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Sample records for epigenetic markers sept9

  1. Plasma mSEPT9: A Novel Circulating Cell-free DNA-Based Epigenetic Biomarker to Diagnose Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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    Abderrahim Oussalah

    2018-04-01

    associated with HCC diagnosis (initial: OR = 6.30, for each mSEPT9 positive triplicate [2.92–13.61, p < 0.0001]; replication: OR = 6.07 [3.25–11.35, p < 0.0001]; meta-analysis: OR = 6.15 [2.93–9.38, p < 0.0001], no heterogeneity: I2 = 0%, p = 0.95; no publication bias. AUROC associated with the discrimination of the logistic regression models in initial and validation studies were 0.969 (0.930–0.989 and 0.942 (0.878–0.978, respectively, with a pooled AUROC of 0.962 ([0.937–0.987, p < 0.0001], no heterogeneity: I2 = 0%, p = 0.36; and no publication bias. Interpretation: Among patients with cirrhosis, the mSEPT9 test constitutes a promising circulating epigenetic biomarker for HCC diagnosis at the individual patient level. Future prospective studies should assess the mSEPT9 test in the screening algorithm for cirrhotic patients to improve risk prediction and personalized therapeutic management of HCC. Keywords: Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Circulating cell-free DNA-based epigenetic biomarker, DNA methylation, mSEPT9

  2. Performance of the colorectal cancer screening marker Sept9 is influenced by age, diabetes and arthritis: a nested case-control study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørntoft, Mai-Britt Worm; Nielsen, Hans Jørgen; Ørntoft, Torben Falck

    2015-01-01

    Background Annually, colorectal cancer (CRC) is diagnosed in >1.4 million subjects worldwide and incidence is increasing. Much effort has therefore been focused on screening, which has proven to reduce cancer-related mortality. The Sept9 DNA-methylation assay is among the most well studied blood......-based screening markers. However, earlier reported performances may be misleading: the Sept9 test was recently examined in two screening based cohorts and yielded performances lower than expected. We hypothesize that comorbidities and/or demographic characteristics affect the results of the Sept9 test. Methods...... Using a retrospective nested case–control study design, we studied plasma from 150 cancer and 150 controls selected from a well-characterized cohort of 4698 subjects referred for diagnostic colonoscopy due to CRC-related symptoms. The cases and controls were matched on age and gender, and moreover cases...

  3. Performance of the colorectal cancer screening marker Sept9 is influenced by age, diabetes and arthritis: a nested case-control study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørntoft, Mai-Britt Worm; Nielsen, Hans Jørgen; Ørntoft, Torben Falck

    2015-01-01

    Using a retrospective nested case–control study design, we studied plasma from 150 cancer and 150 controls selected from a well-characterized cohort of 4698 subjects referred for diagnostic colonoscopy due to CRC-related symptoms. The cases and controls were matched on age and gender, and moreover cases...... were stratified on tumor-site and tumor-stage. The selected cohort included a wide range of comorbidities. Plasma Sept9 levels were assessed using a commercially available PCR based assay (Epi-proColon). Results Clinical sensitivity for CRC stages I-IV was 37 %, 91 %, 77 %, and 89 %, and the overall...

  4. Advance in plasma SEPT9 gene methylation assay for colorectal cancer early detection.

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    Wang, Yu; Chen, Pei-Min; Liu, Rong-Bin

    2018-01-15

    This review article summarizes the research advances of the plasma-based SEPT9 gene methylation assay for the clinical detection of colorectal cancer and its limitations. Colorectal cancer is a common malignancy with a poor prognosis and a high mortality, for which early detection and diagnosis are particularly crucial for the high-risk groups. Increasing evidence supported that SEPT9 gene methylation is associated with the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer and that detecting the level of methylation of SEPT9 in the peripheral blood can be used for screening of colorectal cancer in susceptible populations. In recent years, the data obtained in clinical studies demonstrated that the SEPT9 gene methylation assay has a good diagnostic performance with regard to both sensitivity and specificity with the advantage of better acceptability, convenience and compliance with serological testing compared with fecal occult blood tests and carcinoembryonic antigen for colorectal cancer (CRC). Furthermore, the combination of multiple methods or markers has become a growing trend for CRC detection and screening. Nevertheless, the clinical availability of the methylated SEPT9 assay is still limited because of the large degree of sample heterogeneity caused by demographic characteristics, pathological features, comorbidities and/or technique selection. Another factor is the cost-effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening strategies that hinders its large-scale application. In addition, improvements in its accuracy in detecting adenomas and premalignant polyps are required.

  5. Alternative splicing of sept9a and sept9b in zebrafish produces multiple mRNA transcripts expressed throughout development.

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    Megan L Landsverk

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Septins are involved in a number of cellular processes including cytokinesis and organization of the cytoskeleton. Alterations in human septin-9 (SEPT9 levels have been linked to multiple cancers, whereas mutations in SEPT9 cause the episodic neuropathy, hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy (HNA. Despite its important function in human health, the in vivo role of SEPT9 is unknown.Here we utilize zebrafish to study the role of SEPT9 in early development. We show that zebrafish possess two genes, sept9a and sept9b that, like humans, express multiple transcripts. Knockdown or overexpression of sept9a transcripts results in specific developmental alterations including circulation defects and aberrant epidermal development.Our work demonstrates that sept9 plays an important role in zebrafish development, and establishes zebrafish as a valuable model organism for the study of SEPT9.

  6. The performance of the SEPT9 gene methylation assay and a comparison with other CRC screening tests: A meta-analysis.

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    Song, Lele; Jia, Jia; Peng, Xiumei; Xiao, Wenhua; Li, Yuemin

    2017-06-08

    The SEPT9 gene methylation assay is the first FDA-approved blood assay for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Fecal immunochemical test (FIT), FIT-DNA test and CEA assay are also in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests used in CRC screening. This meta-analysis aims to review the SEPT9 assay performance and compare it with other IVD CRC screening tests. By searching the Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, CBMdisc and CJFD database, 25 out of 180 studies were identified to report the SEPT9 assay performance. 2613 CRC cases and 6030 controls were included, and sensitivity and specificity were used to evaluate its performance at various algorithms. 1/3 algorithm exhibited the best sensitivity while 2/3 and 1/1 algorithm exhibited the best balance between sensitivity and specificity. The performance of the blood SEPT9 assay is superior to that of the serum protein markers and the FIT test in symptomatic population, while appeared to be less potent than FIT and FIT-DNA tests in asymptomatic population. In conclusion, 1/3 algorithm is recommended for CRC screening, and 2/3 or 1/1 algorithms are suitable for early detection for diagnostic purpose. The SEPT9 assay exhibited better performance in symptomatic population than in asymptomatic population.

  7. Epigenetic Markers of Renal Function in African Americans

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    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.

  8. Forchlorfenuron disrupts SEPT9_i1 filaments and inhibits HIF-1.

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    Dikla Vardi-Oknin

    Full Text Available Forchlorfenuron (FCF is a synthetic plant cytokinin that has been shown to alter yeast and mammalian septin organization. Septins are a highly conserved family of GTP-binding cytoskeletal proteins. Mammalian septins are involved in diverse cellular processes including tumorigenesis. We have been studying the interaction between septin 9 isoform 1 (SEPT9_i1 and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α, the oxygen regulated subunit of HIF-1. HIF-1 is a key transcription factor in the hypoxic responses pathway, and its activation has been observed in carcinogenesis and numerous cancers. SEPT9_i1/HIF-1α interaction plays an important role in upregulation of HIF-1 transcriptional activity by preventing HIF-1α's ubiquitination and degradation leading to increased tumor growth and angiogenesis. We tested the hypothesis whether FCF affects SEPT9_i1 filamentous structures and consequently HIF-1 pathway in cancer cells. We showed that FCF suppresses tumorigenic properties, including proliferation, migration and transformation, in prostate cancer cells. FCF did not alter SEPT9_i1 steady state protein expression levels but it affected its filamentous structures and subcellular localization. FCF induced degradation of HIF-1α protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This inhibition was also shown in other common cancer types tested. Rapid degradation of HIF-1α protein levels was accompanied by respective inhibition in HIF-1α transcriptional activity. Moreover, HIF-1α protein half-life was markedly decreased in the presence of FCF compared with that in the absence of FCF. The FCF-induced degradation of HIF-1α was mediated in a significant part via the proteasome. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of specific manipulation of septin filaments by pharmacological means having downstream inhibitory effects on the HIF-1 pathway.

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

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    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.

  10. Genetic and epigenetic markers in colorectal cancer screening: recent advances.

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    Singh, Manish Pratap; Rai, Sandhya; Suyal, Shradha; Singh, Sunil Kumar; Singh, Nand Kumar; Agarwal, Akash; Srivastava, Sameer

    2017-07-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogenous disease which develops from benign intraepithelial lesions known as adenomas to malignant carcinomas. Acquired alterations in Wnt signaling, TGFβ, MAPK pathway genes and clonal propagation of altered cells are responsible for this transformation. Detection of adenomas or early stage cancer in asymptomatic patients and better prognostic and predictive markers is important for improving the clinical management of CRC. Area covered: In this review, the authors have evaluated the potential of genetic and epigenetic alterations as markers for early detection, prognosis and therapeutic predictive potential in the context of CRC. We have discussed molecular heterogeneity present in CRC and its correlation to prognosis and response to therapy. Expert commentary: Molecular marker based CRC screening methods still fail to gain trust of clinicians. Invasive screening methods, molecular heterogeneity, chemoresistance and low quality test samples are some key challenges which need to be addressed in the present context. New sequencing technologies and integrated omics data analysis of individual or population cohort results in GWAS. MPE studies following a GWAS could be future line of research to establish accurate correlations between CRC and its risk factors. This strategy would identify most reliable biomarkers for CRC screening and management.

  11. Epigenetic markers in circulating cell-free DNA as prognostic markers for survival of castration-resistant prostate cancer patients.

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    Hendriks, Rianne J; Dijkstra, Siebren; Smit, Frank P; Vandersmissen, Johan; Van de Voorde, Hendrik; Mulders, Peter F A; van Oort, Inge M; Van Criekinge, Wim; Schalken, Jack A

    2018-04-01

    Noninvasive biomarkers to guide personalized treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) are needed. In this study, we analyzed hypermethylation patterns of two genes (GSTP1 and APC) in plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of CRPC patients. The aim of this study was to analyze the cfDNA concentrations and levels of the epigenetic markers and to assess the value of these biomarkers for prognosis. In this prospective study, patients were included before starting new treatment after developing CRPC. The blood samples were collected prior to start of the treatment and at three time points thereafter. cfDNA was extracted from 1.5 mL of plasma and before performing a methylation-specific PCR, bisulfate modification was carried out. The median levels of cfDNA, GSTP1, and APC copies in the baseline samples of CRPC patients (n = 47) were higher than in controls (n = 30). In the survival analysis, the group with baseline marker levels below median had significant less PCa-related deaths (P-values Prostate Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Epigenetic effects of the pregnancy Mediterranean diet adherence on the offspring metabolic syndrome markers.

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    Lorite Mingot, David; Gesteiro, Eva; Bastida, Sara; Sánchez-Muniz, Francisco J

    2017-11-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) has a multifactorial and not yet fully clarified origin. Insulin resistance is a key element that connects all the accepted components of MS (obesity, dyslipemia, high blood pressure, and hyperglycemia). There is strong evidence that epigenetic changes during fetal development are key factors in the development of MS. These changes are induced by maternal nutrition, among different factors, affecting the intrauterine environment. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be a healthy eating pattern that protects against the development of MS in adults. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet could have a similar action during pregnancy, protecting the fetus against the development of MS throughout life. This review assembles studies carried out, both in animals and humans, on the epigenetic modifications associated with the consumption, during pregnancy, of Mediterranean diet main components. The relationship between these modifications and the occurrence of factors involved in development of MS is also explained. In addition, the results of our group relating adherence to the Mediterranean diet with MS markers are discussed. The paper ends suggesting future actuation lines in order to increase knowledge on Mediterranean diet adherence as a prevention tool of MS development.

  13. Acceleration of leukocytes' epigenetic age as an early tumor and sex-specific marker of breast and colorectal cancer.

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    Durso, Danielle Fernandes; Bacalini, Maria Giulia; Sala, Claudia; Pirazzini, Chiara; Marasco, Elena; Bonafé, Massimiliano; do Valle, Ítalo Faria; Gentilini, Davide; Castellani, Gastone; Faria, Ana Maria Caetano; Franceschi, Claudio; Garagnani, Paolo; Nardini, Christine

    2017-04-04

    Changes in blood epigenetic age have been associated with several pathological conditions and have recently been described to anticipate cancer development. In this work, we analyze a publicly available leukocytes methylation dataset to evaluate the relation between DNA methylation age and the prospective development of specific types of cancer. We calculated DNA methylation age acceleration using five state-of-the-art estimators (three multi-site: Horvath, Hannum, Weidner; and two CpG specific: ELOV2 and FHL2) in a cohort including 845 subjects from the EPIC-Italy project and we compared 424 samples that remained cancer-free over the approximately ten years of follow-up with 235 and 166 subjects who developed breast and colorectal cancer, respectively. We show that the epigenetic age estimated from blood DNA methylation data is statistically significantly associated to future breast and male colorectal cancer development. These results are corroborated by survival analysis that shows significant association between age acceleration and cancer incidence suggesting that the chance of developing age-related diseases may be predicted by circulating epigenetic markers, with a dependence upon tumor type, sex and age estimator. These are encouraging results towards the non-invasive and perspective usage of epigenetic biomarkers.

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

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    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.

  15. Epigenetic markers for early detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a high risk population

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    Haryana Sofia M

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC is strongly related to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV infection, allowing aberrant antibodies against EBV and viral DNA load as screening tools in high risk populations. Methylation analysis in the promoter of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs may serve as a complementary marker for identifying early cases. This study determined methylation status of multiple TSGs and evaluated whether it may improve early detection. Methods Nasopharyngeal brushings were taken from 53 NPC patients, 22 high risk subjects and 25 healthy EBV carriers. Corresponding NPC paraffin tissue was included. DNA was bisulfite-modified preceding analysis by methylation-specific PCR (MSP. Ten TSGs were studied. Results NPC paraffin and brushing DNA revealed an 81.8% concordance so that MSP analysis was done using either one of both specimens. NPC samples showed methylation for individual TSGs (DAPK1 79.2%, CDH13 77.4%, DLC1 76.9%, RASSF1A 75.5%, CADM1 69.8%, p16 66.0%, WIF1 61.2%, CHFR 58.5%, RIZ1 56.6% and RASSF2A 29.2%. High risk individuals, having elevated EBV IgA and viral load, showed high frequency of methylation of CDH13, DAPK1, DLC1 and CADM1, but low frequency of methylation of p16 and WIF1 and undetectable methylation of RASSF1A, CHFR, RIZ1 and RASSF2A. Healthy subjects showed similar patterns as high risk individuals. A combination of RASSF1A and p16 gave good discrimination between NPC and non-NPC, but best results were combined analysis of five methylation markers (RASSF1A, p16, WIF1, CHFR and RIZ1 with detection rate of 98%. Conclusion Multiple marker MSP is proposed as a complementary test for NPC risk assessment in combination with EBV-based markers.

  16. A new epigenetic marker: The replication-coupled, cell cycle-dependent, dual modification of the histone H4 tail

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fidlerová, Helena; Kalinová, Jana; Blechová, Miroslava; Velek, Jiří; Raška, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 167, č. 1 (2009), s. 76-82 ISSN 1047-8477 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/06/1691 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) LC535 Program:LC Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509; CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : epigenetics * H4K16 * H4K20 Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.673, year: 2009

  17. Differentiation-independent fluctuation of pluripotency-related transcription factors and other epigenetic markers in embryonic stem cell colonies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šustáčková, Gabriela; Legartová, Soňa; Kozubek, Stanislav; Stixová, Lenka; Pacherník, J.; Bártová, Eva

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 5 (2012), s. 710-720 ISSN 1547-3287 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC535; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06027; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 919; GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/10/1022 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507 Keywords : ES cells * epigenetics * Oct4 Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 4.670, year: 2012

  18. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

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    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

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

  19. Effect of adding B-vitamins to vitamin D and calcium supplementation on CpG methylation of epigenetic aging markers.

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    Obeid, R; Hübner, U; Bodis, M; Graeber, S; Geisel, J

    2018-04-01

    B-vitamins may influence DNA methylation. We studied the effects of vitamin D + Ca + B versus D + Ca on epigenetic age markers and biological age. Participants (mean ± SD of age = 68.4 ± 10.1 years) were randomized to receive 1200 IE vitamin D3 plus 800 mg Ca-carbonate alone (n = 31) or with 0.5 mg B9, 50 mg B6, and 0.5 mg B12 (n = 32). The CpG methylation of 3 genes (ASPA, ITGA2B, and PDE4C) and the changes in methylation were compared between the groups after 1 year. The changes of ASPA methylation from baseline were higher in the D + Ca + B than in the D + Ca group (1.40 ± 4.02 vs. -0.96 ± 5.12, respectively; p = 0.046, adjusted for age, sex, and baseline methylation). The changes in PDE4C from baseline were slightly higher in the D + Ca + B group (1.95 ± 3.57 vs. 0.22 ± 3.57; adjusted p = 0.062). Methylation of ITGA2B and its changes from baseline were not different between the intervention groups. Sex-adjusted odds ratio of accelerated aging (chronological age B compared with the D + Ca group. Accelerated aging in both groups was associated with younger age. In the D + Ca + B group, it was additionally associated with lower baseline homocysteine. Vitamin D + Ca + B and D + Ca differentially affected epigenetic age markers, although the effect size appeared to be small after 1 year. B-vitamins effect in young subjects with low homocysteine requires further investigation. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02586181. Copyright © 2018 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Global analysis of H3K27me3 as an epigenetic marker in prostate cancer progression.

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    Ngollo, Marjolaine; Lebert, Andre; Daures, Marine; Judes, Gaelle; Rifai, Khaldoun; Dubois, Lucas; Kemeny, Jean-Louis; Penault-Llorca, Frederique; Bignon, Yves-Jean; Guy, Laurent; Bernard-Gallon, Dominique

    2017-04-12

    H3K27me3 histone marks shape the inhibition of gene transcription. In prostate cancer, the deregulation of H3K27me3 marks might play a role in prostate tumor progression. We investigated genome-wide H3K27me3 histone methylation profile using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and 2X400K promoter microarrays to identify differentially-enriched regions in biopsy samples from prostate cancer patients. H3K27me3 marks were assessed in 34 prostate tumors: 11 with Gleason score > 7 (GS > 7), 10 with Gleason score ≤ 7 (GS ≤ 7), and 13 morphologically normal prostate samples. Here, H3K27me3 profiling identified an average of 386 enriched-genes on promoter regions in healthy control group versus 545 genes in GS ≤ 7 and 748 genes in GS > 7 group. We then ran a factorial discriminant analysis (FDA) and compared the enriched genes in prostate-tumor biopsies and normal biopsies using ANOVA to identify significantly differentially-enriched genes. The analysis identified ALG5, EXOSC8, CBX1, GRID2, GRIN3B, ING3, MYO1D, NPHP3-AS1, MSH6, FBXO11, SND1, SPATS2, TENM4 and TRA2A genes. These genes are possibly associated with prostate cancer. Notably, the H3K27me3 histone mark emerged as a novel regulatory mechanism in poor-prognosis prostate cancer. Our findings point to epigenetic mark H3K27me3 as an important event in prostate carcinogenesis and progression. The results reported here provide new molecular insights into the pathogenesis of prostate cancer.

  1. Epigenetic regulation in obesity.

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    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.

  2. Markers

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    Healthy Schools Network, Inc., 2011

    2011-01-01

    Dry erase whiteboards come with toxic dry erase markers and toxic cleaning products. Dry erase markers labeled "nontoxic" are not free of toxic chemicals and can cause health problems. Children are especially vulnerable to environmental health hazards; moreover, schools commonly have problems with indoor air pollution, as they are more densely…

  3. Epigenetic regulation of cardiac progenitor cells marker c-kit by stromal cell derived factor-1α.

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    Zhongpu Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs have been proven suitable for stem cell therapy after myocardial infarction, especially c-kit(+CPCs. CPCs marker c-kit and its ligand, the stem cell factor (SCF, are linked as c-kit/SCF axis, which is associated with the functions of proliferation and differentiation. In our previous study, we found that stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α could enhance the expression of c-kit. However, the mechanism is unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: CPCs were isolated from adult mouse hearts, c-kit(+ and c-kit(- CPCs were separated by magnetic beads. The cells were cultured with SDF-1α and CXCR4-selective antagonist AMD3100, and c-kit expression was measured by qPCR and Western blotting. Results showed that SDF-1α could enhance c-kit expression of c-kit(+CPCs, made c-kit(-CPCs expressing c-kit, and AMD3100 could inhibit the function of SDF-1α. After the intervention of SDF-1α and AMD3100, proliferation and migration of CPCs were measured by CCK-8 and transwell assay. Results showed that SDF-1α could enhance the proliferation and migration of both c-kit(+ and c-kit(- CPCs, and AMD3100 could inhibit these functions. DNA methyltransferase (DNMT mRNA were measured by qPCR, DNMT activity was measured using the DNMT activity assay kit, and DNA methylation was analyzed using Sequenom's MassARRAY platform, after the CPCs were cultured with SDF-1α. The results showed that SDF-1α stimulation inhibited the expression of DNMT1 and DNMT3β, which are critical for the maintenance of regional DNA methylation. Global DNMT activity was also inhibited by SDF-1α. Lastly, SDF-1α treatment led to significant demethylation in both c-kit(+ and c-kit(- CPCs. CONCLUSIONS: SDF-1α combined with CXCR4 could up-regulate c-kit expression of c-kit(+CPCs and make c-kit(-CPCs expressing c-kit, which result in the CPCs proliferation and migration ability improvement, through the inhibition of DNMT1 and DNMT3β expression and global DNMT

  4. Nutritional epigenetics

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    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...

  5. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

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    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.

  6. 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

  7. Genetic and epigenetic diversity and structure of Phragmites australis from local habitats of the Songnen Prairie using amplified fragment length polymorphism markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, T; Jiang, L L; Yang, Y F

    2016-08-19

    The genetic and epigenetic diversity and structure of naturally occurring Phragmites australis populations occupying two different habitats on a small spatial scale in the Songnen Prairie in northeastern China were investigated by assessing amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphisms (MSAPs) through fluorescent capillary detection. The two groups of P. australis were located in a seasonal waterlogged low-lying and alkalized meadow with a pH of 8-8.5 and in an alkaline patch without accumulated rainwater and with a pH greater than 10. These groups showed high levels of genetic diversity at the habitat level based on the percentage of polymorphic bands (90.32, 82.56%), Nei's gene diversity index (0.262, 0.248), and the Shannon diversity index (0.407, 0.383). Although little is known about the between-habitat genetic differentiation of P. australis on a small spatial scale, our results implied significant genetic differentiation between habitats. Extensive epigenetic diversity within habitats, along with clear differentiation, was found. Specifically, the former habitat (Habitat 1, designated H1) harbored higher levels of genetic and epigenetic diversity than the latter (Habitat 2, designated H2), and population-level diversity was also high. This study represents one of few attempts to predict habitat-based genetic differentiation of reeds on a small scale. These assessments of genetic and epigenetic variation are integral aspects of molecular ecological studies on P. australis. Possible causes for within- and between-habitat genetic and epigenetic variations are discussed.

  8. [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.

  9. 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.

  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: 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.

  12. SEPT9_v1 Functions in Breast Cancer Cell Division

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    in PBS containing 3% PFA and stained with antibodies to SEPT2, gp135/podocalyxin (3F2/D8 mouse hybridoma supernatant), and Na/K-ATPase ( chicken ...Science 317(5836):372–376. Rohatgi R, Snell WJ. 2010. The ciliary membrane. Curr Opin Cell Biol 22(4):541–546. Romio L, Fry AM, Winyard PJD, Malcolm...Making sense of cilia and flag- ella. J Cell Biol 179(4):575–582. Snell WJ, Pan J, Wang Q. 2004. Cilia and flagella revealed: From flagellar assembly in

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Imaging epigenetics in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    methods with epigenetic markers in humans appears promising. This evolving development may lead to a new research discipline - imaging epigenetics - that will provide deeper insight into the causative pathogenetic and pathophysiological pathways through which genes and environment interrelate during life and impact human brain development, physiology, aging and disease. This knowledge may open doors for the development of novel biomarkers and preventive and disease-modifying treatments.

  19. 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.

  20. Methylation of Septin9 mediated by DNMT3a enhances hepatic stellate cells activation and liver fibrogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Yuting, E-mail: wuyuting1302@sina.com; Bu, Fangtian; Yu, Haixia; Li, Wanxia; Huang, Cheng; Meng, Xiaoming; Zhang, Lei; Ma, Taotao; Li, Jun, E-mail: lj@ahmu.edu.cn

    2017-01-15

    Liver fibrosis, resulting from chronic and persistent injury to the liver, is a worldwide health problem. Advanced liver fibrosis results in cirrhosis, liver failure and even hepatocellular cancer (HCC), often eventually requiring liver transplantation, poses a huge health burden on the global community. However, the specific pathogenesis of liver fibrosis remains not fully understood. Numerous basic and clinical studies have provided evidence that epigenetic modifications, especially DNA methylation, might contribute to the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the pivotal cell type responsible for the fibrous scar in liver. Here, reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) and bisulfite pyrosequencing PCR (BSP) analysis identified hypermethylation status of Septin9 (Sept9) gene in liver fibrogenesis. Sept9 protein was dramatically decreased in livers of CCl4-treated mice and immortalized HSC-T6 cells exposed to TGF-β1. Nevertheless, the suppression of Sept9 could be blocked by DNMT3a-siRNA and DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-azadC). Overexpressed Sept9 attenuated TGF-β1-induced expression of myofibroblast markers α-SMA and Col1a1, accompanied by up-regulation of cell apoptosis-related proteins. Conversely, RNAi-mediated silencing of Sept9 enhanced accumulation of extracellular matrix. These observations suggested that Sept9 contributed to alleviate liver fibrosis might partially through promoting activated HSCs apoptosis and this anti-fibrogenesis effect might be blocked by DNMT-3a mediated methylation of Sept9. Therefore, pharmacological agents that inhibit Sept9 methylation and increase its expression could be considered as valuable treatments for liver fibrosis. - Highlights: • This is the first report of Sept9 methylation and function in liver fibrosis. • Ectopic expression of Sept9 could block the liver fibrogenesis. • DNMT3a might be responsible for the suppression of Sept9 in liver fibrosis.

  1. Methylation of Septin9 mediated by DNMT3a enhances hepatic stellate cells activation and liver fibrogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Yuting; Bu, Fangtian; Yu, Haixia; Li, Wanxia; Huang, Cheng; Meng, Xiaoming; Zhang, Lei; Ma, Taotao; Li, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Liver fibrosis, resulting from chronic and persistent injury to the liver, is a worldwide health problem. Advanced liver fibrosis results in cirrhosis, liver failure and even hepatocellular cancer (HCC), often eventually requiring liver transplantation, poses a huge health burden on the global community. However, the specific pathogenesis of liver fibrosis remains not fully understood. Numerous basic and clinical studies have provided evidence that epigenetic modifications, especially DNA methylation, might contribute to the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the pivotal cell type responsible for the fibrous scar in liver. Here, reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) and bisulfite pyrosequencing PCR (BSP) analysis identified hypermethylation status of Septin9 (Sept9) gene in liver fibrogenesis. Sept9 protein was dramatically decreased in livers of CCl4-treated mice and immortalized HSC-T6 cells exposed to TGF-β1. Nevertheless, the suppression of Sept9 could be blocked by DNMT3a-siRNA and DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-azadC). Overexpressed Sept9 attenuated TGF-β1-induced expression of myofibroblast markers α-SMA and Col1a1, accompanied by up-regulation of cell apoptosis-related proteins. Conversely, RNAi-mediated silencing of Sept9 enhanced accumulation of extracellular matrix. These observations suggested that Sept9 contributed to alleviate liver fibrosis might partially through promoting activated HSCs apoptosis and this anti-fibrogenesis effect might be blocked by DNMT-3a mediated methylation of Sept9. Therefore, pharmacological agents that inhibit Sept9 methylation and increase its expression could be considered as valuable treatments for liver fibrosis. - Highlights: • This is the first report of Sept9 methylation and function in liver fibrosis. • Ectopic expression of Sept9 could block the liver fibrogenesis. • DNMT3a might be responsible for the suppression of Sept9 in liver fibrosis.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetics and cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Anders H; van Lohuizen, Maarten

    2004-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms act to change the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional regulation locally and globally via modifications of the DNA and by modification or rearrangement of nucleosomes. Epigenetic gene regulation collaborates with genetic alterations in cancer development. This is e......Epigenetic mechanisms act to change the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional regulation locally and globally via modifications of the DNA and by modification or rearrangement of nucleosomes. Epigenetic gene regulation collaborates with genetic alterations in cancer development....... This is evident from every aspect of tumor biology including cell growth and differentiation, cell cycle control, DNA repair, angiogenesis, migration, and evasion of host immunosurveillance. In contrast to genetic cancer causes, the possibility of reversing epigenetic codes may provide new targets for therapeutic...

  8. The Interaction between Epigenetics, Nutrition and the Development of Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen S. Bishop

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike the genome, the epigenome can be modified and hence some epigenetic risk markers have the potential to be reversed. Such modifications take place by means of drugs, diet or environmental exposures. It is widely accepted that epigenetic modifications take place during early embryonic and primordial cell development, but it is also important that we gain an understanding of the potential for such changes later in life. These “later life” epigenetic modifications in response to dietary intervention are the focus of this paper. The epigenetic modifications investigated include DNA methylation, histone modifications and the influence of microRNAs. The epigenotype could be used not only to predict susceptibility to certain cancers but also to assess the effectiveness of dietary modifications to reduce such risk. The influence of diet or dietary components on epigenetic modifications and the impact on cancer initiation or progression has been assessed herein.

  9. Prostate Cancer Epigenetics: A Review on Gene Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Diaw

    2007-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic marks: regulators of livestock phenotypes and conceivable sources of missing variation in livestock improvement programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eveline M Ibeagha-Awemu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Improvement in animal productivity has been achieved over the years through careful breeding and selection programs. Today, variations in the genome are gaining increasing importance in livestock improvement strategies. Genomic information alone however explains only a part of the phenotypic variance in traits. It is likely that a portion of the unaccounted variance is embedded in the epigenome. The epigenome encompasses epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, chromatin remodeling and other molecules that can transmit epigenetic information such as non-coding RNA species. Epigenetic factors respond to external or internal environmental cues such as nutrition, pathogens and climate, and have the ability to change gene expression leading to emergence of specific phenotypes. Accumulating evidence shows that epigenetic marks influence gene expression and phenotypic outcome in livestock species. This review examines available evidence of the influence of epigenetic marks on livestock (cattle, sheep, goat and pig traits and discusses the potential for consideration of epigenetic markers in livestock improvement programs. However, epigenetic research activities on farm animal species are currently limited partly due to lack of recognition, funding and a global network of researchers. Therefore, considerable less attention has been given to epigenetic research in livestock species in comparison to extensive work in humans and model organisms. Elucidating therefore the epigenetic determinants of animal diseases and complex traits may represent one of the principal challenges to use epigenetic markers for further improvement of animal productivity.

  4. Concepts of epigenetics in prostate cancer development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C S; Foster, C S

    2009-01-27

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic differentiation persists after male gametogenesis in natural populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Despite the importance of assessing the stability of epigenetic variation in non-model organisms living in real-world scenarios, no studies have been conducted on the transgenerational persistence of epigenetic structure in wild plant populations. This gap in knowledge is hindering progress in the interpretation of natural epigenetic variation. By applying the methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP) technique to paired plant-pollen (i.e., sporophyte-male gametophyte) DNA samples, and then comparing methylation patterns and epigenetic population differentiation in sporophytes and their descendant gametophytes, we investigated transgenerational constancy of epigenetic structure in three populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Single-locus and multilocus analyses revealed extensive epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations. Locus-by-locus comparisons of methylation status in individual sporophytes and descendant gametophytes showed that ~75% of epigenetic markers persisted unchanged through gametogenesis. In spite of some epigenetic reorganization taking place during gametogenesis, multilocus epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations was preserved in the subsequent gametophyte stage. In addition to illustrating the efficacy of applying the MSAP technique to paired plant-pollen DNA samples to investigate epigenetic gametic inheritance in wild plants, this paper suggests that epigenetic differentiation between adult plant populations of H. foetidus is likely to persist across generations.

  9. Epigenetic differentiation persists after male gametogenesis in natural populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos M Herrera

    Full Text Available Despite the importance of assessing the stability of epigenetic variation in non-model organisms living in real-world scenarios, no studies have been conducted on the transgenerational persistence of epigenetic structure in wild plant populations. This gap in knowledge is hindering progress in the interpretation of natural epigenetic variation. By applying the methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP technique to paired plant-pollen (i.e., sporophyte-male gametophyte DNA samples, and then comparing methylation patterns and epigenetic population differentiation in sporophytes and their descendant gametophytes, we investigated transgenerational constancy of epigenetic structure in three populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae. Single-locus and multilocus analyses revealed extensive epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations. Locus-by-locus comparisons of methylation status in individual sporophytes and descendant gametophytes showed that ~75% of epigenetic markers persisted unchanged through gametogenesis. In spite of some epigenetic reorganization taking place during gametogenesis, multilocus epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations was preserved in the subsequent gametophyte stage. In addition to illustrating the efficacy of applying the MSAP technique to paired plant-pollen DNA samples to investigate epigenetic gametic inheritance in wild plants, this paper suggests that epigenetic differentiation between adult plant populations of H. foetidus is likely to persist across generations.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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 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....

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  20. Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Epigenetics of prostate cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Xiao-Ming; Zhou, Wen-Quan

    2010-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics and brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keverne, Eric B

    2011-04-01

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

  9. Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viatte, Sebastien; Plant, Darren; Raychaudhuri, Soumya

    2013-01-01

    Investigators have made key advances in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) genetics in the past 10 years. Although genetic studies have had limited influence on clinical practice and drug discovery, they are currently generating testable hypotheses to explain disease pathogenesis. Firstly, we review here the major advances in identifying RA genetic susceptibility markers both within and outside of the MHC. Understanding how genetic variants translate into pathogenic mechanisms and ultimately into phenotypes remains a mystery for most of the polymorphisms that confer susceptibility to RA, but functional data are emerging. Interplay between environmental and genetic factors is poorly understood and in need of further investigation. Secondly, we review current knowledge of the role of epigenetics in RA susceptibility. Differences in the epigenome could represent one of the ways in which environmental exposures translate into phenotypic outcomes. The best understood epigenetic phenomena include post-translational histone modifications and DNA methylation events, both of which have critical roles in gene regulation. Epigenetic studies in RA represent a new area of research with the potential to answer unsolved questions. PMID:23381558

  10. Epigenetics and Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, David

    2015-05-29

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Epigenetics, obesity and early-life cadmium or lead exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sarah S; Skaar, David A; Jirtle, Randy L; Hoyo, Cathrine

    2017-01-01

    Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disease, which likely comprises multiple subtypes. Emerging data have linked chemical exposures to obesity. As organismal response to environmental exposures includes altered gene expression, identifying the regulatory epigenetic changes involved would be key to understanding the path from exposure to phenotype and provide new tools for exposure detection and risk assessment. In this report, we summarize published data linking early-life exposure to the heavy metals, cadmium and lead, to obesity. We also discuss potential mechanisms, as well as the need for complete coverage in epigenetic screening to fully identify alterations. The keys to understanding how metal exposure contributes to obesity are improved assessment of exposure and comprehensive establishment of epigenetic profiles that may serve as markers for exposures.

  18. Nucleosome Positioning and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, David; Bruinsma, Robijn

    2008-03-01

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

  19. Epigenetics of kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanner, Nicola; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke

    2017-07-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Stress, Epigenetics, and Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonat, Sachin; Pandey, Subhash C.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Methylated Glutathione S-transferase 1 (mGSTP1) is a potential plasma free DNA epigenetic marker of prognosis and response to chemotherapy in castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahon, K L; Qu, W; Devaney, J; Paul, C; Castillo, L; Wykes, R J; Chatfield, M D; Boyer, M J; Stockler, M R; Marx, G; Gurney, H; Mallesara, G; Molloy, P L; Horvath, L G; Clark, S J

    2014-10-28

    Glutathione S-transferase 1 (GSTP1) inactivation is associated with CpG island promoter hypermethylation in the majority of prostate cancers (PCs). This study assessed whether the level of circulating methylated GSTP1 (mGSTP1) in plasma DNA is associated with chemotherapy response and overall survival (OS). Plasma samples were collected prospectively from a Phase I exploratory cohort of 75 men with castrate-resistant PC (CRPC) and a Phase II independent validation cohort (n=51). mGSTP1 levels in free DNA were measured using a sensitive methylation-specific PCR assay. The Phase I cohort identified that detectable baseline mGSTP1 DNA was associated with poorer OS (HR, 4.2 95% CI 2.1-8.2; P<0.0001). A decrease in mGSTP1 DNA levels after cycle 1 was associated with a PSA response (P=0.008). In the Phase II cohort, baseline mGSTP1 DNA was a stronger predictor of OS than PSA change after 3 months (P=0.02). Undetectable plasma mGSTP1 after one cycle of chemotherapy was associated with PSA response (P=0.007). We identified plasma mGSTP1 DNA as a potential prognostic marker in men with CRPC as well as a potential surrogate therapeutic efficacy marker for chemotherapy and corroborated these findings in an independent Phase II cohort. Prospective Phase III assessment of mGSTP1 levels in plasma DNA is now warranted.

  12. Epigenetic reprogramming of pericentromeric satellite DNA in premalignant and malignant lesions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brückmann, Nadine Heidi; Pedersen, Christina Bøg; Ditzel, Henrik Jørn

    2018-01-01

    on pericentromeric satellites in primary melanocytes. This suggests that polycomb bodies form in cancer cells with global DNA demethylation to control the stability of pericentromeric satellite DNA. These results reveal a novel epigenetic perturbation specific to premalignant and malignant cells thatmaybe used...... as an early diagnostic marker for detection of precancerous changes and a new therapeutic entry point. Implications: Pericentromeric satellite DNA is epigenetically reprogrammed into polycomb bodies as a premalignant event with implications for transcriptional activity and genomic stability. Mol Cancer Res...

  13. 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.

  14. Comparative epigenetic and genetic spatial structure of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus: Isolation by environment, isolation by distance, and functional trait divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-16

    Epigenetic variation can play a role in local adaptation; thus, there should be associations among epigenetic variation, environmental variation, and functional trait variation across populations. This study examines these relationships in the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Plants from 10 subpopulations were characterized genetically (AFLP, SSR markers), epigenetically (MSAP markers), and phenotypically (20 functional traits). Habitats were characterized using six environmental variables. Isolation-by-distance (IBD) and isolation-by-environment (IBE) patterns of genetic and epigenetic divergence were assessed, as was the comparative explanatory value of geographical and environmental distance as predictors of epigenetic, genetic, and functional differentiation. Subpopulations were differentiated genetically, epigenetically, and phenotypically. Genetic differentiation was best explained by geographical distance, while epigenetic differentiation was best explained by environmental distance. Divergence in functional traits was correlated with environmental and epigenetic distances, but not with geographical and genetic distances. Results are compatible with the hypothesis that epigenetic IBE and functional divergence reflected responses to environmental variation. Spatial analyses simultaneously considering epigenetic, genetic, phenotypic and environmental information provide a useful tool to evaluate the role of environmental features as drivers of natural epigenetic variation between populations. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  15. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2014-04-01

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

  16. [Schizophrenia, environment and epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Must, Anita; Janka, Zoltan; Horvath, Szatmar

    2011-12-01

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

  17. [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.

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetic Regulation of Telomere Maintenance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fojtová, M.; Fajkus, Jiří

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetic predictor of age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Bocklandt

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

  5. [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

  6. Prediction of epigenetically regulated genes in breast cancer cell lines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loss, Leandro A; Sadanandam, Anguraj; Durinck, Steffen; Nautiyal, Shivani; Flaucher, Diane; Carlton, Victoria EH; Moorhead, Martin; Lu, Yontao; Gray, Joe W; Faham, Malek; Spellman, Paul; Parvin, Bahram

    2010-05-04

    panel of breast cancer cell lines. Subnetwork enrichment of these genes has identifed 35 common regulators with 6 or more predicted markers. In addition to identifying epigenetically regulated genes, we show evidence of differentially expressed methylation patterns between the basal and luminal subtypes. Our results indicate that the proposed computational protocol is a viable platform for identifying epigenetically regulated genes. Our protocol has generated a list of predictors including COL1A2, TOP2A, TFF1, and VAV3, genes whose key roles in epigenetic regulation is documented in the literature. Subnetwork enrichment of these predicted markers further suggests that epigenetic regulation of individual genes occurs in a coordinated fashion and through common regulators.

  7. Epigenetic Modifications and Head and Neck Cancer: Implications for Tumor Progression and Resistance to Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogerio M. Castilho

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC is the sixth most prevalent cancer and one of the most aggressive malignancies worldwide. Despite continuous efforts to identify molecular markers for early detection, and to develop efficient treatments, the overall survival and prognosis of HNSCC patients remain poor. Accumulated scientific evidences suggest that epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation, histone covalent modifications, chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNAs, are frequently involved in oral carcinogenesis, tumor progression, and resistance to therapy. Epigenetic alterations occur in an unsystematic manner or as part of the aberrant transcriptional machinery, which promotes selective advantage to the tumor cells. Epigenetic modifications also contribute to cellular plasticity during tumor progression and to the formation of cancer stem cells (CSCs, a small subset of tumor cells with self-renewal ability. CSCs are involved in the development of intrinsic or acquired therapy resistance, and tumor recurrences or relapse. Therefore, the understanding and characterization of epigenetic modifications associated with head and neck carcinogenesis, and the prospective identification of epigenetic markers associated with CSCs, hold the promise for novel therapeutic strategies to fight tumors. In this review, we focus on the current knowledge on epigenetic modifications observed in HNSCC and emerging Epi-drugs capable of sensitizing HNSCC to therapy.

  8. Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Nature, nurture and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin, E-mail: Kliu@gru.edu [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia, and Cancer Center, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA 30912 (United States)

    2013-06-05

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetic Epidemiology of Complex Diseases Using Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Genetic and epigenetic divergence between disturbed and undisturbed subpopulations of a Mediterranean shrub: a 20-year field experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2016-06-01

    Little is known on the potential of ecological disturbance to cause genetic and epigenetic changes in plant populations. We take advantage of a long-term field experiment initiated in 1986 to study the demography of the shrub Lavandula latifolia , and compare genetic and epigenetic characteristics of plants in two adjacent subplots, one experimentally disturbed and one left undisturbed, 20 years after disturbance. Experimental setup was comparable to an unreplicated 'Before-After-Control-Impact' (BACI) design where a single pair of perturbed and control areas were compared. When sampled in 2005, plants in the two subplots had roughly similar ages, but they had established in contrasting environments: dense conspecific population ('Undisturbed' subpopulation) versus open area with all conspecifics removed ('Disturbed' subpopulation). Plants were characterized genetically and epigenetically using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and two classes of methylation-sensitive AFLP (MSAP) markers. Subpopulations were similar in genetic diversity but differed in epigenetic diversity and multilocus genetic and epigenetic characteristics. Epigenetic divergence between subpopulations was statistically unrelated to genetic divergence. Bayesian clustering revealed an abrupt linear boundary between subpopulations closely coincident with the arbitrary demarcation line between subplots drawn 20 years back, which supports that genetic and epigenetic divergence between subpopulations was caused by artificial disturbance. There was significant fine-scale spatial structuring of MSAP markers in both subpopulations, which in the Undisturbed one was indistinguishable from that of AFLP markers. Genetic differences between subpopulations could be explained by divergent selection alone, while the concerted action of divergent selection and disturbance-driven appearance of new methylation variants in the Disturbed subpopulation is proposed to explain epigenetic differences. This

  6. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    of diseases to molecular phenotypes in functional genomics especially in epigenetics, a thriving field of research that concerns the environmental regulation of gene expression through DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA and long non-coding RNA expression, etc. The application of the twin method...

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic differences between sister chromatids?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Epigenetic Placental Programming of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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.

  11. Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Epigenetics of the Developing Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Frances A.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Computational Micromodel for Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Computational micromodel for epigenetic mechanisms.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Raghavan, Karthika

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzenbach, Heidi

    2011-10-01

    To achieve success in sports, many athletes consume doping substances, such as anabolic androgenic steroids and growth hormones, and ignore the negative influence of these drugs on their health. Apart from the unethical aspect of doping in sports, it is essential to consider the tremendous risk it represents to their physical condition. The abuse of pharmaceuticals which improve athletic performance may alter the expression of specific genes involved in muscle and bone metabolism by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Moreover, excessive and relentless training to increase the muscle mass, may also have an influence on the health of the athletes. This stress releases neurotransmitters and growth factors, and may affect the expression of endogenous genes by DNA methylation, too. This paper focuses on the relationship between epigenetic mechanisms and sports, highlights the potential consequences of abuse of doping drugs on gene expression, and describes methods to molecularly detect epigenetic changes of gene markers reflecting the physiological or metabolic effects of doping agents. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. 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...

  10. Chromocentre integrity and epigenetic marks

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Learning epigenetic regulation from mycobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Khosla

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Epigenetic control of plant immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  14. Epigenetics and Epigenomics of Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetic variability in the genetically uniform forest tree species Pinus pinea L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Sáez-Laguna

    Full Text Available There is an increasing interest in understanding the role of epigenetic variability in forest species and how it may contribute to their rapid adaptation to changing environments. In this study we have conducted a genome-wide analysis of cytosine methylation pattern in Pinus pinea, a species characterized by very low levels of genetic variation and a remarkable degree of phenotypic plasticity. DNA methylation profiles of different vegetatively propagated trees from representative natural Spanish populations of P. pinea were analyzed with the Methylation Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP technique. A high degree of cytosine methylation was detected (64.36% of all scored DNA fragments. Furthermore, high levels of epigenetic variation were observed among the studied individuals. This high epigenetic variation found in P. pinea contrasted with the lack of genetic variation based on Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP data. In this manner, variable epigenetic markers clearly discriminate individuals and differentiates two well represented populations while the lack of genetic variation revealed with the AFLP markers fail to differentiate at both, individual or population levels. In addition, the use of different replicated trees allowed identifying common polymorphic methylation sensitive MSAP markers among replicates of a given propagated tree. This set of MSAPs allowed discrimination of the 70% of the analyzed trees.

  17. Epigenetic variability in the genetically uniform forest tree species Pinus pinea L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez-Laguna, Enrique; Guevara, María-Ángeles; Díaz, Luis-Manuel; Sánchez-Gómez, David; Collada, Carmen; Aranda, Ismael; Cervera, María-Teresa

    2014-01-01

    There is an increasing interest in understanding the role of epigenetic variability in forest species and how it may contribute to their rapid adaptation to changing environments. In this study we have conducted a genome-wide analysis of cytosine methylation pattern in Pinus pinea, a species characterized by very low levels of genetic variation and a remarkable degree of phenotypic plasticity. DNA methylation profiles of different vegetatively propagated trees from representative natural Spanish populations of P. pinea were analyzed with the Methylation Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP) technique. A high degree of cytosine methylation was detected (64.36% of all scored DNA fragments). Furthermore, high levels of epigenetic variation were observed among the studied individuals. This high epigenetic variation found in P. pinea contrasted with the lack of genetic variation based on Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) data. In this manner, variable epigenetic markers clearly discriminate individuals and differentiates two well represented populations while the lack of genetic variation revealed with the AFLP markers fail to differentiate at both, individual or population levels. In addition, the use of different replicated trees allowed identifying common polymorphic methylation sensitive MSAP markers among replicates of a given propagated tree. This set of MSAPs allowed discrimination of the 70% of the analyzed trees.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. [Epigenetics of childhood obesity and diabetes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valladares-Salgado, Adán; Suárez-Sánchez, Fernando; Burguete-García, Ana I; Cruz, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) result from sedentary lifestyle, high-carbohydrate diets and genetic predisposition. Epigenetics is a form of genetic regulation in specialized cells that does not involve changes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence, but it can be inherited to one or more generations through mitosis or meiosis. Children whose mothers develop gestational diabetes are more likely to become obese and diabetic in adult life. DNA methylation is a major mechanism in the regulation of transcription and gene expression of several genes. High levels of glucose and insulin during pregnancy modify the risk of developing T2DM, suggesting that the expression pattern is modified due to cell memory in a specific tissue. If T2DM is linked to adaptation in utero, the obvious primary prevention is to protect the fetal development. Future epidemiological studies need to employ more accurate indicators or markers of development to show the relationship between a specific disease and the exposure to environmental factors. The mechanisms by which malnutrition, and intrauterine growth retardation produce changes in the metabolism of glucose and insuline are worth to explore in order to control obesity and T2DM.

  3. 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...

  4. 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 ...

  5. Nutrition, epigenetic mechanisms, and human disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maulik, Nilanjana; Maulik, Gautam

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Recent Advances in Human Genetics and Epigenetics of Adiposity: Pathway to Precision Medicine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fall, Tove; Mendelson, Michael; Speliotes, Elizabeth K

    2017-05-01

    Obesity is a heritable trait that contributes to substantial global morbidity and mortality. Here, we summarize findings from the past decade of genetic and epigenetic research focused on unravelling the underpinnings of adiposity. More than 140 genetic regions now are known to influence adiposity traits. The genetics of general adiposity, as measured by body mass index, and that of abdominal obesity, as measured by waist-to-hip ratio, have distinct biological backgrounds. Gene expression associated with general adiposity is enriched in the nervous system. In contrast, genes associated with abdominal adiposity function in adipose tissue. Recent population-based epigenetic analyses have highlighted additional distinct loci. We discuss how associated genetic variants can lead to understanding causal mechanisms, and to disentangling reverse causation in epigenetic analyses. Discoveries emerging from population genomics are identifying new disease markers and potential novel drug targets to better define and combat obesity and related diseases. Copyright © 2017 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Identification, replication and characterization of epigenetic remodelling in the aging genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Shuxia; Christiansen, Lene; Christensen, Kaare

    Background: Aging is a complex biological process that involves numerous changes at various levels through remodelling of multiple biological processes and regulatory mechanisms including epigenetics. Recent analysis of the DNA methylome has reported large numbers of epigenetic markers associated......, and by overwhelming age-related methylation in CpG island and demethylation at shore/shelf and open sea. Biological pathway analysis showed that age-dependent methylations were especially involved in cellular signalling activities while demethylations were particularly related to functions of the extracellular matrix....... Conclusion: Extensive epigenetic remodelling in the DNA methylome could be involved in the aging process. The identified age-methylated and demethylated sites displayed differential distribution patterns over genomic regions and were involved in biological pathways closely related to aging phenotypes and age...

  9. [Genetics and epigenetics in autism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Atsuo; Masaki, Shiego; Aoki, Eiko

    2006-11-01

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

  10. Epigenetic modulators of thyroid cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hisashi Narahara

    2010-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetics reloaded: the single-cell revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bheda, Poonam; Schneider, Robert

    2014-11-01

    Mechanistically, how epigenetic states are inherited through cellular divisions remains an important open question in the chromatin field and beyond. Defining the heritability of epigenetic states and the underlying chromatin-based mechanisms within a population of cells is complicated due to cell heterogeneity combined with varying levels of stability of these states; thus, efforts must be focused toward single-cell analyses. The approaches presented here constitute the forefront of epigenetics research at the single-cell level using classic and innovative methods to dissect epigenetics mechanisms from the limited material available in a single cell. This review further outlines exciting future avenues of research to address the significance of epigenetic heterogeneity and the contributions of microfluidics technologies to single-cell isolation and analysis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christina L; Alonso, Conchita; Becker, Claude; Bossdorf, Oliver; Bucher, Etienne; Colomé-Tatché, Maria; Durka, Walter; Engelhardt, Jan; Gaspar, Bence; Gogol-Döring, Andreas; Grosse, Ivo; van Gurp, Thomas P; Heer, Katrin; Kronholm, Ilkka; Lampei, Christian; Latzel, Vít; Mirouze, Marie; Opgenoorth, Lars; Paun, Ovidiu; Prohaska, Sonja J; Rensing, Stefan A; Stadler, Peter F; Trucchi, Emiliano; Ullrich, Kristian; Verhoeven, Koen J F

    2017-12-01

    Growing evidence shows that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to complex traits, with implications across many fields of biology. In plant ecology, recent studies have attempted to merge ecological experiments with epigenetic analyses to elucidate the contribution of epigenetics to plant phenotypes, stress responses, adaptation to habitat, and range distributions. While there has been some progress in revealing the role of epigenetics in ecological processes, studies with non-model species have so far been limited to describing broad patterns based on anonymous markers of DNA methylation. In contrast, studies with model species have benefited from powerful genomic resources, which contribute to a more mechanistic understanding but have limited ecological realism. Understanding the significance of epigenetics for plant ecology requires increased transfer of knowledge and methods from model species research to genomes of evolutionarily divergent species, and examination of responses to complex natural environments at a more mechanistic level. This requires transforming genomics tools specifically for studying non-model species, which is challenging given the large and often polyploid genomes of plants. Collaboration among molecular geneticists, ecologists and bioinformaticians promises to enhance our understanding of the mutual links between genome function and ecological processes. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Progressive erosion of genetic and epigenetic variation in callus-derived cocoa (Theobroma cacao) plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez López, Carlos M; Wetten, Andrew C; Wilkinson, Michael J

    2010-06-01

    *Relatively little is known about the timing of genetic and epigenetic forms of somaclonal variation arising from callus growth. We surveyed for both types of change in cocoa (Theobroma cacao) plants regenerated from calli of various ages, and also between tissues from the source trees. *For genetic change, we used 15 single sequence repeat (SSR) markers from four source trees and from 233 regenerated plants. For epigenetic change, we used 386 methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) markers on leaf and explant (staminode) DNA from two source trees and on leaf DNA from 114 regenerants. *Genetic variation within source trees was limited to one slippage mutation in one leaf. Regenerants were far more variable, with 35% exhibiting at least one mutation. Genetic variation initially accumulated with culture age but subsequently declined. MSAP (epigenetic) profiles diverged between leaf and staminode samples from source trees. Multivariate analysis revealed that leaves from regenerants occupied intermediate eigenspace between leaves and staminodes of source plants but became progressively more similar to source tree leaves with culture age. *Statistical analysis confirmed this rather counterintuitive finding that leaves of 'late regenerants' exhibited significantly less genetic and epigenetic divergence from source leaves than those exposed to short periods of callus growth.

  7. The epigenetics of prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis: update on clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blute, Michael L; Damaschke, Nathan A; Jarrard, David F

    2015-01-01

    There is a major deficit in our ability to detect and predict the clinical behavior of prostate cancer (PCa). Epigenetic changes are associated with PCa development and progression. This review will focus on recent results in the clinical application of diagnostic and prognostic epigenetic markers. The development of high throughput technology has seen an enormous increase in the discovery of new markers that encompass epigenetic changes including those in DNA methylation and histone modifications. Application of these findings to urine and other biofluids, but also cancer and noncancerous prostate tissue, has resulted in new biomarkers. There has been a recent commercial development of a DNA methylation-based assay for identifying PCa risk from normal biopsy tissue. Other biomarkers are currently in the validation phase and encompass combinations of multiple genes. Epigenetic changes improve the specificity and sensitivity of PCa diagnosis and have the potential to help determine clinical prognosis. Additional studies will not only provide new and better biomarker candidates, but also have the potential to inform new therapeutic strategies given the reversibility of these processes.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2012-08-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetic Variance, Performing Cooperative Structure with Genetics, Is Associated with Leaf Shape Traits in Widely Distributed Populations of Ornamental Tree Prunus mume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaifeng Ma

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence shows that epigenetics plays an important role in phenotypic variance. However, little is known about epigenetic variation in the important ornamental tree Prunus mume. We used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP techniques, and association analysis and sequencing to investigate epigenetic variation and its relationships with genetic variance, environment factors, and traits. By performing leaf sampling, the relative total methylation level (29.80% was detected in 96 accessions of P. mume. And the relative hemi-methylation level (15.77% was higher than the relative full methylation level (14.03%. The epigenetic diversity (I∗ = 0.575, h∗ = 0.393 was higher than the genetic diversity (I = 0.484, h = 0.319. The cultivated population displayed greater epigenetic diversity than the wild populations in both southwest and southeast China. We found that epigenetic variance and genetic variance, and environmental factors performed cooperative structures, respectively. In particular, leaf length, width and area were positively correlated with relative full methylation level and total methylation level, indicating that the DNA methylation level played a role in trait variation. In total, 203 AFLP and 423 MSAP associated markers were detected and 68 of them were sequenced. Homologous analysis and functional prediction suggested that the candidate marker-linked genes were essential for leaf morphology development and metabolism, implying that these markers play critical roles in the establishment of leaf length, width, area, and ratio of length to width.

  19. Epigenetic Variance, Performing Cooperative Structure with Genetics, Is Associated with Leaf Shape Traits in Widely Distributed Populations of Ornamental Tree Prunus mume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Kaifeng; Sun, Lidan; Cheng, Tangren; Pan, Huitang; Wang, Jia; Zhang, Qixiang

    2018-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that epigenetics plays an important role in phenotypic variance. However, little is known about epigenetic variation in the important ornamental tree Prunus mume . We used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) techniques, and association analysis and sequencing to investigate epigenetic variation and its relationships with genetic variance, environment factors, and traits. By performing leaf sampling, the relative total methylation level (29.80%) was detected in 96 accessions of P . mume . And the relative hemi-methylation level (15.77%) was higher than the relative full methylation level (14.03%). The epigenetic diversity ( I ∗ = 0.575, h ∗ = 0.393) was higher than the genetic diversity ( I = 0.484, h = 0.319). The cultivated population displayed greater epigenetic diversity than the wild populations in both southwest and southeast China. We found that epigenetic variance and genetic variance, and environmental factors performed cooperative structures, respectively. In particular, leaf length, width and area were positively correlated with relative full methylation level and total methylation level, indicating that the DNA methylation level played a role in trait variation. In total, 203 AFLP and 423 MSAP associated markers were detected and 68 of them were sequenced. Homologous analysis and functional prediction suggested that the candidate marker-linked genes were essential for leaf morphology development and metabolism, implying that these markers play critical roles in the establishment of leaf length, width, area, and ratio of length to width.

  20. Tumors markers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaguchi-Mizumoto, N.H.

    1989-01-01

    In order to study blood and cell components alterations (named tumor markers) that may indicate the presence of a tumor, several methods are presented. Aspects as diagnostic, prognostic, therapeutic value and clinical evaluation are discussed. (M.A.C.)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetic variation, phenotypic heritability, and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

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

  9. Dubbing SAGA unveils new epigenetic crosstalk.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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....

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Genet-specific DNA methylation probabilities detected in a spatial epigenetic analysis of a clonal plant population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiwako S Araki

    Full Text Available In sessile organisms such as plants, spatial genetic structures of populations show long-lasting patterns. These structures have been analyzed across diverse taxa to understand the processes that determine the genetic makeup of organismal populations. For many sessile organisms that mainly propagate via clonal spread, epigenetic status can vary between clonal individuals in the absence of genetic changes. However, fewer previous studies have explored the epigenetic properties in comparison to the genetic properties of natural plant populations. Here, we report the simultaneous evaluation of the spatial structure of genetic and epigenetic variation in a natural population of the clonal plant Cardamine leucantha. We applied a hierarchical Bayesian model to evaluate the effects of membership of a genet (a group of individuals clonally derived from a single seed and vegetation cover on the epigenetic variation between ramets (clonal plants that are physiologically independent individuals. We sampled 332 ramets in a 20 m × 20 m study plot that contained 137 genets (identified using eight SSR markers. We detected epigenetic variation in DNA methylation at 24 methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MS-AFLP loci. There were significant genet effects at all 24 MS-AFLP loci in the distribution of subepiloci. Vegetation cover had no statistically significant effect on variation in the majority of MS-AFLP loci. The spatial aggregation of epigenetic variation is therefore largely explained by the aggregation of ramets that belong to the same genets. By applying hierarchical Bayesian analyses, we successfully identified a number of genet-specific changes in epigenetic status within a natural plant population in a complex context, where genotypes and environmental factors are unevenly distributed. This finding suggests that it requires further studies on the spatial epigenetic structure of natural populations of diverse organisms

  17. Genet-specific DNA methylation probabilities detected in a spatial epigenetic analysis of a clonal plant population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Kiwako S; Kubo, Takuya; Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2017-01-01

    In sessile organisms such as plants, spatial genetic structures of populations show long-lasting patterns. These structures have been analyzed across diverse taxa to understand the processes that determine the genetic makeup of organismal populations. For many sessile organisms that mainly propagate via clonal spread, epigenetic status can vary between clonal individuals in the absence of genetic changes. However, fewer previous studies have explored the epigenetic properties in comparison to the genetic properties of natural plant populations. Here, we report the simultaneous evaluation of the spatial structure of genetic and epigenetic variation in a natural population of the clonal plant Cardamine leucantha. We applied a hierarchical Bayesian model to evaluate the effects of membership of a genet (a group of individuals clonally derived from a single seed) and vegetation cover on the epigenetic variation between ramets (clonal plants that are physiologically independent individuals). We sampled 332 ramets in a 20 m × 20 m study plot that contained 137 genets (identified using eight SSR markers). We detected epigenetic variation in DNA methylation at 24 methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MS-AFLP) loci. There were significant genet effects at all 24 MS-AFLP loci in the distribution of subepiloci. Vegetation cover had no statistically significant effect on variation in the majority of MS-AFLP loci. The spatial aggregation of epigenetic variation is therefore largely explained by the aggregation of ramets that belong to the same genets. By applying hierarchical Bayesian analyses, we successfully identified a number of genet-specific changes in epigenetic status within a natural plant population in a complex context, where genotypes and environmental factors are unevenly distributed. This finding suggests that it requires further studies on the spatial epigenetic structure of natural populations of diverse organisms, particularly for

  18. Xenopus reduced folate carrier regulates neural crest development epigenetically.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiejing Li

    Full Text Available Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy causes birth neurocristopathic malformations resulting from aberrant development of neural crest cells. The Reduced folate carrier (RFC is a membrane-bound receptor for facilitating transfer of reduced folate into the cells. RFC knockout mice are embryonic lethal and develop multiple malformations, including neurocristopathies. Here we show that XRFC is specifically expressed in neural crest tissues in Xenopus embryos and knockdown of XRFC by specific morpholino results in severe neurocristopathies. Inhibition of RFC blocked the expression of a series of neural crest marker genes while overexpression of RFC or injection of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate expanded the neural crest territories. In animal cap assays, knockdown of RFC dramatically reduced the mono- and trimethyl-Histone3-K4 levels and co-injection of the lysine methyltransferase hMLL1 largely rescued the XRFC morpholino phenotype. Our data revealed that the RFC mediated folate metabolic pathway likely potentiates neural crest gene expression through epigenetic modifications.

  19. Predicting response to epigenetic therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    of good pretreatment predictors of response is of great value. Many clinical parameters and molecular targets have been tested in preclinical and clinical studies with varying results, leaving room for optimization. Here we provide an overview of markers that may predict the efficacy of FDA- and EMA...

  20. Epigenetic Etiology of Intellectual Disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-08

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

  1. Epigenetic regulation and fetal programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  2. Epigenetic approaches towards radiation countermeasure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agrawala, Paban K.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. (SSR) markers

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    2013-06-26

    Jun 26, 2013 ... analysis was in general agreement with PCoA in discrimi- nating the cultivars. Conclusions. Estimation of morphological diversity may provide addi- tional information on the present finding. Nonetheless, the 29 SSR markers provided considerable genetic reso- lution and this genetic diversity analysis ...

  4. (SSR) markers

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SAM

    2014-07-30

    Jul 30, 2014 ... India and the country is currently the leading producer, consumer and exporter of ... registration with the competent authority for plant variety protection. Conventionally ... detection of duplicates, parental verification in crosses, gene tagging in .... allelic patterns as revealed by the current set of SSR markers.

  5. Epigenetic subgroups of esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma with differential GATA5 DNA methylation associated with clinical and lifestyle factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinhui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adenocarcinomas located near the gastroesophageal junction have unclear etiology and are difficult to classify. We used DNA methylation analysis to identify subtype-specific markers and new subgroups of gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas, and studied their association with epidemiological risk factors and clinical outcomes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used logistic regression models and unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis of 74 DNA methylation markers on 45 tumor samples (44 patients of esophageal and gastric adenocarcinomas obtained from a population-based case-control study to uncover epigenetic markers and cluster groups of gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas. No distinct epigenetic differences were evident between subtypes of gastric and esophageal cancers. However, we identified two gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma subclusters based on DNA methylation profiles. Group membership was best predicted by GATA5 DNA methylation status. We analyzed the associations between these two epigenetic groups and exposure using logistic regression, and the associations with survival time using Cox regression in a larger set of 317 tumor samples (278 patients. There were more males with esophageal and gastric cardia cancers in Cluster Group 1 characterized by higher GATA5 DNA methylation values (all p<0.05. This group also showed associations of borderline statistical significance with having ever smoked (p-value = 0.07, high body mass index (p-value = 0.06, and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (p-value = 0.07. Subjects in cluster Group 1 showed better survival than those in Group 2 after adjusting for tumor differentiation grade, but this was not found to be independent of tumor stage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: DNA methylation profiling can be used in population-based studies to identify epigenetic subclasses of gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas and class-specific DNA methylation markers that can be linked to

  6. 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.

  7. The Impact of Environmental Factors in Influencing Epigenetics Related to Oxidative States in the Cardiovascular System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Angelini

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative states exert a significant influence on a wide range of biological and molecular processes and functions. When their balance is shifted towards enhanced amounts of free radicals, pathological phenomena can occur, as the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS in tissue microenvironment or in the systemic circulation can be detrimental. Epidemic chronic diseases of western societies, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes correlate with the imbalance of redox homeostasis. Current advances in our understanding of epigenetics have revealed a parallel scenario showing the influence of oxidative stress as a major regulator of epigenetic gene regulation via modification of DNA methylation, histones, and microRNAs. This has provided both the biological link and a potential molecular explanation between oxidative stress and cardiovascular/metabolic phenomena. Accordingly, in this review, we will provide current insights on the physiological and pathological impact of changes in oxidative states on cardiovascular disorders, by specifically focusing on the influence of epigenetic regulation. A special emphasis will highlight the effect on epigenetic regulation of human’s current life habits, external and environmental factors, including food intake, tobacco, air pollution, and antioxidant-based approaches. Additionally, the strategy to quantify oxidative states in humans in order to determine which biological marker could best match a subject’s profile will be discussed.

  8. 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

  9. Epigenetic mechanism of radiation carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niwa, Ohtsura

    1995-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Marker lamps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watkins, D.V.

    1980-01-01

    A marker lamp is described which consists of a block of transparent plastics material encapsulated in which is a radioactive light source. These lights comprise a small sealed glass capsule, the hollow inside surface of which is coated with phosphor and which contains tritium or similar radioactive gas. The use of such lamps for identification marking of routes, for example roads, and for identification of underwater oil pipelines is envisaged. (U.K.)

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetic Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Risk: Across the Breast Cancer Prevention Continuum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, Mary Beth; McDonald, Jasmine A; Wu, Hui Chen; Eng, Sybil; Santella, Regina M

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic biomarkers, such as DNA methylation, can increase cancer risk through altering gene expression. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Network has demonstrated breast cancer-specific DNA methylation signatures. DNA methylation signatures measured at the time of diagnosis may prove important for treatment options and in predicting disease-free and overall survival (tertiary prevention). DNA methylation measurement in cell free DNA may also be useful in improving early detection by measuring tumor DNA released into the blood (secondary prevention). Most evidence evaluating the use of DNA methylation markers in tertiary and secondary prevention efforts for breast cancer comes from studies that are cross-sectional or retrospective with limited corresponding epidemiologic data, raising concerns about temporality. Few prospective studies exist that are large enough to address whether DNA methylation markers add to the prediction of tertiary and secondary outcomes over and beyond standard clinical measures. Determining the role of epigenetic biomarkers in primary prevention can help in identifying modifiable pathways for targeting interventions and reducing disease incidence. The potential is great for DNA methylation markers to improve cancer outcomes across the prevention continuum. Large, prospective epidemiological studies will provide essential evidence of the overall utility of adding these markers to primary prevention efforts, screening, and clinical care.

  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. Three epigenetic information channels and their different roles in evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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....

  7. 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.

  8. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. First Barcelona Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihye eYun

    2012-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andee Weisbeck

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Epigenetic control of effectors in plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eGijzen

    2014-11-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms Induced by Resveratrol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Felipe Santos Fernandes

    2017-11-01

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

  18. Epigenetic Aspects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Schmidt

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Allosteric regulation of epigenetic modifying enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucconi, Beth E; Cole, Philip A

    2017-08-01

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

  20. An introduction to the science of epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JB Thapa

    2013-03-01

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

  1. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eri Saijo

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Fecal Molecular Markers for Colorectal Cancer Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rani Kanthan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite multiple screening techniques, including colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, radiological imaging, and fecal occult blood testing, colorectal cancer remains a leading cause of death. As these techniques improve, their sensitivity to detect malignant lesions is increasing; however, detection of precursor lesions remains problematic and has generated a lack of general acceptance for their widespread usage. Early detection by an accurate, noninvasive, cost-effective, simple-to-use screening technique is central to decreasing the incidence and mortality of this disease. Recent advances in the development of molecular markers in faecal specimens are encouraging for its use as a screening tool. Genetic mutations and epigenetic alterations that result from the carcinogenetic process can be detected by coprocytobiology in the colonocytes exfoliated from the lesion into the fecal matter. These markers have shown promising sensitivity and specificity in the detection of both malignant and premalignant lesions and are gaining popularity as a noninvasive technique that is representative of the entire colon. In this paper, we summarize the genetic and epigenetic fecal molecular markers that have been identified as potential targets in the screening of colorectal cancer.

  3. Prognostic DNA Methylation Markers for Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siri H. Strand

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Prostate cancer (PC is the most commonly diagnosed neoplasm and the third most common cause of cancer-related death amongst men in the Western world. PC is a clinically highly heterogeneous disease, and distinction between aggressive and indolent disease is a major challenge for the management of PC. Currently, no biomarkers or prognostic tools are able to accurately predict tumor progression at the time of diagnosis. Thus, improved biomarkers for PC prognosis are urgently needed. This review focuses on the prognostic potential of DNA methylation biomarkers for PC. Epigenetic changes are hallmarks of PC and associated with malignant initiation as well as tumor progression. Moreover, DNA methylation is the most frequently studied epigenetic alteration in PC, and the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers for PC has been demonstrated in multiple studies. The most promising methylation marker candidates identified so far include PITX2, C1orf114 (CCDC181 and the GABRE~miR-452~miR-224 locus, in addition to the three-gene signature AOX1/C1orf114/HAPLN3. Several other biomarker candidates have also been investigated, but with less stringent clinical validation and/or conflicting evidence regarding their possible prognostic value available at this time. Here, we review the current evidence for the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers in PC.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Clinical validation of an epigenetic assay to predict negative histopathological results in repeat prostate biopsies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, Alan W; Van Neste, Leander; Klein, Eric A; Marks, Leonard S; Gee, Jason R; Troyer, Dean A; Rieger-Christ, Kimberly; Jones, J Stephen; Magi-Galluzzi, Cristina; Mangold, Leslie A; Trock, Bruce J; Lance, Raymond S; Bigley, Joseph W; Van Criekinge, Wim; Epstein, Jonathan I

    2014-10-01

    The DOCUMENT multicenter trial in the United States validated the performance of an epigenetic test as an independent predictor of prostate cancer risk to guide decision making for repeat biopsy. Confirming an increased negative predictive value could help avoid unnecessary repeat biopsies. We evaluated the archived, cancer negative prostate biopsy core tissue samples of 350 subjects from a total of 5 urological centers in the United States. All subjects underwent repeat biopsy within 24 months with a negative (controls) or positive (cases) histopathological result. Centralized blinded pathology evaluation of the 2 biopsy series was performed in all available subjects from each site. Biopsies were epigenetically profiled for GSTP1, APC and RASSF1 relative to the ACTB reference gene using quantitative methylation specific polymerase chain reaction. Predetermined analytical marker cutoffs were used to determine assay performance. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate all risk factors. The epigenetic assay resulted in a negative predictive value of 88% (95% CI 85-91). In multivariate models correcting for age, prostate specific antigen, digital rectal examination, first biopsy histopathological characteristics and race the test proved to be the most significant independent predictor of patient outcome (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.60-4.51). The DOCUMENT study validated that the epigenetic assay was a significant, independent predictor of prostate cancer detection in a repeat biopsy collected an average of 13 months after an initial negative result. Due to its 88% negative predictive value adding this epigenetic assay to other known risk factors may help decrease unnecessary repeat prostate biopsies. Copyright © 2014 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  12. [Epigenetic alterations in acute lymphoblastic leukemia].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Nonlinear Epigenetic Variance: Review and Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Metabolic-epigenetic crosstalk in macrophage activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetics and the Social Work Imperative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combs-Orme, Terri

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Mitochondrial epigenetics : an overlooked layer of regulation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  19. Epigenetics as a First Exit Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aurell, E.; Sneppen, K.

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Epigenetics ELSI: Darker Than You Think?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Epigenetics of inflammation, maternal infection and nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Epigenetics: Making your mark on DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Bryan T.; He, Chuan

    2017-11-01

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

  3. Dietary effects on adipocyte metabolism and epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Epigenetic Modulation with HDAC Inhibitor CG200745 Induces Anti-Proliferation in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Chun, Sung-Min; Lee, Ji-Young; Choi, Jene; Lee, Je-Hwan; Hwang, Jung Jin; Kim, Chung-Soo; Suh, Young-Ah; Jang, Se Jin

    2015-01-01

    Histone modification plays a pivotal role on gene regulation, as regarded as global epigenetic markers, especially in tumor related genes. Hence, chemical approaches targeting histone-modifying enzymes have emerged onto the main stage of anticancer drug discovery. Here, we investigated the therapeutic potentials and mechanistic roles of the recently developed histone deacetylase inhibitor, CG200745, in non-small cell lung cancer cells. Treatment with CG200745 increased the global level of his...

  10. Identification of an epigenetic biomarker panel with high sensitivity and specificity for colorectal cancer and adenomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lind Guro E

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The presence of cancer-specific DNA methylation patterns in epithelial colorectal cells in human feces provides the prospect of a simple, non-invasive screening test for colorectal cancer and its precursor, the adenoma. This study investigates a panel of epigenetic markers for the detection of colorectal cancer and adenomas. Methods Candidate biomarkers were subjected to quantitative methylation analysis in test sets of tissue samples from colorectal cancers, adenomas, and normal colonic mucosa. All findings were verified in independent clinical validation series. A total of 523 human samples were included in the study. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve analysis was used to evaluate the performance of the biomarker panel. Results Promoter hypermethylation of the genes CNRIP1, FBN1, INA, MAL, SNCA, and SPG20 was frequent in both colorectal cancers (65-94% and adenomas (35-91%, whereas normal mucosa samples were rarely (0-5% methylated. The combined sensitivity of at least two positives among the six markers was 94% for colorectal cancers and 93% for adenoma samples, with a specificity of 98%. The resulting areas under the ROC curve were 0.984 for cancers and 0.968 for adenomas versus normal mucosa. Conclusions The novel epigenetic marker panel shows very high sensitivity and specificity for both colorectal cancers and adenomas. Our findings suggest this biomarker panel to be highly suitable for early tumor detection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rangarajan Sambathkumar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Reprogramming can occur by the introduction of key transcription factors (TFs as well as by epigenetic changes. We demonstrated that histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi Trichostatin A (TSA combined with a chromatin remodeling medium (CRM induced expression of a number of definitive endoderm and early and late pancreatic marker genes. When CRM was omitted, endoderm/pancreatic marker genes were not induced. Furthermore, treatment with DNA methyltransferase inhibitor (DNMTi 5-azacytidine (5AZA CRM did not affect gene expression changes, and when 5AZA was combined with TSA, no further increase in gene expression of endoderm, pancreatic endoderm, and endocrine markers was seen over levels induced with TSA alone. Interestingly, TSA-CRM did not affect expression of pluripotency and hepatocyte genes but induced some mesoderm transcripts. Upon removal of TSA-CRM, the endoderm/pancreatic gene expression profile returned to baseline. Our findings underscore the role epigenetic modification in transdifferentiation of one somatic cell into another. However, full reprogramming of fibroblasts to β-cells will require combination of this approach with TF overexpression and/or culture of the partially reprogrammed cells under β-cell specific conditions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Genetic, epigenetic, and HPLC fingerprint differentiation between natural and ex situ populations of Rhodiola sachalinensis from Changbai Mountain, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhao

    Full Text Available Rhodiola sachalinensis is an endangered species with important medicinal value. We used inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP markers to analyze genetic and epigenetic differentiation in different populations of R. sachalinensis, including three natural populations and an ex situ population. Chromatographic fingerprint was used to reveal HPLC fingerprint differentiation. According to our results, the ex situ population of R. sachalinensis has higher level genetic diversity and greater HPLC fingerprint variation than natural populations, but shows lower epigenetic diversity. Most genetic variation (54.88% was found to be distributed within populations, and epigenetic variation was primarily distributed among populations (63.87%. UPGMA cluster analysis of ISSR and MSAP data showed identical results, with individuals from each given population grouping together. The results of UPGMA cluster analysis of HPLC fingerprint patterns was significantly different from results obtained from ISSR and MSAP data. Correlation analysis revealed close relationships among altitude, genetic structure, epigenetic structure, and HPLC fingerprint patterns (R2 = 0.98 for genetic and epigenetic distance; R2 = 0.90 for DNA methylation level and altitude; R2 = -0.95 for HPLC fingerprint and altitude. Taken together, our results indicate that ex situ population of R. sachalinensis show significantly different genetic and epigenetic population structures and HPLC fingerprint patterns. Along with other potential explanations, these findings suggest that the ex situ environmental factors caused by different altitude play an important role in keeping hereditary characteristic of R. sachalinensis.

  17. Genetic, epigenetic, and HPLC fingerprint differentiation between natural and ex situ populations of Rhodiola sachalinensis from Changbai Mountain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wei; Shi, Xiaozheng; Li, Jiangnan; Guo, Wei; Liu, Chengbai; Chen, Xia

    2014-01-01

    Rhodiola sachalinensis is an endangered species with important medicinal value. We used inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) markers to analyze genetic and epigenetic differentiation in different populations of R. sachalinensis, including three natural populations and an ex situ population. Chromatographic fingerprint was used to reveal HPLC fingerprint differentiation. According to our results, the ex situ population of R. sachalinensis has higher level genetic diversity and greater HPLC fingerprint variation than natural populations, but shows lower epigenetic diversity. Most genetic variation (54.88%) was found to be distributed within populations, and epigenetic variation was primarily distributed among populations (63.87%). UPGMA cluster analysis of ISSR and MSAP data showed identical results, with individuals from each given population grouping together. The results of UPGMA cluster analysis of HPLC fingerprint patterns was significantly different from results obtained from ISSR and MSAP data. Correlation analysis revealed close relationships among altitude, genetic structure, epigenetic structure, and HPLC fingerprint patterns (R2 = 0.98 for genetic and epigenetic distance; R2 = 0.90 for DNA methylation level and altitude; R2 = -0.95 for HPLC fingerprint and altitude). Taken together, our results indicate that ex situ population of R. sachalinensis show significantly different genetic and epigenetic population structures and HPLC fingerprint patterns. Along with other potential explanations, these findings suggest that the ex situ environmental factors caused by different altitude play an important role in keeping hereditary characteristic of R. sachalinensis.

  18. Dynamic epigenetic states of maize centromeres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yalin eLiu

    2015-10-01

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

  19. [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.

  20. Epigenetic Modifications of Major Depressive Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen Saavedra

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Major depressive disorder (MDD is a chronic disease whose neurological basis and pathophysiology remain poorly understood. Initially, it was proposed that genetic variations were responsible for the development of this disease. Nevertheless, several studies within the last decade have provided evidence suggesting that environmental factors play an important role in MDD pathophysiology. Alterations in epigenetics mechanism, such as DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA expression could favor MDD advance in response to stressful experiences and environmental factors. The aim of this review is to describe genetic alterations, and particularly altered epigenetic mechanisms, that could be determinants for MDD progress, and how these alterations may arise as useful screening, diagnosis and treatment monitoring biomarkers of depressive disorders.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Analysis and Epigenetic Variations Associated with Congenital Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uppala Radhakrishna

    Full Text Available Congenital heart defect (CHD is the most common cause of death from congenital anomaly. Among several candidate epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation may play an important role in the etiology of CHDs. We conducted a genome-wide DNA methylation analysis using an Illumina Infinium 450k human methylation assay in a cohort of 24 newborns who had aortic valve stenosis (AVS, with gestational-age matched controls. The study identified significantly-altered CpG methylation at 59 sites in 52 genes in AVS subjects as compared to controls (either hypermethylated or demethylated. Gene Ontology analysis identified biological processes and functions for these genes including positive regulation of receptor-mediated endocytosis. Consistent with prior clinical data, the molecular function categories as determined using DAVID identified low-density lipoprotein receptor binding, lipoprotein receptor binding and identical protein binding to be over-represented in the AVS group. A significant epigenetic change in the APOA5 and PCSK9 genes known to be involved in AVS was also observed. A large number CpG methylation sites individually demonstrated good to excellent diagnostic accuracy for the prediction of AVS status, thus raising possibility of molecular screening markers for this disorder. Using epigenetic analysis we were able to identify genes significantly involved in the pathogenesis of AVS.

  4. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Analysis and Epigenetic Variations Associated with Congenital Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishna, Uppala; Albayrak, Samet; Alpay-Savasan, Zeynep; Zeb, Amna; Turkoglu, Onur; Sobolewski, Paul; Bahado-Singh, Ray O

    2016-01-01

    Congenital heart defect (CHD) is the most common cause of death from congenital anomaly. Among several candidate epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation may play an important role in the etiology of CHDs. We conducted a genome-wide DNA methylation analysis using an Illumina Infinium 450k human methylation assay in a cohort of 24 newborns who had aortic valve stenosis (AVS), with gestational-age matched controls. The study identified significantly-altered CpG methylation at 59 sites in 52 genes in AVS subjects as compared to controls (either hypermethylated or demethylated). Gene Ontology analysis identified biological processes and functions for these genes including positive regulation of receptor-mediated endocytosis. Consistent with prior clinical data, the molecular function categories as determined using DAVID identified low-density lipoprotein receptor binding, lipoprotein receptor binding and identical protein binding to be over-represented in the AVS group. A significant epigenetic change in the APOA5 and PCSK9 genes known to be involved in AVS was also observed. A large number CpG methylation sites individually demonstrated good to excellent diagnostic accuracy for the prediction of AVS status, thus raising possibility of molecular screening markers for this disorder. Using epigenetic analysis we were able to identify genes significantly involved in the pathogenesis of AVS.

  5. Microbiome, inflammation, epigenetic alterations, and mental diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Reza; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M; Zhou, Jin-Rong

    2017-09-01

    Major mental diseases such as autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder are debilitating illnesses with complex etiologies. Recent findings show that the onset and development of these illnesses cannot be well described by the one-gene; one-disease approach. Instead, their clinical presentation is thought to result from the regulative interplay of a large number of genes. Even though the involvement of many genes are likely, up regulating and activation or down regulation and silencing of these genes by the environmental factors play a crucial role in contributing to their pathogenesis. Much of this interplay may be moderated by epigenetic changes. Similar to genetic mutations, epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA interference can influence gene expression and therefore may cause behavioral and neuronal changes observed in mental disorders. Environmental factors such as diet, gut microbiota, and infections have significant role in these epigenetic modifications. Studies show that bioactive nutrients and gut microbiota can alter either DNA methylation and histone signatures through a variety of mechanisms. Indeed, microbes within the human gut may play a significant role in the regulation of various elements of "gut-brain axis," via their influence on inflammatory cytokines and production of antimicrobial peptides that affect the epigenome through their involvement in generating short chain fatty acids, vitamin synthesis, and nutrient absorption. In addition, they may participate in-gut production of many common neurotransmitters. In this review we will consider the potential interactions of diet, gastrointestinal microbiome, inflammation, and epigenetic alterations in psychiatric disorders. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. 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

  7. Bisphenol A in Reproduction: Epigenetic Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chianese, Rosanna; Troisi, Jacopo; Richards, Sean; Scafuro, Marika; Fasano, Silvia; Guida, Maurizio; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria

    2018-02-21

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin to produce a multitude of consumer products, food and drink containers, and medical devices. BPA is similar to estradiol in structure and thus interferes in steroid signalling with different outcomes on reproductive health depending on doses, life stage, mode, and timing of exposure. In this respect, it has an emerging and controversial role as a "reproductive toxicant" capable of inducing short and long-term effects including the modulation of gene expression through epigenetic modification (i.e. methylation of CpG islands, histone modifications and production of non-coding RNA) with direct and trans-generational effects on exposed organisms and their offspring, respectively. This review provides an overview about BPA effects on reproductive health and aims to summarize the epigenetic effects of BPA in male and female reproduction. BPA exerts epigenetic effects in both male and female reproduction. In males, BPA affects spermatogenesis and sperm quality and possible trans-generational effects on the reproductive ability of the offspring. In females, BPA affects ovary, embryo development, and gamete quality for successful in vivo and in vitro fertilization (IVF). The exact mechanisms of BPA-mediated effects in reproduction are not fully understood; however, the environmental exposure to BPA - especially in fetal and neonatal period - deserves attention to preserve the reproductive ability in both sexes and to reduce the epigenetic risk for the offspring. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Epigenetic regulation of axon and dendrite growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ephraim F Trakhtenberg

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuroregenerative therapies for central nervous system (CNS injury, neurodegenerative disease, or stroke require axons of damaged neurons to grow and reinnervate their targets. However, mature mammalian CNS neurons do not regenerate their axons, limiting recovery in these diseases (Yiu and He, 2006. CNS’ regenerative failure may be attributable to the development of an inhibitory CNS environment by glial-associated inhibitory molecules (Yiu and He, 2006, and by various cell-autonomous factors (Sun and He, 2010. Intrinsic axon growth ability also declines developmentally (Li et al., 1995; Goldberg et al., 2002; Bouslama-Oueghlani et al., 2003; Blackmore and Letourneau, 2006 and is dependent on transcription (Moore et al., 2009. Although neurons’ intrinsic capacity for axon growth may depend in part on the panoply of expressed transcription factors (Moore and Goldberg, 2011, epigenetic factors such as the accessibility of DNA and organization of chromatin are required for downstream genes to be transcribed. Thus a potential approach to overcoming regenerative failure focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms regulating regenerative gene expression in the CNS. Here we review molecular mechanisms regulating the epigenetic state of DNA through chromatin modifications, their implications for regulating axon and dendrite growth, and important new directions for this field of study.

  11. Epigenetic codes programming class switch recombination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bharat eVaidyanathan

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Class switch recombination imparts B cells with a fitness-associated adaptive advantage during a humoral immune response by using a precision-tailored DNA excision and ligation process to swap the default constant region gene of the antibody with a new one that has unique effector functions. This secondary diversification of the antibody repertoire is a hallmark of the adaptability of B cells when confronted with environmental and pathogenic challenges. Given that the nucleotide sequence of genes during class switching remains unchanged (genetic constraints, it is logical and necessary therefore, to integrate the adaptability of B cells to an epigenetic state, which is dynamic and can be heritably modulated before, after or even during an antibody-dependent immune response. Epigenetic regulation encompasses heritable changes that affect function (phenotype without altering the sequence information embedded in a gene, and include histone, DNA and RNA modifications. Here, we review current literature on how B cells use an epigenetic code language as a means to ensure antibody plasticity in light of pathogenic insults.

  12. [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.

  13. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  14. 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)

  15. Robotic liquid handling and automation in epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaisford, Wendy

    2012-10-01

    Automated liquid-handling robots and high-throughput screening (HTS) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the screening of large compound libraries, small molecules for activity against disease-relevant target pathways, or proteins. HTS robots capable of low-volume dispensing reduce assay setup times and provide highly accurate and reproducible dispensing, minimizing variation between sample replicates and eliminating the potential for manual error. Low-volume automated nanoliter dispensers ensure accuracy of pipetting within volume ranges that are difficult to achieve manually. In addition, they have the ability to potentially expand the range of screening conditions from often limited amounts of valuable sample, as well as reduce the usage of expensive reagents. The ability to accurately dispense lower volumes provides the potential to achieve a greater amount of information than could be otherwise achieved using manual dispensing technology. With the emergence of the field of epigenetics, an increasing number of drug discovery companies are beginning to screen compound libraries against a range of epigenetic targets. This review discusses the potential for the use of low-volume liquid handling robots, for molecular biological applications such as quantitative PCR and epigenetics.

  16. Epigenetic analysis of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunwell, Thomas L; Hesson, Luke B; Pavlova, Tatiana; Zabarovska, Veronika; Kashuba, Vladimir; Catchpoole, Daniel; Chiaramonte, Raffaella; Brini, Anna T; Griffiths, Mike; Maher, Eamonn R; Zabarovsky, Eugene; Latif, Farida

    2009-04-01

    We used a chromosome 3 wide NotI microarray for identification of epigenetically inactivated genes in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Three novel genes demonstrated frequent methylation in childhood ALL. PPP2R3A (protein phosphatase 2, regulatory subunit B", alpha) was frequently methylated in T (69%) and B (82%)-ALL. Whilst FBLN2 (fibulin 2) and THRB (thyroid hormone receptor, beta) showed frequent methylation in B-ALL (58%; 56% respectively), but were less frequently methylated in T-ALL (17% for both genes). Recently it was demonstrated that BNC1 (Basonuclin 1) and MSX1 (msh homeobox 1) were frequently methylated across common epithelial cancers. In our series of childhood ALL BNC1 was frequently methylated in both T (77%) and B-ALL (79%), whilst MSX1 showed T-ALL (25%) specific methylation. The methylation of the above five genes was cancer specific and expression of the genes could be restored in methylated leukemia cell lines treated with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. This is the first report demonstrating frequent epigenetic inactivation of PPP2R3A, FBLN2, THRB, BNC1 and MSX1 in leukemia. The identification of frequently methylated genes showing cancer specific methylation will be useful in developing early cancer detection screens and for targeted epigenetic therapies.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. HPV epigenetic mechanisms related to Oropharyngeal and Cervix cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Domenico, Marina; Giovane, Giancarlo; Kouidhi, Soumaya; Iorio, Rosamaria; Romano, Maurizio; De Francesco, Francesco; Feola, Antonia; Siciliano, Camilla; Califano, Luigi; Giordano, Antonio

    2017-03-31

    Human Papilloma Virus infection is very frequent in humans and is mainly transmitted sexually. The majority of infections are transient and asymptomatic, however, if the infection persists, it can occur with a variety of injuries to skin and mucous membranes, depending on the type of HPV involved. Some types of HPV are classified as high oncogenic risk as associated with the onset of cancer. The tumors most commonly associated with HPV are cervical and oropharyngeal cancer, epigenetic mechanisms related to HPV infection include methylation changes to host and viral DNA and chromatin modification in host species. This review is focused about epigenethic mechanism, such as MiRNAs expression, related to cervix and oral cancer. Specifically it discuss about molecular markers associated to a more aggressive phenotype. In this way we will analyze genes involved in meiotic sinaptonemal complex, transcriptional factors, of orthokeratins, sinaptogirin, they are all expressed in cancer in a way not more dependent on cell differentiation but HPV-dependent.

  2. Analysis of epigenetic factors in mouse embryonic neural stem cells exposed to hyperglycemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukanya Shyamasundar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Maternal diabetes alters gene expression leading to neural tube defects (NTDs in the developing brain. The mechanistic pathways that deregulate the gene expression remain unknown. It is hypothesized that exposure of neural stem cells (NSCs to high glucose/hyperglycemia results in activation of epigenetic mechanisms which alter gene expression and cell fate during brain development. METHODS AND FINDINGS: NSCs were isolated from normal pregnancy and streptozotocin induced-diabetic pregnancy and cultured in physiological glucose. In order to examine hyperglycemia induced epigenetic changes in NSCs, chromatin reorganization, global histone status at lysine 9 residue of histone H3 (acetylation and trimethylation and global DNA methylation were examined and found to be altered by hyperglycemia. In NSCs, hyperglycemia increased the expression of Dcx (Doublecortin and Pafah1b1 (Platelet activating factor acetyl hydrolase, isoform 1b, subunit 1 proteins concomitant with decreased expression of four microRNAs (mmu-miR-200a, mmu-miR-200b, mmu-miR-466a-3p and mmu-miR-466 d-3p predicted to target these genes. Knockdown of specific microRNAs in NSCs resulted in increased expression of Dcx and Pafah1b1 proteins confirming target prediction and altered NSC fate by increasing the expression of neuronal and glial lineage markers. CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: This study revealed that hyperglycemia alters the epigenetic mechanisms in NSCs, resulting in altered expression of some development control genes which may form the basis for the NTDs. Since epigenetic changes are reversible, they may be valuable therapeutic targets in order to improve fetal outcomes in diabetic pregnancy.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Tissue culture-induced genetic and epigenetic alterations in rice pure-lines, F1 hybrids and polyploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoran; Wu, Rui; Lin, Xiuyun; Bai, Yan; Song, Congdi; Yu, Xiaoming; Xu, Chunming; Zhao, Na; Dong, Yuzhu; Liu, Bao

    2013-05-05

    Genetic and epigenetic alterations can be invoked by plant tissue culture, which may result in heritable changes in phenotypes, a phenomenon collectively termed somaclonal variation. Although extensive studies have been conducted on the molecular nature and spectrum of tissue culture-induced genomic alterations, the issue of whether and to what extent distinct plant genotypes, e.g., pure-lines, hybrids and polyploids, may respond differentially to the tissue culture condition remains poorly understood. We investigated tissue culture-induced genetic and epigenetic alterations in a set of rice genotypes including two pure-lines (different subspecies), a pair of reciprocal F1 hybrids parented by the two pure-lines, and a pair of reciprocal tetraploids resulted from the hybrids. Using two molecular markers, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP), both genetic and DNA methylation alterations were detected in calli and regenerants from all six genotypes, but genetic alteration is more prominent than epigenetic alteration. While significant genotypic difference was observed in frequencies of both types of alterations, only genetic alteration showed distinctive features among the three types of genomes, with one hybrid (N/9) being exceptionally labile. Surprisingly, difference in genetic alteration frequencies between the pair of reciprocal F1 hybrids is much greater than that between the two pure-line subspecies. Difference also exists in the pair of reciprocal tetraploids, but is to a less extent than that between the hybrids. The steady-state transcript abundance of genes involved in DNA repair and DNA methylation was significantly altered in both calli and regenerants, and some of which were correlated with the genetic and/or epigenetic alterations. Our results, based on molecular marker analysis of ca. 1,000 genomic loci, document that genetic alteration is the major cause of somaclonal variation in rice

  9. Epigenetic Silencing and Resistance to Imatinib Mesylate in CML

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2004-01-01

    ...). In this project, we are exploring the hypothesis that epigenetic silencing associated with promoter DNA methylation mediates resistance in selected cases, and that reversal of silencing by decitabine...

  10. Epigenetic Silencing and Resistance to Imatinib Mesylate in CML

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2005-01-01

    ...). In this project, we are exploring the hypothesis that epigenetic silencing associated with promoter DNA methylation mediates resistance in selected cases, and that reversal of silencing by decitabine...

  11. Epigenetic Silencing and Resistance to Imatinib Mesylate in CML

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2006-01-01

    ...). In this project we are exploring the hypothesis that epigenetic silencing associated with promoter DNA methylation mediates resistance in selected cases and that reversal of silencing by decitabine...

  12. 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.

  13. Epigenetic mechanisms in the initiation of hematological malignancies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Maleki

    2011-10-01

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

  14. Environmental Epigenetics: Crossroad between Public Health, Lifestyle, and Cancer Prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romani, Massimo; Pistillo, Maria Pia; Banelli, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics provides the key to transform the genetic information into phenotype and because of its reversibility it is considered an ideal target for therapeutic interventions. This paper reviews the basic mechanisms of epigenetic control: DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and ncRNA expression and their role in disease development. We describe also the influence of the environment, lifestyle, nutritional habits, and the psychological influence on epigenetic marks and how these factors are related to cancer and other diseases development. Finally we discuss the potential use of natural epigenetic modifiers in the chemoprevention of cancer to link together public health, environment, and lifestyle. PMID:26339624

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Epigenetic Effects of Diet on Fruit Fly Lifespan: An Investigation to Teach Epigenetics to Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billingsley, James; Carlson, Kimberly A.

    2010-01-01

    Do our genes exclusively control us, or are other factors at play? Epigenetics can provide a means for students to use inquiry-based methods to understand a complex biological concept. Students research and design an experiment testing whether dietary supplements affect the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster over multiple generations.

  20. 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.

  1. [Epigenetics in allergic diseases and asthma].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Allergic diseases and asthma are the result of complex interactions between genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic disease among children. In this article we review some environmental factors like: allergen exposition, tobacco, bacteria, microbial components, diet, obesity and stress, which influences during intrauterine and infancy life in the epigenetic regulation of asthma and allergic diseases. The review has been done in three models: in-vitro, animal and human. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Chilena de Pediatría. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  2. Models of life: epigenetics, diversity and cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sneppen, Kim

    2017-04-01

    This review emphasizes aspects of biology that can be understood through repeated applications of simple causal rules. The selected topics include perspectives on gene regulation, phage lambda development, epigenetics, microbial ecology, as well as model approaches to diversity and to punctuated equilibrium in evolution. Two outstanding features are repeatedly described. One is the minimal number of rules to sustain specific states of complex systems for a long time. The other is the collapse of such states and the subsequent dynamical cycle of situations that restitute the system to a potentially new metastable state.

  3. Cow's milk allergy in Dutch children: an epigenetic pilot survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petrus, Nicole C. M.; Henneman, Peter; Venema, Andrea; Mul, Adri; van Sinderen, Femke; Haagmans, Martin; Mook, Olaf; Hennekam, Raoul C.; Sprikkelman, Aline B.; Mannens, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Background: Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is a common disease in infancy. Early environmental factors are likely to contribute to CMA. It is known that epigenetic gene regulation can be altered by environmental factors. We have set up a proof of concept study, aiming to detect epigenetic associations

  4. The Art of Interpreting Epigenetic Activity | Center for Cancer Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Even though all the cells of the human body share a common genomic blueprint, epigenetic activity such as DNA methylation, introduces molecular diversity that results in functionally and biologically different cellular constituents. In cancers, this ability of epigenetic activity to introduce molecular diversity is emerging as a powerful classifier of biological aggressiveness.

  5. Ontogeny and Phylogeny from an Epigenetic Point of View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovtrup, Soren

    1984-01-01

    The correlation between ontogeny and phylogeny is analyzed through the discussion of four theories on the reality, history, epigenetic, and ecological aspects of the mechanism of evolution. Also discussed are historical and creative aspects of evolution and three epigenetic mechanisms instantiated in the case of the amphibian embryo. (Author/RH)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Application of epigenetic data in human health risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cote, Ila L; McCullough, Shaun D; Hines, Ronald N; Vandenberg, John J

    2017-11-06

    Despite the many recent advances in the field of epigenetics, application of this knowledge in environmental health risk assessment has been limited. In this paper, we identify opportunities for application of epigenetic data to support health risk assessment. We consider current applications and present a vision for the future.

  9. Assessing the Impact of Transgenerational Epigenetic Variation on Complex Traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Johannes, Frank; Porcher, Emmanuelle; Teixeira, Felipe K.; Saliba-Colombani, Vera; Simon, Matthieu; Agier, Nicolas; Bulski, Agnes; Albuisson, Juliette; Heredia, Fabiana; Audigier, Pascal; Bouchez, David; Dillmann, Christine; Guerche, Philippe; Hospital, Frederic; Colot, Vincent

    Loss or gain of DNA methylation can affect gene expression and is sometimes transmitted across generations. Such epigenetic alterations are thus a possible source of heritable phenotypic variation in the absence of DNA sequence change. However, attempts to assess the prevalence of stable epigenetic

  10. Analysis of epigenetic modifications of DNA in human cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetics, the study of somatically heritable changes in gene expression not related to changes in the DNA sequence, is a rapidly expanding research field that plays important roles in healthy as well as in diseased cells. DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation are epigenetic modifications found...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McKenna Longacre

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Given the role that the 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 the environmental factors can cause cell type-dependent epigenetic changes, inc...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Untangling individual variation in natural populations: ecological, genetic and epigenetic correlates of long-term inequality in herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, C M; Bazaga, P

    2011-04-01

    Individual variation in ecologically important features of organisms is a crucial element in ecology and evolution, yet disentangling its underlying causes is difficult in natural populations. We applied a genomic scan approach using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to quantify the genetic basis of long-term individual differences in herbivory by mammals at a wild population of the violet Viola cazorlensis monitored for two decades. In addition, methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analyses were used to investigate the association between browsing damage and epigenetic characteristics of individuals, an aspect that has been not previously explored for any wild plant. Structural equation modelling was used to identify likely causal structures linking genotypes, epigenotypes and herbivory. Individuals of V. cazorlensis differed widely in the incidence of browsing mammals over the 20-year study period. Six AFLP markers (1.6% of total) were significantly related to herbivory, accounting altogether for 44% of population-wide variance in herbivory levels. MSAP analyses revealed considerable epigenetic variation among individuals, and differential browsing damage was significantly related to variation in multilocus epigenotypes. In addition, variation across plants in epigenetic characteristics was related to variation in several herbivory-related AFLP markers. Statistical comparison of alternative causal models suggested that individual differences in herbivory are the outcome of a complex causal structure where genotypes and epigenotypes are interconnected and have direct and indirect effects on herbivory. Insofar as methylation states of MSAP markers influential on herbivory are transgenerationally heritable, herbivore-driven evolutionary changes at the study population will involve correlated changes in genotypic and epigenotypic distributions. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetic regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell function in atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findeisen, Hannes M; Kahles, Florian K; Bruemmer, Dennis

    2013-04-01

    Epigenetics involve heritable and acquired changes in gene transcription that occur independently of the DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms constitute a hierarchic upper-level of transcriptional control through complex modifications of chromosomal components and nuclear structures. These modifications include, for example, DNA methylation or post-translational modifications of core histones; they are mediated by various chromatin-modifying enzymes; and ultimately they define the accessibility of a transcriptional complex to its target DNA. Integrating epigenetic mechanisms into the pathophysiologic concept of complex and multifactorial diseases such as atherosclerosis may significantly enhance our understanding of related mechanisms and provide promising therapeutic approaches. Although still in its infancy, intriguing scientific progress has begun to elucidate the role of epigenetic mechanisms in vascular biology, particularly in the control of smooth muscle cell phenotypes. In this review, we will summarize epigenetic pathways in smooth muscle cells, focusing on mechanisms involved in the regulation of vascular remodeling.

  5. Genetic and epigenetic risks of assisted reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ziru; Wang, Yinyu; Lin, Jing; Xu, Jingjing; Ding, Guolian; Huang, Hefeng

    2017-10-01

    Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is used primarily for infertility treatments to achieve pregnancy and involves procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and cryopreservation. Moreover, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of ART is used in couples for genetic reasons. In ART treatments, gametes and zygotes are exposed to a series of non-physiological processes and culture media. Although the majority of children born with this treatment are healthy, some concerns remain regarding the safety of this technology. Animal studies and follow-up studies of ART-borne children suggested that ART was associated with an increased incidence of genetic, physical, or developmental abnormalities, although there are also observations that contradict these findings. As IVF, ICSI, frozen-thawed embryo transfer, and PGD manipulate gametes and embryo at a time that is important for reprogramming, they may affect epigenetic stability, leading to gamete/embryo origins of adult diseases. In fact, ART offspring have been reported to have an increased risk of gamete/embryo origins of adult diseases, such as early-onset diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and so on. In this review, we will discuss evidence related to genetic, especially epigenetic, risks of assisted reproduction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetic priming of the metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Kimberley D; Cagampang, Felino R

    2011-05-01

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

  8. Epigenetics and the environment in bioethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupras, Charles; Ravitsky, Vardit; Williams-Jones, Bryn

    2014-09-01

    A rich literature in public health has demonstrated that health is strongly influenced by a host of environmental factors that can vary according to social, economic, geographic, cultural or physical contexts. Bioethicists should, we argue, recognize this and--where appropriate--work to integrate environmental concerns into their field of study and their ethical deliberations. In this article, we present an argument grounded in scientific research at the molecular level that will be familiar to--and so hopefully more persuasive for--the biomedically-inclined in the bioethics community. Specifically, we argue that the relatively new field of molecular epigenetics provides novel information that should serve as additional justification for expanding the scope of bioethics to include environmental and public health concerns. We begin by presenting two distinct visions of bioethics: the individualistic and rights-oriented and the communitarian and responsibility-oriented. We follow with a description of biochemical characteristics distinguishing epigenetics from genetics, in order to emphasize the very close relationship that exists between the environment and gene expression. This then leads to a discussion of the importance of the environment in determining individual and population health, which, we argue, should shift bioethics towards a Potterian view that promotes a communitarian-based sense of responsibility for the environment, in order to fully account for justice considerations and improve public health. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Obesity and diabetes: from genetics to epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgio, Ernesto; Lopomo, Angela; Migliore, Lucia

    2015-04-01

    Obesity is becoming an epidemic health problem. During the last years not only genetic but also, and primarily, environmental factors have been supposed to contribute to the susceptibility to weight gain or to develop complications such as type 2 diabetes. In spite of the intense efforts to identify genetic predisposing variants, progress has been slow and success limited, and the common obesity susceptibility variants identified only explains a small part of the individual variation in risk. Moreover, there is evidence that the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes is environment-driven. Recent studies indicate that normal metabolic regulation during adulthood besides requiring a good balance between energy intake and energy expenditure, can be also affected by pre- and post-natal environments. In fact, maternal nutritional constraint during pregnancy can alter the metabolic phenotype of the offspring by means of epigenetic regulation of specific genes, and this can be passed to the next generations. Studies focused on epigenetic marks in obesity found altered methylation and/or histone acetylation levels in genes involved in specific but also in more general metabolic processes. Recent researches point out the continuous increase of "obesogens", in the environment and food chains, above all endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with many homeostatic mechanisms. Taken into account the already existing data on the effects of obesogens, and the multiple potential targets with which they might interfere daily, it seems likely that the exposure to obesogens can have an important role in the obesity and diabesity pandemic.

  10. Epigenetic Silencing of DKK3 in Medulloblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Oberthuer

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallack, Lawrence; Thornburg, Kent

    2016-05-01

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

  12. The Epigenetic Landscape of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Conway O’Brien

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Acute myeloid leukemia (AML is a genetically heterogeneous disease. Certain cytogenetic and molecular genetic mutations are recognized to have an impact on prognosis, leading to their inclusion in some prognostic stratification systems. Recently, the advent of high-throughput whole genome or exome sequencing has led to the identification of several novel recurrent mutations in AML, a number of which have been found to involve genes concerned with epigenetic regulation. These genes include in particular DNMT3A, TET2, and IDH1/2, involved with regulation of DNA methylation, and EZH2 and ASXL-1, which are implicated in regulation of histones. However, the precise mechanisms linking these genes to AML pathogenesis have yet to be fully elucidated as has their respective prognostic relevance. As massively parallel DNA sequencing becomes increasingly accessible for patients, there is a need for clarification of the clinical implications of these mutations. This review examines the literature surrounding the biology of these epigenetic modifying genes with regard to leukemogenesis and their clinical and prognostic relevance in AML when mutated.

  13. Epigenetic variation during the adult lifespan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    The accumulation of epigenetic changes was proposed to contribute to the age-related increase in the risk of most common diseases. In this study on 230 monozygotic twin pairs (MZ pairs), aged 18-89 years, we investigated the occurrence of epigenetic changes over the adult lifespan. Using mass...... individuals, ranging from 1.2-fold larger at ABCA1 (P = 0.010) to 1.6-fold larger at INS (P = 3.7 × 10(-07) ). Similarly, there was more within-MZ-pair discordance in old as compared with young MZ pairs, except for GNASAS, ranging from an 8% increase in discordance each decade at CRH (P = 8.9 × 10...... spectrometry, we investigated variation in global (LINE1) DNA methylation and in DNA methylation at INS, KCNQ1OT1, IGF2, GNASAS, ABCA1, LEP, and CRH, candidate loci for common diseases. Except for KCNQ1OT1, interindividual variation in locus-specific DNA methylation was larger in old individuals than in young...

  14. Molecular genetics and epigenetics of CACTA elements

    KAUST Repository

    Fedoroff, Nina V.

    2013-08-21

    The CACTA transposons, so named for a highly conserved motif at element ends, comprise one of the most abundant superfamilies of Class 2 (cut-and-paste) plant transposons. CACTA transposons characteristically include subterminal sequences of several hundred nucleotides containing closely spaced direct and inverted repeats of a short, conserved sequence of 14-15 bp. The Supressor-mutator (Spm) transposon, identified and subjected to detailed genetic analysis by Barbara McClintock, remains the paradigmatic element of the CACTA family. The Spm transposon encodes two proteins required for transposition, the transposase (TnpD) and a regulatory protein (TnpA) that binds to the subterminal repeats. Spm expression is subject to both genetic and epigenetic regulation. The Spm-encoded TnpA serves as an activator of the epigenetically inactivated, methylated Spm, stimulating both transient and heritable activation of the transposon. TnpA also serves as a negative regulator of the demethylated active element promoter and is required, in addition to the TnpD, for transposition. © Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miousse, Isabelle R.; Currie, Richard; Datta, Kaushik; Ellinger-Ziegelbauer, Heidrun; French, John E.; Harrill, Alison H.; Koturbash, Igor; Lawton, Michael; Mann, Derek; Meehan, Richard R.; Moggs, Jonathan G.; O’Lone, Raegan; Rasoulpour, Reza J.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. The Role of Epigenetics in the Latent Effects of Early Life Exposure to Obesogenic Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stel, Jente; Legler, Juliette

    2015-10-01

    Recent research supports a role for exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the global obesity epidemic. Obesogenic EDCs have the potential to inappropriately stimulate adipogenesis and fat storage, influence metabolism and energy balance and increase susceptibility to obesity. Developmental exposure to obesogenic EDCs is proposed to interfere with epigenetic programming of gene regulation, partly by activation of nuclear receptors, thereby influencing the risk of obesity later in life. The goal of this minireview is to briefly describe the epigenetic mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity and to evaluate the evidence of a mechanistic link between altered epigenetic gene regulation by early life EDC exposure and latent onset of obesity. We summarize the results of recent in vitro, in vivo, and transgenerational studies, which clearly show that the obesogenic effects of EDCs such as tributyltin, brominated diphenyl ether 47, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are mediated by the activation and associated altered methylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, the master regulator of adipogenesis, or its target genes. Importantly, studies are emerging that assess the effects of EDCs on the interplay between DNA methylation and histone modifications in altered chromatin structure. These types of studies coupled with genome-wide rather than gene-specific analyses are needed to improve mechanistic understanding of epigenetic changes by EDC exposure. Current advances in the field of epigenomics have led to the first potential epigenetic markers for obesity that can be detected at birth, providing an important basis to determine the effects of developmental exposure to obesogenic EDCs in humans.

  17. Immediate Genetic and Epigenetic Changes in F1 Hybrids Parented by Species with Divergent Genomes in the Rice Genus (Oryza.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Wu

    Full Text Available Inter-specific hybridization occurs frequently in higher plants, and represents a driving force of evolution and speciation. Inter-specific hybridization often induces genetic and epigenetic instabilities in the resultant homoploid hybrids or allopolyploids, a phenomenon known as genome shock. Although genetic and epigenetic consequences of hybridizations between rice subspecies (e.g., japonica and indica and closely related species sharing the same AA genome have been extensively investigated, those of inter-specific hybridizations between more remote species with different genomes in the rice genus, Oryza, remain largely unknown.We investigated the immediate chromosomal and molecular genetic/epigenetic instability of three triploid F1 hybrids produced by inter-specific crossing between species with divergent genomes of Oryza by genomic in situ hybridization (GISH and molecular marker analysis. Transcriptional and transpositional activity of several transposable elements (TEs and methylation stability of their flanking regions were also assessed. We made the following principle findings: (i all three triploid hybrids are stable in both chromosome number and gross structure; (ii stochastic changes in both DNA sequence and methylation occurred in individual plants of all three triploid hybrids, but in general methylation changes occurred at lower frequencies than genetic changes; (iii alteration in DNA methylation occurred to a greater extent in genomic loci flanking potentially active TEs than in randomly sampled loci; (iv transcriptional activation of several TEs commonly occurred in all three hybrids but transpositional events were detected in a genetic context-dependent manner.Artificially constructed inter-specific hybrids of remotely related species with divergent genomes in genus Oryza are chromosomally stable but show immediate and highly stochastic genetic and epigenetic instabilities at the molecular level. These novel hybrids might

  18. 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.

  19. Genetic and Epigenetic Tumor Suppressor Gene Silencing are Distinct Molecular Phenotypes Driven by Growth Promoting Mutations in Non small Cell Lung Cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marsit, C. J.; Kelsey, K. T.; Houseman, E. A.; Kelsey, K. T.; Houseman, E. A.; Nelson, H. H.

    2008-01-01

    Both genetic and epigenetic alterations characterize human non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the biological processes that create or select these alterations remain incompletely investigated. Our hypothesis posits that a roughly reciprocal relationship between the propensity for promoter hyper methylation and a propensity for genetic deletion leads to distinct molecular phenotypes of lung cancer. To test this hypothesis, we examined promoter hyper methylation of 17 tumor suppressor genes, as a marker of epigenetic alteration propensity, and deletion events at the 3p21 region, as a marker of genetic alteration. To model the complex biology between these somatic alterations, we utilized an item response theory model. We demonstrated that tumors exhibiting LOH at greater than 30% of informative alleles in the 3p21 region have a significantly reduced propensity for hyper methylation. At the same time, tumors with activating KRAS mutations showed a significantly increased propensity for hyper methylation of the loci examined, a result similar to what has been observed in colon cancer. These data suggest that NSCLCs have distinct epigenetic or genetic alteration phenotypes acting upon tumor suppressor genes and that mutation of oncogenic growth promoting genes, such as KRAS, is associated with the epigenetic phenotype.

  20. Genetic and Epigenetic Tumor Suppressor Gene Silencing Are Distinct Molecular Phenotypes Driven by Growth Promoting Mutations in Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen J. Marsit

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Both genetic and epigenetic alterations characterize human nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC, but the biological processes that create or select these alterations remain incompletely investigated. Our hypothesis posits that a roughly reciprocal relationship between the propensity for promoter hypermethylation and a propensity for genetic deletion leads to distinct molecular phenotypes of lung cancer. To test this hypothesis, we examined promoter hypermethylation of 17 tumor suppressor genes, as a marker of epigenetic alteration propensity, and deletion events at the 3p21 region, as a marker of genetic alteration. To model the complex biology between these somatic alterations, we utilized an item response theory model. We demonstrated that tumors exhibiting LOH at greater than 30% of informative alleles in the 3p21 region have a significantly reduced propensity for hypermethylation. At the same time, tumors with activating KRAS mutations showed a significantly increased propensity for hypermethylation of the loci examined, a result similar to what has been observed in colon cancer. These data suggest that NSCLCs have distinct epigenetic or genetic alteration phenotypes acting upon tumor suppressor genes and that mutation of oncogenic growth promoting genes, such as KRAS, is associated with the epigenetic phenotype.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic alterations and epigenetic changes in hepatocarcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz Stella Hoyos Giraldo

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available

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

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

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

  3. Epigenetic suppression of EGFR signaling in G-CIMP+ glioblastomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Taich, Zachary J; Goyal, Amit; Gonda, David; Akers, Johnny; Adhikari, Bandita; Patel, Kunal; Vandenberg, Scott; Yan, Wei; Bao, Zhaoshi; Carter, Bob S; Wang, Renzhi; Mao, Ying; Jiang, Tao; Chen, Clark C

    2014-09-15

    The intrinsic signaling cascades and cell states associated with the Glioma CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (G-CIMP) remain poorly understood. Using published mRNA signatures associated with EGFR activation, we demonstrate that G-CIMP+ tumors harbor decreased EGFR signaling using three independent datasets, including the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas(CGGA; n=155), the REMBRANDT dataset (n=288), and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA; n=406). Additionally, an independent collection of 25 fresh-frozen glioblastomas confirmed lowered pERK levels in G-CIMP+ specimens (pCIMP+ glioblastomas harbored lowered mRNA levels for EGFR and H-Ras. Induction of G-CIMP+ state by exogenous expression of a mutated isocitrate dehydrogenase 1, IDH1-R132H, suppressed EGFR and H-Ras protein expression as well as pERK accumulation in independent glioblastoma models. These suppressions were associated with increased deposition of the repressive histone markers, H3K9me3 and H3K27me3, in the EGFR and H-Ras promoter regions. The IDH1-R132H expression-induced pERK suppression can be reversed by exogenous expression of H-RasG12V. Finally, the G-CIMP+ Ink4a-Arf-/- EGFRvIII glioblastoma line was more resistant to the EGFR inhibitor, Gefitinib, relative to its isogenic G-CIMP- counterpart. These results suggest that G-CIMP epigenetically regulates EGFR signaling and serves as a predictive biomarker for EGFR inhibitors in glioblastoma patients.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetic modifications: basic mechanisms and role in cardiovascular disease (2013 Grover Conference series)

    OpenAIRE

    Loscalzo, Joseph; Handy, Diane E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Epigenetics refers to heritable traits that are not a consequence of DNA sequence. Three classes of epigenetic regulation exist: DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA action. In the cardiovascular system, epigenetic regulation affects development, differentiation, and disease propensity or expression. Defining the determinants of epigenetic regulation offers opportunities for novel strategies for disease prevention and treatment.

  13. Epigenetic modifications: basic mechanisms and role in cardiovascular disease (2013 Grover Conference series).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loscalzo, Joseph; Handy, Diane E

    2014-06-01

    Epigenetics refers to heritable traits that are not a consequence of DNA sequence. Three classes of epigenetic regulation exist: DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA action. In the cardiovascular system, epigenetic regulation affects development, differentiation, and disease propensity or expression. Defining the determinants of epigenetic regulation offers opportunities for novel strategies for disease prevention and treatment.

  14. Current and upcoming approaches to exploit the reversibility of epigenetic mutations in breast cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Falahi, Fahimeh; van Kruchten, Michel; Martinet, Nadine; Hospers, Geesiena; Rots, Marianne G.

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation and histone modifications are important epigenetic modifications associated with gene (dys) regulation. The epigenetic modifications are balanced by epigenetic enzymes, so-called writers and erasers, such as DNA (de)methylases and histone (de)acetylases. Aberrant epigenetic

  15. Ayurveda: Science of life, genetics, and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Hari

    2016-01-01

    Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine originated in the ancient Vedic times of India. This body of knowledge is found in well-documented texts such as the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita , and describes physiology and interrelated systems of the body, variations in human constitution, surgery, herbal use, and health-promoting recommendations. Ayurveda is translated as the "Science of Life;" Ayus = Life, and Veda = knowledge/science. The principles and treatment modalities have endured over time. For Ayurveda to be appreciated by Western medical researchers, this traditional system of medicine needs to be understood in terms of modern science. The current theories of physiology that support Ayurvedic approaches need to be explored. Herein, one approach of how the realm of epigenetics can help elucidate the mechanisms of Ayurveda has been described.

  16. Epigenetic control of embryonic stem cell fate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christophersen, Nicolaj Strøyer; Helin, Kristian

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Alzheimer's Disease: Aging, Insomnia and Epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzong Yuan Wu

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is the most common form of dementia. Severe memory loss, confusion, and impaired cognitive abilities characterize AD. It was only a century after Alzheimer's discovery that scientists were able to shed light on the mystery of its cause, but AD has also become a globally important health issue and the treatment of AD is a challenge for modern medicine. At present, there are five drugs approved in the United States for the treatment of AD, namely, donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, and tacrine (which are all cholinesterase inhibitors; and memantine (which is a glutamate receptor antagonist. However, these drugs show only modest effects on AD patients. Thus, new investigations are necessary for pharmacological development in AD. This brief review focuses on new studies that demonstrate the link between epigenetics and AD, and explores the possibility that insomnia may be one factor that effects AD.

  18. Mitochondrial-epigenetic crosstalk in environmental toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinhouse, Caren

    2017-11-01

    Crosstalk between the nuclear epigenome and mitochondria, both in normal physiological function and in responses to environmental toxicant exposures, is a developing sub-field of interest in environmental and molecular toxicology. The majority (∼99%) of mitochondrial proteins are encoded in the nuclear genome, so programmed communication among nuclear, cytoplasmic, and mitochondrial compartments is essential for maintaining cellular health. In this review, we will focus on correlative and mechanistic evidence for direct impacts of each system on the other, discuss demonstrated or potential crosstalk in the context of chemical insult, and highlight biological research questions for future study. We will first review the two main signaling systems: nuclear signaling to the mitochondria [anterograde signaling], best described in regulation of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and mitochondrial biogenesis in response to environmental signals received by the nucleus, and mitochondrial signals to the nucleus [retrograde signaling]. Both signaling systems can communicate intracellular energy needs or a need to compensate for dysfunction to maintain homeostasis, but both can also relay inappropriate signals in the presence of dysfunction in either system and contribute to adverse health outcomes. We will first review these two signaling systems and highlight known or biologically feasible epigenetic contributions to both, then briefly discuss the emerging field of epigenetic regulation of the mitochondrial genome, and finally discuss putative "crosstalk phenotypes", including biological phenomena, such as caloric restriction, maintenance of stemness, and circadian rhythm, and states of disease or loss of function, such as cancer and aging, in which both the nuclear epigenome and mitochondria are strongly implicated. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Alteration of Epigenetic Regulation by Long Noncoding RNAs in Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariangela Morlando

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs are important regulators of the epigenetic status of the human genome. Besides their participation to normal physiology, lncRNA expression and function have been already associated to many diseases, including cancer. By interacting with epigenetic regulators and by controlling chromatin topology, their misregulation may result in an aberrant regulation of gene expression that may contribute to tumorigenesis. Here, we review the functional role and mechanisms of action of lncRNAs implicated in the aberrant epigenetic regulation that has characterized cancer development and progression.

  20. Epigenetic regulation of ageing: linking environmental inputs to genomic stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benayoun, Bérénice A.; Pollina, Elizabeth A.; Brunet, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Preface Ageing is affected by both genetic and non-genetic factors. Here, we review the chromatin-based epigenetic changes that occur during ageing, the role of chromatin modifiers in modulating lifespan and the importance of epigenetic signatures as biomarkers of ageing. We also discuss how epigenome remodeling by environmental stimuli impacts several aspects of transcription and genomic stability, with important consequences on longevity, and outline epigenetic differences between the ‘mortal soma’ and the ‘immortal germline’. Finally, we discuss the inheritance of ageing characteristics and potential chromatin-based strategies to delay or reverse hallmarks of ageing or age-related diseases. PMID:26373265

  1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco smoke, and epigenetic remodeling in asthma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingbeil, E. C.; Hew, K. M.; Nygaard, U. C.; Nadeau, K. C.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental determinants including aerosolized pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tobacco smoke have been associated with exacerbation and increased incidence of asthma. The influence of aerosolized pollutants on the development of immune dysfunction in asthmatics has been suggested to be mediated through epigenetic remodeling. Genome accessibility and transcription are regulated primarily through DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA transcript silencing. Epigenetic remodeling has been shown in studies to be associated with Th2 polarization and associated cytokine and chemokine regulation in the development of asthma. This review will present evidence for the contribution of the aerosolized pollutants PAH and environmental tobacco smoke to epigenetic remodeling in asthma. PMID:24760221

  2. Epigenetics of Autoantigens: New Opportunities for Therapy of Autoimmune Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Radic

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The field of epigenetics requires that traditional divisions between scientific disciplines give way to cross-fertilization of concepts and ideas from different areas of investigation. Such is the case with research in autoimmunity. Recent discoveries of stimuli that induce autoimmunity reveal that epigenetic marks of autoantigens are recognized by autoreactive B and T cell receptors. Thus, insights into the initiation of autoimmunity, its prevention and therapy will arise from understanding the biochemistry, cell biology and microbiology of autoantigen epigenetics. Here, we highlight potential benefits from the inhibition of a histone modifying enzyme and the administration of a phosphorylated, spliceosome-derived peptide, in the treatment of autoimmunity.

  3. 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.

  4. Protocol for assessing maternal, environmental and epigenetic risk factors for dental caries in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernando, Surani; Speicher, David J; Bakr, Mahmoud M; Benton, Miles C; Lea, Rodney A; Scuffham, Paul A; Mihala, Gabor; Johnson, Newell W

    2015-12-29

    Expenditure on dental and oral health services in Australia is $3.4 billion AUD annually. This is the sixth highest health cost and accounts for 7 % of total national health expenditure. Approximately 49 % of Australian children aged 6 years have caries experience in their deciduous teeth and this is rising. The aetiology of dental caries involves a complex interplay of individual, behavioural, social, economic, political and environmental conditions, and there is increasing interest in genetic predisposition and epigenetic modification. The Oral Health Sub-study; a cross sectional study of a birth cohort began in November 2012 by examining mothers and their children who were six years old by the time of initiation of the study, which is ongoing. Data from detailed questionnaires of families from birth onwards and data on mothers' knowledge, attitudes and practices towards oral health collected at the time of clinical examination are used. Subjects' height, weight and mid-waist circumference are taken and Body Mass Index (BMI) computed, using an electronic Bio-Impedance balance. Dental caries experience is scored using the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS). Saliva is collected for physiological measures. Salivary Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA) is extracted for genetic studies including epigenetics using the SeqCap Epi Enrichment Kit. Targets of interest are being confirmed by pyrosequencing to identify potential epigenetic markers of caries risk. This study will examine a wide range of potential determinants for childhood dental caries and evaluate inter-relationships amongst them. The findings will provide an evidence base to plan and implement improved preventive strategies.

  5. Epigenetic modulation of dental pulp stem cells: implications for regenerative endodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, H F; Smith, A J; Fleming, G J P; Cooper, P R

    2016-05-01

    Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) offer significant potential for use in regenerative endodontics, and therefore, identifying cellular regulators that control stem cell fate is critical to devising novel treatment strategies. Stem cell lineage commitment and differentiation are regulated by an intricate range of host and environmental factors of which epigenetic influence is considered vital. Epigenetic modification of DNA and DNA-associated histone proteins has been demonstrated to control cell phenotype and regulate the renewal and pluripotency of stem cell populations. The activities of the nuclear enzymes, histone deacetylases, are increasingly being recognized as potential targets for pharmacologically inducing stem cell differentiation and dedifferentiation. Depending on cell maturity and niche in vitro, low concentration histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) application can promote dedifferentiation of several post-natal and mouse embryonic stem cell populations and conversely increase differentiation and accelerate mineralization in DPSC populations, whilst animal studies have shown an HDACi-induced increase in stem cell marker expression during organ regeneration. Notably, both HDAC and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors have also been demonstrated to dramatically increase the reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for use in regenerative therapeutic procedures. As the regulation of cell fate will likely remain the subject of intense future research activity, this review aims to describe the current knowledge relating to stem cell epigenetic modification, focusing on the role of HDACi on alteration of DPSC phenotype, whilst presenting the potential for therapeutic application as part of regenerative endodontic regimens. © 2015 International Endodontic Journal. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. The epigenetic regulation of stem cell factors in hepatic stellate cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reister, Sven; Kordes, Claus; Sawitza, Iris; Häussinger, Dieter

    2011-10-01

    The epigenetic regulation by DNA methylation is an important mechanism to control the expression of stem cell factors as demonstrated in tumor cells. It was recently shown that hepatic stellate cells (HSC) express stem/progenitor cell factors and have a differentiation potential. The aim of this work was to investigate if the expression of stem cell markers is regulated by DNA methylation during activation of rat HSC. It was found that CD133, Notch1, and Notch3 are regulated via DNA methylation in HSC, whereas Nestin shows no DNA methylation in HSC and other undifferentiated cells such as embryonic stem cells and umbilical cord blood stem cells from rats. In contrast to this, DNA methylation controls Nestin expression in differentiated cells like hepatocytes and the hepatoma cell line H4IIE. Demethylation by 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine was sufficient to induce Nestin in H4IIE cells. In quiescent stellate cells and embryonic stem cells, the Nestin expression was suppressed by histone H3 methylation at lysine 9, which is another epigenetic mechanism. Apart from the known induction of Nestin in cultured HSC, this intermediate filament protein was also induced after partial hepatectomy, indicating activation of HSC during liver regeneration. Taken together, this study demonstrates for the first time that the expression of stem cell-associated factors such as CD133, Notch1, and Notch3 is controlled by DNA methylation in HSC. The regulation of Nestin by DNA methylation seems to be restricted to differentiated cells, whereas undifferentiated cells use different epigenetic mechanisms such as histone H3 methylation to control Nestin expression.

  7. Comparative analyses of genetic/epigenetic diversities and structures in a wild barley species (Hordeum brevisubulatum) using MSAP, SSAP and AFLP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, X H; Li, Y D; Liu, X M; Wu, Y; Zhang, M Z; Guo, W L; Liu, B; Yuan, Y P

    2012-08-17

    We analyzed genetic diversity and population genetic structure of four artificial populations of wild barley (Hordeum brevisubulatum); 96 plants collected from the Songnen Prairie in northeastern China were analyzed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), specific-sequence amplified polymorphism (SSAP) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) markers. Indices of (epi-)genetic diversity, (epi-)genetic distance, gene flow, genotype frequency, cluster analysis, PCA analysis and AMOVA analysis generated from MSAP, AFLP and SSAP markers had the same trend. We found a high level of correlation in the artificial populations between MSAP, SSAP and AFLP markers by the Mantel test (r > 0.8). This is incongruent with previous findings showing that there is virtually no correlation between DNA methylation polymorphism and classical genetic variation; the high level of genetic polymorphism could be a result of epigenetic regulation. We compared our results with data from natural populations. The population diversity of the artificial populations was lower. However, different from what was found using AFLP and SSAP, based on MSAP results the methylation polymorphism of the artificial populations was not significantly reduced. This leads us to suggest that the DNA methylation pattern change in H. brevisubulatum populations is not only related to DNA sequence variation, but is also regulated by other controlling systems.

  8. Twins for epigenetic studies of human aging and development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua; Christiansen, Lene; Thomassen, Mads

    2013-01-01

    Most of the complex traits including aging phenotypes are caused by the interaction between genome and environmental conditions and the interface of epigenetics may be a central mechanism. Although modern technologies allow us high-throughput profiling of epigenetic patterns already at genome level...... and environmental contributions to human diseases and complex traits. In the era of functional genomics, the valuable sample of twins is helping to bridge the gap between gene activity and the environments through epigenetic mechanisms unlimited by DNA sequence variations. We propose to extend the classical twin...... design to study the aging-related molecular epigenetic phenotypes and link them with environmental exposures especially early life events. Different study designs and application issues will be highlighted and novel approaches introduced with aim at making uses of twins in assessing the environmental...

  9. Epigenetics with special reference to the human X chromosome ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Deepti Deobagkar

    Received 30 October 2017; revised 5 April 2018; accepted 10 April 2018; published online 5 June 2018. Abstract. Epigenetics ..... the locations of consistently methylated genes were exam- .... innovation grant and UGC CAS for the work.

  10. Epigenetic developmental programs and adipogenesis: implications for psychotropic induced obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, Kayla; Sharma, Rajiv P

    2013-11-01

    Psychotropic agents are notorious for their ability to increase fat mass in psychiatric patients. The two determinants of fat mass are the production of newly differentiated adipocytes (adipogenesis), and the volume of lipid accumulation. Epigenetic programs have a prominent role in cell fate commitments and differentiation required for adipogenesis. In parallel, epigenetic effects on energy metabolism are well supported by several genetic models. Consequently, a variety of psychotropics, often prescribed in combinations and for long periods, may utilize a common epigenetic effector path causing an increase in adipogenesis or reduction in energy metabolism. In particular, the recent discovery that G protein coupled signaling cascades can directly modify epigenetic regulatory enzymes implicates surface receptor activity by psychotropic medications. The potential therapeutic implications are also suggested by the effects of the clinically approved antidepressant tranylcypromine, also a histone demethylase inhibitor, which has impressive therapeutic effects on metabolism in the obese phenotype.

  11. Prenatal and early life influences on epigenetic age in children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simpkin, Andrew J; Hemani, Gibran; Suderman, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    age for these samples. AA was defined as the residuals from regressing epigenetic age on actual age. AA was tested for associations with cross-sectional clinical variables in children. We identified associations between AA and sex, birth weight, birth by caesarean section and several maternal......). In children, epigenetic AA measures are associated with several clinically relevant variables, and early life exposures appear to be associated with changes in AA during adolescence. Further research into epigenetic aging, including the use of causal inference methods, is required to better our understanding......DNA methylation-based biomarkers of aging are highly correlated with actual age. Departures of methylation-estimated age from actual age can be used to define epigenetic measures of child development or age acceleration (AA) in adults. Very little is known about genetic or environmental...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MERCY

    2011-09-07

    Sep 7, 2011 ... evolution is speculated as a simulation of the evolutionary steps that .... Molecular studies indicate that epigenetic events are important in ...... Patterns of hybrid loss of imprinting reveal tissue- and cluster-specific regulation.

  13. Epigenetic variation contributes to environmental adaptation of Arabidopsis thaliana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooke, R.; Keurentjes, J.J.B.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic variation is frequently observed in plants and direct relationships between differences in DNA methylation and phenotypic responses to changing environments have often been described. The identification of contributing genetic loci, however, was until recently hampered by the lack of

  14. Histone Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing in Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simon, Jeffrey A; Lange, Carol A

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to investigate the role of a chromatin-modifying enzyme called EZH2 in breast cancer epigenetics and to develop strategies to identify chemical inhibitors of this, enzyme...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Genetic, epigenetic and exogenetic information in development and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Paul E

    2017-10-06

    The idea that development is the expression of information accumulated during evolution and that heredity is the transmission of this information is surprisingly hard to cash out in strict, scientific terms. This paper seeks to do so using the sense of information introduced by Francis Crick in his sequence hypothesis and central dogma of molecular biology. It focuses on Crick's idea of precise determination. This is analysed using an information-theoretic measure of causal specificity. This allows us to reconstruct some of Crick's claims about information in transcription and translation. Crick's approach to information has natural extensions to non-coding regions of DNA, to epigenetic marks, and to the genetic or environmental upstream causes of those epigenetic marks. Epigenetic information cannot be reduced to genetic information. The existence of biological information in epigenetic and exogenetic factors is relevant to evolution as well as to development.

  19. Epigenetics: a new bridge between nutrition and health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutrients can reverse or change epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, thereby modifying the expression of critical genes associated with physiologic and pathologic processes, including embryonic development, aging, and carcinogenesis. It appears that nutrients and b...

  20. Molecular targets of epigenetic regulation and effectors of environmental influences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhuri, Supratim; Cui Yue; Klaassen, Curtis D.

    2010-01-01

    The true understanding of what we currently define as epigenetics evolved over time as our knowledge on DNA methylation and chromatin modifications and their effects on gene expression increased. The current explosion of research on epigenetics and the increasing documentation of the effects of various environmental factors on DNA methylation, chromatin modification, as well as on the expression of small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have expanded the scope of research on the etiology of various diseases including cancer. The current review briefly discusses the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and expands the discussion with examples on the role of environment, such as the immediate environment during development, in inducing epigenetic changes and modulating gene expression.

  1. Mitochondrial regulation of epigenetics and its role in human diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minocherhomji, Sheroy; Tollefsbol, Trygve O; Singh, Keshav K

    2012-01-01

    as the sole pathogenic factor suggesting that additional mechanisms contribute to lack of genotype and clinical phenotype correlationship. An increasing number of studies have identified a possible effect on the epigenetic landscape of the nuclear genome as a consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction....... In particular, these studies demonstrate reversible or irreversible changes in genomic DNA methylation profiles of the nuclear genome. Here we review how mitochondria damage checkpoint (mitocheckpoint) induces epigenetic changes in the nucleus. Persistent pathogenic mutations in mtDNA may also lead...... to epigenetic changes causing genomic instability in the nuclear genome. We propose that "mitocheckpoint" mediated epigenetic and genetic changes may play key roles in phenotypic variation related to mitochondrial diseases or host of human diseases in which mitochondrial defect plays a primary role....

  2. Histone Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing in Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simon, Jeffrey A; Lange, Carol A

    2008-01-01

    .... EZH2 is a histone methyltransferase which modifies lysine-27 of histone H3 an epigenetic mark which is generally linked to gene silencing and is implicated in tumor suppressor silencing during breast cancer progression...

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. Mitochondrial Epigenetic Changes Link to Increased Diabetes Risk and Early-Stage Prediabetes Indicator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Louise D.; Linarelli, Leah E.; Brooke, Joseph; Smith, Cayleen; Wall, Sarah S.; Greenawald, Mark H.; Seidel, Richard W.; Estabrooks, Paul A.; Almeida, Fabio A.; Cheng, Zhiyong

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by mitochondrial derangement and oxidative stress. With no known cure for T2D, it is critical to identify mitochondrial biomarkers for early diagnosis of prediabetes and disease prevention. Here we examined 87 participants on the diagnosis power of fasting glucose (FG) and hemoglobin A1c levels and investigated their interactions with mitochondrial DNA methylation. FG and A1c led to discordant diagnostic results irrespective of increased body mass index (BMI), underscoring the need of new biomarkers for prediabetes diagnosis. Mitochondrial DNA methylation levels were not correlated with late-stage (impaired FG or A1c) but significantly with early-stage (impaired insulin sensitivity) events. Quartiles of BMI suggested that mitochondrial DNA methylation increased drastically from Q1 (20 40, morbidly obese). A significant change was also observed from Q1 to Q2 in HOMA insulin sensitivity but not in A1c or FG. Thus, mitochondrial epigenetic changes link to increased diabetes risk and the indicator of early-stage prediabetes. Further larger-scale studies to examine the potential of mitochondrial epigenetic marker in prediabetes diagnosis will be of critical importance for T2D prevention. PMID:27298712

  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. Epigenetic modulation of Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris) on exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mihi; Youn, Je-In; Kim, Seung Joon; Park, Jong Y

    2015-11-01

    DNA methylation in promoter region can be a new chemopreventive marker against polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We performed a randomized, double blind and cross-over trial (N=12 healthy females) to evaluate chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris)-induced epigenetic modulation on exposure to PAHs. The subjects consumed 4 tablets of placebo or chlorella supplement (total chlorophyll ≈ 8.3mg/tablet) three times a day before meals for 2 weeks. When the subjects consumed chlorella, status of global hypermethylation (5-methylcytosine) was reduced, compared to placebo (p=0.04). However, DNA methylation at the DNMT1 or NQO1 was not modified by chlorella. We observed the reduced levels of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP), a typical metabolite of PAHs, by chlorella intake (pchlorella-induced changes in global hypermethylation and urinary 1-OHP (pchlorella works for PAH-detoxification through the epigenetic modulation, the interference of ADME of PAHs and the interaction of mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Impaired Sulfate Metabolism and Epigenetics: Is There a Link in Autism?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Hartzell

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Autism is a brain disorder involving social, memory, and learning deficits, that normally develops prenatally or early in childhood. Frustratingly, many research dollars have as yet failed to identify the cause of autism. While twin concordance studies indicate a strong genetic component, the alarming rise in the incidence of autism in the last three decades suggests that environmental factors play a key role as well. This dichotomy can be easily explained if we invoke a heritable epigenetic effect as the primary factor. Researchers are just beginning to realize the huge significance of epigenetic effects taking place during gestation in influencing the phenotypical expression. Here, we propose the novel hypothesis that sulfates deficiency in both the mother and the child, brought on mainly by excess exposure to environmental toxins and inadequate sunlight exposure to the skin, leads to widespread hypomethylation in the fetal brain with devastating consequences. We show that many seemingly disparate observations regarding serum markers, neuronal pathologies, and nutritional deficiencies associated with autism can be integrated to support our hypothesis.

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetic variation in mangrove plants occurring in contrasting natural environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Fonseca Lira-Medeiros

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications, such as cytosine methylation, are inherited in plant species and may occur in response to biotic or abiotic stress, affecting gene expression without changing genome sequence. Laguncularia racemosa, a mangrove species, occurs in naturally contrasting habitats where it is subjected daily to salinity and nutrient variations leading to morphological differences. This work aims at unraveling how CpG-methylation variation is distributed among individuals from two nearby habitats, at a riverside (RS or near a salt marsh (SM, with different environmental pressures and how this variation is correlated with the observed morphological variation.Significant differences were observed in morphological traits such as tree height, tree diameter, leaf width and leaf area between plants from RS and SM locations, resulting in smaller plants and smaller leaf size in SM plants. Methyl-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP was used to assess genetic and epigenetic (CpG-methylation variation in L. racemosa genomes from these populations. SM plants were hypomethylated (14.6% of loci had methylated samples in comparison to RS (32.1% of loci had methylated samples. Within-population diversity was significantly greater for epigenetic than genetic data in both locations, but SM also had less epigenetic diversity than RS. Frequency-based (G(ST and multivariate (beta(ST methods that estimate population structure showed significantly greater differentiation among locations for epigenetic than genetic data. Co-Inertia analysis, exploring jointly the genetic and epigenetic data, showed that individuals with similar genetic profiles presented divergent epigenetic profiles that were characteristic of the population in a particular environment, suggesting that CpG-methylation changes may be associated with environmental heterogeneity.In spite of significant morphological dissimilarities, individuals of L. racemosa from salt marsh and riverside presented

  13. Developmental Origins of Common Disease: Epigenetic Contributions to Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappil, Maya; Wright, Robert O; Sanders, Alison P

    2016-08-31

    The perinatal period is a window of susceptibility for later life disease. Recent epigenetic findings are beginning to increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that may contribute to the programming of obesity. This review summarizes recent evidence that supports the role of epigenetically mediated early life programming in the later onset of obesity. Establishing such links between environmental exposures and modifiable molecular changes ultimately holds promise to inform interventional efforts toward alleviating the environmentally mediated onset of obesity.

  14. MSAP In Tiger Snakes: Island Populations Are Epigenetically More Divergent

    OpenAIRE

    Konate, Moumouni; Lopez, Carlos; Thomson, Vicki

    2017-01-01

    Research on changes in phenotypic plasticity within wild animal populations is centuries old, however far fewer studies have investigated the role that epigenetics play in the development or persistence of natural variation in response to environmental change. Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) are an ideal study organism to investigate the link between epigenetics and phenotypic responses to environmental change, as they live on a range of offshore islands with different environments and prey ...

  15. Epigenetic signature of birth weight discordance in adult twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua; Nielsen, Morten Frost Munk; Heijmans, Bastiaan T

    2014-01-01

    between birth weight and adult life health while controlling for not only genetics but also postnatal rearing environment. We performed an epigenome-wide profiling on blood samples from 150 pairs of adult monozygotic twins discordant for birth weight to look for molecular evidence of epigenetic signatures...... profiling did not reveal epigenetic signatures of birth weight discordance although some sites displayed age-dependent intra-pair differential methylation in the extremely discordant twin pairs....

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Epigenetic modification and inheritance in sexual reversal of fish

    OpenAIRE

    Shao, Changwei; Li, Qiye; Chen, Songlin; Zhang, Pei; Lian, Jinmin; Hu, Qiaomu; Sun, Bing; Jin, Lijun; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Zongji; Zhao, Hongmei; Jin, Zonghui; Liang, Zhuo; Li, Yangzhen; Zheng, Qiumei

    2014-01-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) occurs in divergent, phylogenetically unrelated taxa, and in some species, co-occurs with genetic sex determination (GSD) mechanisms. Although epigenetic regulation in response to environmental effects has long been proposed to be associated with ESD, a systemic analysis on epigenetic regulation of ESD is still lacking. Using half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) as a model—a marine fish that has both ZW chromosomal GSD and temperature-dependen...

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetics of psoriatic disease: A systematic review and critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Remy A; Abji, Fatima; Gladman, Dafna D

    2017-03-01

    Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin that is sometimes accompanied by an auto-inflammatory arthritis called psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Psoriasis and PsA are multifactorial diseases that result from complex interactions of environmental and genetic risk factors. Epigenetic marks, which are labile chemical marks with diverse functions, form a layer of biological information that sits at the interface of genetics and the environment. Aberrant epigenetic regulation has been previously implicated in other rheumatological disorders. The purpose of this review is to summarize and critically evaluate the nascent literature on epigenetics in psoriasis and PsA. A systematic review yielded 52 primary articles after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data were extracted using a standardized template and study quality assessed using a methodological quality checklist. Studies reflect a broad range of epigenetic sub-disciplines, the most common being DNA methylation, followed by the parent of origin effect or genomic imprinting, expression or activity of epigenetic modifying enzymes, and histone modifications. Epidemiological studies demonstrating excessive paternal transmission provided the earliest evidence of epigenetic deregulation in psoriatic disease, however few studies have examined its molecular mechanisms. Methylation studies evolved rapidly from low resolution global to targeted analyses of known psoriatic disease susceptibility loci such as HLA-C*0602. The recent explosion of epigenome-wide association studies has provided us with novel insights into psoriasis pathogenesis, and the mechanism of action of UVB, methotrexate, and anti-TNF therapies, as well as molecular signatures of psoriasis that may have clinical relevance. Finally, recent studies of pharmacological inhibitors of epigenetic modifier enzymes demonstrate their potential applicability as novel treatment modalities for psoriasis. Challenges of epigenetics research in psoriasis and Ps

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Epigenetic mismatches with mutated transcribing genes at leukemogenic S-phase binding/start sites--potential targets for therapy with enzyme inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prindull, Gregor

    2012-11-01

    This review focuses on gene transcription patterns of leukemogenic S-phases in mitotic cell cycles for identification of enzymatic reactions as potential targets for epigenetics-based drug therapy. Transcription of leukemic genes is triggered by reprogrammed transcription factors (TFs) mediated by chromatin histones. Reprogrammed TFs originate from transcriptional alterations of CpG methylation patterns of mutated epigenetic genes. They preserve memory information of earlier leukemogenic exposures, even transgenerationally via the zygote, through small (e.g. pi)RNA transmitted between cells by exosomes. Normally, reprogrammed TFs are enzymatically silenced and stored as markers in heterochromatic domains. Failure of intra S-phase surveillance (IS) permits the formation and continual operation of DNA replication forks in spite of persisting genotoxic stress. Silenced TFs are re-activated by euchromatin, most likely through leakages of insulator barriers of cis-regulating chromatin modulators (CRM) that normally separate hetero- from euchromatin domains. During transport by sliding nucleosomes, reprogrammed leukemogenic TFs are misplaced at transcription factor binding-/starting-sites (TFBS /TSS) allowing them to interact with and trigger replication of mutated leukemic genes. Interactions of enzymatically reprogrammed TFs, transcribed from mutated epigenetic genes, with replicating leukemic genes at TFBS/TSSs are key driving forces in leukemogenesis. Probably, epigenetic genes, although mutated, still retain their control of replication of leukemic genes. Epigenetics-based enzyme inhibitors must target reprogrammed TFs. Prudently, therapeutic corrections should be introduced within the frame of conventional, cytoreductive treatment protocols. Alternatively, reprogrammed TFs could be replaced by cell populations with regular TF production. Clinically, classification of leukemias should be based on their epigenetic presentation.

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in experience-driven memory formation and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckett, Rosemary E; Lubin, Farah D

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms have long been associated with the regulation of gene-expression changes accompanying normal neuronal development and cellular differentiation; however, until recently these mechanisms were believed to be statically quiet in the adult brain. Behavioral neuroscientists have now begun to investigate these epigenetic mechanisms as potential regulators of gene-transcription changes in the CNS subserving synaptic plasticity and long-term memory (LTM) formation. Experimental evidence from learning and memory animal models has demonstrated that active chromatin remodeling occurs in terminally differentiated postmitotic neurons, suggesting that these molecular processes are indeed intimately involved in several stages of LTM formation, including consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction. Such chromatin modifications include the phosphorylation, acetylation and methylation of histone proteins and the methylation of associated DNA to subsequently affect transcriptional gene readout triggered by learning. The present article examines how such learning-induced epigenetic changes contribute to LTM formation and influence behavior. In particular, this article is a survey of the specific epigenetic mechanisms that have been demonstrated to regulate gene expression for both transcription factors and growth factors in the CNS, which are critical for LTM formation and storage, as well as how aberrant epigenetic processing can contribute to psychological states such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. Together, the findings highlighted in this article support a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in the adult CNS serving as potential key molecular regulators of gene-transcription changes necessary for LTM formation and adult behavior. PMID:22126252

  11. 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.

  12. From Genetics to Epigenetics: New Perspectives in Tourette Syndrome Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaroli, Luca; Vető, Borbála; Arányi, Tamás; Barta, Csaba

    2016-01-01

    Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by the appearance of multiple involuntary motor and vocal tics. TS presents high comorbidity rates with other disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). TS is highly heritable and has a complex polygenic background. However, environmental factors also play a role in the manifestation of symptoms. Different epigenetic mechanisms may represent the link between these two causalities. Epigenetic regulation has been shown to have an impact in the development of many neuropsychiatric disorders, however very little is known about its effects on Tourette Syndrome. This review provides a summary of the recent findings in genetic background of TS, followed by an overview on different epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs in the regulation of gene expression. Epigenetic studies in other neurological and psychiatric disorders are discussed along with the TS-related epigenetic findings available in the literature to date. Moreover, we are proposing that some general epigenetic mechanisms seen in other neuropsychiatric disorders may also play a role in the pathogenesis of TS. PMID:27462201

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipanjan Bhattacharjee

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Epigenetic heterochromatin markers distinguish terminally differentiated leukocytes from incompletely differentiated leukemia cells in human blood

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Popova, Evgenya Y.; Claxton, David F.; Lukášová, Emilie; Bird, Philip I.; Grigoryev, Sergei A.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 4 (2006), s. 453-462 ISSN 0301-472X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS500040508 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50040507 Keywords : terminal cell differentiation * chromatin structure * chronic myeloid leukemia Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.408, year: 2006

  1. Combined circulating epigenetic markers to improve mesothelin performance in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Santarelli, L.; Staffolani, S.; Strafella, E.; Nocchi, L.; Manzella, N.; Grossi, P.; Bracci, M.; Pignotti, E.; Alleva, R.; Borghi, B.; Pompili, C.; Sabbatini, A.; Rubini, C.; Zuccatosta, L.; Bichisecchi, E.; Valentino, M.; Horwood, K.; Comar, M.; Bovenzi, M.; Dong, L. F.; Neužil, Jiří; Amati, M.; Tomasetti, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 90, č. 3 (2015), s. 457-464 ISSN 0169-5002 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP301/10/1937; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:86652036 Keywords : Mesothelioma * Lung cancer * Mesothelin * BREAST-CANCER METASTASIS Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.767, year: 2015

  2. Epigenetic regulation of CD44 in Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eberth, Sonja; Schneider, Björn; Rosenwald, Andreas; Hartmann, Elena M; Romani, Julia; Zaborski, Margarete; Siebert, Reiner; Drexler, Hans G; Quentmeier, Hilmar

    2010-01-01

    resistant towards anti-CD44 induced apoptosis. Our data show that CD44 is epigenetically regulated in lymphoma and undergoes de novo methylation in distinct lymphoma subtypes like BL. Thus CD44 may be a promising new epigenetic marker for diagnosis and a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of specific lymphoma subtypes

  3. Maternal stress induces epigenetic signatures of psychiatric and neurological diseases in the offspring.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiola C R Zucchi

    Full Text Available The gestational state is a period of particular vulnerability to diseases that affect maternal and fetal health. Stress during gestation may represent a powerful influence on maternal mental health and offspring brain plasticity and development. Here we show that the fetal transcriptome, through microRNA (miRNA regulation, responds to prenatal stress in association with epigenetic signatures of psychiatric and neurological diseases. Pregnant Long-Evans rats were assigned to stress from gestational days 12 to 18 while others served as handled controls. Gestational stress in the dam disrupted parturient maternal behaviour and was accompanied by characteristic brain miRNA profiles in the mother and her offspring, and altered transcriptomic brain profiles in the offspring. In the offspring brains, prenatal stress upregulated miR-103, which is involved in brain pathologies, and downregulated its potential gene target Ptplb. Prenatal stress downregulated miR-145, a marker of multiple sclerosis in humans. Prenatal stress also upregulated miR-323 and miR-98, which may alter inflammatory responses in the brain. Furthermore, prenatal stress upregulated miR-219, which targets the gene Dazap1. Both miR-219 and Dazap1 are putative markers of schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder in humans. Offspring transcriptomic changes included genes related to development, axonal guidance and neuropathology. These findings indicate that prenatal stress modifies epigenetic signatures linked to disease during critical periods of fetal brain development. These observations provide a new mechanistic association between environmental and genetic risk factors in psychiatric and neurological disease.

  4. Epigenetic battle of the sexes. 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)

    Wu, Song

    2017-03-01

    Qian Wang et al. present an interesting framework, named epigenetic game theory, for modeling sex-based epigenetic dynamics during embryogenesis from a new viewpoint of evolutionary game theory [1]. That is, epigenomes of sperms and oocytes may coordinate through either cooperation or competition, or both, to affect the fitness of embryos. The work uses a set of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) to describe longitudinal trajectories of DNA methylation levels in both parental and maternal gametes and their dependence on each other. The insights gained from this review, i.e. dynamic methylation profiles and their interaction are potentially important to many fields, such as biomedicine and agriculture.

  5. Genetics and epigenetics of autism: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waye, Mary M Y; Cheng, Ho Yu

    2018-04-01

    Autism is a developmental disorder that starts before age 3 years, and children with autism have impairment in both social interaction and communication, and have restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. There is a strong heritable component of autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as studies have shown that parents who have a child with ASD have a 2-18% chance of having a second child with ASD. The prevalence of autism and ASD have been increasing during the last 3 decades and much research has been carried out to understand the etiology, so as to develop novel preventive and treatment strategies. This review aims at summarizing the latest research studies related to autism and ASD, focusing not only on the genetics but also some epigenetic findings of autism/ASD. Some promising areas of research using transgenic/knockout animals and some ideas related to potential novel treatment and prevention strategies will be discussed. © 2017 The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2017 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

  6. Genetics and epigenetics of eating disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yilmaz Z

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Zeynep Yilmaz,1 J Andrew Hardaway,1 Cynthia M Bulik1–3 1Department of Psychiatry, 2Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; 3Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Abstract: Eating disorders (EDs are serious psychiatric conditions influenced by biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. A better understanding of the genetics of these complex traits and the development of more sophisticated molecular biology tools have advanced our understanding of the etiology of EDs. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the literature on the genetic research conducted on three major EDs: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. We will first review the diagnostic criteria, clinical features, prevalence, and prognosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, followed by a review of family, twin, and adoption studies. We then review the history of genetic studies of EDs covering linkage analysis, candidate-gene association studies, genome-wide association studies, and the study of rare variants in EDs. Our review also incorporates a translational perspective by covering animal models of ED-related phenotypes. Finally, we review the nascent field of epigenetics of EDs and a look forward to future directions for ED genetic research. Keywords: anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, animal models, genome-wide association studies, high-throughput sequencing

  7. Enduring epigenetic landmarks define the cancer microenvironment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidsley, Ruth; Lawrence, Mitchell G.; Zotenko, Elena; Niranjan, Birunthi; Statham, Aaron; Song, Jenny; Chabanon, Roman M.; Qu, Wenjia; Wang, Hong; Richards, Michelle; Nair, Shalima S.; Armstrong, Nicola J.; Nim, Hieu T.; Papargiris, Melissa; Balanathan, Preetika; French, Hugh; Peters, Timothy; Norden, Sam; Ryan, Andrew; Pedersen, John; Kench, James; Daly, Roger J.; Horvath, Lisa G.; Stricker, Phillip; Frydenberg, Mark; Taylor, Renea A.; Stirzaker, Clare; Risbridger, Gail P.; Clark, Susan J.

    2018-01-01

    The growth and progression of solid tumors involves dynamic cross-talk between cancer epithelium and the surrounding microenvironment. To date, molecular profiling has largely been restricted to the epithelial component of tumors; therefore, features underpinning the persistent protumorigenic phenotype of the tumor microenvironment are unknown. Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, we show for the first time that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) from localized prostate cancer display remarkably distinct and enduring genome-wide changes in DNA methylation, significantly at enhancers and promoters, compared to nonmalignant prostate fibroblasts (NPFs). Differentially methylated regions associated with changes in gene expression have cancer-related functions and accurately distinguish CAFs from NPFs. Remarkably, a subset of changes is shared with prostate cancer epithelial cells, revealing the new concept of tumor-specific epigenome modifications in the tumor and its microenvironment. The distinct methylome of CAFs provides a novel epigenetic hallmark of the cancer microenvironment and promises new biomarkers to improve interpretation of diagnostic samples. PMID:29650553

  8. Epigenetic inactivation of CHFR in human tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, Minoru; Sasaki, Yasushi; Satoh, Ayumi; Ogi, Kazuhiro; Kikuchi, Takefumi; Suzuki, Hiromu; Mita, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Itoh, Fumio; Issa, Jean-Pierre J; Jair, Kam-Wing; Schuebel, Kornel E; Imai, Kohzoh; Tokino, Takashi

    2003-06-24

    Cell-cycle checkpoints controlling the orderly progression through mitosis are frequently disrupted in human cancers. One such checkpoint, entry into metaphase, is regulated by the CHFR gene encoding a protein possessing forkhead-associated and RING finger domains as well as ubiquitin-ligase activity. Although defects in this checkpoint have been described, the molecular basis and prevalence of CHFR inactivation in human tumors are still not fully understood. To address this question, we analyzed the pattern of CHFR expression in a number of human cancer cell lines and primary tumors. We found CpG methylation-dependent silencing of CHFR expression in 45% of cancer cell lines, 40% of primary colorectal cancers, 53% of colorectal adenomas, and 30% of primary head and neck cancers. Expression of CHFR was precisely correlated with both CpG methylation and deacetylation of histones H3 and H4 in the CpG-rich regulatory region. Moreover, CpG methylation and thus silencing of CHFR depended on the activities of two DNA methyltransferases, DNMT1 and DNMT3b, as their genetic inactivation restored CHFR expression. Finally, cells with CHFR methylation had an intrinsically high mitotic index when treated with microtubule inhibitor. This means that cells in which CHFR was epigenetically inactivated constitute loss-of-function alleles for mitotic checkpoint control. Taken together, these findings shed light on a pathway by which mitotic checkpoint is bypassed in cancer cells and suggest that inactivation of checkpoint genes is much more widespread than previously suspected.

  9. Clinical utility of an epigenetic assay to detect occult prostate cancer in histopathologically negative biopsies: results of the MATLOC study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Grant D; Van Neste, Leander; Delvenne, Philippe; Delrée, Paul; Delga, Agnès; McNeill, S Alan; O'Donnell, Marie; Clark, James; Van Criekinge, Wim; Bigley, Joseph; Harrison, David J

    2013-03-01

    Concern about possible false-negative prostate biopsy histopathology findings often leads to rebiopsy. A quantitative methylation specific polymerase chain reaction assay panel, including GSTP1, APC and RASSF1, could increase the sensitivity of detecting cancer over that of pathological review alone, leading to a high negative predictive value and a decrease in unnecessary repeat biopsies. The MATLOC study blindly tested archived prostate biopsy needle core tissue samples of 498 subjects from the United Kingdom and Belgium with histopathologically negative prostate biopsies, followed by positive (cases) or negative (controls) repeat biopsy within 30 months. Clinical performance of the epigenetic marker panel, emphasizing negative predictive value, was assessed and cross-validated. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate all risk factors. The epigenetic assay performed on the first negative biopsies of this retrospective review cohort resulted in a negative predictive value of 90% (95% CI 87-93). In a multivariate model correcting for patient age, prostate specific antigen, digital rectal examination and first biopsy histopathological characteristics the epigenetic assay was a significant independent predictor of patient outcome (OR 3.17, 95% CI 1.81-5.53). A multiplex quantitative methylation specific polymerase chain reaction assay determining the methylation status of GSTP1, APC and RASSF1 was strongly associated with repeat biopsy outcome up to 30 months after initial negative biopsy in men with suspicion of prostate cancer. Adding this epigenetic assay could improve the prostate cancer diagnostic process and decrease unnecessary repeat biopsies. Copyright © 2013 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. [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

  11. Tantalum markers in radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aronson, A.S.; Jonsson, N.; Alberius, P.

    1985-01-01

    The biocompatibility of two types of radiopaque tantalum markers was evaluated histologically. Reactions to pin markers (99.9% purity) and spherical markers (95.2% purity) were investigated after 3-6 weeks in rabbits and 5-48 weeks in children with abnormal growth. Both marker types were firmly attached to bone trabeculae; this was most pronounced in rabbit bone, and no adverse macroscopic reactions were observed. Microscopically, no reactions or only slight fibrosis of bone tissue were detected, while soft tissues only demonstrated a minor inflammatory reaction. Nevertheless, the need for careful preparation and execution of marker implantations is stressed, and particularly avoidance iof the use of emery in sharpening of cannulae. The bioinertness of tantalum was reconfirmed as was its suitability for use as skeletal and soft tissue radiographic markers. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-29

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

  13. Epigenetic Signature: A New Player as Predictor of Clinically Significant Prostate Cancer (PCa) in Patients on Active Surveillance (AS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferro, Matteo; Ungaro, Paola; Cimmino, Amelia; Lucarelli, Giuseppe; Busetto, Gian Maria; Cantiello, Francesco; Damiano, Rocco; Terracciano, Daniela

    2017-05-27

    Widespread prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing notably increased the number of prostate cancer (PCa) diagnoses. However, about 30% of these patients have low-risk tumors that are not lethal and remain asymptomatic during their lifetime. Overtreatment of such patients may reduce quality of life and increase healthcare costs. Active surveillance (AS) has become an accepted alternative to immediate treatment in selected men with low-risk PCa. Despite much progress in recent years toward identifying the best candidates for AS in recent years, the greatest risk remains the possibility of misclassification of the cancer or missing a high-risk cancer. This is particularly worrisome in men with a life expectancy of greater than 10-15 years. The Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) study showed that, in addition to age and PSA at diagnosis, both PSA density (PSA-D) and the number of positive cores at diagnosis (two compared with one) are the strongest predictors for reclassification biopsy or switching to deferred treatment. However, there is still no consensus upon guidelines for placing patients on AS. Each institution has its own protocol for AS that is based on PRIAS criteria. Many different variables have been proposed as tools to enrol patients in AS: PSA-D, the percentage of freePSA, and the extent of cancer on biopsy (number of positive cores or percentage of core involvement). More recently, the Prostate Health Index (PHI), the 4 Kallikrein (4K) score, and other patient factors, such as age, race, and family history, have been investigated as tools able to predict clinically significant PCa. Recently, some reports suggested that epigenetic mapping differs significantly between cancer patients and healthy subjects. These findings indicated as future prospect the use of epigenetic markers to identify PCa patients with low-grade disease, who are likely candidates for AS. This review explores literature data about the potential of

  14. A repetitive elements perspective in Polycomb epigenetics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eCasa

    2012-10-01

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

  15. The epigenetic promise for prostate cancer diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Neste, Leander; Herman, James G; Otto, Gaëtan; Bigley, Joseph W; Epstein, Jonathan I; Van Criekinge, Wim

    2012-08-01

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in men and a leading cause of death. Improvements in disease management would have a significant impact and could be facilitated by the development of biomarkers, whether for diagnostic, prognostic, or predictive purposes. The blood-based prostate biomarker PSA has been part of clinical practice for over two decades, although it is surrounded by controversy. While debates of usefulness are ongoing, alternatives should be explored. Particularly with recent recommendations against routine PSA-testing, the time is ripe to explore promising biomarkers to yield a more efficient and accurate screening for detection and management of prostate cancer. Epigenetic changes, more specifically DNA methylation, are amongst the most common alterations in human cancer. These changes are associated with transcriptional silencing of genes, leading to an altered cellular biology. One gene in particular, GSTP1, has been widely studied in prostate cancer. Therefore a meta-analysis has been conducted to examine the role of this and other genes and the potential contribution to prostate cancer management and screening refinement. More than 30 independent, peer reviewed studies have reported a consistently high sensitivity and specificity of GSTP1 hypermethylation in prostatectomy or biopsy tissue. The meta-analysis combined and compared these results. GSTP1 methylation detection can serve an important role in prostate cancer managment. The meta-analysis clearly confirmed a link between tissue DNA hypermethylation of this and other genes and prostate cancer. Detection of DNA methylation in genes, including GSTP1, could serve an important role in clinical practice. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Epigenetic Changes during Hepatic Stellate Cell Activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Götze

    Full Text Available Hepatic stellate cells (HSC, which can participate in liver regeneration and fibrogenesis, have recently been identified as liver-resident mesenchymal stem cells. During their activation HSC adopt a myofibroblast-like phenotype accompanied by profound changes in the gene expression profile. DNA methylation changes at single genes have been reported during HSC activation and may participate in the regulation of this process, but comprehensive DNA methylation analyses are still missing. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the role of DNA methylation during in vitro activation of HSC.The analysis of DNA methylation changes by antibody-based assays revealed a strong decrease in the global DNA methylation level during culture-induced activation of HSC. To identify genes which may be regulated by DNA methylation, we performed a genome-wide Methyl-MiniSeq EpiQuest sequencing comparing quiescent and early culture-activated HSC. Approximately 400 differentially methylated regions with a methylation change of at least 20% were identified, showing either hypo- or hypermethylation during activation. Further analysis of selected genes for DNA methylation and expression were performed revealing a good correlation between DNA methylation changes and gene expression. Furthermore, global DNA demethylation during HSC activation was investigated by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine assay and L-mimosine treatment showing that demethylation was independent of DNA synthesis and thereby excluding a passive DNA demethylation mechanism.In summary, in vitro activation of HSC initiated strong DNA methylation changes, which were associated with gene regulation. These results indicate that epigenetic mechanisms are important for the control of early HSC activation. Furthermore, the data show that global DNA demethylation during activation is based on an active DNA demethylation mechanism.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Perrone

    2014-01-01

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

  18. The epigenetic effects of assisted reproductive technologies: ethical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, M-C; Dupras, C; Ravitsky, V

    2017-08-01

    The use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has increased significantly, allowing many coping with infertility to conceive. However, an emerging body of evidence suggests that ART could carry epigenetic risks for those conceived through the use of these technologies. In accordance with the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease hypothesis, ART could increase the risk of developing late-onset diseases through epigenetic mechanisms, as superovulation, fertilization methods and embryo culture could impair the embryo's epigenetic reprogramming. Such epigenetic risks raise ethical issues for all stakeholders: prospective parents and children, health professionals and society. This paper focuses on ethical issues raised by the consideration of these risks when using ART. We apply two key ethical principles of North American bioethics (respect for autonomy and non-maleficence) and suggest that an ethical tension may emerge from conflicting duties to promote the reproductive autonomy of prospective parents on one hand, and to minimize risks to prospective children on the other. We argue that this tension is inherent to the entire enterprise of ART and thus cannot be addressed by individual clinicians in individual cases. We also consider the implications of the 'non-identity problem' in this context. We call for additional research that would allow a more robust evidence base for policy. We also call upon professional societies to provide clinicians with guidelines and educational resources to facilitate the communication of epigenetic risks associated with ART to patients, taking into consideration the challenges of communicating risk information whose validity is still uncertain.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.