (OXTR), the RELN and the SHANK3 genes. Beyond the analysis of candidate genes, recent epigenome-wide association studies have investigated the methylation level of several other genes and showed hypomethylation of the whole DNA in brain

  8. Noncoding Elements: Evolution and Epigenetic Regulation

    KAUST Repository

    Seridi, Loqmane

    2016-03-09

    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

  9. Epigenetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Michelle T; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2017-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), is diagnosed in 1 of every 68 children. ASD is incredibly heterogeneous both clinically and aetiologically. The etiopathogenesis of ASD is known to be complex, including genetic, environmental and epigenetic factors. Normal epigenetic marks modifiable by both genetics and environmental exposures can result in epigenetic alterations that disrupt the regulation of gene expression, negatively impacting biological pathways important for brain development. In this chapter we aim to summarize some of the important literature that supports a role for epigenetics in the underlying molecular mechanism of ASD. We provide evidence from work in genetics, from environmental exposures and finally from more recent studies aimed at directly determining ASD-specific epigenetic patterns, focusing mainly on DNA methylation (DNAm). Finally, we briefly discuss some of the implications of current research on potential epigenetic targets for therapeutics and novel avenues for future work.

  10. Molecular epigenetics in the management of ovarian cancer: Are we investigating a rational clinical promise?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ha eNguyen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is essentially a phenotypical change in gene expression without any alteration of the DNA sequence; the emergence of epigenetics in cancer research and mainstream oncology is fueling new hope. However, it is not yet known whether this knowledge will translate to improved clinical management of ovarian cancer. In this malignancy, women are still undergoing chemotherapy similar to what was approved in 1978, which to this day represents one of the biggest breakthroughs for treating ovarian cancer. While liquid tumors are benefitting from epigenetically-related therapies, solid tumors like ovarian cancer are not (yet?. Herein we will review the science of molecular epigenetics, especially DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA, but also include transcription factors since they, too, are important in ovarian cancer. Preclinical and clinical research on the role of epigenetic modifications is summarized as well. Sadly, ovarian cancer remains an idiopathic disease, for the most part, and there are many areas of patient management which could benefit from improved technology. This review will also highlight the evidence suggesting that epigenetics may have preclinical utility in pharmacology and clinical applications for prognosis and diagnosis. Lastly, drugs currently in clinical trials (i.e. histone deacetylase inhibitors are discussed along with the promise for epigenetics in the exploitation of chemoresistance. Whether epigenetics will ultimately be the answer to better management in ovarian cancer is currently unknown; what we have now is hope.

  11. Epigenetics: What it is about?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saade E.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  12. Sex, stress, and epigenetics: regulation of behavior in animal models of mood disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hodes Georgia E

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Women have a higher incidence of stress related disorders including depression and generalized anxiety disorder, and epigenetic mechanisms likely contribute to this sex difference. Evidence from preclinical research suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are responsible for both sexual dimorphism of brain regions and sensitivity of the stress response. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone modifications can occur transgenerationally, developmentally, or in response to environmental stimuli such as stress exposure. This review will provide an overview of the various forms of epigenetic modifications observed in the central nervous system and will explain how these mechanisms contribute to a sexually dimorphic brain. It will also discuss the ways in which epigenetic alterations coincide with, and functionally contribute to, the behavioral response to stress across the lifespan. Ultimately, this review will focus on novel research utilizing animal models to investigate sex differences in epigenetic mechanisms that influence susceptibility to stress. Exploration of this relationship reveals epigenetic mechanisms with the potential to explain sexual dimorphism in the occurrence of stress related disorders.

  13. An integrated epigenetic and genetic analysis of DNA methyltransferase genes (DNMTs) in tumor resistant and susceptible chicken lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Both epigenetic alterations and genetic variations play essential roles in tumorigenesis. The epigenetic modification of DNA methylation is catalyzed and maintained by the DNA methyltransferases (DNMT3a, DNMT3b and DNMT1). DNA mutations and DNA methylation profiles of DNMTs themselves and their rela...

  14. Epigenetic editing using programmable zinc ginger proteins : inherited silencing of endogenous gene expression by targeted DNA methylation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolzenburg, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Cancer development is not only the result of genetic mutations but also stems from modifications in the epigenetic code leading to an aberrant expression of genes relevant for cancer. The most studied epigenetic mark is DNA methylation of cytosines in the promoters of genes, which is associated with

  15. Aging-associated renal disease in mice is fructokinase dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roncal-Jimenez, Carlos A; Ishimoto, Takuji; Lanaspa, Miguel A; Milagres, Tamara; Hernando, Ana Andres; Jensen, Thomas; Miyazaki, Makoto; Doke, Tomohito; Hayasaki, Takahiro; Nakagawa, Takahiko; Marumaya, Shoichi; Long, David A; Garcia, Gabriela E; Kuwabara, Masanari; Sánchez-Lozada, Laura G; Kang, Duk-Hee; Johnson, Richard J

    2016-10-01

    Aging-associated kidney disease is usually considered a degenerative process associated with aging. Recently, it has been shown that animals can produce fructose endogenously, and that this can be a mechanism for causing kidney damage in diabetic nephropathy and in association with recurrent dehydration. We therefore hypothesized that low-level metabolism of endogenous fructose might play a role in aging-associated kidney disease. Wild-type and fructokinase knockout mice were fed a normal diet for 2 yr that had minimal (renal injury was amplified by provision of high-salt diet for 3 wk, as noted by the presence of glomerular hypertrophy, mesangial matrix expansion, and alpha smooth muscle actin expression, and with segmental thrombi. Fructokinase knockout mice were protected from renal injury both at baseline and after high salt intake (3 wk) compared with wild-type mice. This was associated with higher levels of active (phosphorylated serine 1177) endothelial nitric oxide synthase in their kidneys. These studies suggest that aging-associated renal disease might be due to activation of specific metabolic pathways that could theoretically be targeted therapeutically, and raise the hypothesis that aging-associated renal injury may represent a disease process as opposed to normal age-related degeneration.

  16. An emerging role for epigenetic factors in relation to executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Omar; Sutherland, Heidi G; Haupt, Larisa M; Griffiths, Lyn R

    2017-11-20

    Executive function (EF) includes a range of decision-making and higher-order thinking processes. Although the genetic basis of EF has been studied and reviewed, epigenetic factors that influence EF are an emerging field of interest; here, we summarize the current research. Work relating to different word combinations of 'Executive Function' and 'Epigenetic' was identified through three academic search directories. Inclusion criteria were human populations, EF testing, epigenetic testing or genotyping related to epigenetic regulation. To date, 14 studies have been reported, which examined epigenetic variation, in particular DNA methylation, in relation to EF assessments conducted in human subjects, with some positive associations found. Study populations included healthy cohorts, as well as psychiatric and neurological patient cohorts. Epigenetics in relation to EF is an emerging area of investigation with relatively few studies to date. Most assay DNA methylation, with some studies suggesting that epigenetic factors can be associated with EF. EF constitutes complex phenotypic and genotypic correlates that differ because of cohort attributes as well as the targeted task examined. Larger studies are required to further elucidate the contribution of epigenetic factors to EF with the identification of epigenetic modifications influencing EF having potential to provide new biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  17. Age-associated increase in heterochromatic marks in murine and primate tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreiling, Jill A; Tamamori-Adachi, Mimi; Sexton, Alec N; Jeyapalan, Jessie C; Munoz-Najar, Ursula; Peterson, Abigail L; Manivannan, Jayameenakshi; Rogers, Elizabeth S; Pchelintsev, Nikolay A; Adams, Peter D; Sedivy, John M

    2011-04-01

    Chromatin is highly dynamic and subject to extensive remodeling under many physiologic conditions. Changes in chromatin that occur during the aging process are poorly documented and understood in higher organisms, such as mammals. We developed an immunofluorescence assay to quantitatively detect, at the single cell level, changes in the nuclear content of chromatin-associated proteins. We found increased levels of the heterochromatin-associated proteins histone macro H2A (mH2A) and heterochromatin protein 1 beta (HP1β) in human fibroblasts during replicative senescence in culture, and for the first time, an age-associated increase in these heterochromatin marks in several tissues of mice and primates. Mouse lung was characterized by monophasic mH2A expression histograms at both ages, and an increase in mean staining intensity at old age. In the mouse liver, we observed increased age-associated localization of mH2A to regions of pericentromeric heterochromatin. In the skeletal muscle, we found two populations of cells with either low or high mH2A levels. This pattern of expression was similar in mouse and baboon, and showed a clear increase in the proportion of nuclei with high mH2A levels in older animals. The frequencies of cells displaying evidence of increased heterochromatinization are too high to be readily accounted for by replicative or oncogene-induced cellular senescence, and are prominently found in terminally differentiated, postmitotic tissues that are not conventionally thought to be susceptible to senescence. Our findings distinguish specific chromatin states in individual cells of mammalian tissues, and provide a foundation to investigate further the progressive epigenetic changes that occur during aging. © 2010 The Authors. Aging Cell © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

  18. Low Dose Radiation-Induced Genome and Epigenome Instability Symposium and Epigenetic Mechanisms, DNA Repair, and Chromatin Symposium at the EMS 2008 Annual Meeting - October 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morgan, William F; Kovalchuk, Olga; Dolinoy, Dana C; Dubrova, Yuri E; Coleman, Matthew A; Schär, Primo; Pogribny, Igor; Hendzel, Michael

    2010-02-19

    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.

  19. An update on the epigenetics of psychotic diseases and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdolmaleky, Hamid Mostafavi; Zhou, Jin-Rong; Thiagalingam, Sam

    2015-01-01

    The examination of potential roles of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of psychotic diseases have become an essential alternative in recent years as genetic studies alone are yet to uncover major gene(s) for psychosis. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge from the gene-specific and genome-wide studies of postmortem brain and blood cells indicating that aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications and dysregulation of micro-RNAs are linked to the pathogenesis of mental diseases. There is also strong evidence supporting that all classes of psychiatric drugs modulate diverse features of the epigenome. While comprehensive environmental and genetic/epigenetic studies are uncovering the origins, and the key genes/pathways affected in psychotic diseases, characterizing the epigenetic effects of psychiatric drugs may help to design novel therapies in psychiatry.

  20. DNA Methylation: An Epigenetic Risk Factor in Preterm Birth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menon, Ramkumar; Conneely, Karen N.; Smith, Alicia K.

    2012-01-01

    Spontaneous preterm birth (PTB; birth prior to 37 weeks of gestation) is a complex phenotype with multiple risk factors that complicate our understanding of its etiology. A number of recent studies have supported the hypothesis that epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation induced by pregnancy-related risk factors may influence the risk of PTB or result in changes that predispose a neonate to adult-onset diseases. The critical role of timing of gene expression in the etiology of PTB makes it a highly relevant disorder in which to examine the potential role of epigenetic changes. Because changes in DNA methylation patterns can result in long-term consequences, it is of critical interest to identify the epigenetic patterns associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. This review examines the potential role of DNA methylation as a risk factor for PTB and discusses several issues and limitations that should be considered when planning DNA methylation studies. PMID:22228737

  1. Eusocial insects as emerging models for behavioural epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Hua; Simola, Daniel F; Bonasio, Roberto; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L; Reinberg, Danny

    2014-10-01

    Understanding the molecular basis of how behavioural states are established, maintained and altered by environmental cues is an area of considerable and growing interest. Epigenetic processes, including methylation of DNA and post-translational modification of histones, dynamically modulate activity-dependent gene expression in neurons and can therefore have important regulatory roles in shaping behavioural responses to environmental cues. Several eusocial insect species - with their unique displays of behavioural plasticity due to age, morphology and social context - have emerged as models to investigate the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of animal social behaviour. This Review summarizes recent studies in the epigenetics of social behaviour and offers perspectives on emerging trends and prospects for establishing genetic tools in eusocial insects.

  2. Role of epigenetics in developmental biology and transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K

    2011-03-01

    The molecular mechanisms involved in developmental biology and cellular differentiation have traditionally been considered to be primarily genetic. Environmental factors that influence early life critical windows of development generally do not have the capacity to modify genome sequence, nor promote permanent genetic modifications. Epigenetics provides a molecular mechanism for environment to influence development, program cellular differentiation, and alter the genetic regulation of development. The current review discusses how epigenetics can cooperate with genetics to regulate development and allow for greater plasticity in response to environmental influences. This impacts area such as cellular differentiation, tissue development, environmental induced disease etiology, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, and the general systems biology of organisms and evolution. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. THE EPIGENETICS OF RENAL CELL TUMORS: FROM BIOLOGY TO BIOMARKERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui eHenrique

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Renal cell tumors (RCT collectively constitute the third most common type of genitourinary neoplasms, only surpassed by prostate and bladder cancer. They comprise a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with distinctive clinical, morphological and genetic features. Epigenetic alterations are a hallmark of cancer cells and their role in renal tumorigenesis is starting to emerge. Aberrant DNA methylation, altered chromatin remodeling / histone onco-modifications and deregulated microRNA expression not only contribute to the emergence and progression of RCTs, but owing to their ubiquity, they also constitute a promising class of biomarkers tailored for disease detection, diagnosis, assessment of prognosis and prediction of response to therapy. Moreover, due to their dynamic and reversible properties, those alterations represent a target for epigenetic-directed therapies. In this review, the current knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms and their altered status in RCT is summarized and their envisaged use in a clinical setting is also provided.

  4. The role of epigenetics in the biology of multiple myeloma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dimopoulos, K; Gimsing, P; Grønbæk, K

    2014-01-01

    Several recent studies have highlighted the biological complexity of multiple myeloma (MM) that arises as a result of several disrupted cancer pathways. Apart from the central role of genetic abnormalities, epigenetic aberrations have also been shown to be important players in the development of MM......, and a lot of research during the past decades has focused on the ways DNA methylation, histone modifications and noncoding RNAs contribute to the pathobiology of MM. This has led to, apart from better understanding of the disease biology, the development of epigenetic drugs, such as histone deacetylase...... inhibitors that are already used in clinical trials in MM with promising results. This review will present the role of epigenetic abnormalities in MM and how these can affect specific pathways, and focus on the potential of novel 'epidrugs' as future treatment modalities for MM....

  5. Epigenetics and allergy: from basic mechanisms to clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potaczek, Daniel P; Harb, Hani; Michel, Sven; Alhamwe, Bilal Alashkar; Renz, Harald; Tost, Jörg

    2017-04-01

    Allergic diseases are on the rise in the Western world and well-known allergy-protecting and -driving factors such as microbial and dietary exposure, pollution and smoking mediate their influence through alterations of the epigenetic landscape. Here, we review key facts on the involvement of epigenetic modifications in allergic diseases and summarize and critically evaluate the lessons learned from epigenome-wide association studies. We show the potential of epigenetic changes for various clinical applications: as diagnostic tools, to assess tolerance following immunotherapy or possibly predict the success of therapy at an early time point. Furthermore, new technological advances such as epigenome editing and DNAzymes will allow targeted alterations of the epigenome in the future and provide novel therapeutic tools.

  6. At the Frontier of Epigenetics of Brain Sex Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret M Mccarthy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The notion that epigenetics may play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of sex differences in the brain has garnered great enthusiasm but the reality in terms of actual advances have been slow. Two general approaches include the comparison of a particular epigenetic mark in males versus females and the inhibition of key epigenetic enzymes or co-factors to determine if this eliminates a particular sex difference in brain or behavior. The majority of emphasis has been on candidate genes such as steroid receptors. Only recently have more generalized survey type approaches been achieved and these promise to open new vista’s and accelerate discovery of important roles for DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNAs. Technical challenges abound and while not unique to this field will require novel thinking and new approaches by behavioral neuroendocrinogists.

  7. Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation Exposure, Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Programing of Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tharmalingam, Sujeenthar; Sreetharan, Shayenthiran; Kulesza, Adomas V; Boreham, Douglas R; Tai, T C

    2017-10-01

    Ionizing radiation exposure from medical diagnostic imaging has greatly increased over the last few decades. Approximately 80% of patients who undergo medical imaging are exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation (LDIR). Although there is widespread consensus regarding the harmful effects of high doses of radiation, the biological effects of low-linear energy transfer (LET) LDIR is not well understood. LDIR is known to promote oxidative stress, however, these levels may not be large enough to result in genomic mutations. There is emerging evidence that oxidative stress causes heritable modifications via epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, histone modification, noncoding RNA regulation). These epigenetic modifications result in permanent cellular transformations without altering the underlying DNA nucleotide sequence. This review summarizes the major concepts in the field of epigenetics with a focus on the effects of low-LET LDIR (stress on epigenetic gene modification. In this review, we show evidence that suggests that LDIR-induced oxidative stress provides a mechanistic link between LDIR and epigenetic gene regulation. We also discuss the potential implication of LDIR exposure during pregnancy where intrauterine fetal development is highly susceptible to oxidative stress-induced epigenetic programing.

  8. Epigenetics of peripheral B cell differentiation and the antibody response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong eZan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications, such as histone post-translational modifications, DNA methylation, and alteration of gene expression by non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs, are heritable changes that are independent from the genomic DNA sequence. These regulate gene activities and, therefore, cellular functions. Epigenetic modifications act in concert with transcription factors and play critical roles in B cell development and differentiation, thereby modulating antibody responses to foreign- and self-antigens. Upon antigen encounter by mature B cells in the periphery, alterations of these lymphocytes epigenetic landscape are induced by the same stimuli that drive the antibody response. Such alterations instruct B cells to undergo immunoglobulin class switch DNA recombination (CSR and somatic hypermutation (SHM, as well as differentiation to memory B cells or long-lived plasma cells for the immune memory. Inducible histone modifications, together with DNA methylation and miRNAs modulate the transcriptome, particularly the expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID, which is essential for CSR and SHM, and factors central to plasma cell differentiation, such as B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1. These inducible B cell-intrinsic epigenetic marks guide the maturation of antibody responses. Combinatorial histone modifications also function as histone codes to target CSR and, possibly, SHM machinery to the Ig loci by recruiting specific adaptors that can stabilize CSR/SHM factors. In addition, lncRNAs, such as recently reported lncRNA-CSR and an lncRNA generated through transcription of the S region that form G-quadruplex structures, are also important for CSR targeting. Epigenetic dysregulation in B cells, including the aberrant expression of non-coding RNAs and alterations of histone modifications and DNA methylation, can result in aberrant antibody responses to foreign antigens

  9. Epigenetic: A missing paradigm in cellular and molecular pathways of sulfur mustard lung: a prospective and comparative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saber Imani

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Sulfur mustard (SM, bis- (2-chloroethyl sulphide is a chemical warfare agent that causes DNA alkylation, protein modification and membrane damage. SM can trigger several molecular pathways involved in inflammation and oxidative stress, which cause cell necrosis and apoptosis, and loss of cells integrity and function. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is a growing research topic and is addressed by DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and noncoding RNAs expression. It seems SM can induce the epigenetic modifications that are translated into change in gene expression. Classification of epigenetic modifications long after exposure to SM would clarify its mechanism and paves a better strategy for the treatment of SM-affected patients. In this study, we review the key aberrant epigenetic modifications that have important roles in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and compared with mustard lung.

  10. Nucleosome Positioning and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, David; Bruinsma, Robijn

    2008-03-01

    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.

  11. Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Jeffrey Bradstreet

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by dysfunctions in social interactions, communications, restricted interests, and repetitive stereotypic behaviors. Despite extensive genetic and biological research, significant controversy surrounds our understanding of the specific mechanisms of their pathogenesis. However, accumulating evidence points to the involvement of epigenetic modifications as foundational in creating ASD pathophysiology. Epigenetic modifications or the alteration of DNA transcription via variations in DNA methylation and histone modifications but without alterations in the DNA sequence, affect gene regulation. These alterations in gene expression, obtained through DNA methylation and/or histone modifications, result from transcriptional regulatory influences of environmental factors, such as nutritional deficiencies, various toxicants, immunological effects, and pharmaceuticals. As such these effects are epigenetic regulators which determine the final biochemistry and physiology of the individual. In contrast to psychopharmacological interventions, bettering our understanding of how these gene-environmental interactions create autistic symptoms should facilitate the development of therapeutic targeting of gene expression for ASD biomedical care.

  12. Blood-based biomarkers of age-associated epigenetic changes in human islets associate with insulin secretion and diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bacos, Karl; Gillberg, Linn; Volkov, Petr

    2016-01-01

    identified in human islets (for example, KLF14, FHL2, ZNF518B and FAM123C) and some associate with insulin secretion and T2D. DNA methylation correlates with islet expression of multiple genes, including FHL2, ZNF518B, GNPNAT1 and HLTF. Silencing these genes in β-cells alter insulin secretion. Together, we...

  13. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes eGräff

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the major cause of dementia in Western societies. It progresses asymptomatically during decades before being belatedly diagnosed when therapeutic strategies have become unviable. Although several genetic alterations have been associated with AD, the vast majority of AD cases do not show strong genetic underpinnings and are thus considered a consequence of non-genetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms allow for the integration of long-lasting non-genetic inputs on specific genetic backgrounds, and recently, a growing number of epigenetic alterations in AD have been described. For instance, an accumulation of dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in aging, the predominant risk factor of AD, might facilitate the onset of the disease. Likewise, mutations in several enzymes of the epigenetic machinery have been associated with neurodegenerative processes that are altered in AD such as impaired learning and memory formation. Genome-wide and locus-specific epigenetic alterations have also been reported, and several epigenetically dysregulated genes validated by independent groups. From these studies, a picture emerges of AD as being associated with DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting a general repressed chromatin state and epigenetically reduced plasticity in AD. Here we review these recent findings and discuss several technical and methodological considerations that are imperative for their correct interpretation. We also pay particular focus on potential implementations and theoretical frameworks that we expect will help to better direct future studies aimed to unravel the epigenetic participation in AD.

  14. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlie Genome Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamm, Ehud

    2013-01-01

    Technological and methodological advances, in particular next-generation sequencing and chromatin profiling, has led to a deluge of data on epigenetic mechanisms and processes. Epigenetic regulation in the brain is no exception. In this commentary, Ehud Lamm writes that extending existing frameworks for thinking about psychological development to…

  15. Epigenetic inheritance, prions and evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The field of epigenetics has grown explosively in the past two decades or so. As currently defined, epigenetics deals with heritable, metastable and usually reversible changes that do not involve alterations in DNA sequence, but alter the way that information encoded inDNAis utilized.The bulk of current research in ...

  16. Evolutionary significance of epigenetic variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Richards, C.L.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Bossdorf, O.; Wendel, J.F.; Greilhuber, J.; Dolezel, J.; Leitch, I.J.

    2012-01-01

    Several chapters in this volume demonstrate how epigenetic work at the molecular level over the last few decades has revolutionized our understanding of genome function and developmental biology. However, epigenetic processes not only further our understanding of variation and regulation at the

  17. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in Western societies. It progresses asymptomatically during decades before being belatedly diagnosed when therapeutic strategies have become unviable. Although several genetic alterations have been associated with AD, the vast majority of AD cases do not show strong genetic underpinnings and are thus considered a consequence of non-genetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms allow for the integration of long-lasting non-genetic inputs on specific genetic backgrounds, and recently, a growing number of epigenetic alterations in AD have been described. For instance, an accumulation of dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in aging, the predominant risk factor of AD, might facilitate the onset of the disease. Likewise, mutations in several enzymes of the epigenetic machinery have been associated with neurodegenerative processes that are altered in AD such as impaired learning and memory formation. Genome-wide and locus-specific epigenetic alterations have also been reported, and several epigenetically dysregulated genes validated by independent groups. From these studies, a picture emerges of AD as being associated with DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting a general repressed chromatin state and epigenetically reduced plasticity in AD. Here we review these recent findings and discuss several technical and methodological considerations that are imperative for their correct interpretation. We also pay particular focus on potential implementations and theoretical frameworks that we expect will help to better direct future studies aimed to unravel the epigenetic participation in AD.

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms: A possible link between autism spectrum disorders and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varadinova, Miroslava; Boyadjieva, Nadka

    2015-12-01

    The etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) still remains unclear and seems to involve a considerable overlap between polygenic, epigenetic and environmental factors. We have summarized the current understanding of the interplay between gene expression dysregulation via epigenetic modifications and the potential epigenetic impact of environmental factors in neurodevelopmental deficits. Furthermore, we discuss the scientific controversies of the relationship between prenatal exposure to alcohol and alcohol-induced epigenetic dysregulations, and gene expression alterations which are associated with disrupted neural plasticity and causal pathways for ASDs. The review of the literature suggests that a better understanding of developmental epigenetics should contribute to furthering our comprehension of the etiology and pathogenesis of ASDs and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. General-Purpose Genotype or How Epigenetics Extend the Flexibility of a Genotype

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Massicotte

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This project aims at investigating the link between individual epigenetic variability (not related to genetic variability and the variation of natural environmental conditions. We studied DNA methylation polymorphisms of individuals belonging to a single genetic lineage of the clonal diploid fish Chrosomus eos-neogaeus sampled in seven geographically distant lakes. In spite of a low number of informative fragments obtained from an MSAP analysis, individuals of a given lake are epigenetically similar, and methylation profiles allow the clustering of individuals in two distinct groups of populations among lakes. More importantly, we observed a significant pH variation that is consistent with the two epigenetic groups. It thus seems that the genotype studied has the potential to respond differentially via epigenetic modifications under variable environmental conditions, making epigenetic processes a relevant molecular mechanism contributing to phenotypic plasticity over variable environments in accordance with the GPG model.

  20. Comparative epigenetics: relevance to the regulation of production and health traits in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Rachael; O' Farrelly, Cliona; Meade, Kieran G

    2014-08-01

    With the development of genomic, transcriptomic and bioinformatic tools, recent advances in molecular technologies have significantly impacted bovine bioscience research and are revolutionising animal selection and breeding. Integration of epigenetic information represents yet another challenging molecular frontier. Epigenetics is the study of biochemical modifications to DNA and to histones, the proteins that provide stability to DNA. These epigenetic changes are induced by environmental stimuli; they alter gene expression and are potentially heritable. Epigenetics research holds the key to understanding how environmental factors contribute to phenotypic variation in traits of economic importance in cattle including development, nutrition, behaviour and health. In this review, we discuss the potential applications of epigenetics in bovine research, using breakthroughs in human and murine research to signpost the way. © 2014 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  1. Probing the evolutionary history of epigenetic mechanisms: what can we learn from marine diatoms

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    Achal Rastogi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent progress made on epigenetic studies revealed the conservation of epigenetic features in deep diverse branching species including Stramenopiles, plants and animals. This suggests their fundamental role in shaping species genomes across different evolutionary time scales. Diatoms are a highly successful and diverse group of phytoplankton with a fossil record of about 190 million years ago. They are distantly related from other super-groups of Eukaryotes and have retained some of the epigenetic features found in mammals and plants suggesting their ancient origin. Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, pennate and centric diatoms, respectively, emerged as model species to address questions on the evolution of epigenetic phenomena such as what has been lost, retained or has evolved in contemporary species. In the present work, we will discuss how the study of non-model or emerging model organisms, such as diatoms, helps understand the evolutionary history of epigenetic mechanisms with a particular focus on DNA methylation and histone modifications.

  2. The epigenetic bottleneck of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sananbenesi, Farahnaz; Fischer, Andre

    2009-11-01

    The orchestrated expression of genes is essential for the development and survival of every organism. In addition to the role of transcription factors, the availability of genes for transcription is controlled by a series of proteins that regulate epigenetic chromatin remodeling. The two most studied epigenetic phenomena are DNA methylation and histone-tail modifications. Although a large body of literature implicates the deregulation of histone acetylation and DNA methylation with the pathogenesis of cancer, recently epigenetic mechanisms have also gained much attention in the neuroscientific community. In fact, a new field of research is rapidly emerging and there is now accumulating evidence that the molecular machinery that regulates histone acetylation and DNA methylation is intimately involved in synaptic plasticity and is essential for learning and memory. Importantly, dysfunction of epigenetic gene expression in the brain might be involved in neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. In particular, it was found that inhibition of histone deacetylases attenuates synaptic and neuronal loss in animal models for various neurodegenerative diseases and improves cognitive function. In this article, we will summarize recent data in the novel field of neuroepigenetics and discuss the question why epigenetic strategies are suitable therapeutic approaches for the treatment of brain diseases.

  3. The path to epigenetic treatment of memory disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikaelsson, Mikael A; Miller, Courtney A

    2011-07-01

    A new line of neuroscience research suggests that epigenetics may be the site of nature and nurture integration by providing the environment with a mechanism to directly influence the read-out of our genome. Epigenetic mechanisms in the brain are a series of post-translational chromatin and DNA modifications driven by external input. Given the critical hub that epigenetics appears to be, neuroscientists have come to suspect its fundamental influence on how our minds change in response to our unique environment and, in turn, how these changes can then impact our future interactions with the environment. The field of learning and memory is becoming particularly interested in understanding the cognitive influence of epigenetics. With the majority of us working with an eye toward therapeutics, the question naturally arises: "Has neuroepigenetics gotten us closer to treating memory disorders and if so, where do we go from here?" This review will begin with a brief exploration of recent advances in our understanding of how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to learning and memory processes that are susceptible to failure. Next the implications for disorders of cognition, such as Alzheimer's disease, will be discussed. Finally, we will use parallels from the field of cancer to speculate on where we should consider heading from here in the pursuit of therapeutics. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. The epigenetics of nuclear envelope organization and disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schirmer, Eric C.

    2008-01-01

    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

  5. Clinical implications of epigenetic regulation in oral cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Wendy; Saranath, Dhananjaya

    2015-12-01

    Oral cancer is a high incidence cancer which is of major public health concern in India being the most common cancer in males and fifth most common cancer in females in India, contributing to 26% of the global oral cancer burden. The major risk factors of oral cancer are tobacco, alcohol and high risk Human Papilloma Virus type 16/18. However, only 3-12% of the high risk individuals with dysplasia develop oral cancer. Thus, individual genomic variants representing the genomic constitution and epigenetic alterations play a critical role in the development of oral cancer. Extensive epigenetic studies on the molecular lesions including oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, genes associated with apoptosis, DNA damage repair have been reported. The current review highlights epigenetic regulation with a focus on molecular biomarkers and epidrug therapy in oral cancer. Epigenetic regulation by hypermethylation, histone modifications and specific microRNAs are often associated with early events and advanced stages in oral cancer, and thus indicate epidrug therapy for intervention. The presence of epigenetic marks in oral lesions, cancers and tumor associated mucosa emphasizes indications as biomarkers and epidrugs with therapeutic potential for better patient management. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Concerted Flexibility of Chromatin Structure, Methylome, and Histone Modifications along with Plant Stress Responses

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    Ana Paula Santos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial organization of chromosome structure within the interphase nucleus, as well as the patterns of methylome and histone modifications, represent intersecting layers that influence genome accessibility and function. This review is focused on the plastic nature of chromatin structure and epigenetic marks in association to stress situations. The use of chemical compounds (epigenetic drugs or T-DNA-mediated mutagenesis affecting epigenetic regulators (epi-mutants are discussed as being important tools for studying the impact of deregulated epigenetic backgrounds on gene function and phenotype. The inheritability of epigenetic marks and chromatin configurations along successive generations are interpreted as a way for plants to “communicate” past experiences of stress sensing. A mechanistic understanding of chromatin and epigenetics plasticity in plant response to stress, including tissue- and genotype-specific epigenetic patterns, may help to reveal the epigenetics contributions for genome and phenotype regulation.

  7. Epigenetics and obesity cardiomyopathy: From pathophysiology to prevention and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yingmei; Ren, Jun

    2016-05-01

    Uncorrected obesity has been associated with cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction. Several mechanisms for this cardiomyopathy have been identified, including oxidative stress, autophagy, adrenergic and renin-angiotensin aldosterone overflow. Another process that may regulate effects of obesity is epigenetics, which refers to the heritable alterations in gene expression or cellular phenotype that are not encoded on the DNA sequence. Advances in epigenome profiling have greatly improved the understanding of the epigenome in obesity, where environmental exposures during early life result in an increased health risk later on in life. Several mechanisms, including histone modification, DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs, have been reported in obesity and can cause transcriptional suppression or activation, depending on the location within the gene, contributing to obesity-induced complications. Through epigenetic modifications, the fetus may be prone to detrimental insults, leading to cardiac sequelae later in life. Important links between epigenetics and obesity include nutrition, exercise, adiposity, inflammation, insulin sensitivity and hepatic steatosis. Genome-wide studies have identified altered DNA methylation patterns in pancreatic islets, skeletal muscle and adipose tissues from obese subjects compared with non-obese controls. In addition, aging and intrauterine environment are associated with differential DNA methylation. Given the intense research on the molecular mechanisms of the etiology of obesity and its complications, this review will provide insights into the current understanding of epigenetics and pharmacological and non-pharmacological (such as exercise) interventions targeting epigenetics as they relate to treatment of obesity and its complications. Particular focus will be on DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Early life nutrition, epigenetics and programming of later life disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Mark H

    2014-06-02

    The global pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes is often causally linked to marked changes in diet and lifestyle; namely marked increases in dietary intakes of high energy diets and concomitant reductions in physical activity levels. However, less attention has been paid to the role of developmental plasticity and alterations in phenotypic outcomes resulting from altered environmental conditions during the early life period. Human and experimental animal studies have highlighted the link between alterations in the early life environment and increased risk of obesity and metabolic disorders in later life. This link is conceptualised as the developmental programming hypothesis whereby environmental influences during critical periods of developmental plasticity can elicit lifelong effects on the health and well-being of the offspring. In particular, the nutritional environment in which the fetus or infant develops influences the risk of metabolic disorders in offspring. The late onset of such diseases in response to earlier transient experiences has led to the suggestion that developmental programming may have an epigenetic component, as epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation or histone tail modifications could provide a persistent memory of earlier nutritional states. Moreover, evidence exists, at least from animal models, that such epigenetic programming should be viewed as a transgenerational phenomenon. However, the mechanisms by which early environmental insults can have long-term effects on offspring are relatively unclear. Thus far, these mechanisms include permanent structural changes to the organ caused by suboptimal levels of an important factor during a critical developmental period, changes in gene expression caused by epigenetic modifications (including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA) and permanent changes in cellular ageing. A better understanding of the epigenetic basis of developmental programming and how these effects may be

  9. Early Life Nutrition, Epigenetics and Programming of Later Life Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark H. Vickers

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The global pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes is often causally linked to marked changes in diet and lifestyle; namely marked increases in dietary intakes of high energy diets and concomitant reductions in physical activity levels. However, less attention has been paid to the role of developmental plasticity and alterations in phenotypic outcomes resulting from altered environmental conditions during the early life period. Human and experimental animal studies have highlighted the link between alterations in the early life environment and increased risk of obesity and metabolic disorders in later life. This link is conceptualised as the developmental programming hypothesis whereby environmental influences during critical periods of developmental plasticity can elicit lifelong effects on the health and well-being of the offspring. In particular, the nutritional environment in which the fetus or infant develops influences the risk of metabolic disorders in offspring. The late onset of such diseases in response to earlier transient experiences has led to the suggestion that developmental programming may have an epigenetic component, as epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation or histone tail modifications could provide a persistent memory of earlier nutritional states. Moreover, evidence exists, at least from animal models, that such epigenetic programming should be viewed as a transgenerational phenomenon. However, the mechanisms by which early environmental insults can have long-term effects on offspring are relatively unclear. Thus far, these mechanisms include permanent structural changes to the organ caused by suboptimal levels of an important factor during a critical developmental period, changes in gene expression caused by epigenetic modifications (including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA and permanent changes in cellular ageing. A better understanding of the epigenetic basis of developmental programming and how

  10. Epigenetics and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M

    2013-01-01

    This review identifies mechanisms for altering DNA-histone interactions of cell chromatin to upregulate or downregulate gene expression that could serve as epigenetic targets for therapeutic interventions in autism. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) can phosphorylate histone H3 at T6. Aided by protein kinase C β 1, the DNMT lysine-specific demethylase-1 prevents demethylation of H3 at K4. During androgen-receptor-(AR-) dependent gene activation, this sequence may produce AR-dependent gene overactivation which may partly explain the male predominance of autism. AR-dependent gene overactivation in conjunction with a DNMT mechanism for methylating oxytocin receptors could produce high arousal inputs to the amygdala resulting in aberrant socialization, a prime characteristic of autism. Dysregulation of histone methyltransferases and histone deacetylases (HDACs) associated with low activity of methyl CpG binding protein-2 at cytosine-guanine sites in genes may reduce the capacity for condensing chromatin and silencing genes in frontal cortex, a site characterized by decreased cortical interconnectivity in autistic subjects. HDAC1 inhibition can overactivate mRNA transcription, a putative mechanism for the increased number of cerebral cortical columns and local frontal cortex hyperactivity in autistic individuals. These epigenetic mechanisms underlying male predominance, aberrant social interaction, and low functioning frontal cortex may be novel targets for autism prevention and treatment strategies.

  11. Epigenetics and Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tafari Mbadiwe

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This review identifies mechanisms for altering DNA-histone interactions of cell chromatin to upregulate or downregulate gene expression that could serve as epigenetic targets for therapeutic interventions in autism. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs can phosphorylate histone H3 at T6. Aided by protein kinase Cβ1, the DNMT lysine-specific demethylase-1 prevents demethylation of H3 at K4. During androgen-receptor-(AR- dependent gene activation, this sequence may produce AR-dependent gene overactivation which may partly explain the male predominance of autism. AR-dependent gene overactivation in conjunction with a DNMT mechanism for methylating oxytocin receptors could produce high arousal inputs to the amygdala resulting in aberrant socialization, a prime characteristic of autism. Dysregulation of histone methyltransferases and histone deacetylases (HDACs associated with low activity of methyl CpG binding protein-2 at cytosine-guanine sites in genes may reduce the capacity for condensing chromatin and silencing genes in frontal cortex, a site characterized by decreased cortical interconnectivity in autistic subjects. HDAC1 inhibition can overactivate mRNA transcription, a putative mechanism for the increased number of cerebral cortical columns and local frontal cortex hyperactivity in autistic individuals. These epigenetic mechanisms underlying male predominance, aberrant social interaction, and low functioning frontal cortex may be novel targets for autism prevention and treatment strategies.

  12. Epigenetics in the Vascular Endothelium: Looking From a Different Perspective in the Epigenomics Era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Matthew S; Marsden, Philip A

    2015-11-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are commonly thought to be complex, non-Mendelian diseases that are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. A growing body of evidence suggests that epigenetic pathways play a key role in vascular biology and might be involved in defining and transducing cardiovascular disease inheritability. In this review, we argue the importance of epigenetics in vascular biology, especially from the perspective of endothelial cell phenotype. We highlight and discuss the role of epigenetic modifications across the transcriptional unit of protein-coding genes, especially the role of intragenic chromatin modifications, which are underappreciated and not well characterized in the current era of genome-wide studies. Importantly, we describe the practical application of epigenetics in cardiovascular disease therapeutics. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

  13. Local epigenetic reprogramming induced by G-quadruplex ligands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilbaud, Guillaume; Murat, Pierre; Recolin, Bénédicte; Campbell, Beth C.; Maiter, Ahmed; Sale, Julian E.; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2017-11-01

    DNA and histone modifications regulate transcriptional activity and thus represent valuable targets to reprogram the activity of genes. Current epigenetic therapies target the machinery that regulates these modifications, leading to global transcriptional reprogramming with the potential for extensive undesired effects. Epigenetic information can also be modified as a consequence of disrupting processive DNA replication. Here, we demonstrate that impeding replication by small-molecule-mediated stabilization of G-quadruplex nucleic acid secondary structures triggers local epigenetic plasticity. We report the use of the BU-1 locus of chicken DT40 cells to screen for small molecules able to induce G-quadruplex-dependent transcriptional reprogramming. Further characterization of the top hit compound revealed its ability to induce a dose-dependent inactivation of BU-1 expression in two steps: the loss of H3K4me3 and then subsequent DNA cytosine methylation, changes that were heritable across cell divisions even after the compound was removed. Targeting DNA secondary structures thus represents a potentially new approach for locus-specific epigenetic reprogramming.

  14. Epigenetic Alterations in Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niller, Hans Helmut; Banati, Ferenc; Salamon, Daniel; Minarovits, Janos

    2016-01-01

    Latent Epstein-Bar virus genomes undergo epigenetic modifications which are dependent on the respective tissue type and cellular phenotype. These define distinct viral epigenotypes corresponding with latent viral gene expression profiles. Viral Latent Membrane Proteins 1 and 2A can induce cellular DNA methyltransferases, thereby influencing the methylation status of the viral and cellular genomes. Therefore, not only the viral genomes carry epigenetic modifications, but also the cellular genomes adopt major epigenetic alterations upon EBV infection. The distinct cellular epigenotypes of EBV-infected cells differ from the epigenotypes of their normal counterparts. In Burkitt lymphoma (BL), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and EBV-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC) significant changes in the host cell methylome with a strong tendency towards CpG island hypermethylation are observed. Hypermethylated genes unique for EBVaGC suggest the existence of an EBV-specific "epigenetic signature". Contrary to the primary malignancies carrying latent EBV genomes, lymphoblastoid cells (LCs) established by EBV infection of peripheral B cells in vitro are characterized by a massive genome-wide demethylation and a significant decrease and redistribution of heterochromatic histone marks. Establishing complete epigenomes of the diverse EBV-associated malignancies shall clarify their similarities and differences and further clarify the contribution of EBV to the pathogenesis, especially for the epithelial malignancies, NPC and EBVaGC.

  15. Nuclear Reprogramming in Mouse Primordial Germ Cells: Epigenetic Contribution

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    Massimo De Felici

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The unique capability of germ cells to give rise to a new organism, allowing the transmission of primary genetic information from generation to generation, depends on their epigenetic reprogramming ability and underlying genomic totipotency. Recent studies have shown that genome-wide epigenetic modifications, referred to as “epigenetic reprogramming”, occur during the development of the gamete precursors termed primordial germ cells (PGCs in the embryo. This reprogramming is likely to be critical for the germ line development itself and necessary to erase the parental imprinting and setting the base for totipotency intrinsic to this cell lineage. The status of genome acquired during reprogramming and the associated expression of key pluripotency genes render PGCs susceptible to transform into pluripotent stem cells. This may occur in vivo under still undefined condition, and it is likely at the origin of the formation of germ cell tumors. The phenomenon appears to be reproduced under partly defined in vitro culture conditions, when PGCs are transformed into embryonic germ (EG cells. In the present paper, I will try to summarize the contribution that epigenetic modifications give to nuclear reprogramming in mouse PGCs.

  16. Cancer Progenitor Cells: The Result of an Epigenetic Event?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapinska, Karolina; Faria, Gabriela; McGonagle, Sandra; Macumber, Kate Morgan; Heerboth, Sarah; Sarkar, Sibaji

    2018-01-01

    The concept of cancer stem cells was proposed in the late 1990s. Although initially the idea seemed controversial, the existence of cancer stem cells is now well established. However, the process leading to the formation of cancer stem cells is still not clear and thus requires further research. This article discusses epigenetic events that possibly produce cancer progenitor cells from predisposed cells by the influence of their environment. Every somatic cell possesses an epigenetic signature in terms of histone modifications and DNA methylation, which are obtained during lineage-specific differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, which is specific to that particular tissue. We call this signature an epigenetic switch. The epigenetic switch is not fixed. Our epigenome alters with aging. However, depending on the predisposition of the cells of a particular tissue and their microenvironment, the balance of the switch (histone modifications and the DNA methylation) may be tilted to immortality in a few cells, which generates cancer progenitor cells. Copyright© 2018, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

  17. Age-associated changes in muscle activity during isometric contraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arjunan, Sridhar P; Kumar, Dinesh K

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the effect of age on the complexity of muscle activity and the variance in the force of isometric contraction. Surface electromyography (sEMG) from biceps brachii muscle and force of contraction were recorded from 96 subjects (20-70 years of age) during isometric contractions. There was a reduction in the complexity of sEMG associated with aging. The relationship of age and complexity was approximated using a bilinear fit, with the average knee point at 45 years. There was an age-associated increase in the coefficient of variation (CoV) of the force of muscle contraction, and this increase was correlated with the decrease in complexity of sEMG (r(2) = 0.76). There was an age-associated increase in CoV and also a reduction in the complexity of sEMG. The correlation between these 2 factors can be explained based on the age-associated increase in motor unit density. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Suicide rates: age-associated trends and their correlates

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    Ajit Shah

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Suicide rates traditionally increased with ageing. There is a paucity of studies examining factors associated with age-associated trends in suicide rates. METHODS: The relationship between suicide rates and ageing was examined by ascertaining suicide rates in the seven age-bands 16-24 years to 75+ years from the World Health Organization for 97 countries. The relationship between socio-economic status, income inequality, healthcare expenditure, child mortality rates and life expectancy and countries with an increase, a decline and no change in suicide rates with ageing was examined using data from the United Nations. RESULTS: In males and females there was a decline in 5 and 10 countries, an increase in 33 and 37 countries and no change in 59 and 50 countries respectively in suicide rates with ageing. Age-associated trends in suicide rates were significantly associated with socio-economic status (males or income inequality (females, per capita expenditure in healthcare, the proportion of gross-national domestic product spent on healthcare, child mortality rates and life expectancy. CONCLUSIONS: The current study, of factors associated with age-associated trends in suicide rates, confirmed a previously developed five sequential stage model to explain the relationship between elderly suicide rates and socio-economic status and income inequality, quality and quantity of healthcare services, child mortality rates and life expectancy.

  19. Chromatin remodelling and epigenetic state regulation by non-coding RNAs in the diseased heart

    OpenAIRE

    F. De Majo; M. Calore

    2018-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to all the changes in phenotype and gene expression which are not due to alterations in the DNA sequence. These mechanisms have a pivotal role not only in the development but also in the maintenance during adulthood of a physiological phenotype of the heart. Because of the crucial role of epigenetic modifications, their alteration can lead to the arise of pathological conditions.Heart failure affects an estimated 23 million people worldwide and leads to substantial numbers ...

  20. Epigenetic control of mobile DNA as an interface between experience and genome change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A. Shapiro

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mobile DNA in the genome is subject to RNA-targeted epigenetic control. This control regulates the activity of transposons, retrotransposons and genomic proviruses. Many different life history experiences alter the activities of mobile DNA and the expression of genetic loci regulated by nearby insertions. The same experiences induce alterations in epigenetic formatting and lead to trans-generational modifications of genome expression and stability. These observations lead to the hypothesis that epigenetic formatting directed by non-coding RNA provides a molecular interface between life history events and genome alteration.

  1. Causes and consequences of obesity: epigenetics or hypokinesis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham MR

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Michael R Graham,1 Julien S Baker,2 Bruce Davies3 1Llantarnam Research Academy, Cwmbran, Torfaen, UK; 2Exercise Science Research Laboratory, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, School of Science, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, UK; 3Science Department, University of South Wales, Newport, UKEpigenetics can be defined as the study of heritable changes that affect gene function without modification of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA sequence.1 The transfer of epigenetic marks through generations is not well understood, and their transmission is in dispute.2 Epigenetic marks are tissue-specific and include DNA methylation and histone modifications that mediate biological processes, such as imprinting (Figure 1. Many imprinted genes are regulators of gene expression controlling growth. Imprinting disorders often feature obesity as one of their characteristics.3

  2. Challenges ahead for mass spectrometry and proteomics applications in epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Benedikt M

    2010-02-01

    Inheritance of biological information to future generations depends on the replication of DNA and the Mendelian principle of distribution of genes. In addition, external and environmental factors can influence traits that can be propagated to offspring, but the molecular details of this are only beginning to be understood. The discoveries of DNA methylation and post-translational modifications on chromatin and histones provided entry points for regulating gene expression, an area now defined as epigenetics and epigenomics. Mass spectrometry turned out to be instrumental in uncovering molecular details involved in these processes. The central role of histone post-translational modifications in epigenetics related biological processes has revitalized mass spectrometry based investigations. In this special report, current approaches and future challenges that lay ahead due to the enormous complexity are discussed.

  3. Maternal diabetes mellitus and the origin of non-communicable diseases in offspring: the role of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Zhao-Jia; Zhang, Cui-Lian; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan

    2014-06-01

    Offspring of diabetic mothers are susceptible to the onset of metabolic syndromes, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity at adulthood, and this trend can be inherited between generations. Genetics cannot fully explain how the noncommunicable disease in offspring of diabetic mothers is caused and inherited by the next generations. Many studies have confirmed that epigenetics may be crucial for the detrimental effects on offspring exposed to the hyperglycemic environment. Although the adverse effects on epigenetics in offspring of diabetic mothers may be the result of the poor intrauterine environment, epigenetic modifications in oocytes of diabetic mothers are also affected. Therefore, the present review is focused on the epigenetic alterations in oocytes and embryos of diabetic mothers. Furthermore, we also discuss initial mechanistic insight on maternal diabetes mellitus causing alterations of epigenetic modifications. © 2014 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  4. The political implications of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Shea K

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics, which is just beginning to attract public attention and policy discussion, challenges conventional understanding of gene-environment interaction and intergenerational inheritance and perhaps much more besides. Does epigenetics challenge modern political ideologies? I analyzed the narratives of obesity and epigenetics recently published in the more liberal New York Times and the more conservative Wall Street Journal. For the years 2010 through 2014, 50 articles on obesity and 29 articles on epigenetics were identified, and elements in their causal narratives were quantitatively analyzed using a well described narrative policy framework. The narratives on obesity aligned with the two newspapers' reputed ideologies. However, the narratives on epigenetics aligned with neither ideology but freely mixed liberal and conservative elements. This small study may serve as a starting point for broader studies of epigenetics as it comes to affect political ideologies and, in turn, public policies. The narrative mix reported here could yet prove vulnerable to ideological capture, or, more optimistically, could portend the emergence of a "third-way" narrative using epigenetics to question atomistic individualism and allowing for less divisiveness in public-health domains such as obesity.

  5. The increasing roles of epigenetics in breast cancer: Implications for pathogenicity, biomarkers, prevention and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basse, Clémence; Arock, Michel

    2015-12-15

    Nowadays, the mechanisms governing the occurrence of cancer are thought to be the consequence not only of genetic defects but also of epigenetic modifications. Therefore, epigenetic has become a very attractive and increasingly investigated field of research in order to find new ways of prevention and treatment of neoplasia, and this is particularly the case for breast cancer (BC). Thus, this review will first develop the main known epigenetic modifications that can occur in cancer and then expose the future role that control of epigenetic modifications might play in prevention, prognostication, follow-up and treatment of BC. Indeed, epigenetic biomarkers found in peripheral blood might become new tools to detect BC, to define its prognostic and to predict its outcome, whereas epi-drugs might have an increasing potential of development in the next future. However, if DNA methyltransferase inhibitors and histone desacetylase inhibitors have shown encouraging results in BC, their action remains nonspecific. Thus, additional clinical studies are needed to evaluate more precisely the effects of these molecules, even if they have provided encouraging results in cotreatment and combined therapies. This review will also deal with the potential of RNA interference (RNAi) as epi-drugs. Finally, we will focus on the potential prevention of BC through epigenetic based on diet and we will particularly develop the possible place of isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables or of Genistein from soybean in a dietary program that might potentially reduce the risk of BC in large populations. © 2014 UICC.

  6. Epigenetic Effects of Environmental Chemicals Bisphenol A and Phthalates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Shoei-Lung Li

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The epigenetic effects on DNA methylation, histone modification, and expression of non-coding RNAs (including microRNAs of environmental chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA and phthalates have expanded our understanding of the etiology of human complex diseases such as cancers and diabetes. Multiple lines of evidence from in vitro and in vivo models have established that epigenetic modifications caused by in utero exposure to environmental toxicants can induce alterations in gene expression that may persist throughout life. Epigenetics is an important mechanism in the ability of environmental chemicals to influence health and disease, and BPA and phthalates are epigenetically toxic. The epigenetic effect of BPA was clearly demonstrated in viable yellow mice by decreasing CpG methylation upstream of the Agouti gene, and the hypomethylating effect of BPA was prevented by maternal dietary supplementation with a methyl donor like folic acid or the phytoestrogen genistein. Histone H3 was found to be trimethylated at lysine 27 by BPA effect on EZH2 in a human breast cancer cell line and mice. BPA exposure of human placental cell lines has been shown to alter microRNA expression levels, and specifically, miR-146a was strongly induced by BPA treatment. In human breast cancer MCF7 cells, treatment with the phthalate BBP led to demethylation of estrogen receptor (ESR1 promoter-associated CpG islands, indicating that altered ESR1 mRNA expression by BBP is due to aberrant DNA methylation. Maternal exposure to phthalate DEHP was also shown to increase DNA methylation and expression levels of DNA methyltransferases in mouse testis. Further, some epigenetic effects of BPA and phthalates in female rats were found to be transgenerational. Finally, the available new technologies for global analysis of epigenetic alterations will provide insight into the extent and patterns of alterations between human normal and diseased tissues.

  7. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2014-04-01

    Explanations for biological evolution in terms of changes in gene frequencies refer to outcomes rather than process. Integrating epigenetic studies with older evolutionary theories has drawn attention to the ways in which evolution occurs. Adaptation at the level of the gene is givingway to adaptation at the level of the organism and higher-order assemblages of organisms. These ideas impact on the theories of how cooperation might have evolved. Two of the theories, i.e. that cooperating individuals are genetically related or that they cooperate for self-interested reasons, have been accepted for a long time. The idea that adaptation takes place at the level of groups is much more controversial. However, bringing together studies of development with those of evolution is taking away much of the heat in the debate about the evolution of group behaviour.

  8. [Schizophrenia, environment and epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Must, Anita; Janka, Zoltan; Horvath, Szatmar

    2011-12-01

    Psychotic, cognitive and affective symptoms defining schizophrenia may, though much less severe, manifest themselves in up to 10 to 20% of the general population. What explains the fact that in certain cases the symptoms require even constant medical supervision, while others are capable of living a normal life within social conventions? Which factors lead to the transition of mild, subclinical manifestations and vulnerability indicators towards the outburst of one of the most severe and depriving mental disorders? Genetic susceptibility is undoubtedly crucial. More recent research findings emphasize the modifying effect of specific environmental factors on gene expression. The gene-environment interplay may induce so-called epigenetic alterations which may manifest themselves over several generations. Future integrative, multi-dimensional and flexible schizophrenia research approaches focusing on the identification of neurobiological and cognitive outcomes are much needed to understand disease vulnerability, susceptibility mechanisms, periods and interactions. Research methods may differ, but our aim is common - establishing more effective diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

  9. Epigenetic Alterations in Fanconi Anaemia: Role in Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Potential.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélio Belo

    Full Text Available Fanconi anaemia (FA is an inherited disorder characterized by chromosomal instability. The phenotype is variable, which raises the possibility that it may be affected by other factors, such as epigenetic modifications. These play an important role in oncogenesis and may be pharmacologically manipulated. Our aim was to explore whether the epigenetic profiles in FA differ from non-FA individuals and whether these could be manipulated to alter the disease phenotype. We compared expression of epigenetic genes and DNA methylation profile of tumour suppressor genes between FA and normal samples. FA samples exhibited decreased expression levels of genes involved in epigenetic regulation and hypomethylation in the promoter regions of tumour suppressor genes. Treatment of FA cells with histone deacetylase inhibitor Vorinostat increased the expression of DNM3Tβ and reduced the levels of CIITA and HDAC9, PAK1, USP16, all involved in different aspects of epigenetic and immune regulation. Given the ability of Vorinostat to modulate epigenetic genes in FA patients, we investigated its functional effects on the FA phenotype. This was assessed by incubating FA cells with Vorinostat and quantifying chromosomal breaks induced by DNA cross-linking agents. Treatment of FA cells with Vorinostat resulted in a significant reduction of aberrant cells (81% on average. Our results suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in oncogenesis in FA. Epigenetic agents may be helpful in improving the phenotype of FA patients, potentially reducing tumour incidence in this population.

  10. Environmental epigenetics: A promising venue for developing next-generation pollution biomonitoring tools in marine invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez-Ulloa, Victoria; Gonzalez-Romero, Rodrigo; Eirin-Lopez, Jose M

    2015-09-15

    Environmental epigenetics investigates the cause-effect relationships between specific environmental factors and the subsequent epigenetic modifications triggering adaptive responses in the cell. Given the dynamic and potentially reversible nature of the different types of epigenetic marks, environmental epigenetics constitutes a promising venue for developing fast and sensible biomonitoring programs. Indeed, several epigenetic biomarkers have been successfully developed and applied in traditional model organisms (e.g., human and mouse). Nevertheless, the lack of epigenetic knowledge in other ecologically and environmentally relevant organisms has hampered the application of these tools in a broader range of ecosystems, most notably in the marine environment. Fortunately, that scenario is now changing thanks to the growing availability of complete reference genome sequences along with the development of high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatic methods. Altogether, these resources make the epigenetic study of marine organisms (and more specifically marine invertebrates) a reality. By building on this knowledge, the present work provides a timely perspective highlighting the extraordinary potential of environmental epigenetic analyses as a promising source of rapid and sensible tools for pollution biomonitoring, using marine invertebrates as sentinel organisms. This strategy represents an innovative, groundbreaking approach, improving the conservation and management of natural resources in the oceans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. [Nutritional epigenetics and epigenetic effects of human breast milk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukoyanova, O L; Borovik, T E

    The article provides an overview of the current literature on nutritional epigenetics. There are currently actively studied hypothesis that nutrition especially in early life or in critical periods of the development, may have a role in modulating gene expression, and, therefore, have later effects on health in adults. Nutritional epigenetics concerns knowledge about the possible effects of nutrients on gene expression. Human breast milk is well-known for its ability in preventing necrotizing enterocolitis, infectious diseases, and also non-communicable diseases, such as obesity and related disorders. This paper discusses about presumed epigenetic effects of human breast milk and some its components. While evidence suggests that a direct relationship may exist of some components of human breast milk with epigenetic changes, the mechanisms involved are stillunclear.

  12. Age-associated increase of the active zone protein Bruchpilot within the honeybee mushroom body.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin B Gehring

    Full Text Available In honeybees, age-associated structural modifications can be observed in the mushroom bodies. Prominent examples are the synaptic complexes (microglomeruli, MG in the mushroom body calyces, which were shown to alter their size and density with age. It is not known whether the amount of intracellular synaptic proteins in the MG is altered as well. The presynaptic protein Bruchpilot (BRP is localized at active zones and is involved in regulating the probability of neurotransmitter release in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we explored the localization of the honeybee BRP (Apis mellifera BRP, AmBRP in the bee brain and examined age-related changes in the AmBRP abundance in the central bee brain and in microglomeruli of the mushroom body calyces. We report predominant AmBRP localization near the membrane of presynaptic boutons within the mushroom body MG. The relative amount of AmBRP was increased in the central brain of two-week old bees whereas the amount of Synapsin, another presynaptic protein involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release, shows an increase during the first two weeks followed by a decrease. In addition, we demonstrate an age-associated modulation of AmBRP located near the membrane of presynaptic boutons within MG located in mushroom body calyces where sensory input is conveyed to mushroom body intrinsic neurons. We discuss that the observed age-associated AmBRP modulation might be related to maturation processes or to homeostatic mechanisms that might help to maintain synaptic functionality in old animals.

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Developmental Alcohol-Induced Neurobehavioral Deficits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balapal S. Basavarajappa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and its damaging consequences on the developing infant brain are significant public health, social, and economic issues. The major distinctive features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans are cognitive and behavioral dysfunction due to damage to the central nervous system (CNS, which results in a continuum of disarray that is collectively called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. Many rodent models have been developed to understand the mechanisms of and to reproduce the human FASD phenotypes. These animal FASD studies have provided several molecular pathways that are likely responsible for the neurobehavioral abnormalities that are associated with prenatal alcohol exposure of the developing CNS. Recently, many laboratories have identified several immediate, as well as long-lasting, epigenetic modifications of DNA methylation, DNA-associated histone proteins and microRNA (miRNA biogenesis by using a variety of epigenetic approaches in rodent FASD models. Because DNA methylation patterns, DNA-associated histone protein modifications and miRNA-regulated gene expression are crucial for synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, they can therefore offer an answer to many of the neurobehavioral abnormalities that are found in FASD. In this review, we briefly discuss the current literature of DNA methylation, DNA-associated histone proteins modification and miRNA and review recent developments concerning epigenetic changes in FASD.

  14. Patterns of Age-Associated Degeneration Differ in Shoulder Muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Yotam; Henseler, Jan F.; Kolk, Arjen; Riaz, Muhammad; van der Zwaal, Peer; Nagels, Jochem; Nelissen, Rob G. H. H.; Raz, Vered

    2015-01-01

    Shoulder complaints are common in the elderly and hamper daily functioning. These complaints are often caused by tears in the muscle-tendon units of the rotator cuff (RC). The four RC muscles stabilize the shoulder joint. While some RC muscles are frequently torn in shoulder complaints others remain intact. The pathological changes in RC muscles are poorly understood. We investigated changes in RC muscle pathology combining radiological and histological procedures. We measured cross sectional area (CSA) and fatty infiltration from Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Arthrography (MRA) in subjects without (N = 294) and with (N = 109) RC-tears. Normalized muscle CSA of the four RC muscles and the deltoid shoulder muscle were compared and age-associated patterns of muscle atrophy and fatty infiltration were constructed. We identified two distinct age-associated patterns: in the supraspinatus and subscapularis RC muscles CSAs continuously declined throughout adulthood, whereas in the infraspinatus and deltoid reduced CSA was prominent from midlife onwards. In the teres minor, CSA was unchanged with age. Most importantly, age-associated patterns were highly similar between subjects without RC tear and those with RC-tears. This suggests that extensive RC muscle atrophy during aging could contribute to RC pathology. We compared muscle pathology between torn infraspinatus and non-torn teres minor and the deltoid in two patients with a massive RC-tear. In the torn infraspinatus we found pronounced fatty droplets, an increase in extracellular collagen-1, a loss of myosin heavy chain-1 expression in myofibers and an increase in Pax7-positive cells. However, the adjacent intact teres minor and deltoid exhibited healthy muscle features. This suggests that satellite cells and the extracellular matrix may contribute to extensive muscle fibrosis in torn RC. We suggest that torn RC muscles display hallmarks of muscle aging whereas the teres minor could represent an aging

  15. Patterns of age-associated degeneration differ in shoulder muscles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yotam eRaz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Shoulder complaints are common in the elderly and hamper daily functioning. These complaints are often caused by tears in the muscle-tendon units of the rotator cuff (RC. The four RC muscles stabilize the shoulder joint. While some RC muscles are frequently torn in shoulder complaints others remain intact. The pathological changes in RC muscles are poorly understood. We investigated changes in RC muscle pathology combining radiological and histological procedures. We measured cross sectional area (CSA and fatty infiltration from Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Arthrography in subjects without (N=294 and with (N=109 RC-tears. Normalized muscle CSA of the four RC muscles and the deltoid shoulder muscle were compared and age-associated patterns of muscle atrophy and fatty infiltration were constructed. We identified two distinct age-associated patterns: in the supraspinatus and subscapularis RC muscles CSAs continuously declined throughout adulthood, whereas in the infraspinatus and deltoid reduced CSA was prominent from midlife onwards. In the teres minor, CSA was unchanged with age. Most importantly, age-associated patterns were highly similar between subjects without RC tear and those with RC-tears. This suggests that extensive RC muscle atrophy during aging could contribute to RC pathology. We compared muscle pathology between torn infraspinatus and non-torn teres minor and the deltoid in two patients with a massive RC-tear. In the torn infraspinatus we found pronounced fatty droplets, an increase in extracellular collagen-1, a loss of myosin heavy chain-1 expression in myofibers and an increase in Pax7-positive cells. However, the adjacent intact teres minor and deltoid exhibited healthy muscle features. This suggests that satellite cells and the extracellular matrix may contribute to extensive muscle fibrosis in torn RC. We suggest that torn RC muscles display hallmarks of muscle aging whereas the teres minor could represent an aging

  16. Epigenetics as a basis for diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Takeo; Miyake, Kunio; Hariya, Natsuyo; Mochizuki, Kazuki

    2014-07-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, are complex entities that can be caused by biological and social factors. In a subset of patients with congenital neurodevelopmental disorders, clear diagnosis can be achieved using DNA sequence-based analysis to identify changes in the DNA sequence (genetic variation). However, it has recently become clear that changes to the secondary modifications of DNA and histone structures (epigenetic variation) can also cause neurodevelopmental disorders via alteration of neural gene function. Moreover, it has recently been demonstrated that epigenetic modifications are more susceptible to alterations induced by environmental factors than are DNA sequences, and that some drugs commonly used reverse mental-stress induced alterations to histone modifications in neural genes. Therefore, application of diagnostic assays to detect epigenetic alterations will provide new insight into the characterization and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  17. Epigenetic priming of the metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Kimberley D; Cagampang, Felino R

    2011-05-01

    The metabolic syndrome (MetS) represents a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors, including central obesity, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, hyperinsulinemia and microalbuminuria, and more recently, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and atherosclerosis. Although the concept of the MetS is subject to debate due to lack of a unifying underlying mechanism, the prevalence of a metabolic syndrome phenotype is rapidly increasing worldwide. Moreover, it is increasingly prevalent in children and adolescents of obese mothers. Evidence from both epidemiological and experimental animal studies now demonstrates that MetS onset is increasingly likely following exposure to suboptimal nutrition during critical periods of development, as observed in maternal obesity. Thus, the developmental priming of the MetS provides a common origin for this multifactorial disorder. Consequently, the mechanisms leading to this developmental priming have recently been the subject of intensive investigation. This review discusses recent data regarding the epigenetic modifications resulting from nutrition during early development that mediate persistent changes in the expression of key metabolic genes and contribute toward an adult metabolic syndrome phenotype. In addition, this review considers the role of the endogenous molecular circadian clock system, which has the potential to act at the interface between nutrient sensing and epigenetic processing. A continued and greater understanding of these mechanisms will eventually aid in the identification of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes, and help develop therapeutic interventions, in accordance with current global government strategy.

  18. Epigenetic Regulation of Telomere Maintenance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fojtová, M.; Fajkus, Jiří

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 143, 1-3 (2014), s. 125-135 ISSN 1424-8581 Institutional support: RVO:68081707 Keywords : Chromatin * DNA methylation * Epigenetic s Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 1.561, year: 2014

  19. The epigenetic landscape of alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Harish R; Sakharkar, Amul J; Teppen, Tara L; Berkel, Tiffani D M; Pandey, Subhash C

    2014-01-01

    Alcoholism is a complex psychiatric disorder that has a multifactorial etiology. Epigenetic mechanisms are uniquely capable of accounting for the multifactorial nature of the disease in that they are highly stable and are affected by environmental factors, including alcohol itself. Chromatin remodeling causes changes in gene expression in specific brain regions contributing to the endophenotypes of alcoholism such as tolerance and dependence. The epigenetic mechanisms that regulate changes in gene expression observed in addictive behaviors respond not only to alcohol exposure but also to comorbid psychopathology such as the presence of anxiety and stress. This review summarizes recent developments in epigenetic research that may play a role in alcoholism. We propose that pharmacologically manipulating epigenetic targets, as demonstrated in various preclinical models, hold great therapeutic potential in the treatment and prevention of alcoholism. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Epigenetic Influences During the Periconception Period and Assisted Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoako, Akwasi A; Nafee, Tamer M; Ola, Bolarinde

    2017-01-01

    The periconception period starts 6 months before conception and lasts until the tenth week of gestation. In this chapter, we will focus on epigenetic modifications to DNA and gene expression within this period and during assisted reproduction. There are two critical times during the periconception window when significant epigenetic 'reprogramming' occur: one during gametogenesis and another during the pre-implantation embryonic stage. Furthermore, assisted conception treatments, laboratory protocols and culture media can affect the embryo development and birth weights in laboratory animals. There is, however, an ongoing debate as to whether epigenetic changes in humans, causing embryo mal-development, placenta dysfunction and birth defects, result from assisted reproductive technologies or are consequences of pre-existing medical and/or genetic conditions in the parents. The periconception period starts from ovarian folliculogenesis, through resumption of oogenesis, fertilisation, peri-implantation embryo development, embryogenesis until the end of organogenesis. In men, it is the period from spermatogenesis to epididymal sperm storage and fertilisation. Gametes and developing embryos are sensitive to environmental factors during this period, and epigenetic modifications can occur in response to adverse lifestyles and environmental factors. We now know that lifestyle factors such as advanced parentage age, obesity or undernutrition, smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine intake and recreational drugs used during gamete production and embryogenesis could induce epigenetic alterations, which could impact adversely on pregnancy outcomes and health of the offspring. Furthermore, these can also result in a permanent and irreversible effect in a dose-dependent manner, which can be passed on to the future generations.

  1. Epigenetic susceptibility factors for prostate cancer with aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damaschke, N A; Yang, B; Bhusari, S; Svaren, J P; Jarrard, D F

    2013-12-01

    Increasing age is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer. The prostate is exposed to environmental and endogenous stress that may underlie this remarkable incidence. DNA methylation, genomic imprinting, and histone modifications are examples of epigenetic factors known to undergo change in the aging and cancerous prostate. In this review we examine the data linking epigenetic alterations in the prostate with aging to cancer development. An online search of current and past peer reviewed literature on epigenetic changes with cancer and aging was performed. Relevant articles were analyzed. Epigenetic changes are responsible for modifying expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Several of these changes may represent a field defect that predisposes to cancer development. Focal hypermethylation occurs at CpG islands in the promoters of certain genes including GSTP1, RARβ2, and RASSF1A with both age and cancer, while global hypomethylation is seen in prostate cancer and known to occur in the colon and other organs. A loss of genomic imprinting is responsible for biallelic expression of the well-known Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 (IGF2) gene. Loss of imprinting (LOI) at IGF2 has been documented in cancer and is also known to occur in benign aging prostate tissue marking the presence of cancer. Histone modifications have the ability to dictate chromatin structure and direct gene expression. Epigenetic changes with aging represent molecular mechanisms to explain the increased susceptibly of the prostate to develop cancer in older men. These changes may provide an opportunity for diagnostic and chemopreventive strategies given the epigenome can be modified. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Epigenetic Editing: targeted rewriting of epigenetic marks to modulate expression of selected target genes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groote, M.L.; Verschure, P.J.; Rots, M.G.

    2012-01-01

    Despite significant advances made in epigenetic research in recent decades, many questions remain unresolved, especially concerning cause and consequence of epigenetic marks with respect to gene expression modulation (GEM). Technologies allowing the targeting of epigenetic enzymes to predetermined

  3. Epigenetic Editing : targeted rewriting of epigenetic marks to modulate expression of selected target genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groote, Marloes L.; Verschure, Pernette J.; Rots, Marianne G.

    2012-01-01

    Despite significant advances made in epigenetic research in recent decades, many questions remain unresolved, especially concerning cause and consequence of epigenetic marks with respect to gene expression modulation (GEM). Technologies allowing the targeting of epigenetic enzymes to predetermined

  4. Recent Findings in Alzheimer Disease and Nutrition Focusing on Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasopoulos, Dimitrios; Karagiannis, George; Tsolaki, Magda

    2016-09-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease with no effective cure so far. The current review focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms of AD and how nutrition can influence the course of this disease through regulation of gene expression, according to the latest scientific findings. The search strategy was the use of scientific databases such as PubMed and Scopus in order to find relative research or review articles published in the years 2012-2015. By showing the latest data of various nutritional compounds, this study aims to stimulate the scientific community to recognize the value of nutrition in this subject. Epigenetics is becoming a very attractive subject for researchers because it can shed light on unknown aspects of complex diseases like AD. DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs are the principal epigenetic mechanisms involved in AD pathophysiology. Nutrition is an environmental factor that is related to AD through epigenetic pathways. Vitamin B-12, for instance, can alter the one-carbon metabolism and thus interfere in the DNA methylation process. The research results might seem ambiguous about the clinical role of nutrition, but there is strengthening evidence that proper nutrition can not only change epigenetic biomarker levels but also prevent the development of late-onset AD and attenuate cognition deficit. Nutrition might grow to become a preventive and even therapeutic alternative against AD, especially if combined with other antidementia interventions, brain exercise, physical training, etc. Epigenetic biomarkers can be a very helpful tool to help researchers find the exact nutrients needed to create specific remedies, and perhaps the same biomarkers can be used even in patient screening in the future. © 2016 American Society for Nutrition.

  5. Lamarck rises from his grave: parental environment-induced epigenetic inheritance in model organisms and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Liu, Huijie; Sun, Zhongsheng

    2017-11-01

    Organisms can change their physiological/behavioural traits to adapt and survive in changed environments. However, whether these acquired traits can be inherited across generations through non-genetic alterations has been a topic of debate for over a century. Emerging evidence indicates that both ancestral and parental experiences, including nutrition, environmental toxins, nurturing behaviour, and social stress, can have powerful effects on the physiological, metabolic and cellular functions in an organism. In certain circumstances, these effects can be transmitted across several generations through epigenetic (i.e. non-DNA sequence-based rather than mutational) modifications. In this review, we summarize recent evidence on epigenetic inheritance from parental environment-induced developmental and physiological alterations in nematodes, fruit flies, zebrafish, rodents, and humans. The epigenetic modifications demonstrated to be both susceptible to modulation by environmental cues and heritable, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and small non-coding RNAs, are also summarized. We particularly focus on evidence that parental environment-induced epigenetic alterations are transmitted through both the maternal and paternal germlines and exert sex-specific effects. The thought-provoking data presented here raise fundamental questions about the mechanisms responsible for these phenomena. In particular, the means that define the specificity of the response to parental experience in the gamete epigenome and that direct the establishment of the specific epigenetic change in the developing embryos, as well as in specific tissues in the descendants, remain obscure and require elucidation. More precise epigenetic assessment at both the genome-wide level and single-cell resolution as well as strategies for breeding at relatively sensitive periods of development and manipulation aimed at specific epigenetic modification are imperative for identifying parental

  6. Preserving human potential as freedom: a framework for regulating epigenetic harms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Fazal

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics is a rapidly evolving scientific field of inquiry examining how a wide range of environmental, social, and nutritional exposures can dramatically control how genes are expressed without changing the underlying DNA. Research has demonstrated that epigenetics plays a large role in human development and in disease causation. In a sense, epigenetics blurs the distinction between "nature" and "nurture" as experiences (nurture) become a part of intrinsic biology (nature). Remarkably, some epigenetic modifications are durable across generations, meaning that exposures from our grandparents' generation might affect our health now, even if we have not experienced the same exposures. In the same vein, current exposures could affect the health of not only individuals currently living but also future generations. Given the relative novelty of epigenetics research and the multifactorial nature of human development and disease causation, it is unlikely that conclusive proof can be established showing that particular exposures lead to epigenetic risks that manifest into specific conditions. Using the Capabilities Approach ("CA") developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, this article argues that epigenetic risk is not merely a medical issue, but that it more generally implicates the underlying fairness and justice of our social contract. For instance, how we develop mentally or physically has a tremendous impact upon our inherent capabilities and our set of life options. The CA prompts us to ask questions such as: (1) what impact do particular epigenetic risks have on our ability to exercise free choices; (2) are these risks avoidable; and (3) how are these risks distributed across society? Due to the complex nature of epigenetic risk, tort law is predictably incapable of addressing this harm. Further, while regulatory agencies possess the statutory authority to begin addressing epigenetic harms, currently these agencies are not attuned to measure or to respond to

  7. Micro- and nanoscale devices for the investigation of epigenetics and chromatin dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Carlos A.; Craighead, Harold G.

    2013-10-01

    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.

  8. CTCF Prevents the Epigenetic Drift of EBV Latency Promoter Qp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempera, Italo; Wiedmer, Andreas; Dheekollu, Jayaraju; Lieberman, Paul M.

    2010-01-01

    The establishment and maintenance of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) latent infection requires distinct viral gene expression programs. These gene expression programs, termed latency types, are determined largely by promoter selection, and controlled through the interplay between cell-type specific transcription factors, chromatin structure, and epigenetic modifications. We used a genome-wide chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay to identify epigenetic modifications that correlate with different latency types. We found that the chromatin insulator protein CTCF binds at several key regulatory nodes in the EBV genome and may compartmentalize epigenetic modifications across the viral genome. Highly enriched CTCF binding sites were identified at the promoter regions upstream of Cp, Wp, EBERs, and Qp. Since Qp is essential for long-term maintenance of viral genomes in type I latency and epithelial cell infections, we focused on the role of CTCF in regulating Qp. Purified CTCF bound ∼40 bp upstream of the EBNA1 binding sites located at +10 bp relative to the transcriptional initiation site at Qp. Mutagenesis of the CTCF binding site in EBV bacmids resulted in a decrease in the recovery of stable hygromycin-resistant episomes in 293 cells. EBV lacking the Qp CTCF site showed a decrease in Qp transcription initiation and a corresponding increase in Cp and Fp promoter utilization at 8 weeks post-transfection. However, by 16 weeks post-transfection, bacmids lacking CTCF sites had no detectable Qp transcription and showed high levels of histone H3 K9 methylation and CpG DNA methylation at the Qp initiation site. These findings provide direct genetic evidence that CTCF functions as a chromatin insulator that prevents the promiscuous transcription of surrounding genes and blocks the epigenetic silencing of an essential promoter, Qp, during EBV latent infection. PMID:20730088

  9. Epigenetic predictor of age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Bocklandt

    Full Text Available From the moment of conception, we begin to age. A decay of cellular structures, gene regulation, and DNA sequence ages cells and organisms. DNA methylation patterns change with increasing age and contribute to age related disease. Here we identify 88 sites in or near 80 genes for which the degree of cytosine methylation is significantly correlated with age in saliva of 34 male identical twin pairs between 21 and 55 years of age. Furthermore, we validated sites in the promoters of three genes and replicated our results in a general population sample of 31 males and 29 females between 18 and 70 years of age. The methylation of three sites--in the promoters of the EDARADD, TOM1L1, and NPTX2 genes--is linear with age over a range of five decades. Using just two cytosines from these loci, we built a regression model that explained 73% of the variance in age, and is able to predict the age of an individual with an average accuracy of 5.2 years. In forensic science, such a model could estimate the age of a person, based on a biological sample alone. Furthermore, a measurement of relevant sites in the genome could be a tool in routine medical screening to predict the risk of age-related diseases and to tailor interventions based on the epigenetic bio-age instead of the chronological age.

  10. Conservative fluid management prevents age-associated ventilator induced mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Joseph A; Valentine, Michael S; Saravanan, Nivi; Schneck, Matthew B; Pidaparti, Ramana; Fowler, Alpha A; Reynolds, Angela M; Heise, Rebecca L

    2016-08-01

    Approximately 800 thousand patients require mechanical ventilation in the United States annually with an in-hospital mortality rate of over 30%. The majority of patients requiring mechanical ventilation are over the age of 65 and advanced age is known to increase the severity of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) and in-hospital mortality rates. However, the mechanisms which predispose aging ventilator patients to increased mortality rates are not fully understood. Ventilation with conservative fluid management decreases mortality rates in acute respiratory distress patients, but to date there has been no investigation of the effect of conservative fluid management on VILI and ventilator associated mortality rates. We hypothesized that age-associated increases in susceptibility and incidence of pulmonary edema strongly promote age-related increases in ventilator associated mortality. 2month old and 20month old male C57BL6 mice were mechanically ventilated with either high tidal volume (HVT) or low tidal volume (LVT) for up to 4h with either liberal or conservative fluid support. During ventilation, lung compliance, total lung capacity, and hysteresis curves were quantified. Following ventilation, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was analyzed for total protein content and inflammatory cell infiltration. Wet to dry ratios were used to directly measure edema in excised lungs. Lung histology was performed to quantify alveolar barrier damage/destruction. Age matched non-ventilated mice were used as controls. At 4h, both advanced age and HVT ventilation significantly increased markers of inflammation and injury, degraded pulmonary mechanics, and decreased survival rates. Conservative fluid support significantly diminished pulmonary edema and improved pulmonary mechanics by 1h in advanced age HVT subjects. In 4h ventilations, conservative fluid support significantly diminished pulmonary edema, improved lung mechanics, and resulted in significantly lower mortality rates in

  11. Age-associated sperm DNA methylation alterations: possible implications in offspring disease susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Timothy G; Aston, Kenneth I; Pflueger, Christian; Cairns, Bradley R; Carrell, Douglas T

    2014-07-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates a role for paternal aging on offspring disease susceptibility. It is well established that various neuropsychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, autism, etc.), trinucleotide expansion associated diseases (myotonic dystrophy, Huntington's, etc.) and even some forms of cancer have increased incidence in the offspring of older fathers. Despite strong epidemiological evidence that these alterations are more common in offspring sired by older fathers, in most cases the mechanisms that drive these processes are unclear. However, it is commonly believed that epigenetics, and specifically DNA methylation alterations, likely play a role. In this study we have investigated the impact of aging on DNA methylation in mature human sperm. Using a methylation array approach we evaluated changes to sperm DNA methylation patterns in 17 fertile donors by comparing the sperm methylome of 2 samples collected from each individual 9-19 years apart. With this design we have identified 139 regions that are significantly and consistently hypomethylated with age and 8 regions that are significantly hypermethylated with age. A representative subset of these alterations have been confirmed in an independent cohort. A total of 117 genes are associated with these regions of methylation alterations (promoter or gene body). Intriguingly, a portion of the age-related changes in sperm DNA methylation are located at genes previously associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While our data does not establish a causative relationship, it does raise the possibility that the age-associated methylation of the candidate genes that we observe in sperm might contribute to the increased incidence of neuropsychiatric and other disorders in the offspring of older males. However, further study is required to determine whether, and to what extent, a causative relationship exists.

  12. Age-associated sperm DNA methylation alterations: possible implications in offspring disease susceptibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy G Jenkins

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence demonstrates a role for paternal aging on offspring disease susceptibility. It is well established that various neuropsychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, autism, etc., trinucleotide expansion associated diseases (myotonic dystrophy, Huntington's, etc. and even some forms of cancer have increased incidence in the offspring of older fathers. Despite strong epidemiological evidence that these alterations are more common in offspring sired by older fathers, in most cases the mechanisms that drive these processes are unclear. However, it is commonly believed that epigenetics, and specifically DNA methylation alterations, likely play a role. In this study we have investigated the impact of aging on DNA methylation in mature human sperm. Using a methylation array approach we evaluated changes to sperm DNA methylation patterns in 17 fertile donors by comparing the sperm methylome of 2 samples collected from each individual 9-19 years apart. With this design we have identified 139 regions that are significantly and consistently hypomethylated with age and 8 regions that are significantly hypermethylated with age. A representative subset of these alterations have been confirmed in an independent cohort. A total of 117 genes are associated with these regions of methylation alterations (promoter or gene body. Intriguingly, a portion of the age-related changes in sperm DNA methylation are located at genes previously associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While our data does not establish a causative relationship, it does raise the possibility that the age-associated methylation of the candidate genes that we observe in sperm might contribute to the increased incidence of neuropsychiatric and other disorders in the offspring of older males. However, further study is required to determine whether, and to what extent, a causative relationship exists.

  13. Epigenetic regulation and chromatin remodeling in learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2017-01-13

    Understanding the underlying mechanisms of memory formation and maintenance has been a major goal in the field of neuroscience. Memory formation and maintenance are tightly controlled complex processes. Among the various processes occurring at different levels, gene expression regulation is especially crucial for proper memory processing, as some genes need to be activated while some genes must be suppressed. Epigenetic regulation of the genome involves processes such as DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications. These processes edit genomic properties or the interactions between the genome and histone cores. They then induce structural changes in the chromatin and lead to transcriptional changes of different genes. Recent studies have focused on the concept of chromatin remodeling, which consists of 3D structural changes in chromatin in relation to gene regulation, and is an important process in learning and memory. In this review, we will introduce three major epigenetic processes involved in memory regulation: DNA methylation, histone methylation and histone acetylation. We will also discuss general mechanisms of long-term memory storage and relate the epigenetic control of learning and memory to chromatin remodeling. Finally, we will discuss how epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the pathologies of neurological disorders and cause memory-related symptoms.

  14. Epigenetic regulation of open chromatin in pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Kikyo, Nobuaki

    2014-01-01

    The recent progress in pluripotent stem cell research has opened new avenues of disease modeling, drug screening, and transplantation of patient-specific tissues that had been unimaginable until a decade ago. The central mechanism underlying pluripotency is epigenetic gene regulation; the majority of cell signaling pathways, both extracellular and cytoplasmic, eventually alter the epigenetic status of their target genes during the process of activating or suppressing the genes to acquire or maintain pluripotency. It has long been thought that the chromatin of pluripotent stem cells is globally open to enable the timely activation of essentially all genes in the genome during differentiation into multiple lineages. The current article reviews descriptive observations and the epigenetic machinery relevant to what is supposed to be globally open chromatin in pluripotent stem cells. This includes microscopic appearance, permissive gene transcription, chromatin remodeling complexes, histone modifications, DNA methylation, noncoding RNAs, dynamic movement of chromatin proteins, nucleosome accessibility and positioning, and long-range chromosomal interactions. Detailed analyses of each element, however, have revealed that the globally open chromatin hypothesis is not necessarily supported by some of the critical experimental evidence, such as genome-wide nucleosome accessibility and nucleosome positioning. Further understanding of the epigenetic gene regulation is expected to determine the true nature of the so-called globally open chromatin in pluripotent stem. PMID:24695097

  15. Maternal BMI at the start of pregnancy and offspring epigenome-wide DNA methylation : Findings from the pregnancy and childhood epigenetics (PACE) consortium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sharp, Gemma C.; Salas, Lucas A.; Monnereau, Claire; Allard, Catherine; Yousefi, Paul; Everson, Todd M.; Bohlin, Jon; Xu, Zongli; Huang, Rae Chi; Reese, Sarah E.; Xu, Cheng-Jian; Baïz, Nour; Hoyo, Cathrine; Agha, Golareh; Roy, Ritu; Holloway, John W.; Ghantous, Akram; Merid, Simon K.; Bakulski, Kelly M.; Küpers, Leanne K.; Zhang, Hongmei; Richmond, Rebecca C.; Page, Christian M.; Duijts, Liesbeth; Lie, Rolv T.; Melton, Phillip E.; Vonk, Judith M.; Nohr, Ellen A.; Williams-DeVane, Clar Lynda; Huen, Karen; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L.; Ruiz-Arenas, Carlos; Gonseth, Semira; Rezwan, Faisal I.; Herceg, Zdenko; Ekström, Sandra; Croen, Lisa; Falahi, Fahimeh; Perron, Patrice; Karagas, Margaret R; Quraishi, Bilal M.; Suderman, Matthew J.; Magnus, Maria C.; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Taylor, Jack A; Anderson, Denise; Zhao, Shanshan; Smit, Henriette A.; Josey, Michele J.; Bradman, Asa; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Bustamante, Mariona; Håberg, Siri E.; Pershagen, Göran; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Newschaffer, Craig; Corpeleijn, Eva; Bouchard, Luigi; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Maguire, Rachel L.; Barcellos, Lisa F.; Smith, George Davey; Eskenazi, Brenda; Karmaus, Wilfried; Marsit, Carmen J.; Hivert, Marie-France; Snieder, Harold; Fallin, M. Daniele; Melén, Erik; Munthe-Kaas, Monica C.; Arshad, S Hasan; Wiemels, Joseph L.; Annesi-Maesano, Isabella; Vrijheid, Martine; Oken, Emily; Holland, Nina; Murphy, Susan K.; Sørensen, Thorkild I A; Koppelman, Gerard H; Newnham, John P; Wilcox, Allen J.; Nystad, Wenche; London, Stephanie J.; Felix, Janine F.; Relton, Caroline L

    2017-01-01

    Pre-pregnancy maternal obesity is associated with adverse offspring outcomes at birth and later in life. Individual studies have shown that epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation could contribute. Within the Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium, we meta-analysed the

  16. Maternal BMI at the start of pregnancy and offspring epigenome-wide DNA methylation : findings from the pregnancy and childhood epigenetics (PACE) consortium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sharp, Gemma C; Salas, Lucas A; Monnereau, Claire; Allard, Catherine; Yousefi, Paul; Everson, Todd M; Bohlin, Jon; Xu, Zongli; Huang, Rae-Chi; Reese, Sarah E; Xu, Cheng-Jian; Baïz, Nour; Hoyo, Cathrine; Agha, Golareh; Roy, Ritu; Holloway, John W; Ghantous, Akram; Merid, Simon K; Bakulski, Kelly M; Küpers, Leanne K; Zhang, Hongmei; Richmond, Rebecca C; Page, Christian M; Duijts, Liesbeth; Lie, Rolv T; Melton, Phillip E; Vonk, Judith M; Nohr, Ellen A; Williams-DeVane, ClarLynda; Huen, Karen; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Ruiz-Arenas, Carlos; Gonseth, Semira; Rezwan, Faisal I; Herceg, Zdenko; Ekström, Sandra; Croen, Lisa; Falahi, Fahimeh; Perron, Patrice; Karagas, Margaret R; Quraishi, Bilal M; Suderman, Matthew; Magnus, Maria C; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Taylor, Jack A; Anderson, Denise; Zhao, Shanshan; Smit, Henriette A; Josey, Michele J; Bradman, Asa; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Bustamante, Mariona; Håberg, Siri E; Pershagen, Göran; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Newschaffer, Craig; Corpeleijn, Eva; Bouchard, Luigi; Lawlor, Debbie A; Maguire, Rachel L; Barcellos, Lisa F; Davey Smith, George; Eskenazi, Brenda; Karmaus, Wilfried; Marsit, Carmen J; Hivert, Marie-France; Snieder, Harold; Fallin, M Daniele; Melén, Erik; Munthe-Kaas, Monica C; Arshad, Hasan; Wiemels, Joseph L; Annesi-Maesano, Isabella; Vrijheid, Martine; Oken, Emily; Holland, Nina; Murphy, Susan K; Sørensen, Thorkild I A; Koppelman, Gerard H; Newnham, John P; Wilcox, Allen J; Nystad, Wenche; London, Stephanie J; Felix, Janine F; Relton, Caroline L

    2017-01-01

    Pre-pregnancy maternal obesity is associated with adverse offspring outcomes at birth and later in life. Individual studies have shown that epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation could contribute. Within the Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium, we meta-analysed the

  17. Induction of epigenetic variation in Arabidopsis by over-expression of DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (MET1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Brocklehurst

    Full Text Available Epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation and histone modification can vary among plant accessions creating epi-alleles with different levels of expression competence. Mutations in epigenetic pathway functions are powerful tools to induce epigenetic variation. As an alternative approach, we investigated the potential of over-expressing an epigenetic function, using DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (MET1 for proof-of-concept. In Arabidopsis thaliana, MET1 controls maintenance of cytosine methylation at symmetrical CG positions. At some loci, which contain dense DNA methylation in CG- and non-CG context, loss of MET1 causes joint loss of all cytosines methylation marks. We find that over-expression of both catalytically active and inactive versions of MET1 stochastically generates new epi-alleles at loci encoding transposable elements, non-coding RNAs and proteins, which results for most loci in an increase in expression. Individual transformants share some common phenotypes and genes with altered gene expression. Altered expression states can be transmitted to the next generation, which does not require the continuous presence of the MET1 transgene. Long-term stability and epigenetic features differ for individual loci. Our data show that over-expression of MET1, and potentially of other genes encoding epigenetic factors, offers an alternative strategy to identify epigenetic target genes and to create novel epi-alleles.

  18. Investigating Epigenetic Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Toxic Metals in Newborns: Challenges and Benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nye, Monica D; Fry, Rebecca C; Hoyo, Cathrine; Murphy, Susan K

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggest that epigenetic alterations can greatly impact human health, and that epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs) may be particularly relevant in responding to environmental toxicant exposure early in life. The epigenome plays a vital role in embryonic development, tissue differentiation and disease development by controlling gene expression. In this review we discuss what is currently known about epigenetic alterations in response to prenatal exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) and lead (Pb), focusing specifically on their effects on DNA methylation. We then describe how epigenetic alterations are being studied in newborns as potential biomarkers of in utero environmental toxicant exposure, and the benefits and challenges of this approach. In summary, the studies highlighted herein indicate how epigenetic mechanisms are impacted by early life exposure to iAs and Pb, and the research that is being done to move towards understanding the relationships between toxicant-induced epigenetic alterations and disease development. Although much remains unknown, several groups are working to understand the correlative and causal effects of early life toxic metal exposure on epigenetic changes and how these changes may result in later development of disease.

  19. dbEM: A database of epigenetic modifiers curated from cancerous and normal genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh Nanda, Jagpreet; Kumar, Rahul; Raghava, Gajendra P. S.

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a database called dbEM (database of Epigenetic Modifiers) to maintain the genomic information of about 167 epigenetic modifiers/proteins, which are considered as potential cancer targets. In dbEM, modifiers are classified on functional basis and comprise of 48 histone methyl transferases, 33 chromatin remodelers and 31 histone demethylases. dbEM maintains the genomic information like mutations, copy number variation and gene expression in thousands of tumor samples, cancer cell lines and healthy samples. This information is obtained from public resources viz. COSMIC, CCLE and 1000-genome project. Gene essentiality data retrieved from COLT database further highlights the importance of various epigenetic proteins for cancer survival. We have also reported the sequence profiles, tertiary structures and post-translational modifications of these epigenetic proteins in cancer. It also contains information of 54 drug molecules against different epigenetic proteins. A wide range of tools have been integrated in dbEM e.g. Search, BLAST, Alignment and Profile based prediction. In our analysis, we found that epigenetic proteins DNMT3A, HDAC2, KDM6A, and TET2 are highly mutated in variety of cancers. We are confident that dbEM will be very useful in cancer research particularly in the field of epigenetic proteins based cancer therapeutics. This database is available for public at URL: http://crdd.osdd.net/raghava/dbem.

  20. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Blanca M; Keildson, Sarah; Lindgren, Cecilia M

    2011-05-01

    Obesity results from interactions between environmental and genetic factors. Despite a relatively high heritability of common, non-syndromic obesity (40-70%), the search for genetic variants contributing to susceptibility has been a challenging task. Genome wide association (GWA) studies have dramatically changed the pace of detection of common genetic susceptibility variants. To date, more than 40 genetic variants have been associated with obesity and fat distribution. However, since these variants do not fully explain the heritability of obesity, other forms of variation, such as epigenetics marks, must be considered. Epigenetic marks, or "imprinting", affect gene expression without actually changing the DNA sequence. Failures in imprinting are known to cause extreme forms of obesity (e.g. Prader-Willi syndrome), but have also been convincingly associated with susceptibility to obesity. Furthermore, environmental exposures during critical developmental periods can affect the profile of epigenetic marks and result in obesity. We review the most recent evidence for genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the susceptibility and development of obesity. Only a comprehensive understanding of the underlying genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and the metabolic processes they govern, will allow us to manage, and eventually prevent, obesity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The Epigenetic Cytocrin Pathway to the Nucleus. Epigenetic Factors, Epigenetic Mediators, and Epigenetic Traits. A Biochemist Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gemma Navarro

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available A single word, Epigenetics, underlies one exciting subject in today's Science, with different sides and with interactions with philosophy. The apparent trivial description includes everything in between genotype and phenotype that occurs for a given unique DNA sequence/genome. This Perspective article first presents an historical overview and the reasons for the lack of consensus in the field, which derives from different interpretations of the diverse operative definitions of Epigenetics. In an attempt to reconcile the different views, we propose a novel concept, the “cytocrin system.” Secondly, the article questions the inheritability requirement and makes emphasis in the epigenetic mechanisms, known or to be discovered, that provide hope for combating human diseases. Hopes in cancer are at present in deep need of deciphering mechanisms to support ad hoc therapeutic approaches. Better perspectives are for diseases of the central nervous system, in particular to combat neurodegeneration and/or cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease. Neurons are post-mitotic cells and, therefore, epigenetic targets to prevent neurodegeneration should operate in non-dividing diseased cells. Accordingly, epigenetic-based human therapy may not need to count much on transmissible potential.

  2. Epigenetic effects of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    EI-Naggar, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    Data generated during the last three decades provide evidence of Epigenetic Effects that ave-induced by ionizing radiation, particularly those of high LET values, and low level dose exposures. Epigenesist is defined as the stepwise process by which genetic information, as modified by environmental influences, is translated into the substance and behavior of cells, tissues, organism.The epigenetic effects cited in the literature are essentially classified into fine types depending on the type and nature of the effect induced.The most accepted postulation, for the occurrence of these epigenetic effects, is a radiation induced bio electric disturbances in the environment of the non-irradiated cellular volume. This will trigger signals that will induce effects in the unirradiated cells.The epigenetic effects referenced in the literature up to date are five types; namely, Genomic Instability, Bystander. Effects, Clastogenic Plasma Factors,, Abscopal Effects, and Tran generational Effects.The demonstration of Epigenetic Effects associated with exposure to ionizing radiation indicates the need to re- examine the concept of radiation dose and target size. Also an improved understanding of qualifiring and quantifying radiation risk estimates may be attained. Also, a more logical means to understand the underlying mechanisms of radiation induced carcinogenic transformation of cells

  3. The role of diet and exercise in the transgenerational epigenetic landscape of T2DM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barrès, Romain; Zierath, Juleen R

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic changes are caused by biochemical regulators of gene expression that can be transferred across generations or through cell division. Epigenetic modifications can arise from a variety of environmental exposures including undernutrition, obesity, physical activity, stress and toxins. Tra...... of mechanisms by which lifestyle factors affect the epigenetic landscape in type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Evidence from the past few years about the potential mechanisms by which diet and exercise affect the epigenome over several generations is discussed....... to environmental stressors. A detailed understanding of the epigenetic signatures of insulin resistance and the adaptive response to exercise might identify new therapeutic targets that can be further developed to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent obesity. This Review focuses on the current understanding...

  4. The Key Role of Epigenetics in the Persistence of Asexual Lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie Castonguay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Asexual organisms, often perceived as evolutionary dead ends, can be long-lived and geographically widespread. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms could play a crucial role in the evolutionary persistence of these lineages. Genetically identical organisms could rely on phenotypic plasticity to face environmental variation. Epigenetic modifications could be the molecular mechanism enabling such phenotypic plasticity; they can be influenced by the environment and act at shorter timescales than mutation. Recent work on the asexual vertebrate Chrosomus eos-neogaeus (Pisces: Cyprinidae provides broad insights into the contribution of epigenetics in genetically identical individuals. We discuss the extension of these results to other asexual organisms, in particular those resulting from interspecific hybridizations. We finally develop on the evolutionary relevance of epigenetic variation in the context of heritability.

  5. Hierarchical Oct4 Binding in Concert with Primed Epigenetic Rearrangements during Somatic Cell Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Chen

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The core pluripotency factor Oct4 plays key roles in somatic cell reprogramming through transcriptional control. Here, we profile Oct4 occupancy, epigenetic changes, and gene expression in reprogramming. We find that Oct4 binds in a hierarchical manner to target sites with primed epigenetic modifications. Oct4 binding is temporally continuous and seldom switches between bound and unbound. Oct4 occupancy in most of promoters is maintained throughout the entire reprogramming process. In contrast, somatic cell-specific enhancers are silenced in the early and intermediate stages, whereas stem cell-specific enhancers are activated in the late stage in parallel with cell fate transition. Both epigenetic remodeling and Oct4 binding contribute to the hyperdynamic enhancer signature transitions. The hierarchical Oct4 bindings are associated with distinct functional themes at different stages. Collectively, our results provide a comprehensive molecular roadmap of Oct4 binding in concert with epigenetic rearrangements and rich resources for future reprogramming studies.

  6. Trans-differentiation via Epigenetics: A New Paradigm in the Bone Regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Young-Dan; Ryoo, Hyun-Mo

    2018-02-01

    In regenerative medicine, growing cells or tissues in the laboratory is necessary when damaged cells can not heal by themselves. Acquisition of the required cells from the patient's own cells or tissues is an ideal option without additive side effects. In this context, cell reprogramming methods, including the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and trans-differentiation, have been widely studied in regenerative research. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, and the possibility of de-differentiation because of the epigenetic memory of iPSCs has strengthened the need for controlling the epigenetic background for successful cell reprogramming. Therefore, interest in epigenetics has increased in the field of regenerative medicine. Herein, we outline in detail the cell trans-differentiation method using epigenetic modification for bone regeneration in comparison to the use of iPSCs.

  7. Not just gene expression: 3D implications of chromatin modifications during sexual plant reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukowic-Schulze, Stefanie; Liu, Chang; Chen, Changbin

    2018-01-01

    DNA methylation and histone modifications are epigenetic changes on a DNA molecule that alter the three-dimensional (3D) structure locally as well as globally, impacting chromatin looping and packaging on a larger scale. Epigenetic marks thus inform higher-order chromosome organization and placement in the nucleus. Conventional epigenetic marks are joined by chromatin modifiers like cohesins, condensins and membrane-anchoring complexes to support particularly 3D chromosome organization. The most popular consequences of epigenetic modifications are gene expression changes, but chromatin modifications have implications beyond this, particularly in actively dividing cells and during sexual reproduction. In this opinion paper, we will focus on epigenetic mechanisms and chromatin modifications during meiosis as part of plant sexual reproduction where 3D management of chromosomes and re-organization of chromatin are defining features and prime tasks in reproductive cells, not limited to modulating gene expression. Meiotic chromosome organization, pairing and synapsis of homologous chromosomes as well as distribution of meiotic double-strand breaks and resulting crossovers are presumably highly influenced by epigenetic mechanisms. Special mobile small RNAs have been described in anthers, where these so-called phasiRNAs seem to direct DNA methylation in meiotic cells. Intriguingly, many of the mentioned developmental processes make use of epigenetic changes and small RNAs in a manner other than gene expression changes. Widening our approaches and opening our mind to thinking three-dimensionally regarding epigenetics in plant development holds high promise for new discoveries and could give us a boost for further knowledge.

  8. Discussing epigenetics in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    With the goal of discussing how epigenetic control and chromatin remodeling contribute to the various processes that lead to cellular plasticity and disease, this symposium marks the collaboration between the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in France and the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Organized by Paolo Sassone-Corsi (UCI) and held at the Beckman Center of the National Academy of Sciences at the UCI campus December 15–16, 2011, this was the first of a series of international conferences on epigenetics dedicated to the scientific community in Southern California. The meeting also served as the official kick off for the newly formed Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism at the School of Medicine, UCI (http://cem.igb.uci.edu). PMID:22414797

  9. Epigenetics in cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toh, Tan Boon; Lim, Jhin Jieh; Chow, Edward Kai-Hua

    2017-02-01

    Compelling evidence have demonstrated that bulk tumors can arise from a unique subset of cells commonly termed "cancer stem cells" that has been proposed to be a strong driving force of tumorigenesis and a key mechanism of therapeutic resistance. Recent advances in epigenomics have illuminated key mechanisms by which epigenetic regulation contribute to cancer progression. In this review, we present a discussion of how deregulation of various epigenetic pathways can contribute to cancer initiation and tumorigenesis, particularly with respect to maintenance and survival of cancer stem cells. This information, together with several promising clinical and preclinical trials of epigenetic modulating drugs, offer new possibilities for targeting cancer stem cells as well as improving cancer therapy overall.

  10. Implication des modifications épigénétiques dans les cancers : développement de nouvelles approches thérapeutiques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willems L.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Involvement of epigenetic modifications in cancers: development of new therapeutic approaches. Since cancer is the second cause of death after cardiovascular diseases in industrialized countries, it is urgent to elaborate new therapeutic approaches. Besides DNA mutations of essential genes, expansion of a cancer cell is frequently associated with epigenetic modifications i.e. not directly coded by the DNA sequence. Amongst epigenetic modifications, histones acetylation and DNA methylation are known to play important roles. In this context, a very promising anticancer therapy would be to correct epigenetic errors using compounds modulating histone acetylation and DNA methylation alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.

  11. Epigenetic Inheritance Across the Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Vaughn Whipple

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The study of epigenomic variation at the landscape-level in plants may add important insight to studies of adaptive variation. A major goal of landscape genomic studies is to identify genomic regions contributing to adaptive variation across the landscape. Heritable variation in epigenetic marks, resulting in transgenerational plasticity, can influence fitness-related traits. Epigenetic marks are influenced by the genome, the environment, and their interaction, and can be inherited independently of the genome. Thus, epigenomic variation likely influences the heritability of many adaptive traits, but the extent of this influence remains largely unknown. Here we summarize the relevance of epigenetic inheritance to ecological and evolutionary processes, and review the literature on landscape-level patterns of epigenetic variation. Landscape-level patterns of epigenomic variation in plants generally show greater levels of isolation by distance and isolation by environment then is found for the genome, but the causes of these patterns are not yet clear. Linkage between the environment and epigenomic variation has been clearly shown within a single generation, but demonstrating transgenerational inheritance requires more complex breeding and/or experimental designs. Transgenerational epigenetic variation may alter the interpretation of landscape genomic studies that rely upon phenotypic analyses, but should have less influence on landscape genomic approaches that rely upon outlier analyses or genome-environment associations. We suggest that multi-generation common garden experiments conducted across multiple environments will allow researchers to understand which parts of the epigenome are inherited, as well as to parse out the relative contribution of heritable epigenetic variation to the phenotype.

  12. Epigenetic Inheritance across the Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whipple, Amy V; Holeski, Liza M

    2016-01-01

    The study of epigenomic variation at the landscape-level in plants may add important insight to studies of adaptive variation. A major goal of landscape genomic studies is to identify genomic regions contributing to adaptive variation across the landscape. Heritable variation in epigenetic marks, resulting in transgenerational plasticity, can influence fitness-related traits. Epigenetic marks are influenced by the genome, the environment, and their interaction, and can be inherited independently of the genome. Thus, epigenomic variation likely influences the heritability of many adaptive traits, but the extent of this influence remains largely unknown. Here, we summarize the relevance of epigenetic inheritance to ecological and evolutionary processes, and review the literature on landscape-level patterns of epigenetic variation. Landscape-level patterns of epigenomic variation in plants generally show greater levels of isolation by distance and isolation by environment then is found for the genome, but the causes of these patterns are not yet clear. Linkage between the environment and epigenomic variation has been clearly shown within a single generation, but demonstrating transgenerational inheritance requires more complex breeding and/or experimental designs. Transgenerational epigenetic variation may alter the interpretation of landscape genomic studies that rely upon phenotypic analyses, but should have less influence on landscape genomic approaches that rely upon outlier analyses or genome-environment associations. We suggest that multi-generation common garden experiments conducted across multiple environments will allow researchers to understand which parts of the epigenome are inherited, as well as to parse out the relative contribution of heritable epigenetic variation to the phenotype.

  13. The developmental environment, epigenetic biomarkers and long-term health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, K M; Costello, P M; Lillycrop, K A

    2015-10-01

    Evidence from both human and animal studies has shown that the prenatal and early postnatal environments influence susceptibility to chronic disease in later life and suggests that epigenetic processes are an important mechanism by which the environment alters long-term disease risk. Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, play a central role in regulating gene expression. The epigenome is highly sensitive to environmental factors in early life, such as nutrition, stress, endocrine disruption and pollution, and changes in the epigenome can induce long-term changes in gene expression and phenotype. In this review we focus on how the early life nutritional environment can alter the epigenome leading to an altered susceptibility to disease in later life.

  14. From linkage studies to epigenetics: what we know and what we need to know in the neurobiology of schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel eCariaga-Martinez

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder characterized by the presence of positive, negative and cognitive symptoms that lacks a unifying neuropathology. In the present paper, we will review the current understanding of molecular dysregulation in schizophrenia, including genetic and epigenetic studies. In relation to the latter, basic research suggests that normal cognition is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms and its dysfunction occurs upon epigenetic misregulation, providing new insights into missing heritability of complex psychiatric diseases, referring to the discrepancy between epidemiological heritability and the proportion of phenotypic variation explained by DNA sequence difference. In schizophrenia the absence of consistently replicated genetic effects together with evidence for lasting changes in gene expression after environmental exposures suggest a role of epigenetic mechanisms. In this review we will focus on epigenetic modifications as a key mechanism through which environmental factors interact with individual's genetic constitution to affect risk of psychotic conditions throughout life.

  15. 55th Annual Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences Conference on Epigenetics and Genomic Stability. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, 14–18 March 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Christopher J; Ausió, Juan

    2012-06-01

    The 55th Annual Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences Conference on Epigenetics and Genomic Stability in Whistler, Canada, 14-18 March 2012, brought together 31 speakers from different nationalities. The organizing committee, led by Jim Davie (Chair) at the University of Manitoba (Manitoba, Canada), consisted of several established researchers in the fields of chromatin and epigenetics from across Canada. The meeting was centered on the contribution of epigenetics to gene expression, DNA damage and repair, and the role of environmental factors. A few interesting talks on replication added some insightful information on the controversial issue of histone post-translational modifications as genuine epigenetic marks that are inherited through cell division.

  16. Great expectations - Epigenetics and the meandering path from bench to bedside

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Häfner, Sophia J; Lund, Anders H

    2016-01-01

    Making quick promises of major biomedical breakthroughs based on exciting discoveries at the bench is tempting. But the meandering path from fundamental science to life-saving clinical applications can be fraught with many hurdles. Epigenetics, the study of potentially heritable changes of gene...... function without modification of the underlying DNA sequence, has dominated the biological research field during the last decade and encountered a large public success. Driven by the unfolding of molecular biology and recent technological progress, the term has evolved significantly and shifted from....... However, while exciting reports of biological phenomena involving DNA methylation and histone modifications fill up the scientific literature, the realistic clinical applications of epigenetic medicines remain somewhat blurry. Here, we discuss the state of the art and speculate how epigenetics might...

  17. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, S D; Hughes, T E; Adler, C J; Brook, A H; Townsend, G C

    2014-06-01

    In 2007, only four years after the completion of the Human Genome Project, the journal Science announced that epigenetics was the 'breakthrough of the year'. Time magazine placed it second in the top 10 discoveries of 2009. While our genetic code (i.e. our DNA) contains all of the information to produce the elements we require to function, our epigenetic code determines when and where genes in the genetic code are expressed. Without the epigenetic code, the genetic code is like an orchestra without a conductor. Although there is now a substantial amount of published research on epigenetics in medicine and biology, epigenetics in dental research is in its infancy. However, epigenetics promises to become increasingly relevant to dentistry because of the role it plays in gene expression during development and subsequently potentially influencing oral disease susceptibility. This paper provides a review of the field of epigenetics aimed specifically at oral health professionals. It defines epigenetics, addresses the underlying concepts and provides details about specific epigenetic molecular mechanisms. Further, we discuss some of the key areas where epigenetics is implicated, and review the literature on epigenetics research in dentistry, including its relevance to clinical disciplines. This review considers some implications of epigenetics for the future of dental practice, including a 'personalized medicine' approach to the management of common oral diseases. © 2014 Australian Dental Association.

  18. Epigenetic Epidemiology of Complex Diseases Using Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2013-01-01

    through multiple epigenetic mechanisms. This paper reviews the new developments in using twins to study disease-related epigenetic alterations, links them to lifetime environmental exposure with a focus on the discordant twin design and proposes novel data-analytical approaches with the aim of promoting...... a more efficient use of twins in epigenetic studies of complex human diseases....

  19. ["Atypical" method for understanding dementia. How can studying epigenetics contribute?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Atsushi

    2011-11-01

    The pathological hallmark of neurodegeneration is presence of intra- and extra neuronal inclusion bodies such as Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease, senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease. These are consisted of aggregated conformationally abnormal proteins. The precise mechanism of aggregation remains unknown, but increased expression of aggregation-prone proteins can lead to their aggregation. For example, in Down syndrome, duplication of the 21(st) chromosome, which contains the amyloid beta precursor protein (APP) gene, leads to accumulation of amyloid beta and Alzheimer's disease pathology and multiplication of APP gene is shown to be the cause of familial Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, in rare cases of PD, duplication or triplication of SNCA gene leads to alpha-synuclein accumulation, with triplication producing a more severe phenotype than duplication, suggesting that SNCA expression level determines the severity of the pathology. Lastly, animal models of neurodegenerative disorders are generated by over-expression of causal genes, further supporting the conclusion that increased gene expression is related to pathogenesis. Additional evidence indicates that SNCA promoter polymorphisms increases alpha-synuclein expression and increases susceptibility to sporadic PD. In addition to promoter polymorphisms, epigenetic modification can alter downstream gene expression. Epigenetic regulation includes histone modification and DNA methylation, of which CpG island methylation can be gene-specific; in several different cancers, CpG methylation inhibits binding of the transcription machinery, causing silencing of a specific oncogene, which leads to carcinogenesis. In central nervous system disorders, CpG methylation has been associated with psychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. We found several cases of Parkinson's disease with epigenetic abnormality in SNCA gene. Thus, we believe that studying epigenetics can provide

  20. Age-Associated Lipidome Changes in Metaphase II Mouse Oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyuck Jun Mok

    Full Text Available The quality of mammalian oocytes declines with age, which negatively affects fertilization and developmental potential. The aging process often accompanies damages to macromolecules such as proteins, DNA, and lipids. To investigate if aged oocytes display an altered lipidome compared to young oocytes, we performed a global lipidomic analysis between oocytes from 4-week-old and 42 to 50-week-old mice. Increased oxidative stress is often considered as one of the main causes of cellular aging. Thus, we set up a group of 4-week-old oocytes treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, a commonly used oxidative stressor, to compare if similar lipid species are altered between aged and oxidative-stressed oocytes. Between young and aged oocytes, we identified 26 decreased and 6 increased lipids in aged oocytes; and between young and H2O2-treated oocytes, we identified 35 decreased and 26 increased lipids in H2O2-treated oocytes. The decreased lipid species in these two comparisons were overlapped, whereas the increased lipid species were distinct. Multiple phospholipid classes, phosphatidic acid (PA, phosphatidylinositol (PI, phosphatidylserine (PS, and lysophosphatidylserine (LPS significantly decreased both in H2O2-treated and aged oocytes, suggesting that the integrity of plasma membrane is similarly affected under these conditions. In contrast, a dramatic increase in diacylglycerol (DG was only noted in H2O2-treated oocytes, indicating that the acute effect of H2O2-caused oxidative stress is distinct from aging-associated lipidome alteration. In H2O2-treated oocytes, the expression of lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 increased along with increases in phosphatidylcholine. Overall, our data reveal that several classes of phospholipids are affected in aged oocytes, suggesting that the integrity of plasma membrane is associated with maintaining fertilization and developmental potential of mouse oocytes.

  1. Epigenetic changes and transposon reactivation in Thai rice hybrids. Molecular Breeding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kantama, L.; Junbuathong, S.; Sakulkoo, J.; Jong, de J.H.S.G.M.; Apisitwanich, S.

    2013-01-01

    Inter- or intraspecific hybridization is the first step in transferring exogenous traits to the germplasm of a recipient crop. One of the complicating factors is the occurrence of epigenetic modifications of the hybrids, which in turn can change their gene expression and phenotype. In this study we

  2. Impact of seasonality and storage of semen on epigenetics in swine placenta and fetal livers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epigenetics includes the study of external factors that can influence the expression of genes by altering accessibility of DNA through methylation and histone modification. To investigate the influence of: season (semen collection and breeding), absolute sperm head-shape change, and semen storage on...

  3. Epigenetic Histone Marks of Extended Meta-Polycentric Centromeres of Lathyrus and Pisum Chromosomes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neumann, Pavel; Schubert, V.; Vrbová, Iva; Manning, Jasper Eugene; Houben, A.; Macas, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 234 (2016) ISSN 1664-462X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP501/11/1843 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Centromere structure * epigenetic modifications * histone phosphorylation * histone methylation Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.298, year: 2016

  4. The Epigenetic Reprogramming Roadmap in Generation of iPSCs from Somatic Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brix, Jacob; Zhou, Yan; Luo, Yonglun

    2015-01-01

    Reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is a comprehensive epigenetic process involving genome-wide modifications of histones and DNA methylation. This process is often incomplete, which subsequently affects iPSC reprograming, pluripotency, and differentiation cap...

  5. Quantitative interaction proteomics and genome-wide profiling of epigenetic histone marks and their readers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vermeulen, Michiel; Eberl, H Christian; Matarese, Filomena

    2010-01-01

    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...

  6. Epigenetic differences between sister chromatids?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lansdorp, Peter M.; Falconer, Ester; Tao, Jiang; Brind'Amour, Julie; Naumann, Ulrike; Kanz, L; Fibbe, WE; Lengerke, C; Dick, JE

    2012-01-01

    Semi-conservative replication ensures that the DNA sequence of sister chromatids is identical except for replication errors and variation in the length of telomere repeats resulting from replicative losses and variable end processing. What happens with the various epigenetic marks during DNA

  7. Epigenetic Placental Programming of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preeclampsia (PE) affects 8-10% of women in the US and long-term consequences include subsequent development of maternal hypertension and hypertension in offspring. As methylation patterns are established during fetal life, we focused on epigenetic alterations in DNA methylation as a plausible expla...

  8. Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafodatskaya, Daria; Chung, Brian; Szatmari, Peter; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Current research suggests that the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are multifactorial and include both genetic and environmental factors. Several lines of evidence suggest that epigenetics also plays an important role in ASD etiology and that it might, in fact, integrate genetic and environmental influences to dysregulate…

  9. Epigenetics of the Developing Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Frances A.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in understanding of the dynamic molecular interplay between DNA and its surrounding proteins suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are a critical link between early life experiences (e.g., prenatal stress, parent-offspring interactions) and long-term changes in brain and behavior. Although much of this evidence comes from animal studies,…

  10. Re: Epigenetics of Cellular Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fehmi Narter

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available EDITORIAL COMMENT Cells have some specific molecular and physiological properties that act their functional process. However, many cells have an ability of efficient transition from one type to another. This ability is named plasticity. This process occurs due to epigenetic reprogramming that involves changes in transcription and chromatin structure. Some changes during reprogramming that have been identified in recent years as genomic demethylation (both histone and DNA, histone acetylation and loss of heterochromatin during the development of many diseases such as infertility and cancer progression. In this review, the authors focused on the latest work addressing the mechanisms surrounding the epigenetic regulation of various types of reprogramming, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion and transcription factor- and microRNA-induced pluripotency. There are many responsible factors such as genes, cytokines, proteins, co-factors (i.e. vitamin C in this local area network. The exact mechanisms by which these changes are achieved and the detailed interplay between the players responsible, however, remain relatively unclear. In the treatment of diseases, such as infertility, urooncology, reconstructive urology, etc., epigenetic changes and cellular reprogramming will be crucial in the near future. Central to achieving that goal is a more thorough understanding of the epigenetic state of fully reprogrammed cells. By the progress of researches on this topic, new treatment modalities will be identified for these diseases.

  11. Epigenetics and Therapeutic Targets Mediating Neuroprotection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    The rapidly evolving science of epigenetics is transforming our understanding of the nervous system in health and disease and holds great promise for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches targeting neurological diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors and mechanisms serve as important mediators of the pathogenic processes that lead to irrevocable neural injury and of countervailing homeostatic and regenerative responses. Epigenetics is, therefore, of considerable translational significance to the field of neuroprotection. In this brief review, we provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms and highlight the emerging roles played by epigenetic processes in neural cell dysfunction and death and in resultant neuroprotective responses. PMID:26236020

  12. Epigenetic information in gametes: Gaming from before fertilization. Comment on ;Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition; by Qian Wang et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Junchao; Zhang, Xudong; Liu, Ying; Chen, Qi

    2017-03-01

    In their interesting article [1] Wang et al. proposed a mathematical model based on evolutionary game theory [2] to tackle the fundamental question in embryo development, that how sperm and egg interact with each other, through epigenetic processes, to form a zygote and direct successful embryo development. This work is based on the premise that epigenetic reprogramming (referring to the erasure and reconstruction of epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications) after fertilization might be of paramount importance to maintain the normal development of embryos, a premise we fully agree, given the compelling experimental evidence reported [3]. Wang et al. have specifically chosen to employ the well-studied DNA methylation reprogramming process during mammalian early embryo development, as a basis to develop their mathematical model, namely epigenetic game theory (epiGame). They concluded that the DNA methylation pattern in mammalian early embryo could be formulated and quantified, and their model can be further used to quantify the interactions, such as competition and/or cooperation of expressed genes that maximize the fitness of embryos. The efforts by Wang et al. in quantitatively and systematically analyzing the beginning of life apparently hold value and represent a novel direction for future embryo development research from both theoretical and experimental biologists. On the other hand, we see their theory still at its infancy, because there are plenty more parameters to consider and there are spaces for debates, such as the cases of haploid embryo development [4]. Here, we briefly comment on the dynamic process of epigenetic reprogramming that goes beyond DNA methylation, a dynamic interplay that involves histone modifications, non-coding RNAs, transposable elements et al., as well as the potential input of the various types of 'hereditary' epigenetic information in the gametes - a game that has started before the fertilization.

  13. DNA immunoprecipitation semiconductor sequencing (DIP-SC-seq) as a rapid method to generate genome wide epigenetic signatures

    OpenAIRE

    Thomson, John P.; Fawkes, Angie; Ottaviano, Raffaele; Hunter, Jennifer M.; Shukla, Ruchi; Mjoseng, Heidi K.; Clark, Richard; Coutts, Audrey; Murphy, Lee; Meehan, Richard R.

    2015-01-01

    Modification of DNA resulting in 5-methylcytosine (5 mC) or 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) has been shown to influence the local chromatin environment and affect transcription. Although recent advances in next generation sequencing technology allow researchers to map epigenetic modifications across the genome, such experiments are often time-consuming and cost prohibitive. Here we present a rapid and cost effective method of generating genome wide DNA modification maps utilising commercially ...

  14. Epigenetics in Cancer: A Hematological Perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian Stahl

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available For several decades, we have known that epigenetic regulation is disrupted in cancer. Recently, an increasing body of data suggests epigenetics might be an intersection of current cancer research trends: next generation sequencing, immunology, metabolomics, and cell aging. The new emphasis on epigenetics is also related to the increasing production of drugs capable of interfering with epigenetic mechanisms and able to trigger clinical responses in even advanced phase patients. In this review, we will use myeloid malignancies as proof of concept examples of how epigenetic mechanisms can trigger or promote oncogenesis. We will also show how epigenetic mechanisms are related to genetic aberrations, and how they affect other systems, like immune response. Finally, we will show how we can try to influence the fate of cancer cells with epigenetic therapy.

  15. Epigenetic Determinism in Science and Society.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waggoner, Miranda R; Uller, Tobias

    2015-04-03

    The epigenetic "revolution" in science cuts across many disciplines, and it is now one of the fastest growing research areas in biology. Increasingly, claims are made that epigenetics research represents a move away from the genetic determinism that has been prominent both in biological research and in understandings of the impact of biology on society. We discuss to what extent an epigenetic framework actually supports these claims. We show that, in contrast to the received view, epigenetics research is often couched in language as deterministic as genetics research in both science and the popular press. We engage the rapidly emerging conversation about the impact of epigenetics on public discourse and scientific practice, and we contend that the notion of epigenetic determinism - or the belief that epigenetic mechanisms determine the expression of human traits and behaviors - matters for understandings of the influence of biology and society on population health.

  16. Epigenetic: a molecular link between testicular cancer and environmental exposures?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurelie eVega

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In the last decades, studies in rodents have highlighted links between in utero and/or neonatal exposures to molecules that alter endocrine functions and the development of genital tract abnormalities, such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and impaired spermatogenesis. Most of these molecules, called endocrine disrupters (EDs exert estrogenic and/or antiandrogenic activities. These data led to the hypothesis of the Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome which postulates that these disorders are one clinical entity and are linked by epidemiological and pathophysiological relations. Futhermore, infertility has been stated as a risk factor for testicular cancer. The incidence of testicular cancer has been increasing over the past decades. Most of testicular germ cell cancers develop through a pre-invasive carcinoma in situ (CIS from fetal germ cells (primordial germ cell or gonocyte. During their development, fetal germ cells undergo epigenetic modifications. Interestingly, several lines of evidence have shown that gene regulation through epigenetic mechanisms (DNA and histone modifications plays an important role in normal development as well as in various diseases, including testicular cancer.Here we will review chromatin modifications which can affect testicular physiology leading to the development of testicular cancer; and highlight potential molecular pathways involved in these alterations in the context of environmental exposures.

  17. Epigenetic: a molecular link between testicular cancer and environmental exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Aurelie; Baptissart, Marine; Caira, Françoise; Brugnon, Florence; Lobaccaro, Jean-Marc A; Volle, David H

    2012-01-01

    In the last decades, studies in rodents have highlighted links between in utero and/or neonatal exposures to molecules that alter endocrine functions and the development of genital tract abnormalities, such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and impaired spermatogenesis. Most of these molecules, called endocrine disrupters exert estrogenic and/or antiandrogenic activities. These data led to the hypothesis of the testicular dysgenesis syndrome which postulates that these disorders are one clinical entity and are linked by epidemiological and pathophysiological relations. Furthermore, infertility has been stated as a risk factor for testicular cancer (TC). The incidence of TC has been increasing over the past decade. Most of testicular germ cell cancers develop through a pre-invasive carcinoma in situ from fetal germ cells (primordial germ cell or gonocyte). During their development, fetal germ cells undergo epigenetic modifications. Interestingly, several lines of evidence have shown that gene regulation through epigenetic mechanisms (DNA and histone modifications) plays an important role in normal development as well as in various diseases, including TC. Here we will review chromatin modifications which can affect testicular physiology leading to the development of TC; and highlight potential molecular pathways involved in these alterations in the context of environmental exposures.

  18. Epigenetics in the Neoliberal "Regime of Truth": A Biopolitical Perspective on Knowledge Translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupras, Charles; Ravitsky, Vardit

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings in epigenetics have been attracting much attention from social scientists and bioethicists because they reveal the molecular mechanisms by which exposure to socioenvironmental factors, such as pollutants and social adversity, can influence the expression of genes throughout life. Most surprisingly, some epigenetic modifications may also be heritable via germ cells across generations. Epigenetics may be the missing molecular evidence of the importance of using preventive strategies at the policy level to reduce the incidence and prevalence of common diseases. But while this "policy translation" of epigenetics introduces new arguments in favor of public health strategies and policy-making, a more "clinical translation" of epigenetics is also emerging. It focuses on the biochemical mechanisms and epigenetic variants at the origin of disease, leading to novel biomedical means of assessing epigenetic susceptibility and reversing detrimental epigenetic variants. In this paper, we argue that the impetus to create new biomedical interventions to manipulate and reverse epigenetic variants is likely to garner more attention than effective social and public health interventions and therefore also to garner a greater share of limited public resources. This is likely to happen because of the current biopolitical context in which scientific findings are translated. This contemporary neoliberal "regime of truth," to use a term from Michel Foucault, greatly influences the ways in which knowledge is being interpreted and implemented. Building on sociologist Thomas Lemke's Foucauldian "analytics of biopolitics" and on literature from the field of science and technology studies, we present two sociological trends that may impede the policy translation of epigenetics: molecularization and biomedicalization. These trends, we argue, are likely to favor the clinical translation of epigenetics-in other words, the development of new clinical tools fostering what has been

  19. Induced pluripotent stem cells reprogramming: Epigenetics and applications in the regenerative medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kátia Maria Sampaio Gomes

    Full Text Available Summary Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs are somatic cells reprogrammed into an embryonic-like pluripotent state by the expression of specific transcription factors. iPSC technology is expected to revolutionize regenerative medicine in the near future. Despite the fact that these cells have the capacity to self-renew, they present low efficiency of reprogramming. Recent studies have demonstrated that the previous somatic epigenetic signature is a limiting factor in iPSC performance. Indeed, the process of effective reprogramming involves a complete remodeling of the existing somatic epigenetic memory, followed by the establishment of a "new epigenetic signature" that complies with the new type of cell to be differentiated. Therefore, further investigations of epigenetic modifications associated with iPSC reprogramming are required in an attempt to improve their self-renew capacity and potency, as well as their application in regenerative medicine, with a new strategy to reduce the damage in degenerative diseases. Our review aimed to summarize the most recent findings on epigenetics and iPSC, focusing on DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs, highlighting their potential in translating cell therapy into clinics.

  20. TALE-mediated epigenetic suppression of CDKN2A increases replication in human fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Diana L; Le Lay, John E; Ruano, Elena G; Kaestner, Klaus H

    2015-05-01

    Current strategies to alter disease-associated epigenetic modifications target ubiquitously expressed epigenetic regulators. This approach does not allow specific genes to be controlled in specific cell types; therefore, tools to selectively target epigenetic modifications in the desired cell type and strategies to more efficiently correct aberrant gene expression in disease are needed. Here, we have developed a method for directing DNA methylation to specific gene loci by conjugating catalytic domains of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) to engineered transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs). We demonstrated that these TALE-DNMTs direct DNA methylation specifically to the targeted gene locus in human cells. Further, we determined that minimizing direct nucleotide sequence repeats within the TALE moiety permits efficient lentivirus transduction, allowing easy targeting of primary cell types. Finally, we demonstrated that directed DNA methylation with a TALE-DNMT targeting the CDKN2A locus, which encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16, decreased CDKN2A expression and increased replication of primary human fibroblasts, as intended. Moreover, overexpression of p16 in these cells reversed the proliferative phenotype, demonstrating the specificity of our epigenetic targeting. Together, our results demonstrate that TALE-DNMTs can selectively target specific genes and suggest that this strategy has potential application for the development of locus-specific epigenetic therapeutics.

  1. Chromatin versus pathogens: the function of epigenetics in plant immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Bo; Wang, Guo-Liang

    2015-01-01

    To defend against pathogens, plants have developed a sophisticated innate immunity that includes effector recognition, signal transduction, and rapid defense responses. Recent evidence has demonstrated that plants utilize the epigenetic control of gene expression to fine-tune their defense when challenged by pathogens. In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of histone modifications (i.e., methylation, acetylation, and ubiquitination) and chromatin remodeling that contribute to plant immunity against pathogens. Functions of key histone-modifying and chromatin remodeling enzymes are discussed. PMID:26388882

  2. The Interaction between the Immune System and Epigenetics in the Etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardone, Stefano; Elliott, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have firmly established that the etiology of autism includes both genetic and environmental components. However, we are only just beginning to elucidate the environmental factors that might be involved in the development of autism, as well as the molecular mechanisms through which they function. Mounting epidemiological and biological evidence suggest that prenatal factors that induce a more activated immune state in the mother are involved in the development of autism. In parallel, molecular studies have highlighted the role of epigenetics in brain development as a process susceptible to environmental influences and potentially causative of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this review, we will discuss converging evidence for a multidirectional interaction between immune system activation in the mother during pregnancy and epigenetic regulation in the brain of the fetus that may cooperate to produce an autistic phenotype. This interaction includes immune factor-induced changes in epigenetic signatures in the brain, dysregulation of epigenetic modifications specifically in genomic regions that encode immune functions, and aberrant epigenetic regulation of microglia. Overall, the interaction between immune system activation in the mother and the subsequent epigenetic dysregulation in the developing fetal brain may be a main consideration for the environmental factors that cause autism.

  3. Epigenetic differentiation and relationship to adaptive genetic divergence in discrete populations of the violet Viola cazorlensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2010-08-01

    *In plants, epigenetic variations based on DNA methylation are often heritable and could influence the course of evolution. Before this hypothesis can be assessed, fundamental questions about epigenetic variation remain to be addressed in a real-world context, including its magnitude, structuring within and among natural populations, and autonomy in relation to the genetic context. *Extent and patterns of cytosine methylation, and the relationship to adaptive genetic divergence between populations, were investigated for wild populations of the southern Spanish violet Viola cazorlensis (Violaceae) using the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique, a modification of the amplified fragment length polymorphism method (AFLP) based on the differential sensitivity of isoschizomeric restriction enzymes to site-specific cytosine methylation. *The genome of V. cazorlensis plants exhibited extensive levels of methylation, and methylation-based epigenetic variation was structured into distinct between- and within- population components. Epigenetic differentiation of populations was correlated with adaptive genetic divergence revealed by a Bayesian population-genomic analysis of AFLP data. Significant associations existed at the individual genome level between adaptive AFLP loci and the methylation state of methylation-susceptible MSAP loci. *Population-specific, divergent patterns of correlated selection on epigenetic and genetic individual variation could account for the coordinated epigenetic-genetic adaptive population differentiation revealed by this study.

  4. Epigenetic patterns newly established after interspecific hybridization in natural populations of Solanum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cara, Nicolás; Marfil, Carlos F; Masuelli, Ricardo W

    2013-01-01

    Interspecific hybridization is known for triggering genetic and epigenetic changes, such as modifications on DNA methylation patterns and impact on phenotypic plasticity and ecological adaptation. Wild potatoes (Solanum, section Petota) are adapted to multiple habitats along the Andes, and natural hybridizations have proven to be a common feature among species of this group. Solanum × rechei, a recently formed hybrid that grows sympatrically with the parental species S. kurtzianum and S. microdontum, represents an ideal model for studying the ecologically and evolutionary importance of hybridization in generating of epigenetic variability. Genetic and epigenetic variability and their correlation with morphological variation were investigated in wild and ex situ conserved populations of these three wild potato species using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) techniques. We observed that novel methylation patterns doubled the number of novel genetic patterns in the hybrid and that the morphological variability measured on 30 characters had a higher correlation with the epigenetic than with the genetic variability. Statistical comparison of methylation levels suggested that the interspecific hybridization induces genome demethylation in the hybrids. A Bayesian analysis of the genetic data reveled the hybrid nature of S. × rechei, with genotypes displaying high levels of admixture with the parental species, while the epigenetic information assigned S. × rechei to its own cluster with low admixture. These findings suggested that after the hybridization event, a novel epigenetic pattern was rapidly established, which might influence the phenotypic plasticity and adaptation of the hybrid to new environments. PMID:24198938

  5. The interaction between the immune system and epigenetics in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Nardone

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have firmly established that the etiology of autism includes both genetic and environmental components. However, we are only just beginning to elucidate the environmental factors that might be involved in the development of autism, as well as the molecular mechanisms through which they function. Mounting epidemiological and biological evidence suggest that prenatal factors that induce a more activated immune state in the mother are involved in the development of autism. In parallel, molecular studies have highlighted the role of epigenetics in brain development as process susceptible to environmental influences and potentially causative of ASD. In this review, we will discuss converging evidence for a multidirectional interaction between immune system activation in the mother during pregnancy and epigenetic regulation in the brain of the fetus that may cooperate to produce an autistic phenotype. This interaction includes immune factor-induced changes in epigenetic signatures in the brain, dysregulation of epigenetic modifications specifically in genomic regions that encode immune functions, and aberrant epigenetic regulation of microglia. Overall, the interaction between immune system activation in the mother and the subsequent epigenetic dysregulation in the developing fetal brain may be a main consideration for the environmental factors that cause autism.

  6. [Nutritionnal epigenomics: consequences of unbalanced diets on epigenetics processes of programming during lifespan and between generations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junien, C; Gallou-Kabani, C; Vigé, A; Gross, M-S

    2005-04-01

    Epigenetic changes associated with DNA methylation and histone modifications leading to chromatin remodeling and regulation of gene expression underlie the developmental programming of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome. This review focuses on converging data supporting the hypothesis that, in addition to "thrifty genotype" inheritance, individuals with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases have suffered improper "epigenetic programming" during their fetal/postnatal development due to maternal inadequate nutrition and metabolic disturbances and also during their lifetime, that could even be transmitted to the next generation(s). We highlight the susceptibility of epigenetic mechanisms controlling gene expression to environmental influences due to their inherent malleability, emphasizing the participation of transposable elements and the potential role of imprinted genes during critical time windows in epigenetic programming, from the very beginning of development, throughout life. Increasing our understanding on epigenetic patterns significance and their role in development, evolution and adaptation and on small molecules (nutrients, drugs) that reverse epigenetic (in)activation should provide us with the means to "unlock" silenced (enhanced) genes, and to "convert" the obsolete human thrifty genotype into a "squandering" phenotype.

  7. Lost in translation. New unexplored avenues for neuropsychopharmacology: epigenetics and microRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardito, Daniela; Mallei, Alessandra; Popoli, Maurizio

    2013-02-01

    Mood and anxiety disorders are among the major causes of disability worldwide. Despite clear need for better therapies, efforts to develop novel drugs have been relatively unsuccessful. One major reason is lack of translation into neuropsychopharmacology of the impressive recent array of knowledge accrued by clinical and preclinical researches on the brain. Here focus is on epigenetics mechanisms, including microRNAs, which seem particularly promising for the identification of new targets for alternative pharmacological approaches. First, the current knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, posttranslational modification of histone proteins, focusing on histone methylation and acetylation, and posttranscriptional modulation of gene expression by microRNAs is described. Then evidence showing involvement of epigenetics and microRNAs in the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders as well as evidence showing that some of the currently employed antidepressants and mood stabilizers also affect epigenetic and microRNA mechanisms are reviewed. Finally current evidence and novel approaches in favor of drugs regulating epigenetic and microRNA mechanisms as potential therapeutics for these disorders are discussed. Although still in its infancy, research investigating the effects of pharmacological modulation of epigenetic and microRNA mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disorders continues to provide encouraging findings, suggesting new avenues for treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

  8. Sexually selected traits: a fundamental framework for studies on behavioral epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jašarević, Eldin; Geary, David C; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S

    2012-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic-based mechanisms contribute to various aspects of sex differences in brain and behavior. The major obstacle in establishing and fully understanding this linkage is identifying the traits that are most susceptible to epigenetic modification. We have proposed that sexual selection provides a conceptual framework for identifying such traits. These are traits involved in intrasexual competition for mates and intersexual choice of mating partners and generally entail a combination of male-male competition and female choice. These behaviors are programmed during early embryonic and postnatal development, particularly during the transition from the juvenile to adult periods, by exposure of the brain to steroid hormones, including estradiol and testosterone. We evaluate the evidence that endocrine-disrupting compounds, including bisphenol A, can interfere with the vital epigenetic and gene expression pathways and with the elaboration of sexually selected traits with epigenetic mechanisms presumably governing the expression of these traits. Finally, we review the evidence to suggest that these steroid hormones can induce a variety of epigenetic changes in the brain, including the extent of DNA methylation, histone protein alterations, and even alterations of noncoding RNA, and that many of the changes differ between males and females. Although much previous attention has focused on primary sex differences in reproductive behaviors, such as male mounting and female lordosis, we outline why secondary sex differences related to competition and mate choice might also trace their origins back to steroid-induced epigenetic programming in disparate regions of the brain.

  9. Epigenetics of human papillomaviruses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johannsen, Eric; Lambert, Paul F.

    2013-01-01

    Human papilllomaviruses (HPVs) are common human pathogens that infect cutaneous or mucosal epithelia in which they cause warts, self-contained benign lesions that commonly regress. The HPV life cycle is intricately tied to the differentiation of the host epithelium it infects. Mucosotropic HPVs are the most common sexually transmitted pathogen known to mankind. A subset of the mucosotropic HPVs, so-called high risk HPVs, is etiologically associated with numerous cancers of the anogenital tract, most notably the cervix, as well as a growing fraction of head and neck cancers. In these cancers, the HPV genome, which normally exists an a double stranded, circular, nuclear plasmid, is commonly found integrated into the host genome and expresses two viral oncogenes, E6 and E7, that are implicated in the development and maintainance of the cancers caused by these high risk HPVs. Numerous studies, primarily on the high risk HPV16, have documented that the methylation status of the viral genome changes not only in the context of the viral life cycle but also in the context of the progressive neoplastic disease that culminates in cancer. In this article, we summarize the knowledge gained from those studies. We also provide the first analysis of available ChIP-seq data on the occupancy of both epigentically modified histones as well as transcription factors on the high risk HPV18 genome in the context of HeLa cells, a cervical cancer-derived cell line that has been the subject of extensive analyses using this technique. - Highlights: • Methylation status of HPV genomes is dynamic. • Changes are seen in both the viral life cycle and neoplasia. • Histone modification status at LCR is predictive of transcription factor occupancy. • Novel transcription factor binding noted by ChIP-seq

  10. Epigenetics of human papillomaviruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johannsen, Eric [Department of Oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Lambert, Paul F., E-mail: plambert@wisc.edu [Department of Oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States)

    2013-10-15

    Human papilllomaviruses (HPVs) are common human pathogens that infect cutaneous or mucosal epithelia in which they cause warts, self-contained benign lesions that commonly regress. The HPV life cycle is intricately tied to the differentiation of the host epithelium it infects. Mucosotropic HPVs are the most common sexually transmitted pathogen known to mankind. A subset of the mucosotropic HPVs, so-called high risk HPVs, is etiologically associated with numerous cancers of the anogenital tract, most notably the cervix, as well as a growing fraction of head and neck cancers. In these cancers, the HPV genome, which normally exists an a double stranded, circular, nuclear plasmid, is commonly found integrated into the host genome and expresses two viral oncogenes, E6 and E7, that are implicated in the development and maintainance of the cancers caused by these high risk HPVs. Numerous studies, primarily on the high risk HPV16, have documented that the methylation status of the viral genome changes not only in the context of the viral life cycle but also in the context of the progressive neoplastic disease that culminates in cancer. In this article, we summarize the knowledge gained from those studies. We also provide the first analysis of available ChIP-seq data on the occupancy of both epigentically modified histones as well as transcription factors on the high risk HPV18 genome in the context of HeLa cells, a cervical cancer-derived cell line that has been the subject of extensive analyses using this technique. - Highlights: • Methylation status of HPV genomes is dynamic. • Changes are seen in both the viral life cycle and neoplasia. • Histone modification status at LCR is predictive of transcription factor occupancy. • Novel transcription factor binding noted by ChIP-seq.

  11. EPA Workshop on Epigenetics and Cumulative Risk ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agenda Download the Workshop Agenda (PDF) The workshop included presentations and discussions by scientific experts pertaining to three topics (i.e., epigenetic changes associated with diverse stressors, key science considerations in understanding epigenetic changes, and practical application of epigenetic tools to address cumulative risks from environmental stressors), to address several questions under each topic, and included an opportunity for attendees to participate in break-out groups, provide comments and ask questions. Workshop Goals The workshop seeks to examine the opportunity for use of aggregate epigenetic change as an indicator in cumulative risk assessment for populations exposed to multiple stressors that affect epigenetic status. Epigenetic changes are specific molecular changes around DNA that alter expression of genes. Epigenetic changes include DNA methylation, formation of histone adducts, and changes in micro RNAs. Research today indicates that epigenetic changes are involved in many chronic diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, mental health disorders, and asthma). Research has also linked a wide range of stressors including pollution and social factors with occurrence of epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic changes have the potential to reflect impacts of risk factors across multiple stages of life. Only recently receiving attention is the nexus between the factors of cumulative exposure to environmental

  12. Engrampigenetics: Epigenetics of engram memory cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripoli, Cristian

    2017-05-15

    For long time, the epidemiology of late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk factors has centered on adult life-style. Recent studies have, instead, focused on the role of early life experiences in progression of such disease especially in the context of prenatal and postnatal life. Although no single unfavorable environmental event has been shown to be neither necessary nor sufficient for AD development, it is possible that the sum of several environmentally induced effects, over time, contribute to its pathophysiology through epigenetic mechanisms. Indeed, epigenetic changes are influenced by environmental factors and have been proposed to play a role in multifactorial pathologies such as AD. At the same time, recent findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are one method that neurons use to translate transient stimuli into stable memories. Thus, the characteristics of epigenetics being a critical link between the environment and genes and playing a crucial role in memory formation make candidate epigenetic mechanisms a natural substrate for AD research. Indeed, independent groups have reported several epigenetically dysregulated genes in AD models; however, the role of epigenetic mechanisms in AD has remained elusive owing to contradictory results. Here, I propose that restricting the analysis of epigenetic changes specifically to subpopulations of neurons (namely, engram memory cells) might be helpful in understanding the role of the epigenetic process in the memory-related specific epigenetic code and might constitute a new template for therapeutic interventions against AD. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Dynamic Epigenetic Control of Highly Conserved Noncoding Elements

    KAUST Repository

    Seridi, Loqmane

    2014-10-07

    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.

  14. Impact of physical activity and doping on epigenetic gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzenbach, Heidi

    2011-10-01

    To achieve success in sports, many athletes consume doping substances, such as anabolic androgenic steroids and growth hormones, and ignore the negative influence of these drugs on their health. Apart from the unethical aspect of doping in sports, it is essential to consider the tremendous risk it represents to their physical condition. The abuse of pharmaceuticals which improve athletic performance may alter the expression of specific genes involved in muscle and bone metabolism by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Moreover, excessive and relentless training to increase the muscle mass, may also have an influence on the health of the athletes. This stress releases neurotransmitters and growth factors, and may affect the expression of endogenous genes by DNA methylation, too. This paper focuses on the relationship between epigenetic mechanisms and sports, highlights the potential consequences of abuse of doping drugs on gene expression, and describes methods to molecularly detect epigenetic changes of gene markers reflecting the physiological or metabolic effects of doping agents. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Epigenetic control of mammalian LINE-1 retrotransposon by retinoblastoma proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montoya-Durango, Diego E.; Liu, Yongqing; Teneng, Ivo; Kalbfleisch, Ted; Lacy, Mary E.; Steffen, Marlene C.; Ramos, Kenneth S.

    2009-01-01

    Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs or L1 elements) are targeted for epigenetic silencing during early embryonic development and remain inactive in most cells and tissues. Here we show that E2F-Rb family complexes participate in L1 elements epigenetic regulation via nucleosomal histone modifications and recruitment of histone deacetylases (HDACs) HDAC1 and HDAC2. Our experiments demonstrated that (i) Rb and E2F interact with human and mouse L1 elements, (ii) L1 elements are deficient in both heterochromatin-associated histone marks H3 tri methyl K9 and H4 tri methyl K20 in Rb family triple knock out (Rb, p107, and p130) fibroblasts (TKO), (iii) L1 promoter exhibits increased histone H3 acetylation in the absence of HDAC1 and HDAC2 recruitment, (iv) L1 expression in TKO fibroblasts is upregulated compared to wild type counterparts, (v) L1 expression increases in the presence of the HDAC inhibitor TSA. On the basis of these findings we propose a model in which L1 sequences throughout the genome serve as centers for heterochromatin formation in an Rb family-dependent manner. As such, Rb proteins and L1 elements may play key roles in heterochromatin formation beyond pericentromeric chromosomal regions. These findings describe a novel mechanism of L1 reactivation in mammalian cells mediated by failure of corepressor protein recruitment by Rb, loss of histone epigenetic marks, heterochromatin formation, and increased histone H3 acetylation.

  16. Epigenetic control of mammalian LINE-1 retrotransposon by retinoblastoma proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montoya-Durango, Diego E. [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States); Liu, Yongqing [James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States); Teneng, Ivo; Kalbfleisch, Ted; Lacy, Mary E.; Steffen, Marlene C. [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States); Ramos, Kenneth S., E-mail: kenneth.ramos@louisville.edu [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States)

    2009-06-01

    Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs or L1 elements) are targeted for epigenetic silencing during early embryonic development and remain inactive in most cells and tissues. Here we show that E2F-Rb family complexes participate in L1 elements epigenetic regulation via nucleosomal histone modifications and recruitment of histone deacetylases (HDACs) HDAC1 and HDAC2. Our experiments demonstrated that (i) Rb and E2F interact with human and mouse L1 elements, (ii) L1 elements are deficient in both heterochromatin-associated histone marks H3 tri methyl K9 and H4 tri methyl K20 in Rb family triple knock out (Rb, p107, and p130) fibroblasts (TKO), (iii) L1 promoter exhibits increased histone H3 acetylation in the absence of HDAC1 and HDAC2 recruitment, (iv) L1 expression in TKO fibroblasts is upregulated compared to wild type counterparts, (v) L1 expression increases in the presence of the HDAC inhibitor TSA. On the basis of these findings we propose a model in which L1 sequences throughout the genome serve as centers for heterochromatin formation in an Rb family-dependent manner. As such, Rb proteins and L1 elements may play key roles in heterochromatin formation beyond pericentromeric chromosomal regions. These findings describe a novel mechanism of L1 reactivation in mammalian cells mediated by failure of corepressor protein recruitment by Rb, loss of histone epigenetic marks, heterochromatin formation, and increased histone H3 acetylation.

  17. Epigenetic changes in neurology: DNA methylation in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iridoy Zulet, M; Pulido Fontes, L; Ayuso Blanco, T; Lacruz Bescos, F; Mendioroz Iriarte, M

    2017-09-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the study of the mechanisms that regulate gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence. The best known is DNA methylation. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with no entirely known etiology, in which it is stated that the involvement of environmental factors on people with a genetic predisposition, may be key to the development of the disease. It is at this intersection between genetic predisposition and environmental factors where DNA methylation may play a pathogenic role. A literature review of the effects of environmental risk factors for the development of MS can have on the different epigenetic mechanisms as well as the implication that such changes have on the development of the disease. Knowledge of epigenetic modifications involved in the pathogenesis of MS, opens a new avenue of research for identification of potential biomarkers, as well as finding new therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  18. How to stomach an epigenetic insult: the gastric cancer epigenome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmanabhan, Nisha; Ushijima, Toshikazu; Tan, Patrick

    2017-08-01

    Gastric cancer is a deadly malignancy afflicting close to a million people worldwide. Patient survival is poor and largely due to late diagnosis and suboptimal therapies. Disease heterogeneity is a substantial obstacle, underscoring the need for precision treatment strategies. Studies have identified different subgroups of gastric cancer displaying not just genetic, but also distinct epigenetic hallmarks. Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic abnormalities in gastric cancer are not mere bystander events, but rather promote carcinogenesis through active mechanisms. Epigenetic aberrations, induced by pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori, are an early component of gastric carcinogenesis, probably preceding genetic abnormalities. This Review summarizes our current understanding of the gastric cancer epigenome, highlighting key advances in recent years in both tumours and pre-malignant lesions, made possible through targeted and genome-wide technologies. We focus on studies related to DNA methylation and histone modifications, linking these findings to potential therapeutic opportunities. Lessons learned from the gastric cancer epigenome might also prove relevant for other gastrointestinal cancers.

  19. Dynamic Epigenetic Control of Highly Conserved Noncoding Elements

    KAUST Repository

    Seridi, Loqmane; Ryu, Tae Woo; Ravasi, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    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.

  20. Epigenetic regulation of female puberty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomniczi, Alejandro; Wright, Hollis; Ojeda, Sergio R

    2015-01-01

    Substantial progress has been made in recent years toward deciphering the molecular and genetic underpinnings of the pubertal process. The availability of powerful new methods to interrogate the human genome has led to the identification of genes that are essential for puberty to occur. Evidence has also emerged suggesting that the initiation of puberty requires the coordinated activity of gene sets organized into functional networks. At a cellular level, it is currently thought that loss of transsynaptic inhibition, accompanied by an increase in excitatory inputs, results in the pubertal activation of GnRH release. This concept notwithstanding, a mechanism of epigenetic repression targeting genes required for the pubertal activation of GnRH neurons was recently identified as a core component of the molecular machinery underlying the central restraint of puberty. In this chapter we will discuss the potential contribution of various mechanisms of epigenetic regulation to the hypothalamic control of female puberty. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Epigenetic regulation of photoperiodic flowering

    OpenAIRE

    Takeno, Kiyotoshi

    2010-01-01

    The cytidine analogue 5-azacytidine, which causes DNA demethylation, induced flowering in the non-vernalization-requiring plants Perilla frutescens var. crispa, Silene armeria and Pharbitis nil (synonym Ipomoea nil) under non-inductive photoperiodic conditions, suggesting that the expression of photoperiodic flowering-related genes is regulated epigenetically by DNA methylation. The flowering state induced by DNA demethylation was not heritable. Changes in the genome-wide methylation state we...

  2. Chromocentre integrity and epigenetic marks

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Harničarová, Andrea; Galiová-Šustáčková, Gabriela; Legartová, Soňa; Kozubek, Stanislav; Matula, P.; Bártová, Eva

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 169, č. 1 (2010), s. 124-133 ISSN 1047-8477 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME 919; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06027; GA MŠk(CZ) LC535 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) ME919 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507; CEZ:AV0Z50040702 Keywords : SUV39h * histone methylation * epigenetics Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.497, year: 2010

  3. The potential of epigenetics in stress-enhanced fear learning models of PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blouin, Ashley M; Sillivan, Stephanie E; Joseph, Nadine F; Miller, Courtney A

    2016-10-01

    Prolonged distress and dysregulated memory processes are the core features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and represent the debilitating, persistent nature of the illness. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the expression of these symptoms are challenging to study in human patients. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) paradigms, which encompass both stress and memory components in rodents, are emerging as valuable preclinical models of PTSD. Rodent models designed to study the long-term mechanisms of either stress or fear memory alone have identified a critical role for numerous epigenetic modifications to DNA and histone proteins. However, the epigenetic modifications underlying SEFL remain largely unknown. This review will provide a brief overview of the epigenetic modifications implicated in stress and fear memory independently, followed by a description of existing SEFL models and the few epigenetic mechanisms found to date to underlie SEFL. The results of the animal studies discussed here highlight neuroepigenetics as an essential area for future research in the context of PTSD through SEFL studies, because of its potential to identify novel candidates for neurotherapeutics targeting stress-induced pathogenic memories. © 2016 Blouin et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  4. The expanding role of epigenetics in the development, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobosy, Joseph R; Roberts, J Lea W; Fu, Vivian X; Jarrard, David F

    2007-03-01

    Prostate cancer research has focused significant attention on the mutation, deletion or amplification of the DNA base sequence that encodes critical growth or suppressor genes. However, these changes have left significant gaps in our understanding of the development and progression of disease. It has become clear that epigenetic changes or modifications that influence phenotype without altering the genotype present a new and entirely different mechanism for gene regulation. Several interrelated epigenetic modifications that are altered in abnormal growth states are DNA methylation changes, histone modifications and genomic imprinting. We discuss the status of epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia progression. In addition, the rationale and status of ongoing clinical trials altering epigenetic processes in urological diseases are reviewed. An online search of current and past peer reviewed literature on DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, imprinting and epigenetics in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia was performed. Relevant articles and reviews were examined and a synopsis of reproducible data was generated with the goal of informing the practicing urologist of these advances and their implications. Only 20 years ago the first study was published demonstrating global changes in DNA methylation patterns in tumors. Accumulating data have now identified specific genes that are commonly hypermethylated and inactivated during prostate cancer progression, including GSTpi, APC, MDR1, GPX3 and 14-3-3sigma. Altered histone modifications, including acetylation and methylation, were also recently described that may modify gene function, including androgen receptor function. These epigenetic changes are now being used to assist in prostate cancer diagnosis and cancer outcome prediction. Epigenetic changes appear to have a role in benign prostatic hyperplasia development as well as in the susceptibility of

  5. Imbalanced class learning in epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, M Muksitul; Skinner, Michael K; Holder, Lawrence B

    2014-07-01

    In machine learning, one of the important criteria for higher classification accuracy is a balanced dataset. Datasets with a large ratio between minority and majority classes face hindrance in learning using any classifier. Datasets having a magnitude difference in number of instances between the target concept result in an imbalanced class distribution. Such datasets can range from biological data, sensor data, medical diagnostics, or any other domain where labeling any instances of the minority class can be time-consuming or costly or the data may not be easily available. The current study investigates a number of imbalanced class algorithms for solving the imbalanced class distribution present in epigenetic datasets. Epigenetic (DNA methylation) datasets inherently come with few differentially DNA methylated regions (DMR) and with a higher number of non-DMR sites. For this class imbalance problem, a number of algorithms are compared, including the TAN+AdaBoost algorithm. Experiments performed on four epigenetic datasets and several known datasets show that an imbalanced dataset can have similar accuracy as a regular learner on a balanced dataset.

  6. Genetic alterations and epigenetic changes in hepatocarcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz Stella Hoyos Giraldo

    2007-02-01

    -family: QuorumITCbyBT-Book">Dietary factors have a role in the modification of epigenetic changes. Altered expression of DNMT mRNA and DNA hypermethylation of TSGs, has been observed in HCC. The mechanism of the interaction between chemical carcinogens and changes of methylation is still unclear and need much more research. Risk factors for hepatocarcinogenesis and their genetic and epigenetic reactions remains poorly understood.

  7. Enduring epigenetic landmarks define the cancer microenvironment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidsley, Ruth; Lawrence, Mitchell G.; Zotenko, Elena; Niranjan, Birunthi; Statham, Aaron; Song, Jenny; Chabanon, Roman M.; Qu, Wenjia; Wang, Hong; Richards, Michelle; Nair, Shalima S.; Armstrong, Nicola J.; Nim, Hieu T.; Papargiris, Melissa; Balanathan, Preetika; French, Hugh; Peters, Timothy; Norden, Sam; Ryan, Andrew; Pedersen, John; Kench, James; Daly, Roger J.; Horvath, Lisa G.; Stricker, Phillip; Frydenberg, Mark; Taylor, Renea A.; Stirzaker, Clare; Risbridger, Gail P.; Clark, Susan J.

    2018-01-01

    The growth and progression of solid tumors involves dynamic cross-talk between cancer epithelium and the surrounding microenvironment. To date, molecular profiling has largely been restricted to the epithelial component of tumors; therefore, features underpinning the persistent protumorigenic phenotype of the tumor microenvironment are unknown. Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, we show for the first time that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) from localized prostate cancer display remarkably distinct and enduring genome-wide changes in DNA methylation, significantly at enhancers and promoters, compared to nonmalignant prostate fibroblasts (NPFs). Differentially methylated regions associated with changes in gene expression have cancer-related functions and accurately distinguish CAFs from NPFs. Remarkably, a subset of changes is shared with prostate cancer epithelial cells, revealing the new concept of tumor-specific epigenome modifications in the tumor and its microenvironment. The distinct methylome of CAFs provides a novel epigenetic hallmark of the cancer microenvironment and promises new biomarkers to improve interpretation of diagnostic samples. PMID:29650553

  8. Epigenetics, eh! A meeting summary of the Canadian Conference on Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodenhiser, David I; Bérubé, Nathalie G; Mann, Mellissa R W

    2011-10-01

    In May 2011, the Canadian Conference on Epigenetics: Epigenetics Eh! was held in London, Canada. The objectives of this conference were to showcase the breadth of epigenetic research on environment and health across Canada and to provide the catalyst to develop collaborative Canadian epigenetic research opportunities, similar to existing international epigenetic initiatives in the US and Europe. With ten platform sessions and two sessions with over 100 poster presentations, this conference featured cutting-edge epigenetic research, presented by Canadian and international principal investigators and their trainees in the field of epigenetics and chromatin dynamics. An EpigenART competition included ten artists, creating a unique opportunity for artists and scientists to interact and explore their individual interpretations of this scientific discipline. The conference provided a unique venue for a significant cross-section of Canadian epigenetic researchers from diverse disciplines to meet, interact, collaborate and strategize at the national level.

  9. Epigenetic alterations of sedimentary rocks at deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komarova, G.V.; Kondrat'eva, I.A.; Zelenova, O.I.

    1980-01-01

    Notions are explained, and technique for studying epigenetic alterations of sedimentary rocks at uranium deposits is described. Main types of epigenetic transformations and their mineralogic-geochemical characteristics are considered. Rock alterations, accompanying uranium mineralization, can be related to 2 types: oxidation and reduction. The main mineralogic-geochemical property of oxidation transformations is epigenetic limonitization. Stratal limonitization in primary grey-coloured terrigenic rocks and in epigenetically reduced (pyritized) rocks, as well as in rock, subjected to epigenetic gleying, are characterized. Reduction type of epigenetic transformations is subdivided into sulphidic and non-sulphidic (gley) subtypes. Sulphidic transformations in grey-coloured terrigenic rocks with organic substance of carbonic row, in rocks, containing organic substance of oil row, sulphide transformations of sedimentary rocks, as well as gley transformations, are considered

  10. Mutations in Epigenetic Modifiers in Myeloid Malignancies and the Prospect of Novel Epigenetic-Targeted Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir T. Fathi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the recent years, the discovery of a series of mutations in patients with myeloid malignancies has provided insight into the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs, myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs, and acute myeloid leukemia (AML. Among these alterations have been mutations in genes, such as IDH1/2, TET2, DNMT3A, and EZH2, which appear to affect DNA and/or histone lysine methylation. Large clinical correlative studies are beginning to decipher the clinical importance, prevalence, and potential prognostic significance of these mutations. Additionally, burgeoning insight into the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies has prompted increased interest in development of novel therapies which target DNA and histone posttranslational modifications. DNA demethylating agents have been demonstrated to be clinically active in a subset of patients with MDS and AML and are used extensively. However, newer, more specific agents which alter DNA and histone modification are under preclinical study and development and are likely to expand our therapeutic options for these diseases in the near future. Here, we review the current understanding of the clinical importance of these newly discovered mutations in AML and MDS patients. We also discuss exciting developments in DNA methyltransferase inhibitor strategies and the prospect of novel histone lysine methyltransferase inhibitors.

  11. MGMT expression: insights into its regulation. 1. Epigenetic factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iatsyshyna A. P.

    2013-03-01

    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.

  12. Nutrition, epigenetic mechanisms, and human disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maulik, Nilanjana; Maulik, Gautam

    2011-01-01

    .... The text discusses the basics of nutrigenomics and epigenetic regulation, types of nutrition influencing genetic imprinting, and the role of nutrition in modulating an individual's predisposition to disease...

  13. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Barry M; Conradt, Elisabeth; Marsit, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the opportunity to revolutionize our understanding of the role of genetics and the environment in explaining human behavior, although the use of epigenetics to study human behavior is just beginning. In this introduction, the authors present the basics of epigenetics in a way that is designed to make this exciting field accessible to a wide readership. The authors describe the history of human behavioral epigenetic research in the context of other disciplines and graphically illustrate the burgeoning of research in the application of epigenetic methods and principles to the study of human behavior. The role of epigenetics in normal embryonic development and the influence of biological and environmental factors altering behavior through epigenetic mechanisms and developmental programming are discussed. Some basic approaches to the study of epigenetics are reviewed. The authors conclude with a discussion of challenges and opportunities, including intervention, as the field of human behavioral epigenetics continue to grow. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  14. Molecular Aging of Human Liver: An Epigenetic/Transcriptomic Signature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacalini, Maria Giulia; Franceschi, Claudio; Gentilini, Davide; Ravaioli, Francesco; Zhou, Xiaoyuan; Remondini, Daniel; Pirazzini, Chiara; Giuliani, Cristina; Marasco, Elena; Gensous, Noémie; Di Blasio, Anna Maria; Ellis, Ewa; Gramignoli, Roberto; Castellani, Gastone; Capri, Miriam; Strom, Stephen; Nardini, Christine; Cescon, Matteo; Grazi, Gian Luca; Garagnani, Paolo

    2018-03-15

    The feasibility of liver transplantation from old healthy donors suggests that this organ is able to preserve its functionality during aging. To explore the biological basis of this phenomenon, we characterized the epigenetic profile of liver biopsies collected from 45 healthy liver donors ranging from 13 to 90 years old using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. The analysis indicates that a large remodeling in DNA methylation patterns occurs, with 8823 age-associated differentially methylated CpG probes. Notably, these age-associated changes tended to level off after the age of 60, as confirmed by Horvath's clock. Using stringent selection criteria we further identified a DNA methylation signature of aging liver including 75 genomic regions. We demonstrated that this signature is specific for liver compared to other tissues and that it is able to detect biological age-acceleration effects associated with obesity. Finally we combined DNA methylation measurements with available expression data. Although the intersection between the two omic characterizations was low, both approaches suggested a previously unappreciated role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and Wnt signaling pathways in the aging of human liver.

  15. A stochastic model of epigenetic dynamics in somatic cell reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max eFloettmann

    2012-06-01

    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.

  16. Multigenerational epigenetic adaptation of the hepatic wound-healing response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeybel, Müjdat; Hardy, Timothy; Wong, Yi K; Mathers, John C; Fox, Christopher R; Gackowska, Agata; Oakley, Fiona; Burt, Alastair D; Wilson, Caroline L; Anstee, Quentin M; Barter, Matt J; Masson, Steven; Elsharkawy, Ahmed M; Mann, Derek A; Mann, Jelena

    2012-09-01

    We investigated whether ancestral liver damage leads to heritable reprogramming of hepatic wound healing in male rats. We found that a history of liver damage corresponds with transmission of an epigenetic suppressive adaptation of the fibrogenic component of wound healing to the male F1 and F2 generations. Underlying this adaptation was less generation of liver myofibroblasts, higher hepatic expression of the antifibrogenic factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) and lower expression of the profibrogenic factor transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) compared to rats without this adaptation. Remodeling of DNA methylation and histone acetylation underpinned these alterations in gene expression. Sperm from rats with liver fibrosis were enriched for the histone variant H2A.Z and trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys27 (H3K27me3) at PPAR-γ chromatin. These modifications to the sperm chromatin were transmittable by adaptive serum transfer from fibrotic rats to naive rats and similar modifications were induced in mesenchymal stem cells exposed to conditioned media from cultured rat or human myofibroblasts. Thus, it is probable that a myofibroblast-secreted soluble factor stimulates heritable epigenetic signatures in sperm so that the resulting offspring better adapt to future fibrogenic hepatic insults. Adding possible relevance to humans, we found that people with mild liver fibrosis have hypomethylation of the PPARG promoter compared to others with severe fibrosis.

  17. Epigenetic game theory and its application in plants. Comment on: ;Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition; by Qian Wang et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan-Ming; Zhang, Yinghao; Guo, Mingyue

    2017-03-01

    Wang's et al. article [1] is the first to integrate game theory (especially evolutionary game theory) with epigenetic modification of zygotic genomes. They described and assessed a modeling framework based on evolutionary game theory to quantify, how sperms and oocytes interact through epigenetic processes, to determine embryo development. They also studied the internal mechanisms for normal embryo development: 1) evolutionary interactions between DNA methylation of the paternal and maternal genomes, and 2) the application of game theory to formulate and quantify how different genes compete or cooperate to regulate embryogenesis through methylation. Although it is not very comprehensive and profound regarding game theory modeling, this article bridges the gap between evolutionary game theory and the epigenetic control of embryo development by powerful ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The epiGame framework includes four aspects: 1) characterizing how epigenetic game theory works by the strategy matrix, in which the pattern and relative magnitude of the methylation effects on embryogenesis, are described by the cooperation and competition mechanisms, 2) quantifying the game that the direction and degree of P-M interactions over embryo development can be explained by the sign and magnitude of interaction parameters in model (2), 3) modeling epigenetic interactions within the morula, especially for two coupled nonlinear ODEs, with explicit functions in model (4), which provide a good fit to the observed data for the two sexes (adjusted R2 = 0.956), and 4) revealing multifactorial interactions in embryogenesis from the coupled ODEs in model (2) to triplet ODEs in model (6). Clearly, this article extends game theory from evolutionary game theory to epigenetic game theory.

  18. Merging data from genetic and epigenetic approaches to better understand autistic spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Dennis R; Guidotti, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by a wide range of cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. Genetic research has identified large numbers of genes that contribute to ASD phenotypes. There is compelling evidence that environmental factors contribute to ASD through influences that differentially impact the brain through epigenetic mechanisms. Both genetic mutations and epigenetic influences alter gene expression in different cell types of the brain. Mutations impact the expression of large numbers of genes and also have downstream consequences depending on specific pathways associated with the mutation. Environmental factors impact the expression of sets of genes by altering methylation/hydroxymethylation patterns, local histone modification patterns and chromatin remodeling. Herein, we discuss recent developments in the research of ASD with a focus on epigenetic pathways as a complement to current genetic screening.

  19. Epigenetic Consequences of Low Birth-Weight and Preterm Birth in Adult Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2018-01-01

    could be detrimental to health later in life. Current epigenetic studies using genome-wide DNA methylation profiling have discovered molecular evidence confirming that, as important early life events, both low birth-weight and premature birth can result in long-lasting epigenetic consequences...... that impact health at adult ages. Results from our epigenome-wide association studies indicate that the two moderately correlated traits of adverse pregnancy outcome could be linked to increased susceptibility to different health problems with low birth-weight more relevant to metabolic disorders, while......Adverse birth outcomes including low birth-weight and preterm birth are associated with long-term morbidity and health consequences at adult ages. Molecular mechanisms including epigenetic modification may have been involved in the adaptation to the stressful condition in peridelivery period which...

  20. New insights in oncology: Epi-genetics and cancer stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krutovskikh, V.; Partensky, C.

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a multi-etiologic, multistage disease with a prevalent genetic component, which happens when a large number of genes, critical for cell growth, death, differentiation, migration, and metabolic plasticity are altered irreversibly, so as to either 'gain' (oncogenes) or 'lose' (tumour suppressors) their function. Recent discoveries have revealed the previously underestimated etiologic importance of multiple epigenetic, that is to say, reversible factors (histone modifications, DNA methylation, non-coding RNA) involved in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of proteins, indispensable for the control of cancerous phenotype. Stable alterations of epigenetic machinery ('epi-mutations') turn out to play a critical role at different steps of carcinogenesis. In addition, due to substantial recent progress in stem cell biology, the new concept of cancer stem cells has emerged. This, along with newly discovered epigenetic cancer mechanisms, gives rise to a hope to overcome radio- and chemo-resistance and to eradicate otherwise incurable neoplasms. (authors)

  1. Nanoparticles in food. Epigenetic changes induced by nanomaterials and possible impact on health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolkova, Bozena; El Yamani, Naouale; Collins, Andrew R; Gutleb, Arno C; Dusinska, Maria

    2015-03-01

    Disturbed epigenetic mechanisms, which developmentally regulate gene expression via modifications to DNA, histone proteins, and chromatin, have been hypothesized to play a key role in many human diseases. Recently it was shown that engineered nanoparticles (NPs), that already have a wide range of applications in various fields including food production, could dramatically affect epigenetic processes, while their ability to induce diseases remains poorly understood. Besides the obvious benefits of the new technologies, it is critical to assess their health effects before proceeding with industrial production. In this article, after surveying the applications of NPs in food technology, we review recent advances in the understanding of epigenetic pathological effects of NPs, and discuss their possible health impact with the aim of avoiding potential health risks posed by the use of nanomaterials in foods and food-packaging. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Sensitive periods in epigenetics: bringing us closer to complex behavioral phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2012-08-01

    Genetic studies have attempted to elucidate causal mechanisms for the development of complex disease, but genome-wide associations have been largely unsuccessful in establishing these links. As an alternative link between genes and disease, recent efforts have focused on mechanisms that alter the function of genes without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Known as epigenetic mechanisms, these include DNA methylation, chromatin conformational changes through histone modifications, ncRNAs and, most recently, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Although DNA methylation is involved in normal development, aging and gene regulation, altered methylation patterns have been associated with disease. It is generally believed that early life constitutes a period during which there is increased sensitivity to the regulatory effects of epigenetic mechanisms. The purpose of this review is to outline the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to genomic function, particularly in the development of complex behavioral phenotypes, focusing on the sensitive periods.

  3. [Genetics and epigenetics in autism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Atsuo; Masaki, Shiego; Aoki, Eiko

    2006-11-01

    Autism is a behaviorally defined syndrome characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted, stereotyped interests and behaviors. Several lines of evidence support the contention that genetic factors are a large component to autism etiology. However, in spite of vigorous genetic studies, no single causative or susceptibility gene common in autism has been identified. Thus multiple susceptibility genes in interaction are considered to account for the disorder. Furthermore, environmental risk factors can accelerate the autism development of. Recent advances in understanding the epigenetic regulation may shed light on the interaction among multiple genetic factors and environmental factors.

  4. Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hisashi Narahara

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Because epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in choriocarcinomas, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and the expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in choriocarcinoma cell lines. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating choriocarcinoma, with a special focus on preclinical studies.

  5. Epigenetics of obesity: beyond the genome sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, Paul; Li, Jiawei; Oben, Jude A

    2015-07-01

    After the study of the gene code as a trigger for obesity, epigenetic code has appeared as a novel tool in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of obesity, and its related comorbidities. This review summarizes the status of the epigenetic field associated with obesity, and the current epigenetic-based approaches for obesity treatment. Thanks to technical advances, novel and key obesity-associated polymorphisms have been described by genome-wide association studies, but there are limitations with their predictive power. Epigenetics is also studied for disease association, which involves decoding of the genome information, transcriptional status and later phenotypes. Obesity could be induced during adult life by feeding and other environmental factors, and there is a strong association between obesity features and specific epigenetic patterns. These patterns could be established during early life stages, and programme the risk of obesity and its comorbidities during adult life. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that DNA methylation profile could be applied as biomarkers of diet-induced weight loss treatment. High-throughput technologies, recently implemented for commercial genetic test panels, could soon lead to the creation of epigenetic test panels for obesity. Nonetheless, epigenetics is a modifiable risk factor, and different dietary patterns or environmental insights during distinct stages of life could lead to rewriting of the epigenetic profile.

  6. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and produce qualitatively different allozymes and the two alleles are expressed equally within and across all three genotypes and and play an equal role in the epigenetics of dominance. Subunit interaction in the heterodimer over a wide range of H+ concentrations accounts for the epigenetics of dominance for ...

  7. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V.; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in Western societies. It progresses asymptomatically during decades before being belatedly diagnosed when therapeutic strategies have become unviable. Although several genetic alterations have been associated with AD, the vast majority of AD cases do not show strong genetic underpinnings and are thus considered a consequence of non-genetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms allow for the integration of long-lasting non-genetic inputs on specific genetic backgrounds, and recently, a growing number of epigenetic alterations in AD have been described. For instance, an accumulation of dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in aging, the predominant risk factor of AD, might facilitate the onset of the disease. Likewise, mutations in several enzymes of the epigenetic machinery have been associated with neurodegenerative processes that are altered in AD such as impaired learning and memory formation. Genome-wide and locus-specific epigenetic alterations have also been reported, and several epigenetically dysregulated genes validated by independent groups. From these studies, a picture emerges of AD as being associated with DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting a general repressed chromatin state and epigenetically reduced plasticity in AD. Here we review these recent findings and discuss several technical and methodological considerations that are imperative for their correct interpretation. We also pay particular focus on potential implementations and theoretical frameworks that we expect will help to better direct future studies aimed to unravel the epigenetic participation in AD. PMID:26734709

  8. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Preite, V.

    2014-01-01

    The role that epigenetic inheritance can play in adaptation may differ between sexuals and asexuals because (1) the dynamics of adaptation differ under sexual and asexual reproduction and the opportunities offered by epigenetic inheritance may affect these dynamics differently; and (2) in asexual

  9. Epigenetics and environmental impacts in cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter reviews the major advances in the field of epigenetics as well as the environmental impacts of cattle. Many findings from our own research endeavors related to the topic of this chapter are also introduced. The phenotypic characterization of an animal can be changed through epigenetic ...

  10. Epigenetics in mammary gland biology and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the post genome era, the focus has shifted to understanding the mechanisms that regulate the interpretation of the genetic code. "Epigenetics" as a research field is taking center stage. Epigenetics is a term which is now being used throughout the scientific community in different contexts from p...

  11. Dying to Be Noticed: Epigenetic Regulation of Immunogenic Cell Death for Cancer Immunotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brianne Cruickshank

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Immunogenic cell death (ICD activates both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system during apoptotic cancer cell death. With respect to cancer immunotherapy, the process of ICD elicits enhanced adjuvanticity and antigenicity from dying cancer cells and consequently, promotes the development of clinically desired antitumor immunity. Cancer ICD requires the presentation of various “hallmarks” of immunomodulation, which include the cell-surface translocation of calreticulin, production of type I interferons, and release of high-mobility group box-1 and ATP, which through their compatible actions induce an immune response against cancer cells. Interestingly, recent reports investigating the use of epigenetic modifying drugs as anticancer therapeutics have identified several connections to ICD hallmarks. Epigenetic modifiers have a direct effect on cell viability and appear to fundamentally change the immunogenic properties of cancer cells, by actively subverting tumor microenvironment-associated immunoevasion and aiding in the development of an antitumor immune response. In this review, we critically discuss the current evidence that identifies direct links between epigenetic modifications and ICD hallmarks, and put forward an otherwise poorly understood role for epigenetic drugs as ICD inducers. We further discuss potential therapeutic innovations that aim to induce ICD during epigenetic drug therapy, generating highly efficacious cancer immunotherapies.

  12. Epigenetic Matters: The Link between Early Nutrition, Microbiome, and Long-term Health Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Indrio

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications are among the most important mechanisms by which environmental factors can influence early cellular differentiation and create new phenotypic traits during pregnancy and within the neonatal period without altering the deoxyribonucleic acid sequence. A number of antenatal and postnatal factors, such as maternal and neonatal nutrition, pollutant exposure, and the composition of microbiota, contribute to the establishment of epigenetic changes that can not only modulate the individual adaptation to the environment but also have an influence on lifelong health and disease by modifying inflammatory molecular pathways and the immune response. Postnatal intestinal colonization, in turn determined by maternal flora, mode of delivery, early skin-to-skin contact and neonatal diet, leads to specific epigenetic signatures that can affect the barrier properties of gut mucosa and their protective role against later insults, thus potentially predisposing to the development of late-onset inflammatory diseases. The aim of this review is to outline the epigenetic mechanisms of programming and development acting within early-life stages and to examine in detail the role of maternal and neonatal nutrition, microbiota composition, and other environmental factors in determining epigenetic changes and their short- and long-term effects.

  13. Epigenetic mechanisms in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: An emerging field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego-Durán, Rocío; Romero-Gómez, Manuel

    2015-10-28

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging health concern in both developed and non-developed world, encompassing from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and liver cancer. Incidence and prevalence of this disease are increasing due to the socioeconomic transition and change to harmful diet. Currently, gold standard method in NAFLD diagnosis is liver biopsy, despite complications and lack of accuracy due to sampling error. Further, pathogenesis of NAFLD is not fully understood, but is well-known that obesity, diabetes and metabolic derangements played a major role in disease development and progression. Besides, gut microbioma and host genetic and epigenetic background could explain considerable interindividual variability. Knowledge that epigenetics, heritable events not caused by changes in DNA sequence, contribute to development of diseases has been a revolution in the last few years. Recently, evidences are accumulating revealing the important role of epigenetics in NAFLD pathogenesis and in NASH genesis. Histone modifications, changes in DNA methylation and aberrant profiles or microRNAs could boost development of NAFLD and transition into clinical relevant status. PNPLA3 genotype GG has been associated with a more progressive disease and epigenetics could modulate this effect. The impact of epigenetic on NAFLD progression could deserve further applications on therapeutic targets together with future non-invasive methods useful for the diagnosis and staging of NAFLD.

  14. Epigenetic regulation leading to induced pluripotency drives cancer development in vivo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohnishi, Kotaro [Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Department of Medicine, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu 501-1194 (Japan); Semi, Katsunori [Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (WPI-iCeMS), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Yamada, Yasuhiro, E-mail: y-yamada@cira.kyoto-u.ac.jp [Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (WPI-iCeMS), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan)

    2014-12-05

    Highlights: • Epigenetic regulation of failed reprogramming-associated cancer cells is discussed. • Similarity between pediatric cancer and reprogramming-associated cancer is discussed. • Concept for epigenetic cancer is discussed. - Abstract: Somatic cells can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by the transient expression of reprogramming factors. During the reprogramming process, somatic cells acquire the ability to undergo unlimited proliferation, which is also an important characteristic of cancer cells, while their underlying DNA sequence remains unchanged. Based on the characteristics shared between pluripotent stem cells and cancer cells, the potential involvement of the factors leading to reprogramming toward pluripotency in cancer development has been discussed. Recent in vivo reprogramming studies provided some clues to understanding the role of reprogramming-related epigenetic regulation in cancer development. It was shown that premature termination of the in vivo reprogramming result in the development of tumors that resemble pediatric cancers. Given that epigenetic modifications play a central role during reprogramming, failed reprogramming-associated cancer development may have provided a proof of concept for epigenetics-driven cancer development in vivo.

  15. Epigenetics: A novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adwan, Lina; Zawia, Nasser H.

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia in the elderly. It is characterized by the deposition of two forms of aggregates within the brain, the amyloid β plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. Currently, no disease-modifying agent is approved for the treatment of AD. Approved pharmacotherapies target the peripheral symptoms but they do not prevent or slow down the progression of the disease. Although several disease-modifying immunotherapeutic agents are in clinical development, many have failed due to lack of efficacy or serious adverse events. Epigenetic changes including DNA methylation and histone modifications are involved in learning and memory and have been recently highlighted for holding promise as potential targets for AD therapeutics. Dynamic and latent epigenetic alterations are incorporated in AD pathological pathways and present valuable reversible targets for AD and other neurological disorders. The approval of epigenetic drugs for cancer treatment has opened the door for the development of epigenetic drugs for other disorders including neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, methyl donors and histone deacetylase inhibitors are being investigated for possible therapeutic effects to rescue memory and cognitive decline found in such disorders. This review explores the area of epigenetics for potential AD interventions and presents the most recent findings in this field. PMID:23562602

  16. Epigenetic regulation leading to induced pluripotency drives cancer development in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohnishi, Kotaro; Semi, Katsunori; Yamada, Yasuhiro

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Epigenetic regulation of failed reprogramming-associated cancer cells is discussed. • Similarity between pediatric cancer and reprogramming-associated cancer is discussed. • Concept for epigenetic cancer is discussed. - Abstract: Somatic cells can be reprogramm