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Sample records for chemicals involves epigenetic

  1. Smoking and diabetes. Epigenetics involvement in osseointegration.

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    Razzouk, Sleiman; Sarkis, Rami

    2013-03-01

    Bone quality is a poorly defined parameter for successful implant placement, which largely depends upon many environmental and genetic factors unique to every individual. Smoking and diabetes are among the environmental factors that most impact osseointegration. However, there is an inter-individual variability of bone response in smokers and diabetic patients. Recent data on gene-environment interactions highlight the major role of epigenetic changes to induce a specific phenotype. Histone acetylation and DNA methylation are the main events that occur and modulate the gene expression. In this paper, we emphasize the impact of epigenetics on diabetes and smoking and describe their significance in bone healing. Also, we underscore the importance of adopting a new approach in clinical management for implant placement by customizing the treatment according to the patient's specific characteristics.

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

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    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/.

  3. Influence of environmental chemicals on epigenetic programming and its applicability in human health risk assessment.

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    The field of epigenetics is rapidly evolving in response to the growing concern that heritable changes in gene expression may be involved in chemically-mediated adverse health outcomes, such as cancer. Although human and animal studies have shown a strong involvement of epigeneti...

  4. Chemical genetics approaches for selective intervention in epigenetics.

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    Runcie, Andrew C; Chan, Kwok-Ho; Zengerle, Michael; Ciulli, Alessio

    2016-08-01

    Chemical genetics is the use of biologically active small molecules (chemical probes) to investigate the functions of gene products, through the modulation of protein activity. Recent years have seen significant progress in the application of chemical genetics to study epigenetics, following the development of new chemical probes, a growing appreciation of the role of epigenetics in disease and a recognition of the need and utility of high-quality, cell-active chemical probes. In this review, we single out the bromodomain reader domains as a prime example of both the success, and challenges facing chemical genetics. The difficulty in generating single-target selectivity has long been a thorn in the side of chemical genetics, however, recent developments in advanced forms of chemical genetics promise to bypass this, and other, limitations. The 'bump-and-hole' approach has now been used to probe - for the first time - the BET bromodomain subfamily with single-target selectivity and may be applicable to other epigenetic domains. Meanwhile, PROTAC compounds have been shown to be significantly more efficacious than standard domain inhibitors, and have the potential to enhance target selectivity.

  5. Epigenetic Effects of Environmental Chemicals Bisphenol A and Phthalates

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    Steven Shoei-Lung Li

    2012-08-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetic alterations induced by genotoxic occupational and environmental human chemical carcinogens: A systematic literature review.

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    Chappell, Grace; Pogribny, Igor P; Guyton, Kathryn Z; Rusyn, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic alterations play an important role in chemically-induced carcinogenesis. Although the epigenome and genome may be equally important in carcinogenicity, the genotoxicity of chemical agents and exposure-related transcriptomic responses have been more thoroughly studied and characterized. To better understand the evidence for epigenetic alterations of human carcinogens, and the potential association with genotoxic endpoints, we conducted a systematic review of published studies of genotoxic carcinogens that reported epigenetic endpoints. Specifically, we searched for publications reporting epigenetic effects for the 28 agents and occupations included in Monograph Volume 100F of the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC) that were classified as "carcinogenic to humans" (Group 1) with strong evidence of genotoxic mechanisms of carcinogenesis. We identified a total of 158 studies that evaluated epigenetic alterations for 12 of these 28 carcinogenic agents and occupations (1,3-butadiene, 4-aminobiphenyl, aflatoxins, benzene, benzidine, benzo[a]pyrene, coke production, formaldehyde, occupational exposure as a painter, sulfur mustard, and vinyl chloride). Aberrant DNA methylation was most commonly studied, followed by altered expression of non-coding RNAs and histone changes (totaling 85, 59 and 25 studies, respectively). For 3 carcinogens (aflatoxins, benzene and benzo[a]pyrene), 10 or more studies reported epigenetic effects. However, epigenetic studies were sparse for the remaining 9 carcinogens; for 4 agents, only 1 or 2 published reports were identified. While further research is needed to better identify carcinogenesis-associated epigenetic perturbations for many potential carcinogens, published reports on specific epigenetic endpoints can be systematically identified and increasingly incorporated in cancer hazard assessments.

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

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    Lawaetz, Andreas C.; Almstrup, Kristian

    2015-01-01

    Testicular germ cell cancer manifests mainly in young adults as a seminoma or non-seminoma. The solid tumors are preceded by the presence of a non-invasive precursor cell, the carcinoma in situ cell (CIS), which shows great similarity to fetal germ cells. It is therefore hypothesized that the CIS...... of epigenetic modifiers with a focus on jumonji C enzymes in the development of testicular dysgenesis and germ cell cancer in men....... cell is a fetal germ cell that has been arrested during development due to testicular dysgenesis. CIS cells retain a fetal and open chromatin structure, and recently several epigenetic modifiers have been suggested to be involved in testicular dysgenesis in mice. We here review the possible involvement...

  9. In planta assays involving epigenetically silenced genes reveal inhibition of cytosine methylation by genistein

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    Arase Sachiko

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cytosine methylation is involved in epigenetic control of gene expression in a wide range of organisms. An increasing number of examples indicate that changing the frequency of cytosine methylation in the genome is a feasible tool to engineer novel traits in plants. Although demethylating effects of compounds have been analyzed in human cultured cells in terms of suppressing cancer, their effect in plant cells has not been analyzed extensively. Here, we developed in planta assay systems to detect inhibition of cytosine methylation using plants that contain a transgene transcriptionally silenced by an epigenetic mechanism. Results Seeds of two transgenic plants were used: a petunia line that has been identified as a revertant of the co-suppression of the chalcone synthase-A (CHS-A gene and contains CHS-A transgenes whose transcription is repressed; Nicotiana benthamiana plants that contain the green fluorescent protein (GFP reporter gene whose transcription is repressed through virus-induced transcriptional gene silencing. Seeds of these plants were sown on a medium that contained a demethylating agent, either 5-azacytidine or trichostatin A, and the restoration of the transcriptionally active state of the transgene was detected in seedlings. Using these systems, we found that genistein, a major isoflavonoid compound, inhibits cytosine methylation, thus restoring transgene transcription. Genistein also restored the transcription of an epigenetically silenced endogenous gene in Arabidopsis plants. Conclusions Our assay systems allowed us to assess the inhibition of cytosine methylation, in particular of maintenance of methylation, by compounds in plant cells. These results suggest a novel role of flavonoids in plant cells and that genistein is useful for modifying the epigenetic state of plant genomes.

  10. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Autism Spectrum Disorders

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    Takeo Kubota

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Human intelligence and polymorphisms in the DNA methyltransferase genes involved in epigenetic marking.

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    Paul Haggarty

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in syndromes associated with mental impairment but little is known about the role of epigenetics in determining the normal variation in human intelligence. We measured polymorphisms in four DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B and DNMT3L involved in epigenetic marking and related these to childhood and adult general intelligence in a population (n = 1542 consisting of two Scottish cohorts born in 1936 and residing in Lothian (n = 1075 or Aberdeen (n = 467. All subjects had taken the same test of intelligence at age 11yrs. The Lothian cohort took the test again at age 70yrs. The minor T allele of DNMT3L SNP 11330C>T (rs7354779 allele was associated with a higher standardised childhood intelligence score; greatest effect in the dominant analysis but also significant in the additive model (coefficient = 1.40(additive; 95%CI 0.22,2.59; p = 0.020 and 1.99(dominant; 95%CI 0.55,3.43; p = 0.007. The DNMT3L C allele was associated with an increased risk of being below average intelligence (OR 1.25(additive; 95%CI 1.05,1.51; p = 0.011 and OR 1.37(dominant; 95%CI 1.11,1.68; p = 0.003, and being in the lowest 40(th (p(additive = 0.009; p(dominant = 0.002 and lowest 30(th (p(additive = 0.004; p(dominant = 0.002 centiles for intelligence. After Bonferroni correction for the number variants tested the link between DNMT3L 11330C>T and childhood intelligence remained significant by linear regression and centile analysis; only the additive regression model was borderline significant. Adult intelligence was similarly linked to the DNMT3L variant but this analysis was limited by the numbers studied and nature of the test and the association was not significant after Bonferroni correction. We believe that the role of epigenetics in the normal variation in human intelligence merits further study and that this novel finding should be tested in other cohorts.

  12. Human intelligence and polymorphisms in the DNA methyltransferase genes involved in epigenetic marking.

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    Haggarty, Paul; Hoad, Gwen; Harris, Sarah E; Starr, John M; Fox, Helen C; Deary, Ian J; Whalley, Lawrence J

    2010-06-25

    Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in syndromes associated with mental impairment but little is known about the role of epigenetics in determining the normal variation in human intelligence. We measured polymorphisms in four DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B and DNMT3L) involved in epigenetic marking and related these to childhood and adult general intelligence in a population (n = 1542) consisting of two Scottish cohorts born in 1936 and residing in Lothian (n = 1075) or Aberdeen (n = 467). All subjects had taken the same test of intelligence at age 11yrs. The Lothian cohort took the test again at age 70yrs. The minor T allele of DNMT3L SNP 11330C>T (rs7354779) allele was associated with a higher standardised childhood intelligence score; greatest effect in the dominant analysis but also significant in the additive model (coefficient = 1.40(additive); 95%CI 0.22,2.59; p = 0.020 and 1.99(dominant); 95%CI 0.55,3.43; p = 0.007). The DNMT3L C allele was associated with an increased risk of being below average intelligence (OR 1.25(additive); 95%CI 1.05,1.51; p = 0.011 and OR 1.37(dominant); 95%CI 1.11,1.68; p = 0.003), and being in the lowest 40(th) (p(additive) = 0.009; p(dominant) = 0.002) and lowest 30(th) (p(additive) = 0.004; p(dominant) = 0.002) centiles for intelligence. After Bonferroni correction for the number variants tested the link between DNMT3L 11330C>T and childhood intelligence remained significant by linear regression and centile analysis; only the additive regression model was borderline significant. Adult intelligence was similarly linked to the DNMT3L variant but this analysis was limited by the numbers studied and nature of the test and the association was not significant after Bonferroni correction. We believe that the role of epigenetics in the normal variation in human intelligence merits further study and that this novel finding should be tested in other cohorts.

  13. Multigenerational and transgenerational effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals: A role for altered epigenetic regulation?

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    Xin, Frances; Susiarjo, Martha; Bartolomei, Marisa S

    2015-07-01

    Increasing evidence has highlighted the critical role of early life environment in shaping the future health outcomes of an individual. Moreover, recent studies have revealed that early life perturbations can affect the health of subsequent generations. Hypothesized mechanisms of multi- and transgenerational inheritance of abnormal developmental phenotypes include epigenetic misregulation in germ cells. In this review, we will focus on the available data demonstrating the ability of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and parabens, to alter epigenetic marks in rodents and humans. These epigenetic marks include DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications, and non-coding RNAs. We also review the current evidence for multi- and transgenerational inheritance of abnormal developmental changes in the offspring following EDC exposure. Based on published results, we conclude that EDC exposure can alter the mouse and human epigenome, with variable tissue susceptibilities. Although increasing data suggest that exposure to EDCs is linked to transgenerational inheritance of reproductive, metabolic, or neurological phenotypes, more studies are needed to validate these observations and to elucidate further whether these developmental changes are directly associated with the relevant epigenetic alterations.

  14. Epigenetic Profiling of H3K4Me3 Reveals Herbal Medicine Jinfukang-Induced Epigenetic Alteration Is Involved in Anti-Lung Cancer Activity.

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    Lu, Jun; Zhang, Xiaoli; Shen, Tingting; Ma, Chao; Wu, Jun; Kong, Hualei; Tian, Jing; Shao, Zhifeng; Zhao, Xiaodong; Xu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine Jinfukang (JFK) has been clinically used for treating lung cancer. To examine whether epigenetic modifications are involved in its anticancer activity, we performed a global profiling analysis of H3K4Me3, an epigenomic marker associated with active gene expression, in JFK-treated lung cancer cells. We identified 11,670 genes with significantly altered status of H3K4Me3 modification following JFK treatment (P JFK. Collectively, these findings provide the first evidence that the anticancer activity of JFK involves modulation of histone modification at many cancer-related gene loci.

  15. Expression of Some Genes Involved in Epigenetic in Breast Cancer Cell Lines: The Effect of Quercetin

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    fahime mohamadian

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background & Objectives: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. Incorrect pattern of gene expression involved in epigenetic including APOBEC3B, DNMT-1, and TET-1 can develop breast cancer. Quercetin is a natural flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties that have been reported in other studies. To investigate the effect mechanism of quercetin, this study examined the effect of quercetin on the expression of genes which were referred to in two classes of breast cancer cell lines. Materials & Methods: Cell lines including MCF-7 and MDA-MB-453 in separate boxes in the control group and the treated groups with two dosages of 50 and 100 mm of quercetin were cultured for 24 and 48 hours, respectively. RNA was extracted from the cells and then was converted to cDNA. Real-time PCR was used for APOBEC3B, DNMT_1, and TET-1 expression. Results: The results showed that quercetin had conflicting results after 24 hours in two cell lines as there was a decrease in the gene expression of APQBEC3B and an increase in that of DNMT-1 in MCF-7 cell line. In contrast, the cell line of MDA-MB-453, APOBEC3B, and DNMT-1 gene expression increased. While the 48-hour results showed that quercetin reduced the gene expression of APOBEC3B and DNMT-1 and increased that of the TET-1 in both cell lines. Conclusion: Due to the satisfactory effects of quercetin on breast cancer cells after 48 hours, these effects can be probably applied through epigenetic mechanisms. However, the final decision needs further investigation.

  16. RPL1, a Gene Involved in Epigenetic Processes Regulates Phenotypic Plasticity in Rice

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    Cui-Cui Zhang; Wen-Ya Yuan; Qi-Fa Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Organisms can adjust their phenotype in response to changing environmental conditions.This phenomenon is termed phenotypic plasticity.Despite its ubiquitous occurrence,there has been very little study on the molecular mechanism of phenotypic plasticity.In this study,we isolated a rice (Oryza sativa L.) mutant,rice plasticity 1 (rpl1),that displayed increased environment-dependent phenotypic variations.RPL1 was expressed in all tissues examined.The protein was localized in the nucleus and its distribution in the nucleus overlapped with heterochromatin.The rpl1 mutation led to an increase in DNA methylation on repetitive sequences and a decrease in overall histone acetylation.In addition,the mutation affected responses of the rice plant to phytohormones such as brassinosteroid,gibberellin,and cytokinin.Analysis of the putative rice brassinosteroid receptor OsBRI1,a key hormone signaling gene,indicated that RPL1 may be involved in the regulation of epigenomic modification of the gene.These data suggest that RPL1 regulated phenotypic plasticity likely through its involvement in epigenetic processes affecting responses of the plant to phytohormones.

  17. Incorporating transgenerational testing and epigenetic mechanisms into chemical testing and risk assessment: A survey of transgenerational responses in environmental chemical studies

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    A number of environmental chemicals have been shown to alter markers of epigenetic change. Some published multi-generation rodent studies have identified effects on F2 and greater generations after chemical exposures solely to F0 dams, but were not focused on chemical safety. We ...

  18. DksA involvement in transcription fidelity buffers stochastic epigenetic change.

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    Satory, Dominik; Gordon, Alasdair J E; Wang, Mengyu; Halliday, Jennifer A; Golding, Ido; Herman, Christophe

    2015-12-01

    DksA is an auxiliary transcription factor that interacts with RNA polymerase and influences gene expression. Depending on the promoter, DksA can be a positive or negative regulator of transcription initiation. Moreover, DksA has a substantial effect on transcription elongation where it prevents the collision of transcription and replication machineries, plays a key role in maintaining transcription elongation when translation and transcription are uncoupled and has been shown to be involved in transcription fidelity. Here, we assessed the role of DksA in transcription fidelity by monitoring stochastic epigenetic switching in the lac operon (with and without an error-prone transcription slippage sequence), partial phenotypic suppression of a lacZ nonsense allele, as well as monitoring the number of lacI mRNA transcripts produced in the presence and absence of DksA via an operon fusion and single molecule fluorescent in situ hybridization studies. We present data showing that DksA acts to maintain transcription fidelity in vivo and the role of DksA seems to be distinct from that of the GreA and GreB transcription fidelity factors.

  19. Chronic alcohol exposure inhibits biotin uptake by pancreatic acinar cells: possible involvement of epigenetic mechanisms.

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    Srinivasan, Padmanabhan; Kapadia, Rubina; Biswas, Arundhati; Said, Hamid M

    2014-11-01

    Chronic exposure to alcohol affects different physiological aspects of pancreatic acinar cells (PAC), but its effect on the uptake process of biotin is not known. We addressed this issue using mouse-derived pancreatic acinar 266-6 cells chronically exposed to alcohol and wild-type and transgenic mice (carrying the human SLC5A6 5'-promoter) fed alcohol chronically. First we established that biotin uptake by PAC is Na(+) dependent and carrier mediated and involves sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT). Chronic exposure of 266-6 cells to alcohol led to a significant inhibition in biotin uptake, expression of SMVT protein, and mRNA as well as in the activity of the SLC5A6 promoter. Similarly, chronic alcohol feeding of wild-type and transgenic mice carrying the SLC5A6 promoter led to a significant inhibition in biotin uptake by PAC, as well as in the expression of SMVT protein and mRNA and the activity of the SLC5A6 promoters expressed in the transgenic mice. We also found that chronic alcohol feeding of mice is associated with a significant increase in the methylation status of CpG islands predicted to be in the mouse Slc5a6 promoters and a decrease in the level of expression of transcription factor KLF-4, which plays an important role in regulating SLC5A6 promoter activity. These results demonstrate, for the first time, that chronic alcohol exposure negatively impacts biotin uptake in PAC and that this effect is exerted (at least in part) at the level of transcription of the SLC5A6 gene and may involve epigenetic/molecular mechanisms.

  20. Breast cancer: mechanisms involved in action of phytoestrogens and epigenetic changes.

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    Dagdemir, Aslihan; Durif, Julie; Ngollo, Marjolaine; Bignon, Yves-Jean; Bernard-Gallon, Dominique

    2013-01-01

    In this review, we consider phytoestrogens and different epigenetic modifications in breast cancer. Epigenetic phenomena are mediated by several molecular mechanisms comprising histone modifications, small non-coding or anti-sense RNA and DNA methylation. These different modifications are closely interrelated. De-regulation of gene expression is a hallmark of cancer. Although genetic lesions have been the focus of cancer research for many years, it has become increasingly recognized that aberrant epigenetic modifications also play major roles in breast carcinogenesis. The incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer are high in the Western world compared with countries in Asia. There are also differences in the breast cancer incidence rates in different Western countries. This could be related to phytoestrogens.

  1. Epigenetic Profiling of H3K4Me3 Reveals Herbal Medicine Jinfukang-Induced Epigenetic Alteration Is Involved in Anti-Lung Cancer Activity

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    Jun Lu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional Chinese medicine Jinfukang (JFK has been clinically used for treating lung cancer. To examine whether epigenetic modifications are involved in its anticancer activity, we performed a global profiling analysis of H3K4Me3, an epigenomic marker associated with active gene expression, in JFK-treated lung cancer cells. We identified 11,670 genes with significantly altered status of H3K4Me3 modification following JFK treatment (P<0.05. Gene Ontology analysis indicates that these genes are involved in tumor-related pathways, including pathway in cancer, basal cell carcinoma, apoptosis, induction of programmed cell death, regulation of transcription (DNA-templated, intracellular signal transduction, and regulation of peptidase activity. In particular, we found that the levels of H3K4Me3 at the promoters of SUSD2, CCND2, BCL2A1, and TMEM158 are significantly altered in A549, NCI-H1975, NCI-H1650, and NCI-H2228 cells, when treated with JFK. Collectively, these findings provide the first evidence that the anticancer activity of JFK involves modulation of histone modification at many cancer-related gene loci.

  2. DNA Methylation Pyrosequencing Assay Is Applicable for the Assessment of Epigenetic Active Environmental or Clinical Relevant Chemicals

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    Ana-Maria Florea

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Exposure of cells and organisms to stressors might result in epigenetic changes. Here it is shown that investigation of DNA methylation using pyrosequencing is an alternative for in vitro and in vivo toxicological testing of epigenetic effects induced by chemicals and drugs. An in vitro evaluation of global and CpG site specific DNA methylation upon treatment of cells with chemicals/drugs is shown. Bisulfite genomic sequencing of methylation controls showed high methylation of LINE1 in methylation positive control and low methylation in the negative controls. The CpG sites within the LINE1 element are methylated at different levels. In vitro cell cultures show a methylation level ranging from 56% to 49%. Cultures of drug resistant tumor cells show significant hypomethylation as compared with the originating nonresistant tumor cells. The in vitro testing of epigenetically active chemicals (5-methyl-2’-deoxycytidine and trichostatin A revealed a significant change of LINE1 methylation status upon treatment, while specific CpG sites were more prone to demethylation than others (focal methylation. In conclusion, DNA methylation using pyrosequencing might be used not only for testing epigenetic toxins/drugs but also in risk assessment of drugs, food, and environmental relevant pollutants.

  3. Epigenetic involvement in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome: a mini-review.

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    Arancio, Walter; Pizzolanti, Giuseppe; Genovese, Swonild I; Pitrone, Maria; Giordano, Carla

    2014-01-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a rare human genetic disease that leads to a severe premature ageing phenotype, caused by mutations in the LMNA gene. The LMNA gene codes for lamin-A and lamin-C proteins, which are structural components of the nuclear lamina. HGPS is usually caused by a de novo C1824T mutation that leads to the accumulation of a dominant negative form of lamin-A called progerin. Progerin also accumulates physiologically in normal ageing cells as a rare splicing form of lamin-A transcripts. From this perspective, HGPS cells seem to be good candidates for the study of the physiological mechanisms of ageing. Progerin accumulation leads to faster cellular senescence, stem cell depletion and the progeroid phenotype. Tissues of mesodermic origin are especially affected by HGPS. HGPS patients usually have a bad quality of life and, with current treatments, their life expectancy does not exceed their second decade at best. Though progerin can be expressed in almost any tissue, when death occurs, it is usually due to cardiovascular complications. In HGPS, severe epigenetic alterations have been reported. Histone-covalent modifications are radically different from control specimens, with the tendency to lose the bipartition into euchromatin and heterochromatin. This is reflected in an altered spatial compartmentalization and conformation of chromatin within the nucleus. Moreover, it seems that microRNAs and microRNA biosynthesis might play a role in HGPS. Exemplary in this connection is the suggested protective effect of miR-9 on the central nervous system of affected individuals. This mini-review will report on the state of the art of HGPS epigenetics, and there will be a discussion of how epigenetic alterations in HGPS cells can alter the cellular metabolism and lead to the systemic syndrome.

  4. Putative Epigenetic Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in Anxiety- and Depression-Related Behaviors Caused by Nicotine as a Stressor.

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    Tamaki Hayase

    Full Text Available Like various stressors, the addictive use of nicotine (NC is associated with emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression, although the underlying mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated due to the complicated involvement of target neurotransmitter systems. In the elicitation of these emotional symptoms, the fundamental involvement of epigenetic mechanisms such as histone acetylation has recently been suggested. Furthermore, among the interacting neurotransmitter systems implicated in the effects of NC and stressors, the endocannabinoid (ECB system is considered to contribute indispensably to anxiety and depression. In the present study, the epigenetic involvement of histone acetylation induced by histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors was investigated in anxiety- and depression-related behavioral alterations caused by NC and/or immobilization stress (IM. Moreover, based on the contributing roles of the ECB system, the interacting influence of ECB ligands on the effects of HDAC inhibitors was evaluated in order to examine epigenetic therapeutic interventions. Anxiety-like (elevated plus-maze test and depression-like (forced swimming test behaviors, which were observed in mice treated with repeated (4 days NC (subcutaneous 0.8 mg/kg and/or IM (10 min, were blocked by the HDAC inhibitors sodium butyrate (SB and valproic acid (VA. The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1 agonist ACPA (arachidonylcyclopropylamide; AC also antagonized these behaviors. Conversely, the CB1 antagonist SR 141716A (SR, which counteracted the effects of AC, attenuated the anxiolytic-like effects of the HDAC inhibitors commonly in the NC and/or IM groups. SR also attenuated the antidepressant-like effects of the HDAC inhibitors, most notably in the IM group. From these results, the combined involvement of histone acetylation and ECB system was shown in anxiety- and depression-related behaviors. In the NC treatment groups, the limited influence of SR against the HDAC inhibitor

  5. Perspectives on natural product epigenetic modulators in chemical biology and medicine.

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    Cherblanc, Fanny L; Davidson, Robert W M; Di Fruscia, Paolo; Srimongkolpithak, Nitipol; Fuchter, Matthew J

    2013-05-01

    Epigenetic processes are complex regulatory transcriptional pathways that underpin fundamental physiology and are implicated in the aetiology of many diseases. Small molecule modulators of key epigenetic targets will be central in the study of these intricate networks as well as providing highly useful start points for drug discovery efforts. In this review we will give our perspective on the current status of natural product epigenetic modulators, highlighting the limitations, challenges and opportunities for currently identified molecules, as well as potential strategies for novel compound discovery moving forward.

  6. Epigenetic targets of polyphenols in cancer.

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    Yang, Pinglin; He, Xijing; Malhotra, Anshoo

    2014-01-01

    Interest in dietary polyphenols has recently increased greatly owing to their antioxidant capacity and their possible beneficial implications in various pathological states, including cancer. Polyphenols are a group of chemicals found in many fruits, vegetables, and plants and have the ability to remove free radicals from the body. In the last 2 decades, the numbers of reports on the potential health benefits of polyphenols have increased. This review provides the available scientific data that justify importance of polyphenols in correlation with epigenetics to fight against carcinogenesis. Epigenetics involves genetic control by mechanisms other than DNA sequence. These epigenetic mechanisms have ability to switch on or off various important genes influencing the process of cancer. Furthermore, due to the reversible nature of these epigenetic mechanisms, they are influenced by a variety of dietary polyphenols. This review focuses on the dietary polyphenols that significantly affect these epigenetic mechanisms to mitigate carcinogenesis.

  7. Epigenetic regulation of nitric oxide synthase 2, inducible (Nos2) by NLRC4 inflammasomes involves PARP1 cleavage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzzo, Carina de Lima; Medina, Tiago; Branco, Laura M.; Lage, Silvia L.; Ferreira, Luís Carlos de Souza; Amarante-Mendes, Gustavo P.; Hottiger, Michael O.; De Carvalho, Daniel D.; Bortoluci, Karina R.

    2017-01-01

    Nitric oxide synthase 2, inducible (Nos2) expression is necessary for the microbicidal activity of macrophages. However, NOS2 over-activation causes multiple inflammatory disorders, suggesting a tight gene regulation is necessary. Using cytosolic flagellin as a model for inflammasome-dependent NOS2 activation, we discovered a surprising new role for NLRC4/caspase-1 axis in regulating chromatin accessibility of the Nos2 promoter. We found that activation of two independent mechanisms is necessary for NOS2 expression by cytosolic flagellin: caspase-1 and NF-κB activation. NF-κB activation was necessary, but not sufficient, for NOS2 expression. Conversely, caspase-1 was necessary for NOS2 expression, but dispensable for NF-κB activation, indicating that this protease acts downstream NF-κB activation. We demonstrated that epigenetic regulation of Nos2 by caspase-1 involves cleavage of the chromatin regulator PARP1 (also known as ARTD1) and chromatin accessibility of the NF-κB binding sites located at the Nos2 promoter. Remarkably, caspase-1-mediated Nos2 transcription and NO production contribute to the resistance of macrophages to Salmonella typhimurium infection. Our results uncover the molecular mechanism behind the constricted regulation of Nos2 expression and open new therapeutic opportunities based on epigenetic activities of caspase-1 against infectious and inflammatory diseases. PMID:28150715

  8. 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.

  9. GM1 ganglioside is involved in epigenetic activation loci of neuronal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Yi-Tzang; Itokazu, Yutaka; Yu, Robert K.

    2015-01-01

    Gangliosides are sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids that are most abundant in the nerve tissues. The quantity and expression pattern of gangliosides in brain change drastically throughout development and are mainly regulated through stage-specific expression of glycosyltransferase (ganglioside synthase) genes. We previously demonstrated that acetylation of histones H3 and H4 on the N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase I (GalNAcT, GA2/GM2/GD2/GT2-synthase) gene promoter resulted in recruitment of trans-activation factors. In addition, we reported that epigenetic activation of the GalNAcT gene was also detected as accompanied by an apparent induction of neuronal differentiation in neural stem cells responding to an exogenous supplement of ganglioside GM1. Here, we present evidence supporting the concept that nuclear GM1 is associated with gene regulation in neuronal cells. We found that nuclear GM1 binds acetylated histones on the promoters of the GalNAcT and NeuroD1 genes in differentiated neurons. Our study demonstrates for the first time that GM1 interacts with chromatin via acetylated histones at the nuclear periphery of neuronal cells. PMID:26498762

  10. 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.

  11. Multigenerational and transgenerational effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals: A role for altered epigenetic regulation?

    OpenAIRE

    Xin, Frances; Susiarjo, Martha; Bartolomei, Marisa S.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has highlighted the critical role of early life environment in shaping the future health outcomes of an individual. Moreover, recent studies have revealed that early life perturbations can affect the health of subsequent generations. Hypothesized mechanisms of multi- and transgenerational inheritance of abnormal developmental phenotypes include epigenetic misregulation in germ cells. In this review, we will focus on the available data demonstrating the ability of endocrine...

  12. DUBbing cancer: Deubiquitylating enzymes involved in epigenetics, DNA damage and the cell cycle as therapeutic targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt M Kessler

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Controlling cell proliferation is one of the hallmarks of cancer. A number of critical checkpoints ascertain progression through the different stages of the cell cycle, which can be aborted when perturbed, for instance by errors in DNA replication and repair. These molecular checkpoints are regulated by a number of proteins that need to be present at the right time and quantity. The ubiquitin system has emerged as a central player controlling the fate and function of such molecules such as cyclins, oncogenes and components of the DNA repair machinery. In particular, proteases that cleave ubiquitin chains, referred to as deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs, have attracted recent attention due to their accessibility to modulation by small molecules. In this review, we describe recent evidence of the critical role of DUBs in aspects of cell cycle checkpoint control, associated DNA repair mechanisms and regulation of transcription, representing pathways altered in cancer. Therefore, DUBs involved in these processes emerge as potentially critical targets for the treatment of not only hematological, but potentially also solid tumors.

  13. DUBbing Cancer: Deubiquitylating Enzymes Involved in Epigenetics, DNA Damage and the Cell Cycle As Therapeutic Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto-Fernandez, Adan; Kessler, Benedikt M

    2016-01-01

    Controlling cell proliferation is one of the hallmarks of cancer. A number of critical checkpoints ascertain progression through the different stages of the cell cycle, which can be aborted when perturbed, for instance by errors in DNA replication and repair. These molecular checkpoints are regulated by a number of proteins that need to be present at the right time and quantity. The ubiquitin system has emerged as a central player controlling the fate and function of such molecules such as cyclins, oncogenes and components of the DNA repair machinery. In particular, proteases that cleave ubiquitin chains, referred to as deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), have attracted recent attention due to their accessibility to modulation by small molecules. In this review, we describe recent evidence of the critical role of DUBs in aspects of cell cycle checkpoint control, associated DNA repair mechanisms and regulation of transcription, representing pathways altered in cancer. Therefore, DUBs involved in these processes emerge as potentially critical targets for the treatment of not only hematological, but potentially also solid tumors.

  14. Differential expression of genes involved in the epigenetic regulation of cell identity in normal human mammary cell commitment and differentiation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Danila Coradini; Patrizia Boracchi; Saro Oriana; Elia Biganzoli; Federico Ambrogi

    2014-01-01

    The establishment and maintenance of mammary epithelial cell identity depends on the activity of a group of proteins, collectively called maintenance proteins, that act as epigenetic regulators of gene transcription through DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Increasing evidence indicates that dysregulation of these crucial proteins may disrupt epithelial cellintegrity and trigger breast tumor initiation. Therefore, we exploredin silico the expression pattern of a panel of 369 genes known to be involved in the establishment and maintenance of epithelial cellidentity and mammary gland remodeling in cell subpopulations isolated from normal human mammary tissue and selectively enriched in their content of bipotent progenitors, committed luminal progenitors, and differentiated myoepithelial or differentiated luminal cells. The results indicated that, compared to bipotent cells, differentiated myoepithelial and luminal subpopulations were both characterized by the differential expression of 4 genes involved in cell identity maintenance:CBX6 andPCGF2, encoding proteins belonging to the Polycomb group, andSMARCD3 andSMARCE1, encoding proteins belonging to the Trithorax group. In addition to these common genes, the myoepithelial phenotype was associated with the differential expression of HDAC1, which encodes histone deacetylase 1, whereas the luminal phenotype was associated with the differential expression ofSMARCA4 andHAT1, which encode a Trithorax protein and histone acetylase 1, respectively. The luminal compartment was further characterized by the overexpression ofALDH1A3 and GATA3, and the down-regulation ofNOTCH4and CCNB1, with the latter suggesting a block in cell cycle progression at the G2 phase. In contrast, myoepithelial differentiation was associated with the overexpression ofMYC and the down-regulation ofCCNE1, with the latter suggesting a block in cellcycle progression at the G1 phase.

  15. Chemical basis for the recognition of trimethyllysine by epigenetic reader proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamps, Jos J. A. G.; Huang, Jiaxin; Poater, Jordi; Xu, Chao; Pieters, Bas J. G. E.; Dong, Aiping; Min, Jinrong; Sherman, Woody; Beuming, Thijs; Matthias Bickelhaupt, F.; Li, Haitao; Mecinović, Jasmin

    2015-11-01

    A large number of structurally diverse epigenetic reader proteins specifically recognize methylated lysine residues on histone proteins. Here we describe comparative thermodynamic, structural and computational studies on recognition of the positively charged natural trimethyllysine and its neutral analogues by reader proteins. This work provides experimental and theoretical evidence that reader proteins predominantly recognize trimethyllysine via a combination of favourable cation-π interactions and the release of the high-energy water molecules that occupy the aromatic cage of reader proteins on the association with the trimethyllysine side chain. These results have implications in rational drug design by specifically targeting the aromatic cage of readers of trimethyllysine.

  16. Implications of epigenetics and stress regulation on research and developmental care of preterm infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montirosso, Rosario; Provenzi, Livio

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to chemical modifications leading to changes in gene expression without any alteration of the DNA structure. We suggest ways through which epigenetic mechanisms might contribute to alter developmental trajectories in preterm infants. Although theoretical and methodological issues still need to be addressed, we discuss how epigenetics might be an emergent research field with potential innovative insights for researchers and clinicians involved in the neonatal care of preterm infants.

  17. Early-life Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Later-life Health Outcomes: An Epigenetic Bridge?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaiserman, Alexander

    2014-12-01

    A growing body of evidence demonstrates that adverse events early in development, and particularly during intrauterine life, may program risks for diseases in adult life. Increasing evidence has been accumulated indicating the important role of epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation, histone modifications and miRNAs in developmental programming. Among the environmental factors which play an important role in programming of chronic pathologies, the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that have estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic activity are of specific concern because the developing organism is extremely sensitive to perturbation by substances with hormone-like activity. Among EDCs, there are many substances that are constantly present in the modern human environment or are in widespread use, including dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, phthalates, agricultural pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, industrial solvents, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals. Apart from their common endocrine active properties, several EDCs have been shown to disrupt developmental epigenomic programming. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of recent research findings which indicate that exposure to EDCs during in-utero and/or neonatal development can cause long-term health outcomes via mechanisms of epigenetic memory.

  18. 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...

  19. Detection of epigenetic aberrations in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yujing

    2015-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer death worldwide. Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex, multistep process. It is now recognized that HCC is a both genetic and epigenetic disease; genetic and epigenetic components cooperate at all stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. Epigenetic changes involve aberrant DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications and aberrant expression of microRNAs all of which can affect the expression of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and other tumor-related genes and alter the pathways in cancer development. Several risk factors for HCC, including hepatitis B and C virus infections and exposure to the chemical carcinogen aflatoxin B1 have been found to influence epigenetic changes. Their interactions could play an important role in the initiation and progression of HCC. Discovery and detection of biomarkers for epigenetic changes is a promising area for early diagnosis and risk prediction of HCC.

  20. Epigenetic Events Determine Tissue-Specific Toxicity of Inhalational Exposure to the Genotoxic Chemical 1,3-Butadiene in Male C57BL/6J Mice

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    1,3-Butadiene (BD), a widely used industrial chemical and a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, is a known human carcinogen. Although genotoxicity is an established mechanism of the tumorigenicity of BD, epigenetic effects have also been observed in livers of mice exposed to the chemical. To better characterize the diverse molecular mechanisms of BD tumorigenicity, we evaluated genotoxic and epigenotoxic effects of BD exposure in mouse tissues that are target (lung and liver) and non-target (...

  1. Insights into the epigenetic mechanisms involving histone lysine methylation and demethylation in ischemia induced damage and repair has therapeutic implication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarty, Sumana; Jhelum, Priya; Bhat, Unis Ahmad; Rajan, Wenson D; Maitra, Swati; Pathak, Salil S; Patel, Anant B; Kumar, Arvind

    2017-01-01

    Cerebral ischemic stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Therapeutic interventions to minimize ischemia-induced neural damage are limited due to poor understanding of molecular mechanisms mediating complex pathophysiology in stroke. Recently, epigenetic mechanisms mostly histone lysine (K) acetylation and deacetylation have been implicated in ischemic brain damage and have expanded the dimensions of potential therapeutic intervention to the systemic/local administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors. However, the role of other epigenetic mechanisms such as histone lysine methylation and demethylation in stroke-induced damage and subsequent recovery process is elusive. Here, we established an Internal Carotid Artery Occlusion (ICAO) model in CD1 mouse that resulted in mild to moderate level of ischemic damage to the striatum, as suggested by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), TUNEL and histopathological staining along with an evaluation of neurological deficit score (NDS), grip strength and rotarod performance. The molecular investigations show dysregulation of a number of histone lysine methylases (KMTs) and few of histone lysine demethylases (KDMs) post-ICAO with significant global attenuation in the transcriptionally repressive epigenetic mark H3K9me2 in the striatum. Administration of Dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG), an inhibitor of KDM4 or JMJD2 class of histone lysine demethylases, significantly ameliorated stroke-induced NDS by restoring perturbed H3K9me2 levels in the ischemia-affected striatum. Overall, these results highlight the novel role of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms controlling the epigenetic mark H3K9me2 in mediating the stroke-induced striatal damage and subsequent repair following mild to moderate cerebral ischemia.

  2. 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

  3. Research advances in epigenetic and its involvement in human malignancies%表观遗传学在肿瘤中的作用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    侯海金; 张振华; 闫慧明

    2016-01-01

    Recently, human malignant tumor is become one of main diseases which harm people's health. Tumor is a kind of genetic disease associated with genes, in the evolution process of tumorigenesis, often accompanied by the change of epigenetics, such as DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA changes. Epigenetic change as a marker of early diagnosis, may also become the new target for cancer prevention and control. This paper reviewed the current research status of epigenetic and its involvement in human malignancies.%肿瘤是目前危害人类最主要的疾病之一,是一类与基因有关的遗传性疾病,在肿瘤发生、演进过程中常伴随有表观遗传学的改变,如:DNA甲基化、组蛋白修饰、染色质重塑、非编码RNA等表观遗传学的改变。表观遗传改变不仅可以作为肿瘤早期诊断的标志,也可能成为肿瘤防治的新靶点。本文对目前表观遗传学研究现状进行综述,阐述表观遗传学在肿瘤中的作用。

  4. Epigenetic events determine tissue-specific toxicity of inhalational exposure to the genotoxic chemical 1,3-butadiene in male C57BL/6J mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, Grace; Kobets, Tetyana; O'Brien, Bridget; Tretyakova, Natalia; Sangaraju, Dewakar; Kosyk, Oksana; Sexton, Kenneth G; Bodnar, Wanda; Pogribny, Igor P; Rusyn, Ivan

    2014-12-01

    1,3-Butadiene (BD), a widely used industrial chemical and a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, is a known human carcinogen. Although genotoxicity is an established mechanism of the tumorigenicity of BD, epigenetic effects have also been observed in livers of mice exposed to the chemical. To better characterize the diverse molecular mechanisms of BD tumorigenicity, we evaluated genotoxic and epigenotoxic effects of BD exposure in mouse tissues that are target (lung and liver) and non-target (kidney) for BD-induced tumors. We hypothesized that epigenetic alterations may explain, at least in part, the tissue-specific differences in BD tumorigenicity in mice. We evaluated the level of N-7-(2,3,4-trihydroxybut-1-yl)guanine adducts and 1,4-bis-(guan-7-yl)-2,3-butanediol crosslinks, DNA methylation, and histone modifications in male C57BL/6 mice exposed to filtered air or 425 ppm of BD by inhalation (6 h/day, 5 days/week) for 2 weeks. Although DNA damage was observed in all three tissues of BD-exposed mice, variation in epigenetic effects clearly existed between the kidneys, liver, and lungs. Epigenetic alterations indicative of genomic instability, including demethylation of repetitive DNA sequences and alterations in histone-lysine acetylation, were evident in the liver and lung tissues of BD-exposed mice. Changes in DNA methylation were insignificant in the kidneys of treated mice, whereas marks of condensed heterochromatin and transcriptional silencing (histone-lysine trimethylation) were increased. These modifications may represent a potential mechanistic explanation for the lack of tumorigenesis in the kidney. Our results indicate that differential tissue susceptibility to chemical-induced tumorigenesis may be attributed to tissue-specific epigenetic alterations.

  5. Neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor 1 is a direct transcriptional and epigenetic target of IL-13 involved in allergic inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochman, M; Kartashov, A V; Caldwell, J M; Collins, M H; Stucke, E M; Kc, K; Sherrill, J D; Herren, J; Barski, A; Rothenberg, M E

    2015-07-01

    Although interleukin (IL)-13 and neurotrophins are functionally important for the pathogenesis of immune responses, the interaction of these pathways has not been explored. Herein, by interrogating IL-13-induced responses in human epithelial cells we show that neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor, type 1 (NTRK1), a cognate, high-affinity receptor for nerve growth factor (NGF), is an early transcriptional IL-13 target. Induction of NTRK1 was accompanied by accumulation of activating epigenetic marks in the promoter; transcriptional and epigenetic changes were signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 dependent. Using eosinophilic esophagitis as a model for human allergic inflammation, we found that NTRK1 was increased in inflamed tissue and dynamically expressed as a function of disease activity and that the downstream mediator of NTRK1 signaling early growth response 1 protein was elevated in allergic inflammatory tissue compared with control tissue. Unlike NTRK1, its ligand NGF was constitutively expressed in control and disease states, indicating that IL-13-stimulated NTRK1 induction is a limiting factor in pathway activation. In epithelial cells, NGF and IL-13 synergistically induced several target genes, including chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 26 (eotaxin-3). In summary, we have demonstrated that IL-13 confers epithelial cell responsiveness to NGF by regulating NTRK1 levels by a transcriptional and epigenetic mechanism and that this process likely contributes to allergic inflammation.

  6. Biotin-mediated epigenetic modifications: Potential defense against the carcinogenicity of benzo[a]pyrene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Bo; Pang, Li; Zhuang, Zhi-xiong; Liu, Jian-jun

    2016-01-22

    Environmental pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle result in direct exposure to dangerous chemicals that can modify endogenous pathways and induce malignant transformation of human cells. Although the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis are still not well understood, epigenetic alteration may be associated with exogenous chemical-induced carcinogenicity. Given the association between nutrition and cancer, nutrient supplementation may reduce aberrant epigenetic modifications induced by chemicals, thus decreasing carcinogenesis. This paper provides an overview of the epigenetic events caused by benzo[a]pyrene, a procarcinogenic and environmental pollutant, and biotin, an essential water-soluble vitamin, and investigates potential connections between them. This paper also discusses the potential inhibitory effect of biotin-related epigenetic modifications on the carcinogenicity of benzo[a]pyrene. The effect of nutritional supplementation on tumorigenesis involving epigenetic modifications is also discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Epigenetic regulation of the mammalian cell.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith Baverstock

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding how mammalian cells are regulated epigenetically to express phenotype is a priority. The cellular phenotypic transition, induced by ionising radiation, from a normal cell to the genomic instability phenotype, where the ability to replicate the genotype accurately is compromised, illustrates important features of epigenetic regulation. Based on this phenomenon and earlier work we propose a model to describe the mammalian cell as a self assembled open system operating in an environment that includes its genotype, neighbouring cells and beyond. Phenotype is represented by high dimensional attractors, evolutionarily conditioned for stability and robustness and contingent on rules of engagement between gene products encoded in the genetic network. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We describe how this system functions and note the indeterminacy and fluidity of its internal workings which place it in the logical reasoning framework of predicative logic. We find that the hypothesis is supported by evidence from cell and molecular biology. CONCLUSIONS: Epigenetic regulation and memory are fundamentally physical, as opposed to chemical, processes and the transition to genomic instability is an important feature of mammalian cells with probable fundamental relevance to speciation and carcinogenesis. A source of evolutionarily selectable variation, in terms of the rules of engagement between gene products, is seen as more likely to have greater prominence than genetic variation in an evolutionary context. As this epigenetic variation is based on attractor states phenotypic changes are not gradual; a phenotypic transition can involve the changed contribution of several gene products in a single step.

  20. 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.

  1. Homing orientation in salamanders: A mechanism involving chemical cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madison, D. M.

    1972-01-01

    A detailed description is given of experiments made to determine the senses and chemical cues used by salamanders for homing orientation. Sensory impairment and cue manipulative techniques were used in the investigation. All experiments were carried out at night. Results show that sense impaired animals did not home as readily as those who were blind but retained their sensory mechanism. This fact suggests that the olfactory mechanism is necessary for homing in the salamander. It was determined that after the impaired salamander regenerated its sensory mechanism it too returned home. It was concluded that homing ability in salamanders is direction independent, distant dependent, and vision independent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Julio D

    2013-12-01

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

  3. The transcription factor ATF7 mediates lipopolysaccharide-induced epigenetic changes in macrophages involved in innate immunological memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Keisuke; Maekawa, Toshio; Zhu, Yujuan; Renard-Guillet, Claire; Chatton, Bruno; Inoue, Kentaro; Uchiyama, Takeru; Ishibashi, Ken-ichi; Yamada, Takuji; Ohno, Naohito; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Okada-Hatakeyama, Mariko; Ishii, Shunsuke

    2015-10-01

    Immunological memory is thought to be mediated exclusively by lymphocytes. However, enhanced innate immune responses caused by a previous infection increase protection against reinfection, which suggests the presence of innate immunological memory. Here we identified an important role for the stress-response transcription factor ATF7 in innate immunological memory. ATF7 suppressed a group of genes encoding factors involved in innate immunity in macrophages by recruiting the histone H3K9 dimethyltransferase G9a. Treatment with lipopolysaccharide, which mimics bacterial infection, induced phosphorylation of ATF7 via the kinase p38, which led to the release of ATF7 from chromatin and a decrease in repressive histone H3K9me2 marks. A partially disrupted chromatin structure and increased basal expression of target genes were maintained for long periods, which enhanced resistance to pathogens. ATF7 might therefore be important in controlling memory in cells of the innate immune system.

  4. A mass casualty incident involving children and chemical decontamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timm, Nathan; Reeves, Scott

    2007-01-01

    Mass casualty incidents involving contaminated children are a rare but ever-present possibility. In this article we outline one such event that resulted in 53 pediatric patients and 3 adults presenting to the emergency department of a children's hospital for decontamination and treatment. We pay special attention to the training that allowed this responses to occur. We also outline the institutional response with emphasis on incident command, communication, and resource utilization. Specific lessons learned are explored in detail. Finally, we set forth a series of recommendations to assist other institutions should they be called upon to care for and decontaminate pediatric patients.

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms involved in differential MDR1 mRNA expression between gastric and colon cancer cell lines and rationales for clinical chemotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Kyung-Jong

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The membrane transporters such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp, the MDR1 gene product, are one of causes of treatment failure in cancer patients. In this study, the epigenetic mechanisms involved in differential MDR1 mRNA expression were compared between 10 gastric and 9 colon cancer cell lines. Methods The MDR1 mRNA levels were determined using PCR and real-time PCR assays after reverse transcription. Cytotoxicity was performed using the MTT assay. Methylation status was explored by quantification PCR-based methylation and bisulfite DNA sequencing analyses. Results The MDR1 mRNA levels obtained by 35 cycles of RT-PCR in gastric cancer cells were just comparable to those obtained by 22 cycles of RT-PCR in colon cancer cells. Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that MDR1 mRNA was not detected in the 10 gastric cancer cell lines but variable MDR1 mRNA levels in 7 of 9 colon cancer cell lines except the SNU-C5 and HT-29 cells. MTT assay showed that Pgp inhibitors such as cyclosporine A, verapamil and PSC833 sensitized Colo320HSR (colon, highest MDR1 expression but not SNU-668 (gastric, highest and SNU-C5 (gastric, no expression to paclitaxel. Quantification PCR-based methylation analysis revealed that 90% of gastric cancer cells, and 33% of colon cancer cells were methylated, which were completely matched with the results obtained by bisulfite DNA sequencing analysis. 5-aza-2'-deoxcytidine (5AC, a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor increased the MDR1 mRNA levels in 60% of gastric cells, and in 11% of colon cancer cells. Trichostatin A (TSA, histone deacetylase inhibitor increased the MDR1 mRNA levels in 70% of gastric cancer cells and 55% of colon cancer cells. The combined treatment of 5AC with TSA increased the MDR1 mRNA levels additively in 20% of gastric cancer cells, but synergistically in 40% of gastric and 11% of colon cancer cells. Conclusion These results indicate that the MDR1 mRNA levels in gastric cancer cells are significantly

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetic regulation of NKG2D ligands is involved in exacerbated atherosclerosis development in Sirt6 heterozygous mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhu-Qin; Ren, Si-Chong; Tan, Ying; Li, Zuo-Zhi; Tang, Xiaoqiang; Wang, Ting-Ting; Hao, De-Long; Zhao, Xiang; Chen, Hou-Zao; Liu, De-Pei

    2016-01-01

    Sirt6 is a member of the class III histone deacetylase family which is associated with aging and longevity. Sirt6 deficient mice show an aging-like phenotype, while male transgenic mice of Sirt6 show increased longevity. Sirt6 acts as a tumor suppressor and deficiency of Sirt6 leads to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Whether Sirt6 is involved in atherosclerosis development, the major cause of cardiovascular diseases, is unknown. We found that the expression of Sirt6 is lower in human atherosclerotic plaques than that in controls. When Sirt6+/−ApoE−/− and ApoE−/− mice are fed with high fat diet for 16 weeks, Sirt6+/−ApoE−/− mice show increased plaque fromation and exhibit feature of plaque instability. Furthermore, Sirt6 downregulation increases expression of NKG2D ligands, which leads to increased cytokine expression. Blocking NKG2D ligand almost completely blocks this effect. Mechanistically, Sirt6 binds to promoters of NKG2D ligand genes and regulates the H3K9 and H3K56 acetylation levels. PMID:27045575

  8. 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.

  9. Adiponectin stimulates Wnt inhibitory factor-1 expression through epigenetic regulations involving the transcription factor specificity protein 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing; Lam, Janice B B; Chow, Kim H M; Xu, Aimin; Lam, Karen S L; Moon, Randall T; Wang, Yu

    2008-11-01

    Adiponectin (ADN) is an adipokine possessing growth inhibitory activities against various types of cancer cells. Our previous results demonstrated that ADN could impede Wnt/beta-catenin-signaling pathways in MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma cells [Wang,Y. et al. (2006) Adiponectin modulates the glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta/beta-catenin signaling pathway and attenuates mammary tumorigenesis of MDA-MB-231 cells in nude mice. Cancer Res., 66, 11462-11470]. Here, we extended our studies to elucidate the effects of ADN on regulating the expressions of Wnt inhibitory factor-1 (WIF1), a Wnt antagonist frequently silenced in human breast tumors. Our results showed that ADN time dependently stimulated WIF1 gene and protein expressions in MDA-MB-231 cells. Overexpression of WIF1 exerted similar inhibitory effects to those of ADN on cell proliferations, nuclear beta-catenin activities, cyclin D1 expressions and serum-induced phosphorylations of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta. Blockage of WIF1 activities significantly attenuated the suppressive effects of ADN on MDA-MB-231 cell growth. Furthermore, our in vivo studies showed that both supplementation of recombinant ADN and adenovirus-mediated overexpression of this adipokine substantially enhanced WIF1 expressions in MDA-MB-231 tumors implanted in nude mice. More interestingly, we found that ADN could alleviate methylation of CpG islands located within the proximal promoter region of WIF1, possibly involving the specificity protein 1 (Sp1) transcription factor and its downstream target DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). Upon ADN treatment, the protein levels of both Sp1 and DNMT1 were significantly decreased. Using silencing RNA approaches, we confirmed that downregulation of Sp1 resulted in an increased expression of WIF1 and decreased methylation of WIF1 promoter. Taken together, these data suggest that ADN might elicit its antitumor activities at least partially through promoting WIF1 expressions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Animal models in epigenetic research: institutional animal care and use committee considerations across the lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Craig

    2012-01-01

    The rapid expansion and evolution of epigenetics as a core scientific discipline have raised new questions about how endogenous and environmental factors can inform the mechanisms through which biological form and function are regulated. Existing and proposed animal models used for epigenetic research have targeted a myriad of health and disease endpoints that may be acute, chronic, and transgenerational in nature. Initiating events and outcomes may extend across the entire lifespan to elicit unanticipated phenotypes that are of particular concern to institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs). The dynamics and plasticity of epigenetic mechanisms produce effects and consequences that are manifest differentially within discreet spatial and temporal contexts, including prenatal development, stem cells, assisted reproductive technologies, production of sexual dimorphisms, senescence, and others. Many dietary and nutritional interventions have also been shown to have a significant impact on biological functions and disease susceptibilities through altered epigenetic programming. The environmental, chemical, toxic, therapeutic, and psychosocial stressors used in animal studies to elicit epigenetic changes can become extreme and should raise IACUC concerns for the well-being and proper care of all research animals involved. Epigenetics research is rapidly becoming an integral part of the search for mechanisms in every major area of biomedical and behavioral research and will foster the continued development of new animal models. From the IACUC perspective, care must be taken to acknowledge the particular needs and concerns created by superimposition of epigenetic mechanisms over diverse fields of investigation to ensure the proper care and use of animals without impeding scientific progress.

  13. Phenotypic variation in plants : Roles for epigenetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lauss, K.

    2017-01-01

    Besides genetics, also epigenetics can play a role in shaping the characteristics of a plant (phenotype). Epigenetics refers to chemical modifications of DNA and proteins associated with the DNA that can influence gene activity (the ‘epigenome’) and can be passed on through cell divisions and follow

  14. Plant epigenetics : from genomes to epigenomes

    OpenAIRE

    Rival, Alain; Beulé, Thierry; Frédérique ABERLENC BERTOSSI; Tregear, James; Jaligot, Estelle

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the DNA sequence. In recent years, this field has attracted increasing attention as more epigenetic mechanisms affecting gene activity are being discovered. Such processes involve a complex interplay between DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, notably small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and micro RNAs (miRNAs). Epigenetic regulation is not only important for generating differen...

  15. 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.

  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. EPA Workshop on Epigenetics and Cumulative Risk ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agenda Download the Workshop Agenda (PDF) The workshop included presentations and discussions by scientific experts pertaining to three topics (i.e., epigenetic changes associated with diverse stressors, key science considerations in understanding epigenetic changes, and practical application of epigenetic tools to address cumulative risks from environmental stressors), to address several questions under each topic, and included an opportunity for attendees to participate in break-out groups, provide comments and ask questions. Workshop Goals The workshop seeks to examine the opportunity for use of aggregate epigenetic change as an indicator in cumulative risk assessment for populations exposed to multiple stressors that affect epigenetic status. Epigenetic changes are specific molecular changes around DNA that alter expression of genes. Epigenetic changes include DNA methylation, formation of histone adducts, and changes in micro RNAs. Research today indicates that epigenetic changes are involved in many chronic diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, mental health disorders, and asthma). Research has also linked a wide range of stressors including pollution and social factors with occurrence of epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic changes have the potential to reflect impacts of risk factors across multiple stages of life. Only recently receiving attention is the nexus between the factors of cumulative exposure to environmental

  18. Epigenetics and its implications for ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandegehuchte, Michiel B; Janssen, Colin R

    2011-05-01

    Epigenetics is the study of mitotically or meiotically heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the DNA sequence. Interestingly, epigenetic changes can be triggered by environmental factors. Environmental exposure to e.g. metals, persistent organic pollutants or endocrine disrupting chemicals has been shown to modulate epigenetic marks, not only in mammalian cells or rodents, but also in environmentally relevant species such as fish or water fleas. The associated changes in gene expression often lead to modifications in the affected organism's phenotype. Epigenetic changes can in some cases be transferred to subsequent generations, even when these generations are no longer exposed to the external factor which induced the epigenetic change, as observed in a study with fungicide exposed rats. The possibility of this phenomenon in other species was demonstrated in water fleas exposed to the epigenetic drug 5-azacytidine. This way, populations can experience the effects of their ancestors' exposure to chemicals, which has implications for environmental risk assessment. More basic research is needed to assess the potential phenotypic and population-level effects of epigenetic modifications in different species and to evaluate the persistence of chemical exposure-induced epigenetic effects in multiple subsequent generations.

  19. Some inconvenient truths about biosignatures involving two chemical species on Earth-like exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Rein, Hanno; Spiegel, David S

    2014-01-01

    The detection of strong thermochemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet is thought to be a potential biosignature. In this article we present a new kind of false positive that can mimic a disequilibrium or any other biosignature that involves two chemical species. We consider a scenario where the exoplanet hosts a moon that has its own atmosphere and neither of the atmospheres is in chemical disequilibrium. Our results show that the integrated spectrum of the planet and the moon closely resembles that of a single object in strong chemical disequilibrium. We derive a firm limit on the maximum spectral resolution that can be obtained for both directly-imaged and transiting planets. The spectral resolution of even idealized space-based spectrographs that might be achievable in the next several decades is in general insufficient to break the degeneracy. Both chemical species can only be definitively confirmed in the same object if absorption features of both chemicals can be unambiguously ...

  20. 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

  1. Review of Maritime Accidents Involving Chemicals – Special Focus on the Baltic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.M. Häkkinen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Transport and handling of hazardous chemicals and chemical products around the world’s waters and ports have considerably increased over the last 20 years. Thus, the risk of major pollution accidents has also increased. Past incidents/accidents are, when reported in detail, first hand sources of information on what may happen again. This paper provides an overview of the past tanker accidents in the Baltic Sea and chemical related accidents in seas worldwide. The aim is to find out what can be learned from past accidents, especially from the environmental point of view. The study is carried out as a literature review and as a statistical review. The study revealed that the risk of a chemical accident is highest in seas where the highest tonnes of chemicals are transported, the density of maritime traffic is highest and, of course, in the ship-shore interface where unloading/loading takes place. Incidents involving chemical spills are statistically much less likely to occur than oil spills. However, chemical cargoes can be more dangerous to humans and property because chemicals can be more combustible, poisonous, irritating and reactive. The most important difference between a chemical and an oil spill may be related to response actions. In case of a chemical accident, the air quality or the risk of explosion should be more carefully evaluated before any response actions are taken. In case of chemical spills, the response is more limited in comparison to oil. Actually, very little is known about the actual marine pollution effect of most of highly transported substances. From the environmental point of view, the previous studies have highlighted accidents in which pesticides were released to water, but also substances considered as non-pollutants (vegetable oils seem to have a negative effect on biota in the water environment.

  2. How might epigenetics contribute to ecological speciation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert SMITH, Michael G. RITCHIE

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Speciation research has seen a renewed interest in ecological speciation, which emphasises divergent ecological selection leading to the evolution of reproductive isolation. Selection from divergent ecologies means that phenotypic plasticity can play an important role in ecological speciation. Phenotypic plasticity involves the induction of phenotypes over the lifetime of an organism and emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic marks such as cytosine and protein (histone modifications might regulate such environmental induction. Epigenetic marks play a wide role in a variety of processes including development, sex differentiation and allocation, sexual conflict, regulation of transposable elements and phenotypic plasticity. Here we describe recent studies that investigate epigenetic mechanisms in a variety of contexts. There is mounting evidence for environmentally induced epigenetic variation and for the stable inheritance of epigenetic marks between generations. Thus, epigenetically-based phenotypic plasticity may play a role in adaptation and ecological speciation. However, there is less evidence for the inheritance of induced epigenetic variation across multiple generations in animals. Currently few studies of ecological speciation incorporate the potential for the involvement of epigenetically-based induction of phenotypes, and we argue that this is an important omission [Current Zoology 59 (5: 686-696, 2013 ].

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Peromyscus as a Mammalian Epigenetic Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly R. Shorter

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Deer mice (Peromyscus offer an opportunity for studying the effects of natural genetic/epigenetic variation with several advantages over other mammalian models. These advantages include the ability to study natural genetic variation and behaviors not present in other models. Moreover, their life histories in diverse habitats are well studied. Peromyscus resources include genome sequencing in progress, a nascent genetic map, and >90,000 ESTs. Here we review epigenetic studies and relevant areas of research involving Peromyscus models. These include differences in epigenetic control between species and substance effects on behavior. We also present new data on the epigenetic effects of diet on coat-color using a Peromyscus model of agouti overexpression. We suggest that in terms of tying natural genetic variants with environmental effects in producing specific epigenetic effects, Peromyscus models have a great potential.

  7. Epigenetics: the language of the cell?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Biao; Jiang, Cizhong; Zhang, Rongxin

    2014-02-01

    Epigenetics is one of the most rapidly developing fields of biological research. Breakthroughs in several technologies have enabled the possibility of genome-wide epigenetic research, for example the mapping of human genome-wide DNA methylation. In addition, with the development of various high-throughput and high-resolution sequencing technologies, a large number of functional noncoding RNAs have been identified. Massive studies indicated that these functional ncRNA also play an important role in epigenetics. In this review, we gain inspiration from the recent proposal of the ceRNAs hypothesis. This hypothesis proposes that miRNAs act as a language of communication. Accordingly, we further deduce that all of epigenetics may functionally acquire such a unique language characteristic. In summary, various epigenetic markers may not only participate in regulating cellular processes, but they may also act as the intracellular 'language' of communication and are involved in extensive information exchanges within cell.

  8. 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.

  9. Involvement of MAPK proteins in bystander effects induced by chemicals and ionizing radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asur, Rajalakshmi [Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, 5047 Gullen Mall, Suite 1370, Detroit, MI 48202-3917 (United States); Balasubramaniam, Mamtha [Research Institute - Biostatistics, William Beaumont Hospital, 3911 W. Thirteen Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48073 (United States); Marples, Brian [Department of Radiation Oncology, William Beaumont Hospital, 3811 W. Thirteen Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48073 (United States); Thomas, Robert A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, 5047 Gullen Mall, Suite 1370, Detroit, MI 48202-3917 (United States); Tucker, James D., E-mail: jtucker@biology.biosci.wayne.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, 5047 Gullen Mall, Suite 1370, Detroit, MI 48202-3917 (United States)

    2010-04-01

    Many studies have examined bystander effects induced by ionizing radiation, however few have evaluated the ability of chemicals to induce similar effects. We previously reported the ability of two chemicals, mitomycin C (MMC) and phleomycin (PHL) to induce bystander effects in normal human lymphoblastoid cell lines. The focus of the current study was to determine the involvement of the MAPK proteins in bystander effects induced by physical and chemical DNA damaging agents and to evaluate the effects of MAPK inhibition on bystander-induced caspase 3/7 activation. The phosphorylation levels of the MAPK proteins ERK1/2, JNK, and p38, were measured from 1 to 24 h following direct or bystander exposure to MMC, PHL or radiation. We observed transient phosphorylation, at early time points, of all 3 proteins in bystander cells. We also evaluated the effect of MAPK inhibition on bystander-induced caspase 3/7 activity to determine the role of MAPK proteins in bystander-induced apoptosis. We observed bystander-induced activation of caspase 3/7 in bystander cells. Inhibition of MAPK proteins resulted in a decrease in caspase 3/7 activity at the early time points, and the caspase activity increased (in the case of ERK inhibition) or returned to basal levels (in the case of JNK or p38 inhibition) between 12 and 24 h. PHL is considered to be a radiomimetic agent, however in the present study PHL behaved more like a chemical and not like radiation in terms of MAPK phosphorylation. These results point to the involvement of MAPK proteins in the bystander effect induced by radiation and chemicals and provide additional evidence that this response is not limited to radiation but is a generalized stress response in cells.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetic inheritance and plasticity: The responsive germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2013-04-01

    Developmental plasticity, the capacity of a single genotype to give rise to different phenotypes, affects evolutionary dynamics by influencing the rate and direction of phenotypic change. It is based on regulatory changes in gene expression and gene products, which are partially controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Plasticity involves not just epigenetic changes in somatic cells and tissues; it can also involve changes in germline cells. Germline epigenetic plasticity increases evolvability, the capacity to generate heritable, selectable, phenotypic variations, including variations that lead to novel functions. I discuss studies that show that some complex adaptive responses to new challenges are mediated by germline epigenetic processes, which can be transmitted over variable number of generations, and argue that the heritable variations that are generated epigenetically have an impact on both small-scale and large-scale aspects of evolution. First, I review some recent ecological studies and models that show that germline (gametic) epigenetic inheritance can lead to cumulative micro-evolutionary changes that are rapid and semi-directional. I suggest that "priming" and "epigenetic learning" may be of special importance in generating heritable, fine-tuned adaptive responses in populations. Second, I consider work showing how genomic and environmental stresses can also lead to epigenome repatterning, and produce changes that are saltational.

  17. Understanding neurological disease mechanisms in the era of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2013-06-01

    The burgeoning field of epigenetics is making a significant impact on our understanding of brain evolution, development, and function. In fact, it is now clear that epigenetic mechanisms promote seminal neurobiological processes, ranging from neural stem cell maintenance and differentiation to learning and memory. At the molecular level, epigenetic mechanisms regulate the structure and activity of the genome in response to intracellular and environmental cues, including the deployment of cell type-specific gene networks and those underlying synaptic plasticity. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of epigenetic factors can, in turn, induce remarkable changes in neural cell identity and cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Not surprisingly, it is also becoming apparent that epigenetics is intimately involved in neurological disease pathogenesis. Herein, we highlight emerging paradigms for linking epigenetic machinery and processes with neurological disease states, including how (1) mutations in genes encoding epigenetic factors cause disease, (2) genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors modify disease risk, (3) abnormalities in epigenetic factor expression, localization, or function are involved in disease pathophysiology, (4) epigenetic mechanisms regulate disease-associated genomic loci, gene products, and cellular pathways, and (5) differential epigenetic profiles are present in patient-derived central and peripheral tissues.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Peptide Bond Synthesis by a Mechanism Involving an Enzymatic Reaction and a Subsequent Chemical Reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Tomoko; Hashimoto, Yoshiteru; Zhuang, Ye; Ge, Yin; Kumano, Takuto; Kobayashi, Michihiko

    2016-01-22

    We recently reported that an amide bond is unexpectedly formed by an acyl-CoA synthetase (which catalyzes the formation of a carbon-sulfur bond) when a suitable acid and l-cysteine are used as substrates. DltA, which is homologous to the adenylation domain of nonribosomal peptide synthetase, belongs to the same superfamily of adenylate-forming enzymes, which includes many kinds of enzymes, including the acyl-CoA synthetases. Here, we demonstrate that DltA synthesizes not only N-(d-alanyl)-l-cysteine (a dipeptide) but also various oligopeptides. We propose that this enzyme catalyzes peptide synthesis by the following unprecedented mechanism: (i) the formation of S-acyl-l-cysteine as an intermediate via its "enzymatic activity" and (ii) subsequent "chemical" S → N acyl transfer in the intermediate, resulting in peptide formation. Step ii is identical to the corresponding reaction in native chemical ligation, a method of chemical peptide synthesis, whereas step i is not. To the best of our knowledge, our discovery of this peptide synthesis mechanism involving an enzymatic reaction and a subsequent chemical reaction is the first such one to be reported. This new process yields peptides without the use of a thioesterified fragment, which is required in native chemical ligation. Together with these findings, the same mechanism-dependent formation of N-acyl compounds by other members of the above-mentioned superfamily demonstrated that all members most likely form peptide/amide compounds by using this novel mechanism. Each member enzyme acts on a specific substrate; thus, not only the corresponding peptides but also new types of amide compounds can be formed.

  1. Prostate cancer epigenetics and its clinical implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Normal cells have a level of epigenetic programming that is superimposed on the genetic code to establish and maintain their cell identity and phenotypes. This epigenetic programming can be thought as the architecture, a sort of cityscape, that is built upon the underlying genetic landscape. The epigenetic programming is encoded by a complex set of chemical marks on DNA, on histone proteins in nucleosomes, and by numerous context-specific DNA, RNA, protein interactions that all regulate the structure, organization, and function of the genome in a given cell. It is becoming increasingly evident that abnormalities in both the genetic landscape and epigenetic cityscape can cooperate to drive carcinogenesis and disease progression. Large-scale cancer genome sequencing studies have revealed that mutations in genes encoding the enzymatic machinery for shaping the epigenetic cityscape are among the most common mutations observed in human cancers, including prostate cancer. Interestingly, although the constellation of genetic mutations in a given cancer can be quite heterogeneous from person to person, there are numerous epigenetic alterations that appear to be highly recurrent, and nearly universal in a given cancer type, including in prostate cancer. The highly recurrent nature of these alterations can be exploited for development of biomarkers for cancer detection and risk stratification and as targets for therapeutic intervention. Here, we explore the basic principles of epigenetic processes in normal cells and prostate cancer cells and discuss the potential clinical implications with regards to prostate cancer biomarker development and therapy.

  2. Epigenetic modifications as regulatory elements of autophagy in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Xinbing; Zhu, Jing; Zhou, Jichun; Wang, Xian; Li, Da; Han, Weidong; Fang, Yong; Pan, Hongming

    2015-05-01

    Epigenetic modifications have been considered as hallmarks of cancer and play an important role in tumor initiation and development. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs, may regulate cell cycle and apoptosis, as well as macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy). Autophagy, as a crucial cellular homeostatic mechanism, performs a dual role, having pro-survival or pro-death properties. A variety of signaling pathways including epigenetic control have been implicated in the upregulation or downregulation of autophagy. However, the role of epigenetic regulation in autophagy is still less well acknowledged. Recent studies have linked epigenetic control to the autophagic process. Some epigenetic modifiers are also involved in the regulation of autophagy and potentiate the efficacy of traditional therapeutics. Thus, understanding the novel functions of epigenetic control in autophagy may allow us to develop potential therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment.

  3. Targeting cancer epigenetics: Linking basic biology to clinical medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinjo, Keiko; Kondo, Yutaka

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies provide compelling evidence that epigenetic dysregulation is involved in almost every step of tumor development and progression. Differences in tumor behavior, which ultimately reflects clinical outcome, can be explained by variations in gene expression patterns generated by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation. Therefore, epigenetic abnormalities are considered potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. DNA methylation is stable at certain specific loci in cancer cells and predominantly reflects the characteristic clinicopathological features. Thus, it is an ideal biomarker for cancer screening, classification and prognostic purposes. Epigenetic treatment for cancers is based on the pharmacologic targeting of various core transcriptional programs that sustains cancer cell identity. Therefore, targeting aberrant epigenetic modifiers may be effective for multiple processes compared with using a selective inhibitor of aberrant single signaling pathway. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic alterations in human cancers and discusses about novel therapeutic strategies targeting epigenetic alterations.

  4. Miscible viscous fingering involving viscosity changes of the displacing fluid by chemical reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagatsu, Yuichiro; Iguchi, Chika; Matsuda, Kenji; Kato, Yoshihito; Tada, Yutaka

    2010-02-01

    In our previous study, we experimentally studied the effects of changes in the viscosity of the displaced more-viscous liquid by instantaneous reactions on miscible viscous fingering pattern [Y. Nagatsu, K. Matsuda, Y. Kato, and Y. Tada, "Experimental study on miscible viscous fingering involving viscosity changes induced by variations in chemical species concentrations due to chemical reactions," J. Fluid Mech. 571, 475 (2007)]. In the present study, experiments have been performed on the miscible viscous fingering involving changes in the viscosity of the displacing less-viscous liquid by instantaneous reactions in a radial Hele-Shaw cell. We have found that the shielding effect is suppressed and the fingers are widened when the viscosity is increased. As a result, the reaction makes the fingering pattern denser. In contrast, the shielding effect is enhanced, and the fingers are narrowed when the viscosity is decreased. As a result, the reaction makes the fingering pattern less dense. These results are essentially same as those obtained by the above-mentioned previous study. This shows that the effects of changes in the viscosity due to the instantaneous reactions are independent of whether the changes occur in the displaced liquid or in the displacing liquid. A mechanism for the independence is discussed.

  5. Epigenetics and Peripheral Artery Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Development, epigenetics and metabolic programming

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Alcohol Metabolism and Epigenetics Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakhari, Samir

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Natural indoles, indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolymethane, inhibit T cell activation by staphylococcal enterotoxin B through epigenetic regulation involving HDAC expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Busbee, Philip B.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash S., E-mail: prakash@mailbox.sc.edu

    2014-01-01

    Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is a potent exotoxin produced by the Staphylococcus aureus. This toxin is classified as a superantigen because of its ability to directly bind with MHC-II class molecules followed by activation of a large proportion of T cells bearing specific Vβ-T cell receptors. Commonly associated with classic food poisoning, SEB has also been shown to induce toxic shock syndrome, and is also considered to be a potential biological warfare agent because it is easily aerosolized. In the present study, we assessed the ability of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and one of its byproducts, 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), found in cruciferous vegetables, to counteract the effects of SEB-induced activation of T cells in mice. Both I3C and DIM were found to decrease the activation, proliferation, and cytokine production by SEB-activated Vβ8{sup +} T cells in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, inhibitors of histone deacetylase class I (HDAC-I), but not class II (HDAC-II), showed significant decrease in SEB-induced T cell activation and cytokine production, thereby suggesting that epigenetic modulation plays a critical role in the regulation of SEB-induced inflammation. In addition, I3C and DIM caused a decrease in HDAC-I but not HDAC-II in SEB-activated T cells, thereby suggesting that I3C and DIM may inhibit SEB-mediated T cell activation by acting as HDAC-I inhibitors. These studies not only suggest for the first time that plant-derived indoles are potent suppressors of SEB-induced T cell activation and cytokine storm but also that they may mediate these effects by acting as HDAC inhibitors. - Highlights: • I3C and DIM reduce SEB-induced T cell activation and inflammatory cytokines. • Inhibiting class I HDACs reduces T cell activation and inflammatory cytokines. • Inhibiting class II HDACs increases T cell activation and inflammatory cytokines. • I3C and DIM selectively reduce mRNA expression of class I HDACs. • Novel use and mechanism to counteract

  9. 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.

  10. Epigenetic control of GnRH neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Raymond Kurian

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications to the genome, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, occur in response to external stimuli. Reproductive function is highly sensitive to environmental conditions including season, diet, hormonal changes, and exposure to chemical contaminants. GnRH neurons, which play a key role in reproduction, are particularly sensitive to various environmental stimuli. We recently reported that the rhesus monkey GnRH gene exhibits distinct epigenetic differentiation during embryonic development. More recently, we further found that a similar epigenetic phenomenon occurs across puberty. In this article, we highlight recent findings, suggest implications of these findings (or potential mechanisms and then discuss current challenges as well as future work. Consequently, this review will provide background to understand the epigenetic control of GnRH neurons as a link between the environment and reproductive function.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Epigenetic mechanisms of drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestler, Eric J

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Middle atmosphere heating by exothermic chemical reactions involving odd-hydrogen species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mlynczak, Martin G.; Solomon, Susan

    1991-01-01

    The rate of heating which occurs in the middle atmosphere due to four exothermic reactions involving members of the odd-hydrogen family is calculated. The following reactions are considered: O + OH yields O2 + H; H + O2 + M yields HO2 + M; H + O3 yields OH + O2; and O + HO2 yields OH + O2. It is shown that the heating rates due to these reactions rival the oxygen-related heating rates conventionally considered in middle-atmosphere models. The conversion of chemical potential energy into molecular translational energy (heat) by these odd-hydrogen reactions is shown to be a significant energy source in the middle atmosphere that has not been previously considered.

  16. Sulfomethylated lignosulfonates as additives in oil recovery processes involving chemical recovery agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalfoglou, G.

    1979-10-30

    A process for producing petroleum from subterranean formations is disclosed wherein production from the formation is obtained by driving a fluid from an injection well to a production well. The process involves injecting via the injection well into the formation an aqueous solution of sulfomethylated lignosulfonate salt as a sacrificial agent to inhibit the deposition of surfactant and/or polymer on the reservoir matrix. The process may best be carried out by injecting the sulfomethylated lignosulfonates into the formation through the injection well mixed with either a polymer, a surfactant solution and/or a micellar dispersion. This mixture would then be followed by a drive fluid such as water to push the chemicals to the production well.

  17. Sulfomethylated lignosulfonates as additives in oil recovery processes involving chemical recovery agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalfoglou, G.

    1981-05-26

    A process for producing petroleum from subterranean formations is disclosed wherein production from the formation is obtained by driving a fluid from an injection well to a production well. The process involves injecting via the injection well into the formation an aqueous solution of sulfomethylated lignosulfonate salt as a sacrificial agent to inhibit the deposition of surfactant and/or polymer on the reservoir matrix. The process may best be carried out by injecting the sulfomethylated lignosulfonates into the formation through the injection well mixed with either a polymer, a surfactant solution and/or a micellar dispersion. This mixture would then be followed by a drive fluid such as water to push the chemicals to the production well.

  18. Identification of RL-TGR, a coreceptor involved in aversive chemical signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Staci P; Haack, Karla K V; Halstead-Nussloch, Gwyneth E; Bernard, Karen F; Hatt, Hanns; Kubanek, Julia; McCarty, Nael A

    2010-07-06

    Chemical signaling plays an important role in predator-prey interactions and feeding dynamics. Like other organisms that are sessile or slow moving, some marine sponges contain aversive compounds that defend these organisms from predation. We sought to identify and characterize a fish chemoreceptor that detects one of these compounds. Using expression cloning in Xenopus oocytes coexpressing the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel, the beta-2 adrenergic receptor (beta(2)AR), and fractions of a zebrafish cDNA library, we isolated a cDNA clone encoding receptor activity-modifying protein (RAMP)-like triterpene glycoside receptor (RL-TGR), a novel coreceptor involved in signaling in response to triterpene glycosides. This coreceptor appears to be structurally and functionally related to RAMPs, a family of coreceptors that physically associate with and modify the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In membranes from formoside-responsive oocytes, RL-TGR was immunoprecipitated in an apparent complex with beta(2)AR. In HEK293 cells, coexpression of beta(2)AR induced the trafficking of RL-TGR from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane. These results suggest that RL-TGR in the predatory fish physically associates with the beta(2)AR or another, more physiologically relevant GPCR and modifies its pharmacology to respond to triterpene glycosides found in sponges that serve as a potential food source for the fish. RL-TGR forms a coreceptor that responds to a chemical defense compound in the marine environment, and its discovery might lead the way to the identification of other receptors that mediate chemical defense signaling.

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms and gastrointestinal development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Epileptogenesis: Can the Science of Epigenetics Give Us Answers?

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are regulatory processes that control gene expression changes involved in multiple aspects of neuronal function, including central nervous system development, synaptic plasticity, and memory. Recent evidence indicates that dysregulation of epigenetic mechanisms occurs in several human epilepsy syndromes. Despite this discovery of a potential role for epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy, few studies have fully explored their contribution to the process of epilepsy developme...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, John; Cooley, Vic

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brix, Jacob; Zhou, Yan; Luo, Yonglun

    2015-12-20

    Reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is a comprehensive epigenetic process involving genome-wide modifications of histones and DNA methylation. This process is often incomplete, which subsequently affects iPSC reprogramming, pluripotency, and differentiation capacity. Here, we review the epigenetic changes with a focus on histone modification (methylation and acetylation) and DNA modification (methylation) during iPSC induction. We look at changes in specific epigenetic signatures, aberrations and epigenetic memory during reprogramming and small molecules influencing the epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells. Finally, we discuss how to improve iPSC generation and pluripotency through epigenetic manipulations.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetic Mechanisms of the Aging Human Retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Katie L.; DeAngelis, Margaret M.

    2015-01-01

    Degenerative retinal diseases, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, have complex etiologies with environmental, genetic, and epigenetic contributions to disease pathology. Much effort has gone into elucidating both the genetic and the environmental risk factors for these retinal diseases. However, little is known about how these genetic and environmental risk factors bring about molecular changes that lead to pathology. Epigenetic mechanisms have received extensive attention of late for their promise of bridging the gap between environmental exposures and disease development via their influence on gene expression. Recent studies have identified epigenetic changes that associate with the incidence and/or progression of each of these retinal diseases. Therefore, these epigenetic modifications may be involved in the underlying pathological mechanisms leading to blindness. Further genome-wide epigenetic studies that incorporate well-characterized tissue samples, consider challenges similar to those relevant to gene expression studies, and combine the genome-wide epigenetic data with genome-wide genetic and expression data to identify additional potentially causative agents of disease are needed. Such studies will allow researchers to create much-needed therapeutics to prevent and/or intervene in disease progression. Improved therapeutics will greatly enhance the quality of life and reduce the burden of disease management for millions of patients living with these potentially blinding conditions. PMID:26966390

  13. Epigenetic involvement of Alien/ESET complex in thyroid hormone-mediated repression of E2F1 gene expression and cell proliferation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Wei, E-mail: hongwei@tijmu.edu.cn [Department of Immunology, Tianjin Medical University, 300070 Tianjin (China); College of Basic Medicine, Tianjin Medical University, 300070 Tianjin (China); Li, Jinru; Wang, Bo [College of Basic Medicine, Tianjin Medical University, 300070 Tianjin (China); Chen, Linfeng [Department of Medical Oncology, Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, 02115 MA (United States); Niu, Wenyan; Yao, Zhi [Department of Immunology, Tianjin Medical University, 300070 Tianjin (China); Baniahmad, Aria, E-mail: aban@mti.uni-jena.de [Institute for Human Genetics, Jena University Hospital, 07740 Jena (Germany)

    2011-12-02

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Corepressor Alien interacts with histone methyltransferase ESET in vivo. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Alien/ESET complex is recruited to nTRE of T3-responsive gene by liganded TR{beta}1. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ESET-mediated H3K9 methylation is required for liganded TR{beta}1-repressed transcription. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ESET is involved in T3-repressed G1/S phase transition and proliferation. -- Abstract: The ligand-bound thyroid hormone receptor (TR) is known to repress via a negative TRE (nTRE) the expression of E2F1, a key transcription factor that controls the G1/S phase transition. Alien has been identified as a novel interacting factor of E2F1 and acts as a corepressor of E2F1. The detailed molecular mechanism by which Alien inhibits E2F1 gene expression remains unclear. Here, we report that the histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methyltransferase (HMT) ESET is an integral component of the corepressor Alien complex and the Alien/ESET complex is recruited to both sites, the E2F1 and the nTRE site of the E2F1 gene while the recruitment to the negative thyroid hormone response element (nTRE) is induced by the ligand-bound TR{beta}1 within the E2F1 gene promoter. We show that, overexpression of ESET promotes, whereas knockdown of ESET releases, the inhibition of TR{beta}1-regulated gene transcription upon T3 stimulation; and H3K9 methylation is required for TR{beta}1-repressed transcription. Furthermore, depletion of ESET impairs thyroid hormone-repressed proliferation as well as the G1/S transition of the cell cycle. Taken together, our data indicate that ESET is involved in TR{beta}1-mediated transcription repression and provide a molecular basis of thyroid hormone-induced repression of proliferation.

  14. Epigenetics and the Social Work Imperative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combs-Orme, Terri

    2013-01-01

    "Epigenesis" is the biochemical process through which some genes are expressed and others remain silent, and it reinforces and explains the powerful impact that the environment has on human development. Epigenetic effects occur not only through diet, chemical exposure, and high levels of environmental stress, but also through chronic poverty and…

  15. 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...

  16. Importance of investigating epigenetic alterations for industry and regulators: An appraisal of current efforts by the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miousse, Isabelle R; Currie, Richard; Datta, Kaushik; Ellinger-Ziegelbauer, Heidrun; French, John E; Harrill, Alison H; Koturbash, Igor; Lawton, Michael; Mann, Derek; Meehan, Richard R; Moggs, Jonathan G; O'Lone, Raegan; Rasoulpour, Reza J; Pera, Renee A Reijo; Thompson, Karol

    2015-09-01

    Recent technological advances have led to rapid progress in the characterization of epigenetic modifications that control gene expression in a generally heritable way, and are likely involved in defining cellular phenotypes, developmental stages and disease status from one generation to the next. On November 18, 2013, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) held a symposium entitled "Advances in Assessing Adverse Epigenetic Effects of Drugs and Chemicals" in Washington, D.C. The goal of the symposium was to identify gaps in knowledge and highlight promising areas of progress that represent opportunities to utilize epigenomic profiling for risk assessment of drugs and chemicals. Epigenomic profiling has the potential to provide mechanistic information in toxicological safety assessments; this is especially relevant for the evaluation of carcinogenic or teratogenic potential and also for drugs that directly target epigenetic modifiers, like DNA methyltransferases or histone modifying enzymes. Furthermore, it can serve as an endpoint or marker for hazard characterization in chemical safety assessment. The assessment of epigenetic effects may also be approached with new model systems that could directly assess transgenerational effects or potentially sensitive stem cell populations. These would enhance the range of safety assessment tools for evaluating xenobiotics that perturb the epigenome. Here we provide a brief synopsis of the symposium, update findings since that time and then highlight potential directions for future collaborative efforts to incorporate epigenetic profiling into risk assessment.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetic Regulation of B Lymphocyte Differentiation, Transdifferentiation, and Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruna Barneda-Zahonero

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available B cell development is a multistep process that is tightly regulated at the transcriptional level. In recent years, investigators have shed light on the transcription factor networks involved in all the differentiation steps comprising B lymphopoiesis. The interplay between transcription factors and the epigenetic machinery involved in establishing the correct genomic landscape characteristic of each cellular state is beginning to be dissected. The participation of “epigenetic regulator-transcription factor” complexes is also crucial for directing cells during reprogramming into pluripotency or lineage conversion. In this context, greater knowledge of epigenetic regulation during B cell development, transdifferentiation, and reprogramming will enable us to understand better how epigenetics can control cell lineage commitment and identity. Herein, we review the current knowledge about the epigenetic events that contribute to B cell development and reprogramming.

  20. Epigenetic therapies - a new direction in clinical medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, R A

    2014-07-01

    A major biomedical advance from recent years was the finding that gene expression and phenotypic traits may be shaped by potentially reversible and heritable modifications that occur without altering the sequence of the nucleotides, and became known as epigenetic changes. The term 'epigenetics' dates back to the 1940s, when it was first used in context of cellular differentiation decisions that are made during development. Since then, our understanding of epigenetic modifications that govern development and disease expanded considerably. The contribution of epigenetic changes to shaping phenotypes brings at least two major clinically relevant benefits. One of these, stemming from the reversibility of epigenetic changes, involves the possibility to therapeutically revert epigenetic marks to re-establish prior gene expression patterns. The strength and the potential of this strategy are illustrated by the first four epigenetic drugs that were approved in recent years and by the additional candidates that are at various stages in preclinical studies and clinical trials. The second particularity is the finding that epigenetic changes precede the appearance of histopathological modifications. This has the potential to facilitate the emergence of epigenetic biomarkers, some of which already entered the clinical arena, catalysing a major shift in prophylactic and therapeutic strategies, and promising to fill a decades-old gap in preventive medicine.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Genetic alterations and epigenetic changes in hepatocarcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz Stella Hoyos Giraldo

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available

    Hepatocarcinogenesis as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC is associated with background of chronic liver disease usually in association with cirrhosis, marked hepatic fibrosis, hepatitis B virus (HBV and/or hepatitis virus (HCV infection, chronic inflammation, Aflatoxin B1(AFB1 exposure, chronic alcoholism, metabolic disorder of the liver and necroinflamatory liver disease. Hepatocarcinogenesis involve two mechanisms, genetic alterations (with changes in the cell's DNA sequence and epigenetic changes (without changes in the cell's DNA sequence, but changes in the pattern of gene expression that can persist through one or more generations (somatic sense. Hepatocarcinogenesis is associated with activation of oncogenes and decreased expression of tumor suppressor genes (TSG; include those involved in cell cycle control, apoptosis, DNA repair, immortalization and angiogenesis. AFB1 is metabolized in the liver into a potent carcinogen, aflatoxin 8, 9-epoxide, which is detoxified by epoxide hydrolase (EPHX and glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1.

    A failure of detoxification processes can allow to mutagenic metabolite to bind to DNA and inducing P53 mutation. Genetic polymorphism of EPHX and GSTM1 can make individuals more susceptible to AFB1. Epigenetic inactivation of GSTP1 by promoter hypermethylation plays a role in the development of HCC because, it leads that electrophilic metabolite increase DNA damage and mutations. HBV DNA integration into the host chromosomal DNA of hepatocytes has been detected in HBV-related HCC.

    DNA tumor viruses cause cancer mainly by interfering with cell cycle controls, and activating the cell's replication machinery by blocking the action of key TSG. HBx protein is a

  6. FTO, RNA epigenetics and epilepsy

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Several recent landmark papers describing N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modifications have provided valuable new insights as to the importance of m6A in the RNA transcriptome and in furthering the understanding of RNA epigenetics. One endogenous enzyme responsible for demethylating RNA m6A, FTO, is highly expressed in the CNS and is likely involved in mRNA metabolism, splicing or other nuclear RNA processing events. microRNAs (miRNAs), a family of small, non-coding transcripts that bind to tar...

  7. 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

  8. Epigenetics for anthropologists: An introduction to methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Non, Amy L; Thayer, Zaneta M

    2015-01-01

    The study of epigenetics, or chemical modifications to the genome that may alter gene expression, is a growing area of interest for social scientists. Anthropologists and human biologists are interested in epigenetics specifically, as it provides a potential link between the environment and the genome, as well as a new layer of complexity for the study of human biological variation. In pace with the rapid increase in interest in epigenetic research, the range of methods has greatly expanded over the past decade. The primary objective of this article is to provide an overview of the current methods for assaying DNA methylation, the most commonly studied epigenetic modification. We will address considerations for all steps required to plan and conduct an analysis of DNA methylation, from appropriate sample collection, to the most commonly used methods for laboratory analyses of locus-specific and genome-wide approaches, and recommendations for statistical analyses. Key challenges in the study of DNA methylation are also discussed, including tissue specificity, the stability of measures, timing of sample collection, statistical considerations, batch effects, and challenges related to analysis and interpretation of data. Our hope is that this review serves as a primer for anthropologists and human biologists interested in incorporating epigenetic data into their research programs.

  9. 76 FR 76935 - Impact of Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on Commercial Activities Involving...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-09

    ... the synthesis of other chemicals. In this regard, note that the CWC, CWCIA, and CWCR have the... whenever ``Schedule 1'' chemicals (e.g., nitrogen mustards) are produced as intermediates in the synthesis... captive use situation), consumed, transferred, or stored in the United States. Note that, if the CWC...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Study of the Chemical Mechanism Involved in the Formation of Tungstite in Benzyl Alcohol by the Advanced QEXAFS Technique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olliges‐Stadler, Inga; Stötzel, Jan; Koziej, Dorota

    2012-01-01

    Insight into the complex chemical mechanism for the formation of tungstite nanoparticles obtained by the reaction of tungsten hexachloride with benzyl alcohol is presented herein. The organic and inorganic species involved in the formation of the nanoparticles were studied by time‐dependent gas c...

  12. Epigenetics and the evolution of Darwin's Finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K; Gurerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Haque, M Muksitul; Nilsson, Eric E; Koop, Jennifer A H; Knutie, Sarah A; Clayton, Dale H

    2014-07-24

    The prevailing theory for the molecular basis of evolution involves genetic mutations that ultimately generate the heritable phenotypic variation on which natural selection acts. However, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of phenotypic variation may also play an important role in evolutionary change. A growing number of studies have demonstrated the presence of epigenetic inheritance in a variety of different organisms that can persist for hundreds of generations. The possibility that epigenetic changes can accumulate over longer periods of evolutionary time has seldom been tested empirically. This study was designed to compare epigenetic changes among several closely related species of Darwin's finches, a well-known example of adaptive radiation. Erythrocyte DNA was obtained from five species of sympatric Darwin's finches that vary in phylogenetic relatedness. Genome-wide alterations in genetic mutations using copy number variation (CNV) were compared with epigenetic alterations associated with differential DNA methylation regions (epimutations). Epimutations were more common than genetic CNV mutations among the five species; furthermore, the number of epimutations increased monotonically with phylogenetic distance. Interestingly, the number of genetic CNV mutations did not consistently increase with phylogenetic distance. The number, chromosomal locations, regional clustering, and lack of overlap of epimutations and genetic mutations suggest that epigenetic changes are distinct and that they correlate with the evolutionary history of Darwin's finches. The potential functional significance of the epimutations was explored by comparing their locations on the genome to the location of evolutionarily important genes and cellular pathways in birds. Specific epimutations were associated with genes related to the bone morphogenic protein, toll receptor, and melanogenesis signaling pathways. Species-specific epimutations were significantly overrepresented in these

  13. Dynamic epigenetic responses to muscle contraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Morten; Zierath, Juleen R; Barrès, Romain

    2014-01-01

    Skeletal muscle is a malleable organ that responds to a single acute exercise bout by inducing the expression of genes involved in structural, metabolic and functional adaptations. Several epigenetic mechanisms including histone H4 deacetylation and loss of promoter methylation have been implicated...

  14. Epigenetic learning in non-neural organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, Simona; Jablonka, Eva

    2009-10-01

    Learning involves a usually adaptive response to an input (an external stimulus or the organism's own behaviour) in which the input-response relation is memorized; some physical traces of the relation persist and can later be the basis of a more effective response. Using toy models we show that this characterization applies not only to the paradigmatic case of neural learning, but also to cellular responses that are based on epigenetic mechanisms of cell memory. The models suggest that the research agenda of epigenetics needs to be expanded.

  15. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andee Weisbeck

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbeck, Andee; Jansen, Rick J.

    2017-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths with a dismal average five-year survival rate of six percent. Substitutional progress has been made in understanding how pancreatic cancer develops and progresses. Evidence is mounting which demonstrates that diet and nutrition are key factors in carcinogenesis. In particular, diets low in folate and high in fruits, vegetables, red/processed meat, and saturated fat have been identified as pancreatic cancer risk factors with a proposed mechanism involving epigenetic modifications or gene regulation. We review the current literature assessing the correlation between diet, epigenetics, and pancreatic cancer. PMID:28294968

  17. Epigenetic learning in non-neural organisms

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Simona Ginsburg; Eva Jablonka

    2009-10-01

    Learning involves a usually adaptive response to an input (an external stimulus or the organism’s own behaviour) in which the input-response relation is memorized; some physical traces of the relation persist and can later be the basis of a more effective response. Using toy models we show that this characterization applies not only to the paradigmatic case of neural learning, but also to cellular responses that are based on epigenetic mechanisms of cell memory. The models suggest that the research agenda of epigenetics needs to be expanded.

  18. Diet and epigenetics in colon cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Minna Nystr(o)m; Marja Mutanen

    2009-01-01

    Over the past few years, evidence has accumulated indicating that apart from genetic alterations, epigenetic alterations, through e.g. aberrant promoter methylation, play a major role in the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). Even in the hereditary colon cancer syndromes, in which the susceptibility is inherited dominantly, cancer develops only as the result of the progressive accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations. Diet can both prevent and induce colon carcinogenesis, for instance, through epigenetic changes, which regulate the homeostasis of the intestinal mucosa. Food-derived compounds are constantly present in the intestine and may shift cellular balance toward harmful outcomes, such as increased susceptibility to mutations. There is strong evidence that a major component of cancer risk may involve epigenetic changes in normal cells that increase the probability of cancer after genetic mutation. The recognition of epigenetic changes as a driving force in colorectal neoplasia would open new areas of research in disease epidemiology, risk assessment, and treatment, especially in mutation carriers who already have an inherited predisposition to cancer.(c) 2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.

  19. Epigenetic aberrations and therapeutic implications in gliomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natsume, Atsushi; Kondo, Yutaka; Ito, Motokazu; Motomura, Kazuya; Wakabayashi, Toshihiko; Yoshida, Jun

    2010-06-01

    Almost all cancer cells have multiple epigenetic abnormalities, which combine with genetic changes to affect many cellular processes, including cell proliferation and invasion, by silencing tumor-suppressor genes. In this review, we focus on the epigenetic mechanisms of DNA hypomethylation and CpG island hypermethylation in gliomas. Aberrant hypermethylation in promoter CpG islands has been recognized as a key mechanism involved in the silencing of cancer-associated genes and occurs at genes with diverse functions related to tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Such promoter hypermethylation can modulate the sensitivity of glioblastomas to drugs and radiotherapy. As an example, the methylation of the O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter is a specific predictive biomarker of tumor responsiveness to chemotherapy with alkylating agents. Further, we reviewed reports on pyrosequencing - a simple technique for the accurate and quantitative analysis of DNA methylation. We believe that the quantification of MGMT methylation by pyrosequencing might enable the selection of patients who are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy. Finally, we also evaluated the potential of de novo NY-ESO-1, the most immunogenic cancer/testis antigen (CTA) discovered thus far, as an immunotherapy target. The use of potent epigenetics-based therapy for cancer cells might restore the abnormally regulated epigenomes to a more normal state through epigenetic reprogramming. Thus, epigenetic therapy may be a promising and potent treatment for human neoplasia.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Epileptogenesis: can the science of epigenetics give us answers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubin, Farah D

    2012-05-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are regulatory processes that control gene expression changes involved in multiple aspects of neuronal function, including central nervous system development, synaptic plasticity, and memory. Recent evidence indicates that dysregulation of epigenetic mechanisms occurs in several human epilepsy syndromes. Despite this discovery of a potential role for epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy, few studies have fully explored their contribution to the process of epilepsy development known as epileptogenesis. The purpose of this article is to discuss recent findings suggesting that the process of epileptogenesis may alter the epigenetic landscape, affecting the gene expression patterns observed in epilepsy. Future studies focused on a better characterization of these aberrant epigenetic mechanisms hold the promise of revealing novel treatment options for the prevention and even the reversal of epilepsy.

  5. Epigenetic changes in virus-associated human cancers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hsin Pai LI; Yu Wei LEU; Yu Sun CHANG

    2005-01-01

    Epigenetics of human cancer becomes an area of emerging research direction due to a growing understanding of specific epigenetic pathways and rapid development of detection technologies. Aberrant promoter hypermethylation is a prevalent phenonmena in human cancers. Tumor suppressor genes are often hypermethylated due to the increased activity or deregulation of DNMTs. Increasing evidence also reveals that viral genes are one of the key players in regulating DNA methylation. In this review, we will focus on hypermethylation and tumor suppressor gene silencing and the signal pathways that are involved, particularly in cancers closely associated with the hepatitis B virus, simian virus 40 (SV40), and Epstein-Barr virus. In addition, we will discuss current technologies for genome-wide detection of epigenetically regulated targets, which allow for systematic DNA hypermethylation analysis. The study of epigenetic changes should provide a global view of gene profile in cancer, and epigenetic markers could be used for early detection,prognosis, and therapy of cancer.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijing Wu

    2015-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. P53 tumor suppression network in cancer epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Alok; Brat, Daniel J; Verma, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    The tumor suppressor p53 is one of the most complex and widely studied genes in cancer biology. In spite of the vast on literature the transcriptional regulation of p53, aspects of its especially epigenetic regulation are not completely understood. This chapter presents a concise overview of p53-related epigenetic events involved in oncogenesis and tumor suppression. We limit the scope to epigenetic modifications of the p53 promoter per se as well as its well-established downstream targets. The indirect role of p53 affecting the epigenetic machinery of cancer cells via specific proteins and transcription factors is discussed. Current concepts of p53-related cancer epigenetics offer myriad avenues for cancer therapies. Challenges in the field are also discussed.

  9. Prospects for the development of epigenetic drugs for CNS conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szyf, Moshe

    2015-07-01

    Advances in our understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression in the central nervous system (CNS) and their role in neuropsychiatric disorders are paving the way for a potential new therapeutic approach that is focused on reversing the epigenetic underpinnings of neuropsychiatric conditions. In this article, the complexity of epigenetic processes and the current level of proof for their involvement in CNS disorders are discussed. The preclinical evidence for efficacy of pharmacological approaches that target epigenetics in the CNS and the particular challenges of this approach are also examined. Finally, strategies to address these challenges through the development of improved evidence-based epigenetic therapeutics and through combining pharmacological and behavioural approaches are presented.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Chemical -induced apoptotic cell death in tomato cells : involvement of caspase-like proteases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong, de A.J.; Hoeberichts, F.A.; Yakimova, E.T.; Maximova, E.; Woltering, E.J.

    2000-01-01

    A new system to study programmed cell death in plants is described. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) suspension cells were induced to undergo programmed cell death by treatment with known inducers of apoptosis in mammalian cells. This chemical-induced cell death was accompanied by the characte

  13. Current issues involving screening and identification of chemical contaminants in foods by mass spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehotay, S.J.; Sapozhnikova, Y.; Mol, J.G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Although quantitative analytical methods must be empirically validated prior to their use in a variety of applications, including regulatory monitoring of chemical adulterants in foods, validation of qualitative method performance for the analytes and matrices of interest is frequently ignored, or g

  14. Cancer development, progression, and therapy: an epigenetic overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McKenna Longacre

    2013-10-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen V Liu

    2013-05-01

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

  20. Epigenetics in plant tissue culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Environment, epigenetics and neurodegeneration: Focus on nutrition in Alzheimer's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolia, Vincenzina; Lucarelli, Marco; Fuso, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    International audience; Many different environmental factors (nutrients, pollutants, chemicals, physical activity, lifestyle, physical and mental stress) can modulate epigenetic markers in the developing and adult organism. Epigenetics, in turn, can cause and is associated with several neurodegenerative and aging-dependent human diseases. Alzheimer's disease certainly represents one of the most relevant neurodegenerative disorders due to its incidence and its huge socio-economic impact. There...

  2. The critical role of epigenetics in systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Hai; Yin, Heng; Wang, Ling; Gershwin, M Eric; Lu, Qianjin

    2016-11-01

    One of the major disappointments in human autoimmunity has been the relative failure on genome-wide association studies to provide "smoking genetic guns" that would explain the critical role of genetic susceptibility to loss of tolerance. It is well known that autoimmunity refers to the abnormal state that the dysregulated immune system attacks the healthy cells and tissues due to the loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigens. Its clinical outcomes are generally characterized by the presence of autoreactive immune cells and (or) the development of autoantibodies, leading to various types of autoimmune disorders. The etiology and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases are highly complex. Both genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as nutrition, infection, and chemicals are implicated in the pathogenic process of autoimmunity, however, how much and by what mechanisms each of these factors contribute to the development of autoimmunity remain unclear. Epigenetics, which refers to potentially heritable changes in gene expression and function that do not involve alterations of the DNA sequence, has provided us with a brand new key to answer these questions. In the recent decades, increasing evidence have demonstrated the roles of epigenetic dysregulation, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA, in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, especially systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which have shed light on a new era for autoimmunity research. Notably, DNA hypomethylation and reactivation of the inactive X chromosome are two epigenetic hallmarks of SLE. We will herein discuss briefly how genetic studies fail to completely elucidate the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and present a comprehensive review on landmark epigenetic findings in autoimmune diseases, taking SLE as an extensively studied example. The epigenetics of other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatic arthritis, systemic sclerosis and primary biliary

  3. Genetic and epigenetic differences associated with environmental gradients in replicate populations of two salt marsh perennials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foust, C M; Preite, V; Schrey, A W; Alvarez, M; Robertson, M H; Verhoeven, K J F; Richards, C L

    2016-04-01

    While traits and trait plasticity are partly genetically based, investigating epigenetic mechanisms may provide more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms underlying response to environment. Using AFLP and methylation-sensitive AFLP, we tested the hypothesis that differentiation to habitats along natural salt marsh environmental gradients occurs at epigenetic, but not genetic loci in two salt marsh perennials. We detected significant genetic and epigenetic structure among populations and among subpopulations, but we found multilocus patterns of differentiation to habitat type only in epigenetic variation for both species. In addition, more epigenetic than genetic loci were correlated with habitat in both species. When we analysed genetic and epigenetic variation simultaneously with partial Mantel, we found no correlation between genetic variation and habitat and a significant correlation between epigenetic variation and habitat in Spartina alterniflora. In Borrichia frutescens, we found significant correlations between epigenetic and/or genetic variation and habitat in four of five populations when populations were analysed individually, but there was no significant correlation between genetic or epigenetic variation and habitat when analysed jointly across the five populations. These analyses suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the response to salt marsh habitats, but also that the relationships among genetic and epigenetic variation and habitat vary by species. Site-specific conditions may also cloud our ability to detect response in replicate populations with similar environmental gradients. Future studies analysing sequence data and the correlation between genetic variation and DNA methylation will be powerful to identify the contributions of genetic and epigenetic response to environmental gradients.

  4. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge eLandgrave-Gómez

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Epigenetics and Vasculitis: a Comprehensive Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. FTO, RNA epigenetics and epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Joie; Wong, Morgan; Powers, Ryan; Olsen, Mark

    2012-10-01

    Several recent landmark papers describing N(6) -methyladenosine (m(6) A) RNA modifications have provided valuable new insights as to the importance of m(6) A in the RNA transcriptome and in furthering the understanding of RNA epigenetics. One endogenous enzyme responsible for demethylating RNA m(6) A, FTO, is highly expressed in the CNS and is likely involved in mRNA metabolism, splicing or other nuclear RNA processing events. microRNAs (miRNAs), a family of small, non-coding transcripts that bind to target mRNAs and inhibit subsequent translation, are highly expressed in the CNS and are associated with several neurological disorders, including epilepsy. miRNAs frequently bind to recognition sequences in the 3'UTR, a region that is also enriched for m(6) A. Certain specific miRNAs are upregulated by neuronal activity and are coupled to epileptogenesis; these miRNAs contain a consensus m(6) A site that if methylated could possibly regulate miRNA processing or function. This commentary highlights aspects from recent papers to propose a functional association between FTO, RNA epigenetics and epilepsy.

  8. Epigenetic microRNA Regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiklund, Erik Digman

    2011-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that negatively regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by binding to complementary sequences in the 3’UTR of target mRNAs in the cytoplasm. However, recent evidence suggests that certain miRNAs are enriched in the nucleus......, and their targets do not seem restricted to mRNA 3’UTRs. Therefore, miRNAs are predicted to have a variety functions throughout mammalian cells. MiRNA genes appear to be regulated in much the same way as coding genes, but current insight into transcriptional miRNA control lacks detail, as mapping miRNA promoters...... and confirming transcriptional start sites can be difficult. Epigenetics, gene regulatory and DNA modification mechanisms not involving a change to the primary sequence, have been implied in the regulation of a number of miRNA loci. Both epigenetic and miRNA signatures are broadly altered in cancer...

  9. Epigenetic regulation of protein glycosylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoldoš, Vlatka; Grgurević, Srđana; Lauc, Gordan

    2010-10-01

    Protein N-glycosylation is an ancient metabolic pathway that still exists in all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya). The covalent addition of one or more complex oligosaccharides (glycans) to protein backbones greatly diversifies their structures and makes the glycoproteome several orders of magnitude more complex than the proteome itself. Contrary to polypeptides, which are defined by a sequence of nucleotides in the corresponding genes, the glycan part of glycoproteins are encoded in a complex dynamic network of hundreds of proteins, whereby activity is defined by both genetic sequence and the regulation of gene expression. Owing to the complex nature of their biosynthesis, glycans are particularly versatile and apparently a large part of human variation derives from differences in protein glycosylation. Composition of the individual glycome appears to be rather stable, and thus differences in the pattern of glycan synthesis between individuals could originate either from genetic polymorphisms or from stable epigenetic regulation of gene expression in different individuals. Studies of epigenetic modification of genes involved in protein glycosylation are still scarce, but their results indicate that this process might be very important for the regulation of protein glycosylation.

  10. Legal considerations involving chemical control of iron and other deficiencies in plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallace, A; Samman, Y. S.

    1981-01-01

    Four cases of lawsuits involving use of chelating agents in plant nutrition are discussed. Three of them involved use of iron. One concerned addition of FeDTPA to nursery trees in containers. One case involved foliar application of FeHEDTA to potatoes in July by airplane. Another case not involving iron chelate was with ZnEDTA and MnEDTA with Fe as FeSO/sub 4/ later as a foliar spray. The Zn and MnEDTA were applied as a band 8 inches (20 cm) on both sides of nursery tree rows just as the buds that had been placed in the fall began growing in the spring. In the fourth case, many tomato transplants died when the transplanting was done with about 120 ml per plant of transplant solution containing besides N, P and K, about 19 mg Zn as ZnEDTA, 14 mg Mn as MnEDTA and 7 mg Fe as FeHEDTA. Cases such as these will probably discourage use of chelating agents in plant nutrition even if the chelating agents were not the damaging agent. Not enough developmental work was done on the potential toxicities from metal chelates. This trend to lawsuits makes it even more important to solve iron chlorosis problems via plant breeding.

  11. Epigenetic signatures of invasive status in populations of marine invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardura, Alba; Zaiko, Anastasija; Morán, Paloma; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetics, as a DNA signature that affects gene expression and enables rapid reaction of an organism to environmental changes, is likely involved in the process of biological invasions. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism common to plants and animals for regulating gene expression. In this study we show, for the first time in any marine species, significant reduction of global methylation levels during the expansive phase of a pygmy mussel (Xenostrobus securis) recent invasion in Europe (two-year old), while in older introductions such epigenetic signature of invasion was progressively reduced. Decreased methylation was interpreted as a rapid way of increasing phenotypic plasticity that would help invasive populations to thrive. This epigenetic signature of early invasion was stronger than the expected environmental signature of environmental stress in younger populations sampled from ports, otherwise detected in a much older population (>90 year old) of the also invasive tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus established in similar locations. Higher epigenetic than genetic diversity found in X. securis was confirmed from F. enigmaticus samples. As reported for introduced plants and vertebrates, epigenetic variation could compensate for relatively lower genetic variation caused by founder effects. These phenomena were compared with epigenetic mechanisms involved in metastasis, as parallel processes of community (biological invasion) and organism (cancer) invasions. PMID:28205577

  12. Epigenetic signatures of invasive status in populations of marine invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardura, Alba; Zaiko, Anastasija; Morán, Paloma; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2017-02-01

    Epigenetics, as a DNA signature that affects gene expression and enables rapid reaction of an organism to environmental changes, is likely involved in the process of biological invasions. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism common to plants and animals for regulating gene expression. In this study we show, for the first time in any marine species, significant reduction of global methylation levels during the expansive phase of a pygmy mussel (Xenostrobus securis) recent invasion in Europe (two-year old), while in older introductions such epigenetic signature of invasion was progressively reduced. Decreased methylation was interpreted as a rapid way of increasing phenotypic plasticity that would help invasive populations to thrive. This epigenetic signature of early invasion was stronger than the expected environmental signature of environmental stress in younger populations sampled from ports, otherwise detected in a much older population (>90 year old) of the also invasive tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus established in similar locations. Higher epigenetic than genetic diversity found in X. securis was confirmed from F. enigmaticus samples. As reported for introduced plants and vertebrates, epigenetic variation could compensate for relatively lower genetic variation caused by founder effects. These phenomena were compared with epigenetic mechanisms involved in metastasis, as parallel processes of community (biological invasion) and organism (cancer) invasions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Epigenetics in immune development and in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martino, David; Kesper, Dörthe A; Amarasekera, Manori; Harb, Hani; Renz, Harald; Prescott, Susan

    2014-10-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and micro RNA signaling regulate the activity of the genome. Virtually all aspects of immunity involve some level of epigenetic regulation, whether it be host defense or in mediating tolerance. These processes are critically important in mediating dynamic responses to the environment over the life course of the individual, yet we are only just beginning to understand how dysregulation in these pathways may play a role in immune disease. Here, we give a brief chronological overview of epigenetic processes during immune development in health and disease.

  17. Chemical reactions involved in the initiation of hot corrosion of IN-738

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fryburg, G. C.; Kohl, F. J.; Stearns, C. A.

    1984-01-01

    Sodium-sulfate-induced hot corrosion of preoxidized IN-738 was studied at 975 C with special emphasis placed on the processes occurring during the long induction period. Thermogravimetric tests were run for predetermined periods of time, and then one set of specimens was washed with water. Chemical analysis of the wash solutions yielded information about water soluble metal salts and residual sulfate. A second set of samples was cross sectioned dry and polished in a nonaqueous medium. Element distributions within the oxide scale were obtained from electron microprobe X-ray micrographs. Evolution of SO was monitored throughout the thermogravimetric tests. Kinetic rate studies were performed for several pertinent processes; appropriate rate constants were obtained from the following chemical reactions; Cr203 + 2 Na2S04(1) + 3/2 02 yields 2 Na2Cr04(1) + 2 S03(g)n TiO2 + Na2S04(1) yields Na20(T102)n + 503(g)n T102 + Na2Cro4(1) yields Na2(T102)n + Cr03(g).

  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. [Chronic stress and epigenetics. Relation between academic sciences and theology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Kornél

    2012-04-08

    The author gives a short account on the principles of Selye's stress theory, and discusses similarities and dissimilarities of acute and chronic stress. Both the external, and the internal environment, as well as the psycho-mental status are involved in the notion of the environment. Basic principles of epigenetics are reviewed: interaction between environment and genes, neuroendocrine and enzymatic mechanisms involved in silencing and activation of genes, notions of phenotypic plasticity, and epigenetic reprogramming are discussed. Epigenetic mechanisms of interrelation between pathological clinical states (diseases) and the characteristic phenotypes, causative role of psycho-mental status in evoking pathological somatic alterations, and the potential therapeutic consequences are briefly discussed. The etiological role of chronic, civilization stress in producing the worldwide increment of cardiovascular morbidity is cited, argumentation and criticism of the current therapeutical practice is discussed. The author concludes that recent advances in epigenetic knowledge seem to solve the controversy between the academic and theological sciences.

  20. 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...

  1. [Research progress of epigenetic drug decitabine in AML].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rui; Li, Hui-Min

    2014-10-01

    Epigenetics is a gene regulation mechanism that can be reversible and heritable, but do not involve the DNA sequence changes. DNA methylation is one of the most important epigenetic modifications, which is closely correlate with tumorigenesis. Decitabine is a methylation inhibitor, which has different action mechanism and targeting characteristics from the traditional chemotherapy, representing a new therapeutic strategy. This review mainly focuses on the anti-leukemia mechanism of decitabine and its clinical efficacy for AML.

  2. Evidence of epigenetic tags in cardiac fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, Vincenzo; De Pascale, Maria Rosaria; Zullo, Alberto; Soricelli, Andrea; Infante, Teresa; Mancini, Francesco Paolo; Napoli, Claudio

    2017-02-01

    In cardiac fibrosis, following an injury or a stress, non-functional fibrotic tissue substitutes normal myocardium, thus leading to progressive heart failure. Activated fibroblasts are principal determinants of cardiac fibrosis by producing excessive fibrotic extracellular matrix and causing hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes. Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and miRNAs have been involved in these mechanisms. Therefore, there is a strong interest in reverting such epigenetic transformations in order to arrest myocardial fibrotic degeneration. Demethylating agents, such as 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, 5-azacytidine, some selective histone deacetylase inhibitors, including mocetinostat, trichostatin A, and MPT0E014, have a direct action on important inducers of cardiac fibrosis. Also dietary compounds, such as resveratrol, can suppress the differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts. Although in vivo and in vitro studies suggest specific epigenetic therapies to treat cardiac fibrosis, the related clinical trials are still lacking. A better understanding of the epigenetic effects of dietary compounds (e.g. curcumin and green tea catechins) on the onset and progression of cardiac fibrosis, will allow the identification of protective dietary patterns and/or the generation of novel potential epidrugs.

  3. Epigenetic Effects of Human Breast Milk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvira Verduci

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available A current aim of nutrigenetics is to personalize nutritional practices according to genetic variations that influence the way of digestion and metabolism of nutrients introduced with the diet. Nutritional epigenetics concerns knowledge about the effects of nutrients on gene expression. Nutrition in early life or in critical periods of development, may have a role in modulating gene expression, and, therefore, have later effects on health. Human breast milk is well-known for its ability in preventing several acute and chronic diseases. Indeed, breastfed children may have lower risk of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, infectious diseases, and also of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity and related-disorders. Beneficial effects of human breast milk on health may be associated in part with its peculiar components, possible also via epigenetic processes. This paper discusses about presumed epigenetic effects of human breast milk and components. While evidence suggests that a direct relationship may exist of some components of human breast milk with epigenetic changes, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. Studies have to be conducted to clarify the actual role of human breast milk on genetic expression, in particular when linked to the risk of non-communicable diseases, to potentially benefit the infant’s health and his later life.

  4. Epigenetic Regulation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Epigenetic regulation of cystatins in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivenbark, Ashley G; Coleman, William B

    2009-01-01

    Cystatins function as cysteine protease inhibitors, are expressed in numerous cell types, and regulate a number of physiological processes. Four cystatins have been extensively studied: cystatin A, cystatin B, cystatin C, and cystatin M. Aberrant regulation of cystatins occurs in a number of diseases, including cancer and certain neurodegenerative disorders. Recent advances in the understanding of cystatin function suggest that these proteins may regulate promotion or suppression of tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Cancer is a disease of abnormal gene expression and cancer cells exhibit aberrant epigenetic events (such as DNA methylation), leading to gene silencing. Cystatins are epigenetically silenced through DNA methylation-dependent mechanisms in several forms of cancer, including breast, pancreatic, brain, and lung. These findings suggest that DNA methylation-dependent epigenetic mechanisms may play an important role in the loss of cystatin gene expression and protein function during neoplastic transformation and/or tumor progression. This review summarizes the biological processes in which cystatins function, focuses on the neoplastic events that involve aberrant regulation of cystatins, and discusses the possible epigenetic regulation of cystatins in cancer.

  6. Environment, epigenetics and neurodegeneration: Focus on nutrition in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolia, Vincenzina; Lucarelli, Marco; Fuso, Andrea

    2015-08-01

    Many different environmental factors (nutrients, pollutants, chemicals, physical activity, lifestyle, physical and mental stress) can modulate epigenetic markers in the developing and adult organism. Epigenetics, in turn, can cause and is associated with several neurodegenerative and aging-dependent human diseases. Alzheimer's disease certainly represents one of the most relevant neurodegenerative disorders due to its incidence and its huge socio-economic impact. Therefore, it is easy to understand why recent literature focuses on the epigenetic modifications associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. One of the most intriguing and, at the same time, worrying evidence is that even "mild" environmental factors (such as behavioral or physical stress) as well as the under-threshold exposure to pollutants and chemicals, can be effective. Finally, even mild nutrients disequilibria can result in long-lasting and functional alterations of many epigenetic markers, although they don't have an immediate acute effect. Therefore, we will probably have to re-define the current risk threshold for many factors, molecules and stresses. Among the many different environmental factors affecting the epigenome, nutrition represents one of the most investigated fields; the reasons are probably that each person interacts with nutrients and that, in turn, nutrients can modulate at molecular level the epigenetic biochemical pathways. The role that nutrition can exert in modulating epigenetic modifications in Alzheimer's disease will be discussed with particular emphasis on the role of B vitamins and DNA methylation.

  7. Economic Evaluations for the Carbon Dioxide-involved Production of High-value Chemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Ji Hyun; Lee, Dong Woog; Jang, Se Gyu; Kwak, No-Sang; Lee, In Young; Jang, Kyung Ryoung; Shim, Jae-Goo [KEPCO Research Institute, Daejon (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Jong Shin [Korea East-West Power Co. LTD, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-06-15

    Economic evaluation of the manufacturing technology of high-value chemicals through the carbonation reaction of carbon dioxide contained in the flue gas was performed, and analysis of the IRR (Internal Rate of Return) and whole profit along the production plan of the final product was conducted. Through a carbonation reaction with sodium hydroxide that is generated from electrolysis and by using carbon dioxide in the combustion gas that is generated in the power plant, it is possible to get a high value products such as sodium bicarbonate compound and also to reduce the carbon dioxide emission simultaneously. The IRR (Internal Rate of Return) and NPV (Net Present Value) methods were used for the economic evaluation of the process which could handle carbon dioxide of 100 tons per day in the period of the 20 years of plant operation. The results of economic evaluation showed that the IRR of baseline case of technology was 67.2% and the profit that obtained during the whole operation period (20 years) was 346,922 million won based on NPV value. When considering ETS due to the emissions trading enforcement that will be activated in 2015, the NPV was improved to a 6,000 million won. Based on this results, it could be concluded that this CO2 carbonation technology is an cost-effective technology option for the reduction of greenhouse gas.

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying learning and the inheritance of learned behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Brian G; Maddox, Stephanie A; Klengel, Torsten; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-02-01

    Gene expression and regulation is an important sculptor of the behavior of organisms. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression not by altering the genetic alphabet but rather by the addition of chemical modifications to proteins associated with the alphabet or of methyl marks to the alphabet itself. Being dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation serve as an important bridge between environmental stimuli and genotype. In this review, we outline epigenetic mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated in animals and humans. Using fear learning as a framework, we then delineate how such mechanisms underlie learning and stress responsiveness. Finally, we discuss how epigenetic mechanisms might inform us about the transgenerational inheritance of behavioral traits that are being increasingly reported.

  9. Epigenetic transmission of Holocaust trauma: can nightmares be inherited?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Natan Pf

    2013-01-01

    The Holocaust left its visible and invisible marks not only on the survivors, but also on their children. Instead of numbers tattooed on their forearms, however, they may have been marked epigenetically with a chemical coating upon their chromosomes, which would represent a kind of biological memory of what the parents experienced. as a result, some suffer from a general vulnerability to stress while others are more resilient. Previous research assumed that such transmission was caused by environmental factors, such as the parents' childrearing behavior. New research, however, indicates that these transgenerational effects may have been also (epi) genetically transmitted to their children. Integrating both hereditary and environmental factors, epigenetics adds a new and more comprehensive psychobiological dimension to the explanation of transgenerational transmission of trauma. Specifically, epigenetics may explain why latent transmission becomes manifest under stress. a general theoretical overview of epigenetics and its relevance to research on trauma transmission is presented.

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurogenetic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-10-01

    There have been considerable advances in uncovering the complex genetic mechanisms that underlie nervous system disease pathogenesis, particularly with the advent of exome and whole genome sequencing techniques. The emerging field of epigenetics is also providing further insights into these mechanisms. Here, we discuss our understanding of the interplay that exists between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in these disorders, highlighting the nascent field of epigenetic epidemiology-which focuses on analyzing relationships between the epigenome and environmental exposures, development and aging, other health-related phenotypes, and disease states-and next-generation research tools (i.e., those leveraging synthetic and chemical biology and optogenetics) for examining precisely how epigenetic modifications at specific genomic sites affect disease processes.

  11. Genetics and epigenetics of aging and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskalev, Alexey A; Aliper, Alexander M; Smit-McBride, Zeljka; Buzdin, Anton; Zhavoronkov, Alex

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary theories of aging predict the existence of certain genes that provide selective advantage early in life with adverse effect on lifespan later in life (antagonistic pleiotropy theory) or longevity insurance genes (disposable soma theory). Indeed, the study of human and animal genetics is gradually identifying new genes that increase lifespan when overexpressed or mutated: gerontogenes. Furthermore, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms are being identified that have a positive effect on longevity. The gerontogenes are classified as lifespan regulators, mediators, effectors, housekeeping genes, genes involved in mitochondrial function, and genes regulating cellular senescence and apoptosis. In this review we demonstrate that the majority of the genes as well as genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that are involved in regulation of longevity are highly interconnected and related to stress response.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggren, Warren W; Crews, David

    2014-07-01

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

  13. Development of linear free energy relationships for aqueous phase radical-involved chemical reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minakata, Daisuke; Mezyk, Stephen P; Jones, Jace W; Daws, Brittany R; Crittenden, John C

    2014-12-02

    Aqueous phase advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) produce hydroxyl radicals (HO•) which can completely oxidize electron rich organic compounds. The proper design and operation of AOPs require that we predict the formation and fate of the byproducts and their associated toxicity. Accordingly, there is a need to develop a first-principles kinetic model that can predict the dominant reaction pathways that potentially produce toxic byproducts. We have published some of our efforts on predicting the elementary reaction pathways and the HO• rate constants. Here we develop linear free energy relationships (LFERs) that predict the rate constants for aqueous phase radical reactions. The LFERs relate experimentally obtained kinetic rate constants to quantum mechanically calculated aqueous phase free energies of activation. The LFERs have been applied to 101 reactions, including (1) HO• addition to 15 aromatic compounds; (2) addition of molecular oxygen to 65 carbon-centered aliphatic and cyclohexadienyl radicals; (3) disproportionation of 10 peroxyl radicals, and (4) unimolecular decay of nine peroxyl radicals. The LFERs correlations predict the rate constants within a factor of 2 from the experimental values for HO• reactions and molecular oxygen addition, and a factor of 5 for peroxyl radical reactions. The LFERs and the elementary reaction pathways will enable us to predict the formation and initial fate of the byproducts in AOPs. Furthermore, our methodology can be applied to other environmental processes in which aqueous phase radical-involved reactions occur.

  14. 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.

  15. Why schizophrenia genetics needs epigenetics: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maric, Nadja P; Svrakic, Dragan M

    2012-03-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) is a highly heritable disorder, with about 80% of the variance attributable to genetic factors. There is accumulating evidence that both common genetic variants with small effects and rare genetic lesions with large effects determine risk of SZ. As recently shown, thousands of common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), each with small effect, cumulatively could explain about 30% of the underlying genetic risk of SZ. On the other hand, rare and large copy number variants (CNVs) with high but incomplete penetrance, variable in different individual, could explain about additional 30% of SZ cases. Although these rare CNVs frequently develop de novo, it is not clear whether they affect risk independently or via interaction with a polygenic liability in the background. Finally, the role of environmental risk factors has been well established in SZ. Environmental factors are rarely sufficient to cause SZ independently, but act in parallel or in synergy with the underlying genetic liability. Epigenetic misregulation of the genome and direct CNS injury are probably the main mechanism to mediate prenatal environmental effects (e.g., viruses, ethanol, or nutritional deficiency) whereas postnatal risk factors (e.g., stress, urbanicity, cannabis use) may also affect risk via use-based potentiation of vulnerable CNS pathways implicated in SZ. In this review, we outline a general theoretical background of epigenetic mechanisms involved in GxE interactions, and then discuss epigenetic and neurodevelopmental features of SZ based on available information from genetics, epigenetics, epidemiology, neuroscience, and clinical research. We argue that epigenetic model of SZ provides a framework to integrate a variety of diverse empirical data into a powerful etiopathogenetic synthesis. The promising future of this model is the possibility to develop truly specific prevention and treatment strategies for SZ.

  16. Genetic and epigenetic alterations in pancreatic carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delpu, Yannick; Hanoun, Naïma; Lulka, Hubert; Sicard, Flavie; Selves, Janick; Buscail, Louis; Torrisani, Jérôme; Cordelier, Pierre

    2011-03-01

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide. Despite significant progresses in the last decades, the origin of this cancer remains unclear and no efficient therapy exists. PDAC does not arise de novo: three remarkable different types of pancreatic lesions can evolve towards pancreatic cancer. These precursor lesions include: Pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) that are microscopic lesions of the pancreas, Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms (IPMN) and Mucinous Cystic Neoplasms (MCN) that are both macroscopic lesions. However, the cellular origin of these lesions is still a matter of debate. Classically, neoplasm initiation or progression is driven by several genetic and epigenetic alterations. The aim of this review is to assemble the current information on genetic mutations and epigenetic disorders that affect genes during pancreatic carcinogenesis. We will further discuss the interest of the genetic and epigenetic alterations for the diagnosis and prognosis of PDAC. Large genetic alterations (chromosomal deletion/amplification) and single point mutations are well described for carcinogenesis inducers. Mutations classically occur within key regions of the genome. Consequences are various and include activation of mitogenic pathways or silencing of apoptotic processes. Alterations of K-RAS, P16 and DPC4 genes are frequently observed in PDAC samples and have been described to arise gradually during carcinogenesis. DNA methylation is an epigenetic process involved in imprinting and X chromosome inactivation. Alteration of DNA methylation patterns leads to deregulation of gene expression, in the absence of mutation. Both genetic and epigenetic events influence genes and non-coding RNA expression, with dramatic effects on proliferation, survival and invasion. Besides improvement in our fundamental understanding of PDAC development, highlighting the molecular alterations that occur in pancreatic carcinogenesis could

  17. Synthesis, chemical characterization, computational studies and biological activity of new DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) specific inhibitor. Epigenetic regulation as a new and potential approach to cancer therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellerito, C; Morana, O; Ferrante, F; Calvaruso, G; Notaro, A; Sabella, S; Fiore, T

    2015-09-01

    This work deals with the synthesis, the chemical characterization of dibutyltin(IV) complex of caffeic acid (Bu2Sn(IV)HCAF, caf1) and its cytotoxic action on tumor cells. The coordination environment at the tin center was investigated by FTIR, (119)Sn{(1)H} cross polarization magic angle spinning, electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy in the solid state and UV-vis, fluorescence and (1)H, (13)C and (119)Sn NMR spectroscopy in solution phases. Density functional theory study confirmed the proposed structures in solution phase and indicated the most probably stable conformation. The effects on viability of breast cancer MDA-MB231, colorectal cancer HCT116, hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 and Chang liver cells, an immortalized non-tumor hepatic cell line, have been investigated. The effect of a variation in structure of caf1 was found to lead to a change in the respective antiproliferative properties: caf1 induces loss of viability in HCT116, MDA-MB-231, and HepG2; the complex shows only moderate effects in non-tumor Chang liver cells. caf1 exerts lower cytotoxic activity than Bu2SnCl2, suggesting that the binding with H3CAF modulates the marked cytotoxic activity exerted by Bu2SnCl2; caf1 displays a considerably more pronounced antitumoural effect towards cell lines than caffeic acid. It is known that caffeic acid can modulate DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferases 1 (DNMT1) mediated DNA methylation. In this paper we demonstrate that caf1 treatment was able to induce a time-dependent reduction of global DNA methylated status. This effect was also confirmed by a concomitant reduction DNMT1 expression level. The effect induced by caf1 was more evident not only with respect to untreated cells but also compared to H3CAF treated cells.

  18. [Epigenetics, genomic imprinting and developmental disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bouc, Yves; Rossignol, Sylvie; Azzi, Salah; Brioude, Frédéric; Cabrol, Sylvie; Gicquel, Christine; Netchine, Irène

    2010-02-01

    Epigenetic phenomena play a key role in regulating gene expression. One of the most widely studied epigenetic modification is DNA methylation at cytosine residues of CpG dinucleotides in gene promoters, transposons and imprinting control regions (ICR). Genomic imprinting refers to epigenetic marking of genes that results in monoallelic expression depending on the parental origin. Several genes encoding key hormones involved in embryonic and fetal growth are imprinted. There are two critical periods of epigenetic reprogramming: gametogenesis and early preimplantation development. Major reprogramming takes place in primordial germ cells, in which parental imprints are erased and totipotency is restored. Imprint marks are then re-established during spermatogenesis or oogenesis, depending on gender. Upon fertilization, genome-wide demethylation is followed by a wave of de novo methylation, both processes being resisted by imprinted loci. Disruption of imprinting can cause growth defects such as the Beckwith-Wiedemann overgrowth syndrome (BWS) and the Russell-Silver (RSS) intrauterine and postnatal growth retardation syndrome. These growth disorders are caused by abnormal DNA methylation in the 11p15 imprinted region encompassing many imprinted genes, such as IGF2. BWS has been linked to loss of methylation (LOM) in the centromeric ICR2/KCNQIOT1 region of the maternal allele, or gain of methylation in the telomeric ICR1/IGF2/H19 region of the maternal allele. This latter epigenetic defect is associated with an increased risk of tumors such as nephroblastoma. LOM in the telomeric ICR1 region of the paternal allele has been detected in RSS. Early embryogenesis is a critical period of epigenetic regulation, and is sensitive to environmental factors. Individuals conceived with the help of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are over-represented among BWS patients, suggesting that ART may favor altered imprinting at the imprinted centromeric 11p15 locus (LOM in the

  19. Mechanistic studies of cyclohexanone monooxygenase: chemical properties of intermediates involved in catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, D; Ballou, D P; Massey, V

    2001-09-18

    Cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO), a bacterial flavoenzyme, carries out an oxygen insertion reaction on cyclohexanone to form a seven-membered cyclic product, epsilon-caprolactone. The reaction catalyzed involves the four-electron reduction of O2 at the expense of a two-electron oxidation of NADPH and a two-electron oxidation of cyclohexanone to form epsilon-caprolactone. Previous studies suggested the participation of either a flavin C4a-hydroperoxide or a flavin C4a-peroxide intermediate during the enzymatic catalysis [Ryerson, C. C., Ballou, D. P., and Walsh, C. (1982) Biochemistry 21, 2644-2655]. However, there was no kinetic or spectral evidence to distinguish between these two possibilities. In the present work we used double-mixing stopped-flow techniques to show that the C4a-flavin-oxygen adduct, which is formed rapidly from the reaction of oxygen with reduced enzyme in the presence of NADP, can exist in two states. When the reaction is carried out at pH 7.2, the first intermediate is a flavin C4a-peroxide with maximum absorbance at 366 nm; this intermediate becomes protonated at about 3 s(-1) to form what is believed to be the flavin C4a-hydroperoxide with maximum absorbance at 383 nm. These two intermediates can be interconverted by altering the pH, with a pK(a) of 8.4. Thus, at pH 9.0 the flavin C4a-peroxide persists mainly in the deprotonated form. Further kinetic studies also demonstrated that only the flavin C4a-peroxide intermediate could oxygenate the substrate, cyclohexanone. The requirement in catalysis of the deprotonated flavin C4a-peroxide, a nucleophile, is consistent with a Baeyer-Villiger rearrangement mechanism for the enzymatic oxygenation of cyclohexanone. In the course of these studies, the Kd for cyclohexanone to the C4a-peroxyflavin form of CHMO was determined to be approximately 1 microM. The rate-determining step in catalysis was shown to be the release of NADP from the oxidized enzyme.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic control of autoimmune diseases: from bench to bedside.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picascia, Antonietta; Grimaldi, Vincenzo; Pignalosa, Orlando; De Pascale, Maria Rosaria; Schiano, Concetta; Napoli, Claudio

    2015-03-01

    Genome-wide association studies have revealed several genes predisposing to autoimmunity, however, concordance rates in monozygotic twins are significantly below 50% for several autoimmune diseases. The limited presence of a strong genetic association only in some patients supports that other non-genetic mechanisms are active in these pathologies. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA signaling regulate gene expression and are sensitive to external stimuli and they might be as bridging between genetic and environmental factors. Some evidence has highlighted the involvement of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases giving rise to great expectations among clinicians and researchers. The direct role of these alterations in the initiation/progression of autoimmune diseases is still unclear. The knowledge in depth of these pathogenic and epigenetic mechanisms will increase the possibility of the control and/or prevention of autoimmune diseases through the use of drugs that target epigenetic pathways. Moreover, we could use epigenetic-related biomarkers to follow this complicated framework (for example H3K4me3 and miRNA-155 are among those proposed biomarkers). This article reviews current understanding of the epigenetic involvement in the field of autoimmune diseases especially in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, sclerosis multiple and type 1 diabetes.

  4. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological diseases: genes, syndromes, and therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urdinguio, Rocio G; Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Esteller, Manel

    2009-11-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and modifications to histone proteins regulate high-order DNA structure and gene expression. Aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the development of many diseases, including cancer. The neurological disorder most intensely studied with regard to epigenetic changes is Rett syndrome; patients with Rett syndrome have neurodevelopmental defects associated with mutations in MeCP2, which encodes the methyl CpG binding protein 2, that binds to methylated DNA. Other mental retardation disorders are also linked to the disruption of genes involved in epigenetic mechanisms; such disorders include alpha thalassaemia/mental retardation X-linked syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and Coffin-Lowry syndrome. Moreover, aberrant DNA methylation and histone modification profiles of discrete DNA sequences, and those at a genome-wide level, have just begun to be described for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, and in other neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this Review, we describe epigenetic changes present in neurological diseases and discuss the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drugs, such as histone deacetylase inhibitors.

  5. Epigenetics in Alzheimer's Disease: Perspective of DNA Methylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qazi, Talal Jamil; Quan, Zhenzhen; Mir, Asif; Qing, Hong

    2017-01-14

    Research over the years has shown that causes of Alzheimer's disease are not well understood, but over the past years, the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the developing memory formation either under pathological or physiological conditions has become clear. The term epigenetics represents the heredity of changes in phenotype that are independent of altered DNA sequences. Different studies validated that cytosine methylation of genomic DNA decreases with age in different tissues of mammals, and therefore, the role of epigenetic factors in developing neurological disorders in aging has been under focus. In this review, we summarized and reviewed the involvement of different epigenetic mechanisms especially the DNA methylation in Alzheimer's disease (AD), late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD), and autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD). Down to the minutest of details, we tried to discuss the methylation patterns like mitochondrial DNA methylation and ribosomal DNA (rDNA) methylation. Additionally, we mentioned some therapeutic approaches related to epigenetics, which could provide a potential cure for AD. Moreover, we reviewed some recent studies that validate DNA methylation as a potential biomarker and its role in AD. We hope that this review will provide new insights into the understanding of AD pathogenesis from the epigenetic perspective especially from the perspective of DNA methylation.

  6. Chemical carcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula A. Oliveira

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of chemical compounds benefits society in a number of ways. Pesticides, for instance, enable foodstuffs to be produced in sufficient quantities to satisfy the needs of millions of people, a condition that has led to an increase in levels of life expectancy. Yet, at times, these benefits are offset by certain disadvantages, notably the toxic side effects of the chemical compounds used. Exposure to these compounds can have varying effects, ranging from instant death to a gradual process of chemical carcinogenesis. There are three stages involved in chemical carcinogenesis. These are defined as initiation, promotion and progression. Each of these stages is characterised by morphological and biochemical modifications and result from genetic and/or epigenetic alterations. These genetic modifications include: mutations in genes that control cell proliferation, cell death and DNA repair - i.e. mutations in proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressing genes. The epigenetic factors, also considered as being non-genetic in character, can also contribute to carcinogenesis via epigenetic mechanisms which silence gene expression. The control of responses to carcinogenesis through the application of several chemical, biochemical and biological techniques facilitates the identification of those basic mechanisms involved in neoplasic development. Experimental assays with laboratory animals, epidemiological studies and quick tests enable the identification of carcinogenic compounds, the dissection of many aspects of carcinogenesis, and the establishment of effective strategies to prevent the cancer which results from exposure to chemicals.A sociedade obtém numerosos benefícios da utilização de compostos químicos. A aplicação dos pesticidas, por exemplo, permitiu obter alimento em quantidade suficiente para satisfazer as necessidades alimentares de milhões de pessoas, condição relacionada com o aumento da esperança de vida. Os benefícios estão, por

  7. Insects as models to study the epigenetic basis of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Twyman, Richard M; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-07-01

    Epigenetic inheritance refers to changes in gene expression that are heritable across generations but are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. Many environmental factors are now known to cause epigenetic changes, including the presence of pathogens, parasites, harmful chemicals and other stress factors. There is increasing evidence that transcriptional reprogramming caused by epigenetic modifications can be passed from parents to offspring. Indeed, diseases such as cancer can occur in the offspring due to epigenetically-inherited gene expression profiles induced by stress experienced by the parent. Empirical studies to investigate the role of epigenetics in trans-generational gene regulation and disease require appropriate model organisms. In this review, we argue that selected insects can be used as models for human diseases with an epigenetic component because the underlying molecular mechanisms (DNA methylation, histone acetylation and the expression of microRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved. Insects offer a number of advantages over mammalian models including ethical acceptability, short generation times and the potential to investigate complex interacting parameters such as fecundity, longevity, gender ratio, and resistance to pathogens, parasites and environmental stress.

  8. 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.

  9. Using an Active-Learning Approach to Teach Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colon-Berlingeri, Migdalisel

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics involves heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. I developed an active-learning approach to convey this topic to students in a college genetics course. I posted a brief summary of the topic before class to stimulate exchange in cooperative groups. During class, we discussed the…

  10. Nucleosome Positioning and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, David; Bruinsma, Robijn

    2008-03-01

    The role of chromatin structure in gene regulation has recently taken center stage in the field of epigenetics, phenomena that change the phenotype without changing the DNA sequence. Recent work has also shown that nucleosomes, a complex of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer, experience a sequence dependent energy landscape due to the variation in DNA bend stiffness with sequence composition. In this talk, we consider the role nucleosome positioning might play in the formation of heterochromatin, a compact form of DNA generically responsible for gene silencing. In particular, we discuss how different patterns of nucleosome positions, periodic or random, could either facilitate or suppress heterochromatin stability and formation.

  11. Epigenetic 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

  12. 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

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. Zebrafish larva as a reliable model for in vivo assessment of membrane remodeling involvement in the hepatotoxicity of chemical agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podechard, Normand; Chevanne, Martine; Fernier, Morgane; Tête, Arnaud; Collin, Aurore; Cassio, Doris; Kah, Olivier; Lagadic-Gossmann, Dominique; Sergent, Odile

    2016-11-28

    The easy-to-use in vivo model, zebrafish larva, is being increasingly used to screen chemical-induced hepatotoxicity, with a good predictivity for various mechanisms of liver injury. However, nothing is known about its applicability in exploring the mechanism called membrane remodeling, depicted as changes in membrane fluidity or lipid raft properties. The aim of this study was, therefore, to substantiate the zebrafish larva as a suitable in vivo model in this context. Ethanol was chosen as a prototype toxicant because it is largely described, both in hepatocyte cultures and in rodents, as capable of inducing a membrane remodeling leading to hepatocyte death and liver injury. The zebrafish larva model was demonstrated to be fully relevant as membrane remodeling was maintained even after a 1-week exposure without any adaptation as usually reported in rodents and hepatocyte cultures. It was also proven to exhibit a high sensitivity as it discriminated various levels of cytotoxicity depending on the extent of changes in membrane remodeling. In this context, its sensitivity appeared higher than that of WIF-B9 hepatic cells, which is suited for analyzing this kind of hepatotoxicity. Finally, the protection afforded by a membrane stabilizer, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), or by a lipid raft disrupter, pravastatin, definitely validated zebrafish larva as a reliable model to quickly assess membrane remodeling involvement in chemical-induced hepatotoxicity. In conclusion, this model, compatible with a high throughput screening, might be adapted to seek hepatotoxicants via membrane remodeling, and also drugs targeting membrane features to propose new preventive or therapeutic strategies in chemical-induced liver diseases. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Spatiotemporally controlled and multifactor involved assay of neuronal compartment regeneration after chemical injury in an integrated microfluidics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; Ren, Li; Liu, Wenming; Wang, Jian-Chun; Wang, Yaolei; Tu, Qin; Xu, Juan; Liu, Rui; Zhang, Yanrong; Yuan, Mao-Sen; Li, Tianbao; Wang, Jinyi

    2012-08-07

    Studies on the degeneration and regeneration of neurons as individual compartments of axons or somata can provide critical information for the clinical therapy of nervous system diseases. A controllable in vitro platform for multiple purposes is key to such studies. In the present study, we describe an integrated microfluidic device designed for achieving localized stimulation to neuronal axons or somata. We observed neuronal compartment degeneration after localized chemical stimulation and regeneration under the accessorial function of an interesting compound treatment or coculture with desired cells in controllable chambers. In a spatiotemporally controlled manner, this device was used to investigate hippocampal neuronal soma and axon degeneration after acrylamide stimulation, as well as subsequent regeneration after treatment with the monosialoganglioside GM1 or with cocultured glial cells (astrocytes or Schwann cells). To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms that mediate neuronal injury and regeneration, as well as to investigate whether acrylamide stimulation to neurons induces changes in Ca(2+) concentrations, the related neuronal genes and real-time Ca(2+) signal in neurons were also analyzed. The results showed that neuronal axons were more resistant to acrylamide injury than neuronal somata. Under localized stimulation, axons had self-destruct programs different from somata, and somatic injury caused the secondary response of axon collapse. This study provides a foundation for future in-depth analyses of spatiotemporally controlled and multifactor neuronal compartment regeneration after various injuries. The microfluidic device is also useful in evaluating potential therapeutic strategies to treat chemical injuries involving the central nervous system.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

  20. Mitochondria in health, aging and diseases: the epigenetic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Aquila, Patrizia; Bellizzi, Dina; Passarino, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    The rate/quality of human aging and the development/progression of diseases depend on a complex interplay among genetics, epigenetics and environment. In this scenario, mitochondrial function (or dysfunction) and mitochondrial DNA have emerged as major players. This is mainly due to their crucial role in energetic balance, in modulating epigenetic programs and in influencing cell stress response. Moreover, it is also emerging the existence of epigenetic changes in mitochondrial DNA and of non coding mitochondrial RNAs which, together with the nuclear ones, play regulatory roles in numerous human phenotypes. In this review we will provide an overview on "mitochondrial epigenetics" state of the art, by summarizing the involvement of mitochondrial function and of mitochondria-nucleus communication in regulating nuclear epigenome, as well as the key aspects of the epigenetic marks related to mitochondrial DNA. Despite the limited data available in the literature to date, mainly due to the novelty of the topic, the intriguing interplay of the mitochondrial epigenetic changes in both physiological and pathological conditions will also be presented.

  1. Responses of genes involved in cell cycle control to diverse DNA damaging chemicals in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gooderham Nigel J

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many anticancer agents and carcinogens are DNA damaging chemicals and exposure to such chemicals results in the deregulation of cell cycle progression. The molecular mechanisms of DNA damage-induced cell cycle alteration are not well understood. We have studied the effects of etoposide (an anticancer agent, cryptolepine (CLP, a cytotoxic alkaloid, benzo [a]pyrene (BaP, a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP, a cooked-meat derived carcinogen on the expression of cell cycle regulatory genes to understand the molecular mechanisms of the cell cycle disturbance. Results A549 cells were treated with DMSO or chemicals for up to 72 h and periodically sampled for cell cycle analysis, mRNA and protein expression. DMSO treated cells showed a dominant G1 peak in cell cycle at all times examined. Etoposide and CLP both induced G2/M phase arrest yet the former altered the expression of genes functioning at multiple phases, whilst the latter was more effective in inhibiting the expression of genes in G2-M transition. Both etoposide and CLP induced an accumulation of p53 protein and upregulation of p53 transcriptional target genes. Neither BaP nor PhIP had substantial phase-specific cell cycle effect, however, they induced distinctive changes in gene expression. BaP upregulated the expression of CYP1B1 at 6–24 h and downregulated many cell cycle regulatory genes at 48–72 h. By contrast, PhIP increased the expression of many cell cycle regulatory genes. Changes in the expression of key mRNAs were confirmed at protein level. Conclusion Our experiments show that DNA damaging agents with different mechanisms of action induced distinctive changes in the expression pattern of a panel of cell cycle regulatory genes. We suggest that examining the genomic response to chemical exposure provides an exceptional opportunity to understand the molecular mechanism involved in cellular

  2. Epigenetic reprogramming of breast cancer cells with oocyte extracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumari Rajendra

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer is a disease characterised by both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes is an early event in breast carcinogenesis and reversion of gene silencing by epigenetic reprogramming can provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for tumour initiation and progression. In this study we apply the reprogramming capacity of oocytes to cancer cells in order to study breast oncogenesis. Results We show that breast cancer cells can be directly reprogrammed by amphibian oocyte extracts. The reprogramming effect, after six hours of treatment, in the absence of DNA replication, includes DNA demethylation and removal of repressive histone marks at the promoters of tumour suppressor genes; also, expression of the silenced genes is re-activated in response to treatment. This activity is specific to oocytes as it is not elicited by extracts from ovulated eggs, and is present at very limited levels in extracts from mouse embryonic stem cells. Epigenetic reprogramming in oocyte extracts results in reduction of cancer cell growth under anchorage independent conditions and a reduction in tumour growth in mouse xenografts. Conclusions This study presents a new method to investigate tumour reversion by epigenetic reprogramming. After testing extracts from different sources, we found that axolotl oocyte extracts possess superior reprogramming ability, which reverses epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes and tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells in a mouse xenograft model. Therefore this system can be extremely valuable for dissecting the mechanisms involved in tumour suppressor gene silencing and identifying molecular activities capable of arresting tumour growth. These applications can ultimately shed light on the contribution of epigenetic alterations in breast cancer and advance the development of epigenetic therapies.

  3. Androgen Receptor Involvement in Rat Amelogenesis: An Additional Way for Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals to Affect Enamel Synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedeon, Katia; Loiodice, Sophia; Salhi, Khaled; Le Normand, Manon; Houari, Sophia; Chaloyard, Jessica; Berdal, Ariane; Babajko, Sylvie

    2016-11-01

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that interfere with the steroid axis can affect amelogenesis, leading to enamel hypomineralization similar to that of molar incisor hypomineralization, a recently described enamel disease. We investigated the sex steroid receptors that may mediate the effects of EDCs during rat amelogenesis. The expression of androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor (ER)-α, and progesterone receptor was dependent on the stage of ameloblast differentiation, whereas ERβ remained undetectable. AR was the only receptor selectively expressed in ameloblasts involved in final enamel mineralization. AR nuclear translocation and induction of androgen-responsive element-containing promoter activity upon T treatment, demonstrated ameloblast responsiveness to androgens. T regulated the expression of genes involved in enamel mineralization such as KLK4, amelotin, SLC26A4, and SLC5A8 but not the expression of genes encoding matrix proteins, which determine enamel thickness. Vinclozolin and to a lesser extent bisphenol A, two antiandrogenic EDCs that cause enamel defects, counteracted the actions of T. In conclusion, we show, for the first time, the following: 1) ameloblasts express AR; 2) the androgen signaling pathway is involved in the enamel mineralization process; and 3) EDCs with antiandrogenic effects inhibit AR activity and preferentially affect amelogenesis in male rats. Their action, through the AR pathway, may specifically and irreversibly affect enamel, potentially leading to the use of dental defects as a biomarker of exposure to environmental pollutants. These results are consistent with the steroid hormones affecting ameloblasts, raising the issue of the hormonal influence on amelogenesis and possible sexual dimorphism in enamel quality.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Computational modeling of chemical reactions and interstitial growth and remodeling involving charged solutes and solid-bound molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ateshian, Gerard A; Nims, Robert J; Maas, Steve; Weiss, Jeffrey A

    2014-10-01

    Mechanobiological processes are rooted in mechanics and chemistry, and such processes may be modeled in a framework that couples their governing equations starting from fundamental principles. In many biological applications, the reactants and products of chemical reactions may be electrically charged, and these charge effects may produce driving forces and constraints that significantly influence outcomes. In this study, a novel formulation and computational implementation are presented for modeling chemical reactions in biological tissues that involve charged solutes and solid-bound molecules within a deformable porous hydrated solid matrix, coupling mechanics with chemistry while accounting for electric charges. The deposition or removal of solid-bound molecules contributes to the growth and remodeling of the solid matrix; in particular, volumetric growth may be driven by Donnan osmotic swelling, resulting from charged molecular species fixed to the solid matrix. This formulation incorporates the state of strain as a state variable in the production rate of chemical reactions, explicitly tying chemistry with mechanics for the purpose of modeling mechanobiology. To achieve these objectives, this treatment identifies the specific theoretical and computational challenges faced in modeling complex systems of interacting neutral and charged constituents while accommodating any number of simultaneous reactions where reactants and products may be modeled explicitly or implicitly. Several finite element verification problems are shown to agree with closed-form analytical solutions. An illustrative tissue engineering analysis demonstrates tissue growth and swelling resulting from the deposition of chondroitin sulfate, a charged solid-bound molecular species. This implementation is released in the open-source program FEBio ( www.febio.org ). The availability of this framework may be particularly beneficial to optimizing tissue engineering culture systems by examining the

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetics in plants-vernalisation and hybrid vigour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groszmann, Michael; Greaves, Ian K; Albert, Nicolas; Fujimoto, Ryo; Helliwell, Chris A; Dennis, Elizabeth S; Peacock, W James

    2011-08-01

    In this review we have analysed two major biological systems involving epigenetic control of gene activity. In the first system we demonstrate the interplay between genetic and epigenetic controls over the transcriptional activity of FLC, a major repressor of flowering in Arabidopsis. FLC is down-regulated by low temperature treatment (vernalisation) releasing the repressor effect on flowering. We discuss the mechanisms of the reduced transcription and the memory of the vernalisation treatment through vegetative development. We also discuss the resetting of the repressed activity level of the FLC gene, following vernalisation, to the default high activity level and show it occurs during both male and female gametogenesis but with different timing in each. In the second part of the review discussed the complex multigenic system which is responsible for the patterns of gene activity which bring about hybrid vigour in crosses between genetically similar but epigenetically distinct parents. The epigenetic systems that we have identified as contributing to the heterotic phenotype are the 24nt siRNAs and their effects on RNA dependent DNA methylation (RdDM) at the target loci leading to changed expression levels. We conclude that it is likely that epigenetic controls are involved in expression systems in many aspects of plant development and plant function.

  12. Potential involvement of chemicals in liver cancer progression: an alternative toxicological approach combining biomarkers and innovative technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyre, Ludovic; Zucchini-Pascal, Nathalie; de Sousa, Georges; Luzy, Anne-Pascale; Rahmani, Roger

    2014-12-01

    Pesticides as well as many other environmental pollutants are considered as risk factors for the initiation and the progression of cancer. In order to evaluate the in vitro effects of chemicals present in the diet, we began by combining viability, real-time cellular impedance and high throughput screening data to identify a concentration "zone of interest" for the six xenobiotics selected: endosulfan, dioxin, carbaryl, carbendazim, p'p'DDE and hydroquinone. We identified a single concentration of each pollutant allowing a modulation of the impedance in the absence of vital changes (nuclear integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential, cell death). Based on the number of observed modulations known to be involved in hepatic homeostasis dysfunction that may lead to cancer progression such as cell cycle and apoptosis regulators, EMT biomarkers and signal transduction pathways, we then ranked the pollutants in terms of their toxicity. Endosulfan, was able to strongly modulate all the studied cellular processes in HepG2 cells, followed by dioxin, then carbendazim. While p,p'DDE, carbaryl and hydroquinone seemed to affect fewer functions, their effects nevertheless warrant close scrutiny. Our in vitro data indicate that these xenobiotics may contribute to the evolution and worsening of hepatocarcinoma, whether via the induction of the EMT process and/or via the deregulation of liver key processes such as cell cycle and resistance to apoptosis.

  13. Exogenous Nitric Oxide Involved in Subcellular Distribution and Chemical Forms of Cu2+Under Copper Stress in Tomato Seedlings

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DONG Yu-xiu; WANG Xiu-feng; CUI Xiu-min

    2013-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO), a bioactive signaling molecule, serves as an antioxidant and anti-stress agent under abiotic stress. A hydroponics experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a NO donor, on tomato seedlings exposed to 50 µmol L-1 CuCl2. The results show that copper is primarily stored in the soluble cell sap fraction in the roots, especially after treatment with Cu+SNP treatment, which accounted for 66.2%of the total copper content. The copper concentration gradually decreased from the roots to the leaves. In the leaves, exogenous NO induces the storage of excess copper in the cell walls. Copper stress decreases the proportion of copper integrated with pectates and proteins, but exogenous NO remarkably reverses this trend. The alleviating effect of NO is blocked by hemoglobin. Thus, exogenous NO is likely involved in the regulation of the subcellular copper concentrations and its chemical forms under copper stress. Although exogenous NO inhibited the absorption and transport of excess copper to some extent, the copper accumulation in tomato seedlings signiifcantly increased under copper stress. The use of exogenous NO to enhance copper tolerance in some plants is a promising method for copper remediation.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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".

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic polypharmacology: from combination therapy to multitargeted drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lera, Angel R; Ganesan, A

    The modern drug discovery process has largely focused its attention in the so-called magic bullets, single chemical entities that exhibit high selectivity and potency for a particular target. This approach was based on the assumption that the deregulation of a protein was causally linked to a disease state, and the pharmacological intervention through inhibition of the deregulated target was able to restore normal cell function. However, the use of cocktails or multicomponent drugs to address several targets simultaneously is also popular to treat multifactorial diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders. We review the state of the art with such combinations that have an epigenetic target as one of their mechanisms of action. Epigenetic drug discovery is a rapidly advancing field, and drugs targeting epigenetic enzymes are in the clinic for the treatment of hematological cancers. Approved and experimental epigenetic drugs are undergoing clinical trials in combination with other therapeutic agents via fused or linked pharmacophores in order to benefit from synergistic effects of polypharmacology. In addition, ligands are being discovered which, as single chemical entities, are able to modulate multiple epigenetic targets simultaneously (multitarget epigenetic drugs). These multiple ligands should in principle have a lower risk of drug-drug interactions and drug resistance compared to cocktails or multicomponent drugs. This new generation may rival the so-called magic bullets in the treatment of diseases that arise as a consequence of the deregulation of multiple signaling pathways provided the challenge of optimization of the activities shown by the pharmacophores with the different targets is addressed.

  4. The genetics of insomnia--evidence for epigenetic mechanisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palagini, Laura; Biber, Knut; Riemann, Dieter

    2014-06-01

    Sleep is a complex physiological process and still remains one of the great mysteries of science. Over the past 10 y, genetic research has provided a new avenue to address the regulation and function of sleep. Gene loci that contribute quantitatively to sleep characteristics and variability have already been identified. However, up to now, a genetic basis has been established only for a few sleep disorders. Little is yet known about the genetic background of insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders. According to the conceptualisation of the 3P model of insomnia, predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors contribute to the development and maintenance of insomnia. Growing evidence from studies of predisposing factors suggests a certain degree of heritability for insomnia and for a reactivity of sleep patterns to stressful events, explaining the emergence of insomnia in response to stressful life events. While a genetic susceptibility may modulate the impact of stress on the brain, this finding does not provide us with a complete understanding of the capacity of stress to produce long-lasting perturbations of brain and behaviour. Epigenetic gene-environment interactions have been identified just recently and may provide a more complex understanding of the genetic control of sleep and its disorders. It was recently hypothesised that stress-response-related brain plasticity might be epigenetically controlled and, moreover, several epigenetic mechanisms have been assumed to be involved in the regulation of sleep. Hence, it might be postulated that insomnia may be influenced by an epigenetic control process of both sleep mechanisms and stress-response-related gene-environment interactions having an impact on brain plasticity. This paper reviews the evidence for the genetic basis of insomnia and recent theories about epigenetic mechanisms involved in both sleep regulation and brain-stress response, leading to the hypothesis of an involvement of epigenetic

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression regulation in neurological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gos, Monika

    2013-01-01

    Neurological diseases are a heterogenous group of disorders that are related to alterations in nervous system function. The genetic background of neurological diseases is heterogenous and may include chromosomal aberrations, specific gene mutations and epigenetic defects. This review is aimed at presenting of selected diseases that are associated with different epigenetic alterations. The imprinting defects on chromosome 15 are the cause of Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes that both are characterized by intellectual disability, developmental delay and specific behavioral phenotype. Besides the imprinting defect, these diseases can also be caused by deletion of chromosome 15 or uniparental disomy. Aberrant epigenetic regulation is also specific for Fragile X syndrome that is caused by expansion of CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene that leads to global methylation of the promoter region and repression of FMR1 transcription. A number of neurological diseases, mainly associated with intellectual impairment, may be caused by mutations in genes encoding proteins involved in epigenetic regulation. The number of such diseases is rapidly growing thanks to the implementation of genomic sequencing for the identification of their molecular causes. One of the best known diseases linked to defects in epigenetic modifiers is Rett syndrome caused by a mutation in the MECP2 gene or its variant - Rett-like syndrome caused by a mutation in CDKL5 or FOXG1 genes. As the epigenetic signature is potentially reversible, much attention is focused on possible therapies with drugs that influence DNA or histone modifications. This is especially important in the case of neurological disorders in which epigenetic changes are observed as the effect of the disease.

  6. Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy

    OpenAIRE

    James Jeffrey Bradstreet; Nicola Antonucci; Alessandra Cirillo; Dario Siniscalco

    2013-01-01

    Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by dysfunctions in social interactions, communications, restricted interests, and repetitive stereotypic behaviors. Despite extensive genetic and biological research, significant controversy surrounds our understanding of the specific mechanisms of their pathogenesis. However, accumulating evidence points to the involvement of epigenetic modifications as foundational in creating ASD pathophysiol...

  7. Epigenetic Effects of Cadmium [Abstract and Poster 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    We have reviewed the literature on in vitro and in vivo experiments as well as human studies on cadmium to understand the epigenetic mechanisms involved in cadmium- induced toxicity and carcinogenicity. This presentation will identify gaps in our current understanding and suggest...

  8. 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.

  9. Exploiting epigenetic vulnerabilities for cancer therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Carcinogenic effects ofcircadian disruption:an epigenetic viewpoint

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Abbas Salavaty

    2015-01-01

    Circadian rhythms refer to the endogenous rhythms that are generated to synchronize physiology and behavior with 24-h environmental cues. These rhythms are regulated by both external cues and molecular clock mechanisms in almost all cells. Disruption of circadian rhythms, which is called circadian disruption, affects many biological processes within the body and results in different long-term diseases, including cancer. Circadian regulatory pathways result in rhythmic epigenetic modiifcations and the formation of circadian epigenomes. Aberrant epigenetic modiifcations, such as hypermethylation, due to circadian disruption may be involved in the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. Several studies have indicated an epigenetic basis for the carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption. In this review, I ifrst discuss some of the circadian genes and regulatory proteins. Then, I summarize the current evidence related to the epigenetic modiifcations that result in circadian disruption. In addition, I explain the carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption and highlight its potential role in different human cancers using an epigenetic view-point. Finally, the importance of chronotherapy in cancer treatment is highlighted.

  12. Past, present and future of epigenetics applied to livestock breeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar eGonzalez-Recio

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews the concept of Lamarckian inheritance and the use of the term epigenetics in the field of animal genetics. Epigenetics was first coined by Conrad Hal Waddington (1905-1975, who derived the term from the Aristotelian word epigenesis. There exists some controversy around the word epigenetics and its broad definition. It includes any modification of the expression of genes due to factors other than mutation in the DNA sequence. This involves DNA methylation, post-translational modification of histones, but also linked to regulation of gene expression by non-coding RNAs, genome instabilities or any other force that could modify a phenotype. There is little evidence of the existence of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals, which may commonly be confounded with environmental forces acting simultaneously on an individual, her developing fetus and the germ cell lines of the latter, although it could have an important role in the cellular energetic status of cells. Finally, we review some of the scarce literature on the use of epigenetics in animal breeding programs.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetic regulation of stemness maintenance in theneurogenic niches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    In the adult mouse brain, the subventricular zonelining the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zonein the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus are twozones that contain neural stem cells (NSCs) withthe capacity to give rise to neurons and glia duringthe entire life of the animal. Spatial and temporalregulation of gene expression in the NSCs populationis established and maintained by the coordinatedinteraction between transcription factors and epigeneticregulators which control stem cell fate. Epigenetic mechanismsare heritable alterations in genome functionthat do not involve changes in DNA sequence itself butthat modulate gene expression, acting as mediatorsbetween the environment and the genome. At themolecular level, those epigenetic mechanisms comprisechemical modifications of DNA such as methylation,hydroxymethylation and histone modifications neededfor the maintenance of NSC identity. Genomic imprintingis another normal epigenetic process leading to parentalspecificexpression of a gene, known to be implicatedin the control of gene dosage in the neurogenic niches.The generation of induced pluripotent stem cells fromNSCs by expression of defined transcription factors,provide key insights into fundamental principles ofstem cell biology. Epigenetic modifications can alsooccur during reprogramming of NSCs to pluripotencyand a better understanding of this process will helpto elucidate the mechanisms required for stem cellmaintenance. This review takes advantage of recentstudies from the epigenetic field to report knowledgeregarding the mechanisms of stemness maintenance ofneural stem cells in the neurogenic niches.

  16. Carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption: an epigenetic viewpoint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salavaty, Abbas

    2015-08-08

    Circadian rhythms refer to the endogenous rhythms that are generated to synchronize physiology and behavior with 24-h environmental cues. These rhythms are regulated by both external cues and molecular clock mechanisms in almost all cells. Disruption of circadian rhythms, which is called circadian disruption, affects many biological processes within the body and results in different long-term diseases, including cancer. Circadian regulatory pathways result in rhythmic epigenetic modifications and the formation of circadian epigenomes. Aberrant epigenetic modifications, such as hypermethylation, due to circadian disruption may be involved in the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. Several studies have indicated an epigenetic basis for the carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption. In this review, I first discuss some of the circadian genes and regulatory proteins. Then, I summarize the current evidence related to the epigenetic modifications that result in circadian disruption. In addition, I explain the carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption and highlight its potential role in different human cancers using an epigenetic viewpoint. Finally, the importance of chronotherapy in cancer treatment is highlighted.

  17. CHEMICALS

    CERN Multimedia

    Medical Service

    2002-01-01

    It is reminded that all persons who use chemicals must inform CERN's Chemistry Service (TIS-GS-GC) and the CERN Medical Service (TIS-ME). Information concerning their toxicity or other hazards as well as the necessary individual and collective protection measures will be provided by these two services. Users must be in possession of a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each chemical used. These can be obtained by one of several means : the manufacturer of the chemical (legally obliged to supply an MSDS for each chemical delivered) ; CERN's Chemistry Service of the General Safety Group of TIS ; for chemicals and gases available in the CERN Stores the MSDS has been made available via EDH either in pdf format or else via a link to the supplier's web site. Training courses in chemical safety are available for registration via HR-TD. CERN Medical Service : TIS-ME :73186 or service.medical@cern.ch Chemistry Service : TIS-GS-GC : 78546

  18. Epigenetic Therapy for Solid Tumors: Highlighting the Impact of Tumor Hypoxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaliny Ramachandran

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the last few decades, epigenetics has emerged as an exciting new field in development and disease, with a more recent focus towards cancer. Epigenetics has classically referred to heritable patterns of gene expression, primarily mediated through DNA methylation patterns. More recently, it has come to include the reversible chemical modification of histones and DNA that dictate gene expression patterns. Both the epigenetic up-regulation of oncogenes and downregulation of tumor suppressors have been shown to drive tumor development. Current clinical trials for cancer therapy include pharmacological inhibition of DNA methylation and histone deacetylation, with the aim of reversing these cancer-promoting epigenetic changes. However, the DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase inhibitors have met with less than promising results in the treatment of solid tumors. Regions of hypoxia are a common occurrence in solid tumors. Tumor hypoxia is associated with increased aggressiveness and therapy resistance, and importantly, hypoxic tumor cells have a distinct epigenetic profile. In this review, we provide a summary of the recent clinical trials using epigenetic drugs in solid tumors, discuss the hypoxia-induced epigenetic changes and highlight the importance of testing the epigenetic drugs for efficacy against the most aggressive hypoxic fraction of the tumor in future preclinical testing.

  19. 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.

  20. Targeting Epigenetic Mechanisms for Chronic Pain: A Valid Approach for the Development of Novel Therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligon, Casey O; Moloney, Rachel D; Greenwood-Van Meerveld, Beverley

    2016-04-01

    Chronic pain is a multifaceted and complex condition. Broadly classified into somatic, visceral, or neuropathic pain, it is poorly managed despite its prevalence. Current drugs used for the treatment of chronic pain are limited by tolerance with long-term use, abuse potential, and multiple adverse side effects. The persistent nature of pain suggests that epigenetic machinery may be a critical factor driving chronic pain. In this review, we discuss the latest insights into epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs, and we describe their involvement in the pathophysiology of chronic pain and whether epigenetic modifications could be applied as future therapeutic targets for chronic pain. We provide evidence from experimental models and translational research in human tissue that have enhanced our understanding of epigenetic processes mediating nociception, and we then speculate on the potential future use of more specific and selective agents that target epigenetic mechanisms to attenuate pain.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Neurogenetics and Epigenetics in Impulsive Behaviour: Impact on Reward Circuitry

    OpenAIRE

    Archer, Trevor; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Blum, Kenneth; Gold, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Adverse, unfavourable life conditions, particularly during early life stages and infancy, can lead to epigenetic regulation of genes involved in stress-response, behavioral disinhibition, and cognitive-emotional systems. Over time, the ultimate final outcome can be expressed through behaviors bedeviled by problems with impulse control, such as eating disorders, alcoholism, and indiscriminate social behavior. While many reward gene polymorphisms are involved in impulsive behaviors, a polymorph...

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetic changes in colorectal cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Jia; Mingzhou Guo

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penny J Tricker

    2015-09-01

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

  11. 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....

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  18. Epigenetic memory of environmental organisms: a reflection of lifetime stressor exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirbahai, Leda; Chipman, James K

    2014-04-01

    Both genetic and epigenetic responses of organisms to environmental factors, including chemical exposures, influence adaptation, susceptibility to toxicity and biodiversity. In model organisms, it is established that epigenetic alterations, including changes to the methylome, can create a memory of the received signal. This is partly evidenced through the analysis of epigenetic differences that develop between identical twins throughout their lifetime. The epigenetic marks induce alterations to the gene expression profile, which, in addition to mediating homeostatic responses, have the potential to promote an abnormal physiology either immediately or at a later stage of development, for example leading to an adult onset of disease. Although this has been well established, epigenetic mechanisms are not considered in chemical risk assessment or utilised in the monitoring of the exposure and effects of chemicals and environmental change. In this review, epigenetic factors, specifically DNA methylation, are highlighted as mechanisms of adaptation and response to environmental factors and which, if persistent, have the potential, retrospectively, to reflect previous stress exposures. Thus, it is proposed that epigenetic "foot-printing" of organisms could identify classes of chemical contaminants to which they have been exposed throughout their lifetime. In some cases, the potential for persistent transgenerational modification of the epigenome may also inform on parental germ cell exposures. It is recommended that epigenetic mechanisms, alongside genetic mechanisms, should eventually be considered in environmental toxicity safety assessments and in biomonitoring studies. This will assist in determining the mode of action of toxicants, no observed adverse effect level and identification of biomarkers of toxicity for early detection and risk assessment in toxicology but there are critical areas that remain to be explored before this can be achieved.

  19. [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.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasopoulos, Dimitrios; Karagiannis, George; Tsolaki, Magda

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Diet induced epigenetic changes and their implications for health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, J A; Mathers, J C

    2011-06-01

    Dietary exposures can have consequences for health years or decades later and this raises questions about the mechanisms through which such exposures are 'remembered' and how they result in altered disease risk. There is growing evidence that epigenetic mechanisms may mediate the effects of nutrition and may be causal for the development of common complex (or chronic) diseases. Epigenetics encompasses changes to marks on the genome (and associated cellular machinery) that are copied from one cell generation to the next, which may alter gene expression, but which do not involve changes in the primary DNA sequence. These include three distinct, but closely inter-acting, mechanisms including DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding microRNAs (miRNA) which, together, are responsible for regulating gene expression not only during cellular differentiation in embryonic and foetal development but also throughout the life-course. This review summarizes the growing evidence that numerous dietary factors, including micronutrients and non-nutrient dietary components such as genistein and polyphenols, can modify epigenetic marks. In some cases, for example, effects of altered dietary supply of methyl donors on DNA methylation, there are plausible explanations for the observed epigenetic changes, but to a large extent, the mechanisms responsible for diet-epigenome-health relationships remain to be discovered. In addition, relatively little is known about which epigenomic marks are most labile in response to dietary exposures. Given the plasticity of epigenetic marks and their responsiveness to dietary factors, there is potential for the development of epigenetic marks as biomarkers of health for use in intervention studies.

  3. Epigenetics and development of food allergy (FA) in early childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Xiumei; Wang, Xiaobin

    2014-09-01

    This review aims to highlight the latest advance on epigenetics in the development of food allergy (FA) and to offer future perspectives. FA, a condition caused by an immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated hypersensitivity reaction to food, has emerged as a major clinical and public health problem worldwide in light of its increasing prevalence, potential fatality, and significant medical and economic impact. Current evidence supports that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in immune regulation and that the epigenome may represent a key "missing piece" of the etiological puzzle for FA. There are a growing number of population-based epigenetic studies on allergy-related phenotypes, mostly focused on DNA methylation. Previous studies mostly applied candidate-gene approaches and have demonstrated that epigenetic marks are associated with multiple allergic diseases and/or with early-life exposures relevant to allergy development (such as early-life smoking exposure, air pollution, farming environment, and dietary fat). Rapid technological advancements have made unbiased genome-wide DNA methylation studies highly feasible, although there are substantial challenge in study design, data analyses, and interpretation of findings. In conclusion, epigenetics represents both an important knowledge gap and a promising research area for FA. Due to the early onset of FA, epigenetic studies of FA in prospective birth cohorts have the potential to better understand gene-environment interactions and underlying biological mechanisms in FA during critical developmental windows (preconception, in utero, and early childhood) and may lead to new paradigms in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of FA and provide novel targets for future drug discovery and therapies for FA.

  4. Epigenetic mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prattichizzo, Francesco; Giuliani, Angelica; Ceka, Artan; Rippo, Maria Rita; Bonfigli, Anna Rita; Testa, Roberto; Procopio, Antonio Domenico; Olivieri, Fabiola

    2015-01-01

    The development of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its complications is largely due to the complex interaction between genetic factors and environmental influences, mainly dietary habits and lifestyle, which can either accelerate or slow down disease progression. Recent findings suggest the potential involvement of epigenetic mechanisms as a crucial interface between the effects of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. The common denominator of environmental factors promoting T2DM development and progression is that they trigger an inflammatory response, promoting inflammation-mediated insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. Proinflammatory stimuli, including hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, and other inflammatory mediators, can affect epigenetic mechanisms, altering the expression of specific genes in target cells without changes in underlying DNA sequences. DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications (PTHMs) are the most extensively investigated epigenetic mechanisms. Over the past few years, non-coding RNA, including microRNAs (miRNAs), have also emerged as key players in gene expression modulation. MiRNAs can be actively released or shed by cells in the bloodstream and taken up in active form by receiving cells, acting as efficient systemic communication tools. The miRNAs involved in modulation of inflammatory pathways (inflammamiRs), such as miR-146a, and those highly expressed in endothelial lineages and hematopoietic progenitor cells (angiomiRs), such as miR-126, are the most extensively studied circulating miRNAs in T2DM. However, data on circulating miRNA signatures associated with specific diabetic complications are still lacking. Since immune cells and endothelial cells are primarily involved in the vascular complications of T2DM, their relative contribution to circulating miRNA signatures needs to be elucidated. An integrated approach encompassing different epigenetic mechanisms would have the potential to

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetic genome mining of an endophytic fungus leads to the pleiotropic biosynthesis of natural products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xu-Ming; Xu, Wei; Li, Dehai; Yin, Wen-Bing; Chooi, Yit-Heng; Li, Yong-Quan; Tang, Yi; Hu, Youcai

    2015-06-22

    The small-molecule biosynthetic potential of most filamentous fungi has remained largely unexplored and represents an attractive source for the discovery of new compounds. Genome sequencing of Calcarisporium arbuscula, a mushroom-endophytic fungus, revealed 68 core genes that are involved in natural product biosynthesis. This is in sharp contrast to the predominant production of the ATPase inhibitors aurovertin B and D in the wild-type fungus. Inactivation of a histone H3 deacetylase led to pleiotropic activation and overexpression of more than 75 % of the biosynthetic genes. Sampling of the overproduced compounds led to the isolation of ten compounds of which four contained new structures, including the cyclic peptides arbumycin and arbumelin, the diterpenoid arbuscullic acid A, and the meroterpenoid arbuscullic acid B. Such epigenetic modifications therefore provide a rapid and global approach to mine the chemical diversity of endophytic fungi.

  7. Epigenetic mechanisms: An emerging role in pathogenesis and its therapeutic potential in systemic sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yangyang; Wang, Yong; Shu, Ye; Lu, Qianjin; Xiao, Rong

    2015-10-01

    Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a heterogeneous and life-threatening autoimmune disease characterized by damage to small blood vessels, interruption of immune homeostasis and ultimately, fibrosis. Currently, the mechanisms involved in SSc pathogenesis remain unknown. An increasing amount of data shows that, via certain signaling pathways, epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and miRNAs, are closely related to the three primary processes that characterize SSc: vascular abnormalities, activation of immune system, and excessive extracellular matrix deposition. In the clinical setting, identification of molecules and biomarkers for determining disease severity, predicting disease progression and assessing response to treatment remains challenging. In this review, we aim to summarize the key epigenetic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of SSc. Certain cytokines or molecules, such as CD40, CD70, and Fli-1, are expressed at varying rates in SSc due to epigenetic modification and play important roles in SSc. It is therefore likely that these molecules may be biomarkers for SSc. In addition, epigenetic changes of certain genes, including Fli-1, BMPRII, CD11a, Foxp3, and eNOS, influence the expression of these genes to ultimately result in an anti-fibrotic effect. The influence that epigenetics has on SSc pathogenesis suggests that epigenetics-targeting drugs may have potential therapeutic effects against SSc. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Epigenetics dynamics in development and disease.

  8. Epigenetics of hepatocellular carcinoma: a new horizon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mass spectrometry in epigenetic research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Hans Christian

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Epigenetics of the Developing Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Frances A.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in understanding of the dynamic molecular interplay between DNA and its surrounding proteins suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are a critical link between early life experiences (e.g., prenatal stress, parent-offspring interactions) and long-term changes in brain and behavior. Although much of this evidence comes from animal studies,…

  13. Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafodatskaya, Daria; Chung, Brian; Szatmari, Peter; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Current research suggests that the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are multifactorial and include both genetic and environmental factors. Several lines of evidence suggest that epigenetics also plays an important role in ASD etiology and that it might, in fact, integrate genetic and environmental influences to dysregulate…

  14. Epigenetic silencing in transgenic plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarma eRajeev Kumar

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic silencing is a natural phenomenon in which the expression of gene is regulated through modifications of DNA, RNA or histone proteins. It is a mechanism for defending host genomes against the effects of transposable element, viral infection and acts as a modulator of expression of duplicated gene family members and as a silencer of transgenes. A major breakthrough in understanding the mechanism of epigenetic silencing was discovery of silencing in transgenic tobacco plants due to interaction between two homologous promoters. The molecular mechanism of epigenetic mechanism is highly complicated and it is not completely understood yet. Two different molecular routes have been proposed for this, i.e. transcriptional gene silencing (TGS, which is associated with heavy methylation of promoter regions and blocks the transcription of transgene. The basic mechanism underlying post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS is degradation of the cytosolic mRNA of transgenes or endogenous genes. Undesired transgene silencing is of a major concern in transgenic technology used in crop improvement. A complete understanding of this phenomenon will be very useful for transgenic applications, where silencing of specific genes are required. The current status of epigenetic silencing in transgenic technology has been discussed and summarized in this mini-review.

  15. Epigenetic Placental Programming of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preeclampsia (PE) affects 8-10% of women in the US and long-term consequences include subsequent development of maternal hypertension and hypertension in offspring. As methylation patterns are established during fetal life, we focused on epigenetic alterations in DNA methylation as a plausible expla...

  16. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Masri, Selma

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Since the final decades of the last century, twin studies have made a remarkable contribution to the genetics of human complex traits and diseases. With the recent rapid development in modern biotechnology of high-throughput genetic and genomic analyses, twin modelling is expanding from analysis 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 studies are going to help with efficiently unravelling the genetic and environmental basis of epigenomics in human complex diseases.

  18. 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.

  19. [The significance of the epigenetics modifying gene mutations in acute myeloid leukemia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakita, Satoshi; Yamaguchi, Hiroki

    2014-06-01

    In recent years, recurrent somatic mutations in genes encoding proteins involved in DNA methylation and demethylation, and in histone modifications have been reported in myeloid malignancies. Large clinical correlative studies are beginning to clear the clinical importance, prevalence, and potential prognostic significance of these epigenetics modifying gene mutations. Additionally, recent studies shedding light on the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies has prompted increased interest in development of novel therapies which target DNA and histone posttranslational modifications. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the epigenetics modifying gene mutation, discuss how contribute to its pathogenesis and clinical feature in AML.

  20. Epigenetic Determinism in Science and Society.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waggoner, Miranda R; Uller, Tobias

    2015-04-03

    The epigenetic "revolution" in science cuts across many disciplines, and it is now one of the fastest growing research areas in biology. Increasingly, claims are made that epigenetics research represents a move away from the genetic determinism that has been prominent both in biological research and in understandings of the impact of biology on society. We discuss to what extent an epigenetic framework actually supports these claims. We show that, in contrast to the received view, epigenetics research is often couched in language as deterministic as genetics research in both science and the popular press. We engage the rapidly emerging conversation about the impact of epigenetics on public discourse and scientific practice, and we contend that the notion of epigenetic determinism - or the belief that epigenetic mechanisms determine the expression of human traits and behaviors - matters for understandings of the influence of biology and society on population health.

  1. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: an open discussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Epigenetics in Cancer: A Hematological Perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian Stahl

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available For several decades, we have known that epigenetic regulation is disrupted in cancer. Recently, an increasing body of data suggests epigenetics might be an intersection of current cancer research trends: next generation sequencing, immunology, metabolomics, and cell aging. The new emphasis on epigenetics is also related to the increasing production of drugs capable of interfering with epigenetic mechanisms and able to trigger clinical responses in even advanced phase patients. In this review, we will use myeloid malignancies as proof of concept examples of how epigenetic mechanisms can trigger or promote oncogenesis. We will also show how epigenetic mechanisms are related to genetic aberrations, and how they affect other systems, like immune response. Finally, we will show how we can try to influence the fate of cancer cells with epigenetic therapy.

  3. Epigenetic variation: origin and transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Claude; Weigel, Detlef

    2012-11-01

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

  4. KDM4C, a H3K9me3 Histone Demethylase, is Involved in the Maintenance of Human ESCC-Initiating Cells by Epigenetically Enhancing SOX2 Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Yuan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Our studies investigating the existence of tumor-initiating cell (TIC populations in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC had identified a subpopulation of cells isolated from ESCC patient-derived tumor specimens marked by an ALDHbri+ phenotype bear stem cell-like features. Importantly, KDM4C, a histone demethylase was enhanced in ALDHbri+ subpopulation, suggesting that strategies interfering with KDM4C may be able to target these putative TICs. In the present study, by genetic and chemical means, we demonstrated that, KDM4C blockade selectively decreased the ESCC ALDHbri+ TICs population in vitro and specifically targeted the TICs in ALDHbri+-derived xenograft, retarding engraftment. Subsequent studies of the KDM4C functional network identified a subset of pluripotency-associated genes (PAGs and aldehyde dehydrogenase family members to be preferentially down-regulated in KDM4C inhibited ALDHbri+ TICs. We further supported a model in which KDM4C maintains permissive histone modifications with a low level of H3K9 methylation at the promoters of several PAGs. Moreover, ectopic expression of SOX2 restored KDM4C inhibition-dependent ALDHbri+ TIC properties. We further confirmed these findings by showing that the cytoplasmic and nuclear KDM4C staining increased with adverse pathologic phenotypes and poor patient survival. Such staining pattern of intracellular KDM4C appeared to overlap with the expression of SOX2 and ALDH1. Collectively, our findings provided the insights into the development of novel therapeutic strategies based on the inhibition of KDM4C pathway for the eliminating of ESCC TIC compartment.

  5. Epigenetics and neuropsychiatric diseases: introduction and meeting summary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehler, Mark F

    2010-09-01

    This volume is an outgrowth of a symposium entitled "Epigenetics and Neuropsychiatric Diseases: Mechanisms Mediating Nature and Nurture" presented at the 88th Annual Conference of the Association for Nervous and Mental Diseases, held on December 5, 2008 at the New York Academy of Medicine. Dolores Malaspina (New York University Medical Center) and Mark F. Mehler (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) organized the symposium as two sessions, "Epigenetics and Brain Behavior Relationships" and "Epigenetics and Neuropsychiatric Diseases." The symposium brought together basic and translational neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neuropsycho-pharmacologists, and other allied biomedical professionals to establish an enduring dialogue and collaborative interactions concerning epigenetics and epigenomic medicine as a "new science" of brain and behavior relationships. This new discipline has begun to revolutionize our understanding of nervous system development in many specific areas, including neural stem cell biology, fate decisions, and cell diversity and connectivity; learning and memory; neuronal and neural network homeostasis; plasticity and stress responses; the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases and novel therapeutic interventions involving dynamic cellular reprogramming; reorganization of synaptic and neural network connections; and remodeling of the brain parenchyma and its systemic connections to promote restoration of higher-order cognitive, behavioral, and sensorimotor functions.

  6. Small RNAs and heritable epigenetic variation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Donna M; Baulcombe, David C

    2014-02-01

    Recent studies suggest that inheritance of phenotypes in plants is more likely to involve epigenetics than in mammals. There are two reasons for this difference. First, there is a RNA-based system in plants involving small (s)RNAs that influences de novo establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation at many sites in plant genomes. These regions of methylated DNA are epigenetic marks with the potential to affect gene expression that are transmitted between dividing cells of the same generation. Second, unlike mammals, DNA methyltransferases in plants are active during gametogenesis and embryogenesis so that patterns of DNA methylation can persist from parent to progeny and do not need to be reset. We discuss how the effects of stress and genome interactions in hybrid plants are two systems that illustrate how RNA-based mechanisms can influence heritable phenotypes in plants.

  7. 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.

  8. Milk’s Role as an Epigenetic Regulator in Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bodo C. Melnik

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available It is the intention of this review to characterize milk’s role as an epigenetic regulator in health and disease. Based on translational research, we identify milk as a major epigenetic modulator of gene expression of the milk recipient. Milk is presented as an epigenetic “doping system” of mammalian development. Milk exosome-derived micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs that target DNA methyltransferases are implicated to play the key role in the upregulation of developmental genes such as FTO, INS, and IGF1. In contrast to miRNA-deficient infant formula, breastfeeding via physiological miRNA transfer provides the appropriate signals for adequate epigenetic programming of the newborn infant. Whereas breastfeeding is restricted to the lactation period, continued consumption of cow’s milk results in persistent epigenetic upregulation of genes critically involved in the development of diseases of civilization such as diabesity, neurodegeneration, and cancer. We hypothesize that the same miRNAs that epigenetically increase lactation, upregulate gene expression of the milk recipient via milk-derived miRNAs. It is of critical concern that persistent consumption of pasteurized cow’s milk contaminates the human food chain with bovine miRNAs, that are identical to their human analogs. Commercial interest to enhance dairy lactation performance may further increase the epigenetic miRNA burden for the milk consumer.

  9. The epigenetic basis of adaptation and responses to environmental change: perspective on human reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Agustín F; Toraño, Estela García; Urdinguio, Rocío González; Lana, Abel Gayo; Fernández, Ignacio Arnott; Fraga, Mario F

    2014-01-01

    Not only genetic but also epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, cellular differentiation and development processes. Additionally, "environmental epigenetics" studies the interaction between the environment and the epigenome, and its potential role in the regulation of gene activity. Several studies have shown that the impact of environmental exposures on the epigenome takes on more importance during early fertilization and embryonic development, given that during these periods epigenetic reprogramming occurs and the new epigenetic profile of the offspring is established. Epigenetic alterations in the germline are especially relevant since they can be transmitted trans-generationally and could be associated with a wide range of diseases including several reproductive disorders. In this chapter we review some epigenetic mechanisms, focusing mainly on DNA methylation and histone modifications, which are related to reproductive aspects, and we discuss the controversies in the literature surrounding how environmental conditions, such as exposure to toxic substances or treatment with assisted reproductive techniques (ART), may be involved in epigenetic alterations that affect reproductive success.

  10. Current Advances in Epigenetic Modification and Alteration during Mammalian Ovarian Folliculogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zengxiang Pan; Jinbi Zhang; Qifa Li; Yinxia Li; Fangxiong Shi; Zhuang Xie; Honglin Liu

    2012-01-01

    During the growth and development of mammalian ovarian follicles,the activation and deactivation of mass genes are under the synergistic control of diverse modifiers through genetic and epigenetic events.Many factors regulate gene activity and functions through epigenetic modification without altering the DNA sequence,and the common mechanisms may include but arc not limited to: DNA methylation,histone modifications (e.g.,acetylation,deacetylation,phosphorylation,methylation,and ubiquitination),and RNA-associated silencing of gene expression by noncoding RNA.Over the past decade,substantial progress has been achieved in studies involving the epigenetic alterations during mammalian germ cell development.A number of candidate regulatory factors have been identified.This review focuses on the current available information of epigenetic alterations (e.g.,DNA methylation,histone modification,noncoding-RNA-mediated regulation) during mammalian folliculogenesis and recounts when and how epigenetic patterns are differentially established,maintained,or altered in this process.Based on different types of epigenetic regulation,our review follows the temporal progression of events during ovarian folliculogenesis and describes the epigenetic changes and their contributions to germ cell—specific functions at each stage (i.e.,primordial folliculogenesis (follicle formation),follicle maturation,and follicular atresia).

  11. The effect of misunderstanding the chemical properties of environmental contaminants on exposure beliefs: A case involving dioxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zikmund-Fisher, Brian J.; Turkelson, Angela; Franzblau, Alfred; Diebol, Julia K.; Allerton, Lindsay A.; Parker, Edith A.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical properties of contaminants lead them to behave in particular ways in the environment and hence have specific pathways to human exposure. If residents of affected communities lack awareness of these properties, however, they could make incorrect assumptions about where and how exposure occurs. We conducted a mailed survey of 904 residents of Midland and Saginaw counties in Michigan, USA to assess to what degree residents of a community with known dioxin contamination appear to understand the hydrophobic nature of dioxins and the implications of that fact on different potential exposure pathways. Participants assessed whether various statements about dioxins were true, including multiple statements assessing beliefs about dioxins in different types of water. Participants also stated whether they believed different exposure pathways were currently significant sources of dioxin exposure in this community. A majority of residents believed that dioxins can be found in river water that has been filtered to completely remove all particulates, well water, and even city tap water, beliefs which are incongruous with the hydrophobic nature of dioxins. Mistrust of government and personal concern about dioxins predicted greater beliefs about dioxins in water. In turn, holding more beliefs about dioxins in water predicted beliefs that drinking and touching water are currently significant exposure pathways for dioxins. Ensuring that community residents’ mental models accurately reflect the chemical properties of different contaminants can be important to helping them to adjust their risk perceptions and potentially their risk mitigation behaviors accordingly. PMID:23391895

  12. Computational micromodel for epigenetic mechanisms.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Raghavan, Karthika

    2010-11-01

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

  13. Epigenetics of the antibody response.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetic influences on type 2 diabetes and obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Yan,Jie

    2012-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes and obesity are multifactorial diseases involving interactions between genetic and environmental factors. A common feature shared between these two diseases is skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Insulin resistance refers to a state when the normal biological effect is not achieved by a normal amount of insulin. Complicated genetics alone is unlikely to explain the diversity of phenotypes in the general population. Epigenetics provides a mechanism which may explain the etiolog...

  16. Epigenetic Characterization of Ovarian Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    prognostic markers for biochemical recurrence among prostate cancer patients with clinically localized disease. Epigenetics, 2006. 1(4): p. 183-6. 6...32. Zhao, H., et al., CpG methylation at promoter site -140 inactivates TGFbeta2 receptor gene in prostate cancer. Cancer, 2005. 104(1): p. 44-52...5]: taxis GO:0006935 [6]: chemotaxis GO:0001525 [6]: angiogenesis GO:0007155 [4]: cell adhesion GO:0030155 [4]: regulation of cell adhesion GO:0006954

  17. 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.

  18. Transcriptomic analysis of the GCN5 gene reveals mechanisms of the epigenetic regulation of virulence and morphogenesis in Ustilago maydis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Soto, Domingo; González-Prieto, Juan Manuel; Ruiz-Herrera, José

    2015-09-01

    Chromatin in the eukaryotic nucleus is highly organized in the form of nucleosomes where histones wrap DNA. This structure may be altered by some chemical modifications of histones, one of them, acetylation by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) that originates relaxation of the nucleosome structure, providing access to different transcription factors and other effectors. In this way, HATs regulate cellular processes including DNA replication, and gene transcription. Previously, we isolated Ustilago maydis mutants deficient in the GCN5 HAT that are avirulent, and grow constitutively as mycelium. In this work, we proceeded to identify the genes differentially regulated by GCN5, comparing the transcriptomes of the mutant and the wild type using microarrays, to analyse the epigenetic control of virulence and morphogenesis. We identified 1203 genes, 574 positively and 629 negatively regulated in the wild type. We found that genes belonging to different categories involved in pathogenesis were downregulated in the mutant, and that genes involved in mycelial growth were negatively regulated in the wild type, offering a working hypothesis on the epigenetic control of virulence and morphogenesis of U. maydis. Interestingly, several differentially regulated genes appeared in clusters, suggesting a common regulation. Some of these belonged to pathogenesis or secondary metabolism.

  19. Using Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Julius; Figg, William D

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Epigenetics in autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic Alterations in Density Selected Human Spermatozoa for Assisted Reproduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bolan Yu

    Full Text Available Epidemiological evidence indicates that assisted reproductive technologies (ART may be associated with several epigenetic diseases such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS or Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS. Selection of sperm by density-gradients in ART has improved DNA integrity and sperm quality; however, epigenetic alterations associated with this approach are largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated DNA methylation and histone retention profiles in raw sperm and selected sperm derived from the same individual and separated by using density-gradients. Results from a study group consisting of 93 males demonstrated that both global DNA methylation and histone retention levels decreased in density selected sperm. Compared to unselected raw sperm, histone transition rates decreased by an average of 27.2% in selected sperm, and the global methylation rate was 3.8% in unselected sperm and 3.3% in the selected sperm. DNA methylation and histone retention location profiling analyses suggested that these alterations displayed specific location patterns in the human genome. Changes in the pattern of hypomethylation largely occurred in transcriptional factor gene families such as HOX, FOX, and GATA. Histone retention increased in 67 genes, whereas it was significantly clustered in neural development-related gene families, particularly the olfactory sensor gene family. Although a causative relationship could not be established, the results of the present study suggest the possibility that sperm with good density also possess unique epigenetic profiles, particularly for genes involved in neural and olfactory development. As increasing evidence demonstrates that epigenetics plays a key role in embryonic development and offspring growth characteristics, the specific epigenetic alterations we observed in selected sperm may influence the transcriptional process and neural development in embryos.

  3. The epigenetic paradigm in periodontitis pathogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Epigenome refers to “epi” meaning outside the “genome.” Epigenetics is the field of study of the epigenome. Epigenetic modifications include changes in the promoter CpG Islands, modifications of histone protein structure, posttranslational repression by micro-RNA which contributes to the alteration of gene expression. Epigenetics provides an understanding of the role of gene-environment interactions on disease phenotype especially in complex multifactorial diseases. Periodontitis is a chronic...

  4. Epigenetic contribution to stress adaptation in plants

    OpenAIRE

    Mirouze, Marie; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2011-01-01

    Plant epigenetics has recently gained unprecedented interest, not only as a subject of basic research but also as a possible new source of beneficial traits for plant breeding. We discuss here mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that should be considered when undertaking the latter. Since these mechanisms are responsible for the formation of heritable epigenetic gene variants (epialleles) and also regulate transposons mobility, both aspects could be exploited to broaden plant phenotypic and g...

  5. 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...

  6. Genetic variants of methyl metabolizing enzymes and epigenetic regulators: Associations with promoter CpG island hypermethylation in colorectal cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vogel, S. de; Wouters, K.A.D.; Gottschalk, R.W.H.; Schooten, F.J. van; Goeij, A.F.P.M. de; Bruïne, A.P. de; Goldbohm, R.A.; Brandt, P.A. van den; Weijenberg, M.P.; Engeland, M. van

    2009-01-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation affects carcinogenesis of colorectal cancer. Folate metabolizing enzymes may influence the bioavailability of methyl groups, whereas DNA and histone methyltransferases are involved in epigenetic regulation of gene expression. We studied associations of genetic variants of fo

  7. Epigenetic regulation in male germ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamudio, Natasha M; Chong, Suyinn; O'Bryan, Moira K

    2008-08-01

    In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that epigenetic regulation of gene expression is critical during spermatogenesis. In this review, the epigenetic regulation and the consequences of its aberrant regulation during mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis are described. The current knowledge on epigenetic modifications that occur during male meiosis is discussed, with special attention on events that define meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. Finally, the recent studies focused on transgenerational and paternal effects in mice and humans are discussed. In many cases, these epigenetic effects resulted in impaired fertility and potentially long-ranging affects underlining the importance of research in this area.

  8. 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.

  9. Obesity: epigenetic regulation – recent observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remely, Marlene; de la Garza, Ana Laura; Magnet, Ulrich; Aumueller, Eva; Haslberger, Alexander G

    2015-06-01

    Genetic and environmental factors, especially nutrition and lifestyle, have been discussed in the literature for their relevance to epidemic obesity. Gene-environment interactions may need to be understood for an improved understanding of the causes of obesity, and epigenetic mechanisms are of special importance. Consequences of epigenetic mechanisms seem to be particularly important during certain periods of life: prenatal, postnatal and intergenerational, transgenerational inheritance are discussed with relevance to obesity. This review focuses on nutrients, diet and habits influencing intergenerational, transgenerational, prenatal and postnatal epigenetics; on evidence of epigenetic modifiers in adulthood; and on animal models for the study of obesity.

  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. Epigenetic changes in cancer as potential targets for prophylaxis and maintenance therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grønbæk, Karin Elmegård; Treppendahl, M.; Asmar, F.

    2008-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing of gene transcription by methylation of DNA or modification of histones is a key event in neoplastic initiation and progression. Alterations of the epigenome have been identified in virtually all types of cancer and involve multiple genes and molecular pathways. Recent studies...... have suggested that epigenetic gene inactivation may represent the first step in tumorigenesis, possibly by affecting the normal differentiation of stem cells and by predisposing these cells to additional oncogenic insults. The mechanisms that drive epigenetic silencing in pre-malignant cells are still...... unknown, but may reflect simple stochastic events that are beneficial to cancer precursor cells. It is now well established that epigenetically silenced genes may be reactivated pharmacologically. Some inhibitors of DNA methyltransferases (5-aza-cytidine and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine) or histone deacetylases...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Häfner, Sophia J; Lund, Anders H

    2016-01-01

    Making quick promises of major biomedical breakthroughs based on exciting discoveries at the bench is tempting. But the meandering path from fundamental science to life-saving clinical applications can be fraught with many hurdles. Epigenetics, the study of potentially heritable changes of gene...... a conceptual framework to a mechanistic understanding. This shift was accompanied by much hype and raised high hopes that epigenetics might hold both the key to deciphering the molecular underpinning of complex, non-Mendelian diseases and offer novel therapeutic approaches for a large panel of pathologies....... However, while exciting reports of biological phenomena involving DNA methylation and histone modifications fill up the scientific literature, the realistic clinical applications of epigenetic medicines remain somewhat blurry. Here, we discuss the state of the art and speculate how epigenetics might...

  14. How computational methods and relativistic effects influence the study of chemical reactions involving Ru-NO complexes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orenha, Renato Pereira; Santiago, Régis Tadeu; Haiduke, Roberto Luiz Andrade; Galembeck, Sérgio Emanuel

    2017-05-05

    Two treatments of relativistic effects, namely effective core potentials (ECP) and all-electron scalar relativistic effects (DKH2), are used to obtain geometries and chemical reaction energies for a series of ruthenium complexes in B3LYP/def2-TZVP calculations. Specifically, the reaction energies of reduction (A-F), isomerization (G-I), and Cl(-) negative trans influence in relation to NH3 (J-L) are considered. The ECP and DKH2 approaches provided geometric parameters close to experimental data and the same ordering for energy changes of reactions A-L. From geometries optimized with ECP, the electronic energies are also determined by means of the same ECP and basis set combined with the computational methods: MP2, M06, BP86, and its derivatives, so as B2PLYP, LC-wPBE, and CCSD(T) (reference method). For reactions A-I, B2PLYP provides the best agreement with CCSD(T) results. Additionally, B3LYP gave the smallest error for the energies of reactions J-L. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Entropy production in a chemical system involving an autocatalytic reaction in an isothermal, continuous stirred tank reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Nobuo

    1990-02-01

    The rate of entropy production due to chemical reaction is calculated for various combinations of parameter values in the cubic autocatalator model in an isothermal, continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) proposed by Gray and Scott and by Escher and Ross. Values of the entropy production averaged over periods of limit cycle oscillations are compared with those in coexistent unstable stationary states. It is found that in ranges of the residence time over which there are limit cycles, the entropy production in coexisting stationary states increases as the residence time is shortened, i.e., as the system is removed farther from thermodynamic equilibrium. The average entropy production over a limit cycle is less than that in the corresponding stationary state over wide ranges of parameter values, but not necessarily for the whole oscillatory region. More specifically, the former inequality always prevails in ranges where the entropy production of stationary states is larger, i.e., the residence time is shorter, but in some cases the inequality is reversed in ranges of lower magnitudes of the entropy production.

  16. The interaction between the immune system and epigenetics in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Nardone

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have firmly established that the etiology of autism includes both genetic and environmental components. However, we are only just beginning to elucidate the environmental factors that might be involved in the development of autism, as well as the molecular mechanisms through which they function. Mounting epidemiological and biological evidence suggest that prenatal factors that induce a more activated immune state in the mother are involved in the development of autism. In parallel, molecular studies have highlighted the role of epigenetics in brain development as process susceptible to environmental influences and potentially causative of ASD. In this review, we will discuss converging evidence for a multidirectional interaction between immune system activation in the mother during pregnancy and epigenetic regulation in the brain of the fetus that may cooperate to produce an autistic phenotype. This interaction includes immune factor-induced changes in epigenetic signatures in the brain, dysregulation of epigenetic modifications specifically in genomic regions that encode immune functions, and aberrant epigenetic regulation of microglia. Overall, the interaction between immune system activation in the mother and the subsequent epigenetic dysregulation in the developing fetal brain may be a main consideration for the environmental factors that cause autism.

  17. Epigenetic Modulating Agents as a New Therapeutic Approach in Multiple Myeloma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maes, Ken, E-mail: kemaes@vub.ac.be; Menu, Eline; Van Valckenborgh, Els [Department of Hematology and Immunology, Myeloma Center Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090 Brussel (Belgium); Van Riet, Ivan [Stem Cell Laboratory, Department Clinical Hematology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZ Brussel), Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussel (Belgium); Vanderkerken, Karin; De Bruyne, Elke, E-mail: kemaes@vub.ac.be [Department of Hematology and Immunology, Myeloma Center Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090 Brussel (Belgium)

    2013-04-15

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable B-cell malignancy. Therefore, new targets and drugs are urgently needed to improve patient outcome. Epigenetic aberrations play a crucial role in development and progression in cancer, including MM. To target these aberrations, epigenetic modulating agents, such as DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTi) and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), are under intense investigation in solid and hematological cancers. A clinical benefit of the use of these agents as single agents and in combination regimens has been suggested based on numerous studies in pre-clinical tumor models, including MM models. The mechanisms of action are not yet fully understood but appear to involve a combination of true epigenetic changes and cytotoxic actions. In addition, the interactions with the BM niche are also affected by epigenetic modulating agents that will further determine the in vivo efficacy and thus patient outcome. A better understanding of the molecular events underlying the anti-tumor activity of the epigenetic drugs will lead to more rational drug combinations. This review focuses on the involvement of epigenetic changes in MM pathogenesis and how the use of DNMTi and HDACi affect the myeloma tumor itself and its interactions with the microenvironment.

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetic regulation of CFTR in salivary gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Yong-Hwan; Lee, Sang-Woo; Kim, Minkyoung; Choi, Se-Young; Cong, Xin; Yu, Guang-Yan; Park, Kyungpyo

    2016-12-02

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) plays a key role in exocrine secretion, including salivary glands. However, its functional expression in salivary glands has not been rigorously studied. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern and regulatory mechanism of CFTR in salivary glands using immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis, Ussing chamber study, methylation-specific PCR, and bisulfite sequencing. Using an organ culture technique, we found that CFTR expression was first detected on the 15th day at the embryonic stage (E15) and was observed in ducts but not in acini. CFTR expression was confirmed in HSG and SIMS cell lines, which both originated from ducts, but not in the SMG C-6 cell line, which originated from acinar cells. Treatment of SMG C-6 cells with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR) restored the expression level of CFTR mRNA in a time-dependent manner. Restoration of CFTR was further confirmed by a functional study. In the Ussing chamber study, 10 μM Cact-A1, a CFTR activator, did not evoke any currents in SMG C-6 cells. In contrast, in SMG C-6 cells pretreated with 5-Aza-CdR, Cact-A1 evoked a robust increase of currents, which were inhibited by the CFTR inhibitor CFTRinh-172. Furthermore, forskolin mimicked the currents activated by Cact-A1. In our epigenetic study, SMG C-6 cells showed highly methylated CG pairs in the CFTR CpG island and most of the methylated CG pairs were demethylated by 5-Aza-CdR. Our results suggest that epigenetic regulation is involved in the development of salivary glands by silencing the CFTR gene in a tissue-specific manner.

  20. Heat Perception and Aversive Learning in Honey Bees: Putative Involvement of the Thermal/Chemical Sensor AmHsTRPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junca, Pierre; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-01-01

    The recent development of the olfactory conditioning of the sting extension response (SER) has provided new insights into the mechanisms of aversive learning in honeybees. Until now, very little information has been gained concerning US detection and perception. In the initial version of SER conditioning, bees learned to associate an odor CS with an electric shock US. Recently, we proposed a modified version of SER conditioning, in which thermal stimulation with a heated probe is used as US. This procedure has the advantage of allowing topical US applications virtually everywhere on the honeybee body. In this study, we made use of this possibility and mapped thermal responsiveness on the honeybee body, by measuring workers' SER after applying heat on 41 different structures. We then show that bees can learn the CS-US association even when the heat US is applied on body structures that are not prominent sensory organs, here the vertex (back of the head) and the ventral abdomen. Next, we used a neuropharmalogical approach to evaluate the potential role of a recently described Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channel, HsTRPA, on peripheral heat detection by bees. First, we applied HsTRPA activators to assess if such activation is sufficient for triggering SER. Second, we injected HsTRPA inhibitors to ask whether interfering with this TRP channel affects SER triggered by heat. These experiments suggest that HsTRPA may be involved in heat detection by bees, and represent a potential peripheral detection system in thermal SER conditioning.

  1. An Epigenetic Pathway Regulates Sensitivity of Breast Cancer Cells to HER2 Inhibition via FOXO/c-Myc Axis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matkar, Smita; Sharma, Paras; Gao, Shubin; Gurung, Buddha; Katona, Bryson W; Liao, Jennifer; Muhammad, Abdul Bari; Kong, Xiang-Cheng; Wang, Lei; Jin, Guanghui; Dang, Chi; Hua, Xianxin

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is upregulated in a subset of human breast cancers. However, the cancer cells often quickly develop an adaptive response to HER2 kinase inhibitors. We found that an epigenetic pathway involving MLL2 is crucial for growth of HER2+ cells and MLL2 reduces sensitivity of the cancer cells to a HER2 inhibitor, Lapatinib. Lapatinib-induced FOXO transcription factors, normally tumor-suppressing, paradoxically upregulate c-Myc epigenetically, in concert with a cascade of MLL2-associating epigenetic regulators, to dampen sensitivity of the cancer cells to Lapatinib. An epigenetic inhibitor suppressing c-Myc synergizes with Lapatinib to suppress cancer growth in vivo, partly by repressing the FOXO/c-Myc axis, unraveling an epigenetically regulated FOXO/c-Myc axis as a potential target to improve therapy. PMID:26461093

  2. Neurogenetics and Epigenetics in Impulsive Behaviour: Impact on Reward Circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Trevor; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Blum, Kenneth; Gold, Mark

    2012-05-30

    Adverse, unfavourable life conditions, particularly during early life stages and infancy, can lead to epigenetic regulation of genes involved in stress-response, behavioral disinhibition, and cognitive-emotional systems. Over time, the ultimate final outcome can be expressed through behaviors bedeviled by problems with impulse control, such as eating disorders, alcoholism, and indiscriminate social behavior. While many reward gene polymorphisms are involved in impulsive behaviors, a polymorphism by itself may not translate to the development of a particular behavioral disorder unless it is impacted by epigenetic effects. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) affects the development and integrity of the noradrenergic, dopaminergic, serotonergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic neurotransmitter systems, and plasma levels of the neurotrophin are associated with both cognitive and aggressive impulsiveness. Epigenetic mechanisms associated with a multitude of environmental factors, including premature birth, low birth weight, prenatal tobacco exposure, non-intact family, young maternal age at birth of the target child, paternal history of antisocial behavior, and maternal depression, alter the developmental trajectories for several neuropsychiatric disorders. These mechanisms affect brain development and integrity at several levels that determine structure and function in resolving the final behavioral expressions.

  3. A current genetic and epigenetic view on human aging mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostojić, Sala; Pereza, Nina; Kapović, Miljenko

    2009-06-01

    The process of aging is one of the most complex and intriguing biological phenomenons. Aging is a genetically regulated process in which the organism's maximum lifespan potential is pre-determined, while the rate of aging is influenced by environmental factors and lifestyle. Considering the complexity of mechanisms involved in the regulation of aging process, up to this date there isn't a major, unifying theory which could explain them. As genetic/epigenetic and environmental factors both inevitably influence the aging process, here we present a review on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of the most important molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the process of aging. Based on the studies on oxidative stress, metabolism, genome stability, epigenetic modifications and cellular senescence in animal models and humans, we give an overview of key genetic and molecular pathways related to aging. As most of genetic manipulations which influence the aging process also affect reproduction, we discuss aging in humans as a post-reproductive genetically determined process. After the age of reproductive success, aging continously progresses which clinically coincides with the onset of most chronic diseases, cancers and dementions. As evolution shapes the genomes for reproductive success and not for post-reproductive survival, aging could be defined as a protective mechanism which ensures the preservation and progress of species through the modification, trasmission and improvement of genetic material.

  4. Everybody's welcome: The big tent approach to epigenetic drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Erin M; Gozani, Or

    2012-01-01

    The rapid expansion of epigenetics research is fueled by the increasing understanding that epigenetic processes are critical to regulating cellular development and dysfunction of epigenetic programs is responsible for a diverse set of human pathologies, including cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. The expansive set of components contributing to epigenetic disease mechanisms and the often reversible nature of epigenetic lesions provide prime opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Here, we provide an overview of epigenetics and its relationship to disease, discuss current epigenetics-based therapies and suggest new avenues for the identification of therapies targeting deregulated epigenetic programs in disease.

  5. Protection of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans from lethal dose gamma irradiation involves changes in melanin's chemical structure and paramagnetism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelahad Khajo

    Full Text Available Certain fungi thrive in highly radioactive environments including the defunct Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans, which uses L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA to produce melanin, was used here to investigate how gamma radiation under aqueous aerobic conditions affects the properties of melanin, with the aim of gaining insight into its radioprotective role. Exposure of melanized fungal cell in aqueous suspensions to doses of γ-radiation capable of killing 50 to 80% of the cells did not lead to a detectable loss of melanin integrity according to EPR spectra of melanin radicals. Moreover, upon UV-visible (Xe-lamp illumination of melanized cells, the increase in radical population was unchanged after γ-irradiation. Gamma-irradiation of frozen cell suspensions and storage of samples for several days at 77 K however, produced melanin modification noted by a reduced radical population and reduced photoresponse. More direct evidence for structural modification of melanin came from the detection of soluble products with absorbance maxima near 260 nm in supernatants collected after γ-irradiation of cells and cell-free melanin. These products, which include thiobarbituric acid (TBA-reactive aldehydes, were also generated by Fenton reagent treatment of cells and cell-free melanin. In an assay of melanin integrity based on the metal (Bi(+3 binding capacity of cells, no detectable loss in binding was detected after γ-irradiation. Our results show that melanin in C. neoformans cells is susceptible to some damage by hydroxyl radical formed in lethal radioactive aqueous environments and serves a protective role in melanized fungi that involves sacrificial breakdown.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Nutrition, epigenetics, and developmental plasticity: implications for understanding human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdge, Graham C; Lillycrop, Karen A

    2010-08-21

    There is considerable evidence for induction of differential risk of noncommunicable diseases in humans by variation in the quality of the early life environment. Studies in animal models show that induction and stability of induced changes in the phenotype of the offspring involve altered epigenetic regulation by DNA methylation and covalent modifications of histones. These findings indicate that such epigenetic changes are highly gene specific and function at the level of individual CpG dinucleotides. Interventions using supplementation with folic acid or methyl donors during pregnancy, or folic acid after weaning, alter the phenotype and epigenotype induced by maternal dietary constraint during gestation. This suggests a possible means for reducing risk of induced noncommunicable disease, although the design and conduct of such interventions may require caution. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanism that underlies the early life origins of disease and to place these studies in a broader life-course context.

  9. Epigenetics and environmental impacts in cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter reviews the major advances in the field of epigenetics as well as the environmental impacts of cattle. Many findings from our own research endeavors related to the topic of this chapter are also introduced. The phenotypic characterization of an animal can be changed through epigenetic ...

  10. Epigenetics in breast and prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Ecological epigenetics: an introduction to the symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledón-Rettig, Cris C

    2013-08-01

    Phenotypic variation arises from interactions between environmental and genetic variation, and the emergence of such variation is, in part, mediated by epigenetic mechanisms: factors that modify gene expression but do not change the gene sequence, per se. The role of epigenetic variation and inheritance in natural populations, however, remains poorly understood. The budding field of Ecological Epigenetics seeks to extend our knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms and processes to natural populations, and recent conceptual and technical advances have made progress toward this goal more feasible. In light of these breakthroughs, now is a particularly opportune time to develop a framework that will guide and facilitate exceptional studies in Ecological Epigenetics. Toward this goal, the Ecological Epigenetics symposium brought together researchers with diverse strengths in theory, developmental genetics, ecology, and evolution, and the proceedings from their talks are presented in this issue. By characterizing environmentally dependent epigenetic variation in natural populations, we will enhance our understanding of developmental, ecological, and evolutionary phenomena. In particular, ecological epigenetics has the potential to explain how populations endure (or fail to endure) profound and rapid environmental change. Here, my goal is to introduce some of the common goals and challenges shared by those pursuing this critical field.

  12. Epigenetics in mammary gland biology and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the post genome era, the focus has shifted to understanding the mechanisms that regulate the interpretation of the genetic code. "Epigenetics" as a research field is taking center stage. Epigenetics is a term which is now being used throughout the scientific community in different contexts from p...

  13. Cancer Epigenetics: New Therapies and New Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleftheria Hatzimichael

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cancer is nowadays considered to be both a genetic and an epigenetic disease. The most well studied epigenetic modification in humans is DNA methylation; however it becomes increasingly acknowledged that DNA methylation does not work alone, but rather is linked to other modifications, such as histone modifications. Epigenetic abnormalities are reversible and as a result novel therapies that work by reversing epigenetic effects are being increasingly explored. The biggest clinical impact of epigenetic modifying agents in neoplastic disorders thus far has been in haematological malignancies, and the efficacy of DNMT inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors in blood cancers clearly attests to the principle that therapeutic modification of the cancer cell epigenome can produce clinical benefit. This paper will discuss the most well studied epigenetic modifications and how these are linked to cancer, will give a brief overview of the clinical use of epigenetics as biomarkers, and will focus in more detail on epigenetic drugs and their use in solid and blood cancers.

  14. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Preite, V.

    2014-01-01

    The role that epigenetic inheritance can play in adaptation may differ between sexuals and asexuals because (1) the dynamics of adaptation differ under sexual and asexual reproduction and the opportunities offered by epigenetic inheritance may affect these dynamics differently; and (2) in asexual re

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetic reprogramming in the porcine germ line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matzen, Sara Maj Hyldig; Croxall, Nicola; Contreras, David A.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Epigenetic reprogramming is critical for genome regulation during germ line development. Genome-wide demethylation in mouse primordial germ cells (PGC) is a unique reprogramming event essential for erasing epigenetic memory and preventing the transmission of epimutations to the next...... an increased proportion of cells in G2. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that epigenetic reprogramming occurs in pig migratory and gonadal PGC, and establishes the window of time for the occurrence of these events. Reprogramming of histone H3K9me2 and H3K27me3 detected between E15-E21 precedes the dynamic...... DNA demethylation at imprinted loci and DNA repeats between E22-E42. Our findings demonstrate that major epigenetic reprogramming in the pig germ line follows the overall dynamics shown in mice, suggesting that epigenetic reprogramming of germ cells is conserved in mammals. A better understanding...

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetics and therapeutic targets mediating neuroprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2015-12-02

    The rapidly evolving science of epigenetics is transforming our understanding of the nervous system in health and disease and holds great promise for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches targeting neurological diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors and mechanisms serve as important mediators of the pathogenic processes that lead to irrevocable neural injury and of countervailing homeostatic and regenerative responses. Epigenetics is, therefore, of considerable translational significance to the field of neuroprotection. In this brief review, we provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms and highlight the emerging roles played by epigenetic processes in neural cell dysfunction and death and in resultant neuroprotective responses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Neuroprotection.

  19. Epigenetic drift in the aging genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Current epigenetic studies on aging are dominated by the cross-sectional design that correlates subjects' ages or age groups with their measured epigenetic profiles. Such studies have been more aimed at age prediction or building up the epigenetic clock of age rather than focusing...... on the dynamic patterns in epigenetic changes during the aging process. METHODS: We performed an epigenome-wide association study of intra-individual longitudinal changes in DNA methylation at CpG (cytosine-phosphate-guanine) sites measured in whole-blood samples of a cohort of 43 elderly twin pairs followed......-wide association studies on a cohort of old twins followed up for 10 years identified highly replicable epigenetic biomarkers predominantly implicated in signalling pathways of degenerative disorders and survival in the elderly....

  20. Epigenetic Control of Female Puberty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomniczi, Alejandro; Loche, Alberto; Castellano, Juan Manuel; Ronnekleiv, Oline K.; Bosch, Martha; Kaidar, Gabi; Knoll, J. Gabriel; Wright, Hollis; Pfeifer, Gerd. P.; Ojeda, Sergio R.

    2013-01-01

    The timing of puberty is controlled by many genes. The elements coordinating this process have not, however, been identified. Here we show that an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional repression times the initiation of female puberty in rats. We identify silencers of the Polycomb group (PcG) as major contributors to this mechanism, and show that PcG proteins repress Kiss1, a puberty-activating gene. Hypothalamic expression of two key PcG genes, Eed and Cbx7, decreases and methylation of their promoters increases preceding puberty. Inhibiting DNA methylation blocks both events and results in pubertal failure. The pubertal increase in Kiss1 is accompanied by EED loss from the Kiss1 promoter and enrichment of histone H3 modifications associated with gene activation. Preventing the eviction of EED from the Kiss1 promoter disrupts pulsatile GnRH release, delays puberty, and compromises fecundity. Our results identify epigenetic silencing as a novel mechanism underlying the neuroendocrine control of female puberty. PMID:23354331

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetic regulation of muscle phenotype and adaptation: a potential role in COPD muscle dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreiro, Esther; Sznajder, Jacob I

    2013-05-01

    Quadriceps muscle dysfunction occurs in one-third of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in very early stages of their condition, even prior to the development of airway obstruction. Among several factors, deconditioning and muscle mass loss are the most relevant contributing factors leading to this dysfunction. Moreover, epigenetics, defined as the process whereby gene expression is regulated by heritable mechanisms that do not affect DNA sequence, could be involved in the susceptibility to muscle dysfunction, pathogenesis, and progression. Herein, we review the role of epigenetic mechanisms in muscle development and adaptation to environmental factors such as immobilization and exercise, and their implications in the pathophysiology and susceptibility to muscle dysfunction in COPD. The epigenetic modifications identified so far include DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, and non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs). In the present review, we describe the specific contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to the regulation of embryonic myogenesis, muscle structure and metabolism, immobilization, and exercise, and in muscles of COPD patients. Events related to muscle development and regeneration and the response to exercise and immobilization are tightly regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. These environmental factors play a key role in the outcome of muscle mass and function as well as in the susceptibility to muscle dysfunction in COPD. Future research remains to be done to shed light on the specific target pathways of miRNA function and other epigenetic mechanisms in the susceptibility, pathogenesis, and progression of COPD muscle dysfunction.

  5. MicroRNAs as new Characters in the Plot between Epigenetics and Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessio ePaone

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer (PCA still represents a leading cause of death. An increasing number of studies have documented that microRNAs (miRNAs, a subgroup of non-coding RNAs with gene regulatory functions, are differentially expressed in PCA respect to the normal tissue counterpart, suggesting their involvement in prostate carcinogenesis and dissemination. Interestingly, it has been shown that miRNAs undergo the same regulatory mechanisms than any other protein coding gene, including epigenetic regulation. In turn, miRNAs can also affect the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes by targeting effectors of the epigenetic machinery, therefore indirectly affecting the epigenetic controls on these genes. Among the genes that undergo this complex regulation, there is the androgen receptor (AR, a key therapeutic target for PCA. This review will focus on the role of epigenetically regulated and epigenetically regulating miRNAs in prostate cancer and on the fine regulation of AR expression, as mediated by this miRNA-epigenetics interaction.

  6. Trichinella spiralis, potential model nematode for epigenetics and its implication in metazoan parasitism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei eGAO

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent discovery of DNA methylation in the nematode T. spiralis may raise the possibility of using it as a potential model organism for epigenetic studies instead of C. elegans, which is deficient in this important epigenetic modification. In contrast to the free-living nematode C. elegans, T. spiralis is a parasitic worm that possesses a complicated life cycle and undergoes a complex developmental regulation of genes. We emphasise that the differential methylomes in the different life-history stages of T. spiralis can provide insight on how DNA methylation is triggered and regulated. In particular, we have demonstrated that DNA methylation is involved in the regulation of its parasitism-related genes. Further computational analyses indicated that the regulatory machinery for DNA methylation can also be found in the T. spiralis genome. By a logical extension of this point, we speculate that comprehensively addressing the epigenetic machinery of T. spiralis may help to understand epigenetics in invertebrates. Furthermore, considering the implication of epigenetics in metazoan parasitism, using T. spiralis as an epigenetic model organism may further contribute to drug development against metazoan parasites.

  7. Radiation-induced genomic instability: Are epigenetic mechanisms the missing link?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-01

    Purpose: This review examines the evidence for the hypothesis that epigenetics are involved in the initiation and perpetuation of radiation-induced genomic instability (RIGI). Conclusion: In addition to the extensively studied targeted effects of radiation, it is now apparent that non-targeted delayed effects such as RIGI are also important post-irradiation outcomes. In RIGI, unirradiated progeny cells display phenotypic changes at delayed times after radiation of the parental cell. RIGI is thought to be important in the process of carcinogenesis, however, the mechanism by which this occurs remains to be elucidated. In the genomically unstable clones developed by Morgan and colleagues, radiation-induced mutations, double-strand breaks, or changes in mRNA levels alone could not account for the initiation or perpetuation of RIGI. Since changes in the DNA sequence could not fully explain the mechanism of RIGI, inherited epigenetic changes may be involved. Epigenetics are known to play an important role in many cellular processes and epigenetic aberrations can lead to carcinogenesis. Recent studies in the field of radiation biology suggest that the changes in methylation patterns may be involved in RIGI. Together these clues have led us to hypothesize that epigenetics may be the missing link in understanding the mechanism behind RIGI.

  8. Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Jeffrey Bradstreet

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Epigenetic findings in autism: new perspectives for therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siniscalco, Dario; Cirillo, Alessandra; Bradstreet, James Jeffrey; Antonucci, Nicola

    2013-09-11

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

  10. Impact of physical activity and doping on epigenetic gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzenbach, Heidi

    2011-10-01

    To achieve success in sports, many athletes consume doping substances, such as anabolic androgenic steroids and growth hormones, and ignore the negative influence of these drugs on their health. Apart from the unethical aspect of doping in sports, it is essential to consider the tremendous risk it represents to their physical condition. The abuse of pharmaceuticals which improve athletic performance may alter the expression of specific genes involved in muscle and bone metabolism by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Moreover, excessive and relentless training to increase the muscle mass, may also have an influence on the health of the athletes. This stress releases neurotransmitters and growth factors, and may affect the expression of endogenous genes by DNA methylation, too. This paper focuses on the relationship between epigenetic mechanisms and sports, highlights the potential consequences of abuse of doping drugs on gene expression, and describes methods to molecularly detect epigenetic changes of gene markers reflecting the physiological or metabolic effects of doping agents.

  11. Epigenetics, the role of DNA methylation in tree development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viejo, Marcos; Santamaría, María E; Rodríguez, José L; Valledor, Luis; Meijón, Mónica; Pérez, Marta; Pascual, Jesús; Hasbún, Rodrigo; Fernández Fraga, Mario; Berdasco, María; Toorop, Peter E; Cañal, María J; Rodríguez Fernández, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    During development of multicellular organisms, cells become differentiated by modulating different programs of gene expression. Cells have their own epigenetic signature which reflects genotype, developmental history, and environmental influences, and it is ultimately reflected in the phenotype of the cells and the organism. However, in normal development or disease situations, such as adaptation to climate change or during in vitro culture, some cells undergo major epigenetic reprogramming involving the removal of epigenetic marks in the nuclei followed by the establishment of a different new set of marks. Compared with animal cells, biotech-mediated achievements are reduced in plants despite the presence of cell polypotency. In forestry, any sustainable developments using biotech tools remain restricted to the lab, without progressing to the field for application. Such barriers in the translation between development and implementation need to be addressed by organizations that have the power to integrate these two fields. However, a lack of understanding of gene regulation is also to blame for this barrier. In recent years, great progress has been made in unraveling the control of gene expression. These advances are discussed in this chapter, including the possibility of applying this knowledge in forestry practice.

  12. [Advances of Epigenetic Studies on Mechanisms of Paramutation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Shan; Wang, Xiao-Rong; Ding, Wei

    2016-02-01

    Studies in traditional genetics have revealed the molecular causes of many genetic diseases and provided direct clues for their prevention, diagnosis and treatments, as well as for various disorders with genetic background. However, the genetic profiles of most human diseases could not be fully explained with the canonical laws of genetics. Paramutation is one of non-Mendelian inheritance phenomenon, which was found in maize first in 1950s. The absence of alteration in nucleotide sequences in the gene-coding alleles suggested that paramutations might involve epigenetic mechanisms to transmit heritable changes in gene expression and determination of phenotypes. Recently, a novel epigenetic mechanism has been found in paramutation researches, emphasized the importance of DNA methyltransferase II mediated RNA (primarily non-coding RNAs) methylation in the occurrence and maintenance of paramutations. Researches on paramutations and their epigenetic mechnisms will not only expand our understanding in the genetic principles of life, but also help to develop new ideas for bioengineer and disease treatments. The present article reviewed the research highlights on molecular mechanisms of paramutation and discussed the prospects in disease study and therapy.

  13. Epigenetic strategies to reverse drug resistance in heterogeneous multiple myeloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issa, Mark E; Takhsha, Farnaz Sedigheh; Chirumamilla, Chandra Sekhar; Perez-Novo, Claudina; Vanden Berghe, Wim; Cuendet, Muriel

    2017-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy, which remains incurable because most patients eventually relapse or become refractory to current treatments. Due to heterogeneity within the cancer cell microenvironment, cancer cell populations employ a dynamic survival strategy to chemotherapeutic treatments, which frequently results in a rapid acquisition of therapy resistance. Besides resistance-conferring genetic alterations within a tumor cell population selected during drug treatment, recent findings also reveal non-mutational mechanisms of drug resistance, involving a small population of "cancer stem cells" (CSCs) which are intrinsically more refractory to the effects of a variety of anticancer drugs. Other studies have implicated epigenetic mechanisms in reversible drug tolerance to protect the population from eradication by potentially lethal exposures, suggesting that acquired drug resistance does not necessarily require a stable heritable genetic alteration. Clonal evolution of MM cells and the bone marrow microenvironment changes contribute to drug resistance. MM-CSCs may not be a static population and survive as phenotypically and functionally different cell types via the transition between stem-like and non-stem-like states in local microenvironments, as observed in other types of cancers. Targeting MM-CSCs is clinically relevant, and different approaches have been suggested to target molecular, metabolic and epigenetic signatures, and the self-renewal signaling characteristic of MM CSC-like cells. Here, we summarize epigenetic strategies to reverse drug resistance in heterogeneous multiple myeloma.

  14. 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

  15. Epigenetics and autoimmune diseases: the X chromosome-nucleolus nexus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Wesley H; Renaudineau, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases occur more often in females, suggesting a key role for the X chromosome. X chromosome inactivation, a major epigenetic feature in female cells that provides dosage compensation of X-linked genes to avoid overexpression, presents special vulnerabilities that can contribute to the disease process. Disruption of X inactivation can result in loss of dosage compensation with expression from previously sequestered genes, imbalance of gene products, and altered endogenous material out of normal epigenetic context. In addition, the human X has significant differences compared to other species and these differences can contribute to the frequency and intensity of the autoimmune disease in humans as well as the types of autoantigens encountered. Here a link is demonstrated between autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, and the X chromosome by discussing cases in which typically non-autoimmune disorders complicated with X chromosome abnormalities also present lupus-like symptoms. The discussion is then extended to the reported spatial and temporal associations of the inactive X chromosome with the nucleolus. When frequent episodes of cellular stress occur, the inactive X chromosome may be disrupted and inadvertently become involved in the nucleolar stress response. Development of autoantigens, many of which are at least transiently components of the nucleolus, is then described. Polyamines, which aid in nucleoprotein complex assembly in the nucleolus, increase further during cell stress, and appear to have an important role in the autoimmune disease process. Autoantigenic endogenous material can potentially be stabilized by polyamines. This presents a new paradigm for autoimmune diseases: that many are antigen-driven and the autoantigens originate from altered endogenous material due to episodes of cellular stress that disrupt epigenetic control. This suggests that epigenetics and the X chromosome are important aspects of autoimmune

  16. Potential roles of noncoding RNAs in environmental epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wei

    2014-12-01

    "Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance" (ETI) has been defined as germline (sperm or egg) transmission of epigenetic information between generations in the absence of direct exposures or genetic manipulations. Among reported cases of ETI in mammals, the majority are induced by environmental factors, including environmental toxicants [e.g. agricultural fungicide vinclozolin, plastic additive bisphenol A, pesticide methoxychlor, dioxin, di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and hydrocarbons] and poor nutritional conditions. Although the ETI phenomenon is well established, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Putative epimutations, including changes in DNA methylation and histone modification patterns, have been reported, but it remains unclear how these epimutations are formed in the first place, and how they are memorized in the germline and then get transmitted to subsequent generations. Based on recent advances in our understanding of regulatory noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), I propose that ncRNAs are involved in ETI, during both the initial epimutation formation and the subsequent germline transmission of epimutations. ncRNAs can function at epigenetic levels by affecting DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby changing gene transcriptional activities, which can lead to an altered mRNA transcriptome associated with a disease phenotype. Alternatively, novel or altered ncRNA expression can cause dysregulated post-transcriptional regulation, thus directly affecting the mRNA transcriptome and inducing a disease phenotype. Sperm-borne ncRNAs are potential mediators for epigenetic memory across generations, but they alone may not be sufficient for stable transmission of epimutations across generations. Overall, research on ncRNAs in the context of ETI is urgently needed to shed light on the underlying mechanism of ETI.

  17. Small RNA-directed epigenetic natural variation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jixian Zhai

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Progress in epigenetics has revealed mechanisms that can heritably regulate gene function independent of genetic alterations. Nevertheless, little is known about the role of epigenetics in evolution. This is due in part to scant data on epigenetic variation among natural populations. In plants, small interfering RNA (siRNA is involved in both the initiation and maintenance of gene silencing by directing DNA methylation and/or histone methylation. Here, we report that, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a cluster of approximately 24 nt siRNAs found at high levels in the ecotype Landsberg erecta (Ler could direct DNA methylation and heterochromatinization at a hAT element adjacent to the promoter of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC, a major repressor of flowering, whereas the same hAT element in ecotype Columbia (Col with almost identical DNA sequence, generates a set of low abundance siRNAs that do not direct these activities. We have called this hAT element MPF for Methylated region near Promoter of FLC, although de novo methylation triggered by an inverted repeat transgene at this region in Col does not alter its FLC expression. DNA methylation of the Ler allele MPF is dependent on genes in known silencing pathways, and such methylation is transmissible to Col by genetic crosses, although with varying degrees of penetrance. A genome-wide comparison of Ler and Col small RNAs identified at least 68 loci matched by a significant level of approximately 24 nt siRNAs present specifically in Ler but not Col, where nearly half of the loci are related to repeat or TE sequences. Methylation analysis revealed that 88% of the examined loci (37 out of 42 were specifically methylated in Ler but not Col, suggesting that small RNA can direct epigenetic differences between two closely related Arabidopsis ecotypes.

  18. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming consists of global changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mammals, epigenetic reprogramming is primarily associated with sexual reproduction and occurs during both gametogenesis and early embryonic development. Such reprogramming is crucial not only to maintain genomic integrity through silencing transposable elements but also to reset the silenced status of imprinted genes. In plants, observations of stable transgenerational inheritance of epialleles have argued against reprogramming. However, emerging evidence supports that epigenetic reprogramming indeed occurs during sexual reproduction in plants and that it has a major role in maintaining genome integrity and a potential contribution to epiallelic variation.

  19. Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian nuclear transfer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Shijie; DU Weihua; LI Ning

    2004-01-01

    Somatic cloning has been succeeded in some species, but the cloning efficiency is very low, which limits the application of the technique in many areas of research and biotechnology. The cloning of mammals by somatic cell nuclear transfer (NT) requires epigenetic reprogramming of the differentiated state of donor cell to a totipotent, embryonic ground state. Accumulating evidence indicates that incomplete or inappropriate epigenetic reprogramming of donor nuclei is likely to be the primary cause of failures in nuclear transfer. This review summarizes the roles of various epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone acetylation, imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, telomere maintenance and expressions of development-related genes on somatic nuclear transfer.

  20. Epigenetic variation during the adult lifespan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Talens, Rudolf P; Christensen, Kaare; Putter, Hein

    2012-01-01

    The accumulation of epigenetic changes was proposed to contribute to the age-related increase in the risk of most common diseases. In this study on 230 monozygotic twin pairs (MZ pairs), aged 18-89 years, we investigated the occurrence of epigenetic changes over the adult lifespan. Using mass......-related increase in methylation variation was generally attributable to unique environmental factors, except for CRH, for which familial factors may play a more important role. In conclusion, sustained epigenetic differences arise from early adulthood to old age and contribute to an increasing discordance of MZ...

  1. Epigenetic Epidemiology of Complex Diseases Using Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2013-01-01

    In the past decades, studies on twins have had a great impact on dissecting the genetic and environmental contributions to human diseases and complex traits. In the era of functional genomics, the valuable samples of twins help to bridge the gap between gene activity and environmental conditions...... through multiple epigenetic mechanisms. This paper reviews the new developments in using twins to study disease-related epigenetic alterations, links them to lifetime environmental exposure with a focus on the discordant twin design and proposes novel data-analytical approaches with the aim of promoting...... a more efficient use of twins in epigenetic studies of complex human diseases....

  2. Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogryzko, Vasily V

    2008-04-17

    Schroedinger's book 'What is Life?' is widely credited for having played a crucial role in development of molecular and cellular biology. My essay revisits the issues raised by this book from the modern perspective of epigenetics and systems biology. I contrast two classes of potential mechanisms of epigenetic stability: 'epigenetic templating' and 'systems biology' approaches, and consider them from the point of view expressed by Schroedinger. I also discuss how quantum entanglement, a nonclassical feature of quantum mechanics, can help to address the 'problem of small numbers' that led Schroedinger to promote the idea of a molecular code-script for explaining the stability of biological order.

  3. Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogryzko Vasily V

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Schroedinger's book 'What is Life?' is widely credited for having played a crucial role in development of molecular and cellular biology. My essay revisits the issues raised by this book from the modern perspective of epigenetics and systems biology. I contrast two classes of potential mechanisms of epigenetic stability: 'epigenetic templating' and 'systems biology' approaches, and consider them from the point of view expressed by Schroedinger. I also discuss how quantum entanglement, a nonclassical feature of quantum mechanics, can help to address the 'problem of small numbers' that led Schroedinger to promote the idea of a molecular code-script for explaining the stability of biological order.

  4. Epigenetic contribution to stress adaptation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirouze, Marie; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2011-06-01

    Plant epigenetics has recently gained unprecedented interest, not only as a subject of basic research but also as a possible new source of beneficial traits for plant breeding. We discuss here mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that should be considered when undertaking the latter. Since these mechanisms are responsible for the formation of heritable epigenetic gene variants (epialleles) and also regulate transposons mobility, both aspects could be exploited to broaden plant phenotypic and genetic variation, which could improve long-term plant adaptation to environmental challenges and, thus, increase productivity.

  5. Epigenetics and the evolution of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasuga, Takao; Gijzen, Mark

    2013-11-01

    A feature of pathogenic and invasive organisms is their adaptability when confronted with host and environmental challenges. Recent studies have demonstrated that plant pathogens rely on epigenetic processes for this purpose. Epiallelic variation of effector genes that results in evasion of host immunity is one emerging phenomenon. Another is the epigenetically induced reprogramming and diversification of transcriptional patterns by de-repression of transposable elements. These observations indicate that epigenetic control of gene expression provides a versatile means of generating phenotypic diversity that is adaptable and heritable across generations.

  6. Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability

    CERN Document Server

    Ogryzko, Vasily

    2007-01-01

    Schroedinger's book 'What is Life?' is widely credited for having played a crucial role in development of molecular and cellular biology. My essay revisits the issues raised by this book from the modern perspective of epigenetics and systems biology. I contrast two classes of potential mechanisms of epigenetic stability: 'epigenetic templating' and 'systems biology' approaches, and consider them from the point of view expressed by Schroedinger. I also discuss how quantum entanglement, a nonclassical feature of quantum mechanics, can help to address the 'problem of small numbers' that lead Schroedinger to promote the idea of molecular code-script for explanation of stability of biological order.

  7. Epigenetic Modifications in Neurological Diseases: Natural Products as Epigenetic Modulators a Treatment Strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangisetty, Omkaram; Murugan, Sengottuvelan

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, covalent histone modifications, and small noncoding RNAs, play a key role in regulating the gene expression. This regulatory mechanism is important in cellular differentiation and development. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics extended the role of epigenetic mechanisms in controlling key biological processes such as genome imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. Aberrant epigenetic modifications are associated with the development of many diseases. The role of epigenetic modifications in various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington disease, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis is rapidly emerging. The use of epigenetic modifying drugs to treat these diseases has been the interest in recent years. A number of natural products having diverse mechanism of action are used for drug discovery. For many years, natural compounds have been used to treat various neurodegenerative diseases, but the use of such compounds as epigenetic modulators to reverse or treat neurological diseases are not well studied. In this chapter, we mainly focus on how various epigenetic modifications play a key role in neurodegenerative diseases, their mechanism of action, and how it acts as a potential therapeutic target for epigenetic drugs to treat these diseases will be discussed.

  8. 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 

  9. Epigenetic information in gametes: Gaming from before fertilization. Comment on ;Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition; by Qian Wang et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Junchao; Zhang, Xudong; Liu, Ying; Chen, Qi

    2017-03-01

    In their interesting article [1] Wang et al. proposed a mathematical model based on evolutionary game theory [2] to tackle the fundamental question in embryo development, that how sperm and egg interact with each other, through epigenetic processes, to form a zygote and direct successful embryo development. This work is based on the premise that epigenetic reprogramming (referring to the erasure and reconstruction of epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications) after fertilization might be of paramount importance to maintain the normal development of embryos, a premise we fully agree, given the compelling experimental evidence reported [3]. Wang et al. have specifically chosen to employ the well-studied DNA methylation reprogramming process during mammalian early embryo development, as a basis to develop their mathematical model, namely epigenetic game theory (epiGame). They concluded that the DNA methylation pattern in mammalian early embryo could be formulated and quantified, and their model can be further used to quantify the interactions, such as competition and/or cooperation of expressed genes that maximize the fitness of embryos. The efforts by Wang et al. in quantitatively and systematically analyzing the beginning of life apparently hold value and represent a novel direction for future embryo development research from both theoretical and experimental biologists. On the other hand, we see their theory still at its infancy, because there are plenty more parameters to consider and there are spaces for debates, such as the cases of haploid embryo development [4]. Here, we briefly comment on the dynamic process of epigenetic reprogramming that goes beyond DNA methylation, a dynamic interplay that involves histone modifications, non-coding RNAs, transposable elements et al., as well as the potential input of the various types of 'hereditary' epigenetic information in the gametes - a game that has started before the fertilization.

  10. The epigenetic paradigm in periodontitis pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vamsi Lavu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenome refers to "epi" meaning outside the "genome." Epigenetics is the field of study of the epigenome. Epigenetic modifications include changes in the promoter CpG Islands, modifications of histone protein structure, posttranslational repression by micro-RNA which contributes to the alteration of gene expression. Epigenetics provides an understanding of the role of gene-environment interactions on disease phenotype especially in complex multifactorial diseases. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the supporting structures of the tooth. The role of the genome (in terms of genetic polymorphisms in periodontitis pathogenesis has been examined in numerous studies, and chronic periodontitis has been established as a polygenic disorder. The potential role of epigenetic modifications in the various facets of pathogenesis of periodontitis is discussed in this paper based on the available literature.

  11. MicroRNAs, epigenetics and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silahtaroglu, Asli; Stenvang, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the heritable chances that affect gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression can be through different mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and nucleosome positioning. MicroRNAs are short RNA molecules...... which do not code for a protein but have a role in post-transcriptional silencing of multiple target genes by binding to their 3' UTRs (untranslated regions). Both epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, and the microRNAs are crucial for normal differentiation......, development and maintenance of tissue-specific gene expression. These mechanisms also explain how cells with the same DNA content can differentiate into cells with different functions. Changes in epigenetic processes can lead to changes in gene function, cancer formation and progression, as well as other...

  12. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitelaw, Nadia C; Whitelaw, Emma

    2008-06-01

    Over the past century, patterns of phenotypic inheritance have been observed that are not easily rationalised by Mendel's rules of inheritance. Now that we have begun to understand more about non-DNA based, or 'epigenetic', control of phenotype at the molecular level, the idea that the transgenerational inheritance of these epigenetic states could explain non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance has become attractive. There is a growing body of evidence that abnormal epigenetic states, termed epimutations, are associated with disease in humans. For example, in several cases of colorectal cancer, epimutations have been identified that silence the human mismatch repair genes, MLH1 and MSH2. But strong evidence that the abnormal epigenetic states are primary events that occur in the absence of genetic change and are inherited across generations is still absent.

  13. 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.

  14. Epigenetic Effects of Di(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epidemiological and laboratory investigations suggest that, in addition to genetic changes, environmental pollutants can affect human health through altering epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA expression. There is evidence in anima...

  15. Dubbing SAGA unveils new epigenetic crosstalk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pijnappel, W W M Pim; Timmers, H Th Marc

    2008-02-01

    In a recent issue of Molecular Cell, two independent studies (Zhang et al., 2008; Zhao et al., 2008) provide compelling evidence that targeted deubiquitylation of histones is intimately linked to transcription activation, epigenetic regulation, and cancer progression.

  16. 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).

  17. Epigenetics in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis

    OpenAIRE

    Glant, Tibor T.; Mikecz, Katalin; Tibor A Rauch

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of studies show that besides the inherited genetic architecture (that is, genomic DNA), various environmental factors significantly contribute to the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis. Epigenetic factors react to external stimuli and form bridges between the environment and the genetic information-harboring DNA. Epigenetic mechanisms are implicated in the final interpretation of the encoded genetic information by regulating gene expression, and alterations in their profile...

  18. [Progress in epigenetic research on Alzheimer disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Nannan; Wei, Yang; Xu, Qian; Tang, Beisha

    2016-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, which features mainly with memory impairment as the initial symptom of progressive loss of cognitive function. Its main pathological changes include senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The pathogenesis of AD is still unclear, though it may be connected with aging, genetic factors and environmental factors. Among these, aging and environmental factors can be modified by epigenetics. In this paper, advances in the study of epigenetic mechanisms related to the pathogenesis of AD are reviewed.

  19. From Neo-Darwinism to Epigenetic Inheritance

    OpenAIRE

    Axholm, Ida; Ranum, Kasper; Al-Makdisi Razeeghi, Redaa

    2014-01-01

    Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is at variance with the neo-Darwinian theory of inheritance, and this possibly has important implications for how we view evolution, since it could allow for a kind of inheritance of acquired characteristics. We have applied Imre Lakatos and Thomas Kuhn’s models of scientific change and investigated if they can accurately describe the change in the view on inheritance from neo-Darwinism to a view that includes transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, ...

  20. Differential DNA Methylation Regions in Adult Human Sperm following Adolescent Chemotherapy: Potential for Epigenetic Inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shnorhavorian, Margarett; Schwartz, Stephen M.; Stansfeld, Barbara; Sadler-Riggleman, Ingrid; Beck, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Background The potential that adolescent chemotherapy can impact the epigenetic programming of the germ line to influence later life adult fertility and promote epigenetic inheritance was investigated. Previous studies have demonstrated a number of environmental exposures such as abnormal nutrition and toxicants can promote sperm epigenetic changes that impact offspring. Methods Adult males approximately ten years after pubertal exposure to chemotherapy were compared to adult males with no previous exposure. Sperm were collected to examine differential DNA methylation regions (DMRs) between the exposed and control populations. Gene associations and correlations to genetic mutations (copy number variation) were also investigated. Methods and Findings A signature of statistically significant DMRs was identified in the chemotherapy exposed male sperm. The DMRs, termed epimutations, were found in CpG desert regions of primarily 1 kilobase size. Observations indicate adolescent chemotherapy exposure can promote epigenetic alterations that persist in later life. Conclusions This is the first observation in humans that an early life chemical exposure can permanently reprogram the spermatogenic stem cell epigenome. The germline (i.e., sperm) epimutations identified suggest chemotherapy has the potential to promote epigenetic inheritance to the next generation. PMID:28146567

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-12-10

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

  3. 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.

  4. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on animal behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Per

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-10

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

  6. Epigenetic variation predicts regional and local intraspecific functional diversity in a perennial herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medrano, Mónica; Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2014-10-01

    The ecological significance of epigenetic variation has been generally inferred from studies on model plants under artificial conditions, but the importance of epigenetic differences between individuals as a source of intraspecific diversity in natural plant populations remains essentially unknown. This study investigates the relationship between epigenetic variation and functional plant diversity by conducting epigenetic (methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms, MSAP) and genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphisms, AFLP) marker-trait association analyses for 20 whole-plant, leaf and regenerative functional traits in a large sample of wild-growing plants of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus from ten sampling sites in south-eastern Spain. Plants differed widely in functional characteristics, and exhibited greater epigenetic than genetic diversity, as shown by per cent polymorphism of MSAP fragments (92%) or markers (69%) greatly exceeding that for AFLP ones (41%). After controlling for genetic structuring and possible cryptic relatedness, every functional trait considered exhibited a significant association with at least one AFLP or MSAP marker. A total of 27 MSAP (13.0% of total) and 12 AFLP (4.4%) markers were involved in significant associations, which explained on average 8.2% and 8.0% of trait variance, respectively. Individual MSAP markers were more likely to be associated with functional traits than AFLP markers. Between-site differences in multivariate functional diversity were directly related to variation in multilocus epigenetic diversity after multilocus genetic diversity was statistically accounted for. Results suggest that epigenetic variation can be an important source of intraspecific functional diversity in H. foetidus, possibly endowing this species with the capacity to exploit a broad range of ecological conditions despite its modest genetic diversity.

  7. 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

  8. Epigenetics: A Fascinating Field with Profound Research, Clinical, & Public Health Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Richard A.; Davis, Devra Lee

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is emerging as one of the most dynamic and vibrant biomedical areas. Multiple lines of evidence confirm that inherited genetic changes alone cannot fully explain all phenotypic characteristics of live organisms, and additional factors, which are not encoded in the DNA sequence, are involved. The contribution of non-genetic factors is…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brix, Jacob; Zhou, Yan; Luo, Yonglun

    2015-01-01

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

  10. The Role of Epigenetics in Resistance to Cisplatin Chemotherapy in Lung Cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Byrne, Kenneth J.; Barr, Martin P.; Gray, Steven G., E-mail: sgray@stjames.ie [Trinity College Dublin, Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James Hospital, James Street, Dublin 8 (Ireland)

    2011-03-17

    Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common cause of cancer related death in the world. Cisplatin and carboplatin are the most commonly used cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents to treat the disease. These agents, usually combined with drugs such as gemcitabine or pemetrexed, induce objective tumor responses in only 20–30% of patients. Aberrant epigenetic regulation of gene expression is a frequent event in NSCLC. In this article we review the emerging evidence that epigenetics and the cellular machinery involved with this type of regulation may be key elements in the development of cisplatin resistance in NSCLC.

  11. Epigenetic transgenerational actions of vinclozolin on the development of disease and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K; Anway, Matthew D

    2007-08-01

    Exposure to an environmental endocrine disruptor (e.g., vinclozolin) during embryonic gonadal sex determination appears to alter the male germ line epigenome and subsequently promotes transgenerational adult onset disease. The epigenetic mechanism involves the induction of new imprinted-like genes/DNA sequences in the germ line that appear to transmit disease phenotypes. The disease phenotypes include testis abnormalities, prostate disease, kidney disease, immune abnormalities, and tumor development. This epigenetic transgenerational disease mechanism provides a unique perspective from which to view inheritable adult onset disease states, such as cancer, and ultimately offers new insights into novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

  12. Fetal programming of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases: the role of epigenetic factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Piras

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the main epigenetic factors involved in shaping the brain’s physical structure during development will be reviewed, with special emphasis on those related to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease in adulthood. These factors are: preterm delivery, maternal diet, trace metals, intrauterine infection, maternal stress, drugs, alcohol. Epigenetics may allow a novel therapeutic and preventive approach for neurodegeneration. Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · Cagliari (Italy · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · The last ten years, the next ten years in Neonatology Guest Editors: Vassilios Fanos, Michele Mussap, Gavino Faa, Apostolos Papageorgiou

  13. Alcohol-induced histone acetylation reveals a gene network involved in alcohol tolerance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo Ghezzi

    Full Text Available Sustained or repeated exposure to sedating drugs, such as alcohol, triggers homeostatic adaptations in the brain that lead to the development of drug tolerance and dependence. These adaptations involve long-term changes in the transcription of drug-responsive genes as well as an epigenetic restructuring of chromosomal regions that is thought to signal and maintain the altered transcriptional state. Alcohol-induced epigenetic changes have been shown to be important in the long-term adaptation that leads to alcohol tolerance and dependence endophenotypes. A major constraint impeding progress is that alcohol produces a surfeit of changes in gene expression, most of which may not make any meaningful contribution to the ethanol response under study. Here we used a novel genomic epigenetic approach to find genes relevant for functional alcohol tolerance by exploiting the commonalities of two chemically distinct alcohols. In Drosophila melanogaster, ethanol and benzyl alcohol induce mutual cross-tolerance, indicating that they share a common mechanism for producing tolerance. We surveyed the genome-wide changes in histone acetylation that occur in response to these drugs. Each drug induces modifications in a large number of genes. The genes that respond similarly to either treatment, however, represent a subgroup enriched for genes important for the common tolerance response. Genes were functionally tested for behavioral tolerance to the sedative effects of ethanol and benzyl alcohol using mutant and inducible RNAi stocks. We identified a network of genes that are essential for the development of tolerance to sedation by alcohol.

  14. Gut indigenous microbiota and epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Arkadievich Shenderov

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This review introduces and discusses data regarding fundamental and applied investigations in mammalian epigenomics and gut microbiota received over the last 10 years. Analysis of these data enabled the author first to come to the conclusion that the multiple low molecular weight substances of indigenous gut microbiota origin should be considered one of the main endogenous factors actively participating in epigenomic mechanisms that responsible for the mammalian genome reprogramming and post-translated modifications. Gut microecological imbalance coursed by various biogenic and abiogenic agents and factors can produce the different epigenetic abnormalities and the onset and progression of metabolic diseases associated. The author substantiates the necessity to create an international project ‘Human Gut Microbiota and Epigenomics’ that facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations among scientists and clinicians engaged in host microbial ecology, nutrition, metagenomics, epigenomics and metabolomics investigations as well as in diseases prevention and treatment. Some priority scientific and applied directions in the current omic technologies coupled with gnotobiological approaches are suggested that can open a new era in characterizing the role of the symbiotic microbiota small metabolic and signal molecules in the host epigenomics. Although discussed subject is only at an early stage its validation can open novel approaches in drug discovery studies.

  15. Advanced Fabrication of Chemically Bonded Graphene/TiO2 Continuous Fibers with Enhanced Broadband Photocatalytic Properties and Involved Mechanisms Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qingzhe; Bao, Nan; Wang, Xinqiang; Hu, Xinde; Miao, Xinhan; Chaker, Mohamed; Ma, Dongling

    2016-12-01

    In this article, a novel route for the synthesis of graphene/TiO2 continuous fibers (GTF) using force-spinning combined with water vapor annealing method is reported for the first time. The morphology, structure and optical properties of the composite were fully characterized. With a single step of heat treatment process using steam at ambient conditions, we were able to initiate a series of chemical reactions, such as reduction of graphene oxide (GO), crystallization of TiO2, formation of C-Ti bond, and introduction of oxygen vacancies into TiO2. The incorporation of graphene in TiO2 fibers facilitated bandgap narrowing and improved photo-induced charge separation in the photocatalyst. As a result of synergistic effects, TiO2 fibers-2 wt% graphene (2%GTF) showed the highest photocatalytic activities in the degradation of X-3B under UV irradiation, superior to the benchmark photocatalyst P25. Under visible light irradiation, the same catalyst was about 4 times more efficient compared to pure TiO2 fibers (PTF). A detailed study of involved active species (in particular, ·, h+ and ·OH) unraveled the mechanism regarding photocatalysis.

  16. Widespread Epigenetic Abnormalities Suggest a Broad DNA Methylation Erasure Defect in Abnormal Human Sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegmund, Kimberly; Yang, Allen; Laird, Peter W.; Sokol, Rebecca Z.

    2007-01-01

    Background Male-factor infertility is a common condition, and etiology is unknown for a high proportion of cases. Abnormal epigenetic programming of the germline is proposed as a possible mechanism compromising spermatogenesis of some men currently diagnosed with idiopathic infertility. During germ cell maturation and gametogenesis, cells of the germ line undergo extensive epigenetic reprogramming. This process involves widespread erasure of somatic-like patterns of DNA methylation followed by establishment of sex-specific patterns by de novo DNA methylation. Incomplete reprogramming of the male germ line could, in theory, result in both altered sperm DNA methylation and compromised spermatogenesis. Methodology/Principal Finding We determined concentration, motility and morphology of sperm in semen samples collected by male members of couples attending an infertility clinic. Using MethyLight and Illumina assays we measured methylation of DNA isolated from purified sperm from the same samples. Methylation at numerous sequences was elevated in DNA from poor quality sperm. Conclusions This is the first report of a broad epigenetic defect associated with abnormal semen parameters. Our results suggest that the underlying mechanism for these epigenetic changes may be improper erasure of DNA methylation during epigenetic reprogramming of the male germ line. PMID:18074014

  17. Widespread epigenetic abnormalities suggest a broad DNA methylation erasure defect in abnormal human sperm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sahar Houshdaran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Male-factor infertility is a common condition, and etiology is unknown for a high proportion of cases. Abnormal epigenetic programming of the germline is proposed as a possible mechanism compromising spermatogenesis of some men currently diagnosed with idiopathic infertility. During germ cell maturation and gametogenesis, cells of the germ line undergo extensive epigenetic reprogramming. This process involves widespread erasure of somatic-like patterns of DNA methylation followed by establishment of sex-specific patterns by de novo DNA methylation. Incomplete reprogramming of the male germ line could, in theory, result in both altered sperm DNA methylation and compromised spermatogenesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We determined concentration, motility and morphology of sperm in semen samples collected by male members of couples attending an infertility clinic. Using MethyLight and Illumina assays we measured methylation of DNA isolated from purified sperm from the same samples. Methylation at numerous sequences was elevated in DNA from poor quality sperm. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of a broad epigenetic defect associated with abnormal semen parameters. Our results suggest that the underlying mechanism for these epigenetic changes may be improper erasure of DNA methylation during epigenetic reprogramming of the male germ line.

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetic regulation leading to induced pluripotency drives cancer development in vivo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohnishi, Kotaro [Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Department of Medicine, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu 501-1194 (Japan); Semi, Katsunori [Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (WPI-iCeMS), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Yamada, Yasuhiro, E-mail: y-yamada@cira.kyoto-u.ac.jp [Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (WPI-iCeMS), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan)

    2014-12-05

    Highlights: • Epigenetic regulation of failed reprogramming-associated cancer cells is discussed. • Similarity between pediatric cancer and reprogramming-associated cancer is discussed. • Concept for epigenetic cancer is discussed. - Abstract: Somatic cells can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by the transient expression of reprogramming factors. During the reprogramming process, somatic cells acquire the ability to undergo unlimited proliferation, which is also an important characteristic of cancer cells, while their underlying DNA sequence remains unchanged. Based on the characteristics shared between pluripotent stem cells and cancer cells, the potential involvement of the factors leading to reprogramming toward pluripotency in cancer development has been discussed. Recent in vivo reprogramming studies provided some clues to understanding the role of reprogramming-related epigenetic regulation in cancer development. It was shown that premature termination of the in vivo reprogramming result in the development of tumors that resemble pediatric cancers. Given that epigenetic modifications play a central role during reprogramming, failed reprogramming-associated cancer development may have provided a proof of concept for epigenetics-driven cancer development in vivo.

  20. The epigenetic control of hepatitis B virus modulates the outcome of infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemonica eKoumbi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications are stable alterations in gene expression that do not involve mutations of the genetic sequence itself. It has become increasingly clear that epigenetic factors contribute to the outcome of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV infection by affecting cellular and virion gene expression, viral replication and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. HBV persists in the nucleus of infected hepatocytes as a stable non-integrated covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA which functions as a minichromosome. There are two major forms of HBV epigenetic regulation: posttranslational modification of histone proteins associated with the cccDNA minichromosome and DNA methylation of viral and host genomes. This review explores how HBV can interphase with host epigenetic regulation in order to evade host defences and to promote its own survival and persistence. We focus on the effect of cccDNA bound-histone modifications and the methylation status of HBV DNA in regulating viral replication. Investigation of HBV epigenetic control has important clinical correlates with regards to the development of potential therapeutic regimens that will successfully eradicate HBV infection and deal with HBV reactivation in those undergoing treatment with demethylating agents.

  1. Transgenerational epigenetic imprinting of the male germline by endocrine disruptor exposure during gonadal sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hung-Shu; Anway, Matthew D; Rekow, Stephen S; Skinner, Michael K

    2006-12-01

    Embryonic exposure to the endocrine disruptor vinclozolin at the time of gonadal sex determination was previously found to promote transgenerational disease states. The actions of vinclozolin appear to be due to epigenetic alterations in the male germline that are transmitted to subsequent generations. Analysis of the transgenerational epigenetic effects on the male germline (i.e. sperm) identified 25 candidate DNA sequences with altered methylation patterns in the vinclozolin generation sperm. These sequences were identified and mapped to specific genes and noncoding DNA regions. Bisulfite sequencing was used to confirm the altered methylation pattern of 15 of the candidate DNA sequences. Alterations in the epigenetic pattern (i.e. methylation) of these genes/DNA sequences were found in the F2 and F3 generation germline. Therefore, the reprogramming of the male germline involves the induction of new imprinted-like genes/DNA sequences that acquire an apparent permanent DNA methylation pattern that is passed at least through the paternal allele. The expression pattern of several of the genes during embryonic development were found to be altered in the vinclozolin F1 and F2 generation testis. A number of the imprinted-like genes/DNA sequences identified are associated with epigenetic linked diseases. In summary, an endocrine disruptor exposure during embryonic gonadal sex determination was found to promote an alteration in the epigenetic (i.e. induction of imprinted-like genes/DNA sequences) programming of the male germline, and this is associated with the development of transgenerational disease states.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2012-08-01

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

  3. X-linked mental retardation and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froyen, Guy; Bauters, Marijke; Voet, Thierry; Marynen, Peter

    2006-01-01

    The search for the genetic defects in constitutional diseases has so far been restricted to direct methods for the identification of genetic mutations in the patients' genome. Traditional methods such as karyotyping, FISH, mutation screening, positional cloning and CGH, have been complemented with newer methods including array-CGH and PCR-based approaches (MLPA, qPCR). These methods have revealed a high number of genetic or genomic aberrations that result in an altered expression or reduced functional activity of key proteins. For a significant percentage of patients with congenital disease however, the underlying cause has not been resolved strongly suggesting that yet other mechanisms could play important roles in their etiology. Alterations of the 'native' epigenetic imprint might constitute such a novel mechanism. Epigenetics, heritable changes that do not rely on the nucleotide sequence, has already been shown to play a determining role in embryonic development, X-inactivation, and cell differentiation in mammals. Recent progress in the development of techniques to study these processes on full genome scale has stimulated researchers to investigate the role of epigenetic modifications in cancer as well as in constitutional diseases. We will focus on mental impairment because of the growing evidence for the contribution of epigenetics in memory formation and cognition. Disturbance of the epigenetic profile due to direct alterations at genomic regions, or failure of the epigenetic machinery due to genetic mutations in one of its components, has been demonstrated in cognitive derangements in a number of neurological disorders now. It is therefore tempting to speculate that the cognitive deficit in a significant percentage of patients with unexplained mental retardation results from epigenetic modifications.

  4. Environmental epigenomics: Current approaches to assess epigenetic effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC's) on human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia-Orozco, Natalia; Santiago-Toledo, Gerardo; Barrón, Valeria; Espinosa-García, Ana María; García-García, José Antonio; García-Arrazola, Roeb

    2017-02-10

    Environmental Epigenomics is a developing field to study the epigenetic effect on human health from exposure to environmental factors. Endocrine disrupting chemicals have been detected primarily in pharmaceutical drugs, personal care products, food additives, and food containers. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been associated with a high incidence and prevalence of many endocrine-related disorders in humans. Nevertheless, further evidence is needed to establish a correlation between exposure to EDC and human disorders. Conventional detection of EDCs is based on chemical structure and concentration sample analysis. However, substantial evidence has emerged, suggesting that cell exposure to EDCs leads to epigenetic changes, independently of its chemical structure with non-monotonic low-dose responses. Consequently, a paradigm shift in toxicology assessment of EDCs is proposed based on a comprehensive review of analytical techniques used to evaluate the epigenetic effects. Fundamental insights reported elsewhere are compared in order to establish DNA methylation analysis as a viable method for assessing endocrine disruptors beyond the conventional study approach of chemical structure and concentration analysis.

  5. 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.

  6. Gastric cancer and related epigenetic alterations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Trupti N; Roy, Soumyadipta; Ravi, Revathi

    2017-01-01

    Gastric cancer, a malignant and highly proliferative condition, has significantly affected a large population around the globe and is known to be caused by various factors including genetic, epigenetic, and environmental influences. Though the global trend of these cancers is declining, an increase in its frequency is still a threat because of changing lifestyles and dietary habits. However, genetic and epigenetic alterations related to gastric cancers also have an equivalent contribution towards carcinogenic development. DNA methylation is one of the major forms of epigenetic modification which plays a significant role in gastric carcinogenesis. Methylation leads to inactivation of some of the most important genes like DNA repair genes, cell cycle regulators, apoptotic genes, transcriptional regulators, and signalling pathway regulators; which subsequently cause uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Mutations in these genes can be used as suitable prognostic markers for early diagnosis of the disease, since late diagnosis of gastric cancers has a huge negative impact on overall patient survival. In this review, we focus on the important epigenetic mutations that contribute to the development of gastric cancer and the molecular pathogenesis underlying each of them. Methylation, acetylation, and histone modifications play an integral role in the onset of genomic instability, one of the many contributory factors to gastric cancer. This article also covers the constraints of incomplete knowledge of epigenetic factors influencing gastric cancer, thus throwing light on our understanding of the disease. PMID:28144288

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Epigenetic regulation of active Chinese herbal components for cancer prevention and treatment: A follow-up review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zhiying; Huang, Qiuju; Ji, Liyan; Wang, Ying; Qi, Xiaoxiao; Liu, Liang; Liu, Zhongqiu; Lu, Linlin

    2016-12-01

    Epigenetic modifications include DNA methylation, histone modification, and other patterns. These processes are associated with carcinogenesis and cancer progression. Thus, epigenetic modification-related enzymes, such as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), histone methyltransferases (HMTs), histone demethylases (HDMTs), histone acetyltransferases (HATs), and histone deacetylases (HDACs), as well as some related proteins, including methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBPs) and DNMT1-associated protein (DMAP 1), are considered as potential targets for cancer prevention and therapy. Numerous natural compounds, mainly derived from Chinese herbs and chemically ranging from polyphenols and flavonoids to mineral salts, inhibit the growth and development of various cancers by targeting multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations. This review summarizes the epigenetic mechanisms by which active compounds from Chinese herbs exert their anti-cancer effect. A subset of these compounds, such as curcumin and resveratrol, affect multiple epigenetic processes, including DNMT inhibition, HDAC inactivation, MBP suppression, HAT activation, and microRNA modulation. Other compounds also regulate epigenetic modification processes, but the underlying mechanisms and clear targets remain unknown. Accordingly, further studies are required.

  10. Current status and future prospects for epigenetic psychopharmacology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boks, Marco P; de Jong, Noëlle M; Kas, Martien J H; Vinkers, Christiaan H; Fernandes, Cathy; Kahn, René S; Mill, Jonathan; Ophoff, Roel A

    2012-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggest that epigenetic regulation of brain functions is important in the etiology of psychiatric disorders. These epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone acetylation, are influenced by many pharmaceutical compounds including psychiatric drugs. It is t

  11. 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

  12. Individual epigenetic variation: When, why, and so what?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epigenetics provides a potential explanation for how environmental factors modify the risk for common diseases among individuals. Interindividual variation in DNA methylation and epigenetic regulation has been reported at specific genomic regions including transposable elements, genomically imprinte...

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms Facilitating Oligodendrocyte Development, Maturation, and Aging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Copray, Sjef; Huynh, Jimmy Long; Sher, Falak; Casaccia-Bonnefil, Patrizia; Boddeke, Erik

    2009-01-01

    The process of oligodendrocyte differentiation is regulated by a dynamic interaction between a genetic and an epigenetic program. Recent studies, addressing nucleosomal histone modifications have considerably increased our knowledge regarding epigenetic regulation of gene expression during oligodend

  14. Age-associated epigenetic drift: implications, and a case of epigenetic thrift?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teschendorff, Andrew E; West, James; Beck, Stephan

    2013-10-15

    It is now well established that the genomic landscape of DNA methylation (DNAm) gets altered as a function of age, a process we here call 'epigenetic drift'. The biological, functional, clinical and evolutionary significance of this epigenetic drift, however, remains unclear. We here provide a brief review of epigenetic drift, focusing on the potential implications for ageing, stem cell biology and disease risk prediction. It has been demonstrated that epigenetic drift affects most of the genome, suggesting a global deregulation of DNAm patterns with age. A component of this drift is tissue-specific, allowing remarkably accurate age-predictive models to be constructed. Another component is tissue-independent, targeting stem cell differentiation pathways and affecting stem cells, which may explain the observed decline of stem cell function with age. Age-associated increases in DNAm target developmental genes, overlapping those associated with environmental disease risk factors and with disease itself, notably cancer. In particular, cancers and precursor cancer lesions exhibit aggravated age DNAm signatures. Epigenetic drift is also influenced by genetic factors. Thus, drift emerges as a promising biomarker for premature or biological ageing, and could potentially be used in geriatrics for disease risk prediction. Finally, we propose, in the context of human evolution, that epigenetic drift may represent a case of epigenetic thrift, or bet-hedging. In summary, this review demonstrates the growing importance of the 'ageing epigenome', with potentially far-reaching implications for understanding the effect of age on stem cell function and differentiation, as well as for disease prevention.

  15. Epigenetically Mediated Pathogenic Effects of Phenanthrene on Regulatory T Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Liu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenanthrene (Phe, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH, is a major constituent of urban air pollution. There have been conflicting results regarding the role of other AhR ligands 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD and 6-formylindolo [3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ in modifying regulatory T cell populations (Treg or T helper (Th17 differentiation, and the effects of Phe have been understudied. We hypothesized that different chemical entities of PAH induce Treg to become either Th2 or Th17 effector T cells through epigenetic modification of FOXP3. To determine specific effects on T cell populations by phenanthrene, primary human Treg were treated with Phe, TCDD, or FICZ and assessed for function, gene expression, and phenotype. Methylation of CpG sites within the FOXP3 locus reduced FOXP3 expression, leading to impaired Treg function and conversion of Treg into a CD4+CD25lo Th2 phenotype in Phe-treated cells. Conversely, TCDD treatment led to epigenetic modification of IL-17A and conversion of Treg to Th17 T cells. These findings present a mechanism by which exposure to AhR-ligands mediates human T cell responses and begins to elucidate the relationship between environmental exposures, immune modulation, and initiation of human disease.

  16. Gene-Environment Interactions in Asthma: Genetic and Epigenetic Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jong-Uk; Kim, Jeong Dong; Park, Choon-Sik

    2015-07-01

    Over the past three decades, a large number of genetic studies have been aimed at finding genetic variants associated with the risk of asthma, applying various genetic and genomic approaches including linkage analysis, candidate gene polymorphism studies, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, contrary to general expectation, even single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) discovered by GWAS failed to fully explain the heritability of asthma. Thus, application of rare allele polymorphisms in well defined phenotypes and clarification of environmental factors have been suggested to overcome the problem of 'missing' heritability. Such factors include allergens, cigarette smoke, air pollutants, and infectious agents during pre- and post-natal periods. The first and simplest interaction between a gene and the environment is a candidate interaction of both a well known gene and environmental factor in a direct physical or chemical interaction such as between CD14 and endotoxin or between HLA and allergens. Several GWAS have found environmental interactions with occupational asthma, aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease, tobacco smoke-related airway dysfunction, and farm-related atopic diseases. As one of the mechanisms behind gene-environment interaction is epigenetics, a few studies on DNA CpG methylation have been reported on subphenotypes of asthma, pitching the exciting idea that it may be possible to intervene at the junction between the genome and the environment. Epigenetic studies are starting to include data from clinical samples, which will make them another powerful tool for re-search on gene-environment interactions in asthma.

  17. Physics of epigenetic landscapes and statistical inference by cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Alex H.

    Biology is currently in the midst of a revolution. Great technological advances have led to unprecedented quantitative data at the whole genome level. However, new techniques are needed to deal with this deluge of high-dimensional data. Therefore, statistical physics has the potential to help develop systems biology level models that can incorporate complex data. Additionally, physicists have made great strides in understanding non-equilibrium thermodynamics. However, the consequences of these advances have yet to be fully incorporated into biology. There are three specific problems that I address in my dissertation. First, a common metaphor for describing development is a rugged "epigenetic landscape'' where cell fates are represented as attracting valleys resulting from a complex regulatory network. I introduce a framework for explicitly constructing epigenetic landscapes that combines genomic data with techniques from spin-glass physics. The model reproduces known reprogramming protocols and identifies candidate transcription factors for reprogramming to novel cell fates, suggesting epigenetic landscapes are a powerful paradigm for understanding cellular identity. Second, I examine the dynamics of cellular reprogramming. By reanalyzing all available time-series data, I show that gene expression dynamics during reprogramming follow a simple one-dimensional reaction coordinate that is independent of both the time and details of experimental protocol used. I show that such a reaction coordinate emerges naturally from epigenetic landscape models of cell identity where cellular reprogramming is viewed as a "barrier-crossing'' between the starting and ending cell fates. Overall, the analysis and model suggest that gene expression dynamics during reprogramming follow a canonical trajectory consistent with the idea of an ``optimal path'' in gene expression space for reprogramming. Third, an important task of cells is to perform complex computations in response to

  18. MicroRNAs, epigenetics and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silahtaroglu, Asli; Stenvang, Jan

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Diagnostic and prognostic epigenetic biomarkers in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa-Pinheiro, Pedro; Montezuma, Diana; Henrique, Rui; Jerónimo, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Growing cancer incidence and mortality worldwide demands development of accurate biomarkers to perfect detection, diagnosis, prognostication and monitoring. Urologic (prostate, bladder, kidney), lung, breast and colorectal cancers are the most common and despite major advances in their characterization, this has seldom translated into biomarkers amenable for clinical practice. Epigenetic alterations are innovative cancer biomarkers owing to stability, frequency, reversibility and accessibility in body fluids, entailing great potential of assay development to assist in patient management. Several studies identified putative epigenetic cancer biomarkers, some of which have been commercialized. However, large multicenter validation studies are required to foster translation to the clinics. Herein we review the most promising epigenetic detection, diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers for the most common cancers.

  20. [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.

  1. Therapeutic perspectives of epigenetically active nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remely, M; Lovrecic, L; de la Garza, A L; Migliore, L; Peterlin, B; Milagro, F I; Martinez, A J; Haslberger, A G

    2015-01-01

    Many nutrients are known for a wide range of activities in prevention and alleviation of various diseases. Recently, their potential role in regulating human health through effects on epigenetics has become evident, although specific mechanisms are still unclear. Thus, nutriepigenetics/nutriepigenomics has emerged as a new and promising field in current epigenetics research in the past few years. In particular, polyphenols, as part of the central dynamic interaction between the genome and the environment with specificity at physiological concentrations, are well known to affect mechanisms underlying human health. This review summarizes the effects of dietary compounds on epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of gene expression including expression of enzymes and other molecules responsible for drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion in cancer, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders and hormonal dysfunction. PMID:25046997

  2. Epigenetic Regulation of Adaptive NK Cell Diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesi, Bianca; Schlums, Heinrich; Cichocki, Frank; Bryceson, Yenan T

    2016-07-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells were previously considered to represent short-lived, innate lymphocytes. However, mouse models have revealed expansion and persistence of differentiated NK cell subsets in response to cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, paralleling antigen-specific T cell differentiation. Congruently, analyses of humans have uncovered CMV-associated NK cell subsets characterized by epigenetic diversification processes that lead to altered target cell specificities and functional capacities. Here, focusing on responses to viruses, we review similarities and differences between mouse and human adaptive NK cells, identifying molecular analogies that may be key to transcriptional reprogramming and functional alterations. We discuss possible molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic diversification and hypothesize that processes driving epigenetic diversification may represent a more widespread mechanism for fine-tuning and optimization of cellular immunity.

  3. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihye eYun

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  5. p300 exerts an epigenetic role in chronic neuropathic pain through its acetyltransferase activity in rats following chronic constriction injury (CCI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Xiao-Yan

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuropathic pain is detrimental to human health; however, its pathogenesis still remains largely unknown. Overexpression of pain-associated genes and increased nociceptive somato-sensitivity are well observed in neuropathic pain. The importance of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the expression of pro- or anti-nociceptive genes has been revealed by studies recently, and we hypothesize that the transcriptional coactivator and the histone acetyltransferase E1A binding protein p300 (p300, as a part of the epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation, may be involved in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI. To test this hypothesis, two different approaches were used in this study: (I down-regulating p300 with specific small hairpin RNA (shRNA and (II chemical inhibition of p300 acetyltransferase activity by a small molecule inhibitor, C646. Results Using the CCI rat model, we found that the p300 expression was increased in the lumbar spinal cord on day 14 after CCI. The treatment with intrathecal p300 shRNA reversed CCI-induced mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, and suppressed the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2, a neuropathic pain-associated factor. Furthermore, C646, an inhibitor of p300 acetyltransferase, also attenuated mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, accompanied by a suppressed COX-2 expression, in the spinal cord. Conclusions The results suggest that, through its acetyltransferase activity in the spinal cord after CCI, p300 epigenetically plays an important role in neuropathic pain. Inhibiting p300, using interfering RNA or C646, may be a promising approach to the development of new neuropathic pain therapies.

  6. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Kuldip S Trehan; Kulbir S Gill

    2002-03-01

    We have isolated and purified two parental homodimers and a unique heterodimer of acid phosphatase [coded by Acph-11.05() and Acph-10.95()] from isogenic homozygotes and heterozygotes of Drosophila malerkotliana. and produce qualitatively different allozymes and the two alleles are expressed equally within and across all three genotypes and and play an equal role in the epigenetics of dominance. Subunit interaction in the heterodimer over a wide range of H+ concentrations accounts for the epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity.

  7. Epigenetic Modifications in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael James Burke

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Aberrant epigenetic modifications are well-recognized drivers for oncogenesis. Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL is no exception and serves as a model toward the significant impact these heritable alterations can have in leukemogenesis. In this brief review, we will focus on the main aspects of epigenetics which control leukemogenesis in pediatric ALL, mainly DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA alterations. As we continue to gain better understanding of the driving mechanisms for pediatric ALL at both diagnosis and relapse, therapeutic interventions directed toward these pathways and mechanisms can be harnessed and introduced into clinical trials for pediatric ALL.

  8. Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging of human liver

    OpenAIRE

    Horvath, S; Erhart, W.; Brosch, M; Ammerpohl, O.; von Schonfels, W.; Ahrens, M.; Heits, N.; Bell, J.T.; Tsai, P.-C.; Spector, T D; Deloukas, P.; Siebert, R.; Sipos, B.; Becker, T.; Rocken, C.

    2014-01-01

    Because obese people are at an increased risk of many age-related diseases, it is a plausible hypothesis that obesity increases the biological age of some tissues and cell types. However, it has been difficult to detect such an accelerated aging effect because it is unclear how to measure tissue age. Here we use a recently developed biomarker of aging (known as “epigenetic clock”) to study the relationship between epigenetic age and obesity in several human tissues. We report an unexpectedly ...

  9. Epigenetic dynamics in psychiatric disorders : environmental programming of neurodevelopmental processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kofink, Daniel; Boks, Marco P M; Timmers, H T Marc; Kas, Martien J

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic processes have profound influence on gene translation and play a key role in embryonic development and tissue type specification. Recent advances in our understanding of epigenetics have pointed out that epigenetic alterations also play an important role in neurodevelopment and may increa

  10. Epigenetic dynamics in psychiatric disorders : Environmental programming of neurodevelopmental processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kofink, Daniel; Boks, Marco P. M.; Timmers, H. T. Marc; Kas, Martien J.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic processes have profound influence on gene translation and play a key role in embryonic development and tissue type specification. Recent advances in our understanding of epigenetics have pointed out that epigenetic alterations also play an important role in neurodevelopment and may increa

  11. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeltsch, Albert

    2011-12-01

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

  13. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eri Saijo

    2013-10-01

    the otherwise unfavorable U conformer. This epigenetic mechanism thus expands the range of selectable conformations that can be adopted by PrP, and therefore the variety of options for strain propagation.

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms in pulmonary arterial hypertension: the need for global perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash Chelladurai

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH is a severe and progressive disease, characterised by high pulmonary artery pressure that usually culminates in right heart failure. Recent findings of alterations in the DNA methylation state of superoxide dismutase 2 and granulysin gene loci; histone H1 levels; aberrant expression levels of histone deacetylases and bromodomain-containing protein 4; and dysregulated microRNA networks together suggest the involvement of epigenetics in PAH pathogenesis. Thus, PAH pathogenesis evidently involves the interplay of a predisposed genetic background, epigenetic state and injurious events. Profiling the genome-wide alterations in the epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation or histone modification pattern in PAH vascular cells, may explain the great variability in susceptibility and disease severity that is frequently associated with pronounced remodelling and worse clinical outcome. Moreover, the influence of genetic predisposition and the acquisition of epigenetic alterations in response to environmental cues in PAH progression and establishment has largely been unexplored on a genome-wide scale. In order to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of PAH and to design novel therapeutic strategies, high-throughput approaches have to be adopted to facilitate systematic identification of the disease-specific networks using next-generation sequencing technologies, the application of these technologies in PAH has been relatively trivial to date.

  15. 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.

  16. Modulation of neurogenesis by targeting epigenetic enzymes using small molecules: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swaminathan, Amrutha; Kumar, Manoj; Halder Sinha, Sarmistha; Schneider-Anthony, Anne; Boutillier, Anne-Laurence; Kundu, Tapas K

    2014-12-17

    Neurogenesis consists of a plethora of complex cellular processes including neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation, migration, maturation or differentiation to neurons, and finally integration into the pre-existing neural circuits in the brain, which are temporally regulated and coordinated sequentially. Mammalian neurogenesis begins during embryonic development and continues in postnatal brain (adult neurogenesis). It is now evident that adult neurogenesis is driven by extracellular and intracellular signaling pathways, where epigenetic modifications like reversible histone acetylation, methylation, as well as DNA methylation play a vital role. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression during neural development is governed mainly by histone acetyltransferases (HATs), histone methyltransferase (HMTs), DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), and also the enzymes for reversal, like histone deacetylases (HDACs), and many of these have also been shown to be involved in the regulation of adult neurogenesis. The contribution of these epigenetic marks to neurogenesis is increasingly being recognized, through knockout studies and small molecule modulator based studies. These small molecules are directly involved in regeneration and repair of neurons, and not only have applications from a therapeutic point of view, but also provide a tool to study the process of neurogenesis itself. In the present Review, we will focus on small molecules that act predominantly on epigenetic enzymes to enhance neurogenesis and neuroprotection and discuss the mechanism and recent advancements in their synthesis, targeting, and biology.

  17. Heat-induced release of epigenetic silencing reveals the concealed role of an imprinted plant gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego H Sanchez

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms suppress the transcription of transposons and DNA repeats; however, this suppression can be transiently released under prolonged heat stress. Here we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana imprinted gene SDC, which is silent during vegetative growth due to DNA methylation, is activated by heat and contributes to recovery from stress. SDC activation seems to involve epigenetic mechanisms but not canonical heat-shock perception and signaling. The heat-mediated transcriptional induction of SDC occurs particularly in young developing leaves and is proportional to the level of stress. However, this occurs only above a certain window of absolute temperatures and, thus, resembles a thermal-sensing mechanism. In addition, the re-silencing kinetics during recovery can be entrained by repeated heat stress cycles, suggesting that epigenetic regulation in plants may conserve memory of stress experience. We further demonstrate that SDC contributes to the recovery of plant biomass after stress. We propose that transcriptional gene silencing, known to be involved in gene imprinting, is also co-opted in the specific tuning of SDC expression upon heat stress and subsequent recovery. It is therefore possible that dynamic properties of the epigenetic landscape associated with silenced or imprinted genes may contribute to regulation of their expression in response to environmental challenges.

  18. 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.

  19. Ovarian carcinomas with genetic and epigenetic BRCA1 loss have distinct molecular abnormalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miller Dianne M

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Subclassification of ovarian carcinomas can be used to guide treatment and determine prognosis. Germline and somatic mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH, and epigenetic events such as promoter hypermethylation can lead to decreased expression of BRCA1/2 in ovarian cancers. The mechanism of BRCA1/2 loss is a potential method of subclassifying high grade serous carcinomas. Methods A consecutive series of 49 ovarian cancers was assessed for mutations status of BRCA1 and BRCA2, LOH at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 loci, methylation of the BRCA1 promoter, BRCA1, BRCA2, PTEN, and PIK3CA transcript levels, PIK3CA gene copy number, and BRCA1, p21, p53, and WT-1 immunohistochemistry. Results Eighteen (37% of the ovarian carcinomas had germline or somatic BRCA1 mutations, or epigenetic loss of BRCA1. All of these tumours were high-grade serous or undifferentiated type. None of the endometrioid (n = 5, clear cell (n = 4, or low grade serous (n = 2 carcinomas showed loss of BRCA1, whereas 47% of the 38 high-grade serous or undifferentiated carcinomas had loss of BRCA1. It was possible to distinguish high grade serous carcinomas with BRCA1 mutations from those with epigenetic BRCA1 loss: tumours with BRCA1 mutations typically had decreased PTEN mRNA levels while those with epigenetic loss of BRCA1 had copy number gain of PIK3CA. Overexpression of p53 with loss of p21 expression occurred significantly more frequently in high grade serous carcinomas with epigenetic loss of BRCA1, compared to high grade serous tumors without loss of BRCA1. Conclusion High grade serous carcinomas can be subclassified into three groups: BRCA1 loss (genetic, BRCA1 loss (epigenetic, and no BRCA1 loss. Tumors in these groups show distinct molecular alterations involving the PI3K/AKT and p53 pathways.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  1. Ovarian carcinomas with genetic and epigenetic BRCA1 loss have distinct molecular abnormalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilks, C. Blake; Press, Joshua Z.; De Luca, Alessandro; Boyd, Niki; Young, Sean; Troussard, Armelle; Ridge, Yolanda; Kaurah, Pardeep; Kalloger, Steve E.; Blood, Katherine A.; Smith, Margaret; Spellman, Paul T.; Wang, Yuker; Miller, Dianne M.; Horsman, Doug; Faham, Malek; Gilks, C. Blake; Gray, Joe; Huntsman, David G.

    2008-05-02

    Subclassification of ovarian carcinomas can be used to guide treatment and determine prognosis. Germline and somatic mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and epigenetic events such as promoter hypermethylation can lead to decreased expression of BRCA1/2 in ovarian cancers. The mechanism of BRCA1/2 loss is a potential method of subclassifying high grade serous carcinomas. A consecutive series of 49 ovarian cancers was assessed for mutations status of BRCA1 and BRCA2, LOH at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 loci, methylation of the BRCA1 promoter, BRCA1, BRCA2, PTEN, and PIK3CA transcript levels, PIK3CA gene copy number, and BRCA1, p21, p53, and WT-1 immunohistochemistry. Eighteen (37%) of the ovarian carcinomas had germline or somatic BRCA1 mutations, or epigenetic loss of BRCA1. All of these tumors were high-grade serous or undifferentiated type. None of the endometrioid (n=5), clear cell (n=4), or low grade serous (n=2) carcinomas showed loss of BRCA1, whereas 47% of the 38 high-grade serous or undifferentiated carcinomas had loss of BRCA1. It was possible to distinguish high grade serous carcinomas with BRCA1 mutations from those with epigenetic BRCA1 loss: tumors with BRCA1 mutations typically had decreased PTEN mRNA levels while those with epigenetic loss of BRCA1 had copy number gain of PIK3CA. Overexpression of p53 with loss of p21 expression occurred significantly more frequently in high grade serous carcinomas with epigenetic loss of BRCA1, compared to high grade serous tumors without loss of BRCA1. High grade serous carcinomas can be subclassified into three groups: BRCA1 loss (genetic), BRCA1 loss (epigenetic), and no BRCA1 loss. Tumors in these groups show distinct molecular alterations involving the PI3K/AKT and p53 pathways.

  2. Ovarian carcinomas with genetic and epigenetic BRCA1 loss havedistinct molecular abnormalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Press, Joshua Z.; De Luca, Alessandro; Boyd, Niki; Young, Sean; Troussard, Armelle; Ridge, Yolanda; Kaurah, Pardeep; Kalloger, Steve E.; Blood, Katherine A.; Smith, Margaret; Spellman, Paul T.; Wang, Yuker; Miller, Dianne M.; Horsman, Doug; Faham, Malek; Gilks, C. Blake; Gray,Joe; Huntsman, David G.

    2007-07-23

    Subclassification of ovarian carcinomas can be used to guide treatment and determine prognosis. Germline and somatic mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and epigenetic events such as promoter hypermethylation can lead to decreased expression of BRCA1/2 in ovarian cancers. The mechanism of BRCA1/2 loss is a potential method of subclassifying high grade serous carcinomas. A consecutive series of 49 ovarian cancers was assessed for mutations status of BRCA1 and BRCA2, LOH at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 loci, methylation of the BRCA1 promoter, BRCA1, BRCA2, PTEN, and PIK3CA transcript levels, PIK3CA gene copy number, and BRCA1, p21, p53, and WT-1 immunohistochemistry. Eighteen (37%) of the ovarian carcinomas had germline or somatic BRCA1 mutations, or epigenetic loss of BRCA1. All of these tumors were high-grade serous or undifferentiated type. None of the endometrioid (n = 5), clear cell (n = 4), or low grade serous (n = 2) carcinomas showed loss of BRCA1, whereas 47% of the 38 high-grade serous or undifferentiated carcinomas had loss of BRCA1. It was possible to distinguish high grade serous carcinomas with BRCA1 mutations from those with epigenetic BRCA1 loss: tumors with BRCA1 mutations typically had decreased PTEN mRNA levels while those with epigenetic loss of BRCA1 had copy number gain of PIK3CA. Overexpression of p53 with loss of p21 expression occurred significantly more frequently in high grade serous carcinomas with epigenetic loss of BRCA1, compared to high grade serous tumors without loss of BRCA1. High grade serous carcinomas can be subclassified into three groups: BRCA1 loss (genetic), BRCA1 loss (epigenetic), and no BRCA1 loss. Tumors in these groups show distinct molecular alterations involving the PI3K/AKT and p53 pathways.

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

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    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.

  4. Towards incorporating epigenetic mechanisms into carcinogen identification and evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herceg, Zdenko; Lambert, Marie-Pierre; van Veldhoven, Karin; Demetriou, Christiana; Vineis, Paolo; Smith, Martyn T; Straif, Kurt; Wild, Christopher P

    2013-09-01

    Remarkable progress in the field of epigenetics has turned academic, medical and public attention to the potential applications of these new advances in medicine and various fields of biomedical research. The result is a broader appreciation of epigenetic phenomena in the a etiology of common human diseases, most notably cancer. These advances also represent an exciting opportunity to incorporate epigenetics and epigenomics into carcinogen identification and safety assessment. Current epigenetic studies, including major international sequencing projects, are expected to generate information for establishing the 'normal' epigenome of tissues and cell types as well as the physiological variability of the epigenome against which carcinogen exposure can be assessed. Recently, epigenetic events have emerged as key mechanisms in cancer development, and while our search of the Monograph Volume 100 revealed that epigenetics have played a modest role in evaluating human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs so far, epigenetic data might play a pivotal role in the future. Here, we review (i) the current status of incorporation of epigenetics in carcinogen evaluation in the IARC Monographs Programme, (ii) potential modes of action for epigenetic carcinogens, (iii) current in vivo and in vitro technologies to detect epigenetic carcinogens, (iv) genomic regions and epigenetic modifications and their biological consequences and (v) critical technological and biological issues in assessment of epigenetic carcinogens. We also discuss the issues related to opportunities and challenges in the application of epigenetic testing in carcinogen identification and evaluation. Although the application of epigenetic assays in carcinogen evaluation is still in its infancy, important data are being generated and valuable scientific resources are being established that should catalyse future applications of epigenetic testing.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Foetal development of germ cells is a unique biological process orchestrated by cellular specification, migration and niche development in concert with extensive epigenetic and transcriptional programs. Many of these processes take place early in foetal life and are hence very difficult to study....... In this review, we will focus on current knowledge of the epigenetics of CIS cells and relate it to the epigenetic changes occurring in early developing germ cells of mice during specification, migration and colonization. We will focus on DNA methylation and some of the best studied histone modifications like H3......K9me2, H3K27me3 and H3K9ac. We also show that CIS cells contain high levels of H3K27ac, which is known to mark active enhancers. Proper epigenetic reprogramming seems to be a pre-requisite of normal foetal germ cell development and we propose that alterations in these programs may be a pathogenic...

  6. CROSSOVERS BETWEEN EPIGENESIS AND EPIGENETICS. A MULTICENTER APPROACH TO THE HISTORY OF EPIGENETICS (1901-1975).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Rossella; Frezza, Giulia

    2014-01-01

    The origin of epigenetics has been traditionally traced back to Conrad Hal Waddington's foundational work in 1940s. The aim of the present paper is to reveal a hidden history of epigenetics, by means of a multicenter approach. Our analysis shows that genetics and embryology in early XX century--far from being non-communicating vessels--shared similar questions, as epitomized by Thomas Hunt Morgan's works. Such questions were rooted in the theory of epigenesis and set the scene for the development of epigenetics. Since the 1950s, the contribution of key scientists (Mary Lyon and Eduardo Scarano), as well as the discussions at the international conference of Gif-sur-Yvette (1957) paved the way for three fundamental shifts of focus: 1. From the whole embryo to the gene; 2. From the gene to the complex extranuclear processes of development; 3. From cytoplasmic inheritance to the epigenetics mechanisms.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic silencing of CYP24 in the tumor microenvironment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Candace S.; Chung, Ivy; Trump, Donald L.

    2010-01-01

    Calcitriol (1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol) has significant antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo in a number of tumor model systems. We developed a system for isolation of fresh endothelial cells from tumors and Matrigel environments which demonstrate that CYP24, the catabolic enzyme involved in vitamin D signaling, is epigenetically silenced selectively in tumor-derived endothelial cells (TDEC). TDEC maintain phenotypic characteristics which are distinct from endothelial cells isolated from normal tissues and from Matrigel plugs (MDEC). In TDEC, calcitriol induces G0/G1 arrest, modulates p27 and p21, and induces apoptotic cell death and decreases P-Erk and P-Akt. In contrast, endothelial cells isolated from normal tissues and MDEC are unresponsive to calcitriol-mediated anti-proliferative effects despite intact signaling through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). In TDEC, which is sensitive to calcitriol, the CYP24 promoter is hypermethylated in two CpG island regions located at the 5′end; this hypermethylation may contribute to gene silencing of CYP24. The extent of methylation in these two regions is significantly less in MDEC. Lastly, treatment of TDEC with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor restores calcitriol-mediated induction of CYP24 and resistance to calcitriol. These data suggest that epigenetic silencing of CYP24 modulates cellular responses to calcitriol. PMID:20304059

  9. An epigenetic hypothesis for the genomic memory of pain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian eAlvarado

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Chronic pain is accompanied with long-term sensory, affective and cognitive disturbances. What are the mechanisms that mediate the long-term consequences of painful experiences and embed them in the genome? We hypothesize that alterations in DNA methylation, an enzymatic covalent modification of cytosine bases in DNA, serve as a genomic memory of pain in the adult cortex. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism for long-term regulation of gene expression. Neuronal plasticity at the neuroanatomical, functional, morphological, physiological and molecular levels has been demonstrated throughout the neuroaxis in response to persistent pain, including in the adult prefrontal cortex (PFC. We have previously reported widespread changes in gene expression and DNA methylation in the PFC many months following peripheral nerve injury. In support of this hypothesis, we show here that up-regulation of a gene involved with synaptic function, Synaptotagmin II (syt2, in the PFC in a chronic pain model is associated with long-term changes in DNA methylation. The challenges of understanding the contributions of epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation within the PFC to pain chronicity and their therapeutic implications are discussed.

  10. An epigenetic hypothesis for the genomic memory of pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado, Sebastian; Tajerian, Maral; Suderman, Matthew; Machnes, Ziv; Pierfelice, Stephanie; Millecamps, Magali; Stone, Laura S; Szyf, Moshe

    2015-01-01

    Chronic pain is accompanied with long-term sensory, affective and cognitive disturbances. What are the mechanisms that mediate the long-term consequences of painful experiences and embed them in the genome? We hypothesize that alterations in DNA methylation, an enzymatic covalent modification of cytosine bases in DNA, serve as a "genomic" memory of pain in the adult cortex. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism for long-term regulation of gene expression. Neuronal plasticity at the neuroanatomical, functional, morphological, physiological and molecular levels has been demonstrated throughout the neuroaxis in response to persistent pain, including in the adult prefrontal cortex (PFC). We have previously reported widespread changes in gene expression and DNA methylation in the PFC many months following peripheral nerve injury. In support of this hypothesis, we show here that up-regulation of a gene involved with synaptic function, Synaptotagmin II (syt2), in the PFC in a chronic pain model is associated with long-term changes in DNA methylation. The challenges of understanding the contributions of epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation within the PFC to pain chronicity and their therapeutic implications are discussed.

  11. Genetic variants in epigenetic genes and breast cancer risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebrian, Arancha; Pharoah, Paul D; Ahmed, Shahana; Ropero, Santiago; Fraga, Mario F; Smith, Paula L; Conroy, Don; Luben, Robert; Perkins, Barbara; Easton, Douglas F; Dunning, Alison M; Esteller, Manel; Ponder, Bruce A J

    2006-08-01

    Epigenetic events, resulting changes in gene expression capacity, are important in tumour progression, and variation in genes involved in epigenetic mechanisms might therefore be important in cancer susceptibility. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined common variants in 12 genes coding for DNA methyltransferases (DNMT), histone acetyltransferases, histone deacetyltransferases, histone methyltrasferases and methyl-CpG binding domain proteins, for association with breast cancer in a large case-control study (N cases = 4474 and N controls = 4580). We identified 63 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that efficiently tag all the known common variants in these genes, and are also expected to tag any unknown SNP in each gene. We found some evidence for association for six SNPs: DNMT3b-c31721t [P (2 df) = 0.007], PRDM2-c99243 t [P (2 df) = 0.03] and t105413c [P-recessive = 0.05], EHMT1-g-9441a [P (2df) = 0.05] and g41451t (P-trend = 0.04), and EHMT2-S237S [P (2df) = 0.04]. The most significant result was for DNMT3b-c31721t (P-trend = 0.124 after adjusting for multiple testing). However, there were three other results with P variants in histone methyltransferases, and warrant the design of larger epidemiological and biochemical studies to establish the true meaning of these findings.

  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. A longitudinal study of epigenetic variation in twins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspi, Avshalom; Williams, Benjamin; Craig, Ian W; Houts, Renate; Ambler, Antony; Moffitt, Terrie E; Mill, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mechanism involved in the developmental regulation of gene expression. Alterations in DNA methylation are established contributors to inter-individual phenotypic variation and have been associated with disease susceptibility. The degree to which changes in loci-specific DNA methylation are under the influence of heritable and environmental factors is largely unknown. In this study, we quantitatively measured DNA methylation across the promoter regions of the dopamine receptor 4 gene (DRD4), the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4/SERT) and the X-linked monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) using DNA sampled at both ages 5 and 10 years in 46 MZ twinpairs and 45 DZ twin-pairs (total n = 182). Our data suggest that DNA methylation differences are apparent already in early childhood, even between genetically identical individuals, and that individual differences in methylation are not stable over time. Our longitudinal-developmental study suggests that environmental influences are important factors accounting for interindividual DNA methylation differences, and that these influences differ across the genome. The observation of dynamic changes in DNA methylation over time highlights the importance of longitudinal research designs for epigenetic research. PMID:20505345

  15. Current Views on Genetics and Epigenetics of Cholesterol Gallstone Disease

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    Agostino Di Ciaula

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol gallstone disease, one of the commonest digestive diseases in western countries, is induced by an imbalance in cholesterol metabolism, which involves intestinal absorption, hepatic biosynthesis, and biliary output of cholesterol, and its conversion to bile acids. Several components of the metabolic syndrome (e.g., obesity, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hyperinsulinemia are also well-known risk factors for gallstones, suggesting the existence of interplay between common pathophysiological pathways influenced by insulin resistance, genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Cholesterol gallstones may be enhanced, at least in part, by the abnormal expression of a set of the genes that affect cholesterol homeostasis and lead to insulin resistance. Additionally, epigenetic mechanisms (mainly DNA methylation, histone acetylation/deacetylation, and noncoding microRNAs may modify gene expression in the absence of an altered DNA sequence, in response to different lithogenic environmental stimuli, such as diet, lifestyle, pollutants, also occurring in utero before birth. In this review, we will comment on various steps of the pathogenesis of cholesterol gallstones and interaction between environmental and genetic factors. The epigenomic approach may offer new options for therapy of gallstones and better possibilities for primary prevention in subjects at risk.

  16. DNA Methylation, Epigenetics, and Evolution in Vertebrates: Facts and Challenges

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    Annalisa Varriale

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification in the vertebrate genomes known to be involved in biological processes such as regulation of gene expression, DNA structure and control of transposable elements. Despite increasing knowledge about DNA methylation, we still lack a complete understanding of its specific functions and correlation with environment and gene expression in diverse organisms. To understand how global DNA methylation levels changed under environmental influence during vertebrate evolution, we analyzed its distribution pattern along the whole genome in mammals, reptiles and fishes showing that it is correlated with temperature, independently on phylogenetic inheritance. Other studies in mammals and plants have evidenced that environmental stimuli can promote epigenetic changes that, in turn, might generate localized changes in DNA sequence resulting in phenotypic effects. All these observations suggest that environment can affect the epigenome of vertebrates by generating hugely different methylation patterns that could, possibly, reflect in phenotypic differences. We are at the first steps towards the understanding of mechanisms that underlie the role of environment in molding the entire genome over evolutionary times. The next challenge will be to map similarities and differences of DNA methylation in vertebrates and to associate them with environmental adaptation and evolution.

  17. Epigenetic architecture and miRNA: reciprocal regulators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiklund, Erik Digman; Kjems, Jørgen; Clark, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Deregulation of epigenetic and microRNA (miRNA) pathways are emerging as key events in carcinogenesis. miRNA genes can be epigenetically regulated and miRNAs can themselves repress key enzymes that drive epigenetic remodeling. Epigenetic and miRNA functions are thus tightly interconnected......RNAs) are considered especially promising in clinical applications, and their biogenesis and function is a subject of active research. In this review, the current status of epigenetic miRNA regulation is summarized and future therapeutic prospects in the field are discussed with a focus on cancer....

  18. Epigenetic regulation of caloric restriction in aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Michael

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The molecular mechanisms of aging are the subject of much research and have facilitated potential interventions to delay aging and aging-related degenerative diseases in humans. The aging process is frequently affected by environmental factors, and caloric restriction is by far the most effective and established environmental manipulation for extending lifespan in various animal models. However, the precise mechanisms by which caloric restriction affects lifespan are still not clear. Epigenetic mechanisms have recently been recognized as major contributors to nutrition-related longevity and aging control. Two primary epigenetic codes, DNA methylation and histone modification, are believed to dynamically influence chromatin structure, resulting in expression changes of relevant genes. In this review, we assess the current advances in epigenetic regulation in response to caloric restriction and how this affects cellular senescence, aging and potential extension of a healthy lifespan in humans. Enhanced understanding of the important role of epigenetics in the control of the aging process through caloric restriction may lead to clinical advances in the prevention and therapy of human aging-associated diseases.

  19. Phenotype as Agent for Epigenetic Inheritance

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    John S. Torday

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The conventional understanding of phenotype is as a derivative of descent with modification through Darwinian random mutation and natural selection. Recent research has revealed Lamarckian inheritance as a major transgenerational mechanism for environmental action on genomes whose extent is determined, in significant part, by germ line cells during meiosis and subsequent stages of embryological development. In consequence, the role of phenotype can productively be reconsidered. The possibility that phenotype is directed towards the effective acquisition of epigenetic marks in consistent reciprocation with the environment during the life cycle of an organism is explored. It is proposed that phenotype is an active agent in niche construction for the active acquisition of epigenetic marks as a dominant evolutionary mechanism rather than a consequence of Darwinian selection towards reproductive success. The reproductive phase of the life cycle can then be appraised as a robust framework in which epigenetic inheritance is entrained to affect growth and development in continued reciprocal responsiveness to environmental stresses. Furthermore, as first principles of physiology determine the limits of epigenetic inheritance, a coherent justification can thereby be provided for the obligate return of all multicellular eukaryotes to the unicellular state.

  20. Epigenetics as a First Exit Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aurell, E.; Sneppen, K.

    2002-01-01

    We develop a framework to discuss the stability of epigenetic states as first exit problems in dynamical systems with noise. We consider in particular the stability of the lysogenic state of the λ prophage. The formalism defines a quantitative measure of robustness of inherited states.