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 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

  3. 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.

  4. Chromatin modifications, epigenetics, and how protozoan parasites regulate their lives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croken, Matthew M; Nardelli, Sheila C; Kim, Kami

    2012-05-01

    Chromatin structure plays a vital role in epigenetic regulation of protozoan parasite gene expression. Epigenetic gene regulation impacts upon parasite virulence, differentiation and cell-cycle control. Recent work in many laboratories has elucidated the functions of proteins that regulate parasite gene expression by chemical modification of constituent nucleosomes. A major focus of investigation has been the characterization of post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones and the identification of the enzymes responsible. Despite conserved features and specificity common to all eukaryotes, parasite enzymes involved in chromatin modification have unique functions that regulate unique aspects of parasite biology.

  5. Epigenetic regulation and chromatin remodeling in learning and memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the underlying mechanisms of memory formation and maintenance has been a major goal in the field of neuroscience. Memory formation and maintenance are tightly controlled complex processes. Among the various processes occurring at different levels, gene expression regulation is especially crucial for proper memory processing, as some genes need to be activated while some genes must be suppressed. Epigenetic regulation of the genome involves processes such as DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications. These processes edit genomic properties or the interactions between the genome and histone cores. They then induce structural changes in the chromatin and lead to transcriptional changes of different genes. Recent studies have focused on the concept of chromatin remodeling, which consists of 3D structural changes in chromatin in relation to gene regulation, and is an important process in learning and memory. In this review, we will introduce three major epigenetic processes involved in memory regulation: DNA methylation, histone methylation and histone acetylation. We will also discuss general mechanisms of long-term memory storage and relate the epigenetic control of learning and memory to chromatin remodeling. Finally, we will discuss how epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the pathologies of neurological disorders and cause memory-related symptoms. PMID:28082740

  6. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ding, Bo; Wang, Guo-Liang

    2015-01-01

    To defend against pathogens, plants have developed a sophisticated innate immunity that includes effector recognition, signal transduction, and rapid defense responses. Recent evidence has demonstrated that plants utilize the epigenetic control of gene expression to fine-tune their defense when challenged by pathogens. In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of histone modifications (i.e., methylation, acetylation, and ubiquitination) and chromatin r...

  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

    2016-08-02

    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.

  10. Making copies of chromatin: the challenge of nucleosomal organization and epigenetic information.

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    Corpet, Armelle; Almouzni, Geneviève

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the basic mechanisms underlying chromatin dynamics during DNA replication in eukaryotic cells is of fundamental importance. Beyond DNA compaction, chromatin organization represents a means to regulate genome function. Thus, the inheritance and maintenance of the DNA sequence, along with its organization into chromatin, is central for eukaryotic life. To orchestrate DNA replication in the context of chromatin is a challenge, both in terms of accessibility to the compact structures and maintenance of chromatin organization. To meet the challenge of maintenance, cells have evolved efficient nucleosome dynamics involving assembly pathways and chromatin maturation mechanisms that restore chromatin organization in the wake of DNA replication. In this review, we describe our current knowledge concerning how these pathways operate at the nucleosomal level and highlight the key players, such as histone chaperones, chromatin remodelers or modifiers, involved in the process of chromatin duplication. Major advances have been made recently concerning de novo nucleosome assembly and our understanding of its coordination with recycling of parental histones is progressing. Insights into the transmission of chromatin-based information during replication have important implications in the field of epigenetics to fully comprehend how the epigenetic landscape might, or at times might not, be stably maintained in the face of dramatic changes in chromatin structure.

  11. Epigenetic phenomena, chromatin dynamics, and gene expression. New theoretical approaches in the study of living systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boi, Luciano

    2008-01-01

    This paper is aimed at exploring the genome at the level beyond that of DNA sequence alone. We stress the fact that the level of genes is not the sole "reality" in the living world, for there are different epigenetic processes that profoundly affect change in living systems. Moreover, epigenetics very likely influences the course of evolution and the unfolding of life. We further attempt to investigate how the genome is dynamically organized into the nuclear space within the cell. We mainly focus on analyses of higher order nuclear architecture and the dynamic interactions of chromatin with other nuclear components. We especially want to know how epigenetic phenomena influences genes expression and chromosome functions. The proper understanding of these processes require new concepts and approaches be introduced and developed. In particular, we think that research in biology has to shift from only describing molecular and local features of living systems to studying the regulatory networks of interactions among gene pathways, the folding and dynamics of chromatin structure and how environmental factors affects the behavior of organisms. There are essential components of biological information on living organisms which cannot be portrayed in the DNA sequence alone. In a post-genomic era, the importance of chromatin/epigenetic interface has become increasingly apparent. One of the purposes of current research should be to highlight the enormous impact of chromatin organization and dynamics on epigenetic phenomena, and, conversely, to emphasize the important role that epigenetic phenomena play in gene expression and cell regulation.

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

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    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.

  13. Chromatin resetting mechanisms preventing trangenerational inheritance of epigenetic states

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    Mayumi eIwasaki

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic regulation can be altered by environmental cues including abiotic and biotic stresses. In most cases, environmentally-induced epigenetic changes are transient, but in some cases they are maintained for extensive periods of time and may even be transmitted to the next generation. However, the underlying mechanisms of transgenerational transmission of environmentally-induced epigenetic states remain largely unknown. Such traits can be adaptive, but also can have negative consequences if the parentally inherited epigenetic memory interferes with canonical environmental responses of the progeny. This review highlights recent insights into the mechanisms preventing transgenerational transmission of environmentally-induced epigenetic states in plants, which resemble those of germline reprogramming in mammals.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. Chromatin looping and epigenetic regulation at the maize b1 locus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Louwers, M.L.D.

    2008-01-01

    In this thesis, the effect of epigenetic regulation on long-range chromatin looping is studied. As a model system we used two maize b1 epialleles involved in paramutation. Paramutation entails a trans-interaction between two alleles whereby one allele heritably changes the expression level of the ot

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

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    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.

  18. Epigenetic remodeling of chromatin architecture: exploring tumor differentiation therapies in mesenchymal stem cells and sarcomas.

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    Siddiqi, Sara; Mills, Joslyn; Matushansky, Igor

    2010-03-01

    Sarcomas are the mesenchymal-derived malignant tumors of connective tissues (e.g., fat, bone, and cartilage) presumed to arise from aberrant development or differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Appropriate control of stem cell maintenance versus differentiation allows for normal connective tissue development. Current theories suggest that loss of this control--through accumulation of genetic lesions in MSCs at various points in the differentiation process--leads to development of sarcomas, including undifferentiated, high grade sarcoma tumors. The initiation of stem cell differentiation is highly associated with alteration of gene expression, which depends on chromatin remodeling. Epigenetic chromatin modifying agents have been shown to induce cancer cell differentiation and are currently being used clinically to treat cancer. This review will focus on the importance of epigenetic chromatin remodeling in the context of mesenchymal stem cells, sarcoma tumorigenesis and differentiation therapy.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The methylation hypothesis: do epigenetic chromatin modifications play a role in epileptogenesis?

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    Kobow, Katja; Blümcke, Ingmar

    2011-07-01

    Any structural brain lesion can provoke epilepsy, although onset and progression of seizures as well as response to antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment remain difficult to predict in each patient. Tremendous work has focused on the development of new AED compounds with the intention to treat seizures. However, these efforts have not yet discovered a "magic bullet" that cures epilepsy in every patient or modifies disease progression. With the "methylation hypothesis" we propose that epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in epileptogenesis in patients with structural lesions. "Epigenetics" is defined as information that is heritable during cell division other than the DNA sequence itself, that is, DNA methylation or histone tail modifications, which can produce lasting alterations in chromatin structure and gene expression. They are increasingly recognized as fundamental regulatory processes in central nervous system development, synaptic plasticity, and memory, and also play a role in neurologic disorders such as schizophrenia and spinal muscular atrophy. The methylation hypothesis suggests that seizures by themselves can induce epigenetic chromatin modifications, thereby aggravating the epileptogenic condition. The impact of the methylation hypothesis for new-onset epilepsy will be discussed. Unravelling of epigenetic pathomechanisms will also open new strategies to identify molecular targets for pharmacologic treatment in epilepsies.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  5. Epigenetics in Rome: breaking news from the chromatin remodeling and human disease workshop.

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    Gaetano, Carlo; Capogrossi, Maurizio C; Fanciulli, Maurizio; Filetici, Patrizia; Piaggio, Giulia

    2010-04-01

    In 2009 the Istituto Regina Elena (IRE) and Istituto Dermopatico dell' Immacolata (IDI), joined their efforts to organize the "First IRE Annual Workshop on Chromatin Remodeling and Human Disease, which had place in Rome on the 3-4 of December 2009. The Workshop program listed a number of presentations on various epigenetic phenomena believed to have an impact on human diseases. Internationally recognized leaders in this field from Europe and USA have brilliantly accomplished this highly compelling task. Special emphasis has been placed on emerging understanding of epigenetic mechanisms as they relate to the physiopathology of numerous human diseases. How this field scientifically and technologically recently progressed in this direction, was clearly evident from the presentations and discussions having place during the workshop.

  6. 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.

  7. Polymer model with Epigenetic Recoloring Reveals a Pathway for the de novo Establishment and 3D Organization of Chromatin Domains

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    Michieletto, D.; Orlandini, E.; Marenduzzo, D.

    2016-10-01

    One of the most important problems in development is how epigenetic domains can first be established, and then maintained, within cells. To address this question, we propose a framework that couples three-dimensional chromatin folding dynamics to a "recoloring" process modeling the writing of epigenetic marks. Because many intrachromatin interactions are mediated by bridging proteins, we consider a "two-state" model with self-attractive interactions between two epigenetic marks that 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 recoloring recapitulates the ultrasensitive response of epigenetic switches to perturbations and accounts for long-lived multidomain conformations, strikingly similar to the topologically associating domains observed in eukaryotic chromosomes.

  8. 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...

  9. Skewed Epigenetics: An Alternative Therapeutic Option for Diabetes Complications

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    Gabriele Togliatto

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Vascular complications are major causes of morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetes patients. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS generation and a lack of efficient antioxidant machinery, a result of hyperglycaemia, mainly contribute to this problem. Although advances in therapy have significantly reduced both morbidity and mortality in diabetic individuals, diabetes-associated vascular complications are still one of the most challenging health problems worldwide. New healing options are urgently needed as current therapeutics are failing to improve long-term outcomes. Particular effort has recently been devoted to understanding the functional relationship between chromatin structure regulation and the persistent change in gene expression which is driven by hyperglycaemia and which accounts for long-lasting diabetic complications. A detailed investigation into epigenetic chromatin modifications in type 2 diabetes is underway. This will be particularly useful in the design of mechanism-based therapeutics which interfere with long-lasting activating epigenetics and improve patient outcomes. We herein provide an overview of the most relevant mechanisms that account for hyperglycaemia-induced changes in chromatin structure; the most relevant mechanism is called “metabolic memory.”

  10. Exploiting epigenetic vulnerabilities for cancer therapeutics.

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    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.

  11. Epigenetic modifications, chromatin distribution and TP53 transcription in a model of breast cancer progression.

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    Santos, Gilson C; da Silva, Ana P A; Feldman, Lucas; Ventura, Grasiella M; Vassetzky, Yegor; de Moura Gallo, Claudia V

    2015-04-01

    In the present paper we aimed to characterize epigenetic aspects and analyze TP53 transcription in the 21 T series, composed of breast cell lines: non-cancerous H16N2; Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia 21PT; Ductal Carcinoma in situ 21NT and Invasive Metastatic Carcinoma 21MT1. We detected a global genomic hypomethylation in 21NT and 21MT1. The histone modification markers analysis showed an important global decrease of the active chromatin mark H4Ac in 21MT1 relative to the other cell lines while the repressive mark H3K9Me3 were not significantly altered. The mRNA levels of DNA methylation and histone modification key enzymes are consistent with the observed genomic hypomethylation and histone hypoacetylation. The expression of DNMT3A/B increased at the initial stages of oncogenesis and the expression of DNMT1 and HAT1 decreased at the advanced stages of breast cancer. Using a confocal immunofluorescent assay, we observed that H4Ac was mostly located at the periphery and the repressive mark H3K9Me3, at the center of 21NT and 21MT1 cells nuclei. TP53 P1 promoter was found to be in an open chromatin state, with a relatively high enrichment of H4Ac and similar TP53 transcription levels in all 21 T cell lines. In conclusion, we observed epigenetic alterations (global genome hypomethylation, global hypoacetylation and accumulation of pericentric heterochromatin) in metastatic breast cancer cells of the 21 T series. These alterations may act at later stages of breast cancer progression and may not affect TP53 transcription at the P1 promoter.

  12. The emerging role of epigenetic modifications and chromatin remodeling in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunke, Sebastian; El-Osta, Assam

    2009-06-01

    As the leading genetic cause for infantile death, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) has been extensively studied since its first description in the early 1890s. Though today much is known about the cause of the disease, a cure or effective treatment is not currently available. Recently the short chain fatty acid valproic acid, a drug used for decades in the management of epilepsy and migraine therapy, has been shown to elevate the levels of the essential survival motor neuron protein in cultured cells. In SMA mice, valproic acid diminished the severity of the disease phenotype. This effect was linked to the ability of the short chain fatty acid to suppress histone deacetylase activity and activate gene transcription. Since then, the study of different histone deacetylase inhibitors and their epigenetic modifying capabilities has been of high interest in an attempt to find potential candidates for effective treatment of SMA. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about use of histone deacetylase inhibitors in SMA as well as their proposed effects on chromatin structure and discuss further implications for possible treatments of SMA arising from research examining epigenetic change.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-02-19

    The Low Dose Radiation Symposium thoughtfully addressed ionizing radiation non-mutational but transmissable alterations in surviving cells. Deregulation of epigenetic processes has been strongly implicated in carcinogenesis, and there is increasing realization that a significant fraction of non-targeted and adaptive mechanisms in response to ionizing radiation are likely to be epigenetic in nature. Much remains to be learned about how chromatin and epigenetic regulators affect responses to low doses of radiation, and how low dose radiation impacts other epigenetic processes. The Epigenetic Mechanisms Symposium focused on on epigenetic mechanisms and their interplay with DNA repair and chromatin changes. Addressing the fact that the most well understood mediators of epigenetic regulation are histone modifications and DNA methylation. Low levels of radiation can lead to changes in the methylation status of certain gene promoters and the expression of DNA methyltransferases, However, epigenetic regulation can also involve changes in higher order chromosome structure.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Chromatin structure, epigenetic mechanisms and long-range interactions in the human insulin locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Z; Lefevre, G M; Felsenfeld, G

    2012-10-01

    Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes is largely dependent on variations in chromatin structure. More recently, it has become clear that this may involve not only local chromatin organization but also distant regulatory elements that participate in large-scale chromatin architecture within the nucleus. We describe recent methods that make possible the detection of such structures and apply them to analysis of the human insulin (INS) locus in pancreatic islets. We show that the INS gene is part of an extended 'open' chromatin domain that includes adjacent genes as well. We also find that in islets, the INS promoter is in physical contact with distant sites on the same human chromosome and notably, with the SYT8 gene, located nearly 300 kb away. The strength of the contact between INS and SYT8 is increased by glucose, and this results in stimulation of SYT8 expression. Inhibition of INS transcription decreases SYT8 expression. Furthermore, downregulation of SYT8 results in decreased secretion of insulin. Our results thus establish the existence of a regulatory network between the INS gene and other distant genes through long-range physical interactions, and suggest that such networks may have general importance for insulin biology and diabetes.

  18. 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

    in a series of 36 SS samples. We assessed by immunohistochemistry tumor DNA methylation levels, the expression of methyltransferases DNMT3A, DNMT3B and DNMT3L as well as levels of histone modifications H3K9me2, H3K27me3, H3K4me1, H3K4me2/3, H3K9ac, and H2A.Z. We did not identify any epigenetic marks...

  19. RegulatING chromatin regulators: post-translational modification of the ING family of epigenetic regulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satpathy, Shankha; Nabbi, Arash; Riabowol, Karl

    2013-03-15

    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 the basis of reports describing their down-regulation and mislocalization in a variety of cancer types. In addition to their regulation by transcriptional mechanisms, understanding the range of PTMs (post-translational modifications) of INGs is important in understanding how ING functions are fine-tuned in the physiological setting and how they add to the repertoire of activities affected by the INGs. In the present paper we review the different PTMs that have been reported to occur on INGs. We discuss the PTMs that modulate ING function under normal conditions and in response to a variety of stresses. We also describe the ING PTMs that have been identified by several unbiased MS-based PTM enrichment techniques and subsequent proteomic analysis. Among the ING PTMs identified to date, a subset has been characterized for their biological significance and have been shown to affect processes including subcellular localization, interaction with enzymatic complexes and ING protein half-life. The present review aims to highlight the emerging role of PTMs in regulating ING function and to suggest additional pathways and functions where PTMs may effect ING function.

  20. 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.

  1. Escape from Mitotic Arrest: An Unexpected Connection Between Microtubule Dynamics and Epigenetic Regulation of Centromeric Chromatin in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Anuja A; Walworth, Nancy C

    2015-12-01

    Accurate chromosome segregation is necessary to ensure genomic integrity. Segregation depends on the proper functioning of the centromere, kinetochore, and mitotic spindle microtubules and is monitored by the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, defects in Dis1, a microtubule-associated protein that influences microtubule dynamics, lead to mitotic arrest as a result of an active SAC and consequent failure to grow at low temperature. In a mutant dis1 background (dis1-288), loss of function of Msc1, a fission yeast homolog of the KDM5 family of proteins, suppresses the growth defect and promotes normal mitosis. Genetic analysis implicates a histone deacetylase (HDAC)-linked pathway in suppression because HDAC mutants clr6-1, clr3∆, and sir2∆, though not hos2∆, also promote normal mitosis in the dis1-288 mutant. Suppression of the dis phenotype through loss of msc1 function requires the spindle checkpoint protein Mad2 and is limited by the presence of the heterochromatin-associated HP1 protein homolog Swi6. We speculate that alterations in histone acetylation promote a centromeric chromatin environment that compensates for compromised dis1 function by allowing for successful kinetochore-microtubule interactions that can satisfy the SAC. In cells arrested in mitosis by mutation of dis1, loss of function of epigenetic determinants such as Msc1 or specific HDACs can promote cell survival. Because the KDM5 family of proteins has been implicated in human cancers, an appreciation of the potential role of this family of proteins in chromosome segregation is warranted.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2015-07-06

    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.

  4. Embryonic stem cell differentiation: a chromatin perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Theodore P

    2003-11-13

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells hold immense promise for the treatment of human degenerative disease. Because ES cells are pluripotent, they can be directed to differentiate into a number of alternative cell-types with potential therapeutic value. Such attempts at "rationally-directed ES cell differentiation" constitute attempts to recapitulate aspects of normal development in vitro. All differentiated cells retain identical DNA content, yet gene expression varies widely from cell-type to cell-type. Therefore, a potent epigenetic system has evolved to coordinate and maintain tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. Recent advances show that mechanisms that govern epigenetic regulation of gene expression are rooted in the details of chromatin dynamics. As embryonic cells differentiate, certain genes are activated while others are silenced. These activation and silencing events are exquisitely coordinated with the allocation of cell lineages. Remodeling of the chromatin of developmentally-regulated genes occurs in conjunction with lineage commitment. Oocytes, early embryos, and ES cells contain potent chromatin-remodeling activities, an observation that suggests that chromatin dynamics may be especially important for early lineage decisions. Chromatin dynamics are also involved in the differentiation of adult stem cells, where the assembly of specialized chromatin upon tissue-specific genes has been studied in fine detail. The next few years will likely yield striking advances in the understanding of stem cell differentiation and developmental biology from the perspective of chromatin dynamics.

  5. Embryonic stem cell differentiation: A chromatin perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasmussen Theodore P

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Embryonic stem (ES cells hold immense promise for the treatment of human degenerative disease. Because ES cells are pluripotent, they can be directed to differentiate into a number of alternative cell-types with potential therapeutic value. Such attempts at "rationally-directed ES cell differentiation" constitute attempts to recapitulate aspects of normal development in vitro. All differentiated cells retain identical DNA content, yet gene expression varies widely from cell-type to cell-type. Therefore, a potent epigenetic system has evolved to coordinate and maintain tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. Recent advances show that mechanisms that govern epigenetic regulation of gene expression are rooted in the details of chromatin dynamics. As embryonic cells differentiate, certain genes are activated while others are silenced. These activation and silencing events are exquisitely coordinated with the allocation of cell lineages. Remodeling of the chromatin of developmentally-regulated genes occurs in conjunction with lineage commitment. Oocytes, early embryos, and ES cells contain potent chromatin-remodeling activities, an observation that suggests that chromatin dynamics may be especially important for early lineage decisions. Chromatin dynamics are also involved in the differentiation of adult stem cells, where the assembly of specialized chromatin upon tissue-specific genes has been studied in fine detail. The next few years will likely yield striking advances in the understanding of stem cell differentiation and developmental biology from the perspective of chromatin dynamics.

  6. Epigenetic memory in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-09-17

    Epigenetics refers to heritable changes in patterns of gene expression that occur without alterations in DNA sequence. The epigenetic mechanisms involve covalent modifications of DNA and histones, which affect transcriptional activity of chromatin. Since chromatin states can be propagated through mitotic and meiotic divisions, epigenetic mechanisms are thought to provide heritable 'cellular memory'. Here, we review selected examples of epigenetic memory in plants and briefly discuss underlying mechanisms.

  7. The selector gene Pax7 dictates alternate pituitary cell fates through its pioneer action on chromatin remodeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Budry, L.; Balsalobre, A.; Gauthier, Y.; Khetchoumian, K.; L'Honore, A.; Vallette-Kasic, S.; Brue, T; Figarella-Branger, D.; Meij, B.P.; Drouin, J.

    2012-01-01

    Genes Dev. 2012 Oct 15;26(20):2299-310. doi: 10.1101/gad.200436.112. The selector gene Pax7 dictates alternate pituitary cell fates through its pioneer action on chromatin remodeling. Budry L, Balsalobre A, Gauthier Y, Khetchoumian K, L'honoré A, Vallette S, Brue T, Figarella-Branger D, Meij B, Drou

  8. Long range epigenetic silencing is a trans-species mechanism that results in cancer specific deregulation by overriding the chromatin domains of normal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forn, Marta; Muñoz, Mar; Tauriello, Daniele V F; Merlos-Suárez, Anna; Rodilla, Verónica; Bigas, Anna; Batlle, Eduard; Jordà, Mireia; Peinado, Miguel A

    2013-12-01

    DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling are frequently implicated in the silencing of genes involved in carcinogenesis. Long Range Epigenetic Silencing (LRES) is a mechanism of gene inactivation that affects multiple contiguous CpG islands and has been described in different human cancer types. However, it is unknown whether there is a coordinated regulation of the genes embedded in these regions in normal cells and in early stages of tumor progression. To better characterize the molecular events associated with the regulation and remodeling of these regions we analyzed two regions undergoing LRES in human colon cancer in the mouse model. We demonstrate that LRES also occurs in murine cancer in vivo and mimics the molecular features of the human phenomenon, namely, downregulation of gene expression, acquisition of inactive histone marks, and DNA hypermethylation of specific CpG islands. The genes embedded in these regions showed a dynamic and autonomous regulation during mouse intestinal cell differentiation, indicating that, in the framework considered here, the coordinated regulation in LRES is restricted to cancer. Unexpectedly, benign adenomas in Apc(Min/+) mice showed overexpression of most of the genes affected by LRES in cancer, which suggests that the repressive remodeling of the region is a late event. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the transcriptional insulator CTCF in mouse colon cancer cells revealed disrupted chromatin domain boundaries as compared with normal cells. Malignant regression of cancer cells by in vitro differentiation resulted in partial reversion of LRES and gain of CTCF binding. We conclude that genes in LRES regions are plastically regulated in cell differentiation and hyperproliferation, but are constrained to a coordinated repression by abolishing boundaries and the autonomous regulation of chromatin domains in cancer cells.

  9. De novo deciphering three-dimensional chromatin interaction and topological domains by wavelet transformation of epigenetic profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yong; Wang, Yunfei; Xuan, Zhenyu; Chen, Min; Zhang, Michael Q

    2016-06-20

    Defining chromatin interaction frequencies and topological domains is a great challenge for the annotations of genome structures. Although the chromosome conformation capture (3C) and its derivative methods have been developed for exploring the global interactome, they are limited by high experimental complexity and costs. Here we describe a novel computational method, called CITD, for de novo prediction of the chromatin interaction map by integrating histone modification data. We used the public epigenomic data from human fibroblast IMR90 cell and embryonic stem cell (H1) to develop and test CITD, which can not only successfully reconstruct the chromatin interaction frequencies discovered by the Hi-C technology, but also provide additional novel details of chromosomal organizations. We predicted the chromatin interaction frequencies, topological domains and their states (e.g. active or repressive) for 98 additional cell types from Roadmap Epigenomics and ENCODE projects. A total of 131 protein-coding genes located near 78 preserved boundaries among 100 cell types are found to be significantly enriched in functional categories of the nucleosome organization and chromatin assembly. CITD and its predicted results can be used for complementing the topological domains derived from limited Hi-C data and facilitating the understanding of spatial principles underlying the chromosomal organization.

  10. Switching the centromeres on and off: epigenetic chromatin alterations provide plasticity in centromere activity stabilizing aberrant dicentric chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiroshi; Saitoh, Shigeaki

    2013-12-01

    The kinetochore, which forms on a specific chromosomal locus called the centromere, mediates interactions between the chromosome and the spindle during mitosis and meiosis. Abnormal chromosome rearrangements and/or neocentromere formation can cause the presence of multiple centromeres on a single chromosome, which results in chromosome breakage or cell cycle arrest. Analyses of artificial dicentric chromosomes suggested that the activity of the centromere is regulated epigenetically; on some stably maintained dicentric chromosomes, one of the centromeres no longer functions as a platform for kinetochore formation, although the DNA sequence remains intact. Such epigenetic centromere inactivation occurs in cells of various eukaryotes harbouring 'regional centromeres', such as those of maize, fission yeast and humans, suggesting that the position of the active centromere is determined by epigenetic markers on a chromosome rather than the nucleotide sequence. Our recent findings in fission yeast revealed that epigenetic centromere inactivation consists of two steps: disassembly of the kinetochore initiates inactivation and subsequent heterochromatinization prevents revival of the inactivated centromere. Kinetochore disassembly followed by heterochromatinization is also observed in normal senescent human cells. Thus epigenetic centromere inactivation may not only stabilize abnormally generated dicentric chromosomes, but also be part of an intrinsic mechanism regulating cell proliferation.

  11. Consolidation of the cancer genome into domains of repressive chromatin by long-range epigenetic silencing (LRES) reduces transcriptional plasticity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coolen, M.W.; Stirzaker, C.; Song, J.Z.; Statham, A.L.; Kassir, Z.; Moreno, C.S.; Young, A.N.; Varma, V.; Speed, T.P.; Cowley, M.; Lacaze, P.; Kaplan, W.; Robinson, M.D.; Clark, S. J.

    2010-01-01

    Silencing of individual genes can occur by genetic and epigenetic processes during carcinogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. By creating an integrated prostate cancer epigenome map using tiling arrays, we show that contiguous regions of gene suppression commonly occur through lon

  12. Noncoding transcription by alternative RNA polymerases dynamically regulates an auxin-driven chromatin loop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariel, Federico; Jegu, Teddy; Latrasse, David; Romero-Barrios, Natali; Christ, Aurélie; Benhamed, Moussa; Crespi, Martin

    2014-08-07

    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.

  13. Ecological epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  14. Transcriptional networks and chromatin remodeling controlling adipogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siersbæk, Rasmus; Nielsen, Ronni; Mandrup, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. Epigenetics and memigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Jeffrey R

    2014-04-01

    The field of epigenetics is expanding rapidly, yet there is persistent uncertainty in the definition of the term. The word was coined in the mid-twentieth century as a descriptor of how intrinsic, yet largely unknown, forces act with genes to channel progenitor cells along pathways of differentiation. Near the end of the twentieth century, epigenetics was defined more specifically as the study of changes in gene activity states. In some definitions, only those activity states that are inherited across cell division were considered. Other definitions were broader, also including activity states that are transient, or occurring in non-dividing cells. The greatest point of disagreement in these current definitions, is if the term should concern only inherited activity states. To alleviate this disparity, an alternative term, 'memigenetics', could be used in place of epigenetics to describe inherited chromatin activity states. The advantage of this term is that it is self-defining, and would serve to emphasize the important concept of cell memory. It would also free the term epigenetics to be used in a broader sense in accord with the meaning of the prefix 'epi', that is, as a descriptor of what is 'over' DNA at any point in time.

  20. 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.

  1. Chromatin dynamics in plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fransz, P.F.; Jong, de J.H.

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies in yeast, animals and plants have provided major breakthroughs in unraveling the molecular mechanism of higher-order gene regulation. In conjunction with the DNA code, proteins that are involved in chromatin remodeling, histone modification and epigenetic imprinting form a large netwo

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetics and bacterial infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierne, Hélène; Hamon, Mélanie; Cossart, Pascale

    2012-12-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms regulate expression of the genome to generate various cell types during development or orchestrate cellular responses to external stimuli. Recent studies highlight that bacteria can affect the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of host cells by influencing diverse epigenetic factors (i.e., histone modifications, DNA methylation, chromatin-associated complexes, noncoding RNAs, and RNA splicing factors). In this article, we first review the molecular bases of the epigenetic language and then describe the current state of research regarding how bacteria can alter epigenetic marks and machineries. Bacterial-induced epigenetic deregulations may affect host cell function either to promote host defense or to allow pathogen persistence. Thus, pathogenic bacteria can be considered as potential epimutagens able to reshape the epigenome. Their effects might generate specific, long-lasting imprints on host cells, leading to a memory of infection that influences immunity and might be at the origin of unexplained diseases.

  5. 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...

  6. Advances in chromatin remodeling and human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Kyoung Sang; Elizondo, Leah I; Boerkoel, Cornelius F

    2004-06-01

    Epigenetic factors alter phenotype without changing genotype. A primary molecular mechanism underlying epigenetics is the alteration of chromatin structure by covalent DNA modifications, covalent histone modifications, and nucleosome reorganization. Remodeling of chromatin structure regulates DNA methylation, replication, recombination, and repair as well as gene expression. As these functions would predict, dysfunction of the proteins that remodel chromatin causes an array of multi-system disorders and neoplasias. Insights from these diseases suggest that during embryonic and fetal life, environmental distortions of chromatin remodeling encode a 'molecular memory' that predispose the individual to diseases in adulthood.

  7. Chromatin proteins and modifications as drug targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helin, Kristian; Dhanak, Dashyant

    2013-01-01

    A plethora of groundbreaking studies have demonstrated the importance of chromatin-associated proteins and post-translational modifications of histones, proteins and DNA (so-called epigenetic modifications) for transcriptional control and normal development. Disruption of epigenetic control...... is a frequent event in disease, and the first epigenetic-based therapies for cancer treatment have been approved. A generation of new classes of potent and specific inhibitors for several chromatin-associated proteins have shown promise in preclinical trials. Although the biology of epigenetic regulation...

  8. 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...

  9. Chromatin challenges during DNA replication and repair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Inheritance and maintenance of the DNA sequence and its organization into chromatin are central for eukaryotic life. To orchestrate DNA-replication and -repair processes in the context of chromatin is a challenge, both in terms of accessibility and maintenance of chromatin organization. To meet...... the challenge of maintenance, cells have evolved efficient nucleosome-assembly pathways and chromatin-maturation mechanisms that reproduce chromatin organization in the wake of DNA replication and repair. The aim of this Review is to describe how these pathways operate and to highlight how the epigenetic...

  10. 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

  11. 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....

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Chromatin computation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Bryant

    Full Text Available In living cells, DNA is packaged along with protein and RNA into chromatin. Chemical modifications to nucleotides and histone proteins are added, removed and recognized by multi-functional molecular complexes. Here I define a new computational model, in which chromatin modifications are information units that can be written onto a one-dimensional string of nucleosomes, analogous to the symbols written onto cells of a Turing machine tape, and chromatin-modifying complexes are modeled as read-write rules that operate on a finite set of adjacent nucleosomes. I illustrate the use of this "chromatin computer" to solve an instance of the Hamiltonian path problem. I prove that chromatin computers are computationally universal--and therefore more powerful than the logic circuits often used to model transcription factor control of gene expression. Features of biological chromatin provide a rich instruction set for efficient computation of nontrivial algorithms in biological time scales. Modeling chromatin as a computer shifts how we think about chromatin function, suggests new approaches to medical intervention, and lays the groundwork for the engineering of a new class of biological computing machines.

  15. Chromatin remodeling and human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Cheng; Sloan, Emily A; Boerkoel, Cornelius F

    2003-06-01

    In the past few years, there has been a nascent convergence of scientific understanding of inherited human diseases with epigenetics. Identified epigenetic processes involved in human disease include covalent DNA modifications, covalent histone modifications, and histone relocation. Each of these processes influences chromatin structure and thereby regulates gene expression and DNA methylation, replication, recombination, and repair. The importance of these processes for nearly all aspects of normal growth and development is illustrated by the array of multi-system disorders and neoplasias caused by their dysregulation.

  16. Spreading chromatin into chemical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allis, C David; Muir, Tom W

    2011-01-24

    Epigenetics, broadly defined as the inheritance of non-Mendelian phenotypic traits, can be more narrowly defined as heritable alterations in states of gene expression ("on" versus "off") that are not linked to changes in DNA sequence. Moreover, these alterations can persist in the absence of the signals that initiate them, thus suggesting some kind of "memory" to epigenetic forms of regulation. How, for example, during early female mammalian development, is one X chromosome selected to be kept in an active state, while the genetically identical sister X chromosome is "marked" to be inactive, even though they reside in the same nucleus, exposed to the same collection of shared trans-factors? Once X inactivation occurs, how are these contrasting chromatin states maintained and inherited faithfully through subsequent cell divisions? Chromatin states, whether active (euchromatic) or silent (heterochromatic) are established, maintained, and propagated with remarkable precision during normal development and differentiation. However, mistakes made in establishing and maintaining these chromatin states, often executed by a variety of chromatin-remodeling activities, can lead to mis-expression or mis-silencing of critical downstream gene targets with far-reaching implications for human biology and disease, notably cancer. Though chromatin biologists have identified many of the "inputs" that are important for controlling chromatin states, the detailed mechanisms by which these processes work remain largely opaque, in part due to the staggering complexity of the chromatin polymer, the physiologically relevant form of our genome. The primary objective of this article is to serve as a "call to arms" for chemists to contribute to the development of the precision tools needed to answer pressing molecular problems in this rapidly moving field.

  17. The selector gene Pax7 dictates alternate pituitary cell fates through its pioneer action on chromatin remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budry, Lionel; Balsalobre, Aurélio; Gauthier, Yves; Khetchoumian, Konstantin; L'honoré, Aurore; Vallette, Sophie; Brue, Thierry; Figarella-Branger, Dominique; Meij, Björn; Drouin, Jacques

    2012-10-15

    The anterior and intermediate lobes of the pituitary gland derive from the surface ectoderm. They provide a simple system to assess mechanisms of developmental identity established by tissue determinants. Each lobe contains a lineage expressing the hormone precursor pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC): the corticotropes and melanotropes. The T-box transcription factor Tpit controls terminal differentiation of both lineages. We now report on the unique role of Pax7 as a selector of intermediate lobe and melanotrope identity. Inactivation of the Pax7 gene results in loss of melanotrope gene expression and derepression of corticotrope genes. Pax7 acts by remodeling chromatin and allowing Tpit binding to a new subset of enhancers for activation of melanotrope-specific genes. Thus, the selector function of Pax7 is exerted through pioneer transcription factor activity. Genome-wide, the Pax7 pioneer activity is preferentially associated with composite binding sites that include paired and homeodomain motifs. Pax7 expression is conserved in human and dog melanotropes and defines two subtypes of pituitary adenomas causing Cushing's disease. In summary, expression of Pax7 provides a unique tissue identity to the pituitary intermediate lobe that alters Tpit-driven differentiation through pioneer and classical transcription factor activities.

  18. Reshaping chromatin after DNA damage: the choreography of histone proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo, Sophie E

    2015-02-13

    DNA damage signaling and repair machineries operate in a nuclear environment where DNA is wrapped around histone proteins and packaged into chromatin. Understanding how chromatin structure is restored together with the DNA sequence during DNA damage repair has been a topic of intense research. Indeed, chromatin integrity is central to cell functions and identity. However, chromatin shows remarkable plasticity in response to DNA damage. This review presents our current knowledge of chromatin dynamics in the mammalian cell nucleus in response to DNA double strand breaks and UV lesions. I provide an overview of the key players involved in regulating histone dynamics in damaged chromatin regions, focusing on histone chaperones and their concerted action with histone modifiers, chromatin remodelers and repair factors. I also discuss how these dynamics contribute to reshaping chromatin and, by altering the chromatin landscape, may affect the maintenance of epigenetic information.

  19. Epigenetic regulation of skeletal myogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Saccone, Valentina; Puri, Pier Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    During embryogenesis a timely and coordinated expression of different subsets of genes drives the formation of skeletal muscles in response to developmental cues. In this review, we will summarize the most recent advances on the “epigenetic network” that promotes the transcription of selective groups of genes in muscle progenitors, through the concerted action of chromatin-associated complexes that modify histone tails and microRNAs (miRNAs). These epigenetic players cooperate to establish fo...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Santos

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Flow cytometric and laser scanning microscopic approaches in epigenetics research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekvolgyi, Lorant; Imre, Laszlo; Minh, Doan Xuan Quang; Hegedus, Eva; Bacso, Zsolt; Szabo, Gabor

    2009-01-01

    Our understanding of epigenetics has been transformed in recent years by the advance of technological possibilities based primarily on a powerful tool, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). However, in many cases, the detection of epigenetic changes requires methods providing a high-throughput (HTP) platform. Cytometry has opened a novel approach for the quantitative measurement of molecules, including PCR products, anchored to appropriately addressed microbeads (Pataki et al. 2005. Cytometry 68, 45-52). Here we show selected examples for the utility of two different cytometry-based platforms of epigenetic analysis: ChIP-on-beads, a flow-cytometric test of local histone modifications (Szekvolgyi et al. 2006. Cytometry 69, 1086-1091), and the laser scanning cytometry-based measurement of global epigenetic modifications that might help predict clinical behavior in different pathological conditions. We anticipate that such alternative tools may shortly become indispensable in clinical practice, translating the systematic screening of epigenetic tags from basic research into routine diagnostics of HTP demand.

  5. Chromatin Structure and Replication Origins: Determinants Of Chromosome Replication And Nuclear Organization

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Owen K.; Aladjem, Mirit I.

    2014-01-01

    The DNA replication program is, in part, determined by the epigenetic landscape that governs local chromosome architecture and directs chromosome duplication. Replication must coordinate with other biochemical processes occurring concomitantly on chromatin, such as transcription and remodeling, to insure accurate duplication of both genetic and epigenetic features and to preserve genomic stability. The importance of genome architecture and chromatin looping in coordinating cellular processes ...

  6. Chromatin Fiber Dynamics under Tension and Torsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Lavelle

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetic and epigenetic information in eukaryotic cells is carried on chromosomes, basically consisting of large compact supercoiled chromatin fibers. Micromanipulations have recently led to great advances in the knowledge of the complex mechanisms underlying the regulation of DNA transaction events by nucleosome and chromatin structural changes. Indeed, magnetic and optical tweezers have allowed opportunities to handle single nucleosomal particles or nucleosomal arrays and measure their response to forces and torques, mimicking the molecular constraints imposed in vivo by various molecular motors acting on the DNA. These challenging technical approaches provide us with deeper understanding of the way chromatin dynamically packages our genome and participates in the regulation of cellular metabolism.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Epigenetic mechanisms of nutrient-induced modulation of gene expression and cellular functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utilizing next-generation sequencing technology in combination with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technology, our study provides systematic and novel insights into the relationships between nutrition and epigenetics. One paradigmatic example of nutrient-epigenetic-phenotype relationship is th...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Chromatin Memory in the Development of Human Cancers

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Yixin; Des Marais, Thomas L; Costa, Max

    2014-01-01

    Cancer is a complex disease with acquired genomic and epigenomic alterations that affect cell proliferation, viability and invasiveness. Almost all the epigenetic mechanisms including cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation, chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNAs have been found associate with carcinogenesis and cancer specific expression profile. Altered histone modification as an epigenetic hallmark is frequently found in tumors. Understanding the epigenetic alterations induced by car...

  13. 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.

  14. Epigenetics reloaded: the single-cell revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bheda, Poonam; Schneider, Robert

    2014-11-01

    Mechanistically, how epigenetic states are inherited through cellular divisions remains an important open question in the chromatin field and beyond. Defining the heritability of epigenetic states and the underlying chromatin-based mechanisms within a population of cells is complicated due to cell heterogeneity combined with varying levels of stability of these states; thus, efforts must be focused toward single-cell analyses. The approaches presented here constitute the forefront of epigenetics research at the single-cell level using classic and innovative methods to dissect epigenetics mechanisms from the limited material available in a single cell. This review further outlines exciting future avenues of research to address the significance of epigenetic heterogeneity and the contributions of microfluidics technologies to single-cell isolation and analysis.

  15. Proteomics in epigenetics: new perspectives for cancer research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartke, Till; Borgel, Julie; DiMaggio, Peter A

    2013-05-01

    The involvement of epigenetic processes in the origin and progression of cancer is now widely appreciated. Consequently, targeting the enzymatic machinery that controls the epigenetic regulation of the genome has emerged as an attractive new strategy for therapeutic intervention. The development of epigenetic drugs requires a detailed knowledge of the processes that govern chromatin regulation. Over the recent years, mass spectrometry (MS) has become an indispensable tool in epigenetics research. In this review, we will give an overview of the applications of MS-based proteomics in studying various aspects of chromatin biology. We will focus on the use of MS in the discovery and mapping of histone modifications and how novel proteomic approaches are being utilized to identify and study chromatin-associated proteins and multi-subunit complexes. Finally, we will discuss the application of proteomic methods in the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer based on epigenetic biomarkers and comment on their future impact on cancer epigenetics.

  16. Epigenetics, eh! A meeting summary of the Canadian Conference on Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodenhiser, David I; Bérubé, Nathalie G; Mann, Mellissa R W

    2011-10-01

    In May 2011, the Canadian Conference on Epigenetics: Epigenetics Eh! was held in London, Canada. The objectives of this conference were to showcase the breadth of epigenetic research on environment and health across Canada and to provide the catalyst to develop collaborative Canadian epigenetic research opportunities, similar to existing international epigenetic initiatives in the US and Europe. With ten platform sessions and two sessions with over 100 poster presentations, this conference featured cutting-edge epigenetic research, presented by Canadian and international principal investigators and their trainees in the field of epigenetics and chromatin dynamics. An EpigenART competition included ten artists, creating a unique opportunity for artists and scientists to interact and explore their individual interpretations of this scientific discipline. The conference provided a unique venue for a significant cross-section of Canadian epigenetic researchers from diverse disciplines to meet, interact, collaborate and strategize at the national level.

  17. 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.

  18. Sensitive periods in epigenetics: bringing us closer to complex behavioral phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2012-08-01

    Genetic studies have attempted to elucidate causal mechanisms for the development of complex disease, but genome-wide associations have been largely unsuccessful in establishing these links. As an alternative link between genes and disease, recent efforts have focused on mechanisms that alter the function of genes without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Known as epigenetic mechanisms, these include DNA methylation, chromatin conformational changes through histone modifications, ncRNAs and, most recently, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Although DNA methylation is involved in normal development, aging and gene regulation, altered methylation patterns have been associated with disease. It is generally believed that early life constitutes a period during which there is increased sensitivity to the regulatory effects of epigenetic mechanisms. The purpose of this review is to outline the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to genomic function, particularly in the development of complex behavioral phenotypes, focusing on the sensitive periods.

  19. Distinct Cellular Assembly Stoichiometry of Polycomb Complexes on Chromatin Revealed by Single-molecule Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatavosian, Roubina; Zhen, Chao Yu; Duc, Huy Nguyen; Balas, Maggie M; Johnson, Aaron M; Ren, Xiaojun

    2015-11-20

    Epigenetic complexes play an essential role in regulating chromatin structure, but information about their assembly stoichiometry on chromatin within cells is poorly understood. The cellular assembly stoichiometry is critical for appreciating the initiation, propagation, and maintenance of epigenetic inheritance during normal development and in cancer. By combining genetic engineering, chromatin biochemistry, and single-molecule fluorescence imaging, we developed a novel and sensitive approach termed single-molecule chromatin immunoprecipitation imaging (Sm-ChIPi) to enable investigation of the cellular assembly stoichiometry of epigenetic complexes on chromatin. Sm-ChIPi was validated by using chromatin complexes with known stoichiometry. The stoichiometry of subunits within a polycomb complex and the assembly stoichiometry of polycomb complexes on chromatin have been extensively studied but reached divergent views. Moreover, the cellular assembly stoichiometry of polycomb complexes on chromatin remains unexplored. Using Sm-ChIPi, we demonstrated that within mouse embryonic stem cells, one polycomb repressive complex (PRC) 1 associates with multiple nucleosomes, whereas two PRC2s can bind to a single nucleosome. Furthermore, we obtained direct physical evidence that the nucleoplasmic PRC1 is monomeric, whereas PRC2 can dimerize in the nucleoplasm. We showed that ES cell differentiation induces selective alteration of the assembly stoichiometry of Cbx2 on chromatin but not other PRC1 components. We additionally showed that the PRC2-mediated trimethylation of H3K27 is not required for the assembly stoichiometry of PRC1 on chromatin. Thus, these findings uncover that PRC1 and PRC2 employ distinct mechanisms to assemble on chromatin, and the novel Sm-ChIPi technique could provide single-molecule insight into other epigenetic complexes.

  20. Epigenetic Modifications and Plant Hormone Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamuro, Chizuko; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Yang, Zhenbiao

    2016-01-04

    The action of phytohormones in plants requires the spatiotemporal regulation of their accumulation and responses at various levels. Recent studies reveal an emerging relationship between the function of phytohormones and epigenetic modifications. In particular, evidence suggests that auxin biosynthesis, transport, and signal transduction is modulated by microRNAs and epigenetic factors such as histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and DNA methylation. Furthermore, some phytohormones have been shown to affect epigenetic modifications. These findings are shedding light on the mode of action of phytohormones and are opening up a new avenue of research on phytohormones as well as on the mechanisms regulating epigenetic modifications.

  1. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena, E-mail: B.Kaminska@nencki.gov.pl [Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobiology Center, The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur Str., Warsaw 02-093 (Poland)

    2013-09-03

    Epigenetic modifications control gene expression by regulating the access of nuclear proteins to their target DNA and have been implicated in both normal cell differentiation and oncogenic transformation. Epigenetic abnormalities can occur both as a cause and as a consequence of cancer. Oncogenic transformation can deeply alter the epigenetic information enclosed in the pattern of DNA methylation or histone modifications. In addition, in some cancers epigenetic dysfunctions can drive oncogenic transformation. Growing evidence emphasizes the interplay between metabolic disturbances, epigenomic changes and cancer, i.e., mutations in the metabolic enzymes SDH, FH, and IDH may contribute to cancer development. Epigenetic-based mechanisms are reversible and the possibility of “resetting” the abnormal cancer epigenome by applying pharmacological or genetic strategies is an attractive, novel approach. Gliomas are incurable with all current therapeutic approaches and new strategies are urgently needed. Increasing evidence suggests the role of epigenetic events in development and/or progression of gliomas. In this review, we summarize current data on the occurrence and significance of mutations in the epigenetic and metabolic enzymes in pathobiology of gliomas. We discuss emerging therapies targeting specific epigenetic modifications or chromatin modifying enzymes either alone or in combination with other treatment regimens.

  2. Quantification of chromatin condensation level by image processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irianto, Jerome; Lee, David A; Knight, Martin M

    2014-03-01

    The level of chromatin condensation is related to the silencing/activation of chromosomal territories and therefore impacts on gene expression. Chromatin condensation changes during cell cycle, progression and differentiation, and is influenced by various physicochemical and epigenetic factors. This study describes a validated experimental technique to quantify chromatin condensation. A novel image processing procedure is developed using Sobel edge detection to quantify the level of chromatin condensation from nuclei images taken by confocal microscopy. The algorithm was developed in MATLAB and used to quantify different levels of chromatin condensation in chondrocyte nuclei achieved through alteration in osmotic pressure. The resulting chromatin condensation parameter (CCP) is in good agreement with independent multi-observer qualitative visual assessment. This image processing technique thereby provides a validated unbiased parameter for rapid and highly reproducible quantification of the level of chromatin condensation.

  3. 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.

  4. The epigenetic landscape of alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Epigenetic Alterations in Muscular Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Lanzuolo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, acting via chromatin organization, fix in time and space different transcriptional programs and contribute to the quality, stability, and heritability of cell-specific transcription programs. In the last years, great advances have been made in our understanding of mechanisms by which this occurs in normal subjects. However, only a small part of the complete picture has been revealed. Abnormal gene expression patterns are often implicated in the development of different diseases, and thus epigenetic studies from patients promise to fill an important lack of knowledge, deciphering aberrant molecular mechanisms at the basis of pathogenesis and diseases progression. The identification of epigenetic modifications that could be used as targets for therapeutic interventions could be particularly timely in the light of pharmacologically reversion of pathological perturbations, avoiding changes in DNA sequences. Here I discuss the available information on epigenetic mechanisms that, altered in neuromuscular disorders, could contribute to the progression of the disease.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics of asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durham, Andrew L; Wiegman, Coen; Adcock, Ian M

    2011-11-01

    Asthma is caused by both heritable and environmental factors. It has become clear that genetic studies do not adequately explain the heritability and susceptibility to asthma. The study of epigenetics, heritable non-coding changes to DNA may help to explain the heritable component of asthma. Additionally, epigenetic modifications can be influenced by the environment, including pollution and cigarette smoking, which are known asthma risk factors. These environmental trigger-induced epigenetic changes may be involved in skewing the immune system towards a Th2 phenotype following in utero exposure and thereby enhancing the risk of asthma. Alternatively, they may directly or indirectly modulate the immune and inflammatory processes in asthmatics via effects on treatment responsiveness. The study of epigenetics may therefore play an important role in our understanding and possible treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biochemistry of Asthma.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...... framework of chromatin and carry information to specify higher-order organization and gene expression. When replication forks traverse the chromosomes, nucleosomes are transiently disrupted, allowing the replication machinery to gain access to DNA. Histone recycling, together with new deposition, ensures...... reassembly on nascent DNA strands. The aim of this review is to discuss how histones - new and old - are handled at the replication fork, highlighting new mechanistic insights and revisiting old paradigms....

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. Rice epigenomics and epigenetics: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiangsong; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Unlocking the milk protein gene loci during mammary gland development and differentiation; a role for chromatin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammary gland development and differentiation occur mostly postnatally. Chromatin organization plays a key role in transcriptional and epigenetic regulation during development and differentiation. Considerable knowledge of the systemic hormones and local growth factors important for development and ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms in leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidi, Sayyed K; Trombly, Daniel J; Dowdy, Christopher R; Lian, Jane B; Stein, Janet L; van Wijnen, Andre J; Stein, Gary S

    2012-09-01

    Focal organization of regulatory machinery within the interphase nucleus is linked to biological responsiveness and perturbed in cancer. Lineage determinant Runx proteins organize and assemble multi-protein complexes at sites of transcription within the nucleus and regulate both RNA polymerase II- and I-mediated gene expression. In addition, Runx proteins epigenetically control lineage determining transcriptional programs including: 1) architectural organization of macromolecular complexes in interphase, 2) regulation of gene expression through bookmarking during mitosis, and 3) microRNA-mediated translational control in the interphase nucleus. These mechanisms are compromised with the onset and progression of cancer. For example, the oncogenic AML1-ETO protein, which results from a chromosomal translocation between chromosomes 8 and 21, is expressed in nearly 25% of all acute myelogenous leukemias, disrupts Runx1 subnuclear localization during interphase and compromises transcriptional regulation. Epigenetically, the leukemic protein redirects the Runx1 DNA binding domain to leukemia-specific nuclear microenvironments, modifies regulatory protein accessibility to Runx1 target genes by imprinting repressive chromatin marks, and deregulates the microRNA (miR) profile of diseased myeloid cells. Consequently, the entire Runx1-dependent transcriptional program of myeloid cells is deregulated leading to onset and progression of acute myeloid leukemia and maintenance of leukemic phenotype. We discuss the potential of modified epigenetic landscape of leukemic cells as a viable therapeutic target.

  18. PTEN Interacts with Histone H1 and Controls Chromatin Condensation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Hong Chen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Chromatin organization and dynamics are integral to global gene transcription. Histone modification influences chromatin status and gene expression. PTEN plays multiple roles in tumor suppression, development, and metabolism. Here, we report on the interplay of PTEN, histone H1, and chromatin. We show that loss of PTEN leads to dissociation of histone H1 from chromatin and decondensation of chromatin. PTEN deletion also results in elevation of histone H4 acetylation at lysine 16, an epigenetic marker for chromatin activation. We found that PTEN and histone H1 physically interact through their C-terminal domains. Disruption of the PTEN C terminus promotes the chromatin association of MOF acetyltransferase and induces H4K16 acetylation. Hyperacetylation of H4K16 impairs the association of PTEN with histone H1, which constitutes regulatory feedback that may reduce chromatin stability. Our results demonstrate that PTEN controls chromatin condensation, thus influencing gene expression. We propose that PTEN regulates global gene transcription profiling through histones and chromatin remodeling.

  19. PML bodies provide an important platform for the maintenance of telomeric chromatin integrity in embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Fiona T M; McGhie, James D; Chan, F Lyn; Tang, Michelle C; Anderson, Melissa A; Mann, Jeffrey R; Andy Choo, K H; Wong, Lee H

    2013-04-01

    We have previously shown that α-thalassemia mental retardation X-linked (ATRX) and histone H3.3 are key regulators of telomeric chromatin in mouse embryonic stem cells. The function of ATRX and H3.3 in the maintenance of telomere chromatin integrity is further demonstrated by recent studies that show the strong association of ATRX/H3.3 mutations with alternative lengthening of telomeres in telomerase-negative human cancer cells. Here, we demonstrate that ATRX and H3.3 co-localize with the telomeric DNA and associated proteins within the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies in mouse ES cells. The assembly of these telomere-associated PML bodies is most prominent at S phase. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of PML expression induces the disassembly of these nuclear bodies and a telomere dysfunction phenotype in mouse ES cells. Loss of function of PML bodies in mouse ES cells also disrupts binding of ATRX/H3.3 and proper establishment of histone methylation pattern at the telomere. Our study demonstrates that PML bodies act as epigenetic regulators by serving as platforms for the assembly of the telomeric chromatin to ensure a faithful inheritance of epigenetic information at the telomere.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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 higher order organisation of chromatin in genes associated with infertility and pericentromeric regions of chromosomes, particularly 9 and Y, could further identify causes of idiopathic infertility. Determining the association between DNA methylation, chromatin state, and noncoding RNAs...

  3. Behavioral epigenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Lester, Barry M.; Tronick, Edward; Nestler, Eric; Abel, Ted; Kosofsky, Barry; Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Marsit, Carmen J; Maze, Ian; Meaney, Michael J.; Monteggia, Lisa M.; Reul, Johannes M. H. M.; Skuse, David H.; Sweatt, J. David; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2011-01-01

    Sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Boston, “Behavioral Epigenetics” was held on October 29–30, 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus Center, Boston, Massachusetts. This meeting featured speakers and panel discussions exploring the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics, from basic biochemical and cellular mechanisms to the epigenetic modulation of normative development, devel...

  4. 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

  5. Epigenetic inheritance of cell fates during embryonic development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirisha eCheedipudi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available During embryonic development a large number of widely differing and specialized cell types with identical genomes are generated from a single totipotent zygote. Tissue specific transcription factors cooperate with epigenetic modifiers to establish cellular identity in differentiated cells and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of distinct chromatin states and cell-type specific gene expression patterns, a phenomenon referred to as epigenetic memory. This is accomplished via the stable maintenance of various epigenetic marks through successive rounds of cell division. Preservation of DNA methylation patterns is a well established mechanism of epigenetic memory, but more recently it has become clear that many other epigenetic modifications can also be maintained following DNA replication and cell division. In this review, we present an overview of the current knowledge regarding the role of histone lysine methylation in the establishment and maintenance of stable epigenetic states.

  6. Stemming epigenetics in marine stramenopiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

    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 ago (mya), as well as the one of a brown algae that diverged from diatoms ~250 Mya, provide a great system of related, yet diverged set of organisms to compare epigenetic marks and their relationships. For example, putative DNA methyltransferase homologues were found in diatoms while none could be identified in the brown algal genome. On the other hand, no canonical DICER-like protein was found in diatoms in contrast to what is observed in brown algae. A key interest relies in understanding the adaptive nature of epigenetics and its inheritability. In contrast to yeast that lack DNA methylation, homogeneous cultures of diatoms constitute an attractive system to study epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions such as nutrient-rich to nutrient-poor transitions which is especially relevant because of their ecological importance. P. tricornutum is also of outstanding interest because it is observed as three different morphotypes and thus constitutes a simple and promising model for the study of the epigenetic phenomena that accompany cellular differentiation. In this review we focus on the insights obtained from MAS comparative genomics and epigenomic analyses.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Three epigenetic information channels and their different roles in evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shea, N.; Pen, I.; Uller, T.

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing evidence for epigenetically mediated transgenerational inheritance across taxa. However, the evolutionary implications of such alternative mechanisms of inheritance remain unclear. Herein, we show that epigenetic mechanisms can serve two fundamentally different functions in trans

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. NET23/STING promotes chromatin compaction from the nuclear envelope.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poonam Malik

    Full Text Available Changes in the peripheral distribution and amount of condensed chromatin are observed in a number of diseases linked to mutations in the lamin A protein of the nuclear envelope. We postulated that lamin A interactions with nuclear envelope transmembrane proteins (NETs that affect chromatin structure might be altered in these diseases and so screened thirty-one NETs for those that promote chromatin compaction as determined by an increase in the number of chromatin clusters of high pixel intensity. One of these, NET23 (also called STING, MITA, MPYS, ERIS, Tmem173, strongly promoted chromatin compaction. A correlation between chromatin compaction and endogenous levels of NET23/STING was observed for a number of human cell lines, suggesting that NET23/STING may contribute generally to chromatin condensation. NET23/STING has separately been found to be involved in innate immune response signaling. Upon infection cells make a choice to either apoptose or to alter chromatin architecture to support focused expression of interferon genes and other response factors. We postulate that the chromatin compaction induced by NET23/STING may contribute to this choice because the cells expressing NET23/STING eventually apoptose, but the chromatin compaction effect is separate from this as the condensation was still observed when cells were treated with Z-VAD to block apoptosis. NET23/STING-induced compacted chromatin revealed changes in epigenetic marks including changes in histone methylation and acetylation. This indicates a previously uncharacterized nuclear role for NET23/STING potentially in both innate immune signaling and general chromatin architecture.

  13. Epigenetic Regulation of Interleukin 6 by Histone Acetylation in Macrophages and Its Role in Paraquat-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Lingli; Yu, Yanfang; Huang, Huijie; Fan, Hanting; Hu, Li; Yin, Caiyong; Li, Kai; Fulton, David J. R.; Chen, Feng

    2017-01-01

    Overexpression of interleukin 6 (IL-6) has been proposed to contribute to pulmonary fibrosis and other fibrotic diseases. However, the regulatory mechanisms and the role of IL-6 in fibrosis remain poorly understood. Epigenetics refers to alterations of gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence. Alternation of chromatin accessibility by histone acetylation acts as a critical epigenetic mechanism to regulate various gene transcriptions. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of IL-6 in paraquat (PQ)-induced pulmonary fibrosis and to explore whether the epigenetic regulations may play a role in transcriptional regulation of IL-6. In PQ-treated lungs and macrophages, we found that the mRNA and protein expression of IL-6 was robustly increased in a time-dependent and a dose-dependent manner. Our data demonstrated that PQ-induced IL-6 expression in macrophages plays a central role in pulmonary fibrosis through enhanced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). IL-6 expression and its role to enhance PQ-induced pulmonary fibrosis were increased by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition and prevented by histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibition. In addition, the ability of CRISPR-ON transcription activation system (CRISPR-ON) to promote transcription of IL-6 was enhanced by HDAC inhibitor and blocked by HAT inhibitor. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that HDAC inhibitor increased histones activation marks H3K4me3 and H3K9ac at IL-6 promoter regions. In conclusion, IL-6 functioning through EMT in PQ-induced pulmonary fibrosis was regulated dynamically by HDAC and HAT both in vitro and in vivo via epigenetically regulating chromatin accessibility. PMID:28194150

  14. Stress, epigenetics, and alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonat, Sachin; Pandey, Subhash C

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Epigenetics, an emerging discipline with broad implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feil, Robert

    2008-11-01

    The field of epigenetics is young and quickly expanding. During the last year alone, thousands of research articles considered epigenetic mechanisms and their phenotypic consequences in different animal and plant species. Various definitions have been given, though, as to what precisely is epigenetics. Recent ones take into consideration that chromatin at genes and chromosomal regions can be structurally organised by covalent modifications and nuclear proteins, and via RNA molecules, in order to achieve defined expression states that can be perpetuated. Such somatically and meiotically heritable effects on gene function have diverse biological and medical implications. In particular, they are known to be important in development. A recent discussion meeting in Paris at the French Academy of Sciences reviewed our current understanding of 'Epigenetics and Cellular Memory' and where this novel discipline in life sciences is heading.

  16. Direct chromatin PCR (DC-PCR: hypotonic conditions allow differentiation of chromatin states during thermal cycling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Vatolin

    Full Text Available Current methods to study chromatin configuration are not well suited for high throughput drug screening since they require large cell numbers and multiple experimental steps that include centrifugation for isolation of nuclei or DNA. Here we show that site specific chromatin analysis can be achieved in one step by simply performing direct chromatin PCR (DC-PCR on cells. The basic underlying observation was that standard hypotonic PCR buffers prevent global cellular chromatin solubilization during thermal cycling while more loosely organized chromatin can be amplified. Despite repeated heating to >90 °C, 41 of 61 tested 5' sequences of silenced genes (CDKN2A, PU.1, IRF4, FOSB, CD34 were not amplifiable while 47 could be amplified from expressing cells. Two gene regions (IRF4, FOSB even required pre-heating of cells in isotonic media to allow this differentiation; otherwise none of 19 assayed sequences yielded PCR products. Cells with baseline expression or epigenetic reactivation gave similar DC-PCR results. Silencing during differentiation of CD34 positive cord blood cells closed respective chromatin while treatment of myeloma cells with an IRF4 transcriptional inhibitor opened a site to DC-PCR that was occupied by RNA polymerase II and NFκB as determined by ChIP. Translation into real-time PCR can not be achieved with commercial real-time PCR buffers which potently open chromatin, but even with simple ethidium bromide addition to standard PCR mastermix we were able to identify hits in small molecules screens that suppressed IRF4 expression or reactivated CDKN2A in myeloma cells using densitometry or visual inspection of PCR plates under UV light. While need in drug development inspired this work, application to genome-wide analysis appears feasible using phi29 for selective amplification of open cellular chromatin followed by library construction from supernatants since such supernatants yielded similar results as gene specific DC-PCR.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Daphnia as an Emerging Epigenetic Model Organism

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    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 sp...

  20. Organisation of subunits in chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, B G; Baldwin, J P; Bradbury, E M; Ibel, K

    1976-07-01

    There is considerable current interest in the organisation of nucleosomes in chromatin. A strong X-ray and neutron semi-meridional diffraction peak at approximately 10 nm had previously been attributed to the interparticle specing of a linear array of nucleosomes. This diffraction peak could also result from a close packed helical array of nucleosomes. A direct test of these proposals is whether the 10 nm peak is truly meridional as would be expected for a linear array of nucleosomes or is slightly off the meridian as expected for a helical array. Neutron diffraction studies of H1-depleted chromatin support the latter alternative. The 10 nm peak has maxima which form a cross-pattern with semi-meridional angle of 8 to 9 degrees. This is consistent with a coil of nucleosomes of pitch 10 nm and outer diameter of approximately 30 nm. These dimensions correspond to about six nucleosomes per turn of the coli.

  1. 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.

  2. Lifestyle, pregnancy and epigenetic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barua, Subit; Junaid, Mohammed A

    2015-01-01

    Rapidly growing evidences link maternal lifestyle and prenatal factors with serious health consequences and diseases later in life. Extensive epidemiological studies have identified a number of factors such as diet, stress, gestational diabetes, exposure to tobacco and alcohol during gestation as influencing normal fetal development. In light of recent discoveries, epigenetic mechanisms such as alteration of DNA methylation, chromatin modifications and modulation of gene expression during gestation are believed to possibly account for various types of plasticity such as neural tube defects, autism spectrum disorder, congenital heart defects, oral clefts, allergies and cancer. The purpose of this article is to review a number of published studies to fill the gap in our understanding of how maternal lifestyle and intrauterine environment influence molecular modifications in the offspring, with an emphasis on epigenetic alterations. To support these associations, we highlighted laboratory studies of rodents and epidemiological studies of human based on sampling population cohorts.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Epigenetics in Traditional Chinese Pharmacy: A Bioinformatic Study at Pharmacopoeia Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Ying Hsieh

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is a phenomenon of heritable changes in the chromatin structure of a genomic region, resulting in a transcriptional silent or active state of the region over cell mitosis. Mounting evidence has demonstrated phenotypic consequence of alternations in the patterns of DNA methylation and histone modifications, two of the well-studied epigenetic mechanisms. The epigenome thus represents an interesting therapeutic target. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM is a system of therapies that has developed through empiricism for over 2100 years and has remained a popular alternative medicine in some Far East Asian populations. We searched 3294 TCM medicinals (TCMMs containing 48 491 chemicals for chemicals that interact with the epigenetics-related proteins and found that 29.8% of the TCMMs are epigenome- and miRNA-modulating via, mainly, interactions with Polycomb group and methyl CpG-binding proteins. We analyzed 200 government-approved TCM formulas (TCMFs and found that a statistically significant proportion (99% of them are epigenome- and miRNA-interacting. The epigenome and miRNA interactivity of the Monarch medicinals is found to be most prominent. Histone modifications are heavily exploited by the TCMFs, many of which are tonic. Furthermore, epigenetically, the Assistant medicinals least resemble the Monarch. We quantified the role of epigenetics in TCM prescription and found that epigenome- and miRNA-interaction information alone determined, to an extent of 20%, the clinical application areas of the TCMFs. Our results provide (i a further support for the notion of the epigenomes as a drug target and (ii a new set of tools for the design of TCM prescriptions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Chromatin remodeling and cancer, Part I: Covalent histone modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang G; Allis, C David; Chi, Ping

    2007-09-01

    Dynamic chromatin remodeling underlies many, if not all, DNA-templated biological processes, including gene transcription; DNA replication and repair; chromosome condensation; and segregation and apoptosis. Disruption of these processes has been linked to the development and progression of cancer. The mechanisms of dynamic chromatin remodeling include the use of covalent histone modifications, histone variants, ATP-dependent complexes and DNA methylation. Together, these mechanisms impart variation into the chromatin fiber, and this variation gives rise to an 'epigenetic landscape' that extends the biological output of DNA alone. Here, we review recent advances in chromatin remodeling, and pay particular attention to mechanisms that appear to be linked to human cancer. Where possible, we discuss the implications of these advances for disease-management strategies.

  13. 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.

  14. Non-coding RNAs in chromatin disease involving neurological defects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Floriana eDella Ragione

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Novel classes of small and long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs are increasingly becoming apparent, being engaged in diverse structural, functional and regulatory activities. They take part in target gene silencing, play roles in transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic processes, such as chromatin remodeling, nuclear reorganization with the formation of silent compartments and fine-tuning of gene recruitment into them. Among their functions, non-coding RNAs are thought to act either as guide or scaffold for epigenetic modifiers that write, erase and read the epigenetic signature over the genome. Studies on human disorders caused by defects in epigenetic modifiers and involving neurological phenotypes highlight the disruption of diverse classes of non-coding RNAs. Noteworthy, these molecules mediate a wide spectrum of neuronal functions, including brain development, and synaptic plasticity. These findings imply a significant contribution of ncRNAs in pathophysiology of the aforesaid diseases and provide new concepts for potential therapeutic applications.

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetic transitions in germ cell development and meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kota, Satya K; Feil, Robert

    2010-11-16

    Germ cell development is controlled by unique gene expression programs and involves epigenetic reprogramming of histone modifications and DNA methylation. The central event is meiosis, during which homologous chromosomes pair and recombine, processes that involve histone alterations. At unpaired regions, chromatin is repressed by meiotic silencing. After meiosis, male germ cells undergo chromatin remodeling, including histone-to-protamine replacement. Male and female germ cells are also differentially marked by parental imprints, which contribute to sex determination in insects and mediate genomic imprinting in mammals. Here, we review epigenetic transitions during gametogenesis and discuss novel insights from animal and human studies.

  17. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation as an Epigenetic Consequence of Epstein-Barr Virus Infection of Immortalized Keratinocytes

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The oral cavity is a persistent reservoir for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) with lifelong infection of resident epithelial and B cells. Infection of these cell types results in distinct EBV gene expression patterns regulated by epigenetic modifications involving DNA methylation and chromatin structure. Regulation of EBV gene expression relies on viral manipulation of the host epigenetic machinery that may result in long-lasting host epigenetic reprogramming. To identify epigenetic events following...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Given the role that diet and other environmental factors play in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the implication of different epigenetic processes is being investigated. Although it is well known that external factors can cause cell type-dependent epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, and chromatin remodeling, the regulation of these processes, the magnitude of the changes and the cell types in which they occur, the individuals more predisp...

  19. Dynamic epigenetic states of maize centromeres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yalin eLiu

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The centromere is a specialized chromosomal region identified as the major constriction, upon which the kinetochore complex is formed, ensuring accurate chromosome orientation and segregation during cell division. The rapid evolution of centromere DNA sequence and the conserved centromere function are two contradictory aspects of centromere biology. Indeed, the sole presence of genetic sequence is not sufficient for centromere formation. Various dicentric chromosomes with one inactive centromere have been recognized. It has also been found that de novo centromere formation is common on fragments in which centromeric DNA sequences are lost. Epigenetic factors play important roles in centromeric chromatin assembly and maintenance. Nondisjunction of the supernumerary B chromosome early prophase of meiosis I requires an active centromere. This review discusses recent studies in maize about genetic and epigenetic elements regulating formation and maintenance of centromere chromatin, as well as centromere behavior in meiosis.

  20. Persistent Chromatin Modifications Induced by High Fat Diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Amy; Trac, Candi; Du, Juan; Natarajan, Rama; Schones, Dustin E

    2016-05-13

    Obesity is a highly heritable complex disease that results from the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Formerly obese individuals are susceptible to metabolic disorders later in life, even after lifestyle changes are made to mitigate the obese state. This is reminiscent of the metabolic memory phenomenon originally observed for persistent complications in diabetic patients, despite subsequent glycemic control. Epigenetic modifications represent a potential mediator of this observed memory. We previously demonstrated that a high fat diet leads to changes in chromatin accessibility in the mouse liver. The regions of greatest chromatin changes in accessibility are largely strain-dependent, indicating a genetic component in diet-induced chromatin alterations. We have now examined the persistence of diet-induced chromatin accessibility changes upon diet reversal in two strains of mice. We find that a substantial fraction of loci that undergo chromatin accessibility changes with a high fat diet remains in the remodeled state after diet reversal in C57BL/6J mice. In contrast, the vast majority of diet-induced chromatin accessibility changes in A/J mice are transient. Our data also indicate that the persistent chromatin accessibility changes observed in C57BL/6J mice are associated with specific transcription factors and histone post-translational modifications. The persistent loci identified here are likely to be contributing to the overall phenotype and are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underhill, Alan; Hendzel, Michael J

    2011-08-01

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

  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 to co...

  4. Epigenetic modifications and diabetic nephropathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marpadga A. Reddy

    2012-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Insight into Skin Tumorigenesis Highlighting the Function of Epigenetic Regulators in SCC Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    Epigenetic regulation of cellular memory by the polycomb and trithorax group proteins . Annu Rev Genet 2004;38:413-443...lys 27. Genes Dev 2003;17:1823-1828. 9 Francis NJ, Kingston RE, Woodcock CL: Chromatin compaction by a polycomb group protein complex. Science...Highlighting the Function of Epigenetic Regulators in SCC Formation PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jisheng Zhang CONTRACTING

  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. Epigenetics in the development, modification, and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whayne, Thomas F

    2015-04-01

    Epigenetics has major relevance to all disease processes; cardiovascular (CV) disease and its related conditions are no exception. Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable alterations in gene expression, or cellular phenotype, and goes far beyond a pure genetic approach. A more precise definition is that epigenetics represents all the meiotically and mitotically inherited changes in gene expression that are not encoded on the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence itself. Major epigenetic mechanisms are modifications of histone proteins in chromatin and DNA methylation (which does not alter the DNA sequence). There is increasing evidence for the involvement of epigenetics in human disease such as cancer, inflammatory disease and CV disease. Other chronic diseases are also susceptible to epigenetic modification such as metabolic diseases including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus. There is much evidence for the modification of epigenetics by nutrition and exercise. Through these modifications, there is infinite potential for benefit for the fetus, the newborn, and the individual as well as population effects. Association with CV disease, including coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular disease, is evident through epigenetic relationships and modification by major CV risk factors such as tobacco abuse. Aging itself may be altered by epigenetic modification. Knowledge of epigenetics and its relevance to the development, modification, and prevention of CV disease is in a very preliminary stage but has an infinite future.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetics in C. elegans: facts and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenzel, Dirk; Palladino, Francesca; Jedrusik-Bode, Monika

    2011-08-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that are not accompanied by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms include histone post-translational modifications, histone variant incorporation, non-coding RNAs, and nucleosome remodeling and exchange. In addition, the functional compartmentalization of the nucleus also contributes to epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic phenomena and their biological function have relied on various model systems, including yeast, plants, flies, and cultured mammalian cells. Here we will expose the reader to the current understanding of epigenetic regulation in the roundworm C. elegans. We will review recent models of nuclear organization and its impact on gene expression, the biological role of enzymes modifying core histones, and the function of chromatin-associated factors, with special emphasis on Polycomb (PcG) and Trithorax (Trx-G) group proteins. We will discuss how the C. elegans model has provided novel insight into mechanisms of epigenetic regulation as well as suggest directions for future research.

  12. Epigenetic manifestations in diet-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariman, E C M

    2008-01-01

    Epigenetic phenomena are changes in phenotype that are due to resetting of gene expression under the influence of the environment or genetic factors without changing the DNA sequence. Usually this resetting occurs at a certain stage in life and remains fixed thereafter. In humans, evidence for epigenetic involvement in diet-related complex traits and disorders is accumulating. The fetal origins theory indicates that nutrition can influence the later life risk for certain common disorders like the metabolic syndrome. In parent-of-origin effects, the risk for a common disorder like type I diabetes depends on the sex of the parent who transmits genetic risk factors. Interestingly, both dietary and genetic factors can exert their epigenetic influence over several generations. Imprinting, i.e. silencing of one copy of an autosomal pair of genes, can be part of the mechanism pointing to the importance of DNA methylation. In addition, chromatin modifications have been shown to be involved in epigenetic manifestations. The intriguing possibility that diet may influence the direction and extent of epigenetic changes opens new ways for prevention or treatment of common disorders. At the same time, maternal nutrition might be used to actively direct fetal development with consequences for later life performance such as cognitive abilities. More knowledge on those novel applications is needed. This will in part come from novel strategies to map the epigenomic regions, allowing the identification of more genes involved in epigenetics and allowing the study of their response to nutrition.

  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. 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......In dividing cells genome stability and function rely on faithful transmission of both DNA sequence and its organization into chromatin. In the course of DNA replication chromatin undergoes transient genome-wide disruption followed by restoration on new DNA. This involves tight coordination of DNA...... 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...

  15. Regulation of chromatin structure by long noncoding RNAs: focus on natural antisense transcripts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistri, Marco; Faghihi, Mohammad Ali; St Laurent, Georges; Wahlestedt, Claes

    2012-08-01

    In the decade following the publication of the Human Genome, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) have reshaped our understanding of the broad landscape of genome regulation. During this period, natural antisense transcripts (NATs), which are transcribed from the opposite strand of either protein or non-protein coding genes, have vaulted to prominence. Recent findings have shown that NATs can exert their regulatory functions by acting as epigenetic regulators of gene expression and chromatin remodeling. Here, we review recent work on the mechanisms of epigenetic modifications by NATs and their emerging role as master regulators of chromatin states. Unlike other long ncRNAs, antisense RNAs usually regulate their counterpart sense mRNA in cis by bridging epigenetic effectors and regulatory complexes at specific genomic loci. Understanding the broad range of effects of NATs will shed light on the complex mechanisms that regulate chromatin remodeling and gene expression in development and disease.

  16. 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 .....

  17. RNA epigenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Nian; Pan, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian messenger and long non-coding RNA contain tens of thousands of post-transcriptional chemical modifications. Among these, the N6-methyl-adenosine (m6A) modification is the most abundant and can be removed by specific mammalian enzymes. M6A modification is recognized by families of RNA binding proteins that affect many aspects of mRNA function. mRNA/lncRNA modification represents another layer of epigenetic regulation of gene expression, analogous to DNA methylation and histone modifi...

  18. [Progress on epigenetics applications in forensic science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-ran; Wang, Peng-xiang; Fang, Xiang-dong; Yan, Jiang-wei

    2012-10-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Such changes include DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation and non-coding RNA regulation. Recent progresses on epigenetics open new possibilities in tackling these challenging problems in forensic science, including identification of fetal paternity testing in embryonic period, determination of the necessary allele in paternity testing, discrimination of identical twins, origination analysis of micro tissue, verification of forged DNA. This review focuses on epigenetics concept and its latest application in the field of paternity testing, age estimation, discrimination between the twins, identification of tissue of origin, and estimation of postmortem interval.

  19. Chromatin replication and epigenome maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alabert, Constance; Groth, Anja

    2012-01-01

    Stability and function of eukaryotic genomes are closely linked to chromatin structure and organization. During cell division the entire genome must be accurately replicated and the chromatin landscape reproduced on new DNA. Chromatin and nuclear structure influence where and when DNA replication...... initiates, whereas the replication process itself disrupts chromatin and challenges established patterns of genome regulation. Specialized replication-coupled mechanisms assemble new DNA into chromatin, but epigenome maintenance is a continuous process taking place throughout the cell cycle. If DNA...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Advances in epigenetics and epigenomics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2011-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Understanding and Targeting Epigenetic Alterations in Acquired Bone Marrow Failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-01

    chromatin modifying enzymes (Dalgliesh et al., 2010), DNAmethyltransferases ( Ley et al., 2010), and other genes implicated in epigenetic regulation... Boyle , M., Woolcock, B.W., Kuchenbauer, F., et al. (2010). Somatic mutations altering EZH2 (Tyr641) in follicular and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas of

  11. 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.

  12. Chromatin structure and ATRX function in mouse oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Fuente, Rabindranath; Baumann, Claudia; Viveiros, Maria M

    2012-01-01

    Differentiation of chromatin structure and function during oogenesis is essential to confer the mammalian oocyte with meiotic and developmental potential. Errors in chromosome segregation during female meiosis and subsequent transmission of an abnormal chromosome complement (aneuploidy) to the early conceptus are one of the leading causes of pregnancy loss in women. The chromatin remodeling protein ATRX (α-thalassemia mental retardation X-linked) has recently emerged as a critical factor involved in heterochromatin formation at mammalian centromeres during meiosis. In mammalian oocytes, ATRX binds to centromeric heterochromatin domains where it is required for accurate chromosome segregation. Loss of ATRX function induces abnormal meiotic chromosome morphology, reduces histone H3 phosphorylation, and promotes a high incidence of aneuploidy associated with severely reduced fertility. The presence of centromeric breaks during the transition to the first mitosis in the early embryo indicates that the role of ATRX in chromosome segregation is mediated through an epigenetic mechanism involving the maintenance of chromatin modifications associated with pericentric heterochromatin (PCH) formation and chromosome condensation. This is consistent with the existence of a potential molecular link between centromeric and PCH in the epigenetic control of centromere function and maintenance of chromosome stability in mammalian oocytes. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms of ATRX function during meiosis will have important clinical implications towards uncovering the epigenetic factors contributing to the onset of aneuploidy in the human oocyte.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Human sperm chromatin stabilization: a proposed model including zinc bridges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björndahl, Lars; Kvist, Ulrik

    2010-01-01

    The primary focus of this review is to challenge the current concepts on sperm chromatin stability. The observations (i) that zinc depletion at ejaculation allows a rapid and total sperm chromatin decondensation without the addition of exogenous disulfide cleaving agents and (ii) that the human sperm chromatin contains one zinc for every protamine for every turn of the DNA helix suggest an alternative model for sperm chromatin structure may be plausible. An alternative model is therefore proposed, that the human spermatozoon could at ejaculation have a rapidly reversible zinc dependent chromatin stability: Zn(2+) stabilizes the structure and prevents the formation of excess disulfide bridges by a single mechanism, the formation of zinc bridges with protamine thiols of cysteine and potentially imidazole groups of histidine. Extraction of zinc enables two biologically totally different outcomes: immediate decondensation if chromatin fibers are concomitantly induced to repel (e.g. by phosphorylation in the ooplasm); otherwise freed thiols become committed into disulfide bridges creating a superstabilized chromatin. Spermatozoa in the zinc rich prostatic fluid (normally the first expelled ejaculate fraction) represent the physiological situation. Extraction of chromatin zinc can be accomplished by the seminal vesicular fluid. Collection of the ejaculate in one single container causes abnormal contact between spermatozoa and seminal vesicular fluid affecting the sperm chromatin stability. There are men in infertile couples with low content of sperm chromatin zinc due to loss of zinc during ejaculation and liquefaction. Tests for sperm DNA integrity may give false negative results due to decreased access for the assay to the DNA in superstabilized chromatin.

  16. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jasencakova, Zusana; Groth, Anja

    2010-01-01

    Cancer cells accumulate widespread local and global chromatin changes and the source of this instability remains a key question. Here we hypothesize that chromatin alterations including unscheduled silencing can arise as a consequence of perturbed histone dynamics in response to replication stress......-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....

  18. 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.

  19. [Progress of researches on mechanisms of acupuncture therapy underlying improving myocardial ischemia and the future approach for in-depth study on its mechanisms from epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Su-Yun; Lu, Sheng-Feng; Zhu, Bing-Mei

    2014-02-01

    As an important content of alternative and complementary medicine, acupuncture therapy has been proved to be effective in relieving myocardial ischemia (MI). Authors of the present paper review recent progress of researches on acupuncture therapy in resisting MI from 1) improving cardiovascular function and promoting angiogenesis, and 2) protecting myocardial cells from further injury and reducing cellular apoptosis at different pathological stages of MI. Moreover, the authors discuss the characteristics of epigenetic regulation in the process of MI and cardiac repair including the methylating of DNA, modification of histone, remodeling of the chromatin, and micro-RNA expression, mediating cellular apoptosis, regeneration of myocardial blood vessels, etc. The authors hold that future studies on the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture therapy in the prevention and treatment of MI from epigenetics may be a new approach and a new direction.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic control of cancer by neuropeptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galoian, Karina; Patel, Parthik

    2017-01-01

    Neuropeptides act as neurohormones, neurotransmitters and/or neuromodulators. Neuropeptides maintain physiological homeostasis and are paramount in molecular mechanisms of disease progression and regulation, including in cancer. Neuropeptides, by their definition, originate and are secreted from the neuronal cells, they are able to signal to neighboring cells or are released into the blood flow, if they act as neurohormones. The majority of neuropeptides exert their functions through G protein-coupled receptors, with certain exceptions. Although previous studies indicate that neuropeptides function in supporting proliferation of malignant cells in many types of solid tumor, the antitumorigenic action of the neuropeptides and their receptors, for example, in gastric cancers and chondrosarcoma, were also reported. It is known that epigenetically modified chromatin regulates molecular mechanisms involved in gene expression and malignant progression. The epigenetic modifications are genetically heritable, although they do not cause changes in DNA sequence. DNA methylation, histone modifications and miRNA expression are subject to those modifications. While there is substantial data on epigenetic regulation of neuropeptides, the epigenetic control of cancer by neuropeptides is considered to be uncharted territory. The aim of the current review is to describe the involvement of neuropeptides in the epigenetic machinery of cancer based on data obtained from our laboratory and from other authors.

  4. Alterations of Epigenetic Regulators in Pancreatic Cancer and Their Clinical Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany R. Silverman

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human cancer types with a five-year survival less than 7%. Emerging evidence revealed that many genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer target epigenetic regulators. Some of these mutations are driver mutations in cancer development. Several most important mechanisms of epigenetic regulations include DNA methylation, histone modifications (methylation, acetylation, and ubiquitination, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding ribonucleic acids (RNAs. These modifications can alter chromatin structure and promoter accessibility, and thus lead to aberrant gene expression. However, exactly how these alterations affect epigenetic reprogramming in pancreatic cancer cells and in different stages of tumor development is still not clear. This mini-review summarizes the current knowledge of epigenetic alterations in pancreatic cancer development and progression, and discusses the clinical applications of epigenetic regulators as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Inducible mouse models illuminate parameters influencing epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Mimi; Gu, Honggang; Wang, Jingxue; Huang, Haichang; Zhao, Jiugang; Kaundal, Ravinder K; Yu, Ming; Kushwaha, Ritu; Chaiyachati, Barbara H; Deerhake, Elizabeth; Chi, Tian

    2013-02-01

    Environmental factors can stably perturb the epigenome of exposed individuals and even that of their offspring, but the pleiotropic effects of these factors have posed a challenge for understanding the determinants of mitotic or transgenerational inheritance of the epigenetic perturbation. To tackle this problem, we manipulated the epigenetic states of various target genes using a tetracycline-dependent transcription factor. Remarkably, transient manipulation at appropriate times during embryogenesis led to aberrant epigenetic modifications in the ensuing adults regardless of the modification patterns, target gene sequences or locations, and despite lineage-specific epigenetic programming that could reverse the epigenetic perturbation, thus revealing extraordinary malleability of the fetal epigenome, which has implications for 'metastable epialleles'. However, strong transgenerational inheritance of these perturbations was observed only at transgenes integrated at the Col1a1 locus, where both activating and repressive chromatin modifications were heritable for multiple generations; such a locus is unprecedented. Thus, in our inducible animal models, mitotic inheritance of epigenetic perturbation seems critically dependent on the timing of the perturbation, whereas transgenerational inheritance additionally depends on the location of the perturbation. In contrast, other parameters examined, particularly the chromatin modification pattern and DNA sequence, appear irrelevant.

  11. 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.

  12. Environmental epigenetics: a role in endocrine disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleisch, Abby F; Wright, Robert O; Baccarelli, Andrea A

    2012-10-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals that are structurally similar to steroid or amine hormones have the potential to mimic endocrine endpoints at the receptor level. However, more recently, epigenetic-induced alteration in gene expression has emerged as an alternative way in which environmental compounds may exert endocrine effects. We review concepts related to environmental epigenetics and relevance for endocrinology through three broad examples: 1) effect of early-life nutritional exposures on future obesity and insulin resistance, 2) effect of lifetime environmental exposures such as ionizing radiation on endocrine cancer risk, and 3) potential for compounds previously classified as endocrine disrupting to additionally or alternatively exert effects through epigenetic mechanisms. The field of environmental epigenetics is still nascent, and additional studies are needed to confirm and reinforce data derived from animal models and preliminary human studies. Current evidence suggests that environmental exposures may significantly impact expression of endocrine-related genes and thereby affect clinical endocrine outcomes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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,

  15. Environmental Epigenetics: A Role in Endocrine Disease?

    OpenAIRE

    Fleisch, Abby F.; Wright, Robert O.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.

    2012-01-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals that are structurally similar to steroid or amine hormones have the potential to mimic endocrine endpoints at the receptor level. However, more recently, epigenetic-induced alteration in gene expression has emerged as an alternative way in which environmental compounds may exert endocrine effects. We review concepts related to environmental epigenetics and relevance for endocrinology through three broad examples, 1) effect of early-life nutritional exposures on ...

  16. High-resolution, genome-wide mapping of chromatin modifications by GMAT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Tae-Young; Zhao, Keji

    2008-01-01

    One major postgenomic challenge is to characterize the epigenomes that control genome functions. The epigenomes are mainly defined by the specific association of nonhistone proteins with chromatin and the covalent modifications of chromatin, including DNA methylation and posttranslational histone modifications. The in vivo protein-binding and chromatin-modification patterns can be revealed by the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP). By combining the ChIP assays and the serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) protocols, we have developed an unbiased and high-resolution genome-wide mapping technique (GMAT) to determine the genome-wide protein-targeting and chromatin-modification patterns. GMAT has been successfully applied to mapping the target sites of the histone acetyltransferase, Gcn5p, in yeast and to the discovery of the histone acetylation islands as an epigenetic mark for functional regulatory elements in the human genome.

  17. Environmental alterations of epigenetics prior to the birth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Chiao-Ling; Zhou, Feng C

    2014-01-01

    The etiology of many brain diseases remains allusive to date after intensive investigation of genomic background and symptomatology from the day of birth. Emerging evidences indicate that a third factor, epigenetics prior to the birth, can exert profound influence on the development and functioning of the brain and over many neurodevelopmental syndromes. This chapter reviews how aversive environmental exposure to parents might predispose or increase vulnerability of offspring to neurodevelopmental deficit through alteration of epigenetics. These epigenetic altering environmental factors will be discussed in the category of addictive agents, nutrition or diet, prescriptive medicine, environmental pollutant, and stress. Epigenetic alterations induced by these aversive environmental factors cover all aspects of epigenetics including DNA methylation, histone modification, noncoding RNA, and chromatin modification. Next, the mechanisms how these environmental inputs influence epigenetics will be discussed. Finally, how environmentally altered epigenetic marks affect neurodevelopment is exemplified by the alcohol-induced fetal alcohol syndrome. It is hoped that a thorough understanding of the nature of prenatal epigenetic inputs will enable researchers with a clear vision to better unravel neurodevelopmental deficit, late-onset neuropsychiatric diseases, or idiosyncratic mental disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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)

  1. From Waddington's epigenetic landscape to small noncoding RNA: some important milestones in the history of epigenetics research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhuri, Supratim

    2011-05-01

    The term epigenetics was coined in 1942 by C.H. Waddington in the context of studies on development. Since then, the meaning of epigenetics changed over time. In the beginning, epigenetics was viewed as a phenomenon above and beyond genetics. Epigenetic explanations were invoked when genetics could not explain a phenomenon. From the mid-seventies, the state of understanding started changing. Epigenetics has now morphed from a phenomenon to a branch of science whose molecular underpinnings are well understood. The current state of knowledge of epigenetics has evolved as our understanding of DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and noncoding RNA, and their effects on gene expression increased. At this time in the annals of epigentics research, it is appropriate to revisit some of the important discoveries that have helped advance the field to its current state. This is a very brief review of some early discoveries, and by no means is a complete account of the history of epigenetics. In this review, the early history has also been emphasized in order to underscore the transformation of the science of epigenetics from a phenomenon to a modern field of intense research.

  2. Knockdown Brm and Baf170, components of chromatin remodeling complex, facilitates reprogramming of somatic cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    The SWI/SNF (SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable or BAF, Brg/Brahma-associated factors) complexes are epigenetic modifiers of chromatin structure and undergo progressive changes in subunit composition during cellular differentiation. For example, in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) esBAF contains Brg1 and Baf...

  3. Epigenetic Alterations in Parathyroid Cancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdelli, Chiara; Corbetta, Sabrina

    2017-01-01

    Parathyroid cancers (PCas) are rare malignancies representing approximately 0.005% of all cancers. PCas are a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism, which is the third most common endocrine disease, mainly related to parathyroid benign tumors. About 90% of PCas are hormonally active hypersecreting parathormone (PTH); consequently patients present with complications of severe hypercalcemia. Pre-operative diagnosis is often difficult due to clinical features shared with benign parathyroid lesions. Surgery provides the current best chance of cure, though persistent or recurrent disease occurs in about 50% of patients with PCas. Somatic inactivating mutations of CDC73/HRPT2 gene, encoding parafibromin, are the most frequent genetic anomalies occurring in PCas. Recently, the aberrant DNA methylation signature and microRNA expression profile have been identified in PCas, providing evidence that parathyroid malignancies are distinct entities from parathyroid benign lesions, showing an epigenetic signature resembling some embryonic aspects. The present paper reviews data about epigenetic alterations in PCas, up to now limited to DNA methylation, chromatin regulators and microRNA profile. PMID:28157158

  4. Epigenetic: A new approach to etiology of infertility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia W. Lestari

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Infertility is a complex disease which could be caused by male and female factors. The etiology from both factors needs further study. There are some approaches to understanding the etiology of infertility, one of them is epigenetic. Epigenetic modifications consist of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodelling. Male and female germinal cells undergo epigenetic modifications dynamically during differentiation into matured sperm and oocyte cells. In a male, the alteration of DNA methylation in spermatogenesis will cause oligo/asthenozoospermia. In addition, the histone methylation, acetylation, or other histone modification may lead sperm lose its ability to fertilize oocyte. Similarly, in a female, the alteration of DNA methylation and histone modification affects oogenesis, created aneuploidy in fertilized oocytes and resulted in embryonic death in the uterus. Alteration of these epigenetic modification patterns will cause infertility, both in male and female.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Keep-ING balance: tumor suppression by epigenetic regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallen, Gesche; Riabowol, Karl

    2014-08-19

    Cancer cells accumulate genetic and epigenetic changes that alter gene expression to drive tumorigenesis. Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor, cell cycle, differentiation and DNA repair genes contributes to neoplastic transformation. The ING (inhibitor of growth) proteins (ING1-ING5) have emerged as a versatile family of growth regulators, phospholipid effectors, histone mark sensors and core components of HDAC1/2 - and several HAT chromatin-modifying complexes. This review will describe the characteristic pathways by which ING family proteins differentially affect the Hallmarks of Cancer and highlight the various epigenetic mechanisms by which they regulate gene expression. Finally, we will discuss their potentials as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in epigenetic treatment strategies.

  8. Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Quadrana, Leandro; Colot, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Transgenerational epigenetics is defined in opposition to developmental epi-genetics and implies an absence of resetting of epigenetic states between generations. Unlike mammals, plants appear to be particularly prone to this type of inheritance. In this review, we summarize our knowledge about trans-generational epigenetics in plants, which entails heritable changes in DNA methylation. We emphasize the role of transposable elements and other repeat sequences in the cr...

  9. Landscaping plant epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, Peter C; Spillane, Charles

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic Control of Cytomegalovirus Latency and Reactivation

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    Mary Hummel

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Cytomegalovirus (CMV gene expression is repressed in latency due to heterochromatinization of viral genomes. In murine CMV (MCMV latently infected mice, viral genomes are bound to histones with heterochromatic modifications, to enzymes that mediate these modifications, and to adaptor proteins that may recruit co-repressor complexes. Kinetic analyses of repressor binding show that these repressors are recruited at the earliest time of infection, suggesting that latency may be the default state. Kidney transplantation leads to epigenetic reprogramming of latent viral chromatin and reactivation of immediate early gene expression. Inflammatory signaling pathways, which activate transcription factors that regulate the major immediate early promoter (MIEP, likely mediate the switch in viral chromatin.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

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    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

  15. 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).

  16. Epigenetic regulation of caloric restriction in aging

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    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.

  17. Epigenetic Regulation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

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    Qidong eHu

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Recently, there has been tremendous progress in characterizing the transcriptional network regulating hESCs (MacArthur et al., 2009; Loh et al., 2011, including those signaling events mediated by Oct4, Nanog and Sox2. There is growing interest in the epigenetic machinery involved in hESC self-renewal and differentiation. In general, epigenetic regulation includeschromatin reorganization, DNA modification and histone modification, which are not directly related to alterations in DNA sequences. Various protein complexes, includingPolycomb, trithorax, NuRD, SWI/SNF andOct4, have been shown to play critical roles in epigenetic control of hESC maintenance and differentiation. Hence, we will formally review recent advances in unraveling the multifaceted role of epigenetic regulation in hESC self-renewal and induced differentiation, particularly with respect to chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation events. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance/differentiation of hESCs and reprogramming of somatic cells will greatly strengthen our capacity to generate various types of cells to treat human diseases.

  18. Epigenetic Risk Factors in PTSD and Depression

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    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.

  19. 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

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

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    Lorena Perrone

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Retinopathy is a debilitating vascular complication of diabetes. As with other diabetic complications, diabetic retinopathy (DR is characterized by the metabolic memory, which has been observed both in DR patients and in DR animal models. Evidences have provided that after a period of poor glucose control insulin or diabetes drug treatment fails to prevent the development and progression of DR even when good glycemic control is reinstituted (glucose normalization, suggesting a metabolic memory phenomenon. Recent studies also underline the role of epigenetic chromatin modifications as mediators of the metabolic memory. Indeed, epigenetic changes may lead to stable modification of gene expression, participating in DR pathogenesis. Moreover, increasing evidences suggest that environmental factors such as chronic hyperglycemia are implicated DR progression and may also affect the epigenetic state. Here we review recent findings demonstrating the key role of epigenetics in the progression of DR. Further elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms, acting both at the cis- and trans-chromatin structural elements, will yield new insights into the pathogenesis of DR and will open the way for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets to prevent DR progression.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetics: ambiguities and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola; Griffiths, Paul

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Marpadga A; Natarajan, Rama

    2015-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetic Regulation: A New Frontier for Biomedical Engineers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhen; Li, Shuai; Subramaniam, Shankar; Shyy, John Y-J; Chien, Shu

    2017-03-06

    Gene expression in mammalian cells depends on the epigenetic status of the chromatin, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, promoter-enhancer interactions, and noncoding RNA-mediated regulation. The coordinated actions of these multifaceted regulations determine cell development, cell cycle regulation, cell state and fate, and the ultimate responses in health and disease. Therefore, studies of epigenetic modulations are critical for our understanding of gene regulation mechanisms at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ levels. The aim of this review is to provide biomedical engineers with an overview of the principles of epigenetics, methods of study, recent findings in epigenetic regulation in health and disease, and computational and sequencing tools for epigenetics analysis, with an emphasis on the cardiovascular system. This review concludes with the perspectives of the application of bioengineering to advance epigenetics and the utilization of epigenetics to translate bioengineering research into clinical medicine. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering Volume 19 is June 4, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  7. Epigenetics and the environment: emerging patterns and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feil, Robert; Fraga, Mario F

    2012-01-04

    Epigenetic phenomena in animals and plants are mediated by DNA methylation and stable chromatin modifications. There has been considerable interest in whether environmental factors modulate the establishment and maintenance of epigenetic modifications, and could thereby influence gene expression and phenotype. Chemical pollutants, dietary components, temperature changes and other external stresses can indeed have long-lasting effects on development, metabolism and health, sometimes even in subsequent generations. Although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown, particularly in humans, mechanistic insights are emerging from experimental model systems. These have implications for structuring future research and understanding disease and development.

  8. Cas9 Functionally Opens Chromatin.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  10. Single-epitope recognition imaging of native chromatin

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    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.

  11. 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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  14. Large chromatin domains in pluripotent and differentiated cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shibin Hu; Lu Cheng; Bo Wen

    2012-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells are able to proliferate unlimitedly and to generate all somatic cell types,thus holding a great promise in medical applications.Epigenetic modifications are believed to play crucial roles in regulating pluripotency and differentiation.Recent genome-wide studies on mammalian systems have revealed several types of large chromatin domains which are associated with higherorder organization of the genome.The elucidation of genomic distribution and dynamics of these domains have shed light on the mechanisms underling pluripotency and lineage commitment.

  15. 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

  16. Chromatin decondensation is sufficient to alter nuclear organization in embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Therizols, Pierre; Illingworth, Robert S; Courilleau, Celine; Boyle, Shelagh; Wood, Andrew J; Bickmore, Wendy A

    2014-12-05

    During differentiation, thousands of genes are repositioned toward or away from the nuclear envelope. These movements correlate with changes in transcription and replication timing. Using synthetic (TALE) transcription factors, we found that transcriptional activation of endogenous genes by a viral trans-activator is sufficient to induce gene repositioning toward the nuclear interior in embryonic stem cells. However, gene relocation was also induced by recruitment of an acidic peptide that decondenses chromatin without affecting transcription, indicating that nuclear reorganization is driven by chromatin remodeling rather than transcription. We identified an epigenetic inheritance of chromatin decondensation that maintained central nuclear positioning through mitosis even after the TALE transcription factor was lost. Our results also demonstrate that transcriptional activation, but not chromatin decondensation, is sufficient to change replication timing.

  17. Polyamine analogues targeting epigenetic gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yi; Marton, Laurence J; Woster, Patrick M; Casero, Robert A

    2009-11-04

    Over the past three decades the metabolism and functions of the polyamines have been actively pursued as targets for antineoplastic therapy. Interactions between cationic polyamines and negatively charged nucleic acids play a pivotal role in DNA stabilization and RNA processing that may affect gene expression, translation and protein activity. Our growing understanding of the unique roles that the polyamines play in chromatin regulation, and the discovery of novel proteins homologous with specific regulatory enzymes in polyamine metabolism, have led to our interest in exploring chromatin remodelling enzymes as potential therapeutic targets for specific polyamine analogues. One of our initial efforts focused on utilizing the strong affinity that the polyamines have for chromatin to create a backbone structure, which could be combined with active-site-directed inhibitor moieties of HDACs (histone deacetylases). Specific PAHAs (polyaminohydroxamic acids) and PABAs (polyaminobenzamides) polyamine analogues have demonstrated potent inhibition of the HDACs, re-expression of p21 and significant inhibition of tumour growth. A second means of targeting the chromatin-remodelling enzymes with polyamine analogues was facilitated by the recent identification of flavin-dependent LSD1 (lysine-specific demethylase 1). The existence of this enzyme demonstrated that histone lysine methylation is a dynamic process similar to other histone post-translational modifications. LSD1 specifically catalyses demethylation of mono- and di-methyl Lys4 of histone 3, key positive chromatin marks associated with transcriptional activation. Structural and catalytic similarities between LSD1 and polyamine oxidases facilitated the identification of biguanide, bisguanidine and oligoamine polyamine analogues that are potent inhibitors of LSD1. Cellular inhibition of LSD1 by these unique compounds led to the re-activation of multiple epigenetically silenced genes important in tumorigenesis. The use of

  18. CTCF prevents the epigenetic drift of EBV latency promoter Qp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Italo Tempera

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

  19. CTCF prevents the epigenetic drift of EBV latency promoter Qp.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-12

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

  20. Progress in mitochondrial epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manev, Hari; Dzitoyeva, Svetlana

    2013-08-01

    Mitochondria, intracellular organelles with their own genome, have been shown capable of interacting with epigenetic mechanisms in at least four different ways. First, epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the expression of nuclear genome influence mitochondria by modulating the expression of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes. Second, a cell-specific mitochondrial DNA content (copy number) and mitochondrial activity determine the methylation pattern of nuclear genes. Third, mitochondrial DNA variants influence the nuclear gene expression patterns and the nuclear DNA (ncDNA) methylation levels. Fourth and most recent line of evidence indicates that mitochondrial DNA similar to ncDNA also is subject to epigenetic modifications, particularly by the 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine marks. The latter interaction of mitochondria with epigenetics has been termed 'mitochondrial epigenetics'. Here we summarize recent developments in this particular area of epigenetic research. Furthermore, we propose the term 'mitoepigenetics' to include all four above-noted types of interactions between mitochondria and epigenetics, and we suggest a more restricted usage of the term 'mitochondrial epigenetics' for molecular events dealing solely with the intra-mitochondrial epigenetics and the modifications of mitochondrial genome.

  1. Epigenetics and primary care.

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    Wright, Robert; Saul, Robert A

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetics, the study of functionally relevant chemical modifications to DNA that do not involve a change in the DNA nucleotide sequence, is at the interface between research and clinical medicine. Research on epigenetic marks, which regulate gene expression independently of the underlying genetic code, has dramatically changed our understanding of the interplay between genes and the environment. This interplay alters human biology and developmental trajectories, and can lead to programmed human disease years after the environmental exposure. In addition, epigenetic marks are potentially heritable. In this article, we discuss the underlying concepts of epigenetics and address its current and potential applicability for primary care providers.

  2. ChromaSig: a probabilistic approach to finding common chromatin signatures in the human genome.

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    Gary Hon

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Computational methods to identify functional genomic elements using genetic information have been very successful in determining gene structure and in identifying a handful of cis-regulatory elements. But the vast majority of regulatory elements have yet to be discovered, and it has become increasingly apparent that their discovery will not come from using genetic information alone. Recently, high-throughput technologies have enabled the creation of information-rich epigenetic maps, most notably for histone modifications. However, tools that search for functional elements using this epigenetic information have been lacking. Here, we describe an unsupervised learning method called ChromaSig to find, in an unbiased fashion, commonly occurring chromatin signatures in both tiling microarray and sequencing data. Applying this algorithm to nine chromatin marks across a 1% sampling of the human genome in HeLa cells, we recover eight clusters of distinct chromatin signatures, five of which correspond to known patterns associated with transcriptional promoters and enhancers. Interestingly, we observe that the distinct chromatin signatures found at enhancers mark distinct functional classes of enhancers in terms of transcription factor and coactivator binding. In addition, we identify three clusters of novel chromatin signatures that contain evolutionarily conserved sequences and potential cis-regulatory elements. Applying ChromaSig to a panel of 21 chromatin marks mapped genomewide by ChIP-Seq reveals 16 classes of genomic elements marked by distinct chromatin signatures. Interestingly, four classes containing enrichment for repressive histone modifications appear to be locally heterochromatic sites and are enriched in quickly evolving regions of the genome. The utility of this approach in uncovering novel, functionally significant genomic elements will aid future efforts of genome annotation via chromatin modifications.

  3. Epigenetic mechanisms and gastrointestinal development

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    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 ...

  4. Histone deacetylase inhibitors: pharmacotherapeutic implications as epigenetic modifier

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    Pinki Vishwakarma

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications such as acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins play a decisive role in transcriptional alteration and expression of genes. Acetylation is catalysed by the histone acetyl transferases enzymes and activates expression of genes by converting chromatin into a less compact, transcriptionally active state. Histone deacetylases enzymes catalyze deacetylation that condenses chromatin into a closed structure .Consequently transcriptional factors are unable to access DNA and gene expression is suppressed. Balanced activity of HATs and HDACS is essential for normal gene expression. Increased HDAC activity can lead to imbalance in protein acetylation resulting in hypoacetylation, tight chromatin structure and suppression of various genes. This aberrant suppression of genes is the hallmark of several malignant and other diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors (HDACIs have potential to restore the balance of histone acetylation that reverses the silencing of pathological genes. Thus HDACIs modify expression of genes without affecting sequence of DNA and act as epigenetic modifiers. Vorinostat and romidepsin are FDA approved HDACIs. Valproic acid, belinostat and many others are in different phases of clinical trials. This review article explores the target based epigenetic mechanisms as well as existing and potential therapeutic role of HDACIs in various malignant and non-malignant diseases. Data sources were articles published in medical journals and bibliographic database Medline. [Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol 2014; 3(1.000: 27-36

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

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    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.

  6. Genetic and epigenetic control of plant heat responses

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    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Structure of chromatin in spermatozoa.

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    Björndahl, Lars; Kvist, Ulrik

    2014-01-01

    The specialized structure of the sperm chromatin has a dual function - first to protect the DNA from damage during storage and transport to the oocyte, and then to enable a rapid and complete unpacking of the undamaged paternal genome in the ooplasm. It is evident that zinc has a pivotal role in maintaining the structural stability and in enabling a rapid decondensation at the appropriate time. It is important for the sperm chromatin structure that the spermatozoa are ejaculated together with the zinc-rich prostatic secretion. Early exposure to zinc-binding seminal vesicular fluid can deplete the sperm chromatin of zinc and most likely induce surplus formation of disulfide bridges, likely to cause incomplete and delayed decondensation of the sperm chromatin in the oocyte. A premature decrease in sperm chromatin structure stability is likely to increase the risk for damage to the DNA due to increased access to the genome for DNA damaging compounds. The status of the sperm chromatin structure can vary in vitro depending on the exposure to zinc-depleting conditions when spermatozoa are stored in semen after ejaculation. When sperm DNA damage tests are evaluated and validated, it is therefore essential to also take into account the dynamics of zinc-dependent and zinc-independent sperm chromatin stability.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic memory and cell fate reprogramming in plants.

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    Birnbaum, Kenneth D; Roudier, François

    2017-02-01

    Plants have a high intrinsic capacity to regenerate from adult tissues, with the ability to reprogram adult cell fates. In contrast, epigenetic mechanisms have the potential to stabilize cell identity and maintain tissue organization. The question is whether epigenetic memory creates a barrier to reprogramming that needs to be erased or circumvented in plant regeneration. Early evidence suggests that, while chromatin dynamics impact gene expression in the meristem, a lasting constraint on cell fate is not established until late stages of plant cell differentiation. It is not yet clear whether the plasticity of plant cells arises from the ability of cells to erase identity memory or to deploy cells that may exhibit cellular specialization but still lack an epigenetic restriction on cell fate alteration.

  12. Epigenetic effects of green tea polyphenols in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Susanne M; Wang, Piwen; Carpenter, Catherine L; Heber, David

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetics describes heritable alterations of gene expression and chromatin organization without changes in DNA sequence. Both hypermethylation and hypomethylation of DNA can affect gene expression and the multistep process of carcinogenesis. Epigenetic changes are reversible and may be targeted by dietary interventions. Bioactive compounds from green tea (GT) such as (-)-epigallocatechin gallate have been shown to alter DNA methyltransferase activity in studies of esophageal, oral, skin, Tregs, lung, breast and prostate cancer cells, which may contribute to the chemopreventive effect of GT. Three out of four mouse model studies have confirmed the inhibitory effect of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on DNA methylation. A human study demonstrated that decreased methylation of CDX2 and BMP-2 in gastric carcinoma was associated with higher GT consumption. It is the goal of this review to summarize our current knowledge of the potential of GT to alter epigenetic processes, which may be useful in chemoprevention.

  13. 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.

  14. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

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    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Epigenetic regulation in Autism spectrum disorder

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    Sraboni Chaudhury

    2016-12-01

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

  16. Developmental epigenetics of the murine secondary palate.

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Decoding chromatin goes high tech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Dan; Gozani, Or

    2010-09-17

    Identifying proteins that recognize histone methylation is critical for understanding chromatin function. Vermeulen et al. (2010) now describe a cutting-edge strategy to identify and characterize several nuclear proteins and complexes that recognize five major histone trimethyl marks.

  3. The role of epigenetics in age-related macular degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-12-01

    It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: 'ocular epigenetic mechanisms', 'human disease epigenetics', and 'age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was 'epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used the

  4. Correlation analysis of clinical parameters with epigenetic modifications in the DUX4 promoter in FSHD.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balog, J.; Thijssen, P.E.; Greef, J.C. de; Shah, B.; Engelen, B.G.M. van; Yokomori, K.; Tapscott, S.J.; Tawil, R.; Maarel, S.M. van der

    2012-01-01

    The aim of our study was to identify relationships between epigenetic parameters correlating with a relaxed chromatin state of the DUX4 promoter region and clinical severity as measured by a clinical severity score or muscle pathologic changes in D4Z4 contraction-dependent (FSHD1) and -independent (

  5. 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

  6. Age-related memory impairment is associated with disrupted multivariate epigenetic coordination in the hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James F Castellano

    Full Text Available Mounting evidence linking epigenetic regulation to memory-related synaptic plasticity raises the possibility that altered chromatin modification dynamics might contribute to age-dependent cognitive decline. Here we show that the coordinated orchestration of both baseline and experience-dependent epigenetic regulation seen in the young adult hippocampus is lost in association with cognitive aging. Using a well-characterized rat model that reliably distinguishes aged individuals with significant memory impairment from others with normal memory, no single epigenetic mark or experience-dependent modification in the hippocampus uniquely predicted differences in the cognitive outcome of aging. The results instead point to a multivariate pattern in which modification-specific, bidirectional chromatin regulation is dependent on recent behavioral experience, chronological age, cognitive status, and hippocampal region. Whereas many epigenetic signatures were coupled with memory capacity among young adults and aged rats with preserved cognitive function, such associations were absent among aged rats with deficits in hippocampal memory. By comparison with the emphasis in current preclinical translational research on promoting chromatin modifications permissive for gene expression, our findings suggest that optimally successful hippocampal aging may hinge instead on enabling coordinated control across the epigenetic landscape.

  7. Epigenetic alterations and microRNA misexpression in cancer and autoimmune diseases: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Yoshimasa; Saito, Hidetsugu; Liang, Gangning; Friedman, Jeffrey M

    2014-10-01

    Epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation and histone modifications around promoter regions modify chromatin structure and regulate expression of downstream genes. In fact, aberrant epigenetic modifications are common events in human disease including tumorigenesis and autoimmunity. Small non-coding RNAs named microRNAs (miRNAs) are modulators of gene expression and play critical roles in various cellular processes. Several miRNAs have been characterized as tumor suppressors or oncogenes in cancer, and recent reports implicate certain miRNAs in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Epigenetic investigations have shown that distinct miRNAs are directly regulated by DNA methylation and histone modifications at their promoters. Moreover, miRNAs themselves are key participants in regulating the chromatin modifying machinery. Chromatin-modifying drugs such as DNA methylation inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors have shown efficacy in human malignancies and there is some evidence that these drugs may be useful in autoimmune disease. The benefits of these drugs are at least partially mediated by restoring expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes, including miRNAs. The complex layers regulating gene expression have yet to be fully elucidated, but it is clear that epigenetic alterations and miRNA misexpression are essential events in pathologic processes, especially cancer and autoimmune disease, and represent promising therapeutic targets.

  8. Parallel gateways to pluripotency: open chromatin in stem cells and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Fong Ming; Sachs, Michael; Guzman-Ayala, Marcela; Ramalho-Santos, Miguel

    2010-10-01

    Open chromatin is a hallmark of pluripotent stem cells, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are only beginning to be unraveled. In this review we highlight recent studies that employ embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate the regulation of open chromatin and its role in the maintenance and acquisition of pluripotency in vitro. We suggest that findings from in vitro studies using pluripotent stem cells are predictive of in vivo processes of epigenetic regulation of pluripotency, specifically in the development of the zygote and primordial germ cells. The combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches is expected to provide a comprehensive understanding of the epigenetic regulation of pluripotency and reprograming.

  9. Models of epigenetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsing, Anne

    genomic material can show quiet diverse phenotypes characterized by organ speci c gene expression patterns. The mechanisms responsible for this phenotypic plasticity are characterized as epigenetic, as they in ict their e ect \\epi-" (Greek for \\above" or \\on top") of the genetic code. For a gene...... regulatory mechanism to be classi ed as epigenetic, it is required that it is self-sustainable in the sense that the governed gene expression or repression should prevail for the lifetime of the cell and must be inherited by possible daughter cells. An example of epigenetic di erentiation is the bistable...

  10. Ecological Epigenetics: Beyond MS-AFLP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrey, Aaron W; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Kilvitis, Holly J; Lee, Jacob D; Liebl, Andrea L; Martin, Lynn B; Richards, Christina L; Robertson, Marta

    2013-08-01

    Ecological Epigenetics studies the relationship between epigenetic variation and ecologically relevant phenotypic variation. As molecular epigenetic mechanisms often control gene expression, even across generations, they may impact many evolutionary processes. Multiple molecular epigenetic mechanisms exist, but methylation of DNA so far has dominated the Ecological Epigenetic literature. There are several molecular techniques used to screen methylation of DNA; here, we focus on the most common technique, methylation-sensitive-AFLP (MS-AFLP), which is used to identify genome-wide methylation patterns. We review studies that used MS-AFLP to address ecological questions, that describe which taxa have been investigated, and that identify general trends in the field. We then discuss, noting the general themes, four studies across taxa that demonstrate characteristics that increase the inferences that can be made from MS-AFLP data; we suggest that future MS-AFLP studies should incorporate these methods and techniques. We then review the short-comings of MS-AFLP and suggest alternative techniques that might address some of these limitations. Finally, we make specific suggestions for future research on MS-AFLP and identify questions that are most compelling and tractable in the short term.

  11. Epigenetic Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Peedicayil, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that abnormalities in epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Advances in epigenetics have given rise to a new class of drugs, epigenetic drugs. Although many classes of epigenetic drugs are being investigated, at present most attention is being paid to two classes of epigenetic drugs: drugs that inhibit DNA methyltransferase (DNMTi) and drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDACi). This paper discusses ...

  12. In utero exposure and breast cancer development: an epigenetic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jacob; Hodsdon, Wendy

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitous and detrimental disease of breast cancer requires continual research into new and alternative forms of treatment and prevention. The emerging field of epigenetics is beginning to unfold an array of contemporary approaches to reduce the risk and improve the clinical approach to breast cancer. The information contained in this non-systematic review highlights and expands on the estrogen-based model of breast cancer epigenetics to provide an overview of epigenetic alterations induced by nutrition and environmental exposure. The majority of evidence suggests that various sources of excess estrogen correlate to future breast cancer development. In addition, maternal macro- and micronutrient balance appear to play a role in genomic regulation, and preliminary data suggest that specific superfoods, such as blueberries, have a protective epigenetic effect. Identifying the influence of environmental toxicants, hormonal exposure, maternal nutrition, and maternal disease on fetal epigenetics may have potential for development of new therapeutic approaches for the prevention of breast cancer.

  13. Chromatin immunoprecipitation in microfluidic droplets: towards fast and cheap analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teste, Bruno; Champ, Jerome; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Descroix, Stéphanie; Malaquin, Laurent; Viovy, Jean-Louis; Draskovic, Irena; Mottet, Guillaume

    2017-01-31

    Genetic organization is governed by the interaction of DNA with histone proteins, and differential modifications of these proteins is a fundamental mechanism of gene regulation. Histone modifications are primarily studied through chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays, however conventional ChIP procedures are time consuming, laborious and require a large number of cells. Here we report for the first time the development of ChIP in droplets based on a microfluidic platform combining nanoliter droplets, magnetic beads (MB) and magnetic tweezers (MT). The droplet approach enabled compartmentalization and improved mixing, while reducing the consumption of samples and reagents in an integrated workflow. Anti-histone antibodies grafted to MB were used as a solid support to capture and transfer the target chromatin from droplets to droplets in order to perform chromatin immunoprecipitation, washing, elution and purification of DNA. We designed a new ChIP protocol to investigate four different types of modified histones with known roles in gene activation or repression. We evaluated the performances of this new ChIP in droplet assay in comparison with conventional methods. The proposed technology dramatically reduces analytical time from a few days to 7 hours, simplifies the ChIP protocol and decreases the number of cells required by 100 fold while maintaining a high degree of sensitivity and specificity. Therefore this droplet-based ChIP assay represents a new, highly advantageous and convenient approach to epigenetic analyses.

  14. Long-term effects of chromatin remodeling and DNA damage in stem cells induced by environmental and dietary agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bariar, Bhawana; Vestal, C Greer; Richardson, Christine

    2013-01-01

    The presence of histones acts as a barrier to protein access; thus chromatin remodeling must occur for essential processes such as transcription and replication. In conjunction with histone modifications, DNA methylation plays critical roles in gene silencing through chromatin remodeling. Chromatin remodeling is also interconnected with the DNA damage response, maintenance of stem cell properties, and cell differentiation programs. Chromatin modifications have increasingly been shown to produce long-lasting alterations in chromatin structure and transcription. Recent studies have shown environmental exposures in utero have the potential to alter normal developmental signaling networks, physiologic responses, and disease susceptibility later in life during a process known as developmental reprogramming. In this review we discuss the long-term impact of exposure to environmental compounds, the chromatin modifications that they induce, and the differentiation and developmental programs of multiple stem and progenitor cell types altered by exposure. The main focus is to highlight agents present in the human lifestyle that have the potential to promote epigenetic changes that impact developmental programs of specific cell types, may promote tumorigenesis through altering epigenetic marks, and may be transgenerational, for example, those able to be transmitted through multiple cell divisions.

  15. 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.

  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.

  17. Epigenetics of Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra, Marta I.; Fernández, Agustín F.; Fraga, Mario F.

    2015-01-01

    The best-known phenomenon exemplifying epigenetic drift (the alteration of epigenetic patterns during aging) is the gradual decrease of global DNA methylation. Aging cells, different tissue types, as well as a variety of human diseases possess their own distinct DNA methylation profiles, although the functional impact of these is not always clear. DNA methylation appears to be a dynamic tool of transcriptional regulation, with an extra layer of complexity due to the recent discovery of the conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. This age-related DNA demethylation is associated with changes in histone modification patterns and, furthermore, we now know that ncRNAs have evolved in eukaryotes as epigenetic regulators of gene expression. In this review, we will discuss current knowledge on how all these epigenetic phenomena are implicated in human aging, and their links with external, internal and stochastic factors which can affect human age-related diseases onset. PMID:27019618

  18. Epigenetics and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Epigenetics: SUPERMAN dresses up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachner, Monika

    2002-06-25

    DNA and histone methylation have been implicated in epigenetic gene regulation. Recent studies in Neurospora and now Arabidopsis indicate that histone methylation can direct DNA methylation, suggesting that these two methylation systems have been functionally linked during evolution.

  20. Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    showed altered expression in normal lung from F3 mice. Thus, traces of the effects of a single dose of radiation during development persist into...radiation showed a loss of global cytosine methylation in DNA from thymus , implicating profound epigenetic dysregulation (Tawa et al., 1998; Pogribny...for the carcinogenic and transgenerational effects of radiation. It is also anticipated that these epigenetic signatures will be developed as

  1. Is there an epigenetic component underlying the resistance of triple-negative breast cancers to PARP inhibitors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda eLovato

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Poly(ADP-ribosepolymerase (Parp is an enzyme responsible for catalyzing post-translational modifications through the addition of poly(ADP-ribose chains (known as PARylation. Modification by PARylation modulates numerous cellular processes including transcription, chromatin remodeling, apoptosis and DNA damage repair. In particular, the role of Parp activation in response to DNA damage has been intensely studied. Tumors bearing mutations of the breast cancer susceptibility genes, Brca1/2, are prone to DNA breakages whose restoration into functional double-strand DNA is Parp dependent. This concept has been exploited therapeutically in Brca mutated breast and ovarian tumors, where acute sensitivity to Parp inhibitors is observed. Based on in vitro and clinical studies it remains unclear to what extent Parp inhibitors can be utilized beyond treating Brca mutated tumors. This review will focus on the often overlooked roles of PARylation in chromatin remodeling, epigenetics and transcription to explain why some cancers may be unresponsive to Parp inhibition. We predict that understanding the impact of PARylation on gene expression will lead to alternative approaches to manipulate the Parp pathway for therapeutic benefit.

  2. Physical exercise and epigenetic adaptations of the cardiovascular system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, P; Bloch, W

    2015-05-01

    During the last decade, epigenetics became one of the fastest growing research fields in numerous clinical and basic science disciplines. Evidence suggests that chromatin modifications (e.g., histone modifications and DNA methylation) as well as the expression of micro-RNA molecules play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular diseases. On the one hand, they are involved in the development of general risk factors like chronic inflammation, but on the other hand, epigenetic modifications are conducive to smooth muscle cell, cardiomyocyte, and endothelial progenitor cell proliferation/differentiation as well as to extracellular matrix processing and endothelial function (e.g., endothelial nitric oxide synthase regulation). Therefore, epigenetic medical drugs have gained increased attention and provided the first promising results in the context of cardiovascular malignancies. Beside other lifestyle factors, physical activity and sports essentially contribute to cardiovascular health and regeneration. In this review we focus on recent research proposing physical activity as a potent epigenetic regulator that has the potential to counteract pathophysiological alterations in almost all the aforementioned cardiovascular cells and tissues. As with epigenetic medical drugs, more knowledge about the molecular mechanisms and dose-response relationships of exercise is needed to optimize the outcome of preventive and rehabilitative exercise programs and recommendations.

  3. Epigenetics: deciphering its role in diabetes and its chronic complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villeneuve, Louisa M; Reddy, Marpadga A; Natarajan, Rama

    2011-07-01

    1. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors might regulate the complex interplay between genes and the environment, and affect human diseases, such as diabetes and its complications. 2. Clinical trials have underscored the long lasting beneficial effects of strict glycaemic control for reducing the progression of diabetic complications. They have also shown that diabetic complications, such as diabetic nephropathy, a chronic kidney disorder, can continue even after blood glucose normalization, suggesting a metabolic memory of the prior glycaemic state. 3. Dysregulation of epigenetic post-transcriptional modifications of histones in chromatin, including histone lysine methylation, has been implicated in aberrant gene regulation associated with the pathology of diabetes and its complications. Genome-wide studies have shown cell-type specific changes in histone methylation patterns under diabetic conditions. In addition, studies in vascular cells have shown long lasting changes in epigenetic modifications at key inflammatory gene promoters after prior exposure to diabetic conditions, suggesting a possible mechanism for metabolic memory. 4. Recent studies have shown roles for histone methylation, DNA methylation, as well as microRNA in diabetic nephropathy. Whether these epigenetic factors play a role in metabolic memory of diabetic kidney disease is less well understood. 5. The incidence of diabetes is growing rapidly, as also the cost of treating the resulting complications. A better understanding of metabolic memory and the potential involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in this phenomenon could enable the development of new therapeutic targets for the treatment and/or prevention of sustained diabetic complications.

  4. HEMD: an integrated tool of human epigenetic enzymes and chemical modulators for therapeutics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhimin Huang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Epigenetic mechanisms mainly include DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histones, chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNAs. All of these processes are mediated and controlled by enzymes. Abnormalities of the enzymes are involved in a variety of complex human diseases. Recently, potent natural or synthetic chemicals are utilized to establish the quantitative contributions of epigenetic regulation through the enzymes and provide novel insight for developing new therapeutics. However, the development of more specific and effective epigenetic therapeutics requires a more complete understanding of the chemical epigenomic landscape. DESCRIPTION: Here, we present a human epigenetic enzyme and modulator database (HEMD, the database which provides a central resource for the display, search, and analysis of the structure, function, and related annotation for human epigenetic enzymes and chemical modulators focused on epigenetic therapeutics. Currently, HEMD contains 269 epigenetic enzymes and 4377 modulators in three categories (activators, inhibitors, and regulators. Enzymes are annotated with detailed description of epigenetic mechanisms, catalytic processes, and related diseases, and chemical modulators with binding sites, pharmacological effect, and therapeutic uses. Integrating the information of epigenetic enzymes in HEMD should allow for the prediction of conserved features for proteins and could potentially classify them as ideal targets for experimental validation. In addition, modulators curated in HEMD can be used to investigate potent epigenetic targets for the query compound and also help chemists to implement structural modifications for the design of novel epigenetic drugs. CONCLUSIONS: HEMD could be a platform and a starting point for biologists and medicinal chemists for furthering research on epigenetic therapeutics. HEMD is freely available at http://mdl.shsmu.edu.cn/HEMD/.

  5. Epigenetic epidemiology of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Timothy M; Michels, Karin B

    2014-12-05

    Epigenetic epidemiology includes the study of variation in epigenetic traits and the risk of disease in populations. Its application to the field of cancer has provided insight into how lifestyle and environmental factors influence the epigenome and how epigenetic events may be involved in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, it has the potential to bring benefit to patients through the identification of diagnostic markers that enable the early detection of disease and prognostic markers that can inform upon appropriate treatment strategies. However, there are a number of challenges associated with the conduct of such studies, and with the identification of biomarkers that can be applied to the clinical setting. In this review, we delineate the challenges faced in the design of epigenetic epidemiology studies in cancer, including the suitability of blood as a surrogate tissue and the capture of genome-wide DNA methylation. We describe how epigenetic epidemiology has brought insight into risk factors associated with lung, breast, colorectal and bladder cancer and review relevant research. We discuss recent findings on the identification of epigenetic diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for these cancers.

  6. Chromatin analysis of occluded genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jae Hyun; Gaetz, Jedidiah; Bugarija, Branimir; Fernandes, Croydon J.; Snyder, Gregory E.; Bush, Eliot C.; Lahn, Bruce T.

    2009-01-01

    We recently described two opposing states of transcriptional competency. One is termed ‘competent’ whereby a gene is capable of responding to trans-acting transcription factors of the cell, such that it is active if appropriate transcriptional activators are present, though it can also be silent if activators are absent or repressors are present. The other is termed ‘occluded’ whereby a gene is silenced by cis-acting, chromatin-based mechanisms in a manner that blocks it from responding to trans-acting factors, such that it is silent even when activators are present in the cellular milieu. We proposed that gene occlusion is a mechanism by which differentiated cells stably maintain their phenotypic identities. Here, we describe chromatin analysis of occluded genes. We found that DNA methylation plays a causal role in maintaining occlusion for a subset of occluded genes. We further examined a variety of other chromatin marks typically associated with transcriptional silencing, including histone variants, covalent histone modifications and chromatin-associated proteins. Surprisingly, we found that although many of these marks are robustly linked to silent genes (which include both occluded genes and genes that are competent but silent), none is linked specifically to occluded genes. Although the observation does not rule out a possible causal role of these chromatin marks in occlusion, it does suggest that these marks might be secondary effect rather than primary cause of the silent state in many genes. PMID:19380460

  7. 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.

  8. Pancreatic Cancer, A Mis-interpreter of the Epigenetic Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iguchi, Eriko; Safgren, Stephanie L; Marks, David L; Olson, Rachel L; Fernandez-Zapico, Martin E

    2016-12-01

    Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the U.S. with close to 40,000 deaths per year. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) represents approximately 90 percent of all pancreatic cancer cases and is the most lethal form of the disease. Current therapies for PDAC are ineffective and most patients cannot be treated by surgical resection. Most research efforts have primarily focused on how genetic alterations cause, alter progression, contribute to diagnosis, and influence PDAC management. Over the past two decades, a model has been advanced of PDAC initiation and progression as a multi-step process driven by the acquisition of mutations leading to loss of tumor suppressors and activation of oncogenes. The recognition of the essential roles of these genetic alterations in the development of PDAC has revolutionized our knowledge of this disease. However, none of these findings have turned into effective treatment for this dismal malignancy. In recent years, studies in the areas of chromatin modifications, and non-coding RNAs have uncovered mechanisms for regulating gene expression which occur independently of genetic alterations. Chromatin-based mechanisms are interwoven with microRNA-driven regulation of protein translation to create an integrated epigenetic language, which is grossly dysregulated in PDAC. Thus in PDAC, key tumor suppressors that are well established to play a role in PDAC may be repressed, and oncogenes can be upregulated secondary to epigenetic alterations. Unlike mutations, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible. Given this feature of epigenetic mechanisms, it is conceivable that targeting epigenetic-based events promoting and maintaining PDAC could serve as foundation for the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for this disease.

  9. Perspectives on the interactions between metabolism, redox, and epigenetics in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yuan; Issakidis-Bourguet, Emmanuelle; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2016-10-01

    Epigenetic modifications of chromatin usually involve consumption of key metabolites and redox-active molecules. Primary metabolic flux and cellular redox states control the activity of enzymes involved in chromatin modifications, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and histone methylation, which in turn regulate gene expression and/or enzymatic activity of specific metabolic and redox pathways. Thus, coordination of metabolism and epigenetic regulation of gene expression is critical to control growth and development in response to the cellular environment. Much has been learned from animal and yeast cells with regard to the interplay between metabolism and epigenetic regulation, and now the metabolic control of epigenetic pathways in plants is an increasing area of study. Epigenetic mechanisms are largely similar between plant and mammalian cells, but plants display very important differences in both metabolism and metabolic/redox signaling pathways. In this review, we summarize recent developments in the field and discuss perspectives of studying interactions between plant epigenetic and metabolism/redox systems, which are essential for plant adaptation to environmental conditions.

  10. 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...

  11. Chromatin Remodeling and Plant Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, W; Zhu, Q; Liu, Y; Zhang, Q

    2017-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling, an important facet of the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes, is performed by two major types of multisubunit complexes, covalent histone- or DNA-modifying complexes, and ATP-dependent chromosome remodeling complexes. Snf2 family DNA-dependent ATPases constitute the catalytic subunits of ATP-dependent chromosome remodeling complexes, which accounts for energy supply during chromatin remodeling. Increasing evidence indicates a critical role of chromatin remodeling in the establishment of long-lasting, even transgenerational immune memory in plants, which is supported by the findings that DNA methylation, histone deacetylation, and histone methylation can prime the promoters of immune-related genes required for disease defense. So what are the links between Snf2-mediated ATP-dependent chromosome remodeling and plant immunity, and what mechanisms might support its involvement in disease resistance?

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Reshaping the transcriptional frontier: epigenetics and somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Charles R; Westhusin, Mark E; Golding, Michael C

    2014-02-01

    Somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) experiments have paved the way to the field of cellular reprogramming. The demonstrated ability to clone over 20 different species to date has proven that the technology is robust but very inefficient, and is prone to developmental anomalies. Yet, the offspring from cloned animals exhibit none of the abnormalities of their parents, suggesting the low efficiency and high developmental mortality are epigenetic in origin. The epigenetic barriers to reprogramming somatic cells into a totipotent embryo capable of developing into a viable offspring are significant and varied. Despite their intimate relationship, chromatin structure and transcription are often not uniformly reprogramed after nuclear transfer, and many cloned embryos develop gene expression profiles that are hybrids between the donor cell and an embryonic blastomere. Recent advances in cellular reprogramming suggest that alteration of donor-cell chromatin structure towards that found in an normal embryo is actually the rate-limiting step in successful development of SCNT embryos. Here we review the literature relevant to the transformation of a somatic-cell nucleus into an embryo capable of full-term development. Interestingly, while resetting somatic transcription and associated epigenetic marks are absolutely required for development of SCNT embryos, life does not demand perfection.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quadrana, Leandro; Colot, Vincent

    2016-11-23

    Transgenerational epigenetics is defined in opposition to developmental epigenetics and implies an absence of resetting of epigenetic states between generations. Unlike mammals, plants appear to be particularly prone to this type of inheritance. In this review, we summarize our knowledge about transgenerational epigenetics in plants, which entails heritable changes in DNA methylation. We emphasize the role of transposable elements and other repeat sequences in the creation of epimutable alleles. We also argue that because reprogramming of DNA methylation across generations seems limited in plants, the inheritance of DNA methylation defects results from the failure to reinforce rather than reset this modification during sexual reproduction. We compare genome-wide assessments of heritable DNA methylation variation and its phenotypic impact in natural populations to those made using near-isogenic populations derived from crosses between parents with experimentally induced DNA methylation differences. Finally, we question the role of the environment in inducing transgenerational epigenetic variation and briefly present theoretical models under which epimutability is expected to be selected for.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Locus-specific epigenetic remodeling controls addiction- and depression-related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Elizabeth A; Cates, Hannah M; Peña, Catherine J; Sun, Haosheng; Shao, Ningyi; Feng, Jian; Golden, Sam A; Herman, James P; Walsh, Jessica J; Mazei-Robison, Michelle; Ferguson, Deveroux; Knight, Scott; Gerber, Mark A; Nievera, Christian; Han, Ming-Hu; Russo, Scott J; Tamminga, Carol S; Neve, Rachael L; Shen, Li; Zhang, H Steve; Zhang, Feng; Nestler, Eric J

    2014-12-01

    Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse or stress regulates transcription factors, chromatin-modifying enzymes and histone post-translational modifications in discrete brain regions. Given the promiscuity of the enzymes involved, it has not yet been possible to obtain direct causal evidence to implicate the regulation of transcription and consequent behavioral plasticity by chromatin remodeling that occurs at a single gene. We investigated the mechanism linking chromatin dynamics to neurobiological phenomena by applying engineered transcription factors to selectively modify chromatin at a specific mouse gene in vivo. We found that histone methylation or acetylation at the Fosb locus in nucleus accumbens, a brain reward region, was sufficient to control drug- and stress-evoked transcriptional and behavioral responses via interactions with the endogenous transcriptional machinery. This approach allowed us to relate the epigenetic landscape at a given gene directly to regulation of its expression and to its subsequent effects on reward behavior.

  3. 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....

  4. Biophysical studies of cholesterol effects on chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Isabel T G; Fernandes, Vinicius; Souza, Caio; Treptow, Werner; Santos, Guilherme Martins

    2017-03-22

    Changes in chromatin structure regulate gene expression and genome maintenance. Molecules that bind to the nucleosome, the complex of DNA and histone proteins, are key modulators of chromatin structure. Previous work indicated that cholesterol, a ubiquitous cellular lipid, may bind to chromatin in vivo, suggesting a potential function for lipids in modulating chromatin architecture. However, the molecular mechanisms of cholesterol action on chromatin structure have remained unclear. Here, we explored the biophysical impact of cholesterol on nucleosome and chromatin fibers reconstituted in vitro and characterized in silico the cholesterol binding to nucleosome. Our findings support that cholesterol assists 10nm and 30nm chromatin formation and induces folding of long chromatin fibers as a result of direct interaction of the cholesterol to six nucleosomal binding sites.

  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. 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.

  7. Epigenetics-beyond the genome in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkman, Bela G; Sakharkar, Amul J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2012-01-01

    Genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of alcoholism. Whole-genome expression profiling has highlighted the importance of several genes that may contribute to alcohol abuse disorders. In addition, more recent findings have added yet another layer of complexity to the overall molecular mechanisms involved in a predisposition to alcoholism and addiction by demonstrating that processes related to genetic factors that do not manifest as DNA sequence changes (i.e., epigenetic processes) play a role. Both acute and chronic ethanol exposure can alter gene expression levels in specific neuronal circuits that govern the behavioral consequences related to tolerance and dependence. The unremitting cycle of alcohol consumption often includes satiation and self-medication with alcohol, followed by excruciating withdrawal symptoms and the resultant relapse, which reflects both the positive and negative affective states of alcohol addiction. Recent studies have indicated that behavioral changes induced by acute and chronic ethanol exposure may involve chromatin remodeling resulting from covalent histone modifications and DNA methylation in the neuronal circuits involving a brain region called the amygdala. These findings have helped identify enzymes involved in epigenetic mechanisms, such as the histone deacetylase, histone acetyltransferase, and DNA methyltransferase enzymes, as novel therapeutic targets for the development of future pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcoholism.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. The Mechanisms Underlying Chronic Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis from the Perspective of the Epigenetic Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuto Araki

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Rheumatoid arthritis (RA is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that is characterized by synovial hyperplasia and progressive joint destruction. The activation of RA synovial fibroblasts (SFs, also called fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS, contributes significantly to perpetuation of the disease. Genetic and environmental factors have been reported to be involved in the etiology of RA but are insufficient to explain it. In recent years, accumulating results have shown the potential role of epigenetic mechanisms, including histone modifications, DNA methylation, and microRNAs, in the development of RA. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate chromatin state and gene transcription without any change in DNA sequence, resulting in the alteration of phenotypes in several cell types, especially RASFs. Epigenetic changes possibly provide RASFs with an activated phenotype. In this paper, we review the roles of epigenetic mechanisms relevant for the progression of RA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Matthew S; Marsden, Philip A

    2015-11-01

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

  12. The Chd Family of Chromatin Remodelers

    OpenAIRE

    Marfella, Concetta G.A.; Imbalzano, Anthony N.

    2007-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling enzymes contribute to the dynamic changes that occur in chromatin structure during cellular processes such as transcription, recombination, repair, and replication. Members of the chromodomain helicase DNA-binding (Chd) family of enzymes belong to the SNF2 superfamily of ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers. The Chd proteins are distinguished by the presence of two N-terminal chromodomains that function as interaction surfaces for a variety of chromatin components. Genetic,...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetics in Stroke Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassis, Haifa; Shehadah, Amjad; Chopp, Michael; Zhang, Zheng Gang

    2017-01-01

    Abstract: While the death rate from stroke has continually decreased due to interventions in the hyperacute stage of the disease, long-term disability and institutionalization have become common sequelae in the aftermath of stroke. Therefore, identification of new molecular pathways that could be targeted to improve neurological recovery among survivors of stroke is crucial. Epigenetic mechanisms such as post-translational modifications of histone proteins and microRNAs have recently emerged as key regulators of the enhanced plasticity observed during repair processes after stroke. In this review, we highlight the recent advancements in the evolving field of epigenetics in stroke recovery. PMID:28264471

  17. Impact of chromatin structure on PR signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grøntved, Lars; Hager, Gordon L

    2012-01-01

    The progesterone receptor (PR) interacts with chromatin in a highly dynamic manner that requires ongoing chromatin remodeling, interaction with chaparones and activity of the proteasome. Here we discuss dynamic interaction of steroid receptor with chromatin, with special attention not only to PR...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Crop epigenetics and the molecular hardware of genotype × environment interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Graham J

    2015-01-01

    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. Compartmentalization 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 behavior 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 to be 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 localized ionic homeostasis plays an important role in maintaining chromatin conformation, whilst maintaining complex genomic regulation that involves 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 internal

  4. 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

  5. Genetic modifiers of chromatin acetylation antagonize the reprogramming of epi-polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Anne-Laure; Nagarajan, Muniyandi; Veyrieras, Jean-Baptiste; Bottin, Hélène; Steinmetz, Lars M; Yvert, Gaël

    2012-09-01

    Natural populations are known to differ not only in DNA but also in their chromatin-associated epigenetic marks. When such inter-individual epigenomic differences (or "epi-polymorphisms") are observed, their stability is usually not known: they may or may not be reprogrammed over time or upon environmental changes. In addition, their origin may be purely epigenetic, or they may result from regulatory variation encoded in the DNA. Studying epi-polymorphisms requires, therefore, an assessment of their nature and stability. Here we estimate the stability of yeast epi-polymorphisms of chromatin acetylation, and we provide a genome-by-epigenome map of their genetic control. A transient epi-drug treatment was able to reprogram acetylation variation at more than one thousand nucleosomes, whereas a similar amount of variation persisted, distinguishing "labile" from "persistent" epi-polymorphisms. Hundreds of genetic loci underlied acetylation variation at 2,418 nucleosomes either locally (in cis) or distantly (in trans), and this genetic control overlapped only partially with the genetic control of gene expression. Trans-acting regulators were not necessarily associated with genes coding for chromatin modifying enzymes. Strikingly, "labile" and "persistent" epi-polymorphisms were associated with poor and strong genetic control, respectively, showing that genetic modifiers contribute to persistence. These results estimate the amount of natural epigenomic variation that can be lost after transient environmental exposures, and they reveal the complex genetic architecture of the DNA-encoded determinism of chromatin epi-polymorphisms. Our observations provide a basis for the development of population epigenetics.

  6. Genetic modifiers of chromatin acetylation antagonize the reprogramming of epi-polymorphisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Abraham

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Natural populations are known to differ not only in DNA but also in their chromatin-associated epigenetic marks. When such inter-individual epigenomic differences (or "epi-polymorphisms" are observed, their stability is usually not known: they may or may not be reprogrammed over time or upon environmental changes. In addition, their origin may be purely epigenetic, or they may result from regulatory variation encoded in the DNA. Studying epi-polymorphisms requires, therefore, an assessment of their nature and stability. Here we estimate the stability of yeast epi-polymorphisms of chromatin acetylation, and we provide a genome-by-epigenome map of their genetic control. A transient epi-drug treatment was able to reprogram acetylation variation at more than one thousand nucleosomes, whereas a similar amount of variation persisted, distinguishing "labile" from "persistent" epi-polymorphisms. Hundreds of genetic loci underlied acetylation variation at 2,418 nucleosomes either locally (in cis or distantly (in trans, and this genetic control overlapped only partially with the genetic control of gene expression. Trans-acting regulators were not necessarily associated with genes coding for chromatin modifying enzymes. Strikingly, "labile" and "persistent" epi-polymorphisms were associated with poor and strong genetic control, respectively, showing that genetic modifiers contribute to persistence. These results estimate the amount of natural epigenomic variation that can be lost after transient environmental exposures, and they reveal the complex genetic architecture of the DNA-encoded determinism of chromatin epi-polymorphisms. Our observations provide a basis for the development of population epigenetics.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Benedikt M

    2010-02-01

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

  9. Why clone flies? Using cloned Drosophila to monitor epigenetic defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Andrew J; Lloyd, Vett K

    2007-01-01

    Since the birth of the first cloned sheep in 1996, advances in nuclear transplantation have led to both the creation of genetically tailored stem cells and the generation of a number of cloned organisms. The list of cloned animals reared to adulthood currently includes the frog, sheep, mouse, cow, goat, pig, rabbit, cat, zebrafish, mule, horse, rat and dog. The addition of Drosophila to this elite bestiary of cloned animals has prompted the question - why clone flies? Organisms generated by nuclear transplantation suffer from a high rate of associated defects, and many of these defects appear to be related to aberrant genomic imprinting. Imprinted gene expression also appears to be compromised in Drosophila clones. Proper imprinted gene regulation relies on a suite of highly conserved chromatin-modifying genes first identified in Drosophila. Thus, Drosophila can potentially be used to study epigenetic dysfunction in cloned animals and to screen for genetic and epigenetic conditions that promote the production of healthy clones.

  10. 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.

  11. Sex differences in brain epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menger, Yannick; Bettscheider, Marc; Murgatroyd, Chris; Spengler, Dietmar

    2010-12-01

    Sexual differentiation of the brain takes place during a perinatal-sensitive time window as a result of gonadal hormone-induced activational and organizational effects on neuronal substrates. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the establishment and maintenance of some aspects of these processes, and that these epigenetic mechanisms may themselves be under the control of sex hormones. Epigenetic programming of neuroendocrine and behavioral phenotypes frequently occurs sex specifically, pointing to sex differences in brain epigenetics as a possible determinant. Understanding how sex-specific epigenomes and sex-biased responses to environmental cues contribute to the development of brain diseases might provide new insights for epigenetic therapy.

  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 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetic Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peedicayil, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that abnormalities in epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Advances in epigenetics have given rise to a new class of drugs, epigenetic drugs. Although many classes of epigenetic drugs are being investigated, at present most attention is being paid to two classes of epigenetic drugs: drugs that inhibit DNA methyltransferase (DNMTi) and drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDACi). This paper discusses the potential use of epigenetic drugs in the treatment of MS, focusing on DNMTi and HDACi. Preclinical drug trials of DNMTi and HDACi for the treatment of MS are showing promising results. Epigenetic drugs could improve the clinical management of patients with MS.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Fractal dimension of chromatin is an independent prognostic factor for survival in melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Landman Gilles

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prognostic factors in malignant melanoma are currently based on clinical data and morphologic examination. Other prognostic features, however, which are not yet used in daily practice, might add important information and thus improve prognosis, treatment, and survival. Therefore a search for new markers is desirable. Previous studies have demonstrated that fractal characteristics of nuclear chromatin are of prognostic importance in neoplasias. We have therefore investigated whether the fractal dimension of nuclear chromatin measured in routine histological preparations of malignant melanomas could be a prognostic factor for survival. Methods We examined 71 primary superficial spreading cutaneous melanoma specimens (thickness ≥ 1 mm from patients with a minimum follow up of 5 years. Nuclear area, form factor and fractal dimension of chromatin texture were obtained from digitalized images of hematoxylin-eosin stained tissue micro array sections. Clark's level, tumor thickness and mitotic rate were also determined. Results The median follow-up was 104 months. Tumor thickness, Clark's level, mitotic rate, nuclear area and fractal dimension were significant risk factors in univariate Cox regressions. In the multivariate Cox regression, stratified for the presence or absence of metastases at diagnosis, only the Clark level and fractal dimension of the nuclear chromatin were included as independent prognostic factors in the final regression model. Conclusion In general, a more aggressive behaviour is usually found in genetically unstable neoplasias with a higher number of genetic or epigenetic changes, which on the other hand, provoke a more complex chromatin rearrangement. The increased nuclear fractal dimension found in the more aggressive melanomas is the mathematical equivalent of a higher complexity of the chromatin architecture. So, there is strong evidence that the fractal dimension of the nuclear chromatin texture is a new

  2. 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.

  3. The Influence of Interspecies Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer on Epigenetic Enzymes Transcription in Early Embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morovic, Martin; Murin, Matej; Strejcek, Frantisek;

    2016-01-01

    One of the main reason for the incorrect development of embryos derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer is caused by insufficient demethylation of injected somatic chromatin to a state comparable with an early embryonic nucleus. It is already known that the epigenetic enzymes transcription....... In spite of the detection of ooplasmic DNA methyltransferases, the somatic genes for DNMT1 and DNMT3a enzymes were not expressed and the development of intergeneric embryos stopped at the 4-cell stage. Our results indicate that the epigenetic reprogramming during early mammalian development is strongly...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Discussing epigenetics in Southern California: a report from the International Symposium on Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity, UCI, December 15-16, 2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattner, Barbara P

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Role of ATRX in chromatin structure and function: implications for chromosome instability and human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Fuente, Rabindranath; Baumann, Claudia; Viveiros, Maria M

    2011-08-01

    Functional differentiation of chromatin structure is essential for the control of gene expression, nuclear architecture, and chromosome stability. Compelling evidence indicates that alterations in chromatin remodeling proteins play an important role in the pathogenesis of human disease. Among these, α-thalassemia mental retardation X-linked protein (ATRX) has recently emerged as a critical factor involved in heterochromatin formation at mammalian centromeres and telomeres as well as facultative heterochromatin on the murine inactive X chromosome. Mutations in human ATRX result in an X-linked neurodevelopmental condition with various degrees of gonadal dysgenesis (ATRX syndrome). Patients with ATRX syndrome may exhibit skewed X chromosome inactivation (XCI) patterns, and ATRX-deficient mice exhibit abnormal imprinted XCI in the trophoblast cell line. Non-random or skewed XCI can potentially affect both the onset and severity of X-linked disease. Notably, failure to establish epigenetic modifications associated with the inactive X chromosome (Xi) results in several conditions that exhibit genomic and chromosome instability such as fragile X syndrome as well as cancer development. Insight into the molecular mechanisms of ATRX function and its interacting partners in different tissues will no doubt contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of ATRX syndrome as well as the epigenetic origins of aneuploidy. In turn, this knowledge will be essential for the identification of novel drug targets and diagnostic tools for cancer progression as well as the therapeutic management of global epigenetic changes commonly associated with malignant neoplastic transformation.

  8. 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

  9. Epigenetics and Epilepsy

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Seizures can give rise to enduring changes that reflect alterations in gene expression patterns, intra and inter cellular 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, REST (repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor), has received a lot of attention due to...

  10. Sex, epilepsy, and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-12-01

    Epilepsy refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that are associated with a wide range of pathogenic mechanisms, seizure manifestations, comorbidity profiles, and therapeutic responses. These characteristics are all influenced quite significantly by sex. As with other conditions exhibiting such patterns, sex differences in epilepsy are thought to arise-at the most fundamental level-from the "organizational" and "activational" effects of sex hormones as well as from the direct actions of the sex chromosomes. However, our understanding of the specific molecular, cellular, and network level processes responsible for mediating sex differences in epilepsy remains limited. Because increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are involved both in epilepsy and in brain sexual dimorphism, we make the case here that analyzing epigenetic regulation will provide novel insights into the basis for sex differences in epilepsy.

  11. 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.

  12. Understanding the genetic and epigenetic architecture in complex network of rice flowering pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Changhui; Chen, Dan; Fang, Jun; Wang, Pingrong; Deng, Xiaojian; Chu, Chengcai

    2014-12-01

    Although the molecular basis of flowering time control is well dissected in the long day (LD) plant Arabidopsis, it is still largely unknown in the short day (SD) plant rice. Rice flowering time (heading date) is an important agronomic trait for season adaption and grain yield, which is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. During the last decade, as the nature of florigen was identified, notable progress has been made on exploration how florigen gene expression is genetically controlled. In Arabidopsis expression of certain key flowering integrators such as FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) are also epigenetically regulated by various chromatin modifications, however, very little is known in rice on this aspect until very recently. This review summarized the advances of both genetic networks and chromatin modifications in rice flowering time control, attempting to give a complete view of the genetic and epigenetic architecture in complex network of rice flowering pathways.

  13. The epigenetics of autoimmunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meda, Francesca; Folci, Marco; Baccarelli, Andrea; Selmi, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    The etiology of autoimmune diseases remains largely unknown. Concordance rates in monozygotic twins are lower than 50% while genome-wide association studies propose numerous significant associations representing only a minority of patients. These lines of evidence strongly support other complementary mechanisms involved in the regulation of genes expression ultimately causing overt autoimmunity. Alterations in the post-translational modification of histones and DNA methylation are the two major epigenetic mechanisms that may potentially cause a breakdown of immune tolerance and the perpetuation of autoimmune diseases. In recent years, several studies both in clinical settings and experimental models proposed that the epigenome may hold the key to a better understanding of autoimmunity initiation and perpetuation. More specifically, data support the impact of epigenetic changes in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, in some cases based on mechanistical observations. We herein discuss what we currently know and what we expect will come in the next future. Ultimately, epigenetic treatments already being used in oncology may soon prove beneficial also in autoimmune diseases. PMID:21278766

  14. Efficient cell migration requires global chromatin condensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlitz, Gabi; Bustin, Michael

    2010-07-01

    Cell migration is a fundamental process that is necessary for the development and survival of multicellular organisms. Here, we show that cell migration is contingent on global condensation of the chromatin fiber. Induction of directed cell migration by the scratch-wound assay leads to decreased DNaseI sensitivity, alterations in the chromatin binding of architectural proteins and elevated levels of H4K20me1, H3K27me3 and methylated DNA. All these global changes are indicative of increased chromatin condensation in response to induction of directed cell migration. Conversely, chromatin decondensation inhibited the rate of cell migration, in a transcription-independent manner. We suggest that global chromatin condensation facilitates nuclear movement and reshaping, which are important for cell migration. Our results support a role for the chromatin fiber that is distinct from its known functions in genetic processes.

  15. The Interplay of Chromatin Landscape and DNA-Binding Context Suggests Distinct Modes of EIN3 Regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemlyanskaya, Elena V.; Levitsky, Victor G.; Oshchepkov, Dmitry Y.; Grosse, Ivo; Mironova, Victoria V.

    2017-01-01

    The plant hormone ethylene regulates numerous developmental processes and stress responses. Ethylene signaling proceeds via a linear pathway, which activates transcription factor (TF) EIN3, a primary transcriptional regulator of ethylene response. EIN3 influences gene expression upon binding to a specific sequence in gene promoters. This interaction, however, might be considerably affected by additional co-factors. In this work, we perform whole genome bioinformatics study to identify the impact of epigenetic factors in EIN3 functioning. The analysis of publicly available ChIP-Seq data on EIN3 binding in Arabidopsis thaliana showed bimodality of distribution of EIN3 binding regions (EBRs) in gene promoters. Besides a sharp peak in close proximity to transcription start site, which is a common binding region for a wide variety of TFs, we found an additional extended peak in the distal promoter region. We characterized all EBRs with respect to the epigenetic status appealing to previously published genome-wide map of nine chromatin states in A. thaliana. We found that the implicit distal peak was associated with a specific chromatin state (referred to as chromatin state 4 in the primary source), which was just poorly represented in the pronounced proximal peak. Intriguingly, EBRs corresponding to this chromatin state 4 were significantly associated with ethylene response, unlike the others representing the overwhelming majority of EBRs related to the explicit proximal peak. Moreover, we found that specific EIN3 binding sequences predicted with previously described model were enriched in the EBRs mapped to the chromatin state 4, but not to the rest ones. These results allow us to conclude that the interplay of genetic and epigenetic factors might cause the distinct modes of EIN3 regulation. PMID:28119721

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. An epigenetic regulator emerges as microtubule minus-end binding and stabilizing factor in mitosis

    OpenAIRE

    Meunier, Sylvain; Shvedunova, Maria; Van Nguyen, Nhuong; Ávila, Leonor; Vernos, Isabelle; Akhtar, Asifa

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary conserved NSL complex is a prominent epigenetic regulator controlling expression of thousands of genes. Here we uncover a novel function of the NSL complex members in mitosis. As the cell enters mitosis, KANSL1 and KANSL3 undergo a marked relocalisation from the chromatin to the mitotic spindle. By stabilizing microtubule minus ends in a RanGTP-dependent manner, they are essential for spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. Moreover, we identify KANSL3 as a microtubule m...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulos, Rasha E.; Julienne, Hanna; Baker, Antoine; Chen, Chun-Long; Petryk, Nataliya; Kahli, Malik; dʼAubenton-Carafa, Yves; Goldar, Arach; Jensen, Pablo; Hyrien, Olivier; Thermes, Claude; Arneodo, Alain; Audit, Benjamin

    2014-11-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Chromatin remodeling in cardiovascular development and physiology

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Pei; Hang, Calvin T.; Yang, Jin; Chang, Ching-Pin

    2011-01-01

    Chromatin regulation provides an important means of controlling cardiac gene expression under different physiological and pathological conditions. Processes that direct the development of normal embryonic hearts and pathology of stressed adult hearts may share general mechanisms that govern cardiac gene expression by chromatin-regulating factors. These common mechanisms may provide a framework for us to investigate the interactions among diverse chromatin remodelers/modifiers and various tran...

  2. Epigenetic Signals on Plant Adaptation: A Biotic Stress Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neto, José Ribamar Costa Ferreira; da Silva, Manassés Daniel; Pandolfi, Valesca; Crovella, Sérgio; Benko-Iseppon, Ana Maria; Kido, Ederson Akio

    2016-07-24

    For sessile organisms such as plants, regulatory mechanisms of gene expression are vital, since they remain exposed to climatic and biological threats. Thus, they have to face hazards with instantaneous reorganization of their internal environment. For this purpose, besides the use of transcription factors, the participation of chromatin as an active factor in the regulation of transcription is crucial. Chemical changes in chromatin structure affect the accessibility of the transcriptional machinery and acting in signaling, engaging/inhibiting factors that participate in the transcription processes. Mechanisms in which gene expression undergoes changes without the occurrence of DNA gene mutations in the monomers that make up DNA, are understood as epigenetic phenomena. These include (1) post-translational modifications of histones, which results in stimulation or repression of gene activity and (2) cytosine methylation in the promoter region of individual genes, both preventing access of transcriptional activators as well as signaling the recruitment of repressors. There is evidence that such modifications can pass on to subsequent generations of daughter cells and even generations of individuals. However, reports indicate that they persist only in the presence of a stressor factor (or an inductor of the above-mentioned modifications). In its absence, these modifications weaken or lose heritability, being eliminated in the next few generations. In this review, it is argued how epigenetic signals influence gene regulation, the mechanisms involved and their participation in processes of resistance to biotic stresses, controlling processes of the plant immune system.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Role of ND10 nuclear bodies in the chromatin repression of HSV-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Haidong; Zheng, Yi

    2016-04-05

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a neurotropic virus that establishes lifelong latent infection in human ganglion sensory neurons. This unique life cycle necessitates an intimate relation between the host defenses and virus counteractions over the long course of infection. Two important aspects of host anti-viral defense, nuclear substructure restriction and epigenetic chromatin regulation, have been intensively studied in the recent years. Upon viral DNA entering the nucleus, components of discrete nuclear bodies termed nuclear domain 10 (ND10), converge at viral DNA and place restrictions on viral gene expression. Meanwhile the infected cell mobilizes its histones and histone-associated repressors to force the viral DNA into nucleosome-like structures and also represses viral transcription. Both anti-viral strategies are negated by various HSV countermeasures. One HSV gene transactivator, infected cell protein 0 (ICP0), is a key player in antagonizing both the ND10 restriction and chromatin repression. On one hand, ICP0 uses its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity to target major ND10 components for proteasome-dependent degradation and thereafter disrupts the ND10 nuclear bodies. On the other hand, ICP0 participates in de-repressing the HSV chromatin by changing histone composition or modification and therefore activates viral transcription. Involvement of a single viral protein in two seemingly different pathways suggests that there is coordination in host anti-viral defense mechanisms and also cooperation in viral counteraction strategies. In this review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the role of chromatin regulation and ND10 dynamics in both lytic and latent HSV infection. We focus on the new observations showing that ND10 nuclear bodies play a critical role in cellular chromatin regulation. We intend to find the connections between the two major anti-viral defense pathways, chromatin remodeling and ND10 structure, in order to achieve a better

  7. Nascent chromatin capture proteomics determines chromatin dynamics during DNA replication and identifies unknown fork components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alabert, Constance; Bukowski-Wills, Jimi-Carlo; Lee, Sung-Po

    2014-01-01

    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 durin...

  8. 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

  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. LncRNA HOTAIR: a master regulator of chromatin dynamics and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhan, Arunoday; Mandal, Subhrangsu S.

    2015-01-01

    Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are emerging classes of regulatory RNA that play key roles in various cellular and physiological processes such as in gene regulation, chromatin dynamics, cell differentiation, development etc. NcRNAs are dysregulated in a variety of human disorders including cancers, neurological disorders, and immunological disorders. The mechanisms through which ncRNAs regulate various biological processes and human diseases still remain elusive. HOX antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) is a recently discovered long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that plays critical role in gene regulation and chromatin dynamics, appears to be misregulated in a variety of cancers. HOTAIR interacts with key epigenetic regulators such as histone methyltransferase PRC2 and histone demethylase LSD1 and regulates gene silencing. Here, we have reviewed recent advancements in understanding the functions and regulation of HOTAIR and its association with cancer and other diseases. PMID:26208723

  11. Interindividual variability in stress susceptibility: A role for epigenetic mechanisms in PTSD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iva eZovkic

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD is a psychiatric condition characterized by intrusive and persistent memories of a psychologically traumatic event that leads to significant functional and social impairment in affected individuals. The molecular bases underlying persistent outcomes of a transient traumatic event have remained elusive for many years, but recent studies in rodents have implicated epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure and DNA methylation as fundamental mechanisms for the induction and stabilization of fear memory. In addition to mediating adaptations to traumatic events that ultimately cause PTSD, epigenetic mechanisms are also involved in establishing individual differences in PTSD risk and resilience by mediating long-lasting effects of genes and early environment on adult function and behavior. In this review, we discuss the current evidence for epigenetic regulation of PTSD in human studies and in animal models and comment on ways in which these models can be expanded. In addition, we identify key outstanding questions in the study of epigenetic mechanisms of PTSD in the context of rapidly evolving technologies that are constantly updating and adjusting our understanding of epigenetic modifications and their functional roles. Finally, we discuss the potential application of epigenetic approaches in identifying markers of risk and resilience that can be utilized to promote early intervention and develop therapeutic strategies to combat PTSD after symptom onset.

  12. Interindividual Variability in Stress Susceptibility: A Role for Epigenetic Mechanisms in PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zovkic, Iva B; Meadows, Jarrod P; Kaas, Garrett A; Sweatt, J David

    2013-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by intrusive and persistent memories of a psychologically traumatic event that leads to significant functional and social impairment in affected individuals. The molecular bases underlying persistent outcomes of a transient traumatic event have remained elusive for many years, but recent studies in rodents have implicated epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure and DNA methylation as fundamental mechanisms for the induction and stabilization of fear memory. In addition to mediating adaptations to traumatic events that ultimately cause PTSD, epigenetic mechanisms are also involved in establishing individual differences in PTSD risk and resilience by mediating long-lasting effects of genes and early environment on adult function and behavior. In this review, we discuss the current evidence for epigenetic regulation of PTSD in human studies and in animal models and comment on ways in which these models can be expanded. In addition, we identify key outstanding questions in the study of epigenetic mechanisms of PTSD in the context of rapidly evolving technologies that are constantly updating and adjusting our understanding of epigenetic modifications and their functional roles. Finally, we discuss the potential application of epigenetic approaches in identifying markers of risk and resilience that can be utilized to promote early intervention and develop therapeutic strategies to combat PTSD after symptom onset.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Julio D

    2013-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Estrogen induces global reorganization of chromatin structure in human breast cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphaël Mourad

    Full Text Available In the cell nucleus, each chromosome is confined to a chromosome territory. This spatial organization of chromosomes plays a crucial role in gene regulation and genome stability. An additional level of organization has been discovered at the chromosome scale: the spatial segregation into open and closed chromatins to form two genome-wide compartments. Although considerable progress has been made in our knowledge of chromatin organization, a fundamental issue remains the understanding of its dynamics, especially in cancer. To address this issue, we performed genome-wide mapping of chromatin interactions (Hi-C over the time after estrogen stimulation of breast cancer cells. To biologically interpret these interactions, we integrated with estrogen receptor α (ERα binding events, gene expression and epigenetic marks. We show that gene-rich chromosomes as well as areas of open and highly transcribed chromatins are rearranged to greater spatial proximity, thus enabling genes to share transcriptional machinery and regulatory elements. At a smaller scale, differentially interacting loci are enriched for cancer proliferation and estrogen-related genes. Moreover, these loci are correlated with higher ERα binding events and gene expression. Taken together these results reveal the role of a hormone--estrogen--on genome organization, and its effect on gene regulation in cancer.

  17. Estrogen induces global reorganization of chromatin structure in human breast cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourad, Raphaël; Hsu, Pei-Yin; Juan, Liran; Shen, Changyu; Koneru, Prasad; Lin, Hai; Liu, Yunlong; Nephew, Kenneth; Huang, Tim H; Li, Lang

    2014-01-01

    In the cell nucleus, each chromosome is confined to a chromosome territory. This spatial organization of chromosomes plays a crucial role in gene regulation and genome stability. An additional level of organization has been discovered at the chromosome scale: the spatial segregation into open and closed chromatins to form two genome-wide compartments. Although considerable progress has been made in our knowledge of chromatin organization, a fundamental issue remains the understanding of its dynamics, especially in cancer. To address this issue, we performed genome-wide mapping of chromatin interactions (Hi-C) over the time after estrogen stimulation of breast cancer cells. To biologically interpret these interactions, we integrated with estrogen receptor α (ERα) binding events, gene expression and epigenetic marks. We show that gene-rich chromosomes as well as areas of open and highly transcribed chromatins are rearranged to greater spatial proximity, thus enabling genes to share transcriptional machinery and regulatory elements. At a smaller scale, differentially interacting loci are enriched for cancer proliferation and estrogen-related genes. Moreover, these loci are correlated with higher ERα binding events and gene expression. Taken together these results reveal the role of a hormone--estrogen--on genome organization, and its effect on gene regulation in cancer.

  18. Locus-Specific Epigenetic Remodeling Controls Addiction- and Depression-Related Behaviors (NN-A50213-T)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Elizabeth A.; Cates, Hannah M.; Peña, Catherine J.; Sun, Haosheng; Shao, Ningyi; Feng, Jian; Golden, Sam A.; Herman, James P.; Walsh, Jessica J.; Mazei-Robison, Michelle; Ferguson, Deveroux; Knight, Scott; Gerber, Mark A.; Nievera, Christian; Han, Ming-Hu; Russo, Scott J.; Tamminga, Carol S.; Neve, Rachael L.; Shen, Li; Zhang, H. Steve; Zhang, Feng; Nestler, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse or stress regulates transcription factors, chromatin modifying enzymes, and histone posttranslational modifications in discrete brain regions. Due to the promiscuity of the enzymes involved, it has not yet been possible to obtain direct causal evidence to implicate the regulation of transcription and consequent behavioral plasticity by chromatin remodeling that occurs at a single gene. Here, we investigate the mechanism linking chromatin dynamics to neurobiological phenomena by applying engineered transcription factors to selectively modify chromatin at a specific gene in vivo. We found that histone methylation or acetylation at the FosB locus in nucleus accumbens—a brain reward region—is sufficient to control drug- and stress-evoked transcriptional and behavioral responses via interactions with the endogenous transcriptional machinery. This approach allows us to relate the epigenetic landscape at a given gene directly to regulation of its expression and to its subsequent effects on reward behavior. PMID:25347353

  19. Autoimmunity in Arabidopsis acd11 Is Mediated by Epigenetic Regulation of an Immune Receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palma, K.; Thorgrimsen, S.; Malinovsky, F.G.;

    2010-01-01

    . In a screen for lazarus (laz) mutants that suppress acd11 death we identified two genes, LAZ2 and LAZ5. LAZ2 encodes the histone lysine methyltransferase SDG8, previously shown to epigenetically regulate flowering time via modification of histone 3 (H3). LAZ5 encodes an RPS4-like R-protein, defined by several...... dominant negative alleles. Microarray and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses showed that LAZ2/SDG8 is required for LAZ5 expression and H3 lysine 36 trimethylation at LAZ5 chromatin to maintain a transcriptionally active state. We hypothesize that LAZ5 triggers cell death in the absence of ACD11......, and that cell death in other lesion mimic mutants may also be caused by inappropriate activation of R genes. Moreover, SDG8 is required for basal and R protein-mediated pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis, revealing the importance of chromatin remodeling as a key process in plant innate immunity....

  20. Nuclear receptors and epigenetic regulation: opportunities for nutritional targeting and disease prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romagnolo, Donato F; Zempleni, Janos; Selmin, Ornella I

    2014-07-01

    Posttranslational modifications of histones, alterations in the recruitment and functions of non-histone proteins, DNA methylation, and changes in expression of noncoding RNAs contribute to current models of epigenetic regulation. Nuclear receptors (NRs) are a group of transcription factors that, through ligand-binding, act as sensors to changes in nutritional, environmental, developmental, pathophysiologic, and endocrine conditions and drive adaptive responses via gene regulation. One mechanism through which NRs direct gene expression is the assembly of transcription complexes with cofactors and coregulators that possess chromatin-modifying properties. Chromatin modifications can be transient or become part of the cellular "memory" and contribute to genomic imprinting. Because many food components bind to NRs, they can ultimately influence transcription of genes associated with biologic processes, such as inflammation, proliferation, apoptosis, and hormonal response, and alter the susceptibility to chronic diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes, obesity). The objective of this review is to highlight how NRs influence epigenetic regulation and the relevance of dietary compound-NR interactions in human nutrition and for disease prevention and treatment. Identifying gene targets of unliganded and bound NRs may assist in the development of epigenetic maps for food components and dietary patterns. Progress in these areas may lead to the formulation of disease-prevention models based on epigenetic control by individual or associations of food ligands of NRs.

  1. Dietary phytochemical PEITC restricts tumor development via modulation of epigenetic writers and erasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jung Eun; Sun, Yang; Lim, Sai Kiang; Tam, James P.; Dekker, Matthijs; Chen, Hong; Sze, Siu Kwan

    2017-01-01

    Dietary intake of bioactive phytochemicals including the cruciferous vegetable derivative phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) can reduce risk of human cancers, but possible epigenetic mechanisms of these effects are yet unknown. We therefore sought to identify the molecular basis of PEITC-mediated epigenetic tumor restriction. Colon cancer cells treated with low-dose PEITC for >1 month exhibited stable alterations in expression profile of epigenetic writers/erasers and chromatin-binding of histone deacetylases (HDACs) and Polycomb-group (PcG) proteins. Sustained PEITC exposure not only blocked HDAC binding to euchromatin but was also associated with hypomethylation of PcG target genes that are typically hypermethylated in cancer. Furthermore, PEITC treatment induced expression of pro-apoptotic genes in tumor cells, which was partially reversed by overexpression of PcG member BMI-1, suggesting opposing roles for PEITC and PcG proteins in control of tumor progression. These data demonstrate that PEITC regulates chromatin binding of key epigenetic writers/erasers and PcG complexes to restrict tumor development. PMID:28079155

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Chromatin roadblocks to reprogramming 50 years on.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skene, Peter J; Henikoff, Steven

    2012-10-29

    A half century after John Gurdon demonstrated nuclear reprogramming, for which he was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, his group provides insights into the molecular mechanisms whereby chromatin remodeling is required for nuclear reprogramming. Among the issues addressed in Gurdon's latest work are the chromatin impediments to artificially induced reprogramming, discovered by Shinya Yamanaka, who shared the award with Gurdon.

  11. DNA methylation supports intrinsic epigenetic memory in mammalian cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available We have investigated the role of DNA methylation in the initiation and maintenance of silenced chromatin in somatic mammalian cells. We found that a mutated transgene, in which all the CpG dinucleotides have been eliminated, underwent transcriptional silencing to the same extent as the unmodified transgene. These observations demonstrate that DNA methylation is not required for silencing. The silenced CpG-free transgene exhibited all the features of heterochromatin, including silencing of transcriptional activity, delayed DNA replication, lack of histone H3 and H4 acetylation, lack of H3-K4 methylation, and enrichment in tri-methyl-H3-K9. In contrast, when we tested for transgene reactivation using a Cre recombinase-mediated inversion assay, we observed a marked difference between a CpG-free and an unmodified transgene: the CpG-free transgene resumed transcription and did not exhibit markers of heterochromatin whereas the unmodified transgene remained silenced. These data indicate that methylation of CpG residues conferred epigenetic memory in this system. These results also suggest that replication delay, lack of histone H3 and H4 acetylation, H3-K4 methylation, and enrichment in tri-methyl-H3-K9 are not sufficient to confer epigenetic memory. We propose that DNA methylation within transgenes serves as an intrinsic epigenetic memory to permanently silence transgenes and prevent their reactivation.

  12. Interactions of transcription factors with chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bakel, Harm

    2011-01-01

    Sequence-specific transcription factors (TFs) play a central role in regulating transcription initiation by directing the recruitment and activity of the general transcription machinery and accessory factors. It is now well established that many of the effects exerted by TFs in eukaryotes are mediated through interactions with a host of coregulators that modify the chromatin state, resulting in a more open (in case of activation) or closed conformation (in case of repression). The relationship between TFs and chromatin is a two-way street, however, as chromatin can in turn influence the recognition and binding of target sequences by TFs. The aim of this chapter is to highlight how this dynamic interplay between TF-directed remodelling of chromatin and chromatin-adjusted targeting of TF binding determines where and how transcription is initiated, and to what degree it is productive.

  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. Chromatin remodeling in cardiovascular development and physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Pei; Hang, Calvin T; Yang, Jin; Chang, Ching-Pin

    2011-02-04

    Chromatin regulation provides an important means for controlling cardiac gene expression under different physiological and pathological conditions. Processes that direct the development of normal embryonic hearts and pathology of stressed adult hearts may share general mechanisms that govern cardiac gene expression by chromatin-regulating factors. These common mechanisms may provide a framework for us to investigate the interactions among diverse chromatin remodelers/modifiers and various transcription factors in the fine regulation of gene expression, essential for all aspects of cardiovascular biology. Aberrant cardiac gene expression, triggered by a variety of pathological insults, can cause heart diseases in both animals and humans. The severity of cardiomyopathy and heart failure correlates strongly with abnormal cardiac gene expression. Therefore, controlling cardiac gene expression presents a promising approach to the treatment of human cardiomyopathy. This review focuses on the roles of ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling factors and chromatin-modifying enzymes in the control of gene expression during cardiovascular development and disease.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Nuclei of Taxus baccata: Flavanols Linked to Chromatin Remodeling Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Feucht

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Microscopic studies of young needles and shoot tips from Taxus baccata showed that flavanols are localized in the nuclei. This observation is based on the histochemical staining of flavanols with the DMACA reagent. The colour that is obtained with this reagent varies from pale to deep blue, depending on the amount of flavanols. This study is focused on nondifferentiated cell lineages and on differentiating cells. The key point to note is that all nuclei of a cell lineage showed a uniform DMACA staining pattern based on the amount and structural appearence of nuclear flavanols. This points to transcriptional and epigenetic programming. However, comparing various cell lineages from different shoot tips and needles revealed a lineage-specific expression of nuclear flavanols. This result implied that both positional and developmental signals from neighbouring cells were involved in the nuclear flavanol binding of lineages. The cells of a developmentally advanced lineage loose their intimate contact and, then, they separate from each other to undergo an autonomous, individual sequence of differentiation. This in turn was accompanied by differences in the nuclear flavanol patterns of the single cells. Investigating different mitotic stages revealed a wide spectrum in flavanol staining intensities of the chromosomes. These observations should be linked to UV-VIS spectroscopical kinetic results indicating that nuclear flavanols bound to histones are involved in epigenetically regulated modification of chromatin. The kinetic studies show that catechin is relatively rapidly degraded by oxygen in the presence of Mg2+-ions. However, this degradation reaction is strongly inhibited when histone proteins were added. This behaviour is a clear indication that coregulatory interactions exist between catechin and histones.

  19. 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.

  20. A truly ecological epigenetics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossdorf, Oliver; Zhang, Yuanye

    2011-04-01

    Until a few years ago, epigenetics was a field of research that had nothing to do with ecology and that virtually no ecologist had ever heard of. This is now changing, as more and more ecologists learn about epigenetic processes and their potential ecological and evolutionary relevance, and a new research field of ecological epigenetics is beginning to take shape. One question that is particularly intriguing ecologists is to what extent epigenetic variation is an additional, and hitherto overlooked, source of natural variation in ecologically important traits. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Herrera & Bazaga (2011) provide one of the first attempts to truly address this question in an ecological setting. They study variation of DNA methylation in a wild population of the rare, long-lived violet Viola cazorlensis, and they use these data to explore interrelations between environmental, genetic and epigenetic variation, and in particular the extent to which these factors are related to long-term differences in herbivore damage among plants. They find substantial epigenetic variation among plant individuals. Interestingly, this epigenetic variation is significantly correlated with long-term differences in herbivory, but only weakly with herbivory-related DNA sequence variation, which suggests that besides habitat, substrate and genetic variation, epigenetic variation may be an additional, and at least partly independent, factor influencing plant–herbivore interactions in the field. Although the study by Herrera & Bazaga (2011) raises at least as many new questions as it answers, it is a pioneering example of how epigenetics can be incorporated into ecological field studies, and it illustrates the value and potential novel insights to be gained from such efforts.

  1. 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.

  2. Activation of DNA damage response signaling by condensed chromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Rebecca C; Burman, Bharat; Kruhlak, Michael J; Misteli, Tom

    2014-12-11

    The DNA damage response (DDR) occurs in the context of chromatin, and architectural features of chromatin have been implicated in DNA damage signaling and repair. Whereas a role of chromatin decondensation in the DDR is well established, we show here that chromatin condensation is integral to DDR signaling. We find that, in response to DNA damage chromatin regions transiently expand before undergoing extensive compaction. Using a protein-chromatin-tethering system to create defined chromatin domains, we show that interference with chromatin condensation results in failure to fully activate DDR. Conversely, forced induction of local chromatin condensation promotes ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)- and ATR-dependent activation of upstream DDR signaling in a break-independent manner. Whereas persistent chromatin compaction enhanced upstream DDR signaling from irradiation-induced breaks, it reduced recovery and survival after damage. Our results demonstrate that chromatin condensation is sufficient for activation of DDR signaling and is an integral part of physiological DDR signaling.

  3. Epigenetic modifications and epigenetic based medication implementations of autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadi, Majid; Gharibi, Tohid; Dolati, Sanam; Rostamzadeh, Davood; Aslani, Saeed; Baradaran, Behzad; Younesi, Vahid; Yousefi, Mehdi

    2017-03-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies have documented a number of genetic variants to explain mechanisms underlying autoimmune diseases. However, the precise etiology of autoimmune diseases remains largely unknown. Epigenetic mechanisms like alterations in the post-translational modification of histones and DNA methylation may potentially cause a breakdown of immune tolerance and the perpetuation of autoreactive responses. Recently, several studies both in experimental models and clinical settings proposed that the epigenome may hold the key to a better understanding of autoimmunity initiation and perpetuation. More specifically, data support the impact of epigenetic changes in autoimmune diseases, in some cases based on mechanistical observations. Epigenetic therapy already being employed in hematopoietic malignancies may also be associated with beneficial effects in autoimmune diseases. In this review, we will discuss on what we know and expect about the treatment of autoimmune disease based on epigenetic aberrations.

  4. Mosaic epigenetic dysregulation of ectodermal cells in autism spectrum disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther R Berko

    Full Text Available DNA mutational events are increasingly being identified in autism spectrum disorder (ASD, but the potential additional role of dysregulation of the epigenome in the pathogenesis of the condition remains unclear. The epigenome is of interest as a possible mediator of environmental effects during development, encoding a cellular memory reflected by altered function of progeny cells. Advanced maternal age (AMA is associated with an increased risk of having a child with ASD for reasons that are not understood. To explore whether AMA involves covert aneuploidy or epigenetic dysregulation leading to ASD in the offspring, we tested a homogeneous ectodermal cell type from 47 individuals with ASD compared with 48 typically developing (TD controls born to mothers of ≥35 years, using a quantitative genome-wide DNA methylation assay. We show that DNA methylation patterns are dysregulated in ectodermal cells in these individuals, having accounted for confounding effects due to subject age, sex and ancestral haplotype. We did not find mosaic aneuploidy or copy number variability to occur at differentially-methylated regions in these subjects. Of note, the loci with distinctive DNA methylation were found at genes expressed in the brain and encoding protein products significantly enriched for interactions with those produced by known ASD-causing genes, representing a perturbation by epigenomic dysregulation of the same networks compromised by DNA mutational mechanisms. The results indicate the presence of a mosaic subpopulation of epigenetically-dysregulated, ectodermally-derived cells in subjects with ASD. The epigenetic dysregulation observed in these ASD subjects born to older mothers may be associated with aging parental gametes, environmental influences during embryogenesis or could be the consequence of mutations of the chromatin regulatory genes increasingly implicated in ASD. The results indicate that epigenetic dysregulatory mechanisms may complement

  5. 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.

  6. Chromatin targeting drugs in cancer and immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinjha, Rab; Tarakhovsky, Alexander

    2013-08-15

    Recent advances in the enzymology of transcription and chromatin regulation have led to the discovery of proteins that play a prominent role in cell differentiation and the maintenance of specialized cell functions. Knowledge about post-synthetic DNA and histone modifications as well as information about the rules that guide the formation of multimolecular chromatin-bound complexes have helped to delineate gene-regulating pathways and describe how these pathways are altered in various pathological conditions. The present review focuses on the emerging area of therapeutic interference with chromatin function for the purpose of cancer treatment and immunomodulation.

  7. Tandem Affinity Purification Approach Coupled to Mass Spectrometry to Identify Post-translational Modifications of Histones Associated with Chromatin-Binding Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Sophie; Robin, Philippe; Ait-Si-Ali, Slimane

    2017-01-01

    Protein purification by tandem affinity purification (TAP)-tag coupled to mass spectrometry analysis is usually used to reveal protein complex composition. Here we describe a TAP-tag purification of chromatin-bound proteins along with associated nucleosomes, which allow exhaustive identification of protein partners. Moreover, this method allows exhaustive identification of the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of the associated histones. Thus, in addition to partner characterization, this approach reveals the associated epigenetic landscape that can shed light on the function and properties of the studied chromatin-bound protein.

  8. 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.

  9. Genomic distribution of CHD7 on chromatin tracks H3K4 methylation patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnetz, Michael P; Bartels, Cynthia F; Shastri, Kuntal; Balasubramanian, Dheepa; Zentner, Gabriel E; Balaji, Ravishankar; Zhang, Xiaodong; Song, Lingyun; Wang, Zhenghe; Laframboise, Thomas; Crawford, Gregory E; Scacheri, Peter C

    2009-04-01

    CHD7 is a member of the chromodomain helicase DNA binding domain family of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes. De novo mutation of the CHD7 gene is a major cause of CHARGE syndrome, a genetic disease characterized by a complex constellation of birth defects (Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, severe Retardation of growth and development, Genital abnormalities, and Ear abnormalities). To gain insight into the function of CHD7, we mapped the distribution of the CHD7 protein on chromatin using the approach of chromatin immunoprecipitation on tiled microarrays (ChIP-chip). These studies were performed in human colorectal carcinoma cells, human neuroblastoma cells, and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells before and after differentiation into neural precursor cells. The results indicate that CHD7 localizes to discrete locations along chromatin that are specific to each cell type, and that the cell-specific binding of CHD7 correlates with a subset of histone H3 methylated at lysine 4 (H3K4me). The CHD7 sites change concomitantly with H3K4me patterns during ES cell differentiation, suggesting that H3K4me is part of the epigenetic signature that defines lineage-specific association of CHD7 with specific sites on chromatin. Furthermore, the CHD7 sites are predominantly located distal to transcription start sites, most often contained within DNase hypersensitive sites, frequently conserved, and near genes expressed at relatively high levels. These features are similar to those of gene enhancer elements, raising the possibility that CHD7 functions in enhancer mediated transcription, and that the congenital anomalies in CHARGE syndrome are due to alterations in transcription of tissue-specific genes normally regulated by CHD7 during development.

  10. Epigenome mapping highlights chromatin-mediated gene regulation in the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Min-Ji; Kim, Mikyoung; Choi, Yeeun; Yi, Myung-hee; Kim, Juri; Park, Soon-Jung; Yong, Tai-Soon; Kim, Hyoung-Pyo

    2017-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is an extracellular flagellated protozoan parasite that causes trichomoniasis, one of the most common non-viral sexually transmitted diseases. To survive and to maintain infection, T. vaginalis adapts to a hostile host environment by regulating gene expression. However, the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation are poorly understood for this parasite. Histone modification has a marked effect on chromatin structure and directs the recruitment of transcriptional machinery, thereby regulating essential cellular processes. In this study, we aimed to outline modes of chromatin-mediated gene regulation in T. vaginalis. Inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) alters global transcriptional responses and induces hyperacetylation of histones and hypermethylation of H3K4. Analysis of the genome of T. vaginalis revealed that a number of enzymes regulate histone modification, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms are important to controlling gene expression in this organism. Additionally, we describe the genome-wide localization of two histone H3 modifications (H3K4me3 and H3K27Ac), which we found to be positively associated with active gene expression in both steady and dynamic transcriptional states. These results provide the first direct evidence that histone modifications play an essential role in transcriptional regulation of T. vaginalis, and may help guide future epigenetic research into therapeutic intervention strategies against this parasite. PMID:28345651

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Marek’s disease virus infection induces widespread differential chromatin marks in inbred chicken lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitra Apratim

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Marek’s disease (MD is a neoplastic disease in chickens caused by the MD virus (MDV. Successful vaccine development against MD has resulted in increased virulence of MDV and the understanding of genetic resistance to the disease is, therefore, crucial to long-term control strategies. Also, epigenetic factors are believed to be one of the major determinants of disease response. Results Here, we carried out comprehensive analyses of the epigenetic landscape induced by MDV, utilizing genome-wide histone H3 lysine 4 and lysine 27 trimethylation maps from chicken lines with varying resistance to MD. Differential chromatin marks were observed on genes previously implicated in the disease such as MX1 and CTLA-4 and also on genes reported in other cancers including IGF2BP1 and GAL. We detected bivalent domains on immune-related transcriptional regulators BCL6, CITED2 and EGR1, which underwent dynamic changes in both lines as a result of MDV infection. In addition, putative roles for GAL in the mechanism of MD progression were revealed. Conclusion Our results confirm the presence of widespread epigenetic differences induced by MD in chicken lines with different levels of genetic resistance. A majority of observed epigenetic changes were indicative of increased levels of viral infection in the susceptible line symptomatic of lowered immunocompetence in these birds caused by early cytolytic infection. The GAL system that has known anti-proliferative effects in other cancers is also revealed to be potentially involved in MD progression. Our study provides further insight into the mechanisms of MD progression while revealing a complex landscape of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that varies depending on host factors.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Chromatin roadblocks to reprogramming 50 years on

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skene Peter J

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A half century after John Gurdon demonstrated nuclear reprogramming, for which he was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, his group provides insights into the molecular mechanisms whereby chromatin remodeling is required for nuclear reprogramming. Among the issues addressed in Gurdon's latest work are the chromatin impediments to artificially induced reprogramming, discovered by Shinya Yamanaka, who shared the award with Gurdon. See research article: http://www.epigeneticsandchromatin.com/content/5/1/17

  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. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Marie-Theres; Aufsatz, Werner; Jonak, Claudia; Luschnig, Christian

    2011-08-01

    Interest in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance has intensified with the boosting of knowledge on epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression during development and in response to internal and external signals such as biotic and abiotic stresses. Starting with an historical background of scantily documented anecdotes and their consequences, we recapitulate the information gathered during the last 60 years on naturally occurring and induced epialleles and paramutations in plants. We present the major players of epigenetic regulation and their importance in controlling stress responses. The effect of diverse stressors on the epigenetic status and its transgenerational inheritance is summarized from a mechanistic viewpoint. The consequences of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance are presented, focusing on the knowledge about its stability, and in relation to genetically fixed mutations, recombination, and genomic rearrangement. We conclude with an outlook on the importance of transgenerational inheritance for adaptation to changing environments and for practical applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Epigenetic control of cellular and developmental processes in plants".

  19. Epigenetics Across the Human Lifespan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riya Rajan Kanherkar

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics has the potential to explain various biological phenomena that have heretofore defied complete explication. This review describes the various types of endogenous human developmental milestones such as birth, puberty, and menopause, as well as the diverse exogenous environmental factors that influence human health, in a chronological epigenetic context. We describe the entire course of human life from periconception to death and chronologically note all of the potential internal timepoints and external factors that influence the human epigenome. Ultimately, the environment presents these various factors to the individual that influence the epigenome, and the unique epigenetic and genetic profile of each individual also modulates the specific response to these factors. During the course of human life, we are exposed to an environment that abounds with a potent and dynamic milieu capable of triggering chemical changes that activate or silence genes. There is constant interaction between the external and internal environments that is required for normal development and health maintenance as well as for influencing disease load and resistance. For example, exposure to pharmaceutical and toxic chemicals, diet, stress, exercise, and other environmental factors are capable of eliciting positive or negative epigenetic modifications with lasting effects on development, metabolism and health. These can impact the body so profoundly as to permanently alter the epigenetic profile of an individual. We also present a comprehensive new hypothesis of how these diverse environmental factors cause both direct and indirect epigenetic changes and how this knowledge can ultimately be used to improve personalized medicine.

  20. Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapienza, Carmen; Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2016-07-17

    The search for a connection between diet and human cancer has a long history in cancer research, as has interest in the mechanisms by which dietary factors might increase or decrease cancer risk. The realization that altering diet can alter the epigenetic state of genes and that these epigenetic alterations might increase or decrease cancer risk is a more modern notion, driven largely by studies in animal models. The connections between diet and epigenetic alterations, on the one hand, and between epigenetic alterations and cancer, on the other, are supported by both observational studies in humans as well as animal models. However, the conclusion that diet is linked directly to epigenetic alterations and that these epigenetic alterations directly increase or decrease the risk of human cancer is much less certain. We suggest that true and measurable effects of diet or dietary supplements on epigenotype and cancer risk are most likely to be observed in longitudinal studies and at the extremes of the intersection of dietary risk factors and human population variability. Careful analysis of such outlier populations is most likely to shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which suspected environmental risk factors drive the process of carcinogenesis.

  1. 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.

  2. Etiology and Evaluation of Sperm Chromatin Anomalies

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. The sperm nucleus: chromatin, RNA and the nuclear matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Graham D.; Lalancette, Claudia; Linnemann, Amelia K.; Leduc, Frédéric; Boissonneault, Guylain; Krawetz, Stephen A.

    2017-01-01

    Within the sperm nucleus the paternal genome remains functionally inert and protected following protamination. This is marked by a structural morphogenesis that is heralded by a striking reduction in nuclear volume. Despite these changes, both human and mouse spermatozoa maintain low levels of nucleosomes that appear non-randomly distributed throughout the genome. These regions may be necessary for organizing higher order genomic structure through interactions with the nuclear matrix. The promoters of this transcriptionally quiescent genome are differentially marked by modified histones that may poise downstream epigenetic effects. This notion is supported by increasing evidence that the embryo inherits these differing levels of chromatin organization. In concert with the suite of RNAs retained in the mature sperm they may synergistically interact to direct early embryonic gene expression. Irrespective, these features reflect the transcriptional history of spermatogenic differentiation. As such they may soon be utilized as clinical markers of male fertility. In this review we explore and discuss how this may be orchestrated. PMID:20876223

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Two Mutually Exclusive Local Chromatin States Drive Efficient V(DJ Recombination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J. Bolland

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Variable (V, diversity (D, and joining (J (V(DJ recombination is the first determinant of antigen receptor diversity. Understanding how recombination is regulated requires a comprehensive, unbiased readout of V gene usage. We have developed VDJ sequencing (VDJ-seq, a DNA-based next-generation-sequencing technique that quantitatively profiles recombination products. We reveal a 200-fold range of recombination efficiency among recombining V genes in the primary mouse Igh repertoire. We used machine learning to integrate these data with local chromatin profiles to identify combinatorial patterns of epigenetic features that associate with active VH gene recombination. These features localize downstream of VH genes and are excised by recombination, revealing a class of cis-regulatory element that governs recombination, distinct from expression. We detect two mutually exclusive chromatin signatures at these elements, characterized by CTCF/RAD21 and PAX5/IRF4, which segregate with the evolutionary history of associated VH genes. Thus, local chromatin signatures downstream of VH genes provide an essential layer of regulation that determines recombination efficiency.

  12. 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.

  13. Optical High Content Nanoscopy of Epigenetic Marks Decodes Phenotypic Divergence in Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Joseph J.; Bennett, Neal K.; Devita, Mitchel S.; Chahar, Sanjay; Viswanath, Satish; Lee, Eunjee A.; Jung, Giyoung; Shao, Paul P.; Childers, Erin P.; Liu, Shichong; Kulesa, Anthony; Garcia, Benjamin A.; Becker, Matthew L.; Hwang, Nathaniel S.; Madabhushi, Anant; Verzi, Michael P.; Moghe, Prabhas V.

    2017-01-01

    While distinct stem cell phenotypes follow global changes in chromatin marks, single-cell chromatin technologies are unable to resolve or predict stem cell fates. We propose the first such use of optical high content nanoscopy of histone epigenetic marks (epi-marks) in stem cells to classify emergent cell states. By combining nanoscopy with epi-mark textural image informatics, we developed a novel approach, termed EDICTS (Epi-mark Descriptor Imaging of Cell Transitional States), to discern chromatin organizational changes, demarcate lineage gradations across a range of stem cell types and robustly track lineage restriction kinetics. We demonstrate the utility of EDICTS by predicting the lineage progression of stem cells cultured on biomaterial substrates with graded nanotopographies and mechanical stiffness, thus parsing the role of specific biophysical cues as sensitive epigenetic drivers. We also demonstrate the unique power of EDICTS to resolve cellular states based on epi-marks that cannot be detected via mass spectrometry based methods for quantifying the abundance of histone post-translational modifications. Overall, EDICTS represents a powerful new methodology to predict single cell lineage decisions by integrating high content super-resolution nanoscopy and imaging informatics of the nuclear organization of epi-marks. PMID:28051095

  14. Epigenetic synergies between biotin and folate in the regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, J; Zempleni, J

    2013-11-01

    The protein biotin ligase, holocarboxylase synthetase (HLCS), is a chromatin protein that interacts physically with the DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, the methylated cytosine-binding protein MeCP2 and the histone H3 K9-methyltransferase EHMT1, all of which participate in folate-dependent gene repression. Here we tested the hypothesis that biotin and folate synergize in the repression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and long-terminal repeats (LTRs), mediated by interactions between HLCS and other chromatin proteins. Biotin and folate supplementation could compensate for each other's deficiency in the repression of LTRs in Jurkat and U937 cells. For example, when biotin-deficient Jurkat cells were supplemented with folate, the expression of LTRs decreased by >70%. Epigenetic synergies were more complex in the regulation of cytokines compared with LTRs. For example, the abundance of TNF-α was 100% greater in folate- and biotin-supplemented U937 cells compared with biotin-deficient and folate-supplemented cells. The NF-κB inhibitor curcumin abrogated the effects of folate and biotin in cytokine regulation, suggesting that transcription factor signalling adds an extra layer of complexity to the regulation of cytokine genes by epigenetic phenomena. We conclude that biotin and folate synergize in the repression of LTRs and that these interactions are probably mediated by HLCS-dependent epigenetic mechanisms. In contrast, synergies between biotin and folate in the regulation of cytokines need to be interpreted in the context of transcription factor signalling.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    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...

  19. SWI/SNF Protein Component BAF250a Regulates Cardiac Progenitor Cell Differentiation by Modulating Chromatin Accessibility during Second Heart Field Development*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Ienglam; Gao, Xiaolin; Sham, Mai Har; Wang, Zhong

    2012-01-01

    ATP-dependent SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes alter the structure of chromatin at specific loci and facilitate tissue-specific gene regulation during development. Several SWI/SNF subunits are required for cardiogenesis. However, the function and mechanisms of SWI/SNF in mediating cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) differentiation during cardiogenesis are not well understood. Our studies of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex identified that BAF250a, a regulatory subunit of the SWI/SNF, plays a key role in CPC differentiation. BAF250a ablation in mouse second heart field (SHF) led to trabeculation defects in the right ventricle, ventricular septal defect, persistent truncus arteriosus, reduced myocardial proliferation, and embryonic lethality around E13. Using an embryonic stem cell culture system that models the formation and differentiation of SHF CPCs in vivo, we have shown that BAF250a ablation in CPCs specifically inhibits cardiomyocyte formation. Moreover, BAF250a selectively regulates the expression of key cardiac factors Mef2c, Nkx2.5, and Bmp10 in SHF CPCs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNase I digestion assays indicate that BAF250a regulates gene expression by binding selectively to its target gene promoters and recruiting Brg1, the catalytic subunit of SWI/SNF, to modulate chromatin accessibility. Our results thus identify BAF250a-mediated chromatin remodeling as an essential epigenetic mechanism mediating CPC differentiation. PMID:22621927

  20. SWI/SNF protein component BAF250a regulates cardiac progenitor cell differentiation by modulating chromatin accessibility during second heart field development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Ienglam; Gao, Xiaolin; Sham, Mai Har; Wang, Zhong

    2012-07-13

    ATP-dependent SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes alter the structure of chromatin at specific loci and facilitate tissue-specific gene regulation during development. Several SWI/SNF subunits are required for cardiogenesis. However, the function and mechanisms of SWI/SNF in mediating cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) differentiation during cardiogenesis are not well understood. Our studies of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex identified that BAF250a, a regulatory subunit of the SWI/SNF, plays a key role in CPC differentiation. BAF250a ablation in mouse second heart field (SHF) led to trabeculation defects in the right ventricle, ventricular septal defect, persistent truncus arteriosus, reduced myocardial proliferation, and embryonic lethality around E13. Using an embryonic stem cell culture system that models the formation and differentiation of SHF CPCs in vivo, we have shown that BAF250a ablation in CPCs specifically inhibits cardiomyocyte formation. Moreover, BAF250a selectively regulates the expression of key cardiac factors Mef2c, Nkx2.5, and Bmp10 in SHF CPCs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNase I digestion assays indicate that BAF250a regulates gene expression by binding selectively to its target gene promoters and recruiting Brg1, the catalytic subunit of SWI/SNF, to modulate chromatin accessibility. Our results thus identify BAF250a-mediated chromatin remodeling as an essential epigenetic mechanism mediating CPC differentiation.

  1. MiRNA-Mediated Regulation of the SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Complex Controls Pluripotency and Endodermal Differentiation in Human ESCs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Staton L; Langer, Lee F; Ward, James M; Archer, Trevor K

    2015-10-01

    MicroRNAs and chromatin remodeling complexes represent powerful epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the pluripotent state. miR-302 is a strong inducer of pluripotency, which is characterized by a distinct chromatin architecture. This suggests that miR-302 regulates global chromatin structure; however, a direct relationship between miR-302 and chromatin remodelers has not been established. Here, we provide data to show that miR-302 regulates Brg1 chromatin remodeling complex composition in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) through direct repression of the BAF53a and BAF170 subunits. With the subsequent overexpression of BAF170 in hESCs, we show that miR-302's inhibition of BAF170 protein levels can affect the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation. Furthermore, miR-302-mediated repression of BAF170 regulates pluripotency by positively influencing mesendodermal differentiation. Overexpression of BAF170 in hESCs led to biased differentiation toward the ectoderm lineage during EB formation and severely hindered directed definitive endoderm differentiation. Taken together, these data uncover a direct regulatory relationship between miR-302 and the Brg1 chromatin remodeling complex that controls gene expression and cell fate decisions in hESCs and suggests that similar mechanisms are at play during early human development.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Chromatin ring formation at plant centromeres

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    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez Redondo, Paloma

    2014-01-01

    La cromatina consiste en una estructura jerárquica y dinámica que se regula durante el ciclo celular con el fin de mantener la integridad del genoma y preservar la información genética codificada en el ADN. Esta estructura dinámica depende de la coordinación de diferentes procesos: modificaciones histónicas, la actividad de enzimas/complejos remodeladores de la cromatina, metilación del ADN y la participación de proteínas estructurales de la cromatina. De entre estos procesos, las modificaci...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  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. Specialized technologies for epigenetics in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Wenyan

    2012-01-01

    Plants are excellent systems for discovering and studying epigenetic phenomena, such as transposon silencing, RNAi, imprinting, and DNA methylation. Imprinting, referring to preferential expression of maternal or paternal alleles, plays an important role in reproduction development of both mammals and plants. DNA methylation is critical for determining whether the maternal or paternal alleles of an imprinted gene is expressed or silenced. In flowering plants, there is a double fertilization event in reproduction: one sperm fertilizes the egg cell to form embryo and a second sperm fuses with the central cell to give rise to endosperm. Endosperm is the tissue where imprinting occurs in plants. MEDEA (MEA), a SET domain Polycomb group gene, was the first plant gene shown to be imprinted in endosperm, and its maternal expression is controlled by DNA methylation and demethylation. Recently there has been significant progress in identifying imprinted genes as well as understanding molecular mechanisms of imprinting in plants. Up to date, approximately 350 genes were found to have differential parent-of-origin expression in plant endosperm (Arabidopsis, corn, and rice). In Arabidopsis, many imprinted genes are regulated by the DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (MET1) and the DNA-demethylating glycosylase DEMETER (DME), and/or their chromatin states regulated by Polycomb group proteins (PRC2). There are also maternally expressed genes regulated by unknown mechanisms in endosperm. In this protocol, we describe in detail how to perform a genetic cross, isolate the endosperm tissue from seed, determine the imprinting status of a gene, and analyze DNA methylation of imprinted genes by bisulfite sequencing in Arabidopsis.

  11. 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

  12. Impact of epigenetic mechanisms on therapeutic approaches of hemoglobinopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Dario; Capuano, Maria; Sommese, Linda; Napoli, Claudio

    2015-08-01

    Hemoglobinopathies are inherited disorders characterized by anomalies of structure, function or production of globin chains. From conception to adulthood, the different expressions over time of the various globin chains depend on the activation/deactivation of different globin genes through methylation and chromatin remodeling processes. The most significant clinical disorders are β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. The clinical management of these disorders engages regular blood transfusions. Another therapy is represented by allogeneic hematopoietic cells transplantation. There are several studies based on the innovative therapeutic strategies that involve some epigenetic mechanisms focused on the reactivation of γ-globin gene expression. The induction of fetal hemoglobin expression in adulthood is an effective therapy for these disorders. Particularly interesting are the recent data on miRNAs showing the interaction of these molecules with different transcription factors such as MYB, KLF, BCL11A and SOX6. The aim of this review was to report an update on the dynamic epigenetic modifications as targets for therapy in hemoglobinopathies.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Quantitative epigenetics through epigenomic perturbation of isogenic lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannes, Frank; Colomé-Tatché, Maria

    2011-05-01

    Interindividual differences in chromatin states at a locus (epialleles) can result in gene expression changes that are sometimes transmitted across generations. In this way, they can contribute to heritable phenotypic variation in natural and experimental populations independent of DNA sequence. Recent molecular evidence shows that epialleles often display high levels of transgenerational instability. This property gives rise to a dynamic dimension in phenotypic inheritance. To be able to incorporate these non-Mendelian features into quantitative genetic models, it is necessary to study the induction and the transgenerational behavior of epialleles in controlled settings. Here we outline a general experimental approach for achieving this using crosses of epigenomically perturbed isogenic lines in mammalian and plant species. We develop a theoretical description of such crosses and model the relationship between epiallelic instability, recombination, parent-of-origin effects, as well as transgressive segregation and their joint impact on phenotypic variation across generations. In the limiting case of fully stable epialleles our approach reduces to the classical theory of experimental line crosses and thus illustrates a fundamental continuity between genetic and epigenetic inheritance. We consider data from a panel of Arabidopsis epigenetic recombinant inbred lines and explore estimates of the number of quantitative trait loci for plant height that resulted from a manipulation of DNA methylation levels in one of the two isogenic founder strains.

  17. 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 alterations underlying autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslani, Saeed; Mahmoudi, Mahdi; Karami, Jafar; Jamshidi, Ahmad Reza; Malekshahi, Zahra; Nicknam, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Recent breakthroughs in genetic explorations have extended our understanding through discovery of genetic patterns subjected to autoimmune diseases (AID). Genetics, on the contrary, has not answered all the conundrums to describe a comprehensive explanation of causal mechanisms of disease etiopathology with regard to the function of environment, sex, or aging. The other side of the coin, epigenetics which is defined by gene manifestation modification without DNA sequence alteration, reportedly has come in to provide new insights towards disease apprehension through bridging the genetics and environmental factors. New investigations in genetic and environmental contributing factors for autoimmunity provide new explanation whereby the interactions between genetic elements and epigenetic modifications signed by environmental agents may be responsible for autoimmune disease initiation and perpetuation. It is aimed through this article to review recent progress attempting to reveal how epigenetics associates with the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  1. Epigenetics in heart failure phenotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Berezin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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 birth weight profiles in ART compared with spontaneously conceived singletons. Conception......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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Review of Epigenetics: A Reference Manual

    OpenAIRE

    Banister, Carolyn E

    2012-01-01

    The study of epigenetics has experienced exponential growth in the past 15 years and continues to be a major focus of study across biological disciplines. A new reference text Epigenetics: A Reference Manual, published by Caister Academic Press and edited by Jeffrey M. Craig and Nicholas C. Wong (Developmental Epigenetics Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Victoria, Australia), presents a current and comprehensive look into the many facets of epigenetics research. The information t...

  6. Epigenetic Inheritance Across the Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Vaughn Whipple

    2016-10-01

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

  7. Chromatin Regulators in Pancreas Development and Diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stephanie A; Hoffman, Brad G

    2016-03-01

    The chromatin landscape of a cell is dynamic and can be altered by chromatin regulators that control nucleosome placement and DNA or histone modifications. Together with transcription factors, these complexes help dictate the transcriptional output of a cell and, thus, balance cell proliferation and differentiation while restricting tissue-specific gene expression. In this review, we describe current research on chromatin regulators and their roles in pancreas development and the maintenance of mature β cell function, which, once elucidated, will help us better understand how β cell differentiation occurs and is maintained. These studies have so far implicated proteins from several complexes that regulate DNA methylation, nucleosome remodeling, and histone acetylation and methylation that could become promising targets for diabetes therapy and stem cell differentiation.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic influence on embryonic development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Donkin, Ida; Barrès, Romain; Pinborg, Anja

    2016-01-01

    The epigenome is sensitive to environmental changes and can sustainably alter gene expression, notably during embryonic development. New research indicates that epigenetic factors are heritable, which is why paternal lifestyle may affect fetal development and risk of disease. Children conceived...... by assisted reproduction technology (ART) have an increased risk of peri- and postnatal complications, and as specific ART protocols associate with specific risk profiles, the procedures themselves may cause epigenetic changes contributing to the altered outcomes of the 5,000 Danish children annually...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Epigenetic programming by stress and glucocorticoids along the human lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zannas, A S; Chrousos, G P

    2017-03-14

    Psychosocial stress triggers a set of behavioral, neural, hormonal, and molecular responses that can be a driving force for survival when adaptive and time-limited, but may also contribute to a host of disease states if dysregulated or chronic. The beneficial or detrimental effects of stress are largely mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, a highly conserved neurohormonal cascade that culminates in systemic secretion of glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids activate the glucocorticoid receptor, a ubiquitous nuclear receptor that not only causes widespread changes in transcriptional programs, but also induces lasting epigenetic modifications in many target tissues. While the epigenome remains sensitive to stressors throughout life, we propose two key principles that may govern the epigenetics of stress and glucocorticoids along the lifespan: first, the presence of distinct life periods, during which the epigenome shows heightened plasticity to stress exposure, such as in early development and at advanced age; and, second, the potential of stress-induced epigenetic changes to accumulate throughout life both in select chromatin regions and at the genome-wide level. These principles have important clinical and translational implications, and they show striking parallels with the existence of sensitive developmental periods and the cumulative impact of stressful experiences on the development of stress-related phenotypes. We hope that this conceptual mechanistic framework will stimulate fruitful research that aims at unraveling the molecular pathways through which our life stories sculpt genomic function to contribute to complex behavioral and somatic phenotypes.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 March 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.35.

  15. Epigenetic Case Studies in Agricultural Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    In many biological processes, the regulation of gene expression involves epigenetic mechanisms. An altered pattern of epigenetic modification is central to many animal diseases. Using animal disease models, we have studied one of the major epigenetic components: DNA methylation. We characterized the...

  16. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  17. A single amino acid substitution confers enhanced methylation activity of mammalian Dnmt3b on chromatin DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Li; Gao, Ge; Zhang, Ying; Zhang, He; Ye, Zhiqiang; Huang, Shichao; Huang, Jinyan; Kang, Jiuhong

    2010-10-01

    Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b are paralogous enzymes responsible for de novo DNA methylation but with distinguished biological functions. In mice, disruption of Dnmt3b but not Dnmt3a causes global DNA hypomethylation, especially in repetitive sequences, which comprise the large majority of methylated DNA in the genome. By measuring DNA methylation activity of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b homologues from five species, we found that mammalian Dnmt3b possessed significantly higher methylation activity on chromatin DNA than Dnmt3a and non-mammalian Dnmt3b. Sequence comparison and mutagenesis experiments identified a single amino acid substitution (I662N) in mammalian Dnmt3b as being crucial for its high chromatin DNA methylation activity. Further mechanistic studies demonstrated this substitution markedly enhanced the binding of Dnmt3b to nucleosomes and hence increased the chromatin DNA methylation activity. Moreover, this substitution was crucial for Dnmt3b to efficiently methylate repetitive sequences, which increased dramatically in mammalian genomes. Consistent with our observation that Dnmt3b evolved more rapidly than Dnmt3a during the emergence of mammals, these results demonstrated that the I662N substitution in mammalian Dnmt3b conferred enhanced chromatin DNA methylation activity and contributed to functional adaptation in the epigenetic system.

  18. [DNA methylation and epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniushin, B F

    2006-09-01

    sensitive to DNA methylation. It seems likely that plants, similarly to microorganisms and some lower eukaryotes, have restriction--modification (R--M) system. Discovery of the essential role of DNA methylation in regulation of genetic processes served as a principle basis and materialization of epigenetics and epigenomics.

  19. 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.

  20. A model for transmission of the H3K27me3 epigenetic mark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Klaus H; Bracken, Adrian P; Pasini, Diego; Dietrich, Nikolaj; Gehani, Simmi S; Monrad, Astrid; Rappsilber, Juri; Lerdrup, Mads; Helin, Kristian

    2008-11-01

    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. Here we provide a model to explain how trimethylated Lys 27 of histone 3 (H3K27me3), which is catalysed by the EZH2-containing Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2), is maintained in proliferating cells. We show that the PRC2 complex binds to the H3K27me3 mark and colocalizes with this mark in G1 phase and with sites of ongoing DNA replication. Efficient binding requires an intact trimeric PRC2 complex containing EZH2, EED and SUZ12, but is independent of the catalytic SET domain of EZH2. Using a heterologous reporter system, we show that transient recruitment of the PRC2 complex to chromatin, upstream of the transcriptional start site, is sufficient to maintain repression through endogenous PRC2 during subsequent cell divisions. Thus, we suggest that once the H3K27me3 is established, it recruits the PRC2 complex to maintain the mark at sites of DNA replication, leading to methylation of H3K27 on the daughter strands 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 and transcriptional programs.