WorldWideScience

Sample records for epigenetic dysregulation underlies

  1. Epigenetic Dysregulation in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thian-Sze Wong

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther R Berko

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Bioinformatics Tools for Genome-Wide Epigenetic Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angarica, Vladimir Espinosa; Del Sol, Antonio

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen V Liu

    2013-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic Regulation in Prostate Cancer Progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-09-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetics and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, John; Cooley, Vic

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Epigenetics and Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tafari Mbadiwe

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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 

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanie Lee

    2009-08-14

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic memory in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe eMigicovsky

    2011-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  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. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. 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

  18. A Potential Epigenetic Marker Mediating Serum Folate and Vitamin B12 Levels Contributes to the Risk of Ischemic Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loo Keat Wei

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Stroke is a multifactorial disease that may be associated with aberrant DNA methylation profiles. We investigated epigenetic dysregulation for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR gene among ischemic stroke patients. Cases and controls were recruited after obtaining signed written informed consents following a screening process against the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Serum vitamin profiles (folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine were determined using immunoassays. Methylation profiles for CpGs A and B in the MTHFR gene were determined using a bisulfite-pyrosequencing method. Methylation of MTHFR significantly increased the susceptibility risk for ischemic stroke. In particular, CpG A outperformed CpG B in mediating serum folate and vitamin B12 levels to increase ischemic stroke susceptibility risks by 4.73-fold. However, both CpGs A and B were not associated with serum homocysteine levels or ischemic stroke severity. CpG A is a potential epigenetic marker in mediating serum folate and vitamin B12 to contribute to ischemic stroke.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetics: beyond genes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fossey, A

    2009-06-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics in natural animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J; Barrett, R D H

    2017-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic regulation in dental pulp inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. [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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Rosaceae Fruit Development, Ripening and Post-harvest: An Epigenetic Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farinati, Silvia; Rasori, Angela; Varotto, Serena; Bonghi, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Rosaceae is a family with an extraordinary spectrum of fruit types, including fleshy peach, apple, and strawberry that provide unique contributions to a healthy diet for consumers, and represent an excellent model for studying fruit patterning and development. In recent years, many efforts have been made to unravel regulatory mechanism underlying the hormonal, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic changes occurring during Rosaceae fruit development. More recently, several studies on fleshy (tomato) and dry (Arabidopsis) fruit model have contributed to a better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms underlying important heritable crop traits, such as ripening and stress response. In this context and summing up the results obtained so far, this review aims to collect the available information on epigenetic mechanisms that may provide an additional level in gene transcription regulation, thus influencing and driving the entire Rosaceae fruit developmental process. The whole body of information suggests that Rosaceae fruit could become also a model for studying the epigenetic basis of economically important phenotypes, allowing for their more efficient exploitation in plant breeding.

  5. 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.

  6. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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....

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. EpiGeNet: A Graph Database of Interdependencies Between Genetic and Epigenetic Events in Colorectal Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaur, Irina; Saqi, Mansoor; Barat, Ana; Lysenko, Artem; Mazein, Alexander; Rawlings, Christopher J; Ruskin, Heather J; Auffray, Charles

    2017-10-01

    The development of colorectal cancer (CRC)-the third most common cancer type-has been associated with deregulations of cellular mechanisms stimulated by both genetic and epigenetic events. StatEpigen is a manually curated and annotated database, containing information on interdependencies between genetic and epigenetic signals, and specialized currently for CRC research. Although StatEpigen provides a well-developed graphical user interface for information retrieval, advanced queries involving associations between multiple concepts can benefit from more detailed graph representation of the integrated data. This can be achieved by using a graph database (NoSQL) approach. Data were extracted from StatEpigen and imported to our newly developed EpiGeNet, a graph database for storage and querying of conditional relationships between molecular (genetic and epigenetic) events observed at different stages of colorectal oncogenesis. We illustrate the enhanced capability of EpiGeNet for exploration of different queries related to colorectal tumor progression; specifically, we demonstrate the query process for (i) stage-specific molecular events, (ii) most frequently observed genetic and epigenetic interdependencies in colon adenoma, and (iii) paths connecting key genes reported in CRC and associated events. The EpiGeNet framework offers improved capability for management and visualization of data on molecular events specific to CRC initiation and progression.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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....

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2017-01-13

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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Transgenerational epigenetics: Inheritance of global cytosine methylation and methylation-related epigenetic markers in the shrub Lavandula latifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Alonso, Conchita; Medrano, Mónica; Pérez, Ricardo; Bazaga, Pilar

    2018-04-01

    The ecological and evolutionary significance of natural epigenetic variation (i.e., not based on DNA sequence variants) variation will depend critically on whether epigenetic states are transmitted from parents to offspring, but little is known on epigenetic inheritance in nonmodel plants. We present a quantitative analysis of transgenerational transmission of global DNA cytosine methylation (= proportion of all genomic cytosines that are methylated) and individual epigenetic markers (= methylation status of anonymous MSAP markers) in the shrub Lavandula latifolia. Methods based on parent-offspring correlations and parental variance component estimation were applied to epigenetic features of field-growing plants ('maternal parents') and greenhouse-grown progenies. Transmission of genetic markers (AFLP) was also assessed for reference. Maternal parents differed significantly in global DNA cytosine methylation (range = 21.7-36.7%). Greenhouse-grown maternal families differed significantly in global methylation, and their differences were significantly related to maternal origin. Methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) markers exhibited significant transgenerational transmission, as denoted by significant maternal variance component of marker scores in greenhouse families and significant mother-offspring correlations of marker scores. Although transmission-related measurements for global methylation and MSAP markers were quantitatively lower than those for AFLP markers taken as reference, this study has revealed extensive transgenerational transmission of genome-wide global cytosine methylation and anonymous epigenetic markers in L. latifolia. Similarity of results for global cytosine methylation and epigenetic markers lends robustness to this conclusion, and stresses the value of considering both types of information in epigenetic studies of nonmodel plants. © 2018 Botanical Society of America.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Genome Wide Expression Profiling of Cancer Cell Lines Cultured in Microgravity Reveals Significant Dysregulation of Cell Cycle and MicroRNA Gene Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razvi, Enal S

    2011-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballestar, Esteban; Li, Tianlu

    2017-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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....

  8. 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....

  9. 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.

  10. 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....

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms in the initiation of hematological malignancies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Maleki

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Cancer development is not restricted to the genetic changes, but also to epigenetic changes. Epigenetic processes are very important in the development of hematological malignancies. The main epigenetic alterations are aberrations in DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histones, chromatin remodeling and microRNAs patterns, and these are associated with tumor genesis. All the various cellular pathways contributing to the neoplastic phenotype are affected by epigenetic genes in cancer. These pathways can be explored as biomarkers in clinical use for early detection of disease, malignancy classification and response to treatment with classical chemotherapy agents and epigenetic drugs. Materials and Method: A literature review was performed using PUBMED from 1985 to 2008. Cross referencing of discovered articles was also reviewed.Results: In chronic lymphocytic leukemia, regional hypermethylation of gene promoters leads to gene silencing. Many of these genes have tumor suppressor phenotypes. In myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, CDKN2B (alias, P15, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that negatively regulates the cell cycle, has been shown to be hypermethylated in marrow stem (CD34+ cells in patients with MDS. At present both Vidaza and Decitabine (DNA methyltransferase inhibitors are approved for the treatment of MDS.Conclusion: Unlike mutations or deletions, DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation are potentially reversible by pharmacological inhibition, therefore those epigenetic changes have been recognized as promising novel therapeutic targets in hematopoietic malignances. In this review, we discussed molecular mechanisms of epigenetics, epigenetic changes in hematological malignancies and epigenetic based treatments

  19. 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.

  20. Dietary alleviation of maternal obesity and diabetes: increased resistance to diet-induced obesity transcriptional and epigenetic signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attig, Linda; Vigé, Alexandre; Gabory, Anne; Karimi, Moshen; Beauger, Aurore; Gross, Marie-Sylvie; Athias, Anne; Gallou-Kabani, Catherine; Gambert, Philippe; Ekstrom, Tomas J; Jais, Jean-Philippe; Junien, Claudine

    2013-01-01

    According to the developmental origins of health and diseases (DOHaD), and in line with the findings of many studies, obesity during pregnancy is clearly a threat to the health and well-being of the offspring, later in adulthood. We previously showed that 20% of male and female inbred mice can cope with the obesogenic effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) for 20 weeks after weaning, remaining lean. However the feeding of a control diet (CD) to DIO mice during the periconceptional/gestation/lactation period led to a pronounced sex-specific shift (17% to 43%) from susceptibility to resistance to HFD, in the female offspring only. Our aim in this study was to determine how, in the context of maternal obesity and T2D, a CD could increase resistance on female fetuses. Transcriptional analyses were carried out with a custom-built mouse liver microarray and by quantitative RT-PCR for muscle and adipose tissue. Both global DNA methylation and levels of pertinent histone marks were assessed by LUMA and western blotting, and the expression of 15 relevant genes encoding chromatin-modifying enzymes was analyzed in tissues presenting global epigenetic changes. Resistance was associated with an enhancement of hepatic pathways protecting against steatosis, the unexpected upregulation of neurotransmission-related genes and the modulation of a vast imprinted gene network. Adipose tissue displayed a pronounced dysregulation of gene expression, with an upregulation of genes involved in lipid storage and adipocyte hypertrophy or hyperplasia in obese mice born to lean and obese mothers, respectively. Global DNA methylation, several histone marks and key epigenetic regulators were also altered. Whether they were themselves lean (resistant) or obese (sensitive), the offspring of lean and obese mice clearly differed in terms of several metabolic features and epigenetic marks suggesting that the effects of a HFD depend on the leanness or obesity of the mother.

  1. Hypothesis: The Psychedelic Ayahuasca Heals Traumatic Memories via a Sigma 1 Receptor-Mediated Epigenetic-Mnemonic Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Inserra

    2018-04-01

    plasticity and modulates epigenetic processes, such effects might be involved in the reported healing of traumatic memories in PTSD patients. If this theory proves to be true, Ayahuasca could come to represent the only standing pharmacological treatment which targets traumatic memories in PTSD. Lastly, since SIGMAR1 activation triggers both epigenetic and immunomodulatory programmes, the mechanism here presented could help understanding and treating other conditions in which the cellular memory is dysregulated, such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune and neurodegenerative pathologies and substance addiction.

  2. Hypothesis: The Psychedelic Ayahuasca Heals Traumatic Memories via a Sigma 1 Receptor-Mediated Epigenetic-Mnemonic Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inserra, Antonio

    2018-01-01

    epigenetic processes, such effects might be involved in the reported healing of traumatic memories in PTSD patients. If this theory proves to be true, Ayahuasca could come to represent the only standing pharmacological treatment which targets traumatic memories in PTSD. Lastly, since SIGMAR1 activation triggers both epigenetic and immunomodulatory programmes, the mechanism here presented could help understanding and treating other conditions in which the cellular memory is dysregulated, such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune and neurodegenerative pathologies and substance addiction.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic Impact on EBV Associated B-Cell Lymphomagenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shatadru Ghosh Roy

    2016-11-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetics of hypoxic pulmonary arterial hypertension following intrauterine growth retardation rat: epigenetics in PAH following IUGR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity: potential public health concerns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marczylo, Emma L; Jacobs, Miriam N; Gant, Timothy W

    2016-09-01

    Throughout our lives, epigenetic processes shape our development and enable us to adapt to a constantly changing environment. Identifying and understanding environmentally induced epigenetic change(s) that may lead to adverse outcomes is vital for protecting public health. This review, therefore, examines the present understanding of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the mammalian life cycle, evaluates the current evidence for environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity in human cohorts and rodent models and highlights the research considerations and implications of this emerging knowledge for public health and regulatory toxicology. Many hundreds of studies have investigated such toxicity, yet relatively few have demonstrated a mechanistic association among specific environmental exposures, epigenetic changes and adverse health outcomes in human epidemiological cohorts and/or rodent models. While this small body of evidence is largely composed of exploratory in vivo high-dose range studies, it does set a precedent for the existence of environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity. Consequently, there is worldwide recognition of this phenomenon, and discussion on how to both guide further scientific research towards a greater mechanistic understanding of environmentally induced epigenetic toxicity in humans, and translate relevant research outcomes into appropriate regulatory policies for effective public health protection.

  19. 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.

  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 diet: impact on the epigenome and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Tabitha M; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Great expectations – Epigenetics and the meandering path from bench to bedside

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophia J. Häfner

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 a conceptual framework to a mechanistic understanding. This shift was accompanied by much hype and raised high hopes that epigenetics might hold both the key to deciphering the molecular underpinning of complex, non-Mendelian diseases and offer novel therapeutic approaches for a large panel of pathologies. However, while exciting reports of biological phenomena involving DNA methylation and histone modifications fill up the scientific literature, the realistic clinical applications of epigenetic medicines remain somewhat blurry. Here, we discuss the state of the art and speculate how epigenetics might contribute to prognostic and therapy approaches in the future.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. The contribution of cholesterol and epigenetic changes to the pathophysiology of breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munir, Maliha T; Ponce, Christopher; Powell, Catherine A; Tarafdar, Kaiser; Yanagita, Teru; Choudhury, Mahua; Gollahon, Lauren S; Rahman, Shaikh M

    2018-05-04

    Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women. Accumulating evidence suggests that cholesterol plays an important role in the development of breast cancer. Even though the mechanistic link between these two factors is not well understood, one possibility is that dysregulated cholesterol metabolism may affect lipid raft and membrane fluidity and can promote tumor development. Current studies have shown oxysterol 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-HC) as a critical regulator of cholesterol and breast cancer pathogenesis. This is supported by the significantly higher expression of CYP27A1 (cytochrome P450, family 27, subfamily A, polypeptide 1) in breast cancers. This enzyme is responsible for 27-HC synthesis from cholesterol. It has been shown that 27-HC can not only increase the proliferation of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cells but also stimulate tumor growth and metastasis in several breast cancer models. This phenomenon is surprising since 27-HC and other oxysterols generally reduce intracellular cholesterol levels by activating the liver X receptors (LXRs). Resolving this paradox will elucidate molecular pathways by which cholesterol, ER, and LXR are connected to breast cancer. These findings will also provide the rationale for evaluating pharmaceutical approaches that manipulate cholesterol or 27-HC synthesis in order to mitigate the impact of cholesterol on breast cancer pathophysiology. In addition to cholesterol, epigenetic changes including non-coding RNAs, and microRNAs, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, have all been shown to control tumorigenesis. The purpose of this review is to discuss the link between altered cholesterol metabolism and epigenetic modification during breast cancer progression. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Strategies to overcome HBV-specific T cell exhaustion: checkpoint inhibitors and metabolic re-programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisicaro, Paola; Boni, Carolina; Barili, Valeria; Laccabue, Diletta; Ferrari, Carlo

    2018-01-29

    HBV-specific T cells play a key role in antiviral protection and failure to control HBV is associated with severely dysfunctional T cell responses. Therefore, functional T cell reconstitution represents a potential way to treat chronically infected patients. The growing understanding of the dysregulated transcriptional/epigenetic and metabolic programs underlying T cell exhaustion allows to envisage functional T cell reconstitution strategies based on the combined/sequential use of compounds able to induce decline of antigen load, checkpoint modulation, metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming with possible boosting of functionally restored responses by specific vaccines. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Potential of epigenetic therapies in the management of solid tumors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valdespino, Victor; Valdespino, Patricia M

    2015-01-01

    Cancer is a complex disease with both genetic and epigenetic origins. The growing field of epigenetics has contributed to our understanding of oncogenesis and tumor progression, and has allowed the development of novel therapeutic drugs. First-generation epigenetic inhibitor drugs have obtained modest clinical results in two types of hematological malignancy. Second-generation epigenetic inhibitors are in development, and have intrinsically greater selectivity for their molecular targets. Solid tumors are more genetic and epigenetically complex than hematological malignancies, but the transcriptome and epigenome biomarkers have been identified for many of these malignancies. This solid tumor molecular aberration profile may be modified using specific or quasi-specific epidrugs together with conventional and innovative anticancer treatments. In this critical review, we briefly analyze the strategies to select the targeted epigenetic changes, enumerate the second-generation epigenetic inhibitors, and describe the main signs indicating the potential of epigenetic therapies in the management of solid tumors. We also highlight the work of consortia or academic organizations that support the undertaking of human epigenetic therapeutic projects as well as some examples of transcriptome/epigenome profile determination in clinical assessment of cancer patients treated with epidrugs. There is a good chance that epigenetic therapies will be able to be used in patients with solid tumors in the future. This may happen soon through collaboration of diverse scientific groups, making the selection of targeted epigenetic aberration(s) more rapid, the design and probe of drug candidates, accelerating in vitro and in vivo assays, and undertaking new cancer epigenetic-therapy clinical trails

  15. The Emerging Role of Epigenetics in Inflammation and Immunometabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghuraman, Sukanya; Donkin, Ida; Versteyhe, Soetkin; Barrès, Romain; Simar, David

    2016-11-01

    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 diabetes mellitus, and these are associated with alterations in the phenotype, function, and trafficking patterns of these cells. The first step in the development of effective therapeutic strategies is the identification of distinct epigenetic signatures associated with metabolic disorders. In this review 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 epigenetically driven metabolic complications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Potential of Epigenetic Therapies in Non-cancerous Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond eYung

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There has been an explosion of knowledge in the epigenetics field in the past 20 years. The first epigenetic therapies have arrived in the clinic for cancer treatments. In contrast, much of the promise of epigenetic therapies for non-cancerous conditions remains in the laboratories. The current review will focus on the recent progress that has been made in understanding the pathogenic role of epigenetics in immune and inflammatory conditions, and how the knowledge may provide much needed new therapeutic targets for many autoimmune diseases. Dietary factors are increasingly recognized as potential modifiers of epigenetic marks that can influence health and diseases across generations. The current epigenomics revolution will almost certainly complement the explosion of personal genetics medicine to help guide treatment decisions and disease risk stratification.

  17. Contribution of Neuroepigenetics to Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francelle, Laetitia; Lotz, Caroline; Outeiro, Tiago; Brouillet, Emmanuel; Merienne, Karine

    2017-01-01

    Unbalanced epigenetic regulation is thought to contribute to the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease (HD), a genetic disorder considered as a paradigm of epigenetic dysregulation. In this review, we attempt to address open questions regarding the role of epigenetic changes in HD, in the light of recent advances in neuroepigenetics. We particularly discuss studies using genome-wide scale approaches that provide insights into the relationship between epigenetic regulations, gene expression and neuronal activity in normal and diseased neurons, including HD neurons. We propose that cell-type specific techniques and 3D-based methods will advance knowledge of epigenome in the context of brain region vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic changes and of their consequences in neurodegenerative diseases is required to design therapeutic strategies more effective than current strategies based on histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Researches in HD may play a driving role in this process.

  18. Contribution of Neuroepigenetics to Huntington’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francelle, Laetitia; Lotz, Caroline; Outeiro, Tiago; Brouillet, Emmanuel; Merienne, Karine

    2017-01-01

    Unbalanced epigenetic regulation is thought to contribute to the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease (HD), a genetic disorder considered as a paradigm of epigenetic dysregulation. In this review, we attempt to address open questions regarding the role of epigenetic changes in HD, in the light of recent advances in neuroepigenetics. We particularly discuss studies using genome-wide scale approaches that provide insights into the relationship between epigenetic regulations, gene expression and neuronal activity in normal and diseased neurons, including HD neurons. We propose that cell-type specific techniques and 3D-based methods will advance knowledge of epigenome in the context of brain region vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic changes and of their consequences in neurodegenerative diseases is required to design therapeutic strategies more effective than current strategies based on histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Researches in HD may play a driving role in this process. PMID:28194101

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qureshi, Irfan A. [Rosyln and Leslie Goldstein Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Mehler, Mark F., E-mail: mark.mehler@einstein.yu.edu [Rosyln and Leslie Goldstein Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States); Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461 (United States)

    2011-09-13

    Recent advances have begun to elucidate how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are responsible for establishing and maintaining cell identity during development and adult life and how the disruption of these processes is, not surprisingly, one of the hallmarks of cancer. In this review, we describe the major epigenetic mechanisms (i.e., DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modification, non-coding RNA deployment, RNA editing, and nuclear reorganization) and discuss the broad spectrum of epigenetic alterations that have been uncovered in pediatric and adult nervous system tumors. We also highlight emerging evidence that suggests epigenetic deregulation is a characteristic feature of so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are thought to be present in a range of nervous system tumors and responsible for tumor maintenance, progression, treatment resistance, and recurrence. We believe that better understanding how epigenetic mechanisms operate in neural cells and identifying the etiologies and consequences of epigenetic deregulation in tumor cells and CSCs, in particular, are likely to promote the development of enhanced molecular diagnostics and more targeted and effective therapeutic agents for treating recalcitrant nervous system tumors.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2011-01-01

    Recent advances have begun to elucidate how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are responsible for establishing and maintaining cell identity during development and adult life and how the disruption of these processes is, not surprisingly, one of the hallmarks of cancer. In this review, we describe the major epigenetic mechanisms (i.e., DNA methylation, histone and chromatin modification, non-coding RNA deployment, RNA editing, and nuclear reorganization) and discuss the broad spectrum of epigenetic alterations that have been uncovered in pediatric and adult nervous system tumors. We also highlight emerging evidence that suggests epigenetic deregulation is a characteristic feature of so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are thought to be present in a range of nervous system tumors and responsible for tumor maintenance, progression, treatment resistance, and recurrence. We believe that better understanding how epigenetic mechanisms operate in neural cells and identifying the etiologies and consequences of epigenetic deregulation in tumor cells and CSCs, in particular, are likely to promote the development of enhanced molecular diagnostics and more targeted and effective therapeutic agents for treating recalcitrant nervous system tumors

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. The epigenetic switches for neural development and psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Jingwen; Xin, Yongjuan; Zhou, Wenhao; Qiu, Zilong

    2013-07-20

    The most remarkable feature of the nervous system is that the development and functions of the brain are largely reshaped by postnatal experiences, in joint with genetic landscapes. The nature vs. nurture argument reminds us that both genetic and epigenetic information is indispensable for the normal function of the brain. The epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in the central nervous system have been revealed over last a decade. Moreover, the mutations of epigenetic modulator genes have been shown to be implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders. The epigenetic study has initiated in the neuroscience field for a relative short period of time. In this review, we will summarize recent discoveries about epigenetic regulation on neural development, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, as well as neuropsychiatric disorders. Although the comprehensive view of how epigenetic regulation contributes to the function of the brain is still not completed, the notion that brain, the most complicated organ of organisms, is profoundly shaped by epigenetic switches is widely accepted. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jost, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Cells often exhibit different and stable phenotypes from the same DNA sequence. Robustness and plasticity of such cellular states are controlled by diverse transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms, among them the modification of biochemical marks on chromatin. Here, we develop a stochastic model that describes the dynamics of epigenetic marks along a given DNA region. Through mathematical analysis, we show the emergence of bistable and persistent epigenetic states from the cooperative recruitment of modifying enzymes. We also find that the dynamical system exhibits a critical point and displays, in the presence of asymmetries in recruitment, a bifurcation diagram with hysteresis. These results have deep implications for our understanding of epigenetic regulation. In particular, our study allows one to reconcile within the same formalism the robust maintenance of epigenetic identity observed in differentiated cells, the epigenetic plasticity of pluripotent cells during differentiation, and the effects of epigenetic misregulation in diseases. Moreover, it suggests a possible mechanism for developmental transitions where the system is shifted close to the critical point to benefit from high susceptibility to developmental cues.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Deciphering the Epigenetic Code in Embryonic and Dental Pulp Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayarsaihan, Dashzeveg

    2016-01-01

    A close cooperation between chromatin states, transcriptional modulation, and epigenetic modifications is required for establishing appropriate regulatory circuits underlying self-renewal and differentiation of adult and embryonic stem cells. A growing body of research has established that the epigenome topology provides a structural framework for engaging genes in the non-random chromosomal interactions to orchestrate complex processes such as cell-matrix interactions, cell adhesion and cell migration during lineage commitment. Over the past few years, the functional dissection of the epigenetic landscape has become increasingly important for understanding gene expression dynamics in stem cells naturally found in most tissues. Adult stem cells of the human dental pulp hold great promise for tissue engineering, particularly in the skeletal and tooth regenerative medicine. It is therefore likely that progress towards pulp regeneration will have a substantial impact on the clinical research. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding epigenetic cues that have evolved to regulate the pluripotent differentiation potential of embryonic stem cells and the lineage determination of developing dental pulp progenitors. PMID:28018144

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Consalvi

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Gene X Environment Interactions in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie eTordjman

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Several studies support currently the hypothesis that autism etiology is based on a polygenic and epistatic model. However, despite advances in epidemiological, molecular and clinical genetics, the genetic risk factors remain difficult to identify, with the exception of a few chromosomal disorders and several single gene disorders associated with an increased risk for autism. Furthermore, several studies suggest a role of environmental factors in autism spectrum disorders (ASD. First, arguments for a genetic contribution to autism, based on updated family and twin studies, are examined. Second, a review of possible prenatal, perinatal and postnatal environmental risk factors for ASD are presented. Then, the hypotheses are discussed concerning the underlying mechanisms related to a role of environmental factors in the development of ASD in association with genetic factors. In particular, epigenetics as a candidate biological mechanism for gene X environment interactions is considered and the possible role of epigenetic mechanisms reported in genetic disorders associated with ASD is discussed. Furthermore, the example of in utero exposure to valproate provides a good illustration of epigenetic mechanisms involved in ASD and innovative therapeutic strategies. Epigenetic remodeling by environmental factors opens new perspectives for a better understanding, prevention and early therapeutic intervention of ASD.

  18. Sensory Cortical Plasticity Participates in the Epigenetic Regulation of Robust Memory Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Mimi L.; Bieszczad, Kasia M.

    2016-01-01

    Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded. PMID:26881129

  19. Sensory Cortical Plasticity Participates in the Epigenetic Regulation of Robust Memory Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Mimi L; Bieszczad, Kasia M

    2016-01-01

    Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded.

  20. Sensory Cortical Plasticity Participates in the Epigenetic Regulation of Robust Memory Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mimi L. Phan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  2. Maintaining epigenetic inheritance during DNA replication in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco eIglesias

    2016-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The political implications of epigenetics Emerging narratives and ideologies.

    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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Marini

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murugesan Manoharan

    2007-02-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Imagining roles for epigenetics in health promotion research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBride, Colleen M; Koehly, Laura M

    2017-04-01

    Discoveries from the Human Genome Project have invigorated discussions of epigenetic effects-modifiable chemical processes that influence DNA's ability to give instructions to turn gene expression on or off-on health outcomes. We suggest three domains in which new understandings of epigenetics could inform innovations in health promotion research: (1) increase the motivational potency of health communications (e.g., explaining individual differences in health outcomes to interrupt optimistic biases about health exposures); (2) illuminate new approaches to targeted and tailored health promotion interventions (e.g., relapse prevention targeted to epigenetic responses to intervention participation); and (3) inform more sensitive measures of intervention impact, (e.g., replace or augment self-reported adherence). We suggest a three-step process for using epigenetics in health promotion research that emphasizes integrating epigenetic mechanisms into conceptual model development that then informs selection of intervention approaches and outcomes. Lastly, we pose examples of relevant scientific questions worth exploring.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggren, Warren W; Crews, David

    2014-07-01

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

  4. Redox-based epigenetic status in drug addiction: a potential contributor to gene priming and a mechanistic rationale for metabolic intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, Malav S; Deth, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol and other drugs of abuse, including psychostimulants and opioids, can induce epigenetic changes: a contributing factor for drug addiction, tolerance, and associated withdrawal symptoms. DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism and it is one of more than 200 methylation reactions supported by methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Levels of SAM are controlled by cellular redox status via the folate and vitamin B12-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS). For example, under oxidative conditions MS is inhibited, diverting its substrate homocysteine (HCY) to the trans sulfuration pathway. Alcohol, dopamine, and morphine, can alter intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH)-based cellular redox status, subsequently affecting SAM levels and DNA methylation status. Here, existing evidence is presented in a coherent manner to propose a novel hypothesis implicating the involvement of redox-based epigenetic changes in drug addiction. Further, we discuss how a "gene priming" phenomenon can contribute to the maintenance of redox and methylation status homeostasis under various stimuli including drugs of abuse. Additionally, a new mechanistic rationale for the use of metabolic interventions/redox-replenishers as symptomatic treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction and associated withdrawal symptoms is also provided. Hence, the current review article strengthens the hypothesis that neuronal metabolism has a critical bidirectional coupling with epigenetic changes in drug addiction exemplified by the link between redox-based metabolic changes and resultant epigenetic consequences under the effect of drugs of abuse.

  5. Machine learning for epigenetics and future medical applications

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Understanding epigenetic processes holds immense promise for medical applications. Advances in Machine Learning (ML) are critical to realize this promise. Previous studies used epigenetic data sets associated with the germline transmission of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and novel ML approaches to predict genome-wide locations of critical epimutations. A combination of Active Learning (ACL) and Imbalanced Class Learning (ICL) was used to address past problems w...

  6. Epigenetic game theory and its application in plants. Comment on: ;Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition; by Qian Wang et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan-Ming; Zhang, Yinghao; Guo, Mingyue

    2017-03-01

    Wang's et al. article [1] is the first to integrate game theory (especially evolutionary game theory) with epigenetic modification of zygotic genomes. They described and assessed a modeling framework based on evolutionary game theory to quantify, how sperms and oocytes interact through epigenetic processes, to determine embryo development. They also studied the internal mechanisms for normal embryo development: 1) evolutionary interactions between DNA methylation of the paternal and maternal genomes, and 2) the application of game theory to formulate and quantify how different genes compete or cooperate to regulate embryogenesis through methylation. Although it is not very comprehensive and profound regarding game theory modeling, this article bridges the gap between evolutionary game theory and the epigenetic control of embryo development by powerful ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The epiGame framework includes four aspects: 1) characterizing how epigenetic game theory works by the strategy matrix, in which the pattern and relative magnitude of the methylation effects on embryogenesis, are described by the cooperation and competition mechanisms, 2) quantifying the game that the direction and degree of P-M interactions over embryo development can be explained by the sign and magnitude of interaction parameters in model (2), 3) modeling epigenetic interactions within the morula, especially for two coupled nonlinear ODEs, with explicit functions in model (4), which provide a good fit to the observed data for the two sexes (adjusted R2 = 0.956), and 4) revealing multifactorial interactions in embryogenesis from the coupled ODEs in model (2) to triplet ODEs in model (6). Clearly, this article extends game theory from evolutionary game theory to epigenetic game theory.

  7. Epigenetics of human asthma and allergy: promises to keep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devries, Avery; Vercelli, Donata

    2013-09-01

    The interest in asthma epigenetics is high because epigenetic mechanisms likely contribute to the environmental origins of the disease and its phenotypic variability. This review presents the main findings of asthma epigenetics and the challenges that still delay progress. We examined the current literature on asthma epigenetics (31 reviews and 25 original data publications). We focused on DNA methylation studies in populations. Both genome-wide and candidate gene studies have explored DNA methylation in allergic disease. Genome-wide studies ask whether and which regions of the genome are differentially methylated in relation to the phenotype of interest. Identification of such regions provides clues about the identity of the genes, pathways and networks underpinning a phenotype and connects these networks to the phenotype through epigenetic mechanisms. Candidate gene studies examine DNA methylation in genes chosen because of their known or hypothesized role in immunity, responses to environmental stimuli or disease pathogenesis. Most existing studies in asthma and allergy focused on candidate genes involved in the response to environmental pollutants. Asthma epigenetics is still in its infancy. The paucity of primary literature originates from methodological and analytical challenges of genome-wide studies, the difficulties in interpreting small differences in DNA methylation, and the need to develop robust bioinformatic tools for pathway, network and system analyses of epigenetic data. Once these challenges have been overcome, epigenetic studies will likely provide important insights about the inception and pathogenesis of allergic disease and will help define disease endotypes.

  8. Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Eric E; Skinner, Michael K

    2015-01-01

    Environmental insults, such as exposure to toxicants or nutritional abnormalities, can lead to epigenetic changes that are in turn related to increased susceptibility to disease. The focus of this review is on the transgenerational inheritance of such epigenetic abnormalities (epimutations), and how it is that these inherited epigenetic abnormalities can lead to increased disease susceptibility, even in the absence of continued environmental insult. Observations of environmental toxicant specificity and exposure-specific disease susceptibility are discussed. How epimutations are transmitted across generations and how epigenetic changes in the germline are translated into an increased disease susceptibility in the adult is reviewed with regard to disease etiology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Epigenetics and Child Psychiatry: Ethical and Legal Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Christopher R

    2015-10-01

    Epigenetics has the potential to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment in psychiatry, especially child psychiatry, as it may offer the opportunity for early detection and prevention, as well as development of new treatments. As with the previous introduction of genetic research in psychiatry, there is also the problem of unrealistic expectations and new legal and ethical problems. This article reviews the potential contributions and problems of epigenetic research in child psychiatry. Previous legal and ethical issues in genetic research serve as a guide to those in epigenetic research. Recommendations for safeguards and guidelines on the use of epigenetics with children and adolescents are outlined based on the identified issues. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. [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.

  11. Considering Maternal Dietary Modulators for Epigenetic Regulation and Programming of the Fetal Epigenome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abalo Chango

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Fetal life is characterized by a tremendous plasticity and ability to respond to various environmental and lifestyle factors, including maternal nutrition. Identification of the role of dietary factors that can modulate and reshape the cellular epigenome during development, including methyl group donors (e.g., folate, choline and bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols is of great importance; however, there is insufficient knowledge of a particular effect of each type of modulator and/or their combination on fetal life. To enhance the quality and safety of food products for proper fetal health and disease prevention in later life, a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of dietary epigenetic modulators during the critical prenatal period is necessary. This review focuses on the influence of maternal dietary components on DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNAs, and summarizes current knowledge of the effect and importance of dietary components on epigenetic mechanisms that control the proper expression of genetic information. Evidence reveals that some components in the maternal diet can directly or indirectly affect epigenetic mechanisms. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of how early-life nutritional environment affects the epigenome during development is of great importance for the successful prevention of adult chronic diseases through optimal maternal nutrition.

  12. Considering maternal dietary modulators for epigenetic regulation and programming of the fetal epigenome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chango, Abalo; Pogribny, Igor P

    2015-04-14

    Fetal life is characterized by a tremendous plasticity and ability to respond to various environmental and lifestyle factors, including maternal nutrition. Identification of the role of dietary factors that can modulate and reshape the cellular epigenome during development, including methyl group donors (e.g., folate, choline) and bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols) is of great importance; however, there is insufficient knowledge of a particular effect of each type of modulator and/or their combination on fetal life. To enhance the quality and safety of food products for proper fetal health and disease prevention in later life, a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of dietary epigenetic modulators during the critical prenatal period is necessary. This review focuses on the influence of maternal dietary components on DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNAs, and summarizes current knowledge of the effect and importance of dietary components on epigenetic mechanisms that control the proper expression of genetic information. Evidence reveals that some components in the maternal diet can directly or indirectly affect epigenetic mechanisms. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of how early-life nutritional environment affects the epigenome during development is of great importance for the successful prevention of adult chronic diseases through optimal maternal nutrition.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  16. Early-life nutrition modulates the epigenetic state of specific rDNA genetic variants in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Michelle L; Lowe, Robert; Caton, Paul W; Gemma, Carolina; Carbajosa, Guillermo; Danson, Amy F; Carpenter, Asha A M; Loche, Elena; Ozanne, Susan E; Rakyan, Vardhman K

    2016-07-29

    A suboptimal early-life environment, due to poor nutrition or stress during pregnancy, can influence lifelong phenotypes in the progeny. Epigenetic factors are thought to be key mediators of these effects. We show that protein restriction in mice from conception until weaning induces a linear correlation between growth restriction and DNA methylation at ribosomal DNA (rDNA). This epigenetic response remains into adulthood and is restricted to rDNA copies associated with a specific genetic variant within the promoter. Related effects are also found in models of maternal high-fat or obesogenic diets. Our work identifies environmentally induced epigenetic dynamics that are dependent on underlying genetic variation and establishes rDNA as a genomic target of nutritional insults. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. What obesity research tells us about epigenetic mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Youngson, Neil A.; Morris, Margaret J.

    2013-01-01

    The pathophysiology of obesity is extremely complex and is associated with extensive gene expression changes in tissues throughout the body. This situation, combined with the fact that all gene expression changes are thought to have associated epigenetic changes, means that the links between obesity and epigenetics will undoubtedly be vast. Much progress in identifying epigenetic changes induced by (or inducing) obesity has already been made, with candidate and genome-wide approaches. These d...

  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. 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

  20. Extending Injury- and Disease-Resistant CNS Phenotypes by Repetitive Epigenetic Conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey M. Gidday

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Significant reductions in the extent of acute injury in the CNS can be achieved by exposure to different preconditioning stimuli, but the duration of the induced protective phenotype is typically short-lasting, and thus is deemed as limiting its clinical applicability. Extending the period over which such adaptive epigenetic changes persist – in effect, expanding conditioning’s therapeutic window – would significantly broaden the potential applications of such a treatment approach in patients. The frequency of the conditioning stimulus may hold the key. While transient (1-3 days protection against CNS ischemic injury is well established preclinically following a single preconditioning stimulus, repetitively presenting preconditioning stimuli extends the duration of ischemic tolerance by many weeks. Moreover, repetitive intermittent postconditioning enhances postischemic recovery metrics and improves long-term survival. Intermittent conditioning is also efficacious for preventing or delaying injury in preclinical models of chronic neurodegenerative disease, and for promoting long-lasting functional improvements in a number of other pathologies as well. Although the detailed mechanisms underlying these protracted kinds of neuroplasticity remain largely unstudied, accumulating empirical evidence supports the contention that all of these adaptive phenotypes are epigenetically mediated. Going forward, additional preclinical demonstrations of the ability to induce sustained beneficial phenotypes that reduce the burden of acute and chronic neurodegeneration, and experimental interrogations of the regulatory constructs responsible for these epigenetic responses, will accelerate the identification of not only efficacious, but practical, adaptive epigenetics-based treatments for individuals with neurological disease.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Exploring epigenetic regulation of fear memory and biomarkers associated with Post-traumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Maddox

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This review examines recent work on epigenetic mechanisms underlying animal models of fear learning as well as its translational implications in disorders of fear regulation, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Specifically, we will examine work outlining roles of differential histone acetylation and DNA methylation associated with consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction in Pavlovian fear paradigms. We then focus on the numerous studies examining the epigenetic modifications of the Brain-derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF pathway and the extension of these findings from animal models to recent work in human clinical populations. We will also review recently published data on FKBP5 regulation of glucocorticoid receptor function, and how this is modulated in animal models of PTSD and in human clinical populations via epigenetic mechanisms. As glucocorticoid regulation of memory consolidation is well established in fear models, we examine how these recent data contribute to our broader understanding of fear memory formation. The combined recent progress in epigenetic modulation of memory with the advances in fear neurobiology suggest that this area may be critical to progress in our understanding of fear-related disorders with implications for new approaches to treatment and prevention.

  4. Immunotoxicity, genotoxicity and epigenetic toxicity of nanomaterials: New strategies for toxicity testing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusinska, Maria; Tulinska, Jana; El Yamani, Naouale; Kuricova, Miroslava; Liskova, Aurelia; Rollerova, Eva; Rundén-Pran, Elise; Smolkova, Bozena

    2017-11-01

    The unique properties of nanomaterials (NMs) are beneficial in numerous industrial and medical applications. However, they could also induce unintended effects. Thus, a proper strategy for toxicity testing is essential in human hazard and risk assessment. Toxicity can be tested in vivo and in vitro; in compliance with the 3Rs, alternative strategies for in vitro testing should be further developed for NMs. Robust, standardized methods are of great importance in nanotoxicology, with comprehensive material characterization and uptake as an integral part of the testing strategy. Oxidative stress has been shown to be an underlying mechanism of possible toxicity of NMs, causing both immunotoxicity and genotoxicity. For testing NMs in vitro, a battery of tests should be performed on cells of human origin, either cell lines or primary cells, in conditions as close as possible to an in vivo situation. Novel toxicity pathways, particularly epigenetic modification, should be assessed along with conventional toxicity testing methods. However, to initiate epigenetic toxicity screens for NM exposure, there is a need to better understand their adverse effects on the epigenome, to identify robust and reproducible causal links between exposure, epigenetic changes and adverse phenotypic endpoints, and to develop improved assays to monitor epigenetic toxicity. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Family enmeshment, adolescent emotional dysregulation, and the moderating role of gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kivisto, Katherine Little; Welsh, Deborah P; Darling, Nancy; Culpepper, Christi L

    2015-08-01

    Enmeshment plays a key role in many families' dysfunctional interactions and may be especially detrimental for adolescents. Sixty-four adolescents completed ratings of family enmeshment, perceived distress tolerance, an interpersonal challenge task, and mood ratings before and immediately after the task. Before and during the challenge task, adolescents' respiratory sinus arrhythmia (an indicator of cardiac vagal tone) was recorded. Associations were tested between adolescents' perceptions of family enmeshment and 3 aspects of adolescent emotional dysregulation. Adolescents who perceived higher family enmeshment also demonstrated greater emotional dysregulation in several domains: negative global appraisals of distress tolerance, stronger increase in subjective negative mood from baseline to postchallenge, lower baseline vagal tone, and vagal augmentation during the challenge task. Gender differences also emerged, such that girls reported more negative distress appraisals overall and enmeshed boys showed greater emotional dysregulation across analyses. Findings are discussed in terms of how clinicians may dynamically assess and treat enmeshment and emotional dysregulation in families with male and female adolescents. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoldoš, Vlatka; Biruš, Ivan; Muratovic, Edina; Šatovic, Zlatko; Vojta, Aleksandar; Robin, Odile; Pustahija, Fatima; Bogunic, Faruk; Vicic Bockor, Vedrana; Siljak-Yakovlev, Sonja

    2018-01-01

    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 serpentine soil. Amplified fragment length polymorphism and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism analyses revealed that the three populations did not differentiate genetically, but were clearly separated in three distinct clusters according to DNA methylation profiles. Principal coordinate analysis showed that overall epigenetic variation was closely related to habitat conditions. A new methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism scoring approach allowed identification of mainly unmethylated (φST = 0.190) and fully CpG methylated (φST = 0.118) subepiloci playing a role in overall population differentiation, in comparison with hemimethylated sites (φST = 0.073). In addition, unusual rDNA repatterning and the presence of B chromosomes bearing 5S rDNA loci were recorded in the population growing on serpentine soil, suggesting dynamic chromosome rearrangements probably linked to global genome demethylation, which might have reactivated some mobile elements. We discuss our results considering our earlier data on morphology and leaf anatomy of several L. bosniacum populations, and suggest a possible role of epigenetics as a key element in population differentiation associated with environmental stress in these particular lily populations. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  8. Gene × Environment Interactions in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tordjman, Sylvie; Somogyi, Eszter; Coulon, Nathalie; Kermarrec, Solenn; Cohen, David; Bronsard, Guillaume; Bonnot, Olivier; Weismann-Arcache, Catherine; Botbol, Michel; Lauth, Bertrand; Ginchat, Vincent; Roubertoux, Pierre; Barburoth, Marianne; Kovess, Viviane; Geoffray, Marie-Maude; Xavier, Jean

    2014-01-01

    Several studies support currently the hypothesis that autism etiology is based on a polygenic and epistatic model. However, despite advances in epidemiological, molecular and clinical genetics, the genetic risk factors remain difficult to identify, with the exception of a few chromosomal disorders and several single gene disorders associated with an increased risk for autism. Furthermore, several studies suggest a role of environmental factors in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). First, arguments for a genetic contribution to autism, based on updated family and twin studies, are examined. Second, a review of possible prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal environmental risk factors for ASD are presented. Then, the hypotheses are discussed concerning the underlying mechanisms related to a role of environmental factors in the development of ASD in association with genetic factors. In particular, epigenetics as a candidate biological mechanism for gene × environment interactions is considered and the possible role of epigenetic mechanisms reported in genetic disorders associated with ASD is discussed. Furthermore, the example of in utero exposure to valproate provides a good illustration of epigenetic mechanisms involved in ASD and innovative therapeutic strategies. Epigenetic remodeling by environmental factors opens new perspectives for a better understanding, prevention, and early therapeutic intervention of ASD. PMID:25136320

  9. Applications and extensions of 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)

    Wang, Yaqun

    2017-03-01

    The authors are to be congratulated for a thought-provoking article [1], which reviews the epigenetic game theory (epiGame) that utilizes differential equations to study the epigenetic control of embryo development. It is a novel application of evolutionary game theory and provides biology researchers with useful methodologies to address scientific questions related to biological coordination of competition and cooperation.

  10. 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.

  11. Machine learning for epigenetics and future medical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-03

    Understanding epigenetic processes holds immense promise for medical applications. Advances in Machine Learning (ML) are critical to realize this promise. Previous studies used epigenetic data sets associated with the germline transmission of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and novel ML approaches to predict genome-wide locations of critical epimutations. A combination of Active Learning (ACL) and Imbalanced Class Learning (ICL) was used to address past problems with ML to develop a more efficient feature selection process and address the imbalance problem in all genomic data sets. The power of this novel ML approach and our ability to predict epigenetic phenomena and associated disease is suggested. The current approach requires extensive computation of features over the genome. A promising new approach is to introduce Deep Learning (DL) for the generation and simultaneous computation of novel genomic features tuned to the classification task. This approach can be used with any genomic or biological data set applied to medicine. The application of molecular epigenetic data in advanced machine learning analysis to medicine is the focus of this review.

  12. The epigenetics of nuclear envelope organization and disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schirmer, Eric C.

    2008-01-01

    Mammalian chromosomes and some specific genes have non-random positions within the nucleus that are tissue-specific and heritable. Work in many organisms has shown that genes at the nuclear periphery tend to be inactive and altering their partitioning to the interior results in their activation. Proteins of the nuclear envelope can recruit chromatin with specific epigenetic marks and can also recruit silencing factors that add new epigenetic modifications to chromatin sequestered at the periphery. Together these findings indicate that the nuclear envelope is a significant epigenetic regulator. The importance of this function is emphasized by observations of aberrant distribution of peripheral heterochromatin in several human diseases linked to mutations in NE proteins. These debilitating inherited diseases range from muscular dystrophies to the premature aging progeroid syndromes and the heterochromatin changes are just one early clue for understanding the molecular details of how they work. The architecture of the nuclear envelope provides a unique environment for epigenetic regulation and as such a great deal of research will be required before we can ascertain the full range of its contributions to epigenetics

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Genetic and epigenetic control of plant heat responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junzhong eLiu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Plants have evolved sophisticated genetic and epigenetic regulatory systems to respond quickly to unfavorable environmental conditions such as heat, cold, drought, and pathogen infections. In particular, heat greatly affects plant growth and development, immunity and circadian rhythm, and poses a serious threat to the global food supply. According to temperatures exposing, heat can be usually classified as warm ambient temperature (about 22-27℃, high temperature (27-30℃ and extremely high temperature (37-42℃, also known as heat stress for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The genetic mechanisms of plant responses to heat have been well studied, mainly focusing on elevated ambient temperature-mediated morphological acclimation and acceleration of flowering, modulation of plant immunity and circadian clock by high temperatures, and thermotolerance to heat stress. Recently, great progress has been achieved on epigenetic regulation of heat responses, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, histone chaperones, small RNAs, long non-coding RNAs and other undefined epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic modifications regulate the expression of heat-responsive genes and function to prevent heat-related damage. This review focuses on recent progresses regarding the genetic and epigenetic control of heat responses in plants, and pays more attention to the role of the major epigenetic mechanisms in plant heat responses. Further research perspectives are also discussed.

  16. Epigenetic Regulation of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene: Implications for Behavioral Neuroscience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eKumsta

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Genetic approaches have improved our understanding of the neurobiological basis of social behavior and cognition. For instance, common polymorphisms of genes involved in oxytocin signaling have been associated with sociobehavioral phenotypes in healthy samples as well as in subjects with mental disorders. More recently, attention has been drawn to epigenetic mechanisms, which regulate genetic function and expression without changes to the underlying DNA sequence. We provide an overview of the functional importance of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR promoter methylation and summarize studies that have investigated the role of OXTR methylation in behavioral phenotypes. There is first evidence that OXTR methylation is associated with autism, high callous-unemotional traits, and differential activation of brain regions involved in social perception. Furthermore, psychosocial stress exposure might dynamically regulate OXTR. Given evidence that epigenetic states of genes can be modified by experiences, especially those occurring in sensitive periods early in development, we conclude with a discussion on the effects of traumatic experience on the developing oxytocin system. Epigenetic modification of genes involved in oxytocin signaling might be involved in the mechanisms mediating the long-term influence of early adverse experiences on socio-behavioral outcomes.

  17. Epigenetic Activation of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling in NAFLD-Associated Hepatocarcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Tian

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD, characterized by fat accumulation in liver, is closely associated with central obesity, over-nutrition and other features of metabolic syndrome, which elevate the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a significant role in the physiology and pathology of liver. Up to half of HCC patients have activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. However, the mutation frequencies of CTNNB1 (encoding β-catenin protein or other antagonists targeting Wnt/β-catenin signaling are low in HCC patients, suggesting that genetic mutations are not the major factor driving abnormal β-catenin activities in HCC. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that obesity-induced metabolic pathways can deregulate chromatin modifiers such as histone deacetylase 8 to trigger undesired global epigenetic changes, thereby modifying gene expression program which contributes to oncogenic signaling. This review focuses on the aberrant epigenetic activation of Wnt/β-catenin in the development of NAFLD-associated HCC. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying such deregulation may shed light on the identification of novel druggable epigenetic targets for the prevention and/or treatment of HCC in obese and diabetic patients.

  18. Self-Concept Clarity and Emotion Dysregulation in Nonsuicidal Self-Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lear, Mary K; Pepper, Carolyn M

    2016-12-01

    Recent research has linked identity instability with engagement in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI; Claes, Luyckx, & Bijttebier, 2014; Claes et al., 2015). This study examined the relationship between self-concept clarity (SCC), an index of identity stability, and NSSI in a sample of 147 college students, using a cross-sectional survey design. The relationship between SCC and emotion dysregulation in NSSI severity was also examined. SCC was significantly negatively associated with NSSI engagement, as well as NSSI frequency and versatility, above negative affect or age. SCC fully accounted for the variance originally explained by emotion dysregulation in NSSI versatility. NSSI frequency was not significantly predicted by emotion regulation, but self-concept clarity reached marginal significance. These findings provide preliminary support for identity instability as a contributing factor to a relationship between emotion dysregulation and NSSI severity. Possible explanations and future research directions are discussed.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The impact of attachment security and emotion dysregulation on anxiety in children and adolescents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bender, Patrick K.; Sømhovd, Mikael; Pons, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical views and empirical findings suggest interrelations among attachment security, emotion dysregulation and anxiety in childhood and adolescence. However, the associations among the three constructs have rarely been investigated in children, and no study has yet addressed...... to anxiety and that emotion dysregulation would help explain the association between attachment security and anxiety. Results showed that more securely attached youths reported less emotion dysregulation and that youths who had fewer emotion regulation difficulties experienced less anxiety. The association...... between attachment security and anxiety was mediated by emotion dysregulation. The model was confirmed for both children and adolescents. Findings are discussed with respect to theoretical implications, as well as future directions....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Using game theory to investigate the epigenetic control mechanisms of embryo development: Comment on: "Epigenetic game theory: How to compute the epigenetic control of maternal-to-zygotic transition" by Qian Wang et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Le; Zhang, Shaoxiang

    2017-03-01

    A body of research [1-7] has already shown that epigenetic reprogramming plays a critical role in maintaining the normal development of embryos. However, the mechanistic quantitation of the epigenetic interactions between sperms and oocytes and the related impact on embryo development are still not clear [6,7]. In this study, Wang et al., [8] develop a modeling framework that addresses this question by integrating game theory and the latest discoveries of the epigenetic control of embryo development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Epigenetic control of CD8+ T cell differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [Epigenetics 2.0: The multiple faces of the genome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2016-09-01

    Epigenetics is the branch of genetics that studies the dynamic relationship between stable genotypes and varying phenotypes. To this end, epigenetics aims to discover the molecular mechanisms that explain how different nutrients and hormones, environmental changes, and emotional, social and cognitive experiences modify gene expression and behaviors, even permanently so. Psychiatry has learned that diseases with strong genetic predisposition, such as schizophrenia, show a concordance of around 50% between monozygotic twins, thus evidencing the importance of the genetic background and the presence of environmental variables that stimulate or block phenotypic development. The interest in epigenetics has increased during the last few years due to fundamental discoveries made in molecular and behavioral genetics, although within this framework factual knowledge coexists with fictional expectations and wrong concepts. Is it possible that epigenetic variants modify temperament and human behavior? May abused or neglected children develop long-lasting epigenetic marks in their DNA? May bipolar states correlate with different epigenetic signatures? Studying these subjects in not an easy task, but experiments performed in lab animals suggest that these conjectures are reasonable, although there is still a long distance between hypotheses and scientifically proven facts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Epigenetic Programming of Synthesis, Release, and/or Receptor Expression of Common Mediators Participating in the Risk/Resilience for Comorbid Stress-Related Disorders and Coronary Artery Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Martín del Campo, Carlos Manuel; Martínez-Rosas, Martín

    2018-01-01

    Corticotrophin releasing factor, vasopressin, oxytocin, natriuretic hormones, angiotensin, neuregulins, some purinergic substances, and some cytokines contribute to the long-term modulation and restructuring of cardiovascular regulation networks and, at the same time, have relevance in situations of comorbid abnormal stress responses. The synthesis, release, and receptor expression of these mediators seem to be under epigenetic control since early stages of life, possibly underlying the comorbidity to coronary artery disease (CAD) and stress-related disorders (SRD). The exposure to environmental conditions, such as stress, during critical periods in early life may cause epigenetic programming modifying the development of pathways that lead to stable and long-lasting alterations in the functioning of these mediators during adulthood, determining the risk of or resilience to CAD and SRD. However, in contrast to genetic information, epigenetic marks may be dynamically altered throughout the lifespan. Therefore, epigenetics may be reprogrammed if the individual accepts the challenge to undertake changes in their lifestyle. Alternatively, epigenetics may remain fixed and/or even be inherited in the next generation. In this paper, we analyze some of the common neuroendocrine functions of these mediators in CAD and SRD and summarize the evidence indicating that they are under early programming to put forward the theoretical hypothesis that the comorbidity of these diseases might be epigenetically programmed and modified over the lifespan of the individual. PMID:29670001

  14. Epigenetic Programming of Synthesis, Release, and/or Receptor Expression of Common Mediators Participating in the Risk/Resilience for Comorbid Stress-Related Disorders and Coronary Artery Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Manuel Zapata-Martín del Campo

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Corticotrophin releasing factor, vasopressin, oxytocin, natriuretic hormones, angiotensin, neuregulins, some purinergic substances, and some cytokines contribute to the long-term modulation and restructuring of cardiovascular regulation networks and, at the same time, have relevance in situations of comorbid abnormal stress responses. The synthesis, release, and receptor expression of these mediators seem to be under epigenetic control since early stages of life, possibly underlying the comorbidity to coronary artery disease (CAD and stress-related disorders (SRD. The exposure to environmental conditions, such as stress, during critical periods in early life may cause epigenetic programming modifying the development of pathways that lead to stable and long-lasting alterations in the functioning of these mediators during adulthood, determining the risk of or resilience to CAD and SRD. However, in contrast to genetic information, epigenetic marks may be dynamically altered throughout the lifespan. Therefore, epigenetics may be reprogrammed if the individual accepts the challenge to undertake changes in their lifestyle. Alternatively, epigenetics may remain fixed and/or even be inherited in the next generation. In this paper, we analyze some of the common neuroendocrine functions of these mediators in CAD and SRD and summarize the evidence indicating that they are under early programming to put forward the theoretical hypothesis that the comorbidity of these diseases might be epigenetically programmed and modified over the lifespan of the individual.

  15. Epigenetic Programming of Synthesis, Release, and/or Receptor Expression of Common Mediators Participating in the Risk/Resilience for Comorbid Stress-Related Disorders and Coronary Artery Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Martín Del Campo, Carlos Manuel; Martínez-Rosas, Martín; Guarner-Lans, Verónica

    2018-04-18

    Corticotrophin releasing factor, vasopressin, oxytocin, natriuretic hormones, angiotensin, neuregulins, some purinergic substances, and some cytokines contribute to the long-term modulation and restructuring of cardiovascular regulation networks and, at the same time, have relevance in situations of comorbid abnormal stress responses. The synthesis, release, and receptor expression of these mediators seem to be under epigenetic control since early stages of life, possibly underlying the comorbidity to coronary artery disease (CAD) and stress-related disorders (SRD). The exposure to environmental conditions, such as stress, during critical periods in early life may cause epigenetic programming modifying the development of pathways that lead to stable and long-lasting alterations in the functioning of these mediators during adulthood, determining the risk of or resilience to CAD and SRD. However, in contrast to genetic information, epigenetic marks may be dynamically altered throughout the lifespan. Therefore, epigenetics may be reprogrammed if the individual accepts the challenge to undertake changes in their lifestyle. Alternatively, epigenetics may remain fixed and/or even be inherited in the next generation. In this paper, we analyze some of the common neuroendocrine functions of these mediators in CAD and SRD and summarize the evidence indicating that they are under early programming to put forward the theoretical hypothesis that the comorbidity of these diseases might be epigenetically programmed and modified over the lifespan of the individual.

  16. Epigenetic repression of ROR2 has a Wnt-mediated, pro-tumourigenic role in colon cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    López-Otín Carlos

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Wnt factors control cell differentiation through semi-independent molecular cascades known as the β-catenin-dependent (canonical and -independent (non-canonical Wnt signalling pathways. Genetic and epigenetic alteration of components of the canonical Wnt signalling pathway is one of the primary mechanisms underlying colon cancer. Despite increasing evidence of the role of the non-canonical pathways in tumourigenesis, however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Results Here we report that the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2, a transmembrane receptor for Wnt factors that activates non-canonical pathways, is frequently repressed by aberrant promoter hypermethylation in human colon cancer cell lines and primary tumours. By restoring ROR2 activity in colon cancer cells harbouring ROR2 promoter hypermethylation, we show that the role of ROR2 in colon cancer cells is mediated, at least in part, by canonical Wnt and that its epigenetic-dependent loss can be pro-tumourigenic. Conclusions Our data show the importance of epigenetic alterations of ROR2 in colon cancer, highlighting the close interconnection between canonical and non-canonical Wnt signalling pathways in this type of tumour.

  17. 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...

  18. Differential risk for late adolescent conduct problems and mood dysregulation among children with early externalizing behavior problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okado, Yuko; Bierman, Karen L

    2015-05-01

    To investigate the differential emergence of antisocial behaviors and mood dysregulation among children with externalizing problems, the present study prospectively followed 317 high-risk children with early externalizing problems from school entry (ages 5-7) to late adolescence (ages 17-19). Latent class analysis conducted on their conduct and mood symptoms in late adolescence revealed three distinct patterns of symptoms, characterized by: 1) criminal offenses, conduct disorder symptoms, and elevated anger ("conduct problems"), 2) elevated anger, dysphoric mood, and suicidal ideation ("mood dysregulation"), and 3) low levels of severe conduct and mood symptoms. A diathesis-stress model predicting the first two outcomes was tested. Elevated overt aggression at school entry uniquely predicted conduct problems in late adolescence, whereas elevated emotion dysregulation at school entry uniquely predicted mood dysregulation in late adolescence. Experiences of low parental warmth and peer rejection in middle childhood moderated the link between early emotion dysregulation and later mood dysregulation but did not moderate the link between early overt aggression and later conduct problems. Thus, among children with early externalizing behavior problems, increased risk for later antisocial behavior or mood dysfunction may be identifiable in early childhood based on levels of overt aggression and emotion dysregulation. For children with early emotion dysregulation, however, increased risk for mood dysregulation characterized by anger, dysphoric mood, and suicidality--possibly indicative of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder--emerges only in the presence of low parental warmth and/or peer rejection during middle childhood.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Consecutive epigenetically-active agent combinations act in ID1-RUNX3-TET2 and HOXA pathways for Flt3ITD+ve AML.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayar, Hamid; Liu, Yan; Gao, Rui; Zaid, Mohammad Abu; Cripe, Larry D; Weisenbach, Jill; Sargent, Katie J; Nassiri, Mehdi; Li, Lang; Konig, Heiko; Suvannasankha, Attaya; Pan, Feng; Shanmugam, Rajasubramaniam; Goswami, Chirayu; Kapur, Reuben; Xu, Mingjiang; Boswell, H Scott

    2018-01-19

    Co-occurrence of Flt3ITD and TET2 mutations provoke an animal model of AML by epigenetic repression of Wnt pathway antagonists, including RUNX3, and by hyperexpression of ID1, encoding Wnt agonist. These affect HOXA over-expression and treatment resistance. A comparable epigenetic phenotype was identified among adult AML patients needing novel intervention. We chose combinations of targeted agents acting on distinct effectors, at the levels of both signal transduction and chromatin remodeling, in relapsed/refractory AML's, including Flt3ITD+ve, described with a signature of repressed tumor suppressor genes, involving Wnt antagonist RUNX3 , occurring along with ID1 and HOXA over-expressions. We tracked patient response to combination of Flt3/Raf inhibitor, Sorafenib, and Vorinostat, pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor, without or with added Bortezomib, in consecutive phase I trials. A striking association of rapid objective remissions (near-complete, complete responses) was noted to accompany induced early pharmacodynamic changes within patient blasts in situ, involving these effectors, significantly linking RUNX3 /Wnt antagonist de-repression (80%) and ID1 downregulation (85%), to a response, also preceded by profound HOXA9 repression. Response occurred in context of concurrent TET2 mutation/hypomorphy and Flt3ITD+ve mutation (83% of complete responses). Addition of Bortezomib to the combination was vital to attainment of complete response in Flt3ITD+ve cases exhibiting such Wnt pathway dysregulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Does Emotion Dysregulation Mediate the Association Between Sluggish Cognitive Tempo and College Students' Social Impairment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flannery, Andrew J; Becker, Stephen P; Luebbe, Aaron M

    2016-09-01

    Studies demonstrate an association between sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) and social impairment, although no studies have tested possible mechanisms of this association. This study aimed to (a) examine SCT in relation to college students' social functioning; (b) test if SCT is significantly associated with emotion dysregulation beyond depressive, anxious, and ADHD symptoms; and (c) test if emotion dysregulation mediates the association between SCT symptoms and social impairment. College students (N = 158) completed measures of psychopathology symptoms, emotion dysregulation, and social functioning. Participants with elevated SCT (12%) had higher ADHD, depressive, and anxious symptoms in addition to poorer emotion regulation and social adjustment than participants without elevated SCT. Above and beyond other psychopathologies, SCT was significantly associated with social impairment but not general interpersonal functioning. SCT was also associated with emotion dysregulation, even after accounting for the expectedly strong association between depression and emotion dysregulation. Further analyses supported emotion dysregulation as a mediator of the association between SCT and social impairment. These findings are important for theoretical models of SCT and underscore the need for additional, longitudinal research. © The Author(s) 2014.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-20

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetic Markers of Renal Function in African Americans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha M. Bomotti

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic kidney disease (CKD is an increasing concern in the United States due to its rapidly rising prevalence, particularly among African Americans. Epigenetic DNA methylation markers are becoming important biomarkers of chronic diseases such as CKD. To better understand how these methylation markers play a role in kidney function, we measured 26,428 DNA methylation sites in 972 African Americans from the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy (GENOA study. We then evaluated (1 whether epigenetic markers are associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, (2 whether the significantly associated markers are also associated with traditional risk factors and/or novel biomarkers for eGFR, and (3 how much additional variation in eGFR is explained by epigenetic markers beyond established risk factors and biomarkers. The majority of methylation markers most significantly associated with eGFR (24 out of the top 30 appeared to function, at least in part, through pathways related to aging, inflammation, or cholesterol. However, six epigenetic markers were still able to significantly predict eGFR after adjustment for other risk factors. This work shows that epigenetic markers may offer valuable new insight into the complex pathophysiology of CKD in African Americans.

  7. Epigenetic Heterogeneity of B-Cell Lymphoma: Chromatin Modifiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopp, Lydia; Nersisyan, Lilit; Löffler-Wirth, Henry; Arakelyan, Arsen; Binder, Hans

    2015-01-01

    We systematically studied the expression of more than fifty histone and DNA (de)methylating enzymes in lymphoma and healthy controls. As a main result, we found that the expression levels of nearly all enzymes become markedly disturbed in lymphoma, suggesting deregulation of large parts of the epigenetic machinery. We discuss the effect of DNA promoter methylation and of transcriptional activity in the context of mutated epigenetic modifiers such as EZH2 and MLL2. As another mechanism, we studied the coupling between the energy metabolism and epigenetics via metabolites that act as cofactors of JmjC-type demethylases. Our study results suggest that Burkitt’s lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma differ by an imbalance of repressive and poised promoters, which is governed predominantly by the activity of methyltransferases and the underrepresentation of demethylases in this regulation. The data further suggest that coupling of epigenetics with the energy metabolism can also be an important factor in lymphomagenesis in the absence of direct mutations of genes in metabolic pathways. Understanding of epigenetic deregulation in lymphoma and possibly in cancers in general must go beyond simple schemes using only a few modes of regulation. PMID:26506391

  8. Epigenetic Heterogeneity of B-Cell Lymphoma: Chromatin Modifiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Hopp

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available We systematically studied the expression of more than fifty histone and DNA (demethylating enzymes in lymphoma and healthy controls. As a main result, we found that the expression levels of nearly all enzymes become markedly disturbed in lymphoma, suggesting deregulation of large parts of the epigenetic machinery. We discuss the effect of DNA promoter methylation and of transcriptional activity in the context of mutated epigenetic modifiers such as EZH2 and MLL2. As another mechanism, we studied the coupling between the energy metabolism and epigenetics via metabolites that act as cofactors of JmjC-type demethylases. Our study results suggest that Burkitt’s lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma differ by an imbalance of repressive and poised promoters, which is governed predominantly by the activity of methyltransferases and the underrepresentation of demethylases in this regulation. The data further suggest that coupling of epigenetics with the energy metabolism can also be an important factor in lymphomagenesis in the absence of direct mutations of genes in metabolic pathways. Understanding of epigenetic deregulation in lymphoma and possibly in cancers in general must go beyond simple schemes using only a few modes of regulation.

  9. Clinical implications of epigenetic regulation in oral cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Wendy; Saranath, Dhananjaya

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Endocrine control of epigenetic mechanisms in male reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ankolkar, Mandar; Balasinor, N H

    2016-01-01

    Endocrine control of reproduction is very well known and has been echoed by many research groups. However, recent developments point to the ability of toxic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) to alter epigenetic information of the gametes which gets transferred to the developing embryo and affects the immediate reproductive outcome or even persists transgenerationally. These epigenetic aberrations contribute to the ensuing pathophysiology of reproductive disorders. Investigations of the female in cases of poor reproductive outcome have been the main strategy towards diagnosis. However, despite the male partner contributing half of his genome to the progeny, thorough investigations in the male have been ignored. Environmental pollutants are all pervading and are encountered in our day-to-day life. Many of these pollutants have potential to disrupt the endocrine system. Here, we discuss how the male gametes (spermatozoa) are susceptible to a myriad of epigenetic insults inflicted by exposure to endocrine disruptors and how important is the contribution of the epigenetic marks of the spermatozoa in healthy reproduction. We advocate that sperm epigenetics should be considered as a significant contributor to reproductive health and should be researched further and be subsequently included in routine diagnostic workup in cases of poor reproductive outcome.

  11. 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...

  12. Epigenetic regulation of normal human mammary cell type-specific miRNAs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vrba, Lukas [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Arizona Cancer Center; Inst. of Plant Molecular Biology, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic). Biology Centre ASCR; Garbe, James C. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Life Sciences Center; Stampfer, Martha R. [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Arizona Cancer Center; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Life Sciences Center; Futscher, Bernard W. [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Arizona Cancer Center and Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology

    2011-08-26

    Epigenetic mechanisms are important regulators of cell type–specific genes, including miRNAs. In order to identify cell type-specific miRNAs regulated by epigenetic mechanisms, we undertook a global analysis of miRNA expression and epigenetic states in three isogenic pairs of human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) and human mammary fibroblasts (HMF), which represent two differentiated cell types typically present within a given organ, each with a distinct phenotype and a distinct epigenotype. While miRNA expression and epigenetic states showed strong interindividual concordance within a given cell type, almost 10% of the expressed miRNA showed a cell type–specific pattern of expression that was linked to the epigenetic state of their promoter. The tissue-specific miRNA genes were epigenetically repressed in nonexpressing cells by DNA methylation (38%) and H3K27me3 (58%), with only a small set of miRNAs (21%) showing a dual epigenetic repression where both DNA methylation and H3K27me3 were present at their promoters, such as MIR10A and MIR10B. Individual miRNA clusters of closely related miRNA gene families can each display cell type–specific repression by the same or complementary epigenetic mechanisms, such as the MIR200 family, and MIR205, where fibroblasts repress MIR200C/141 by DNA methylation, MIR200A/200B/429 by H3K27me3, and MIR205 by both DNA methylation and H3K27me3. Since deregulation of many of the epigenetically regulated miRNAs that we identified have been linked to disease processes such as cancer, it is predicted that compromise of the epigenetic control mechanisms is important for this process. Overall, these results highlight the importance of epigenetic regulation in the control of normal cell type–specific miRNA expression.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  14. SI-SHY: Dysregulated Fear in Toddlerhood Predicts Kindergarten Social Withdrawal through Protective Parenting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J; Buss, Kristin A

    2014-05-01

    Two recent advances in the study of fearful temperament (behavioral inhibition) include the validation of dysregulated fear as a temperamental construct that more specifically predicts later social withdrawal and anxiety, and the use of conceptual and statistical models that place parenting as a mechanism of development from temperament to these outcomes. The current study further advances these areas by examining whether protective parenting mediated the relation between dysregulated fear in toddlerhood and social withdrawal in kindergarten. Participants included 93 toddlers and their mothers, who engaged in laboratory tasks assessing traditional fearful temperament, dysregulated fear, and protective parenting. When children reached kindergarten, they returned to the laboratory for a multimethod assessment of social withdrawal. Results confirmed the hypothesis that dysregulated fear predicted social withdrawal through protective parenting, and this occurred above and beyond the effect of traditional fearful temperament. These findings bolster support for the use of dysregulated fear as a temperamental construct related to, but perhaps more discerning of risk than traditionally measured fearful temperament/behavioral inhibition and highlight the importance of transactional influences between the individual and the caregiving environment in the development of social withdrawal.

  15. SI-SHY: Dysregulated Fear in Toddlerhood Predicts Kindergarten Social Withdrawal through Protective Parenting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2014-01-01

    Two recent advances in the study of fearful temperament (behavioral inhibition) include the validation of dysregulated fear as a temperamental construct that more specifically predicts later social withdrawal and anxiety, and the use of conceptual and statistical models that place parenting as a mechanism of development from temperament to these outcomes. The current study further advances these areas by examining whether protective parenting mediated the relation between dysregulated fear in toddlerhood and social withdrawal in kindergarten. Participants included 93 toddlers and their mothers, who engaged in laboratory tasks assessing traditional fearful temperament, dysregulated fear, and protective parenting. When children reached kindergarten, they returned to the laboratory for a multimethod assessment of social withdrawal. Results confirmed the hypothesis that dysregulated fear predicted social withdrawal through protective parenting, and this occurred above and beyond the effect of traditional fearful temperament. These findings bolster support for the use of dysregulated fear as a temperamental construct related to, but perhaps more discerning of risk than traditionally measured fearful temperament/behavioral inhibition and highlight the importance of transactional influences between the individual and the caregiving environment in the development of social withdrawal. PMID:25242893

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of Oxidative Stress in Fetal Programming

    OpenAIRE

    Thompson, Loren P.; Al-Hasan, Yazan

    2012-01-01

    Intrauterine stress induces increased risk of adult disease through fetal programming mechanisms. Oxidative stress can be generated by several conditions, such as, prenatal hypoxia, maternal under- and overnutrition, and excessive glucocorticoid exposure. The role of oxidant molecules as signaling factors in fetal programming via epigenetic mechanisms is discussed. By linking oxidative stress with dysregulation of specific target genes, we may be able to develop therapeutic strategies that pr...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A model of epigenetic evolution based on theory of open quantum systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asano, Masanari; Basieva, Irina; Khrennikov, Andrei; Ohya, Masanori; Tanaka, Yoshiharu; Yamato, Ichiro

    2013-12-01

    We present a very general model of epigenetic evolution unifying (neo-)Darwinian and (neo-)Lamarckian viewpoints. The evolution is represented in the form of adaptive dynamics given by the quantum(-like) master equation. This equation describes development of the information state of epigenome under the pressure of an environment. We use the formalism of quantum mechanics in the purely operational framework. (Hence, our model has no direct relation to quantum physical processes inside a cell.) Thus our model is about probabilities for observations which can be done on epigenomes and it does not provide a detailed description of cellular processes. Usage of the operational approach provides a possibility to describe by one model all known types of cellular epigenetic inheritance.

  3. PTSD, emotion dysregulation, and dissociative symptoms in a highly traumatized sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Abigail; Cross, Dorthie; Fani, Negar; Bradley, Bekh

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to multiple traumas has been shown to result in many negative mental health outcomes, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dissociation, which involves disruptions in memory, identity, and perceptions, may be a component of PTSD, particularly among individuals who have experienced childhood trauma. Emotion regulation difficulties are also strongly associated with childhood trauma and emotion dysregulation may be a particularly important factor to consider in the development and maintenance of dissociative symptoms. The goal of the present study was to determine whether emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between PTSD symptoms and dissociation in a sample of 154 (80% female, 97% African-American) adults recruited from a public, urban hospital. PTSD was measured using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, emotion dysregulation was measured using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, and dissociation was measured using the Multiscale Dissociation Inventory. A linear regression analysis showed that both PTSD and emotion dysregulation were statistically significant predictors of dissociation even after controlling for trauma exposure. Alexithymia and an inability to use emotion regulation strategies in particular were predictive of dissociation above and beyond other predictor variables. Using bootstrapping techniques, we found that overall emotion dyregulation partially mediated the effect of PTSD symptoms on dissociative symptoms. Our results suggest that emotion dysregulation may be important in understanding the relation between PTSD and dissociative symptoms. Treatment approaches may consider a focus on training in emotional understanding and the development of adaptive regulation strategies as a way to address dissociative symptoms in PTSD patients. PMID:25573648

  4. Genetic and epigenetic variants influencing the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu-Yuan

    2012-12-07

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common worldwide. The importance of genetic and epigenetic changes in etiology and pathogenesis of NAFLD has been increasingly recognized. However, the exact mechanism is largely unknown. A large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to NAFLD has been documented by candidate gene studies (CGSs). Among these genes, peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor-γ, adiponectin, leptin and tumor necrosis factor-α were frequently reported. Since the introduction of genome-wide association studies (GWASs), there have been significant advances in our understanding of genomic variations of NAFLD. Patatin-like phospholipase domain containing family member A3 (PNPLA3, SNP rs738409, encoding I148M), also termed adiponutrin, has caught most attention. The evidence that PNPLA3 is associated with increased hepatic fat levels and hepatic inflammation has been validated by a series of studies. Epigenetic modification refers to phenotypic changes caused by an adaptive mechanism unrelated to alteration of primary DNA sequences. Epigenetic regulation mainly includes microRNAs (miRs), DNA methylation, histone modifications and ubiquitination, among which miRs are studied most extensively. miRs are small natural single stranded RNA molecules regulating mRNA degradation or translation inhibition, subsequently altering protein expression of target genes. The miR-122, a highly abundant miR accounting for nearly 70% of all miRs in the liver, is significantly under-expressed in NAFLD subjects. Inhibition of miR-122 with an antisense oligonucleotide results in decreased mRNA expression of lipogenic genes and improvement of liver steatosis. The investigation into epigenetic involvement in NAFLD pathogenesis is just at the beginning and needs to be refined. This review summarizes the roles of genetics and epigenetics in the development of NAFLD. The progress made in this field may provide novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. 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

  7. The epigenetic landscape related to reactive oxygen species formation in the cardiovascular system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kietzmann, Thomas; Petry, Andreas; Shvetsova, Antonina; Gerhold, Joachim M; Görlach, Agnes

    2017-06-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can act as damaging molecules but also represent central hubs in cellular signalling networks. Increasing evidence indicates that ROS play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, although the underlying mechanisms and consequences of pathophysiologically elevated ROS in the cardiovascular system are still not completely resolved. More recently, alterations of the epigenetic landscape, which can affect DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications, ATP-dependent alterations to chromatin and non-coding RNA transcripts, have been considered to be of increasing importance in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. While it has long been accepted that epigenetic changes are imprinted during development or even inherited and are not changed after reaching the lineage-specific expression profile, it becomes more and more clear that epigenetic modifications are highly dynamic. Thus, they might provide an important link between the actions of ROS and cardiovascular diseases. This review will provide an overview of the role of ROS in modulating the epigenetic landscape in the context of the cardiovascular system. This article is part of a themed section on Redox Biology and Oxidative Stress in Health and Disease. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.12/issuetoc. © 2017 The British Pharmacological Society.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipanjan Bhattacharjee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics deals with the interactions between genes and the immediate cellular environment. These interactions go a long way in shaping up each and every person’s individuality. Further, reversibility of epigenetic interactions may offer a dynamic control over the expression of various critical genes. Thus, tweaking the epigenetic machinery may help cause or cure diseases, especially cancer. Therefore, cancer epigenetics, especially at a molecular level, needs to be scrutinised closely, as it could potentially serve as the future pharmaceutical goldmine against neoplastic diseases. However, in view of its rapidly enlarging scope of application, it has become difficult to keep abreast of scientific information coming out of various epigenetic studies directed against cancer. Using this review, we have attempted to shed light on two of the most important mechanisms implicated in cancer, that is, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid methylation and histone modifications, and their place in cancer pathogenesis. Further, we have attempted to take stock of the new epigenetic drugs that have emerged onto the market as well as those in the pipeline that offer hope in mankind’s fight against cancer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Weiwei

    2016-11-01

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

  12. Extravirgin olive oil up-regulates CB₁ tumor suppressor gene in human colon cancer cells and in rat colon via epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Francesco, Andrea; Falconi, Anastasia; Di Germanio, Clara; Micioni Di Bonaventura, Maria Vittoria; Costa, Antonio; Caramuta, Stefano; Del Carlo, Michele; Compagnone, Dario; Dainese, Enrico; Cifani, Carlo; Maccarrone, Mauro; D'Addario, Claudio

    2015-03-01

    Extravirgin olive oil (EVOO) represents the typical lipid source of the Mediterranean diet, an eating habit pattern that has been associated with a significant reduction of cancer risk. Diet is the more studied environmental factor in epigenetics, and many evidences suggest dysregulation of epigenetic pathways in cancer. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of EVOO and its phenolic compounds on endocannabinoid system (ECS) gene expression via epigenetic regulation in both human colon cancer cells (Caco-2) and rats exposed to short- and long-term dietary EVOO. We observed a selective and transient up-regulation of CNR1 gene - encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB₁) - that was evoked by exposure of Caco-2 cells to EVOO (100 ppm), its phenolic extracts (OPE, 50 μM) or authentic hydroxytyrosol (HT, 50 μM) for 24 h. None of the other major elements of the ECS (i.e., CB₂; GPR55 and TRPV1 receptors; and NAPE-PLD, DAGL, FAAH and MAGL enzymes) was affected at any time point. The stimulatory effect of OPE and HT on CB₁ expression was inversely correlated to DNA methylation at CNR1 promoter and was associated with reduced proliferation of Caco-2 cells. Interestingly, CNR1 gene was less expressed in Caco-2 cells when compared to normal colon mucosa cells, and again this effect was associated with higher level of DNA methylation at CNR1. Moreover, in agreement with the in vitro studies, we also observed a remarkable (~4-fold) and selective increase in CB₁ expression in the colon of rats receiving dietary EVOO supplementation for 10 days. Consistently, CpG methylation of rat Cnr1 promoter, miR23a and miR-301a, previously shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer and predicted to target CB₁ mRNA, was reduced after EVOO administration down to ~50% of controls. Taken together, our findings demonstrating CB₁ gene expression modulation by EVOO or its phenolic compounds via epigenetic mechanism, both in vitro and in vivo, may

  13. Dynamic epigenetic responses to muscle contraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lera, Angel R; Ganesan, A

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Emotion dysregulation mediates the relationship between child maltreatment and psychopathology: A structural equation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennissen, Simone; Holl, Julia; Mai, Hannah; Wolff, Sebastian; Barnow, Sven

    2016-12-01

    The present study investigated the mediating effects of emotion dysregulation on the relationship between child maltreatment and psychopathology. An adult sample (N=701) from diverse backgrounds of psychopathology completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the negative affect subscale of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) in a cross-sectional online survey. Correlational analyses showed that all types of child maltreatment were uniformly associated with emotion dysregulation, and dimensions of emotion dysregulation were strongly related to psychopathology. Limited access to strategies for emotion regulation emerged as the most powerful predictor. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that emotion dysregulation partially mediated the relationship between child maltreatment and psychopathology, even after controlling for shared variance with negative affect. These findings emphasize the importance of emotion dysregulation as a possible mediating mechanism in the association between child maltreatment and later psychopathology. Additionally, interventions targeting specific emotion regulation strategies may be effective to reduce psychopathology in victims of child maltreatment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Emotion dysregulation and dyadic conflict in depressed and typical adolescents: Evaluating concordance across psychophysiological and observational measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Sheila E.; Baucom, Brian R.; Yaptangco, Mona; Bride, Daniel; Hsiao, Ray; McCauley, Elizabeth; Beauchaine, Theodore P.

    2014-01-01

    Many depressed adolescents experience difficulty regulating their emotions. These emotion regulation difficulties appear to emerge in part from socialization processes within families and then generalize to other contexts. However, emotion dysregulation is typically assessed within the individual, rather than in the social relationships that shape and maintain dysregulation. In this study, we evaluated concordance of physiological and observational measures of emotion dysregulation during interpersonal conflict, using a multilevel actor-partner interdependence model (APIM). Participants were 75 mother-daughter dyads, including 50 depressed adolescents with or without a history of self-injury, and 25 typically developing controls. Behavior dysregulation was operationalized as observed aversiveness during a conflict discussion, and physiological dysregulation was indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Results revealed different patterns of concordance for control versus depressed participants. Controls evidenced a concordant partner (between-person) effect, and showed increased physiological regulation during minutes when their partner was more aversive. In contrast, clinical dyad members displayed a concordant actor (within-person) effect, becoming simultaneously physiologically and behaviorally dysregulated. Results inform current understanding of emotion dysregulation across multiple levels of analysis. PMID:24607894

  19. The epigenetic bottleneck of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sananbenesi, Farahnaz; Fischer, Andre

    2009-11-01

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

  20. Epigenetics: An Emerging Framework for Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSocio, Janiece E

    2016-07-01

    The aims of this paper are to synthesize and report research findings from neuroscience and epigenetics that contribute to an emerging explanatory framework for advanced practice psychiatric nursing. Discoveries in neuroscience and epigenetics reveal synergistic mechanisms that support the integration of psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and psychoeducation in practice. Advanced practice psychiatric nurses will benefit from an expanded knowledge base in neuroscience and epigenetics that informs and explains the scientific rationale for our integrated practice. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Contribution of Neuroepigenetics to Huntington?s Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Francelle, Laetitia; Lotz, Caroline; Outeiro, Tiago; Brouillet, Emmanuel; Merienne, Karine

    2017-01-01

    Unbalanced epigenetic regulation is thought to contribute to the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease (HD), a genetic disorder considered as a paradigm of epigenetic dysregulation. In this review, we attempt to address open questions regarding the role of epigenetic changes in HD, in the light of recent advances in neuroepigenetics. We particularly discuss studies using genome-wide scale approaches that provide insights into the rela...

  3. The cost of empathy: Parent-adolescent conflict predicts emotion dysregulation for highly empathic youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Lissa, Caspar J; Hawk, Skyler T; Koot, Hans M; Branje, Susan; Meeus, Wim H J

    2017-09-01

    Empathy plays a key role in maintaining close relationships and promoting prosocial conflict resolution. However, research has not addressed the potential emotional cost of adolescents' high empathy, particularly when relationships are characterized by more frequent conflict. The present 6-year longitudinal study (N = 467) investigated whether conflict with parents predicted emotion dysregulation more strongly for high-empathy adolescents than for lower-empathy adolescents. Emotion dysregulation was operationalized at both the experiential level, using mood diary data collected for 3 weeks each year, and at the dispositional level, using annual self-report measures. In line with predictions, we found that more frequent adolescent-parent conflict predicted greater day-to-day mood variability and dispositional difficulties in emotion regulation for high-empathy adolescents, but not for average- and low-empathy adolescents. Mood variability and difficulties in emotion regulation, in turn, also predicted increased conflict with parents. These links were not moderated by empathy. Moreover, our research allowed for a novel investigation of the interplay between experiential and dispositional emotion dysregulation. Day-to-day mood variability predicted increasing dispositional difficulties in emotion regulation over time, which suggests that experiential dysregulation becomes consolidated into dispositional difficulties in emotion regulation. Moderated mediation analyses revealed that, for high-empathy adolescents, conflict was a driver of this dysregulation consolidation process. Finally, emotion dysregulation played a role in overtime conflict maintenance for high-empathy adolescents. This suggests that, through emotion dysregulation, high empathy may paradoxically also contribute to maintaining negative adolescent-parent interactions. Our research indicates that high empathy comes at a cost when adolescent-parent relationships are characterized by greater negativity

  4. Conceptual shifts needed to understand the dynamic interactions of genes, environment, epigenetics, social processes, and behavioral choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Fatimah L C; Niculescu, Mihai D; Jackson, Robert T

    2013-10-01

    Social and behavioral research in public health is often intimately tied to profound, but frequently neglected, biological influences from underlying genetic, environmental, and epigenetic events. The dynamic interplay between the life, social, and behavioral sciences often remains underappreciated and underutilized in addressing complex diseases and disorders and in developing effective remediation strategies. Using a case-study format, we present examples as to how the inclusion of genetic, environmental, and epigenetic data can augment social and behavioral health research by expanding the parameters of such studies, adding specificity to phenotypic assessments, and providing additional internal control in comparative studies. We highlight the important roles of gene-environment interactions and epigenetics as sources of phenotypic change and as a bridge between the life and social and behavioral sciences in the development of robust interdisciplinary analyses.

  5. 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.

  6. Nanotechnology Approaches to Studying Epigenetic Changes in Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riehn, Robert

    2011-03-01

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

  7. Epigenetics of prostate cancer and the prospect of identification of novel drug targets by RNAi screening of epigenetic enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björkman, Mari; Rantala, Juha; Nees, Matthias; Kallioniemi, Olli

    2010-10-01

    Alterations in epigenetic processes probably underlie most human malignancies. Novel genome-wide techniques, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-throughput sequencing, have become state-of-the-art methods to map the epigenomic landscape of development and disease, such as in cancers. Despite these advances, the functional significance of epigenetic enzymes in cancer progression, such as prostate cancer, remain incompletely understood. A comprehensive mapping and functional understanding of the cancer epigenome will hopefully help to facilitate development of novel cancer therapy targets and improve future diagnostics. The authors have developed a novel cell microarray-based high-content siRNA screening technique suitable to address the putative functional role and impact of all known putative and novel epigenetic enzymes in cancer, including prostate cancer.

  8. 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.

  9. At the Frontier of Epigenetics of Brain Sex Differences

    OpenAIRE

    Margaret M Mccarthy; Bridget M Nugent

    2015-01-01

    The notion that epigenetics may play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of sex differences in the brain has garnered great enthusiasm but the reality in terms of actual advances has been slow. Two general approaches include the comparison of a particular epigenetic mark in males vs. females and the inhibition of key epigenetic enzymes or co-factors to determine if this eliminates a particular sex difference in brain or behavior. The majority of emphasis has been on candida...

  10. Depressive Symptoms, Emotion Dysregulation, and Bulimic Symptoms in Youth With Type 1 Diabetes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young-Hyman, Deborah L.; Peterson, Claire M.; Fischer, Sarah; Markowitz, Jessica T.; Muir, Andrew B.; Laffel, Lori M.

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the associations between depressive symptoms, emotion dysregulation and bulimic symptoms in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the context of the diagnosis and treatment of T1D. Study participants were 103 youth in 2 distinct groups: newly diagnosed (New) or transitioning to pump therapy (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion [CSII]; “Pump”), who completed questionnaires regarding symptoms of depression, emotion dysregulation, and bulimia. Glycemic control (A1c), height, weight, and questionnaires were evaluated within 10 days of diagnosis (n = 58) or at education/clinic visit before starting insulin utilizing CSII (n = 45). In the newly diagnosed group, only depression accounted for significant variance in bulimia scores (β = .47, P symptoms and emotion dysregulation were associated with greater bulimic symptoms. Depressive symptoms and emotion dysregulation, an indicator of poor coping/behavioral control, could help explain adoption of disordered eating behaviors in youth with T1D who are transitioning to pump therapy. PMID:27137457

  11. 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 transm