WorldWideScience

Sample records for alternative epigenetic chromatin

  1. Epigenetics & chromatin: Interactions and processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Henikoff (Steven); F.G. Grosveld (Frank)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractOn 11 to 13 March 2013, BioMed Central will be hosting its inaugural conference, Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and Processes, at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA. Epigenetics & Chromatin has now launched a special article series based on the general themes of the confer

  2. Chromatin, epigenetics and stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roloff, Tim C; Nuber, Ulrike A

    2005-03-01

    Epigenetics is a term that has changed its meaning with the increasing biological knowledge on developmental processes. However, its current application to stem cell biology is often imprecise and is conceptually problematic. This article addresses two different subjects, the definition of epigenetics and chromatin states of stem and differentiated cells. We describe mechanisms that regulate chromatin changes and provide an overview of chromatin states of stem and differentiated cells. Moreover, a modification of the current epigenetics definition is proposed that is not restricted by the heritability of gene expression throughout cell divisions and excludes translational gene expression control. PMID:15819395

  3. Chromatin and epigenetics in all their states

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bey, Till; Jamge, Suraj; Klemme, Sonja; Komar, Dorota Natalia; Gall, Le Sabine; Mikulski, Pawel; Schmidt, Martin; Zicola, Johan; Berr, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    In January 2016, the first Epigenetic and Chromatin Regulation of Plant Traits conference was held in Strasbourg, France. An all-star lineup of speakers, a packed audience of 130 participants from over 20 countries, and a friendly scientific atmosphere contributed to make this conference a meetin

  4. Titration and hysteresis in epigenetic chromatin silencing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  5. Epigenetic chromatin silencing: bistability and front propagation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedighi, Mohammad; Sengupta, Anirvan M.

    2007-12-01

    The role of post-translational modification of histones in eukaryotic gene regulation is well recognized. Epigenetic silencing of genes via heritable chromatin modifications plays a major role in cell fate specification in higher organisms. We formulate a coarse-grained model of chromatin silencing in yeast and study the conditions under which the system becomes bistable, allowing for different epigenetic states. We also study the dynamics of the boundary between the two locally stable states of chromatin: silenced and unsilenced. The model could be of use in guiding the discussion on chromatin silencing in general. In the context of silencing in budding yeast, it helps us understand the phenotype of various mutants, some of which may be non-trivial to see without the help of a mathematical model. One such example is a mutation that reduces the rate of background acetylation of particular histone side chains that competes with the deacetylation by Sir2p. The resulting negative feedback due to a Sir protein depletion effect gives rise to interesting counter-intuitive consequences. Our mathematical analysis brings forth the different dynamical behaviors possible within the same molecular model and guides the formulation of more refined hypotheses that could be addressed experimentally.

  6. Combinatorial epigenetic patterns as quantitative predictors of chromatin biology

    OpenAIRE

    Cieślik, Marcin; Bekiranov, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Background Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most widely used method for characterizing the epigenetic states of chromatin on a genomic scale. With the recent availability of large genome-wide data sets, often comprising several epigenetic marks, novel approaches are required to explore functionally relevant interactions between histone modifications. Computational discovery of "chromatin states" defined by such combinatorial interactions enabled desc...

  7. Chromatin versus pathogens: the function of epigenetics in plant immunity

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    Bo eDing

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. The functional modulation of epigenetic regulators by alternative splicing

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    Martínez-Balbás Marian

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Epigenetic regulators (histone acetyltransferases, methyltransferases, chromatin-remodelling enzymes, etc play a fundamental role in the control of gene expression by modifying the local state of chromatin. However, due to their recent discovery, little is yet known about their own regulation. This paper addresses this point, focusing on alternative splicing regulation, a mechanism already known to play an important role in other protein families, e.g. transcription factors, membrane receptors, etc. Results To this end, we compiled the data available on the presence/absence of alternative splicing for a set of 160 different epigenetic regulators, taking advantage of the relatively large amount of unexplored data on alternative splicing available in public databases. We found that 49 % (70 % in human of these genes express more than one transcript. We then studied their alternative splicing patterns, focusing on those changes affecting the enzyme's domain composition. In general, we found that these sequence changes correspond to different mechanisms, either repressing the enzyme's function (e.g. by creating dominant-negative inhibitors of the functional isoform or creating isoforms with new functions. Conclusion We conclude that alternative splicing of epigenetic regulators can be an important tool for the function modulation of these enzymes. Considering that the latter control the transcriptional state of large sets of genes, we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression is itself strongly regulated by alternative splicing.

  9. Chromatin and epigenetics in all their states: Meeting report of the first conference on Epigenetic and Chromatin Regulation of Plant Traits - January 14 - 15, 2016 - Strasbourg, France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bey, Till; Jamge, Suraj; Klemme, Sonja; Komar, Dorota Natalia; Le Gall, Sabine; Mikulski, Pawel; Schmidt, Martin; Zicola, Johan; Berr, Alexandre

    2016-08-01

    In January 2016, the first Epigenetic and Chromatin Regulation of Plant Traits conference was held in Strasbourg, France. An all-star lineup of speakers, a packed audience of 130 participants from over 20 countries, and a friendly scientific atmosphere contributed to make this conference a meeting to remember. In this article we summarize some of the new insights into chromatin, epigenetics, and epigenomics research and highlight nascent ideas and emerging concepts in this exciting area of research. PMID:27184433

  10. Assembly of telomeric chromatin to create ALTernative endings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, Roderick J; Almouzni, Genevieve

    2014-11-01

    Circumvention of the telomere length-dependent mechanisms that control the upper boundaries of cellular proliferation is necessary for the unlimited growth of cancer. Most cancer cells achieve cellular immortality by up-regulating the expression of telomerase to extend and maintain their telomere length. However, a small but significant number of cancers do so via the exchange of telomeric DNA between chromosomes in a pathway termed alternative lengthening of telomeres, or ALT. Although it remains to be clarified why a cell chooses the ALT pathway and how ALT is initiated, recently identified mutations in factors that shape the chromatin and epigenetic landscape of ALT telomeres are shedding light on these mechanisms. In this review, we examine these recent findings and integrate them into the current models of the ALT mechanism. PMID:25172551

  11. 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.

  12. DNA methylation topology: potential of a chromatin landmark for epigenetic drug toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajbakhsh, Jian

    2011-12-01

    Targeting chromatin and its basic components through epigenetic drug therapy has become an increased focus in the treatment of complex diseases. This boost calls for the implementation of high-throughput cell-based assays that exploit the increasing knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms and their interventions for genotoxicity testing of epigenetic drugs. 3D quantitative DNA methylation imaging is a novel approach for detecting drug-induced DNA demethylation and concurrent heterochromatin decondensation/reorganization in cells through the analysis of differential nuclear distribution patterns of methylcytosine and gDNA visualized by fluorescence and processed by machine-learning algorithms. Utilizing 3D DNA methylation patterns is a powerful precursor to a series of fully automatable assays that employ chromatin structure and higher organization as novel pharmacodynamic biomarkers for various epigenetic drug actions.

  13. 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.

  14. Chromatin Landscape of the IRF Genes and Role of the Epigenetic Reader BRD4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachu, Mahesh; Dey, Anup; Ozato, Keiko

    2016-07-01

    Histone post-translational modification patterns represent epigenetic states of genomic genes and denote the state of their transcription, past history, and future potential in gene expression. Genome-wide chromatin modification patterns reported from various laboratories are assembled in the ENCODE database, providing a fertile ground for understanding epigenetic regulation of any genes of interest across many cell types. The IRF family genes critically control innate immunity as they direct expression and activities of interferons. While these genes have similar structural and functional traits, their chromatin landscapes and epigenetic features have not been systematically evaluated. Here, by mining ENCODE database using an imputational approach, we summarize chromatin modification patterns for 6 of 9 IRF genes and show characteristic features that connote their epigenetic states. BRD4 is a BET bromodomain protein that "reads and translates" epigenetic marks into transcription. We review recent findings that BRD4 controls constitutive and signal-dependent transcription of many genes, including IRF genes. BRD4 dynamically binds to various genomic genes with a spatial and temporal specificity. Of particular importance, BRD4 is shown to critically regulate IRF-dependent anti-pathogen protection, inflammatory responses triggered by NF-κB, and the growth and spread of many cancers. The advent of small molecule inhibitors that disrupt binding of BET bromdomain to acetylated histone marks has opened new therapeutic possibilities for cancer and inflammatory diseases.

  15. Chd1 remodelers maintain open chromatin and regulate the epigenetics of differentiation

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    Persson, Jenna [Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Center for Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden); Ekwall, Karl, E-mail: karl.ekwall@ki.se [Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Center for Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden); School of Life Sciences, University College Sodertorn, NOVUM, Huddinge (Sweden)

    2010-05-01

    Eukaryotic DNA is packaged around octamers of histone proteins into nucleosomes, the basic unit of chromatin. In addition to enabling meters of DNA to fit within the confines of a nucleus, the structure of chromatin has functional implications for cell identity. Covalent chemical modifications to the DNA and to histones, histone variants, ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers, small noncoding RNAs and the level of chromatin compaction all contribute to chromosomal structure and to the activity or silencing of genes. These chromatin-level alterations are defined as epigenetic when they are heritable from mother to daughter cell. The great diversity of epigenomes that can arise from a single genome permits a single, totipotent cell to generate the hundreds of distinct cell types found in humans. Two recent studies in mouse and in fly have highlighted the importance of Chd1 chromatin remodelers for maintaining an open, active chromatin state. Based on evidence from fission yeast as a model system, we speculate that Chd1 remodelers are involved in the disassembly of nucleosomes at promoter regions, thus promoting active transcription and open chromatin. It is likely that these nucleosomes are specifically marked for disassembly by the histone variant H2A.Z.

  16. Chromatin-based epigenetics of adult subventricular zone neural stem cells

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    Gabriel eGonzales-Roybal

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In specific regions of the adult mammalian brain, neural stem cells (NSCs generate new neurons throughout life. Emerging evidence indicate that chromatin-based transcriptional regulation is a key epigenetic mechanism for the life-long function of adult NSCs. In the adult mouse brain, NSCs in the subventricular zone (SVZ retain the ability to produce both neurons and glia for the life of the animal. In this review, we discuss the origin and function of SVZ NSCs as they relate to key epigenetic concepts of development and potential underlying mechanism of chromatin-based transcriptional regulation. A central point of discussion is how SVZ NSCs – which possess many characteristics of mature, non-neurogenic astrocytes – maintain a youthful ability to produce both neuronal and glial lineages. In addition to reviewing data regarding the function of chromatin-modifying factors in SVZ neurogenesis, we incorporate our growing understanding that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs serve as an important element to chromatin-based transcriptional regulation, including that of SVZ NSCs. Discoveries regarding the epigenetic mechanisms of adult SVZ NSCs may provide key insights into fundamental principles of adult stem cell biology as well as the more complex and dynamic developmental environment of the embryonic brain.

  17. The epigenetics of tumour initiation: cancer stem cells and their chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avgustinova, Alexandra; Benitah, Salvador Aznar

    2016-02-01

    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in various tumours and are defined by their potential to initiate tumours upon transplantation, self-renew and reconstitute tumour heterogeneity. Modifications of the epigenome can favour tumour initiation by affecting genome integrity, DNA repair and tumour cell plasticity. Importantly, an in-depth understanding of the epigenomic alterations underlying neoplastic transformation may open new avenues for chromatin-targeted cancer treatment, as these epigenetic changes could be inherently more amenable to inhibition and reversal than hard-wired genomic alterations. Here we discuss how CSC function is affected by chromatin state and epigenomic instability. PMID:26874045

  18. Identification of alternative topological domains in chromatin

    OpenAIRE

    Filippova, Darya; Patro, Rob; Duggal, Geet; Kingsford, Carl

    2014-01-01

    Chromosome conformation capture experiments have led to the discovery of dense, contiguous, megabase-sized topological domains that are similar across cell types and conserved across species. These domains are strongly correlated with a number of chromatin markers and have since been included in a number of analyses. However, functionally-relevant domains may exist at multiple length scales. We introduce a new and efficient algorithm that is able to capture persistent domains across various r...

  19. Breaking an Epigenetic Chromatin Switch: Curious Features of Hysteresis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Telomeric Silencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraj, Vijayalakshmi H.; Mukhopadhyay, Swagatam; Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M.

    2014-01-01

    In addition to gene network switches, local epigenetic modifications to DNA and histones play an important role in all-or-none cellular decision-making. Here, we study the dynamical design of a well-characterized epigenetic chromatin switch: the yeast SIR system, in order to understand the origin of the stability of epigenetic states. We study hysteresis in this system by perturbing it with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We find that SIR silencing has many characteristics of a non-linear bistable system, as observed in conventional genetic switches, which are based on activities of a few promoters affecting each other through the abundance of their gene products. Quite remarkably, our experiments in yeast telomeric silencing show a very distinctive pattern when it comes to the transition from bistability to monostability. In particular, the loss of the stable silenced state, upon increasing the inhibitor concentration, does not seem to show the expected saddle node behavior, instead looking like a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation. In other words, the ‘off’ state merges with the ‘on’ state at a threshold concentration leading to a single state, as opposed to the two states remaining distinct up to the threshold and exhibiting a discontinuous jump from the ‘off’ to the ‘on’ state. We argue that this is an inevitable consequence of silenced and active regions coexisting with dynamic domain boundaries. The experimental observations in our study therefore have broad implications for the understanding of chromatin silencing in yeast and beyond. PMID:25536038

  20. Krebs cycle dysfunction shapes epigenetic landscape of chromatin: novel insights into mitochondrial regulation of aging process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai; Hiltunen, Mikko; Kauppinen, Anu

    2014-07-01

    Although there is a substantial literature that mitochondria have a crucial role in the aging process, the mechanism has remained elusive. The role of reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial DNA injuries, and a decline in mitochondrial quality control has been proposed. Emerging studies have demonstrated that Krebs cycle intermediates, 2-oxoglutarate (also known as α-ketoglutarate), succinate and fumarate, can regulate the level of DNA and histone methylation. Moreover, citrate, also a Krebs cycle metabolite, can enhance histone acetylation. Genome-wide screening studies have revealed that the aging process is linked to significant epigenetic changes in the chromatin landscape, e.g. global demethylation of DNA and histones and increase in histone acetylation. Interestingly, recent studies have revealed that the demethylases of DNA (TET1-3) and histone lysines (KDM2-7) are members of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-OGDO). The 2-OGDO enzymes are activated by oxygen, iron and the major Krebs cycle intermediate, 2-oxoglutarate, whereas they are inhibited by succinate and fumarate. Considering the endosymbiont origin of mitochondria, it is not surprising that Krebs cycle metabolites can control the gene expression of host cell by modifying the epigenetic landscape of chromatin. It seems that age-related disturbances in mitochondrial metabolism can induce epigenetic reprogramming, which promotes the appearance of senescent phenotype and degenerative diseases.

  1. Breaking an epigenetic chromatin switch: curious features of hysteresis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomeric silencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijayalakshmi H Nagaraj

    Full Text Available In addition to gene network switches, local epigenetic modifications to DNA and histones play an important role in all-or-none cellular decision-making. Here, we study the dynamical design of a well-characterized epigenetic chromatin switch: the yeast SIR system, in order to understand the origin of the stability of epigenetic states. We study hysteresis in this system by perturbing it with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We find that SIR silencing has many characteristics of a non-linear bistable system, as observed in conventional genetic switches, which are based on activities of a few promoters affecting each other through the abundance of their gene products. Quite remarkably, our experiments in yeast telomeric silencing show a very distinctive pattern when it comes to the transition from bistability to monostability. In particular, the loss of the stable silenced state, upon increasing the inhibitor concentration, does not seem to show the expected saddle node behavior, instead looking like a supercritical pitchfork bifurcation. In other words, the 'off' state merges with the 'on' state at a threshold concentration leading to a single state, as opposed to the two states remaining distinct up to the threshold and exhibiting a discontinuous jump from the 'off' to the 'on' state. We argue that this is an inevitable consequence of silenced and active regions coexisting with dynamic domain boundaries. The experimental observations in our study therefore have broad implications for the understanding of chromatin silencing in yeast and beyond.

  2. Cytogenetic evidences of genome rearrangement and differential epigenetic chromatin modification in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo-Soto, Lara; Morán, Paloma; Pasantes, Juan J; Pérez-García, Concepción

    2014-12-01

    This work explores both the chromatin loss and the differential genome methylation in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) from a molecular cytogenetic point of view. Fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments on meiotic bivalents and mitotic chromosomes corroborate the chromatin loss previously observed during the development of the sea lamprey and demonstrate that the elimination affects not only to Germ1 sequences but also to the rpt200 satellite DNA and most part of the major ribosomal DNA present on the germinal line. 5-Methylcytosine immunolocation revealed that the GC-rich heterochromatin is highly methylated in the germ line but significantly less in somatic chromosomes. These findings not only support previous observations about genome rearrangements but also give new information about epigenetic changes in P. marinus. The key position of lampreys in the vertebrate phylogenetic tree makes them an interesting taxon to provide relevant information about genome evolution in vertebrates.

  3. LINE retrotransposon RNA is an essential structural and functional epigenetic component of a core neocentromeric chromatin.

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    Anderly C Chueh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We have previously identified and characterized the phenomenon of ectopic human centromeres, known as neocentromeres. Human neocentromeres form epigenetically at euchromatic chromosomal sites and are structurally and functionally similar to normal human centromeres. Recent studies have indicated that neocentromere formation provides a major mechanism for centromere repositioning, karyotype evolution, and speciation. Using a marker chromosome mardel(10 containing a neocentromere formed at the normal chromosomal 10q25 region, we have previously mapped a 330-kb CENP-A-binding domain and described an increased prevalence of L1 retrotransposons in the underlying DNA sequences of the CENP-A-binding clusters. Here, we investigated the potential role of the L1 retrotransposons in the regulation of neocentromere activity. Determination of the transcriptional activity of a panel of full-length L1s (FL-L1s across a 6-Mb region spanning the 10q25 neocentromere chromatin identified one of the FL-L1 retrotransposons, designated FL-L1b and residing centrally within the CENP-A-binding clusters, to be transcriptionally active. We demonstrated the direct incorporation of the FL-L1b RNA transcripts into the CENP-A-associated chromatin. RNAi-mediated knockdown of the FL-L1b RNA transcripts led to a reduction in CENP-A binding and an impaired mitotic function of the 10q25 neocentromere. These results indicate that LINE retrotransposon RNA is a previously undescribed essential structural and functional component of the neocentromeric chromatin and that retrotransposable elements may serve as a critical epigenetic determinant in the chromatin remodelling events leading to neocentromere formation.

  4. A Polymer Model with Epigenetic Recolouring Reveals a Pathway for the de novo Establishment and 3D Organisation of Chromatin Domains

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    Michieletto, Davide; Marenduzzo, Davide

    2016-01-01

    One of the most important problems in development is how epigenetic domains can be first established, and then maintained, within cells. To address this question, we propose a framework which couples 3D chromatin folding dynamics, to a "recolouring" process modelling the writing of epigenetic marks. Because many intra-chromatin interactions are mediated by bridging proteins, we consider a "two-state" model with self-attractive interactions between two epigenetic marks which are alike (either active or inactive). This model displays a first-order-like transition between a swollen, epigenetically disordered, phase, and a compact, epigenetically coherent, chromatin globule. If the self-attraction strength exceeds a threshold, the chromatin dynamics becomes glassy, and the corresponding interaction network freezes. By modifying the epigenetic read-write process according to more biologically-inspired assumptions, our polymer model with recolouring recapitulates the ultrasensitive response of epigenetic switches t...

  5. Roles of Mis18α in epigenetic regulation of centromeric chromatin and CENP-A loading.

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    Kim, Ik Soo; Lee, Minkyoung; Park, Koog Chan; Jeon, Yoon; Park, Joo Hyeon; Hwang, Eun Ju; Jeon, Tae Im; Ko, Seoyoung; Lee, Ho; Baek, Sung Hee; Kim, Keun Il

    2012-05-11

    The Mis18 complex has been identified as a critical factor for the centromeric localization of a histone H3 variant, centromeric protein A (CENP-A), which is responsible for the specification of centromere identity in the chromosome. However, the functional role of Mis18 complex is largely unknown. Here, we generated Mis18α conditional knockout mice and found that Mis18α deficiency resulted in lethality at early embryonic stage with severe defects in chromosome segregation caused by mislocalization of CENP-A. Further, we demonstrate Mis18α's crucial role for epigenetic regulation of centromeric chromatin by reinforcing centromeric localization of DNMT3A/3B. Mis18α interacts with DNMT3A/3B, and this interaction is critical for maintaining DNA methylation and hence regulating epigenetic states of centromeric chromatin. Mis18α deficiency led to reduced DNA methylation, altered histone modifications, and uncontrolled noncoding transcripts in centromere region by decreased DNMT3A/3B enrichment. Together, our findings uncover the functional mechanism of Mis18α and its pivotal role in mammalian cell cycle. PMID:22516971

  6. Exploiting epigenetic vulnerabilities for cancer therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mair, Barbara; Kubicek, Stefan; Nijman, Sebastian M B

    2014-03-01

    Epigenetic deregulation is a hallmark of cancer, and there has been increasing interest in therapeutics that target chromatin-modifying enzymes and other epigenetic regulators. The rationale for applying epigenetic drugs to treat cancer is twofold. First, epigenetic changes are reversible, and drugs could therefore be used to restore the normal (healthy) epigenetic landscape. However, it is unclear whether drugs can faithfully restore the precancerous epigenetic state. Second, chromatin regulators are often mutated in cancer, making them attractive drug targets. However, in most instances it is unknown whether cancer cells are addicted to these mutated chromatin proteins, or whether their mutation merely results in epigenetic instability conducive to the selection of secondary aberrations. An alternative incentive for targeting chromatin regulators is the exploitation of cancer-specific vulnerabilities, including synthetic lethality, caused by epigenetic deregulation. We review evidence for the hypothesis that mechanisms other than oncogene addiction are a basis for the application of epigenetic drugs, and propose future research directions.

  7. 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

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    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.

  8. A Method to Study the Epigenetic Chromatin States of Rare Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells; MiniChIP–Chip

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weishaupt Holger

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Dynamic chromatin structure is a fundamental property of gene transcriptional regulation, and has emerged as a critical modulator of physiological processes during cellular differentiation and development. Analysis of chromatin structure using molecular biology and biochemical assays in rare somatic stem and progenitor cells is key for understanding these processes but poses a great challenge because of their reliance on millions of cells. Through the development of a miniaturized genome-scale chromatin immunoprecipitation method (miniChIP–chip, we have documented the genome-wide chromatin states of low abundant populations that comprise hematopoietic stem cells and immediate progeny residing in murine bone marrow. In this report, we describe the miniChIP methodology that can be used for increasing an understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell function. Application of this method will reveal the contribution of dynamic chromatin structure in regulating the function of other somatic stem cell populations, and how this process becomes perturbed in pathological conditions. Additional file 1 Click here for file

  9. The epigenetic regulation of cell cycle and chromatin dynamic by sirtuins

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez Redondo, Paloma

    2014-01-01

    Tesi realitzada a l'Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL) The chromatin consists of a hierarchical and dynamical structure that is modulated during the different cell cycle stages in order to maintain genome integrity and preserve the genetic information coded in the DNA. The dynamic structure of the chromatin depends on the coordination of the different chromatin remodeling processes: histone modifications, chromatin remodeling enzymes/complexes, DNA methylation and chr...

  10. Chromatin regulator PRC2 is a key regulator of epigenetic plasticity in glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natsume, Atsushi; Ito, Motokazu; Katsushima, Keisuke; Ohka, Fumiharu; Hatanaka, Akira; Shinjo, Keiko; Sato, Shinya; Takahashi, Satoru; Ishikawa, Yuta; Takeuchi, Ichiro; Shimogawa, Hiroki; Uesugi, Motonari; Okano, Hideyuki; Kim, Seung U; Wakabayashi, Toshihiko; Issa, Jean-Pierre J; Sekido, Yoshitaka; Kondo, Yutaka

    2013-07-15

    Tumor cell plasticity contributes to functional and morphologic heterogeneity. To uncover the underlying mechanisms of this plasticity, we examined glioma stem-like cells (GSC) where we found that the biologic interconversion between GSCs and differentiated non-GSCs is functionally plastic and accompanied by gain or loss of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), a complex that modifies chromatin structure. PRC2 mediates lysine 27 trimethylation on histone H3 and in GSC it affected pluripotency or development-associated genes (e.g., Nanog, Wnt1, and BMP5) together with alterations in the subcellular localization of EZH2, a catalytic component of PRC2. Intriguingly, exogenous expression of EZH2-dNLS, which lacks nuclear localization sequence, impaired the repression of Nanog expression under differentiation conditions. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated attenuation or pharmacologic inhibition of EZH2 had little to no effect on apoptosis or bromodeoxyuridine incorporation in GSCs, but it disrupted morphologic interconversion and impaired GSC integration into the brain tissue, thereby improving survival of GSC-bearing mice. Pathologic analysis of human glioma specimens revealed that the number of tumor cells with nuclear EZH2 is larger around tumor vessels and the invasive front, suggesting that nuclear EZH2 may help reprogram tumor cells in close proximity to this microenvironment. Our results indicate that epigenetic regulation by PRC2 is a key mediator of tumor cell plasticity, which is required for the adaptation of glioblastoma cells to their microenvironment. Thus, PRC2-targeted therapy may reduce tumor cell plasticity and tumor heterogeneity, offering a new paradigm for glioma treatment.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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

    that matched the pattern of the supposed cell-of-origin, the spermatogonia, and found no correlation between specific marks and the size of the SS cells. The emerging epigenetic picture of SS is a heterogeneous "salt-and-pepper"-like pattern, with neighboring cells displaying very variable levels of epigenetic...

  13. Impaired mitochondrial energy metabolism in Alzheimer's disease: Impact on pathogenesis via disturbed epigenetic regulation of chromatin landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salminen, Antero; Haapasalo, Annakaisa; Kauppinen, Anu; Kaarniranta, Kai; Soininen, Hilkka; Hiltunen, Mikko

    2015-08-01

    The amyloid cascade hypothesis for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) was proposed over twenty years ago. However, the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and synaptic loss have remained elusive delaying the effective drug discovery. Recent studies have revealed that amyloid-β peptides as well as phosphorylated and fragmented tau proteins accumulate within mitochondria. This process triggers mitochondrial fission (fragmentation) and disturbs Krebs cycle function e.g. by inhibiting the activity of 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase. Oxidative stress, hypoxia and calcium imbalance also disrupt the function of Krebs cycle in AD brains. Recent studies on epigenetic regulation have revealed that Krebs cycle intermediates control DNA and histone methylation as well as histone acetylation and thus they have fundamental roles in gene expression. DNA demethylases (TET1-3) and histone lysine demethylases (KDM2-7) are included in the family of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenases (2-OGDO). Interestingly, 2-oxoglutarate is the obligatory substrate of 2-OGDO enzymes, whereas succinate and fumarate are the inhibitors of these enzymes. Moreover, citrate can stimulate histone acetylation via acetyl-CoA production. Epigenetic studies have revealed that AD is associated with changes in DNA methylation and histone acetylation patterns. However, the epigenetic results of different studies are inconsistent but one possibility is that they represent both coordinated adaptive responses and uncontrolled stochastic changes, which provoke pathogenesis in affected neurons. Here, we will review the changes observed in mitochondrial dynamics and Krebs cycle function associated with AD, and then clarify the mechanisms through which mitochondrial metabolites can control the epigenetic landscape of chromatin and induce pathological changes in AD.

  14. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres is characterized by reduced compaction of telomeric chromatin.

    OpenAIRE

    Episkopou, Charikleia; Draskovic, Irena; Van Beneden, Amandine; Tilman, Gaëlle; Mattiussi, Marina; Gobin, Matthieu; Arnoult, Nausica; Londoño-Vallejo, Arturo; Decottignies, Anabelle

    2014-01-01

    International audience Proper telomeric chromatin configuration is thought to be essential for telomere homeostasis and stability. Previous studies in mouse suggested that loss of heterochromatin marks at telomeres might favor onset of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway, by promoting homologous recombination. However, analysis of chromatin status at human ALT telomeres has never been reported. Here, using isogenic human cell lines and cellular hybrids, which rely either on ...

  15. CTCF-dependent chromatin bias constitutes transient epigenetic memory of the mother at the H19-Igf2 imprinting control region in prospermatogonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Hoon Lee

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Genomic imprints-parental allele-specific DNA methylation marks at the differentially methylated regions (DMRs of imprinted genes-are erased and reestablished in germ cells according to the individual's sex. Imprint establishment at paternally methylated germ line DMRs occurs in fetal male germ cells. In prospermatogonia, the two unmethylated alleles exhibit different rates of de novo methylation at the H19/Igf2 imprinting control region (ICR depending on parental origin. We investigated the nature of this epigenetic memory using bisulfite sequencing and allele-specific ChIP-SNuPE assays. We found that the chromatin composition in fetal germ cells was biased at the ICR between the two alleles with the maternally inherited allele exhibiting more H3K4me3 and less H3K9me3 than the paternally inherited allele. We determined genetically that the chromatin bias, and also the delayed methylation establishment in the maternal allele, depended on functional CTCF insulator binding sites in the ICR. Our data suggest that, in primordial germ cells, maternally inherited allele-specific CTCF binding sets up allele-specific chromatin differences at the ICR. The erasure of these allele-specific chromatin marks is not complete before the process of de novo methylation imprint establishment begins. CTCF-dependent allele-specific chromatin composition imposes a maternal allele-specific delay on de novo methylation imprint establishment at the H19/Igf2 ICR in prospermatogonia.

  16. Chromatin is wonderful stuff.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. van Driel

    2007-01-01

    Chromatin molecules have properties that set them aside from all other biomacromolecules in the cell. (i) Chromosomes, which are single chromatin molecules, are the largest macromolecules in eukaryotic cells. (ii) Chromatin molecules carry the cell's genetic and epigenetic information and all contro

  17. Suppression of the alternative lengthening of telomere pathway by the chromatin remodelling factor ATRX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clynes, David; Jelinska, Clare; Xella, Barbara; Ayyub, Helena; Scott, Caroline; Mitson, Matthew; Taylor, Stephen; Higgs, Douglas R; Gibbons, Richard J

    2015-01-01

    Fifteen per cent of cancers maintain telomere length independently of telomerase by the homologous recombination (HR)-associated alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. A unifying feature of these tumours are mutations in ATRX. Here we show that expression of ectopic ATRX triggers a suppression of the pathway and telomere shortening. Importantly ATRX-mediated ALT suppression is dependent on the histone chaperone DAXX. Re-expression of ATRX is associated with a reduction in replication fork stalling, a known trigger for HR and loss of MRN from telomeres. A G-quadruplex stabilizer partially reverses the effect of ATRX, inferring ATRX may normally facilitate replication through these sequences that, if they persist, promote ALT. We propose that defective telomere chromatinization through loss of ATRX promotes the persistence of aberrant DNA secondary structures, which in turn present a barrier to DNA replication, leading to replication fork stalling, collapse, HR and subsequent recombination-mediated telomere synthesis in ALT cancers. PMID:26143912

  18. Expanding the druggable space of the LSD1/CoREST epigenetic target: new potential binding regions for drug-like molecules, peptides, protein partners, and chromatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Robertson

    Full Text Available Lysine specific demethylase-1 (LSD1/KDM1A in complex with its corepressor protein CoREST is a promising target for epigenetic drugs. No therapeutic that targets LSD1/CoREST, however, has been reported to date. Recently, extended molecular dynamics (MD simulations indicated that LSD1/CoREST nanoscale clamp dynamics is regulated by substrate binding and highlighted key hinge points of this large-scale motion as well as the relevance of local residue dynamics. Prompted by the urgent need for new molecular probes and inhibitors to understand LSD1/CoREST interactions with small-molecules, peptides, protein partners, and chromatin, we undertake here a configurational ensemble approach to expand LSD1/CoREST druggability. The independent algorithms FTMap and SiteMap and our newly developed Druggable Site Visualizer (DSV software tool were used to predict and inspect favorable binding sites. We find that the hinge points revealed by MD simulations at the SANT2/Tower interface, at the SWIRM/AOD interface, and at the AOD/Tower interface are new targets for the discovery of molecular probes to block association of LSD1/CoREST with chromatin or protein partners. A fourth region was also predicted from simulated configurational ensembles and was experimentally validated to have strong binding propensity. The observation that this prediction would be prevented when using only the X-ray structures available (including the X-ray structure bound to the same peptide underscores the relevance of protein dynamics in protein interactions. A fifth region was highlighted corresponding to a small pocket on the AOD domain. This study sets the basis for future virtual screening campaigns targeting the five novel regions reported herein and for the design of LSD1/CoREST mutants to probe LSD1/CoREST binding with chromatin and various protein partners.

  19. A CHROMATIN MODIFYING ENZYME, SDG8, IS REQUIRED FOR MORPHOLOGICAL, GENE EXPRESSION, AND EPIGENETIC RESPONSES TO MECHANICAL STIMULATION

    OpenAIRE

    Christopher Ian Cazzonelli; Nazia eNisar; Roberts, Andrea C.; Kevin eMurray; Borevitz, Justin O; Barry James Pogson

    2014-01-01

    Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzy...

  20. A chromatin modifying enzyme, SDG8, is involved in morphological, gene expression, and epigenetic responses to mechanical stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Cazzonelli, Christopher I.; Nisar, Nazia; Roberts, Andrea C.; Murray, Kevin D.; Borevitz, Justin O; Pogson, Barry J.

    2014-01-01

    Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzym...

  1. Epigenetic influences in the aetiology of cancers arising from breast and prostate: a hypothesised transgenerational evolution in chromatin accessibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Francis L

    2013-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have consistently supported the notion that environmental and/or dietary factors play a central role in the aetiology of cancers of the breast and prostate. However, for more than five decades investigators have failed to identify a single cause-and-effect factor, which could be implicated; identification of a causative entity would allow the implementation of an intervention strategy in at-risk populations. This suggests a more complex pathoaetiology for these cancer sites, compared to others. When one examines the increases or decreases in incidence of specific cancers amongst migrant populations, it is notable that disease arising in colon or stomach requires one or at most two generations to exhibit a change in incidence to match that of high-incidence regions, whereas for breast or prostate cancer, at least three generations are required. This generational threshold could suggest a requirement for nonmutation-driven epigenetic alterations in the F0/F1 generations (parental/offspring adopting a more westernized lifestyle), which then predisposes the inherited genome of subsequent generations to mutagenic/genotoxic alterations leading to the development of sporadic cancer in these target sites. As such, individual susceptibility to carcinogen insult would not be based per se on polymorphisms in activating/detoxifying/repair enzymes, but on elevated accessibility of crucial target genes (e.g., oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes) or hotspots therein to mutation events. This could be termed a genomic susceptibility organizational structure (SOS). Several exposures including alcohol and heavy metals are epigens (i.e., modifiers of the epigenome), whereas others are mutagenic/genotoxic, for example, heterocyclic aromatic amines; humans are continuously and variously exposed to mixtures of these agents. Within such a transgenerational multistage model of cancer development, determining the interaction between epigenetic modification to generate

  2. 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...

  3. Chromatin inactivation precedes de novo dna methylation during the progressive epigenetic silencing of the rassf1a promoter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strunnikova Maria; Schagdarsurengin, Undraga; Kehlen, Astrid; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; Dammann, Reinhard

    2005-02-23

    Epigenetic inactivation of the RASSF1A tumor suppressor by CpG island methylation was frequently detected in cancer. However, the mechanisms of this aberrant DNA methylation are unknown. In the RASSF1A promoter, we characterized four Sp1 sites, which are frequently methylated in cancer. We examined the functional relationship between DNA methylation, histone modification, Sp1 binding, and RASSF1A expression in proliferating human mammary epithelial cells. With increasing passages, the transcription of RASSF1A was dramatically silenced. This inactivation was associated with deacetylation and lysine 9 trimethylation of histone H3 and an impaired binding of Sp1 at the RASSF1A promoter. In mammary epithelial cells that had overcome a stress-associated senescence barrier, a spreading of DNA methylation in the CpG island promoter was observed. When the RASSF1A-silenced cells were treated with inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase, binding of Sp1 and expression of RASSF1 A reoccurred. In summary, we observed that histone H3 deacetylation and H3 lysine 9 trimethylation occur in the same time window as gene inactivation and precede DNA methylation. Our data suggest that in epithelial cells, histone inactivation may trigger de novo DNA methylation of the RASSF1A promoter and this system may serve as a model for CpG island inactivation of tumor suppressor genes.

  4. 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....

  5. Noncoding transcription by alternative rna polymerases dynamically regulates an auxin-driven chromatin loop

    KAUST Repository

    Ariel, Federico D.

    2014-08-01

    The eukaryotic epigenome is shaped by the genome topology in three-dimensional space. Dynamic reversible variations in this epigenome structure directly influence the transcriptional responses to developmental cues. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) APOLO is transcribed by RNA polymerases II and V in response to auxin, a phytohormone controlling numerous facets of plant development. This dual APOLO transcription regulates the formation of a chromatin loop encompassing the promoter of its neighboring gene PID, a key regulator of polar auxin transport. Altering APOLO expression affects chromatin loop formation, whereas RNA-dependent DNA methylation, active DNA demethylation, and Polycomb complexes control loop dynamics. This dynamic chromatin topology determines PID expression patterns. Hence, the dual transcription of a lincRNA influences local chromatin topology and directs dynamic auxin-controlled developmental outputs on neighboring genes. This mechanism likely underscores the adaptive success of plants in diverse environments and may be widespread in eukaryotes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

  6. Maintenance of Epigenetic Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almouzni, Geneviève; Cedar, Howard

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARYThe genome is subject to a diverse array of epigenetic modifications from DNA methylation to histone posttranslational changes. Many of these marks are somatically stable through cell division. This article focuses on our knowledge of the mechanisms governing the inheritance of epigenetic marks, particularly, repressive ones, when the DNA and chromatin template are duplicated in S phase. This involves the action of histone chaperones, nucleosome-remodeling enzymes, histone and DNA methylation binding proteins, and chromatin-modifying enzymes. Last, the timing of DNA replication is discussed, including the question of whether this constitutes an epigenetic mark that facilitates the propagation of epigenetic marks. PMID:27141050

  7. Brain Function and Chromatin Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Dulac, Catherine

    2010-01-01

    The characteristics of epigenetic control, including the potential for long-lasting, stable effects on gene expression that outlive an initial transient signal, could be of singular importance for post-mitotic neurons, which are subject to changes with short- to long-lasting influence on their activity and connectivity. Persistent changes in chromatin structure are thought to contribute to mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance. Recent advances in chromatin biology offer new avenues to investig...

  8. Epigenetic targets of arsenic: emphasis on epigenetic modifications during carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Ram Vinod; Son, Young-Ok; Pratheeshkumar, Poyil; Wang, Lei; Hitron, John Andrew; Divya, Sasidharan Padmaja; D, Rakesh; Kim, Donghern; Yin, Yuanqin; Zhang, Zhuo; Shi, Xianglin

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation and histone modification promote opening and closure of chromatin structure, which affects gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic markers regulate the dynamic nature of chromatin structure at different levels: DNA, histone, noncoding RNAs, as well as the higher-order chromatin structure. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that arsenic-induced carcinogenesis involves frequent changes in the epigenetic marker. However, progress in identifying arsenic-induced epigenetic changes has already been made using genome-wide approaches; the biological significance of these epigenetic changes remains unknown. Moreover, arsenic-induced changes in the chromatin state alter gene expression through the epigenetic mechanism. The current review provides a summary of recent literature regarding epigenetic changes caused by arsenic in carcinogenesis. We highlight the transgenerational studies needed to explicate the biological significance and toxicity of arsenic over a broad spectrum.

  9. Chromatin Immunoprecipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiehle, Laura; Breiling, Achim

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a valuable method to investigate protein-DNA interactions in vivo. Since its discovery it has been indispensable to identify binding sites and patterns of a variety of DNA-interacting proteins, such as transcription factors and regulators, modified histones, and epigenetic modifiers. The Polycomb repressors were the first proteins that have been mapped using this technique, which provided the mechanistic basis for the understanding of their biological function. Cross-linked (XChIP) or native (NChIP) chromatin from tissues or cultured cells is fragmented and the protein of interest is immunoprecipitated using a specific antibody. The co-precipitated DNA is then purified and subjected to analysis by region-specific PCR, DNA microarray (ChIP-on-chip), or next-generation sequencing (ChIP-seq). The assay can therefore produce information about the localization of the analyzed protein at specific candidate loci or throughout the entire genome. In this chapter, we provide a detailed protocol of the basic standard ChIP assay and some remarks about variations. PMID:27659971

  10. Dynamic regulation of alternative splicing and chromatin structure in Drosophila gonads revealed by RNA-seq

    OpenAIRE

    Gan, Qiang; Chepelev, Iouri; Wei, Gang; Tarayrah, Lama; Cui, Kairong; Zhao, Keji; Chen, Xin

    2010-01-01

    Both transcription and post-transcriptional processes, such as alternative splicing, play crucial roles in controlling developmental programs in metazoans. Recently emerged RNA-seq method has brought our understandings of eukaryotic transcriptomes to a new level, because it can resolve both gene expression level and alternative splicing events simultaneously.

  11. Epigenetic marks in zebrafish sperm: insights into chromatin compaction, maintenance of pluripotency, and the role of the paternal genome after fertilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Douglas T Carrell

    2011-01-01

    @@ Human sperm chromatin, and the sperm of most mammals, undergoes extensive remodeling during spermiogenesis during which 85%-95% of the histones are removed and replaced with protamines.The replacement of most histones with protamines facilitates a tighter packaging of the chromatin that is necessary for normal sperm function, and may help protect sperm DNA from damage during transport.1 An intriguing question has been why the replacement of histones with protamines is not complete,and if the histones that remain in human sperm chromatin could have a programmatic role in regulating gene expression post-fertilization?

  12. 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...

  13. Proteomic interrogation of human chromatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana P Torrente

    Full Text Available Chromatin proteins provide a scaffold for DNA packaging and a basis for epigenetic regulation and genomic maintenance. Despite understanding its functional roles, mapping the chromatin proteome (i.e. the "Chromatome" is still a continuing process. Here, we assess the biological specificity and proteomic extent of three distinct chromatin preparations by identifying proteins in selected chromatin-enriched fractions using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. These experiments allowed us to produce a chromatin catalog, including several proteins ranging from highly abundant histone proteins to less abundant members of different chromatin machinery complexes. Using a Normalized Spectral Abundance Factor approach, we quantified relative abundances of the proteins across the chromatin enriched fractions giving a glimpse into their chromosomal abundance. The large-scale data sets also allowed for the discovery of a variety of novel post-translational modifications on the identified chromatin proteins. With these comparisons, we find one of the probed methods to be qualitatively superior in specificity for chromatin proteins, but inferior in proteomic extent, evidencing a compromise that must be made between biological specificity and broadness of characterization. Additionally, we attempt to identify proteins in eu- and heterochromatin, verifying the enrichments by characterizing the post-translational modifications detected on histone proteins from these chromatin regions. In summary, our results provide insights into the value of different methods to extract chromatin-associated proteins and provide starting points to study the factors that may be involved in directing gene expression and other chromatin-related processes.

  14. Suppression of the alternative lengthening of telomere pathway by the chromatin remodelling factor ATRX

    OpenAIRE

    Clynes, David; Jelinska, Clare; Xella, Barbara; Ayyub, Helena; Scott, Caroline; Mitson, Matthew; Taylor, Stephen; Higgs, Douglas R.; Gibbons, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Fifteen per cent of cancers maintain telomere length independently of telomerase by the homologous recombination (HR)-associated alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. A unifying feature of these tumours are mutations in ATRX. Here we show that expression of ectopic ATRX triggers a suppression of the pathway and telomere shortening. Importantly ATRX-mediated ALT suppression is dependent on the histone chaperone DAXX. Re-expression of ATRX is associated with a reduction in replica...

  15. 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. PMID:22487104

  16. Reprogramming chromatin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehrensberger, Andreas Hasso; Svejstrup, Jesper Qualmann

    2012-01-01

    attributed to high kinetic barriers that affect all cells equally and can only be overcome by rare stochastic events. The barriers to reprogramming are likely to involve transformations of chromatin state because (i) inhibitors of chromatin-modifying enzymes can enhance the efficiency of reprogramming...... and (ii) knockdown or knock-out of chromatin-modifying enzymes can lower the efficiency of reprogramming. Here, we review the relationship between chromatin state transformations (chromatin reprogramming) and cellular reprogramming, with an emphasis on transcription factors, chromatin remodeling factors...

  17. 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 tran

  18. Epigenetics in the hematologic malignancies

    OpenAIRE

    Fong, Chun Yew; Morison, Jessica; Dawson, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    A wealth of genomic and epigenomic data has identified abnormal regulation of epigenetic processes as a prominent theme in hematologic malignancies. Recurrent somatic alterations in myeloid malignancies of key proteins involved in DNA methylation, post-translational histone modification and chromatin remodeling have highlighted the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the initiation and maintenance of various malignancies. The rational use of targeted epigenetic therapies...

  19. Chromatin challenges during DNA replication and repair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groth, Anja; Rocha, Walter; Verreault, Alain;

    2007-01-01

    the challenge of maintenance, cells have evolved efficient nucleosome-assembly pathways and chromatin-maturation mechanisms that reproduce chromatin organization in the wake of DNA replication and repair. The aim of this Review is to describe how these pathways operate and to highlight how the epigenetic...

  20. Chromatin-modifying proteins in cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fog, Cathrine K; Jensen, Klaus T; Lund, Anders Henrik

    2007-01-01

    -despite the fact that all cells in the organism contain the same genetic information. A large amount of data gathered over the last decades has demonstrated that deregulation of chromatin-modifying proteins is etiologically involved in the development and progression of cancer. Here we discuss how epigenetic...... alterations influence cancer development and review known cancer-associated alterations in chromatin-modifying proteins....

  1. Epigenetics: heterochromatin meets RNAi

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ingela Djupedal; Karl Ekwall

    2009-01-01

    The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes not encoded by DNA. The organization of DNA into chromatin fibers affects gene expression in a heritable manner and is therefore one mechanism of epigenetic inheritance. Large parts of eukaryotic genomes consist of constitutively highly condensed heterochromatin, important for maintaining genome integrity but also for silencing of genes within. Small RNA, together with factors typically associated with RNA interference (RNAi) targets homologous DNA sequences and recruits factors that modify the chromatin, com-monly resulting in formation of heterochromatin and silencing of target genes. The scope of this review is to provide an overview of the roles of small RNA and the RNAi components, Dicer, Argonaute and RNA dependent polymeras-es in epigenetic inheritance via heterochromatin formation, exemplified with pathways from unicellular eukaryotes, plants and animals.

  2. Multiscale modeling of cellular epigenetic states: stochasticity in molecular networks, chromatin folding in cell nuclei, and tissue pattern formation of cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Cao, Youfang; Gürsoy, Gamze; Naveed, Hammad; Terebus, Anna; Zhao, Jieling

    2016-01-01

    Genome sequences provide the overall genetic blueprint of cells, but cells possessing the same genome can exhibit diverse phenotypes. There is a multitude of mechanisms controlling cellular epigenetic states and that dictate the behavior of cells. Among these, networks of interacting molecules, often under stochastic control, depending on the specific wirings of molecular components and the physiological conditions, can have a different landscape of cellular states. In addition, chromosome folding in three-dimensional space provides another important control mechanism for selective activation and repression of gene expression. Fully differentiated cells with different properties grow, divide, and interact through mechanical forces and communicate through signal transduction, resulting in the formation of complex tissue patterns. Developing quantitative models to study these multi-scale phenomena and to identify opportunities for improving human health requires development of theoretical models, algorithms, and computational tools. Here we review recent progress made in these important directions. PMID:27480462

  3. Transcriptional networks and chromatin remodeling controlling adipogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siersbæk, Rasmus; Nielsen, Ronni; Mandrup, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    Adipocyte differentiation is tightly controlled by a transcriptional cascade, which directs the extensive reprogramming of gene expression required to convert fibroblast-like precursor cells into mature lipid-laden adipocytes. Recent global analyses of transcription factor binding and chromatin...... remodeling have revealed 'snapshots' of this cascade and the chromatin landscape at specific time-points of differentiation. These studies demonstrate that multiple adipogenic transcription factors co-occupy hotspots characterized by an open chromatin structure and specific epigenetic modifications....... Such transcription factor hotspots are likely to represent key signaling nodes which integrate multiple adipogenic signals at specific chromatin sites, thereby facilitating coordinated action on gene expression....

  4. Stemming Epigenetics in Marine Stramenopiles

    OpenAIRE

    Maumus, Florian; Rabinowicz, Pablo; Bowler, Chris; Rivarola, Maximo

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetics include DNA methylation, the modification of histone tails that affect chromatin states, and small RNAs that are involved in the setting and maintenance of chromatin modifications. Marine stramenopiles (MAS), which are a diverse assemblage of algae that acquired photosynthesis from secondary endosymbiosis, include single-celled organisms such as diatoms as well as multicellular forms such as brown algae. The recent publication of two diatom genomes that diverged ~90 million years ...

  5. Chromosome folding: driver or passenger of epigenetic state?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Tom; Yaffe, Eitan

    2015-02-02

    Despite a growing understanding of how epigenetic marks such as histone modifications locally modify the activity of the chromatin with which they are associated, we know little about how marked regions on different parts of the genome are able to intercommunicate to effect regulation of gene expression programs. Recent advances in methods that systematically map pairwise chromatin interactions have uncovered important principles of chromosome folding, which are tightly linked to the epigenetic mark profiles and, hence, functional state of the underlying chromatin fiber.

  6. Epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology: mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Herbert L; Janusek, Linda Witek

    2011-01-01

    In this Introduction to the Named Series "Epigenetics, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity" an overview of epigenetics is provided with a consideration of the nature of epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation, histone modification and chromatin re-modeling. Illustrative examples of recent scientific developments are highlighted to demonstrate the influence of epigenetics in areas of research relevant to those who investigate phenomena within the scientific discipline of psychoneuroimmunology. These examples are presented in order to provide a perspective on how epigenetic analysis will add insight into the molecular processes that connect the brain with behavior, neuroendocrine responsivity and immune outcome.

  7. Epigenetic Modifications: Therapeutic Potential in Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Epigenetic rejuvenation

    OpenAIRE

    Manukyan, Maria; Singh, Prim B

    2012-01-01

    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 specia...

  9. Epigenetic regulation in mammalian preimplantation embryo development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi Lingjun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Preimplantation embryo development involves four stages: fertilization, cell cleavage, morula and blastocyst formation. During these stages, maternal and zygotic epigenetic factors play crucial roles. The gene expression profile is changed dramatically, chromatin is modified and core histone elements undergo significant changes. Each preimplantation embryo stage has its own characteristic epigenetic profile, consistent with the acquisition of the capacity to support development. Moreover, histone modifications such as methylation and acetylation as well as other epigenetic events can act as regulatory switches of gene transcription. Because the epigenetic profile is largely related to differentiation, epigenetic dysfunction can give rise to developmental abnormalities. Thus, epigenetic profiling of the embryo is of pivotal importance clinically. Given the importance of these aspects, this review will mainly focus on the epigenetic profile during preimplantation embryo development, as well as interactions between epigenetic and genetic regulation in these early developmental stages.

  10. Epigenetics and nutritional environmental signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Soliman, Karam F A

    2014-07-01

    All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system, rotation of the planets, changes in sunlight, and gravitational pull influence cyclic epigenetic transitions and chromatin remodeling that constitute biological circadian rhythms controlling senescence. In humans, adverse environmental conditions such as poverty, stress, alcohol, malnutrition, exposure to pollutants generated from industrialization, man-made chemicals, and use of synthetic drugs can lead to maladaptive epigenetic-related illnesses with disease-specific genes being atypically activated or silenced. Nutrition and dietary practices are one of the largest facets in epigenetic-related metabolism, where specific "epi-nutrients" can stabilize the genome, given established roles in DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, food-based "epi-bioactive" constituents may reverse maladaptive epigenetic patterns, not only prior to conception and during fetal/early postnatal development but also through adulthood. In summary, in contrast to a static genomic DNA structure, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, raising the hope for therapeutic and/or dietary interventions that can reverse deleterious epigenetic programing as a means to prevent or treat major illnesses. PMID:24861811

  11. Phosphorylation-dependent regulation of plant chromatin and chromatin-associated proteins

    KAUST Repository

    Bigeard, Jean

    2014-07-10

    In eukaryotes, most of the DNA is located in the nucleus where it is organized with histone proteins in a higher order structure as chromatin. Chromatin and chromatin-associated proteins contribute to DNA-related processes such as replication and transcription as well as epigenetic regulation. Protein functions are often regulated by PTMs among which phosphorylation is one of the most abundant PTM. Phosphorylation of proteins affects important properties, such as enzyme activity, protein stability, or subcellular localization. We here describe the main specificities of protein phosphorylation in plants and review the current knowledge on phosphorylation-dependent regulation of plant chromatin and chromatin-associated proteins. We also outline some future challenges to further elucidate protein phosphorylation and chromatin regulation.

  12. 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.

  13. The many faces of plant chromatin: Meeting summary of the 4th European workshop on plant chromatin 2015, Uppsala, Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozgová, Iva; Köhler, Claudia; Gaudin, Valérie; Hennig, Lars

    2015-01-01

    In June 2015, the fourth European Workshop on Plant Chromatin took place in Uppsala, Sweden, bringing together 80 researchers studying various aspects of plant chromatin and epigenetics. The intricate relationships between plant chromatin dynamics and gene expression change, chromatin organization within the plant cell nucleus, and the impact of chromatin structure on plant development were discussed. Among the main highlights of the meeting were an ever-growing list of newly identified players in chromatin structure establishment and the development of novel tools and approaches to foster our understanding of chromatin-mediated gene regulation, taking into account the context of the plant cell nucleus and its architecture. In this report, we summarize some of the main advances and prospects of plant chromatin research presented at this meeting. PMID:26646904

  14. Epigenetics and epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopra, Avtar; Dingledine, Raymond; Hsieh, Jenny

    2012-12-01

    Seizures can give rise to enduring changes that reflect alterations in gene-expression patterns, intracellular and intercellular signaling, and ultimately network alterations that are a hallmark of epilepsy. A growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with epilepsy are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. One transcription factor in particular, repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST), has received a lot of attention due to the possibility that it may control fundamental transcription patterns that drive circuit excitability, seizures, and epilepsy. REST represses a suite of genes in the nervous system by utilizing nuclear protein complexes that were originally identified as mediators of epigenetic inheritance. Epigenetics has traditionally referred to mechanisms that allow a heritable change in gene expression in the absence of DNA mutation. However a more contemporaneous definition acknowledges that many of the mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are utilized by neurons to control activity-dependent gene expression. This review surveys what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy. We discuss how REST controls gene expression to affect circuit excitability and neurogenesis in epilepsy. We also discuss how the repressor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and activator cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) regulate neuronal activity and are themselves controlled by activity. Finally we highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics and epilepsy.

  15. Clinical implications of epigenetic alterations in human thoracic malignancies: epigenetic alterations in lung cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinjo, Keiko; Kondo, Yutaka

    2012-01-01

    Besides known genetic aberrations, epigenetic alterations have emerged as common hallmarks of many cancer types, including lung cancer. Epigenetics is a process involved in gene regulation, mediated via DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and functional noncoding RNAs, which influences the accessibility of the underlying DNA to transcriptional regulatory factors that activate or repress expression. Studies have shown that epigenetic dysregulation is associated with multiple steps during carcinogenesis. Since epigenetic therapy is now in clinical use in hematopoietic diseases and undergoing trials for lung cancer, a better understanding of epigenetic abnormalities is desired. Recent technologies for high-throughput genome-wide analyses for epigenetic modifications are promising and potent tools for understanding the global dysregulation of cancer epigenetics. In this chapter, studies of epigenetic abnormality and its clinical implication in lung cancers are discussed.

  16. Computational strategies to address chromatin structure problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perišić, Ognjen; Schlick, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    While the genetic information is contained in double helical DNA, gene expression is a complex multilevel process that involves various functional units, from nucleosomes to fully formed chromatin fibers accompanied by a host of various chromatin binding enzymes. The chromatin fiber is a polymer composed of histone protein complexes upon which DNA wraps, like yarn upon many spools. The nature of chromatin structure has been an open question since the beginning of modern molecular biology. Many experiments have shown that the chromatin fiber is a highly dynamic entity with pronounced structural diversity that includes properties of idealized zig-zag and solenoid models, as well as other motifs. This diversity can produce a high packing ratio and thus inhibit access to a majority of the wound DNA. Despite much research, chromatin's dynamic structure has not yet been fully described. Long stretches of chromatin fibers exhibit puzzling dynamic behavior that requires interpretation in the light of gene expression patterns in various tissue and organisms. The properties of chromatin fiber can be investigated with experimental techniques, like in vitro biochemistry, in vivo imagining, and high-throughput chromosome capture technology. Those techniques provide useful insights into the fiber's structure and dynamics, but they are limited in resolution and scope, especially regarding compact fibers and chromosomes in the cellular milieu. Complementary but specialized modeling techniques are needed to handle large floppy polymers such as the chromatin fiber. In this review, we discuss current approaches in the chromatin structure field with an emphasis on modeling, such as molecular dynamics and coarse-grained computational approaches. Combinations of these computational techniques complement experiments and address many relevant biological problems, as we will illustrate with special focus on epigenetic modulation of chromatin structure. PMID:27345617

  17. A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simola, Daniel F; Ye, Chaoyang; Mutti, Navdeep S; Dolezal, Kelly; Bonasio, Roberto; Liebig, Jürgen; Reinberg, Danny; Berger, Shelley L

    2013-03-01

    In many ant species, sibling larvae follow alternative ontogenetic trajectories that generate striking variation in morphology and behavior among adults. These organism-level outcomes are often determined by environmental rather than genetic factors. Therefore, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate the expression of adult polyphenisms. We produced the first genome-wide maps of chromatin structure in a eusocial insect and found that gene-proximal changes in histone modifications, notably H3K27 acetylation, discriminate two female worker and male castes in Camponotus floridanus ants and partially explain differential gene expression between castes. Genes showing coordinated changes in H3K27ac and RNA implicate muscle development, neuronal regulation, and sensory responses in modulating caste identity. Binding sites of the acetyltransferase CBP harbor the greatest caste variation in H3K27ac, are enriched with motifs for conserved transcription factors, and show evolutionary expansion near developmental and neuronal genes. These results suggest that environmental effects on caste identity may be mediated by differential recruitment of CBP to chromatin. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin structure may help orchestrate the generation and maintenance of polyphenic caste morphology and social behavior in ants. PMID:23212948

  18. A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simola, Daniel F; Ye, Chaoyang; Mutti, Navdeep S; Dolezal, Kelly; Bonasio, Roberto; Liebig, Jürgen; Reinberg, Danny; Berger, Shelley L

    2013-03-01

    In many ant species, sibling larvae follow alternative ontogenetic trajectories that generate striking variation in morphology and behavior among adults. These organism-level outcomes are often determined by environmental rather than genetic factors. Therefore, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate the expression of adult polyphenisms. We produced the first genome-wide maps of chromatin structure in a eusocial insect and found that gene-proximal changes in histone modifications, notably H3K27 acetylation, discriminate two female worker and male castes in Camponotus floridanus ants and partially explain differential gene expression between castes. Genes showing coordinated changes in H3K27ac and RNA implicate muscle development, neuronal regulation, and sensory responses in modulating caste identity. Binding sites of the acetyltransferase CBP harbor the greatest caste variation in H3K27ac, are enriched with motifs for conserved transcription factors, and show evolutionary expansion near developmental and neuronal genes. These results suggest that environmental effects on caste identity may be mediated by differential recruitment of CBP to chromatin. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin structure may help orchestrate the generation and maintenance of polyphenic caste morphology and social behavior in ants.

  19. 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.

  20. Exposure to Hycanthone alters chromatin structure around specific gene functions and specific repeats in Schistosoma mansoni

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eRoquis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitic plathyhelminth responsible for intestinal schistosomiasis (or bilharziasis, a disease affecting 67 million people worldwide and causing an important economic burden. The schistosomicides hycanthone, and its later proxy oxamniquine, were widely used for treatments in endemic areas during the 20th century. Recently, the mechanism of action, as well as the genetic origin of a stably and Mendelian inherited resistance for both drugs was elucidated in two strains. However, several observations suggested early on that alternative mechanisms might exist, by which resistance could be induced for these two drugs in sensitive lines of schistosomes. This induced resistance appeared rapidly, within the first generation, but was metastable (not stably inherited. Epigenetic inheritance could explain such a phenomenon and we therefore re-analyzed the historical data with our current knowledge of epigenetics. In addition, we performed new experiments such as ChIP-seq on hycanthone treated worms. We found distinct chromatin structure changes between sensitive worms and induced resistant worms from the same strain. No specific pathway was discovered, but genes in which chromatin structure modification were observed are mostly associated with transport and catabolism, which makes sense in the context of the elimination of the drug. Specific differences were observed in the repetitive compartment of the genome. We finally describe what types of experiments are needed to understand the complexity of heritability that can be based on genetic and/or epigenetic mechanisms for drug resistance in schistosomes.

  1. Isolation of In Vivo SUMOylated Chromatin-Bound Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bawa-Khalfe, Tasneem

    2016-01-01

    SUMO posttranslational modification directs gene transcription and epigenetic programming to support normal cell function. The dynamic nature of SUMO-modification makes it difficult to identify endogenous protein substrates. Isolation of chromatin-bound SUMO targets is exceptionally challenging, as conventional immunoprecipitation assays are inefficient at concentrating this protein population. This chapter describes a protocol that effectively precipitates chromatin-associated fractions of SUMOylated heterochromatin protein 1α in cultured cells. Techniques to enrich endogenous SUMO substrates at the chromatin are also demonstrated and discussed. This approach could be adapted to evaluate chromatin-bound SUMO targets in additional in vivo systems. PMID:27631808

  2. Computational strategies to address chromatin structure problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perišić, Ognjen; Schlick, Tamar

    2016-06-01

    While the genetic information is contained in double helical DNA, gene expression is a complex multilevel process that involves various functional units, from nucleosomes to fully formed chromatin fibers accompanied by a host of various chromatin binding enzymes. The chromatin fiber is a polymer composed of histone protein complexes upon which DNA wraps, like yarn upon many spools. The nature of chromatin structure has been an open question since the beginning of modern molecular biology. Many experiments have shown that the chromatin fiber is a highly dynamic entity with pronounced structural diversity that includes properties of idealized zig-zag and solenoid models, as well as other motifs. This diversity can produce a high packing ratio and thus inhibit access to a majority of the wound DNA. Despite much research, chromatin’s dynamic structure has not yet been fully described. Long stretches of chromatin fibers exhibit puzzling dynamic behavior that requires interpretation in the light of gene expression patterns in various tissue and organisms. The properties of chromatin fiber can be investigated with experimental techniques, like in vitro biochemistry, in vivo imagining, and high-throughput chromosome capture technology. Those techniques provide useful insights into the fiber’s structure and dynamics, but they are limited in resolution and scope, especially regarding compact fibers and chromosomes in the cellular milieu. Complementary but specialized modeling techniques are needed to handle large floppy polymers such as the chromatin fiber. In this review, we discuss current approaches in the chromatin structure field with an emphasis on modeling, such as molecular dynamics and coarse-grained computational approaches. Combinations of these computational techniques complement experiments and address many relevant biological problems, as we will illustrate with special focus on epigenetic modulation of chromatin structure.

  3. Epigenetic regulation of pluripotency and differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boland, Michael J; Nazor, Kristopher L; Loring, Jeanne F

    2014-07-01

    The precise, temporal order of gene expression during development is critical to ensure proper lineage commitment, cell fate determination, and ultimately, organogenesis. Epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure is fundamental to the activation or repression of genes during embryonic development. In recent years, there has been an explosion of research relating to various modes of epigenetic regulation, such as DNA methylation, post-translational histone tail modifications, noncoding RNA control of chromatin structure, and nucleosome remodeling. Technological advances in genome-wide epigenetic profiling and pluripotent stem cell differentiation have been primary drivers for elucidating the epigenetic control of cellular identity during development and nuclear reprogramming. Not only do epigenetic mechanisms regulate transcriptional states in a cell-type-specific manner but also they establish higher order genomic topology and nuclear architecture. Here, we review the epigenetic control of pluripotency and changes associated with pluripotent stem cell differentiation. We focus on DNA methylation, DNA demethylation, and common histone tail modifications. Finally, we briefly discuss epigenetic heterogeneity among pluripotent stem cell lines and the influence of epigenetic patterns on genome topology.

  4. Proteomics of a fuzzy organelle: interphase chromatin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kustatscher, Georg; Hégarat, Nadia; Wills, Karen L H; Furlan, Cristina; Bukowski-Wills, Jimi-Carlo; Hochegger, Helfrid; Rappsilber, Juri

    2014-01-01

    Chromatin proteins mediate replication, regulate expression, and ensure integrity of the genome. So far, a comprehensive inventory of interphase chromatin has not been determined. This is largely due to its heterogeneous and dynamic composition, which makes conclusive biochemical purification difficult, if not impossible. As a fuzzy organelle, it defies classical organellar proteomics and cannot be described by a single and ultimate list of protein components. Instead, we propose a new approach that provides a quantitative assessment of a protein's probability to function in chromatin. We integrate chromatin composition over a range of different biochemical and biological conditions. This resulted in interphase chromatin probabilities for 7635 human proteins, including 1840 previously uncharacterized proteins. We demonstrate the power of our large-scale data-driven annotation during the analysis of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) regulation in chromatin. Quantitative protein ontologies may provide a general alternative to list-based investigations of organelles and complement Gene Ontology. PMID:24534090

  5. Epigenetic Contributions to Cognitive Aging: Disentangling Mindspan and Lifespan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Amy M.; Sewal, Angila S.; Rapp, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure provide a mechanistic interface for gene-environment interactions that impact the individualization of health trajectories across the lifespan. A growing body of research indicates that dysfunctional epigenetic regulation contributes to poor cognitive outcomes among aged populations. Here we review…

  6. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Penile Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hellen Kuasne

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Penile carcinoma (PeCa represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity in different cell types is acquired by chromatin modifications, which are established by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that the dysregulation in these processes can result in the development of several diseases, including cancer. Epigenetic alterations, such as the methylation of CpGs islands, may reveal candidates for the development of specific markers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. There are a few reports on the epigenetic alterations in PeCa, and most of these studies have only focused on alterations in specific genes in a limited number of cases. This review aims to provide an overview of the current knowledge of the epigenetic alterations in PeCa and the promising results in this field. The identification of epigenetically altered genes in PeCa is an important step in understanding the mechanisms involved in this unexplored disease.

  7. 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...

  8. Replicating chromatin: a tale of histones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groth, Anja

    2009-01-01

    Chromatin serves structural and functional roles crucial for genome stability and correct gene expression. This organization must be reproduced on daughter strands during replication to maintain proper overlay of epigenetic fabric onto genetic sequence. Nucleosomes constitute the structural...... reassembly on nascent DNA strands. The aim of this review is to discuss how histones - new and old - are handled at the replication fork, highlighting new mechanistic insights and revisiting old paradigms....

  9. Chromatin regulation in drug addiction and depression

    OpenAIRE

    Renthal, William; Nestler, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    Alterations in gene expression are implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatrie disorders, including drug addiction and depression, increasing evidence indicates that changes in gene expression in neurons, in the context of animal models of addiction and depression, are mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms that alter chromatin structure on specific gene promoters. This review discusses recent findings from behavioral, molecular, and bioinformatic approaches that are being u...

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in migraine: a promising avenue?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eising, Else; A Datson, Nicole; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Ferrari, Michel D

    2013-01-01

    Migraine is a disabling common brain disorder typically characterized by attacks of severe headache and associated with autonomic and neurological symptoms. Its etiology is far from resolved. This review will focus on evidence that epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in disease etiology. Epigenetics comprise both DNA methylation and post-translational modifications of the tails of histone proteins, affecting chromatin structure and gene expression. Besides playing a role in establishing cellular and developmental stage-specific regulation of gene expression, epigenetic processes are also important for programming lasting cellular responses to environmental signals. Epigenetic mechanisms may explain how non-genetic endogenous and exogenous factors such as female sex hormones, stress hormones and inflammation trigger may modulate attack frequency. Developing drugs that specifically target epigenetic mechanisms may open up exciting new avenues for the prophylactic treatment of migraine.

  11. 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...

  12. Replication stress, a source of epigenetic aberrations in cancer?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jasencakova, Zusana; Groth, Anja

    2010-01-01

    . Chromatin organization is transiently disrupted during DNA replication and maintenance of epigenetic information thus relies on faithful restoration of chromatin on the new daughter strands. Acute replication stress challenges proper chromatin restoration by deregulating histone H3 lysine 9 mono......-methylation on new histones and impairing parental histone recycling. This could facilitate stochastic epigenetic silencing by laying down repressive histone marks at sites of fork stalling. Deregulation of replication in response to oncogenes and other tumor-promoting insults is recognized as a significant source...... of genome instability in cancer. We propose that replication stress not only presents a threat to genome stability, but also jeopardizes chromatin integrity and increases epigenetic plasticity during tumorigenesis....

  13. Plasticity of Fission Yeast CENP-A Chromatin Driven by Relative Levels of Histone H3 and H4

    OpenAIRE

    Castillo, Araceli G.; Mellone, Barbara G; Partridge, Janet F; William Richardson; Hamilton, Georgina L.; Allshire, Robin C.; Pidoux, Alison L.

    2007-01-01

    The histone H3 variant CENP-A assembles into chromatin exclusively at centromeres. The process of CENP-A chromatin assembly is epigenetically regulated. Fission yeast centromeres are composed of a central kinetochore domain on which CENP-A chromatin is assembled, and this is flanked by heterochromatin. Marker genes are silenced when placed within kinetochore or heterochromatin domains. It is not known if fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin is confined to specific sequences or whether histone...

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms in penile carcinoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuasne, Hellen; Marchi, Fabio Albuquerque; Rogatto, Silvia Regina;

    2013-01-01

    Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity in diffe......Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity...... in different cell types is acquired by chromatin modifications, which are established by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that the dysregulation in these processes can result in the development of several diseases, including...... cancer. Epigenetic alterations, such as the methylation of CpGs islands, may reveal candidates for the development of specific markers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. There are a few reports on the epigenetic alterations in PeCa, and most of these studies have only focused on alterations...

  15. PREDICTION OF CHROMATIN STATES USING DNA SEQUENCE PROPERTIES

    KAUST Repository

    Bahabri, Rihab R.

    2013-06-01

    Activities of DNA are to a great extent controlled epigenetically through the internal struc- ture of chromatin. This structure is dynamic and is influenced by different modifications of histone proteins. Various combinations of epigenetic modification of histones pinpoint to different functional regions of the DNA determining the so-called chromatin states. How- ever, the characterization of chromatin states by the DNA sequence properties remains largely unknown. In this study we aim to explore whether DNA sequence patterns in the human genome can characterize different chromatin states. Using DNA sequence motifs we built binary classifiers for each chromatic state to eval- uate whether a given genomic sequence is a good candidate for belonging to a particular chromatin state. Of four classification algorithms (C4.5, Naive Bayes, Random Forest, and SVM) used for this purpose, the decision tree based classifiers (C4.5 and Random Forest) yielded best results among those we evaluated. Our results suggest that in general these models lack sufficient predictive power, although for four chromatin states (insulators, het- erochromatin, and two types of copy number variation) we found that presence of certain motifs in DNA sequences does imply an increased probability that such a sequence is one of these chromatin states.

  16. Epigenetic regulation in alcoholic liver disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pranoti Mandrekar

    2011-01-01

    Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is characterized by steatosis or fat deposition in the liver and inflammation, which leads to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Induction of target genes without involving changes in DNA sequence seems to contribute greatly to liver injury. Chromatin modifications including alterations in histones and DNA, as well as post-transcriptional changes collectively referred to as epigenetic effects are altered by alcohol. Recent studies have pointed to a significant role for epigenetic mechanisms at the nucleosomal level influencing gene expression and disease outcome in ALD. Specifically, epigenetic alterations by alcohol include histone modifications such as changes in acetylation and phosphorylation, hypomethylation of DNA, and alterations in miRNAs. These modifications can be induced by alcohol-induced oxidative stress that results in altered recruitment of transcriptional machinery and abnormal gene expression. Delineating these mechanisms in initiation and progression of ALD is becoming a major area of interest. This review summarizes key epigenetic mechanisms that are dysregulated by alcohol in the liver. Alterations by alcohol in histone and DNA modifications, enzymes related to histone acetylation such as histone acetyltransferases, histone deacetylases and sirtuins, and methylation enzymes such as DNA methyltransferases are discussed. Chromatin modifications and miRNA alterations that result in immune cell dysfunction contributing to inflammatory cytokine production in ALD is reviewed. Finally, the role of alcohol-mediated oxidative stress in epigenetic regulation in ALD is described. A better understanding of these mechanisms is crucial for designing novel epigenetic based therapies to ameliorate ALD.

  17. Chromatin Structure and Function

    CERN Document Server

    Wolffe, Alan P

    1999-01-01

    The Third Edition of Chromatin: Structure and Function brings the reader up-to-date with the remarkable progress in chromatin research over the past three years. It has been extensively rewritten to cover new material on chromatin remodeling, histone modification, nuclear compartmentalization, DNA methylation, and transcriptional co-activators and co-repressors. The book is written in a clear and concise fashion, with 60 new illustrations. Chromatin: Structure and Function provides the reader with a concise and coherent account of the nature, structure, and assembly of chromatin and its active

  18. 2009 Epigenetics Gordon Research Conference (August 9 - 14, 2009)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanie Lee

    2009-08-14

    Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in genome function that occur without a change in primary DNA sequence. The 2009 Gordon Conference in Epigenetics will feature discussion of various epigenetic phenomena, emerging understanding of their underlying mechanisms, and the growing appreciation that human, animal, and plant health all depend on proper epigenetic control. Special emphasis will be placed on genome-environment interactions particularly as they relate to human disease. Towards improving knowledge of molecular mechanisms, the conference will feature international leaders studying the roles of higher order chromatin structure, noncoding RNA, repeat elements, nuclear organization, and morphogenic evolution. Traditional and new model organisms are selected from plants, fungi, and metazoans.

  19. Developing epigenetic diagnostics and therapeutics for brain disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2013-12-01

    Perturbations in epigenetic mechanisms have emerged as cardinal features in the molecular pathology of major classes of brain disorders. We therefore highlight evidence which suggests that specific epigenetic signatures measurable in central - and possibly even in peripheral tissues - have significant value as translatable biomarkers for screening, early diagnosis, and prognostication; developing molecularly targeted medicines; and monitoring disease progression and treatment responses. We also draw attention to existing and novel therapeutic approaches directed at epigenetic factors and mechanisms, including strategies for modulating enzymes that write and erase DNA methylation and histone/chromatin marks; protein-protein interactions responsible for reading epigenetic marks; and non-coding RNA pathways.

  20. 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.

  1. Epigenetic Changes in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, Samuel T; Plutzky, Jorge; El-Osta, Assam

    2016-05-27

    Cardiovascular complications remain the leading causes of morbidity and premature mortality in patients with diabetes mellitus. Studies in humans and preclinical models demonstrate lasting gene expression changes in the vasculopathies initiated by previous exposure to high glucose concentrations and the associated overproduction of reactive oxygen species. The molecular signatures of chromatin architectures that sensitize the genome to these and other cardiometabolic risk factors of the diabetic milieu are increasingly implicated in the biological memory underlying cardiovascular complications and now widely considered as promising therapeutic targets. Atherosclerosis is a complex heterocellular disease where the contributing cell types possess distinct epigenomes shaping diverse gene expression. Although the extent that pathological chromatin changes can be manipulated in human cardiovascular disease remains to be established, the clinical applicability of epigenetic interventions will be greatly advanced by a deeper understanding of the cell type-specific roles played by writers, erasers, and readers of chromatin modifications in the diabetic vasculature. This review details a current perspective of epigenetic mechanisms of macrovascular disease in diabetes mellitus and highlights recent key descriptions of chromatinized changes associated with persistent gene expression in endothelial, smooth muscle, and circulating immune cells relevant to atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we discuss the challenges associated with pharmacological targeting of epigenetic networks to correct abnormal or deregulated gene expression as a strategy to alleviate the clinical burden of diabetic cardiovascular disease. PMID:27230637

  2. Epigenetics, Behaviour, and Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szyf Moshe

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The long-term effects of behaviour and environmental exposures, particularly during childhood, on health outcomes are well documented. Particularly thought provoking is the notion that exposures to different social environments have a long-lasting impact on human physical health. However, the mechanisms mediating the effects of the environment are still unclear. In the last decade, the main focus of attention was the genome, and interindividual genetic polymorphisms were sought after as the principal basis for susceptibility to disease. However, it is becoming clear that recent dramatic increases in the incidence of certain human pathologies, such as asthma and type 2 diabetes, cannot be explained just on the basis of a genetic drift. It is therefore extremely important to unravel the molecular links between the "environmental" exposure, which is believed to be behind this emerging incidence in certain human pathologies, and the disease's molecular mechanisms. Although it is clear that most human pathologies involve long-term changes in gene function, these might be caused by mechanisms other than changes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA sequence. The genome is programmed by the epigenome, which is composed of chromatin and a covalent modification of DNA by methylation. It is postulated here that "epigenetic" mechanisms mediate the effects of behavioural and environmental exposures early in life, as well as lifelong environmental exposures and the susceptibility to disease later in life. In contrast to genetic sequence differences, epigenetic aberrations are potentially reversible, raising the hope for interventions that will be able to reverse deleterious epigenetic programming.

  3. Loss of ATRX, Genome Instability, and an Altered DNA Damage Response Are Hallmarks of the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres Pathway

    OpenAIRE

    Lovejoy, Courtney A.; Wendi Li; Steven Reisenweber; Supawat Thongthip; Joanne Bruno; Titia de Lange; Saurav; Petrini, John H.J.; Sung, Patricia A.; Maria Jasin; Joseph Rosenbluh; Yaara Zwang; Weir, Barbara A.; Charlie Hatton; Elena Ivanova

    2012-01-01

    The Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway is a telomerase-independent pathway for telomere maintenance that is active in a significant subset of human cancers and in vitro immortalized cell lines. ALT is thought to involve templated extension of telomeres through homologous recombination, but the genetic or epigenetic changes that unleash ALT are not known. Recently, mutations in the ATRX/DAXX chromatin remodeling complex and histone H3.3 were found to correlate with features of ...

  4. Epigenetic mechanisms in gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gigek, Carolina Oliveira; Chen, Elizabeth Suchi; Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; Wisnieski, Fernanda; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez; Smith, Marilia Arruda Cardoso

    2012-06-01

    Cancer is considered one of the major health issues worldwide, and gastric cancer accounted for 8% of total cases and 10% of total deaths in 2008. Gastric cancer is considered an age-related disease, and the total number of newly diagnosed cases has been increasing as a result of the higher life expectancy. Therefore, the basic mechanisms underlying gastric tumorigenesis is worth investigation. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling complex and miRNA, involved in gastric cancer. As the studies in gastric cancer continue, the mapping of an epigenome code is not far for this disease. In conclusion, an epigenetic therapy might appear in the not too distant future.

  5. Identification of potential nuclear reprogramming and differentiation factors by a novel selection method for cloning chromatin-binding proteins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LiuWang; AihuaZheng; LingYi; ChongrenXu; MingxiaoDing; HongkuiDeng

    2005-01-01

    Nuclear reprogramming is critical for animal cloning and stem cell creation through nuclear transfer, which requires extensive remodeling of chromosomal architecture involving dramatic changes in chromatin-binding proteins. To understand the mechanism of nuclear reprogramming, it is critical to identify chromatin-binding factors specify the reprogramming process. In this report, we have developed a high-throughput selection method, based on T7 phage display and chromatin immunoprecipitation, to isolate chromatin-binding factors expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells using primary mouse embryonic fibroblast chromatin. Seven chromatin-binding proteins have been isolated by this method. We have also isolated several chromatin-binding proteins involved in hepatocyte differentiation. Our method provides a powerful tool to rapidly and selectively identify chromatin-binding proteins. The method can be used to study epigenetic modification of chromatin during nuclear reprogramming, cell differentiation, and transdifferentiation.

  6. Where splicing joins chromatin

    OpenAIRE

    Hnilicová, Jarmila; Staněk, David

    2011-01-01

    There are numerous data suggesting that two key steps in gene expression—transcription and splicing influence each other closely. For a long time it was known that chromatin modifications regulate transcription, but only recently it was shown that chromatin and histone modifications play a significant role in pre-mRNA splicing. Here we summarize interactions between splicing machinery and chromatin and discuss their potential functional significance. We focus mainly on histone acetylation and...

  7. Alcohol Metabolism and Epigenetics Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakhari, Samir

    2013-01-01

    Metabolites, including those generated during ethanol metabolism, can impact disease states by binding to transcription factors and/or modifying chromatin structure, thereby altering gene expression patterns. For example, the activities of enzymes involved in epigenetic modifications such as DNA and histone methylation and histone acetylation, are influenced by the levels of metabolites such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Chronic alcohol consumption leads to significant reductions in SAM levels, thereby contributing to DNA hypomethylation. Similarly, ethanol metabolism alters the ratio of NAD+ to reduced NAD (NADH) and promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species and acetate, all of which impact epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. In addition to altered carbohydrate metabolism, induction of cell death, and changes in mitochondrial permeability transition, these metabolism-related changes can lead to modulation of epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Understanding the nature of these epigenetic changes will help researchers design novel medications to treat or at least ameliorate alcohol-induced organ damage. PMID:24313160

  8. Epigenetic Regulation of Angiogenesis by JARID1B-Induced Repression of HOXA5

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fork, Christian; Gu, Lunda; Hitzel, Juliane;

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Altering endothelial biology through epigenetic modifiers is an attractive novel concept, which is, however, just in its beginnings. We therefore set out to identify chromatin modifiers important for endothelial gene expression and contributing to angiogenesis. APPROACH AND RESULTS: To...

  9. Targeted Histone Peptides: Insights into the Spatial Regulation of the Methyltransferase PRC2 by using a Surrogate of Heterotypic Chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Zachary Z; Müller, Manuel M; Kong, Ha Eun; Lewis, Peter W; Muir, Tom W

    2015-05-26

    Eukaryotic genomes are dynamically regulated through a host of epigenetic stimuli. The substrate for these epigenetic transactions, chromatin, is a polymer of nucleosome building blocks. In native chromatin, each nucleosome can differ from its neighbors as a result of covalent modifications to both the DNA and the histone packaging proteins. The heterotypic nature of chromatin presents a formidable obstacle to biochemical studies seeking to understand the role of context on epigenetic regulation. A chemical approach to the production of heterotypic chromatin that can be used in such studies is introduced. This method involves the attachment of a user-defined modified histone peptide to a designated nucleosome within the polymer by using a peptide nucleic acid (PNA) targeting compound. This strategy was applied to dissect the effect of chromatin context on the activity of the histone methyltransferase PRC2. The results show that PRC2 can be stimulated to produce histone H3 methylation from a defined nucleation site.

  10. Long Noncoding RNAs, Chromatin, and Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P. Caley

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The way in which the genome of a multicellular organism can orchestrate the differentiation of trillions of cells and many organs, all from a single fertilized egg, is the subject of intense study. Different cell types can be defined by the networks of genes they express. This differential expression is regulated at the epigenetic level by chromatin modifications, such as DNA and histone methylation, which interact with structural and enzymatic proteins, resulting in the activation or silencing of any given gene. While detailed mechanisms are emerging on the role of different chromatin modifications and how these functions are effected at the molecular level, it is still unclear how their deposition across the epigenomic landscape is regulated in different cells. A raft of recent evidence is accumulating that implicates long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs in these processes. Most genomes studied to date undergo widespread transcription, the majority of which is not translated into proteins. In this review, we will describe recent work suggesting that lncRNAs are more than transcriptional "noise", but instead play a functional role by acting as tethers and guides to bind proteins responsible for modifying chromatin and mediating their deposition at specific genomic locations. We suggest that lncRNAs are at the heart of developmental regulation, determining the epigenetic status and transcriptional network in any given cell type, and that they provide a means to integrate external differentiation cues with dynamic nuclear responses through the regulation of a metastable epigenome. Better characterization of the lncRNA-protein "interactome" may eventually lead to a new molecular toolkit, allowing researchers and clinicians to modulate the genome at the epigenetic level to treat conditions such as cancer.

  11. Epigenetic Reprogramming of Muscle Progenitors: Inspiration for Clinical Therapies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Consalvi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the context of regenerative medicine, based on the potential of stem cells to restore diseased tissues, epigenetics is becoming a pivotal area of interest. Therapeutic interventions that promote tissue and organ regeneration have as primary objective the selective control of gene expression in adult stem cells. This requires a deep understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms controlling transcriptional programs in tissue progenitors. This review attempts to elucidate the principle epigenetic regulations responsible of stem cells differentiation. In particular we focus on the current understanding of the epigenetic networks that regulate differentiation of muscle progenitors by the concerted action of chromatin-modifying enzymes and noncoding RNAs. The novel exciting role of exosome-bound microRNA in mediating epigenetic information transfer is also discussed. Finally we show an overview of the epigenetic strategies and therapies that aim to potentiate muscle regeneration and counteract the progression of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD.

  12. 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.

  13. [The alchemy--epigenetic regulation of pluripotency].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bem, Joanna; Grabowska, Iwona

    2013-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) self renew their population, also they are pluripotent which means they can differentiate into any given cell type. In specific culture conditions they remain undifferentiated. On the cellular level pluripotency is determined by many transcription factors, e.g. Sox2, Nanog, Klf4, Oct4. Epigenetic regulation is also crucial for both self renewal and pluripotency. This review focuses on epigenetic mechanisms, among them DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications, ATP dependent chromatin remodeling and miRNAs interactions. These mechanisms affect embryonic stem cells functions keeping them poised for differentiation. PMID:24044279

  14. R-loop: an emerging regulator of chromatin dynamics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qais Al-Hadid; Yanzhong Yang

    2016-01-01

    The dynamic structure of chromatin,which exists in two conformational states:heterochromatin and euchromatin,alters the accessibility of the DNA to regulatory factors during transcription,replication,recombination,and DNA damage repair.Chemical modifications of histones and DNA,as well as adenosine triphospahate-dependent nucleosome remodeling,have been the major focus of research on chromatin dynamics over the past two decades.However,recent studies using a DNA-RNA hybrid-specific antibody and next-generation seque,ncing approaches have revealed that the formation of R-loops,one of the most common non-canonical DNA structures,is an emerging regulator of chromatin states.This review focuses on recent insights into the interplay between R-loop formation and the epigenetic modifications of chromatin in normal and disease states.

  15. Probing Chromatin-modifying Enzymes with Chemical Tools

    KAUST Repository

    Fischle, Wolfgang

    2016-02-04

    Chromatin is the universal template of genetic information in all eukaryotic organisms. Chemical modifications of the DNA-packaging histone proteins and the DNA bases are crucial signaling events in directing the use and readout of eukaryotic genomes. The enzymes that install and remove these chromatin modifications as well as the proteins that bind these marks govern information that goes beyond the sequence of DNA. Therefore, these so-called epigenetic regulators are intensively studied and represent promising drug targets in modern medicine. We summarize and discuss recent advances in the field of chemical biology that have provided chromatin research with sophisticated tools for investigating the composition, activity, and target sites of chromatin modifying enzymes and reader proteins.

  16. HACking the centromere chromatin code: insights from human artificial chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, Jan H; Martins, Nuno M C; Larionov, Vladimir; Masumoto, Hiroshi; Earnshaw, William C

    2012-07-01

    The centromere is a specialized chromosomal region that serves as the assembly site of the kinetochore. At the centromere, CENP-A nucleosomes form part of a chromatin landscape termed centrochromatin. This chromatin environment conveys epigenetic marks regulating kinetochore formation. Recent work sheds light on the intricate relationship between centrochromatin state, the CENP-A assembly pathway and the maintenance of centromere function. Here, we review the emerging picture of how chromatin affects mammalian kinetochore formation. We place particular emphasis on data obtained from Human Artificial Chromosome (HAC) biology and the targeted engineering of centrochromatin using synthetic HACs. We discuss implications of these findings, which indicate that a delicate balance of histone modifications and chromatin state dictates both de novo centromere formation and the maintenance of centromere identity in dividing cell populations.

  17. Restoring chromatin after replication: How new and old histone marks come together

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jasencakova, Zusana; Groth, Anja

    2010-01-01

    replication and chromatin assembly processes in time and space. Dynamic recycling and de novo deposition of histones are fundamental for chromatin restoration. Histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) are thought to have a causal role in establishing distinct chromatin structures. Here we discuss PTMs...... present on new and parental histones and how they influence genome stability and restoration of epigenetically defined domains. Newly deposited histones must change their signature in the process of chromatin restoration, this may occur in a step-wise fashion involving replication-coupled processes...... and information from recycled parental histones....

  18. DNA immunoprecipitation semiconductor sequencing (DIP-SC-seq) as a rapid method to generate genome wide epigenetic signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, John P; Fawkes, Angie; Ottaviano, Raffaele; Hunter, Jennifer M; Shukla, Ruchi; Mjoseng, Heidi K; Clark, Richard; Coutts, Audrey; Murphy, Lee; Meehan, Richard R

    2015-05-14

    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 available semiconductor based technology (DNA immunoprecipitation semiconductor sequencing; "DIP-SC-seq") on the Ion Proton sequencer. Focussing on the 5hmC mark we demonstrate, by directly comparing with alternative sequencing strategies, that this platform can successfully generate genome wide 5hmC patterns from as little as 500 ng of genomic DNA in less than 4 days. Such a method can therefore facilitate the rapid generation of multiple genome wide epigenetic datasets.

  19. Generation of bivalent chromatin domains during cell fate decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Gobbi Marco

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In self-renewing, pluripotent cells, bivalent chromatin modification is thought to silence (H3K27me3 lineage control genes while 'poising' (H3K4me3 them for subsequent activation during differentiation, implying an important role for epigenetic modification in directing cell fate decisions. However, rather than representing an equivalently balanced epigenetic mark, the patterns and levels of histone modifications at bivalent genes can vary widely and the criteria for identifying this chromatin signature are poorly defined. Results Here, we initially show how chromatin status alters during lineage commitment and differentiation at a single well characterised bivalent locus. In addition we have determined how chromatin modifications at this locus change with gene expression in both ensemble and single cell analyses. We also show, on a global scale, how mRNA expression may be reflected in the ratio of H3K4me3/H3K27me3. Conclusions While truly 'poised' bivalently modified genes may exist, the original hypothesis that all bivalent genes are epigenetically premarked for subsequent expression might be oversimplistic. In fact, from the data presented in the present work, it is equally possible that many genes that appear to be bivalent in pluripotent and multipotent cells may simply be stochastically expressed at low levels in the process of multilineage priming. Although both situations could be considered to be forms of 'poising', the underlying mechanisms and the associated implications are clearly different.

  20. Epigenetic targets of HDAC inhibition in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Abel, Ted; Zukin, R. Suzanne

    2008-01-01

    Epigenetic chromatin remodeling and modifications of DNA represent central mechanisms for regulation of gene expression during brain development and in memory formation. Emerging evidence implicates epigenetic modifications in disorders of synaptic plasticity and cognition. This review focuses on recent findings that HDAC inhibitors can ameliorate deficits in synaptic plasticity, cognition and stress-related behaviors in a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric disorders including Huntingto...

  1. Epigenetics and etiology of neurodegenerative diseases

    OpenAIRE

    Beata M. Gruber

    2011-01-01

    Determination of specific gene profile expression is essential for morphological and functional differentiation of cells in the human organism. The human genome consists of 25–30 thousands genes but only some of them are expressed in each cell. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modifications or non-coding RNA functions are also responsible for the unique gene expression patterns. It is suggested that transcriptional gene activation is related to hypomethy...

  2. An evolving view of epigenetic complexity in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-09-26

    Recent scientific advances have revolutionized our understanding of classical epigenetic mechanisms and the broader landscape of molecular interactions and cellular functions that are inextricably linked to these processes. Our current view of epigenetics includes an increasing appreciation for the dynamic nature of DNA methylation, active mechanisms for DNA demethylation, differential functions of 5-methylcytosine and its oxidized derivatives, the intricate regulatory logic of histone post-translational modifications, the incorporation of histone variants into chromatin, nucleosome occupancy and dynamics, and direct links between cellular signalling pathways and the actions of chromatin 'reader', 'writer' and 'eraser' molecules. We also have an increasing awareness of the seemingly ubiquitous roles played by diverse classes of selectively expressed non-coding RNAs in transcriptional, post-transcriptional, post-translational and local and higher order chromatin modulatory processes. These perspectives are still evolving with novel insights continuing to emerge rapidly (e.g. those related to epigenetic regulation of mobile genetic elements, epigenetic mechanisms in mitochondria, roles in nuclear architecture and 'RNA epigenetics'). The precise functions of these epigenetic factors/phenomena are largely unknown. However, it is unequivocal that they serve as key mediators of brain complexity and flexibility, including neural development and aging, cellular differentiation, homeostasis, stress responses, and synaptic and neural network connectivity and plasticity.

  3. 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...

  4. Circadian rhythms and memory formation: regulation by chromatin remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahar, Saurabh; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation or histone modification, can remodel the chromatin and regulate gene expression. Remodeling of chromatin provides an efficient mechanism of transducing signals, such as light or nutrient availability, to regulate gene expression. CLOCK:BMAL1 mediated activation of clock-controlled genes (CCGs) is coupled to circadian changes in histone modification at their promoters. Several chromatin modifiers, such as the deacetylases SIRT1 and HDAC3 or methyltransferase MLL1, have been shown to be recruited to the promoters of the CCGs in a circadian manner. Interestingly, the central element of the core clock machinery, the transcription factor CLOCK, also possesses histone acetyltransferase activity. Rhythmic expression of the CCGs is abolished in the absence of these chromatin modifiers. Recent research has demonstrated that chromatin remodeling is at the cross-roads of circadian rhythms and regulation of metabolism and aging. It would be of interest to identify if similar pathways exist in the epigenetic regulation of memory formation. PMID:22470318

  5. Circadian Rhythms and Memory Formation: Regulation by Chromatin Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh eSahar

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation or histone modification, can remodel the chromatin and regulate gene expression. Remodeling of chromatin provides an efficient mechanism of transducing signals, such as light or nutrient availability, to regulate gene expression. CLOCK:BMAL1 mediated activation of clock-controlled genes (CCGs is coupled to circadian changes in histone modification at their promoters. Several chromatin modifiers, such as the deacetylases SIRT1 and HDAC3 or methyltransferase MLL1, have been shown to be recruited to the promoters of the CCGs in a circadian manner. Interestingly, the central element of the core clock machinery, the transcription factor CLOCK, also possesses histone acetyltransferase activity. Rhythmic expression of the CCGs is abolished in the absence of these chromatin modifiers. Recent research has demonstrated that chromatin remodeling is at the cross-roads of circadian rhythms and regulation of metabolism and aging. It would be of interest to identify if similar pathways exist in the epigenetic regulation of memory formation.

  6. Epigenetics and etiology of neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata M. Gruber

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Determination of specific gene profile expression is essential for morphological and functional differentiation of cells in the human organism. The human genome consists of 25–30 thousands genes but only some of them are expressed in each cell. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modifications or non-coding RNA functions are also responsible for the unique gene expression patterns. It is suggested that transcriptional gene activation is related to hypomethylation and the transcriptionally non-active sequences are hypermethylated. Covalent histone modifications and DNA methylation are correlated and interacting. Chromatin modeling is regulated not only by specific enzymes but also by protein kinases or phosphatases and coactivators, such as CBP. Such interaction makes the “histone code” which with the chromatin proteins determines gene expression patterns as the response to external agents. Evidence of a major role for epigenetic modifications in neurological disease has come from three converging lines of enquiry: high conservation throughout evolution of the histone residues that are the target for epigenetic modifications; association between mutations in epigenetic components and multisystem disease syndrome in the nervous system; and broad efficacy of small-molecule epigenetic modulators, e.g. histone deacetylase inhibitors, in models of neurological diseases incurable up to now, such as Huntington’s disease, (HD, Parkinson’s disease (PD and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. This article is a survey of the literature concerning the characterization of gene expression patterns correlated with some neurodegenerative diseases. The processes of DNA hypomethylation and histone acetylation are emphasized. The histone deacetylases are indicated as the basis for design of potential drugs.

  7. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals: how good is the evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Otterdijk, Sanne D; Michels, Karin B

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetics plays an important role in orchestrating key biologic processes. Epigenetic marks, including DNA methylation, histones, chromatin structure, and noncoding RNAs, are modified throughout life in response to environmental and behavioral influences. With each new generation, DNA methylation patterns are erased in gametes and reset after fertilization, probably to prevent these epigenetic marks from being transferred from parents to their offspring. However, some recent animal studies suggest an apparent resistance to complete erasure of epigenetic marks during early development, enabling transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Whether there are similar mechanisms in humans remains unclear, with the exception of epigenetic imprinting. Nevertheless, a distinctly different mechanism-namely, intrauterine exposure to environmental stressors that may affect establishment of the newly composing epigenetic patterns after fertilization-is often confused with transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. In this review, we delineate the definition of and requirement for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, differentiate it from the consequences of intrauterine exposure, and discuss the available evidence in both animal models and humans.-Van Otterdijk, S. D., Michels, K. B. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals: how good is the evidence?

  8. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals: how good is the evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Otterdijk, Sanne D; Michels, Karin B

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetics plays an important role in orchestrating key biologic processes. Epigenetic marks, including DNA methylation, histones, chromatin structure, and noncoding RNAs, are modified throughout life in response to environmental and behavioral influences. With each new generation, DNA methylation patterns are erased in gametes and reset after fertilization, probably to prevent these epigenetic marks from being transferred from parents to their offspring. However, some recent animal studies suggest an apparent resistance to complete erasure of epigenetic marks during early development, enabling transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Whether there are similar mechanisms in humans remains unclear, with the exception of epigenetic imprinting. Nevertheless, a distinctly different mechanism-namely, intrauterine exposure to environmental stressors that may affect establishment of the newly composing epigenetic patterns after fertilization-is often confused with transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. In this review, we delineate the definition of and requirement for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, differentiate it from the consequences of intrauterine exposure, and discuss the available evidence in both animal models and humans.-Van Otterdijk, S. D., Michels, K. B. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals: how good is the evidence? PMID:27037350

  9. Retention of the Native Epigenome in Purified Mammalian Chromatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas H Ehrensberger

    Full Text Available A protocol is presented for the isolation of native mammalian chromatin as fibers of 25-250 nucleosomes under conditions that preserve the natural epigenetic signature. The material is composed almost exclusively of histones and DNA and conforms to the structure expected by electron microscopy. All sequences probed for were retained, indicating that the material is representative of the majority of the genome. DNA methylation marks and histone marks resembled the patterns observed in vivo. Importantly, nucleosome positions also remained largely unchanged, except on CpG islands, where nucleosomes were found to be unstable. The technical challenges of reconstituting biochemical reactions with native mammalian chromatin are discussed.

  10. Defining the Functional Network of Epigenetic Regulators in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chongyuan Luo; Brittany G.Durgin; Naohide Watanabe; Eric Lam

    2009-01-01

    Development of ChiP-chip and ChlP-seq technologies has allowed genome-wide high-resolution profiling of chromatin-associated marks and binding sites for epigenetic regulators.However,signals for directing epigenetic modi fiers to their target sites are not understood.In this paper,we tested the hypothesis that genome location can affect the involvement of epigenetic regulators using Chromatin Charting (CC) Lines,which have an identical transgene construct inserted at different locations in the Arabidopsis genome.Four CC lines that showed evidence for epigenetic silencing of the luciferase reporter gene were transformed with RNAi vectors individually targeting epigenetic regulators LHP1,MOM1,CMT3,DRD1,DRM2,SUVH2,CLF,and HD1.Involvement of a particular epigenetic regulator in silencing the transgene locus in a CC line was determined by significant alterations in luciferase expression after suppression of the regulator's expression.Our results suggest that the targeting of epigenetic regulators can be influenced by genome location as well as sequence context.In addition,the relative importance of an epigenetic regulator can be influenced by tissue identity.We also report a novel approach to predict interactions between epigenetic regulators through clustering analysis of the regulators using alterations in gene expression of putative downstream targets,including endogenous loci and transgenes,in epigenetic mutants or RNAi lines.Our data support the existence of a complex and dynamic network of epigenetic regulators that serves to coordinate and control global gene expression in higher plants.

  11. Epigenetics protocols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela Monti

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Thanks to the creative effort of Prof. Trygve O. Tollefsbol (Dept. of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA we can handle the second edition in just seven years of this must needed volume devoted to the study of the epigenome. In the very same window-time the field of epigenetics is dramatically changed as for the technical tools employed by the pupils of this pervasive discipline: actually there is no one hot topics in biology (e.g., development, differentiation, genomic toxicity and medicine .....

  12. 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. PMID:22126149

  13. Special issue on epigenetic inheritance by histone modifications, histone variants and non-coding RNAs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaofeng CAO

    2011-01-01

    @@ Keeping in view the ever-growing importance of understanding the epigenetic phenomena shaping the behavior of life, our team decided to embark on the idea to organize this special issue of Frontiers in Biology on Epigenetics.Epigenetics refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression without changes in DNA sequence, which is accomplished by DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNAs.

  14. Heterogeneity of epigenetic changes at ischemia/reperfusion- and endotoxin-induced acute kidney injury genes

    OpenAIRE

    Mar, Daniel; Gharib, Sina A; Zager, Richard A.; Johnson, Ali; Denisenko, Oleg; Bomsztyk, Karol

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant gene expression is a molecular hallmark of acute kidney injury (AKI). Since epigenetic processes control gene expression in a cell- and environment-defined manner, understanding the epigenetic pathways that regulate genes altered by AKI may open vital new insights into the complexities of disease pathogenesis and identify possible therapeutic targets. Here we used matrix chromatin immunoprecipitation and integrative analysis to study twenty key permissive and repressive epigenetic hi...

  15. Divergent evolution of CHD3 proteins resulted in MOM1 refining epigenetic control in vascular plants

    OpenAIRE

    Marian Caikovski; Chotika Yokthongwattana; Yoshiki Habu; Taisuke Nishimura; Olivier Mathieu; Jerzy Paszkowski

    2008-01-01

    Author Summary Epigenetic regulation of transcription usually involves changes in histone modifications, as well as DNA methylation changes in plants and mammals. Previously, we found an exceptional epigenetic regulator in Arabidopsis, MOM1, acting independently of these epigenetic marks. Interestingly, MOM1 controls loci associated with bivalent chromatin marks, intermediate to active euchromatin and silent heterochromatin. Such bivalent marks are often associated with newly inserted and/or ...

  16. Epigenetics: an emerging player in gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Changwon; Song, Ji-Joon; Lee, Jaeok; Kim, Mi Young

    2014-06-01

    Cancers, like other diseases, arise from gene mutations and/or altered gene expression, which eventually cause dysregulation of numerous proteins and noncoding RNAs. Changes in gene expression, i.e., upregulation of oncogenes and/or downregulation of tumor suppressor genes, can be generated not only by genetic and environmental factors but also by epigenetic factors, which are inheritable but nongenetic modifications of cellular chromosome components. Identification of the factors that contribute to individual cancers is a prerequisite to a full understanding of cancer mechanisms and the development of customized cancer therapies. The search for genetic and environmental factors has a long history in cancer research, but epigenetic factors only recently began to be associated with cancer formation, progression, and metastasis. Epigenetic alterations of chromatin include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which can affect gene-expression profiles. Recent studies have revealed diverse mechanisms by which chromatin modifiers, including writers, erasers and readers of the aforementioned modifications, contribute to the formation and progression of cancer. Furthermore, functional RNAs, such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, have also been identified as key players in these processes. This review highlights recent findings concerning the epigenetic alterations associated with cancers, especially gastric cancer. PMID:24914365

  17. Epigenetics, cellular memory and gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henikoff, Steven; Greally, John M

    2016-07-25

    The field described as 'epigenetics' has captured the imagination of scientists and the lay public. Advances in our understanding of chromatin and gene regulatory mechanisms have had impact on drug development, fueling excitement in the lay public about the prospects of applying this knowledge to address health issues. However, when describing these scientific advances as 'epigenetic', we encounter the problem that this term means different things to different people, starting within the scientific community and amplified in the popular press. To help researchers understand some of the misconceptions in the field and to communicate the science accurately to each other and the lay audience, here we review the basis for many of the assumptions made about what are currently referred to as epigenetic processes. PMID:27458904

  18. Genetic and epigenetic basis of psoriasis pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra, Aditi; Ray, Aditi; Senapati, Swapan; Chatterjee, Raghunath

    2015-04-01

    Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease whose prevalence varies among different populations worldwide. It is a complex multi-factorial disease and the exact etiology is largely unknown. Family based studies have indicated a genetic predisposition; however they cannot fully explain the disease pathogenesis. In addition to genetic susceptibility, environmental as well as gender and age related factors were also been found to be associated. Recently, imbalances in epigenetic networks are indicated to be causative elements in psoriasis. The present knowledge of epigenetic involvement, mainly the DNA methylation, chromatin modifications and miRNA deregulation is surveyed here. An integrated approach considering genetic and epigenetic anomalies in the light of immunological network may explore the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

  19. Prenucleosomes and Active Chromatin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khuong, Mai T.; Fei, Jia; Ishii, Haruhiko; Kadonaga, James T.

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin consists of nucleosomes as well as nonnucleosomal histone-containing particles. Here we describe the prenucleosome, which is a stable conformational isomer of the nucleosome that associates with ~80 bp DNA. Prenucleosomes are formed rapidly upon the deposition of histones onto DNA and can be converted into canonical nucleosomes by an ATP-driven chromatin assembly factor such as ACF. Different lines of evidence reveal that there are prenucleosome-sized DNA-containing particles with histones in the upstream region of active promoters. Moreover, p300 acetylates histone H3K56 in prenucleosomes but not in nucleosomes, and H3K56 acetylation is found at active promoters and enhancers. These findings therefore suggest that there may be prenucleosomes or prenucleosome-like particles in the upstream region of active promoters. More generally, we postulate that prenucleosomes or prenucleosome-like particles are present at dynamic chromatin, whereas canonical nucleosomes are at static chromatin. PMID:26767995

  20. Epigenetic programming and risk: the birthplace of cardiovascular disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinci, Maria Cristina; Polvani, Gianluca; Pesce, Maurizio

    2013-06-01

    Epigenetics, through control of gene expression circuitries, plays important roles in various physiological processes such as stem cell differentiation and self renewal. This occurs during embryonic development, in different tissues, and in response to environmental stimuli. The language of epigenetic program is based on specific covalent modifications of DNA and chromatin. Thus, in addition to the individual identity, encoded by sequence of the four bases of the DNA, there is a cell type identity characterized by its positioning in the epigenetic "landscape". Aberrant changes in epigenetic marks induced by environmental cues may contribute to the development of abnormal phenotypes associated with different human diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and inflammation. Most of the epigenetic studies have focused on embryonic development and cancer biology, while little has been done to explore the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. This review highlights our current knowledge of epigenetic gene regulation and the evidence that chromatin remodeling and histone modifications play key roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease through (re)programming of cardiovascular (stem) cells commitment, identity and function. PMID:22773406

  1. A model for transmission of the H3K27me3 epigenetic mark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Klaus H; Bracken, Adrian P; Pasini, Diego;

    2008-01-01

    Organization of chromatin by epigenetic mechanisms is essential for establishing and maintaining cellular identity in developing and adult organisms. A key question that remains unresolved about this process is how epigenetic marks are transmitted to the next cell generation during cell division...... during incorporation of newly synthesized histones. This mechanism ensures maintenance of the H3K27me3 epigenetic mark in proliferating cells, not only during DNA replication when histones synthesized de novo are incorporated, but also outside S phase, thereby preserving chromatin structure...

  2. Epigenetic Therapeutics: A New Weapon in the War Against Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Nita; Sharma, Anup R; Baylin, Stephen B

    2016-01-01

    The past 15 years have seen an explosion of discoveries related to the cellular regulation of phenotypes through epigenetic mechanisms. This regulation provides a software that packages DNA, without changing the primary base sequence, to establish heritable patterns of gene expression. In cancer, many aspects of the epigenome, controlled by DNA methylation, chromatin, and nucleosome positioning, are altered as one means by which tumor cells maintain abnormal states of self-renewal at the expense of normal maturation. Epigenetic and genetic abnormalities thus collaborate in cancer initiation and progression, as exemplified by frequent mutations in genes encoding proteins that control the epigenome. There is growing emphasis on using epigenetic therapies to reprogram neoplastic cells toward a normal state. Many agents targeting epigenetic regulation are under development and entering clinical trials. This review highlights the promise that epigenetic therapy, often in combination with other therapies, will become a potent tool for cancer management over the next decade.

  3. Conference Scene: Epigenetic regulation: from mechanism to intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Aniruddha

    2012-10-01

    The Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre Symposium on Epigenetic Regulation: From Mechanism to Intervention in London, UK, which was held on 20-22 June 2012, attracted 305 participants from around the globe and included 37 speakers and 85 selected poster presentations. The organizing committee, led by Niall Dillon of the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre (London, UK), consisted of several distinguished researchers in the fields of epigenetics and chromatin organization from across the UK. The meeting covered a diverse range of topics and brought together scientists carrying out fundamental research on epigenetic mechanisms and also researchers who are exploring the role of epigenetics in human diseases and its clinical applications. In addition, the meeting highlighted some emerging aspects in the rapidly evolving field of epigenetics.

  4. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: adaptation through the germline epigenome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokopuk, Lexie; Western, Patrick S; Stringer, Jessica M

    2015-08-01

    Epigenetic modifications direct the way DNA is packaged into the nucleus, making genes more or less accessible to transcriptional machinery and influencing genomic stability. Environmental factors have the potential to alter the epigenome, allowing genes that are silenced to be activated and vice versa. This ultimately influences disease susceptibility and health in an individual. Furthermore, altered chromatin states can be transmitted to subsequent generations, thus epigenetic modifications may provide evolutionary mechanisms that impact on adaptation to changed environments. However, the mechanisms involved in establishing and maintaining these epigenetic modifications during development remain unclear. This review discusses current evidence for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, confounding issues associated with its study, and the biological relevance of altered epigenetic states for subsequent generations.

  5. Interplay of genetic and epigenetic alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sun-Min; Kim-Ha, Jeongsil; Choi, Won-Young; Lee, Jungwoo; Kim, Dawon; Lee, Jinyoung; Choi, Eunji; Kim, Young-Joon

    2016-07-01

    Genetic and epigenetic alterations play prominent roles in hepatocarcinogenesis and their appearance varies depending on etiological factors, race and tumor progression. Intriguingly, distinct patterns of these genetic and epigenetic mutations are coupled not only to affect each other, but to trigger different types of tumorigenesis. The patterns and frequencies of somatic variations vary depending on the nature of the surrounding chromatin. On the other hand, epigenetic alterations often induce genomic instability prone to mutation. Therefore, genetic mutations and epigenetic alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma appear to be inseparable factors that accelerate tumorigenesis synergistically. We have summarized recent findings on genetic and epigenetic modifications, their influences on each other's alterations and putative roles in liver tumorigenesis.

  6. Epigenetics and Breast Cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    An T. Vo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Several of the active compounds in foods, poisons, drugs, and industrial chemicals may, by epigenetic mechanisms, increase or decrease the risk of breast cancers. Enzymes that are involved in DNA methylation and histone modifications have been shown to be altered in several types of breast and other cancers resulting in abnormal patterns of methylation and/or acetylation. Hypermethylation at the CpG islands found in estrogen response element (ERE promoters occurs in conjunction with ligand-bonded alpha subunit estrogen receptor (Erα dimers wherein the ligand ERα dimer complex acts as a transcription factor and binds to the ERE promoter. Ligands could be 17-β-estradiol (E2, phytoestrogens, heterocyclic amines, and many other identified food additives and heavy metals. The dimer recruits DNA methyltransferases which catalyze the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM to 5′-cytosine on CpG islands. Other enzymes are recruited to the region by ligand-ERα dimers which activate DNA demethylases to act simultaneously to increase gene expression of protooncogenes and growth-promoting genes. Ligand-ERα dimers also recruit histone acetyltransferase to the ERE promoter region. Histone demethylases such as JMJD2B and histone methyltransferases are enzymes which demethylate lysine residues on histones H3 and/or H4. This makes the chromatin accessible for transcription factors and enzymes.

  7. Integration of the Transcription Factor-Regulated and Epigenetic Mechanisms in the Control of Keratinocyte Differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botchkarev, Vladimir A.

    2016-01-01

    The epidermal differentiation program is regulated at several levels including signaling pathways, lineage-specific transcription factors, and epigenetic regulators that establish well-coordinated process of terminal differentiation resulting in formation of the epidermal barrier. The epigenetic regulatory machinery operates at several levels including modulation of covalent DNA/histone modifications, as well as through higher-order chromatin remodeling to establish long-range topological interactions between the genes and their enhancer elements. Epigenetic regulators exhibit both activating and repressive effects on chromatin in keratinocytes (KCs): whereas some of them promote terminal differentiation, the others stimulate proliferation of progenitor cells, as well as inhibit premature activation of terminal differentiation-associated genes. Transcription factor-regulated and epigenetic mechanisms are highly connected, and the p63 transcription factor has an important role in the higher-order chromatin remodeling of the KC-specific gene loci via direct control of the genome organizer Satb1 and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeler Brg1. However, additional efforts are required to fully understand the complexity of interactions between distinct transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in the control of KC differentiation. Further understanding of these interactions and their alterations in different pathological skin conditions will help to progress toward the development of novel approaches for the treatment of skin disorders by targeting epigenetic regulators and modulating chromatin organization in KCs. PMID:26551942

  8. Protocol: fine-tuning of a Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP protocol in tomato

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iusem Norberto D

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Searching thoroughly for plant cis-elements corresponding to transcription factors is worthwhile to reveal novel gene activation cascades. At the same time, a great deal of research is currently focused on epigenetic events in plants. A widely used method serving both purposes is chromatin immunoprecipitation, which was developed for Arabidopsis and other plants but is not yet operational for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, a model plant species for a group of economically important crops. Results We developed a chromatin immunoprecipitation protocol suitable for tomato by adjusting the parameters to optimise in vivo crosslinking, purification of nuclei, chromatin extraction, DNA shearing and precipitate analysis using real-time PCR. Results were obtained with two different antibodies, five control loci and two normalisation criteria. Conclusion Here we provide a chromatin immunoprecipitation procedure for tomato leaves that could be combined with high-throughput sequencing to generate a detailed map of epigenetic modifications or genome-wide nucleosome positioning data.

  9. Discovery and Characterization of Chromatin States for Systematic Annotation of the Human Genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Jason; Kellis, Manolis

    A plethora of epigenetic modifications have been described in the human genome and shown to play diverse roles in gene regulation, cellular differentiation and the onset of disease. Although individual modifications have been linked to the activity levels of various genetic functional elements, their combinatorial patterns are still unresolved and their potential for systematic de novo genome annotation remains untapped. Here, we use a multivariate Hidden Markov Model to reveal chromatin states in human T cells, based on recurrent and spatially coherent combinations of chromatin marks.We define 51 distinct chromatin states, including promoter-associated, transcription-associated, active intergenic, largescale repressed and repeat-associated states. Each chromatin state shows specific enrichments in functional annotations, sequence motifs and specific experimentally observed characteristics, suggesting distinct biological roles. This approach provides a complementary functional annotation of the human genome that reveals the genome-wide locations of diverse classes of epigenetic function.

  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. Genome-Wide Epigenetic Studies in Human Disease: A Primer on -Omic Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Huihuang; Tian, Shulan; Slager, Susan L; Sun, Zhifu; Ordog, Tamas

    2016-01-15

    Epigenetic information encoded in covalent modifications of DNA and histone proteins regulates fundamental biological processes through the action of chromatin regulators, transcription factors, and noncoding RNA species. Epigenetic plasticity enables an organism to respond to developmental and environmental signals without genetic changes. However, aberrant epigenetic control plays a key role in pathogenesis of disease. Normal epigenetic states could be disrupted by detrimental mutations and expression alteration of chromatin regulators or by environmental factors. In this primer, we briefly review the epigenetic basis of human disease and discuss how recent discoveries in this field could be translated into clinical diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. We introduce platforms for mapping genome-wide chromatin accessibility, nucleosome occupancy, DNA-binding proteins, and DNA methylation, primarily focusing on the integration of DNA methylation and chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing technologies into disease association studies. We highlight practical considerations in applying high-throughput epigenetic assays and formulating analytical strategies. Finally, we summarize current challenges in sample acquisition, experimental procedures, data analysis, and interpretation and make recommendations on further refinement in these areas. Incorporating epigenomic testing into the clinical research arsenal will greatly facilitate our understanding of the epigenetic basis of disease and help identify novel therapeutic targets.

  12. Ectopically tethered CP190 induces large-scale chromatin decondensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahanger, Sajad H.; Günther, Katharina; Weth, Oliver; Bartkuhn, Marek; Bhonde, Ramesh R.; Shouche, Yogesh S.; Renkawitz, Rainer

    2014-01-01

    Insulator mediated alteration in higher-order chromatin and/or nucleosome organization is an important aspect of epigenetic gene regulation. Recent studies have suggested a key role for CP190 in such processes. In this study, we analysed the effects of ectopically tethered insulator factors on chromatin structure and found that CP190 induces large-scale decondensation when targeted to a condensed lacO array in mammalian and Drosophila cells. In contrast, dCTCF alone, is unable to cause such a decondensation, however, when CP190 is present, dCTCF recruits it to the lacO array and mediates chromatin unfolding. The CP190 induced opening of chromatin may not be correlated with transcriptional activation, as binding of CP190 does not enhance luciferase activity in reporter assays. We propose that CP190 may mediate histone modification and chromatin remodelling activity to induce an open chromatin state by its direct recruitment or targeting by a DNA binding factor such as dCTCF.

  13. Sequential chromatin immunoprecipitation protocol for global analysis through massive parallel sequencing (reChIP-seq)

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2015-01-01

    Authors: Marco Antonio Mendoza-Parra, Shankaranarayanan Pattabhiraman & Hinrich Gronemeyer ### Abstract Chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq) is increasingly used to study protein-chromatin interactions or local epigenetic modifications at genome-wide scale. ChIP-seq can be performed directly with several ng of immunoprecipitated DNA, which is generally obtained from a several million cells, depending on the quality of the antibody. ChI...

  14. Nucleosome dynamics during chromatin remodeling in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Srinivas; Henikoff, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Precise positioning of nucleosomes around regulatory sites is achieved by the action of chromatin remodelers, which use the energy of ATP to slide, evict or change the composition of nucleosomes. Chromatin remodelers act to bind nucleosomes, disrupt histone-DNA interactions and translocate the DNA around the histone core to reposition nucleosomes. Hence, remodeling is expected to involve nucleosomal intermediates with a structural organization that is distinct from intact nucleosomes. We describe the identification of a partially unwrapped nucleosome structure using methods that map histone-DNA contacts genome-wide. This alternative nucleosome structure is likely formed as an intermediate or by-product during nucleosome remodeling by the RSC complex. Identification of the loss of histone-DNA contacts during chromatin remodeling by RSC in vivo has implications for the regulation of transcriptional initiation. PMID:26933790

  15. Linking DNA replication to heterochromatin silencing and epigenetic inheritance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qing Li; Zhiguo Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Chromatin is organized into distinct functional domains.During mitotic cell division,both genetic information encoded in DNA sequence and epigenetic information embedded in chromatin structure must be faithfully duplicated.The inheritance of epigenetic states is critical in maintaining the genome integrity and gene expression state.In this review,we will discuss recent progress on how proteins known to be involved in DNA replication and DNA replication-coupled nucleosome assembly impact on the inheritance and maintenance of heterochromatin,a tightly compact chromatin structure that silences gene transcription.As heterochromatin is important in regulating gene expression and maintaining genome stability,understanding how heterochromatin states are inherited during S phase of the cell cycle is of fundamental importance.

  16. The chromatin remodeler DDM1 promotes hybrid vigor by regulating salicylic acid metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Qingzhu; Li, Yanqiang; Xu, Tao; Srivastava, Ashish Kumar; Dong WANG; Zeng, Liang; Yang, Lan; He, Li; Zhang, Heng; Zheng, Zhimin; Yang, Dong-Lei; Zhao, Cheng; Dong, Juan; Gong, Zhizhong; Liu, Renyi

    2016-01-01

    In plants, hybrid vigor is influenced by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms; however, the molecular pathways are poorly understood. We investigated the potential contributions of epigenetic regulators to heterosis in Arabidposis and found that the chromatin remodeler DECREASED DNA METHYLATION 1 (DDM1) affects early seedling growth heterosis in Col/C24 hybrids. ddm1 mutants showed impaired heterosis and increased expression of non-additively expressed genes related to salicylic acid metabolism....

  17. 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.

  18. A special issue on ‘epigenetics'

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenlin Xu; Minghua Xu

    2012-01-01

    The term epigenetics was coined by Waddington CH in 1940s as a portmanteau of the words genetics and epigenesis to describe the differentiation of cells from their initial totipotent state in embryonic development.With the explosion of knowledge in this field in the recent 10 years,epigenetics is now typically defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that are not due to changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA.The field of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of biology and medicine.Recent studies have been focusing on the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation,including DNA methylation, histone modification,chromatin remodeling,etc.,and on their contributions to development and diseases.In this special issue,nine review articles written by prominent experts in this field are put together,trying to give our readers a broad picture of epigenetics and a summary of most recent research progress in this field.Here is a preview of what you will find in this issue.

  19. Epigenetic disruption of cell signaling in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li-Li Li; Xing-Sheng Shu; Zhao-Hui Wang; Ya Cao; Qian Tao

    2011-01-01

    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignancy with remarkable ethnic and geographic distribution in southern China and Southeast Asia. Alternative to genetic changes, aberrant epigenetic events disrupt multiple genes involved in cell signaling pathways through DNA methylation of promoter CpG islands and/ or histone modifications. These epigenetic alterations grant cell growth advantage and contribute to the initiation and progression of NPC. In this review, we summariye the epigenetic deregulation of cell signaling in NPC tumorigenesis and highlight the importance of identifying epigenetic cell signaling regulators in NPC research. Developing pharmacologic strategies to reverse the epigenetic-silencing of cell signaling regulators might thus be useful to NPC prevention and therapy.

  20. Reprogramming the chromatin landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miranda, Tina B; Voss, Ty C; Sung, Myong-Hee;

    2013-01-01

    , mechanistic details defining the cellular interactions between ER and GR are poorly understood. We investigated genome-wide binding profiles for ER and GR upon coactivation and characterized the status of the chromatin landscape. We describe a novel mechanism dictating the molecular interplay between ER...... and GR. Upon induction, GR modulates access of ER to specific sites in the genome by reorganization of the chromatin configuration for these elements. Binding to these newly accessible sites occurs either by direct recognition of ER response elements or indirectly through interactions with other factors...

  1. Epigenetic therapy in gastrointestinal cancer: the right combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelfatah, Eihab; Kerner, Zachary; Nanda, Nainika; Ahuja, Nita

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetics is a relatively recent field of molecular biology that has arisen over the past 25 years. Cancer is now understood to be a disease of widespread epigenetic dysregulation that interacts extensively with underlying genetic mutations. The development of drugs targeting these processes has rapidly progressed; with several drugs already FDA approved as first-line therapy in hematological malignancies. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers possess high degrees of epigenetic dysregulation, exemplified by subtypes such as CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and the potential benefit of epigenetic therapy in these cancers is evident. The application of epigenetic drugs in solid tumors, including GI cancers, is just emerging, with increased understanding of the cancer epigenome. In this review, we provide a brief overview of cancer epigenetics and the epigenetic targets of therapy including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. We discuss the epigenetic drugs currently in use, with a focus on DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and explain the pharmacokinetic and mechanistic challenges in their application. We present the strategies employed in incorporating these drugs into the treatment of GI cancers, and explain the concept of the cancer stem cell in epigenetic reprogramming and reversal of chemo resistance. We discuss the most promising combination strategies in GI cancers including: (1) epigenetic sensitization to radiotherapy, (2) epigenetic sensitization to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and (3) epigenetic immune modulation and priming for immune therapy. Finally, we present preclinical and clinical trial data employing these strategies thus far in various GI cancers including colorectal, esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer. PMID:27366224

  2. Epigenetic therapy in gastrointestinal cancer: the right combination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelfatah, Eihab; Kerner, Zachary; Nanda, Nainika; Ahuja, Nita

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics is a relatively recent field of molecular biology that has arisen over the past 25 years. Cancer is now understood to be a disease of widespread epigenetic dysregulation that interacts extensively with underlying genetic mutations. The development of drugs targeting these processes has rapidly progressed; with several drugs already FDA approved as first-line therapy in hematological malignancies. Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers possess high degrees of epigenetic dysregulation, exemplified by subtypes such as CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and the potential benefit of epigenetic therapy in these cancers is evident. The application of epigenetic drugs in solid tumors, including GI cancers, is just emerging, with increased understanding of the cancer epigenome. In this review, we provide a brief overview of cancer epigenetics and the epigenetic targets of therapy including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. We discuss the epigenetic drugs currently in use, with a focus on DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and explain the pharmacokinetic and mechanistic challenges in their application. We present the strategies employed in incorporating these drugs into the treatment of GI cancers, and explain the concept of the cancer stem cell in epigenetic reprogramming and reversal of chemo resistance. We discuss the most promising combination strategies in GI cancers including: (1) epigenetic sensitization to radiotherapy, (2) epigenetic sensitization to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and (3) epigenetic immune modulation and priming for immune therapy. Finally, we present preclinical and clinical trial data employing these strategies thus far in various GI cancers including colorectal, esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer. PMID:27366224

  3. MicroRNAs and DNA methylation as epigenetic regulators of mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Chencheng; Liu, Yun; Sun, Min; Niu, Minghui; Yuan, Qingqing; Hai, Yanan; Guo, Ying; Chen, Zheng; Hou, Jingmei; Liu, Yang; He, Zuping

    2015-07-01

    Spermatogenesis is composed of three distinctive phases, which include self-renewal of spermatogonia via mitosis, spermatocytes undergoing meiosis I/II and post-meiotic development of haploid spermatids via spermiogenesis. Spermatogenesis also involves condensation of chromatin in the spermatid head before transformation of spermatids to spermatozoa. Epigenetic regulation refers to changes of heritably cellular and physiological traits not caused by modifications in the DNA sequences of the chromatin such as mutations. Major advances have been made in the epigenetic regulation of spermatogenesis. In this review, we address the roles and mechanisms of epigenetic regulators, with a focus on the role of microRNAs and DNA methylation during mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. We also highlight issues that deserve attention for further investigation on the epigenetic regulation of spermatogenesis. More importantly, a thorough understanding of the epigenetic regulation in spermatogenesis will provide insightful information into the etiology of some unexplained infertility, offering new approaches for the treatment of male infertility.

  4. Role of Non-Coding RNAs in the Transgenerational Epigenetic Transmission of the Effects of Reprotoxicants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larriba, Eduardo; del Mazo, Jesús

    2016-03-25

    Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are regulatory elements of gene expression and chromatin structure. Both long and small ncRNAs can also act as inductors and targets of epigenetic programs. Epigenetic patterns can be transmitted from one cell to the daughter cell, but, importantly, also through generations. Diversity of ncRNAs is emerging with new and surprising roles. Functional interactions among ncRNAs and between specific ncRNAs and structural elements of the chromatin are drawing a complex landscape. In this scenario, epigenetic changes induced by environmental stressors, including reprotoxicants, can explain some transgenerationally-transmitted phenotypes in non-Mendelian ways. In this review, we analyze mechanisms of action of reprotoxicants upon different types of ncRNAs and epigenetic modifications causing transgenerationally transmitted characters through germ cells but affecting germ cells and reproductive systems. A functional model of epigenetic mechanisms of transgenerational transmission ncRNAs-mediated is also proposed.

  5. Role of Non-Coding RNAs in the Transgenerational Epigenetic Transmission of the Effects of Reprotoxicants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Larriba

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs are regulatory elements of gene expression and chromatin structure. Both long and small ncRNAs can also act as inductors and targets of epigenetic programs. Epigenetic patterns can be transmitted from one cell to the daughter cell, but, importantly, also through generations. Diversity of ncRNAs is emerging with new and surprising roles. Functional interactions among ncRNAs and between specific ncRNAs and structural elements of the chromatin are drawing a complex landscape. In this scenario, epigenetic changes induced by environmental stressors, including reprotoxicants, can explain some transgenerationally-transmitted phenotypes in non-Mendelian ways. In this review, we analyze mechanisms of action of reprotoxicants upon different types of ncRNAs and epigenetic modifications causing transgenerationally transmitted characters through germ cells but affecting germ cells and reproductive systems. A functional model of epigenetic mechanisms of transgenerational transmission ncRNAs-mediated is also proposed.

  6. Nutritional Epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Preston Mercer

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Questions concerning the fundamental effects of nutrition on gene function are now being elucidated as the human genome project has been completed. Nutritional genomics seeks to expand the use of foods to achieve human genetic potential, while reducing the risk of diseases. As issues such as nutrigenomics (dietary influence on gene function and nutrigenetics (genomic reaction to diet are unraveled, thepotential for personalized nutrition becomes attainable. It has been stated that “genomics is to the 21st century what infectious disease was to the 20th century”. The nucleotide sequence of DNA was once seen as the only mechanism by which genetic information could be transmitted between generations. Phenotypic variation resulted from recombination and, occasionally, genetic mutation. This widely accepted concept is now undergoing modification as evidence builds to support the idea that reversible, heritable changes in gene function - termed “epigenetics”- can occur without a change in the sequence of nuclear DNA (i.e., non-Mendelian inheritance. The word epigenetics is of Greek origin and literallymeans over and above (epi the genome. The terminology“same genome, different epigenome” has been demonstrated in several experiments. As research and understanding advances, dietary advice based on the human genome will become more prevalent and new pharmacological interventions may be developed.

  7. 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.

  8. Chromatin replication and epigenome maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alabert, Constance; Groth, Anja

    2012-01-01

    initiates, whereas the replication process itself disrupts chromatin and challenges established patterns of genome regulation. Specialized replication-coupled mechanisms assemble new DNA into chromatin, but epigenome maintenance is a continuous process taking place throughout the cell cycle. If DNA...

  9. Chromatin chemistry goes cellular.

    OpenAIRE

    W. Fischle; D. Schwarzer; Mootz, H.

    2015-01-01

    Analysing post-translational modifications of histone proteins as they occur within chromatin is challenging due to their large number and chemical diversity. A major step forward has now been achieved by using split intein chemistry to engineer functionalized histones within cells.

  10. Cooperative stabilization of the SIR complex provides robust epigenetic memory in a model of SIR silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sneppen, Kim; Dodd, Ian B

    2015-01-01

    How alternative chromatin-based regulatory states can be made stable and heritable in order to provide robust epigenetic memory is poorly understood. Here, we develop a stochastic model of the silencing system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that incorporates cooperative binding of the repressive SIR complex and antisilencing histone modifications, in addition to positive feedback in Sir2 recruitment. The model was able to reproduce key features of SIR regulation of an HM locus, including heritable bistability, dependence on the silencer elements, and sensitivity to SIR dosage. We found that antisilencing methylation of H3K79 by Dot1 was not needed to generate these features, but acted to reduce spreading of SIR binding, consistent with its proposed role in containment of silencing. In contrast, cooperative inter-nucleosome interactions mediated by the SIR complex were critical for concentrating SIR binding around the silencers in the absence of barriers, and for providing bistability in SIR binding. SIR-SIR interactions magnify the cooperativity in the Sir2-histone deacetylation positive feedback reaction and complete a double-negative feedback circuit involving antisilencing modifications. Thus, our modeling underscores the potential importance of cooperative interactions between nucleosome-bound complexes both in the SIR system and in other chromatin-based complexes in epigenetic regulation. PMID:25830651

  11. Chromatin assembly using Drosophila systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fyodorov, Dmitry V; Levenstein, Mark E

    2002-05-01

    To successfully study chromatin structure and activity in vitro, it is essential to have a chromatin assembly system that will prepare extended nucleosome arrays with highly defined protein content that resemble bulk chromatin isolated from living cell nuclei in terms of periodicity and nucleosome positioning. The Drosophila ATP-dependent chromatin assembly system described in this unit meets these requirements. The end product of the reaction described here has highly periodic extended arrays with physiologic spacing and positioning of the nucleosomes.

  12. Chromatin domains and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P. Fransz

    2009-01-01

    The inheritance of biological traits involves not only the transfer of genetic information in the form of DNA, but also epigenetic information. The latter is encrypted in a DNA component, methylation of cytosine residues, and in non-DNA components such as histone modifications, non-histone proteins,

  13. Effects of fast neutrons on chromatin: dependence on chromatin structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radu, L. [Dept. of Molecular Genetics, V. Babes National Inst., Bd. Timisoara, Bucharest (Romania); Constantinescu, B. [Dept. of Cyclotron, H. Hulubei National Inst., Bucharest (Romania); Gazdaru, D. [Dept. of Biophysics, Physics Faculty, Univ. of Bucharest (Romania)

    2002-07-01

    The effects of fast neutrons (10-100 Gy) on chromatin extracted from normal (liver of Wistar rats) and tumor (Walker carcinosarcoma maintained on Wistar rats) tissues were compared. The spectroscopic assays used were (i) chromatin intrinsic fluorescence, (ii) time-resolved fluorescence of chromatin-proflavine complexes, and (iii) fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between dansyl chloride and acridine orange coupled to chromatin. For both normal and tumor chromatin, the intensity of intrinsic fluorescence specific for acidic and basic proteins decreased with increasing dose. The relative contributions of the excited-state lifetime of proflavine bound to chromatin were reduced upon fast-neutron irradiation, indicating a decrease in the proportion of chromatin DNA available for ligand binding. The Forster energy transfer efficiencies were also modified by irradiation. These effects were larger for chromatin from tumor tissue. In the range 0-100 Gy, fast neutrons induced alterations in DNA and acidic and basic proteins, as well as in global chromatin structure. The radiosensitivity of chromatin extracted from tumor tissue seems to be higher than that of chromatin extracted from normal tissue, probably because of its higher euchromatin (loose)-heterochromatin (compact) ratio. (author)

  14. Factors that promote H3 chromatin integrity during transcription prevent promiscuous deposition of CENP-A(Cnp1) in fission yeast.

    OpenAIRE

    Eun Shik Choi; Annelie Strålfors; Sandra Catania; Castillo, Araceli G.; J Peter Svensson; Pidoux, Alison L.; Karl Ekwall; Allshire, Robin C.

    2012-01-01

    Specialized chromatin containing CENP-A nucleosomes instead of H3 nucleosomes is found at all centromeres. However, the mechanisms that specify the locations at which CENP-A chromatin is assembled remain elusive in organisms with regional, epigenetically regulated centromeres. It is known that normal centromeric DNA is transcribed in several systems including the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, we show that factors which preserve stable histone H3 chromatin during transcriptio...

  15. Combating the epigenome: epigenetic drugs against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Melanie R; Schiefer, Ana-Iris; Egger, Gerda

    2013-08-01

    Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) comprise a large and diverse group of neoplasms of lymphocyte origin with heterogeneous molecular features and clinical manifestations. Current therapies are based on standard chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation or stem cell transplantation. The discovery of recurrent mutations in epigenetic enzymes, such as chromatin modifiers and DNA methyltransferases, has provided researchers with a rationale to develop novel inhibitors targeting these enzymes. Several clinical and preclinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of epigenetic drugs in NHL therapy and a few specific inhibitors have already been approved for clinical use. Here, we provide an overview of current NHL classification and a review of the present literature describing epigenetic alterations in NHL, including a summary of different epigenetic drugs, and their use in preclinical and clinical studies.

  16. Cancer type-specific epigenetic changes: gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; de Arruda Cardoso Smith, Marília; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) remains a major cause of mortality despite declining rate in the world. Epigenetic alterations contribute significantly to the development and progression of gastric tumors. Epigenetic refers to the number of modifications of the chromatin structure that affect gene expression without altering the primary sequence of DNA, and these changes lead to transcriptional activation or silencing of the gene. Over the years, the study of epigenetic processes has increased, and novel therapeutic approaches have emerged. This chapter summarizes the main epigenomic mechanisms described recently involved in gastric carcinogenesis, focusing on the roles that aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications (histone acetylation and methylation), and miRNAs (oncogenic and tumor suppressor function of miRNA) play in the onset and progression of gastric tumors. Clinical implications of these epigenetic alterations in GC are also discussed.

  17. Epigenetic drift, epigenetic clocks and cancer risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shijie C; Widschwendter, Martin; Teschendorff, Andrew E

    2016-05-01

    It is well-established that the DNA methylation landscape of normal cells undergoes a gradual modification with age, termed as 'epigenetic drift'. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of epigenetic drift and its potential role in cancer etiology. We propose a new terminology to help distinguish the different components of epigenetic drift, with the aim of clarifying the role of the epigenetic clock, mitotic clocks and active changes, which accumulate in response to environmental disease risk factors. We further highlight the growing evidence that epigenetic changes associated with cancer risk factors may play an important causal role in cancer development, and that monitoring these molecular changes in normal cells may offer novel risk prediction and disease prevention strategies.

  18. Epigenetic drift, epigenetic clocks and cancer risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shijie C; Widschwendter, Martin; Teschendorff, Andrew E

    2016-05-01

    It is well-established that the DNA methylation landscape of normal cells undergoes a gradual modification with age, termed as 'epigenetic drift'. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of epigenetic drift and its potential role in cancer etiology. We propose a new terminology to help distinguish the different components of epigenetic drift, with the aim of clarifying the role of the epigenetic clock, mitotic clocks and active changes, which accumulate in response to environmental disease risk factors. We further highlight the growing evidence that epigenetic changes associated with cancer risk factors may play an important causal role in cancer development, and that monitoring these molecular changes in normal cells may offer novel risk prediction and disease prevention strategies. PMID:27104983

  19. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge eLandgrave-Gómez

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS and its regulation in diseases is one of the most interesting processes of contemporary neuroscience. In the last decade, a growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with CNS´s regulation and neurological disorders are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure.Epigenetics, introduced for the first time by Waddington in the early 1940s, has been traditionally referred to a variety of mechanisms that allow heritable changes in gene expression even in the absence of DNA mutation. However, new definitions acknowledge that many of these mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are used by neurons to control a variety of functions dependent on gene expression. Indeed, in the recent years these mechanisms have shown their importance in the maintenance of a healthy CNS. Moreover, environmental inputs that have shown effects in CNS diseases, such as nutrition, that can modulate the concentration of a variety of metabolites such as acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ and beta hydroxybutyrate (β-HB, regulates some of these epigenetic modifications, linking in a precise way environment with gene expression.This manuscript will portray what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the CNS and their participation in a variety of neurological disorders. We will discuss how the machinery that controls these modifications plays an important role in processes involved in neurological disorders such as neurogenesis and cell growth. Moreover, we will discuss how environmental inputs modulate these modifications producing metabolic and physiological alterations that could exert beneficial effects on neurological diseases. Finally, we will highlight possible future directions in the field of

  20. 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.

  1. Epigenetic Risk Factors in PTSD and Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Joachim Raabe

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that children exposed to adverse experiences are at increased risk for the development of depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD. A history of child abuse and maltreatment increases the likelihood of being subsequently exposed to traumatic events or of developing PTSD as an adult. The brain is highly plastic during early life and encodes acquired information into lasting memories that normally subserve adaptation. Translational studies in rodents showed that enduring sensitization of neuronal and neuroendocrine circuits in response to early life adversity are likely risk factors of life time vulnerability to stress. Hereby, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis integrates cognitive, behavioural and emotional responses to early-life stress and can be epigenetically programmed during sensitive windows of development. Epigenetic mechanisms, comprising reciprocal regulation of chromatin structure and DNA methylation, are important to establish and maintain sustained, yet potentially reversible, changes in gene transcription. The relevance of these findings for the development of PTSD requires further studies in humans where experience-dependent epigenetic programming can additionally depend on genetic variation in the underlying substrates which may protect from or advance disease development. Overall, identification of early-life stress associated epigenetic risk markers informing on previous stress history can help to advance early diagnosis, personalized prevention and timely therapeutic interventions, thus reducing long-term social and health costs.

  2. 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

  3. Genome-wide binding and mechanistic analyses of Smchd1-mediated epigenetic regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kelan; Hu, Jiang; Moore, Darcy L; Liu, Ruijie; Kessans, Sarah A; Breslin, Kelsey; Lucet, Isabelle S; Keniry, Andrew; Leong, Huei San; Parish, Clare L; Hilton, Douglas J; Lemmers, Richard J L F; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Czabotar, Peter E; Dobson, Renwick C J; Ritchie, Matthew E; Kay, Graham F; Murphy, James M; Blewitt, Marnie E

    2015-07-01

    Structural maintenance of chromosomes flexible hinge domain containing 1 (Smchd1) is an epigenetic repressor with described roles in X inactivation and genomic imprinting, but Smchd1 is also critically involved in the pathogenesis of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy. The underlying molecular mechanism by which Smchd1 functions in these instances remains unknown. Our genome-wide transcriptional and epigenetic analyses show that Smchd1 binds cis-regulatory elements, many of which coincide with CCCTC-binding factor (Ctcf) binding sites, for example, the clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes, where we show Smchd1 and Ctcf act in opposing ways. We provide biochemical and biophysical evidence that Smchd1-chromatin interactions are established through the homodimeric hinge domain of Smchd1 and, intriguingly, that the hinge domain also has the capacity to bind DNA and RNA. Our results suggest Smchd1 imparts epigenetic regulation via physical association with chromatin, which may antagonize Ctcf-facilitated chromatin interactions, resulting in coordinated transcriptional control. PMID:26091879

  4. Inhibitors of emerging epigenetic targets for cancer therapy: a patent review (2010-2014).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Minoru; Roberts, Justin M; Qi, Jun; Bradner, James E

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulatory pathways comprise an emerging and active area of chemical probe discovery and investigational drug development. Emerging insights from cancer genome sequencing and chromatin biology have identified leveraged opportunities for development of chromatin-directed small molecules as cancer therapies. At present, only six agents in two epigenetic target classes have been approved by the US FDA, limited to treatment of hematological malignancies. Recently, new classes of epigenetic inhibitors have appeared in literatures. First-in-class compounds have successfully transitioned to clinical investigation, importantly also in solid tumors and pediatric malignancies. This review considers patent applications for small-molecule inhibitors of selected epigenetic targets from 2010 to 2014. Included are exemplary classes of chromatin-associated epigenomic writers (DOT1L and EZH2), erasers (LSD1) and readers (BRD4).

  5. Retroviruses hijack chromatin loops to drive oncogene expression and highlight the chromatin architecture around proto-oncogenic loci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jillian M Pattison

    Full Text Available The majority of the genome consists of intergenic and non-coding DNA sequences shown to play a major role in different gene regulatory networks. However, the specific potency of these distal elements as well as how these regions exert function across large genomic distances remains unclear. To address these unresolved issues, we closely examined the chromatin architecture around proto-oncogenic loci in the mouse and human genomes to demonstrate a functional role for chromatin looping in distal gene regulation. Using cell culture models, we show that tumorigenic retroviral integration sites within the mouse genome occur near existing large chromatin loops and that this chromatin architecture is maintained within the human genome as well. Significantly, as mutagenesis screens are not feasible in humans, we demonstrate a way to leverage existing screens in mice to identify disease relevant human enhancers and expose novel disease mechanisms. For instance, we characterize the epigenetic landscape upstream of the human Cyclin D1 locus to find multiple distal interactions that contribute to the complex cis-regulation of this cell cycle gene. Furthermore, we characterize a novel distal interaction upstream of the Cyclin D1 gene which provides mechanistic evidence for the abundant overexpression of Cyclin D1 occurring in multiple myeloma cells harboring a pathogenic translocation event. Through use of mapped retroviral integrations and translocation breakpoints, our studies highlight the importance of chromatin looping in oncogene expression, elucidate the epigenetic mechanisms crucial for distal cis-regulation, and in one particular instance, explain how a translocation event drives tumorigenesis through upregulation of a proto-oncogene.

  6. Retroviruses Hijack Chromatin Loops to Drive Oncogene Expression and Highlight the Chromatin Architecture around Proto-Oncogenic Loci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattison, Jillian M.; Wright, Jason B.; Cole, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    The majority of the genome consists of intergenic and non-coding DNA sequences shown to play a major role in different gene regulatory networks. However, the specific potency of these distal elements as well as how these regions exert function across large genomic distances remains unclear. To address these unresolved issues, we closely examined the chromatin architecture around proto-oncogenic loci in the mouse and human genomes to demonstrate a functional role for chromatin looping in distal gene regulation. Using cell culture models, we show that tumorigenic retroviral integration sites within the mouse genome occur near existing large chromatin loops and that this chromatin architecture is maintained within the human genome as well. Significantly, as mutagenesis screens are not feasible in humans, we demonstrate a way to leverage existing screens in mice to identify disease relevant human enhancers and expose novel disease mechanisms. For instance, we characterize the epigenetic landscape upstream of the human Cyclin D1 locus to find multiple distal interactions that contribute to the complex cis-regulation of this cell cycle gene. Furthermore, we characterize a novel distal interaction upstream of the Cyclin D1 gene which provides mechanistic evidence for the abundant overexpression of Cyclin D1 occurring in multiple myeloma cells harboring a pathogenic translocation event. Through use of mapped retroviral integrations and translocation breakpoints, our studies highlight the importance of chromatin looping in oncogene expression, elucidate the epigenetic mechanisms crucial for distal cis-regulation, and in one particular instance, explain how a translocation event drives tumorigenesis through upregulation of a proto-oncogene. PMID:25799187

  7. The epigenetics of nuclear envelope organization and disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schirmer, Eric C. [Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Kings Buildings, Michael Swann Building, Room 5.22, Edinburgh EH9 3JR (United Kingdom)], E-mail: e.schirmer@ed.ac.uk

    2008-12-01

    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.

  8. The expanding epigenetic landscape of non-model organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonasio, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics studies the emergence of different phenotypes from a single genotype. Although these processes are essential to cellular differentiation and transcriptional memory, they are also widely used in all branches of the tree of life by organisms that require plastic but stable adaptation to their physical and social environment. Because of the inherent flexibility of epigenetic regulation, a variety of biological phenomena can be traced back to evolutionary adaptations of few conserved molecular pathways that converge on chromatin. For these reasons chromatin biology and epigenetic research have a rich history of chasing discoveries in a variety of model organisms, including yeast, flies, plants and humans. Many more fascinating examples of epigenetic plasticity lie outside the realm of model organisms and have so far been only sporadically investigated at a molecular level; however, recent progress on sequencing technology and genome editing tools have begun to blur the lines between model and non-model organisms, opening numerous new avenues for investigation. Here, I review examples of epigenetic phenomena in non-model organisms that have emerged as potential experimental systems, including social insects, fish and flatworms, and are becoming accessible to molecular approaches.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Insights into newly discovered marks and readers of epigenetic information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Forest H; Strahl, Brian D; Kutateladze, Tatiana G

    2016-08-18

    The field of chromatin biology has been advancing at an accelerated pace. Recent discoveries of previously uncharacterized sites and types of post-translational modifications (PTMs) and the identification of new sets of proteins responsible for the deposition, removal, and reading of these marks continue raising the complexity of an already exceedingly complicated biological phenomenon. In this Perspective article we examine the biological importance of new types and sites of histone PTMs and summarize the molecular mechanisms of chromatin engagement by newly discovered epigenetic readers. We also highlight the imperative role of structural insights in understanding PTM-reader interactions and discuss future directions to enhance the knowledge of PTM readout. PMID:27538025

  11. Sperm is epigenetically programmed to regulate gene transcription in embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teperek, Marta; Simeone, Angela; Gaggioli, Vincent; Miyamoto, Kei; Allen, George E; Erkek, Serap; Kwon, Taejoon; Marcotte, Edward M; Zegerman, Philip; Bradshaw, Charles R; Peters, Antoine H F M; Gurdon, John B; Jullien, Jerome

    2016-08-01

    For a long time, it has been assumed that the only role of sperm at fertilization is to introduce the male genome into the egg. Recently, ideas have emerged that the epigenetic state of the sperm nucleus could influence transcription in the embryo. However, conflicting reports have challenged the existence of epigenetic marks on sperm genes, and there are no functional tests supporting the role of sperm epigenetic marking on embryonic gene expression. Here, we show that sperm is epigenetically programmed to regulate embryonic gene expression. By comparing the development of sperm- and spermatid-derived frog embryos, we show that the programming of sperm for successful development relates to its ability to regulate transcription of a set of developmentally important genes. During spermatid maturation into sperm, these genes lose H3K4me2/3 and retain H3K27me3 marks. Experimental removal of these epigenetic marks at fertilization de-regulates gene expression in the resulting embryos in a paternal chromatin-dependent manner. This demonstrates that epigenetic instructions delivered by the sperm at fertilization are required for correct regulation of gene expression in the future embryos. The epigenetic mechanisms of developmental programming revealed here are likely to relate to the mechanisms involved in transgenerational transmission of acquired traits. Understanding how parental experience can influence development of the progeny has broad potential for improving human health. PMID:27034506

  12. 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.

  13. The contribution of epigenetic memory to immunologic memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zediak, Valerie P; Wherry, E John; Berger, Shelley L

    2011-04-01

    Memory T lymphocytes are distinct from antigen-inexperienced naïve T cells in that memory T cells can respond more rapidly when they re-encounter a pathogen. Work over the past decade has begun to define the epigenetic underpinnings of the transcriptional component of the memory T cell response. An emerging theme is the persistence of an active chromatin signature at relevant gene loci in resting memory T cells, even when those genes are transcriptionally inactive. This gives strength to the concept of gene poising, and has shown that memory T lymphocytes are an ideal model in which to further define various mechanisms of epigenetic poising.

  14. Cas9 Functionally Opens Chromatin

    OpenAIRE

    Barkal, Amira A.; Srinivasan, Sharanya; Hashimoto, Tatsunori; Gifford, David K.; Sherwood, Richard I.

    2016-01-01

    Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding.

  15. Cas9 Functionally Opens Chromatin

    OpenAIRE

    Barkal, Amira A.; Srinivasan, Sharanya; Gifford, David K.; Sherwood, Richard I.; Hashimoto, Tatsunori Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding.

  16. Cas9 Functionally Opens Chromatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira A Barkal

    Full Text Available Using a nuclease-dead Cas9 mutant, we show that Cas9 reproducibly induces chromatin accessibility at previously inaccessible genomic loci. Cas9 chromatin opening is sufficient to enable adjacent binding and transcriptional activation by the settler transcription factor retinoic acid receptor at previously unbound motifs. Thus, we demonstrate a new use for Cas9 in increasing surrounding chromatin accessibility to alter local transcription factor binding.

  17. The Chromatin-Modifying Enzyme Ezh2 Is Critical for the Maintenance of Regulatory T Cell Identity after Activation

    OpenAIRE

    DuPage, Michel; Chopra, Gaurav; Quiros, Jason; Rosenthal, Wendy L.; Morar, Malika M.; Holohan, Dan; Zhang, Ruan; Turka, Laurence; Marson, Alexander; Bluestone, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Regulatory T cells (Treg cells) are required for immune homeostasis. Chromatin remodeling is essential for establishing diverse cellular identities, but how the epigenetic program in Treg cells is maintained throughout the dynamic activation process remains unclear. Here we have shown that CD28 co-stimulation, an extracellular cue intrinsically required for Treg cell maintenance, induced the chromatin-modifying enzyme, Ezh2. Treg-specific ablation of Ezh2 resulted in spontaneous autoimmunity ...

  18. Characteristics of thymine dimer excision from xeroderma pigmentosum chromatin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We investigated thymine dimer excision from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) chromatin in the cell-free reconstruction system. The normal-cell extract performed specific dimer excision from native chromatin and DNA isolated from 100 J/m2-irradiated cells. Such an excision in vitro was rapid and required high concentrations of extract. The extracts of XP group A, C and G cells were unable to excise from their own native-chromatin, but capable of excising from chromatin deprived of loosely bound nonhistone proteins with 0.35 M NaCl, as were from purified DNA. Thus, group A, C and G cells are most likely to be defective in the specific XP factors facilitating the excising activity under multicomponent regulation at the chromatin level. Further, either of group A, C and G extracts successfully complemented the native chromatin of the alternative groups. Uniquely, the XP group D extract excised dimers from native chromatin in the normal fashion under the condition. These results suggest that XP group A, C, D and G cells examined may not be defective in the dimer specific endonuclease and exonuclease per se. 19 references, 3 figures, 2 tables

  19. Involvement of epigenetic modifiers in the pathogenesis of testicular dysgenesis and germ cell cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lawaetz, Andreas C.; Almstrup, Kristian

    2015-01-01

    cell is a fetal germ cell that has been arrested during development due to testicular dysgenesis. CIS cells retain a fetal and open chromatin structure, and recently several epigenetic modifiers have been suggested to be involved in testicular dysgenesis in mice. We here review the possible involvement...... of epigenetic modifiers with a focus on jumonji C enzymes in the development of testicular dysgenesis and germ cell cancer in men....

  20. Genetic and epigenetic changes in malignant cells of tumors of urogenital organs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordiyuk V. V.

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available More than 90 % of human malignant neoplasms are presented by epithelial tumors. Cancer of urogenital organs is a serious problem because of wide spread of disease and high mortality rates. Tumorogenesis is associated with different defects of genetic apparatus of cells as well as epigenetic factors (DNA methylation disorders, chromatin reorganizations in processes of histones modifications, regulation of gene expression with small non-coding RNAs. In this review we analyzed genetic and epigenetic changes in the urogenital tumors

  1. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wenyi; Wang, Fengzhong; Yu, Zhongsheng; Xin, Fengjiao

    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 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. PMID:27695375

  2. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wenyi; Wang, Fengzhong; Yu, Zhongsheng; Xin, Fengjiao

    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 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.

  3. The Role for Epigenetic Modifications in Pain and Analgesia Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherrie Lessans

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Pain remains a poorly understood and managed symptom. A limited mechanistic understanding of interindividual differences in pain and analgesia response shapes current approaches to assessment and treatment. Opportunities exist to improve pain care through increased understanding of how dynamic epigenomic remodeling shapes injury, illness, pain, and treatment response. Tightly regulated alterations of the DNA-histone chromatin complex enable cells to control transcription, replication, gene expression, and protein production. Pathological alterations to chromatin shape the ability of the cell to respond to physiologic and environmental cues leading to disease and reduced treatment effectiveness. This review provides an overview of critical epigenetic processes shaping pathology and pain, highlights current research support for the role of epigenomic modification in the development of chronic pain, and summarizes the therapeutic potential to alter epigenetic processes to improve health outcomes.

  4. Dicer is associated with ribosomal DNA chromatin in mammalian cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lasse Sinkkonen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: RNA silencing is a common term for pathways utilizing small RNAs as sequence-specific guides to repress gene expression. Components of the RNA silencing machinery are involved in different aspects of chromatin function in numerous organisms. However, association of RNA silencing with chromatin in mammalian cells remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Immunostaining of mitotic chromosomes with antibodies visualizing either endogenous or ectopically expressed Dicer in mammalian cells revealed association of the protein with ribosomal DNA (rDNA repeats. Chromatin immunoprecipitations and bisulfite sequencing experiments indicated that Dicer is associated with transcribed regions of both active and silenced genes in rDNA arrays of interphase chromosomes. Metabolic labeling of the mouse embryonic stem (ES cells lacking Dicer did not reveal apparent defect in rRNA biogenesis though pre-rRNA synthesis in these cells was decreased, likely as a consequence of their slower growth caused by the loss of miRNAs. We analyzed in detail chromatin structure of rDNA but did not find any epigenetic changes at rDNA loci in Dicer(-/- ES cells. Instead, we found that rDNA methylation is rather low in primary tissues, contrasting with rDNA methylation patterns in transformed cell lines. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We found that Dicer, a key component of RNA silencing pathways, can be detected in association with rDNA chromatin in mammalian cells. The role of this particular localization of Dicer is not readily apparent since the enzyme is associated with rDNA genes regardless of their transcriptional activity. However, localization of Dicer to the transcribed region suggests that transcription may contribute to the Dicer deposition at rDNA chromatin. We hypothesize that Dicer functions in maintaining integrity of rDNA arrays.

  5. Single-epitope recognition imaging of native chromatin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Hongda

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Direct visualization of chromatin has the potential to provide important insights into epigenetic processes. In particular, atomic force microscopy (AFM can visualize single nucleosomes under physiological ionic conditions. However, AFM has mostly been applied to chromatin that has been reconstituted in vitro, and its potential as a tool for the dissection of native nucleosomes has not been explored. Recently we applied AFM to native Drosophila chromatin containing the centromere-specific histone 3 (CenH3, showing that it is greatly enriched in smaller particles. Taken together with biochemical analyses of CenH3 nucleosomes, we propose that centromeric nucleosomes are hemisomes, with one turn of DNA wrapped around a particle consisting of one molecule each of centromere-specific CenH3, H4, H2A and H2B. Results Here we apply a recognition mode of AFM imaging to directly identify CenH3 within histone core particles released from native centromeric chromatin. More than 90% of these particles were found to be tetrameric in height. The specificity of recognition was confirmed by blocking with a CenH3 peptide, and the strength of the interaction was quantified by force measurements. These results imply that the particles imaged by AFM are indeed mature CenH3-containing hemisomes. Conclusion Efficient and highly specific recognition of CenH3 in histone core particles isolated from native centromeric chromatin demonstrates that tetramers are the predominant form of centromeric nucleosomes in mature tetramers. Our findings provide proof of principle that this approach can yield insights into chromatin biology using direct and rapid detection of native nucleosomes in physiological salt concentrations.

  6. Chromatin Flavors: Chromatin composition and domain organization in Drosophila melanogaster

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.G. van Bemmel (Joke)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractChromatin was originally identified by W. Flemming in 1882 as not much more than the stainable substance of the cell nucleus. Flemming named this substance according to the Greek word “chroma”, meaning color. In 1911 chromatin was characterized as proteins, named histones, that were atta

  7. Epigenetics in liver disease

    OpenAIRE

    Mann, Derek A.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics is a term that encompasses a variety of regulatory processes that are able to crosstalk in order to influence gene expression and cell phenotype in response to environmental cues. A deep understanding of epigenetics offers the potential for fresh insights into the basis for complex chronic diseases and improved diagnostic and prognostic tools. Moreover, as epigenetic modifications are highly plastic and responsive to the environment, there is much excitement around the theme of ep...

  8. Epigenetics and aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer. PMID:27482540

  9. Epigenetics and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K

    2016-07-01

    Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer. PMID:27482540

  10. Regulation of chromatin structure by poly(ADP-ribosylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha eBeneke

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The interaction of DNA with proteins in the context of chromatin has to be tightly regulated to achieve so different tasks as packaging, transcription, replication and repair. The very rapid and transient post-translational modification of proteins by poly(ADP-ribose has been shown to take part in all four. Originally identified as immediate cellular answer to a variety of genotoxic stresses, already early data indicated the ability of this highly charged nucleic acid-like polymer to modulate nucleosome structure, the basic unit of chromatin. At the same time the enzyme responsible for synthesizing poly(ADP-ribose, the zinc-finger protein poly(ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP1, was shown to control transcription initiation as basic factor TFIIC within the RNA-polymerase II machinery. Later research focused more on PARP-mediated regulation of DNA repair and cell death, but in the last few years, transcription as well as chromatin modulation has re-appeared on the scene. This review will discuss the impact of PARP1 on transcription and transcription factors, its implication in chromatin remodeling for DNA repair and probably also replication, and its role in controlling epigenetic events such as DNA methylation and the functionality of the insulator protein CCCTC-binding factor.

  11. Cdk Activity Couples Epigenetic Centromere Inheritance to Cell Cycle Progression

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, Mariana C.C.; Bodor, Dani L.; Stellfox, Madison E.; Martins, Nuno M.C.; Hochegger, Helfrid; Foltz, Daniel R.; Jansen, Lars E.T.

    2012-01-01

    Centromeres form the site of chromosome attachment to microtubules during mitosis. Identity of these loci is maintained epigenetically by nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A. Propagation of CENP-A chromatin is uncoupled from DNA replication initiating only during mitotic exit. We now demonstrate that inhibition of Cdk1 and Cdk2 activities is sufficient to trigger CENP-A assembly throughout the cell cycle in a manner dependent on the canonical CENP-A assembly machinery. We fur...

  12. Epigenetic mechanisms and gastrointestinal development

    Science.gov (United States)

    This review considers the hypothesis that nutrition during infancy affects developmental epigenetics in the gut, causing metabolic imprinting of gastrointestinal (GI) structure and function. Fundamentals of epigenetic gene regulation are reviewed, with an emphasis on the epigenetic mechanism of DNA ...

  13. Identification of noncoding transcripts from within CENP-A chromatin at fission yeast centromeres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Eun Shik; Strålfors, Annelie; Castillo, Araceli G; Durand-Dubief, Mickaël; Ekwall, Karl; Allshire, Robin C

    2011-07-01

    The histone H3 variant CENP-A is the most favored candidate for an epigenetic mark that specifies the centromere. In fission yeast, adjacent heterochromatin can direct CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin establishment, but the underlying features governing where CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin assembles are unknown. We show that, in addition to centromeric regions, a low level of CENP-A(Cnp1) associates with gene promoters where histone H3 is depleted by the activity of the Hrp1(Chd1) chromatin-remodeling factor. Moreover, we demonstrate that noncoding RNAs are transcribed by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) from CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin at centromeres. These analyses reveal a similarity between centromeres and a subset of RNAPII genes and suggest a role for remodeling at RNAPII promoters within centromeres that influences the replacement of histone H3 with CENP-A(Cnp1). PMID:21531710

  14. Epigenetics: A possible answer to the undeciphered etiopathogenesis and behavior of oral lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Narendra Nath; Peer, Aakanksha; Nair, Sherin; Chaturvedi, Rupesh K

    2016-01-01

    Much controversy has existed over the etiopathogenesis and management of oral lesions, especially oral malignancies. The knowledge of genetic basis is proving to be inadequate in the light of emerging new mechanisms termed epigenetic phenomena. The present review article aims to understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in oral lesions. Epigenetics is the study of acquired changes in chromatin structure that arise independently of a change in the underlying deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nucleotide sequence. Key components involved in epigenetic regulation are DNA methylation, histone modifications and modifications in micro ribonucleic acids (miRNA). Epigenetics is a reversible system that can be affected by various environmental factors such as diet, drugs, mental stress, physical activity and addictive substances such as tobacco, nicotine and alcohol. Epigenetics may also play a role in explaining the etiopathogenesis of developmental anomalies, genetic defects, cancer as well as substance addiction (tobacco, cigarette and alcohol). Epigenetic modifications may contribute to aberrant epigenetic mechanisms seen in oral precancers and cancers. In the near future, epigenetic variations found in oral dysplastic cells can act as a molecular fingerprint for malignancies. The literature in English language was searched and a structured scientific review and meta-analysis of scientific publications from the year 2000 to year 2015 was carried out from various journals. It was observed that epigenetic marks can prove to be novel markers for early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of oral cancers as well as other oral diseases. PMID:27194874

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Epigenetics of induced pluripotency, the seven-headed dragon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djuric, Ugljesa; Ellis, James

    2010-01-01

    Induction of pluripotency from somatic cells by exogenous transcription factors is made possible by a variety of epigenetic changes that take place during the reprogramming process. The derivation of fully reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is achieved through establishment of embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like epigenetic architecture permitting the reactivation of key endogenous pluripotency-related genes, establishment of appropriate bivalent chromatin domains and DNA hypomethylation of genomic heterochromatic regions. Restructuring of the epigenetic landscape, however, is a very inefficient process and the vast majority of the induced cells fail to complete the reprogramming process. Optimal ESC-like epigenetic reorganization is necessary for all reliable downstream uses of iPS cells, including in vitro modeling of disease and clinical applications. Here, we discuss the key advancements in the understanding of dynamic epigenetic changes taking place over the course of the reprogramming process and how aberrant epigenetic remodeling may impact downstream applications of iPS cell technology. PMID:20504284

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark F. Mehler

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Epigenetics: new concepts of old phenomena in vascular physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Bernardo; Sobrevia, Luis; Casanello, Paola

    2009-10-01

    The hypothesis of 'Developmental Origins of Health and Disease' (DOHaD) relies on the presence of mechanisms sensing and signalling a diversity of stimuli during fetal development. The mechanisms that have been broadly suggested to be involved in these processes are the epigenetic modifications that could 'record' perinatal stimuli. Since the definition of epigenetic and the associated mechanisms are conflictive, in this review epigenetic was defined as 'chromosome-based mechanisms that can change the phenotypic plasticity in a cell or organism'. The most understood epigenetic mechanisms (i.e. DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications (PTM), ATP-dependent chromatin modifications and non-coding RNAs) and reported evidence for their role in fetal programming were briefly reviewed. The development of the vascular system is strongly influenced by epigenetic mechanisms. For that reason vascular cells are good candidates to be explored regarding epigenetic programming since its proved susceptibility to be imprinted. This has been described in pregnancy diseases such as intra-uterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, where changes in vascular function are preserved in vitro. PMID:19485890

  20. Studying epigenetic interactions using MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Schubert

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic regulation is based on specific molecular interactions between epigenetic reader, writer and eraser molecules and chromatin. Binding parameters of these interactions such as binding affinities, stoichiometries and thermodynamics are essential for the understanding of the establishment and maintenance of epigenetic networks. The MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST is a rapid and precise method to characterize epigenetic interactions in solution at microliter scale, requiring low concentrations of the potential interactors. The technology is based on the movement of molecules through temperature gradients, a physical effect referred to as thermophoresis. The thermophoretic movement of a molecule depends on its size, charge and hydration shell. Upon the interaction of two molecules, at least one of these parameters is altered, leading to a change in the movement behavior, which can be used to quantify molecular interactions. MST offers free choice of buffers, also allowing measurements in serum and crude extracts, thereby ensuring optimal reaction conditions. Binding affinities from pM to mM can be measured, perfectly suited to analyze protein/protein, protein/modified peptide and protein/nucleic acid interactions in epigenetics. This review demonstrates the potential of this rapid and versatile technology in the characterization of epigenetic modifiers.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic Control of Smooth Muscle Cell Identity and Lineage Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Delphine; Swiatlowska, Pamela; Owens, Gary K

    2015-12-01

    Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), like all cells, acquire a cell-specific epigenetic signature during development that includes acquisition of a unique repertoire of histone and DNA modifications. These changes are postulated to induce an open chromatin state (referred to as euchromatin) on the repertoire of genes that are expressed in differentiated SMC, including SMC-selective marker genes like Acta2 and Myh11, as well as housekeeping genes expressed by most cell types. In contrast, genes that are silenced in differentiated SMC acquire modifications associated with a closed chromatin state (ie, heterochromatin) and transcriptional silencing. Herein, we review mechanisms that regulate epigenetic control of the differentiated state of SMC. In addition, we identify some of the major limitations in the field and future challenges, including development of innovative new tools and approaches, for performing single-cell epigenetic assays and locus-selective editing of the epigenome that will allow direct studies of the functional role of specific epigenetic controls during development, injury repair, and disease, including major cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, and microvascular disease, associated with diabetes mellitus.

  4. Developmental epigenetics of the murine secondary palate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seelan, Ratnam S; Mukhopadhyay, Partha; Pisano, M Michele; Greene, Robert M

    2012-01-01

    Orofacial clefts occur with a frequency of 1 to 2 per 1000 live births. Cleft palate, which accounts for 30% of orofacial clefts, is caused by the failure of the secondary palatal processes--medially directed, oral projections of the paired embryonic maxillary processes--to fuse. Both gene mutations and environmental effects contribute to the complex etiology of this disorder. Although much progress has been made in identifying genes whose mutations are associated with cleft palate, little is known about the mechanisms by which the environment adversely influences gene expression during secondary palate development. An increasing body of evidence, however, implicates epigenetic processes as playing a role in adversely influencing orofacial development. Epigenetics refers to inherited changes in phenotype or gene expression caused by processes other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Such processes include, but are not limited to, DNA methylation, microRNA effects, and histone modifications that alter chromatin conformation. In this review, we describe our current understanding of the possible role epigenetics may play during development of the secondary palate. Specifically, we present the salient features of the embryonic palatal methylome and profile the expression of numerous microRNAs that regulate protein-encoding genes crucial to normal orofacial ontogeny.

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms in cardiac development and disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marcus Vallaster; Caroline Dacwag Vallaster; Sean M. Wu

    2012-01-01

    During mammalian development,cardiac specification and ultimately lineage commitment to a specific cardiac cell type is accomplished by the action of specific transcription factors (TFs) and their meticulous control on an epigenetic level.In this review,we detail how cardiacspecific TFs function in concert with nucleosome remodeling and histone-modifying enzymes to regulate a diverse network of genes required for processes such as cell growth and proliferation,or epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT),for instance.We provide examples of how several cardiac TFs,such as Nkx2.5,WHSC1,Tbx5,and Tbx1,which are associated with developmental and congenital heart defects,are required for the recruitment of histone modifiers,such as Jarid2,p300,and Ash21,and components of ATP-dependent remodeling enzymes like Brg1,Baf60c,and Baf180.Binding of these TFs to their respective sites at cardiac genes coincides with a distinct pattern of histone marks,indicating that the precise regulation of cardiac gene networks is orchestrated by interactions between TFs and epigenetic modifiers.Furthermore,we speculate that an epigenetic signature,comprised of TF occupancy,histone modifications,and overall chromatin organization,is an underlying mechanism that governs cardiac morphogenesis and disease.

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetics: definition, molecular bases and implications in human health and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    García-Robles Reggie

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics refers to inheritable changes in DNA and histones that do not involve changes in thesequence of nucleotides and that modifies structure and chromatin condensation, thus affectinggene expression and phenotype. Epigenetic modifications are DNA methylation and histone modifications. Objective: A review of the literature on the concept of Epigenetics and its impacton health. Materials and methods: A review of the literature was performed on the concept ofepigenetics, its biological basis, the impact on health and disease and its relation to evolution.Results: Epigenetic mechanisms have become increasingly important because of the growingassociation with common complex diseases as well as its impact on health of future generationsand in human evolution. Conclusions: Epigenetics has a clear impact on the health of individualsin their offspring and with the evolution of the human species

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. Epigenetic Modifications Unlock the Milk Protein Gene Loci during Mouse Mammary Gland Development and Differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijnkels, Monique; Freeman-Zadrowski, Courtneay; Hernandez, Joseph; Potluri, Vani; Wang, Liguo; Li, Wei; Lemay, Danielle G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Unlike other tissues, development and differentiation of the mammary gland occur mostly after birth. The roles of systemic hormones and local growth factors important for this development and functional differentiation are well-studied. In other tissues, it has been shown that chromatin organization plays a key role in transcriptional regulation and underlies epigenetic regulation during development and differentiation. However, the role of chromatin organization in mammary gland development and differentiation is less well-defined. Here, we have studied the changes in chromatin organization at the milk protein gene loci (casein, whey acidic protein, and others) in the mouse mammary gland before and after functional differentiation. Methodology/Principal Findings Distal regulatory elements within the casein gene cluster and whey acidic protein gene region have an open chromatin organization after pubertal development, while proximal promoters only gain open-chromatin marks during pregnancy in conjunction with the major induction of their expression. In contrast, other milk protein genes, such as alpha-lactalbumin, already have an open chromatin organization in the mature virgin gland. Changes in chromatin organization in the casein gene cluster region that are present after puberty persisted after lactation has ceased, while the changes which occurred during pregnancy at the gene promoters were not maintained. In general, mammary gland expressed genes and their regulatory elements exhibit developmental stage- and tissue-specific chromatin organization. Conclusions/Significance A progressive gain of epigenetic marks indicative of open/active chromatin on genes marking functional differentiation accompanies the development of the mammary gland. These results support a model in which a chromatin organization is established during pubertal development that is then poised to respond to the systemic hormonal signals of pregnancy and lactation to achieve the

  10. Epigenetic Induction of Definitive and Pancreatic Endoderm Cell Fate in Human Fibroblasts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sambathkumar, Rangarajan; Kalo, Eric; Van Rossom, Rob; Faas, Marijke M.; de Vos, Paul; Verfaillie, Catherine M.

    2016-01-01

    Reprogramming can occur by the introduction of key transcription factors (TFs) as well as by epigenetic changes. We demonstrated that histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) Trichostatin A (TSA) combined with a chromatin remodeling medium (CRM) induced expression of a number of definitive endoderm and

  11. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe

    2014-11-01

    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

  12. Chromatin Assembly at Kinetochores Is Uncoupled from DNA Replication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelby, Richard D.; Monier, Karine; Sullivan, Kevin F.

    2000-01-01

    The specification of metazoan centromeres does not depend strictly on centromeric DNA sequences, but also requires epigenetic factors. The mechanistic basis for establishing a centromeric “state” on the DNA remains unclear. In this work, we have directly examined replication timing of the prekinetochore domain of human chromosomes. Kinetochores were labeled by expression of epitope-tagged CENP-A, which stably marks prekinetochore domains in human cells. By immunoprecipitating CENP-A mononucleosomes from synchronized cells pulsed with [3H]thymidine we demonstrate that CENP-A–associated DNA is replicated in mid-to-late S phase. Cytological analysis of DNA replication further demonstrated that centromeres replicate asynchronously in parallel with numerous other genomic regions. In contrast, quantitative Western blot analysis demonstrates that CENP-A protein synthesis occurs later, in G2. Quantitative fluorescence microscopy and transient transfection in the presence of aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA replication, show that CENP-A can assemble into centromeres in the absence of DNA replication. Thus, unlike most genomic chromatin, histone synthesis and assembly are uncoupled from DNA replication at the kinetochore. Uncoupling DNA replication from CENP-A synthesis suggests that regulated chromatin assembly or remodeling could play a role in epigenetic centromere propagation. PMID:11086012

  13. Epigenetic changes in diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Haddad, Rami; Karnib, Nabil; Assaad, Rawad Abi; Bilen, Yara; Emmanuel, Nancy; Ghanem, Anthony; Younes, Joe; Zibara, Victor; Stephan, Joseph S; Sleiman, Sama F

    2016-06-20

    The incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide. Diabetes is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death. Diabetes is a genetic disease; however, the environment plays critical roles in its development and progression. Epigenetic changes often translate environmental stimuli to changes in gene expression. Changes in epigenetic marks and differential regulation of epigenetic modulators have been observed in different models of diabetes and its associated complications. In this minireview, we will focus DNA methylation, Histone acetylation and methylation and their roles in the pathogenesis of diabetes. PMID:27130819

  14. Vernalization-mediated chromatin changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zografos, Brett R; Sung, Sibum

    2012-07-01

    Proper flowering time is vital for reproductive fitness in flowering plants. In Arabidopsis, vernalization is mediated primarily through the repression of a MADS box transcription factor, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). The induction of a plant homeodomain-containing protein, VERNALIZATION INSENSITIVE 3 (VIN3), by vernalizing cold is required for proper repression of FLC. One of a myriad of changes that occurs after VIN3 is induced is the establishment of FLC chromatin at a mitotically repressed state due to the enrichment of repressive histone modifications. VIN3 induction by cold is the earliest known event during the vernalization response and includes changes in histone modifications at its chromatin. Here, the current understanding of the vernalization-mediated chromatin changes in Arabidopsis is discussed, with a focus on the roles of shared chromatin-modifying machineries in regulating VIN3 and FLC gene family expression during the course of vernalization.

  15. [Epigenetics in Parkinson's Disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wüllner, U

    2016-07-01

    The genetic information encoded in the DNA sequence provides a blueprint of the entire organism. The epigenetic modifications, in particular DNA methylation and histone modifications, determine how and when this information is made available and define the specific gene transcription pattern of a given cell. Epigenetic modifications determine the functional differences of genetically identical cells in multicellular organisms and are important factors in various processes from embryonic development to learning and memory consolidation. DNA methylation patterns are altered by environmental conditions and some alterations are preserved through mitosis and meiosis. Thus, DNA methylation can mediate environmental impact on health and disease, contributes to the severity of diseases and probably contributes to the effects and side effects of drugs. In addition to the classical monogenic epigenetic diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Rett syndrome, recent data point to an epigenetic component also in sporadic neuro-psychiatric disorders. PMID:27299943

  16. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider. PMID:22639577

  17. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Jorgensen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920's and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  18. Epigenetics in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    OpenAIRE

    Trenkmann, M.; Brock, M; Ospelt, C; Gay, S.

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics is a steadily growing research area. In many human diseases, especially in cancers, but also in autoimmune diseases, epigenetic aberrations have been found. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation and destruction of synovial joints. Even though the etiology is not yet fully understood, rheumatoid arthritis is generally considered to be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition, deregulated immunomodulation, and environmental infl...

  19. CENP-C facilitates the recruitment of M18BP1 to centromeric chromatin

    OpenAIRE

    Dambacher, Silvia; Deng, Wen; Hahn, Matthias; Sadic, Dennis; Fröhlich, Jonathan; Nuber, Alexander; Hoischen, Christian; Diekmann, Stephan; Leonhardt, Heinrich; Schotta, Gunnar

    2012-01-01

    Centromeres are important structural constituents of chromosomes that ensure proper chromosome segregation during mitosis by providing defined sites for kinetochore attachment. In higher eukaryotes, centromeres have no specific DNA sequence and thus, they are rather determined through epigenetic mechanisms. A fundamental process in centromere establishment is the incorporation of the histone variant CENP-A into centromeric chromatin, which provides a binding platform for the other centromeric...

  20. Comparing genome-wide chromatin profiles using ChIP-chip or ChIP-seq

    OpenAIRE

    Johannes, Frank; Wardenaar, Rene; Colomé Tatché, Maria; Mousson, Florence; de Graaf, Petra; Mokry, Michal; Guryev, Victor; Timmers, H. Th. Marc; Cuppen, Edwin; Ritsert C Jansen; Bateman, Alex

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq technologies provide genomewide measurements of various types of chromatin marks at an unprecedented resolution. With ChIP samples collected from different tissue types and/ or individuals, we can now begin to characterize stochastic or systematic changes in epigenetic patterns during development (intra-individual) or at the population level (inter-individual). This requires statistical methods that permit a simultaneous comparison of multiple ChIP samples o...

  1. Current concepts on oxidative/carbonyl stress, inflammation and epigenetics in pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a global health problem. The current therapies for COPD are poorly effective and the mainstays of pharmacotherapy are bronchodilators. A better understanding of the pathobiology of COPD is critical for the development of novel therapies. In the present review, we have discussed the roles of oxidative/aldehyde stress, inflammation/immunity, and chromatin remodeling in the pathogenesis of COPD. An imbalance of oxidants/antioxidants caused by cigarette smoke and other pollutants/biomass fuels plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD by regulating redox-sensitive transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB), autophagy and unfolded protein response leading to chronic lung inflammatory response. Cigarette smoke also activates canonical/alternative NF-κB pathways and their upstream kinases leading to sustained inflammatory response in lungs. Recently, epigenetic regulation has been shown to be critical for the development of COPD because the expression/activity of enzymes that regulate these epigenetic modifications have been reported to be abnormal in airways of COPD patients. Hence, the significant advances made in understanding the pathophysiology of COPD as described herein will identify novel therapeutic targets for intervention in COPD.

  2. [Advances in epigenetic researches of Toxoplasma gondii].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Pei-Liang; Chen, Xiao-Guang

    2012-06-30

    Toxoplasma gondii undergoes a complex life cycle that involves multiple development stages, hosts and environments. The ability to transform from one stage to another and adapt to changing environments demands precise regulation of gene expression. Bioinformatic surveys of the sequenced genomes of T. gondii revealed a peculiar absence of DNA-binding transcription factors that are well-conserved from yeast through humans, but a wealth of epigenetic machinery present in T. gondii. Evidence from reports demonstrates that remodeling of the chromatin structure particularly through post-translational modifications of histones, such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and sumoylation, is potentially a major process that coordinates regulation of its gene expression. In addition, no-coding RNAs may play an important role in modulating gene expression of T. gondii. These results provide reliable foundations for prevention of toxoplasmosis by revealing its pathogenic mechanism. PMID:23072142

  3. Epigenetic control of embryonic stem cell fate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christophersen, Nicolaj Strøyer; Helin, Kristian

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the preimplantation embryo and are pluripotent, as they are able to differentiate into all cell types of the adult organism. Once established, the pluripotent ES cells can be maintained under defined culture conditions, but can also...... be induced rapidly to differentiate. Maintaining this balance of stability versus plasticity is a challenge, and extensive studies in recent years have focused on understanding the contributions of transcription factors and epigenetic enzymes to the "stemness" properties of these cells. Identifying...... the molecular switches that regulate ES cell self-renewal versus differentiation can provide insights into the nature of the pluripotent state and enhance the potential use of these cells in therapeutic applications. Here, we review the latest models for how changes in chromatin methylation can modulate ES cell...

  4. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeans, C; Thelen, M P; Noy, A

    2006-02-06

    In eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged as chromatin, a highly ordered structure formed through the wrapping of the DNA around histone proteins, and further packed through interactions with a number of other proteins. In order for processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription to occur, the structure of chromatin must be remodeled such that the necessary enzymes can access the DNA. A number of remodeling enzymes have been described, but our understanding of the remodeling process is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the fine structure of chromatin, and how this structure is modulated in the living cell. We have carried out single molecule experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the packaging arrangements in chromatin from a variety of cell types. Comparison of the structures observed reveals differences which can be explained in terms of the cell type and its transcriptional activity. During the course of this project, sample preparation and AFM techniques were developed and optimized. Several opportunities for follow-up work are outlined which could provide further insight into the dynamic structural rearrangements of chromatin.

  5. Chromatin remodelers and their roles in chromatin organization

    OpenAIRE

    Strålfors, Annelie

    2012-01-01

    The DNA in the eukaryotic nucleus is organized into a complex DNA-protein structure called chromatin. The basic repeating unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which consists of 147 bp of DNA wrapped around a histone protein octamer. The nucleosomes form a “beads on a string” structure, which can be folded into higherorder structures that allow an extensive degree of DNA compaction. This compaction is so effective that 2 meters of DNA can fit into the human cell nucleus with a ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:27288829

  11. Epigenetics in neonatal diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Xue-feng; DU Li-zhong

    2010-01-01

    Objective To review the role of epigenetic regulation in neonatal diseases and better understand Barker's "fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis".Data sources The data cited in this review were mainly obtained from the articles published in Medline/PubMed between January 1953 and December 2009.Study selection Articles associated with epigenetics and neonatal diseases were selected.Results There is a wealth of epidemiological evidence that lower birth weight is strongly correlated with an increased risk of adult diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. This phenomenon of fetal origins of adult disease is strongly associated with fetal insults to epigenetic modifications of genes. A potential role of epigenetic modifications in congenital disorders, transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM), intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) have been studied.Conclusions Acknowledgment of the role of these epigenetic modifications in neonatal diseases would be conducive to better understanding the pathogenesis of these diseases, and provide new insight for improved treatment and prevention of later adult diseases.

  12. Chromatin features of plant telomeric sequences at terminal versus internal positions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva eMajerová

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms are involved in regulation of crucial cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms. Data on the epigenetic features of plant telomeres and their epigenetic regulation were published mostly for Arabidopsis thaliana, in which the presence of interstitial telomeric repeats (ITRs may interfere with genuine telomeres in most analyses. Here, we studied the epigenetic landscape and transcription of telomeres and ITRs in Nicotiana tabacum with long telomeres and no detectable ITRs, and in Ballantinia antipoda with large blocks of pericentromeric ITRs and relatively short telomeres. Chromatin of genuine telomeres displayed heterochromatic as well as euchromatic marks, while ITRs were just heterochromatic. Methylated cytosines were present at telomeres and ITRs, but showed a bias with more methylation towards distal telomere positions and different blocks of B. antipoda ITRs methylated to different levels. Telomeric transcripts TERRA (G-rich and ARRET (C-rich were identified in both plants and their levels varied among tissues with a maximum in blossoms. Plants with substantially different proportions of internally and terminally located telomeric repeats are instrumental in clarifying the chromatin status of telomeric repeats at distinct chromosome locations.

  13. Drosophila PIWI associates with chromatin and interacts directly with HP1a.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brower-Toland, Brent; Findley, Seth D; Jiang, Ling; Liu, Li; Yin, Hang; Dus, Monica; Zhou, Pei; Elgin, Sarah C R; Lin, Haifan

    2007-09-15

    The interface between cellular systems involving small noncoding RNAs and epigenetic change remains largely unexplored in metazoans. RNA-induced silencing systems have the potential to target particular regions of the genome for epigenetic change by locating specific sequences and recruiting chromatin modifiers. Noting that several genes encoding RNA silencing components have been implicated in epigenetic regulation in Drosophila, we sought a direct link between the RNA silencing system and heterochromatin components. Here we show that PIWI, an ARGONAUTE/PIWI protein family member that binds to Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), strongly and specifically interacts with heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a), a central player in heterochromatic gene silencing. The HP1a dimer binds a PxVxL-type motif in the N-terminal domain of PIWI. This motif is required in fruit flies for normal silencing of transgenes embedded in heterochromatin. We also demonstrate that PIWI, like HP1a, is itself a chromatin-associated protein whose distribution in polytene chromosomes overlaps with HP1a and appears to be RNA dependent. These findings implicate a direct interaction between the PIWI-mediated small RNA mechanism and heterochromatin-forming pathways in determining the epigenetic state of the fly genome. PMID:17875665

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetics and lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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 microRNA expression. Several lifestyle factors have been identified that might modify epigenetic patterns, such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress, and working on night shifts. Most 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. Here, we review current evidence indicating that lifestyle factors might affect human health via epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:22122337

  16. The physics of epigenetics

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

    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 multi-scale physical mechanisms that govern the biological processes behind the initiation, spreading and inheritance of epigenetic states. These include not only the change in the molecular properties associated with the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins - such as methylation and acetylation - but also less conventional ones, such as the physics that governs the three-dimensional organization of the genome in cell nuclei. Strikingly, to achieve stability and heritability of epigenetic states, cells take advantage of m...

  17. Epigenetic Silencing of DKK3 in Medulloblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Oberthuer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Medulloblastoma (MB is a malignant pediatric brain tumor arising in the cerebellum consisting of four distinct subgroups: WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4, which exhibit different molecular phenotypes. We studied the expression of Dickkopf (DKK 1–4 family genes, inhibitors of the Wnt signaling cascade, in MB by screening 355 expression profiles derived from four independent datasets. Upregulation of DKK1, DKK2 and DKK4 mRNA was observed in the WNT subgroup, whereas DKK3 was downregulated in 80% MBs across subgroups with respect to the normal cerebellum (p < 0.001. Since copy number aberrations targeting the DKK3 locus (11p15.3 are rare events, we hypothesized that epigenetic factors could play a role in DKK3 regulation. Accordingly, we studied 77 miRNAs predicting to repress DKK3; however, no significant inverse correlation between miRNA/mRNA expression was observed. Moreover, the low methylation levels in the DKK3 promoters (median: 3%, 5% and 5% for promoter 1, 2 and 3, respectively excluded the downregulation of gene expression by methylation. On the other hand, the treatment of MB cells with Trichostatin A (TSA, a potent inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDAC, was able to restore both DKK3 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, DKK3 downregulation across all MB subgroups may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, in particular, through chromatin condensation.

  18. Theoretical analysis of epigenetic cell memory by nucleosome modification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Chromosomal regions can adopt stable and heritable alternative states resulting in bistable gene expression without changes to the DNA sequence. Such epigenetic control is often associated with alternative covalent modifications of histones. The stability and heritability of the states are thought...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Stephen V.; Fabbri, Muller; Gitlitz, Barbara J.; Laird-Offringa, Ite A.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic deregulation of gene function has been strongly implicated in carcinogenesis and is one of the mechanisms contributing to the development of lung cancer. The inherent reversibility of epigenetic alterations makes them viable therapeutic targets. Here, we review the therapeutic implications of epigenetic changes in lung cancer, and recent advances in therapeutic strategies targeting DNA methylation and histone acetylation.

  2. Identification of genomic features in environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inherited sperm epimutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna

    Full Text Available A variety of environmental toxicants have been shown to induce the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation. The process involves exposure of a gestating female and the developing fetus to environmental factors that promote permanent alterations in the epigenetic programming of the germline. The molecular aspects of the phenomenon involve epigenetic modifications (epimutations in the germline (e.g. sperm that are transmitted to subsequent generations. The current study integrates previously described experimental epigenomic transgenerational data and web-based bioinformatic analyses to identify genomic features associated with these transgenerationally transmitted epimutations. A previously identified genomic feature associated with these epimutations is a low CpG density (<12/100bp. The current observations suggest the transgenerational differential DNA methylation regions (DMR in sperm contain unique consensus DNA sequence motifs, zinc finger motifs and G-quadruplex sequences. Interaction of molecular factors with these sequences could alter chromatin structure and accessibility of proteins with DNA methyltransferases to alter de novo DNA methylation patterns. G-quadruplex regions can promote the opening of the chromatin that may influence the action of DNA methyltransferases, or factors interacting with them, for the establishment of epigenetic marks. Zinc finger binding factors can also promote this chromatin remodeling and influence the expression of non-coding RNA. The current study identified genomic features associated with sperm epimutations that may explain in part how these sites become susceptible for transgenerational programming.

  3. Identification of genomic features in environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inherited sperm epimutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Weeks, Shelby; Skinner, Michael K

    2014-01-01

    A variety of environmental toxicants have been shown to induce the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation. The process involves exposure of a gestating female and the developing fetus to environmental factors that promote permanent alterations in the epigenetic programming of the germline. The molecular aspects of the phenomenon involve epigenetic modifications (epimutations) in the germline (e.g. sperm) that are transmitted to subsequent generations. The current study integrates previously described experimental epigenomic transgenerational data and web-based bioinformatic analyses to identify genomic features associated with these transgenerationally transmitted epimutations. A previously identified genomic feature associated with these epimutations is a low CpG density (transgenerational differential DNA methylation regions (DMR) in sperm contain unique consensus DNA sequence motifs, zinc finger motifs and G-quadruplex sequences. Interaction of molecular factors with these sequences could alter chromatin structure and accessibility of proteins with DNA methyltransferases to alter de novo DNA methylation patterns. G-quadruplex regions can promote the opening of the chromatin that may influence the action of DNA methyltransferases, or factors interacting with them, for the establishment of epigenetic marks. Zinc finger binding factors can also promote this chromatin remodeling and influence the expression of non-coding RNA. The current study identified genomic features associated with sperm epimutations that may explain in part how these sites become susceptible for transgenerational programming.

  4. Guarding against Collateral Damage during Chromatin Transactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Altmeyer, Matthias; Lukas, Jiri

    2013-01-01

    Signal amplifications are vital for chromatin function, yet they also bear the risk of transforming into unrestrained, self-escalating, and potentially harmful responses. Examples of inbuilt limitations are emerging, revealing how chromatin transactions are confined within physiological boundaries....

  5. Chromatin structure regulates gene conversion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Jason Cummings

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Homology-directed repair is a powerful mechanism for maintaining and altering genomic structure. We asked how chromatin structure contributes to the use of homologous sequences as donors for repair using the chicken B cell line DT40 as a model. In DT40, immunoglobulin genes undergo regulated sequence diversification by gene conversion templated by pseudogene donors. We found that the immunoglobulin Vlambda pseudogene array is characterized by histone modifications associated with active chromatin. We directly demonstrated the importance of chromatin structure for gene conversion, using a regulatable experimental system in which the heterochromatin protein HP1 (Drosophila melanogaster Su[var]205, expressed as a fusion to Escherichia coli lactose repressor, is tethered to polymerized lactose operators integrated within the pseudo-Vlambda donor array. Tethered HP1 diminished histone acetylation within the pseudo-Vlambda array, and altered the outcome of Vlambda diversification, so that nontemplated mutations rather than templated mutations predominated. Thus, chromatin structure regulates homology-directed repair. These results suggest that histone modifications may contribute to maintaining genomic stability by preventing recombination between repetitive sequences.

  6. Predicting chromatin organization using histone marks

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Jialiang; Marco, Eugenio; Pinello, Luca; Yuan, Guo-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide mapping of three dimensional chromatin organization is an important yet technically challenging task. To aid experimental effort and to understand the determinants of long-range chromatin interactions, we have developed a computational model integrating Hi-C and histone mark ChIP-seq data to predict two important features of chromatin organization: chromatin interaction hubs and topologically associated domain (TAD) boundaries. Our model accurately and robustly predicts these feat...

  7. Crop epigenetics and the molecular hardware of genotype x environment interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham John King

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Crop plants encounter thermal environments which fluctuate on a diurnal and seasonal basis. Future climate resilient cultivars will need to respond to thermal profiles reflecting more variable conditions, and harness plasticity that involves regulation of epigenetic processes and complex genomic regulatory networks. Compartmentalisation within plant cells insulates the genomic central processing unit within the interphase nucleus. This review addresses the properties of the chromatin hardware in which the genome is embedded, focusing on the biophysical and thermodynamic properties of DNA, histones and nucleosomes. It explores the consequences of thermal and ionic variation on the biophysical behaviour of epigenetic marks such as DNA cytosine methylation (5mC, and histone variants such as H2A.Z, and how these contribute to maintenance of chromatin integrity in the nucleus, while enabling specific subsets of genes to be regulated. Information is drawn from theoretical molecular in vitro studies as well as model and crop plants and incorporates recent insights into the role epigenetic processes play in mediating between environmental signals and genomic regulation. A preliminary speculative framework is outlined, based on the evidence of what appears a cohesive set of interactions at molecular, biophysical and electrostatic level between the various components contributing to chromatin conformation and dynamics. It proposes that within plant nuclei, general and localised ionic homeostasis plays an important role in maintaining chromatin conformation, whilst maintaining complex genomic regulation that involve specific patterns of epigenetic marks. More generally, reversible changes in DNA methylation appear to be consistent with the ability of nuclear chromatin to manage variation in external ionic and temperature environment. Whilst tentative, this framework provides scope to develop experimental approaches to understand in greater detail the

  8. Derangement of a factor upstream of RARalpha triggers the repression of a pleiotropic epigenetic network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Corlazzoli

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chromatin adapts and responds to extrinsic and intrinsic cues. We hypothesize that inheritable aberrant chromatin states in cancer and aging are caused by genetic/environmental factors. In previous studies we demonstrated that either genetic mutations, or loss, of retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha, can impair the integration of the retinoic acid (RA signal at the chromatin of RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha, and can lead to aberrant repressive chromatin states marked by epigenetic modifications. In this study we tested whether the mere interference with the availability of RA signal at RARalpha, in cells with an otherwise functional RARalpha, can also induce epigenetic repression at RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To hamper the availability of RA at RARalpha in untransformed human mammary epithelial cells, we targeted the cellular RA-binding protein 2 (CRABP2, which transports RA from the cytoplasm onto the nuclear RARs. Stable ectopic expression of a CRABP2 mutant unable to enter the nucleus, as well as stable knock down of endogenous CRABP2, led to the coordinated transcriptional repression of a few RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha. The chromatin at these genes acquired an exacerbated repressed state, or state "of no return". This aberrant state is unresponsive to RA, and therefore differs from the physiologically repressed, yet "poised" state, which is responsive to RA. Consistent with development of homozygosis for epigenetically repressed loci, a significant proportion of cells with a defective CRABP2-mediated RA transport developed heritable phenotypes indicative of loss of function. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Derangement/lack of a critical factor necessary for RARalpha function induces epigenetic repression of a RA-regulated gene network downstream of RARalpha, with major pleiotropic biological outcomes.

  9. RegulatING chromatin regulators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Satpathy, Shankha; Nabbi, Arash; Riabowol, Karl

    2013-01-01

    The five human ING genes encode at least 15 splicing isoforms, most of which affect cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis through their ability to alter gene expression by epigenetic mechanisms. Since their discovery in 1996, ING proteins have been classified as type II tumour suppressors on...

  10. Impact of Chromatin on HIV Replication

    OpenAIRE

    Agosto, Luis M.; Matthew Gagne; Henderson, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Chromatin influences Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) integration and replication. This review highlights critical host factors that influence chromatin structure and organization and that also impact HIV integration, transcriptional regulation and latency. Furthermore, recent attempts to target chromatin associated factors to reduce the HIV proviral load are discussed.

  11. Epigenetics and Future Generations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Savio, Lorenzo; Loi, Michele; Stupka, Elia

    2015-10-01

    Recent evidence of intergenerational epigenetic programming of disease risk broadens the scope of public health preventive interventions to future generations, i.e. non existing people. Due to the transmission of epigenetic predispositions, lifestyles such as smoking or unhealthy diet might affect the health of populations across several generations. While public policy for the health of future generations can be justified through impersonal considerations, such as maximizing aggregate well-being, in this article we explore whether there are rights-based obligations supervening on intergenerational epigenetic programming despite the non-identity argument, which challenges this rationale in case of policies that affect the number and identity of future people. We propose that rights based obligations grounded in the interests of non-existing people might fall upon existing people when generations overlap. In particular, if environmental exposure in F0 (i.e. existing people) will affect the health of F2 (i.e. non-existing people) through epigenetic programming, then F1 (i.e. existing and overlapping with both F0 and F2) might face increased costs to address F2's condition in the future: this might generate obligations upon F0 from various distributive principles, such as the principle of equal opportunity for well being. PMID:25644664

  12. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, David

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26026157

  13. Epigenetic Therapy for Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Yan Zhong

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Both genetic and epigenetic alterations can control the progression of cancer. Genetic alterations are impossible to reverse, while epigenetic alterations are reversible. This advantage suggests that epigenetic modifications should be preferred in therapy applications. DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases have become the primary targets for studies in epigenetic therapy. Some DNA methylation inhibitors and histone deacetylation inhibitors are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as anti-cancer drugs. Therefore, the uses of epigenetic targets are believed to have great potential as a lasting favorable approach in treating breast cancer.

  14. Rapid genome-scale mapping of chromatin accessibility in tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The challenge in extracting genome-wide chromatin features from limiting clinical samples poses a significant hurdle in identification of regulatory marks that impact the physiological or pathological state. Current methods that identify nuclease accessible chromatin are reliant on large amounts of purified nuclei as starting material. This complicates analysis of trace clinical tissue samples that are often stored frozen. We have developed an alternative nuclease based procedure to bypass nuclear preparation to interrogate nuclease accessible regions in frozen tissue samples. Results Here we introduce a novel technique that specifically identifies Tissue Accessible Chromatin (TACh). The TACh method uses pulverized frozen tissue as starting material and employs one of the two robust endonucleases, Benzonase or Cyansase, which are fully active under a range of stringent conditions such as high levels of detergent and DTT. As a proof of principle we applied TACh to frozen mouse liver tissue. Combined with massive parallel sequencing TACh identifies accessible regions that are associated with euchromatic features and accessibility at transcriptional start sites correlates positively with levels of gene transcription. Accessible chromatin identified by TACh overlaps to a large extend with accessible chromatin identified by DNase I using nuclei purified from freshly isolated liver tissue as starting material. The similarities are most pronounced at highly accessible regions, whereas identification of less accessible regions tends to be more divergence between nucleases. Interestingly, we show that some of the differences between DNase I and Benzonase relate to their intrinsic sequence biases and accordingly accessibility of CpG islands is probed more efficiently using TACh. Conclusion The TACh methodology identifies accessible chromatin derived from frozen tissue samples. We propose that this simple, robust approach can be applied across a broad range of

  15. Rapid genome-scale mapping of chromatin accessibility in tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grøntved Lars

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The challenge in extracting genome-wide chromatin features from limiting clinical samples poses a significant hurdle in identification of regulatory marks that impact the physiological or pathological state. Current methods that identify nuclease accessible chromatin are reliant on large amounts of purified nuclei as starting material. This complicates analysis of trace clinical tissue samples that are often stored frozen. We have developed an alternative nuclease based procedure to bypass nuclear preparation to interrogate nuclease accessible regions in frozen tissue samples. Results Here we introduce a novel technique that specifically identifies Tissue Accessible Chromatin (TACh. The TACh method uses pulverized frozen tissue as starting material and employs one of the two robust endonucleases, Benzonase or Cyansase, which are fully active under a range of stringent conditions such as high levels of detergent and DTT. As a proof of principle we applied TACh to frozen mouse liver tissue. Combined with massive parallel sequencing TACh identifies accessible regions that are associated with euchromatic features and accessibility at transcriptional start sites correlates positively with levels of gene transcription. Accessible chromatin identified by TACh overlaps to a large extend with accessible chromatin identified by DNase I using nuclei purified from freshly isolated liver tissue as starting material. The similarities are most pronounced at highly accessible regions, whereas identification of less accessible regions tends to be more divergence between nucleases. Interestingly, we show that some of the differences between DNase I and Benzonase relate to their intrinsic sequence biases and accordingly accessibility of CpG islands is probed more efficiently using TACh. Conclusion The TACh methodology identifies accessible chromatin derived from frozen tissue samples. We propose that this simple, robust approach can be applied

  16. Epigenetic phenomena and the evolution of plant allopolyploids

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BaoLiu; JonathanF.Wendel

    2005-01-01

    Allopolyploid speciation is widespread in plants, yet the molecular requirements for successful orchestration of coordinated gene expression for two divergent and reunited genomes are poorly understood. Recent studies in several plant systems have revealed that allopolyploid genesis under both synthetic and natural conditions often is accompanied by rapid and sometimes evolutionarily conserved epigeuetic changes, including alteration in cytosine methylation patterns, rapid silencing in ribosomal RNA and proteincoding genes, and de-repression of dormant transposable elements. These changes are inter-related and likely arise from chromatin remodeling and its effects on epigenetic codes during and subsequent to allopolyploid formation. Epigenetic modifications could produce adaptive epimutations and novel phenotypes, some of which may be evolutionarily stable for millions of years, thereby representing a vast reservoir of latent variation that may be episodically released and made visible to selection. This epigenetic variation may contribute to several important attributes of allopolyploidy, including functional diversification or subfunctionalization of duplicated genes, genetic and cytological diploidization, and quenching of incompatible inter-genomic interactions that are characteristic of allopolyploids. It is likely that the evolutionary success of allopolyploidy is in part attributatble to epigenetic phenomena that we are only just beginning to understand.

  17. Epigenetic regulation of milk production in dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Kuljeet; Erdman, Richard A; Swanson, Kara M; Molenaar, Adrian J; Maqbool, Nauman J; Wheeler, Thomas T; Arias, Juan A; Quinn-Walsh, Erin C; Stelwagen, Kerst

    2010-03-01

    It is well established that milk production of the dairy cow is a function of mammary epithelial cell (MEC) number and activity and that these factors can be influenced by diverse environmental influences and management practises (nutrition, milk frequency, photoperiod, udder health, hormonal and local effectors). Thus, understanding how the mammary gland is able to respond to these environmental cues provides a huge potential to enhance milk production of the dairy cow. In recent years our understanding of molecular events within the MEC underlying bovine lactation has been advanced through mammary microarray studies and will be further advanced through the recent availability of the bovine genome sequence. In addition, the potential of epigenetic regulation (non-sequence inheritable chemical changes in chromatin, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, which affect gene expression) to manipulate mammary function is emerging. We propose that a substantial proportion of unexplained phenotypic variation in the dairy cow is due to epigenetic regulation. Heritability of epigenetic marks also highlights the potential to modify lactation performance of offspring. Understanding the response of the MEC (cell signaling pathways and epigenetic mechanisms) to external stimuli will be an important prerequisite to devising new technologies for maximising their activity and, hence, milk production in the dairy cow.

  18. Transcriptional reprogramming of gene expression in bovine somatic cell chromatin transfer embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Page Grier P

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Successful reprogramming of a somatic genome to produce a healthy clone by somatic cells nuclear transfer (SCNT is a rare event and the mechanisms involved in this process are poorly defined. When serial or successive rounds of cloning are performed, blastocyst and full term development rates decline even further with the increasing rounds of cloning. Identifying the "cumulative errors" could reveal the epigenetic reprogramming blocks in animal cloning. Results Bovine clones from up to four generations of successive cloning were produced by chromatin transfer (CT. Using Affymetrix bovine microarrays we determined that the transcriptomes of blastocysts derived from the first and the fourth rounds of cloning (CT1 and CT4 respectively have undergone an extensive reprogramming and were more similar to blastocysts derived from in vitro fertilization (IVF than to the donor cells used for the first and the fourth rounds of chromatin transfer (DC1 and DC4 respectively. However a set of transcripts in the cloned embryos showed a misregulated pattern when compared to IVF embryos. Among the genes consistently upregulated in both CT groups compared to the IVF embryos were genes involved in regulation of cytoskeleton and cell shape. Among the genes consistently upregulated in IVF embryos compared to both CT groups were genes involved in chromatin remodelling and stress coping. Conclusion The present study provides a data set that could contribute in our understanding of epigenetic errors in somatic cell chromatin transfer. Identifying "cumulative errors" after serial cloning could reveal some of the epigenetic reprogramming blocks shedding light on the reprogramming process, important for both basic and applied research.

  19. Epigenetic regulation of genes during development: A conserved theme from flies to mammals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dasari Vasanthi; Rakesh K Mishra

    2008-01-01

    Eukaryotic genome is organized in form of chromatin within the nucleus. This organization is important for compaction of DNA as well as for the proper expression of the genes. During early embryonic development, genomic packaging receives variety of signals to eventually set up cell type specific expression patterns of genes. This process of regulated chromatinization leads to "cell type specific epigenomes". The expression states attained during differentiation process need to be maintained subsequently throughout the life of the organism. Epigenetie modifications are responsible for chromatin dependent regulatory mechanism and play a key role in maintenance of the expression state-a process referred to as cellular memory. Another key feature in the packaging of the genome is formation of chro- matin domains that are thought to be structural as well as functional units of the higher order chromatin organization. Boundary elements that function to define such domains set the limits of regulatory elements and that of epigenetie modifications. This connection of epige- netic modification, chromatin structure and genome organization has emerged from several studies. Hox genes are among the best studied in this context and have led to the significant understanding of the epigenetic regulation during development. Here we discuss the evolu- tionarily conserved features of epigenetic mechanisms emerged from studies on homeotic gene clusters.

  20. Chromatin plasticity as a differentiation index during muscle differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Change in the epigenetic landscape during myogenesis was optically investigated. ► Mobility of nuclear proteins was used to state the epigenetic status of the cell. ► Mobility of nuclear proteins decreased as myogenesis progressed in C2C12. ► Differentiation state diagram was developed using parameters obtained. -- Abstract: Skeletal muscle undergoes complicated differentiation steps that include cell-cycle arrest, cell fusion, and maturation, which are controlled through sequential expression of transcription factors. During muscle differentiation, remodeling of the epigenetic landscape is also known to take place on a large scale, determining cell fate. In an attempt to determine the extent of epigenetic remodeling during muscle differentiation, we characterized the plasticity of the chromatin structure using C2C12 myoblasts. Differentiation of C2C12 cells was induced by lowering the serum concentration after they had reached full confluence, resulting in the formation of multi-nucleated myotubes. Upon induction of differentiation, the nucleus size decreased whereas the aspect ratio increased, indicating the presence of force on the nucleus during differentiation. Movement of the nucleus was also suppressed when differentiation was induced, indicating that the plasticity of chromatin changed upon differentiation. To evaluate the histone dynamics during differentiation, FRAP experiment was performed, which showed an increase in the immobile fraction of histone proteins when differentiation was induced. To further evaluate the change in the histone dynamics during differentiation, FCS was performed, which showed a decrease in histone mobility on differentiation. We here show that the plasticity of chromatin decreases upon differentiation, which takes place in a stepwise manner, and that it can be used as an index for the differentiation stage during myogenesis using the state diagram developed with the parameters obtained in this study.

  1. A Chromatin-Focused siRNA Screen for Regulators of p53-Dependent Transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammons, Morgan A; Zhu, Jiajun; Berger, Shelley L

    2016-01-01

    The protein product of the Homo sapiens TP53 gene is a transcription factor (p53) that regulates the expression of genes critical for the response to DNA damage and tumor suppression, including genes involved in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, DNA repair, metabolism, and a number of other tumorigenesis-related pathways. Differential transcriptional regulation of these genes is believed to alter the balance between two p53-dependent cell fates: cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. A number of previously identified p53 cofactors covalently modify and alter the function of both the p53 protein and histone proteins. Both gain- and loss-of-function mutations in chromatin modifiers have been strongly implicated in cancer development; thus, we sought to identify novel chromatin regulatory proteins that affect p53-dependent transcription and the balance between the expression of pro-cell cycle arrest and proapoptotic genes. We utilized an siRNA library designed against predicted chromatin regulatory proteins, and identified known and novel chromatin-related factors that affect both global p53-dependent transcription and gene-specific regulators of p53 transcriptional activation. The results from this screen will serve as a comprehensive resource for those interested in further characterizing chromatin and epigenetic factors that regulate p53 transcription. PMID:27334938

  2. Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics for the Analysis of Chromatin Structure and Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Soldi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Chromatin is a highly structured nucleoprotein complex made of histone proteins and DNA that controls nearly all DNA-dependent processes. Chromatin plasticity is regulated by different associated proteins, post-translational modifications on histones (hPTMs and DNA methylation, which act in a concerted manner to enforce a specific “chromatin landscape”, with a regulatory effect on gene expression. Mass Spectrometry (MS has emerged as a powerful analytical strategy to detect histone PTMs, revealing interplays between neighbouring PTMs and enabling screens for their readers in a comprehensive and quantitative fashion. Here we provide an overview of the recent achievements of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry-based proteomics for the detailed qualitative and quantitative characterization of histone post-translational modifications, histone variants, and global interactomes at specific chromatin regions. This synopsis emphasizes how the advances in high resolution MS, from “Bottom Up” to “Top Down” analysis, together with the uptake of quantitative proteomics methods by chromatin biologists, have made MS a well-established method in the epigenetics field, enabling the acquisition of original information, highly complementary to that offered by more conventional, antibody-based, assays.

  3. Factors that promote H3 chromatin integrity during transcription prevent promiscuous deposition of CENP-A(Cnp1 in fission yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eun Shik Choi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Specialized chromatin containing CENP-A nucleosomes instead of H3 nucleosomes is found at all centromeres. However, the mechanisms that specify the locations at which CENP-A chromatin is assembled remain elusive in organisms with regional, epigenetically regulated centromeres. It is known that normal centromeric DNA is transcribed in several systems including the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, we show that factors which preserve stable histone H3 chromatin during transcription also play a role in preventing promiscuous CENP-A(Cnp1 deposition in fission yeast. Mutations in the histone chaperone FACT impair the maintenance of H3 chromatin on transcribed regions and promote widespread CENP-A(Cnp1 incorporation at non-centromeric sites. FACT has little or no effect on CENP-A(Cnp1 assembly at endogenous centromeres where CENP-A(Cnp1 is normally assembled. In contrast, Clr6 complex II (Clr6-CII; equivalent to Rpd3S histone deacetylase function has a more subtle impact on the stability of transcribed H3 chromatin and acts to prevent the ectopic accumulation of CENP-A(Cnp1 at specific loci, including subtelomeric regions, where CENP-A(Cnp1 is preferentially assembled. Moreover, defective Clr6-CII function allows the de novo assembly of CENP-A(Cnp1 chromatin on centromeric DNA, bypassing the normal requirement for heterochromatin. Thus, our analyses show that alterations in the process of chromatin assembly during transcription can destabilize H3 nucleosomes and thereby allow CENP-A(Cnp1 to assemble in its place. We propose that normal centromeres provide a specific chromatin context that limits reassembly of H3 chromatin during transcription and thereby promotes the establishment of CENP-A(Cnp1 chromatin and associated kinetochores. These findings have important implications for genetic and epigenetic processes involved in centromere specification.

  4. Factors that promote H3 chromatin integrity during transcription prevent promiscuous deposition of CENP-A(Cnp1) in fission yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Eun Shik; Strålfors, Annelie; Catania, Sandra; Castillo, Araceli G; Svensson, J Peter; Pidoux, Alison L; Ekwall, Karl; Allshire, Robin C

    2012-09-01

    Specialized chromatin containing CENP-A nucleosomes instead of H3 nucleosomes is found at all centromeres. However, the mechanisms that specify the locations at which CENP-A chromatin is assembled remain elusive in organisms with regional, epigenetically regulated centromeres. It is known that normal centromeric DNA is transcribed in several systems including the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, we show that factors which preserve stable histone H3 chromatin during transcription also play a role in preventing promiscuous CENP-A(Cnp1) deposition in fission yeast. Mutations in the histone chaperone FACT impair the maintenance of H3 chromatin on transcribed regions and promote widespread CENP-A(Cnp1) incorporation at non-centromeric sites. FACT has little or no effect on CENP-A(Cnp1) assembly at endogenous centromeres where CENP-A(Cnp1) is normally assembled. In contrast, Clr6 complex II (Clr6-CII; equivalent to Rpd3S) histone deacetylase function has a more subtle impact on the stability of transcribed H3 chromatin and acts to prevent the ectopic accumulation of CENP-A(Cnp1) at specific loci, including subtelomeric regions, where CENP-A(Cnp1) is preferentially assembled. Moreover, defective Clr6-CII function allows the de novo assembly of CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin on centromeric DNA, bypassing the normal requirement for heterochromatin. Thus, our analyses show that alterations in the process of chromatin assembly during transcription can destabilize H3 nucleosomes and thereby allow CENP-A(Cnp1) to assemble in its place. We propose that normal centromeres provide a specific chromatin context that limits reassembly of H3 chromatin during transcription and thereby promotes the establishment of CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin and associated kinetochores. These findings have important implications for genetic and epigenetic processes involved in centromere specification. PMID:23028377

  5. Krebs cycle intermediates regulate DNA and histone methylation: epigenetic impact on the aging process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salminen, Antero; Kauppinen, Anu; Hiltunen, Mikko; Kaarniranta, Kai

    2014-07-01

    Many aging theories have proposed that mitochondria and energy metabolism have a major role in the aging process. There are recent studies indicating that Krebs cycle intermediates can shape the epigenetic landscape of chromatin by regulating DNA and histone methylation. A growing evidence indicates that epigenetics plays an important role in the regulation of healthspan but also is involved in the aging process. 2-Oxoglutarate (α-ketoglutarate) is a key metabolite in the Krebs cycle but it is also an obligatory substrate for 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-OGDO). The 2-OGDO enzyme family includes the major enzymes of DNA and histone demethylation, i.e. Ten-Eleven Translocation (TETs) and Jumonji C domain containing (JmjC) demethylases. In addition, 2-OGDO members can regulate collagen synthesis and hypoxic responses in a non-epigenetical manner. Interestingly, succinate and fumarate, also Krebs cycle intermediates, are potent inhibitors of 2-OGDO enzymes, i.e. the balance of Krebs cycle reactions can affect the level of DNA and histone methylation and thus control gene expression. We will review the epigenetic mechanisms through which Krebs cycle intermediates control the DNA and histone methylation. We propose that age-related disturbances in the Krebs cycle function induce stochastic epigenetic changes in chromatin structures which in turn promote the aging process.

  6. Don't worry; be informed about the epigenetics of anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieto, Steven J; Patriquin, Michelle A; Nielsen, David A; Kosten, Therese A

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic processes regulate gene expression independent of the DNA sequence and are increasingly being investigated as contributors to the development of behavioral disorders. Environmental insults, such as stress, diet, or toxin exposure, can affect epigenetic mechanisms, including chromatin remodeling, DNA methylation, and non-coding RNAs that, in turn, alter the organism's phenotype. In this review, we examine the literature, derived at both the preclinical (animal) and clinical (human) levels, on epigenetic alterations associated with anxiety disorders. Using animal models of anxiety, researchers have identified epigenetic changes in several limbic and cortical brain regions known to be involved in stress and emotion responses. Environmental manipulations have been imposed prior to conception, during prenatal or early postnatal periods, and at juvenile and adult ages. Time of perturbation differentially affects the epigenome and many changes are brain region-specific. Although some sex-dependent effects are reported in animal studies, more research employing both sexes is needed particularly given that females exhibit a disproportionate number of anxiety disorders. The human literature is in its infancy but does reveal some epigenetic associations with anxiety behaviors and disorders. In particular, effects in monoaminergic systems are seen in line with evidence from etiological and treatment research. Further, there is evidence that epigenetic changes may be inherited to affect subsequent generations. We speculate on how epigenetic processes may interact with genetic contributions to inform prevention and treatment strategies for those who are at risk for or have anxiety disorders. PMID:27189589

  7. Over-expression of Arabidopsis AtCHR23 chromatin remodeling ATPase results in increased variability of growth and gene expression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Folta, A.; Severing, E.I.; Krauskopf, J.; Geest, van de H.C.; Verver, J.; Nap, J.P.H.; Mlynarova, L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Plants are sessile organisms that deal with their -sometimes adverse- environment in well-regulated ways. Chromatin remodeling involving SWI/SNF2-type ATPases is thought to be an important epigenetic mechanism for the regulation of gene expression in different developmental programs and f

  8. Epigenetic control of effector gene expression in the plant pathogenic fungus Leptosphaeria maculans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L Soyer

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Plant pathogens secrete an arsenal of small secreted proteins (SSPs acting as effectors that modulate host immunity to facilitate infection. SSP-encoding genes are often located in particular genomic environments and show waves of concerted expression at diverse stages of plant infection. To date, little is known about the regulation of their expression. The genome of the Ascomycete Leptosphaeria maculans comprises alternating gene-rich GC-isochores and gene-poor AT-isochores. The AT-isochores harbor mosaics of transposable elements, encompassing one-third of the genome, and are enriched in putative effector genes that present similar expression patterns, namely no expression or low-level expression during axenic cultures compared to strong induction of expression during primary infection of oilseed rape (Brassica napus. Here, we investigated the involvement of one specific histone modification, histone H3 lysine 9 methylation (H3K9me3, in epigenetic regulation of concerted effector gene expression in L. maculans. For this purpose, we silenced the expression of two key players in heterochromatin assembly and maintenance, HP1 and DIM-5 by RNAi. By using HP1-GFP as a heterochromatin marker, we observed that almost no chromatin condensation is visible in strains in which LmDIM5 was silenced by RNAi. By whole genome oligoarrays we observed overexpression of 369 or 390 genes, respectively, in the silenced-LmHP1 and -LmDIM5 transformants during growth in axenic culture, clearly favouring expression of SSP-encoding genes within AT-isochores. The ectopic integration of four effector genes in GC-isochores led to their overexpression during growth in axenic culture. These data strongly suggest that epigenetic control, mediated by HP1 and DIM-5, represses the expression of at least part of the effector genes located in AT-isochores during growth in axenic culture. Our hypothesis is that changes of lifestyle and a switch toward pathogenesis lift chromatin

  9. Epigenetic control of effector gene expression in the plant pathogenic fungus Leptosphaeria maculans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soyer, Jessica L; El Ghalid, Mennat; Glaser, Nicolas; Ollivier, Bénédicte; Linglin, Juliette; Grandaubert, Jonathan; Balesdent, Marie-Hélène; Connolly, Lanelle R; Freitag, Michael; Rouxel, Thierry; Fudal, Isabelle

    2014-03-01

    Plant pathogens secrete an arsenal of small secreted proteins (SSPs) acting as effectors that modulate host immunity to facilitate infection. SSP-encoding genes are often located in particular genomic environments and show waves of concerted expression at diverse stages of plant infection. To date, little is known about the regulation of their expression. The genome of the Ascomycete Leptosphaeria maculans comprises alternating gene-rich GC-isochores and gene-poor AT-isochores. The AT-isochores harbor mosaics of transposable elements, encompassing one-third of the genome, and are enriched in putative effector genes that present similar expression patterns, namely no expression or low-level expression during axenic cultures compared to strong induction of expression during primary infection of oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Here, we investigated the involvement of one specific histone modification, histone H3 lysine 9 methylation (H3K9me3), in epigenetic regulation of concerted effector gene expression in L. maculans. For this purpose, we silenced the expression of two key players in heterochromatin assembly and maintenance, HP1 and DIM-5 by RNAi. By using HP1-GFP as a heterochromatin marker, we observed that almost no chromatin condensation is visible in strains in which LmDIM5 was silenced by RNAi. By whole genome oligoarrays we observed overexpression of 369 or 390 genes, respectively, in the silenced-LmHP1 and -LmDIM5 transformants during growth in axenic culture, clearly favouring expression of SSP-encoding genes within AT-isochores. The ectopic integration of four effector genes in GC-isochores led to their overexpression during growth in axenic culture. These data strongly suggest that epigenetic control, mediated by HP1 and DIM-5, represses the expression of at least part of the effector genes located in AT-isochores during growth in axenic culture. Our hypothesis is that changes of lifestyle and a switch toward pathogenesis lift chromatin

  10. Chromatin Dynamics of Circadian Transcription

    OpenAIRE

    Aguilar-Arnal, Lorena; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    The molecular circadian clock orchestrates the daily cyclical expression of thousands of genes. Disruption of this transcriptional program leads to a variety of pathologies, including insomnia, depression and metabolic disorders. Circadian rhythms in gene expression rely on specific chromatin transitions which are ultimately coordinated by the molecular clock. As a consequence, a highly plastic and dynamic circadian epigenome can be delineated across different tissues and cell types. Intrigui...

  11. Dynamic chromatin states in human ES cells reveal potential regulatory sequences and genes involved in pluripotency

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    R David Hawkins; Zhen Ye; Samantha Kuan; Pengzhi Yu; Hui Liu; Xinmin Zhang; Roland D Green; Victor V Lobanenkov; Ron Stewart; James A Thomson; Bing Ren; Gary C Hon; Chuhu Yang; Jessica E Antosiewicz-Bourget; LeonardKLee; Que-Minh Ngo; Sarit Klugman; Keith A Ching; Lee E Edsall

    2011-01-01

    Pluripotency,the ability of a cell to differentiate and give rise to all embryonic lineages,defines a small number of mammalian cell types such as embryonic stem (ES) cells.While it has been generally held that pluripotency is the product of a transcriptional regulatory network that activates and maintains the expression of key stem cell genes,accumulating evidence is pointing to a critical role for epigenetic processes in establishing and safeguarding the pluripotency of ES cells,as well as maintaining the identity of differentiated cell types.In order to better understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in pluripotency,we have examined the dynamics of chromatin modifications genomewide in human ES cells (hESCs) undergoing differentiation into a mesendodermal lineage.We found that chromatin modifications at promoters remain largely invariant during differentiation,except at a small number of promoters where a dynamic switch between acetylation and methylation at H3K27 marks the transition between activation and silencing of gene expression,suggesting a hierarchy in cell fate commitment over most differentially expressed genes.We also mapped over 50 000 potential enhancers,and observed much greater dynamics in chromatin modifications,especially H3K4mel and H3K27ac,which correlate with expression of their potential target genes.Further analysis of these enhancers revealed potentially key transcriptional regulators of pluripotency and a chromatin signature indicative of a poised state that may confer developmental competence in hESCs.Our results provide new evidence supporting the role of chromatin modifications in defining enhancers and pluripotency.

  12. Epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandegehuchte, Michiel B; Janssen, Colin R

    2014-04-01

    Epigenetics can play a role in interactions between chemicals and exposed species, between species and abiotic ecosystem components or between species of the same or another population in a community. Technological progress and advanced insights into epigenetic processes have led to the description of epigenetic features (mainly DNA methylation) in many ecologically relevant species: algae, plants, several invertebrates and fish. Epigenetic changes in plants, insects and cladocerans have been reported to be induced by various environmental stress factors including nutrition or water deficiency, grazing, light or temperature alterations, social environment, and dissolved organic matter concentrations. As regards chemicals, studies in rats and mice exposed to specific pesticides, hydrocarbons, dioxins, and endocrine disrupting chemicals demonstrated the induction of epigenetic changes, suggesting the need for further research with these substances in an ecotoxicological context. In fish and plants, exposure to polyaromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and soluble fractions of solid waste affected the epigenetic status. A novel concept in ecotoxicological epigenetics is the induction of transgenerational stress resistance upon chemical exposure, as demonstrated in rice exposed to metals. Evaluating epigenetics in ecotoxicological field studies is a second relatively new approach. A cryptic lineage of earthworms had developed arsenic tolerance in the field, concurrent with specific DNA methylation patterns. Flatfish caught in the framework of environmental monitoring had developed tumours, exhibiting specific DNA methylation patterns. Two main potential implications of epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context are (1) the possibility of transgenerationally inherited, chemical stress-induced epigenetic changes with associated phenotypes and (2) epigenetically induced adaptation to stress upon long-term chemical exposure. Key knowledge gaps are concerned with the causality of

  13. Epigenetics of the yeast galactose genetic switch

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Paike Jayadeva Bhat; Revathi S Iyer

    2009-10-01

    The transcriptional activation of enzymes involved in galactose utilization (GAL genes) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is regulated by a complex interplay between three regulatory proteins encoded by GAL4 (transcriptional activator), GAL3 (signal transducer) and GAL80 (repressor). The relative concentrations of the signal transducer and the repressor are maintained by autoregulation. Cells disabled for autoregulation exhibit phenotypes distinctly different from that of the wild type cells, enabling us to explore the biological significance of autoregulation. The redundancy in signal transduction due to the presence of GAL1 (alternate signal transducer) also makes it a suitable model to understand the phenomenon of epigenetics. In this article we review some of the recent attempts made to understand the importance of epigenetics in the establishment of cellular and transcriptional memory.

  14. A unique chromatin signature uncovers early developmental enhancers in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rada-Iglesias, Alvaro; Bajpai, Ruchi; Swigut, Tomek; Brugmann, Samantha A; Flynn, Ryan A; Wysocka, Joanna

    2011-02-10

    Cell-fate transitions involve the integration of genomic information encoded by regulatory elements, such as enhancers, with the cellular environment. However, identification of genomic sequences that control human embryonic development represents a formidable challenge. Here we show that in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), unique chromatin signatures identify two distinct classes of genomic elements, both of which are marked by the presence of chromatin regulators p300 and BRG1, monomethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me1), and low nucleosomal density. In addition, elements of the first class are distinguished by the acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27ac), overlap with previously characterized hESC enhancers, and are located proximally to genes expressed in hESCs and the epiblast. In contrast, elements of the second class, which we term 'poised enhancers', are distinguished by the absence of H3K27ac, enrichment of histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), and are linked to genes inactive in hESCs and instead are involved in orchestrating early steps in embryogenesis, such as gastrulation, mesoderm formation and neurulation. Consistent with the poised identity, during differentiation of hESCs to neuroepithelium, a neuroectoderm-specific subset of poised enhancers acquires a chromatin signature associated with active enhancers. When assayed in zebrafish embryos, poised enhancers are able to direct cell-type and stage-specific expression characteristic of their proximal developmental gene, even in the absence of sequence conservation in the fish genome. Our data demonstrate that early developmental enhancers are epigenetically pre-marked in hESCs and indicate an unappreciated role of H3K27me3 at distal regulatory elements. Moreover, the wealth of new regulatory sequences identified here provides an invaluable resource for studies and isolation of transient, rare cell populations representing early stages of human embryogenesis.

  15. Epigenetic microRNA Regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiklund, Erik Digman

    2011-01-01

    and confirming transcriptional start sites can be difficult. Epigenetics, gene regulatory and DNA modification mechanisms not involving a change to the primary sequence, have been implied in the regulation of a number of miRNA loci. Both epigenetic and miRNA signatures are broadly altered in cancer......, and are thought to play essential roles in cancer etiology and progression. Here, we aimed to identify epigenetic miRNA deregulation in bladder and oral carcinoma, and to develop a robust approach to epigenetic miRNA prediction and detection. In addition, non-canonical epigenetic functions directed by a nuclear...... miRNA were investigated. In summary, we report that the miR-200 family and miR-205 are coordinately epigenetically regulated in a variety of cell lines, tumors and normal tissues. MiR-200c expression is correlated with bladder cancer disease progression, and miR-375 levels in oral rinse can...

  16. Plasticity of fission yeast CENP-A chromatin driven by relative levels of histone H3 and H4.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araceli G Castillo

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The histone H3 variant CENP-A assembles into chromatin exclusively at centromeres. The process of CENP-A chromatin assembly is epigenetically regulated. Fission yeast centromeres are composed of a central kinetochore domain on which CENP-A chromatin is assembled, and this is flanked by heterochromatin. Marker genes are silenced when placed within kinetochore or heterochromatin domains. It is not known if fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1 chromatin is confined to specific sequences or whether histone H3 is actively excluded. Here, we show that fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1 can assemble on noncentromeric DNA when it is inserted within the central kinetochore domain, suggesting that in fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1 chromatin assembly is driven by the context of a sequence rather than the underlying DNA sequence itself. Silencing in the central domain is correlated with the amount of CENP-A(Cnp1 associated with the marker gene and is also affected by the relative level of histone H3. Our analyses indicate that kinetochore integrity is dependent on maintaining the normal ratio of H3 and H4. Excess H3 competes with CENP-A(Cnp1 for assembly into central domain chromatin, resulting in less CENP-A(Cnp1 and other kinetochore proteins at centromeres causing defective kinetochore function, which is manifest as aberrant mitotic chromosome segregation. Alterations in the levels of H3 relative to H4 and CENP-A(Cnp1 influence the extent of DNA at centromeres that is packaged in CENP-A(Cnp1 chromatin and the composition of this chromatin. Thus, CENP-A(Cnp1 chromatin assembly in fission yeast exhibits plasticity with respect to the underlying sequences and is sensitive to the levels of CENP-A(Cnp1 and other core histones.

  17. Plasticity of fission yeast CENP-A chromatin driven by relative levels of histone H3 and H4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Araceli G; Mellone, Barbara G; Partridge, Janet F; Richardson, William; Hamilton, Georgina L; Allshire, Robin C; Pidoux, Alison L

    2007-07-01

    The histone H3 variant CENP-A assembles into chromatin exclusively at centromeres. The process of CENP-A chromatin assembly is epigenetically regulated. Fission yeast centromeres are composed of a central kinetochore domain on which CENP-A chromatin is assembled, and this is flanked by heterochromatin. Marker genes are silenced when placed within kinetochore or heterochromatin domains. It is not known if fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin is confined to specific sequences or whether histone H3 is actively excluded. Here, we show that fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1) can assemble on noncentromeric DNA when it is inserted within the central kinetochore domain, suggesting that in fission yeast CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin assembly is driven by the context of a sequence rather than the underlying DNA sequence itself. Silencing in the central domain is correlated with the amount of CENP-A(Cnp1) associated with the marker gene and is also affected by the relative level of histone H3. Our analyses indicate that kinetochore integrity is dependent on maintaining the normal ratio of H3 and H4. Excess H3 competes with CENP-A(Cnp1) for assembly into central domain chromatin, resulting in less CENP-A(Cnp1) and other kinetochore proteins at centromeres causing defective kinetochore function, which is manifest as aberrant mitotic chromosome segregation. Alterations in the levels of H3 relative to H4 and CENP-A(Cnp1) influence the extent of DNA at centromeres that is packaged in CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin and the composition of this chromatin. Thus, CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin assembly in fission yeast exhibits plasticity with respect to the underlying sequences and is sensitive to the levels of CENP-A(Cnp1) and other core histones. PMID:17677001

  18. Epigenetic memory in kidney diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimura, Imari

    2016-02-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms have been the focus of intensive research. De Marinis et al. demonstrated that high glucose levels exert stimulatory effects on activation histone marks, leading to the upregulation of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) gene expression, which is proinflammatory. They also showed that the effect was reversed by the inhibition of histone acetyltransferase, suggesting a new therapeutic approach for improving diabetic kidney disease. Epigenetic changes are memorized as epigenetic memory that could exacerbate diabetic complications.

  19. The complexity of epigenetic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazel, Ailbhe Jane; Vernimmen, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, a plethora of pathogenic mutations affecting enhancer regions and epigenetic regulators have been identified. Coupled with more recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) implicating major roles for regulatory mutations in disease, it is clear that epigenetic mechanisms represent important biomarkers for disease development and perhaps even therapeutic targets. Here, we discuss the diversity of disease-causing mutations in enhancers and epigenetic regulators, with a particular focus on cancer.

  20. EPIGENETIC MODIFICATIONS OF SWINE GENOME

    OpenAIRE

    Kristina Budimir; Gordana Kralik; Vladimir Margeta

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetics is represents a new way of genome analysis, respectively gene expression that occurs without DNA sequence change. Changes that occur are epigenetic modifications and they include post-translational histone modification and DNA methylation. Chemical groups that are added on DNA molecule cause changes in DNA and create epigenome. The consequence of that is appearance of imprinted genes in genome. Genetic imprinting is epigenetic modification in which one of inherited alleles inactiv...

  1. 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. PMID:22941276

  2. Epigenetics and Transcriptomics to Detect Adverse Drug Effects in Model Systems of Human Development

    OpenAIRE

    Balmer, Nina V.; Leist, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals or drugs has been associated with functional or structural deficits and the development of diseases in later life. For example, developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) is triggered by lead, and this compound may predispose to neurodegenerative diseases in later life. The molecular memory for such late consequences of early exposure is not known, but epigenetic mechanisms (modification of the chromatin structure) could take this role. Examples and underly...

  3. Light-induced nuclear export reveals rapid dynamics of epigenetic modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yumerefendi, Hayretin; Lerner, Andrew Michael; Zimmerman, Seth Parker; Hahn, Klaus; Bear, James E; Strahl, Brian D; Kuhlman, Brian

    2016-06-01

    We engineered a photoactivatable system for rapidly and reversibly exporting proteins from the nucleus by embedding a nuclear export signal in the LOV2 domain from phototropin 1. Fusing the chromatin modifier Bre1 to the photoswitch, we achieved light-dependent control of histone H2B monoubiquitylation in yeast, revealing fast turnover of the ubiquitin mark. Moreover, this inducible system allowed us to dynamically monitor the status of epigenetic modifications dependent on H2B ubiquitylation. PMID:27089030

  4. The Influence of Early Life Nutrition on Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms of the Immune System

    OpenAIRE

    Lorella Paparo; Margherita di Costanzo; Carmen di Scala; Linda Cosenza; Ludovica Leone; Rita Nocerino; Roberto Berni Canani

    2014-01-01

    The immune system is exquisitely sensitive to environmental changes. Diet constitutes one of the major environmental factors that exerts a profound effect on immune system development and function. Epigenetics is the study of mitotically heritable, yet potentially reversible, molecular modifications to DNA and chromatin without alteration to the underlying DNA sequence. Nutriepigenomics is an emerging discipline examining the role of dietary influences on gene expression. There is increasing ...

  5. Epigenetics modifications and therapeutic prospects in human thyroid cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Genetic and epigenetic variations induced by wheat-rye 2R and 5R monosomic addition lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shulan Fu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Monosomic alien addition lines (MAALs can easily induce structural variation of chromosomes and have been used in crop breeding; however, it is unclear whether MAALs will induce drastic genetic and epigenetic alterations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, wheat-rye 2R and 5R MAALs together with their selfed progeny and parental common wheat were investigated through amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP analyses. The MAALs in different generations displayed different genetic variations. Some progeny that only contained 42 wheat chromosomes showed great genetic/epigenetic alterations. Cryptic rye chromatin has introgressed into the wheat genome. However, one of the progeny that contained cryptic rye chromatin did not display outstanding genetic/epigenetic variation. 78 and 49 sequences were cloned from changed AFLP and MSAP bands, respectively. Blastn search indicated that almost half of them showed no significant similarity to known sequences. Retrotransposons were mainly involved in genetic and epigenetic variations. Genetic variations basically affected Gypsy-like retrotransposons, whereas epigenetic alterations affected Copia-like and Gypsy-like retrotransposons equally. Genetic and epigenetic variations seldom affected low-copy coding DNA sequences. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results in the present study provided direct evidence to illustrate that monosomic wheat-rye addition lines could induce different and drastic genetic/epigenetic variations and these variations might not be caused by introgression of rye chromatins into wheat. Therefore, MAALs may be directly used as an effective means to broaden the genetic diversity of common wheat.

  7. From the chromatin interaction network to the organization of the human genome into replication N/U-domains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The three-dimensional (3D) architecture of the mammalian nucleus is now being unraveled thanks to the recent development of chromatin conformation capture (3C) technologies. Here we report the results of a combined multiscale analysis of genome-wide mean replication timing and chromatin conformation data that reveal some intimate relationships between chromatin folding and human DNA replication. We previously described megabase replication N/U-domains as mammalian multiorigin replication units, and showed that their borders are ‘master’ replication initiation zones that likely initiate cascades of origin firing responsible for the stereotypic replication of these domains. Here, we demonstrate that replication N/U-domains correspond to the structural domains of self-interacting chromatin, and that their borders act as insulating regions both in high-throughput 3C (Hi-C) data and high-resolution 3C (4C) experiments. Further analyses of Hi-C data using a graph-theoretical approach reveal that N/U-domain borders are long-distance, interconnected hubs of the chromatin interaction network. Overall, these results and the observation that a well-defined ordering of chromatin states exists from N/U-domain borders to centers suggest that ‘master’ replication initiation zones are at the heart of a high-order, epigenetically controlled 3D organization of the human genome. (paper)

  8. Chromatin Modification and Remodeling in Heart Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Delgado-Olguín

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In organogenesis, cell types are specified from determined precursors as morphogenetic patterning takes place. These events are largely controlled by tissue-specific transcription factors. These transcription factors must function within the context of chromatin to activate or repress target genes. Recent evidence suggests that chromatin-remodeling and -modifying factors may have tissue-specific function. Here we review the potential roles for chromatin-remodeling and -modifying proteins in the development of the mammalian heart.

  9. A repetitive elements perspective in Polycomb epigenetics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eCasa

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Repetitive elements comprise over two-thirds of the human genome. For a long time, these elements have received little attention since they were considered non functional. On the contrary, recent evidence indicates that they play central roles in genome integrity, gene expression and disease. Indeed, repeats display meiotic instability associated with disease and are located within common fragile sites, which are hotspots of chromosome rearrangements in tumors. Moreover, a variety of diseases have been associated with aberrant transcription of repetitive elements. Overall this indicates that appropriate regulation of repetitive elements’ activity is fundamental.Polycomb group (PcG proteins are epigenetic regulators that are essential for the normal development of multicellular organisms. Mammalian PcG proteins are involved in fundamental processes, such as cellular memory, cell proliferation, genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, and cancer development. PcG proteins can convey their activity through long-distance interactions also on different chromosomes. This indicates that the 3D organization of PcG proteins contributes significantly to their function. However, it is still unclear how these complex mechanisms are orchestrated and which role PcG proteins play in the multi-level organization of gene regulation. Intriguingly, the greatest proportion of Polycomb-mediated chromatin modifications is located in genomic repeats and it has been suggested that they could provide a binding platform for Polycomb proteins.Here, these lines of evidence are woven together to discuss how repetitive elements could contribute to chromatin organization in the 3D nuclear space.

  10. Quiescence Loosens Epigenetic Constraints in Bovine Somatic Cells and Improves Their Reprogramming into Totipotency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallingappa, Prasanna K; Turner, Pavla M; Eichenlaub, Michael P; Green, Andria L; Oback, Fleur C; Chibnall, Alice M; Wells, David N; Oback, Björn

    2016-07-01

    Reprogramming by nuclear transfer (NT) cloning forces cells to lose their lineage-specific epigenetic marks and reacquire totipotency. This process often produces molecular anomalies that compromise clone development. We hypothesized that quiescence alters the epigenetic status of somatic NT donor cells and elevates their reprogrammability. To test this idea, we compared chromatin composition and cloning efficiency of serum-starved quiescent (G0) fibroblasts versus nonstarved mitotically selected (G1) controls. We show that G0 chromatin contains reduced levels of Polycomb group proteins EED, SUZ12, PHC1, and RING2, as well as histone variant H2A.Z. Using quantitative confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and fluorometric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we further show that G0 induced DNA and histone hypomethylation, specifically at H3K4me3, H3K9me2/3 and H3K27me3, but not H3K9me1. Collectively, these changes resulted in a more relaxed G0 chromatin state. Following NT, G0 donors developed into blastocysts that retained H3K9me3 hypomethylation, both in the inner cell mass and trophectoderm. G0 blastocysts from different cell types and cell lines developed significantly better into adult offspring. In conclusion, serum starvation induced epigenetic changes, specifically hypotrimethylation, that provide a mechanistic correlate for increased somatic cell reprogrammability. PMID:27281704

  11. Genome-wide binding and mechanistic analyses of Smchd1-mediated epigenetic regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kelan; Hu, Jiang; Moore, Darcy L.; Liu, Ruijie; Kessans, Sarah A.; Breslin, Kelsey; Lucet, Isabelle S.; Keniry, Andrew; Leong, Huei San; Parish, Clare L.; Hilton, Douglas J.; Lemmers, Richard J. L. F.; van der Maarel, Silvère M.; Czabotar, Peter E.; Dobson, Renwick C. J.; Ritchie, Matthew E.; Kay, Graham F.; Murphy, James M.; Blewitt, Marnie E.

    2015-01-01

    Structural maintenance of chromosomes flexible hinge domain containing 1 (Smchd1) is an epigenetic repressor with described roles in X inactivation and genomic imprinting, but Smchd1 is also critically involved in the pathogenesis of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy. The underlying molecular mechanism by which Smchd1 functions in these instances remains unknown. Our genome-wide transcriptional and epigenetic analyses show that Smchd1 binds cis-regulatory elements, many of which coincide with CCCTC-binding factor (Ctcf) binding sites, for example, the clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes, where we show Smchd1 and Ctcf act in opposing ways. We provide biochemical and biophysical evidence that Smchd1–chromatin interactions are established through the homodimeric hinge domain of Smchd1 and, intriguingly, that the hinge domain also has the capacity to bind DNA and RNA. Our results suggest Smchd1 imparts epigenetic regulation via physical association with chromatin, which may antagonize Ctcf-facilitated chromatin interactions, resulting in coordinated transcriptional control. PMID:26091879

  12. Common non-epigenetic drugs as epigenetic modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lötsch, Jörn; Schneider, Gisbert; Reker, Daniel; Parnham, Michael J; Schneider, Petra; Geisslinger, Gerd; Doehring, Alexandra

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetic effects are exerted by a variety of factors and evidence increases that common drugs such as opioids, cannabinoids, valproic acid, or cytostatics may induce alterations in DNA methylation patterns or histone conformations. These effects occur via chemical structural interactions with epigenetic enzymes, through interactions with DNA repair mechanisms. Computational predictions indicate that one-twentieth of all drugs might potentially interact with human histone deacetylase, which was prospectively experimentally verified for the compound with the highest predicted interaction probability. These epigenetic effects add to wanted and unwanted drug effects, contributing to mechanisms of drug resistance or disease-related and unrelated phenotypes. Because epigenetic changes might be transmitted to offspring, the need for reliable and cost-effective epigenetic screening tools becomes acute.

  13. The Cyclophilin AtCYP71 Interacts with CAF-1 and LHP1 and Functions in Multiple Chromatin Remodeling Processes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hong Li; Sheng Luan

    2011-01-01

    Chromatin is the primary carrier of epigenetic information in higher eukaryotes. AtCYP71 contains both cyclo-philin domain and WD40 repeats. Loss of AtCYP71 function causes drastic pleiotropic phenotypic defects. Here, we show that AtCYP71 physically interacts with FAS1 and LHP1, respectively, to modulate their distribution on chromatin. The Ihpl cyp71 double mutant showed more severe phenotypes than the single mutants, suggesting that AtCYP71 and LHP1 syn-ergistically control plant development. Such synergism was in part illustrated by the observation that LHP1 association with its specific target loci requires AtCYP71 function. We also demonstrate that AtCYP71 physically interacts with FAS1and is indispensable for FAS1 targeting to the KNAT1 locus. Together, our data suggest that AtCYP71 is involved in fun-damental processes of chromatin assembly and histone modification in plants.

  14. Combinatorial epigenetic deregulation by Helicobacter pylori and Epstein-Barr virus infections in gastric tumourigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, William Kk; Yu, Jun; Chan, Matthew Tv; To, Ka F; Cheng, Alfred Sl

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodelling and microRNAs, convert environmental signals to transcriptional outputs but are commonly hijacked by pathogenic microorganisms. Recent advances in cancer epigenomics have shed new light on the importance of epigenetic deregulation in Helicobacter pylori- and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-driven gastric tumourigenesis. Moreover, it is becoming apparent that epigenetic mechanisms interact through crosstalk and feedback loops, which modify global gene expression patterns. The SWI/SNF remodelling complexes are commonly involved in gastric cancers associated with H. pylori or EBV through different mechanisms, including microRNA-mediated deregulation and genetic mutations. While H. pylori causes epigenetic silencing of tumour-suppressor genes to deregulate cellular pathways, EBV-positive tumours exhibit a widespread and distinctive DNA hypermethylation profile. Given the early successes of epigenetic drugs in haematological malignancies, further studies are mandated to enrich and translate our understanding of combinatorial epigenetic deregulation in gastric cancers into interventional strategies in the clinic. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27102722

  15. Heterogeneity of epigenetic changes at ischemia/reperfusion- and endotoxin-induced acute kidney injury genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mar, Daniel; Gharib, Sina A; Zager, Richard A; Johnson, Ali; Denisenko, Oleg; Bomsztyk, Karol

    2015-10-01

    Aberrant gene expression is a molecular hallmark of acute kidney injury (AKI). As epigenetic processes control gene expression in a cell- and environment-defined manner, understanding the epigenetic pathways that regulate genes altered by AKI may open vital new insights into the complexities of disease pathogenesis and identify possible therapeutic targets. Here we used matrix chromatin immunoprecipitation and integrative analysis to study 20 key permissive and repressive epigenetic histone marks at transcriptionally induced Tnf, Ngal, Kim-1, and Icam-1 genes in mouse models of AKI; unilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and their synergistically injurious combination. Results revealed unexpected heterogeneity of transcriptional and epigenetic responses. Tnf and Ngal were transcriptionally upregulated in response to both treatments individually, and to combination treatment. Kim-1 was induced by ischemia/reperfusion and Icam-1 by LPS only. Epigenetic alterations at these genes exhibited distinct time-dependent changes that shared some similarities, such as reduction in repressive histone modifications, and also had major ischemia/reperfusion versus endotoxin differences. Thus, diversity of changes at AKI genes in response to different insults indicates involvement of several epigenetic pathways. This could be exploited pharmacologically through rational-drug design to alter the course and improve clinical outcomes of this syndrome. PMID:26061546

  16. The architects of crenarchaeal chromatin : A biophysical characterization of chromatin proteins from Sulfolobus solfataricus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Driessen, Rosalie Paula Catharina

    2014-01-01

    Understanding of chromatin organization and compaction in Archaea is currently limited. The genome of several megabasepairs long is folded by a set of small chromatin proteins to fit into the micron-sized cell. A first step in understanding archaeal chromatin organization is to study the action of i

  17. [Epigenetic dysregulation in myelodysplastic syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sashida, Goro; Iwama, Atsushi

    2015-02-01

    Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal hematopoietic stem cell disease characterized by impaired hematopoiesis and an increased risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemia. Various epigenetic regulators are mutated in MDS patients, indicating that accumulation of epigenetic alterations together with genetic alterations plays a crucial role in the development of MDS.

  18. A polycomb group protein is retained at specific sites on chromatin in mitosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole E Follmer

    Full Text Available Epigenetic regulation of gene expression, including by Polycomb Group (PcG proteins, may depend on heritable chromatin states, but how these states can be propagated through mitosis is unclear. Using immunofluorescence and biochemical fractionation, we find PcG proteins associated with mitotic chromosomes in Drosophila S2 cells. Genome-wide sequencing of chromatin immunoprecipitations (ChIP-SEQ from mitotic cells indicates that Posterior Sex Combs (PSC is not present at well-characterized PcG targets including Hox genes in mitosis, but does remain at a subset of interphase sites. Many of these persistent sites overlap with chromatin domain borders described by Sexton et al. (2012, which are genomic regions characterized by low levels of long range contacts. Persistent PSC binding sites flank both Hox gene clusters. We hypothesize that disruption of long-range chromatin contacts in mitosis contributes to PcG protein release from most sites, while persistent binding at sites with minimal long-range contacts may nucleate re-establishment of PcG binding and chromosome organization after mitosis.

  19. Mutation of the TERT promoter, switch to active chromatin, and monoallelic TERT expression in multiple cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Josh Lewis; Theodorescu, Dan; Vogelstein, Bert; Papadopoulos, Nickolas; Cech, Thomas R

    2015-11-01

    Somatic mutations in the promoter of the gene for telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) are the most common noncoding mutations in cancer. They are thought to activate telomerase, contributing to proliferative immortality, but the molecular events driving TERT activation are largely unknown. We observed in multiple cancer cell lines that mutant TERT promoters exhibit the H3K4me2/3 mark of active chromatin and recruit the GABPA/B1 transcription factor, while the wild-type allele retains the H3K27me3 mark of epigenetic silencing; only the mutant promoters are transcriptionally active. These results suggest how a single-base-pair mutation can cause a dramatic epigenetic switch and monoallelic expression. PMID:26515115

  20. Natural Killer Cells—An Epigenetic Perspective of Development and Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Schenk

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Based on their ability to recognize and eliminate various endo- and exogenous pathogens as well as pathological alterations, Natural Killer (NK cells represent an important part of the cellular innate immune system. Although the knowledge about their function is growing, little is known about their development and regulation on the molecular level. Research of the past decade suggests that modifications of the chromatin, which do not affect the base sequence of the DNA, also known as epigenetic alterations, are strongly involved in these processes. Here, the impact of epigenetic modifications on the development as well as the expression of important activating and inhibiting NK-cell receptors and their effector function is reviewed. Furthermore, external stimuli such as physical activity and their influence on the epigenetic level are discussed.

  1. Editoral: Molecular epigenetics: dawn of a new era of biomedical research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU RuiMing

    2009-01-01

    @@ At about the same time in 1940s when Erwin Schrǒdinger published his famous little book What Is Life, which sparked the birth of molecular biology, the term epigenetics was coined by the English biologist Conrad Waddington.The concept of epi-inheritance can be traced back to French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's idea of "inheritance of acquired traits". Nevertheless, epigenetics as an experimental science owes much credit to Barbara McCiintock's pio-neering work on transposable elements in maize. In early 1950s, she put forward a theory that alteration in chromatin structure is responsible for the peculiar non-Mendelian rules of inheritance - a concept nowadays widely accepted as the comer stone of modem epigenetics.

  2. 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.

  3. Genetic architecture, epigenetic influence and environment exposure in the pathogenesis of Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Li; Wu, YiMing; Wu, Bai-Lin

    2015-10-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a spectral neurodevelopment disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population. ASD is characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction, communication deficits and restricted patterns of behavior. Multiple factors, including genetic/genomic, epigenetic/epigenomic and environmental, are thought to be necessary for autism development. Recent reviews have provided further insight into the genetic/genomic basis of ASD. It has long been suspected that epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, chromatin structures and long non-coding RNAs may play important roles in the pathology of ASD. In addition to genetic/genomic alterations and epigenetic/epigenomic influences, environmental exposures have been widely accepted as an important role in autism etiology, among which immune dysregulation and gastrointestinal microbiota are two prominent ones.

  4. ATRX represses alternative lengthening of telomeres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napier, Christine E; Huschtscha, Lily I; Harvey, Adam; Bower, Kylie; Noble, Jane R; Hendrickson, Eric A; Reddel, Roger R

    2015-06-30

    The unlimited proliferation of cancer cells requires a mechanism to prevent telomere shortening. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) is an homologous recombination-mediated mechanism of telomere elongation used in tumors, including osteosarcomas, soft tissue sarcoma subtypes, and glial brain tumors. Mutations in the ATRX/DAXX chromatin remodeling complex have been reported in tumors and cell lines that use the ALT mechanism, suggesting that ATRX may be an ALT repressor. We show here that knockout or knockdown of ATRX in mortal cells or immortal telomerase-positive cells is insufficient to activate ALT. Notably, however, in SV40-transformed mortal fibroblasts ATRX loss results in either a significant increase in the proportion of cell lines activating ALT (instead of telomerase) or in a significant decrease in the time prior to ALT activation. These data indicate that loss of ATRX function cooperates with one or more as-yet unidentified genetic or epigenetic alterations to activate ALT. Moreover, transient ATRX expression in ALT-positive/ATRX-negative cells represses ALT activity. These data provide the first direct, functional evidence that ATRX represses ALT. PMID:26001292

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobow, Katja; Blümcke, Ingmar

    2014-01-01

    In humans, genomic DNA is organized in 23 chromosome pairs coding for roughly 25,000 genes. Not all of them are active at all times. During development, a broad range of different cell types needs to be generated in a highly ordered and reproducible manner, requiring selective gene expression programs. Epigenetics can be regarded as the information management system that is able to index or bookmark distinct regions in our genome to regulate the readout of DNA. It further comprises the molecular memory of any given cell, allowing it to store information of previously experienced external (e.g., environmental) or internal (e.g., developmental) stimuli, to learn from this experience and to respond. The underlying epigenetic mechanisms can be synergistic, antagonistic, or mutually exclusive and their large variety combined with the variability and interdependence is thought to provide the molecular basis for any phenotypic variation in physiological and pathological conditions. Thus, widespread reconfiguration of the epigenome is not only a key feature of neurodevelopment, brain maturation, and adult brain function but also disease.

  6. 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.

  7. Monoallelic chromatin conformation flanking long-range silenced domains in cancer-derived and normal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenic Di Paola

    Full Text Available Epigenetic inactivation of chromatin plays an important role in determining cell phenotype in both normal and cancer cells, but our knowledge is still incomplete with respect to any potential monoallelic nature of the phenomenon. We have genotyped DNA isolated from chromatin of two colorectal cancer-derived lines and a culture of normal human intestinal epithelial cells (HIEC, which was immunoprecipitated with antibodies to acetylated vs. methylated histone H3K9, and presented the data as B allele frequency differences over multiple single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP moving window averages. [B allele is an arbitrary term defined as one of the two alleles at any given SNP, named A and B]. Three different validation tests confirmed that peaks exhibiting differences represented monoallelic domains. These complementary tests confirmed the following: 1 genes in the regions of high B allele frequency difference were expressed monoallelically; 2 in normal cells all five imprinting control regions which carried heterozygous SNPs were characterized by B allele difference peaks; and 3 the haplotypes in the B allele difference peaks were faithfully maintained in the chromatin immunoprecipitated with the respective antibodies. In both samples most of the monoallelic domains were found at the boundaries between regions of open and closed chromatin. With respect to the cancer line, this supports the established concept of conformation spreading, but the results from the normal cells were unexpected. Since these cells were polyclonal, the monoallelic structures were probably not determined by random choice as occurs in X-inactivation, so we propose that epigenetic inactivation in some domains may be heritable and polymorphic in normal human cells.

  8. A microscopic analysis of Arabidopsis chromatin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemse, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Genetic information of eukaryotic organisms is stored as DNA in the nuclei of their cells. Nuclear DNA is associated with several proteins, which together form chromatin. The most abundant chromatin proteins arehistones,they arrange the initial packaging step of the DNA. DNA

  9. Expression-dependent folding of interphase chromatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hansjoerg Jerabek

    Full Text Available Multiple studies suggest that chromatin looping might play a crucial role in organizing eukaryotic genomes. To investigate the interplay between the conformation of interphase chromatin and its transcriptional activity, we include information from gene expression profiles into a polymer model for chromatin that incorporates genomic loops. By relating loop formation to transcriptional activity, we are able to generate chromosome conformations whose structural and topological properties are consistent with experimental data. The model particularly allows to reproduce the conformational variations that are known to occur between highly and lowly expressed chromatin regions. As previously observed in experiments, lowly expressed regions of the simulated polymers are much more compact. Due to the changes in loop formation, the distributions of chromatin loops are also expression-dependent and exhibit a steeper decay in highly active regions. As a results of entropic interaction between differently looped parts of the chromosome, we observe topological alterations leading to a preferential positioning of highly transcribed loci closer to the surface of the chromosome territory. Considering the diffusional behavior of the chromatin fibre, the simulations furthermore show that the higher the expression level of specific parts of the chromatin fibre is, the more dynamic they are. The results exhibit that variations of loop formation along the chromatin fibre, and the entropic changes that come along with it, do not only influence the structural parameters on the local scale, but also effect the global chromosome conformation and topology.

  10. Chromatin dynamics resolved with force spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chien, Fan-Tso

    2011-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, genomic DNA is organized in chromatin fibers composed of nucleosomes as structural units. A nucleosome contains 1.7 turns of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer and is connected to the adjacent nucleosomes with linker DNA. The folding of chromatin fibers effectively increases t

  11. Chromatin Remodelers: From Function to Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gernot Längst

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Chromatin remodelers are key players in the regulation of chromatin accessibility and nucleosome positioning on the eukaryotic DNA, thereby essential for all DNA dependent biological processes. Thus, it is not surprising that upon of deregulation of those molecular machines healthy cells can turn into cancerous cells. Even though the remodeling enzymes are very abundant and a multitude of different enzymes and chromatin remodeling complexes exist in the cell, the particular remodeling complex with its specific nucleosome positioning features must be at the right place at the right time in order to ensure the proper regulation of the DNA dependent processes. To achieve this, chromatin remodeling complexes harbor protein domains that specifically read chromatin targeting signals, such as histone modifications, DNA sequence/structure, non-coding RNAs, histone variants or DNA bound interacting proteins. Recent studies reveal the interaction between non-coding RNAs and chromatin remodeling complexes showing importance of RNA in remodeling enzyme targeting, scaffolding and regulation. In this review, we summarize current understanding of chromatin remodeling enzyme targeting to chromatin and their role in cancer development.

  12. A Long-Distance Chromatin Affair

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denker, Annette; de Laat, Wouter

    2015-01-01

    Changes in transcription factor binding sequences result in correlated changes in chromatin composition locally and at sites hundreds of kilobases away. New studies demonstrate that this concordance is mediated via spatial chromatin interactions that constitute regulatory modules of the human genome

  13. Chromatin domain boundaries: insulators and beyond

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gong Hong WEI; De Pei LIU; Chih Chuan LIANG

    2005-01-01

    The eukaryotic genome is organized into functionally and structurally distinct domains, representing regulatory units for gene expression and chromosome behavior. DNA sequences that mark the border between adjacent domains are the insulators or boundary elements, which are required in maintenance of the function of different domains. Some insulators need others enable to play insulation activity. Chromatin domains are defined by distinct sets of post-translationally modified histones. Recent studies show that these histone modifications are also involved in establishment of sharp chromatin boundaries in order to prevent the spreading of distinct domains. Additionally, in some loci, the high-order chromatin structures for long-range looping interactions also have boundary activities, suggesting a correlation between insulators and chromatin loop domains. In this review, we will discuss recent progress in the field of chromatin domain boundaries.

  14. Theory for the stability and regulation of epigenetic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:20526030

  15. Overview of the "epigenetic end points in toxicologic pathology and relevance to human health" session of the 2014 Society Of Toxicologic Pathology Annual Symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoenerhoff, Mark J; Hartke, James

    2015-01-01

    The theme of the Society of Toxicologic Pathology 2014 Annual Symposium was "Translational Pathology: Relevance of Toxicologic Pathology to Human Health." The 5th session focused on epigenetic end points in biology, toxicity, and carcinogenicity, and how those end points are relevant to human exposures. This overview highlights the various presentations in this session, discussing integration of epigenetics end points in toxicologic pathology studies, investigating the role of epigenetics in product safety assessment, epigenetic changes in cancers, methodologies to detect them, and potential therapies, chromatin remodeling in development and disease, and epigenomics and the microbiome. The purpose of this overview is to discuss the application of epigenetics to toxicologic pathology and its utility in preclinical or mechanistic based safety, efficacy, and carcinogenicity studies.

  16. Epigenetics in Intestinal Epithelial Cell Renewal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roostaee, Alireza; Benoit, Yannick D; Boudjadi, Salah; Beaulieu, Jean-François

    2016-11-01

    A controlled balance between cell proliferation and differentiation is essential to maintain normal intestinal tissue renewal and physiology. Such regulation is powered by several intracellular pathways that are translated into the establishment of specific transcription programs, which influence intestinal cell fate along the crypt-villus axis. One important check-point in this process occurs in the transit amplifying zone of the intestinal crypts where different signaling pathways and transcription factors cooperate to manage cellular proliferation and differentiation, before secretory or absorptive cell lineage terminal differentiation. However, the importance of epigenetic modifications such as histone methylation and acetylation in the regulation of these processes is still incompletely understood. There have been recent advances in identifying the impact of histone modifications and chromatin remodelers on the proliferation and differentiation of normal intestinal crypt cells. In this review we discuss recent discoveries on the role of the cellular epigenome in intestinal cell fate, development, and tissue renewal. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2361-2367, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Cellular Physiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27061836

  17. Models of epigenetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsing, Anne

    as the activation of one receptor gene must result in the continuous repression of the remaining genes. Consequently di erentiation of olfactory neurons presents a rst example of a system that seems to require a local cis-acting gene regulatory mechanism. A novel model is presented that describe the choice...... of olfactory receptor by a system of coupled bistable regions. The bistability of each receptor gene is attributed to patterns of similar nucleosome marks, governed by the cis-acting mechanism of read-write enzymes. Genes are coupled by a negative feedback on this mechanism by a global factor given by any...... the DNA into chromatin structures. Once established the patterns may be conserved over many cell generations. The self-sustainable nature of the patterns is attributed to the cis-acting mechanism of read-write enzymes that facilitates the same histone modi cations as they recognize. Developing olfactory...

  18. Epigenetic alterations differ in phenotypically distinct human neuroblastoma cell lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epigenetic aberrations and a CpG island methylator phenotype have been shown to be associated with poor outcomes in children with neuroblastoma (NB). Seven cancer related genes (THBS-1, CASP8, HIN-1, TIG-1, BLU, SPARC, and HIC-1) that have been shown to have epigenetic changes in adult cancers and play important roles in the regulation of angiogenesis, tumor growth, and apoptosis were analyzed to investigate the role epigenetic alterations play in determining NB phenotype. Two NB cell lines (tumorigenic LA1-55n and non-tumorigenic LA1-5s) that differ in their ability to form colonies in soft agar and tumors in nude mice were used. Quantitative RNA expression analyses were performed on seven genes in LA1-5s, LA1-55n and 5-Aza-dC treated LA1-55n NB cell lines. The methylation status around THBS-1, HIN-1, TIG-1 and CASP8 promoters was examined using methylation specific PCR. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was used to examine histone modifications along the THBS-1 promoter. Luciferase assay was used to determine THBS-1 promoter activity. Cell proliferation assay was used to examine the effect of 5-Aza-dC on NB cell growth. The soft agar assay was used to determine the tumorigenicity. Promoter methylation values for THBS-1, HIN-1, TIG-1, and CASP8 were higher in LA1-55n cells compared to LA1-5s cells. Consistent with the promoter methylation status, lower levels of gene expression were detected in the LA1-55n cells. Histone marks associated with repressive chromatin states (H3K9Me3, H3K27Me3, and H3K4Me3) were identified in the THBS-1 promoter region in the LA1-55n cells, but not the LA1-5s cells. In contrast, the three histone codes associated with an active chromatin state (acetyl H3, acetyl H4, and H3K4Me3) were present in the THBS-1 promoter region in LA1-5s cells, but not the LA1-55n cells, suggesting that an accessible chromatin structure is important for THBS-1 expression. We also show that 5-Aza-dC treatment of LA1-55n cells alters the DNA methylation

  19. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Patrick Bateson

    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.

  20. EPIGENETIC MODIFICATIONS OF SWINE GENOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina Budimir

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is represents a new way of genome analysis, respectively gene expression that occurs without DNA sequence change. Changes that occur are epigenetic modifications and they include post-translational histone modification and DNA methylation. Chemical groups that are added on DNA molecule cause changes in DNA and create epigenome. The consequence of that is appearance of imprinted genes in genome. Genetic imprinting is epigenetic modification in which one of inherited alleles inactivates. Its influence can be seen on productive and reproductive traits. Discovering new imprinted genes is important because of their conservation and understanding their function.

  1. Biphasic Chromatin Structure and FISH Signals Reflect Intranuclear Order

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyoti P. Chaudhuri

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: One of the two parental allelic genes may selectively be expressed, regulated by imprinting, X-inactivation or by other less known mechanisms. This study aims to reflect on such genetic mechanisms. Materials and Methods: Slides from short term cultures or direct smears of blood, bone marrow and amniotic fluids were hybridized with FISH probes singly, combined or sequentially. Two to three hundred cells were examined from each preparation. Results and Aignificance: A small number of cells (up to about 5%, more frequent in leukemia cases, showed the twin features: (1 nuclei with biphasic chromatin, one part decondensed and the other condensed; and (2 homologous FISH signals distributed equitably in those two regions. The biphasic chromatin structure with equitable distribution of the homologous FISH signals may correspond to the two sets of chromosomes, supporting observations on ploidywise intranuclear order. The decondensed chromatin may relate to enhanced transcriptions or advanced replications. Conclusions: Transcriptions of only one of the two parental genomes cause allelic exclusion. Genomes may switch with alternating monoallelic expression of biallelic genes as an efficient genetic mechanism. If genomes fail to switch, allelic exclusion may lead to malignancy. Similarly, a genome-wide monoallelic replication may tilt the balance of heterozygosity resulting in aneusomy, initiating early events in malignant transformation and in predicting cancer mortality.

  2. Putative molecular mechanism underlying sperm chromatin remodelling is regulated by reproductive hormones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gill-Sharma Manjeet Kaur

    2012-12-01

    transcriptome and proteome’, thereby stalling the replacement of ‘dynamic’ histones with ‘inert’ protamines, and altering the epigenetic state of condensed sperm chromatin. The inappropriately condensed chromatin affected the sperm chromatin cytoarchitecture, evident from subtle ultrastructural changes in the nuclei of immature caput epididymal sperm of CPA- or FD-treated rats, incubated in vitro with dithiothreitol.

  3. Chromatin remodeling pathways in smooth muscle cell differentiation, and evidence for an integral role for p300.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M Spin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Phenotypic alteration of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC in response to injury or inflammation is an essential component of vascular disease. Evidence suggests that this process is dependent on epigenetic regulatory processes. P300, a histone acetyltransferase (HAT, activates crucial muscle-specific promoters in terminal (non-SMC myocyte differentiation, and may be essential to SMC modulation as well. RESULTS: We performed a subanalysis examining transcriptional time-course microarray data obtained using the A404 model of SMC differentiation. Numerous chromatin remodeling genes (up to 62% of such genes on our array platform showed significant regulation during differentiation. Members of several chromatin-remodeling families demonstrated involvement, including factors instrumental in histone modification, chromatin assembly-disassembly and DNA silencing, suggesting complex, multi-level systemic epigenetic regulation. Further, trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, accelerated expression of SMC differentiation markers in this model. Ontology analysis indicated a high degree of p300 involvement in SMC differentiation, with 60.7% of the known p300 interactome showing significant expression changes. Knockdown of p300 expression accelerated SMC differentiation in A404 cells and human SMCs, while inhibition of p300 HAT activity blunted SMC differentiation. The results suggest a central but complex role for p300 in SMC phenotypic modulation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypothesis that chromatin remodeling is important for SMC phenotypic switching, and detail wide-ranging involvement of several epigenetic modification families. Additionally, the transcriptional coactivator p300 may be partially degraded during SMC differentiation, leaving an activated subpopulation with increased HAT activity and SMC differentiation-gene specificity.

  4. 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...... with cryopreserved/thawed embryos results in a higher risk of large-for-gestational age babies, which may be due to epigenetic modification. Further animal studies have shown altered gene expression profiles in offspring conceived by ART related to altered glucose metabolism. It is controversial whether human...... adolescents conceived by ART have altered lipid and glucose profiles and thereby a higher long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This commentary describes the basic concepts of epigenetics and gives a short overview of the existing literature on the association between imprinting disorders...

  5. 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...... to molecular phenotypes offers new opportunities to study the genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) contributions to epigenetic regulation of gene activity during developmental, ageing and disease processes. Besides the classical twin model, the case co-twin design using identical twins discordant...... for a trait or disease is becoming a popular and powerful design for epigenome-wide association study in linking environmental exposure to differential epigenetic regulation and to disease status while controlling for individual genetic make-up. It can be expected that novel uses of twin methods in epigenetic...

  6. Epigenetics of sleep and chronobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-03-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into these networks. In this review, we draw attention to the fundamental roles played by epigenetic mechanisms in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation within the circadian clock system. We also highlight how alterations in epigenetic factors and mechanisms are being linked with sleep-wake disorders. These observations provide important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of these disorders and implicate epigenetic deregulation in the significant but poorly understood interconnections now emerging between circadian processes and neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging.

  7. Epigenetics of sleep and chronobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-03-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into these networks. In this review, we draw attention to the fundamental roles played by epigenetic mechanisms in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation within the circadian clock system. We also highlight how alterations in epigenetic factors and mechanisms are being linked with sleep-wake disorders. These observations provide important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of these disorders and implicate epigenetic deregulation in the significant but poorly understood interconnections now emerging between circadian processes and neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging. PMID:24477387

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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 D

  9. Extensive Variation in Chromatin States Across Humans

    KAUST Repository

    Kasowski, M.

    2013-10-17

    The majority of disease-associated variants lie outside protein-coding regions, suggesting a link between variation in regulatory regions and disease predisposition. We studied differences in chromatin states using five histone modifications, cohesin, and CTCF in lymphoblastoid lines from 19 individuals of diverse ancestry. We found extensive signal variation in regulatory regions, which often switch between active and repressed states across individuals. Enhancer activity is particularly diverse among individuals, whereas gene expression remains relatively stable. Chromatin variability shows genetic inheritance in trios, correlates with genetic variation and population divergence, and is associated with disruptions of transcription factor binding motifs. Overall, our results provide insights into chromatin variation among humans.

  10. Differential Response of Human Hepatocyte Chromatin to HDAC Inhibitors as a Function of Microenvironmental Glucose Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felisbino, Marina Barreto; Alves da Costa, Thiago; Gatti, Maria Silvia Viccari; Mello, Maria Luiza Silveira

    2016-10-01

    Diabetes is a complex multifactorial disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia due to impaired insulin secretion. Recent observations suggest that the complexity of the disease cannot be entirely accounted for genetic predisposition and a compelling argument for an epigenetic component is rapidly emerging. The use of histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) in clinical setting is an emerging area of investigation. In this study, we have aimed to understand and compare the response of hepatocyte chromatin to valproic acid (VPA) and trichostatin A (TSA) treatments under normoglycemic or hyperglycemic conditions to expand our knowledge about the consequences of HDACi treatment in a diabetes cell model. Under normoglycemic conditions, these treatments promoted chromatin remodeling, as assessed by image analysis and H3K9ac and H3K9me2 abundance. Simultaneously, H3K9ac marks shifted to the nuclear periphery accompanied by HP1 dissociation from the heterochromatin and a G1 cell cycle arrest. More striking changes in the cell cycle progression and mitotic ratios required drastic treatment. Under hyperglycemic conditions, high glucose per se promoted chromatin changes similar to those promoted by VPA and TSA. Nonetheless, these results were not intensified in cells treated with HDACis under hyperglycemic conditions. Despite the absence of morphological changes being promoted, HDACi treatment seems to confer a physiological meaning, ameliorating the cellular hyperglycemic state through reduction of glucose production. These observations allow us to conclude that the glucose level to which the hepatocytes are subjected affects how chromatin responds to HDACi and their action under high-glucose environment might not reflect on chromatin remodeling. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2257-2265, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26888775

  11. Nuclear envelope proteins and chromatin arrangement: a pathogenic mechanism for laminopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NM Maraldi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The involvement of the nuclear envelope in the modulation of chromatin organization is strongly suggested by the increasing number of human diseases due to mutations of nuclear envelope proteins. A common feature of these diseases, named laminopathies, is the occurrence of major chromatin defects. Laminopathies share in some instances their clinical features, but each of them is characterized by a phenotype that involves one or multiple tissues.We previously reported that cells from laminopathic patients show an altered nuclear profile, and loss or detachment of heterochromatin from the nuclear envelope. Recent evidence indicates that processing of the lamin A precursor is altered in laminopathies featuring pre-mature aging and/or lipodystrophy phenotype. In these cases, pre-lamin A is accumulated in the nucleus and heterochromatin is severely disorganized. Moreover, altered distribution and solubility properties of heterochromatin-associated proteins such as HP1 are observed. These findings indicate that defects of chromatin remodeling are involved in the cascade of epigenetic events leading to the laminopathic phenotypes. Here we report evidence indicating that pre-lamin A is mis-localized in the nuclei of Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy fibroblasts, either bearing lamin A/C or emerin mutations. Abnornal pre-lamin A-containing structures are formed following treatment with a farnesyl-transferase inhibitor, a drug that causes accumulation of non-farnesylated pre-lamin A. Pre-lamin A-labeled structures co-localize with heterochromatin clumps. These data indicate that in almost all laminopathies the expression of the mutant lamin A precursor disrupts the organization of heterochromatin domains so that affected cells are unable to maintain the silenced chromatin state capable to allow/preserve terminal differentiation. Our results further show that the absence of emerin expression alters the distribution of pre-lamin A and of heterochromatin

  12. Epigenetic Modifications and Diabetic Retinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Chromatin Domains: The Unit of Chromosome Organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Jesse R; Gorkin, David U; Ren, Bing

    2016-06-01

    How eukaryotic chromosomes fold inside the nucleus is an age-old question that remains unanswered today. Early biochemical and microscopic studies revealed the existence of chromatin domains and loops as a pervasive feature of interphase chromosomes, but the biological implications of such organizational features were obscure. Genome-wide analysis of pair-wise chromatin interactions using chromatin conformation capture (3C)-based techniques has shed new light on the organization of chromosomes in interphase nuclei. Particularly, the finding of cell-type invariant, evolutionarily conserved topologically associating domains (TADs) in a broad spectrum of cell types has provided a new molecular framework for the study of animal development and human diseases. Here, we review recent progress in characterization of such chromatin domains and delineation of mechanisms of their formation in animal cells. PMID:27259200

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26822440

  16. ChIP-seq in studying epigenetic mechanisms of disease and promoting precision medicine: progresses and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Huihuang; Tian, Shulan; Slager, Susan L; Sun, Zhifu

    2016-09-01

    Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) is widely used for mapping histone modifications, histone proteins, chromatin regulators, transcription factors and other DNA-binding proteins. It has played a significant role in our understanding of disease mechanisms and in exploring epigenetic changes for potential clinical applications. However, the conventional protocol requires large amounts of starting material and does not quantify the actual occupancy, limiting its applications in clinical settings. Herein we summarize the latest progresses in utilizing ChIP-seq to link epigenetic alterations to disease initiation and progression, and the implications in precision medicine. We provide an update on the newly developed ChIP-seq protocols, especially those suitable for scare clinical samples. Technical and analytical challenges are outlined together with recommendations for improvement. Finally, future directions in expediting ChIP-seq use in clinic are discussed.

  17. Chromatin Dynamics During DNA Replication and Uncharacterized Replication Factors determined by Nascent Chromatin Capture (NCC) Proteomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alabert, Constance; Bukowski-Wills, Jimi-Carlo; Lee, Sung-Bau; Kustatscher, Georg; Nakamura, Kyosuke; de Lima Alves, Flavia; Menard, Patrice; Mejlvang, Jakob; Rappsilber, Juri; Groth, Anja

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To maintain genome function and stability, DNA sequence and its organization into chromatin must be duplicated during cell division. Understanding how entire chromosomes are copied remains a major challenge. Here, we use Nascent Chromatin Capture (NCC) to profile chromatin proteome dynamics during replication in human cells. NCC relies on biotin-dUTP labelling of replicating DNA, affinity-purification and quantitative proteomics. Comparing nascent chromatin with mature post-replicative chromatin, we provide association dynamics for 3995 proteins. The replication machinery and 485 chromatin factors like CAF-1, DNMT1, SUV39h1 are enriched in nascent chromatin, whereas 170 factors including histone H1, DNMT3, MBD1-3 and PRC1 show delayed association. This correlates with H4K5K12diAc removal and H3K9me1 accumulation, while H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 remain unchanged. Finally, we combine NCC enrichment with experimentally derived chromatin probabilities to predict a function in nascent chromatin for 93 uncharacterized proteins and identify FAM111A as a replication factor required for PCNA loading. Together, this provides an extensive resource to understand genome and epigenome maintenance. PMID:24561620

  18. The Chromatin Fiber: Multiscale Problems and Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Ozer, Gungor; Luque, Antoni; Schlick, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The structure of chromatin, affected by many factors from DNA linker lengths to posttranslational modifications, is crucial to the regulation of eukaryotic cells. Combined experimental and computational methods have led to new insights into its structural and dynamical features, from interactions due to the flexible core histone tails of the nucleosomes to the physical mechanism driving the formation of chromosomal domains. Here we present a perspective of recent advances in chromatin modelin...

  19. Dissecting epigenetic silencing complexity in the mouse lung cancer suppressor gene Cadm1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Marie Reamon-Buettner

    Full Text Available Disease-oriented functional analysis of epigenetic factors and their regulatory mechanisms in aberrant silencing is a prerequisite for better diagnostics and therapy. Yet, the precise mechanisms are still unclear and complex, involving the interplay of several effectors including nucleosome positioning, DNA methylation, histone variants and histone modifications. We investigated the epigenetic silencing complexity in the tumor suppressor gene Cadm1 in mouse lung cancer progenitor cell lines, exhibiting promoter hypermethylation associated with transcriptional repression, but mostly unresponsive to demethylating drug treatments. After predicting nucleosome positions and transcription factor binding sites along the Cadm1 promoter, we carried out single-molecule mapping with DNA methyltransferase M.SssI, which revealed in silent promoters high nucleosome occupancy and occlusion of transcription factor binding sites. Furthermore, M.SssI maps of promoters varied within and among the different lung cancer cell lines. Chromatin analysis with micrococcal nuclease also indicated variations in nucleosome positioning to have implications in the binding of transcription factors near nucleosome borders. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that histone variants (H2A.Z and H3.3, and opposing histone modification marks (H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 all colocalized in the same nucleosome positions that is reminiscent of epigenetic plasticity in embryonic stem cells. Altogether, epigenetic silencing complexity in the promoter region of Cadm1 is not only defined by DNA hypermethylation, but high nucleosome occupancy, altered nucleosome positioning, and 'bivalent' histone modifications, also likely contributed in the transcriptional repression of this gene in the lung cancer cells. Our results will help define therapeutic intervention strategies using epigenetic drugs in lung cancer.

  20. Distinct features of lamin A-interacting chromatin domains mapped by ChIP-sequencing from sonicated or micrococcal nuclease-digested chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Eivind G; Duband-Goulet, Isabelle; Oldenburg, Anja; Buendia, Brigitte; Collas, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    The nuclear lamina has been shown to interact with the genome through lamina-associated domains (LADs). LADs have been identified by DamID, a proximity labeling assay, and more recently by chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) of A- and B-type lamins. LADs form megabase-size domains at the nuclear periphery, they are gene-poor and mostly heterochromatic. Here, we show that the mode of chromatin fragmentation for ChIP, namely bath sonication or digestion with micrococcal nuclease (MNase), leads to the discovery of common but also distinct sets of lamin-interacting domains, or LiDs. Using ChIP-seq, we show the existence of lamin A/C (LMNA) LiDs with distinct gene contents, histone composition enrichment and relationships to lamin B1-interacting domains. The extent of genome coverage of lamin A/C (LMNA) LiDs in sonicated or MNase-digested chromatin is similar (∼730 megabases); however over half of these domains are uniquely detected in sonicated or MNase-digested chromatin. Sonication-specific LMNA LiDs are gene-poor and devoid of a broad panel of histone modifications, while MNase-specific LMNA LiDs are of higher gene density and are enriched in H3K9me3, H3K27me3 and in histone variant H2A.Z. LMNB1 LiDs are gene-poor and show no or little enrichment in these marks. Comparison of published LMNB1 DamID LADs with LMNB1 and LMNA LiDs identified here by ChIP-seq further shows that LMNA can associate with 'open' chromatin domains displaying euchromatin characteristics, and which are not associated with LMNB1. The differential genomic and epigenetic properties of lamin-interacting domains reflect the existence of distinct LiD populations identifiable in different chromatin contexts, including nuclease-accessible regions presumably localized in the nuclear interior.

  1. Etiology and Evaluation of Sperm Chromatin Anomalies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marziyeh Tavalaee

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that human sperm chromatin anomalies adversely affect reproductive outcomesand infertile men possess substantially amount of sperm with chromatin anomalies than fertilemen.Routine semen analysis evaluates parameters such as sperm motility and morphology, but doesnot examine the nuclear DNA integrity of spermatozoa. It has been suggested that altered nuclearchromatin structure or damaged DNA in spermatozoa could modify the special cellular functionsof human spermatozoa, and thereby affect the fertility potential. Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection(ICSI bypass the barriers to fertilization for such a sperm, then the effect of chromatin anomalies onthe development remains a concern. Therefore, it is essential to develop and use accurate diagnostictests, which may provide better prognostic capabilities than the standard sperm assessments. Thisreview discusses our current understanding of the structure and organization of sperm DNA,the different procedures for assessment of sperm chromatin anomalies including comet assay,Chromomycin A3 (CMA3, sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA, acridine orange test (AOT,terminal TdT-mediated dUTP-nick-end labelling (TUNEL assay, aniline blue and sperm chromatindispersion (SCD test and the impact of chromatin anomalies on reproductive outcome.

  2. Specification and epigenetic programming of the human germ line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Walfred W C; Kobayashi, Toshihiro; Irie, Naoko; Dietmann, Sabine; Surani, M Azim

    2016-10-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors of sperm and eggs, are established in perigastrulation-stage embryos in mammals. Signals from extra-embryonic tissues induce a unique gene regulatory network in germline-competent cells for PGC specification. This network also initiates comprehensive epigenome resetting, including global DNA demethylation and chromatin reorganization. Mouse germline development has been studied extensively, but the extent to which such knowledge applies to humans was unclear. Here, we review the latest advances in human PGC specification and epigenetic reprogramming. The overall developmental dynamics of human and mouse germline cells appear to be similar, but there are crucial mechanistic differences in PGC specification, reflecting divergence in the regulation of pluripotency and early development.

  3. Epigenetic influences on the developing brain: effects of hormones and nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nugent BM

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Bridget M Nugent,1 Margaret M McCarthy2 1Department of Animal Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA Abstract: The developing brain is subject to modifying influences, both in utero and early postnatally. Some of these are intrinsic, such as gonadal steroids, while others are externally imposed, such as maternal nutrition or stress. All of these variables can have enduring consequences by imposing epigenetic modifications on the genome that alter set points for activation in adulthood, thereby reflecting early-life programming. In this review, we provide an overview of the most well studied epigenetic processes that occur in the brain. Next, we summarize the studies to date that have implicated gonadal steroids, stress exposure, and nutritional deficits/excess in changes in neural epigenetic marks, which ultimately alter brain development, but we also note that this field is still in its infancy. Epigenetic regulators include DNA methylation, changes to the chromatin via acetylation and other chemical modifiers, and noncoding RNAs all of which impact the expression of specific genes. In this way gonadal steroids in the developing male fetus direct masculinization of adult brain and behavior, and similarly in utero exposure to a high-fat or calorie-restricted diet impacts glucose metabolism and body fat composition throughout life. Stress early in life changes the sensitivity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA axis to subsequent stressors and this too is mediated, at least in part, by epigenetic changes to key genes to alter the responsiveness threshold. Epigenetics is the integration of the environment and the genome, and hormones and nutrition provide the bridge that allows that integration to occur. Keywords: epigenetics, early-life programming, brain development, hormones, nutrition 

  4. Chromatin remodeling and stem cell theory of relativity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerny, Jan; Quesenberry, Peter J

    2004-10-01

    The field of stem cell biology is currently being redefined. Stem cell (hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic) differentiation has been considered hierarchical in nature, but recent data suggest that there is no progenitor/stem cell hierarchy, but rather a reversible continuum. The stem cell (hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic) phenotype, the total differentiation capacity (hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic), gene expression as well as other stem cell functional characteristics (homing, receptor and adhesion molecule expression) vary throughout a cell-cycle transit widely. This seems to be dependent on shifting chromatin and gene expression with cell-cycle transit. The published data on DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and also RNAi, the major regulators of gene expression, conjoins very well and provides an explanation for the major issues of stem cell biology. Those features of stem cells mentioned above can be rather difficult to apprehend when a classical hierarchy biology view is applied, but they become clear and easier to understand once they are correlated with the underlining epigenetic changes. We are entering a new era of stem cell biology the era of "chromatinomics." We are one step closer to the practical use of cellular therapy for degenerative diseases.

  5. Divergent Whole-Genome Methylation Maps of Human and Chimpanzee Brains Reveal Epigenetic Basis of Human Regulatory Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Jia; Konopka, Genevieve; Hunt, Brendan G.; Preuss, Todd M.; Geschwind, Dan; Yi, Soojin V.

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation is a pervasive epigenetic DNA modification that strongly affects chromatin regulation and gene expression. To date, it remains largely unknown how patterns of DNA methylation differ between closely related species and whether such differences contribute to species-specific phenotypes. To investigate these questions, we generated nucleotide-resolution whole-genome methylation maps of the prefrontal cortex of multiple humans and chimpanzees. Levels and patterns of DNA methylatio...

  6. Towards cracking the epigenetic code using a combination of high-throughput epigenomics and quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Vermeulen, Michiel

    2011-07-01

    High-throughput genomic sequencing and quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics technology have recently emerged as powerful tools, increasing our understanding of chromatin structure and function. Both of these approaches require substantial investments and expertise in terms of instrumentation, experimental methodology, bioinformatics, and data interpretation and are, therefore, usually applied independently from each other by dedicated research groups. However, when applied reiteratively in the context of epigenetics research these approaches are strongly synergistic in nature.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Saber Imani; Yunes Panahi; Jafar Salimian; Junjiang Fu; Mostafa Ghanei

    2015-01-01

    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 express...

  8. HJURP is a CENP-A chromatin assembly factor sufficient to form a functional de novo kinetochore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, Meghan C; Kuich, P Henning J L; Stellfox, Madison E; Ward, Jared A; Bassett, Emily A; Black, Ben E; Foltz, Daniel R

    2011-07-25

    Centromeres of higher eukaryotes are epigenetically marked by the centromere-specific CENP-A nucleosome. New CENP-A recruitment requires the CENP-A histone chaperone HJURP. In this paper, we show that a LacI (Lac repressor) fusion of HJURP drove the stable recruitment of CENP-A to a LacO (Lac operon) array at a noncentromeric locus. Ectopically targeted CENP-A chromatin at the LacO array was sufficient to direct the assembly of a functional centromere as indicated by the recruitment of the constitutive centromere-associated network proteins, the microtubule-binding protein NDC80, and the formation of stable kinetochore-microtubule attachments. An amino-terminal fragment of HJURP was able to assemble CENP-A nucleosomes in vitro, demonstrating that HJURP is a chromatin assembly factor. Furthermore, HJURP recruitment to endogenous centromeres required the Mis18 complex. Together, these data suggest that the role of the Mis18 complex in CENP-A deposition is to recruit HJURP and that the CENP-A nucleosome assembly activity of HJURP is responsible for centromeric chromatin assembly to maintain the epigenetic mark. PMID:21768289

  9. Inhibition of Osteoclastogenesis and Inflammatory Bone Resorption by Targeting BET Proteins and Epigenetic Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park-Min, Kyung-Hyun; Lim, Elisha; Lee, Min Joon; Park, Sung Ho; Giannopoulos, Eugenia; Yarilina, Anna; van der Meulen, Marjolein; Zhao, Baohong; Smithers, Nicholas; Witherington, Jason; Lee, Kevin; Tak, Paul P.; Prinjha, Rab K.; Ivashkiv, Lionel B.

    2014-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that RANKL-induced changes in chromatin state are important for osteoclastogenesis, but these epigenetic mechanisms are not well understood and have not been therapeutically targeted. In this study we find that the small molecule I-BET151 that targets bromo and extra-terminal (BET) proteins that “read” chromatin states by binding to acetylated histones strongly suppresses osteoclastogenesis. I-BET151 suppresses pathologic bone loss in TNF-induced inflammatory osteolysis, inflammatory arthritis, and post-ovariectomy models. Transcriptome analysis identifies a MYC-NFAT axis important for osteoclastogenesis. Mechanistically, I-BET151 inhibits expression of the master osteoclast regulator NFATC1 by suppressing expression and recruitment of its newly identified upstream regulator MYC. MYC is elevated in rheumatoid arthritis and its induction by RANKL is important for osteoclastogenesis and TNF-induced bone resorption. These findings highlight the importance of an I-BET151-inhibited MYC-NFAT axis in osteoclastogenesis, and suggest targeting epigenetic chromatin regulators holds promise for treatment of inflammatory and estrogen deficiency-mediated pathologic bone resorption. PMID:25391636

  10. Barriers and silencers: a theoretical toolkit for control and containment of nucleosome-based epigenetic states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Ian B; Sneppen, Kim

    2011-12-01

    Positive feedback in nucleosome modification has been proposed to allow large chromatin regions to exist stably and heritably in distinct expression states. However, modeling has shown that such epigenetic bistability requires that modifying enzymes recruited by nucleosomes are active on distant nucleosomes, potentially allowing uncontrollable spreading of modification. By modeling the silencing of mating-type loci in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we show that a modification reaction that combines a long-range component and a locally acting component can provide bistability and can be blocked by simple barriers that interrupt the nucleosome chain. We find that robust containment of the silenced region could be achieved by the presence of a number of weak simple barriers in the surrounding chromatin and a limited capacity of the positive feedback reaction. In addition, we show that the state of the silenced region can be regulated by silencer elements acting only on neighboring nucleosomes. Thus, a relatively simple set of nucleosome-modifying enzymes and recognition domains is all that is needed to make chromatin-based epigenetics useful and safe. PMID:22037584

  11. Epigenetic regulation of the histone-to-protamine transition during spermiogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Jianqiang; Bedford, Mark T

    2016-05-01

    In mammals, male germ cells differentiate from haploid round spermatids to flagella-containing motile sperm in a process called spermiogenesis. This process is distinct from somatic cell differentiation in that the majority of the core histones are replaced sequentially, first by transition proteins and then by protamines, facilitating chromatin hyper-compaction. This histone-to-protamine transition process represents an excellent model for the investigation of how epigenetic regulators interact with each other to remodel chromatin architecture. Although early work in the field highlighted the critical roles of testis-specific transcription factors in controlling the haploid-specific developmental program, recent studies underscore the essential functions of epigenetic players involved in the dramatic genome remodeling that takes place during wholesale histone replacement. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how epigenetic players, such as histone variants and histone writers/readers/erasers, rewire the haploid spermatid genome to facilitate histone substitution by protamines in mammals. PMID:26850883

  12. A Microfluidic Device with Integrated Sonication and Immunoprecipitation for Sensitive Epigenetic Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhenning; Lu, Chang

    2016-02-01

    Epigenetic studies increasingly require analysis of a small number of cells that are of one specific type and derived from patients or animals. In this report, we demonstrate a simple microfluidic device that integrates sonication and immunoprecipitation (IP) for epigenetic assays, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP). By incorporating an ultrasonic transducer with a microfluidic chamber, we implemented microscale sonication for both shearing chromatin/DNA and mixing/washing of IP beads. Such integration allowed highly sensitive tests starting with 100 cross-linked cells for ChIP or 500 pg of genomic DNA for MeDIP (compared to 10(6)-10(7) cells for ChIP and 1-10 μg of DNA for MeDIP in conventional assays). The entire on-chip process of sonication and IP took only 1 h. Our tool will be useful for highly sensitive epigenetic studies based on a small quantity of sample.

  13. Three-dimensional disorganization of the cancer genome occurs coincident with long-range genetic and epigenetic alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taberlay, Phillippa C; Achinger-Kawecka, Joanna; Lun, Aaron T L; Buske, Fabian A; Sabir, Kenneth; Gould, Cathryn M; Zotenko, Elena; Bert, Saul A; Giles, Katherine A; Bauer, Denis C; Smyth, Gordon K; Stirzaker, Clare; O'Donoghue, Sean I; Clark, Susan J

    2016-06-01

    A three-dimensional chromatin state underpins the structural and functional basis of the genome by bringing regulatory elements and genes into close spatial proximity to ensure proper, cell-type-specific gene expression profiles. Here, we performed Hi-C chromosome conformation capture sequencing to investigate how three-dimensional chromatin organization is disrupted in the context of copy-number variation, long-range epigenetic remodeling, and atypical gene expression programs in prostate cancer. We find that cancer cells retain the ability to segment their genomes into megabase-sized topologically associated domains (TADs); however, these domains are generally smaller due to establishment of additional domain boundaries. Interestingly, a large proportion of the new cancer-specific domain boundaries occur at regions that display copy-number variation. Notably, a common deletion on 17p13.1 in prostate cancer spanning the TP53 tumor suppressor locus results in bifurcation of a single TAD into two distinct smaller TADs. Change in domain structure is also accompanied by novel cancer-specific chromatin interactions within the TADs that are enriched at regulatory elements such as enhancers, promoters, and insulators, and associated with alterations in gene expression. We also show that differential chromatin interactions across regulatory regions occur within long-range epigenetically activated or silenced regions of concordant gene activation or repression in prostate cancer. Finally, we present a novel visualization tool that enables integrated exploration of Hi-C interaction data, the transcriptome, and epigenome. This study provides new insights into the relationship between long-range epigenetic and genomic dysregulation and changes in higher-order chromatin interactions in cancer. PMID:27053337

  14. Epigenetic markers to further understand insulin resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Charlotte; Rönn, Tina

    2016-11-01

    Epigenetic variation in human adipose tissue has been linked to type 2 diabetes and its related risk factors including age and obesity. Insulin resistance, a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes, may also be associated with altered DNA methylation in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Furthermore, linking epigenetic variation in target tissues to similar changes in blood cells may identify new blood-based biomarkers. In this issue of Diabetologia, Arner et al studied the transcriptome and methylome in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue of 80 obese women who were either insulin-sensitive or -resistant (DOI 10.1007/s00125-016-4074-5 ). While they found differences in gene expression between the two groups, no alterations in DNA methylation were found after correction for multiple testing. Nevertheless, based on nominal p values, their methylation data overlapped with methylation differences identified in adipose tissue of individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with healthy individuals. Differential methylation of these overlapping CpG sites may predispose to diabetes by occurring already in the insulin-resistant state. Furthermore, some methylation changes may contribute to an inflammatory process in adipose tissue since the identified CpG sites were annotated to genes encoding proteins involved in inflammation. Finally, the methylation pattern in circulating leucocytes did not mirror the adipose tissue methylome of these 80 women. Together, identifying novel molecular mechanisms contributing to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may help advance the search for new therapeutic alternatives. PMID:27650286

  15. Making Sense of the Tangle: Insights into Chromatin Folding and Gene Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Ill-Min; Ketharnathan, Sarada; Kim, Seung-Hyun; Thiruvengadam, Muthu; Rani, Mari Kavitha; Rajakumar, Govindasamy

    2016-01-01

    Proximity ligation assays such as circularized chromosome conformation capture and high-throughput chromosome capture assays have shed light on the structural organization of the interphase genome. Functional topologically associating domains (TADs) that constitute the building blocks of genomic organization are disrupted and reconstructed during the cell cycle. Epigenetic memory, as well as the sequence of chromosomes, regulate TAD reconstitution. Sub-TAD domains that are invariant across cell types have been identified, and contacts between these domains, rather than looping, are speculated to drive chromatin folding. Replication domains are established simultaneously with TADs during the cell cycle and the two correlate well in terms of characteristic features, such as lamin association and histone modifications. CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin cooperate across different cell types to regulate genes and genome organization. CTCF elements that demarcate TAD boundaries are commonly disrupted in cancer and promote oncogene activation. Chromatin looping facilitates interactions between distant promoters and enhancers, and the resulting enhanceosome complex promotes gene expression. Deciphering the chromatin tangle requires comprehensive integrative analyses of DNA- and protein-dependent factors that regulate genomic organization. PMID:27669308

  16. Heterochromatin and RNAi are required to establish CENP-A chromatin at centromeres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folco, Hernan Diego; Pidoux, Alison L; Urano, Takeshi; Allshire, Robin C

    2008-01-01

    Heterochromatin is defined by distinct posttranslational modifications on histones, such as methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9), which allows heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1)-related chromodomain proteins to bind. Heterochromatin is frequently found near CENP-A chromatin, which is the key determinant of kinetochore assembly. We have discovered that the RNA interference (RNAi)-directed heterochromatin flanking the central kinetochore domain at fission yeast centromeres is required to promote CENP-A(Cnp1) and kinetochore assembly over the central domain. The H3K9 methyltransferase Clr4 (Suv39); the ribonuclease Dicer, which cleaves heterochromatic double-stranded RNA to small interfering RNA (siRNA); Chp1, a component of the RNAi effector complex (RNA-induced initiation of transcriptional gene silencing; RITS); and Swi6 (HP1) are required to establish CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin on naïve templates. Once assembled, CENP-A(Cnp1) chromatin is propagated by epigenetic means in the absence of heterochromatin. Thus, another, potentially conserved, role for centromeric RNAi-directed heterochromatin has been identified. PMID:18174443

  17. Impaired methylation modifications of FZD3 alter chromatin accessibility and are involved in congenital hydrocephalus pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Shangguan, Shaofang; Chang, Shaoyan; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Xiaolin; Wu, Lihua; Li, Rui; Bao, Yihua; Qiu, Zhiyong; Niu, Bo; Zhang, Ting

    2014-06-20

    Congenital hydrocephalus is heterogeneous in its etiology, and in addition to a genetic component, has been shown to be caused by environmental factors. Until now, however, no methylation alterations of target genes have been connected with congenital hydrocephalus in humans. Frizzled 3(FZD3) is a planar cell polarity (PCP) gene required for PCP signaling. Partial restoration of frizzled 3 activities in FZD3 mutant mice results in hydrocephalus. To analyze the possible roles of epigenetic modifications of the FZD3 gene in congenital hydrocephalus pathogenesis, DNA methylation in the promoter region of FZD3 was assayed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Gene expression and chromatin accessibility were also determined to assess the role of methylation alterations. Our study found methylation levels of the FZD3 gene were increased in congenital hydrocephalus, especially in males (10.57 ± 3.90 vs. 7.08 ± 0.94, p=0.001). Hypermethylation of FZD3 increased congenital hydrocephalus risk, with an odds ratio of 10.125 (p=0.003). Aberrant methylation modification of FZD3 altered both chromatin structure in this region and FZD3 expression levels. Totally, aberrant methylation modification of the FZD3 gene increases the risk of congenital hydrocephalus by altering chromatin structure and disturbing gene expression.

  18. Making Sense of the Tangle: Insights into Chromatin Folding and Gene Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ill-Min Chung

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Proximity ligation assays such as circularized chromosome conformation capture and high-throughput chromosome capture assays have shed light on the structural organization of the interphase genome. Functional topologically associating domains (TADs that constitute the building blocks of genomic organization are disrupted and reconstructed during the cell cycle. Epigenetic memory, as well as the sequence of chromosomes, regulate TAD reconstitution. Sub-TAD domains that are invariant across cell types have been identified, and contacts between these domains, rather than looping, are speculated to drive chromatin folding. Replication domains are established simultaneously with TADs during the cell cycle and the two correlate well in terms of characteristic features, such as lamin association and histone modifications. CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF and cohesin cooperate across different cell types to regulate genes and genome organization. CTCF elements that demarcate TAD boundaries are commonly disrupted in cancer and promote oncogene activation. Chromatin looping facilitates interactions between distant promoters and enhancers, and the resulting enhanceosome complex promotes gene expression. Deciphering the chromatin tangle requires comprehensive integrative analyses of DNA- and protein-dependent factors that regulate genomic organization.

  19. Chromatin remodeling during the in vivo glial differentiation in early Drosophila embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Youqiong; Gu, Liang; Chen, Xiaolong; Shi, Jiejun; Zhang, Xiaobai; Jiang, Cizhong

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling plays a critical role in gene regulation and impacts many biological processes. However, little is known about the relationship between chromatin remodeling dynamics and in vivo cell lineage commitment. Here, we reveal the patterns of histone modification change and nucleosome positioning dynamics and their epigenetic regulatory roles during the in vivo glial differentiation in early Drosophila embryos. The genome-wide average H3K9ac signals in promoter regions are decreased in the glial cells compared to the neural progenitor cells. However, H3K9ac signals are increased in a group of genes that are up-regulated in glial cells and involved in gliogenesis. There occurs extensive nucleosome remodeling including shift, loss, and gain. Nucleosome depletion regions (NDRs) form in both promoters and enhancers. As a result, the associated genes are up-regulated. Intriguingly, NDRs form in two fashions: nucleosome shift and eviction. Moreover, the mode of NDR formation is independent of the original chromatin state of enhancers in the neural progenitor cells. PMID:27634414

  20. Impaired methylation modifications of FZD3 alter chromatin accessibility and are involved in congenital hydrocephalus pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Shangguan, Shaofang; Chang, Shaoyan; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Xiaolin; Wu, Lihua; Li, Rui; Bao, Yihua; Qiu, Zhiyong; Niu, Bo; Zhang, Ting

    2014-06-20

    Congenital hydrocephalus is heterogeneous in its etiology, and in addition to a genetic component, has been shown to be caused by environmental factors. Until now, however, no methylation alterations of target genes have been connected with congenital hydrocephalus in humans. Frizzled 3(FZD3) is a planar cell polarity (PCP) gene required for PCP signaling. Partial restoration of frizzled 3 activities in FZD3 mutant mice results in hydrocephalus. To analyze the possible roles of epigenetic modifications of the FZD3 gene in congenital hydrocephalus pathogenesis, DNA methylation in the promoter region of FZD3 was assayed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Gene expression and chromatin accessibility were also determined to assess the role of methylation alterations. Our study found methylation levels of the FZD3 gene were increased in congenital hydrocephalus, especially in males (10.57 ± 3.90 vs. 7.08 ± 0.94, p=0.001). Hypermethylation of FZD3 increased congenital hydrocephalus risk, with an odds ratio of 10.125 (p=0.003). Aberrant methylation modification of FZD3 altered both chromatin structure in this region and FZD3 expression levels. Totally, aberrant methylation modification of the FZD3 gene increases the risk of congenital hydrocephalus by altering chromatin structure and disturbing gene expression. PMID:24796881

  1. 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. PMID:27633107

  2. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinborg, Anja; Loft, Anne; Romundstad, Liv B; Wennerholm, Ulla-Britt; Söderström-Anttila, Viveca; Bergh, Christina; Aittomäki, Kristiina

    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 associated with ART techniques, but disentangling the influence of the ART procedures per se from the effect of the reproductive disease of the parents is a challenge. Epidemiological human studies have shown altered birthweight profiles in ART compared with spontaneously conceived singletons. Conception with cryopreserved/thawed embryos results in a higher risk of large-for-gestational-age babies, which may be due to epigenetic modification. Further animal studies have shown altered gene expression profiles in offspring conceived by ART related to altered glucose metabolism. It is controversial whether human adolescents conceived by ART have altered lipid and glucose profiles and thereby a higher long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This commentary describes the basic concepts of epigenetics and gives a short overview of the existing literature on the association between imprinting disorders, epigenetic modification and ART. PMID:26458360

  3. Epigenetic regulation in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labbé, Catherine; Lorenzo-Betancor, Oswaldo; Ross, Owen A

    2016-10-01

    Recent efforts have shed new light on the epigenetic mechanisms driving gene expression alterations associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Changes in gene expression are a well-established cause of PD, and epigenetic mechanisms likely play a pivotal role in regulation. Studies in families with PD harboring duplications and triplications of the SNCA gene have demonstrated that gene dosage is associated with increased expression of both SNCA mRNA and protein, and correlates with a fulminant disease course. Furthermore, it is postulated that even subtle changes in SNCA expression caused by common variation is associated with disease risk. Of note, genome-wide association studies have identified over 30 loci associated with PD with most signals located in non-coding regions of the genome, thus likely influencing transcript expression levels. In health, epigenetic mechanisms tightly regulate gene expression, turning genes on and off to balance homeostasis and this, in part, explains why two cells with the same DNA sequence will have different RNA expression profiles. Understanding this phenomenon will be crucial to our interpretation of the selective vulnerability observed in neurodegeneration and specifically dopaminergic neurons in the PD brain. In this review, we discuss epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, involved in regulating the expression of genes relevant to PD, RNA-based mechanisms, as well as the effect of toxins and potential epigenetic-based treatments for PD.

  4. Epigenetic Disregulation in Oral Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Staibano

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral region (OSCC is one of the most common and highly aggressive malignancies worldwide, despite the fact that significant results have been achieved during the last decades in its detection, prevention and treatment. Although many efforts have been made to define the molecular signatures that identify the clinical outcome of oral cancers, OSCC still lacks reliable prognostic molecular markers. Scientific evidence indicates that transition from normal epithelium to pre-malignancy, and finally to oral carcinoma, depends on the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in a multistep process. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are heritable and potentially reversible. The most common examples of such changes are DNA methylation, histone modification, and small non-coding RNAs. Although several epigenetic changes have been currently linked to OSCC initiation and progression, they have been only partially characterized. Over the last decade, it has been demonstrated that especially aberrant DNA methylation plays a critical role in oral cancer. The major goal of the present paper is to review the recent literature about the epigenetic modifications contribution in early and later phases of OSCC malignant transformation; in particular we point out the current evidence of epigenetic marks as novel markers for early diagnosis and prognosis as well as potential therapeutic targets in oral cancer.

  5. The cancer epigenome : towards epigenetic therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geutjes, E.J.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing occurs in many important biological processes including differentiation, senescence and imprinting. In most cases, epigenetic silencing is orchestrated by an intricate interplay between DNA methylation, histone modifications and nucleosome remodeling that act in concert to

  6. Epigenetic changes in colorectal cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Jia; Mingzhou Guo

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic changes frequently occur in human colorectal cancer.Genomic global hypomethylation,gene promoter region hypermethylation,histone modifications,and alteration of miRNA patterns are major epigenetic changes in colorectal cancer.Loss of imprinting (LOI) is associated with colorectal neoplasia.Folate deficiency may cause colorectal carcinogenesis by inducing gene-specific hypermethylation and genomic global hypomethylation.HDAC inhibitors and demethylating agents have been approved by the FDA for myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia treatment.Non-coding RNA is regarded as another kind of epigenetic marker in colorectal cancer.This review is mainly focused on DNA methylation,histone modification,and microRNA changes in colorectal cancer.

  7. Epigenetics in heart failure phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezin, Alexander

    2016-12-01

    Chronic heart failure (HF) is a leading clinical and public problem posing a higher risk of morbidity and mortality in different populations. HF appears to be in both phenotypic forms: HF with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF) and HF with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFpEF). Although both HF phenotypes can be distinguished through clinical features, co-morbidity status, prediction score, and treatment, the clinical outcomes in patients with HFrEF and HFpEF are similar. In this context, investigation of various molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the development and progression of both HF phenotypes is very important. There is emerging evidence that epigenetic regulation may have a clue in the pathogenesis of HF. This review represents current available evidence regarding the implication of epigenetic modifications in the development of different HF phenotypes and perspectives of epigenetic-based therapies of HF. PMID:27335803

  8. Epigenetic biomarkers in liver cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banaudha, Krishna K; Verma, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC) is a major cancer worldwide. Research in this field is needed to identify biomarkers that can be used for early detection of the disease as well as new approaches to its treatment. Epigenetic biomarkers provide an opportunity to understand liver cancer etiology and evaluate novel epigenetic inhibitors for treatment. Traditionally, liver cirrhosis, proteomic biomarkers, and the presence of hepatitis viruses have been used for the detection and diagnosis of liver cancer. Promising results from microRNA (miRNA) profiling and hypermethylation of selected genes have raised hopes of identifying new biomarkers. Some of these epigenetic biomarkers may be useful in risk assessment and for screening populations to identify who is likely to develop cancer. Challenges and opportunities in the field are discussed in this chapter.

  9. Thoracic skeletal defects and cardiac malformations: a common epigenetic link?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, Andrea D; Ozolins, Terence R S; Brown, Nigel A

    2006-12-01

    Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defects in humans. In addition, cardiac malformations represent the most frequently identified anomaly in teratogenicity experiments with laboratory animals. To explore the mechanisms of these drug-induced defects, we developed a model in which pregnant rats are treated with dimethadione, resulting in a high incidence of heart malformations. Interestingly, these heart defects were accompanied by thoracic skeletal malformations (cleft sternum, fused ribs, extra or missing ribs, and/or wavy ribs), which are characteristic of anterior-posterior (A/P) homeotic transformations and/or disruptions at one or more stages in somite development. A review of other teratogenicity studies suggests that the co-occurrence of these two disparate malformations is not unique to dimethadione, rather it may be a more general phenomenon caused by various structurally unrelated agents. The coexistence of cardiac and thoracic skeletal malformations has also presented clinically, suggesting a mechanistic link between cardiogenesis and skeletal development. Evidence from genetically modified mice reveals that several genes are common to heart development and to formation of the axial skeleton. Some of these genes are important in regulating chromatin architecture, while others are tightly controlled by chromatin-modifying proteins. This review focuses on the role of these epigenetic factors in development of the heart and axial skeleton, and examines the hypothesis that posttranslational modifications of core histones may be altered by some developmental toxicants.

  10. Chromatin regulatory mechanisms of gene expression at mononucleosomal level: nucleosome occupancy and epigenetic modifications

    OpenAIRE

    Riffo Campos, Angela Leticia

    2015-01-01

    La cromatina es una compleja estructura compuesta por DNA, RNA y proteínas, que permite compactar el genoma en las células eucariotas. Siendo el cromosoma el nivel más alto de compactación y el nucleosoma la subunidad fundamental de la misma. El nucleosoma está compuesto por un octámero de histonas, siendo H2A, H2B, H3 y H4 las canónicas. Este octámero se encuentra envuelto por 147 pb de DNA doble cadena. Entre los nucleosomas se encuentra una zona de DNA flanqueante y la histona H1 (o H5 en a...

  11. Extra sex combs, chromatin, and cancer: Exploring epigenetic regulation and tumorigenesis in Drosophila

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Can Zhang; Bo Liu; Guangyao Li; Lei Zhou

    2011-01-01

    Developmental genetic studies in Drosophila unraveled the importance of Polycomb group (PcG) and Trithorax group (TrxG) genes in controlling cellular identity.PcG and TrxG proteins form histone modifying complexes that catalyze repressive or activating histone modifications,respectively,and thus maintaining the expression status of homeotic genes.Human orthologs of PcG and TrxG genes are implicated in tumorigenesis as well as in determining the prognosis of individual cancers.Recent whole genome analyses of cancers also highlighted the importance of histone modifying proteins in controlling tumorigenesis.Comprehensive understanding of the mechanistic relationship between histone regulation and tumorigenesis holds the promise of significantly advancing our understanding and management of cancer.It is anticipated that Drosophila melanogaster,the model organism that contributed significantly to our understanding of the functional role of histone regulation in development,could also provide unique insight for our understanding of how histone dysregulation can lead to cancer.In this review,we will discuss several recent advances in this regard.

  12. Genetic alterations and epigenetic changes in hepatocarcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz Stella Hoyos Giraldo

    2007-02-01

    arms17p, 13q, 9p, 6q and 16p, LOH has been related to p53, RB1, p16, IGF2R and Axin1 inactivation. The b-catenin involved in intercellular interactions and signal transduction, this gene is mutated in 20-25% of HCCs at 3p. Cyclin gene has been shown to be amplified in 10-20% of HCC. LOH at the RB1 gene locus and RB1 mutations have been observed in about 15% of HCCs. Epigenetic changes in the expression of cancer- critical genes also play an important role in susceptibility to hepatocarcinogenesis induction. Changes in DNA methylation seems to be the most important mechanism for epigenetic change that could be involved in both the initiation and promotion stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. Methylation is inherited even after DNA replication by maintenance methylation. DNA methylation is often coupled with histone deacetylation and chromatin structure, and regulatory enzymes of DNA methylation (DNMT1. Exposure to environmental carcinogens may induce changes in methylation of the genes involved in hepatocarcinogenesis. Hypomethylation of promoter region leading to over expression of oncogens (c-myc. There is potentially an association between hypomethylation and CIN. Hypermethylation at CpG Island of promoter regions leads to inhibition of the binding of transcription factors directly and/or employment of the binding of protein that act to inhibit the binding of the transcription factors to cis elements. Promoter hypermethylation and loss of protein expression of TSG has been demonstrated in HCC at p16, E-cadherin (essential for adhesion functions and 14-3-. Hypermethylation in HCC has been reported in p14, p15, SOCS1, RIZ1. However, protein expression was not assessed. Epigenetic inactivation of TSG has been recognized as contributing to tumor progression. Hypermethylation leading to an increased incidence of deamination of 5-methylcytosine to thymine, leading to C to T point mutation in TSG and/or proto-oncogenes.

    Epigenetic Control of Defense Signaling and Priming in Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinas, Nino A.; Saze, Hidetoshi; Saijo, Yusuke

    2016-01-01

    Immune recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns or effectors leads to defense activation at the pathogen challenged sites. This is followed by systemic defense activation at distant non-challenged sites, termed systemic acquired resistance (SAR). These inducible defenses are accompanied by extensive transcriptional reprogramming of defense-related genes. SAR is associated with priming, in which a subset of these genes is kept at a poised state to facilitate subsequent transcriptional regulation. Transgenerational inheritance of defense-related priming in plants indicates the stability of such primed states. Recent studies have revealed the importance and dynamic engagement of epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications that are closely linked to chromatin reconfiguration, in plant adaptation to different biotic stresses. Herein we review current knowledge regarding the biological significance and underlying mechanisms of epigenetic control for immune responses in plants. We also argue for the importance of host transposable elements as critical regulators of interactions in the evolutionary “arms race” between plants and pathogens. PMID:27563304

  13. Epigenetic control of defense signaling and priming in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nino Asuela Espinas

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Immune recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns or effectors leads to defense activation at the pathogen challenged sites. This is followed by systemic defense activation at distant non-challenged sites, termed systemic acquired resistance (SAR. These inducible defenses are accompanied by extensive transcriptional reprogramming of defense-related genes. SAR is associated with priming, in which a subset of these genes is kept at a poised state to facilitate subsequent transcriptional regulation. Transgenerational inheritance of defense-related priming in plants indicates the stability of such primed states. Recent studies have revealed the importance and dynamic engagement of epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications that are closely linked to chromatin reconfiguration, in plant adaptation to different biotic stresses. Herein we review current knowledge regarding the biological significance and underlying mechanisms of epigenetic control for immune responses in plants. We also argue for the importance of host transposable elements (TEs as critical regulators of interactions in the evolutionary arms race between plants and pathogens.

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetic alterations in gastric carcinogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    In-Seon CHOI; Tsung-Teh WU

    2005-01-01

    Gastric cancer is believed to result in part from the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations leading to oncogene overexpression and tumor suppressor loss. Epigenetic alterations as a distinct and crucial mechanism to silence a variety of methylated tissue-specific and imprinted genes, have been extensively studied in gastric carcinoma and play important roles in gastric carcinogenesis. This review will briefly discuss the basic aspects of DNA methylation and CpG island methylation, in particular the epigenetic alterations of certain critical genes implicated in gastric carcinogenesis and its relevance of clinical implications.

  16. Epigenetic regulation in cardiac fibrosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li-Ming; Yu; Yong; Xu

    2015-01-01

    Cardiac fibrosis represents an adoptive response in the heart exposed to various stress cues. While resolution of the fibrogenic response heralds normalization of heart function, persistent fibrogenesis is usually associated with progressive loss of heart function and eventually heart failure. Cardiac fibrosis is regulated by a myriad of factors that converge on the transcription of genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins, a process the epigenetic machinery plays a pivotal role. In this minireview, we summarize recent advances regarding the epigenetic regulation of cardiac fibrosis focusing on the role of histone and DNA modifications and non-coding RNAs.

  17. New mitotic regulators released from chromatin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki eYokoyama

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Faithful action of the mitotic spindle segregates duplicated chromosomes into daughter cells. Perturbations of this process result in chromosome mis-segregation, leading to chromosomal instability and cancer development. Chromosomes are not simply passengers segregated by spindle microtubules but rather play a major active role in spindle assembly. The GTP bound form of the Ran GTPase (RanGTP, produced around chromosomes, locally activates spindle assembly factors. Recent studies have uncovered that chromosomes organize mitosis beyond spindle formation. They distinctly regulate other mitotic events, such as spindle maintenance in anaphase, which is essential for chromosome segregation. Furthermore, the direct function of chromosomes is not only to produce RanGTP but, in addition, to release key mitotic regulators from chromatin. Chromatin-remodeling factors and nuclear pore complex proteins, which have established functions on chromatin in interphase, dissociate from mitotic chromatin and function in spindle assembly or maintenance. Thus, chromosomes actively organize their own segregation using chromatin-releasing mitotic regulators as well as RanGTP.

  18. Chromatin associations in Arabidopsis interphase nuclei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veit eSchubert

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The arrangement of chromatin within interphase nuclei seems to be caused by topological constraints and related to gene expression depending on tissue and developmental stage. In yeast and animals it was found that homologous and heterologous chromatin association are required to realize faithful expression and DNA repair. To test whether such associations are present in plants we analysed Arabidopsis thaliana interphase nuclei by FISH using probes from different chromosomes. We found that chromatin fibre movement and variable associations, although in general relatively seldom, may occur between euchromatin segments along chromosomes, sometimes even over large distances. The combination of euchromatin segments bearing high or low co-expressing genes did not reveal different association frequencies probably due to adjacent genes of deviating expression patterns.Based on previous data and on FISH analyses presented here, we conclude that the global interphase chromatin organization in A. thaliana is relatively stable, due to the location of its ten centromeres at the nuclear periphery and of the telomeres mainly at the centrally localized nucleolus. Nevertheless, chromatin movement enables a flexible spatial genome arrangement in plant nuclei.

  19. Neutron-scattering studies of chromatin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It is clear that a knowledge of the basic molecular structure of chromatin is a prerequisite for any progress toward an understanding of chromosome organization. With a two-component system, protein and nucleic acid, neutrons have a particularly powerful application to studies of the spatial arrangements of these components because of the ability, by contrast matching with H2O-D2O mixtures, to obtain neutron-scattering data on the individual components. With this approach it has been shown that the neutron diffraction of chromatin is consistent with a ''beads on a string'' model in which the bead consists of a protein core with DNA coiled on the outside. However, because chromatin is a gel and gives limited structural data, confirmation of such a model requires extension of the neutron studies by deuteration of specific chromatin components and the isolation of chromatin subunits. Although these studies are not complete, the neutron results so far obtained support the subunit model described above

  1. Chromatin ring formation at plant centromeres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veit eSchubert

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We observed the formation of chromatin ring structures at centromeres of somatic rye and Arabidopsis chromosomes. To test whether this behavior is present also in other plant species and tissues we analyzed Arabidopsis, rye, wheat, Aegilops and barley centromeres during cell divisions and in interphase nuclei by immunostaining and FISH. Furthermore, structured illumination microscopy (super-resolution was applied to investigate the ultrastructure of centromere chromatin beyond the classical refraction limit of light. It became obvious, that a ring formation at centromeres may appear during mitosis, meiosis and in interphase nuclei in all species analyzed. However, varying centromere structures, as ring formations or globular organized chromatin fibers, were identified in different tissues of one and the same species. In addition, we found that a chromatin ring formation may also be caused by subtelomeric repeats in barley. Thus, we conclude that the formation of chromatin rings may appear in different plant species and tissues, but that it is not specific for centromere function. Based on our findings we established a model describing the ultrastructure of plant centromeres and discuss it in comparison to previous models proposed for animals and plants.

  2. The epigenetic modifiers 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and trichostatin A influence adipocyte differentiation in human mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zych, J; Stimamiglio, M A; Senegaglia, A C; Brofman, P R S; Dallagiovanna, B; Goldenberg, S; Correa, A

    2013-05-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modification are important in stem cell differentiation. Methylation is principally associated with transcriptional repression, and histone acetylation is correlated with an active chromatin state. We determined the effects of these epigenetic mechanisms on adipocyte differentiation in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from bone marrow (BM-MSCs) and adipose tissue (ADSCs) using the chromatin-modifying agents trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5azadC), a demethylating agent. Subconfluent MSC cultures were treated with 5, 50, or 500 nM TSA or with 1, 10, or 100 µM 5azadC for 2 days before the initiation of adipogenesis. The differentiation was quantified and expression of the adipocyte genes PPARG and FABP4 and of the anti-adipocyte gene GATA2 was evaluated. TSA decreased adipogenesis, except in BM-MSCs treated with 5 nM TSA. Only treatment with 500 nM TSA decreased cell proliferation. 5azadC treatment decreased proliferation and adipocyte differentiation in all conditions evaluated, resulting in the downregulation of PPARG and FABP4 and the upregulation of GATA2. The response to treatment was stronger in ADSCs than in BM-MSCs, suggesting that epigenetic memories may differ between cells of different origins. As epigenetic signatures affect differentiation, it should be possible to direct the use of MSCs in cell therapies to improve process efficiency by considering the various sources available.

  3. Epigenetic Library Screen Identifies Abexinostat as Novel Regulator of Adipocytic and Osteoblastic Differentiation of Human Skeletal (Mesenchymal) Stem Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ali; Hamam; Alfayez;

    2016-01-01

    The epigenetic mechanisms promoting lineage-specific commitment of human skeletal (mesenchymal or stromal) stem cells (hMSCs) into adipocytes or osteoblasts are still not fully understood. Herein, we performed an epigenetic library functional screen and identified several novel compounds, including...... abexinostat, which promoted adipocytic and osteoblastic differentiation of hMSCs. Using gene expression microarrays, chromatin immunoprecipitation for H3K9Ac combined with high-throughput DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq), and bioinformatics, we identified several key genes involved in regulating stem cell...... or stromal) stem cells (hMSCs). These data provide new insight into the understanding of the relationship between the epigenetic effect of histone deacetylase inhibitors, transcription factors, and differentiation pathways controlling adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation of hMSCs. Manipulating...

  4. 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....

  5. Epigenetic drift in the aging genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua; Heijmans, Bastiaan T; Hjelmborg, Jacob V B;

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Current epigenetic studies on aging are dominated by the cross-sectional design that correlates subjects' ages or age groups with their measured epigenetic profiles. Such studies have been more aimed at age prediction or building up the epigenetic clock of age rather than focusing on ...

  6. Functions of the Proteasome on Chromatin

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, Tyler S.; Tansey, William P.

    2014-01-01

    The proteasome is a large self-compartmentalized protease complex that recognizes, unfolds, and destroys ubiquitylated substrates. Proteasome activities are required for a host of cellular functions, and it has become clear in recent years that one set of critical actions of the proteasome occur on chromatin. In this review, we discuss some of the ways in which proteasomes directly regulate the structure and function of chromatin and chromatin regulatory proteins, and how this influences gene transcription. We discuss lingering controversies in the field, the relative importance of proteolytic versus non-proteolytic proteasome activities in this process, and highlight areas that require further investigation. Our intention is to show that proteasomes are involved in major steps controlling the expression of the genetic information, that proteasomes use both proteolytic mechanisms and ATP-dependent protein remodeling to accomplish this task, and that much is yet to be learned about the full spectrum of ways that proteasomes influence the genome. PMID:25422899

  7. Functions of the Proteasome on Chromatin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler S. McCann

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The proteasome is a large self-compartmentalized protease complex that recognizes, unfolds, and destroys ubiquitylated substrates. Proteasome activities are required for a host of cellular functions, and it has become clear in recent years that one set of critical actions of the proteasome occur on chromatin. In this review, we discuss some of the ways in which proteasomes directly regulate the structure and function of chromatin and chromatin regulatory proteins, and how this influences gene transcription. We discuss lingering controversies in the field, the relative importance of proteolytic versus non-proteolytic proteasome activities in this process, and highlight areas that require further investigation. Our intention is to show that proteasomes are involved in major steps controlling the expression of the genetic information, that proteasomes use both proteolytic mechanisms and ATP-dependent protein remodeling to accomplish this task, and that much is yet to be learned about the full spectrum of ways that proteasomes influence the genome.

  8. Global epigenetic changes during somatic cell reprogramming to iPS cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anna Mattout; Alva Biran; Eran Meshorer

    2011-01-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) exhibit unique chromatin features,including a permissive transcriptional program and an open,decondensed chromatin state.Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs),which are very similar to ESCs,hold great promise for therapy and basic research.However,the mechanisms by which reprogramming occurs and the chromatin organization that underlies the reprogramming process are largely unknown.Here we characterize and compare the epigenetic landscapes of partially and fully reprogrammed iPSCs to mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and ESCs,which serves as a standard for pluripotency.Using immunofluorescence and biochemical fractionations,we analyzed the levels and distribution of a battery of histone modifications (H3ac,H4ac,H4KSac,H3Kgac,H3K27ac,H3K4me3,H3K36me2,H3K9me3,H3K27me3,and yH2AX),as well as HP1α and lamin A.We find that fully reprogrammed iPSCs are epigenetically identical to ESCs,and that partially reprogrammed iPSCs are closer to MEFs.Intriguingly,combining both time-course reprogramming experiments and data from the partially reprogrammed iPSCs,we find that heterochromatin reorganization precedes Nanog expression and active histone marking.Together,these data delineate the global epigenetic state of iPSCs in conjunction with their pluripotent state,and demonstrate that heterochromatin precedes euchromatin in reorganization during reprogramming.

  9. Establishment of Centromeric Chromatin by the CENP-A Assembly Factor CAL1 Requires FACT-Mediated Transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chin-Chi; Bowers, Sarion; Lipinszki, Zoltan; Palladino, Jason; Trusiak, Sarah; Bettini, Emily; Rosin, Leah; Przewloka, Marcin R; Glover, David M; O'Neill, Rachel J; Mellone, Barbara G

    2015-07-01

    Centromeres are essential chromosomal structures that mediate accurate chromosome segregation during cell division. Centromeres are specified epigenetically by the heritable incorporation of the centromeric histone H3 variant CENP-A. While many of the primary factors that mediate centromeric deposition of CENP-A are known, the chromatin and DNA requirements of this process have remained elusive. Here, we uncover a role for transcription in Drosophila CENP-A deposition. Using an inducible ectopic centromere system that uncouples CENP-A deposition from endogenous centromere function and cell-cycle progression, we demonstrate that CENP-A assembly by its loading factor, CAL1, requires RNAPII-mediated transcription of the underlying DNA. This transcription depends on the CAL1 binding partner FACT, but not on CENP-A incorporation. Our work establishes RNAPII passage as a key step in chaperone-mediated CENP-A chromatin establishment and propagation. PMID:26151904

  10. Proteomics to study DNA-bound and chromatin-associated gene regulatory complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierer, Michael; Mann, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    High-resolution mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics is a powerful method for the identification of soluble protein complexes and large-scale affinity purification screens can decode entire protein interaction networks. In contrast, protein complexes residing on chromatin have been much more challenging, because they are difficult to purify and often of very low abundance. However, this is changing due to recent methodological and technological advances in proteomics. Proteins interacting with chromatin marks can directly be identified by pulldowns with synthesized histone tails containing posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Similarly, pulldowns with DNA baits harbouring single nucleotide polymorphisms or DNA modifications reveal the impact of those DNA alterations on the recruitment of transcription factors. Accurate quantitation – either isotope-based or label free – unambiguously pinpoints proteins that are significantly enriched over control pulldowns. In addition, protocols that combine classical chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) methods with mass spectrometry (ChIP-MS) target gene regulatory complexes in their in-vivo context. Similar to classical ChIP, cells are crosslinked with formaldehyde and chromatin sheared by sonication or nuclease digested. ChIP-MS baits can be proteins in tagged or endogenous form, histone PTMs, or lncRNAs. Locus-specific ChIP-MS methods would allow direct purification of a single genomic locus and the proteins associated with it. There, loci can be targeted either by artificial DNA-binding sites and corresponding binding proteins or via proteins with sequence specificity such as TAL or nuclease deficient Cas9 in combination with a specific guide RNA. We predict that advances in MS technology will soon make such approaches generally applicable tools in epigenetics. PMID:27402878

  11. A Mutation in Plant-Specific SWI2/SNF2-Like Chromatin-Remodeling Proteins, DRD1 and DDM1, Delays Leaf Senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Eun Ju; Choi, Seung Hee; Kim, Ji Hong; Kim, Ji Eun; Lee, Min Hee; Chung, Byung Yeoup; Woo, Hye Ryun; Kim, Jin-Hong

    2016-01-01

    Leaf senescence is a finely regulated complex process; however, evidence for the involvement of epigenetic processes in the regulation of leaf senescence is still fragmentary. Therefore, we chose to examine the functions of DRD1, a SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeling protein, in epigenetic regulation of leaf senescence, particularly because drd1-6 mutants exhibited a delayed leaf senescence phenotype. Photosynthetic parameters such as Fv/Fm and ETRmax were decreased in WT leaves compared to leaves of drd1-6 mutants after dark treatment. The WT leaves remarkably lost more chlorophyll and protein content during dark-induced senescence (DIS) than the drd1-6 leaves did. The induction of senescence-associated genes was noticeably inhibited in the drd1-6 mutant after 5-d of DIS. We compared changes in epigenetic regulation during DIS via quantitative expression analysis of 180-bp centromeric (CEN) and transcriptionally silent information (TSI) repeats. Their expression levels significantly increased in both the WT and the drd1-6 mutant, but did much less in the latter. Moreover, the delayed leaf senescence was observed in ddm1-2 mutants as well as the drd1-6, but not in drd1-p mutants. These data suggest that SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeling proteins such as DRD1 and DDM1 may influence leaf senescence possibly via epigenetic regulation.

  12. MeCP2 and the enigmatic organization of brain chromatin. Implications for depression and cocaine addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ausió, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is a highly abundant chromosomal protein within the brain. It is hence not surprising that perturbations in its genome-wide distribution, and at particular loci within this tissue, can result in widespread neurological disorders that transcend the early implications of this protein in Rett syndrome (RTT). Yet, the details of its role and involvement in chromatin organization are still poorly understood. This paper focuses on what is known to date about all of this with special emphasis on the relation to different epigenetic modifications (DNA methylation, histone acetylation/ubiquitination, MeCP2 phosphorylation and miRNA). We showcase all of the above in two particular important neurological functional alterations in the brain: depression (major depressive disorder [MDD]) and cocaine addiction, both of which affect the MeCP2 homeostasis and result in significant changes in the overall levels of these epigenetic marks. PMID:27213019

  13. Predicting response to epigenetic therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Drugs targeting the epigenome are new promising cancer treatment modalities; however, not all patients receive the same benefit from these drugs. In contrast to conventional chemotherapy, responses may take several months after the initiation of treatment to occur. Accordingly, identification of ......-approved epigenetic drugs....

  14. Mass spectrometry in epigenetic research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Hans Christian

    2010-01-01

    -based proteomics techniques to histone biology has gained new insight into the function of the nucleosome: Novel posttranslational modifications have been discovered at the lateral surface of the nucleosome. These modifications regulate histone-DNA interactions, adding a new dimension to the epigenetic regulation...

  15. Development, epigenetics and metabolic programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Keith M; Costello, Paula; Lillycrop, Karen

    2016-01-01

    It is now widely recognised that the environment in early life can have important effects on human growth and development, including the “programming” of far reaching effects on the risk of developing common metabolic and other non-communicable diseases in later life. We have shown that greater childhood adiposity is associated with higher maternal adiposity, low maternal vitamin D status, excessive gestational weight gain, and short duration of breastfeeding; maternal dietary patterns in pregnancy and vitamin D status have been linked with childhood bone mineral content and muscle function. Human studies have identified fetal liver blood flow adaptations and epigenetic changes as potential mechanisms that could link maternal influences with offspring body composition. In experimental studies there is now substantial evidence that the environment during early life induces altered phenotypes through epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation, covalent modifications of histones and non-coding RNAs can induce changes in gene expression without a change in DNA base sequence. Such processes are involved in cell differentiation and genomic imprinting, as well as the phenomenon of developmental plasticity in response to environmental influences. Elucidation of such epigenetic processes may enable early intervention strategies to improve early development and growth. PMID:27088334

  16. Mitochondrial Epigenetics and Environmental Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambertini, Luca; Byun, Hyang-Min

    2016-09-01

    The rising toll of chronic and debilitating diseases brought about by the exposure to an ever expanding number of environmental pollutants and socio-economic factors is calling for action. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the effects of environmental exposures can lead to the development of biomarkers that can support the public health fields of both early diagnosis and intervention to limit the burden of environmental diseases. The study of mitochondrial epigenetics carries high hopes to provide important biomarkers of exposure and disease. Mitochondria are in fact on the frontline of the cellular response to the environment. Modifications of the epigenetic factors regulating the mitochondrial activity are emerging as informative tools that can effectively report on the effects of the environment on the phenotype. Here, we will discuss the emerging field of mitochondrial epigenetics. This review describes the main epigenetic phenomena that modify the activity of the mitochondrial DNA including DNA methylation, long and short non-coding RNAs. We will discuss the unique pattern of mitochondrial DNA methylation, describe the challenges of correctly measuring it, and report on the existing studies that have analysed the correlation between environmental exposures and mitochondrial DNA methylation. Finally, we provide a brief account of the therapeutic approaches targeting mitochondria currently under consideration. PMID:27344144

  17. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Masri, Selma

    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.

  18. Epigenetics and Peripheral Artery Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Jonathan; Biros, Erik; Bingley, John; Iyer, Vikram; Krishna, Smriti M

    2016-04-01

    The term epigenetics is usually used to describe inheritable changes in gene function which do not involve changes in the DNA sequence. These typically include non-coding RNAs, DNA methylation and histone modifications. Smoking and older age are recognised risk factors for peripheral artery diseases, such as occlusive lower limb artery disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm, and have been implicated in promoting epigenetic changes. This brief review describes studies that have associated epigenetic factors with peripheral artery diseases and investigations which have examined the effect of epigenetic modifications on the outcome of peripheral artery diseases in mouse models. Investigations have largely focused on microRNAs and have identified a number of circulating microRNAs associated with human peripheral artery diseases. Upregulating or antagonising a number of microRNAs has also been reported to limit aortic aneurysm development and hind limb ischemia in mouse models. The importance of DNA methylation and histone modifications in peripheral artery disease has been relatively little studied. Whether circulating microRNAs can be used to assist identification of patients with peripheral artery diseases and be modified in order to improve the outcome of peripheral artery disease will require further investigation.

  19. 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...

  20. Cytomegalovirus infection accelerates epigenetic aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kananen, Laura; Nevalainen, Tapio; Jylhävä, Juulia; Marttila, Saara; Hervonen, Antti; Jylhä, Marja; Hurme, Mikko

    2015-12-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation (DNAm) have a central role in the regulation of gene expression and thereby in cellular differentiation and tissue homeostasis. It has recently been shown that aging is associated with profound changes in DNAm. Several of these methylation changes take place in a clock-like fashion, i.e. correlating with the calendar age of an individual. Thus, the epigenetic clock based on these kind of DNAm changes could provide a new biomarker for human aging process, i.e. being able to separate the calendar and biological age. Information about the correlation of the time indicated by this clock to the various aspects of immunosenescence is still missing. As chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is probably one of the major driving forces of immunosenescence, we now have analyzed the correlation of CMV seropositivity with the epigenetic age in the Vitality 90+cohort 1920 (122 nonagenarians and 21 young controls, CMV seropositivity rates 95% and 57%, respectively). The data showed that CMV seropositivity was associated with a higher epigenetic age in both of these age groups (median 26.5 vs. 24.0 (p < 0.02,Mann–Whitney U-test) in the young controls and 76.0 vs. 70.0 (p < 0.01) in the nonagenarians). Thus, these data provide a new aspect to the CMV associated pathological processes. PMID:26485162

  1. 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…

  2. CHD chromatin remodelers and the transcription cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murawska, Magdalena; Brehm, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    It is well established that ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers modulate DNA access of transcription factors and RNA polymerases by "opening" or "closing" chromatin structure. However, this view is far too simplistic. Recent findings have demonstrated that these enzymes not only set the stage for the transcription machinery to act but are actively involved at every step of the transcription process. As a consequence, they affect initiation, elongation, termination and RNA processing. In this review we will use the CHD family as a paradigm to illustrate the progress that has been made in revealing these new concepts.

  3. Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Cristina M.; Enzmann, Brittany L.; Desplan, Claude; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J.; Bonasio, Roberto; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L.

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification. PMID:26722000

  4. Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simola, Daniel F; Graham, Riley J; Brady, Cristina M; Enzmann, Brittany L; Desplan, Claude; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Bonasio, Roberto; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification. PMID:26722000

  5. Methods for identification of epigenetic elements in mammalian long multigenic genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akopov, S B; Chernov, I P; Bulanenkova, S S; Skvortsova, Yu V; Vetchinova, A S; Nikolaev, L G

    2007-06-01

    Epigenetic elements of the genome, i.e. elements that determine stably inherited changes in gene expression without changes in the genomic DNA sequence, are essential tools of genetic regulation in higher eukaryotes. The complete sequencing of the human and other genomes allowed studies to be started on positioning of these elements within long multigenic regions of the genome, which is a prerequisite for a comprehensive functional annotation of genomes. This mini-review considers some recent experimental approaches to the high-throughput identification and mapping of epigenetic elements of mammalian genomes, including the mapping of methylated CpG sites, open and closed chromatin regions, and DNase I hypersensitivity sites. PMID:17630903

  6. The Influence of Early Life Nutrition on Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms of the Immune System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorella Paparo

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The immune system is exquisitely sensitive to environmental changes. Diet constitutes one of the major environmental factors that exerts a profound effect on immune system development and function. Epigenetics is the study of mitotically heritable, yet potentially reversible, molecular modifications to DNA and chromatin without alteration to the underlying DNA sequence. Nutriepigenomics is an emerging discipline examining the role of dietary influences on gene expression. There is increasing evidence that the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression during immune differentiation are directly affected by dietary factors or indirectly through modifications in gut microbiota induced by different dietary habits. Short-chain fatty acids, in particular butyrate, produced by selected bacteria stains within gut microbiota, are crucial players in this network.

  7. [Epigenetics and drug addiction: a focus on MeCP2 and on histone acetylation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwiller, Jean

    2015-04-01

    Chronic drug exposure alters gene expression in the brain, which is believed to underlie compulsive drug seeking and drug taking behavior. Recent evidence shows that drug-induced long-term neuroadaptations in the brain are mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms. By remodeling chromatin, this type of regulation contributes to drug-induced synaptic plasticity that translates into behavioral modifications. How drug-induced alterations in DNA methylation regulate gene expression is reviewed here, with a focus on MeCP2, a protein binding methylated DNA. The importance of histone modifications, especially acetylation is also discussed, with an emphasis on the effects of inhibitors of histone deacetylases on drug-induced behavioral changes. The precise identification of the epigenetic mechanisms that are under the control of drugs of abuse may help to uncover novel targets for the treatment of drug seeking and relapse. PMID:25958763

  8. Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simola, Daniel F; Graham, Riley J; Brady, Cristina M; Enzmann, Brittany L; Desplan, Claude; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Bonasio, Roberto; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification.

  9. An update on the epigenetics of glioblastomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Wallax Augusto Silva; Pinheiro, Danilo do Rosário; Costa Junior, Carlos Antonio da; Rodrigues-Antunes, Symara; Araújo, Mariana Diniz; Leão Barros, Mariceli Baia; Teixeira, Adriana Corrêa de Souza; Faro, Thamirys Aline Silva; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez; Oliveira, Edivaldo Herculano Correa de; Harada, Maria Lúcia; Borges, Bárbara do Nascimento

    2016-09-01

    Glioblastomas, also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), are the most aggressive and malignant type of primary brain tumor in adults, exhibiting notable variability at the histopathological, genetic and epigenetic levels. Recently, epigenetic alterations have emerged as a common hallmark of many tumors, including GBM. Considering that a deeper understanding of the epigenetic modifications that occur in GBM may increase the knowledge regarding the tumorigenesis, progression and recurrence of this disease, in this review we discuss the recent major advances in GBM epigenetics research involving histone modification, glioblastoma stem cells, DNA methylation, noncoding RNAs expression, including their main alterations and the use of epigenetic therapy as a valid option for GBM treatment. PMID:27585647

  10. Epigenetics of hepatocellular carcinoma: a new horizon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Wei-ren; SHI Ying-hong; PENG Yuan-fei; FAN Jia

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic changes refer to stable alterations in gene expression with no underlying modifications in the genetic sequence itself.It has become clear that not only gene variations but also epigenetic modifications may contribute to varied diseases,including cancer.This review will provide an overview of how epigenetic factors,including genomic DNA methylation,histone modifications,and miRNA regulation,contribute to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) dissemination,invasion,and metastasis.Additionally,the reversal of dysregulated epigenetic changes has emerged as a potential strategy for the treatment of HCC,and we will summarize the latest epigenetic therapies for HCC.

  11. HJURP is a CENP-A chromatin assembly factor sufficient to form a functional de novo kinetochore

    OpenAIRE

    Barnhart, Meghan C.; Kuich, P. Henning J. L.; Stellfox, Madison E.; Ward, Jared A.; Bassett, Emily A.; Black, Ben E.; Foltz, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    Centromeres of higher eukaryotes are epigenetically marked by the centromere-specific CENP-A nucleosome. New CENP-A recruitment requires the CENP-A histone chaperone HJURP. In this paper, we show that a LacI (Lac repressor) fusion of HJURP drove the stable recruitment of CENP-A to a LacO (Lac operon) array at a noncentromeric locus. Ectopically targeted CENP-A chromatin at the LacO array was sufficient to direct the assembly of a functional centromere as indicated by the recruitment of the co...

  12. Radiation-Induced Epigenetic Alterations after Low and High LET Irradiations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aypar, Umut; Morgan, William F.; Baulch, Janet E.

    2011-02-01

    Epigenetics, including DNA methylation and microRNA (miRNA) expression, could be the missing link in understanding the delayed, non-targeted effects of radiation including radiationinduced genomic instability (RIGI). This study tests the hypothesis that irradiation induces epigenetic aberrations, which could eventually lead to RIGI, and that the epigenetic aberrations induced by low linear energy transfer (LET) irradiation are different than those induced by high LET irradiations. GM10115 cells were irradiated with low LET x-rays and high LET iron (Fe) ions and evaluated for DNA damage, cell survival and chromosomal instability. The cells were also evaluated for specific locus methylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB), tumor suppressor in lung cancer 1 (TSLC1) and cadherin 1 (CDH1) gene promoter regions, long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) and Alu repeat element methylation, CpG and non-CpG global methylation and miRNA expression levels. Irradiated cells showed increased micronucleus induction and cell killing immediately following exposure, but were chromosomally stable at delayed times post-irradiation. At this same delayed time, alterations in repeat element and global DNA methylation and miRNA expression were observed. Analyses of DNA methylation predominantly showed hypomethylation, however hypermethylation was also observed. MiRNA shown to be altered in expression level after x-ray irradiation are involved in chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation. Different and higher incidence of epigenetic changes were observed after exposure to low LET x-rays than high LET Fe ions even though Fe ions elicited more chromosomal damage and cell killing. This study also shows that the irradiated cells acquire epigenetic changes even though they are chromosomally stable suggesting that epigenetic aberrations may arise in the cell without initiating RIGI.

  13. Radiation-induced epigenetic alterations after low and high LET irradiations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aypar, Umut, E-mail: uaypa001@umaryland.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Oncology Research Laboratory, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Morgan, William F. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352 (United States); Baulch, Janet E. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Oncology Research Laboratory, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States)

    2011-02-10

    Epigenetics, including DNA methylation and microRNA (miRNA) expression, could be the missing link in understanding radiation-induced genomic instability (RIGI). This study tests the hypothesis that irradiation induces epigenetic aberrations, which could eventually lead to RIGI, and that the epigenetic aberrations induced by low linear energy transfer (LET) irradiation are different than those induced by high LET irradiations. GM10115 cells were irradiated with low LET X-rays and high LET iron (Fe) ions and evaluated for DNA damage, cell survival and chromosomal instability. The cells were also evaluated for specific locus methylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF{kappa}B), tumor suppressor in lung cancer 1 (TSLC1) and cadherin 1 (CDH1) gene promoter regions, long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) and Alu repeat element methylation, CpG and non-CpG global methylation and miRNA expression levels. Irradiated cells showed increased micronucleus induction and cell killing immediately following exposure, but were chromosomally stable at delayed times post-irradiation. At this same delayed time, alterations in repeat element and global DNA methylation and miRNA expression were observed. Analyses of DNA methylation predominantly showed hypomethylation, however hypermethylation was also observed. We demonstrate that miRNA expression levels can be altered after X-ray irradiation and that these miRNA are involved in chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation. A higher incidence of epigenetic changes was observed after exposure to X-rays than Fe ions even though Fe ions elicited more chromosomal damage and cell killing. This distinction is apparent at miRNA analyses at which only three miRNA involved in two major pathways were altered after high LET irradiations while six miRNA involved in five major pathways were altered after low LET irradiations. This study also shows that the irradiated cells acquire epigenetic changes suggesting that epigenetic aberrations may arise

  14. The physics of cancer: The role of epigenetics and chromosome conformation in cancer progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naimark, Oleg B.; Nikitiuk, Aleksandr S.; Baudement, Marie-Odile; Forné, Thierry; Lesne, Annick

    2016-08-01

    Cancer progression is generally described in terms of accumulated genetic alterations and ensuing changes in cell properties. However, intermediary modifications are involved in the establishment of cancer cell phenotypes, at different levels of nuclear organization: DNA damages and their structural consequences, epigenetic modifications and their impact on chromatin architecture, changes in chromosome 3D organization. We review some of these alterations with a focus on their physical aspects. The challenge is to understand the multiscale interplay between generic physical mechanisms and specific biological factors in cancer cells. We argue that such an interdisciplinary perspective offers a novel viewpoint on cancer progression, early diagnosis and possibly therapeutic targets.

  15. Epigenetic mechanisms of drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestler, Eric J

    2014-01-01

    Drug addiction involves potentially life-long behavioral abnormalities that are caused in vulnerable individuals by repeated exposure to a drug of abuse. The persistence of these behavioral changes suggests that long-lasting changes in gene expression, within particular regions of the brain, may contribute importantly to the addiction phenotype. Work over the past decade has demonstrated a crucial role for epigenetic mechanisms in driving lasting changes in gene expression in diverse tissues, including brain. This has prompted recent research aimed at characterizing the influence of epigenetic regulatory events in mediating the lasting effects of drugs of abuse on the brain in animal models of drug addiction. This review provides a progress report of this still early work in the field. As will be seen, there is robust evidence that repeated exposure to drugs of abuse induces changes within the brain's reward regions in three major modes of epigenetic regulation-histone modifications such as acetylation and methylation, DNA methylation, and non-coding RNAs. In several instances, it has been possible to demonstrate directly the contribution of such epigenetic changes to addiction-related behavioral abnormalities. Studies of epigenetic mechanisms of addiction are also providing an unprecedented view of the range of genes and non-genic regions that are affected by repeated drug exposure and the precise molecular basis of that regulation. Work is now needed to validate key aspects of this work in human addiction and evaluate the possibility of mining this information to develop new diagnostic tests and more effective treatments for addiction syndromes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'. PMID:23643695

  16. The ambiguous nature of epigenetic responsibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupras, Charles; Ravitsky, Vardit

    2016-08-01

    Over the past decade, epigenetic studies have been providing further evidence of the molecular interplay between gene expression and its health outcomes on one hand, and the physical and social environments in which individuals are conceived, born and live on the other. As knowledge of epigenetic programming expands, a growing body of literature in social sciences and humanities is exploring the implications of this new field of study for contemporary societies. Epigenetics has been mobilised to support political claims, for instance, with regard to collective obligations to address socio-environmental determinants of health. The idea of a moral 'epigenetic responsibility' has been proposed, meaning that individuals and/or governments should be accountable for the epigenetic programming of children and/or citizens. However, these discussions have largely overlooked important biological nuances and ambiguities inherent in the field of epigenetics. In this paper, we argue that the identification and assignment of moral epigenetic responsibilities should reflect the rich diversity and complexity of epigenetic mechanisms, and not rely solely on a gross comparison between epigenetics and genetics. More specifically, we explore how further investigation of the ambiguous notions of epigenetic normality and epigenetic plasticity should play a role in shaping this emerging debate. PMID:27015741

  17. Berberine acts as a putative epigenetic modulator by affecting the histone code.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhixiang; Liu, Yuan; Xue, Yong; Hu, Haiyan; Ye, Jieyu; Li, Xiaodong; Lu, Zhigang; Meng, Fanyi; Liang, Shuang

    2016-10-01

    Berberine, an isoquinoline plant alkaloid, exhibits a wide range of biochemical and pharmacological effects. However, the precise mechanism of these bioactivities remains poorly understood. In this study, we found significant similarity between berberine and two epigenetic modulators (CG-1521 and TSA). Reverse-docking using berberine as a ligand identified lysine-N-methyltransferase as a putative target of berberine. These findings suggested the potential role of berberine in epigenetic modulation. The results of PCR array analysis of epigenetic chromatin modification enzymes supported our hypothesis. Furthermore, the analysis showed that enzymes involved in histone acetylation and methylation were predominantly affected by treatment with berberine. Up-regulation of histone acetyltransferase CREBBP and EP300, histone deacetylase SIRT3, histone demethylase KDM6A as well as histone methyltransferase SETD7, and down-regulation of histone acetyltransferase HDAC8, histone methyltransferase WHSC1I, WHSC1II and SMYD3, in addition to 38 genes from histone clusters 1-3 were observed in berberine-treated cells using real-time PCR. In parallel, western blotting analyses revealed that the expression of H3K4me3, H3K27me3 and H3K36me3 proteins decreased with berberine treatment. These results were further confirmed in acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) cell lines HL-60/ADR and KG1-α. Taken together, this study suggests that berberine might modulate the expression of epigenetic regulators important for many downstream pathways, resulting in the variation of its bioactivities. PMID:27311644

  18. Epigenetic modulators of monocytic function: implication for steady state and disease in the CNS .

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Nina Papavasiliou

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic alterations are necessary for the establishment of functional and phenotypic diversity in populations of immune cells of the monocytic lineage. The epigenetic status of individual genes at different time points defines their transcriptional responses throughout development and in response to environmental stimuli. Epigenetic states are defined at the level of DNA modifications, chromatin modifications, as well as at the level of RNA base changes through RNA editing. Drawing from lessons regarding the epigenome and epitranscriptome of cells of the monocytic lineage in the periphery, and from recently published RNAseq data deriving from brain-resident monocytes, we discuss the impact of modulation of these epigenetic states and how they affect processes important for the development of a healthy brain, as well as mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease and aging. An understanding of the varied brain responses and pathologies in light of these novel gene regulatory systems in monocytes will lead to important new insights in the understanding of the aging process and the treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease.

  19. Genetic and epigenetic changes in somatic hybrid introgression lines between wheat and tall wheatgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuwei; Li, Fei; Kong, Lina; Sun, Yang; Qin, Lumin; Chen, Suiyun; Cui, Haifeng; Huang, Yinghua; Xia, Guangmin

    2015-04-01

    Broad phenotypic variations were induced in derivatives of an asymmetric somatic hybridization of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum Podp); however, how these variations occurred was unknown. We explored the nature of these variations by cytogenetic assays and DNA profiling techniques to characterize six genetically stable somatic introgression lines. Karyotyping results show the six lines similar to their wheat parent, but GISH analysis identified the presence of a number of short introgressed tall wheatgrass chromatin segments. DNA profiling revealed many genetic and epigenetic differences, including sequences deletions, altered regulation of gene expression, changed patterns of cytosine methylation, and the reactivation of retrotransposons. Phenotypic variations appear to result from altered repetitive sequences combined with the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and/or retrotransposon transposition. The extent of genetic and epigenetic variation due to the maintenance of parent wheat cells in tissue culture was assessed and shown to be considerably lower than had been induced in the introgression lines. Asymmetric somatic hybridization provides appropriate material to explore the nature of the genetic and epigenetic variations induced by genomic shock. PMID:25670745

  20. Nuclear sensing of viral DNA, epigenetic regulation of herpes simplex virus infection, and innate immunity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knipe, David M., E-mail: david_knipe@hms.harvard.edu

    2015-05-15

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) undergoes a lytic infection in epithelial cells and a latent infection in neuronal cells, and epigenetic mechanisms play a major role in the differential gene expression under the two conditions. HSV viron DNA is not associated with histones but is rapidly loaded with heterochromatin upon entry into the cell. Viral proteins promote reversal of the epigenetic silencing in epithelial cells while the viral latency-associated transcript promotes additional heterochromatin in neuronal cells. The cellular sensors that initiate the chromatinization of foreign DNA have not been fully defined. IFI16 and cGAS are both essential for innate sensing of HSV DNA, and new evidence shows how they work together to initiate innate signaling. IFI16 also plays a role in the heterochromatinization of HSV DNA, and this review will examine how IFI16 integrates epigenetic regulation and innate sensing of foreign viral DNA to show how these two responses are related. - Highlights: • HSV lytic and latent gene expression is regulated differentially by epigenetic processes. • The sensors of foreign DNA have not been defined fully. • IFI16 and cGAS cooperate to sense viral DNA in HSV-infected cells. • IFI16 plays a role in both innate sensing of HSV DNA and in restricting its expression.

  1. Nuclear sensing of viral DNA, epigenetic regulation of herpes simplex virus infection, and innate immunity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) undergoes a lytic infection in epithelial cells and a latent infection in neuronal cells, and epigenetic mechanisms play a major role in the differential gene expression under the two conditions. HSV viron DNA is not associated with histones but is rapidly loaded with heterochromatin upon entry into the cell. Viral proteins promote reversal of the epigenetic silencing in epithelial cells while the viral latency-associated transcript promotes additional heterochromatin in neuronal cells. The cellular sensors that initiate the chromatinization of foreign DNA have not been fully defined. IFI16 and cGAS are both essential for innate sensing of HSV DNA, and new evidence shows how they work together to initiate innate signaling. IFI16 also plays a role in the heterochromatinization of HSV DNA, and this review will examine how IFI16 integrates epigenetic regulation and innate sensing of foreign viral DNA to show how these two responses are related. - Highlights: • HSV lytic and latent gene expression is regulated differentially by epigenetic processes. • The sensors of foreign DNA have not been defined fully. • IFI16 and cGAS cooperate to sense viral DNA in HSV-infected cells. • IFI16 plays a role in both innate sensing of HSV DNA and in restricting its expression

  2. Epigenetic Pathways of Oncogenic Viruses: Therapeutic Promises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Araby, Amr M; Fouad, Abdelrahman A; Hanbal, Amr M; Abdelwahab, Sara M; Qassem, Omar M; El-Araby, Moustafa E

    2016-02-01

    Cancerous transformation comprises different events that are both genetic and epigenetic. The ultimate goal for such events is to maintain cell survival and proliferation. This transformation occurs as a consequence of different features such as environmental and genetic factors, as well as some types of infection. Many viral infections are considered to be causative agents of a number of different malignancies. To convert normal cells into cancerous cells, oncogenic viruses must function at the epigenetic level to communicate with their host cells. Oncogenic viruses encode certain epigenetic factors that lead to the immortality and proliferation of infected cells. The epigenetic effectors produced by oncogenic viruses constitute appealing targets to prevent and treat malignant diseases caused by these viruses. In this review, we highlight the importance of epigenetic reprogramming for virus-induced oncogenesis, with special emphasis on viral epigenetic oncoproteins as therapeutic targets. The discovery of molecular components that target epigenetic pathways, especially viral factors, is also discussed. PMID:26754591

  3. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: an open discussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2015-08-01

    Much controversy surrounds the idea of transgenerational epigenetics. Recent papers argue that epigenetic marks acquired through experience are passed to offspring, but as in much of the field of epigenetics, there is lack of precision in the definitions and perhaps too much eagerness to translate animal research to humans. Here, we review operational definitions of transgenerational inheritance and the processes of epigenetic programing during early development. Subsequently, based on this background, we critically examine some recent findings of studies investigating transgenerational inheritance. Finally, we discuss possible mechanisms that may explain transgenerational inheritance, including transmission of an epigenetic blueprint, which may predispose offspring to specific epigenetic patterning. Taken together, we conclude that presently, the evidence suggesting that acquired epigenetic marks are passed to the subsequent generation remains limited.

  4. Epigenetic variation: origin and transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Claude; Weigel, Detlef

    2012-11-01

    Recent studies have revealed that epigenetic variation in plant populations exceeds genetic diversity and that it is influenced by the environment. Nevertheless, epigenetic differences are not entirely independent of shared ancestry. Epigenetic modifications have gained increasing attention, because one can now study their patterns across the entire genome and in many different individuals. Not only do epigenetic phenomena modulate the activity of the genome in response to environmental stimuli, but they also constitute a potential source of natural variation. Understanding the emergence and heritability of epigenetic variants is critical for understanding how they might become subject to natural selection and thus affect genetic diversity. Here we review progress in characterizing natural epigenetic variants in model and nonmodel plant species and how this work is helping to delineate the role of epigenetic changes in evolution.

  5. Unique anti-glioblastoma activities of hypericin are at the crossroad of biochemical and epigenetic events and culminate in tumor cell differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naama Dror

    Full Text Available Failure of conventional therapies to alleviate glioblastoma (GBM fosters search for novel therapeutic strategies. These include epigenetic modulators as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi, which relax abnormally compact tumor cell chromatin organization, enabling cells to overcome blockage in differentiation. However, in clinical settings, HDACi efficacy is confined to subsets of hematologic malignancies. We reasoned that molecules targeting multiple epigenetic mechanisms may exhibit superior anti-cancer activities. We focused on the redox perylene-quinone Hypericin (HYP and showed that HYP targets Hsp90 for polyubiquitination, degradation and inactivation. Hsp90 is implicated in mediating inheritable epigenetic modifications transferable to progeny. We therefore examined if HYP can induce epigenetic alterations in GBM cells and show here that HYP indeed, targets multiple mechanisms in human glioblastoma tumor cell lines via unique manners. These elicit major epigenetic signature changes in key developmentally regulated genes. HYP induces neuroglial tumor cell differentiation modulating the cytoarchitecture, neuroglial differentiation antigen expression and causes exit from cell proliferation cycles. Such activities characterize HDACi however HYP is not an HDAC inhibitor. Instead, HYP effectively down-regulates expression of Class-I HDACs, creating marked deficiencies in HDACs cellular contents, leading to histones H3 and H4 hyperacetylation. Expression of EZH2, the Polycomb repressor complex-2 catalytic subunit, which trimethylates histone H3K27 is also suppressed. The resulting histone hyperacetylation and diminished H3K27-trimethylation relax chromatin structure, activating gene transcription including differentiation-promoting genes. DNMT profiles are also modulated increasing global DNA methylation. HYP induces unique epigenetic down-regulations of HDACs, EZH2 and DNMTs, remodeling chromatin structure and culminating in tumor cell

  6. Local Nucleosome Dynamics Facilitate Chromatin Accessibility in Living Mammalian Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saera Hihara

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Genome information, which is three-dimensionally organized within cells as chromatin, is searched and read by various proteins for diverse cell functions. Although how the protein factors find their targets remains unclear, the dynamic and flexible nature of chromatin is likely crucial. Using a combined approach of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, single-nucleosome imaging, and Monte Carlo computer simulations, we demonstrate local chromatin dynamics in living mammalian cells. We show that similar to interphase chromatin, dense mitotic chromosomes also have considerable chromatin accessibility. For both interphase and mitotic chromatin, we observed local fluctuation of individual nucleosomes (∼50 nm movement/30 ms, which is caused by confined Brownian motion. Inhibition of these local dynamics by crosslinking impaired accessibility in the dense chromatin regions. Our findings show that local nucleosome dynamics drive chromatin accessibility. We propose that this local nucleosome fluctuation is the basis for scanning genome information.

  7. CTCF Binding Polarity Determines Chromatin Looping

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wit, Elzo; Vos, Erica S M; Holwerda, Sjoerd J B; Valdes-Quezada, Christian; Verstegen, Marjon J A M; Teunissen, Hans; Splinter, Erik; Wijchers, Patrick J; Krijger, Peter H L; de Laat, Wouter

    2015-01-01

    CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is an architectural protein involved in the three-dimensional (3D) organization of chromatin. In this study, we assayed the 3D genomic contact profiles of a large number of CTCF binding sites with high-resolution 4C-seq. As recently reported, our data also suggest that ch

  8. Unraveling the mechanisms of chromatin fibril packaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavrilov, Alexey A; Shevelyov, Yuri Y; Ulianov, Sergey V; Khrameeva, Ekaterina E; Kos, Pavel; Chertovich, Alexander; Razin, Sergey V

    2016-05-01

    Recent data indicate that eukaryotic chromosomes are organized into Topologically Associating Domains (TADs); however, the mechanisms underlying TAD formation remain obscure. Based on the results of Hi-C analysis performed on 4 Drosophila melanogaster cell lines, we have proposed that specific properties of nucleosomes in active and repressed chromatin play a key role in the formation of TADs. Our computer simulations showed that the ability of "inactive" nucleosomes to stick to each other and the lack of such ability in "active" nucleosomes is sufficient for spatial segregation of these types of chromatin, which is revealed in the Hi-C analysis as TAD/inter-TAD partitioning. However, some Drosophila and mammalian TADs contain both active and inactive chromatin, a fact that does not fit this model. Herein, we present additional arguments for the model by postulating that transcriptionally active chromatin is extruded on the surface of a TAD, and discuss the possible impact of this organization on the enhancer-promoter communication and on the segregation of TADs. PMID:27249516

  9. Single Chromatin Fibre Assembly Using Optical Tweezers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennink, M.L.; Pope, L.H.; Leuba, S.H.; Grooth, de B.G.; Greve, J.

    2001-01-01

    Here we observe the formation of a single chromatin fibre using optical tweezers. A single -DNA molecule was suspended between two micron-sized beads, one held by a micropipette and the other in an optical trap. The constrained DNA molecule was incubated with Xenopus laevis egg extract in order to r

  10. Research Discovers Frequent Mutations of Chromatin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    With the support of National Natural Science Foundation of China, BGI, the largest genomics organization in the world, and Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, published online in Nature Geneticsics that the study on frequent mutations of chromatin remodeling genes in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of thebladder on August 8th, 2011. Their study provides a valuable genetic basis for future studies on TCC,

  11. Impact of chromatin structure on PR signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grøntved, Lars; Hager, Gordon L

    2012-01-01

    but also to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), as these receptors share many similarities regarding interaction with, and remodeling of, chromatin. Both receptors can bind nucleosomal DNA and have accordingly been described as pioneering factors. However recent genomic approaches (ChIP-seq and DHS-seq) show...

  12. Histone variants: key players of chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biterge, Burcu; Schneider, Robert

    2014-06-01

    Histones are fundamental structural components of chromatin. Eukaryotic DNA is wound around an octamer of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4. Binding of linker histone H1 promotes higher order chromatin organization. In addition to their structural role, histones impact chromatin function and dynamics by, e.g., post-translational histone modifications or the presence of specific histone variants. Histone variants exhibit differential expression timings (DNA replication-independent) and mRNA characteristics compared to canonical histones. Replacement of canonical histones with histone variants can affect nucleosome stability and help to create functionally distinct chromatin domains. In line with this, several histone variants have been implicated in the regulation of cellular processes such as DNA repair and transcriptional activity. In this review, we focus on recent progress in the study of core histone variants H2A.X, H2A.Z, macroH2A, H3.3, and CENP-A, as well as linker histone H1 variants, their functions and their links to development and disease.

  13. The great repression: chromatin and cryptic transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennig, Bianca P; Fischer, Tamás

    2013-01-01

    The eukaryotic chromatin structure is essential in correctly defining transcription units. Impairing this structure can activate cryptic promoters, and lead to the accumulation of aberrant RNA transcripts. Here we discuss critical pathways that are responsible for the repression of cryptic transcription and the maintenance of genome integrity.

  14. Epigenetics in tumorigenesis:advances and clinical implications%肿瘤发生的表观遗传学:进展与临床意义

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王先火; 赵秀娟; 邱立华; 王华庆; 王玺

    2012-01-01

    Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and the total number of cases globally keeps increasing. For many years, cancer has been thought to be caused by a series of DNA sequence alterations and thus is thought to be a "genetic" disease. However, studies in the last decade, including the large-scale cancer genomics projects, have highlighted the rising importance of epigenetic regulation in cancer. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how chromatin-based epigenetic regulation participates in tumorigenesis and discuss the growing implications of these advances for developing novel strategies to prevent, diagnose, as well as treat cancer.

  15. The Chromatin Scaffold Protein SAFB1 Renders Chromatin Permissive for DNA Damage Signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Altmeyer, Matthias; Toledo Lazaro, Luis Ignacio; Gudjonsson, Thorkell;

    2013-01-01

    Although the general relevance of chromatin modifications for genotoxic stress signaling, cell-cycle checkpoint activation, and DNA repair is well established, how these modifications reach initial thresholds in order to trigger robust responses remains largely unexplored. Here, we identify...... the chromatin-associated scaffold attachment factor SAFB1 as a component of the DNA damage response and show that SAFB1 cooperates with histone acetylation to allow for efficient γH2AX spreading and genotoxic stress signaling. SAFB1 undergoes a highly dynamic exchange at damaged chromatin in a poly......(ADP-ribose)-polymerase 1- and poly(ADP-ribose)-dependent manner and is required for unperturbed cell-cycle checkpoint activation and guarding cells against replicative stress. Altogether, our data reveal that transient recruitment of an architectural chromatin component is required in order to overcome physiological...

  16. Chromatin Dynamics of the mouse β-globin locus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.P.C. van de Corput (Mariëtte); E. de Boer (Ernie); T.A. Knoch (Tobias); W.A. van Cappellen (Gert); M. Lesnussa (Michael); H.J.F.M.M. Eussen (Bert)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractLately it has become more clear that (subtle) changes in 3D organization of chromatin can either trigger transcription or silence genes or gene clusters. It has also been postulated that due to changes in chromatin structure, a change in chromatin accessibility of transcription factors

  17. Prediction of transposable element derived enhancers using chromatin modification profiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahsan Huda

    Full Text Available Experimentally characterized enhancer regions have previously been shown to display specific patterns of enrichment for several different histone modifications. We modelled these enhancer chromatin profiles in the human genome and used them to guide the search for novel enhancers derived from transposable element (TE sequences. To do this, a computational approach was taken to analyze the genome-wide histone modification landscape characterized by the ENCODE project in two human hematopoietic cell types, GM12878 and K562. We predicted the locations of 2,107 and 1,448 TE-derived enhancers in the GM12878 and K562 cell lines respectively. A vast majority of these putative enhancers are unique to each cell line; only 3.5% of the TE-derived enhancers are shared between the two. We evaluated the functional effect of TE-derived enhancers by associating them with the cell-type specific expression of nearby genes, and found that the number of TE-derived enhancers is strongly positively correlated with the expression of nearby genes in each cell line. Furthermore, genes that are differentially expressed between the two cell lines also possess a divergent number of TE-derived enhancers in their vicinity. As such, genes that are up-regulated in the GM12878 cell line and down-regulated in K562 have significantly more TE-derived enhancers in their vicinity in the GM12878 cell line and vice versa. These data indicate that human TE-derived sequences are likely to be involved in regulating cell-type specific gene expression on a broad scale and suggest that the enhancer activity of TE-derived sequences is mediated by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms.

  18. Chromatin remodelling complex RSC promotes base excision repair in chromatin of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czaja, Wioletta; Mao, Peng; Smerdon, Michael J

    2014-04-01

    The base excision repair (BER) pathway is a conserved DNA repair system required to maintain genomic integrity and prevent mutagenesis in all eukaryotic cells. Nevertheless, how BER operates in vivo (i.e. in the context of chromatin) is poorly understood. We have investigated the role of an essential ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling (ACR) complex RSC (Remodels the Structure of Chromatin) in BER of intact yeast cells. We show that depletion of STH1, the ATPase subunit of RSC, causes enhanced sensitivity to the DNA alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and results in a substantial inhibition of BER, at the GAL1 locus and in the genome overall. Consistent with this observation, the DNA in chromatin is less accessible to micrococcal nuclease digestion in the absence of RSC. Quantitative PCR results indicate that repair deficiency in STH1 depleted cells is not due to changes in the expression of BER genes. Collectively, our data indicates the RSC complex promotes efficient BER in chromatin. These results provide, for the first time, a link between ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling and BER in living cells.

  19. 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.

  20. Diabetes Mellitus and Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bekir Engin Eser

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes Mellitus (DM is an important disease caused by insulin deficiency or insulin receptor resistance and characterized by hyperglycemia. The prevalence rate of DM is increasing rapidly worldwide and its associated complications affect the quality of life of patients adverse­ly. In addition, high medical costs for its treatment bring significant economic load on countries. Epigenetics is the reversible modifications on the genome, which lead to changes in gene expression without any alteration in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications can easily be affected by environmental factors and abnormalities in these modifications have been linked to many diseases including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we will summarize the relationship of DM and its complications with DNA and RNA methylation, which are among the most important modifications.

  1. Epigenetics of the antibody response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guideng; Zan, Hong; Xu, Zhenming; Casali, Paolo

    2013-09-01

    Epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications and miRNAs, are induced in B cells by the same stimuli that drive the antibody response. They play major roles in regulating somatic hypermutation (SHM), class switch DNA recombination (CSR), and differentiation to plasma cells or long-lived memory B cells. Histone modifications target the CSR and, possibly, SHM machinery to the immunoglobulin locus; they together with DNA methylation and miRNAs modulate the expression of critical elements of that machinery, such as activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), as well as factors central to plasma cell differentiation, such as B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1). These inducible B cell-intrinsic epigenetic marks instruct the maturation of antibody responses. Their dysregulation plays an important role in aberrant antibody responses to foreign antigens, such as those of microbial pathogens, and self-antigens, such as those targeted in autoimmunity, and B cell neoplasia.

  2. Computational micromodel for epigenetic mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karthika Raghavan

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Longevity: epigenetic and biomolecular aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taormina, Giusi; Mirisola, Mario G

    2015-04-01

    Many aging theories and their related molecular mechanisms have been proposed. Simple model organisms such as yeasts, worms, fruit flies and others have massively contributed to their clarification, and many genes and pathways have been associated with longevity regulation. Among them, insulin/IGF-1 plays a key and evolutionary conserved role. Interestingly, dietary interventions can modulate this pathway. Calorie restriction (CR), intermittent fasting, and protein and amino acid restriction prolong the lifespan of mammals by IGF-1 regulation. However, some recent findings support the hypothesis that the long-term effects of diet also involve epigenetic mechanisms. In this review, we describe the best characterized aging pathways and highlight the role of epigenetics in diet-mediated longevity. PMID:25883209

  4. Early programming of the oocyte epigenome temporally controls late prophase I transcription and chromatin remodelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Costa, Paulo; McCarthy, Alicia; Prudêncio, Pedro; Greer, Christina; Guilgur, Leonardo G; Becker, Jörg D; Secombe, Julie; Rangan, Prashanth; Martinho, Rui G

    2016-08-10

    Oocytes are arrested for long periods of time in the prophase of the first meiotic division (prophase I). As chromosome condensation poses significant constraints to gene expression, the mechanisms regulating transcriptional activity in the prophase I-arrested oocyte are still not entirely understood. We hypothesized that gene expression during the prophase I arrest is primarily epigenetically regulated. Here we comprehensively define the Drosophila female germ line epigenome throughout oogenesis and show that the oocyte has a unique, dynamic and remarkably diversified epigenome characterized by the presence of both euchromatic and heterochromatic marks. We observed that the perturbation of the oocyte's epigenome in early oogenesis, through depletion of the dKDM5 histone demethylase, results in the temporal deregulation of meiotic transcription and affects female fertility. Taken together, our results indicate that the early programming of the oocyte epigenome primes meiotic chromatin for subsequent functions in late prophase I.

  5. Identification of Transcribed Enhancers by Genome-Wide Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blinka, Steven; Reimer, Michael H; Pulakanti, Kirthi; Pinello, Luca; Yuan, Guo-Cheng; Rao, Sridhar

    2017-01-01

    Recent work has shown that RNA polymerase II-mediated transcription at distal cis-regulatory elements serves as a mark of highly active enhancers. Production of noncoding RNAs at enhancers, termed eRNAs, correlates with higher expression of genes that the enhancer interacts with; hence, eRNAs provide a new tool to model gene activity in normal and disease tissues. Moreover, this unique class of noncoding RNA has diverse roles in transcriptional regulation. Transcribed enhancers can be identified by a common signature of epigenetic marks by overlaying a series of genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation and RNA sequencing datasets. A computational approach to filter non-enhancer elements and other classes of noncoding RNAs is essential to not cloud downstream analysis. Here we present a protocol that combines wet and dry bench methods to accurately identify transcribed enhancers genome-wide as well as an experimental procedure to validate these datasets. PMID:27662872

  6. Epigenetics and Nutritional Environmental Signals

    OpenAIRE

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A.; Soliman, Karam F. A.

    2014-01-01

    All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system...

  7. Epigenetic mechanisms in drug addiction

    OpenAIRE

    Renthal, William; Nestler, Eric J.

    2008-01-01

    Changes in gene expression in brain reward regions are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis and persistence of drug addiction. Recent studies have begun to focus on the molecular mechanisms by which drugs of abuse and related environmental stimuli, such as drug-associated cues or stress, converge on the genome to alter specific gene programs. Increasing evidence suggests that these stable gene expression changes in neurons are mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms that alter chromati...

  8. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction

    OpenAIRE

    Nestler, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    Drug addiction involves potentially life-long behavioral abnormalities that are caused in vulnerable individuals by repeated exposure to a drug of abuse. The persistence of these behavioral changes suggests that long-lasting changes in gene expression, within particular regions of the brain, may contribute importantly to the addiction phenotype. Work over the past decade has demonstrated a crucial role for epigenetic mechanisms in driving lasting changes in gene expression in diverse tissues,...

  9. Epigenetics of Sleep and Chronobiology

    OpenAIRE

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are h...

  10. Haematopoietic malignancies caused by dysregulation of a chromatin-binding PHD finger

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Gang G.; Song, Jikui; Wang, Zhanxin; Dormann, Holger L.; Casadio, Fabio; Li, Haitao; Luo, Jun-Li; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Allis, C. David; (MSKCC); (Scripps); (Rockefeller)

    2009-07-21

    Histone H3 lysine4 methylation (H3K4me) has been proposed as a critical component in regulating gene expression, epigenetic states, and cellular identities. The biological meaning of H3K4me is interpreted by conserved modules including plant homeodomain (PHD) fingers that recognize varied H3K4me states. The dysregulation of PHD fingers has been implicated in several human diseases, including cancers and immune or neurological disorders. Here we report that fusing an H3K4-trimethylation (H3K4me3)-binding PHD finger, such as the carboxy-terminal PHD finger of PHF23 or JARID1A (also known as KDM5A or RBBP2), to a common fusion partner nucleoporin-98 (NUP98) as identified in human leukaemias, generated potent oncoproteins that arrested haematopoietic differentiation and induced acute myeloid leukaemia in murine models. In these processes, a PHD finger that specifically recognizes H3K4me3/2 marks was essential for leukaemogenesis. Mutations in PHD fingers that abrogated H3K4me3 binding also abolished leukaemic transformation. NUP98-PHD fusion prevented the differentiation-associated removal of H3K4me3 at many loci encoding lineage-specific transcription factors (Hox(s), Gata3, Meis1, Eya1 and Pbx1), and enforced their active gene transcription in murine haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Mechanistically, NUP98-PHD fusions act as 'chromatin boundary factors', dominating over polycomb-mediated gene silencing to 'lock' developmentally critical loci into an active chromatin state (H3K4me3 with induced histone acetylation), a state that defined leukaemia stem cells. Collectively, our studies represent, to our knowledge, the first report that deregulation of the PHD finger, an 'effector' of specific histone modification, perturbs the epigenetic dynamics on developmentally critical loci, catastrophizes cellular fate decision-making, and even causes oncogenesis during mammalian development.

  11. The specification and global reprogramming of histone epigenetic marks during gamete formation and early embryo development in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Samson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In addition to the DNA contributed by sperm and oocytes, embryos receive parent-specific epigenetic information that can include histone variants, histone post-translational modifications (PTMs, and DNA methylation. However, a global view of how such marks are erased or retained during gamete formation and reprogrammed after fertilization is lacking. To focus on features conveyed by histones, we conducted a large-scale proteomic identification of histone variants and PTMs in sperm and mixed-stage embryo chromatin from C. elegans, a species that lacks conserved DNA methylation pathways. The fate of these histone marks was then tracked using immunostaining. Proteomic analysis found that sperm harbor ∼2.4 fold lower levels of histone PTMs than embryos and revealed differences in classes of PTMs between sperm and embryos. Sperm chromatin repackaging involves the incorporation of the sperm-specific histone H2A variant HTAS-1, a widespread erasure of histone acetylation, and the retention of histone methylation at sites that mark the transcriptional history of chromatin domains during spermatogenesis. After fertilization, we show HTAS-1 and 6 histone PTM marks distinguish sperm and oocyte chromatin in the new embryo and characterize distinct paternal and maternal histone remodeling events during the oocyte-to-embryo transition. These include the exchange of histone H2A that is marked by ubiquitination, retention of HTAS-1, removal of the H2A variant HTZ-1, and differential reprogramming of histone PTMs. This work identifies novel and conserved features of paternal chromatin that are specified during spermatogenesis and processed in the embryo. Furthermore, our results show that different species, even those with diverged DNA packaging and imprinting strategies, use conserved histone modification and removal mechanisms to reprogram epigenetic information.

  12. Targeting DNA Methylation for Epigenetic Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaojing; Lay, Fides; Han, Han; Jones, Peter A.

    2010-01-01

    DNA methylation patterns are established during embryonic development and faithfully copied through somatic cell divisions. Based on our understanding of DNA methylation and other interrelated epigenetic modifications, a comprehensive view of the epigenetic landscape and cancer epigenome is evolving. The cancer methylome is highly disrupted, making DNA methylation an excellent target for anti-cancer therapies. During the last few decades, an increasing number of drugs targeting DNA methylation have been developed in an effort to increase efficacy, stability and to decrease toxicity. The earliest and the most successful epigenetic drug to date, 5-Azacytidine, is currently recommended as the first-line treatment for high risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. Encouraging results from clinical trials have prompted further efforts to elucidate epigenetic alterations in cancer and subsequently develop new epigenetic therapies. This review delineates the latest cancer epigenetic models, recent discovery of hypomethylation agents and their application in the clinic. PMID:20846732

  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.

  14. Epigenetic control of cell identity and plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Valerio

    2014-04-02

    The DNA centered dogma for genetic information and cell identity is now evolving into a much more complex and flexible dimension provided by the discovery of the Epigenome. This comprises those chromosome structural and topological components that complement DNA information and contribute to genome functional organization. Current concept is that the Epigenome constitutes the dynamic molecular interface allowing the Genome to interact with the Environment. Exploring how the genome interacts with the environment is a key to fully understand cellular and complex organism mechanisms of adaptation and plasticity. Our work focuses on the role of an essential, specialized group or chromatin associated proteins named Polycomb (PcG) that control maintenance of transcription programs during development and in adult life. In particular PcG proteins exert epigenetic “memory” function by modifying chromosome structures at various levels to maintain gene silencing in particular through cell division. While in the past decade substantial progress was made in understanding PcG mechanisms acting in development and partially during cell cycle, very little is known about their role in adult post-mitotic tissues and more in general the role of the epigenome in adaptation. To this, we studied the role of PcG in the context of mammalian skeletal muscle cell differentiation. We previously reported specific dynamics of PRC2 proteins in myoblasts and myotubes, in particular the dynamics of PcG Histone H3 K27 Methyl Transferases (HMT), EZH2 and EZH1, the latter apparently replacing for EZH2 in differentiated myotubes. Ezh1 protein, although almost identical to Ezh2, shows a weak H3K27 HMT activity and its primary function remains elusive. Recent ChIPseq studies performed in differentiating muscle cells revealed that Ezh1 associates with active and not repressed regulatory regions to control RNA pol II elongation. Since H3K27 tri-methylation levels are virtually steady in non

  15. 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 ...

  16. Environmental epigenetics and allergic diseases: Recent advances

    OpenAIRE

    Kuriakose, Julie S; Miller, Rachel L.

    2010-01-01

    Significant strides in the understanding of the role of epigenetic regulation in asthma and allergy using both epidemiological approaches as well as experimental ones have been made. This review focuses on new research within the last two years. These include advances in determining how environmental agents implicated in airway disease can induce epigenetic changes, how epigenetic regulation can influence T helper cell (Th) differentiation and T regulatory (Treg) cell production, and new disc...

  17. The landscape of accessible chromatin in mammalian preimplantation embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jingyi; Huang, Bo; Chen, He; Yin, Qiangzong; Liu, Yang; Xiang, Yunlong; Zhang, Bingjie; Liu, Bofeng; Wang, Qiujun; Xia, Weikun; Li, Wenzhi; Li, Yuanyuan; Ma, Jing; Peng, Xu; Zheng, Hui; Ming, Jia; Zhang, Wenhao; Zhang, Jing; Tian, Geng; Xu, Feng; Chang, Zai; Na, Jie; Yang, Xuerui; Xie, Wei

    2016-06-30

    In mammals, extensive chromatin reorganization is essential for reprogramming terminally committed gametes to a totipotent state during preimplantation development. However, the global chromatin landscape and its dynamics in this period remain unexplored. Here we report a genome-wide map of accessible chromatin in mouse preimplantation embryos using an improved assay for transposase-accessible chromatin with high throughput sequencing (ATAC-seq) approach with CRISPR/Cas9-assisted mitochondrial DNA depletion. We show that despite extensive parental asymmetry in DNA methylomes, the chromatin accessibility between the parental genomes is globally comparable after major zygotic genome activation (ZGA). Accessible chromatin in early embryos is widely shaped by transposable elements and overlaps extensively with putative cis-regulatory sequences. Unexpectedly, accessible chromatin is also found near the transcription end sites of active genes. By integrating the maps of cis-regulatory elements and single-cell transcriptomes, we construct the regulatory network of early development, which helps to identify the key modulators for lineage specification. Finally, we find that the activities of cis-regulatory elements and their associated open chromatin diminished before major ZGA. Surprisingly, we observed many loci showing non-canonical, large open chromatin domains over the entire transcribed units in minor ZGA, supporting the presence of an unusually permissive chromatin state. Together, these data reveal a unique spatiotemporal chromatin configuration that accompanies early mammalian development. PMID:27309802

  18. Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms associated with infertility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minocherhomji, Sheroy; Madon, Prochi F; Parikh, Firuza R

    2010-01-01

    Infertility is a complex human condition and is known to be caused by numerous factors including genetic alterations and abnormalities. Increasing evidence from studies has associated perturbed epigenetic mechanisms with spermatogenesis and infertility. However, there has been no consensus...... on whether one or a collective of these altered states is responsible for the onset of infertility. Epigenetic alterations involve changes in factors that regulate gene expression without altering the physical sequence of DNA. Understanding these altered epigenetic states at the genomic level along...... with the phenotype could further determine what possible mechanisms are involved. This paper reviews certain mechanisms of epigenetic regulation with particular emphasis on their possible role in infertility....

  19. Obesity: epigenetic regulation – recent observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remely, Marlene; de la Garza, Ana Laura; Magnet, Ulrich; Aumueller, Eva; Haslberger, Alexander G

    2015-06-01

    Genetic and environmental factors, especially nutrition and lifestyle, have been discussed in the literature for their relevance to epidemic obesity. Gene-environment interactions may need to be understood for an improved understanding of the causes of obesity, and epigenetic mechanisms are of special importance. Consequences of epigenetic mechanisms seem to be particularly important during certain periods of life: prenatal, postnatal and intergenerational, transgenerational inheritance are discussed with relevance to obesity. This review focuses on nutrients, diet and habits influencing intergenerational, transgenerational, prenatal and postnatal epigenetics; on evidence of epigenetic modifiers in adulthood; and on animal models for the study of obesity.

  20. BPA-Induced Deregulation Of Epigenetic Patterns: Effects On Female Zebrafish Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangeli, Stefania; Maradonna, Francesca; Gioacchini, Giorgia; Cobellis, Gilda; Piccinetti, Chiara Carla; Dalla Valle, Luisa; Carnevali, Oliana

    2016-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the commonest Endocrine Disruptor Compounds worldwide. It interferes with vertebrate reproduction, possibly by inducing deregulation of epigenetic mechanisms. To determine its effects on female reproductive physiology and investigate whether changes in the expression levels of genes related to reproduction are caused by histone modifications, BPA concentrations consistent with environmental exposure were administered to zebrafish for three weeks. Effects on oocyte growth and maturation, autophagy and apoptosis processes, histone modifications, and DNA methylation were assessed by Real-Time PCR (qPCR), histology, and chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with qPCR analysis (ChIP-qPCR). The results showed that 5 μg/L BPA down-regulated oocyte maturation-promoting signals, likely through changes in the chromatin structure mediated by histone modifications, and promoted apoptosis in mature follicles. These data indicate that the negative effects of BPA on the female reproductive system may be due to its upstream ability to deregulate epigenetic mechanism. PMID:26911650

  1. Integration of Signaling Pathways with the Epigenetic Machinery in the Maintenance of Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Fagnocchi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stem cells balance their self-renewal and differentiation potential by integrating environmental signals with the transcriptional regulatory network. The maintenance of cell identity and/or cell lineage commitment relies on the interplay of multiple factors including signaling pathways, transcription factors, and the epigenetic machinery. These regulatory modules are strongly interconnected and they influence the pattern of gene expression of stem cells, thus guiding their cellular fate. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs represent an invaluable tool to study this interplay, being able to indefinitely self-renew and to differentiate towards all three embryonic germ layers in response to developmental cues. In this review, we highlight those mechanisms of signaling to chromatin, which regulate chromatin modifying enzymes, histone modifications, and nucleosome occupancy. In addition, we report the molecular mechanisms through which signaling pathways affect both the epigenetic and the transcriptional state of ESCs, thereby influencing their cell identity. We propose that the dynamic nature of oscillating signaling and the different regulatory network topologies through which those signals are encoded determine specific gene expression programs, leading to the fluctuation of ESCs among multiple pluripotent states or to the establishment of the necessary conditions to exit pluripotency.

  2. Abscisic Acid-mediated Epigenetic Processes in Plant Development and Stress Responses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Viswanathan Chinnusamy; Zhizhong Gong; Jian-Kang Zhu

    2008-01-01

    Abscisic acid (ABA) regulates diverse plant processes, growth and development under non-stress conditions and plays a pivotal role in abiotic stress tolerance. Although ABA-regulated genetic processes are well known, recent discoveries reveal that epigenetic processes are an integral part of ABA-regulated processes. Epigenetic mechanisms, namely, histone modifications and cytosine DNA methylation-induced modification of genome give rise to epigenomes, which add diversity and complexity to the genome of organisms. Histone monoubiquitination appears to regulate ABA levels in developing seeds through histone H2B monoubiquitination. ABA and H2B ubiquitination dependent chromatin remodeling regulate seed dormancy. Transcription factor networks necessary for seed maturation are repressed by histone deacetylases (HDACs)-dependent and PICKLE chromatin remodeling complexes (CRCs), whereas ABA induces the expression of these genes directly or through repression of HDACs. Abiotic stress-induced ABA regulates stomatal response and stress-responsive gene expression through HDACs and HOS15-dependent histone deacetylation, as well as through the ATP-dependent SWITCH/SUCROSE NONFERMENTING CRC. ABA also probably regulates the abiotic stress response through DNA methylation and short interfering RNA pathways. Further studies on ABA-regulated spigenome will be of immense use to understand the plant development, stress adaptation and stress memory.

  3. Keystone Symposia on Epigenomics and Chromatin Dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravnskjær, Kim

    2012-01-01

    Keystone Symposia kicked off the start of 2012 with two joint meetings on Epigenomics and Chromatin Dynamics and a star-studded list of speakers. Held in Keystone, CO, January 17-22, and organized by Steven Jacobsen and Steven Henikoff and by Bradley Cairns and Geneviève Almouzni, respectively, t......, there was plenty happening in these sessions that it did not seem to matter that the ski-slope conditions were not ideal....

  4. Multiscale Identification of Topological Domains in Chromatin

    OpenAIRE

    Filippova, Darya; Patro, Rob; Duggal, Geet; Kingsford, Carl

    2013-01-01

    Recent chromosome conformation capture experiments have led to the discovery of dense, contiguous, megabase-sized topological domains that are similar across cell types and conserved across species. These domains are strongly correlated with a number of chromatin markers and have since been included in a number of analyses. However, functionally-relevant domains may exist at multiple length scales. We introduce a new and efficient algorithm that is able to capture persistent domains across va...

  5. Proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses of chromatin-associated proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana

    KAUST Repository

    Bigeard, Jean

    2014-07-10

    The nucleus is the organelle where basically all DNA-related processes take place in eukaryotes, such as replication, transcription, and splicing as well as epigenetic regulation. The identification and description of the nuclear proteins is one of the requisites toward a comprehensive understanding of the biological functions accomplished in the nucleus. Many of the regulatory mechanisms of protein functions rely on their PTMs among which phosphorylation is probably one of the most important properties affecting enzymatic activity, interaction with other molecules, localization, or stability. So far, the nuclear and subnuclear proteome and phosphoproteome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have been the subject of very few studies. In this work, we developed a purification protocol of Arabidopsis chromatin-associated proteins and performed proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses identifying a total of 879 proteins of which 198 were phosphoproteins that were mainly involved in chromatin remodeling, transcriptional regulation, and RNA processing. From 230 precisely localized phosphorylation sites (phosphosites), 52 correspond to hitherto unidentified sites. This protocol and data thereby obtained should be a valuable resource for many domains of plant research.

  6. CENP-C facilitates the recruitment of M18BP1 to centromeric chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dambacher, Silvia; Deng, Wen; Hahn, Matthias; Sadic, Dennis; Fröhlich, Jonathan; Nuber, Alexander; Hoischen, Christian; Diekmann, Stephan; Leonhardt, Heinrich; Schotta, Gunnar

    2012-01-01

    Centromeres are important structural constituents of chromosomes that ensure proper chromosome segregation during mitosis by providing defined sites for kinetochore attachment. In higher eukaryotes, centromeres have no specific DNA sequence and thus, they are rather determined through epigenetic mechanisms. A fundamental process in centromere establishment is the incorporation of the histone variant CENP-A into centromeric chromatin, which provides a binding platform for the other centromeric proteins. The Mis18 complex, and, in particular, its member M18BP1 was shown to be essential for both incorporation and maintenance of CENP-A. Here we show that M18BP1 displays a cell cycle-regulated association with centromeric chromatin in mouse embryonic stem cells. M18BP1 is highly enriched at centromeric regions from late anaphase through to G1 phase. An interaction screen against 16 core centromeric proteins revealed a novel interaction of M18BP1 with CENP-C. We mapped the interaction domain in M18BP1 to a central region containing a conserved SANT domain and in CENP-C to the C-terminus. Knock-down of CENP-C leads to reduced M18BP1 association and lower CENP-A levels at centromeres, suggesting that CENP-C works as an important factor for centromeric M18BP1 recruitment and thus for maintaining centromeric CENP-A. PMID:22540025

  7. ETS family transcriptional regulators drive chromatin dynamics and malignancy in squamous cell carcinomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hanseul; Schramek, Daniel; Adam, Rene C; Keyes, Brice E; Wang, Ping; Zheng, Deyou; Fuchs, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    Tumor-initiating stem cells (SCs) exhibit distinct patterns of transcription factors and gene expression compared to healthy counterparts. Here, we show that dramatic shifts in large open-chromatin domain (super-enhancer) landscapes underlie these differences and reflect tumor microenvironment. By in vivo super-enhancer and transcriptional profiling, we uncover a dynamic cancer-specific epigenetic network selectively enriched for binding motifs of a transcription factor cohort expressed in squamous cell carcinoma SCs (SCC-SCs). Many of their genes, including Ets2 and Elk3, are themselves regulated by SCC-SC super-enhancers suggesting a cooperative feed-forward loop. Malignant progression requires these genes, whose knockdown severely impairs tumor growth and prohibits progression from benign papillomas to SCCs. ETS2-deficiency disrupts the SCC-SC super-enhancer landscape and downstream cancer genes while ETS2-overactivation in epidermal-SCs induces hyperproliferation and SCC super-enhancer-associated genes Fos, Junb and Klf5. Together, our findings unearth an essential regulatory network required for the SCC-SC chromatin landscape and unveil its importance in malignant progression. PMID:26590320

  8. The physics of chromatin silencing: Bi-stability and front propagation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedighi, Mohammad

    A mean-field dynamical model of chromatin silencing in budding yeast is provided and the conditions giving rise to two states: one silenced and another un-silenced, is studied. Based on these conditions, the space of control parameters is divided into two distinct regions of mono-stable and bi-stable solutions (the bifurcation diagram). Then, considering both the discrete and continuous versions of the model, the formation of a stable boundary between the silenced and un-silenced areas on DNA is investigated. As a result, a richer phase diagram is provided. The dynamics of the boundary is also studied under different conditions. Consequently, assuming negative feedback due to possible depletion of silencing proteins, the model explains a paradoxical epigenetic behavior of yeast that happens under some mutation. A stochastic treatment of the model is also considered to verify the results of the mean-field approximation and also to understand the role of intrinsic noise at single cell level. This model could be used as a general guide to discuss chromatin silencing in many organisms.

  9. DREAMing: a simple and ultrasensitive method for assessing intratumor epigenetic heterogeneity directly from liquid biopsies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisanic, Thomas R; Athamanolap, Pornpat; Poh, Weijie; Chen, Chen; Hulbert, Alicia; Brock, Malcolm V; Herman, James G; Wang, Tza-Huei

    2015-12-15

    Many cancers comprise heterogeneous populations of cells at primary and metastatic sites throughout the body. The presence or emergence of distinct subclones with drug-resistant genetic and epigenetic phenotypes within these populations can greatly complicate therapeutic intervention. Liquid biopsies of peripheral blood from cancer patients have been suggested as an ideal means of sampling intratumor genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity for diagnostics, monitoring and therapeutic guidance. However, current molecular diagnostic and sequencing methods are not well suited to the routine assessment of epigenetic heterogeneity in difficult samples such as liquid biopsies that contain intrinsically low fractional concentrations of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and rare epigenetic subclonal populations. Here we report an alternative approach, deemed DREAMing (Discrimination of Rare EpiAlleles by Melt), which uses semi-limiting dilution and precise melt curve analysis to distinguish and enumerate individual copies of epiallelic species at single-CpG-site resolution in fractions as low as 0.005%, providing facile and inexpensive ultrasensitive assessment of locus-specific epigenetic heterogeneity directly from liquid biopsies. The technique is demonstrated here for the evaluation of epigenetic heterogeneity at p14(ARF) and BRCA1 gene-promoter loci in liquid biopsies obtained from patients in association with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MDS/MPN), respectively.

  10. A SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodelling Protein Controls Cytokinin Production through the Regulation of Chromatin Architecture

    KAUST Repository

    Jégu, Teddy

    2015-10-12

    Chromatin architecture determines transcriptional accessibility to DNA and consequently gene expression levels in response to developmental and environmental stimuli. Recently, chromatin remodelers such as SWI/SNF complexes have been recognized as key regulators of chromatin architecture. To gain insight into the function of these complexes during root development, we have analyzed Arabidopsis knock-down lines for one sub-unit of SWI/SNF complexes: BAF60. Here, we show that BAF60 is a positive regulator of root development and cell cycle progression in the root meristem via its ability to down-regulate cytokinin production. By opposing both the deposition of active histone marks and the formation of a chromatin regulatory loop, BAF60 negatively regulates two crucial target genes for cytokinin biosynthesis (IPT3 and IPT7) and one cell cycle inhibitor (KRP7). Our results demonstrate that SWI/SNF complexes containing BAF60 are key factors governing the equilibrium between formation and dissociation of a chromatin loop controlling phytohormone production and cell cycle progression.

  11. Nuclear and chromatin reorganization during cell senescence and aging - a mini-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Dong-Myung; Kucia, Magda; Ratajczak, Mariusz Z

    2011-01-01

    Genetic material in the nucleus governs mechanisms related to cell proliferation, differentiation, and function. Thus, senescence and aging are directly tied to the change of nuclear function and structure. The most important mechanisms that affect cell senescence are: (i) telomere shortening; (ii) environmental stress-mediated accumulation of DNA mutations, and (iii) the intrinsically encoded biological clock that dictates lifespan events of any particular cell type. Overall, these changes lead to modification of the expression of genes that are responsible for: (i) organization of the nuclear structure; (ii) integrity of transcriptionally inactive heterochromatin, and (iii) epigenetic modification of chromosomes due to DNA methylation and/or histone modifications. These aging-related nuclear alterations do not only affect somatic cells. More importantly, they affect stem cells, which are responsible for proper tissue rejuvenation. In this review, we focus on epigenetic changes in the chromatin structure and their impact on the biology and function of adult cells as they age. We will also address aging-related changes in a compartment of the most primitive pluripotent stem cells that were recently identified by our team and named 'very small embryonic/epiblast-like stem cells'. PMID:20134149

  12. Arsenic exposure disrupts epigenetic regulation of SIRT1 in human keratinocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herbert, Katharine J. [School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250 (Australia); Holloway, Adele [Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7000 (Australia); Cook, Anthony L. [School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250 (Australia); Chin, Suyin P. [Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7000 (Australia); Snow, Elizabeth T., E-mail: elizabeth.snow@utas.edu.au [School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS 7250 (Australia)

    2014-11-15

    Arsenic is an environmental toxin which increases skin cancer risk for exposed populations worldwide; however the underlying biomolecular mechanism for arsenic-induced carcinogenesis is complex and poorly defined. Recent investigations show that histone deacetylase and DNA methyltransferase activity is impaired, and epigenetic patterns of gene regulation are consistently altered in cancers associated with arsenic exposure. Expression of the histone deacetylase SIRT1 is altered in solid tumours and haematological malignancies; however its role in arsenic-induced pathology is unknown. In this study we investigated the effect of arsenic on epigenetic regulation of SIRT1 and its targeting microRNA, miR-34a in primary human keratinocytes. Acetylation of histone H4 at lysine 16 (H4K16) increased in keratinocytes exposed to 0.5 μM arsenite [As(III)]; and this was associated with chromatin remodelling at the miR-34a promoter. Moreover, although SIRT1 protein initially increased in these As(III)-exposed cells, after 24 days expression was not significantly different from untreated controls. Extended exposure to low-dose As(III) (0.5 μM; > 5 weeks) compromised the pattern of CpG methylation at SIRT1 and miR-34a gene promoters, and this was associated with altered expression for both genes. We have found that arsenic alters epigenetic regulation of SIRT1 expression via structural reorganisation of chromatin at the miR-34a gene promoter in the initial 24 h of exposure; and over time, through shifts in miR-34a and SIRT1 gene methylation. Taken together, this investigation demonstrates that arsenic produces cumulative disruptions to epigenetic regulation of miR-34a expression, and this is associated with impaired coordination of SIRT1 functional activity. - Highlights: • Submicromolar arsenic concentrations disrupt SIRT1 activity and expression in human keratinocytes. • Arsenic-induced chromatin remodelling at the miR-34a gene promoter is associated with hyperacetylation

  13. Replication domains are self-interacting structural chromatin units of human chromosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arneodo, Alain

    2011-03-01

    In higher eukaryotes, the absence of specific sequence motifs marking the origins of replication has been a serious hindrance to the understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the initiation and the maintenance of the replication program in different cell types. In silico analysis of nucleotide compositional skew has predicted the existence, in the germline, of replication N-domains bordered by putative replication origins and where the skew decreases rather linearly as the signature of a progressive inversion of the average fork polarity. Here, from the demonstration that the average fork polarity can be directly extracted from the derivative of replication timing profiles, we develop a wavelet-based pattern recognition methodology to delineate replication U-domains where the replication timing profile is shaped as a U and its derivative as a N. Replication U-domains are robustly found in seven cell lines as covering a significant portion (40-50%) of the human genome where the replication timing data actually displays some plasticity between cell lines. The early replication initiation zones at U-domains borders are found to be hypersensitive to DNase I cleavage, to be associated with transcriptional activity and to present a significant enrichment in insular-binding proteins CTCF, the hallmark of an open chromatin structure. A comparative analysis of genome-wide chromatin interaction (HiC) data shows that replication-U domains correspond to self-interacting structural high order chromatin units of megabase characteristic size. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that the epigenetic compartmentalization of the human genome into autonomous replication U-domains comes along with an extensive remodelling of the threedimensional chromosome architecture during development or in specific diseases. The observed cell specific conservation of the replication timing between the human and mouse genomes strongly suggests that this chromosome organization into

  14. Chromatin landscaping in algae reveals novel regulation pathway for biofuels production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ngan, Chew Yee; Wong, Chee-Hong; Choi, Cindy; Pratap, Abhishek; Han, James; Wei, Chia-Lin

    2013-02-19

    The diminishing reserve of fossil fuels calls for the development of biofuels. Biofuels are produced from renewable resources, including photosynthetic organisms, generating clean energy. Microalgae is one of the potential feedstock for biofuels production. It grows easily even in waste water, and poses no competition to agricultural crops for arable land. However, little is known about the algae lipid biosynthetic regulatory mechanisms. Most studies relied on the homology to other plant model organisms, in particular Arabidopsis or through low coverage expression analysis to identify key enzymes. This limits the discovery of new components in the biosynthetic pathways, particularly the genetic regulators and effort to maximize the production efficiency of algal biofuels. Here we report an unprecedented and de novo approach to dissect the algal lipid pathways through disclosing the temporal regulations of chromatin states during lipid biosynthesis. We have generated genome wide chromatin maps in chlamydomonas genome using ChIP-seq targeting 7 histone modifications and RNA polymerase II in a time-series manner throughout conditions activating lipid biosynthesis. To our surprise, the combinatory profiles of histone codes uncovered new regulatory mechanism in gene expression in algae. Coupled with matched RNA-seq data, chromatin changes revealed potential novel regulators and candidate genes involved in the activation of lipid accumulations. Genetic perturbation on these candidate regulators further demonstrated the potential to manipulate the regulatory cascade for lipid synthesis efficiency. Exploring epigenetic landscape in microalgae shown here provides powerful tools needed in improving biofuel production and new technology platform for renewable energy generation, global carbon management, and environmental survey.

  15. Phenotypic plasticity in Drosophila pigmentation caused by temperature sensitivity of a chromatin regulator network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel Gibert

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to produce contrasting phenotypes in different environments. Although many examples have been described, the responsible mechanisms are poorly understood. In particular, it is not clear how phenotypic plasticity is related to buffering, the maintenance of a constant phenotype against genetic or environmental variation. We investigate here the genetic basis of a particularly well described plastic phenotype: the abdominal pigmentation in female Drosophila melanogaster. Cold temperature induces a dark pigmentation, in particular in posterior segments, while higher temperature has the opposite effect. We show that the homeotic gene Abdominal-B (Abd-B has a major role in the plasticity of pigmentation in the abdomen. Abd-B plays opposite roles on melanin production through the regulation of several pigmentation enzymes. This makes the control of pigmentation very unstable in the posterior abdomen, and we show that the relative spatio-temporal expression of limiting pigmentation enzymes in this region of the body is thermosensitive. Temperature acts on melanin production by modulating a chromatin regulator network, interacting genetically with the transcription factor bric-à-brac (bab, a target of Abd-B and Hsp83, encoding the chaperone Hsp90. Genetic disruption of this chromatin regulator network increases the effect of temperature and the instability of the pigmentation pattern in the posterior abdomen. Colocalizations on polytene chromosomes suggest that BAB and these chromatin regulators cooperate in the regulation of many targets, including several pigmentation enzymes. We show that they are also involved in sex comb development in males and that genetic destabilization of this network is also strongly modulated by temperature for this phenotype. Thus, we propose that phenotypic plasticity of pigmentation is a side effect reflecting a global impact of temperature on epigenetic mechanisms

  16. The use of epigenetic phenomema for the improvement of sheep and cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Edward Goddard

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This review considers the evidence for inheritance across generations of epigenetic marks and how this phenomenon could be exploited in the cattle and sheep industries. Epigenetic marks are chemical changes in the chromosomes that affect the expression of genes and hence the phenotype of the cell and are passed on during mitosis so that the daughter cells have the same chemical changes or epigenetic marks as the parent cell. Although most epigenetic marks are wiped clean in the process of forming a new zygote, some epigenetic marks (epimutations may be passed on from parent to offspring. The inheritance of epigenetic marks across generations is difficult to prove as there are usually alternative explanations possible. There are few well documented cases, mainly using inbred strains of mice. The epimutations are unstable and revert to wild type after a few generations. Although, there are no known cases in sheep or cattle, it is likely that inherited epimutations occur in these species but it is unlikely that they explain a large part of the inherited or genetic variation. There is limited evidence in mice and rats that an environmental treatment can cause a change in the epigenetic marks of an animal and that this change can be passed on the next generation. If inherited epimutations occur in sheep and cattle, they will already be utilised to some extent by existing genetic improvement programs. It would be possible to modify the statistical models used in the calculation of EBVs to better recognise the variance controlled by epimutations, but it would probably have, at best, a small effect on the rate on genetic (inherited gain achieved. The inheritance of epigenetic marks caused by the environment experienced by the sire offers a new opportunity in sheep and cattle breeding. However, at present we do not know if this occurs or, if it does, what environmental treatment might have a beneficial effect.

  17. Heritable epigenetic variation among maize inbreds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve R Eichten

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic variation describes heritable differences that are not attributable to changes in DNA sequence. There is the potential for pure epigenetic variation that occurs in the absence of any genetic change or for more complex situations that involve both genetic and epigenetic differences. Methylation of cytosine residues provides one mechanism for the inheritance of epigenetic information. A genome-wide profiling of DNA methylation in two different genotypes of Zea mays (ssp. mays, an organism with a complex genome of interspersed genes and repetitive elements, allowed the identification and characterization of examples of natural epigenetic variation. The distribution of DNA methylation was profiled using immunoprecipitation of methylated DNA followed by hybridization to a high-density tiling microarray. The comparison of the DNA methylation levels in the two genotypes, B73 and Mo17, allowed for the identification of approximately 700 differentially methylated regions (DMRs. Several of these DMRs occur in genomic regions that are apparently identical by descent in B73 and Mo17 suggesting that they may be examples of pure epigenetic variation. The methylation levels of the DMRs were further studied in a panel of near-isogenic lines to evaluate the stable inheritance of the methylation levels and to assess the contribution of cis- and trans- acting information to natural epigenetic variation. The majority of DMRs that occur in genomic regions without genetic variation are controlled by cis-acting differences and exhibit relatively stable inheritance. This study provides evidence for naturally occurring epigenetic variation in maize, including examples of pure epigenetic variation that is not conditioned by genetic differences. The epigenetic differences are variable within maize populations and exhibit relatively stable trans-generational inheritance. The detected examples of epigenetic variation, including some without tightly linked genetic

  18. Fetal iron deficiency induces chromatin remodeling at the Bdnf locus in adult rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Phu V; Kennedy, Bruce C; Lien, Yu-Chin; Simmons, Rebecca A; Georgieff, Michael K

    2015-02-15

    Fetal and subsequent early postnatal iron deficiency causes persistent impairments in cognitive and affective behaviors despite prompt postnatal iron repletion. The long-term cognitive impacts are accompanied by persistent downregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a factor critical for hippocampal plasticity across the life span. This study determined whether early-life iron deficiency epigenetically modifies the Bdnf locus and whether dietary choline supplementation during late gestation reverses these modifications. DNA methylation and histone modifications were assessed at the Bdnf-IV promoter in the hippocampus of rats [at postnatal day (PND) 65] that were iron-deficient (ID) during the fetal-neonatal period. Iron deficiency was induced in rat pups by providing pregnant and nursing dams an ID diet (4 mg/kg Fe) from gestational day (G) 2 through PND7, after which iron deficiency was treated with an iron-sufficient (IS) diet (200 mg/kg Fe). This paradigm resulted in about 60% hippocampal iron loss on PND15 with complete recovery by PND65. For choline supplementation, pregnant rat dams were given dietary choline (5 g/kg) from G11 through G18. DNA methylation was determined by quantitative sequencing of bisulfite-treated DNA, revealing a small alteration at the Bdnf-IV promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed increased HDAC1 binding accompanied by reduced binding of RNA polymerase II and USF1 at the Bdnf-IV promoter in formerly ID rats. These changes were correlated with altered histone methylations. Prenatal choline supplementation reverses these epigenetic modifications. Collectively, the findings identify epigenetic modifications as a potential mechanism to explicate the long-term repression of Bdnf following fetal and early postnatal iron deficiency.

  19. Recent advances in GNAS epigenetic research of pseudohypoparathyroidism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izzi, B; Van Geet, C; Freson, K

    2012-06-01

    Endocrinopathies in patients with hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia that share resistance to parathyroid hormone (PTH) are grouped under the term pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP). Patients with PHP type Ia (PHP-Ia) often present with additional hormonal resistance and show characteristic physical features that are jointly termed as having an Albright's hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO) phenotype. Alternatively, PHPIb patients predominantly have PTH and sometimes TSH resistance but do not present with AHO features. Most of these PHP forms are caused by defects in GNAS, an imprinted gene locus consisting of maternal, paternal and biallelic transcripts. PHP-Ia is caused by heterozygous inactivating mutations in those exons of GNAS encoding the alpha subunit of the stimulatory guanine nucleotide-binding protein (Gsalpha) while PHPIb results from epigenetic GNAS defects. Familial and sporadic forms of PHP-Ib have distinct GNAS imprinting patterns: familial PHP-Ib patients have an exon A/B-only imprinting defect whereas sporadic PHP-Ib cases have abnormal imprinting of the three differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in GNAS. This classification of PHP was made years ago but was recently questioned since different studies showed GNAS epigenetic defects in PHP-Ia patients. In this review, we focus on the epigenetic description and screening methods of GNAS, the associated pathology and the recent need for a PHP reclassification.

  20. Spectroscopic study of fast-neutron-irradiated chromatin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radu, L. [V. Babes National Inst., Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Bucharest (Romania)]. E-mail: serbanradu@pcnet.ro; Gazdaru, D. [Bucharest Univ., Dept. of Biophysics, Physics Faculty, Bucharest (Romania); Constantinescu, B. [H. Hulubei National Inst., Dept. of Cyclotron, Bucharest (Romania)

    2004-02-01

    The effects produced by fast neutrons (0-100 Gy) on chromatin structure were analyzed by (i) [{sup 1}H]-NMR spectroscopy, (ii) time resolved spectroscopy, and (iii) fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Two types of chromatin were tested: (i) a chromatin from a normal tissue (liver of Wistar rats) and (ii) a chromatin from a tumoral tissue (Guerin limphotrope epithelioma, a rat solid tumor). The fast-neutron action on chromatin determines greater values of the [{sup 1}H]-NMR transverse relaxation time, indicating a more injured structure. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements show that the relative contribution of the excited state lifetime of bound ethidium bromide to chromatin DNA diminishes with increasing irradiation doses. This reflects the damage that occurs in DNA structure: production of single- and double-strand breaks due to sugar and base modifications. By the FRET method, the distance between dansyl chloride and acridine orange coupled at chromatin was determined. This distance increases upon fast-neutron action. The radiosensitivity of the tumor tissue chromatin seems higher than that of the normal tissue chromatin, probably because of its higher (loose) euchromatin/(compact) heterochromatin ratio. As the values of the physical parameters analyzed are specific for a determined dose, the establishment of these parameters may constitute a criterion for the microdosimetry of chromatin radiolesions produced by fast neutrons. (author)