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  1. Epigenetic dysregulation underlies radiation-induced transgenerational genome instability in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koturbash, Igor; Baker, Mike; Loree, Jonathan; Kutanzi, Kristy; Hudson, Darryl; Pogribny, Igor; Sedelnikova, Olga; Bonner, William; Kovalchuk, Olga

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Although modern cancer radiation therapy has led to increased patient survival rates, the risk of radiation treatment-related complications is becoming a growing problem. Among various complications, radiation also poses a threat to the progeny of exposed parents. It causes transgenerational genome instability that is linked to transgenerational carcinogenesis. Although the occurrence of transgenerational genome instability, which manifests as elevated delayed and nontargeted mutation, has been well documented, the mechanisms by which it arises remain obscure. We hypothesized that epigenetic alterations may play a pivotal role in the molecular etiology of transgenerational genome instability. Methods and Materials: We studied the levels of cytosine DNA methylation in somatic tissues of unexposed offspring upon maternal, paternal, or combined parental exposure. Results: We observed a significant loss of global cytosine DNA methylation in the thymus tissue of the offspring upon combined parental exposure. The loss of DNA methylation was paralleled by a significant decrease in the levels of maintenance (DNMT1) and de novo methyltransferases DNMT3a and 3b and methyl-CpG-binding protein MeCP2. Along with profound changes in DNA methylation, we noted a significant accumulation of DNA strand breaks in thymus, which is a radiation carcinogenesis target organ. Conclusions: The observed changes were indicative of a profound epigenetic dysregulation in the offspring, which in turn could lead to genome destabilization and possibly could serve as precursor for transgenerational carcinogenesis. Future studies are clearly needed to address the cellular and carcinogenic repercussions of those changes

  2. Epigenetic Dysregulation in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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    Thian-Sze Wong

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    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

  4. Dysregulation of Cell Death and Its Epigenetic Mechanisms in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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    Haijing Wu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE is a systemic autoimmune disease involving multiple organs and tissues, which is characterized by the presence of excessive anti-nuclear autoantibodies. The pathogenesis of SLE has been intensively studied but remains far from clear. Increasing evidence has shown that the genetic susceptibilities and environmental factors-induced abnormalities in immune cells, dysregulation of apoptosis, and defects in the clearance of apoptotic materials contribute to the development of SLE. As the main source of auto-antigens, aberrant cell death may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of SLE. In this review, we summarize up-to-date research progress on different levels of cell death—including increasing rate of apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy and defects in clearance of dying cells—and discuss the possible underlying mechanisms, especially epigenetic modifications, which may provide new insight in the potential development of therapeutic strategies for SLE.

  5. Does epigenetic dysregulation of pancreatic islets contribute to impaired insulin secretion and type 2 diabetes?

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    Dayeh, Tasnim; Ling, Charlotte

    2015-10-01

    β cell dysfunction is central to the development and progression of type 2 diabetes (T2D). T2D develops when β cells are not able to compensate for the increasing demand for insulin caused by insulin resistance. Epigenetic modifications play an important role in establishing and maintaining β cell identity and function in physiological conditions. On the other hand, epigenetic dysregulation can cause a loss of β cell identity, which is characterized by reduced expression of genes that are important for β cell function, ectopic expression of genes that are not supposed to be expressed in β cells, and loss of genetic imprinting. Consequently, this may lead to β cell dysfunction and impaired insulin secretion. Risk factors that can cause epigenetic dysregulation include parental obesity, an adverse intrauterine environment, hyperglycemia, lipotoxicity, aging, physical inactivity, and mitochondrial dysfunction. These risk factors can affect the epigenome at different time points throughout the lifetime of an individual and even before an individual is conceived. The plasticity of the epigenome enables it to change in response to environmental factors such as diet and exercise, and also makes the epigenome a good target for epigenetic drugs that may be used to enhance insulin secretion and potentially treat diabetes.

  6. Epigenetic mechanism of maternal post-traumatic stress disorder in delayed rat offspring development: dysregulation of methylation and gene expression.

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    Zhang, X G; Zhang, H; Liang, X L; Liu, Q; Wang, H Y; Cao, B; Cao, J; Liu, S; Long, Y J; Xie, W Y; Peng, D Z

    2016-08-19

    Maternal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in the child. Epigenetic alternations may play an essential role in the negative effects of PTSD. This study was aimed to investigate the possible epigenetic alterations of maternal PTSD, which underpins the developmental and behavioral impact. 24 pregnant Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly grouped into PTSD and control groups. Open-field tests (OFTs), elevated pull maze (EPM) assays, gene expression profile chip tests, and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-Seq) were performed on the offsprings 30 days after birth. The results showed that PTSD offsprings had lower body weights and OFT scores than control offsprings. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays showed that serotonin receptor (5-HT) and dopamine levels were significantly lower in PTSD offsprings than in control offsprings. In contrast, corticosterone levels were higher in the PTSD group than in the control group. In a comparison of the PTSD group versus the control group, 4,160 significantly differentially methylated loci containing 30,657 CpGs were identified; 2,487 genes, including 13 dysmethylated genes, were validated by gene expression profiling, showing a negative correlation between methylation and gene expression (R = -0.617, P = 0.043). In conclusion, maternal PTSD could delay the physical and behavioral development of offsprings, and the underlying mechanism could contribute to changes in neurotransmitters and gene expression, owing to dysregulation of whole-genome methylation. These findings could support further clinical research on appropriate interventions for maternal PTSD to prevent methylation dysregulation and developmental retardation.

  7. Epigenetic remodelling and dysregulation of DLGAP4 is linked with early-onset cerebellar ataxia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minocherhomji, Sheroy; Hansen, Claus; Kim, Hyung-Goo

    2014-01-01

    Genome instability, epigenetic remodelling and structural chromosomal rearrangements are hallmarks of cancer. However, the coordinated epigenetic effects of constitutional chromosomal rearrangements that disrupt genes associated with congenital neurodevelopmental diseases are poorly understood. T...

  8. Epigenetic dysregulation of interleukin 8 (CXCL8) hypersecretion in cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poghosyan, Anna, E-mail: pannagos@yahoo.com; Patel, Jamie K.; Clifford, Rachel L.; Knox, Alan J., E-mail: alan.knox@nottingham.ac.uk

    2016-08-05

    Airway epithelial cells in cystic fibrosis (CF) overexpress Interleukin 8 (CXCL8) through poorly defined mechanisms. CXCL8 transcription is dependent on coordinated binding of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)β, nuclear factor (NF)-κB, and activator protein (AP)-1 to the promoter. Here we show abnormal epigenetic regulation is responsible for CXCL8 overexpression in CF cells. Under basal conditions CF cells had increased bromodomain (Brd)3 and Brd4 recruitment and enhanced NF-κB and C/EBPβ binding to the CXCL8 promoter compared to non-CF cells due to trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) and DNA hypomethylation at CpG6. IL-1β increased NF-κB, C/EBPβ and Brd4 binding. Furthermore, inhibitors of bromodomain and extra-terminal domain family (BET) proteins reduced CXCL8 production in CF cells suggesting a therapeutic target for the BET pathway. -- Highlights: •A regulatory mechanism of CXCL8 transcriptional control in CF airways is proposed. •There was an increased binding of NF-κB and C/EBPβ transcription factors. •There was enhanced recruitment of BET proteins to the CXCL8 promoter. •Epigenetic modifications are responsible for the aberrant CXCL8 transcription.

  9. Epigenetic dysregulation of interleukin 8 (CXCL8) hypersecretion in cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poghosyan, Anna; Patel, Jamie K.; Clifford, Rachel L.; Knox, Alan J.

    2016-01-01

    Airway epithelial cells in cystic fibrosis (CF) overexpress Interleukin 8 (CXCL8) through poorly defined mechanisms. CXCL8 transcription is dependent on coordinated binding of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)β, nuclear factor (NF)-κB, and activator protein (AP)-1 to the promoter. Here we show abnormal epigenetic regulation is responsible for CXCL8 overexpression in CF cells. Under basal conditions CF cells had increased bromodomain (Brd)3 and Brd4 recruitment and enhanced NF-κB and C/EBPβ binding to the CXCL8 promoter compared to non-CF cells due to trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) and DNA hypomethylation at CpG6. IL-1β increased NF-κB, C/EBPβ and Brd4 binding. Furthermore, inhibitors of bromodomain and extra-terminal domain family (BET) proteins reduced CXCL8 production in CF cells suggesting a therapeutic target for the BET pathway. -- Highlights: •A regulatory mechanism of CXCL8 transcriptional control in CF airways is proposed. •There was an increased binding of NF-κB and C/EBPβ transcription factors. •There was enhanced recruitment of BET proteins to the CXCL8 promoter. •Epigenetic modifications are responsible for the aberrant CXCL8 transcription.

  10. and Epigenetic Dysregulation in Diabetes-prone Bicongenic B6.NODC11bxC1tb Mice

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    Erin Garrigan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In Type 1 diabetic (T1D human monocytes, STAT5 aberrantly binds to epigenetic regulatory sites of two proinflammatory genes, CSF2 (encoding granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor and PTGS2 (encoding prostaglandin synthase 2/cyclooxygenase 2. Bicongenic B6.NOD C11bxC1tb mice re-create this phenotype of T1D monocytes with only two nonobese diabetic (NOD Idd subloci (130.8 Mb–149.7 Mb, of Idd5 on Chr 1 and 32.08–53.85 Mb of Idd4.3 on Chr11 on C57BL/6 genetic background. These two Idd loci interact through STAT5 binding at upstream regulatory regions affecting Csf2 ( Chr 11 and Ptgs2 ( Chr 1 expression. B6.NODC11bxC1tb mice exhibited hyperglycemia and immune destruction of pancreatic islets between 8 and 30 weeks of age, with 12%–22% penetrance. Thus, B6.NODC11bxC1tb mice embody NOD epigenetic dysregulation of gene expression in myeloid cells, and this defect appears to be sufficient to impart genetic susceptibility to diabetes in an otherwise genetically nonautoimmune mouse.

  11. Epigenetic dysregulation of the dopamine system in diet-induced obesity.

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    Vucetic, Zivjena; Carlin, Jesse Lea; Totoki, Kathy; Reyes, Teresa M

    2012-03-01

    Chronic intake of high-fat (HF) diet is known to alter brain neurotransmitter systems that participate in the central regulation of food intake. Dopamine (DA) system changes in response to HF diet have been observed in the hypothalamus, important in the homeostatic control of food intake, as well as within the central reward circuitry [ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens (NAc), and pre-frontal cortex (PFC)], critical for coding the rewarding properties of palatable food and important in hedonically driven feeding behavior. Using a mouse model of diet-induced obesity (DIO), significant alterations in the expression of DA-related genes were documented in adult animals, and the general pattern of gene expression changes was opposite within the hypothalamus versus the reward circuitry (increased vs. decreased, respectively). Differential DNA methylation was identified within the promoter regions of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT), and the pattern of this response was consistent with the pattern of gene expression. Behaviors consistent with increased hypothalamic DA and decreased reward circuitry DA were observed. These data identify differential DNA methylation as an epigenetic mechanism linking the chronic intake of HF diet with altered DA-related gene expression, and this response varies by brain region and DNA sequence. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  12. Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Environmental Toxicants: Epigenetics as an Underlying Mechanism

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    Nguyen Quoc Vuong Tran

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism spectrum disorders (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, calls for more research into the identification of etiologic and risk factors. The Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD hypothesizes that the environment during fetal and childhood development affects the risk for many chronic diseases in later stages of life, including neurodevelopmental disorders. Epigenetics, a term describing mechanisms that cause changes in the chromosome state without affecting DNA sequences, is suggested to be the underlying mechanism, according to the DOHaD hypothesis. Moreover, many neurodevelopmental disorders are also related to epigenetic abnormalities. Experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to prenatal environmental toxicants is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, there is also evidence that environmental toxicants can result in epigenetic alterations, notably DNA methylation. In this review, we first focus on the relationship between neurodevelopmental disorders and environmental toxicants, in particular maternal smoking, plastic-derived chemicals (bisphenol A and phthalates, persistent organic pollutants, and heavy metals. We then review studies showing the epigenetic effects of those environmental factors in humans that may affect normal neurodevelopment.

  13. Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Environmental Toxicants: Epigenetics as an Underlying Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), calls for more research into the identification of etiologic and risk factors. The Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesizes that the environment during fetal and childhood development affects the risk for many chronic diseases in later stages of life, including neurodevelopmental disorders. Epigenetics, a term describing mechanisms that cause changes in the chromosome state without affecting DNA sequences, is suggested to be the underlying mechanism, according to the DOHaD hypothesis. Moreover, many neurodevelopmental disorders are also related to epigenetic abnormalities. Experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to prenatal environmental toxicants is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, there is also evidence that environmental toxicants can result in epigenetic alterations, notably DNA methylation. In this review, we first focus on the relationship between neurodevelopmental disorders and environmental toxicants, in particular maternal smoking, plastic-derived chemicals (bisphenol A and phthalates), persistent organic pollutants, and heavy metals. We then review studies showing the epigenetic effects of those environmental factors in humans that may affect normal neurodevelopment. PMID:28567415

  14. Emotional dysregulation and anxiety control in the psychopathological mechanism underlying drive for thinness

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    Francesca eFiore

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Emotional dysregulation is a process which consists in mitigating, intensifying or maintaining a given emotion and is the trigger for some psychological disorders. Research has shown that a anxiety control plays an important role in emotional expression and regulation and, in addition, for anorexia nervosa and, more in general, in drive for thinness. Scientific literature suggests that in anorexia nervosa there is a core of emotional dysregulation and anxiety control. The aim of this study is to explore the roles of emotional dysregulation and anxiety control as independent or third variables in a mediational regression model related to drive for thinness. 154 clinical individuals with anorexia participated in the study and all completed a set of self-report questionnaires: eating disorders inventory version 3 (EDI-3, DERS, and the anxiety control questionnaire (ACQ. The data confirmed a mediational model in which the relation between emotional dysregulation and drive for thinness is mediated by anxiety control. The current study partially supports a clinical model in which emotional dysregulation is a distal factor in eating disorders while the mediator variable anxiety control is a proximal factor in the psychopathological process underlying it.

  15. Repeat-mediated epigenetic dysregulation of the FMR1 gene in the fragile X-related disorders.

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    Usdin, Karen; Kumari, Daman

    2015-01-01

    The fragile X-related disorders are members of the Repeat Expansion Diseases, a group of genetic conditions resulting from an expansion in the size of a tandem repeat tract at a specific genetic locus. The repeat responsible for disease pathology in the fragile X-related disorders is CGG/CCG and the repeat tract is located in the 5' UTR of the FMR1 gene, whose protein product FMRP, is important for the proper translation of dendritic mRNAs in response to synaptic activation. There are two different pathological FMR1 allele classes that are distinguished only by the number of repeats. Premutation alleles have 55-200 repeats and confer risk of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome and fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency. Full mutation alleles on the other hand have >200 repeats and result in fragile X syndrome, a disorder that affects learning and behavior. Different symptoms are seen in carriers of premutation and full mutation alleles because the repeat number has paradoxical effects on gene expression: Epigenetic changes increase transcription from premutation alleles and decrease transcription from full mutation alleles. This review will cover what is currently known about the mechanisms responsible for these changes in FMR1 expression and how they may relate to other Repeat Expansion Diseases that also show repeat-mediated changes in gene expression.

  16. Epigenetic Memory Underlies Cell-Autonomous Heterogeneous Behavior of Hematopoietic Stem Cells.

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    Yu, Vionnie W C; Yusuf, Rushdia Z; Oki, Toshihiko; Wu, Juwell; Saez, Borja; Wang, Xin; Cook, Colleen; Baryawno, Ninib; Ziller, Michael J; Lee, Eunjung; Gu, Hongcang; Meissner, Alexander; Lin, Charles P; Kharchenko, Peter V; Scadden, David T

    2016-11-17

    Stem cells determine homeostasis and repair of many tissues and are increasingly recognized as functionally heterogeneous. To define the extent of-and molecular basis for-heterogeneity, we overlaid functional, transcriptional, and epigenetic attributes of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) at a clonal level using endogenous fluorescent tagging. Endogenous HSC had clone-specific functional attributes over time in vivo. The intra-clonal behaviors were highly stereotypic, conserved under the stress of transplantation, inflammation, and genotoxic injury, and associated with distinctive transcriptional, DNA methylation, and chromatin accessibility patterns. Further, HSC function corresponded to epigenetic configuration but not always to transcriptional state. Therefore, hematopoiesis under homeostatic and stress conditions represents the integrated action of highly heterogeneous clones of HSC with epigenetically scripted behaviors. This high degree of epigenetically driven cell autonomy among HSCs implies that refinement of the concepts of stem cell plasticity and of the stem cell niche is warranted. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

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    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-09-01

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

  18. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

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    Stephen V Liu

    2013-05-01

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

  19. Epigenetic Regulation in Prostate Cancer Progression.

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    Ruggero, Katia; Farran-Matas, Sonia; Martinez-Tebar, Adrian; Aytes, Alvaro

    2018-01-01

    An important number of newly identified molecular alterations in prostate cancer affect gene encoding master regulators of chromatin biology epigenetic regulation. This review will provide an updated view of the key epigenetic mechanisms underlying prostate cancer progression, therapy resistance, and potential actionable mechanisms and biomarkers. Key players in chromatin biology and epigenetic master regulators has been recently described to be crucially altered in metastatic CRPC and tumors that progress to AR independency. As such, epigenetic dysregulation represents a driving mechanism in the reprograming of prostate cancer cells as they lose AR-imposed identity. Chromatin integrity and accessibility for transcriptional regulation are key features altered in cancer progression, and particularly relevant in nuclear hormone receptor-driven tumors like prostate cancer. Understanding how chromatin remodeling dictates prostate development and how its deregulation contributes to prostate cancer onset and progression may improve risk stratification and treatment selection for prostate cancer patients.

  20. Bioinformatics Tools for Genome-Wide Epigenetic Research.

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    Angarica, Vladimir Espinosa; Del Sol, Antonio

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Calcineurin Dysregulation Underlies Spinal Cord Injury-Induced K+ Channel Dysfunction in DRG Neurons.

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    Zemel, Benjamin M; Muqeem, Tanziyah; Brown, Eric V; Goulão, Miguel; Urban, Mark W; Tymanskyj, Stephen R; Lepore, Angelo C; Covarrubias, Manuel

    2017-08-23

    Dysfunction of the fast-inactivating Kv3.4 potassium current in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons contributes to the hyperexcitability associated with persistent pain induced by spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the underlying mechanism is not known. In light of our previous work demonstrating modulation of the Kv3.4 channel by phosphorylation, we investigated the role of the phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) using electrophysiological, molecular, and imaging approaches in adult female Sprague Dawley rats. Pharmacological inhibition of CaN in small-diameter DRG neurons slowed repolarization of the somatic action potential (AP) and attenuated the Kv3.4 current. Attenuated Kv3.4 currents also exhibited slowed inactivation. We observed similar effects on the recombinant Kv3.4 channel heterologously expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, supporting our findings in DRG neurons. Elucidating the molecular basis of these effects, mutation of four previously characterized serines within the Kv3.4 N-terminal inactivation domain eliminated the effects of CaN inhibition on the Kv3.4 current. SCI similarly induced concurrent Kv3.4 current attenuation and slowing of inactivation. Although there was little change in CaN expression and localization after injury, SCI induced upregulation of the native regulator of CaN 1 (RCAN1) in the DRG at the transcript and protein levels. Consistent with CaN inhibition resulting from RCAN1 upregulation, overexpression of RCAN1 in naive DRG neurons recapitulated the effects of pharmacological CaN inhibition on the Kv3.4 current and the AP. Overall, these results demonstrate a novel regulatory pathway that links CaN, RCAN1, and Kv3.4 in DRG neurons. Dysregulation of this pathway might underlie a peripheral mechanism of pain sensitization induced by SCI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Pain sensitization associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) involves poorly understood maladaptive modulation of neuronal excitability. Although central mechanisms have

  2. Is epigenetics an important link between early life events and adult disease?

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    Epigenetic mechanisms provide one potential explanation for how environmental influences in early life cause long-term changes in chronic disease susceptibility. Whereas epigenetic dysregulation is increasingly implicated in various rare developmental syndromes and cancer, the role of epigenetics in...

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

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

    2011-11-01

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

  4. Epigenetics and autism.

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    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Epigenetics and Autism

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    Tafari Mbadiwe

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Pediatric Obesity-Related Asthma: The Role of Metabolic Dysregulation.

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    Vijayakanthi, Nandini; Greally, John M; Rastogi, Deepa

    2016-05-01

    The burden of obesity-related asthma among children, particularly among ethnic minorities, necessitates an improved understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms. Although obesity is an independent risk factor for asthma, not all obese children develop asthma. Several recent studies have elucidated mechanisms, including the role of diet, sedentary lifestyle, mechanical fat load, and adiposity-mediated inflammation that may underlie the obese asthma pathophysiology. Here, we review these recent studies and emerging scientific evidence that suggest metabolic dysregulation may play a role in pediatric obesity-related asthma. We also review the genetic and epigenetic factors that may underlie susceptibility to metabolic dysregulation and associated pulmonary morbidity among children. Lastly, we identify knowledge gaps that need further exploration to better define pathways that will allow development of primary preventive strategies for obesity-related asthma in children. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  7. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

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    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

  8. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes eGräff

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying the Link between Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases and Nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joo Ho Lee

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD is defined as a pathologic accumulation of fat in the form of triglycerides (TG in the liver (steatosis that is not caused by alcohol. A subgroup of NAFLD patients shows liver cell injury and inflammation coupled with the excessive fat accumulation (steatohepatitis, which is referred to as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH. Patients with NASH may develop cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC. NAFLD shares the key features of metabolic syndrome including obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance. The pathogenesis of NAFLD is multi-factorial, however the oxidative stress seems to plays a major role in the development and progression of the disease. The emerging field of epigenetics provides a new perspective on the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Epigenetics is an inheritable but reversible phenomenon that affects gene expression without altering the DNA sequence and refers to DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs. Epigenetic manipulation through metabolic pathways such as one-carbon metabolism has been proposed as a promising approach to retard the progression of NAFLD. Investigating the epigenetic modifiers in NAFLD may also lead to the development of preventive or therapeutic strategies for NASH-associated complications.

  12. Epigenetics and type II diabetes mellitus: underlying mechanisms of prenatal predisposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. David Sterns

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM is a widespread metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance resulting in abnormally high blood glucose levels. While the onset of T2DM is known to be influenced by a number of genetic factors, emerging research has demonstrated the additional role of a variety of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of this disorder. Epigenetics relates to the heritable changes in gene expression that cannot be explained by simple variations in the primary DNA sequence and includes DNA methylation and histone modification. These changes impact many processes, including stem cell differentiation into pancreatic endocrine cells as well as normal β-cell function. Recent studies focusing on the effects of maternal health, specifically as it is affected by famine and hyperglycemia, have found possible mechanisms to explain the increased likelihood of the fetus developing risk factors such as altered atherogenic lipid profiles, increased obesity and BMI, as well as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT for the development of T2DM later in life. It is suggested that these epigenetic influences happen early during gestation and are less susceptible to the effects of postnatal environmental modification as was previously thought. Regardless, emerging research into epigenetic-based treatment approaches for T2DM are promising and offer yet another means by which to limit the impact of this global epidemic.

  13. Genes and Aggressive Behavior: Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Individual Susceptibility to Aversive Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Palumbo

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, the study of the relationship between nature and nurture in shaping human behavior has encountered a renewed interest. Behavioral genetics showed that distinct polymorphisms of genes that code for proteins that control neurotransmitter metabolic and synaptic function are associated with individual vulnerability to aversive experiences, such as stressful and traumatic life events, and may result in an increased risk of developing psychopathologies associated with violence. On the other hand, recent studies indicate that experiencing aversive events modulates gene expression by introducing stable changes to DNA without modifying its sequence, a mechanism known as “epigenetics”. For example, experiencing adversities during periods of maximal sensitivity to the environment, such as prenatal life, infancy and early adolescence, may introduce lasting epigenetic marks in genes that affect maturational processes in brain, thus favoring the emergence of dysfunctional behaviors, including exaggerate aggression in adulthood. The present review discusses data from recent research, both in humans and animals, concerning the epigenetic regulation of four genes belonging to the neuroendocrine, serotonergic and oxytocinergic pathways—Nuclear receptor subfamily 3-group C-member 1 (NR3C1, oxytocin receptor (OXTR, solute carrier-family 6 member 4 (SLC6A4 and monoamine oxidase A (MAOA—and their role in modulating vulnerability to proactive and reactive aggressive behavior. Behavioral genetics and epigenetics are shedding a new light on the fine interaction between genes and environment, by providing a novel tool to understand the molecular events that underlie aggression. Overall, the findings from these studies carry important implications not only for neuroscience, but also for social sciences, including ethics, philosophy and law.

  14. Epigenetic considerations in aquaculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mackenzie R. Gavery

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Epigenetic Regulation in Particulate Matter-Mediated Cardiopulmonary Toxicities: A Systems Biology Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Garcia, Joe Gn; Zhang, Wei

    2012-12-01

    Particulate matter (PM) air pollution exerts significant adverse health effects in global populations, particularly in developing countries with extensive air pollution. Understanding of the mechanisms of PM-induced health effects including the risk for cardiovascular diseases remains limited. In addition to the direct cellular physiological responses such as mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, PM mediates remarkable dysregulation of gene expression, especially in cardiovascular tissues. The PM-mediated gene dysregulation is likely to be a complex mechanism affected by various genetic and non-genetic factors. Notably, PM is known to alter epigenetic markers (e.g., DNA methylation and histone modifications), which may contribute to air pollution-mediated health consequences including the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Notably, epigenetic changes induced by ambient PM exposure have emerged to play a critical role in gene regulation. Though the underlying mechanism(s) are not completely clear, the available evidence suggests that the modulated activities of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), histone acetylase (HAT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) may contribute to the epigenetic changes induced by PM or PM-related chemicals. By employing genome-wide epigenomic and systems biology approaches, PM toxicogenomics could conceivably progress greatly with the potential identification of individual epigenetic loci associated with dysregulated gene expression after PM exposure, as well the interactions between epigenetic pathways and PM. Furthermore, novel therapeutic targets based on epigenetic markers could be identified through future epigenomic studies on PM-mediated cardiopulmonary toxicities. These considerations collectively inform the future population health applications of genomics in developing countries while benefiting global personalized medicine at the same time.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetics, autism spectrum, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  19. Intracellular lipid dysregulation interferes with leukocyte function in the ovaries of meat-type hens under unrestricted feed intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zu-Chen; Su, Chia-Ming; Xie, Yi-Lun; Chang, Chai-Ju; Chen, Jiang-Young; Wu, Shu-Wei; Chen, Yu-Hui; Walzem, Rosemary L; Huang, San-Yuan; Chen, Shuen-Ei

    2016-04-01

    Meat-type Red-feather country hens fed ad libitum (AD-hens) exhibit obesity-associated morbidities and a number of ovarian irregularities. Leukocyte participations in ovarian activities are unstudied in AD-hens. In contrast to feed-restricted hens (R-hens), ovulatory process of the F1 follicle appeared delayed in AD-hens in association with reduced F1 follicle progesterone content, gelatinase A (MMP-2) and collagenase-3 (MMP-13) activities coincident with elevated IL-1β and no production (Pcultures of granulosa cells with increasing numbers of leukocytes from either AD-hens or R-hens exhibited dose dependent reductions in progesterone production and increases in cell death. AD-hen leukocytes were less proapoptotic than their R counterparts (Pcultures with heterophils or monocytes in a dose-dependent manner (Pcultures than their respective counterparts (P<0.05). Both basal and LPS-induced IL-1β secretion and MMP-22 or MMP-2 activities in freshly isolated AD-hen leukocytes were reduced (P<0.05). Exposure of AD or R leukocytes to 0.5mM palmitate impaired IL-1β secretion and MMP-22 or MMP-2 activity. Inhibition of ceramide synthesis with FB1 and ROS production with n-MPG scavenging rescued MMP activity and IL-1β production in palmitate treated heterophils, but exacerbated monocyte suppression. These latter findings suggest that intracellular lipid dysregulation in leukocytes contributes to ovarian dysfunction in AD-hens. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying enhanced in vitro adipocyte differentiation by the brominated flame retardant BDE-47

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamstra, Jorke H; Hruba, Eva; Blumberg, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) may play a role in the development of obesity. EDCs such as the flame retardant 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) have been shown to enhance adipocyte differentiation in the murine 3T3-L1 model. The mech......Recent studies suggest that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) may play a role in the development of obesity. EDCs such as the flame retardant 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) have been shown to enhance adipocyte differentiation in the murine 3T3-L1 model....... The mechanisms by which EDCs direct preadipocytes to form adipocytes are poorly understood. Here, we examined transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the induction of in vitro adipocyte differentiation by BDE-47. Quantitative high content microscopy revealed concentration-dependent enhanced...

  1. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V.; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in Western societies. It progresses asymptomatically during decades before being belatedly diagnosed when therapeutic strategies have become unviable. Although several genetic alterations have been associated with AD, the vast majority of AD cases do not show strong genetic underpinnings and are thus considered a consequence of non-genetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms allow for the integration of long-lasting non-genetic inputs on specific genetic backgrounds, and recently, a growing number of epigenetic alterations in AD have been described. For instance, an accumulation of dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in aging, the predominant risk factor of AD, might facilitate the onset of the disease. Likewise, mutations in several enzymes of the epigenetic machinery have been associated with neurodegenerative processes that are altered in AD such as impaired learning and memory formation. Genome-wide and locus-specific epigenetic alterations have also been reported, and several epigenetically dysregulated genes validated by independent groups. From these studies, a picture emerges of AD as being associated with DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting a general repressed chromatin state and epigenetically reduced plasticity in AD. Here we review these recent findings and discuss several technical and methodological considerations that are imperative for their correct interpretation. We also pay particular focus on potential implementations and theoretical frameworks that we expect will help to better direct future studies aimed to unravel the epigenetic participation in AD. PMID:26734709

  2. The quest for epigenetic regulation underlying unisexual flower development in Cucumis melo

    KAUST Repository

    Latrasse, David

    2017-05-08

    BackgroundMelon (Cucumis melo) is an important vegetable crop from the Cucurbitaceae family and a reference model specie for sex determination, fruit ripening and vascular fluxes studies. Nevertheless, the nature and role of its epigenome in gene expression regulation and more specifically in sex determination remains largely unknown.ResultsWe have investigated genome wide H3K27me3 and H3K9ac histone modifications and gene expression dynamics, in five melon organs. H3K9ac and H3K27me3 were mainly distributed along gene-rich regions and constrained to gene bodies. H3K9ac was preferentially located at the TSS, whereas H3K27me3 distributed uniformly from TSS to TES. As observed in other species, H3K9ac and H3K27me3 correlated with high and low gene expression levels, respectively. Comparative analyses of unisexual flowers pointed out sex-specific epigenetic states of TFs involved in ethylene response and flower development. Chip-qPCR analysis of laser dissected carpel and stamina primordia, revealed sex-specific histone modification of MADS-box genes. Using sex transition mutants, we demonstrated that the female promoting gene, CmACS11, represses the expression of the male promoting gene CmWIP1 via deposition of H3K27me3.ConclusionsOur findings reveal the organ-specific landscapes of H3K9ac and H3K27me3 in melon. Our results also provide evidence that the sex determination genes recruit histone modifiers to orchestrate unisexual flower development in monoecious species.

  3. The quest for epigenetic regulation underlying unisexual flower development in Cucumis melo

    KAUST Repository

    Latrasse, David; Rodriguez-Granados, Natalia Y.; Veluchamy, Alaguraj; Mariappan, Kiruthiga Gayathri; Bevilacqua, Claudia; Crapart, Nicolas; Camps, Celine; Sommard, Vivien; Raynaud, Cé cile; Dogimont, Catherine; Boualem, Adnane; Benhamed, Moussa; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid

    2017-01-01

    BackgroundMelon (Cucumis melo) is an important vegetable crop from the Cucurbitaceae family and a reference model specie for sex determination, fruit ripening and vascular fluxes studies. Nevertheless, the nature and role of its epigenome in gene expression regulation and more specifically in sex determination remains largely unknown.ResultsWe have investigated genome wide H3K27me3 and H3K9ac histone modifications and gene expression dynamics, in five melon organs. H3K9ac and H3K27me3 were mainly distributed along gene-rich regions and constrained to gene bodies. H3K9ac was preferentially located at the TSS, whereas H3K27me3 distributed uniformly from TSS to TES. As observed in other species, H3K9ac and H3K27me3 correlated with high and low gene expression levels, respectively. Comparative analyses of unisexual flowers pointed out sex-specific epigenetic states of TFs involved in ethylene response and flower development. Chip-qPCR analysis of laser dissected carpel and stamina primordia, revealed sex-specific histone modification of MADS-box genes. Using sex transition mutants, we demonstrated that the female promoting gene, CmACS11, represses the expression of the male promoting gene CmWIP1 via deposition of H3K27me3.ConclusionsOur findings reveal the organ-specific landscapes of H3K9ac and H3K27me3 in melon. Our results also provide evidence that the sex determination genes recruit histone modifiers to orchestrate unisexual flower development in monoecious species.

  4. Investigating multiple dysregulated pathways in rheumatoid arthritis based on pathway interaction network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xian-Dong; Song, Xian-Xu; Liu, Gui-Bo; Ren, Chun-Hui; Sun, Yuan-Bo; Liu, Ke-Xin; Liu, Bo; Liang, Shuang; Zhu, Zhu

    2018-03-01

    The traditional methods of identifying biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have focussed on the differentially expressed pathways or individual pathways, which however, neglect the interactions between pathways. To better understand the pathogenesis of RA, we aimed to identify dysregulated pathway sets using a pathway interaction network (PIN), which considered interactions among pathways. Firstly, RA-related gene expression profile data, protein-protein interactions (PPI) data and pathway data were taken up from the corresponding databases. Secondly, principal component analysis method was used to calculate the pathway activity of each of the pathway, and then a seed pathway was identified using data gleaned from the pathway activity. A PIN was then constructed based on the gene expression profile, pathway data, and PPI information. Finally, the dysregulated pathways were extracted from the PIN based on the seed pathway using the method of support vector machines and an area under the curve (AUC) index. The PIN comprised of a total of 854 pathways and 1064 pathway interactions. The greatest change in the activity score between RA and control samples was observed in the pathway of epigenetic regulation of gene expression, which was extracted and regarded as the seed pathway. Starting with this seed pathway, one maximum pathway set containing 10 dysregulated pathways was extracted from the PIN, having an AUC of 0.8249, and the result indicated that this pathway set could distinguish RA from the controls. These 10 dysregulated pathways might be potential biomarkers for RA diagnosis and treatment in the future.

  5. Dysregulated metabolism contributes to oncogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschey, Matthew D.; DeBerardinis, Ralph J.; Diehl, Anna Mae E.; Drew, Janice E.; Frezza, Christian; Green, Michelle F.; Jones, Lee W.; Ko, Young H.; Le, Anne; Lea, Michael A.; Locasale, Jason W.; Longo, Valter D.; Lyssiotis, Costas A.; McDonnell, Eoin; Mehrmohamadi, Mahya; Michelotti, Gregory; Muralidhar, Vinayak; Murphy, Michael P.; Pedersen, Peter L.; Poore, Brad; Raffaghello, Lizzia; Rathmell, Jeffrey C.; Sivanand, Sharanya; Vander Heiden, Matthew G.; Wellen, Kathryn E.

    2015-01-01

    Cancer is a disease characterized by unrestrained cellular proliferation. In order to sustain growth, cancer cells undergo a complex metabolic rearrangement characterized by changes in metabolic pathways involved in energy production and biosynthetic processes. The relevance of the metabolic transformation of cancer cells has been recently included in the updated version of the review “Hallmarks of Cancer”, where the dysregulation of cellular metabolism was included as an emerging hallmark. While several lines of evidence suggest that metabolic rewiring is orchestrated by the concerted action of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, in some circumstances altered metabolism can play a primary role in oncogenesis. Recently, mutations of cytosolic and mitochondrial enzymes involved in key metabolic pathways have been associated with hereditary and sporadic forms of cancer. Together, these results suggest that aberrant metabolism, once seen just as an epiphenomenon of oncogenic reprogramming, plays a key role in oncogenesis with the power to control both genetic and epigenetic events in cells. In this review, we discuss the relationship between metabolism and cancer, as part of a larger effort to identify a broad-spectrum of therapeutic approaches. We focus on major alterations in nutrient metabolism and the emerging link between metabolism and epigenetics. Finally, we discuss potential strategies to manipulate metabolism in cancer and tradeoffs that should be considered. More research on the suite of metabolic alterations in cancer holds the potential to discover novel approaches to treat it. PMID:26454069

  6. Engrampigenetics: Epigenetics of engram memory cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripoli, Cristian

    2017-05-15

    For long time, the epidemiology of late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk factors has centered on adult life-style. Recent studies have, instead, focused on the role of early life experiences in progression of such disease especially in the context of prenatal and postnatal life. Although no single unfavorable environmental event has been shown to be neither necessary nor sufficient for AD development, it is possible that the sum of several environmentally induced effects, over time, contribute to its pathophysiology through epigenetic mechanisms. Indeed, epigenetic changes are influenced by environmental factors and have been proposed to play a role in multifactorial pathologies such as AD. At the same time, recent findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are one method that neurons use to translate transient stimuli into stable memories. Thus, the characteristics of epigenetics being a critical link between the environment and genes and playing a crucial role in memory formation make candidate epigenetic mechanisms a natural substrate for AD research. Indeed, independent groups have reported several epigenetically dysregulated genes in AD models; however, the role of epigenetic mechanisms in AD has remained elusive owing to contradictory results. Here, I propose that restricting the analysis of epigenetic changes specifically to subpopulations of neurons (namely, engram memory cells) might be helpful in understanding the role of the epigenetic process in the memory-related specific epigenetic code and might constitute a new template for therapeutic interventions against AD. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed nonskin malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer death among men in the United States. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequences. Two common epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation and histone modification, have demonstrated critical roles in prostate cancer growth and metastasis. DNA hypermethylation of cytosine-guanine (CpG) rich sequ...

  8. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori A. McEachern

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manukyan, Maria; Singh, Prim B

    2012-05-01

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

  11. Transcription factors and molecular epigenetic marks underlying EpCAM overexpression in ovarian cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Gun, B. T. F.; de Groote, M. L.; Kazemier, H. G.; Arendzen, A. J.; Terpstra, P.; Ruiters, M. H. J.; McLaughlin, P. M. J.; Rots, M. G.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is overexpressed on carcinomas, and its downregulation inhibits the oncogenic potential of multiple tumour types. Here, we investigated underlying mechanisms of epcam overexpression in ovarian carcinoma. METHODS: Expression of EpCAM and DNA

  12. Epigenetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Michelle T; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Reconsidering Emotion Dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Agostino, Alessandra; Covanti, Serena; Rossi Monti, Mario; Starcevic, Vladan

    2017-12-01

    This article aims to review the concept of emotion dysregulation, focusing on issues related to its definition, meanings and role in psychiatric disorders. Articles on emotion dysregulation published until May 2016 were identified through electronic database searches. Although there is no agreement about the definition of emotion dysregulation, the following five overlapping, not mutually exclusive dimensions of emotion dysregulation were identified: decreased emotional awareness, inadequate emotional reactivity, intense experience and expression of emotions, emotional rigidity and cognitive reappraisal difficulty. These dimensions characterise a number of psychiatric disorders in various proportions, with borderline personality disorder and eating disorders seemingly more affected than other conditions. The present review contributes to the literature by identifying the key components of emotion dysregulation and by showing how these permeate various forms of psychopathology. It also makes suggestions for improving research endeavours. Better understanding of the various dimensions of emotion dysregulation will have implications for clinical practice. Future research needs to address emotion dysregulation in all its multifaceted complexity so that it becomes clearer what the concept encompasses.

  14. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Application Process Managing Grants Clinical Research Training Small Business Research Labs at NIMH Labs at NIMH Home Research ... Chat on Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (Archived Transcript) Research and ... Journal Articles: References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerman, Isabel; Rossi, Derrick J.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. A transposon-directed epigenetic change in ZmCCT underlies quantitative resistance to Gibberella stalk rot in maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Yang, Qin; Wang, Weixiang; Li, Yipu; Guo, Yanling; Zhang, Dongfeng; Ma, Xuena; Song, Wei; Zhao, Jiuran; Xu, Mingliang

    2017-09-01

    A major resistance quantitative trait locus, qRfg1, significantly enhances maize resistance to Gibberella stalk rot, a devastating disease caused by Fusarium graminearum. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. We adopted a map-based cloning approach to identify the resistance gene at qRfg1 and examined the dynamic epigenetic changes during qRfg1-mediated maize resistance to the disease. A CCT domain-containing gene, ZmCCT, is the causal gene at the qRfg1 locus and a polymorphic CACTA-like transposable element (TE1) c. 2.4 kb upstream of ZmCCT is the genetic determinant of allelic variation. The non-TE1 ZmCCT allele is in a poised state, with predictive bivalent chromatin enriched for both repressive (H3K27me3/H3K9me3) and active (H3K4me3) histone marks. Upon pathogen challenge, this non-TE1 ZmCCT allele was promptly induced by a rapid yet transient reduction in H3K27me3/H3K9me3 and a progressive decrease in H3K4me3, leading to disease resistance. However, TE1 insertion in ZmCCT caused selective depletion of H3K4me3 and enrichment of methylated GC to suppress the pathogen-induced ZmCCT expression, resulting in disease susceptibility. Moreover, ZmCCT-mediated resistance to Gibberella stalk rot is not affected by photoperiod sensitivity. This chromatin-based regulatory mechanism enables ZmCCT to be more precise and timely in defense against F. graminearum infection. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Rapid Genetic and Epigenetic Alterations under Intergeneric Genomic Shock in Newly Synthesized Chrysanthemum morifolium × Leucanthemum paludosum Hybrids (Asteraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haibin; Jiang, Jiafu; Chen, Sumei; Qi, Xiangyu; Fang, Weimin; Guan, Zhiyong; Teng, Nianjun; Liao, Yuan; Chen, Fadi

    2014-01-01

    The Asteraceae family is at the forefront of the evolution due to frequent hybridization. Hybridization is associated with the induction of widespread genetic and epigenetic changes and has played an important role in the evolution of many plant taxa. We attempted the intergeneric cross Chrysanthemum morifolium × Leucanthemum paludosum. To obtain the success in cross, we have to turn to ovule rescue. DNA profiling of the amphihaploid and amphidiploid was investigated using amplified fragment length polymorphism, sequence-related amplified polymorphism, start codon targeted polymorphism, and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). Hybridization induced rapid changes at the genetic and the epigenetic levels. The genetic changes mainly involved loss of parental fragments and gaining of novel fragments, and some eliminated sequences possibly from the noncoding region of L. paludosum. The MSAP analysis indicated that the level of DNA methylation was lower in the amphiploid (∼45%) than in the parental lines (51.5–50.6%), whereas it increased after amphidiploid formation. Events associated with intergeneric genomic shock were a feature of C. morifolium × L. paludosum hybrid, given that the genetic relationship between the parental species is relatively distant. Our results provide genetic and epigenetic evidence for understanding genomic shock in wide crosses between species in Asteraceae and suggest a need to expand our current evolutionary framework to encompass a genetic/epigenetic dimension when seeking to understand wide crosses. PMID:24407856

  18. Rapid genetic and epigenetic alterations under intergeneric genomic shock in newly synthesized Chrysanthemum morifolium x Leucanthemum paludosum hybrids (Asteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haibin; Jiang, Jiafu; Chen, Sumei; Qi, Xiangyu; Fang, Weimin; Guan, Zhiyong; Teng, Nianjun; Liao, Yuan; Chen, Fadi

    2014-01-01

    The Asteraceae family is at the forefront of the evolution due to frequent hybridization. Hybridization is associated with the induction of widespread genetic and epigenetic changes and has played an important role in the evolution of many plant taxa. We attempted the intergeneric cross Chrysanthemum morifolium × Leucanthemum paludosum. To obtain the success in cross, we have to turn to ovule rescue. DNA profiling of the amphihaploid and amphidiploid was investigated using amplified fragment length polymorphism, sequence-related amplified polymorphism, start codon targeted polymorphism, and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). Hybridization induced rapid changes at the genetic and the epigenetic levels. The genetic changes mainly involved loss of parental fragments and gaining of novel fragments, and some eliminated sequences possibly from the noncoding region of L. paludosum. The MSAP analysis indicated that the level of DNA methylation was lower in the amphiploid (∼45%) than in the parental lines (51.5-50.6%), whereas it increased after amphidiploid formation. Events associated with intergeneric genomic shock were a feature of C. morifolium × L. paludosum hybrid, given that the genetic relationship between the parental species is relatively distant. Our results provide genetic and epigenetic evidence for understanding genomic shock in wide crosses between species in Asteraceae and suggest a need to expand our current evolutionary framework to encompass a genetic/epigenetic dimension when seeking to understand wide crosses.

  19. Epigenetics in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed nonskin malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer death among men in the United States. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequences. Two common epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation and histone modification, have demonstrated critical roles in prostate cancer growth and metastasis. DNA hypermethylation of cytosine-guanine (CpG) rich sequence islands within gene promoter regions is widespread during neoplastic transformation of prostate cells, suggesting that treatment-induced restoration of a "normal" epigenome could be clinically beneficial. Histone modification leads to altered tumor gene function by changing chromosome structure and the level of gene transcription. The reversibility of epigenetic aberrations and restoration of tumor suppression gene function have made them attractive targets for prostate cancer treatment with modulators that demethylate DNA and inhibit histone deacetylases.

  20. Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costantine Albany

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer (PC is the most commonly diagnosed nonskin malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer death among men in the United States. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequences. Two common epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation and histone modification, have demonstrated critical roles in prostate cancer growth and metastasis. DNA hypermethylation of cytosine-guanine (CpG rich sequence islands within gene promoter regions is widespread during neoplastic transformation of prostate cells, suggesting that treatment-induced restoration of a “normal” epigenome could be clinically beneficial. Histone modification leads to altered tumor gene function by changing chromosome structure and the level of gene transcription. The reversibility of epigenetic aberrations and restoration of tumor suppression gene function have made them attractive targets for prostate cancer treatment with modulators that demethylate DNA and inhibit histone deacetylases.

  1. Epigenetics and cerebral organoids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. The epigenetics of obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Behavioral epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, David S

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  5. The potential of epigenetics in stress-enhanced fear learning models of PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blouin, Ashley M; Sillivan, Stephanie E; Joseph, Nadine F; Miller, Courtney A

    2016-10-01

    Prolonged distress and dysregulated memory processes are the core features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and represent the debilitating, persistent nature of the illness. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the expression of these symptoms are challenging to study in human patients. Stress-enhanced fear learning (SEFL) paradigms, which encompass both stress and memory components in rodents, are emerging as valuable preclinical models of PTSD. Rodent models designed to study the long-term mechanisms of either stress or fear memory alone have identified a critical role for numerous epigenetic modifications to DNA and histone proteins. However, the epigenetic modifications underlying SEFL remain largely unknown. This review will provide a brief overview of the epigenetic modifications implicated in stress and fear memory independently, followed by a description of existing SEFL models and the few epigenetic mechanisms found to date to underlie SEFL. The results of the animal studies discussed here highlight neuroepigenetics as an essential area for future research in the context of PTSD through SEFL studies, because of its potential to identify novel candidates for neurotherapeutics targeting stress-induced pathogenic memories. © 2016 Blouin et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  6. Neuron-specific chromatin remodeling: a missing link in epigenetic mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, memory, and intellectual disability disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Wood, Marcelo A

    2014-05-01

    Long-term memory formation requires the coordinated regulation of gene expression. Until recently nucleosome remodeling, one of the major epigenetic mechanisms for controlling gene expression, had been largely unexplored in the field of neuroscience. Nucleosome remodeling is carried out by chromatin remodeling complexes (CRCs) that interact with DNA and histones to physically alter chromatin structure and ultimately regulate gene expression. Human exome sequencing and gene wide association studies have linked mutations in CRC subunits to intellectual disability disorders, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. However, how mutations in CRC subunits were related to human cognitive disorders was unknown. There appears to be both developmental and adult specific roles for the neuron specific CRC nBAF (neuronal Brg1/hBrm Associated Factor). nBAF regulates gene expression required for dendritic arborization during development, and in the adult, contributes to long-term potentiation, a form of synaptic plasticity, and long-term memory. We propose that the nBAF complex is a novel epigenetic mechanism for regulating transcription required for long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory processes and that impaired nBAF function may result in human cognitive disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Targeting Dysregulated Epigenetic Enzymes for Prostate Cancer Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    results from 3 putative mechanisms, mutations in the androgen receptor, mutation in the DNA damage repair pathway and DNA damage associated secretory...PCAF (human), piccolo NuA4 ( yeast ), and SIRT2 (human) were overexpressed in BL21(DE3), and purified on a Ni-charged HiTrap HP affinity column (GE... mutations have been recognized (37), and activity may also be altered through other posttranslational mechanisms (38). Follow-up experiments strongly

  8. Advances in epigenetics and epigenomics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Branciamore

    2015-04-01

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

  11. EPA Workshop on Epigenetics and Cumulative Risk ...

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Imaging epigenetics in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varadinova, Miroslava; Boyadjieva, Nadka

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2015-08-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis. © 2015 American Society of

  15. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder: current insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baweja R

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Raman Baweja, Susan D Mayes, Usman Hameed, James G Waxmonsky Department of Psychiatry, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA Abstract: Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD was introduced as a new diagnostic entity under the category of depressive disorders in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5. It was included in DSM-5 primarily to address concerns about the misdiagnosis and consequent overtreatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. DMDD does provide a home for a large percentage of referred children with severe persistent irritability that did not fit well into any DSM, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV diagnostic category. However, it has been a controversial addition to the DSM-5 due to lack of published validity studies, leading to questions about its validity as a distinct disorder. In this article, the authors discuss the diagnostic criteria, assessment, epidemiology, criticism of the diagnosis, and pathophysiology, as well as treatment and future directions for DMDD. They also review the literature on severe mood dysregulation, as described by the National Institute of Mental Health, as the scientific support for DMDD is based primarily on studies of severe mood dysregulation. Keywords: disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, persistent irritability, temper outbursts 

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisolm, Danielle A; Weinmann, Amy S

    2018-04-26

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

  18. Environment, epigenetics and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K

    2017-07-01

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

  19. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gemma Navarro

    2017-11-01

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

  1. Epigenetic effects of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    EI-Naggar, A.M.

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Endocrine Dysregulation in Anorexia Nervosa Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Context: Anorexia nervosa is a primary psychiatric disorder with serious endocrine consequences, including dysregulation of the gonadal, adrenal, and GH axes, and severe bone loss. This Update reviews recent advances in the understanding of the endocrine dysregulation observed in this state of chronic starvation, as well as the mechanisms underlying the disease itself. Evidence Acquisition: Findings of this update are based on a PubMed search and the author's knowledge of this field. Evidence Synthesis: Recent studies have provided insights into the mechanisms underlying endocrine dysregulation in states of chronic starvation as well as the etiology of anorexia nervosa itself. This includes a more complex understanding of the pathophysiologic bases of hypogonadism, hypercortisolemia, GH resistance, appetite regulation, and bone loss. Nevertheless, the etiology of the disease remains largely unknown, and effective therapies for the endocrine complications and for the disease itself are lacking. Conclusions: Despite significant progress in the field, further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of anorexia nervosa and its endocrine complications. Such investigations promise to yield important advances in the therapeutic approach to this disease as well as to the understanding of the regulation of endocrine function, skeletal biology, and appetite regulation. PMID:21976742

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetic Regulation of Monocyte and Macrophage Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoeksema, Marten A.; de Winther, Menno P. J.

    2016-01-01

    Monocytes and macrophages are key players in tissue homeostasis and immune responses. Epigenetic processes tightly regulate cellular functioning in health and disease. Recent Advances: Recent technical developments have allowed detailed characterizations of the transcriptional circuitry underlying

  7. Regulation of MDA-MB-231 cell proliferation by GSK-3β involves epigenetic modifications under high glucose conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gupta, Chanchal; Kaur, Jasmine; Tikoo, Kulbhushan

    2014-01-01

    Hyperglycemia is a critical risk factor for development and progression of breast cancer. We have recently reported that high glucose induces phosphorylation of histone H3 at Ser 10 as well as de-phosphorylation of GSK-3β at Ser 9 in MDA-MB-231 cells. Here, we elucidate the mechanism underlying hyperglycemia-induced proliferation in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We provide evidence that hyperglycemia led to increased DNA methylation and DNMT1 expression in MDA-MB-231 cells. High glucose condition led to significant increase in the expression of PCNA, cyclin D1 and decrease in the expression of PTPN 12, p21 and PTEN. It also induced hypermethylation of DNA at the promoter region of PTPN 12, whereas hypomethylation at Vimentin and Snail. Silencing of GSK-3β by siRNA prevented histone H3 phosphorylation and reduced DNMT1 expression. We show that chromatin obtained after immunoprecipitation with phospho-histone H3 was hypermethylated under high glucose condition, which indicates a cross-talk between DNA methylation and histone H3 phosphorylation. ChIP-qPCR analysis revealed up-regulation of DNMT1 and metastatic genes viz. Vimentin, Snail and MMP-7 by phospho-histone H3, which were down-regulated upon GSK-3β silencing. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report which shows that interplay between GSK-3β activation, histone H3 phosphorylation and DNA methylation directs proliferation of breast cancer cells. - Highlights: • High glucose induces phosphorylation of histone H3 and dephosphorylation of GSK-3β. • Moreover, hyperglycemia also leads to increased DNA methylation in MDA-MB-231 cells. • Inhibition of GSK-3β prevented histone H3 phosphorylation and reduced DNMT1 levels. • Interplay exists between GSK-3β, histone H3 phosphorylation and DNA methylation

  8. Regulation of MDA-MB-231 cell proliferation by GSK-3β involves epigenetic modifications under high glucose conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, Chanchal; Kaur, Jasmine; Tikoo, Kulbhushan, E-mail: tikoo.k@gmail.com

    2014-05-15

    Hyperglycemia is a critical risk factor for development and progression of breast cancer. We have recently reported that high glucose induces phosphorylation of histone H3 at Ser 10 as well as de-phosphorylation of GSK-3β at Ser 9 in MDA-MB-231 cells. Here, we elucidate the mechanism underlying hyperglycemia-induced proliferation in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We provide evidence that hyperglycemia led to increased DNA methylation and DNMT1 expression in MDA-MB-231 cells. High glucose condition led to significant increase in the expression of PCNA, cyclin D1 and decrease in the expression of PTPN 12, p21 and PTEN. It also induced hypermethylation of DNA at the promoter region of PTPN 12, whereas hypomethylation at Vimentin and Snail. Silencing of GSK-3β by siRNA prevented histone H3 phosphorylation and reduced DNMT1 expression. We show that chromatin obtained after immunoprecipitation with phospho-histone H3 was hypermethylated under high glucose condition, which indicates a cross-talk between DNA methylation and histone H3 phosphorylation. ChIP-qPCR analysis revealed up-regulation of DNMT1 and metastatic genes viz. Vimentin, Snail and MMP-7 by phospho-histone H3, which were down-regulated upon GSK-3β silencing. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report which shows that interplay between GSK-3β activation, histone H3 phosphorylation and DNA methylation directs proliferation of breast cancer cells. - Highlights: • High glucose induces phosphorylation of histone H3 and dephosphorylation of GSK-3β. • Moreover, hyperglycemia also leads to increased DNA methylation in MDA-MB-231 cells. • Inhibition of GSK-3β prevented histone H3 phosphorylation and reduced DNMT1 levels. • Interplay exists between GSK-3β, histone H3 phosphorylation and DNA methylation.

  9. Maternal diets trigger sex-specific divergent trajectories of gene expression and epigenetic systems in mouse placenta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Gabory

    Full Text Available Males and females responses to gestational overnutrition set the stage for subsequent sex-specific differences in adult onset non communicable diseases. Placenta, as a widely recognized programming agent, contibutes to the underlying processes. According to our previous findings, a high-fat diet during gestation triggers sex-specific epigenetic alterations within CpG and throughout the genome, together with the deregulation of clusters of imprinted genes. We further investigated the impact of diet and sex on placental histology, transcriptomic and epigenetic signatures in mice. Both basal gene expression and response to maternal high-fat diet were sexually dimorphic in whole placentas. Numerous genes showed sexually dimorphic expression, but only 11 genes regardless of the diet. In line with the key role of genes belonging to the sex chromosomes, 3 of these genes were Y-specific and 3 were X-specific. Amongst all the genes that were differentially expressed under a high-fat diet, only 16 genes were consistently affected in both males and females. The differences were not only quantitative but remarkably qualitative. The biological functions and networks of genes dysregulated differed markedly between the sexes. Seven genes of the epigenetic machinery were dysregulated, due to effects of diet, sex or both, including the Y- and X-linked histone demethylase paralogues Kdm5c and Kdm5d, which could mark differently male and female epigenomes. The DNA methyltransferase cofactor Dnmt3l gene expression was affected, reminiscent of our previous observation of changes in global DNA methylation. Overall, this striking sexual dimorphism of programming trajectories impose a considerable revision of the current dietary interventions protocols.

  10. Autism, fever, epigenetics and the locus coeruleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehler, Mark F; Purpura, Dominick P

    2009-03-01

    Some children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exhibit improved behaviors and enhanced communication during febrile episodes. We hypothesize that febrigenesis and the behavioral-state changes associated with fever in autism depend upon selective normalization of key components of a functionally impaired locus coeruleus-noradrenergic (LC-NA) system. We posit that autistic behaviors result from developmental dysregulation of LC-NA system specification and neural network deployment and modulation linked to the core behavioral features of autism. Fever transiently restores the modulatory functions of the LC-NA system and ameliorates autistic behaviors. Fever-induced reversibility of autism suggests preserved functional integrity of widespread neural networks subserving the LC-NA system and specifically the subsystems involved in mediating the cognitive and behavioral repertoires compromised in ASD. Alterations of complex gene-environmental interactions and associated epigenetic mechanisms during seminal developmental critical periods are viewed as instrumental in LC-NA dysregulation as emphasized by the timing and severity of prenatal maternal stressors on autism prevalence. Our hypothesis has implications for a rational approach to further interrogate the interdisciplinary etiology of ASD and for designing novel biological detection systems and therapeutic agents that target the LC-NA system's diverse network of pre- and postsynaptic receptors, intracellular signaling pathways and dynamic epigenetic remodeling processes involved in their regulation and functional plasticity.

  11. Design of small-molecule epigenetic modulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachaiyappan, Boobalan

    2013-01-01

    The field of epigenetics has expanded rapidly to reveal multiple new targets for drug discovery. The functional elements of the epigenomic machinery can be catagorized as writers, erasers and readers, and together these elements control cellular gene expression and homeostasis. It is increasingly clear that aberrations in the epigenome can underly a variety of diseases, and thus discovery of small molecules that modulate the epigenome in a specific manner is a viable approach to the discovery of new therapeutic agents. In this Digest, the components of epigenetic control of gene expression will be briefly summarized, and efforts to identify small molecules that modulate epigenetic processes will be described. PMID:24300735

  12. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenyi Xu

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Heme oxygenase up-regulation under ultraviolet-B radiation is not epigenetically restricted and involves specific stress-related transcriptions factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Santa-Cruz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1 plays a protective role against oxidative stress in plants. The mechanisms regulating its expression, however, remain unclear. Here we studied the methylation state of a GC rich HO-1 promoter region and the expression of several stress-related transcription factors (TFs in soybean plants subjected to ultraviolet-B (UV-B radiation. Genomic DNA and total RNA were isolated from leaves of plants irradiated with 7.5 and 15 kJ m-2 UV-B. A 304 bp HO-1 promoter region was amplified by PCR from sodium bisulfite-treated DNA, cloned into pGEMT plasmid vector and evaluated by DNA sequencing. Bisulfite sequencing analysis showed similar HO-1 promoter methylation levels in control and UV-B-treated plants (C: 3.4±1.3%; 7.5: 2.6±0.5%; 15: 3.1±1.1%. Interestingly, HO-1 promoter was strongly unmethylated in control plants. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of TFs showed that GmMYB177, GmMYBJ6, GmWRKY21, GmNAC11, GmNAC20 and GmGT2A but not GmWRK13 and GmDREB were induced by UV-B radiation. The expression of several TFs was also enhanced by hemin, a potent and specific HO inducer, inferring that they may mediate HO-1 up-regulation. These results suggest that soybean HO-1 gene expression is not epigenetically regulated. Moreover, the low level of HO-1 promoter methylation suggests that this antioxidant enzyme can rapidly respond to environmental stress. Finally, this study has identified some stress-related TFs involved in HO-1 up-regulation under UV-B radiation. Keywords: Heme oxygenase, DNA methylation, Transcription factors, Ultraviolet-B radiation, Glycine max

  14. Individuality and epigenetics in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  15. Epigenetics and obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Stöger, Reinhard

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Epigenetics: beyond genes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fossey, A

    2009-06-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Regulation of Adipokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tho X. Pham

    2017-08-01

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

  18. Prostate cancer epigenetics and its clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yegnasubramanian, Srinivasan

    2016-01-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Understanding Neurological Disease Mechanisms in the Era of Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:23571666

  1. Loss of ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channel Surface Expression in Heart Failure Underlies Dysregulation of Action Potential Duration and Myocardial Vulnerability to Injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhan Gao

    Full Text Available The search for new approaches to treatment and prevention of heart failure is a major challenge in medicine. The adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium (KATP channel has been long associated with the ability to preserve myocardial function and viability under stress. High surface expression of membrane KATP channels ensures a rapid energy-sparing reduction in action potential duration (APD in response to metabolic challenges, while cellular signaling that reduces surface KATP channel expression blunts APD shortening, thus sacrificing energetic efficiency in exchange for greater cellular calcium entry and increased contractile force. In healthy hearts, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII phosphorylates the Kir6.2 KATP channel subunit initiating a cascade responsible for KATP channel endocytosis. Here, activation of CaMKII in a transaortic banding (TAB model of heart failure is coupled with a 35-40% reduction in surface expression of KATP channels compared to hearts from sham-operated mice. Linkage between KATP channel expression and CaMKII is verified in isolated cardiomyocytes in which activation of CaMKII results in downregulation of KATP channel current. Accordingly, shortening of monophasic APD is slowed in response to hypoxia or heart rate acceleration in failing compared to non-failing hearts, a phenomenon previously shown to result in significant increases in oxygen consumption. Even in the absence of coronary artery disease, failing myocardium can be further injured by ischemia due to a mismatch between metabolic supply and demand. Ischemia-reperfusion injury, following ischemic preconditioning, is diminished in hearts with CaMKII inhibition compared to wild-type hearts and this advantage is largely eliminated when myocardial KATP channel expression is absent, supporting that the myocardial protective benefit of CaMKII inhibition in heart failure may be substantially mediated by KATP channels. Recognition of Ca

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Epigenetic regulation of photoperiodic flowering

    OpenAIRE

    Takeno, Kiyotoshi

    2010-01-01

    The cytidine analogue 5-azacytidine, which causes DNA demethylation, induced flowering in the non-vernalization-requiring plants Perilla frutescens var. crispa, Silene armeria and Pharbitis nil (synonym Ipomoea nil) under non-inductive photoperiodic conditions, suggesting that the expression of photoperiodic flowering-related genes is regulated epigenetically by DNA methylation. The flowering state induced by DNA demethylation was not heritable. Changes in the genome-wide methylation state we...

  5. Epigenetic memory in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe eMigicovsky

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic information can be passed on from one generation to another via DNA methylation, histone modifications and changes in small RNAs, a process called epigenetic memory. During a mammal’s lifecycle epigenetic reprogramming, or the resetting of most epigenetic marks, occurs twice. The first instance of reprogramming occurs in primordial germ cells and the second occurs following fertilization. These processes may be both passive and active. In order for epigenetic inheritance to occur the epigenetic modifications must be able to escape reprogramming. There are several examples supporting this non-Mendelian mechanism of inheritance including the prepacking of early developmental genes in histones instead of protamines in sperm, genomic imprinting via methylation marks, the retention of CenH3 in mammalian sperm and the inheritance of piwi-associated interfering RNAs. The ability of mammals to pass on epigenetic information to their progeny provides clear evidence that inheritance is not restricted to DNA sequence and epigenetics plays a key role in producing viable offspring.

  6. 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...

  7. Early life exposure to famine and colorectal cancer risk: A role for epigenetic mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hughes, L.A.E.; Brandt, P.A. van den; Bruïne, A.P. de; Wouters, K.A.D.; Hulsmans, S.; Spiertz, A.; Goldbohm, R.A.; Goeij, A.F.P.M. de; Herman, J.G.; Weijenberg, M.P.; Engeland, M. van

    2009-01-01

    Background: Exposure to energy restriction during childhood and adolescence is associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Epigenetic dysregulation during this critical period of growth and development may be a mechanism to explain such observations. Within the Netherlands

  8. A Positive Affective Neuroendocrinology (PANE Approach to Reward and Behavioral Dysregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith eWelker

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Emerging lines of research suggest that both testosterone and maladaptive reward processing can modulate behavioral dysregulation. Yet to date, no integrative account has been provided that systematically explains neuroendocrine function, dysregulation of reward, and behavioral dysregulation in a unified perspective. This is particularly important given specific neuroendocrine systems are potential mechanisms underlying and giving rise to reward-relevant behaviors. In this review, we propose a forward thinking approach to study the mechanisms of reward and behavioral dysregulation from a positive affective neuroendocrinology (PANE perspective. This approach holds that testosterone increases reward processing, which increases the likelihood of behavioral dysregulation. Additionally, the PANE framework holds that reward processing mediates the effects of testosterone on behavioral dysregulation. We also explore sources of potential sex differences and the roles of age, cortisol, and individual differences within the PANE framework. Finally, we discuss future prospects for research questions and methodology in the emerging field of affective neuroendocrinology.

  9. Epigenetic Effects of Cannabis Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szutorisz, Henrietta; Hurd, Yasmin L.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetic regulation of female puberty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomniczi, Alejandro; Wright, Hollis; Ojeda, Sergio R

    2015-01-01

    Substantial progress has been made in recent years toward deciphering the molecular and genetic underpinnings of the pubertal process. The availability of powerful new methods to interrogate the human genome has led to the identification of genes that are essential for puberty to occur. Evidence has also emerged suggesting that the initiation of puberty requires the coordinated activity of gene sets organized into functional networks. At a cellular level, it is currently thought that loss of transsynaptic inhibition, accompanied by an increase in excitatory inputs, results in the pubertal activation of GnRH release. This concept notwithstanding, a mechanism of epigenetic repression targeting genes required for the pubertal activation of GnRH neurons was recently identified as a core component of the molecular machinery underlying the central restraint of puberty. In this chapter we will discuss the potential contribution of various mechanisms of epigenetic regulation to the hypothalamic control of female puberty. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Epigenetic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Perspectives for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunio Miyake

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the life sciences. Its rise is frequently framed as a revolutionary turn that heralds a new epoch both for gene-based epistemology and for the wider discourse on life that pervades knowledge-intensive societies of the molecular age. The fundamentals of this revolution remain however to be scrutinized, and indeed the very contours of what counts as ‘epigenetic' are often blurred. This is reflected also in the mounting discourse on the societal implications of epigenetics, in which vast expectations coexist with significant uncertainty about what aspects of this science are most relevant for politics or policy alike. This is therefore a suitable time to reflect on the directions that social theory could most productively take in the scrutiny of this revolution. Here we take this opportunity in both its scholarly and normative dimension, that is, proposing a roadmap for social theorizing on epigenetics that does not shy away from, and indeed hopefully guides, the framing of its most socially relevant outputs. To this end, we start with an epistemological reappraisal of epigenetic discourse that valorizes the blurring of meanings as a critical asset for the field and privileged analytical entry point. We then propose three paths of investigation. The first looks at the structuring elements of controversies and visions around epigenetics. The second probes the mutual constitution between the epigenetic reordering of living phenomena and the normative settlements that orient individual and collective responsibilities. The third highlights the material import of epigenetics and the molecularization of culture that it mediates. We suggest that these complementary strands provide both an epistemically and socially self-reflective framework to advance the study of epigenetics as a molecular juncture between nature and nurture and thus as the new critical frontier in the social studies of the life sciences. PMID

  14. Noncoding Elements: Evolution and Epigenetic Regulation

    KAUST Repository

    Seridi, Loqmane

    2016-03-09

    When the human genome project was completed, it revealed a surprising result. 98% of the genome did not code for protein of which more than 50% are repeats— later known as ”Junk DNA”. However, comparative genomics unveiled that many noncoding elements are evolutionarily constrained; thus luckily to have a role in genome stability and regulation. Though, their exact functions remained largely unknown. Several large international consortia such as the Functional Annotation of Mammalian Genomes (FANTOM) and the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) were set to understand the structure and the regulation of the genome. Specifically, these endeavors aim to measure and reveal the transcribed components and functional elements of the genome. One of the most the striking findings of these efforts is that most of the genome is transcribed, including non-conserved noncoding elements and repeat elements. Specifically, we investigated the evolution and epigenetic properties of noncoding elements. 1. We compared genomes of evolutionarily distant species and showed the ubiquity of constrained noncoding elements in metazoa. 2. By integrating multi-omic data (such as transcriptome, nucleosome profiling, histone modifications), I conducted a comprehensive analysis of epigenetic properties (chromatin states) of conserved noncoding elements in insects. We showed that those elements have distinct and protective sequence features, undergo dynamic epigenetic regulation, and appear to be associated with the structural components of the chromatin, replication origins, and nuclear matrix. 3. I focused on the relationship between enhancers and repetitive elements. Using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) and RNASeq, I compiled a full catalog of active enhancers (a class of noncoding elements) during myogenesis of human primary cells of healthy donors and donors affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Comparing the two time-courses, a significant change in the epigenetic

  15. Dysregulated sexuality and high sexual desire: distinct constructs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winters, Jason; Christoff, Kalina; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2010-10-01

    The literature on dysregulated sexuality, whether theoretical, clinical or empirical, has failed to differentiate the construct from high sexual desire. In this study, we tested three hypotheses which addressed this issue. A sample of 6458 men and 7938 women, some of whom had sought treatment for sexual compulsivity, addiction or impulsivity, completed an online survey comprised of various sexuality measures. Men and women who reported having sought treatment scored significantly higher on measures of dysregulated sexuality and sexual desire. For men, women, and those who had sought treatment, dysregulated sexuality was associated with increased sexual desire. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a one-factor model, indicating that, in both male and female participants, dysregulated sexuality and sexual desire variables loaded onto a single underlying factor. The results of this study suggest that dysregulated sexuality, as currently conceptualized, labelled, and measured, may simply be a marker of high sexual desire and the distress associated with managing a high degree of sexual thoughts, feelings, and needs.

  16. Dysregulation of C-X-C motif ligand 10 during aging and association with cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradburn, Steven; McPhee, Jamie; Bagley, Liam; Carroll, Michael; Slevin, Mark; Al-Shanti, Nasser; Barnouin, Yoann; Hogrel, Jean-Yves; Pääsuke, Mati; Gapeyeva, Helena; Maier, Andrea; Sipilä, Sarianna; Narici, Marco; Robinson, Andrew; Mann, David; Payton, Antony; Pendleton, Neil; Butler-Browne, Gillian; Murgatroyd, Chris

    2018-03-01

    Chronic low-grade inflammation during aging (inflammaging) is associated with cognitive decline and neurodegeneration; however, the mechanisms underlying inflammaging are unclear. We studied a population (n = 361) of healthy young and old adults from the MyoAge cohort. Peripheral levels of C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10) was found to be higher in older adults, compared with young, and negatively associated with working memory performance. This coincided with an age-related reduction in blood DNA methylation at specific CpGs within the CXCL10 gene promoter. In vitro analysis supported the role of DNA methylation in regulating CXCL10 transcription. A polymorphism (rs56061981) that altered methylation at one of these CpG sites further associated with working memory performance in 2 independent aging cohorts. Studying prefrontal cortex samples, we found higher CXCL10 protein levels in those with Alzheimer's disease, compared with aged controls. These findings support the association of peripheral inflammation, as demonstrated by CXCL10, in aging and cognitive decline. We reveal age-related epigenetic and genetic factors which contribute to the dysregulation of CXCL10. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 2009 Epigenetics Gordon Research Conference (August 9 - 14, 2009)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanie Lee

    2009-08-14

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

  18. Study on epigenetic alterations of ore-enclosing sedimentary rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kondrat'eva, I.A.; Komarova, G.V.

    1985-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations of sedimentary rocks under effect of exogenous undeground waters of various types: near-surface, ground, stratum, and deep circulation waters, are considered. Association to postsedimentary tectonic structures, confinement of neogenesis to areas of high permeability (porous or crack one), geochemical contradictions between mineral neogenis and facial outlook of deposits, noncoincidence of variability gradient of authigenous mineral associations with variability of primary facial signs of deposits, regular position of mineral formations and ore concentrations in epigenetic mineralogo-geochemical zonation are referred to epigenetic criteria. The complex of epigenetic alterations accompanying mineralization is frequently used as a search sign of uranium deposit of a certain type

  19. Epigenetics and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Eating Disorders and Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, Lea; Steiger, Howard

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Wenyi Xu; Fengzhong Wang; Zhongsheng Yu; Fengjiao Xin

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Epigenetic regulation in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Elaine M; Gibney, Eileen R

    2013-07-01

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

  9. Epigenetics of reproductive infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  10. The Interaction between the Immune System and Epigenetics in the Etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardone, Stefano; Elliott, Evan

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Adiposopathy and epigenetics: an introduction to obesity as a transgenerational disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bays, Harold; Scinta, Wendy

    2015-11-01

    To examine the contribution of generational epigenetic dysregulation to the inception of obesity and its adiposopathic consequences. Sources for this review included searches of PubMed, Google Scholar, and international government/major association websites using terms including adiposity, adiposopathy, epigenetics, genetics, and obesity. Excessive energy storage in adipose tissue often results in fat cell and fat organ dysfunction, which may cause metabolic and fat mass disorders. The adverse clinical manifestations of obesity are not solely due to the amount of body fat (adiposity), but are also dependent on anatomical and functional perturbations (adiposopathy or 'sick fat'). This review describes extragenetic factors and genetic conditions that promote obesity. It also serves as an introduction to epigenetic dysregulation (i.e., abnormalities in gene expression that occur without alteration in the genetic code itself), which may contribute to obesity and adiposopathic metabolic health outcomes in offspring. Within the epigenetic paradigm, obesity is a transgenerational disease, with weight lost or gained by either parent potentially impacting generational risk for obesity and its complications. Epigenetics may be an important contributor to the emergence of obesity and its complications as global epidemics. Although transgenerational epigenetic influences present challenges, they may also present interventional opportunities, via justifying weight management for individuals before, during, and after pregnancy and for future generations.

  13. Nutritional influences on epigenetics and age-related disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. [Pain and emotional dysregulation: Cellular memory due to pain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narita, Minoru; Watanabe, Moe; Hamada, Yusuke; Tamura, Hideki; Ikegami, Daigo; Kuzumaki, Naoko; Igarashi, Katsuhide

    2015-08-01

    Genetic factors are involved in determinants for the risk of psychiatric disorders, and neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic pain stimuli and intense pain have effects at a cellular and/or gene expression level, and will eventually induce "cellular memory due to pain", which means that tissue damage, even if only transient, can elicit epigenetically abnormal transcription/translation and post-translational modification in related cells depending on the degree or kind of injury or associated conditions. Such cell memory/transformation due to pain can cause an abnormality in a fundamental intracellular response, such as a change in the three-dimensional structure of DNA, transcription, or translation. On the other hand, pain is a multidimensional experience with sensory-discriminative and motivational-affective components. Recent human brain imaging studies have examined differences in activity in the nucleus accumbens between controls and patients with chronic pain, and have revealed that the nucleus accumbens plays a role in predicting the value of a noxious stimulus and its offset, and in the consequent changes in the motivational state. In this review, we provide a very brief overview of a comprehensive understanding of chronic pain associated with emotional dysregulation due to transcriptional regulation, epigenetic modification and miRNA regulation.

  15. Genomic dysregulation in gastric tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janjigian, Yelena Y; Kelsen, David P

    2013-03-01

    Gastric cancer is among the most common human malignancies and the second leading cause of cancer-related death. The different epidemiologic and histopathology of subtypes of gastric cancer are associated with different genomic patterns. Data suggests that gene expression patterns of proximal, distal gastric cancers-intestinal type, and diffuse/signet cell are well separated. This review summarizes the genetic and epigenetic changes thought to drive gastric cancer and the emerging paradigm of gastric cancer as three unique disease subtypes. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopomo, A; Burgio, E; Migliore, L

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The epigenetic control of transposable elements and imprinted genes in newborns is affected by the mode of conception: ART versus spontaneous conception without underlying infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choux, C; Binquet, C; Carmignac, V; Bruno, C; Chapusot, C; Barberet, J; Lamotte, M; Sagot, P; Bourc'his, D; Fauque, P

    2018-02-01

    Do assisted reproductive technologies alter DNA methylation and/or transcription of transposable elements and imprinted genes in cord blood and placenta? After ART, DNA methylation and/or transcription changes of some transposable elements and imprinted genes were found in placenta samples while transcription modifications for some transposable elements were also discovered in cord blood. Recent studies have confirmed the increased risk of placenta-related adverse pregnancy outcomes and the excess of imprinted disorders with abnormal methylation patterns after ART, which raises the issue of a potential ART-induced epigenetic risk. A total of 51 IVF/ICSI (15 conventional and 36 ICSI) singleton pregnancies were prospectively included from January 2013 to April 2015 and compared to 48 spontaneously conceived singleton pregnancies. The DNA methylation and transcription of three imprinted loci (H19/IGF2, KCNQ1OT1 and SNURF DMRs) and four transposon families (LINE-1, ERVFRD, AluYa5 and ERVW) in cord blood and placenta obtained at birth were assessed by pyrosequencing and quantitative RT-PCR, respectively. All data were adjusted for gestational age at delivery, sex of the newborn, parity and maternal age. DNA methylation levels of H19/IGF2, KCNQ1OT1, LINE-1Hs and ERVFRD-1 were significantly lower in IVF/ICSI placentas than in control placentas, while there was no difference for cord blood. Moreover, the expression of ERVFRD-1 and LINE-1 ORF2 in cord blood and ERVFRD-1 in placenta was lower in the IVF/ICSI group than in controls. The expression of ERVFRD-1 in placenta correlated positively with birth weight and placenta weight, but only in the control group, thus pointing to the potential deregulation of syncytin function after ART. N/A. The control group of fertile couples having conceived within 1 year prevented us from deciphering the distinct roles of ART and infertility. These novel findings of ERVFRD (syncytin-2) expression correlating with birth weight and placenta

  19. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Epigenetics and lifestyle.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  1. Anxiety and Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Sex differences in prenatal epigenetic programming of stress pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bale, Tracy L

    2011-07-01

    Maternal stress experience is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia and autism. Recent studies have examined mechanisms by which changes in the maternal milieu may be transmitted to the developing embryo and potentially translated into programming of the epigenome. Animal models of prenatal stress have identified important sex- and temporal-specific effects on offspring stress responsivity. As dysregulation of stress pathways is a common feature in most neuropsychiatric diseases, molecular and epigenetic analyses at the maternal-embryo interface, especially in the placenta, may provide unique insight into identifying much-needed predictive biomarkers. In addition, as most neurodevelopmental disorders present with a sex bias, examination of sex differences in the inheritance of phenotypic outcomes may pinpoint gene targets and specific windows of vulnerability in neurodevelopment, which have been disrupted. This review discusses the association and possible contributing mechanisms of prenatal stress in programming offspring stress pathway dysregulation and the importance of sex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Rebecca

    2011-02-01

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

  4. Design of small molecule epigenetic modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachaiyappan, Boobalan; Woster, Patrick M

    2014-01-01

    The field of epigenetics has expanded rapidly to reveal multiple new targets for drug discovery. The functional elements of the epigenomic machinery can be categorized as writers, erasers and readers, and together these elements control cellular gene expression and homeostasis. It is increasingly clear that aberrations in the epigenome can underly a variety of diseases, and thus discovery of small molecules that modulate the epigenome in a specific manner is a viable approach to the discovery of new therapeutic agents. In this Digest, the components of epigenetic control of gene expression will be briefly summarized, and efforts to identify small molecules that modulate epigenetic processes will be described. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel eCariaga-Martinez

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lao, Victoria Valinluck; Grady, William M.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  9. Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Chromatin resetting mechanisms preventing trangenerational inheritance of epigenetic states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayumi eIwasaki

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Epigenetic regulation of the glucose transporter gene Slc2a1 by β-hydroxybutyrate underlies preferential glucose supply to the brain of fasted mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanegashima, Kosuke; Sato-Miyata, Yukiko; Funakoshi, Masabumi; Nishito, Yasumasa; Aigaki, Toshiro; Hara, Takahiko

    2017-01-01

    We carried out liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of metabolites in mice. Those metabolome data showed that hepatic glucose content is reduced, but that brain glucose content is unaffected, during fasting, consistent with the priority given to brain glucose consumption during fasting. The molecular mechanisms for this preferential glucose supply to the brain are not fully understood. We also showed that the fasting-induced production of the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB) enhances expression of the glucose transporter gene Slc2a1 (Glut1) via histone modification. Upon β-OHB treatment, Slc2a1 expression was up-regulated, with a concomitant increase in H3K9 acetylation at the critical cis-regulatory region of the Slc2a1 gene in brain microvascular endothelial cells and NB2a neuronal cells, shown by quantitative PCR analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated disruption of the Hdac2 gene increased Slc2a1 expression, suggesting that it is one of the responsible histone deacetylases (HDACs). These results confirm that β-OHB is a HDAC inhibitor and show that β-OHB plays an important role in fasting-induced epigenetic activation of a glucose transporter gene in the brain. © 2016 Molecular Biology Society of Japan and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  14. Epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Alpha-synuclein sequesters Dnmt1 from the nucleus: a novel mechanism for epigenetic alterations in Lewy body diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desplats, Paula; Spencer, Brian; Coffee, Elizabeth; Patel, Pruthul; Michael, Sarah; Patrick, Christina; Adame, Anthony; Rockenstein, Edward; Masliah, Eliezer

    2011-03-18

    DNA methylation is a major epigenetic modification that regulates gene expression. Dnmt1, the maintenance DNA methylation enzyme, is abundantly expressed in the adult brain and is mainly located in the nuclear compartment, where it has access to chromatin. Hypomethylation of CpG islands at intron 1 of the SNCA gene has recently been reported to result in overexpression of α-synuclein in Parkinson disease (PD) and related disorders. We therefore investigated the mechanisms underlying altered DNA methylation in PD and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We present evidence of reduction of nuclear Dnmt1 levels in human postmortem brain samples from PD and DLB patients as well as in the brains of α-synuclein transgenic mice models. Furthermore, sequestration of Dnmt1 in the cytoplasm results in global DNA hypomethylation in human and mouse brains, involving CpG islands upstream of SNCA, SEPW1, and PRKAR2A genes. We report that association of Dnmt1 and α-synuclein might mediate aberrant subcellular localization of Dnmt1. Nuclear Dnmt1 levels were partially rescued by overexpression of Dnmt1 in neuronal cell cultures and in α-synuclein transgenic mice brains. Our results underscore a novel mechanism for epigenetic dysregulation in Lewy body diseases, which might underlie the decrease in DNA methylation reported for PD and DLB.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E.; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis. PMID:26048882

  19. Epigenetics in natural animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J; Barrett, R D H

    2017-09-01

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

  20. [Epigenetics of prostate cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Xiao-Ming; Zhou, Wen-Quan

    2010-07-01

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

  1. Theory of epigenetic coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elder, D

    1984-06-07

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

  2. Epigenetics and brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keverne, Eric B

    2011-04-01

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

  3. A cleanroom sleeping environment's impact on markers of oxidative stress, immune dysregulation, and behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, Scott; Zinn, Gregory M; Boggess, Andrew; Fahrenholz, Timothy; Kern, John C; Kingston, H M Skip

    2015-03-19

    An emerging paradigm suggests children with autism display a unique pattern of environmental, genetic, and epigenetic triggers that make them susceptible to developing dysfunctional heavy metal and chemical detoxification systems. These abnormalities could be caused by alterations in the methylation, sulfation, and metalloprotein pathways. This study sought to evaluate the physiological and behavioral effects of children with autism sleeping in an International Organization for Standardization Class 5 cleanroom. Ten children with autism, ages 3-12, slept in a cleanroom for two weeks to evaluate changes in toxin levels, oxidative stress, immune dysregulation, and behavior. Before and after the children slept in the cleanroom, samples of blood and hair and rating scale scores were obtained to assess these changes. Five children significantly lowered their concentration of oxidized glutathione, a biomarker of oxidative stress. The younger cohort, age 5 and under, showed significantly greater mean decreases in two markers of immune dysregulation, CD3% and CD4%, than the older cohort. Changes in serum magnesium, influencing neuronal regulation, correlated negatively while changes in serum iron, affecting oxygenation of tissues, correlated positively with age. Changes in serum benzene and PCB 28 concentrations showed significant negative correlations with age. The younger children demonstrated significant improvements on behavioral rating scales compared to the older children. In a younger pair of identical twins, one twin showed significantly greater improvements in 4 out of 5 markers of oxidative stress, which corresponded with better overall behavioral rating scale scores than the other twin. Younger children who slept in the cleanroom altered elemental levels, decreased immune dysregulation, and improved behavioral rating scales, suggesting that their detoxification metabolism was briefly enhanced. The older children displayed a worsening in behavioral rating scale

  4. Epigenetics and Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

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

  5. [Epigenetics and obesity].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  6. Epigenetics and human obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, David

    2015-05-29

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

  8. Environmental stressors and epigenetic control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis (HPA-axis)

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Richard; Sawa, Akira

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we provide a brief summary of several key studies that broaden our understanding of stress and its epigenetic control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA)-axis function and behavior. Clinical and animal studies suggest a link among exposure to stress, dysregulation of the HPA-axis, and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric illnesses. Recent studies have supported the notion that exposure to glucocorticoids and stress in various forms, duration, and intensity during di...

  9. Prostate Cancer Epigenetics: A Review on Gene Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Diaw

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in western countries, and its incidence is increasing steadily worldwide. Molecular changes including both genetic and epigenetic events underlying the development and progression of this disease are still not well understood. Epigenetic events are involved in gene regulation and occur through different mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modifi cations. Both DNA methylation and histone modifi cations affect gene regulation and play important roles either independently or by interaction in tumor initiation and progression. This review will discuss the genes associated with epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer progression: their regulation and importance as possible markers for the disease.

  10. Epigenetics of autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schanen, N Carolyn

    2006-10-15

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

  11. Epigenetic Risk Factors in PTSD and Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Joachim Raabe

    2013-08-01

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

  12. Epigenetics: What it is about?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saade E.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics has captured the attention of scientists in the past decades, yet its scope has been continuously changing. In this paper, we give an overview on how and why its definition has evolved and suggest several clarification on the concepts used in this field. Waddington coined the term in 1942 to describe genes interaction with each other and with their environment and insisted on dissociating these events from development. Then, Holliday and others argued that epigenetic phenomena are characterized by their heritability. However, differentiated cells can maintain their phenotypes for decades without undergoing division, which points out the limitation of the «heritability» criterion for a particular phenomenon to qualify as epigenetic. «Epigenetic stability» encompasses traits preservation in both dividing and non dividing cells. Likewise, the use of the term «epigenetic regulation» has been misleading as it overlaps with «regulation of gene expression», whereas «epigenetic information» clearly distinguishes epigenetic from genetic phenomena. Consequently, how could epigenetic information be transmitted and perpetuated? The term «epigenetic templating» has been proposed to refer to a general mechanism of perpetuation of epigenetic information that is based on the preferential activity of enzymes that deposit a particular epigenetic mark on macromolecular complexes already containing the same mark. Another issue that we address is the role of epigenetic information. Not only it is important in allowing alternative interpretations of genetic information, but it appears to be important in protecting the genome, as can be illustrated by bacterial endonucleases that targets non methylated DNA – i. e. foreign DNA – and not the endogenous methylated DNA.

  13. Epigenetics in women's health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mankgopo M. Kgatle

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Marpadga A; Natarajan, Rama

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Géranton, Sandrine M; Tochiki, Keri K

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  18. Prostate Cancer Epigenetics: A Review on Gene Regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Diaw, Lena; Woodson, Karen; Gillespie, John W.

    2007-01-01

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in western countries, and its incidence is increasing steadily worldwide. Molecular changes including both genetic and epigenetic events underlying the development and progression of this disease are still not well understood. Epigenetic events are involved in gene regulation and occur through different mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modifi cations. Both DNA methylation and histone modifi cations affect gene regulation and play ...

  19. Dysregulation of Histone Acetyltransferases and Deacetylases in Cardiovascular Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonggang Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cardiovascular disease (CVD remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide despite advances in its prevention and management. A comprehensive understanding of factors which contribute to CVD is required in order to develop more effective treatment options. Dysregulation of epigenetic posttranscriptional modifications of histones in chromatin is thought to be associated with the pathology of many disease models, including CVD. Histone acetyltransferases (HATs and deacetylases (HDACs are regulators of histone lysine acetylation. Recent studies have implicated a fundamental role of reversible protein acetylation in the regulation of CVDs such as hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, diabetic cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and heart failure. This reversible acetylation is governed by enzymes that HATs add or HDACs remove acetyl groups respectively. New evidence has revealed that histone acetylation regulators blunt cardiovascular and related disease states in certain cellular processes including myocyte hypertrophy, apoptosis, fibrosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation. The accumulating evidence of the detrimental role of histone acetylation in cardiac disease combined with the cardioprotective role of histone acetylation regulators suggests that the use of histone acetylation regulators may serve as a novel approach to treating the millions of patients afflicted by cardiac diseases worldwide.

  20. Transcriptional Dysregulation of MYC Reveals Common Enhancer-Docking Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuijers, Jurian; Manteiga, John Colonnese; Weintraub, Abraham Selby; Day, Daniel Sindt; Zamudio, Alicia Viridiana; Hnisz, Denes; Lee, Tong Ihn; Young, Richard Allen

    2018-04-10

    Transcriptional dysregulation of the MYC oncogene is among the most frequent events in aggressive tumor cells, and this is generally accomplished by acquisition of a super-enhancer somewhere within the 2.8 Mb TAD where MYC resides. We find that these diverse cancer-specific super-enhancers, differing in size and location, interact with the MYC gene through a common and conserved CTCF binding site located 2 kb upstream of the MYC promoter. Genetic perturbation of this enhancer-docking site in tumor cells reduces CTCF binding, super-enhancer interaction, MYC gene expression, and cell proliferation. CTCF binding is highly sensitive to DNA methylation, and this enhancer-docking site, which is hypomethylated in diverse cancers, can be inactivated through epigenetic editing with dCas9-DNMT. Similar enhancer-docking sites occur at other genes, including genes with prominent roles in multiple cancers, suggesting a mechanism by which tumor cell oncogenes can generally hijack enhancers. These results provide insights into mechanisms that allow a single target gene to be regulated by diverse enhancer elements in different cell types. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Transcriptional Dysregulation of MYC Reveals Common Enhancer-Docking Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurian Schuijers

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Transcriptional dysregulation of the MYC oncogene is among the most frequent events in aggressive tumor cells, and this is generally accomplished by acquisition of a super-enhancer somewhere within the 2.8 Mb TAD where MYC resides. We find that these diverse cancer-specific super-enhancers, differing in size and location, interact with the MYC gene through a common and conserved CTCF binding site located 2 kb upstream of the MYC promoter. Genetic perturbation of this enhancer-docking site in tumor cells reduces CTCF binding, super-enhancer interaction, MYC gene expression, and cell proliferation. CTCF binding is highly sensitive to DNA methylation, and this enhancer-docking site, which is hypomethylated in diverse cancers, can be inactivated through epigenetic editing with dCas9-DNMT. Similar enhancer-docking sites occur at other genes, including genes with prominent roles in multiple cancers, suggesting a mechanism by which tumor cell oncogenes can generally hijack enhancers. These results provide insights into mechanisms that allow a single target gene to be regulated by diverse enhancer elements in different cell types. : Schuijers et al. show that a conserved CTCF site at the promoter of the MYC oncogene plays an important role in enhancer-promoter looping with tumor-specific super-enhancers. Perturbation of this site provides a potential therapeutic vulnerability. Keywords: gene regulation, super-enhancers, chromosome structure, enhancer docking

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Julio D

    2013-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetics of kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanner, Nicola; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables, epigenetics, and prostate cancer prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Epidemiological evidence has demonstrated a reduced risk of prostate cancer associated with cruciferous vegetable intake. Follow-up studies have attributed this protective activity to the metabolic products of glucosinolates, a class of secondary metabolites produced by crucifers. The metabolic products of glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol respectively, have been the subject of intense investigation by cancer researchers. Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol inhibit prostate cancer by both blocking initiation and suppressing prostate cancer progression in vitro and in vivo. Research has largely focused on the anti-initiation and cytoprotective effects of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol through induction of phases I and II detoxification pathways. With regards to suppressive activity, research has focused on the ability of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol to antagonize cell signaling pathways known to be dysregulated in prostate cancer. Recent investigations have characterized the ability of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol derivatives to modulate the activity of enzymes controlling the epigenetic status of prostate cancer cells. In this review, we will summarize the well-established, "classic" non-epigenetic targets of sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, and highlight more recent evidence supporting these phytochemicals as epigenetic modulators for prostate cancer chemoprevention.

  6. 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

  7. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlie Genome Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamm, Ehud

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Epigenetic inheritance, prions and evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  9. Evolutionary significance of epigenetic variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Gómez-Díaz

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

  12. Stress, Epigenetics, and Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonat, Sachin; Pandey, Subhash C.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Transgenerational stress-adaption: an opportunity for ecological epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinhold, Arne

    2018-01-01

    In the recent years, there has been considerable interest to investigate the adaptive transgenerational plasticity of plants and how a "stress memory" can be transmitted to the following generation. Although, increasing evidence suggests that transgenerational adaptive responses have widespread ecological relevance, the underlying epigenetic processes have rarely been elucidated. On the other hand, model plant species have been deeply investigated in their genome-wide methylation landscape without connecting this to the ecological reality of the plant. What we need is the combination of an ecological understanding which plant species would benefit from transgenerational epigenetic stress-adaption in their natural habitat, combined with a deeper molecular analysis of non-model organisms. Only such interdisciplinary linkage in an ecological epigenetic study could unravel the full potential that epigenetics could play for the transgenerational stress-adaption of plants.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

    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.

  16. [Application of Epigenetics in Perinatal Nursing Care].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Hsueh-Fen; Kao, Chien-Huei; Gau, Meei-Ling

    2017-04-01

    Epigenetics is a field of biomedicine that expanded tremendously during the 1980s. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression independent of underlying DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) sequence, which not only affect this generation but will be passed to subsequent generations. Although conception is the critical moment for making decisions regarding gene mapping and fetal health, studies have shown that perinatal nursing care practices also affect the genetic remodeling processes and the subsequent health of the mother and her offspring. To optimize maternal-infant and the offspring health, it is important to ensure that the new mother get adequate nutrition, reduce stress levels, adopt gentle birth practices, facilitate exclusive breastfeeding, and avoid contacting toxic substances.

  17. Small RNA-Mediated Epigenetic Myostatin Silencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Roberts

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Myostatin (Mstn is a secreted growth factor that negatively regulates muscle mass and is therefore a potential pharmacological target for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Here we describe a novel Mstn blockade approach in which small interfering RNAs (siRNAs complementary to a promoter-associated transcript induce transcriptional gene silencing (TGS in two differentiated mouse muscle cell lines. Silencing is sensitive to treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, and the silent state chromatin mark H3K9me2 is enriched at the Mstn promoter following siRNA transfection, suggesting epigenetic remodeling underlies the silencing effect. These observations suggest that long-term epigenetic silencing may be feasible for Mstn and that TGS is a promising novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders.

  18. [Early attachement relationships and epigenetic customization].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocchi, Giordana; Serio, Valentina; Carluccio, Giuseppe Mattia; Marini, Isabella; Meuti, Valentina; Zaccagni, Michela; Giacchetti, Nicoletta; Aceti, Franca

    2015-01-01

    Recently, new findings in epigenetic science switched the focus from the observation of physiological intragenomic dynamics to the idea of an environmental co-construction of phenotypic expression. In psichodynamic field, objectual relations and attachement theoreticians emphasized the interpersonal dimension of individual development, focusing the attention on the relational matrix of self organization. The construction of stable affective-behavioral traits throughout different parenting styles has actually found a coincidence in ethological studies, which have explored the epigenetic processes underlying the relationship between caregiving and HPA stress responsiveness. An adequate parenting style seems to support affective regulation throughout psychobiological hidden moderators, which would tend to rebalance the physiological systems homeostasis; an unconfident attachment style would promote, on the other hand, the allostatic load rise. Sites of longlife epigenetic susceptibility have also been identified in humans; although associated with risk of maladaptive developing in adverse environmental conditions, they seem to confer protection under favorable conditions. This persisting possibility of reorganization of stable traits throughout lifetime, which seems to be activated by a relevant environmental input, grant to significant relationships, and to therapeutical one as well, an implicit reconditioning potential which could result into the configuration of new stable affective-behavioral styles.

  19. Long-Term Effects of the Periconception Period on Embryo Epigenetic Profile and Phenotype: The Role of Stress and How This Effect Is Mediated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ord, James; Fazeli, Alireza; Watt, Penelope J

    2017-01-01

    Stress represents an unavoidable aspect of human life, and pathologies associated with dysregulation of stress mechanisms - particularly psychiatric disorders - represent a significant global health problem. While it has long been observed that levels of stress experienced in the periconception period may greatly affect the offspring's risk of psychiatric disorders, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not yet comprehensively understood. In order to address this question, this chapter will take a 'top-down' approach, by first defining stress and associated concepts, before exploring the mechanistic basis of the stress response in the form of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and how dysregulation of the HPA axis can impede our mental and physical health, primarily via imbalances in glucocorticoids (GCs) and their corresponding receptors (GRs) in the brain. The current extent of knowledge pertaining to the impact of stress on developmental programming and epigenetic inheritance is then extensively discussed, including the role of chromatin remodelling associated with specific HPA axis-related genes and the possible role of regulatory RNAs as messengers of environmental stress both in the intrauterine environment and across the germ line. Furthering our understanding of the role of stress on embryonic development is crucial if we are to increase our predictive power of disease risk and devise-effective treatments and intervention strategies.

  20. The political implications of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Shea K

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2014-04-01

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

  2. [Schizophrenia, environment and epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Must, Anita; Janka, Zoltan; Horvath, Szatmar

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukoyanova, O L; Borovik, T E

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

  4. Investigating multiple dysregulated pathways in rheumatoid arthritis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Xian-Dong Song

    2018-03-09

    Mar 9, 2018 ... 5Department of Kidney Internal Medicine, Hongqi Hospital of ... on the gene expression profile, pathway data, and PPI information. ... controls. These 10 dysregulated pathways might be potential ... a significant burden on the healthcare systems (Yamada ... The risk of adverse effects and expensive treat-.

  5. Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Gosik, Kirk; Xing, Sujuan; Jiang, Libo; Sun, Lidan; Chinchilli, Vernon M.; Wu, Rongling

    2017-03-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming is thought to play a critical role in maintaining the normal development of embryos. How the methylation state of paternal and maternal genomes regulates embryogenesis depends on the interaction and coordination of the gametes of two sexes. While there is abundant research in exploring the epigenetic interactions of sperms and oocytes, a knowledge gap exists in the mechanistic quantitation of these interactions and their impact on embryo development. This review aims at formulating a modeling framework to address this gap through the integration and synthesis of evolutionary game theory and the latest discoveries of the epigenetic control of embryo development by next-generation sequencing. This framework, named epigenetic game theory or epiGame, views embryogenesis as an ecological system in which two highly distinct and specialized gametes coordinate through either cooperation or competition, or both, to maximize the fitness of embryos under Darwinian selection. By implementing a system of ordinary differential equations, epiGame quantifies the pattern and relative magnitude of the methylation effects on embryogenesis by the mechanisms of cooperation and competition. epiGame may gain new insight into reproductive biology and can be potentially applied to design personalized medicines for genetic disorder intervention.

  6. Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Gosik, Kirk; Xing, Sujuan; Jiang, Libo; Sun, Lidan; Chinchilli, Vernon M; Wu, Rongling

    2017-03-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming is thought to play a critical role in maintaining the normal development of embryos. How the methylation state of paternal and maternal genomes regulates embryogenesis depends on the interaction and coordination of the gametes of two sexes. While there is abundant research in exploring the epigenetic interactions of sperms and oocytes, a knowledge gap exists in the mechanistic quantitation of these interactions and their impact on embryo development. This review aims at formulating a modeling framework to address this gap through the integration and synthesis of evolutionary game theory and the latest discoveries of the epigenetic control of embryo development by next-generation sequencing. This framework, named epigenetic game theory or epiGame, views embryogenesis as an ecological system in which two highly distinct and specialized gametes coordinate through either cooperation or competition, or both, to maximize the fitness of embryos under Darwinian selection. By implementing a system of ordinary differential equations, epiGame quantifies the pattern and relative magnitude of the methylation effects on embryogenesis by the mechanisms of cooperation and competition. epiGame may gain new insight into reproductive biology and can be potentially applied to design personalized medicines for genetic disorder intervention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Milne

    2012-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-09-10

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

  11. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong eZan

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Epigenetic regulation in Autism spectrum disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sraboni Chaudhury

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Parental tobacco smoke exposure: Epigenetics and the ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epigenetic programming is an important mechanism underlying the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Much of the research in this area has focused on maternal nutrition. Parental smoking has emerged as a prime example of how exposure to environmental toxicants during the preconceptional and in utero periods can have long-term effects on offspring health, and the role of the epigenome in these effects. Maternal smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy result in lower birth weight of offspring, and there is now clear evidence that these offspring are at elevated risk for overweight/obesity, type-2 diabetes, respiratory effects during adolescence and adulthood, and may be programmed for increased risk of nicotine addiction. Epigenetic analyses of placenta, cord blood and offspring buccal cells have consistently revealed altered DNA methylation of genes involved in developmental processes and xenobiotic metabolism, and these epigenetic changes are persistent. Animal studies with cigarette smoke and nicotine support these findings. Paternal preconceptional smoking has been positively related to childhood cancers, potentially linked to changes in the sperm epigenome. Germ cell specification and preimplantation development are periods of widespread erasure and reprogramming of DNA methylation, and as such are likely to be sensitive periods for environmental effects on the epigenome. Exposure to tobacco smoke during gametogenesis and in

  15. Titration and hysteresis in epigenetic chromatin silencing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms of silencing via heritable chromatin modifications play a major role in gene regulation and cell fate specification. We consider a model of epigenetic chromatin silencing in budding yeast and study the bifurcation diagram and characterize the bistable and the monostable regimes. The main focus of this paper is to examine how the perturbations altering the activity of histone modifying enzymes affect the epigenetic states. We analyze the implications of having the total number of silencing proteins, given by the sum of proteins bound to the nucleosomes and the ones available in the ambient, to be constant. This constraint couples different regions of chromatin through the shared reservoir of ambient silencing proteins. We show that the response of the system to perturbations depends dramatically on the titration effect caused by the above constraint. In particular, for a certain range of overall abundance of silencing proteins, the hysteresis loop changes qualitatively with certain jump replaced by continuous merger of different states. In addition, we find a nonmonotonic dependence of gene expression on the rate of histone deacetylation activity of Sir2. We discuss how these qualitative predictions of our model could be compared with experimental studies of the yeast system under anti-silencing drugs. (paper)

  16. Testicular cancer from diagnosis to epigenetic factors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Regulation of Telomere Maintenance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fojtová, M.; Fajkus, Jiří

    2014-01-01

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

  18. The epigenetic landscape of alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Investigating dysregulated pathways in cardiomyopathy from ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    牛牛

    5 Department of Kidney Internal Medicine, Hongqi Hospital of Mudanjiang ... based on gene expression profile, pathway data, and PPI information. ... control samples was observed in the pathway of epigenetic regulation of gene ... significant burden on the health care systems (Yamada et al., 2016). ..... 2015 The effects.

  2. Epigenetic Modifications and Diabetic Retinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renu A. Kowluru

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Fetal alcohol programming of hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin system by epigenetic mechanisms and later life vulnerability to stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekdash, Rola; Zhang, Changqing; Sarkar, Dipak

    2014-09-01

    Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, one of the major regulators of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, immune functions, and energy homeostasis, are vulnerable to the adverse effects of fetal alcohol exposure (FAE). These effects are manifested in POMC neurons by a decrease in Pomc gene expression, a decrement in the levels of its derived peptide β-endorphin and a dysregulation of the stress response in the adult offspring. The HPA axis is a major neuroendocrine system with pivotal physiological functions and mode of regulation. This system has been shown to be perturbed by prenatal alcohol exposure. It has been demonstrated that the perturbation of the HPA axis by FAE is long-lasting and is linked to molecular, neurophysiological, and behavioral changes in exposed individuals. Recently, we showed that the dysregulation of the POMC system function by FAE is induced by epigenetic mechanisms such as hypermethylation of Pomc gene promoter and an alteration in histone marks in POMC neurons. This developmental programming of the POMC system by FAE altered the transcriptome in POMC neurons and induced a hyperresponse to stress in adulthood. These long-lasting epigenetic changes influenced subsequent generations via the male germline. We also demonstrated that the epigenetic programming of the POMC system by FAE was reversed in adulthood with the application of the inhibitors of DNA methylation or histone modifications. Thus, prenatal environmental influences, such as alcohol exposure, could epigenetically modulate POMC neuronal circuits and function to shape adult behavioral patterns. Identifying specific epigenetic factors in hypothalamic POMC neurons that are modulated by fetal alcohol and target Pomc gene could be potentially useful for the development of new therapeutic approaches to treat stress-related diseases in patients with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  4. Epigenetic regulation and fetal programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gicquel, Christine; El-Osta, Assam; Le Bouc, Yves

    2008-02-01

    Fetal programming encompasses the role of developmental plasticity in response to environmental and nutritional signals during early life and its potential adverse consequences (risk of cardiovascular, metabolic and behavioural diseases) in later life. The first studies in this field highlighted an association between poor fetal growth and chronic adult diseases. However, environmental signals during early life may lead to adverse long-term effects independently of obvious effects on fetal growth. Adverse long-term effects reflect a mismatch between early (fetal and neonatal) environmental conditions and the conditions that the individual will confront later in life. The mechanisms underlying this risk remain unclear. However, experimental data in rodents and recent observations in humans suggest that epigenetic changes in regulatory genes and growth-related genes play a significant role in fetal programming. Improvements in our understanding of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms at play in fetal programming would make it possible to identify biomarkers for detecting infants at high risk of adult-onset diseases. Such improvements should also lead to the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.

  5. Epigenetic approaches towards radiation countermeasure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agrawala, Paban K.

    2012-01-01

    In the recent years, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have gained tremendous attention for their anticancer, tumor radiosensitising and chemosensitising properties. HDACi enhance the acetylation status of histone proteins of the chromatin besides other non-histone target proteins, an effect that is regulated by the HDACs (histone deacetylases) and HATs (histone acetyltransferases) in the cells. HDACi affect the cell cycle progression, differentiation, DNA damage and repair processes and cell death which contributes to their anticancer properties. One of the main reasons for HDACi gaining attention as potential anticancer therapeutics is their profound action on cancer cells with minimal or no effect on normal cells. However, in recent years, the possible non-oncological applications of HDACi are being explored extensively viz, in neurodegenerative diseases. Ionizing radiation exposure leads to significant alterations in signal transduction processes, changes gene expression patterns, affects DNA damage and repair processes, cell cycle progression and the underlying epigenetic changes (acetylation of histones and methylation of DNA and histones in particular) are now emerging. Some recent literatures suggest that HDACi can render cytoprotective properties in normal tissues. We at INMAS evaluated certain weak HDACi molecules of dietary origin for their ability to modulate cellular radiation in normal cells and animals. As per our expectations, post irradiation treatment with selected HDACi molecules rendered significant reduction in radiation induced damages. The possible mechanisms of action of HDACi in reducing radiation injuries with be discussed based on our won results and recent reports. (author)

  6. [Stress and autonomic dysregulation in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friederich, H-C; Schellberg, D; Mueller, K; Bieber, C; Zipfel, S; Eich, W

    2005-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate to what extent the orthostatic dysregulation of FMS patients can be attributed primarily to reduced baroreceptor-mediated activation of the sympathetic nervous system and whether a hyporeactive sympathetic nervous system can also be confirmed for mental stress. A total of 28 patients with primary FMS were examined and compared with 15 healthy subjects. Diagnostic investigations of the autonomic nervous system were based on measuring HRV in frequency range and assessing spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (sBRS) under mental stress and passive orthostatism. Both under orthostatic and mental stress FMS patients exhibited reduced activation of the sympathetic nervous system as measured by the spectral power of HRV in the low-frequency range and the mean arterial blood pressure or heart rate. The present study provided no indications for dysregulation of sBRS. The results obtained confirm the hypothesis of a hyporeactive stress system in FMS patients for both peripherally and centrally mediated stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

  7. Epigenetic predictor of age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Bocklandt

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

  8. [Epigenetics of schizophrenia: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  10. Dysregulated Pathway Identification of Alzheimer's Disease Based on Internal Correlation Analysis of Genes and Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Wei; Mou, Xiaoyang; Di, Benteng; Deng, Jin; Zhong, Ruxing; Wang, Shuaiqun

    2017-11-20

    Dysregulated pathway identification is an important task which can gain insight into the underlying biological processes of disease. Current pathway-identification methods focus on a set of co-expression genes and single pathways and ignore the correlation between genes and pathways. The method proposed in this study, takes into account the internal correlations not only between genes but also pathways to identifying dysregulated pathways related to Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. In order to find the significantly differential genes for AD, mutual information (MI) is used to measure interdependencies between genes other than expression valves. Then, by integrating the topology information from KEGG, the significant pathways involved in the feature genes are identified. Next, the distance correlation (DC) is applied to measure the pairwise pathway crosstalks since DC has the advantage of detecting nonlinear correlations when compared to Pearson correlation. Finally, the pathway pairs with significantly different correlations between normal and AD samples are known as dysregulated pathways. The molecular biology analysis demonstrated that many dysregulated pathways related to AD pathogenesis have been discovered successfully by the internal correlation detection. Furthermore, the insights of the dysregulated pathways in the development and deterioration of AD will help to find new effective target genes and provide important theoretical guidance for drug design. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  11. The Einstein Center for Epigenomics: studying the role of epigenomic dysregulation in human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLellan, Andrew S; Dubin, Robert A; Jing, Qiang; Maqbool, Shahina B; Olea, Raul; Westby, Gael; Broin, Pilib Ó; Fazzari, Melissa J; Zheng, Deyou; Suzuki, Masako; Greally, John M

    2009-10-01

    There is increasing interest in the role of epigenetic and transcriptional dysregulation in the pathogenesis of a range of human diseases, not just in the best-studied example of cancer. It is, however, quite difficult for an individual investigator to perform these studies, as they involve genome-wide molecular assays combined with sophisticated computational analytical approaches of very large datasets that may be generated from various resources and technologies. In 2008, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA established a Center for Epigenomics to facilitate the research programs of its investigators, providing shared resources for genome-wide assays and for data analysis. As a result, several avenues of research are now expanding, with cancer epigenomics being complemented by studies of the epigenomics of infectious disease and a neuroepigenomics program.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-29

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

  13. Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Nature, nurture and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Transgenerational epigenetics and environmental justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  17. Epigenetics and colorectal cancer pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-06-05

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) develops through a multistage process that results from the progressive accumulation of genetic mutations, and frequently as a result of mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway. However, it has become evident over the past two decades that epigenetic alterations of the chromatin, particularly the chromatin components in the promoter regions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes, play key roles in CRC pathogenesis. Epigenetic regulation is organized at multiple levels, involving primarily DNA methylation and selective histone modifications in cancer cells. Assessment of the CRC epigenome has revealed that virtually all CRCs have aberrantly methylated genes and that the average CRC methylome has thousands of abnormally methylated genes. Although relatively less is known about the patterns of specific histone modifications in CRC, selective histone modifications and resultant chromatin conformation have been shown to act, in concert with DNA methylation, to regulate gene expression to mediate CRC pathogenesis. Moreover, it is now clear that not only DNA methylation but also histone modifications are reversible processes. The increased understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the context of CRC pathogenesis has led to development of epigenetic biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and epigenetic drugs for CRC therapy.

  18. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) develops through a multistage process that results from the progressive accumulation of genetic mutations, and frequently as a result of mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway. However, it has become evident over the past two decades that epigenetic alterations of the chromatin, particularly the chromatin components in the promoter regions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes, play key roles in CRC pathogenesis. Epigenetic regulation is organized at multiple levels, involving primarily DNA methylation and selective histone modifications in cancer cells. Assessment of the CRC epigenome has revealed that virtually all CRCs have aberrantly methylated genes and that the average CRC methylome has thousands of abnormally methylated genes. Although relatively less is known about the patterns of specific histone modifications in CRC, selective histone modifications and resultant chromatin conformation have been shown to act, in concert with DNA methylation, to regulate gene expression to mediate CRC pathogenesis. Moreover, it is now clear that not only DNA methylation but also histone modifications are reversible processes. The increased understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the context of CRC pathogenesis has led to development of epigenetic biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and epigenetic drugs for CRC therapy

  19. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kebin Liu

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Colorectal cancer (CRC develops through a multistage process that results from the progressive accumulation of genetic mutations, and frequently as a result of mutations in the Wnt signaling pathway. However, it has become evident over the past two decades that epigenetic alterations of the chromatin, particularly the chromatin components in the promoter regions of tumor suppressors and oncogenes, play key roles in CRC pathogenesis. Epigenetic regulation is organized at multiple levels, involving primarily DNA methylation and selective histone modifications in cancer cells. Assessment of the CRC epigenome has revealed that virtually all CRCs have aberrantly methylated genes and that the average CRC methylome has thousands of abnormally methylated genes. Although relatively less is known about the patterns of specific histone modifications in CRC, selective histone modifications and resultant chromatin conformation have been shown to act, in concert with DNA methylation, to regulate gene expression to mediate CRC pathogenesis. Moreover, it is now clear that not only DNA methylation but also histone modifications are reversible processes. The increased understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the context of CRC pathogenesis has led to development of epigenetic biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and epigenetic drugs for CRC therapy.

  20. Minireview: Epigenetics of obesity and diabetes in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slomko, Howard; Heo, Hye J; Einstein, Francine H

    2012-03-01

    Understanding the determinants of human health and disease is overwhelmingly complex, particularly for common, late-onset, chronic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. Elucidating the genetic and environmental factors that influence susceptibility to disruptions in energy homeostasis and metabolic regulation remain a challenge, and progress will entail the integration of multiple assessments of temporally dynamic environmental exposures in the context of each individual's genotype. To meet this challenge, researchers are increasingly exploring the epigenome, which is the malleable interface of gene-environment interactions. Epigenetic variation, whether innate or induced, contributes to variation in gene expression, the range of potential individual responses to internal and external cues, and risk for metabolic disease. Ultimately, advancement in our understanding of chronic disease susceptibility in humans will depend on refinement of exposure assessment tools and systems biology approaches to interpretation. In this review, we present recent progress in epigenetics of human obesity and diabetes, existing challenges, and the potential for new approaches to unravel the complex biology of metabolic dysregulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  2. Discussing epigenetics in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Epigenetics in cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetic Inheritance across the Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whipple, Amy V; Holeski, Liza M

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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....

  7. Longitudinal pathways from early maternal depression to children's dysregulated representations: a moderated mediation analysis of harsh parenting and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martoccio, Tiffany L; Brophy-Herb, Holly E; Maupin, Angela N; Robinson, Joann L

    2016-01-01

    There is some evidence linking maternal depression, harsh parenting, and children's internal representations of attachment, yet, longitudinal examinations of these relationships and differences in the developmental pathways between boys and girls are lacking. Moderated mediation growth curves were employed to examine harsh parenting as a mechanism underlying the link between maternal depression and children's dysregulated representations using a nationally-representative, economically-vulnerable sample of mothers and their children (n = 575; 49% boys, 51% girls). Dysregulation representations were measured using the MacArthur Story Stem Battery at five years of age (M = 5.14, SD = 0.29). Harsh parenting mediated the association between early maternal depression and dysregulated representations for girls. Though initial harsh parenting was a significant mediator for boys, a stronger direct effect of maternal depression to dysregulated representations emerged over time. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for intervention efforts aimed at promoting early supportive parenting.

  8. Epigenetic Epidemiology of Complex Diseases Using Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Parental epigenetic difference in DNA methylation-level may play ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parental epigenetic difference in DNA methylation-level may play contrasting roles for different agronomic traits related to yield heterosis in maize. ... or hybrid vigor has been exploited to nearly the fullest extent, the molecular and genetic basis underlying this remarkable biological phenomenon remains largely an enigma.

  10. Epigenetics and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease#

    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 modi...

  11. The Role of Diet in One-Carbon Metabolism and Epigenetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lind, Mads Vendelbo

    Background: Dysregulation of one-carbon metabolism (OCM) is related to metabolic syndrome (MetS) through various mechanisms including epigenetics. Diet plays a central role in ensuring normal OCM regulation by supplying multiple nutrients. Foods such as whole grains and fish have been proposed...... acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which might also play a role in OCM regulation and epigenetics. Aim: This PhD thesis investigates the role of diet in OCM regulation and the potential association between OCM and MetS. We further investigated whether a dietary intervention with high whole grain......-adenosylmethionine (SAM), s-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) and Hcy, and diet. Associations between OCM metabolites and MetS features were also investigated. In an 8-week human cross-over intervention study we investigated whether a diet rich in whole grain compared to a diet rich in refined grain could affect OCM metabolites...

  12. Into the Fourth Dimension: Dysregulation of Genome Architecture in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winick-Ng, Warren; Rylett, R Jane

    2018-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by synapse dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Understanding the development and progression of AD is challenging, as the disease is highly complex and multifactorial. Both environmental and genetic factors play a role in AD pathogenesis, highlighted by observations of complex DNA modifications at the single gene level, and by new evidence that also implicates changes in genome architecture in AD patients. The four-dimensional structure of chromatin in space and time is essential for context-dependent regulation of gene expression in post-mitotic neurons. Dysregulation of epigenetic processes have been observed in the aging brain and in patients with AD, though there is not yet agreement on the impact of these changes on transcription. New evidence shows that proteins involved in genome organization have altered expression and localization in the AD brain, suggesting that the genomic landscape may play a critical role in the development of AD. This review discusses the role of the chromatin organizers and epigenetic modifiers in post-mitotic cells, the aging brain, and in the development and progression of AD. How these new insights can be used to help determine disease risk and inform treatment strategies will also be discussed.

  13. Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome and Epigenetic Alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzus, Edward

    2017-01-01

    Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RSTS) is a rare genetic disorder in humans characterized by growth and psychomotor delay, abnormal gross anatomy, and mild to severe mental retardation (Rubinstein and Taybi, Am J Dis Child 105:588-608, 1963, Hennekam et al., Am J Med Genet Suppl 6:56-64, 1990). RSTS is caused by de novo mutations in epigenetics-associated genes, including the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREBBP), the gene-encoding protein referred to as CBP, and the EP300 gene, which encodes the p300 protein, a CBP homologue. Recent studies of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying cognitive functions in mice provide direct evidence for the involvement of nuclear factors (e.g., CBP) in the control of higher cognitive functions. In fact, a role for CBP in higher cognitive function is suggested by the finding that RSTS is caused by heterozygous mutations at the CBP locus (Petrij et al., Nature 376:348-351, 1995). CBP was demonstrated to possess an intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity (Ogryzko et al., Cell 87:953-959, 1996) that is required for CREB-mediated gene expression (Korzus et al., Science 279:703-707, 1998). The intrinsic protein acetyltransferase activity in CBP might directly destabilize promoter-bound nucleosomes, facilitating the activation of transcription. Due to the complexity of developmental abnormalities and the possible genetic compensation associated with this congenital disorder, however, it is difficult to establish a direct role for CBP in cognitive function in the adult brain. Although aspects of the clinical presentation in RSTS cases have been extensively studied, a spectrum of symptoms found in RSTS patients can be accessed only after birth, and, thus, prenatal genetic tests for this extremely rare genetic disorder are seldom considered. Even though there has been intensive research on the genetic and epigenetic function of the CREBBP gene in rodents, the etiology of this devastating congenital human disorder is largely unknown.

  14. Mouse-human experimental epigenetic analysis unmasks dietary targets and genetic liability for diabetic phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Multhaup, Michael L.; Seldin, Marcus; Jaffe, Andrew E.; Lei, Xia; Kirchner, Henriette; Mondal, Prosenjit; Li, Yuanyuan; Rodriguez, Varenka; Drong, Alexander; Hussain, Mehboob; Lindgren, Cecilia; McCarthy, Mark; Näslund, Erik; Zierath, Juleen R.; Wong, G. William; Feinberg, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Using a functional approach to investigate the epigenetics of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), we combine three lines of evidence – diet-induced epigenetic dysregulation in mouse, epigenetic conservation in humans, and T2D clinical risk evidence – to identify genes implicated in T2D pathogenesis through epigenetic mechanisms related to obesity. Beginning with dietary manipulation of genetically homogeneous mice, we identify differentially DNA-methylated genomic regions. We then replicate these results in adipose samples from lean and obese patients pre- and post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, identifying regions where both the location and direction of methylation change is conserved. These regions overlap with 27 genetic T2D risk loci, only one of which was deemed significant by GWAS alone. Functional analysis of genes associated with these regions revealed four genes with roles in insulin resistance, demonstrating the potential general utility of this approach for complementing conventional human genetic studies by integrating cross-species epigenomics and clinical genetic risk. PMID:25565211

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Epigenetic differences between sister chromatids?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lansdorp, Peter M.; Falconer, Ester; Tao, Jiang; Brind'Amour, Julie; Naumann, Ulrike; Kanz, L; Fibbe, WE; Lengerke, C; Dick, JE

    2012-01-01

    Semi-conservative replication ensures that the DNA sequence of sister chromatids is identical except for replication errors and variation in the length of telomere repeats resulting from replicative losses and variable end processing. What happens with the various epigenetic marks during DNA

  18. 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...

  19. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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,…

  2. Re: Epigenetics of Cellular Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fehmi Narter

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available EDITORIAL COMMENT Cells have some specific molecular and physiological properties that act their functional process. However, many cells have an ability of efficient transition from one type to another. This ability is named plasticity. This process occurs due to epigenetic reprogramming that involves changes in transcription and chromatin structure. Some changes during reprogramming that have been identified in recent years as genomic demethylation (both histone and DNA, histone acetylation and loss of heterochromatin during the development of many diseases such as infertility and cancer progression. In this review, the authors focused on the latest work addressing the mechanisms surrounding the epigenetic regulation of various types of reprogramming, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion and transcription factor- and microRNA-induced pluripotency. There are many responsible factors such as genes, cytokines, proteins, co-factors (i.e. vitamin C in this local area network. The exact mechanisms by which these changes are achieved and the detailed interplay between the players responsible, however, remain relatively unclear. In the treatment of diseases, such as infertility, urooncology, reconstructive urology, etc., epigenetic changes and cellular reprogramming will be crucial in the near future. Central to achieving that goal is a more thorough understanding of the epigenetic state of fully reprogrammed cells. By the progress of researches on this topic, new treatment modalities will be identified for these diseases.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Massicotte

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Epigenetics and Therapeutic Targets Mediating Neuroprotection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    The rapidly evolving science of epigenetics is transforming our understanding of the nervous system in health and disease and holds great promise for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches targeting neurological diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors and mechanisms serve as important mediators of the pathogenic processes that lead to irrevocable neural injury and of countervailing homeostatic and regenerative responses. Epigenetics is, therefore, of considerable translational significance to the field of neuroprotection. In this brief review, we provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms and highlight the emerging roles played by epigenetic processes in neural cell dysfunction and death and in resultant neuroprotective responses. PMID:26236020

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo De Felici

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Epigenetic priming of the metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Kimberley D; Cagampang, Felino R

    2011-05-01

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

  11. Developmental Origins, Epigenetics, and Equity: Moving Upstream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallack, Lawrence; Thornburg, Kent

    2016-05-01

    The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and the related science of epigenetics redefines the meaning of what constitutes upstream approaches to significant social and public health problems. An increasingly frequent concept being expressed is "When it comes to your health, your zip code may be more important than your genetic code". Epigenetics explains how the environment-our zip code-literally gets under our skin, creates biological changes that increase our vulnerability for disease, and even children's prospects for social success, over their life course and into future generations. This science requires us to rethink where disease comes from and the best way to promote health. It identifies the most fundamental social equity issue in our society: that initial social and biological disadvantage, established even prior to birth, and linked to the social experience of prior generations, is made worse by adverse environments throughout the life course. But at the same time, it provides hope because it tells us that a concerted focus on using public policy to improve our social, physical, and economic environments can ultimately change our biology and the trajectory of health and social success into future generations.

  12. Epigenetic Differentiation of Natural Populations of Lilium bosniacum Associated with Contrasting Habitat Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Zoldoš, Vlatka; Biruš, Ivan; Muratović, Edina; Šatović, Zlatko; Vojta, Aleksandar; Robin, Odile; Pustahija, Fatima; Bogunić, Faruk; Vičić Bočkor, Vedrana; Siljak-Yakovlev, Sonja

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Epigenetic variation in natural populations with contrasting habitats might be an important element, in addition to the genetic variation, in plant adaptation to environmental stress. Here, we assessed genetic, epigenetic, and cytogenetic structure of the three Lilium bosniacum populations growing on distinct habitats. One population was growing under habitual ecological conditions for this species and the other two were growing under stress associated with high altitude and serpenti...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgel, Philippe T

    2015-12-01

    Within the past two decades, the fields of chromatin structure and function and transcription regulation research started to fuse and overlap, as evidence mounted to support a very strong regulatory role in gene expression that was associated with histone post-translational modifications, DNA methylation, as well as various chromatin-associated proteins (the pillars of the "Epigenetics" building). The fusion and convergence of these complementary fields is now often simply referred to as "Epigenetics". During these same 20 years, numerous new research groups have started to recognize the importance of chromatin composition, conformation, and its plasticity. However, as the field started to grow exponentially, its growth came with the spreading of several important misconceptions, which have unfortunately led to improper or hasty conclusions. The goal of this short "opinion" piece is to attempt to minimize future misinterpretations of experimental results and ensure that the right sets of experiment are used to reach the proper conclusion, at least as far as epigenetic mechanisms are concerned.

  14. Distinguishing epigenetic marks of developmental and imprinting regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McEwen Kirsten R

    2010-01-01

    types of gene regulation, imprinting and developmental, our results suggest that different histone modifications associate with these distinct processes. This form of analysis is therefore a useful tool to elucidate the complex epigenetic code associated with genome function and to determine the underlying features conferring epigenetic states.

  15. Emotion Dysregulation and Adolescent Psychopathology: A Prospective Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzenbuehler, Mark L.; Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Background Emotion regulation deficits have been consistently linked to psychopathology in cross-sectional studies. However, the direction of the relationship between emotion regulation and psychopathology is unclear. This study examined the longitudinal and reciprocal relationships between emotion regulation deficits and psychopathology in adolescents. Methods Emotion dysregulation and symptomatology (depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, and eating pathology) were assessed in a large, diverse sample of adolescents (N = 1,065) at two time points separated by seven months. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the longitudinal and reciprocal relationships between emotion dysregulation and symptoms of psychopathology. Results The three distinct emotion processes examined here (emotional understanding, dysregulated expression of sadness and anger, and ruminative responses to distress) formed a unitary latent emotion dysregulation factor. Emotion dysregulation predicted increases in anxiety symptoms, aggressive behavior, and eating pathology after controlling for baseline symptoms but did not predict depressive symptoms. In contrast, none of the four types of psychopathology predicted increases in emotion dysregulation after controlling for baseline emotion dysregulation. Conclusions Emotion dysregulation appears to be an important transdiagnostic factor that increases risk for a wide range of psychopathology outcomes in adolescence. These results suggest targets for preventive interventions during this developmental period of risk. PMID:21718967

  16. Epigenetic regulation in dental pulp inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetics and depression: return of the repressed.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  18. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben K. Dagda

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD.

  19. Steroid dysregulation and stomatodynia (burning mouth syndrome).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woda, Alain; Dao, Thuan; Gremeau-Richard, Christelle

    2009-01-01

    Stomatodynia ( burning mouth syndrome) is characterized by a spontaneous, continuous burning pain felt in the oral mucosa typically of anxiodepressive menopausal women. Because there is no obvious organic cause, it is considered a nonspecific pain. This Focus Article proposes a hypothesis based on the following pathophysiological cascade: chronic anxiety or post traumatic stress leads to a dysregulation of the adrenal production of steroids. One consequence is a decreased or modified production of some major precursors for the neuroactive steroid synthesis occurring in the skin, mucosa, and nervous system. At menopause, the drastic fall of the other main precursor supply , the gonadal steroids, leads to a brisk alteration of the production of neuroactive steroids. This results in neurodegenerative alterations of small nerves fibers of the oral mucosa and /or some brain areas involved in oral somatic sensations. These neuropathic changes become irreversible and precipitate the burning pain, dysgeusia, and xerostomia associated with stomatodynia, which all involve thin nerve fibers.

  20. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Disordered Gambling: Assessing the Mediating Role of Emotion Dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Julia C; Kim, Hyoun S; Dobson, Keith S; Hodgins, David C

    2017-12-01

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as sexual and physical abuse, have been established as risk factors for the development of disordered gambling. The underlying mechanism by which ACEs influence disordered gambling, however, remains unknown. The aims of the present research were to comprehensively investigate ten types of childhood adversity and their relationships to disordered gambling in adulthood, and to test whether emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between ACEs and disordered gambling. A sample of community gamblers (N = 414) completed self-report measures of ACEs, emotion dysregulation, and gambling severity. Results revealed a significant association between all but one type (physical abuse) of ACEs and disordered gambling. Further, the results highlighted the cumulative impact of ACEs on gambling. Specifically, individuals who experienced three or more types of ACEs were more than three times as likely to report disordered gambling as compared to individuals with no history of childhood adversity. Importantly, as hypothesized, emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between ACEs and disordered gambling. Findings from this research describe the association between ACEs and gambling and indicate a causal link between childhood adversity and disordered gambling. Results suggest that treatment initiatives may do well to address both ACEs and emotion dysregulation in the treatment of problem gambling.

  1. A novel statistical approach shows evidence for multi-system physiological dysregulation during aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Alan A; Milot, Emmanuel; Yong, Jian; Seplaki, Christopher L; Fülöp, Tamàs; Bandeen-Roche, Karen; Fried, Linda P

    2013-03-01

    Previous studies have identified many biomarkers that are associated with aging and related outcomes, but the relevance of these markers for underlying processes and their relationship to hypothesized systemic dysregulation is not clear. We address this gap by presenting a novel method for measuring dysregulation via the joint distribution of multiple biomarkers and assessing associations of dysregulation with age and mortality. Using longitudinal data from the Women's Health and Aging Study, we selected a 14-marker subset from 63 blood measures: those that diverged from the baseline population mean with age. For the 14 markers and all combinatorial sub-subsets we calculated a multivariate distance called the Mahalanobis distance (MHBD) for all observations, indicating how "strange" each individual's biomarker profile was relative to the baseline population mean. In most models, MHBD correlated positively with age, MHBD increased within individuals over time, and higher MHBD predicted higher risk of subsequent mortality. Predictive power increased as more variables were incorporated into the calculation of MHBD. Biomarkers from multiple systems were implicated. These results support hypotheses of simultaneous dysregulation in multiple systems and confirm the need for longitudinal, multivariate approaches to understanding biomarkers in aging. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Aldosterone dysregulation with aging predicts renal vascular function and cardiovascular risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jenifer M; Underwood, Patricia C; Ferri, Claudio; Hopkins, Paul N; Williams, Gordon H; Adler, Gail K; Vaidya, Anand

    2014-06-01

    Aging and abnormal aldosterone regulation are both associated with vascular disease. We hypothesized that aldosterone dysregulation influences the age-related risk of renal vascular and cardiovascular disease. We conducted an analysis of 562 subjects who underwent detailed investigations under conditions of liberal and restricted dietary sodium intake (1124 visits) in the General Clinical Research Center. Aldosterone regulation was characterized by the ratio of maximal suppression to stimulation (supine serum aldosterone on a liberal sodium diet divided by the same measure on a restricted sodium diet). We previously demonstrated that higher levels of this Sodium-modulated Aldosterone Suppression-Stimulation Index (SASSI) indicate greater aldosterone dysregulation. Renal plasma flow (RPF) was determined via p-aminohippurate clearance to assess basal renal hemodynamics and the renal vascular responses to dietary sodium manipulation and angiotensin II infusion. Cardiovascular risk was calculated using the Framingham Risk Score. In univariate linear regression, older age (β=-4.60; Page and SASSI, where the inverse relationship between SASSI and RPF was most apparent with older age (Page may interact to mediate renal vascular disease. Our findings suggest that the combination of aldosterone dysregulation and renal vascular dysfunction could additively increase the risk of future cardiovascular outcomes; therefore, aldosterone dysregulation may represent a modifiable mechanism of age-related vascular disease.

  3. Computational Micromodel for Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Chromocentre integrity and epigenetic marks

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Harničarová, Andrea; Galiová-Šustáčková, Gabriela; Legartová, Soňa; Kozubek, Stanislav; Matula, P.; Bártová, Eva

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 169, č. 1 (2010), s. 124-133 ISSN 1047-8477 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME 919; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06027; GA MŠk(CZ) LC535 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) ME919 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507; CEZ:AV0Z50040702 Keywords : SUV39h * histone methylation * epigenetics Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.497, year: 2010

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Fazal

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Learning epigenetic regulation from mycobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Khosla

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Imbalanced class learning in epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, M Muksitul; Skinner, Michael K; Holder, Lawrence B

    2014-07-01

    In machine learning, one of the important criteria for higher classification accuracy is a balanced dataset. Datasets with a large ratio between minority and majority classes face hindrance in learning using any classifier. Datasets having a magnitude difference in number of instances between the target concept result in an imbalanced class distribution. Such datasets can range from biological data, sensor data, medical diagnostics, or any other domain where labeling any instances of the minority class can be time-consuming or costly or the data may not be easily available. The current study investigates a number of imbalanced class algorithms for solving the imbalanced class distribution present in epigenetic datasets. Epigenetic (DNA methylation) datasets inherently come with few differentially DNA methylated regions (DMR) and with a higher number of non-DMR sites. For this class imbalance problem, a number of algorithms are compared, including the TAN+AdaBoost algorithm. Experiments performed on four epigenetic datasets and several known datasets show that an imbalanced dataset can have similar accuracy as a regular learner on a balanced dataset.

  9. Epigenetic control of plant immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  10. Epigenetics and Epigenomics of Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Using Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Julius; Figg, William D

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Epigenetic alterations of sedimentary rocks at deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komarova, G.V.; Kondrat'eva, I.A.; Zelenova, O.I.

    1980-01-01

    Notions are explained, and technique for studying epigenetic alterations of sedimentary rocks at uranium deposits is described. Main types of epigenetic transformations and their mineralogic-geochemical characteristics are considered. Rock alterations, accompanying uranium mineralization, can be related to 2 types: oxidation and reduction. The main mineralogic-geochemical property of oxidation transformations is epigenetic limonitization. Stratal limonitization in primary grey-coloured terrigenic rocks and in epigenetically reduced (pyritized) rocks, as well as in rock, subjected to epigenetic gleying, are characterized. Reduction type of epigenetic transformations is subdivided into sulphidic and non-sulphidic (gley) subtypes. Sulphidic transformations in grey-coloured terrigenic rocks with organic substance of carbonic row, in rocks, containing organic substance of oil row, sulphide transformations of sedimentary rocks, as well as gley transformations, are considered

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2017-01-13

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

  16. Epigenetic regulation of open chromatin in pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Kikyo, Nobuaki

    2014-01-01

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

  17. PET Imaging of Epigenetic Influences on Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J. Couto

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The precise role of environment-gene interactions (epigenetics in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD is unclear. This review focuses on the premise that radiotracer-specific PET imaging allows clinicians to visualize epigenetically influenced events and that such imaging may provide new, valuable insights for preventing, diagnosing, and treating AD. Current understanding of the role of epigenetics in AD and the principles underlying the use of PET radiotracers for in vivo diagnosis are reviewed. The relative efficacies of various PET radiotracers for visualizing the epigenetic influences on AD and their use for diagnosis are discussed. For example, [18F]FAHA demonstrates sites of differential HDAC activity, [18F]FDG indirectly illuminates sites of neuronal hypomethylation, and the carbon-11 isotope-containing Pittsburgh compound B ([11C]PiB images amyloid-beta plaque deposits. A definitive AD diagnosis is currently achievable only by postmortem histological observation of amyloid-beta plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. Therefore, reliable in vivo neuroimaging techniques could provide opportunities for early diagnosis and treatment of AD.

  18. LOSS OF 5-HYDROXYMETHYLCYTOSINE IS AN EPIGENETIC HALLMARK OF MELANOMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lian, Christine Guo; Xu, Yufei; Ceol, Craig; Wu, Feizhen; Larson, Allison; Dresser, Karen; Xu, Wenji; Tan, Li; Hu, Yeguang; Zhan, Qian; Lee, Chung-wei; Hu, Di; Lian, Bill Q.; Kleffel, Sonja; Yang, Yijun; Neiswender, James; Khorasani, Abraham J.; Fang, Rui; Lezcano, Cecilia; Duncan, Lyn M.; Scolyer, Richard A.; Thompson, John F.; Kakavand, Hojabr; Houvras, Yariv; Zon, Leonard; Mihm, Martin C.; Kaiser, Ursula B.; Schatton, Tobias; Woda, Bruce A.; Murphy, George F.; Shi, Yujiang G.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY DNA methylation at the 5-position of cytosine (5-mC) is a key epigenetic mark critical for various biological and pathological processes. 5-mC can be converted to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) by the Ten-Eleven Translocation (TET) family of DNA hydroxylases. Here we report that “loss of 5-hmC” is an epigenetic hallmark of melanoma with diagnostic and prognostic implications. Genome-wide mapping of 5-hmC reveals loss of 5-hmC landscape in the melanoma epigenome. We show that down-regulation of Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) and TET family enzymes is likely one of the mechanisms underlying 5-hmC loss in melanoma. Rebuilding the 5-hmC landscape in melanoma cells by reintroducing active TET2 or IDH2 suppresses melanoma growth and increases tumor-free survival in animal models. Thus, our study reveals a critical function of 5-hmC in melanoma development and directly links the IDH and TET activity-dependent epigenetic pathway to 5-hmC-mediated suppression of melanoma progression, suggesting a new strategy for epigenetic cancer therapy. PMID:22980977

  19. Epigenetics in Breast and Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Epigenetic impact of curcumin on stroke prevention

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Epigenetic control of embryonic stem cell fate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christophersen, Nicolaj Strøyer; Helin, Kristian

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Benchmarking pathway interaction network for colorectal cancer to identify dysregulated pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Wang

    Full Text Available Different pathways act synergistically to participate in many biological processes. Thus, the purpose of our study was to extract dysregulated pathways to investigate the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC based on the functional dependency among pathways. Protein-protein interaction (PPI information and pathway data were retrieved from STRING and Reactome databases, respectively. After genes were aligned to the pathways, each pathway activity was calculated using the principal component analysis (PCA method, and the seed pathway was discovered. Subsequently, we constructed the pathway interaction network (PIN, where each node represented a biological pathway based on gene expression profile, PPI data, as well as pathways. Dysregulated pathways were then selected from the PIN according to classification performance and seed pathway. A PIN including 11,960 interactions was constructed to identify dysregulated pathways. Interestingly, the interaction of mRNA splicing and mRNA splicing-major pathway had the highest score of 719.8167. Maximum change of the activity score between CRC and normal samples appeared in the pathway of DNA replication, which was selected as the seed pathway. Starting with this seed pathway, a pathway set containing 30 dysregulated pathways was obtained with an area under the curve score of 0.8598. The pathway of mRNA splicing, mRNA splicing-major pathway, and RNA polymerase I had the maximum genes of 107. Moreover, we found that these 30 pathways had crosstalks with each other. The results suggest that these dysregulated pathways might be used as biomarkers to diagnose CRC.

  3. Nutrition, epigenetic mechanisms, and human disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maulik, Nilanjana; Maulik, Gautam

    2011-01-01

    .... The text discusses the basics of nutrigenomics and epigenetic regulation, types of nutrition influencing genetic imprinting, and the role of nutrition in modulating an individual's predisposition to disease...

  4. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Barry M; Conradt, Elisabeth; Marsit, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the opportunity to revolutionize our understanding of the role of genetics and the environment in explaining human behavior, although the use of epigenetics to study human behavior is just beginning. In this introduction, the authors present the basics of epigenetics in a way that is designed to make this exciting field accessible to a wide readership. The authors describe the history of human behavioral epigenetic research in the context of other disciplines and graphically illustrate the burgeoning of research in the application of epigenetic methods and principles to the study of human behavior. The role of epigenetics in normal embryonic development and the influence of biological and environmental factors altering behavior through epigenetic mechanisms and developmental programming are discussed. Some basic approaches to the study of epigenetics are reviewed. The authors conclude with a discussion of challenges and opportunities, including intervention, as the field of human behavioral epigenetics continue to grow. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  5. Neurodevelopmental consequences in offspring of mothers with preeclampsia during pregnancy: underlying biological mechanism via imprinting genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Yoko; John, Rosalind M; Janssen, Anna Bugge; Davey, Charles; Finik, Jackie; Buthmann, Jessica; Glover, Vivette; Lambertini, Luca

    2017-06-01

    Preeclampsia is known to be a leading cause of mortality and morbidity among mothers and their infants. Approximately 3-8% of all pregnancies in the US are complicated by preeclampsia and another 5-7% by hypertensive symptoms. However, less is known about its long-term influence on infant neurobehavioral development. The current review attempts to demonstrate new evidence for imprinting gene dysregulation caused by hypertension, which may explain the link between maternal preeclampsia and neurocognitive dysregulation in offspring. Pub Med and Web of Science databases were searched using the terms "preeclampsia," "gestational hypertension," "imprinting genes," "imprinting dysregulation," and "epigenetic modification," in order to review the evidence demonstrating associations between preeclampsia and suboptimal child neurodevelopment, and suggest dysregulation of placental genomic imprinting as a potential underlying mechanism. The high mortality and morbidity among mothers and fetuses due to preeclampsia is well known, but there is little research on the long-term biological consequences of preeclampsia and resulting hypoxia on the fetal/child neurodevelopment. In the past decade, accumulating evidence from studies that transcend disciplinary boundaries have begun to show that imprinted genes expressed in the placenta might hold clues for a link between preeclampsia and impaired cognitive neurodevelopment. A sudden onset of maternal hypertension detected by the placenta may result in misguided biological programming of the fetus via changes in the epigenome, resulting in suboptimal infant development. Furthering our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which neurodevelopmental trajectories of the fetus/infant are affected by preeclampsia and hypertension will represent an important first step toward preventing adverse neurodevelopment in infants.

  6. A new concept: Epigenetic game theory. 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)

    Zheng, Xiu-Deng; Tao, Yi

    2017-03-01

    The evolutionary significance of the interaction between paternal and maternal genomes in fertilized zygotes is a very interesting and challenging question. Wang et al. developed the concept of epigenetic game theory, and they try to use this concept to explain the interaction between paternal and maternal genomes in fertilized zygotes [1]. They emphasize that the embryogenesis can be considered as an ecological system in which two highly distinct and specialized gametes coordinate through either cooperation or competition, or both, to maximize the fitness of embryos under Darwinian selection. More specifically, they integrate game theory to model the pattern of coordination of paternal genome and maternal genomes mediated by DNA methylation dynamics, and they called this epigenetic game theory.

  7. Epigenetic regulation of dorsal raphe GABA(B1a) associated with isolation-induced abnormal responses to social stimulation in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Ryota; Hiraki, Yosuke; Nishida, Shoji; Kuramoto, Nobuyuki; Matsumoto, Kinzo; Yabe, Takeshi

    2016-02-01

    In isolation-reared mice, social encounter stimulation induces locomotor hyperactivity and activation of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), suggesting that dysregulation of dorsal raphe function may be involved in abnormal behaviors. In this study, we examined the involvement of dorsal raphe GABAergic dysregulation in the abnormal behaviors of isolation-reared mice. We also studied an epigenetic mechanism underlying abnormalities of the dorsal raphe GABAergic system. Both mRNA and protein levels of GABA(B1a), a GABA(B) receptor subunit, were increased in the DRN of isolation-reared mice, compared with these levels in group-reared mice. In contrast, mRNA levels for other GABAergic system-related genes (GABA(A) receptor α1, β2 and γ2 subunits, GABA(B) receptor 1b and 2 subunits, and glutamate decarboxylase 67 and 65) were unchanged. Intra-DRN microinjection of 0.06 nmol baclofen (a GABA(B) receptor agonist) exacerbated encounter-induced hyperactivity and aggressive behavior, while microinjection of 0.3 nmol phaclofen (a GABA(B) receptor antagonist) attenuated encounter-induced hyperactivity and aggressive behavior in isolation-reared mice. Furthermore, microinjection of 0.06 nmol baclofen elicited encounter-induced hyperactivity in group-reared mice. Neither baclofen nor phaclofen affected immobility time in the forced swim test and hyperactivity in a novel environment of isolation reared mice. Bisulfite sequence analyses revealed that the DNA methylation level of the CpG island around the transcription start site (TSS) of GABA(B1a) was decreased in the DRN of isolation-reared mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that histone H3 was hyperacetylated around the TSS of GABA(B1a) in the DRN of isolation-reared mice. These findings indicate that an increase in dorsal raphe GABA(B1a) expression via epigenetic regulation is associated with abnormal responses to social stimulation such as encounter-induced hyperactivity and aggressive behavior in isolation

  8. Dissociative symptoms and neuroendocrine dysregulation in depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bob, Petr; Fedor-Freybergh, Peter; Jasova, Denisa; Bizik, Gustav; Susta, Marek; Pavlat, Josef; Zima, Tomas; Benakova, Hana; Raboch, Jiri

    2008-10-01

    Dissociative symptoms are traditionally attributed to psychological stressors that produce dissociated memories related to stressful life events. Dissociative disorders and dissociative symptoms including psychogenic amnesia, fugue, dissociative identity-disorder, depersonalization, derealization and other symptoms or syndromes have been reported as an epidemic psychiatric condition that may be coexistent with various psychiatric diagnoses such as depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder or anxiety disorders. According to recent findings also the somatic components of dissociation may occur and influence brain, autonomic and neuroendocrine functions. At this time there are only few studies examining neuroendocrine response related to dissociative symptoms that suggest significant dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The aim of the present study is to perform examination of HPA axis functioning indexed by basal cortisol and prolactin and test their relationship to psychic and somatoform dissociative symptoms. Basal cortisol and prolactin and psychic and somatoform dissociative symptoms were assessed in 40 consecutive inpatients with diagnosis of unipolar depression mean age 43.37 (SD=12.21). The results show that prolactin and cortisol as indices of HPA axis functioning manifest significant relationship to dissociative symptoms. Main results represent highly significant correlations obtained by simple regression between psychic dissociative symptoms (DES) and serum prolactin (R=0.55, p=0.00027), and between somatoform dissociation (SDQ-20) and serum cortisol (R=-0.38, p=0.015). These results indicate relationship between HPA-axis reactivity and dissociative symptoms in unipolar depressive patients that could reflect passive coping behavior and disengagement.

  9. Confabulation: Developing the 'emotion dysregulation' hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Oliver H; Salas, Christian E

    2017-02-01

    Confabulations offer unique opportunities for establishing the neurobiological basis of delusional thinking. As regards causal factors, a review of the confabulation literature suggests that neither amnesia nor executive impairment can be the sole (or perhaps even the primary) cause of all delusional beliefs - though they may act in concert with other factors. A key perspective in the modern literature is that many delusions have an emotionally positive or 'wishful' element, that may serve to modulate or manage emotional experience. Some authors have referred to this perspective as the 'emotion dysregulation' hypothesis. In this article we review the theoretical underpinnings of this approach, and develop the idea by suggesting that the positive aspects of confabulatory states may have a role in perpetuating the imbalance between cognitive control and emotion. We draw on existing evidence from fields outside neuropsychology, to argue for three main causal factors: that positive emotions are related to more global or schematic forms of cognitive processing; that positive emotions influence the accuracy of memory recollection; and that positive emotions make people more susceptible to false memories. These findings suggest that the emotions that we want to feel (or do not want to feel) can influence the way we reconstruct past experiences and generate a sense of self - a proposition that bears on a unified theory of delusional belief states. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Dopaminergic Dysregulation, Artistic Expressiveness, and Parkinson's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Pousa, S.; Lombardía-Fernández, C.; Olmo, J. Garre; Monserrat-Vila, S.; Vilalta-Franch, J.; Calvó-Perxas, L.

    2012-01-01

    Background The most frequent behavioral manifestations in Parkinson's disease (PD) are attributed to the dopaminergic dysregulation syndrome (DDS), which is considered to be secondary to the iatrogenic effects of the drugs that replace dopamine. Over the past few years some cases of patients improving their creative abilities after starting treatment with dopaminergic pharmaceuticals have been reported. These effects have not been clearly associated to DDS, but a relationship has been pointed out. Methods Case study of a patient with PD. The evolution of her paintings along medication changes and disease advance has been analyzed. Results The patient showed a compulsive increase of pictorial production after the diagnosis of PD was made. She made her best paintings when treated with cabergolide, and while painting, she reported a feeling of well-being, with loss of awareness of the disease and reduction of physical limitations. Conclusions Dopaminergic antagonists (DA) trigger a dopaminergic dysfunction that alters artistic creativity in patients having a predisposition for it. The development of these skills might be due to the dopaminergic overstimulation due to the therapy with DA, which causes a neurophysiological alteration that globally determines DDS. PMID:23185168

  11. [Genetics and epigenetics in autism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Atsuo; Masaki, Shiego; Aoki, Eiko

    2006-11-01

    Autism is a behaviorally defined syndrome characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted, stereotyped interests and behaviors. Several lines of evidence support the contention that genetic factors are a large component to autism etiology. However, in spite of vigorous genetic studies, no single causative or susceptibility gene common in autism has been identified. Thus multiple susceptibility genes in interaction are considered to account for the disorder. Furthermore, environmental risk factors can accelerate the autism development of. Recent advances in understanding the epigenetic regulation may shed light on the interaction among multiple genetic factors and environmental factors.

  12. Epigenetic modulators of thyroid cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hisashi Narahara

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Because epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in choriocarcinomas, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and the expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in choriocarcinoma cell lines. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating choriocarcinoma, with a special focus on preclinical studies.

  14. The Child Behavior Checklist Dysregulation Profile in Preschool Children: A Broad Dysregulation Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geeraerts, Sanne Barbara; Deutz, Marike Hester Francisca; Deković, Maja; Bunte, Tessa; Schoemaker, Kim; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Prinzie, Peter; van Baar, Anneloes; Matthys, Walter

    2015-07-01

    Children with concurrent impairments in regulating affect, behavior, and cognition can be identified with the Anxious/Depressed, Aggressive Behavior, and Attention Problems scales (or AAA scales) of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Jointly, these scales form the Dysregulation Profile (DP). Despite persuasive evidence that DP is a marker for severe developmental problems, no consensus exists on the preferred conceptualization and operationalization of DP in preschool years. We addressed this concern by testing and validating the factor structure of DP in a group of predominantly clinically referred preschool children. Participants were 247 children (195 boys and 52 girls), aged 3.5 to 5.5 years. Children were assessed at baseline and 18 months later, using parent and teacher reports, a clinical interview with parents, behavioral observations, and neuropsychological tasks. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that a bifactor model, with a general DP factor and 3 specific factors representing the AAA scales, fitted the data better than a second-order model and a one-factor model for both parent-reported and teacher-reported child problem behavior. Criterion validity analyses showed that the DP factor was concurrently and longitudinally associated with markers of dysregulation and clinically relevant criteria, whereas the specific factors representing the AAA scales were more differentially related to those criteria. DP is best conceptualized as a broad syndrome of dysregulation that exists in addition to the specific syndromes as represented by the AAA scales. Implications for researchers and clinicians are discussed. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Maternal immune activation epigenetically regulates hippocampal serotonin transporter levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonali N. Reisinger

    2016-10-01

    Based on these results we propose a model in which the long-lasting impact of MIA on depression-like behavior and associated molecular and cellular aberrations in the offspring is brought about by the modulation of epigenetic processes and consequent enduring changes in gene expression. These data provide additional insights into the principles underlying the impact of early infectious stress on the development of MDD and may contribute to the development of new targets for antidepressant therapy.

  16. Ancestral vinclozolin exposure alters the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of sperm small noncoding RNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Andrew; Skinner, Michael K; Yan, Wei

    Exposure to the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin during gestation promotes a higher incidence of various diseases in the subsequent unexposed F3 and F4 generations. This phenomenon is termed epigenetic transgenerational inheritance and has been shown to in part involve alterations in DNA methylation, but the role of other epigenetic mechanisms remains unknown. The current study investigated the alterations in small noncoding RNA (sncRNA) in the sperm from F3 generation control and vinclozolin lineage rats. Over 200 differentially expressed sncRNAs were identified and the tRNA-derived sncRNAs, namely 5' halves of mature tRNAs (5' halves), displayed the most dramatic changes. Gene targets of the altered miRNAs and tRNA 5' halves revealed associations between the altered sncRNAs and differentially DNA methylated regions. Dysregulated sncRNAs appear to correlate with mRNA profiles associated with the previously observed vinclozolin-induced disease phenotypes. Data suggest potential connections between sperm-borne RNAs and the vinclozolin-induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance phenomenon.

  17. Epigenetics of obesity: beyond the genome sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, Paul; Li, Jiawei; Oben, Jude A

    2015-07-01

    After the study of the gene code as a trigger for obesity, epigenetic code has appeared as a novel tool in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of obesity, and its related comorbidities. This review summarizes the status of the epigenetic field associated with obesity, and the current epigenetic-based approaches for obesity treatment. Thanks to technical advances, novel and key obesity-associated polymorphisms have been described by genome-wide association studies, but there are limitations with their predictive power. Epigenetics is also studied for disease association, which involves decoding of the genome information, transcriptional status and later phenotypes. Obesity could be induced during adult life by feeding and other environmental factors, and there is a strong association between obesity features and specific epigenetic patterns. These patterns could be established during early life stages, and programme the risk of obesity and its comorbidities during adult life. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that DNA methylation profile could be applied as biomarkers of diet-induced weight loss treatment. High-throughput technologies, recently implemented for commercial genetic test panels, could soon lead to the creation of epigenetic test panels for obesity. Nonetheless, epigenetics is a modifiable risk factor, and different dietary patterns or environmental insights during distinct stages of life could lead to rewriting of the epigenetic profile.

  18. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and produce qualitatively different allozymes and the two alleles are expressed equally within and across all three genotypes and and play an equal role in the epigenetics of dominance. Subunit interaction in the heterodimer over a wide range of H+ concentrations accounts for the epigenetics of dominance for ...

  19. The multifaceted interplay between lipids and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-11

    Histone H3 lysine 4 methylation (H3K4me) has been proposed as a critical component in regulating gene expression, epigenetic states, and cellular identities1. The biological meaning of H3K4me is interpreted by conserved modules including plant homeodomain (PHD) fingers that recognize varied H3K4me states. The dysregulation of PHD fingers has been implicated in several human diseases, including cancers and immune or neurological disorders. Here we report that fusing an H3K4-trimethylation (H3K4me3)-binding PHD finger, such as the carboxy-terminal PHD finger of PHF23 or JARID1A (also known as KDM5A or RBBP2), to a common fusion partner nucleoporin-98 (NUP98) as identified in human leukaemias, generated potent oncoproteins that arrested haematopoietic differentiation and induced acute myeloid leukaemia in murine models. In these processes, a PHD finger that specifically recognizes H3K4me3/2 marks was essential for leukaemogenesis. Mutations in PHD fingers that abrogated H3K4me3 binding also abolished leukaemic transformation. NUP98-PHD fusion prevented the differentiation-associated removal of H3K4me3 at many loci encoding lineage-specific transcription factors (Hox(s), Gata3, Meis1, Eya1 and Pbx1), and enforced their active gene transcription in murine haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Mechanistically, NUP98-PHD fusions act as 'chromatin boundary factors', dominating over polycomb-mediated gene silencing to 'lock' developmentally critical loci into an active chromatin state (H3K4me3 with induced histone acetylation), a state that defined leukaemia stem cells. Collectively, our studies represent, to our knowledge, the first report that deregulation of the PHD finger, an 'effector' of specific histone modification, perturbs the epigenetic dynamics on developmentally critical loci, catastrophizes cellular fate decision-making, and even causes oncogenesis during mammalian development.

  4. Gender moderates the relationship between attachment insecurities and emotion dysregulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velotti, P.; D’Aguanno, M.; de Campora, G.; di Francescantonio, S.; Garofalo, C.; Giromini, L.; Petrocchi, C.; Terrasi, M.; Zavattini, G.C.

    2016-01-01

    The relation between attachment styles and emotion regulation is well documented, and emotion dysregulation is considered characteristic of individuals with insecure attachment styles. Although gender differences in emotion regulation have often been reported, it is not clear whether the association

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Dysregulated behaviors in bulimia nervosa: a case-control study

    OpenAIRE

    Gonçalves, Sónia; Machado, Bárbara Freire Brito César; Martins, C.; Brandão, Isabel; Torres, António Roma; Machado, Paulo P. P.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is often related to self-control difficulties and to dysregulated behaviours. This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of self-injurious behaviour, suicide attempts, and other dysregulated behaviours in BN, using two control groups (a healthy group and a general psychiatric group), and also to examine the association between these behaviours and alleged sexual abuse in BN.Method: Women (N = 233) aged between 13 and 38 years old were evaluated using a semi-st...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-31

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

  12. Dysregulated miR-183 inhibits migration in breast cancer cells.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Lowery, Aoife J

    2010-01-01

    The involvement of miRNAs in the regulation of fundamental cellular functions has placed them at the fore of ongoing investigations into the processes underlying carcinogenesis. MiRNA expression patterns have been shown to be dysregulated in numerous human malignancies, including breast cancer, suggesting their probable involvement as novel classes of oncogenes or tumour suppressor genes. The identification of differentially expressed miRNAs and elucidation of their functional roles may provide insight into the complex and diverse molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis. MiR-183 is located on chromosome 7q32 and is part of a miRNA family which are dysregulated in numerous cancers. The aims of this study were to further examine the expression and functional role of miR-183 in breast cancer.

  13. Mild KCC2 hypofunction causes inconspicuous chloride dysregulation that degrades neural coding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eDoyon

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Disinhibition caused by Cl- dysregulation is implicated in several neurological disorders. This form of disinhibition, which stems primarily from impaired Cl- extrusion through the co-transporter KCC2, is typically identified by a depolarizing shift in GABA reversal potential (EGABA. Here we show, using computer simulations, that intracellular [Cl-] exhibits exaggerated fluctuations during transient Cl- loads and recovers more slowly to baseline when KCC2 level is even modestly reduced. Using information theory and signal detection theory, we show that increased Cl- lability and settling time degrade neural coding. Importantly, these deleterious effects manifest after less KCC2 reduction than needed to produce the gross changes in EGABA required for detection by most experiments, which assess KCC2 function under weak Cl- load conditions. By demonstrating the existence and functional consequences of occult Cl- dysregulation, these results suggest that modest KCC2 hypofunction plays a greater role in neurological disorders than previously believed.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maes, Ken; Menu, Eline; Van Valckenborgh, Els; Van Riet, Ivan; Vanderkerken, Karin; De Bruyne, Elke

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Epigenetic regulation of non-lymphoid cells by Bisphenol-A, a model endocrine disrupter: Potential Implications for Immunoregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deena eKhan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC abound in the environment since many compounds are released from chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical and consumer product industries. Many of the EDCs such as Bisphenol A (BPA have estrogenic activity or interfere with endogenous sex hormones. Experimental studies have reported a positive correlation of BPA with reproductive toxicity, altered growth and immune dysregulation. Although the precise relevance of these studies to the environmental levels is unclear, nevertheless, their potential health implications remain a concern. One possible mechanism by which BPA can alter genes is by regulating epigenetics, including microRNA, alteration of methylation and histone acetylation. There is now wealth of information on BPA effects on non-lymphoid cells and by comparison, paucity of data on effects of BPA on the immune system. In this mini review, we will highlight BPA regulation of estrogen receptor-mediated immune cell functions and in different inflammatory conditions. In addition, BPA-mediated epigenetic regulation of non-lymphoid cells is emphasized. We recognize that most of these studies are on non-lymphoid cells, and given that BPA also affects the immune system, it is plausible that BPA could have similar epigenetic regulation in immune cells. It is hoped that this review will stimulate studies in this area to ascertain whether or not BPA epigenetically regulates the cells of the immune system.

  16. Dysregulation of Nutrient Sensing and CLEARance in Presenilin Deficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavya Reddy

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Attenuated auto-lysosomal system has been associated with Alzheimer disease (AD, yet all underlying molecular mechanisms leading to this impairment are unknown. We show that the amino acid sensing of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1 is dysregulated in cells deficient in presenilin, a protein associated with AD. In these cells, mTORC1 is constitutively tethered to lysosomal membranes, unresponsive to starvation, and inhibitory to TFEB-mediated clearance due to a reduction in Sestrin2 expression. Normalization of Sestrin2 levels through overexpression or elevation of nuclear calcium rescued mTORC1 tethering and initiated clearance. While CLEAR network attenuation in vivo results in buildup of amyloid, phospho-Tau, and neurodegeneration, presenilin-knockout fibroblasts and iPSC-derived AD human neurons fail to effectively initiate autophagy. These results propose an altered mechanism for nutrient sensing in presenilin deficiency and underline an importance of clearance pathways in the onset of AD.

  17. Potential Therapeutic Effects of Meditation for Treating Affective Dysregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie T. Y. Leung

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Affective dysregulation is at the root of many psychopathologies, including stress induced disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression. The root of these disorders appears to be an attenuated, top-down cognitive control from the prefrontal cortices over the maladaptive subcortical emotional processing. A form of mental training, long-term meditation practice can trigger meditation-specific neuroplastic changes in the brain regions underlying cognitive control and affective regulation, suggesting that meditation can act as a kind of mental exercise to foster affective regulation and possibly a cost-effective intervention in mood disorders. Increasing research has suggested that the cultivation of awareness and acceptance along with a nonjudgmental attitude via meditation promotes adaptive affective regulation. This review examined the concepts of affective regulation and meditation and discussed behavioral and neural evidence of the potential clinical application of meditation. Lately, there has been a growing trend toward incorporating the “mindfulness” component into existing psychotherapeutic treatment. Promising results have been observed thus far. Future studies may consider exploring the possibility of integrating the element of “compassion” into current psychotherapeutic approaches.

  18. Dysregulation of striatal projection neurons in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Goichi; Singh, Arun; Papa, Stella M

    2018-03-01

    The loss of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) is the primary cause of motor dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the underlying striatal mechanisms remain unclear. In spite of abundant literature portraying structural, biochemical and plasticity changes of striatal projection neurons (SPNs), in the past there has been a data vacuum from the natural human disease and its close model in non-human primates. Recently, single-cell recordings in advanced parkinsonian primates have generated new insights into the altered function of SPNs. Currently, there are also human data that provide direct evidence of profoundly dysregulated SPN activity in PD. Here, we review primate recordings that are impacting our understanding of the striatal dysfunction after DA loss, particularly through the analysis of physiologic correlates of parkinsonian motor behaviors. In contrast to recordings in rodents, data obtained in primates and patients demonstrate similar major abnormalities of the spontaneous SPN firing in the alert parkinsonian state. Furthermore, these studies also show altered SPN responses to DA replacement in the advanced parkinsonian state. Clearly, there is yet much to learn about the striatal discharges in PD, but studies using primate models are contributing unique information to advance our understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Liu, Huijie; Sun, Zhongsheng

    2017-11-01

    environment-induced epigenetic marks across generations. Considering their diverse epigenetic architectures, the conservation and prevalence of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic inheritance in non-mammals require further investigation in mammals. Interpretation of the consequences arising from epigenetic inheritance on organisms and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms will provide insight into how gene-environment interactions shape developmental processes and physiological functions, which in turn may have wide-ranging implications for human health, and understanding biological adaptation and evolution. © 2017 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  20. Epigenetic changes in solid and hematopoietic tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, Minoru; Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2005-10-01

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

  1. Epigenetic Pathways of Oncogenic Viruses: Therapeutic Promises.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Cancerous transformation comprises different events that are both genetic and epigenetic. The ultimate goal for such events is to maintain cell survival and proliferation. This transformation occurs as a consequence of different features such as environmental and genetic factors, as well as some types of infection. Many viral infections are considered to be causative agents of a number of different malignancies. To convert normal cells into cancerous cells, oncogenic viruses must function at the epigenetic level to communicate with their host cells. Oncogenic viruses encode certain epigenetic factors that lead to the immortality and proliferation of infected cells. The epigenetic effectors produced by oncogenic viruses constitute appealing targets to prevent and treat malignant diseases caused by these viruses. In this review, we highlight the importance of epigenetic reprogramming for virus-induced oncogenesis, with special emphasis on viral epigenetic oncoproteins as therapeutic targets. The discovery of molecular components that target epigenetic pathways, especially viral factors, is also discussed. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Environmental chemical exposures and human epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Cancer Control and Prevention by Nutrition and Epigenetic Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Verma, Mukesh

    2012-01-01

    Significance: Epigenetics involves alterations in gene expression without changing the nucleotide sequence. Because some epigenetic changes can be reversed chemically, epigenetics has tremendous implications for disease intervention and treatment. Recent Advances: After epigenetic components in cancer were characterized, genes and pathways are being characterized in other diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and neurological disorders. Observational, experimental, and clinical studies in diffe...

  4. Altered epigenetic regulation of homeobox genes in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcinkiewicz, Katarzyna M.; Gudas, Lorraine J., E-mail: ljgudas@med.cornell.edu

    2014-01-01

    To gain insight into oral squamous cell carcinogenesis, we performed deep sequencing (RNAseq) of non-tumorigenic human OKF6-TERT1R and tumorigenic SCC-9 cells. Numerous homeobox genes are differentially expressed between OKF6-TERT1R and SCC-9 cells. Data from Oncomine, a cancer microarray database, also show that homeobox (HOX) genes are dysregulated in oral SCC patients. The activity of Polycomb repressive complexes (PRC), which causes epigenetic modifications, and retinoic acid (RA) signaling can control HOX gene transcription. HOXB7, HOXC10, HOXC13, and HOXD8 transcripts are higher in SCC-9 than in OKF6-TERT1R cells; using ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) we detected PRC2 protein SUZ12 and the epigenetic H3K27me3 mark on histone H3 at these genes in OKF6-TERT1R, but not in SCC-9 cells. In contrast, IRX1, IRX4, SIX2 and TSHZ3 transcripts are lower in SCC-9 than in OKF6-TERT1R cells. We detected SUZ12 and the H3K27me3 mark at these genes in SCC-9, but not in OKF6-TERT1R cells. SUZ12 depletion increased HOXB7, HOXC10, HOXC13, and HOXD8 transcript levels and decreased the proliferation of OKF6-TERT1R cells. Transcriptional responses to RA are attenuated in SCC-9 versus OKF6-TERT1R cells. SUZ12 and H3K27me3 levels were not altered by RA at these HOX genes in SCC-9 and OKF6-TERT1R cells. We conclude that altered activity of PRC2 is associated with dysregulation of homeobox gene expression in human SCC cells, and that this dysregulation potentially plays a role in the neoplastic transformation of oral keratinocytes. - Highlights: • RNAseq elucidates differences between non-tumorigenic and tumorigenic oral keratinocytes. • Changes in HOX mRNA in SCC-9 vs. OKF6-TERT1R cells are a result of altered epigenetic regulation. • RNAseq shows that retinoic acid (RA) influences gene expression in both OKF6-TERT1R and SCC-9 cells.

  5. Altered epigenetic regulation of homeobox genes in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcinkiewicz, Katarzyna M.; Gudas, Lorraine J.

    2014-01-01

    To gain insight into oral squamous cell carcinogenesis, we performed deep sequencing (RNAseq) of non-tumorigenic human OKF6-TERT1R and tumorigenic SCC-9 cells. Numerous homeobox genes are differentially expressed between OKF6-TERT1R and SCC-9 cells. Data from Oncomine, a cancer microarray database, also show that homeobox (HOX) genes are dysregulated in oral SCC patients. The activity of Polycomb repressive complexes (PRC), which causes epigenetic modifications, and retinoic acid (RA) signaling can control HOX gene transcription. HOXB7, HOXC10, HOXC13, and HOXD8 transcripts are higher in SCC-9 than in OKF6-TERT1R cells; using ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) we detected PRC2 protein SUZ12 and the epigenetic H3K27me3 mark on histone H3 at these genes in OKF6-TERT1R, but not in SCC-9 cells. In contrast, IRX1, IRX4, SIX2 and TSHZ3 transcripts are lower in SCC-9 than in OKF6-TERT1R cells. We detected SUZ12 and the H3K27me3 mark at these genes in SCC-9, but not in OKF6-TERT1R cells. SUZ12 depletion increased HOXB7, HOXC10, HOXC13, and HOXD8 transcript levels and decreased the proliferation of OKF6-TERT1R cells. Transcriptional responses to RA are attenuated in SCC-9 versus OKF6-TERT1R cells. SUZ12 and H3K27me3 levels were not altered by RA at these HOX genes in SCC-9 and OKF6-TERT1R cells. We conclude that altered activity of PRC2 is associated with dysregulation of homeobox gene expression in human SCC cells, and that this dysregulation potentially plays a role in the neoplastic transformation of oral keratinocytes. - Highlights: • RNAseq elucidates differences between non-tumorigenic and tumorigenic oral keratinocytes. • Changes in HOX mRNA in SCC-9 vs. OKF6-TERT1R cells are a result of altered epigenetic regulation. • RNAseq shows that retinoic acid (RA) influences gene expression in both OKF6-TERT1R and SCC-9 cells

  6. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2012-08-01

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

  7. Genome-wide placental DNA methylation analysis of severely growth-discordant monochorionic twins reveals novel epigenetic targets for intrauterine growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roifman, Maian; Choufani, Sanaa; Turinsky, Andrei L; Drewlo, Sascha; Keating, Sarah; Brudno, Michael; Kingdom, John; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2016-01-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), which refers to reduced fetal growth in the context of placental insufficiency, is etiologically heterogeneous. IUGR is associated not only with perinatal morbidity and mortality but also with adult-onset disorders, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, posing a major health burden. Placental epigenetic dysregulation has been proposed as one mechanism that causes IUGR; however, the spectrum of epigenetic pathophysiological mechanisms leading to IUGR remains to be elucidated. Monozygotic monochorionic twins are particularly affected by IUGR, in the setting of severe discordant growth. Because monozygotic twins have the same genotype at conception and a shared maternal environment, they provide an ideal model system for studying epigenetic dysregulation of the placenta. We compared genome-wide placental DNA methylation patterns of severely growth-discordant twins to identify novel candidate genes for IUGR. Snap-frozen placental samples for eight severely growth-discordant monozygotic monochorionic twin pairs were obtained at delivery from each twin. A high-resolution DNA methylation array platform was used to identify methylation differences between IUGR and normal twins. Our analysis revealed differentially methylated regions in the promoters of eight genes: DECR1, ZNF300, DNAJA4, CCL28, LEPR, HSPA1A/L, GSTO1, and GNE. The largest methylation differences between the two groups were in the promoters of DECR1 and ZNF300. The significance of these group differences was independently validated by bisulfite pyrosequencing, implicating aberrations in fatty acid beta oxidation and transcriptional regulation, respectively. Further analysis of the array data identified methylation changes most prominently affecting the Wnt and cadherin pathways in the IUGR cohort. Our results suggest that IUGR in monozygotic twins is associated with impairments in lipid metabolism and transcriptional regulation as well as cadherin and Wnt

  8. Emotion dysregulation and social competence: stability, change and predictive power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovits, L D; Baker, B L

    2014-08-01

    Social difficulties are closely linked to emotion dysregulation among children with typical development (TD). Children with developmental delays (DD) are at risk for poor social outcomes, but the relationship between social and emotional development within this population is not well understood. The current study examines the extent to which emotion dysregulation is related to social problems across middle childhood among children with TD or DD. Children with TD (IQ ≥ 85, n = 113) and children with DD (IQ ≤ 75, n = 61) participated in a longitudinal study. Annual assessments were completed at ages 7, 8 and 9 years. At each assessment, mothers reported on children's emotion dysregulation, and both mothers and teachers reported on children's social difficulties. Children with DD had higher levels of emotion dysregulation and social problems at each age than those with TD. Emotion dysregulation and social problems were significantly positively correlated within both TD and DD groups using mother report of social problems, and within the TD group using teacher report of social problems. Among children with TD, emotion dysregulation consistently predicted change in social problems from one year to the next. However, among children with DD, emotion dysregulation offered no unique prediction value above and beyond current social problems. Results suggested that the influence of emotion regulation abilities on social development may be a less salient pathway for children with DD. These children may have more influences, beyond emotion regulation, on their social behaviour, highlighting the importance of directly targeting social skill deficits among children with DD in order to ameliorate their social difficulties. © 2013 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Disordered eating and emotion dysregulation among adolescents and their parents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, Erika; Daukantaité, Daiva; Johnsson, Per

    2017-04-04

    Research on the relationships between adolescent and parental disordered eating (DE) and emotion dysregulation is scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore whether mothers' and fathers' own DE, as measured by SCOFF questionnaire, and emotion dysregulation, as measured by the difficulties in emotion regulation scale (DERS), were associated with their daughters' or sons' DE and emotion dysregulation. Furthermore, the importance of shared family meals and possible parent-related predictors of adolescent DE were explored. The total sample comprised 1,265 adolescents (M age  = 16.19, SD = 1.21; age range 13.5-19 years, 54.5% female) whose parents had received a self-report questionnaire via mail. Of these, 235 adolescents (18.6% of the total sample) whose parents completed the questionnaire were used in the analyses. Parents' responses were matched and compared with those of their child. Adolescent girls showed greater levels of DE overall than did their parents. Furthermore, DE was associated with emotion dysregulation among both adolescents and parents. Adolescent and parental emotion dysregulation was associated, although there were gender differences in the specifics of this relationship. The frequency of shared dinner meals was the only variable that was associated to DE and emotion dysregulation among adolescents, while parental eating disorder was the only variable that enhanced the probability of adolescent DE. The present study contributes to the literature by demonstrating that there are significant associations between parents and their adolescent children in terms of DE, emotion dysregulation, and shared family meals. Future studies should break down these relationships among mothers, fathers, girls, and boys to further clarify the specific associational, and possibly predictive, directions.

  10. MicroRNA dysregulation as a prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dong, Yujuan; Yu, Jun; Ng, Simon SM

    2014-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most potentially curable cancers, yet it remains the fourth most common overall cause of cancer death worldwide. The identification of robust molecular prognostic biomarkers can refine the conventional tumor–node–metastasis staging system, avoid understaging of tumor, and help pinpoint patients with early-stage CRC who may benefit from aggressive treatments. Recently, epigenetic studies have provided new molecular evidence to better categorize the CRC subtypes and predict clinical outcomes. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the prognostic potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) in CRC. We first discuss the prognostic value of three tissue miRNAs (miR-21-5p, miR-29-3p, miR-148-3p) that have been examined in multiple studies. We also summarize the dysregulation of miRNA processing machinery DICER in CRC and its association with risk for mortality. We also reviewe the potential application of miRNA-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms as prognostic biomarkers for CRC, especially the miRNA-associated polymorphism in the KRAS gene. Last but not least, we discuss the microsatellite instability-related miRNA candidates. Among all these candidates, miR-21-5p is the most promising prognostic marker, yet further prospective validation studies are required before it can go into clinical usage

  11. Placental adaptations to micronutrient dysregulation in the programming of chronic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofstee, Pierre; McKeating, Daniel; Perkins, Anthony V; Cuffe, James S M

    2018-04-21

    Poor nutrition during pregnancy is known to impair foetal development and increase the risk of chronic disease in offspring. Both macronutrients and micronutrients are required for a healthy pregnancy although significantly less is understood about the role of micronutrients in the programming of chronic disease. This is despite the fact that modern calorie rich diets are often also deficient in key micronutrients. The importance of micronutrients in gestational disorders is clearly understood but how they impact long term disease in humans requires further investigation. In contrast, animal studies have demonstrated how diets high or low in specific micronutrients influence offspring physiology. Many of these studies highlight the importance of the placenta in determining disease risk. This review will explore the effects of individual vitamins, minerals and trace elements on offspring disease outcomes and discuss several key placental adaptations that are affected by multiple micronutrients. These placental adaptations include micronutrient induced dysregulation of oxidative stress, altered methyl donor availability and its impact on epigenetic mechanisms as well as endocrine dysfunction. Critical gaps in our current knowledge and the relative importance of different micronutrients at different gestational ages will also be highlighted. Finally, this review will discuss the need for further studies to characterise the micronutrient status of Australian women of reproductive age and correlate micronutrient status to placental adaptations, pregnancy complications and offspring disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  12. microRNA-128a dysregulation in transgenic Huntington’s disease monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with a single causal mutation in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently been implicated as epigenetic regulators of neurological disorders, however, their role in HD pathogenesis is not well defined. Here we study transgenic HD monkeys (HD monkeys) to examine miRNA dysregulation in a primate model of the disease. Results In this report, 11 miRNAs were found to be significantly associated (P value monkeys. We further focused on one of those candidates, miR-128a, due to the corresponding disruption in humans and mice with HD as well as its intriguing lists of gene targets. miR-128a was downregulated in our HD monkey model by the time of birth. We then confirmed that miR-128a was also downregulated in the brains of pre-symptomatic and post-symptomatic HD patients. Additionally, our studies confirmed a panel of canonical HD signaling genes regulated by miR-128a, including HTT and Huntingtin Interaction Protein 1 (HIP1). Conclusion Our studies found that miR-128a may play a critical role in HD and could be a viable candidate as a therapeutic or biomarker of the disease. PMID:24929669

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Cross-population validation of statistical distance as a measure of physiological dysregulation during aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Alan A; Milot, Emmanuel; Li, Qing; Legault, Véronique; Fried, Linda P; Ferrucci, Luigi

    2014-09-01

    Measuring physiological dysregulation during aging could be a key tool both to understand underlying aging mechanisms and to predict clinical outcomes in patients. However, most existing indices are either circular or hard to interpret biologically. Recently, we showed that statistical distance of 14 common blood biomarkers (a measure of how strange an individual's biomarker profile is) was associated with age and mortality in the WHAS II data set, validating its use as a measure of physiological dysregulation. Here, we extend the analyses to other data sets (WHAS I and InCHIANTI) to assess the stability of the measure across populations. We found that the statistical criteria used to determine the original 14 biomarkers produced diverging results across populations; in other words, had we started with a different data set, we would have chosen a different set of markers. Nonetheless, the same 14 markers (or the subset of 12 available for InCHIANTI) produced highly similar predictions of age and mortality. We include analyses of all combinatorial subsets of the markers and show that results do not depend much on biomarker choice or data set, but that more markers produce a stronger signal. We conclude that statistical distance as a measure of physiological dysregulation is stable across populations in Europe and North America. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  17. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, epigenetics, and skeletal system dysfunction: exploration of links using bisphenol A as a model system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Frances; Smith, Lauren M; Susiarjo, Martha; Jepsen, Karl J

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Early life exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been associated with physiological changes of endocrine-sensitive tissues throughout postnatal life. Although hormones play a critical role in skeletal growth and maintenance, the effects of prenatal EDC exposure on adult bone health are not well understood. Moreover, studies assessing skeletal changes across multiple generations are limited. In this article, we present previously unpublished data demonstrating dose-, sex-, and generation-specific changes in bone morphology and function in adult mice developmentally exposed to the model estrogenic EDC bisphenol A (BPA) at doses of 10 μg (lower dose) or 10 mg per kg bw/d (upper dose) throughout gestation and lactation. We show that F1 generation adult males, but not females, developmentally exposed to bisphenol A exhibit dose-dependent reductions in outer bone size resulting in compromised bone stiffness and strength. These structural alterations and weaker bone phenotypes in the F1 generation did not persist in the F2 generation. Instead, F2 generation males exhibited greater bone strength. The underlying mechanisms driving the EDC-induced physiological changes remain to be determined. We discuss potential molecular changes that could contribute to the EDC-induced skeletal effects, with an emphasis on epigenetic dysregulation. Furthermore, we assess the necessity of intact sex steroid receptors to mediate these effects. Expanding future assessments of EDC-induced effects to the skeleton may provide much needed insight into one of the many health effects of these chemicals and aid in regulatory decision making regarding exposure of vulnerable populations to these chemicals. PMID:29732168

  18. Dysregulated physiological stress systems and accelerated cellular aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Révész, Dóra; Verhoeven, Josine E; Milaneschi, Yuri; de Geus, Eco J C N; Wolkowitz, Owen M; Penninx, Brenda W J H

    2014-06-01

    Exposure to chronic stressors is associated with accelerated biological aging as indicated by reduced leukocyte telomere length (LTL). This impact could be because of chronic overactivation of the body's physiological stress systems. This study examined the associations between LTL and the immune system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system. LTL was assessed in 2936 adults from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. Inflammation markers (interleukin-6, c-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-alpha), hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis indicators (salivary cortisol awakening curve [area under the curve indicators, with respect to the ground and increase], evening levels, 0.5 mg dexamethasone cortisol suppression ratio), and autonomic nervous system measures (heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, pre-ejection period) were determined. Linear regression analyses were performed and adjusted for sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical factors. Shorter LTL was significantly associated with higher c-reactive protein, interleukin-6, area under the curve with respect to increase, and heart rate. A cumulative index score was calculated based on the number of highest tertiles of these 4 stress markers. LTL demonstrated a significant gradient within subjects ranging from having zero (5528 base pairs) to having 4 elevated stress markers (5371 base pairs, p for trend = 0.002), corresponding to a difference of 10 years of accelerated biological aging. Contrary to the expectations, shorter LTL was also associated with longer pre-ejection period, indicating lower sympathetic tone. This large-scale study showed that inflammation, high awakening cortisol response, and increased heart rate are associated with shorter LTL, especially when they are dysregulated cumulatively. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Power spectrum scale invariance identifies prefrontal dysregulation in paranoid schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radulescu, Anca R; Rubin, Denis; Strey, Helmut H; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and experimental evidence suggest that complex living systems function close to the boundary of chaos, with erroneous organization to an improper dynamical range (too stiff or chaotic) underlying system-wide dysregulation and disease. We hypothesized that erroneous organization might therefore also characterize paranoid schizophrenia, via optimization abnormalities in the prefrontal-limbic circuit regulating emotion. To test this, we acquired fMRI scans from 35 subjects (N = 9 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and N = 26 healthy controls), while they viewed affect-valent stimuli. To quantify dynamic regulation, we analyzed the power spectrum scale invariance (PSSI) of fMRI time-courses and computed the geometry of time-delay (Poincaré) maps, a measure of variability. Patients and controls showed distinct PSSI in two clusters (k(1) : Z = 4.3215, P = 0.00002 and k(2) : Z = 3.9441, P = 0.00008), localized to the orbitofrontal/medial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 10), represented by β close to white noise in patients (β ≈ 0) and in the pink noise range in controls (β ≈ -1). Interpreting the meaning of PSSI differences, the Poincaré maps indicated less variability in patients than controls (Z = -1.9437, P = 0.05 for k(1) ; Z = -2.5099, P = 0.01 for k(2) ). That the dynamics identified Brodmann Area 10 is consistent with previous schizophrenia research, which implicates this area in deficits of working memory, executive functioning, emotional regulation and underlying biological abnormalities in synaptic (glutamatergic) transmission. Our results additionally cohere with a large body of work finding pink noise to be the normal range of central function at the synaptic, cellular, and small network levels, and suggest that patients show less supple responsivity of this region. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Epigenetics and cerebral organoids: promising directions in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-10

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 in 68 children in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is characterized by impairments in social interactions and communication, restrictive and repetitive patterns of behaviors, and interests. Owing to disease complexity, only a limited number of treatment options are available mainly for children that alleviate but do not cure the debilitating symptoms. Studies confirm a genetic link, but environmental factors, such as medications, toxins, and maternal infection during pregnancy, as well as birth complications also play a role. Some studies indicate a set of candidate genes with different DNA methylation profiles in ASD compared to healthy individuals. Thus epigenetic alterations could help bridging the gene-environment gap in deciphering the underlying neurobiology of autism. However, epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have mainly included a very limited number of postmortem brain samples. Hence, cellular models mimicking brain development in vitro will be of great importance to study the critical epigenetic alterations and when they might happen. This review will give an overview of the state of the art concerning knowledge on epigenetic changes in autism and how new, cutting edge expertise based on three-dimensional (3D) stem cell technology models (brain organoids) can contribute in elucidating the multiple aspects of disease mechanisms.

  1. Epigenetics and cancer: implications for drug discovery and safety assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moggs, Jonathan G.; Goodman, Jay I.; Trosko, James E.; Roberts, Ruth A.

    2004-01-01

    It is necessary to determine whether chemicals or drugs have the potential to pose a threat to human health. Research conducted over the last two decades has led to the paradigm that chemicals can cause cancer either by damaging DNA or by altering cellular growth, probably via receptor-mediated changes in gene expression. However, recent evidence suggests that gene expression can be altered markedly via several diverse epigenetic mechanisms that can lead to permanent or reversible changes in cellular behavior. Key molecular events underlying these mechanisms include the alteration of DNA methylation and chromatin, and changes in the function of cell surface molecules. Thus, for example, DNA methyltransferase enzymes together with chromatin-associated proteins such as histone modifying enzymes and remodelling factors can modify the genetic code and contribute to the establishment and maintenance of altered epigenetic states. This is relevant to many types of toxicity including but not limited to cancer. In this paper, we describe the potential for interplay between genetic alteration and epigenetic changes in cell growth regulation and discuss the implications for drug discovery and safety assessment

  2. Epigenetics and obesity: the devil is in the details.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franks, Paul W; Ling, Charlotte

    2010-12-21

    Obesity is a complex disease with multiple well-defined risk factors. Nevertheless, susceptibility to obesity and its sequelae within obesogenic environments varies greatly from one person to the next, suggesting a role for gene × environment interactions in the etiology of the disorder. Epigenetic regulation of the human genome provides a putative mechanism by which specific environmental exposures convey risk for obesity and other human diseases and is one possible mechanism that underlies the gene × environment/treatment interactions observed in epidemiological studies and clinical trials. A study published in BMC Medicine this month by Wang et al. reports on an examination of DNA methylation in peripheral blood leukocytes of lean and obese adolescents, comparing methylation patterns between the two groups. The authors identified two genes that were differentially methylated, both of which have roles in immune function. Here we overview the findings from this study in the context of those emerging from other recent genetic and epigenetic studies, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the study and speculate on the future of epigenetics in chronic disease research.

  3. Epigenetic changes in neurology: DNA methylation in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iridoy Zulet, M; Pulido Fontes, L; Ayuso Blanco, T; Lacruz Bescos, F; Mendioroz Iriarte, M

    2017-09-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the study of the mechanisms that regulate gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence. The best known is DNA methylation. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with no entirely known etiology, in which it is stated that the involvement of environmental factors on people with a genetic predisposition, may be key to the development of the disease. It is at this intersection between genetic predisposition and environmental factors where DNA methylation may play a pathogenic role. A literature review of the effects of environmental risk factors for the development of MS can have on the different epigenetic mechanisms as well as the implication that such changes have on the development of the disease. Knowledge of epigenetic modifications involved in the pathogenesis of MS, opens a new avenue of research for identification of potential biomarkers, as well as finding new therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  4. Asymmetric strand segregation: epigenetic costs of genetic fidelity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane P Genereux

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Asymmetric strand segregation has been proposed as a mechanism to minimize effective mutation rates in epithelial tissues. Under asymmetric strand segregation, the double-stranded molecule that contains the oldest DNA strand is preferentially targeted to the somatic stem cell after each round of DNA replication. This oldest DNA strand is expected to have fewer errors than younger strands because some of the errors that arise on daughter strands during their synthesis fail to be repaired. Empirical findings suggest the possibility of asymmetric strand segregation in a subset of mammalian cell lineages, indicating that it may indeed function to increase genetic fidelity. However, the implications of asymmetric strand segregation for the fidelity of epigenetic information remain unexplored. Here, I explore the impact of strand-segregation dynamics on epigenetic fidelity using a mathematical-modelling approach that draws on the known molecular mechanisms of DNA methylation and existing rate estimates from empirical methylation data. I find that, for a wide range of starting methylation densities, asymmetric -- but not symmetric -- strand segregation leads to systematic increases in methylation levels if parent strands are subject to de novo methylation events. I found that epigenetic fidelity can be compromised when enhanced genetic fidelity is achieved through asymmetric strand segregation. Strand segregation dynamics could thus explain the increased DNA methylation densities that are observed in structured cellular populations during aging and in disease.

  5. Epigenetics and obesity: the devil is in the details

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franks Paul W

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Obesity is a complex disease with multiple well-defined risk factors. Nevertheless, susceptibility to obesity and its sequelae within obesogenic environments varies greatly from one person to the next, suggesting a role for gene × environment interactions in the etiology of the disorder. Epigenetic regulation of the human genome provides a putative mechanism by which specific environmental exposures convey risk for obesity and other human diseases and is one possible mechanism that underlies the gene × environment/treatment interactions observed in epidemiological studies and clinical trials. A study published in BMC Medicine this month by Wang et al. reports on an examination of DNA methylation in peripheral blood leukocytes of lean and obese adolescents, comparing methylation patterns between the two groups. The authors identified two genes that were differentially methylated, both of which have roles in immune function. Here we overview the findings from this study in the context of those emerging from other recent genetic and epigenetic studies, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the study and speculate on the future of epigenetics in chronic disease research. See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/8/87/abstract

  6. Epigenetics: relevance and implications for public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetic changes detected in micropropagated hop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peredo, Elena L; Arroyo-García, Rosa; Revilla, M Angeles

    2009-07-01

    Micropropagation is a widely used technique in hops (Humulus lupulus L.). However, to the best of our knowledge, the genetic and epigenetic stability of the microplants has never been tested before. In the present study, two hop accessions were established in vitro and micropropagated for 2 years. The genetic and epigenetic stability of the in vitro plants was analyzed with several molecular techniques: random amplified DNA polymorphism (RAPD), retrotransposon microsatellite amplified polymorphism (REMAP), and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). No genetic variation among control and treated plants was found, even after 12 cycles of micropropagation. Epigenetic variation was detected, first, when field and in vitro samples were compared. Nearly a 30% of the detected fragments presented the same pattern of alterations in all the vitroplants. Second, lower levels of epigenetic variation were detected among plants from the different subcultures. Part of this detected variation seemed to be accumulated along the 12 sequential subcultures tested.

  8. Epigenetics in radiotherapy: Where are we heading?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smits, Kim M.; Melotte, Veerle; Niessen, Hanneke E.C.; Dubois, Ludwig; Oberije, Cary; Troost, Esther G.C.; Starmans, Maud H.W.; Boutros, Paul C.; Vooijs, Marc; Engeland, Manon van; Lambin, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Radiotherapy is an important component of anti-cancer treatment. However, not all cancer patients respond to radiotherapy, and with current knowledge clinicians are unable to predict which patients are at high risk of recurrence after radiotherapy. There is therefore an urgent need for biomarkers to guide clinical decision-making. Although the importance of epigenetic alterations is widely accepted, their application as biomarkers in radiotherapy has not been studied extensively. In addition, it has been suggested that radiotherapy itself introduces epigenetic alterations. As epigenetic alterations can potentially be reversed by drug treatment, they are interesting candidate targets for anticancer therapy or radiotherapy sensitizers. The application of demethylating drugs or histone deacetylase inhibitors to sensitize patients for radiotherapy has been studied in vitro, in vivo as well as in clinical trials with promising results. This review describes the current knowledge on epigenetics in radiotherapy

  9. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2017-10-06

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

  10. Epigenetic variation, phenotypic heritability, and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    dimer over a wide range of H+ concentrations accounts for the epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity. [Trehan K S ... The present study has been carried on acid phosphatase .... enzyme activity over mid parent value (table 3, col. 13),.

  12. 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.

  13. Dysregulation of Autophagy Contributes to Anal Carcinogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evie H Carchman

    . With the development of low-grade dysplasia in the K14E6/E7 mice, there was an increase in both punctate LC3β and p62 expression while EM revealed increased autophagosomes without evidence of autophagolysosomes. These observations are consistent with autophagy being inhibited at a later stage in the autophagic process. In contrast, in high-grade dysplasia and SCC in the DMBA-treated K14E6/E7 mice, there were decreased levels of p62 with a continued increase in punctate LC3β expression by IF, while autophagolysosomes were seen on EM, consistent with the process of autophagy proceeded to completion. Similar findings, including histological grade dependent changes in LC3β and p62 expression, were noted with human samples upon analysis of IF. Finally, with pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy in DMBA-treated, nontrangenic FVB/N mice, there was a significant increase in anal cancer development similar to that observed in DMBA- treated K14E6/E7 mice.Autophagic dysregulation is noted early on in HPV-associated anal carcinogenesis (low-grade dysplasia, with normalization of the autophagic process arising in late stages of HPV-associated anal carcinogenesis (high-grade dysplasia and invasive carcinoma.

  14. On-chip cellomics assay enabling algebraic and geometric understanding of epigenetic information in cellular networks of living systems. 1. Temporal aspects of epigenetic information in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuda, Kenji

    2012-01-01

    A series of studies aimed at developing methods and systems of analyzing epigenetic information in cells and in cell networks, as well as that of genetic information, was examined to expand our understanding of how living systems are determined. Because cells are minimum units reflecting epigenetic information, which is considered to map the history of a parallel-processing recurrent network of biochemical reactions, their behaviors cannot be explained by considering only conventional DNA information-processing events. The role of epigenetic information on cells, which complements their genetic information, was inferred by comparing predictions from genetic information with cell behaviour observed under conditions chosen to reveal adaptation processes, population effects and community effects. A system of analyzing epigenetic information was developed starting from the twin complementary viewpoints of cell regulation as an "algebraic" system (emphasis on temporal aspects) and as a "geometric" system (emphasis on spatial aspects). Exploiting the combination of latest microfabrication technology and measurement technologies, which we call on-chip cellomics assay, we can control and re-construct the environments and interaction of cells from "algebraic" and "geometric" viewpoints. In this review, temporal viewpoint of epigenetic information, a part of the series of single-cell-based "algebraic" and "geometric" studies of celluler systems in our research groups, are summerized and reported. The knowlege acquired from this study may lead to the use of cells that fully control practical applications like cell-based drug screening and the regeneration of organs.

  15. 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...... in modifying exercise-responsive gene expression. These transient changes suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are not restricted to early stages of human development but are broad dynamic controllers of genomic plasticity in response to environmental factors....

  16. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beerman, Isabel; Rossi, Derrick J.

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razvi, Enal S

    2011-02-01

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

  18. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on animal behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Per

    2013-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Recent developments on the role of epigenetics in obesity and metabolic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, Susan J; Tellam, Ross L; Morrison, Janna L; Muhlhausler, Beverly S; Molloy, Peter L

    2015-01-01

    The increased prevalence of obesity and related comorbidities is a major public health problem. While genetic factors undoubtedly play a role in determining individual susceptibility to weight gain and obesity, the identified genetic variants only explain part of the variation. This has led to growing interest in understanding the potential role of epigenetics as a mediator of gene-environment interactions underlying the development of obesity and its associated comorbidities. Initial evidence in support of a role of epigenetics in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was mainly provided by animal studies, which reported epigenetic changes in key metabolically important tissues following high-fat feeding and epigenetic differences between lean and obese animals and by human studies which showed epigenetic changes in obesity and T2DM candidate genes in obese/diabetic individuals. More recently, advances in epigenetic methodologies and the reduced cost of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have led to a rapid expansion of studies in human populations. These studies have also reported epigenetic differences between obese/T2DM adults and healthy controls and epigenetic changes in association with nutritional, weight loss, and exercise interventions. There is also increasing evidence from both human and animal studies that the relationship between perinatal nutritional exposures and later risk of obesity and T2DM may be mediated by epigenetic changes in the offspring. The aim of this review is to summarize the most recent developments in this rapidly moving field, with a particular focus on human EWAS and studies investigating the impact of nutritional and lifestyle factors (both pre- and postnatal) on the epigenome and their relationship to metabolic health outcomes. The difficulties in distinguishing consequence from causality in these studies and the critical role of animal models for testing causal relationships and providing insight into underlying

  1. Exploring the Role of Piwi/piRNA Pathway in Epigenetic Dysregulation in Low Dose Radiation Induced Cardiovascular Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jejelowo, O. A.; Tariq, M. A.

    2018-02-01

    We will utilize multi-omics to identify robust biomarkers and to understand radiation effects and develop countermeasures. Information obtained will enhance development of capabilities to monitor health in real time and for mitigation of risks.

  2. Neurogenetic and epigenetic correlates of adolescent predisposition to and risk for addictive behaviors as a function of prefrontal cortex dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Kenneth; Febo, Marcelo; Smith, David E; Roy, A Kenison; Demetrovics, Zsolt; Cronjé, Frans J; Femino, John; Agan, Gozde; Fratantonio, James L; Pandey, Subhash C; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Gold, Mark S

    2015-05-01

    As addiction professionals, we are becoming increasingly concerned about preteenagers and young adults' involvement with substance abuse as a way of relieving stress and anger. The turbulent underdeveloped central nervous system, especially in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), provides impetus to not only continue important neuroimaging studies in both human and animal models, but also to encourage preventive measures and cautions embraced by governmental and social media outlets. It is well known that before people reach their 20s, PFC development is undergoing significant changes and, as such, hijacks appropriate decision making in this population. We are further proposing that early genetic testing for addiction risk alleles will offer important information that could potentially be utilized by their parents and caregivers prior to use of psychoactive drugs by these youth. Understandably, family history, parenting styles, and attachment may be modified by various reward genes, including the known bonding substances oxytocin/vasopressin, which effect dopaminergic function. Well-characterized neuroimaging studies continue to reflect region-specific differential responses to drugs and food (including other non-substance-addictive behaviors) via either "surfeit" or "deficit." With this in mind, we hereby propose a "reward deficiency solution system" that combines early genetic risk diagnosis, medical monitoring, and nutrigenomic dopamine agonist modalities to combat this significant global dilemma that is preventing our youth from leading normal productive lives, which will in turn make them happier.

  3. Emotion Dysregulation Mediates the Relation between Mindfulness and Rejection Sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velotti, Patrizia; Garofalo, Carlo; Bizzi, Fabiola

    2015-09-01

    The role of rejection sensitivity (RS; the tendency to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and overreact to implied or overt interpersonal rejection) in psychopathology has mainly been studied with regard to borderline personality disorder (BPD). In the present study, we first sought to extend previous evidence of heightened RS in a clinical group with psychiatric disorders other than BPD, when compared with a community sample. Then, we tested whether emotion dysregulation and mindfulness were associated with RS in both sample, further hypothesizing that emotion dysregulation would mediate the relation between mindfulness deficits and RS. We adopted a cross-sectional design involving 191 psychiatric patients and 277 community participants (total N=468). All participants completed the Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire, the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. Our hypotheses were supported, with psychiatric patients reporting greater levels of rejection sensitivity and emotion dysregulation, and lower level of mindfulness. Mindfulness deficits and emotion dysregulation explained a significant amount of variance in RS, in both samples. Finally, bootstrap analyses revealed that mindfulness deficits played an indirect effect on RS through the mediating role of emotion dysregulation. In particular, two different patterns emerged. Among psychiatric patients, an impairment in the ability to assume a non-judgmental stance towards own thoughts and feelings was related to RS through the mediation of limited access to emotion regulation strategies. Conversely, in the community sample, overall emotion dysregulation mediated the effect of lack of attention and awareness for present activities and experience on RS. Longitudinal studies could help in delineating etiological models of RS, and the joint role of deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation should inform treatment programs.

  4. Staphylococcal enterotoxins stimulate lymphoma-associated immune dysregulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krejsgaard, Thorbjørn Frej; Willerslev-Olsen, Andreas; Lindahl, Lise Maria

    2014-01-01

    a cascade of events involving cell-cell and asymmetric cytokine interactions between malignant and benign T cells, which stimulated the malignant T cells to express high levels of IL-10. Much evidence supports that malignant activation of the Stat3/IL-10 axis plays a key role in driving the immune...... dysregulation and severe immunodeficiency that characteristically develops in CTCL patients. The present findings thereby establish a novel link between SEs and immune dysregulation in CTCL strengthening the rationale for antibiotic treatment of colonized patients with severe or progressive disease....

  5. Epigenetic Etiology of Intellectual Disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwase, Shigeki; Bérubé, Nathalie G; Zhou, Zhaolan; Kasri, Nael Nadif; Battaglioli, Elena; Scandaglia, Marilyn; Barco, Angel

    2017-11-08

    Intellectual disability (ID) is a prevailing neurodevelopmental condition associated with impaired cognitive and adaptive behaviors. Many chromatin-modifying enzymes and other epigenetic regulators have been genetically associated with ID disorders (IDDs). Here we review how alterations in the function of histone modifiers, chromatin remodelers, and methyl-DNA binding proteins contribute to neurodevelopmental defects and altered brain plasticity. We also discuss how progress in human genetics has led to the generation of mouse models that unveil the molecular etiology of ID, and outline the direction in which this field is moving to identify therapeutic strategies for IDDs. Importantly, because the chromatin regulators linked to IDDs often target common downstream genes and cellular processes, the impact of research in individual syndromes goes well beyond each syndrome and can also contribute to the understanding and therapy of other IDDs. Furthermore, the investigation of these disorders helps us to understand the role of chromatin regulators in brain development, plasticity, and gene expression, thereby answering fundamental questions in neurobiology. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3710773-10$15.00/0.

  6. A novel dysregulated pathway-identification analysis based on global influence of within-pathway effects and crosstalk between pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Junwei; Li, Chunquan; Yang, Haixiu; Xu, Yanjun; Zhang, Chunlong; Ma, Jiquan; Shi, Xinrui; Liu, Wei; Shang, Desi; Yao, Qianlan; Zhang, Yunpeng; Su, Fei; Feng, Li; Li, Xia

    2015-01-01

    Identifying dysregulated pathways from high-throughput experimental data in order to infer underlying biological insights is an important task. Current pathway-identification methods focus on single pathways in isolation; however, consideration of crosstalk between pathways could improve our understanding of alterations in biological states. We propose a novel method of pathway analysis based on global influence (PAGI) to identify dysregulated pathways, by considering both within-pathway effects and crosstalk between pathways. We constructed a global gene–gene network based on the relationships among genes extracted from a pathway database. We then evaluated the extent of differential expression for each gene, and mapped them to the global network. The random walk with restart algorithm was used to calculate the extent of genes affected by global influence. Finally, we used cumulative distribution functions to determine the significance values of the dysregulated pathways. We applied the PAGI method to five cancer microarray datasets, and compared our results with gene set enrichment analysis and five other methods. Based on these analyses, we demonstrated that PAGI can effectively identify dysregulated pathways associated with cancer, with strong reproducibility and robustness. We implemented PAGI using the freely available R-based and Web-based tools (http://bioinfo.hrbmu.edu.cn/PAGI). PMID:25551156

  7. DEGAS: de novo discovery of dysregulated pathways in human diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Ulitsky

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Molecular studies of the human disease transcriptome typically involve a search for genes whose expression is significantly dysregulated in sick individuals compared to healthy controls. Recent studies have found that only a small number of the genes in human disease-related pathways show consistent dysregulation in sick individuals. However, those studies found that some pathway genes are affected in most sick individuals, but genes can differ among individuals. While a pathway is usually defined as a set of genes known to share a specific function, pathway boundaries are frequently difficult to assign, and methods that rely on such definition cannot discover novel pathways. Protein interaction networks can potentially be used to overcome these problems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present DEGAS (DysrEgulated Gene set Analysis via Subnetworks, a method for identifying connected gene subnetworks significantly enriched for genes that are dysregulated in specimens of a disease. We applied DEGAS to seven human diseases and obtained statistically significant results that appear to home in on compact pathways enriched with hallmarks of the diseases. In Parkinson's disease, we provide novel evidence for involvement of mRNA splicing, cell proliferation, and the 14-3-3 complex in the disease progression. DEGAS is available as part of the MATISSE software package (http://acgt.cs.tau.ac.il/matisse. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The subnetworks identified by DEGAS can provide a signature of the disease potentially useful for diagnosis, pinpoint possible pathways affected by the disease, and suggest targets for drug intervention.

  8. Emotion dysregulation and interpersonal problems : The role of defensiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garofalo, C.; Velotti, Patrizia; Zavattini, Giulio Cesare; Kosson, D.S.

    2017-01-01

    Despite evidence that individual differences in defensiveness (typically measured with social desirability scales) may affect associations among self-report measures, little is known about the impact of defensiveness in the well-established relations between self-report emotion dysregulation and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Investigating core genetic-and-epigenetic cell cycle networks for stemness and carcinogenic mechanisms, and cancer drug design using big database mining and genome-wide next-generation sequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng-Wei; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-10-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that cell cycle plays a central role in development and carcinogenesis. Thus, the use of big databases and genome-wide high-throughput data to unravel the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying cell cycle progression in stem cells and cancer cells is a matter of considerable interest. Real genetic-and-epigenetic cell cycle networks (GECNs) of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and HeLa cancer cells were constructed by applying system modeling, system identification, and big database mining to genome-wide next-generation sequencing data. Real GECNs were then reduced to core GECNs of HeLa cells and ESCs by applying principal genome-wide network projection. In this study, we investigated potential carcinogenic and stemness mechanisms for systems cancer drug design by identifying common core and specific GECNs between HeLa cells and ESCs. Integrating drug database information with the specific GECNs of HeLa cells could lead to identification of multiple drugs for cervical cancer treatment with minimal side-effects on the genes in the common core. We found that dysregulation of miR-29C, miR-34A, miR-98, and miR-215; and methylation of ANKRD1, ARID5B, CDCA2, PIF1, STAMBPL1, TROAP, ZNF165, and HIST1H2AJ in HeLa cells could result in cell proliferation and anti-apoptosis through NFκB, TGF-β, and PI3K pathways. We also identified 3 drugs, methotrexate, quercetin, and mimosine, which repressed the activated cell cycle genes, ARID5B, STK17B, and CCL2, in HeLa cells with minimal side-effects.

  12. 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Epigenetic change detection and pattern recognition via Bayesian hierarchical hidden Markov models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinlei; Zang, Miao; Xiao, Guanghua

    2013-06-15

    Epigenetics is the study of changes to the genome that can switch genes on or off and determine which proteins are transcribed without altering the DNA sequence. Recently, epigenetic changes have been linked to the development and progression of disease such as psychiatric disorders. High-throughput epigenetic experiments have enabled researchers to measure genome-wide epigenetic profiles and yield data consisting of intensity ratios of immunoprecipitation versus reference samples. The intensity ratios can provide a view of genomic regions where protein binding occur under one experimental condition and further allow us to detect epigenetic alterations through comparison between two different conditions. However, such experiments can be expensive, with only a few replicates available. Moreover, epigenetic data are often spatially correlated with high noise levels. In this paper, we develop a Bayesian hierarchical model, combined with hidden Markov processes with four states for modeling spatial dependence, to detect genomic sites with epigenetic changes from two-sample experiments with paired internal control. One attractive feature of the proposed method is that the four states of the hidden Markov process have well-defined biological meanings and allow us to directly call the change patterns based on the corresponding posterior probabilities. In contrast, none of existing methods can offer this advantage. In addition, the proposed method offers great power in statistical inference by spatial smoothing (via hidden Markov modeling) and information pooling (via hierarchical modeling). Both simulation studies and real data analysis in a cocaine addiction study illustrate the reliability and success of this method. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Epigenetic mechanism of radiation carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niwa, Ohtsura

    1995-01-01

    Carcinogenic action of radiations has long been thought to be due to its mutagenic activity. Since DNA damage is induced and distributes in a stochastic fashion, radiation induction of cancers was also assumed to follow a stochastic kinetics. However, recent progress in radiation research has revealed that some features of radiation carcinogenesis are not explainable by the simple action of radiation as a DNA damaging and mutagenic agent. Firstly, frequencies of radiation-induced transformation in vitro and radiation-induced mammary cancers in rats are too high to be accounted for by the frequency of radiation-induced mutation. Secondly, trans-generation carcinogenesis among F1 mice born to irradiated parents occurs also much more frequently than to be predicted by the frequency of radiation induced germline mutation. Thirdly, multistage carcinogenesis theory predicts that carcinogens give hits to the target cells so as to shorten the latency of cancers. However, latencies of radiation induced solid cancers among atomic bomb survivors are similar to those of the control population. Fourthly, although radiation elevates the frequency of cancers, the induced cancers seem to share the same spectrum of cancer types as in the unirradiated control populations. This suggests that radiation induces cancer by enhancement of the spontaneous carcinogenesis process. These data suggest that the first step of radiation carcinogenesis may not be the direct induction of mutation. Radiation may induce genetic instability which increases the spontaneous mutation rate in the cells to produce carcinogenic mutations. Growth stimulatory effect of radiation may also contribute to the process. Thus, epigenetic, but not genetic effect of radiation might better contribute in the process of carcinogenesis. (author)

  15. The Mediating Role of Cognitive Flexibility, Shame and Emotion Dysregulation Between Neuroticism and Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Zarei

    2018-03-01

    Discussion: These findings suggest that for student depression, emotion dysregulation might be important and future intervention works can examine the effects of targeting emotion dysregulation among university students with high levels of neuroticism and/or depression.

  16. Persistent physical symptoms as perceptual dysregulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsen, Peter; Gündel, Harald; Kop, Willem J

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The mechanisms underlying the perception and experience of persistent physical symptoms are not well understood, and in the models, the specific relevance of peripheral input versus central processing, or of neurobiological versus psychosocial factors in general, is not clear.In this a......OBJECTIVE: The mechanisms underlying the perception and experience of persistent physical symptoms are not well understood, and in the models, the specific relevance of peripheral input versus central processing, or of neurobiological versus psychosocial factors in general, is not clear.......In this article, we propose a model for this clinical phenomenon that is designed to be coherent with an underlying, relatively new model of the normal brain functions involved in the experience of bodily signals. METHODS: Based on a review of recent literature we describe central elements of this model and its...... of predictions and sensory input. Two possibilities exist: adaptation of the generative model underlying the predictions or alteration of the sensory input via autonomic nervous activation (in the case of interoception). Following this model, persistent physical symptoms can be described as "failures...

  17. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression and Antidepressants Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vialou, Vincent; Feng, Jian; Robison, Alfred J.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, which control chromatin structure and function, mediate changes in gene expression that occur in response to diverse stimuli. Recent research has established that environmental events and behavioral experience induce epigenetic changes at particular gene loci that help shape neuronal plasticity and function, and hence behavior, and that some of these changes can be very stable and even persist for a lifetime. Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that aberrations in chromatin remodeling and subsequent effects on gene expression within limbic brain regions contribute to the pathogenesis of depression and other stress-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety syndromes. Likewise, the gradually developing but persistent therapeutic effects of antidepressant medications may be achieved in part via epigenetic mechanisms. This review discusses recent advances in understanding epigenetic regulation of stress-related disorders and focuses on three distinct aspects of stress-induced epigenetic pathology: the effects of stress and antidepressant treatment during adulthood, the life-long effects of early life stress on subsequent stress vulnerability, and the possible trans-generational transmission of stress-induced abnormalities. PMID:23020296

  18. Targeting Epigenetics to Prevent Obesity Promoted Cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Nathan A; Scacheri, Peter C

    2018-03-01

    Epigenetic changes in DNA and associated chromatin proteins are increasingly being considered as important mediators of the linkage between obesity and cancer. Although multiple agents, targeted at epigenetic changes, are being tested for therapy of established cancers, this issue of Cancer Prevention Research carries two articles demonstrating that the bromodomain inhibitor I-BET-762 can attenuate adipose tissue-promoted cancers. Although I-BET-762 significantly delayed, rather than completely prevented, the onset of adiposity-promoted transformation and malignancy, these experiments provide important proof of principle for the strategies of targeting epigenetic changes to disrupt the obesity-cancer linkage. Because bromodomain proteins represent only one of multiple epigenetic mediators, it is probable that targeting other epigenetic processes, alone or in combination, may serve to even more effectively disrupt the obesity promotion of cancer. Given the magnitude of the current obesity pandemic and its impact on cancer, preventive measures to disrupt this linkage are critically important. Cancer Prev Res; 11(3); 125-8. ©2018 AACR See related article by Chakraborty et al., p. 129 . ©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.

  19. Dysregulated pH in Tumor Microenvironment Checkmates Cancer Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaleh Barar

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The dysregulation of pH by cancerous cells of solid tumors is able to create a unique milieu that is in favor of progression, invasion and metastasis as well as chemo-/immuno-resistance traits of solid tumors. Bioelements involved in pH dysregulation provide new set of oncotargets, inhibition of which may result in better clinical outcome. Methods: To study the impacts of pH dysregulation, we investigated the tumor development and progression in relation with Warburg effect, glycolysis and formation of aberrant tumor microenvironment. Results: The upregulation of glucose transporter GLUT-1 and several enzymes involve in glycolysis exacerbates this phenomenon. The accumulation of lactic acids in cancer cells provokes upregulation of several transport machineries (MCT-1, NHE-1, CA IX and H+ pump V-ATPase resulting in reinforced efflux of proton into extracellular fluid. This deviant event makes pH to be settled at 7.4 and 6.6 respectively in cancer cells cytoplasm and extracellular fluid within the tumor microenvironment, which in return triggers secretion of lysosomal components (various enzymes in acidic milieu with pH 5 into cytoplasm. All these anomalous phenomena make tumor microenvironment (TME to be exposed to cocktail of various enzymes with acidic pH, upon which extracellular matrix (ECM can be remodeled and even deformed, resulting in emergence of a complex viscose TME with high interstitial fluid pressure. Conclusion: It seems that pH dysregulation is able to remodel various physiologic functions and make solid tumors to become much more invasive and metastatic. It also can cause undesired resistance to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Hence, cancer therapy needs to be reinforced using specific inhibitors of bioelements involved in pH dysregulation of TME in solid tumors.

  20. Epigenetic silencing of nucleolar rRNA genes in Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Pietrzak

    Full Text Available Ribosomal deficits are documented in mild cognitive impairment (MCI, which often represents an early stage Alzheimer's disease (AD, as well as in advanced AD. The nucleolar rRNA genes (rDNA, transcription of which is critical for ribosomal biogenesis, are regulated by epigenetic silencing including promoter CpG methylation.To assess whether CpG methylation of the rDNA promoter was dysregulated across the AD spectrum, we analyzed brain samples from 10 MCI-, 23 AD-, and, 24 age-matched control individuals using bisulfite mapping. The rDNA promoter became hypermethylated in cerebro-cortical samples from MCI and AD groups. In parietal cortex, the rDNA promoter was hypermethylated more in MCI than in advanced AD. The cytosine methylation of total genomic DNA was similar in AD, MCI, and control samples. Consistent with a notion that hypermethylation-mediated silencing of the nucleolar chromatin stabilizes rDNA loci, preventing their senescence-associated loss, genomic rDNA content was elevated in cerebrocortical samples from MCI and AD groups.In conclusion, rDNA hypermethylation could be a new epigenetic marker of AD. Moreover, silencing of nucleolar chromatin may occur during early stages of AD pathology and play a role in AD-related ribosomal deficits and, ultimately, dementia.

  1. Nonselective inhibition of the epigenetic transcriptional regulator BET induces marked lymphoid and hematopoietic toxicity in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Dong U.; Katavolos, Paula; Palanisamy, Gopinath; Katewa, Arna; Sioson, Charly; Corpuz, Janice; Pang, Jodie; DeMent, Kevin; Choo, Edna; Ghilardi, Nico; Diaz, Dolores; Danilenko, Dimitry M.

    2016-01-01

    Bromo and extra terminal (BET) proteins (BRD2, BRD3, BRD4 and BRDT) are epigenetic transcriptional regulators required for efficient expression of growth promoting, cell cycle progression and antiapoptotic genes. Through their bromodomain, these proteins bind to acetylated lysine residues of histones and are recruited to transcriptionally active chromatin. Inhibition of the BET-histone interaction provides a tractable therapeutic strategy to treat diseases that may have epigenetic dysregulation. JQ1 is a small molecule that blocks BET interaction with histones. It has been shown to decrease proliferation of patient-derived multiple myeloma in vitro and to decrease tumor burden in vivo in xenograft mouse models. While targeting BET appears to be a viable and efficacious approach, the nonclinical safety profile of BET inhibition remains to be well-defined. We report that mice dosed with JQ1 at efficacious exposures demonstrate dose-dependent decreases in their lymphoid and immune cell compartments. At higher doses, JQ1 was not tolerated and due to induction of significant body weight loss led to early euthanasia. Flow cytometry analysis of lymphoid tissues showed a decrease in both B- and T-lymphocytes with a concomitant decrease in peripheral white blood cells that was confirmed by hematology. Further investigation with the inactive enantiomer of JQ1 showed that these in vivo effects were on-target mediated and not elicited through secondary pharmacology due to chemical structure.

  2. Nonselective inhibition of the epigenetic transcriptional regulator BET induces marked lymphoid and hematopoietic toxicity in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Dong U., E-mail: lee.dong@gene.com [Department of Safety Assessment, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States); Katavolos, Paula; Palanisamy, Gopinath [Department of Safety Assessment, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States); Katewa, Arna [Department of Research Immunology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States); Sioson, Charly; Corpuz, Janice [Department of Safety Assessment, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States); Pang, Jodie; DeMent, Kevin; Choo, Edna [Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States); Ghilardi, Nico [Department of Research Immunology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States); Diaz, Dolores; Danilenko, Dimitry M. [Department of Safety Assessment, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080 (United States)

    2016-06-01

    Bromo and extra terminal (BET) proteins (BRD2, BRD3, BRD4 and BRDT) are epigenetic transcriptional regulators required for efficient expression of growth promoting, cell cycle progression and antiapoptotic genes. Through their bromodomain, these proteins bind to acetylated lysine residues of histones and are recruited to transcriptionally active chromatin. Inhibition of the BET-histone interaction provides a tractable therapeutic strategy to treat diseases that may have epigenetic dysregulation. JQ1 is a small molecule that blocks BET interaction with histones. It has been shown to decrease proliferation of patient-derived multiple myeloma in vitro and to decrease tumor burden in vivo in xenograft mouse models. While targeting BET appears to be a viable and efficacious approach, the nonclinical safety profile of BET inhibition remains to be well-defined. We report that mice dosed with JQ1 at efficacious exposures demonstrate dose-dependent decreases in their lymphoid and immune cell compartments. At higher doses, JQ1 was not tolerated and due to induction of significant body weight loss led to early euthanasia. Flow cytometry analysis of lymphoid tissues showed a decrease in both B- and T-lymphocytes with a concomitant decrease in peripheral white blood cells that was confirmed by hematology. Further investigation with the inactive enantiomer of JQ1 showed that these in vivo effects were on-target mediated and not elicited through secondary pharmacology due to chemical structure.

  3. Epigenetic silencing of host cell defense genes enhances intracellular survival of the rickettsial pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose C Garcia-Garcia

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Intracellular bacteria have evolved mechanisms that promote survival within hostile host environments, often resulting in functional dysregulation and disease. Using the Anaplasma phagocytophilum-infected granulocyte model, we establish a link between host chromatin modifications, defense gene transcription and intracellular bacterial infection. Infection of THP-1 cells with A. phagocytophilum led to silencing of host defense gene expression. Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1 expression, activity and binding to the defense gene promoters significantly increased during infection, which resulted in decreased histone H3 acetylation in infected cells. HDAC1 overexpression enhanced infection, whereas pharmacologic and siRNA HDAC1 inhibition significantly decreased bacterial load. HDAC2 does not seem to be involved, since HDAC2 silencing by siRNA had no effect on A. phagocytophilum intracellular propagation. These data indicate that HDAC up-regulation and epigenetic silencing of host cell defense genes is required for A. phagocytophilum infection. Bacterial epigenetic regulation of host cell gene transcription could be a general mechanism that enhances intracellular pathogen survival while altering cell function and promoting disease.

  4. Epigenetics and Bruxism: Possible Role of Epigenetics in the Etiology of Bruxism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čalić, Aleksandra; Peterlin, Borut

    2015-01-01

    Bruxism is defined as a repetitive jaw muscle activity characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or bracing or thrusting of the mandible. There are two distinct circadian phenotypes for bruxism: sleep bruxism (SB) and awake bruxism, which are considered separate entities due to the putative difference in their etiology and phenotypic variance. The detailed etiology of bruxism so far remains unknown. Recent theories suggest the central regulation of certain pathophysiological or psychological pathways. Current proposed causes of bruxism appear to be a combination of genetic and environmental (G×E) factors, with epigenetics providing a robust framework for investigating G×E interactions, and their involvement in bruxism makes it a suitable candidate for epigenetic research. Both types of bruxism are associated with certain epigenetically determined disorders, such as Rett syndrome (RTT), Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), and Angelman syndrome (AS), and these associations suggest a mechanistic link between epigenetic deregulation and bruxism. The present article reviews the possible role of epigenetic mechanisms in the etiology of both types of bruxism based on the epigenetic pathways involved in the pathophysiology of RTT, PWS, and AS, and on other epigenetic disruptions associated with risk factors for bruxism, including sleep disorders, altered stress response, and psychopathology.

  5. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeo Kubota

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Takeo; Mochizuki, Kazuki

    2016-05-14

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  8. Computer-Aided Drug Design in Epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenchao Lu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic dysfunction has been widely implicated in several diseases especially cancers thus highlights the therapeutic potential for chemical interventions in this field. With rapid development of computational methodologies and high-performance computational resources, computer-aided drug design has emerged as a promising strategy to speed up epigenetic drug discovery. Herein, we make a brief overview of major computational methods reported in the literature including druggability prediction, virtual screening, homology modeling, scaffold hopping, pharmacophore modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry calculation, and 3D quantitative structure activity relationship that have been successfully applied in the design and discovery of epi-drugs and epi-probes. Finally, we discuss about major limitations of current virtual drug design strategies in epigenetics drug discovery and future directions in this field.

  9. Computer-Aided Drug Design in Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Wenchao; Zhang, Rukang; Jiang, Hao; Zhang, Huimin; Luo, Cheng

    2018-01-01

    Epigenetic dysfunction has been widely implicated in several diseases especially cancers thus highlights the therapeutic potential for chemical interventions in this field. With rapid development of computational methodologies and high-performance computational resources, computer-aided drug design has emerged as a promising strategy to speed up epigenetic drug discovery. Herein, we make a brief overview of major computational methods reported in the literature including druggability prediction, virtual screening, homology modeling, scaffold hopping, pharmacophore modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry calculation, and 3D quantitative structure activity relationship that have been successfully applied in the design and discovery of epi-drugs and epi-probes. Finally, we discuss about major limitations of current virtual drug design strategies in epigenetics drug discovery and future directions in this field. PMID:29594101

  10. Epigenetic drift in the aging genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    for 10 years (age at intake 73-82 years). Biological pathway analysis and survival analysis were also conducted on CpGs showing longitudinal change in their DNA-methylation levels. Classical twin models were fitted to each CpG site to estimate the genetic and environmental effects on DNA...... × 10-07. Pathway analysis of genes linked to these CpGs identified biologically meaningful gene-sets involved in cellular-signalling events and in transmission across chemical synapses, which are important molecular underpinnings of aging-related degenerative disorders. CONCLUSION: Our epigenome......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...

  11. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Simon J; Haendler, Bernard

    2017-05-09

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

  12. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J. Baumgart

    2017-05-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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....

  15. Rice epigenomics and epigenetics: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiangsong; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. First Barcelona Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palau, Anna; Perucho, Manuel; Esteller, Manel; Buschbeck, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    The Barcelona Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer (BCEC) entitled “Challenges, opportunities and perspectives” took place November 21–22, 2013 in Barcelona. The 2013 BCEC is the first edition of a series of annual conferences jointly organized by five leading research centers in Barcelona. These centers are the Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer (IMPPC), the Biomedical Campus Bellvitge with its Program of Epigenetics and Cancer Biology (PEBC), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB), and the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB). Manuel Perucho and Marcus Buschbeck from the Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer put together the scientific program of the first conference broadly covering all aspects of epigenetic research ranging from fundamental molecular research to drug and biomarker development and clinical application. In one and a half days, 23 talks and 50 posters were presented to a completely booked out audience counting 270 participants. PMID:24413145

  18. Computer-Aided Drug Design in Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Wenchao; Zhang, Rukang; Jiang, Hao; Zhang, Huimin; Luo, Cheng

    2018-03-01

    Epigenetic dysfunction has been widely implicated in several diseases especially cancers thus highlights the therapeutic potential for chemical interventions in this field. With rapid development of computational methodologies and high-performance computational resources, computer-aided drug design has emerged as a promising strategy to speed up epigenetic drug discovery. Herein, we make a brief overview of major computational methods reported in the literature including druggability prediction, virtual screening, homology modeling, scaffold hopping, pharmacophore modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry calculation and 3D quantitative structure activity relationship that have been successfully applied in the design and discovery of epi-drugs and epi-probes. Finally, we discuss about major limitations of current virtual drug design strategies in epigenetics drug discovery and future directions in this field.

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetics in Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition: Present Trends and Future Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilbauer, Matthias; Zellos, Aglaia; Heuschkel, Robert; Gasparetto, Marco; Kraiczy, Judith; Postberg, Jan; Greco, Luigi; Auricchio, Renata; Galatola, Martina; Embleton, Nicholas; Wirth, Stefan; Jenke, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Epigenetics can be defined as stable, potentially heritable changes in the cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than alterations to the underlying DNA sequence. As such, any observed phenotypic changes including organ development, aging, and the occurrence of disease could be driven by epigenetic mechanisms in the presence of stable cellular DNA sequences. Indeed, with the exception of rare mutations, the human genome-sequence has remained remarkably stable over the past centuries. In contrast, substantial changes to our environment as part of our modern life style have not only led to a significant reduction of certain infectious diseases but also seen the exponential increase in complex traits including obesity and multifactorial diseases such as autoimmune disorders. It is becoming increasingly clear that epigenetic mechanisms operate at the interface between the genetic code and our environment, and a large body of existing evidence supports the importance of environmental factors such as diet and nutrition, infections, and exposure to toxins on human health. This seems to be particularly the case during vulnerable periods of human development such as pregnancy and early life. Importantly, as the first point of contact for many of such environmental factors including nutrition, the digestive system is being increasingly linked to a number of "modern" pathologies. In this review article, we aim to give a brief introduction to the basic molecular principals of epigenetics and provide a concise summary of the existing evidence for the role of epigenetic mechanisms in gastrointestinal health and disease, hepatology, and nutrition.

  1. Interpreting phenotypic antibiotic tolerance and persister cells as evolution via epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Troy

    2016-04-01

    Epigenetic inheritance is the transmission of nongenetic material such as gene expression levels, RNA and other biomolecules from parents to offspring. There is a growing realization that such forms of inheritance can play an important role in evolution. Bacteria represent a prime example of epigenetic inheritance because a large array of cellular components is transmitted to offspring, in addition to genetic material. Interestingly, there is an extensive and growing empirical literature showing that many bacteria can form 'persister' cells that are phenotypically resistant or tolerant to antibiotics, but most of these results are not interpreted within the context of epigenetic inheritance. Instead, persister cells are usually viewed as a genetically encoded bet-hedging strategy that has evolved in response to a fluctuating environment. Here I show, using a relatively simple model, that many of these empirical findings can be more simply understood as arising from a combination of epigenetic inheritance and cellular noise. I therefore suggest that phenotypic drug tolerance in bacteria might represent one of the best-studied examples of evolution under epigenetic inheritance. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sahar Houshdaran

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohnishi, Kotaro; Semi, Katsunori; Yamada, Yasuhiro

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Epigenetic regulation of failed reprogramming-associated cancer cells is discussed. • Similarity between pediatric cancer and reprogramming-associated cancer is discussed. • Concept for epigenetic cancer is discussed. - Abstract: Somatic cells can be 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

  5. Homosexuality via canalized sexual development: a testing protocol for a new epigenetic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, William R; Friberg, Urban; Gavrilets, Sergey

    2013-09-01

    We recently synthesized and reinterpreted published studies to advance an epigenetic model for the development of homosexuality (HS). The model is based on epigenetic marks laid down in response to the XX vs. XY karyotype in embryonic stem cells. These marks boost sensitivity to testosterone in XY fetuses and lower it in XX fetuses, thereby canalizing sexual development. Our model predicts that a subset of these canalizing epigenetic marks stochastically carry over across generations and lead to mosaicism for sexual development in opposite-sex offspring--the homosexual phenotype being one such outcome. Here, we begin by outlining why HS has been under-appreciated as a commonplace phenomenon in nature, and how this trend is currently being reversed in the field of neurobiology. We next briefly describe our epigenetic model of HS, develop a set of predictions, and describe how epigenetic profiles of human stem cells can provide for a strong test of the model. © 2013 The Authors. Bioessays published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Bone Biology and Osteoporosis: Can They Drive Therapeutic Choices?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, Francesca; Cianferotti, Luisella; Brandi, Maria Luisa

    2016-08-12

    Osteoporosis is a complex multifactorial disorder of the skeleton. Genetic factors are important in determining peak bone mass and structure, as well as the predisposition to bone deterioration and fragility fractures. Nonetheless, genetic factors alone are not sufficient to explain osteoporosis development and fragility fracture occurrence. Indeed, epigenetic factors, representing a link between individual genetic aspects and environmental influences, are also strongly suspected to be involved in bone biology and osteoporosis. Recently, alterations in epigenetic mechanisms and their activity have been associated with aging. Also, bone metabolism has been demonstrated to be under the control of epigenetic mechanisms. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), the master transcription factor of osteoblast differentiation, has been shown to be regulated by histone deacetylases and microRNAs (miRNAs). Some miRNAs were also proven to have key roles in the regulation of Wnt signalling in osteoblastogenesis, and to be important for the positive or negative regulation of both osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation. Exogenous and environmental stimuli, influencing the functionality of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of bone metabolism, may contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone disorders, in synergy with genetic determinants. The progressive understanding of roles of epigenetic mechanisms in normal bone metabolism and in multifactorial bone disorders will be very helpful for a better comprehension of disease pathogenesis and translation of this information into clinical practice. A deep understanding of these mechanisms could help in the future tailoring of proper individual treatments, according to precision medicine's principles.

  7. Epigenetic cell response to an influence of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  8. The Emerging Role of Epigenetics in Inflammation and Immunometabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raghuraman, Sukanya; Donkin, Ida; Versteyhe, Soetkin

    2016-01-01

    Recent research developments have shed light on the risk factors contributing to metabolic complications, implicating both genetic and environmental factors, potentially integrated by epigenetic mechanisms. Distinct epigenetic changes in immune cells are frequently observed in obesity and type 2 ...... we provide an overview of the epigenetic mechanisms influencing immune cell phenotype and function, summarize current knowledge about epigenetic changes affecting immune functions in the context of metabolic diseases, and discuss the therapeutic options currently available to counteract...

  9. Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Drive Epigenetic Variation of Spermatozoa in Humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Donkin, Ida; Versteyhe, Soetkin; Ingerslev, Lars R.

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a heritable disorder, with children of obese fathers at higher risk of developing obesity. Environmental factors epigenetically influence somatic tissues, but the contribution of these factors to the establishment of epigenetic patterns in human gametes is unknown. Here, we hypothesized...... of morbidly obese men, surgery-induced weight loss was associated with a dramatic remodeling of sperm DNA methylation, notably at genetic locations implicated in the central control of appetite. Our data provide evidence that the epigenome of human spermatozoa dynamically changes under environmental pressure...

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic control of effectors in plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eGijzen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Plant pathogens display impressive versatility in adapting to host immune systems. Pathogen effector proteins facilitate disease but can become avirulence (Avr factors when the host acquires discrete recognition capabilities that trigger immunity. The mechanisms that lead to changes to pathogen Avr factors that enable escape from host immunity are diverse, and include epigenetic switches that allow for reuse or recycling of effectors. This perspective outlines possibilities of how epigenetic control of Avr effector gene expression may have arisen and persisted in plant pathogens, and how it presents special problems for diagnosis and detection of specific pathogen strains or pathotypes.

  12. Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms Induced by Resveratrol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Felipe Santos Fernandes

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Resveratrol (RVT is one of the main natural compounds studied worldwide due to its potential therapeutic use in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic disorders. Nevertheless, the mechanism of action of RVT in all of these conditions is not completely understood, as it can modify not only biochemical pathways but also epigenetic mechanisms. In this paper, we analyze the biological activities exhibited by RVT with a focus on the epigenetic mechanisms, especially those related to DNA methyltransferase (DNMT, histone deacetylase (HDAC and lysine-specific demethylase-1 (LSD1.

  13. Epigenetic Aspects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Schmidt

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Development of psychiatric diseases such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD invokes, as with most complex diseases, both genetic and environmental factors. The era of genome-wide high throughput technologies has sparked the initiation of genotype screenings in large cohorts of diseased and control individuals, but had limited success in identification of disease causing genetic variants. It has become evident that these efforts at the genomic level need to be complemented with endeavours in elucidating the proteome, transcriptome and epigenetic profiles. Epigenetics is attractive in particular because there is accumulating evidence that the lasting impact of adverse life events is reflected in certain covalent modifications of the chromatin.

  14. Allosteric regulation of epigenetic modifying enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucconi, Beth E; Cole, Philip A

    2017-08-01

    Epigenetic enzymes including histone modifying enzymes are key regulators of gene expression in normal and disease processes. Many drug development strategies to target histone modifying enzymes have focused on ligands that bind to enzyme active sites, but allosteric pockets offer potentially attractive opportunities for therapeutic development. Recent biochemical studies have revealed roles for small molecule and peptide ligands binding outside of the active sites in modulating the catalytic activities of histone modifying enzymes. Here we highlight several examples of allosteric regulation of epigenetic enzymes and discuss the biological significance of these findings. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. An introduction to the science of epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JB Thapa

    2013-03-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. DNA Oncogenic Virus-Induced Oxidative Stress, Genomic Damage, and Aberrant Epigenetic Alterations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mankgopo Magdeline Kgatle

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 20% of human cancers is attributable to DNA oncogenic viruses such as human papillomavirus (HPV, hepatitis B virus (HBV, and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV. Unrepaired DNA damage is the most common and overlapping feature of these DNA oncogenic viruses and a source of genomic instability and tumour development. Sustained DNA damage results from unceasing production of reactive oxygen species and activation of inflammasome cascades that trigger genomic changes and increased propensity of epigenetic alterations. Accumulation of epigenetic alterations may interfere with genome-wide cellular signalling machineries and promote malignant transformation leading to cancer development. Untangling and understanding the underlying mechanisms that promote these detrimental effects remain the major objectives for ongoing research and hope for effective virus-induced cancer therapy. Here, we review current literature with an emphasis on how DNA damage influences HPV, HVB, and EBV replication and epigenetic alterations that are associated with carcinogenesis.

  18. The epigenetic impacts of social stress: how does social adversity become biologically embedded?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunliffe, Vincent T

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are implicated in the processes through which social stressors erode health in humans and other animals. Here I review progress in elucidating the biological pathways underlying the social gradient in health, with particular emphasis on how behavioral stresses influence epigenomic variation linked to health. The evidence that epigenetic changes are involved in embedding of social status-linked chronic stress is reviewed in the context of current knowledge about behavior within animal dominance hierarchies and the impacts of social position on behaviors that affect health. The roles of epigenetic mechanisms in responses to trauma and the evidence for their involvement in intergenerational transmission of the biological impacts of traumatic stress are also considered. Taken together, the emerging insights have important implications for development of strategies to improve societal health and well-being. PMID:27869483

  19. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Häfner, Sophia J; Lund, Anders H

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Advances on research epigenetic change of hybrid and polyploidy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A large proportion of these variations are epigenetic in nature. Epigenetic can be defined as a change of the study in the regulation of gene activity and expression that are not driven by gene sequence information. However, the ramifications of epigenetic in plant biology are immense, yet unappreciated. In contrast to the ...

  2. Epigenetic alteration of sedimentary rocks at hydrogenic uranium deposit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ding Wanlie; Shen Kefeng

    2001-01-01

    The author introduces the concept, the recognition criteria, the genesis and classification of the epigenetic alteration of sedimentary rocks in brief, and expounds the mineral-geochemical indications and characteristics of oxidation and reduction alterations in different geochemical zones in detail, and proposes the two models of ore-controlling zonation of epigenetic alteration. The authors finally introduce research methods of epigenetic alteration

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Parental tobacco smoke exposure: Epigenetics and the developmental origins of health and disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epigenetic programming is an important mechanism underlying the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Much of the research in this area has focused on maternal nutrition. Parental smoking has emerged as a prime example of how exposure to environmental toxicants dur...

  6. Oxytocin Receptor Genetic and Epigenetic Variations: Association with Child Abuse and Adult Psychiatric Symptoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smearman, Erica L.; Almli, Lynn M.; Conneely, Karen N.; Brody, Gene H.; Sales, Jessica M.; Bradley, Bekh; Ressler, Kerry J.; Smith, Alicia K.

    2016-01-01

    Childhood abuse can alter biological systems and increase risk for adult psychopathology. Epigenetic mechanisms, alterations in DNA structure that regulate the gene expression, are a potential mechanism underlying this risk. While abuse associates with methylation of certain genes, particularly those in the stress response system, no study to date…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Aberrant Transforming Growth Factor β1 Signaling and SMAD4 Nuclear Translocation Confer Epigenetic Repression of ADAM19 in Ovarian Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W.Y. Chan

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β/SMAD signaling is a key growth regulatory pathway often dysregulated in ovarian cancer and other malignancies. Although loss of TGF-β–mediated growth inhibition has been shown to contribute to aberrant cell behavior, the epigenetic consequence(s of impaired TGF-β/SMAD signaling on target genes is not well established. In this study, we show that TGF-β1 causes growth inhibition of normal ovarian surface epithelial cells, induction of nuclear translocation SMAD4, and up-regulation of ADAM19 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease domain 19, a newly identified TGF-β1 target gene. Conversely, induction and nuclear translocation of SMAD4 were negligible in ovarian cancer cells refractory to TGF-β1 stimulation, and ADAM19 expression was greatly reduced. Furthermore, in the TGF-β1 refractory cells, an inactive chromatin environment, marked by repressive histone modifications (trimethyl-H3K27 and dimethyl-H3K9 and histone deacetylase, was associated with the ADAM19 promoter region. However, the CpG island found within the promoter and first exon of ADAM19 remained generally unmethylated. Although disrupted growth factor signaling has been linked to epigenetic gene silencing in cancer, this is the first evidence demonstrating that impaired TGF-β1 signaling can result in the formation of a repressive chromatin state and epigenetic suppression of ADAM19. Given the emerging role of ADAMs family proteins in growth factor regulation in normal cells, we suggest that epigenetic dysregulation of ADAM19 may contribute to the neoplastic process in ovarian cancer.

  10. Timing of birth: Parsimony favors strategic over dysregulated parturition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catalano, Ralph; Goodman, Julia; Margerison-Zilko, Claire; Falconi, April; Gemmill, Alison; Karasek, Deborah; Anderson, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The "dysregulated parturition" narrative posits that the human stress response includes a cascade of hormones that "dysregulates" and accelerates parturition but provides questionable utility as a guide to understand or prevent preterm birth. We offer and test a "strategic parturition" narrative that not only predicts the excess preterm births that dysregulated parturition predicts but also makes testable, sex-specific predictions of the effect of stressful environments on the timing of birth among term pregnancies. We use interrupted time-series modeling of cohorts conceived over 101 months to test for lengthening of early term male gestations in stressed population. We use an event widely reported to have stressed Americans and to have increased the incidence of low birth weight and fetal death across the country-the terrorist attacks of September 2001. We tested the hypothesis that the odds of male infants conceived in December 2000 (i.e., at term in September 2001) being born early as opposed to full term fell below the value expected from those conceived in the 50 prior and 50 following months. We found that term male gestations exposed to the terrorist attacks exhibited 4% lower likelihood of early, as opposed to full or late, term birth. Strategic parturition explains observed data for which the dysregulated parturition narrative offers no prediction-the timing of birth among gestations stressed at term. Our narrative may help explain why findings from studies examining associations between population- and/or individual-level stressors and preterm birth are generally mixed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The primary vascular dysregulation syndrome: implications for eye diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Vascular dysregulation refers to the regulation of blood flow that is not adapted to the needs of the respective tissue. We distinguish primary vascular dysregulation (PVD, formerly called vasospastic syndrome) and secondary vascular dysregulation (SVD). Subjects with PVD tend to have cold extremities, low blood pressure, reduced feeling of thirst, altered drug sensitivity, increased pain sensitivity, prolonged sleep onset time, altered gene expression in the lymphocytes, signs of oxidative stress, slightly increased endothelin-1 plasma level, low body mass index and often diffuse and fluctuating visual field defects. Coldness, emotional or mechanical stress and starving can provoke symptoms. Virtually all organs, particularly the eye, can be involved. In subjects with PVD, retinal vessels are stiffer and more irregular, and both neurovascular coupling and autoregulation capacity are reduced while retinal venous pressure is often increased. Subjects with PVD have increased risk for normal-tension glaucoma, optic nerve compartment syndrome, central serous choroidopathy, Susac syndrome, retinal artery and vein occlusions and anterior ischaemic neuropathy without atherosclerosis. Further characteristics are their weaker blood–brain and blood-retinal barriers and the higher prevalence of optic disc haemorrhages and activated astrocytes. Subjects with PVD tend to suffer more often from tinnitus, muscle cramps, migraine with aura and silent myocardial ischaemic and are at greater risk for altitude sickness. While the main cause of vascular dysregulation is vascular endotheliopathy, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system is also involved. In contrast, SVD occurs in the context of other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, retrobulbar neuritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and giant cell arteritis. Taking into consideration the high prevalence of PVD in the population and potentially linked pathologies, in the current article, the authors provide

  12. Behavioral evidence of emotion dysregulation in binge eaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichen, Dawn M; Chen, Eunice; Boutelle, Kerri N; McCloskey, Michael S

    2017-04-01

    Binge eating is the most common disordered eating symptom and can lead to the development of obesity. Previous self-report research has supported the hypothesis that individuals who binge eat report greater levels of general emotion dysregulation, which may facilitate binge-eating behavior. However, to date, no study has experimentally tested the relation between binge eating history and in-vivo emotion dysregulation. To do this, a sample of female college students who either endorsed binge eating (n = 40) or denied the presence of any eating pathology (n = 47) completed the Difficulties with Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) and a behavioral distress tolerance task (the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task-Computer: PASAT-C) known to induce negative affect and distress. The binge eating group was 2.96 times more likely to quit the PASAT-C early (χ 2  = 5.04, p = 0.025) and reported greater irritability (F(1,84) = 7.09 p = 0.009) and frustration (F(1,84) = 5.00, p = 0.028) after completing the PASAT-C than controls, controlling for initial levels of these emotions. Furthermore, across the entire sample, quitting early was associated with greater emotion dysregulation on the DERS (r pb  = 0.342, p < 0.01). This study is the first to demonstrate that individuals who binge eat show in-vivo emotional dysregulation on a laboratory task. Future studies should examine the PASAT-C to determine its potential clinical utility for individuals with or at risk of developing binge eating. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The placental gateway of maternal transgenerational epigenetic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    While much of our understanding of genetic inheritance is based on the genome of the organism, it is becoming clear that there is an ample amount of epigenetic inheritance, which though reversible, escapes erasing process during gametogenesis and goes on to the next generation. Several examples of transgenerational ...

  14. [Epigenetic alterations in acute lymphoblastic leukemia].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetic effects of human breast milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verduci, Elvira; Banderali, Giuseppe; Barberi, Salvatore; Radaelli, Giovanni; Lops, Alessandra; Betti, Federica; Riva, Enrica; Giovannini, Marcello

    2014-04-24

    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.

  17. Nonlinear Epigenetic Variance: Review and Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Kees-Jan; Ploeger, Annemie; Raijmakers, Maartje E. J.; Dolan, Conor V.; van Der Maas, Han L. J.

    2010-01-01

    We present a review of empirical evidence that suggests that a substantial portion of phenotypic variance is due to nonlinear (epigenetic) processes during ontogenesis. The role of such processes as a source of phenotypic variance in human behaviour genetic studies is not fully appreciated. In addition to our review, we present simulation studies…

  18. Concepts of epigenetics in prostate cancer development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C S; Foster, C S

    2009-01-27

    Substantial evidence now supports the view that epigenetic changes have a role in the development of human prostate cancer. Analyses of the patterns of epigenetic alteration are providing important insights into the origin of this disease and have identified specific alterations that may serve as useful diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Examination of cancer methylation patterns supports a stem cell origin of prostate cancer. It is well established that methylation of GSTpi is a marker of prostate cancer, and global patterns of histone marking appear to be linked to cancer prognosis with levels of acetylated histones H3K9, H3K18, and H4K12, and of dimethylated H4R3 and H3K4, dividing low-grade prostate cancer (Gleason 6 or less) into two prognostically separate groups. Elevated levels of several components of the polycomb group protein complex, EZH2, BMI1, and RING1, can also act as biomarkers of poor clinical outcome. Many components of the epigenetic machinery, including histone deacetylase (whose expression level is linked to the TMPRSS2:ERG translocation) and the histone methylase EZH2, are potential therapeutic targets. The recent discovery of the role of small RNAs in governing the epigenetic status of individual genes offers exciting new possibilities in therapeutics and chemoprevention.

  19. Metabolic-epigenetic crosstalk in macrophage activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baardman, Jeroen; Licht, Iris; de Winther, Menno P. J.; van den Bossche, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic enzymes are emerging as crucial controllers of macrophages, innate immune cells that determine the outcome of many inflammatory diseases. Recent studies demonstrate that the activity of particular chromatin-modifying enzymes is regulated by the availability of specific metabolites like

  20. 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…

  1. Mitochondrial epigenetics : an overlooked layer of regulation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wijst, Monique G. P.; Rots, Marianne G.

    Despite decades of research, mitochondrial epigenetics remains a controversial notion. Recent findings, however, indicate that dysfunctional mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation could underlie aging and disease. Unraveling such a level of regulation will be essential in the understanding of and in

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetics ELSI: Darker Than You Think?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Yann; So, Derek; Saulnier, Katie; Dyke, Stephanie O M

    2016-10-01

    Emerging ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) scholarship in epigenetics has focused largely on hypothetical issues involving institutional racism, discrimination, and eugenics. To avoid an unwarranted backlash against this promising research field, we encourage a more balanced ELSI discussion conveying the full spectrum of issues faced by stakeholders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Epigenetics of inflammation, maternal infection and nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies have demonstrated that epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling are linked to an increased inflammatory response as well as increased risk for chronic disease development. A few studies have begun to investigate whether dietary nutrients play...

  5. Epigenetics: Making your mark on DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Bryan T.; He, Chuan

    2017-11-01

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

  6. Dietary effects on adipocyte metabolism and epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obesity risk appears to be perpetuated across generations by way of programmed DNA alterations that occur in utero and that affect gene expression throughout the life span. Studies have demonstrated associations of maternal obesity and epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, histone modifica...

  7. 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.

  8. Microglial Dysregulation in OCD, Tourette Syndrome, and PANDAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Frick

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is accumulating evidence that immune dysregulation contributes to the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD, Tourette syndrome, and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS. The mechanistic details of this pathophysiology, however, remain unclear. Here we focus on one particular component of the immune system: microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells. The role of microglia in neurodegenerative diseases has been understood in terms of classic, inflammatory activation, which may be both a consequence and a cause of neuronal damage. In OCD and Tourette syndrome, which are not characterized by frank neural degeneration, the potential role of microglial dysregulation is much less clear. Here we review the evidence for a neuroinflammatory etiology and microglial dysregulation in OCD, Tourette syndrome, and PANDAS. We also explore new hypotheses as to the potential contributions of microglial abnormalities to pathophysiology, beyond neuroinflammation, including failures in neuroprotection, lack of support for neuronal survival, and abnormalities in synaptic pruning. Recent advances in neuroimaging and animal model work are creating new opportunities to elucidate these issues.

  9. Microglial Dysregulation in OCD, Tourette Syndrome, and PANDAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence that immune dysregulation contributes to the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome, and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). The mechanistic details of this pathophysiology, however, remain unclear. Here we focus on one particular component of the immune system: microglia, the brain's resident immune cells. The role of microglia in neurodegenerative diseases has been understood in terms of classic, inflammatory activation, which may be both a consequence and a cause of neuronal damage. In OCD and Tourette syndrome, which are not characterized by frank neural degeneration, the potential role of microglial dysregulation is much less clear. Here we review the evidence for a neuroinflammatory etiology and microglial dysregulation in OCD, Tourette syndrome, and PANDAS. We also explore new hypotheses as to the potential contributions of microglial abnormalities to pathophysiology, beyond neuroinflammation, including failures in neuroprotection, lack of support for neuronal survival, and abnormalities in synaptic pruning. Recent advances in neuroimaging and animal model work are creating new opportunities to elucidate these issues. PMID:28053994

  10. Epigenetic architecture and miRNA: reciprocal regulators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiklund, Erik D; Kjems, Jørgen; Clark, Susan J

    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....

  11. Repetitive stress leads to impaired cognitive function that is associated with DNA hypomethylation, reduced BDNF and a dysregulated HPA axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhathini, Khayelihle B; Abboussi, Oualid; Stein, Dan J; Mabandla, Musa V; Daniels, William M U

    2017-08-01

    Exposure to repetitive stress has a negative influence on cognitive-affective functioning, with growing evidence that these effects may be mediated by a dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, abnormal neurotrophic factor levels and its subsequent impact on hippocampal function. However, there are few data about the effect of repetitive stressors on epigenetic changes in the hippocampus. In the present study, we examine how repetitive restrain stress (RRS) affects cognitive-affective functioning, HPA axis regulation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, and global hippocampal DNA methylation. RRS was induced in rats by restraining the animals for 6h per day for 28 days. The novel object recognition test (NORT) was used to assess cognitive functioning and the open field test (OFT) was performed to assess anxiety-like behavior during the last week of stress. Hippocampal BDNF levels, glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptor mRNA were assessed using real-time PCR and confirmed with Western blot, while ELISAs were used to determine plasma corticosterone levels and the global methylation status of the hippocampus. Animals exposed to repetitive stress demonstrated significant alterations in the NORT and OFT, had significantly increased plasma corticosterone and significantly decreased hippocampal BDNF concentrations. The expression levels of GR and MR mRNA and protein levels of these genes were significantly decreased in the stressed group compared to control animals. The global DNA methylation of the hippocampal genome of stressed animals was also significantly decreased compared to controls. The data here are consistent with previous work emphasizing the role of the HPA axis and neurotrophic factors in mediating cognitive-affective changes after exposure to repetitive stressors. Our findings, however, extend the literature by indicating that epigenetic alterations in the hippocampal genome may also play an important role in the

  12. Mutations in Epigenetic Modifiers in Myeloid Malignancies and the Prospect of Novel Epigenetic-Targeted Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir T. Fathi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the recent years, the discovery of a series of mutations in patients with myeloid malignancies has provided insight into the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs, myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs, and acute myeloid leukemia (AML. Among these alterations have been mutations in genes, such as IDH1/2, TET2, DNMT3A, and EZH2, which appear to affect DNA and/or histone lysine methylation. Large clinical correlative studies are beginning to decipher the clinical importance, prevalence, and potential prognostic significance of these mutations. Additionally, burgeoning insight into the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies has prompted increased interest in development of novel therapies which target DNA and histone posttranslational modifications. DNA demethylating agents have been demonstrated to be clinically active in a subset of patients with MDS and AML and are used extensively. However, newer, more specific agents which alter DNA and histone modification are under preclinical study and development and are likely to expand our therapeutic options for these diseases in the near future. Here, we review the current understanding of the clinical importance of these newly discovered mutations in AML and MDS patients. We also discuss exciting developments in DNA methyltransferase inhibitor strategies and the prospect of novel histone lysine methyltransferase inhibitors.

  13. Epigenetics: general characteristics and implications for oral health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Yun Seo

    2015-02-01

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

  14. Comparative in silico profiling of epigenetic modifiers in human tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, Mi-Young; Jung, Cho-Rok; Kim, Dae-Soo; Cho, Hyun-Soo

    2018-04-06

    The technology of tissue differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells has attracted attention as a useful resource for regenerative medicine, disease modeling and drug development. Recent studies have suggested various key factors and specific culture methods to improve the successful tissue differentiation and efficient generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells. Among these methods, epigenetic regulation and epigenetic signatures are regarded as an important hurdle to overcome during reprogramming and differentiation. Thus, in this study, we developed an in silico epigenetic panel and performed a comparative analysis of epigenetic modifiers in the RNA-seq results of 32 human tissues. We demonstrated that an in silico epigenetic panel can identify epigenetic modifiers in order to overcome epigenetic barriers to tissue-specific differentiation.

  15. Disorders of dysregulated signal traffic through the RAS-MAPK pathway: phenotypic spectrum and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartaglia, Marco; Gelb, Bruce D

    2010-12-01

    RAS GTPases control a major signaling network implicated in several cellular functions, including cell fate determination, proliferation, survival, differentiation, migration, and senescence. Within this network, signal flow through the RAF-MEK-ERK pathway-the first identified mitogen-associated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade-mediates early and late developmental processes controlling morphology determination, organogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and growth. Signaling through the RAS-MAPK cascade is tightly controlled; and its enhanced activation represents a well-known event in oncogenesis. Unexpectedly, in the past few years, inherited dysregulation of this pathway has been recognized as the cause underlying a group of clinically related disorders sharing facial dysmorphism, cardiac defects, reduced postnatal growth, ectodermal anomalies, variable cognitive deficits, and susceptibility to certain malignancies as major features. These disorders are caused by heterozygosity for mutations in genes encoding RAS proteins, regulators of RAS function, modulators of RAS interaction with effectors, or downstream signal transducers. Here, we provide an overview of the phenotypic spectrum associated with germline mutations perturbing RAS-MAPK signaling, the unpredicted molecular mechanisms converging toward the dysregulation of this signaling cascade, and major genotype-phenotype correlations. © 2010 New York Academy of Sciences.

  16. Dopamine dysregulation hypothesis: the common basis for motivational anhedonia in major depressive disorder and schizophrenia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczypiński, Jan Józef; Gola, Mateusz

    2018-03-24

    Abnormalities in reward processing are crucial symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia (SCH). Recent neuroscientific findings regarding MDD have led to conclusions about two different symptoms related to reward processing: motivational and consummatory anhedonia, corresponding, respectively, to impaired motivation to obtain rewards ('wanting'), and diminished satisfaction from consuming them ('liking'). One can ask: which of these is common for MDD and SCH. In our review of the latest neuroscientific studies, we show that MDD and SCH do not share consummatory anhedonia, as SCH patients usually have unaltered liking. Therefore, we investigated whether motivational anhedonia is the common symptom across MDD and SCH. With regard to the similarities and differences between the neural mechanisms of MDD and SCH, here we expand the current knowledge of motivation deficits and present the common underlying mechanism of motivational anhedonia - the dopamine dysregulation hypothesis - stating that any prolonged dysregulation in tonic dopamine signaling that exceeds the given equilibrium can lead to striatal dysfunction and motivational anhedonia. The implications for further research and treatment of MDD and SCH are also discussed.

  17. [Autism and epigenetics. A model of explanation for the understanding of the genesis in autism spectrum disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arberas, Claudia; Ruggieri, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by impairment of social integration and language development and restricted interests. Autism spectrum disorders manifest during childhood and may have a varying clinical expression over the years related to different therapeutic approaches, behavior-modifying drugs, and environmental factors, among others. So far, the genetic alterations identified are not sufficient to explain the genesis of all these processes, as many of the mutations found are also present in unaffected individuals. Findings on the underlying biological and pathophysiological mechanisms of entities strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders, such as Rett, fragile X, Angelman, and fetal alcohol syndromes, point to the role of epigenetic changes in disorders of neurodevelopment. Epigenetic phenomena are normal biological processes necessary for cell and thus human life, especially related to embryonic development. Different phenomena that affect epigenetic processes (changes that change operation or expression of a gene, without modifying the DNA structure) have also been shown to be important in the genesis of neurodevelopmental disorders. Alterations in the epigenetic mechanism may be reversible, which may explain the variation in the autism phenotype over time. Here we analyze the normal epigenetic mechanisms, autism spectrum disorders, their association with specific entities associated with altered epigenetic mechanisms, and possible therapeutic approaches targeting these alterations.

  18. Multigenerational epigenetic adaptation of the hepatic wound-healing response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeybel, Müjdat; Hardy, Timothy; Wong, Yi K; Mathers, John C; Fox, Christopher R; Gackowska, Agata; Oakley, Fiona; Burt, Alastair D; Wilson, Caroline L; Anstee, Quentin M; Barter, Matt J; Masson, Steven; Elsharkawy, Ahmed M; Mann, Derek A; Mann, Jelena

    2012-09-01

    We investigated whether ancestral liver damage leads to heritable reprogramming of hepatic wound healing in male rats. We found that a history of liver damage corresponds with transmission of an epigenetic suppressive adaptation of the fibrogenic component of wound healing to the male F1 and F2 generations. Underlying this adaptation was less generation of liver myofibroblasts, higher hepatic expression of the antifibrogenic factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) and lower expression of the profibrogenic factor transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) compared to rats without this adaptation. Remodeling of DNA methylation and histone acetylation underpinned these alterations in gene expression. Sperm from rats with liver fibrosis were enriched for the histone variant H2A.Z and trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys27 (H3K27me3) at PPAR-γ chromatin. These modifications to the sperm chromatin were transmittable by adaptive serum transfer from fibrotic rats to naive rats and similar modifications were induced in mesenchymal stem cells exposed to conditioned media from cultured rat or human myofibroblasts. Thus, it is probable that a myofibroblast-secreted soluble factor stimulates heritable epigenetic signatures in sperm so that the resulting offspring better adapt to future fibrogenic hepatic insults. Adding possible relevance to humans, we found that people with mild liver fibrosis have hypomethylation of the PPARG promoter compared to others with severe fibrosis.

  19. Does epigenetic polymorphism contribute to phenotypic variances in Jatropha curcas L.?

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    Bui Ha TN

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is a growing interest in Jatropha curcas L. (jatropha as a biodiesel feedstock plant. Variations in its morphology and seed productivity have been well documented. However, there is the lack of systematic comparative evaluation of distinct collections under same climate and agronomic practices. With the several reports on low genetic diversity in jatropha collections, there is uncertainty on genetic contribution to jatropha morphology. Result In this study, five populations of jatropha plants collected from China (CN, Indonesia (MD, Suriname (SU, Tanzania (AF and India (TN were planted in one farm under the same agronomic practices. Their agronomic traits (branching pattern, height, diameter of canopy, time to first flowering, dormancy, accumulated seed yield and oil content were observed and tracked for two years. Significant variations were found for all the agronomic traits studied. Genetic diversity and epigenetic diversity were evaluated using florescence Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (fAFLP and methylation sensitive florescence AFLP (MfAFLP methods. Very low level of genetic diversity was detected (polymorphic band Conclusion Our study confirmed climate and practice independent differences in agronomic performance among jatropha collections. Such agronomic trait variations, however, were matched by very low genetic diversity and medium level but significant epigenetic diversity. Significant difference in inner cytosine and double cytosine methylation at CCGG sites was also found among populations. Most epigenetic differential markers can be inherited as epialleles following Mendelian segregation. These results suggest possible involvement of epigenetics in jatropha development.

  20. Infant and toddler crying, sleeping and feeding problems and trajectories of dysregulated behavior across childhood.

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    Winsper, Catherine; Wolke, Dieter

    2014-01-01

    Infant and toddler regulatory problems (RPs) including crying, sleeping and feeding, are a frequent concern for parents and have been associated with negative behavioral outcomes in early and middle childhood. Uncertain is whether infant and toddler RPs predict stable, trait-like dysregulated behavior across childhood. We addressed this gap in the literature using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). RPs at 6, 15-18, & 24-30 months and childhood dysregulated behavior at 4, 7, 8, & 9.5 years were assessed using mother report. Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA) indicated that trajectories of childhood dysregulated behavior were stable over time. All single RPs (i.e., crying, sleeping & feeding problems) were significantly associated with childhood dysregulated behavior. For example, crying problems at 6 months after controlling for confounders (Odds Ratios; 95% Confidence Intervals): Moderate dysregulated behavior: OR = 1.50, 95% CI [1.09 to 2.06], high dysregulated behavior: OR = 2.13, 95% CI [1.49 to 3.05] and very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 2.85, 95% CI [1.64 to 4.94]. Multiple RPs were especially strongly associated with dysregulated behavior. For example, the RP composite at 15-18 months: 1 RP, very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 2.79, 95% CI [2.17 to 3.57], 2 RPs, very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 3.46, 95% CI [2.38 to 5.01], 3 RPs, very high dysregulated behavior: OR = 12.57, 95% CI [6.38 to 24.74]. These findings suggest that RPs in infants and toddlers predict stable dysregulated behavior trajectories across childhood. Interventions for early RPs could help prevent the development of chronic, highly dysregulated behavior.

  1. Adaptive Epigenetic Differentiation between Upland and Lowland Rice Ecotypes Revealed by Methylation-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism.

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    Hui Xia

    Full Text Available The stress-induced epimutations could be inherited over generations and play important roles in plant adaption to stressful environments. Upland rice has been domesticated in water-limited environments for thousands of years and accumulated drought-induced epimutations of DNA methylation, making it epigenetically differentiated from lowland rice. To study the epigenetic differentiation between upland and lowland rice ecotypes on their drought-resistances, the epigenetic variation was investigated in 180 rice landraces under both normal and osmotic conditions via methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP technique. Great alterations (52.9~54.3% of total individual-locus combinations of DNA methylation are recorded when rice encountering the osmotic stress. Although the general level of epigenetic differentiation was very low, considerable level of ΦST (0.134~0.187 was detected on the highly divergent epiloci (HDE. The HDE detected in normal condition tended to stay at low levels in upland rice, particularly the ones de-methylated in responses to osmotic stress. Three out of four selected HDE genes differentially expressed between upland and lowland rice under normal or stressed conditions. Moreover, once a gene at HDE was up-/down-regulated in responses to the osmotic stress, its expression under the normal condition was higher/lower in upland rice. This result suggested expressions of genes at the HDE in upland rice might be more adaptive to the osmotic stress. The epigenetic divergence and its influence on the gene expression should contribute to the higher drought-resistance in upland rice as it is domesticated in the water-limited environment.

  2. Adaptive Epigenetic Differentiation between Upland and Lowland Rice Ecotypes Revealed by Methylation-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Hui; Huang, Weixia; Xiong, Jie; Tao, Tao; Zheng, Xiaoguo; Wei, Haibin; Yue, Yunxia; Chen, Liang; Luo, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    The stress-induced epimutations could be inherited over generations and play important roles in plant adaption to stressful environments. Upland rice has been domesticated in water-limited environments for thousands of years and accumulated drought-induced epimutations of DNA methylation, making it epigenetically differentiated from lowland rice. To study the epigenetic differentiation between upland and lowland rice ecotypes on their drought-resistances, the epigenetic variation was investigated in 180 rice landraces under both normal and osmotic conditions via methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique. Great alterations (52.9~54.3% of total individual-locus combinations) of DNA methylation are recorded when rice encountering the osmotic stress. Although the general level of epigenetic differentiation was very low, considerable level of ΦST (0.134~0.187) was detected on the highly divergent epiloci (HDE). The HDE detected in normal condition tended to stay at low levels in upland rice, particularly the ones de-methylated in responses to osmotic stress. Three out of four selected HDE genes differentially expressed between upland and lowland rice under normal or stressed conditions. Moreover, once a gene at HDE was up-/down-regulated in responses to the osmotic stress, its expression under the normal condition was higher/lower in upland rice. This result suggested expressions of genes at the HDE in upland rice might be more adaptive to the osmotic stress. The epigenetic divergence and its influence on the gene expression should contribute to the higher drought-resistance in upland rice as it is domesticated in the water-limited environment.

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

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    Ballestar, Esteban; Li, Tianlu

    2017-10-01

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

  4. Epigenetics: A way to bridge the gap between biological fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicoglou, Antonine; Merlin, Francesca

    2017-12-01

    The concept of epigenetics has evolved since Waddington defined it from the late 1930s as the study of the causal mechanisms at work in development. It has become a multi-faceted notion with different meanings, depending on the disciplinary context it is used. In this article, we first analyse the transformations of the concept of epigenetics, from Waddington to contemporary accounts, in order to identify its different meanings and traditions, and to come up with a typology of epigenetics throughout its history. Second, we show on this basis that epigenetics has progressively turned its main focus from biological problems regarding development, toward issues concerning evolution. Yet, both these different epistemological aspects of epigenetics still coexist. Third, we claim that the classical opposition between epigenesis and preformationism as ways of thinking about the developmental process is part of the history of epigenetics and has contributed to its current various meanings. With these objectives in mind, we first show how Waddington introduced the term "epigenetics" in a biological context in order to solve a developmental problem, and we then build on this by presenting Nanney's, Riggs' and Holliday's definitions, which form the basis for the current conception of "molecular epigenetics". Then, we show that the evo-devo research field is where some particular uses of epigenetics have started shifting from developmental issues to evolutionary problems. We also show that epigenetics has progressively focused on the issue of epigenetic inheritance within the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis' framework. Finally, we conclude by presenting a typology of the different conceptions of epigenetics throughout time, and analyse the connections between them. We argue that, since Waddington, epigenetics, as an integrative research area, has been used to bridge the gap between different biological fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Genome Wide Expression Profiling of Cancer Cell Lines Cultured in Microgravity Reveals Significant Dysregulation of Cell Cycle and MicroRNA Gene Networks.

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    Prasanna Vidyasekar

    Full Text Available Zero gravity causes several changes in metabolic and functional aspects of the human body and experiments in space flight have demonstrated alterations in cancer growth and progression. This study reports the genome wide expression profiling of a colorectal cancer cell line-DLD-1, and a lymphoblast leukemic cell line-MOLT-4, under simulated microgravity in an effort to understand central processes and cellular functions that are dysregulated among both cell lines. Altered cell morphology, reduced cell viability and an aberrant cell cycle profile in comparison to their static controls were observed in both cell lines under microgravity. The process of cell cycle in DLD-1 cells was markedly affected with reduced viability, reduced colony forming ability, an apoptotic population and dysregulation of cell cycle genes, oncogenes, and cancer progression and prognostic markers. DNA microarray analysis revealed 1801 (upregulated and 2542 (downregulated genes (>2 fold in DLD-1 cultures under microgravity while MOLT-4 cultures differentially expressed 349 (upregulated and 444 (downregulated genes (>2 fold under microgravity. The loss in cell proliferative capacity was corroborated with the downregulation of the cell cycle process as demonstrated by functional clustering of DNA microarray data using gene ontology terms. The genome wide expression profile also showed significant dysregulation of post transcriptional gene silencing machinery and multiple microRNA host genes that are potential tumor suppressors and proto-oncogenes including MIR22HG, MIR17HG and MIR21HG. The MIR22HG, a tumor-suppressor gene was one of the highest upregulated genes in the microarray data showing a 4.4 log fold upregulation under microgravity. Real time PCR validated the dysregulation in the host gene by demonstrating a 4.18 log fold upregulation of the miR-22 microRNA. Microarray data also showed dysregulation of direct targets of miR-22, SP1, CDK6 and CCNA2.

  6. Dynamic epigenetic states of maize centromeres

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    Yalin eLiu

    2015-10-01

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

  7. Epigenetic Modifications of Major Depressive Disorder

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    Kathleen Saavedra

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Epigenetics of hypoxic pulmonary arterial hypertension following intrauterine growth retardation rat: epigenetics in PAH following IUGR

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    Xu Xue-Feng

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accumulating evidence reveals that intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR can cause varying degrees of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH later in life. Moreover, epigenetics plays an important role in the fetal origin of adult disease. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of epigenetics in the development of PAH following IUGR. Methods The IUGR rats were established by maternal undernutrition during pregnancy. Pulmonary vascular endothelial cells (PVEC were isolated from the rat lungs by magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS. We investigated epigenetic regulation of the endothelin-1 (ET-1 gene in PVEC of 1-day and 6-week IUGR rats, and response of IUGR rats to hypoxia. Results The maternal nutrient restriction increased the histone acetylation and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α binding levels in the ET-1 gene promoter of PVEC in IUGR newborn rats, and continued up to 6 weeks after birth. These epigenetic changes could result in an IUGR rat being highly sensitive to hypoxia later in life, causing more significant PAH or pulmonary vascular remodeling. Conclusions These findings suggest that epigenetics is closely associated with the development of hypoxic PAH following IUGR, further providing a new insight for improved prevention and treatment of IUGR-related PAH.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. Bisphenol A in Reproduction: Epigenetic Effects.

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

    2018-02-21

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

  11. Redox Dysregulation in the Pathophysiology of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kulak, Anita; Steullet, Pascal; Cabungcal, Jan-Harry

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are classified as two distinct diseases. However, accumulating evidence shows that both disorders share genetic, pathological, and epidemiological characteristics. Based on genetic and functional findings, redox dysregulation due...... abnormal prefrontal levels of glutathione (GSH), the major cellular redox regulator and antioxidant. Here we review experimental data from rodent models demonstrating that permanent as well as transient GSH deficit results in behavioral, morphological, electrophysiological, and neurochemical alterations...... hypofunction, elevated glutamate levels, impairment of parvalbumin GABA interneurons, abnormal neuronal synchronization, altered dopamine neurotransmission, and deficient myelination. Critical Issues: Treatment with the GSH precursor and antioxidant N-acetylcysteine normalizes some of those deficits in mice...

  12. Dysregulated DNA Methyltransferase 3A Upregulates IGFBP5 to Suppress Trophoblast Cell Migration and Invasion in Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yuanhui; Li, Ting; Huang, Xiaojie; Xu, Xianghong; Zhou, Xinyao; Jia, Linyan; Zhu, Jingping; Xie, Dandan; Wang, Kai; Zhou, Qian; Jin, Liping; Zhang, Jiqin; Duan, Tao

    2017-02-01

    Preeclampsia is a unique multiple system disorder during human pregnancy, which affects ≈5% to 8% of pregnancies. Its risks and complications have become the major causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Although abnormal placentation to which DNA methylation dysregulation is always linked is speculated to be one of the reasons causing preeclampsia, the underlying mechanisms still remain elusive to date. Here we revealed that aberrant DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) plays a critical role in preeclampsia. Our results show that the expression and localization of DNMT3A are dysregulated in preeclamptic placenta. Moreover, knockdown of DNMT3A obviously inhibits trophoblast cell migration and invasion. Mechanistically, IGFBP5 (insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5), known as a suppressor, is upregulated by decreased DNMT3A because of promoter hypomethylation. Importantly, IGFBP5 downregulation can rescue the defects caused by DNMT3A knockdown, thereby, consolidating the significance of IGFBP5 in the downstream of DNMT3A in trophoblast. Furthermore, we detected low promoter methylation and high protein expression of IGFBP5 in the clinical samples of preeclamptic placenta. Collectively, our study suggests that dysregulation of DNMT3A and IGFBP5 is relevant to preeclampsia. Thus, we propose that DNMT3A and IGFBP5 can serve as potential markers and targets for the clinical diagnosis and therapy of preeclampsia. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  13. GEP analysis validates high risk MDS and acute myeloid leukemia post MDS mice models and highlights novel dysregulated pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerenne, Laura; Beurlet, Stéphanie; Said, Mohamed; Gorombei, Petra; Le Pogam, Carole; Guidez, Fabien; de la Grange, Pierre; Omidvar, Nader; Vanneaux, Valérie; Mills, Ken; Mufti, Ghulam J; Sarda-Mantel, Laure; Noguera, Maria Elena; Pla, Marika; Fenaux, Pierre; Padua, Rose Ann; Chomienne, Christine; Krief, Patricia

    2016-01-27

    In spite of the recent discovery of genetic mutations in most myelodysplasic (MDS) patients, the pathophysiology of these disorders still remains poorly understood, and only few in vivo models are available to help unravel the disease. We performed global specific gene expression profiling and functional pathway analysis in purified Sca1+ cells of two MDS transgenic mouse models that mimic human high-risk MDS (HR-MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) post MDS, with NRASD12 and BCL2 transgenes under the control of different promoters MRP8NRASD12/tethBCL-2 or MRP8[NRASD12/hBCL-2], respectively. Analysis of dysregulated genes that were unique to the diseased HR-MDS and AML post MDS mice and not their founder mice pointed first to pathways that had previously been reported in MDS patients, including DNA replication/damage/repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, immune responses, and canonical Wnt pathways, further validating these models at the gene expression level. Interestingly, pathways not previously reported in MDS were discovered. These included dysregulated genes of noncanonical Wnt pathways and energy and lipid metabolisms. These dysregulated genes were not only confirmed in a different independent set of BM and spleen Sca1+ cells from the MDS mice but also in MDS CD34+ BM patient samples. These two MDS models may thus provide useful preclinical models to target pathways previously identified in MDS patients and to unravel novel pathways highlighted by this study.

  14. GEP analysis validates high risk MDS and acute myeloid leukemia post MDS mice models and highlights novel dysregulated pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Guerenne

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In spite of the recent discovery of genetic mutations in most myelodysplasic (MDS patients, the pathophysiology of these disorders still remains poorly understood, and only few in vivo models are available to help unravel the disease. Methods We performed global specific gene expression profiling and functional pathway analysis in purified Sca1+ cells of two MDS transgenic mouse models that mimic human high-risk MDS (HR-MDS and acute myeloid leukemia (AML post MDS, with NRASD12 and BCL2 transgenes under the control of different promoters MRP8NRASD12/tethBCL-2 or MRP8[NRASD12/hBCL-2], respectively. Results Analysis of dysregulated genes that were unique to the diseased HR-MDS and AML post MDS mice and not their founder mice pointed first to pathways that had previously been reported in MDS patients, including DNA replication/damage/repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, immune responses, and canonical Wnt pathways, further validating these models at the gene expression level. Interestingly, pathways not previously reported in MDS were discovered. These included dysregulated genes of noncanonical Wnt pathways and energy and lipid metabolisms. These dysregulated genes were not only confirmed in a different independent set of BM and spleen Sca1+ cells from the MDS mice but also in MDS CD34+ BM patient samples. Conclusions These two MDS models may thus provide useful preclinical models to target pathways previously identified in MDS patients and to unravel novel pathways highlighted by this study.

  15. The dysregulated cluster in personality profiling research: Longitudinal stability and associations with bulimic behaviors and correlates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slane, Jennifer D.; Klump, Kelly L.; Donnellan, M. Brent; McGue, Matthew; Iacono, William G.

    2013-01-01

    Among cluster analytic studies of the personality profiles associated with bulimia nervosa, a group of individuals characterized by emotional lability and behavioral dysregulation (i.e., a dysregulated cluster) has emerged most consistently. However, previous studies have all been cross-sectional and mostly used clinical samples. This study aimed to replicate associations between the dysregulated personality cluster and bulimic symptoms and related characteristics using a longitudinal, population-based sample. Participants were females assessed at ages 17 and 25 from the Minnesota Twin Family Study, clustered based on their personality traits. The Dysregulated cluster was successfully identified at both time points and was more stable across time than either the Resilient or Sensation Seeking clusters. Rates of bulimic symptoms and related behaviors (e.g., alcohol use problems) were also highest in the dysregulated group. Findings suggest that the dysregulated cluster is a relatively stable and robust profile that is associated with bulimic symptoms. PMID:23398096

  16. Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viatte, Sebastien; Plant, Darren; Raychaudhuri, Soumya

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetic regulation of axon and dendrite growth

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    Ephraim F Trakhtenberg

    2012-03-01

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

  18. Epigenetic codes programming class switch recombination

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    Bharat eVaidyanathan

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Robotic liquid handling and automation in epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaisford, Wendy

    2012-10-01

    Automated liquid-handling robots and high-throughput screening (HTS) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the screening of large compound libraries, small molecules for activity against disease-relevant target pathways, or proteins. HTS robots capable of low-volume dispensing reduce assay setup times and provide highly accurate and reproducible dispensing, minimizing variation between sample replicates and eliminating the potential for manual error. Low-volume automated nanoliter dispensers ensure accuracy of pipetting within volume ranges that are difficult to achieve manually. In addition, they have the ability to potentially expand the range of screening conditions from often limited amounts of valuable sample, as well as reduce the usage of expensive reagents. The ability to accurately dispense lower volumes provides the potential to achieve a greater amount of information than could be otherwise achieved using manual dispensing technology. With the emergence of the field of epigenetics, an increasing number of drug discovery companies are beginning to screen compound libraries against a range of epigenetic targets. This review discusses the potential for the use of low-volume liquid handling robots, for molecular biological applications such as quantitative PCR and epigenetics.