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Sample records for epigenetic mechanisms involved

  1. Epigenetic mechanisms in the development of memory and their involvement in certain neurological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales-Reynoso, M A; Ochoa-Hernández, A B; Juárez-Vázquez, C I; Barros-Núñez, P

    Today, scientists accept that the central nervous system of an adult possesses considerable morphological and functional flexibility, allowing it to perform structural remodelling processes even after the individual is fully developed and mature. In addition to the vast number of genes participating in the development of memory, different known epigenetic mechanisms are involved in normal and pathological modifications to neurons and therefore also affect the mechanisms of memory development. This study entailed a systematic review of biomedical article databases in search of genetic and epigenetic factors that participate in synaptic function and memory. The activation of gene expression in response to external stimuli also occurs in differentiated nerve cells. Neural activity induces specific forms of synaptic plasticity that permit the creation and storage of long-term memory. Epigenetic mechanisms play a key role in synaptic modification processes and in the creation and development of memory. Changes in these mechanisms result in the cognitive and memory impairment seen in neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer disease, Huntington disease) and in neurodevelopmental disorders (Rett syndrome, fragile X, and schizophrenia). Nevertheless, results obtained from different models are promising and point to potential treatments for some of these diseases. Copyright © 2013 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  2. Involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomaž Zupanc

    2012-03-01

    victims with no childhood abuse were found. It was suggested that changes in glucocorticoid system are mediated by tissue-specific changes in gene expression. Recent studies suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play an important role in the interplay between stress exposure and genetic vulnerability. Conclusions: Integrating epigenetics into a model that permits prior experience to have a central role in determining individual differences is also consistent with a developmental perspective of PTSD vulnerability.

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlie Genome Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamm, Ehud

    2013-01-01

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

  5. A chromatin modifying enzyme, SDG8, is involved in morphological, gene expression, and epigenetic responses to mechanical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazzonelli, Christopher I; Nisar, Nazia; Roberts, Andrea C; Murray, Kevin D; Borevitz, Justin O; Pogson, Barry J

    2014-01-01

    Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzyme, SDG8/ASHH2, which can regulate the expression of many touch responsive genes identified in Arabidopsis. SDG8 is required for the permissive expression of touch induced genes; and the loss of function of sdg8 perturbs the maximum levels of induction on selected touch gene targets. SDG8 is required to maintain permissive H3K4 trimethylation marks surrounding the Arabidopsis touch-inducible gene TOUCH 3 (TCH3), which encodes a calmodulin-like protein (CML12). The gene neighboring was also slightly down regulated, revealing a new target for SDG8 mediated chromatin modification. Finally, sdg8 mutants show perturbed morphological response to wind-agitated mechanical stimuli, implicating an epigenetic memory-forming process in the acclimation response of thigmomorphogenesis.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A chromatin modifying enzyme, SDG8, is involved in morphological, gene expression, and epigenetic responses to mechanical stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Cazzonelli, Christopher I.; Nisar, Nazia; Roberts, Andrea C.; Murray, Kevin D.; Borevitz, Justin O.; Pogson, Barry J.

    2014-01-01

    Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzym...

  10. Cell cycle arrest induced by inhibitors of epigenetic modifications in maize (Zea mays) seedling leaves: characterization of the process and possible mechanisms involved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pu; Zhang, Hao; Hou, Haoli; Wang, Qing; Li, Yingnan; Huang, Yan; Xie, Liangfu; Gao, Fei; He, Shibin; Li, Lijia

    2016-07-01

    Epigenetic modifications play crucial roles in the regulation of chromatin architecture and are involved in cell cycle progression, including mitosis and meiosis. To explore the relationship between epigenetic modifications and the cell cycle, we treated maize (Zea mays) seedlings with six different epigenetic modification-related inhibitors and identified the postsynthetic phase (G2 ) arrest via flow cytometry analysis. Total H4K5ac levels were significantly increased and the distribution of H3S10ph signalling was obviously changed in mitosis under various treatments. Further statistics of the cells in different periods of mitosis confirmed that the cell cycle was arrested at preprophase. Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide were relatively higher in the treated plants and the antioxidant thiourea could negate the influence of the inhibitors. Moreover, all of the treated plants displayed negative results in the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labelling (TUNEL) and γ-H2AX immunostaining assays after exposure for 3 d. Additionally, the expression level of topoisomerase genes in the treated plants was relatively lower than that in the untreated plants. These results suggest that these inhibitors of epigenetic modifications could cause preprophase arrest via reactive oxygen species formation inhibiting the expression of DNA topoisomerase genes, accompanied by changes in the H4K5ac and H3S10ph histone modifications. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Kyung-Jong

    2008-08-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms Induced by Resveratrol

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    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. Epigenetic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Perspectives for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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    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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Chromatin resetting mechanisms preventing trangenerational inheritance of epigenetic states

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    Mayumi eIwasaki

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Epigenetic mechanisms of alcoholism and stress-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, Martina; Pandey, Subhash C

    2017-05-01

    Stress-related disorders, such as anxiety, early life stress, and posttraumatic stress disorder appear to be important factors in promoting alcoholism, as alcohol consumption can temporarily attenuate the negative affective symptoms of these disorders. Several molecules involved in signaling pathways may contribute to the neuroadaptation induced during alcohol dependence and stress disorders, and among these, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and opioid peptides (i.e., nociceptin and dynorphin) are involved in the interaction of stress and alcohol. In fact, alterations in the expression and function of these molecules have been associated with the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders and alcoholism. In recent years, various studies have focused on the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate chromatin architecture, thereby modifying gene expression. Interestingly, epigenetic modifications in specific brain regions have been shown to be associated with the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism and stress. In particular, the enzymes responsible for chromatin remodeling (i.e., histone deacetylases and methyltransferases, DNA methyltransferases) have been identified as common molecular mechanisms for the interaction of stress and alcohol and have become promising therapeutic targets to treat or prevent alcoholism and associated emotional disorders. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms That Maintain Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosan, Christian; Godmann, Maren

    2016-01-01

    All hematopoiesis cells develop from multipotent progenitor cells. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) have the ability to develop into all blood lineages but also maintain their stemness. Different molecular mechanisms have been identified that are crucial for regulating quiescence and self-renewal to maintain the stem cell pool and for inducing proliferation and lineage differentiation. The stem cell niche provides the microenvironment to keep HSC in a quiescent state. Furthermore, several transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers are involved in this process. These create modifications that regulate the cell fate in a more or less reversible and dynamic way and contribute to HSC homeostasis. In addition, HSC respond in a unique way to DNA damage. These mechanisms also contribute to the regulation of HSC function and are essential to ensure viability after DNA damage. How HSC maintain their quiescent stage during the entire life is still matter of ongoing research. Here we will focus on the molecular mechanisms that regulate HSC function. PMID:26798358

  4. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

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    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-12

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

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

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-02-19

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

  10. 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.

  11. Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms That Maintain Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function

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    Christian Kosan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available All hematopoiesis cells develop from multipotent progenitor cells. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC have the ability to develop into all blood lineages but also maintain their stemness. Different molecular mechanisms have been identified that are crucial for regulating quiescence and self-renewal to maintain the stem cell pool and for inducing proliferation and lineage differentiation. The stem cell niche provides the microenvironment to keep HSC in a quiescent state. Furthermore, several transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers are involved in this process. These create modifications that regulate the cell fate in a more or less reversible and dynamic way and contribute to HSC homeostasis. In addition, HSC respond in a unique way to DNA damage. These mechanisms also contribute to the regulation of HSC function and are essential to ensure viability after DNA damage. How HSC maintain their quiescent stage during the entire life is still matter of ongoing research. Here we will focus on the molecular mechanisms that regulate HSC function.

  12. Epigenetics and allergy: from basic mechanisms to clinical applications.

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    Potaczek, Daniel P; Harb, Hani; Michel, Sven; Alhamwe, Bilal Alashkar; Renz, Harald; Tost, Jörg

    2017-04-01

    Allergic diseases are on the rise in the Western world and well-known allergy-protecting and -driving factors such as microbial and dietary exposure, pollution and smoking mediate their influence through alterations of the epigenetic landscape. Here, we review key facts on the involvement of epigenetic modifications in allergic diseases and summarize and critically evaluate the lessons learned from epigenome-wide association studies. We show the potential of epigenetic changes for various clinical applications: as diagnostic tools, to assess tolerance following immunotherapy or possibly predict the success of therapy at an early time point. Furthermore, new technological advances such as epigenome editing and DNAzymes will allow targeted alterations of the epigenome in the future and provide novel therapeutic tools.

  13. Developmental plasticity and epigenetic mechanisms underpinning metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Felicia M; Gluckman, Peter D; Hanson, Mark A

    2011-06-01

    The importance of developmental factors in influencing the risk of later-life disease has a strong evidence base derived from multiple epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies in animals and humans. During early life, an organism is able to adjust its phenotypic development in response to environmental cues. Such developmentally plastic responses evolved as a fitness-maximizing strategy to cope with variable environments. There are now increasing data that these responses are, at least partially, underpinned by epigenetic mechanisms. A mismatch between the early and later-life environments may lead to inappropriate early life-course epigenomic changes that manifest in later life as increased vulnerability to disease. There is also growing evidence for the transgenerational transmission of epigenetic marks. This article reviews the evidence that susceptibility to metabolic and cardiovascular disease in humans is linked to changes in epigenetic marks induced by early-life environmental cues, and discusses the clinical, public health and therapeutic implications that arise.

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

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    Arase Sachiko

    2012-03-01

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

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

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    Nguyen Quoc Vuong Tran

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetics as a mechanism linking developmental exposures to long-term toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barouki, R; Melén, E; Herceg, Z; Beckers, J; Chen, J; Karagas, M; Puga, A; Xia, Y; Chadwick, L; Yan, W; Audouze, K; Slama, R; Heindel, J; Grandjean, P; Kawamoto, T; Nohara, K

    2018-05-01

    A variety of experimental and epidemiological studies lend support to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. Yet, the actual mechanisms accounting for mid- and long-term effects of early-life exposures remain unclear. Epigenetic alterations such as changes in DNA methylation, histone modifications and the expression of certain RNAs have been suggested as possible mediators of long-term health effects of environmental stressors. This report captures discussions and conclusions debated during the last Prenatal Programming and Toxicity meeting held in Japan. Its first aim is to propose a number of criteria that are critical to support the primary contribution of epigenetics in DOHaD and intergenerational transmission of environmental stressors effects. The main criteria are the full characterization of the stressors, the actual window of exposure, the target tissue and function, the specificity of the epigenetic changes and the biological plausibility of the linkage between those changes and health outcomes. The second aim is to discuss long-term effects of a number of stressors such as smoking, air pollution and endocrine disruptors in order to identify the arguments supporting the involvement of an epigenetic mechanism. Based on the developed criteria, missing evidence and suggestions for future research will be identified. The third aim is to critically analyze the evidence supporting the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in intergenerational and transgenerational effects of environmental exposure and to particularly discuss the role of placenta and sperm. While the article is not a systematic review and is not meant to be exhaustive, it critically assesses the contribution of epigenetics in the long-term effects of environmental exposures as well as provides insight for future research. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of epilepsy: a review

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    Chen T

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Tian Chen,1,* Mohan Giri,2,* Zhenyi Xia,3 Yadu Nanda Subedi,2 Yan Li1 1Department of Health Management Center, Chongqing Three Gorges Central Hospital, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 2National Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Ratopul, Gaushala, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Chongqing Three Gorges Central Hospital, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Epilepsy is a common episodic neurological disorder or condition characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures, and genetics seems to play a key role in its etiology. Early linkage studies have localized multiple loci that may harbor susceptibility genes to epilepsy, and mutational analyses have detected a number of mutations involved in both ion channel and nonion channel genes in patients with idiopathic epilepsy. Genome-wide studies of epilepsy have found copy number variants at 2q24.2-q24.3, 7q11.22, 15q11.2-q13.3, and 16p13.11-p13.2, some of which disrupt multiple genes, such as NRXN1, AUTS2, NLGN1, CNTNAP2, GRIN2A, PRRT2, NIPA2, and BMP5, implicated for neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability and autism. Unfortunately, only a few common genetic variants have been associated with epilepsy. Recent exome-sequencing studies have found some genetic mutations, most of which are located in nonion channel genes such as the LGI1, PRRT2, EFHC1, PRICKLE, RBFOX1, and DEPDC5 and in probands with rare forms of familial epilepsy, and some of these genes are involved with the neurodevelopment. Since epigenetics plays a role in neuronal function from embryogenesis and early brain development to tissue-specific gene expression, epigenetic regulation may contribute to the genetic mechanism of neurodevelopment through which a gene and the environment interacting with each other affect the development of epilepsy. This review focused on the analytic tools used to identify epilepsy and then provided a

  19. Cognitive neuroepigenetics: a role for epigenetic mechanisms in learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Jeremy J; Sweatt, J David

    2011-07-01

    Although long-lasting behavioral memories have long been thought to require equally persistent molecular changes, little is known about the biochemical underpinnings of memory storage and maintenance. Increasing evidence now suggests that long-term behavioral change may be associated with epigenetic regulation of transcription in the central nervous system. In this review, we present evidence that changes in DNA methylation contribute to memory formation and maintenance, consider how DNA methylation affects readout of memory-related genes, and discuss how these changes may be important in the large-scale context of memory circuits. Finally, we discuss potential challenges involved in examining epigenetic changes in the brain and highlight how epigenetic mechanisms may be relevant for other cognitive processes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Francesca Marini

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie eTordjman

    2014-08-01

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

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

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    Prakash Chelladurai

    2016-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Developmental Alcohol-Induced Neurobehavioral Deficits

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    Balapal S. Basavarajappa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and its damaging consequences on the developing infant brain are significant public health, social, and economic issues. The major distinctive features of prenatal alcohol exposure in humans are cognitive and behavioral dysfunction due to damage to the central nervous system (CNS, which results in a continuum of disarray that is collectively called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. Many rodent models have been developed to understand the mechanisms of and to reproduce the human FASD phenotypes. These animal FASD studies have provided several molecular pathways that are likely responsible for the neurobehavioral abnormalities that are associated with prenatal alcohol exposure of the developing CNS. Recently, many laboratories have identified several immediate, as well as long-lasting, epigenetic modifications of DNA methylation, DNA-associated histone proteins and microRNA (miRNA biogenesis by using a variety of epigenetic approaches in rodent FASD models. Because DNA methylation patterns, DNA-associated histone protein modifications and miRNA-regulated gene expression are crucial for synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, they can therefore offer an answer to many of the neurobehavioral abnormalities that are found in FASD. In this review, we briefly discuss the current literature of DNA methylation, DNA-associated histone proteins modification and miRNA and review recent developments concerning epigenetic changes in FASD.

  6. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manukyan, Maria; Singh, Prim B

    2012-05-01

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

  7. The Mechanism and Function of Epigenetics in Uterine Leiomyoma Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qiwei; Mas, Aymara; Diamond, Michael P.; Al-Hendy, Ayman

    2015-01-01

    Uterine leiomyomas, also known as uterine fibroids, are the most common pelvic tumors, occurring in nearly 70% of all reproductive-aged women and are the leading indication for hysterectomy worldwide. The development of uterine leiomyomas involve a complex and heterogeneous constellation of hormones, growth factors, stem cells, genetic, and epigenetic abnormalities. An increasing body of evidence emphasizes the important contribution of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of leiomyomas. Genome-wide methylation analysis demonstrates that a subset of estrogen receptor (ER) response genes exhibit abnormal hypermethylation levels that are inversely correlated with their RNA expression. Several tumor suppressor genes, including Kruppel-like factor 11 (KLF11), deleted in lung and esophageal cancer 1 (DLEC1), keratin 19 (KRT19), and death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) also display higher hypermethylation levels in leiomyomas when compared to adjacent normal tissues. The important role of active DNA demethylation was recently identified with regard to the ten-eleven translocation protein 1 and ten-eleven translocation protein 3-mediated elevated levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in leiomyoma. In addition, both histone deacetylase and histone methyltransferase are reported to be involved in the biology of leiomyomas. A number of deregulated microRNAs have been identified in leiomyomas, leading to an altered expression of their targets. More recently, the existence of side population (SP) cells with characteristics of tumor-initiating cells have been characterized in leiomyomas. These SP cells exhibit a tumorigenic capacity in immunodeficient mice when exposed to 17β-estradiol and progesterone, giving rise to fibroid-like tissue in vivo. These new findings will likely enhance our understanding of the crucial role epigenetics plays in the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyomas as well as point the way to novel therapeutic options. PMID:25922306

  8. Withaferin A and sulforaphane regulate breast cancer cell cycle progression through epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royston, Kendra J; Paul, Bidisha; Nozell, Susan; Rajbhandari, Rajani; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2018-07-01

    Little is known about the effects of combinatorial dietary compounds on the regulation of epigenetic mechanisms involved in breast cancer prevention. The human diet consists of a multitude of components, and there is a need to elucidate how certain compounds interact in collaboration. Withaferin A (WA), found in the Indian winter cherry and documented as a DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor, and sulforaphane (SFN), a well-known histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor found in cruciferous vegetables, are two epigenetic modifying compounds that have only recently been studied in conjunction. The use of DNMT and HDAC inhibitors to reverse the malignant expression of certain genes in breast cancer has shown considerable promise. Previously, we found that SFN + WA synergistically promote breast cancer cell death. Herein, we determined that these compounds inhibit cell cycle progression from S to G2 phase in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this unique combination of epigenetic modifying compounds down-regulates the levels of Cyclin D1 and CDK4, and pRB; conversely, the levels of E2F mRNA and tumor suppressor p21 are increased independently of p53. We find these events coincide with an increase in unrestricted histone methylation. We propose SFN + WA-induced breast cancer cell death is attributed, in part, to epigenetic modifications that result in the modulated expression of key genes responsible for the regulation of cancer cell senescence. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Redefining the impact of nutrition on breast cancer incidence: is epigenetics involved?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teegarden, Dorothy; Romieu, Isabelle; Lelièvre, Sophie A.

    2014-01-01

    Breast cancer incidence is rising worldwide with an increase in aggressive neoplasias in young women. Possible factors involved include lifestyle changes, notably diet that is known to make an impact on gene transcription. However, among dietary factors, there is sufficient support for only greater body weight and alcohol consumption whereas numerous studies revealing an impact of specific diets and nutrients on breast cancer risk show conflicting results. Also, little information is available from middle- and low-income countries. The diversity of gene expression profiles found in breast cancers indicates that transcription control is critical for the outcome of the disease. This suggests the need for studies on nutrients that affect epigenetic mechanisms of transcription, such as DNA methylation and post-translational modifications of histones. In the present review, a new examination of the relationship between diet and breast cancer based on transcription control is proposed in light of epidemiological, animal and clinical studies. The mechanisms underlying the impact of diets on breast cancer development and factors that impede reaching clear conclusions are discussed. Understanding the interaction between nutrition and epigenetics (gene expression control via chromatin structure) is critical in light of the influence of diet during early stages of mammary gland development on breast cancer risk, suggesting a persistent effect on gene expression as shown by the influence of certain nutrients on DNA methylation. Successful development of breast cancer prevention strategies will require appropriate models, identification of biological markers for rapid assessment of preventive interventions, and coordinated worldwide research to discern the effects of diet. PMID:22853843

  10. 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...

  11. Cisplatin resistance: a cellular self-defense mechanism resulting from multiple epigenetic and genetic changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Ding-Wu; Pouliot, Lynn M; Hall, Matthew D; Gottesman, Michael M

    2012-07-01

    Cisplatin is one of the most effective broad-spectrum anticancer drugs. Its effectiveness seems to be due to the unique properties of cisplatin, which enters cells via multiple pathways and forms multiple different DNA-platinum adducts while initiating a cellular self-defense system by activating or silencing a variety of different genes, resulting in dramatic epigenetic and/or genetic alternations. As a result, the development of cisplatin resistance in human cancer cells in vivo and in vitro by necessity stems from bewilderingly complex genetic and epigenetic changes in gene expression and alterations in protein localization. Extensive published evidence has demonstrated that pleiotropic alterations are frequently detected during development of resistance to this toxic metal compound. Changes occur in almost every mechanism supporting cell survival, including cell growth-promoting pathways, apoptosis, developmental pathways, DNA damage repair, and endocytosis. In general, dozens of genes are affected in cisplatin-resistant cells, including pathways involved in copper metabolism as well as transcription pathways that alter the cytoskeleton, change cell surface presentation of proteins, and regulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Decreased accumulation is one of the most common features resulting in cisplatin resistance. This seems to be a consequence of numerous epigenetic and genetic changes leading to the loss of cell-surface binding sites and/or transporters for cisplatin, and decreased fluid phase endocytosis.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lawaetz, Andreas C.; Almstrup, Kristian

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varadinova, Miroslava; Boyadjieva, Nadka

    2015-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Probing the evolutionary history of epigenetic mechanisms: what can we learn from marine diatoms

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    Achal Rastogi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent progress made on epigenetic studies revealed the conservation of epigenetic features in deep diverse branching species including Stramenopiles, plants and animals. This suggests their fundamental role in shaping species genomes across different evolutionary time scales. Diatoms are a highly successful and diverse group of phytoplankton with a fossil record of about 190 million years ago. They are distantly related from other super-groups of Eukaryotes and have retained some of the epigenetic features found in mammals and plants suggesting their ancient origin. Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, pennate and centric diatoms, respectively, emerged as model species to address questions on the evolution of epigenetic phenomena such as what has been lost, retained or has evolved in contemporary species. In the present work, we will discuss how the study of non-model or emerging model organisms, such as diatoms, helps understand the evolutionary history of epigenetic mechanisms with a particular focus on DNA methylation and histone modifications.

  17. Endocrine control of epigenetic mechanisms in male reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ankolkar, Mandar; Balasinor, N H

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamaki Hayase

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

  19. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate MHC and antigen processing molecules in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells.

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    Beatriz Suárez-Alvarez

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs are an attractive resource for new therapeutic approaches that involve tissue regeneration. hESCs have exhibited low immunogenicity due to low levels of Mayor Histocompatibility Complex (MHC class-I and absence of MHC class-II expression. Nevertheless, the mechanisms regulating MHC expression in hESCs had not been explored.We analyzed the expression levels of classical and non-classical MHC class-I, MHC class-II molecules, antigen-processing machinery (APM components and NKG2D ligands (NKG2D-L in hESCs, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs and NTera2 (NT2 teratocarcinoma cell line. Epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of these genes were investigated by bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP assays. We showed that low levels of MHC class-I molecules were associated with absent or reduced expression of the transporter associated with antigen processing 1 (TAP-1 and tapasin (TPN components in hESCs and iPSCs, which are involved in the transport and load of peptides. Furthermore, lack of beta2-microglobulin (beta2m light chain in these cells limited the expression of MHC class I trimeric molecule on the cell surface. NKG2D ligands (MICA, MICB were observed in all pluripotent stem cells lines. Epigenetic analysis showed that H3K9me3 repressed the TPN gene in undifferentiated cells whilst HLA-B and beta2m acquired the H3K4me3 modification during the differentiation to embryoid bodies (EBs. Absence of HLA-DR and HLA-G expression was regulated by DNA methylation.Our data provide fundamental evidence for the epigenetic control of MHC in hESCs and iPSCs. Reduced MHC class I and class II expression in hESCs and iPSCs can limit their recognition by the immune response against these cells. The knowledge of these mechanisms will further allow the development of strategies to induce tolerance and improve stem cell allograft acceptance.

  20. Epigenetic Mechanisms Regulate MHC and Antigen Processing Molecules in Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Álvarez, Beatriz; Rodriguez, Ramón M.; Calvanese, Vincenzo; Blanco-Gelaz, Miguel A.; Suhr, Steve T.; Ortega, Francisco; Otero, Jesus; Cibelli, Jose B.; Moore, Harry; Fraga, Mario F.; López-Larrea, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Background Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are an attractive resource for new therapeutic approaches that involve tissue regeneration. hESCs have exhibited low immunogenicity due to low levels of Mayor Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class-I and absence of MHC class-II expression. Nevertheless, the mechanisms regulating MHC expression in hESCs had not been explored. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the expression levels of classical and non-classical MHC class-I, MHC class-II molecules, antigen-processing machinery (APM) components and NKG2D ligands (NKG2D-L) in hESCs, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and NTera2 (NT2) teratocarcinoma cell line. Epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of these genes were investigated by bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. We showed that low levels of MHC class-I molecules were associated with absent or reduced expression of the transporter associated with antigen processing 1 (TAP-1) and tapasin (TPN) components in hESCs and iPSCs, which are involved in the transport and load of peptides. Furthermore, lack of β2-microglobulin (β2m) light chain in these cells limited the expression of MHC class I trimeric molecule on the cell surface. NKG2D ligands (MICA, MICB) were observed in all pluripotent stem cells lines. Epigenetic analysis showed that H3K9me3 repressed the TPN gene in undifferentiated cells whilst HLA-B and β2m acquired the H3K4me3 modification during the differentiation to embryoid bodies (EBs). Absence of HLA-DR and HLA-G expression was regulated by DNA methylation. Conclusions/Significance Our data provide fundamental evidence for the epigenetic control of MHC in hESCs and iPSCs. Reduced MHC class I and class II expression in hESCs and iPSCs can limit their recognition by the immune response against these cells. The knowledge of these mechanisms will further allow the development of strategies to induce tolerance and improve stem cell allograft acceptance

  1. 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.

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

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    Haijing Wu

    2016-12-01

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

  3. Role of Epigenetic Histone Modifications in Diabetic Kidney Disease Involving Renal Fibrosis

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    Jing Sun

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the commonest causes of end-stage renal disease is diabetic kidney disease (DKD. Renal fibrosis, characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM proteins in glomerular basement membranes and the tubulointerstitium, is the final manifestation of DKD. The TGF-β pathway triggers epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT, which plays a key role in the accumulation of ECM proteins in DKD. DCCT/EDIC studies have shown that DKD often persists and progresses despite glycemic control in diabetes once DKD sets in due to prior exposure to hyperglycemia called “metabolic memory.” These imply that epigenetic factors modulate kidney gene expression. There is evidence to suggest that in diabetes and hyperglycemia, epigenetic histone modifications have a significant effect in modulating renal fibrotic and ECM gene expression induced by TGF-β1, as well as its downstream profibrotic genes. Histone modifications are also implicated in renal fibrosis through its ability to regulate the EMT process triggered by TGF-β signaling. In view of this, efforts are being made to develop HAT, HDAC, and HMT inhibitors to delay, stop, or even reverse DKD. In this review, we outline the latest advances that are being made to regulate histone modifications involved in DKD.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Exercise impacts brain-derived neurotrophic factor plasticity by engaging mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Pinilla, F; Zhuang, Y; Feng, J; Ying, Z; Fan, G

    2011-02-01

    We have evaluated the possibility that the action of voluntary exercise on the regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a molecule important for rat hippocampal learning, could involve mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. We focused the studies on the Bdnf promoter IV, as this region is highly responsive to neuronal activity. We have found that exercise stimulates DNA demethylation in Bdnf promoter IV, and elevates levels of activated methyl-CpG-binding protein 2, as well as BDNF mRNA and protein in the rat hippocampus. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that exercise increases acetylation of histone H3, and protein assessment showed that exercise elevates the ratio of acetylated :total for histone H3 but had no effects on histone H4 levels. Exercise also reduces levels of the histone deacetylase 5 mRNA and protein implicated in the regulation of the Bdnf gene [N.M. Tsankova et al. (2006)Nat. Neurosci., 9, 519-525], but did not affect histone deacetylase 9. Exercise elevated the phosphorylated forms of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and cAMP response element binding protein, implicated in the pathways by which neural activity influences the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription, i.e. Bdnf. These results showing the influence of exercise on the remodeling of chromatin containing the Bdnf gene emphasize the importance of exercise on the control of gene transcription in the context of brain function and plasticity. Reported information about the impact of a behavior, inherently involved in the daily human routine, on the epigenome opens exciting new directions and therapeutic opportunities in the war against neurological and psychiatric disorders. © 2010 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2010 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Epigenetics as a mechanism linking developmental exposures to long-term toxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barouki, R; Melén, E; Herceg, Z

    2018-01-01

    A variety of experimental and epidemiological studies lend support to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. Yet, the actual mechanisms accounting for mid- and long-term effects of early-life exposures remain unclear. Epigenetic alterations such as changes in DNA methylat......A variety of experimental and epidemiological studies lend support to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. Yet, the actual mechanisms accounting for mid- and long-term effects of early-life exposures remain unclear. Epigenetic alterations such as changes in DNA...

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms associated with addiction-related behavioural effects of nicotine and/or cocaine: implication of the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayase, Tamaki

    2017-10-01

    The addictive use of nicotine (NC) and cocaine (COC) continues to be a major public health problem, and their combined use has been reported, particularly during adolescence. In neural plasticity, commonly induced by NC and COC, as well as behavioural plasticity related to the use of these two drugs, the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms, in which the reversible regulation of gene expression occurs independently of the DNA sequence, has recently been reported. Furthermore, on the basis of intense interactions with the target neurotransmitter systems, the endocannabinoid (ECB) system has been considered pivotal for eliciting the effects of NC or COC. The combined use of marijuana with NC and/or COC has also been reported. This article presents the addiction-related behavioural effects of NC and/or COC, based on the common behavioural/neural plasticity and combined use of NC/COC, and reviews the interacting role of the ECB system. The epigenetic processes inseparable from the effects of NC and/or COC (i.e. DNA methylation, histone modifications and alterations in microRNAs) and the putative therapeutic involvement of the ECB system at the epigenetic level are also discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. Integument pattern formation involves genetic and epigenetic controls: feather arrays simulated by digital hormone models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ting-Xin; Widelitz, Randall B; Shen, Wei-Min; Will, Peter; Wu, Da-Yu; Lin, Chih-Min; Jung, Han-Sung; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2004-01-01

    Pattern formation is a fundamental morphogenetic process. Models based on genetic and epigenetic control have been proposed but remain controversial. Here we use feather morphogenesis for further evaluation. Adhesion molecules and/or signaling molecules were first expressed homogenously in feather tracts (restrictive mode, appear earlier) or directly in bud or inter-bud regions ( de novo mode, appear later). They either activate or inhibit bud formation, but paradoxically colocalize in the bud. Using feather bud reconstitution, we showed that completely dissociated cells can reform periodic patterns without reference to previous positional codes. The patterning process has the characteristics of being self-organizing, dynamic and plastic. The final pattern is an equilibrium state reached by competition, and the number and size of buds can be altered based on cell number and activator/inhibitor ratio, respectively. We developed a Digital Hormone Model which consists of (1) competent cells without identity that move randomly in a space, (2) extracellular signaling hormones which diffuse by a reaction-diffusion mechanism and activate or inhibit cell adhesion, and (3) cells which respond with topological stochastic actions manifested as changes in cell adhesion. Based on probability, the results are cell clusters arranged in dots or stripes. Thus genetic control provides combinational molecular information which defines the properties of the cells but not the final pattern. Epigenetic control governs interactions among cells and their environment based on physical-chemical rules (such as those described in the Digital Hormone Model). Complex integument patterning is the sum of these two components of control and that is why integument patterns are usually similar but non-identical. These principles may be shared by other pattern formation processes such as barb ridge formation, fingerprints, pigmentation patterning, etc. The Digital Hormone Model can also be applied to

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Regulation of Nox enzymes expression in vascular pathophysiology: Focusing on transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms

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    Simona-Adriana Manea

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available NADPH oxidases (Nox represent a family of hetero-oligomeric enzymes whose exclusive biological function is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Nox-derived ROS are essential modulators of signal transduction pathways that control key physiological activities such as cell growth, proliferation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis, immune responses, and biochemical pathways. Enhanced formation of Nox-derived ROS, which is generally associated with the up-regulation of different Nox subtypes, has been established in various pathologies, namely cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and neurodegeneration. The detrimental effects of Nox-derived ROS are related to alterations in cell signalling and/or direct irreversible oxidative damage of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Thus, understanding of transcriptional regulation mechanisms of Nox enzymes have been extensively investigated in an attempt to find ways to counteract the excessive formation of Nox-derived ROS in various pathological states. Despite the numerous existing data, the molecular pathways responsible for Nox up-regulation are not completely understood. This review article summarizes some of the recent advances and concepts related to the regulation of Nox expression in the vascular pathophysiology. It highlights the role of transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms in this process. Identification of the signalling molecules involved in Nox up-regulation, which is associated with the onset and development of cardiovascular dysfunction may contribute to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

  13. Nutritional epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter is intended to provide a timely overview of the current state of research at the intersection of nutrition and epigenetics. I begin by describing epigenetics and molecular mechanisms of eigenetic regulation, then highlight four classes of nutritional exposures currently being investiga...

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

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    J. David Sterns

    2014-05-01

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

  15. An ENU mutagenesis screen identifies novel and known genes involved in epigenetic processes in the mouse

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Daxinger, L.; Harten, S.K.; Oey, H.; Epp, Trevor; Isbel, L.; Huang, E.; Whitelaw, N.; Apedaile, A.; Sorolla, A.; Yong, J.; Bharti, V.; Sutton, J.; Ashe, A.; Pang, Z.Y.; Wallace, N.; Gerhardt, D.J.; Blewitt, M.E.; Jeddeloh, J.A.; Whitelaw, E.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 9 (2013) ISSN 1465-6906 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : epigenetics * variegation * forward genetics Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 10.465, year: 2013

  16. Epigenetics and genetics in endometrial cancer: new carcinogenic mechanisms and relationship with clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banno, Kouji; Kisu, Iori; Yanokura, Megumi; Masuda, Kenta; Ueki, Arisa; Kobayashi, Yusuke; Susumu, Nobuyuki; Aoki, Daisuke

    2012-04-01

    Endometrial cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide among females. An increased incidence and a younger age of patients are also predicted to occur, and therefore elucidation of the pathological mechanisms is important. However, several aspects of the mechanism of carcinogenesis in the endometrium remain unclear. Associations with genetic mutations of cancer-related genes have been shown, but these do not provide a complete explanation. Therefore, epigenetic mechanisms have been examined. Silencing of genes by DNA hypermethylation, hereditary epimutation of DNA mismatch repair genes and regulation of gene expression by miRNAs may underlie carcinogenesis in endometrial cancer. New therapies include targeting epigenetic changes using histone deacetylase inhibitors. Some cases of endometrial cancer may also be hereditary. Thus, patients with Lynch syndrome which is a hereditary disease, have a higher risk for developing endometrial cancer than the general population. Identification of such disease-related genes may contribute to early detection and prevention of endometrial cancer.

  17. 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.

  18. Developmental programming of O2 sensing by neonatal intermittent hypoxia via epigenetic mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanduri, Jayasri; Prabhakar, Nanduri R.

    2014-01-01

    Recurrent apnea with intermittent hypoxia (IH) is a major clinical problem in infants born preterm. Carotid body chemo-reflex and catecholamine secretion from adrenal medullary chromaffin cells (AMC) are important for maintenance of cardio-respiratory homeostasis during hypoxia. This article highlights studies on the effects of IH on O2 sensing by the carotid body and AMC in neonatal rodents. Neonatal IH augments hypoxia-evoked carotid body sensory excitation and catecholamine secretion from AMC which are mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent recruitment of endothelin-1 and Ca2+ signaling, respectively. The effects of neonatal IH persist into adulthood. Evidence is emerging that neonatal IH initiates epigenetic mechanisms involving DNA hypermethylation contributing to long-lasting increase in ROS levels. Since adult human subjects born preterm exhibit higher incidence of sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension, DNA hypomethylating agents might offer a novel therapeutic intervention to decrease long-term cardio-respiratory morbidity caused by neonatal IH. PMID:22846496

  19. Developmental programming of O(2) sensing by neonatal intermittent hypoxia via epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanduri, Jayasri; Prabhakar, Nanduri R

    2013-01-01

    Recurrent apnea with intermittent hypoxia (IH) is a major clinical problem in infants born preterm. Carotid body chemo-reflex and catecholamine secretion from adrenal medullary chromaffin cells (AMC) are important for maintenance of cardio-respiratory homeostasis during hypoxia. This article highlights studies on the effects of IH on O(2) sensing by the carotid body and AMC in neonatal rodents. Neonatal IH augments hypoxia-evoked carotid body sensory excitation and catecholamine secretion from AMC which are mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent recruitment of endothelin-1 and Ca(2+) signaling, respectively. The effects of neonatal IH persist into adulthood. Evidence is emerging that neonatal IH initiates epigenetic mechanisms involving DNA hypermethylation contributing to long-lasting increase in ROS levels. Since adult human subjects born preterm exhibit higher incidence of sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension, DNA hypomethylating agents might offer a novel therapeutic intervention to decrease long-term cardio-respiratory morbidity caused by neonatal IH. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Exercise improves cognitive responses to psychological stress through enhancement of epigenetic mechanisms and gene expression in the dentate gyrus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Collins

    Full Text Available We have shown previously that exercise benefits stress resistance and stress coping capabilities. Furthermore, we reported recently that epigenetic changes related to gene transcription are involved in memory formation of stressful events. In view of the enhanced coping capabilities in exercised subjects we investigated epigenetic, gene expression and behavioral changes in 4-weeks voluntarily exercised rats.Exercised and control rats coped differently when exposed to a novel environment. Whereas the control rats explored the new cage for the complete 30-min period, exercised animals only did so during the first 15 min after which they returned to sleeping or resting behavior. Both groups of animals showed similar behavioral responses in the initial forced swim session. When re-tested 24 h later however the exercised rats showed significantly more immobility behavior and less struggling and swimming. If rats were killed at 2 h after novelty or the initial swim test, i.e. at the peak of histone H3 phospho-acetylation and c-Fos induction, then the exercised rats showed a significantly higher number of dentate granule neurons expressing the histone modifications and immediate-early gene induction.Thus, irrespective of the behavioral response in the novel cage or initial forced swim session, the impact of the event at the dentate gyrus level was greater in exercised rats than in control animals. Furthermore, in view of our concept that the neuronal response in the dentate gyrus after forced swimming is involved in memory formation of the stressful event, the observations in exercised rats of enhanced neuronal responses as well as higher immobility responses in the re-test are consistent with the reportedly improved cognitive performance in these animals. Thus, improved stress coping in exercised subjects seems to involve enhanced cognitive capabilities possibly resulting from distinct epigenetic mechanisms in dentate gyrus neurons.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekdash, Rola; Zhang, Changqing; Sarkar, Dipak

    2014-09-01

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

  3. Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms That Maintain Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function

    OpenAIRE

    Kosan, Christian; Godmann, Maren

    2015-01-01

    All hematopoiesis cells develop from multipotent progenitor cells. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) have the ability to develop into all blood lineages but also maintain their stemness. Different molecular mechanisms have been identified that are crucial for regulating quiescence and self-renewal to maintain the stem cell pool and for inducing proliferation and lineage differentiation. The stem cell niche provides the microenvironment to keep HSC in a quiescent state. Furthermore, several trans...

  4. Epigenetic regulatory pathways involving microRNAs may modulate the host immune response following major trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Helen C; Torrance, Hew D T; Jones, Timothy F; Pearse, Rupert M; Hinds, Charles J; Brohi, Karim; O'Dwyer, Michael J

    2015-11-01

    Posttraumatic nosocomial pneumonia is a common complication resulting in significant morbidity. Trauma-induced immunocompromise is associated with an enhanced susceptibility to pneumonia. In this study, we explore the hypothesis that posttranscriptional epigenetic regulation of gene expression may be an important factor in determining this immune phenotype. We describe the pattern of production of microRNAss (miRs) and their association with nosocomial pneumonia following severe trauma. A convenience sample of 30 ventilated polytrauma patients ( 5637) and 16 healthy controls were recruited. Messenger RNA and protein levels of key cytokines were quantified within 2 hours of the injury and at 24 hours. Three miRs per cytokine were then selected based on miRBase target prediction scores and quantified using polymerase chain reaction. Nosocomial pneumonia was defined using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions. Median Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 29, and 47% of the patients developed nosocomial pneumonia. miR-125a and miR-202 decreased by 34% and 77%, respectively, immediately following injury, whereas their target, IL-10, increased messenger RNA levels 3-fold and protein levels 180-fold. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and IL-12 gene expression decreased by 68% and 43%, respectively, following injury, and this was mirrored by a 10-fold increase in miR-181, an miR predicted to target TNF-α transcripts. Lower levels of miR-125a and miR-374b were associated with the later acquisition of hospital-acquired pneumonia. Alteration in the expression of miRs with highly predicted complementarity to IL-10 and TNF-α may be an important mechanism regulating the posttraumatic immunosuppressive phenotype in intensive care unit patients. Retrospective observational study, level III.

  5. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopomo, A; Burgio, E; Migliore, L

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Transcriptional and Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms Affecting HTLV-1 Provirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Miyazato

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1 is a retrovirus associated with human diseases, such as adult T-cell leukemia (ATL and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/Tropic spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP. As a retrovirus, its life cycle includes a step where HTLV-1 is integrated into the host genomic DNA and forms proviral DNA. In the chronic phase of the infection, HTLV‑1 is known to proliferate as a provirus via the mitotic division of the infected host cells. There are generally tens of thousands of infected clones within an infected individual. They exist not only in peripheral blood, but also in various lymphoid organs. Viral proteins encoded in HTLV-1 genome play a role in the proliferation and survival of the infected cells. As is the case with other chronic viral infections, HTLV-1 gene expression induces the activation of the host immunity against the virus. Thus, the transcription from HTLV-1 provirus needs to be controlled in order to evade the host immune surveillance. There should be a dynamic and complex regulation in vivo, where an equilibrium between viral antigen expression and host immune surveillance is achieved. The mechanisms regulating viral gene expression from the provirus are a key to understanding the persistent/latent infection with HTLV-1 and its pathogenesis. In this article, we would like to review our current understanding on this topic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-18

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

  10. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Genomic Imprinting: Common Themes in the Regulation of Imprinted Regions in Mammals, Plants, and Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William A. MacDonald

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Genomic imprinting is a form of epigenetic inheritance whereby the regulation of a gene or chromosomal region is dependent on the sex of the transmitting parent. During gametogenesis, imprinted regions of DNA are differentially marked in accordance to the sex of the parent, resulting in parent-specific expression. While mice are the primary research model used to study genomic imprinting, imprinted regions have been described in a broad variety of organisms, including other mammals, plants, and insects. Each of these organisms employs multiple, interrelated, epigenetic mechanisms to maintain parent-specific expression. While imprinted genes and imprint control regions are often species and locus-specific, the same suites of epigenetic mechanisms are often used to achieve imprinted expression. This review examines some examples of the epigenetic mechanisms responsible for genomic imprinting in mammals, plants, and insects.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Regulation of the ITGA2 gene by epigenetic mechanisms in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Suyin Paulynn; Marthick, James R; West, Alison C; Short, Annabel K; Chuckowree, Jyoti; Polanowski, Andrea M; Thomson, Russell J; Holloway, Adele F; Dickinson, Joanne L

    2015-05-01

    Integrin alpha2 beta1 (α2 β1 ) plays an integral role in tumour cell invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis, and altered expression of the receptor has been linked to tumour prognosis in several solid tumours. However, the relationship is complex, with both increased and decreased expression associated with different stages of tumour metastases in several tumour types. The ITGA2 gene, which codes for the α2 subunit, was examined to investigate whether a large CpG island associated with its promoter region is involved in the differential expression of ITGA2 observed in prostate cancer. Bisulphite sequencing of the ITGA2 promoter was used to assess methylation in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) prostate tumour specimens and prostate cancer cell lines, PC3, 22Rv1 and LNCaP. Changes in ITGA2 mRNA expression were measured using quantitative PCR. ITGA2 functionality was interrogated using cell migration scratch assays and siRNA knockdown experiments. Bisulphite sequencing revealed strikingly decreased methylation at key CpG sites within the promoter of tumour samples, when compared with normal prostate tissue. Altered methylation of this CpG island is also associated with differences in expression in the non-invasive LNCaP, and the highly metastatic PC3 and 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell lines. Further bisulphite sequencing confirmed that selected CpGs were highly methylated in LNCaP cells, whilst only low levels of methylation were observed in PC3 and 22Rv1 cells, correlating with ITGA2 transcript levels. Examination of the increased expression of ITGA2 was shown to influence migratory potential via scratch assay in PC3, 22Rv1 and LNCaP cells, and was confirmed by siRNA knockdown experiments. Taken together, our data supports the assertion that epigenetic modification of the ITGA2 promoter is a mechanism by which ITGA2 expression is regulated. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Epigenetics in adaptive evolution and development: the interplay between evolving species and epigenetic mechanisms: extract from Trygve Tollefsbol (ed.) (2011) Handbook of epigenetics--the new molecular and medical genetics. Chapter 26. Amsterdam, USA: Elsevier, pp. 423-446.

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Simon H

    2013-04-01

    By comparing epigenetics of current species with fossil records across evolutionary transitions, we can gauge the moment of emergence of some novel mechanisms in evolution, and recognize that epigenetic mechanisms have a bearing on mutation. Understanding the complexity and changeability of these mechanisms, as well as the changes they can effect, is both fascinating and of vital practical benefit. Our most serious pandemics of so-called 'non-communicable' diseases - mental and cardiovascular disorders, obesity and diabetes, rooted in the 'metabolic syndrome' - are evidently related to effects on our evolutionary mechanisms of agricultural and food industrialization, modern lifestyle and diet. Pollution affects us directly as well as indirectly by its destruction of ecologically essential biosystems. Evidently such powerful conditions of existence have epigenetic effects on both our health and our continuing evolution. Such effects are most profound during reproductive and developmental processes, when levels of hormones, as affected by stress particularly, may be due to modern cultures in childbearing such as excessive intervention, separation, maternal distress and disruption of bonding. Mechanisms of genomic imprinting seem likely to throw light on problems in assisted reproductive technology, among other transgenerational effects. © The Author(s) 2014.

  15. 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

  16. The Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms in the Regulation of Gene Expression in the Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cholewa-Waclaw, Justyna; Bird, Adrian; von Schimmelmann, Melanie; Schaefer, Anne; Yu, Huimei; Song, Hongjun; Madabhushi, Ram; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2016-11-09

    Neuroepigenetics is a newly emerging field in neurobiology that addresses the epigenetic mechanism of gene expression regulation in various postmitotic neurons, both over time and in response to environmental stimuli. In addition to its fundamental contribution to our understanding of basic neuronal physiology, alterations in these neuroepigenetic mechanisms have been recently linked to numerous neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. This article provides a selective review of the role of DNA and histone modifications in neuronal signal-induced gene expression regulation, plasticity, and survival and how targeting these mechanisms could advance the development of future therapies. In addition, we discuss a recent discovery on how double-strand breaks of genomic DNA mediate the rapid induction of activity-dependent gene expression in neurons. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3611427-08$15.00/0.

  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. Epigenetic switch involved in activation of pioneer factor FOXA1-dependent enhancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sérandour, Aurélien A.; Avner, Stéphane; Percevault, Frédéric; Demay, Florence; Bizot, Maud; Lucchetti-Miganeh, Céline; Barloy-Hubler, Frédérique; Brown, Myles; Lupien, Mathieu; Métivier, Raphaël; Salbert, Gilles; Eeckhoute, Jérôme

    2011-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) bind specifically to discrete regions of mammalian genomes called cis-regulatory elements. Among those are enhancers, which play key roles in regulation of gene expression during development and differentiation. Despite the recognized central regulatory role exerted by chromatin in control of TF functions, much remains to be learned regarding the chromatin structure of enhancers and how it is established. Here, we have analyzed on a genomic-scale enhancers that recruit FOXA1, a pioneer transcription factor that triggers transcriptional competency of these cis-regulatory sites. Importantly, we found that FOXA1 binds to genomic regions showing local DNA hypomethylation and that its cell-type-specific recruitment to chromatin is linked to differential DNA methylation levels of its binding sites. Using neural differentiation as a model, we showed that induction of FOXA1 expression and its subsequent recruitment to enhancers is associated with DNA demethylation. Concomitantly, histone H3 lysine 4 methylation is induced at these enhancers. These epigenetic changes may both stabilize FOXA1 binding and allow for subsequent recruitment of transcriptional regulatory effectors. Interestingly, when cloned into reporter constructs, FOXA1-dependent enhancers were able to recapitulate their cell type specificity. However, their activities were inhibited by DNA methylation. Hence, these enhancers are intrinsic cell-type-specific regulatory regions of which activities have to be potentiated by FOXA1 through induction of an epigenetic switch that includes notably DNA demethylation. PMID:21233399

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Palumbo

    2018-06-01

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

  20. Cellular, molecular, and epigenetic mechanisms in non-associative conditioning: implications for pain and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahn, Elizabeth J; Guzman-Karlsson, Mikael C; David Sweatt, J

    2013-10-01

    Sensitization is a form of non-associative conditioning in which amplification of behavioral responses can occur following presentation of an aversive or noxious stimulus. Understanding the cellular and molecular underpinnings of sensitization has been an overarching theme spanning the field of learning and memory as well as that of pain research. In this review we examine how sensitization, both in the context of learning as well as pain processing, shares evolutionarily conserved behavioral, cellular/synaptic, and epigenetic mechanisms across phyla. First, we characterize the behavioral phenomenon of sensitization both in invertebrates and vertebrates. Particular emphasis is placed on long-term sensitization (LTS) of withdrawal reflexes in Aplysia following aversive stimulation or injury, although additional invertebrate models are also covered. In the context of vertebrates, sensitization of mammalian hyperarousal in a model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as mammalian models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain is characterized. Second, we investigate the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying these behaviors. We focus our discussion on serotonin-mediated long-term facilitation (LTF) and axotomy-mediated long-term hyperexcitability (LTH) in reduced Aplysia systems, as well as mammalian spinal plasticity mechanisms of central sensitization. Third, we explore recent evidence implicating epigenetic mechanisms in learning- and pain-related sensitization. This review illustrates the fundamental and functional overlay of the learning and memory field with the pain field which argues for homologous persistent plasticity mechanisms in response to sensitizing stimuli or injury across phyla. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Epigenetic mechanisms and associated brain circuits in the regulation of positive emotions: A role for transposable elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, Simona; Guffanti, Guia; Fallon, James; Macciardi, Fabio

    2016-10-15

    Epigenetic programming and reprogramming are at the heart of cellular differentiation and represent developmental and evolutionary mechanisms in both germline and somatic cell lines. Only about 2% of our genome is composed of protein-coding genes, while the remaining 98%, once considered "junk" DNA, codes for regulatory/epigenetic elements that control how genes are expressed in different tissues and across time from conception to death. While we already know that epigenetic mechanisms are at play in cancer development and in regulating metabolism (cellular and whole body), the role of epigenetics in the developing prenatal and postnatal brain, and in maintaining a proper brain activity throughout the various stages of life, in addition to having played a critical role in human evolution, is a relatively new domain of knowledge. Here we present the current state-of-the-art techniques and results of these studies within the domain of emotions, and then speculate on how genomic and epigenetic mechanisms can modify and potentially alter our emotional (limbic) brain and affect our social interactions. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2944-2954, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Ochratoxin A as possible factor trigging autism and its male prevalence via epigenetic mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezzelani, A; Raggi, M E; Marabotti, A; Milanesi, L

    2016-01-01

    The role of dysbiosis causing leaky gut with xenobiotic production and absorption is increasingly demonstrated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) pathogenesis. Among xenobiotics, we focused on ochratoxin A (one of the major food contaminating mycotoxin), that in vitro and in vivo exerts a male-specific neurotoxicity probably via microRNA modulation of a specific target gene. Among possible targets, we focused on neuroligin4X. Interestingly, this gene carries some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) already correlated with the disease and with illegitimate microRNA binding sites and, being located on X-chromosome, could explain the male prevalence. In conclusion, we propose a possible gene-environment interaction triggering ASD explaining the epigenetic neurotoxic mechanism activated by ochratoxin A in genetically predisposed children. This mechanism offers a clue for male prevalence of the disease and may have an important impact on prevention and cure of ASD.

  3. 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....

  4. The mechanisms involved at the cell level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leblanc, G.; Pourcher, Th.; Perron, B.; Guillain, F.; Quemeneur, E.; Fritsch, P.

    2003-01-01

    The mechanisms responsible at the cell level for inducing toxic reactions after contamination are as yet only imperfectly known. Work still needs to be done for both contaminants that have a biological role, such as iodine, and those that do not, such as cadmium, uranium and plutonium. In particular, these mechanisms bring into play, in biological membranes, carriers which are the physiological partners responsible for material exchange with the environment or inside the body. As they lack absolute selectivity, these carriers, which are involved in the assimilation and accumulation of vital mineral elements, also have the ability to transport toxic elements and isotopes. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto-Fernandez, Adan; Kessler, Benedikt M

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt M Kessler

    2016-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Fisetin Inhibits Hyperglycemia-Induced Proinflammatory Cytokine Production by Epigenetic Mechanisms

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    Hye Joo Kim

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes is characterized by a proinflammatory state, and several inflammatory processes have been associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and the resulting complications. High glucose levels induce the release of proinflammatory cytokines. Fisetin, a flavonoid dietary ingredient found in the smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria, and is also widely distributed in fruits and vegetables. Fisetin is known to exert anti-inflammatory effects via inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway. In this study, we analyzed the effects of fisetin on proinflammatory cytokine secretion and epigenetic regulation, in human monocytes cultured under hyperglycemic conditions. Human monocytic (THP-1 cells were cultured under control (14.5 mmol/L mannitol, normoglycemic (NG, 5.5 mmol/L glucose, or hyperglycemic (HG, 20 mmol/L glucose conditions, in the absence or presence of fisetin. Fisetin was added (3–10 μM for 48 h. While the HG condition significantly induced histone acetylation, NF-κB activation, and proinflammatory cytokine (IL-6 and TNF-α release from THP-1 cells, fisetin suppressed NF-κB activity and cytokine release. Fisetin treatment also significantly reduced CBP/p300 gene expression, as well as the levels of acetylation and HAT activity of the CBP/p300 protein, which is a known NF-κB coactivator. These results suggest that fisetin inhibits HG-induced cytokine production in monocytes, through epigenetic changes involving NF-κB. We therefore propose that fisetin supplementation be considered for diabetes prevention.

  9. Silencing of human T-cell leukemia virus type I gene transcription by epigenetic mechanisms

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    Mueller Nancy

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I causes adult T-cell leukemia (ATL after a long latent period. Among accessory genes encoded by HTLV-I, the tax gene is thought to play a central role in oncogenesis. However, Tax expression is disrupted by several mechanims including genetic changes of the tax gene, deletion/hypermethylation of 5'-LTR. To clarify the role of epigenetic changes, we analyzed DNA methylation and histone modification in the whole HTLV-I provirus genome. Results The gag, pol and env genes of HTLV-I provirus were more methylated than pX region, whereas methylation of 5'-LTR was variable and 3'-LTR was not methylated at all. In ATL cell lines, complete DNA methylation of 5'-LTR was associated with transcriptional silencing of viral genes. HTLV-I provirus was more methylated in primary ATL cells than in carrier state, indicating the association with disease progression. In seroconvertors, DNA methylation was already observed in internal sequences of provirus just after seroconversion. Taken together, it is speculated that DNA methylation first occurs in the gag, pol and env regions and then extends in the 5' and 3' directions in vivo, and when 5'-LTR becomes methylated, viral transcription is silenced. Analysis of histone modification in the HTLV-I provirus showed that the methylated provirus was associated with hypoacetylation. However, the tax gene transcript could not be detected in fresh ATL cells regardless of hyperacetylated histone H3 in 5'-LTR. The transcription rapidly recovered after in vitro culture in such ATL cells. Conclusion These results showed that epigenetic changes of provirus facilitated ATL cells to evade host immune system by suppressing viral gene transcription. In addition, this study shows the presence of another reversible mechanism that suppresses the tax gene transcription without DNA methylation and hypoacetylated histone.

  10. Genetic mechanisms and age-related macular degeneration: common variants, rare variants, copy number variations, epigenetics, and mitochondrial genetics

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    Liu Melissa M

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Age-related macular degeneration (AMD is a complex and multifaceted disease involving contributions from both genetic and environmental influences. Previous work exploring the genetic contributions of AMD has implicated numerous genomic regions and a variety of candidate genes as modulators of AMD susceptibility. Nevertheless, much of this work has revolved around single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, and it is apparent that a significant portion of the heritability of AMD cannot be explained through these mechanisms. In this review, we consider the role of common variants, rare variants, copy number variations, epigenetics, microRNAs, and mitochondrial genetics in AMD. Copy number variations in regulators of complement activation genes (CFHR1 and CFHR3 and glutathione S transferase genes (GSTM1 and GSTT1 have been associated with AMD, and several additional loci have been identified as regions of potential interest but require further evaluation. MicroRNA dysregulation has been linked to the retinal pigment epithelium degeneration in geographic atrophy, ocular neovascularization, and oxidative stress, all of which are hallmarks in the pathogenesis of AMD. Certain mitochondrial DNA haplogroups and SNPs in mitochondrially encoded NADH dehydrogenase genes have also been associated with AMD. The role of these additional mechanisms remains only partly understood, but the importance of their further investigation is clear to elucidate more completely the genetic basis of AMD.

  11. Epigenetic Mechanisms Regulating Adaptive Responses to Targeted Kinase Inhibitors in Cancer.

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    Angus, Steven P; Zawistowski, Jon S; Johnson, Gary L

    2018-01-06

    Although targeted inhibition of oncogenic kinase drivers has achieved remarkable patient responses in many cancers, the development of resistance has remained a significant challenge. Numerous mechanisms have been identified, including the acquisition of gatekeeper mutations, activating pathway mutations, and copy number loss or gain of the driver or alternate nodes. These changes have prompted the development of kinase inhibitors with increased selectivity, use of second-line therapeutics to overcome primary resistance, and combination treatment to forestall resistance. In addition to genomic resistance mechanisms, adaptive transcriptional and signaling responses seen in tumors are gaining appreciation as alterations that lead to a phenotypic state change-often observed as an epithelial-to-mesenchymal shift or reversion to a cancer stem cell-like phenotype underpinned by remodeling of the epigenetic landscape. This epigenomic modulation driving cell state change is multifaceted and includes modulation of repressive and activating histone modifications, DNA methylation, enhancer remodeling, and noncoding RNA species. Consequently, the combination of kinase inhibitors with drugs targeting components of the transcriptional machinery and histone-modifying enzymes has shown promise in preclinical and clinical studies. Here, we review mechanisms of resistance to kinase inhibition in cancer, with special emphasis on the rewired kinome and transcriptional signaling networks and the potential vulnerabilities that may be exploited to overcome these adaptive signaling changes.

  12. Epigenetic Mechanisms Regulate Innate Immunity against Uropathogenic and Commensal-Like Escherichia coli in the Surrogate Insect Model Galleria mellonella.

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    Heitmueller, Miriam; Billion, André; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Mukherjee, Krishnendu

    2017-10-01

    Innate-immunity-related genes in humans are activated during urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli but are suppressed by commensals. Epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in the regulation of gene expression in response to environmental stimuli. To determine whether epigenetic mechanisms can explain the different behaviors of pathogenic and commensal bacteria, we infected larvae of the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella , a widely used model insect host, with a uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) strain that causes symptomatic UTIs in humans or a commensal-like strain that causes asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU). Infection with the UPEC strain (CFT073) was more lethal to larvae than infection with the attenuated ABU strain (83972) due to the recognition of each strain by different Toll-like receptors, ultimately leading to differential DNA/RNA methylation and histone acetylation. We used next-generation sequencing and reverse transcription (RT)-PCR to correlate epigenetic changes with the induction of innate-immunity-related genes. Transcriptomic analysis of G. mellonella larvae infected with E. coli strains CFT073 and 83972 revealed strain-specific variations in the class and expression levels of genes encoding antimicrobial peptides, cytokines, and enzymes controlling DNA methylation and histone acetylation. Our results provide evidence for the differential epigenetic regulation of transcriptional reprogramming by UPEC and ABU strains of E. coli in G. mellonella larvae, which may be relevant to understanding the different behaviors of these bacterial strains in the human urinary tract. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  13. The Importance of ncRNAs as Epigenetic Mechanisms in Phenotypic Variation and Organic Evolution

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    Daniel Frías-Lasserre

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Neo-Darwinian explanations of organic evolution have settled on mutation as the principal factor in producing evolutionary novelty. Mechanistic characterizations have been also biased by the classic dogma of molecular biology, where only proteins regulate gene expression. This together with the rearrangement of genetic information, in terms of genes and chromosomes, was considered the cornerstone of evolution at the level of natural populations. This predominant view excluded both alternative explanations and phenomenologies that did not fit its paradigm. With the discovery of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs and their role in the control of genetic expression, new mechanisms arose providing heuristic power to complementary explanations to evolutionary processes overwhelmed by mainstream genocentric views. Viruses, epimutation, paramutation, splicing, and RNA editing have been revealed as paramount functions in genetic variations, phenotypic plasticity, and diversity. This article discusses how current epigenetic advances on ncRNAs have changed the vision of the mechanisms that generate variation, how organism-environment interaction can no longer be underestimated as a driver of organic evolution, and how it is now part of the transgenerational inheritance and evolution of species.

  14. [Epigenetics of prostate cancer].

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    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.

  15. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity.

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    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.

  16. Early life exposure to famine and colorectal cancer risk: a role for epigenetic mechanisms.

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    Laura A E Hughes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Exposure to energy restriction during childhood and adolescence is associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC. Epigenetic dysregulation during this critical period of growth and development may be a mechanism to explain such observations. Within the Netherlands Cohort Study on diet and cancer, we investigated the association between early life energy restriction and risk of subsequent CRC characterized by the (promoter CpG island methylation phenotype (CIMP. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Information on diet and risk factors was collected by baseline questionnaire (n = 120,856. Three indicators of exposure were assessed: place of residence during the Hunger Winter (1944-45 and World War II years (1940-44, and father's employment status during the Economic Depression (1932-40. Methylation specific PCR (MSP on DNA from paraffin embedded tumor tissue was performed to determine CIMP status according to the Weisenberger markers. After 7.3 years of follow-up, 603 cases and 4631 sub-cohort members were available for analysis. Cox regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR and 95% confidence intervals for CIMP+ (27.7% and CIMP- (72.3% tumors according to the three time periods of energy restriction, adjusted for age and gender. Individuals exposed to severe famine during the Hunger Winter had a decreased risk of developing a tumor characterized by CIMP compared to those not exposed (HR 0.65, 95%CI: 0.45-0.92. Further categorizing individuals by an index of '0-1' '2-3' or '4-7' genes methylated in the promoter region suggested that exposure to the Hunger Winter was associated with the degree of promoter hypermethylation ('0-1 genes methylated' HR = 1.01, 95%CI:0.74-1.37; '2-3 genes methylated' HR = 0.83, 95% CI:0.61-1.15; '4-7 genes methylated' HR = 0.72, 95% CI:0.49-1.04. No associations were observed with respect to the Economic Depression and WWII years. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study indicating that

  17. Epigenetic Mechanisms Shape the Biological Response to Trauma and Risk for PTSD: A Critical Review

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    Morgan Heinzelmann

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD develops in approximately one-quarter of trauma-exposed individuals, leading us and others to question the mechanisms underlying this heterogeneous response to trauma. We suggest that the reasons for the heterogeneity relate to a complex interaction between genes and the environment, shaping each individual’s recovery trajectory based on both historical and trauma-specific variables. Epigenetic modifications provide a unique opportunity to elucidate how preexisting risk factors may contribute to PTSD risk through changes in the methylation of DNA. Preexisting risks for PTSD, including depression, stress, and trauma, result in differential DNA methylation of endocrine genes, which may then result in a different biological responses to trauma and subsequently a greater risk for PTSD onset. Although these relationships are complex and currently inadequately described, we provide a critical review of recent studies to examine how differences in genetic and proteomic biomarkers shape an individual’s vulnerability to PTSD development, thereby contributing to a heterogeneous response to trauma.

  18. Genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and the (clinical) implications for social behavior.

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    Tops, Sanne; Habel, Ute; Radke, Sina

    2018-03-12

    Oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) play an important role in a large variety of social behaviors. The oxytocinergic system interacts with environmental cues and is highly dependent on interindividual factors. Deficits in this system have been linked to mental disorders associated with social impairments, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This review focuses on the modulation of social behavior by alterations in two domains of the oxytocinergic system. We discuss genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and alterations in these mechanisms that were found to have clinical implications for ASD. We propose possible explanations how these alterations affect the biological pathways underlying the aberrant social behavior and point out avenues for future research. We advocate the need for integration studies that combine multiple measures covering a broad range of social behaviors and link these to genetic and epigenetic profiles. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Neurobiological mechanisms involved in sleep bruxism.

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    Lavigne, G J; Kato, T; Kolta, A; Sessle, B J

    2003-01-01

    Sleep bruxism (SB) is reported by 8% of the adult population and is mainly associated with rhythmic masticatory muscle activity (RMMA) characterized by repetitive jaw muscle contractions (3 bursts or more at a frequency of 1 Hz). The consequences of SB may include tooth destruction, jaw pain, headaches, or the limitation of mandibular movement, as well as tooth-grinding sounds that disrupt the sleep of bed partners. SB is probably an extreme manifestation of a masticatory muscle activity occurring during the sleep of most normal subjects, since RMMA is observed in 60% of normal sleepers in the absence of grinding sounds. The pathophysiology of SB is becoming clearer, and there is an abundance of evidence outlining the neurophysiology and neurochemistry of rhythmic jaw movements (RJM) in relation to chewing, swallowing, and breathing. The sleep literature provides much evidence describing the mechanisms involved in the reduction of muscle tone, from sleep onset to the atonia that characterizes rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Several brainstem structures (e.g., reticular pontis oralis, pontis caudalis, parvocellularis) and neurochemicals (e.g., serotonin, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid [GABA], noradrenaline) are involved in both the genesis of RJM and the modulation of muscle tone during sleep. It remains unknown why a high percentage of normal subjects present RMMA during sleep and why this activity is three times more frequent and higher in amplitude in SB patients. It is also unclear why RMMA during sleep is characterized by co-activation of both jaw-opening and jaw-closing muscles instead of the alternating jaw-opening and jaw-closing muscle activity pattern typical of chewing. The final section of this review proposes that RMMA during sleep has a role in lubricating the upper alimentary tract and increasing airway patency. The review concludes with an outline of questions for future research.

  20. Epigenetic Regulation of Adipokines

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    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.

  1. A general approach for controlling transcription and probing epigenetic mechanisms: application to the CD4 locus.

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    Wan, Mimi; Kaundal, Ravinder; Huang, Haichang; Zhao, Jiugang; Yang, Xiaojun; Chaiyachati, Barbara H; Li, Sicong; Chi, Tian

    2013-01-15

    Synthetic regulatory proteins such as tetracycline (tet)-controlled transcription factors are potentially useful for repression as well as ectopic activation of endogenous genes and also for probing their regulatory mechanisms, which would offer a versatile genetic tool advantageous over conventional gene targeting methods. In this study, we provide evidence supporting this concept using Cd4 as a model. CD4 is expressed in double-positive and CD4 cells but irreversibly silenced in CD8 cells. The silencing is mediated by heterochromatin established during CD8 lineage development via transient action of the Cd4 silencer; once established, the heterochromatin becomes self-perpetuating independently of the Cd4 silencer. Using a tet-sensitive Cd4 allele harboring a removable Cd4 silencer, we found that a tet-controlled repressor recapitulated the phenotype of Cd4-deficient mice, inhibited Cd4 expression in a reversible and dose-dependent manner, and could surprisingly replace the Cd4 silencer to induce irreversible Cd4 silencing in CD8 cells, thus suggesting the Cd4 silencer is not the (only) determinant of heterochromatin formation. In contrast, a tet-controlled activator reversibly disrupted Cd4 silencing in CD8 cells. The Cd4 silencer impeded this disruption but was not essential for its reversal, which revealed a continuous role of the silencer in mature CD8 cells while exposing a remarkable intrinsic self-regenerative ability of heterochromatin after forced disruption. These data demonstrate an effective approach for gene manipulation and provide insights into the epigenetic Cd4 regulatory mechanisms that are otherwise difficult to obtain.

  2. Epigenetic modifications and diabetic nephropathy

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    Marpadga A. Reddy

    2012-09-01

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

  3. Epigenetic mechanisms in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: An emerging field.

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    Gallego-Durán, Rocío; Romero-Gómez, Manuel

    2015-10-28

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging health concern in both developed and non-developed world, encompassing from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and liver cancer. Incidence and prevalence of this disease are increasing due to the socioeconomic transition and change to harmful diet. Currently, gold standard method in NAFLD diagnosis is liver biopsy, despite complications and lack of accuracy due to sampling error. Further, pathogenesis of NAFLD is not fully understood, but is well-known that obesity, diabetes and metabolic derangements played a major role in disease development and progression. Besides, gut microbioma and host genetic and epigenetic background could explain considerable interindividual variability. Knowledge that epigenetics, heritable events not caused by changes in DNA sequence, contribute to development of diseases has been a revolution in the last few years. Recently, evidences are accumulating revealing the important role of epigenetics in NAFLD pathogenesis and in NASH genesis. Histone modifications, changes in DNA methylation and aberrant profiles or microRNAs could boost development of NAFLD and transition into clinical relevant status. PNPLA3 genotype GG has been associated with a more progressive disease and epigenetics could modulate this effect. The impact of epigenetic on NAFLD progression could deserve further applications on therapeutic targets together with future non-invasive methods useful for the diagnosis and staging of NAFLD.

  4. Epigenetic considerations in aquaculture

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    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.

  5. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

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    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.

  6. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

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    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.

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

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    Joo Ho Lee

    2014-08-01

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

  8. Annual Research Review: Epigenetic Mechanisms and Environmental Shaping of the Brain during Sensitive Periods of Development

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    Roth, Tania L.; Sweatt, J. David

    2011-01-01

    Experiences during early development profoundly affect development of the central nervous system (CNS) to impart either risk for or resilience to later psychopathology. Work in the developmental neuroscience field is providing compelling data that epigenetic marking of the genome may underlie aspects of this process. Experiments in rodents…

  9. NRSF-dependent epigenetic mechanisms contribute to programming of stress-sensitive neurons by neonatal experience, promoting resilience.

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    Singh-Taylor, A; Molet, J; Jiang, S; Korosi, A; Bolton, J L; Noam, Y; Simeone, K; Cope, J; Chen, Y; Mortazavi, A; Baram, T Z

    2018-03-01

    Resilience to stress-related emotional disorders is governed in part by early-life experiences. Here we demonstrate experience-dependent re-programming of stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons, which takes place through modification of neuronal gene expression via epigenetic mechanisms. Specifically, we found that augmented maternal care reduced glutamatergic synapses onto stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons and repressed expression of the stress-responsive gene, Crh. In hypothalamus in vitro, reduced glutamatergic neurotransmission recapitulated the repressive effects of augmented maternal care on Crh, and this required recruitment of the transcriptional repressor repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor/neuron restrictive silencing factor (NRSF). Increased NRSF binding to chromatin was accompanied by sequential repressive epigenetic changes which outlasted NRSF binding. chromatin immunoprecipitation-seq analyses of NRSF targets identified gene networks that, in addition to Crh, likely contributed to the augmented care-induced phenotype, including diminished depression-like and anxiety-like behaviors. Together, we believe these findings provide the first causal link between enriched neonatal experience, synaptic refinement and induction of epigenetic processes within specific neurons. They uncover a novel mechanistic pathway from neonatal environment to emotional resilience.

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

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    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.

  11. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

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    Stephen V Liu

    2013-05-01

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

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

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

    2015-07-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. Re: Epigenetics of Cellular Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fehmi Narter

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Le; Zhang, Shaoxiang

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Targeting Epigenetic Mechanisms in Pain due to Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    after incision and TBI, and the relationship of those changes to CXCR2 expression ST4.1 Establish spinal cord sites and cell types displaying...we plan to use oral preparations of these drugs and establish dose-response relationships as these will be pharmacologically useful and make the...Anesthesiology Annual Awards Dinner . Palo Alto, CA, June, 2016. 4. Epigenetic Regulation of Chronic Pain after Traumatic Brain Injury. De-Yong

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Santa-Cruz

    2017-08-01

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

  1. Glucan: mechanisms involved in its radioprotective effect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patchen, M.L.; D'Alesandro, M.M.; Brook, I.; Blakely, W.F.; MacVittie, T.J.

    1987-01-01

    It has generally been accepted that most biologically derived agents that are radioprotective in the hemopoietic-syndrome dose range (eg, endotoxin, Bacillus Calmette Guerin, Corynebacterium parvum, etc) exert their beneficial properties by enhancing hemopoietic recovery and hence, by regenerating the host's ability to resist life-threatening opportunistic infections. However, using glucan as a hemopoietic stimulant/radioprotectant, we have demonstrated that host resistance to opportunistic infection is enhanced in these mice even prior to the detection of significant hemopoietic regeneration. This early enhanced resistance to microbial invasion in glucan-treated irradiated mice could be correlated with enhanced and/or prolonged macrophage (but not granulocyte) function. These results suggest that early after irradiation glucan may mediate its radioprotection by enhancing resistance to microbial invasion via mechanisms not necessarily predicated on hemopoietic recovery. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that glucan can also function as an effective free-radical scavenger. Because macrophages have been shown to selectively phagocytize and sequester glucan, the possibility that these specific cells may be protected by virtue of glucan's scavenging ability is also suggested

  2. Epigenetic regulation of vascular NADPH oxidase expression and reactive oxygen species production by histone deacetylase-dependent mechanisms in experimental diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona-Adriana Manea

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Reactive oxygen species (ROS generated by up-regulated NADPH oxidase (Nox contribute to structural-functional alterations of the vascular wall in diabetes. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as histone acetylation, emerged as important regulators of gene expression in cardiovascular disorders. Since their role in diabetes is still elusive we hypothesized that histone deacetylase (HDAC-dependent mechanisms could mediate vascular Nox overexpression in diabetic conditions. Non-diabetic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL/6J mice were randomized to receive vehicle or suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, a pan-HDAC inhibitor. In vitro studies were performed on a human aortic smooth muscle cell (SMC line. Aortic SMCs typically express Nox1, Nox4, and Nox5 subtypes. HDAC1 and HDAC2 proteins along with Nox1, Nox2, and Nox4 levels were found significantly elevated in the aortas of diabetic mice compared to non-diabetic animals. Treatment of diabetic mice with SAHA mitigated the aortic expression of Nox1, Nox2, and Nox4 subtypes and NADPH-stimulated ROS production. High concentrations of glucose increased HDAC1 and HDAC2 protein levels in cultured SMCs. SAHA significantly reduced the high glucose-induced Nox1/4/5 expression, ROS production, and the formation malondialdehyde-protein adducts in SMCs. Overexpression of HDAC2 up-regulated the Nox1/4/5 gene promoter activities in SMCs. Physical interactions of HDAC1/2 and p300 proteins with Nox1/4/5 promoters were detected at the sites of active transcription. High glucose induced histone H3K27 acetylation enrichment at the promoters of Nox1/4/5 genes in SMCs. The novel data of this study indicate that HDACs mediate vascular Nox up-regulation in diabetes. HDAC inhibition reduces vascular ROS production in experimental diabetes, possibly by a mechanism involving negative regulation of Nox expression. Keywords: NADPH oxidase, Epigenetics, HDAC, Histone acetylation, Diabetes

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Wood, Marcelo A

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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

  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. 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. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Conserved Epigenetic Mechanisms Could Play a Key Role in Regulation of Photosynthesis and Development-Related Genes during Needle Development of Pinus radiata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valledor, Luis; Pascual, Jesús; Meijón, Mónica; Escandón, Mónica; Cañal, María Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Needle maturation is a complex process that involves cell growth, differentiation and tissue remodelling towards the acquisition of full physiological competence. Leaf induction mechanisms are well known; however, those underlying the acquisition of physiological competence are still poorly understood, especially in conifers. We studied the specific epigenetic regulation of genes defining organ function (PrRBCS and PrRBCA) and competence and stress response (PrCSDP2 and PrSHMT4) during three stages of needle development and one de-differentiated control. Gene-specific changes in DNA methylation and histone were analysed by bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). The expression of PrRBCA and PrRBCS increased during needle maturation and was associated with the progressive loss of H3K9me3, H3K27me3 and the increase in AcH4. The maturation-related silencing of PrSHMT4 was correlated with increased H3K9me3 levels, and the repression of PrCSDP2, to the interplay between AcH4, H3K27me3, H3K9me3 and specific DNA methylation. The employ of HAT and HDAC inhibitors led to a further determination of the role of histone acetylation in the regulation of our target genes. The integration of these results with high-throughput analyses in Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus trichocarpa suggests that the specific epigenetic mechanisms that regulate photosynthetic genes are conserved between the analysed species.

  11. Conserved Epigenetic Mechanisms Could Play a Key Role in Regulation of Photosynthesis and Development-Related Genes during Needle Development of Pinus radiata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Valledor

    Full Text Available Needle maturation is a complex process that involves cell growth, differentiation and tissue remodelling towards the acquisition of full physiological competence. Leaf induction mechanisms are well known; however, those underlying the acquisition of physiological competence are still poorly understood, especially in conifers. We studied the specific epigenetic regulation of genes defining organ function (PrRBCS and PrRBCA and competence and stress response (PrCSDP2 and PrSHMT4 during three stages of needle development and one de-differentiated control. Gene-specific changes in DNA methylation and histone were analysed by bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP. The expression of PrRBCA and PrRBCS increased during needle maturation and was associated with the progressive loss of H3K9me3, H3K27me3 and the increase in AcH4. The maturation-related silencing of PrSHMT4 was correlated with increased H3K9me3 levels, and the repression of PrCSDP2, to the interplay between AcH4, H3K27me3, H3K9me3 and specific DNA methylation. The employ of HAT and HDAC inhibitors led to a further determination of the role of histone acetylation in the regulation of our target genes. The integration of these results with high-throughput analyses in Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus trichocarpa suggests that the specific epigenetic mechanisms that regulate photosynthetic genes are conserved between the analysed species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. An epigenetic signal encoded protection mechanism is activated by graphene oxide to inhibit its induced reproductive toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yunli; Wu, Qiuli; Wang, Dayong

    2016-02-01

    Although many studies have suggested the adverse effects of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), the self-protection mechanisms for organisms against ENMs toxicity are still largely unclear. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo assay system, our results suggest the toxicity of graphene oxide in reducing reproductive capacity by inducing damage on gonad development. The observed reproductive toxicity of GO on gonad development was due to the combinational effect of germline apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, and DNA damage activation might act as an inducer for this combinational effect. For the underlying molecular mechanism of reproductive toxicity of GO, we raised a signaling cascade of HUS-1/CLK-2-CEP-1-EGL-1-CED-4-CED-3 to explain the roles of core apoptosis signaling pathway and DNA damage checkpoints. Moreover, we identified a miRNA regulation mechanism activated by GO to suppress its induced reproductive toxicity. A mir-360 regulation mechanism was activated by GO to suppress its induced DNA damage-apoptosis signaling cascade through affecting component of CEP-1. Our identified epigenetic signal encoded protection mechanism activated by GO suggests a novel self-protection mechanism for organisms against the ENMs toxicity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A CHROMATIN MODIFYING ENZYME, SDG8, IS REQUIRED FOR MORPHOLOGICAL, GENE EXPRESSION, AND EPIGENETIC RESPONSES TO MECHANICAL STIMULATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Ian Cazzonelli

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzyme, SDG8/ASHH2, which can regulate the expression of many touch responsive genes identified in Arabidopsis. SDG8 is required for the permissive expression of touch induced genes; and the loss of function of sdg8 perturbs the maximum levels of induction on selected touch gene targets. SDG8 is required to maintain permissive H3K4 trimethylation marks surrounding the Arabidopsis touch-inducible gene TOUCH 3 (TCH3, which encodes a calmodulin-like protein (CML12. The gene neighbouring was also slightly down regulated, revealing a new target for SDG8 mediated chromatin modification. Finally, sdg8 mutants show perturbed morphological response to wind-agitated mechanical stimuli, implicating an epigenetic memory-forming process in the acclimation response of thigmomorphogenesis.

  6. An HDAC-dependent epigenetic mechanism that enhances the efficacy of the antidepressant drug fluoxetine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmauss, C.

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a prevalent and debilitating psychiatric illnesses. However, currently prescribed antidepressant drugs are only efficacious in a limited group of patients. Studies on Balb/c mice suggested that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition may enhance the efficacy of the widely-prescribed antidepressant drug fluoxetine. This study shows that reducing HDAC activity in fluoxetine-treated Balb/c mice leads to robust antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. While reducing the activity of class I HDACs 1 and 3 led to antidepressant effects, additional class II HDAC inhibition was necessary to exert anxiolytic effects. In fluoxetine-treated mice, HDAC inhibitors increased enrichment of acetylated histone H4 protein and RNA polymerase II at promotor 3 of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene and increased Bdnf transcription from this promotor. Reducing Bdnf-stimulated tropomyosin kinase B receptor activation in fluoxetine-treated mice with low HDAC activity abolished the behavioral effects of fluoxetine, suggesting that the HDAC-triggered epigenetic stimulation of Bdnf expression is critical for therapeutic efficacy. PMID:25639887

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-19

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

  8. Epigenetics in natural animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J; Barrett, R D H

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Altered DNA methylation: a secondary mechanism involved in carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Jay I; Watson, Rebecca E

    2002-01-01

    This review focuses on the role that DNA methylation plays in the regulation of normal and aberrant gene expression and on how, in a hypothesis-driven fashion, altered DNA methylation may be viewed as a secondary mechanism involved in carcinogenesis. Research aimed at discerning the mechanisms by which chemicals can transform normal cells into frank carcinomas has both theoretical and practical implications. Through an increased understanding of the mechanisms by which chemicals affect the carcinogenic process, we learn more about basic biology while, at the same time, providing the type of information required to make more rational safety assessment decisions concerning their actual potential to cause cancer under particular conditions of exposure. One key question is: does the mechanism of action of the chemical in question involve a secondary mechanism and, if so, what dose may be below its threshold?

  10. Epigenetic regulation in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Elaine M; Gibney, Eileen R

    2013-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Michelle T; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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 ...

  14. The destiny of the resistance/susceptibility against GCRV is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms in CIK cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xueying; Yang, Chunrong; Wan, Quanyuan; Rao, Youliang; Su, Jianguo

    2017-07-03

    Hemorrhagic disease caused by grass carp reovirus (GCRV) has severely threatened the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) cultivation industry. It is noteworthy that the resistance against GCRV infection was reported to be inheritable, and identified at both individual and cellular levels. Therefore, this work was inspired and dedicated to unravel the molecular mechanisms of fate decision post GCRV infection in related immune cells. Foremost, the resistant and susceptible CIK (C. idella kidney) monoclonal cells were established by single cell sorting, subculturing and infection screening successively. RNA-Seq, MeDIP-Seq and small RNA-Seq were carried out with C1 (CIK cells), R2 (resistant cells) and S3 (susceptible cells) groups. It was demonstrated that genome-wide DNA methylation, mRNA and microRNA expression levels in S3 were the highest among three groups. Transcriptome analysis elucidated that pathways associated with antioxidant activity, cell proliferation regulation, apoptosis activity and energy consuming might contribute to the decision of cell fates post infection. And a series of immune-related genes were identified differentially expressed across resistant and susceptible groups, which were negatively modulated by DNA methylation or microRNAs. To conclude, this study systematically uncovered the regulatory mechanism on the resistance from epigenetic perspective and provided potential biomarkers for future studies on resistance breeding.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. Molecular mechanisms for inhibition of colon cancer cells by combined epigenetic-modulating epigallocatechin gallate and sodium butyrate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saldanha, Sabita N., E-mail: sabivan@uab.edu [Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 175 Campbell Hall, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Department of Biological Sciences, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL 36104 (United States); Kala, Rishabh [Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 175 Campbell Hall, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Tollefsbol, Trygve O., E-mail: trygve@uab.edu [Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 175 Campbell Hall, 1300 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Nutrition Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Comprehensive Diabetes Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States)

    2014-05-15

    Bioactive compounds are considered safe and have been shown to alter genetic and epigenetic profiles of tumor cells. However, many of these changes have been reported at molecular concentrations higher than physiologically achievable levels. We investigated the role of the combinatorial effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a predominant polyphenol in green tea, and sodium butyrate (NaB), a dietary microbial fermentation product of fiber, in the regulation of survivin, which is an overexpressed anti-apoptotic protein in colon cancer cells. For the first time, our study showed that the combination treatment induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in RKO, HCT-116 and HT-29 colorectal cancer cells. This was found to be regulated by the decrease in HDAC1, DNMT1, survivin and HDAC activity in all three cell lines. A G2/M arrest was observed for RKO and HCT-116 cells, and G1 arrest for HT-29 colorectal cancer cells for combinatorial treatment. Further experimentation of the molecular mechanisms in RKO colorectal cancer (CRC) cells revealed a p53-dependent induction of p21 and an increase in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)-p65. An increase in double strand breaks as determined by gamma-H2A histone family member X (γ-H2AX) protein levels and induction of histone H3 hyperacetylation was also observed with the combination treatment. Further, we observed a decrease in global CpG methylation. Taken together, these findings suggest that at low and physiologically achievable concentrations, combinatorial EGCG and NaB are effective in promoting apoptosis, inducing cell cycle arrest and DNA-damage in CRC cells. - Highlights: • EGCG and NaB as a combination inhibits colorectal cancer cell proliferation. • The combination treatment induces DNA damage, G2/M and G1 arrest and apoptosis. • Survivin is effectively down-regulated by the combination treatment. • p21 and p53 expressions are induced by the combination treatment. • Epigenetic proteins DNMT1 and HDAC1 are

  5. Molecular mechanisms for inhibition of colon cancer cells by combined epigenetic-modulating epigallocatechin gallate and sodium butyrate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saldanha, Sabita N.; Kala, Rishabh; Tollefsbol, Trygve O.

    2014-01-01

    Bioactive compounds are considered safe and have been shown to alter genetic and epigenetic profiles of tumor cells. However, many of these changes have been reported at molecular concentrations higher than physiologically achievable levels. We investigated the role of the combinatorial effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a predominant polyphenol in green tea, and sodium butyrate (NaB), a dietary microbial fermentation product of fiber, in the regulation of survivin, which is an overexpressed anti-apoptotic protein in colon cancer cells. For the first time, our study showed that the combination treatment induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in RKO, HCT-116 and HT-29 colorectal cancer cells. This was found to be regulated by the decrease in HDAC1, DNMT1, survivin and HDAC activity in all three cell lines. A G2/M arrest was observed for RKO and HCT-116 cells, and G1 arrest for HT-29 colorectal cancer cells for combinatorial treatment. Further experimentation of the molecular mechanisms in RKO colorectal cancer (CRC) cells revealed a p53-dependent induction of p21 and an increase in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)-p65. An increase in double strand breaks as determined by gamma-H2A histone family member X (γ-H2AX) protein levels and induction of histone H3 hyperacetylation was also observed with the combination treatment. Further, we observed a decrease in global CpG methylation. Taken together, these findings suggest that at low and physiologically achievable concentrations, combinatorial EGCG and NaB are effective in promoting apoptosis, inducing cell cycle arrest and DNA-damage in CRC cells. - Highlights: • EGCG and NaB as a combination inhibits colorectal cancer cell proliferation. • The combination treatment induces DNA damage, G2/M and G1 arrest and apoptosis. • Survivin is effectively down-regulated by the combination treatment. • p21 and p53 expressions are induced by the combination treatment. • Epigenetic proteins DNMT1 and HDAC1 are

  6. Long-term exposure to estrogen enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy potentially through epigenetic mechanism in human breast cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Wei Chang

    Full Text Available Chemotherapy is the most common clinical option for treatment of breast cancer. However, the efficacy of chemotherapy depends on the age of breast cancer patients. Breast tissues are estrogen responsive and the levels of ovarian estrogen vary among the breast cancer patients primarily between pre- and post-menopausal age. Whether this age-dependent variation in estrogen levels influences the chemotherapeutic efficacy in breast cancer patients is not known. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of natural estrogen 17 beta-estradiol (E2 on the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs in breast cancer cells. Estrogen responsive MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cells were long-term exposed to 100 pg/ml estrogen, and using these cells the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs doxorubicin and cisplatin were determined. The result of cell viability and cell cycle analysis revealed increased sensitivities of doxorubicin and cisplatin in estrogen-exposed MCF-7 and T47D cells as compared to their respective control cells. Gene expression analysis of cell cycle, anti-apoptosis, DNA repair, and drug transporter genes further confirmed the increased efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs in estrogen-exposed cells at molecular level. To further understand the role of epigenetic mechanism in enhanced chemotherapeutic efficacy by estrogen, cells were pre-treated with epigenetic drugs, 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine and Trichostatin A prior to doxorubicin and cisplatin treatments. The 5-aza-2 deoxycytidine pre-treatment significantly decreased the estrogen-induced efficacy of doxorubicin and cisplatin, suggesting the role of estrogen-induced hypermethylation in enhanced sensitivity of these drugs in estrogen-exposed cells. In summary, the results of this study revealed that sensitivity to chemotherapy depends on the levels of estrogen in breast cancer cells. Findings of this study will have clinical implications in selecting the chemotherapy strategies for

  7. Epigenetics: What it is about?

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    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.

  8. 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....

  9. 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

  10. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Genetic-and-epigenetic Interspecies Networks for Cross-talk Mechanisms in Human Macrophages and Dendritic Cells During MTB Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Wei Li

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb infection. Mtb is one of the oldest human pathogens, and evolves mechanisms implied in human evolution. The lungs are the first organ exposed to aerosol-transmitted Mtb during gaseous exchange. Therefore, the guards of the immune system in the lungs, such as macrophages (Mϕs and dendritic cells (DCs, are the most important defense against Mtb infection. There have been several studies discussing the functions of Mϕs and DCs during Mtb infection, but the genome-wide pathways and networks are still incomplete. Furthermore, the immune response induced by Mϕs and DCs varies. Therefore, we analyzed the cross-talk genome-wide genetic-and-epigenetic interspecies networks (GWGEINs between Mϕs vs. Mtb and DCs vs. Mtb to determine the varying mechanisms of both the host and pathogen as it relates to Mϕs and DCs during early Mtb infection.First, we performed database mining to construct candidate cross-talk GWGEIN between human cells and Mtb. Then we constructed dynamic models to characterize the molecular mechanisms, including intraspecies gene/microRNA (miRNA regulation networks (GRNs, intraspecies protein-protein interaction networks (PPINs, and the interspecies PPIN of the cross-talk GWGEIN. We applied a system identification method and a system order detection scheme to dynamic models to identify the real cross-talk GWGEINs using the microarray data of Mϕs, DCs and Mtb.After identifying the real cross-talk GWGEINs, the principal network projection (PNP method was employed to construct host-pathogen core networks (HPCNs between Mϕs vs. Mtb and DCs vs. Mtb during infection process. Thus, we investigated the underlying cross-talk mechanisms between the host and the pathogen to determine how the pathogen counteracts host defense mechanisms in Mϕs and DCs during Mtb H37Rv early infection. Based on our findings, we propose Rv1675c as a potential drug target because of its important defensive

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Nucleosome Repositioning: A Novel Mechanism for Nicotine- and Cocaine-Induced Epigenetic Changes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber N Brown

    Full Text Available Drugs of abuse modify behavior by altering gene expression in the brain. Gene expression can be regulated by changes in DNA methylation as well as by histone modifications, which alter chromatin structure, DNA compaction and DNA accessibility. In order to better understand the molecular mechanisms directing drug-induced changes in chromatin structure, we examined DNA-nucleosome interactions within promoter regions of 858 genes in human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y exposed to nicotine or cocaine. Widespread, drug- and time-resolved repositioning of nucleosomes was identified at the transcription start site and promoter region of multiple genes. Nicotine and cocaine produced unique and shared changes in terms of the numbers and types of genes affected, as well as repositioning of nucleosomes at sites which could increase or decrease the probability of gene expression based on DNA accessibility. Half of the drug-induced nucleosome positions approximated a theoretical model of nucleosome occupancy based on physical and chemical characteristics of the DNA sequence, whereas the basal or drug naïve positions were generally DNA sequence independent. Thus we suggest that nucleosome repositioning represents an initial dynamic genome-wide alteration of the transcriptional landscape preceding more selective downstream transcriptional reprogramming, which ultimately characterizes the cell- and tissue-specific responses to drugs of abuse.

  19. An investigation of child maltreatment and epigenetic mechanisms of mental and physical health risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Rogosch, Fred A.; Handley, Elizabeth D.; Toth, Sheree L.

    2016-01-01

    methylation in maltreated children and indicate differences among maltreated children related to developmental timing of maltreatment and gender in genes involved in mental health functioning. PMID:27691979

  20. Epigenetic Alterations in Fanconi Anaemia: Role in Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Potential.

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    Hélio Belo

    Full Text Available Fanconi anaemia (FA is an inherited disorder characterized by chromosomal instability. The phenotype is variable, which raises the possibility that it may be affected by other factors, such as epigenetic modifications. These play an important role in oncogenesis and may be pharmacologically manipulated. Our aim was to explore whether the epigenetic profiles in FA differ from non-FA individuals and whether these could be manipulated to alter the disease phenotype. We compared expression of epigenetic genes and DNA methylation profile of tumour suppressor genes between FA and normal samples. FA samples exhibited decreased expression levels of genes involved in epigenetic regulation and hypomethylation in the promoter regions of tumour suppressor genes. Treatment of FA cells with histone deacetylase inhibitor Vorinostat increased the expression of DNM3Tβ and reduced the levels of CIITA and HDAC9, PAK1, USP16, all involved in different aspects of epigenetic and immune regulation. Given the ability of Vorinostat to modulate epigenetic genes in FA patients, we investigated its functional effects on the FA phenotype. This was assessed by incubating FA cells with Vorinostat and quantifying chromosomal breaks induced by DNA cross-linking agents. Treatment of FA cells with Vorinostat resulted in a significant reduction of aberrant cells (81% on average. Our results suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in oncogenesis in FA. Epigenetic agents may be helpful in improving the phenotype of FA patients, potentially reducing tumour incidence in this population.

  1. Epigenetic mechanisms of peptidergic regulation of gene expression during aging of human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashapkin, V V; Linkova, N S; Khavinson, V Kh; Vanyushin, B F

    2015-03-01

    Expression levels of genes encoding specific transcription factors and other functionally important proteins vary upon aging of pancreatic and bronchial epithelium cell cultures. The peptides KEDW and AEDL tissue-specifically affect gene expression in pancreatic and bronchial cell cultures, respectively. It is established in this work that the DNA methylation patterns of the PDX1, PAX6, NGN3, NKX2-1, and SCGB1A1 gene promoter regions change upon aging in pancreatic and bronchial cell cultures in correlation with variations in their expression levels. Thus, stable changes in gene expression upon aging of cell cultures could be caused by changes in their promoter methylation patterns. The methylation patterns of the PAX4 gene in pancreatic cells as well as those of the FOXA1, SCGB3A2, and SFTPA1 genes in bronchial cells do not change upon aging and are unaffected by peptides, whereas their expression levels change in both cases. The promoter region of the FOXA2 gene in pancreatic cells contains a small number of methylated CpG sites, their methylation levels being affected by cell culture aging and KEDW, though without any correlation with gene expression levels. The promoter region of the FOXA2 gene is completely unmethylated in bronchial cells irrespective of cell culture age and AEDL action. Changes in promoter methylation might be the cause of age- and peptide-induced variations in expression levels of the PDX1, PAX6, and NGN3 genes in pancreatic cells and NKX2-1 and SCGB1A1 genes in bronchial cells. Expression levels of the PAX4 and FOXA2 genes in pancreatic cells and FOXA1, FOXA2, SCGB3A2, and SFTPA1 genes in bronchial cells seem to be controlled by some other mechanisms.

  2. Epigenetics of Estrogen Receptor Signaling: Role in Hormonal Cancer Progression and Therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, Monica; Cortez, Valerie; Vadlamudi, Ratna K.

    2011-01-01

    Estrogen receptor (ERα) signaling plays a key role in hormonal cancer progression. ERα is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that modulates gene transcription via recruitment to the target gene chromatin. Emerging evidence suggests that ERα signaling has the potential to contribute to epigenetic changes. Estrogen stimulation is shown to induce several histone modifications at the ERα target gene promoters including acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation via dynamic interactions with histone modifying enzymes. Deregulation of enzymes involved in the ERα -mediated epigenetic pathway could play a vital role in ERα driven neoplastic processes. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are reversible, and hence offer novel therapeutic opportunities to reverse ERα driven epigenetic changes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on mechanisms by which ERα signaling potentiates epigenetic changes in cancer cells via histone modifications

  3. Epigenetics of Estrogen Receptor Signaling: Role in Hormonal Cancer Progression and Therapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, Monica; Cortez, Valerie [Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, UTHSCSA, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Vadlamudi, Ratna K., E-mail: vadlamudi@uthscsa.edu [Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UTHSCSA, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2011-03-29

    Estrogen receptor (ERα) signaling plays a key role in hormonal cancer progression. ERα is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that modulates gene transcription via recruitment to the target gene chromatin. Emerging evidence suggests that ERα signaling has the potential to contribute to epigenetic changes. Estrogen stimulation is shown to induce several histone modifications at the ERα target gene promoters including acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation via dynamic interactions with histone modifying enzymes. Deregulation of enzymes involved in the ERα -mediated epigenetic pathway could play a vital role in ERα driven neoplastic processes. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are reversible, and hence offer novel therapeutic opportunities to reverse ERα driven epigenetic changes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on mechanisms by which ERα signaling potentiates epigenetic changes in cancer cells via histone modifications.

  4. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Mechanisms Involved in Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection: A Systematic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Juliana Pereira; Lessa, Marcos Adriano

    2015-01-01

    Background Acute myocardial infarction is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Furthermore, research has shown that exercise, in addition to reducing cardiovascular risk factors, can also protect the heart against injury due to ischemia and reperfusion through a direct effect on the myocardium. However, the specific mechanism involved in exerciseinduced cardiac preconditioning is still under debate. Objective To perform a systematic review of the studies that have addressed the mechanisms by which aerobic exercise promotes direct cardioprotection against ischemia and reperfusion injury. Methods A search was conducted using MEDLINE, Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe de Informação em Ciências da Saúde, and Scientific Electronic Library Online databases. Data were extracted in a standardized manner by two independent researchers, who were responsible for assessing the methodological quality of the studies. Results The search retrieved 78 studies; after evaluating the abstracts, 30 studies were excluded. The manuscripts of the remaining 48 studies were completely read and, of these, 20 were excluded. Finally, 28 studies were included in this systematic review. Conclusion On the basis of the selected studies, the following are potentially involved in the cardioprotective response to exercise: increased heat shock protein production, nitric oxide pathway involvement, increased cardiac antioxidant capacity, improvement in ATP-dependent potassium channel function, and opioid system activation. Despite all the previous investigations, further research is still necessary to obtain more consistent conclusions. PMID:25830711

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gupta, Chanchal; Kaur, Jasmine; Tikoo, Kulbhushan

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-15

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

  12. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling are frequently implicated in the silencing of genes involved in carcinogenesis. Long Range Epigenetic Silencing (LRES) is a mechanism of gene inactivation that affects multiple contiguous CpG islands and has been described in different human cancer types. However, it is unknown whether there is a coordinated regulation of the genes embedded in these regions in normal cells and in early stages of tumor progression. To better characterize the molecular events associated with the regulation and remodeling of these regions we analyzed two regions undergoing LRES in human colon cancer in the mouse model. We demonstrate that LRES also occurs in murine cancer in vivo and mimics the molecular features of the human phenomenon, namely, downregulation of gene expression, acquisition of inactive histone marks, and DNA hypermethylation of specific CpG islands. The genes embedded in these regions showed a dynamic and autonomous regulation during mouse intestinal cell differentiation, indicating that, in the framework considered here, the coordinated regulation in LRES is restricted to cancer. Unexpectedly, benign adenomas in Apc(Min/+) mice showed overexpression of most of the genes affected by LRES in cancer, which suggests that the repressive remodeling of the region is a late event. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the transcriptional insulator CTCF in mouse colon cancer cells revealed disrupted chromatin domain boundaries as compared with normal cells. Malignant regression of cancer cells by in vitro differentiation resulted in partial reversion of LRES and gain of CTCF binding. We conclude that genes in LRES regions are plastically regulated in cell differentiation and hyperproliferation, but are constrained to a coordinated repression by abolishing boundaries and the autonomous regulation of chromatin domains in cancer cells. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All

  14. 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

  15. Role of epigenetics in developmental biology and transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K

    2011-03-01

    The molecular mechanisms involved in developmental biology and cellular differentiation have traditionally been considered to be primarily genetic. Environmental factors that influence early life critical windows of development generally do not have the capacity to modify genome sequence, nor promote permanent genetic modifications. Epigenetics provides a molecular mechanism for environment to influence development, program cellular differentiation, and alter the genetic regulation of development. The current review discusses how epigenetics can cooperate with genetics to regulate development and allow for greater plasticity in response to environmental influences. This impacts area such as cellular differentiation, tissue development, environmental induced disease etiology, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, and the general systems biology of organisms and evolution. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Numerical and Experimental Study of Mechanisms Involved in Boiling Histotripsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahk, Ki Joo; Gélat, Pierre; Sinden, David; Dhar, Dipok Kumar; Saffari, Nader

    2017-12-01

    The aim of boiling histotripsy is to mechanically fractionate tissue as an alternative to thermal ablation for therapeutic applications. In general, the shape of a lesion produced by boiling histotripsy is tadpole like, consisting of a head and a tail. Although many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of boiling histotripsy for fractionating solid tumors, the exact mechanisms underpinning this phenomenon are not yet well understood, particularly the interaction of a boiling vapor bubble with incoming incident shockwaves. To investigate the mechanisms involved in boiling histotripsy, a high-speed camera with a passive cavitation detection system was used to observe the dynamics of bubbles produced in optically transparent tissue-mimicking gel phantoms exposed to the field of a 2.0-MHz high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) transducer. We observed that boiling bubbles were generated in a localized heated region and cavitation clouds were subsequently induced ahead of the expanding bubble. This process was repeated with HIFU pulses and eventually resulted in a tadpole-shaped lesion. A simplified numerical model describing the scattering of the incident ultrasound wave by a vapor bubble was developed to help interpret the experimental observations. Together with the numerical results, these observations suggest that the overall size of a lesion induced by boiling histotripsy is dependent on the sizes of (i) the heated region at the HIFU focus and (ii) the backscattered acoustic field by the original vapor bubble. Copyright © 2017 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetic Determinism in Science and Society.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waggoner, Miranda R; Uller, Tobias

    2015-04-03

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

  1. 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.

  2. Quantum-Mechanical Calculations on Molecular Substructures Involved in Nanosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Szefler

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, four ideas are discussed: (a aromaticity of fullerenes patched with flowers of 6-and 8-membered rings, optimized at the HF and DFT levels of theory, in terms of HOMA and NICS criteria; (b polybenzene networks, from construction to energetic and vibrational spectra computations; (c quantum-mechanical calculations on the repeat units of various P-type crystal networks and (d construction and stability evaluation, at DFTB level of theory, of some exotic allotropes of diamond D5, involved in hyper-graphenes. The overall conclusion was that several of the yet hypothetical molecular nanostructures herein described are serious candidates to the status of real molecules.

  3. Complement Involvement in Periodontitis: Molecular Mechanisms and Rational Therapeutic Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis.

  4. 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...

  5. Investigations into the involvement of NMDA mechanisms in recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warburton, E Clea; Barker, Gareth R I; Brown, Malcom W

    2013-11-01

    This review will focus on evidence showing that NMDA receptor neurotransmission is critical for synaptic plasticity processes within brain regions known to be necessary for the formation of object recognition memories. The aim will be to provide evidence concerning NMDA mechanisms related to recognition memory processes and show that recognition memory for objects, places or associations between objects and places depends on NMDA neurotransmission within the perirhinal cortex, temporal association cortex medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Administration of the NMDA antagonist AP5, selectively into each of these brain regions has revealed that the extent of the involvement NMDA receptors appears dependent on the type of information required to solve the recognition memory task; thus NMDA receptors in the perirhinal cortex are crucial for the encoding of long-term recognition memory for objects, and object-in-place associations, but not for short-term recognition memory or for retrieval. In contrast the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex are required for both long-term and short-term recognition memory for places or associations between objects and places, or for recognition memory tasks that have a temporal component. Such studies have therefore confirmed that the multiple brain regions make distinct contributions to recognition memory but in addition that more than one synaptic plasticity process must be involved. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Glutamate Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity'. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Shaping the learning curve: epigenetic dynamics in neural plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohar Ziv Bronfman

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A key characteristic of learning and neural plasticity is state-dependent acquisition dynamics reflected by the non-linear learning curve that links increase in learning with practice. Here we propose that the manner by which epigenetic states of individual cells change during learning contributes to the shape of the neural and behavioral learning curve. We base our suggestion on recent studies showing that epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and RNA-mediated gene regulation are intimately involved in the establishment and maintenance of long-term neural plasticity, reflecting specific learning-histories and influencing future learning. Our model, which is the first to suggest a dynamic molecular account of the shape of the learning curve, leads to several testable predictions regarding the link between epigenetic dynamics at the promoter, gene-network and neural-network levels. This perspective opens up new avenues for therapeutic interventions in neurological pathologies.

  9. Lost in translation. New unexplored avenues for neuropsychopharmacology: epigenetics and microRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardito, Daniela; Mallei, Alessandra; Popoli, Maurizio

    2013-02-01

    Mood and anxiety disorders are among the major causes of disability worldwide. Despite clear need for better therapies, efforts to develop novel drugs have been relatively unsuccessful. One major reason is lack of translation into neuropsychopharmacology of the impressive recent array of knowledge accrued by clinical and preclinical researches on the brain. Here focus is on epigenetics mechanisms, including microRNAs, which seem particularly promising for the identification of new targets for alternative pharmacological approaches. First, the current knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, posttranslational modification of histone proteins, focusing on histone methylation and acetylation, and posttranscriptional modulation of gene expression by microRNAs is described. Then evidence showing involvement of epigenetics and microRNAs in the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders as well as evidence showing that some of the currently employed antidepressants and mood stabilizers also affect epigenetic and microRNA mechanisms are reviewed. Finally current evidence and novel approaches in favor of drugs regulating epigenetic and microRNA mechanisms as potential therapeutics for these disorders are discussed. Although still in its infancy, research investigating the effects of pharmacological modulation of epigenetic and microRNA mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disorders continues to provide encouraging findings, suggesting new avenues for treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2017-01-13

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

  11. [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

  12. Epigenetics in autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Mechanisms and factors involved in hip injuries during frontal crashes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoganandan, N; Pintar, F A; Gennarelli, T A; Maltese, M R; Eppinger, R H

    2001-11-01

    This study was conducted to collect data and gain insights relative to the mechanisms and factors involved in hip injuries during frontal crashes and to study the tolerance of hip injuries from this type of loading. Unembalmed human cadavers were seated on a standard automotive seat (reinforced) and subjected to knee impact test to each lower extremity. Varying combinations of flexion and adduction/abduction were used for initial alignment conditions and pre-positioning. Accelerometers were fixed to the iliac wings and twelfth thoracic vertebral spinous process. A 23.4-kg padded pendulum impacted the knee at velocities ranging from 4.3 to 7.6 m/s. The impacting direction was along the anteroposterior axis, i.e., the global X-axis, in the body-fixed coordinate system. A load cell on the front of the pendulum recorded the impact force. Peak impact forces ranged from 2,450 to 10,950 N. The rate of loading ranged from 123 to 7,664 N/msec. The impulse values ranged from 12.4 to 31.9 Nsec. Injuries were not apparent in three tests. Eight tests resulted in trauma. Fractures involving the pelvis including the acetabulum and proximal femur occurred in five out of the eight tests, and distal femoral bone fracture occurred in one test. These results underscore the importance of leg pre-positioning and the orientation of the impacting axis to produce specific types of trauma to the pelvic region of the lower extremity.

  14. 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.

  15. From early stress to 12-month development in very preterm infants: Preliminary findings on epigenetic mechanisms and brain growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fumagalli, Monica; Provenzi, Livio; De Carli, Pietro; Dessimone, Francesca; Sirgiovanni, Ida; Giorda, Roberto; Cinnante, Claudia; Squarcina, Letizia; Pozzoli, Uberto; Triulzi, Fabio; Brambilla, Paolo; Borgatti, Renato; Mosca, Fabio; Montirosso, Rosario

    2018-01-01

    Very preterm (VPT) infants admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are at risk for altered brain growth and less-than-optimal socio-emotional development. Recent research suggests that early NICU-related stress contributes to socio-emotional impairments in VPT infants at 3 months through epigenetic regulation (i.e., DNA methylation) of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4). In the present longitudinal study we assessed: (a) the effects of NICU-related stress and SLC6A4 methylation variations from birth to discharge on brain development at term equivalent age (TEA); (b) the association between brain volume at TEA and socio-emotional development (i.e., Personal-Social scale of Griffith Mental Development Scales, GMDS) at 12 months corrected age (CA). Twenty-four infants had complete data at 12-month-age. SLC6A4 methylation was measured at a specific CpG previously associated with NICU-related stress and socio-emotional stress. Findings confirmed that higher NICU-related stress associated with greater increase of SLC6A4 methylation at NICU discharge. Moreover, higher SLC6A4 discharge methylation was associated with reduced anterior temporal lobe (ATL) volume at TEA, which in turn was significantly associated with less-than-optimal GMDS Personal-Social scale score at 12 months CA. The reduced ATL volume at TEA mediated the pathway linking stress-related increase in SLC6A4 methylation at NICU discharge and socio-emotional development at 12 months CA. These findings suggest that early adversity-related epigenetic changes might contribute to the long-lasting programming of socio-emotional development in VPT infants through epigenetic regulation and structural modifications of the developing brain.

  16. SIRT3 restricts HBV transcription and replication via epigenetic regulation of cccDNA involving SUV39H1 and SETD1A histone methyltransferases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Ji-Hua; Hu, Jie-Li; Cheng, Sheng-Tao; Yu, Hai-Bo; Wong, Vincent Kam Wai; Law, Betty Yuen Kwan; Yang, Yong-Feng; Huang, Ying; Liu, Yi; Chen, Wei-Xian; Cai, Xue-Fei; Tang, Hua; Hu, Yuan; Zhang, Wen-Lu; Liu, Xiang; Long, Quan-Xin; Zhou, Li; Tao, Na-Na; Zhou, Hong-Zhong; Yang, Qiu-Xia; Ren, Fang; He, Lin; Gong, Rui; Huang, Ai-Long; Chen, Juan

    2018-04-06

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major health problem worldwide. Maintenance of the covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) which serves as a template for HBV RNA transcription is responsible for the failure of eradicating chronic HBV during current antiviral therapy. cccDNA is assembled with cellular histone proteins into chromatin, but little is known about the regulation of HBV chromatin by histone posttranslational modifications. In this study, we identified SIRT3 as a host factor restricting HBV transcription and replication by screening seven members of Sirtuin family which is the class III histone deacetylase. Ectopic SIRT3 expression significantly reduced total HBV RNAs, 3.5-kb RNA as well as replicative intermediate DNA in HBV-infected HepG2-NTCP cells and PHH. In contrast, gene silencing of SIRT3 promoted HBV transcription and replication. Mechanistic study found nuclear SIRT3 was recruited to the HBV cccDNA, where it deacetylated histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9). Importantly, occupancy of SIRT3 onto cccDNA could increase the recruitment of histone methyltransferase SUV39H1 to cccDNA and decrease recruitment of SETD1A, leading to a marked increase of H3K9me3 and a decrease of H3K4me3 on cccDNA. Moreover, SIRT3-mediated HBV cccDNA transcriptional repression involved decreased binding of host RNA polymerase II and transcription factor YY1 to cccDNA. Finally, viral protein HBx could relieve SIRT3-mediated cccDNA transcriptional repression by inhibiting both SIRT3 expression and its recruitment to cccDNA. SIRT3 is a novel host factor epigenetically restricting HBV cccDNA transcription by acting cooperatively with histone methyltransferase. These data provided a rational for the use of SIRT3 activators in the prevention or treatment of HBV infection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

  17. 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 ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busbee, Philip B.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. Long-range epigenetic silencing of chromosome 5q31 protocadherins is involved in early and late stages of colorectal tumorigenesis through modulation of oncogenic pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dallosso, A R; Øster, Bodil; Greenhough, A

    2012-01-01

    Loss of tumour suppressor gene function can occur as a result of epigenetic silencing of large chromosomal regions, referred to as long-range epigenetic silencing (LRES), and genome-wide analyses have revealed that LRES is present in many cancer types. Here we utilize Illumina Beadchip methylation...... array analysis to identify LRES across 800 kb of chromosome 5q31 in colorectal adenomas and carcinomas (n=34) relative to normal colonic epithelial DNA (n=6). This region encompasses 53 individual protocadherin (PCDH) genes divided among three gene clusters. Hypermethylation within these gene clusters......–polymerase chain reaction showed that PCDHGC3 is the highest expressed PCDH in normal colonic epithelium, and that there was a strong reciprocal relationship between PCDHGC3 methylation and expression in carcinomas (R=−0.84). PCDH LRES patterns are reflected in colorectal tumour cell lines; adenoma cell lines...

  6. Pathophysiological response to hypoxia - from the molecular mechanisms of malady to drug discovery: epigenetic regulation of the hypoxic response via hypoxia-inducible factor and histone modifying enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimura, Imari; Tanaka, Tetsuhiro; Wada, Youichiro; Kodama, Tatsuhiko; Nangaku, Masaomi

    2011-01-01

    The hypoxia response regulated primarily by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) influences metabolism, cell survival, and angiogenesis to maintain biological homeostasis. In addition to the traditional transcriptional regulation by HIF, recent studies have shown that epigenetic modulation such as histone methylation, acetylation, and DNA methylation could change the regulation of the response to hypoxia. Eukaryotic chromatin is known to be modified by multiple post-translational histone methylation and demethylation, which result in the chromatin conformation change to adapt to hypoxic stimuli. Interestingly, some of the histone demethylase enzymes, which have the Jumonji domain-containing family, require oxygen to function and are induced by hypoxia in an HIF-1-dependent manner. Recent studies have demonstrated that histone modifiers play important roles in the hypoxic environment such as that in cancer cells and that they may become new therapeutic targets for cancer patients. It may lead to finding a new therapy for cancer to clarify a new epigenetic mechanism by HIF and histone demethylase such as JMJD1A (KDM3A) under hypoxia.

  7. Functioning and nonfunctioning thyroid adenomas involve different molecular pathogenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonacchera, M; Vitti, P; Agretti, P; Ceccarini, G; Perri, A; Cavaliere, R; Mazzi, B; Naccarato, A G; Viacava, P; Miccoli, P; Pinchera, A; Chiovato, L

    1999-11-01

    The molecular biology of follicular cell growth in thyroid nodules is still poorly understood. Because gain-of-function (activating) mutations of the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TShR) and/or Gs alpha genes may confer TSh-independent growth advantage to neoplastic thyroid cells, we searched for somatic mutations of these genes in a series of hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas specifically selected for their homogeneous gross anatomy (single nodule in an otherwise normal thyroid gland). TShR gene mutations were identified by direct sequencing of exons 9 and 10 of the TShR gene in genomic DNA obtained from surgical specimens. Codons 201 and 227 of the Gs alpha gene were also analyzed. At histology, all hyperfunctioning nodules and 13 of 15 nonfunctioning nodules were diagnosed as follicular adenomas. Two nonfunctioning thyroid nodules, although showing a prevalent microfollicular pattern of growth, had histological features indicating malignant transformation (a minimally invasive follicular carcinoma and a focal papillary carcinoma). Activating mutations of the TShR gene were found in 12 of 15 hyperfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. In one hyperfunctioning adenoma, which was negative for TShR mutations, a mutation in codon 227 of the Gs alpha gene was identified. At variance with hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas, no mutation of the TShR or Gs alpha genes was detected in nonfunctioning thyroid nodules. In conclusion, our findings clearly define a different molecular pathogenetic mechanism in hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. Activation of the cAMP cascade, which leads to proliferation but maintains differentiation of follicular thyroid cells, typically occurs in hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas. Oncogenes other than the TShR and Gs alpha genes are probably involved in nonfunctioning follicular adenomas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2012-08-01

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

  9. [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

  10. 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

  11. Early-life stress impacts the developing hippocampus and primes seizure occurrence: cellular, molecular, and epigenetic mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Li-Tung

    2014-01-01

    Early-life stress includes prenatal, postnatal, and adolescence stress. Early-life stress can affect the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and cause cellular and molecular changes in the developing hippocampus that can result in neurobehavioral changes later in life. Epidemiological data implicate stress as a cause of seizures in both children and adults. Emerging evidence indicates that both prenatal and postnatal stress can prime the developing brain for seizures and an increase in epileptogenesis. This article reviews the cellular and molecular changes encountered during prenatal and postnatal stress, and assesses the possible link between these changes and increases in seizure occurrence and epileptogenesis in the developing hippocampus. In addititon, the priming effect of prenatal and postnatal stress for seizures and epileptogenesis is discussed. Finally, the roles of epigenetic modifications in hippocampus and HPA axis programming, early-life stress, and epilepsy are discussed. PMID:24574961

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasopoulos, Dimitrios; Karagiannis, George; Tsolaki, Magda

    2016-09-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease with no effective cure so far. The current review focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms of AD and how nutrition can influence the course of this disease through regulation of gene expression, according to the latest scientific findings. The search strategy was the use of scientific databases such as PubMed and Scopus in order to find relative research or review articles published in the years 2012-2015. By showing the latest data of various nutritional compounds, this study aims to stimulate the scientific community to recognize the value of nutrition in this subject. Epigenetics is becoming a very attractive subject for researchers because it can shed light on unknown aspects of complex diseases like AD. DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs are the principal epigenetic mechanisms involved in AD pathophysiology. Nutrition is an environmental factor that is related to AD through epigenetic pathways. Vitamin B-12, for instance, can alter the one-carbon metabolism and thus interfere in the DNA methylation process. The research results might seem ambiguous about the clinical role of nutrition, but there is strengthening evidence that proper nutrition can not only change epigenetic biomarker levels but also prevent the development of late-onset AD and attenuate cognition deficit. Nutrition might grow to become a preventive and even therapeutic alternative against AD, especially if combined with other antidementia interventions, brain exercise, physical training, etc. Epigenetic biomarkers can be a very helpful tool to help researchers find the exact nutrients needed to create specific remedies, and perhaps the same biomarkers can be used even in patient screening in the future. © 2016 American Society for Nutrition.

  13. Epigenetic regulation of serotype expression antagonizes transcriptome dynamics in Paramecium tetraurelia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheaib, Miriam; Dehghani Amirabad, Azim; Nordström, Karl J V; Schulz, Marcel H; Simon, Martin

    2015-08-01

    Phenotypic variation of a single genotype is achieved by alterations in gene expression patterns. Regulation of such alterations depends on their time scale, where short-time adaptations differ from permanently established gene expression patterns maintained by epigenetic mechanisms. In the ciliate Paramecium, serotypes were described for an epigenetically controlled gene expression pattern of an individual multigene family. Paradoxically, individual serotypes can be triggered in Paramecium by alternating environments but are then stabilized by epigenetic mechanisms, thus raising the question to which extend their expression follows environmental stimuli. To characterize environmental adaptation in the context of epigenetically controlled serotype expression, we used RNA-seq to characterize transcriptomes of serotype pure cultures. The resulting vegetative transcriptome resource is first analysed for genes involved in the adaptive response to the altered environment. Secondly, we identified groups of genes that do not follow the adaptive response but show co-regulation with the epigenetically controlled serotype system, suggesting that their gene expression pattern becomes manifested by similar mechanisms. In our experimental set-up, serotype expression and the entire group of co-regulated genes were stable among environmental changes and only heat-shock genes altered expression of these gene groups. The data suggest that the maintenance of these gene expression patterns in a lineage represents epigenetically controlled robustness counteracting short-time adaptation processes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardone, Stefano; Elliott, Evan

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Nardone

    2016-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunliffe, Vincent T

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Sexually selected traits: a fundamental framework for studies on behavioral epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jašarević, Eldin; Geary, David C; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S

    2012-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic-based mechanisms contribute to various aspects of sex differences in brain and behavior. The major obstacle in establishing and fully understanding this linkage is identifying the traits that are most susceptible to epigenetic modification. We have proposed that sexual selection provides a conceptual framework for identifying such traits. These are traits involved in intrasexual competition for mates and intersexual choice of mating partners and generally entail a combination of male-male competition and female choice. These behaviors are programmed during early embryonic and postnatal development, particularly during the transition from the juvenile to adult periods, by exposure of the brain to steroid hormones, including estradiol and testosterone. We evaluate the evidence that endocrine-disrupting compounds, including bisphenol A, can interfere with the vital epigenetic and gene expression pathways and with the elaboration of sexually selected traits with epigenetic mechanisms presumably governing the expression of these traits. Finally, we review the evidence to suggest that these steroid hormones can induce a variety of epigenetic changes in the brain, including the extent of DNA methylation, histone protein alterations, and even alterations of noncoding RNA, and that many of the changes differ between males and females. Although much previous attention has focused on primary sex differences in reproductive behaviors, such as male mounting and female lordosis, we outline why secondary sex differences related to competition and mate choice might also trace their origins back to steroid-induced epigenetic programming in disparate regions of the brain.

  8. Mechanisms Involved in Nematode Control by Endophytic Fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schouten, Alexander

    2016-08-04

    Colonization of plants by particular endophytic fungi can provide plants with improved defenses toward nematodes. Evidently, such endophytes can be important in developing more sustainable agricultural practices. The mechanisms playing a role in this quantitative antagonism are poorly understood but most likely multifactorial. This knowledge gap obstructs the progress regarding the development of endophytes or endophyte-derived constituents into biocontrol agents. In part, this may be caused by the fact that endophytic fungi form a rather heterogeneous group. By combining the knowledge of the currently characterized antagonistic endophytic fungi and their effects on nematode behavior and biology with the knowledge of microbial competition and induced plant defenses, the various mechanisms by which this nematode antagonism operates or may operate are discussed. Now that new technologies are becoming available and more accessible, the currently unresolved mechanisms can be studied in greater detail than ever before.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Mechanisms Involved in Nematode Control by Endophytic Fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, Sander

    2016-01-01

    Colonization of plants by particular endophytic fungi can provide plants with improved defenses toward nematodes. Evidently, such endophytes can be important in developing more sustainable agricultural practices. The mechanisms playing a role in this quantitative antagonism are poorly understood

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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,…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetic Transgenerational Actions of Vinclozolin on the Development of Disease and Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K.; Anway, Matthew D.

    2018-01-01

    Exposure to an environmental endocrine disruptor (e.g., vinclozolin) during embryonic gonadal sex determination appears to alter the male germ line epigenome and subsequently promotes transgenerational adult onset disease. The epigenetic mechanism involves the induction of new imprinted-like genes/DNA sequences in the germ line that appear to transmit disease phenotypes. The disease phenotypes include testis abnormalities, prostate disease, kidney disease, immune abnormalities, and tumor development. This epigenetic transgenerational disease mechanism provides a unique perspective from which to view inheritable adult onset disease states, such as cancer, and ultimately offers new insights into novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. PMID:17956218

  20. 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.

  1. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordoñana, Juan R; Bartels, Meike; Boomsma, Dorret I; Cella, David; Mosing, Miriam; Oliveira, Joao R; Patrick, Donald L; Veenhoven, Ruut; Wagner, Gert G; Sprangers, Mirjam A G

    2013-08-01

    To describe the major findings in the literature regarding associations between biological and genetic factors and social functioning, paying special attention to: (1) heritability studies on social functioning and related concepts; (2) hypothesized biological pathways and genetic variants that could be involved in social functioning, and (3) the implications of these results for quality-of-life research. A search of Web of Science and PubMed databases was conducted using combinations of the following keywords: genetics, twins, heritability, social functioning, social adjustment, social interaction, and social dysfunction. Variability in the definitions and measures of social functioning was extensive. Moderate to high heritability was reported for social functioning and related concepts, including prosocial behavior, loneliness, and extraversion. Disorders characterized by impairments in social functioning also show substantial heritability. Genetic variants hypothesized to be involved in social functioning are related to the network of brain structures and processes that are known to affect social cognition and behavior. Better knowledge and understanding about the impact of genetic factors on social functioning is needed to help us to attain a more comprehensive view of health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and will ultimately enhance our ability to identify those patients who are vulnerable to poor social functioning.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Involvement of thiol-based mechanisms in plant development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouhier, Nicolas; Cerveau, Delphine; Couturier, Jérémy; Reichheld, Jean-Philippe; Rey, Pascal

    2015-08-01

    Increasing knowledge has been recently gained regarding the redox regulation of plant developmental stages. The current state of knowledge concerning the involvement of glutathione, glutaredoxins and thioredoxins in plant development is reviewed. The control of the thiol redox status is mainly ensured by glutathione (GSH), a cysteine-containing tripeptide and by reductases sharing redox-active cysteines, glutaredoxins (GRXs) and thioredoxins (TRXs). Indeed, thiol groups present in many regulatory proteins and metabolic enzymes are prone to oxidation, ultimately leading to post-translational modifications such as disulfide bond formation or glutathionylation. This review focuses on the involvement of GSH, GRXs and TRXs in plant development. Recent studies showed that the proper functioning of root and shoot apical meristems depends on glutathione content and redox status, which regulate, among others, cell cycle and hormone-related processes. A critical role of GRXs in the formation of floral organs has been uncovered, likely through the redox regulation of TGA transcription factor activity. TRXs fulfill many functions in plant development via the regulation of embryo formation, the control of cell-to-cell communication, the mobilization of seed reserves, the biogenesis of chloroplastic structures, the metabolism of carbon and the maintenance of cell redox homeostasis. This review also highlights the tight relationships between thiols, hormones and carbon metabolism, allowing a proper development of plants in relation with the varying environment and the energy availability. GSH, GRXs and TRXs play key roles during the whole plant developmental cycle via their antioxidant functions and the redox-regulation of signaling pathways. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Redox regulation of differentiation and de-differentiation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Kinetics and mechanisms of reactions involving small aromatic reactive intermediates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, M.C. [Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States)

    1993-12-01

    Small aromatic radicals such as C{sub 6}H{sub 5}, C{sub 6}H{sub 5}O and C{sub 6}H{sub 4} are key prototype species of their homologs. C{sub 6}H{sub 5} and its oxidation product, C{sub 6}H{sub 5}O are believed to be important intermediates which play a pivotal role in hydrocarbon combustion, particularly with regard to soot formation. Despite their fundamental importance, experimental data on the reaction mechanisms and reactivities of these species are very limited. For C{sub 6}H{sub 5}, most kinetic data except its reactions with NO and NO{sub 2}, were obtained by relative rate measurements. For C{sub 6}H{sub 5}O, the authors have earlier measured its fragmentation reaction producing C{sub 5}H{sub 5} + CO in shock waves. For C{sub 6}H{sub 4}, the only rate constant measured in the gas phase is its recombination rate at room temperature. The authors have proposed to investigate systematically the kinetics and mechanisms of this important class of molecules using two parallel laser diagnostic techniques--laser resonance absorption (LRA) and resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization mass spectrometry (REMPI/MS). In the past two years, study has been focused on the development of a new multipass adsorption technique--the {open_quotes}cavity-ring-down{close_quotes} technique for kinetic applications. The preliminary results of this study appear to be quite good and the sensitivity of the technique is at least comparable to that of the laser-induced fluorescence method.

  11. Molecular mechanisms involved in the production of chromosomal aberrations. I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natarajan, A.T.; Obe, G.

    1978-01-01

    Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) were X-irradiated in G2 stage of the cell cycle and immediately treated, in the presence of inactivated Sendai virus, with Neurospora endonuclease (E.C. 3.1.4.), an enzyme which is specific for cleaving single-stranded DNA. With this treatment, the frequencies of all types of chromosome aberrations increased when compared to X-irradiated controls. These results are interpreted as due to the conversion of some of the X-ray induced single-stranded DNA breaks into double-strand breaks by this enzyme. Similar enhancement due to this enzyme was found following treatment with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and bleomycin, but not following UV and mitomycin C. Addition of Micrococcus endonuclease and Neurospora endonuclease to the cells did not alter the frequencies of aberrations induced by UV. The introduction of enzymes with specific DNA-repair function offers possibilities to probe into the molecular events involved in the formation of structural chromosome aberrations induced by different classes of physical and chemical mutagens. (Auth.)

  12. 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.

  13. Epigenetic therapy in myeloproliferative neoplasms: evidence and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannucchi, Alessandro M; Guglielmelli, Paola; Rambaldi, Alessandro; Bogani, Costanza; Barbui, Tiziano

    2009-01-01

    The classic Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), which include polycythaemia vera, essential thrombocythaemia and primary myelofibrosis, originate from a stem cell-derived clonal myeloproliferation that manifests itself with variable haematopoietic cell lineage involvement; they are characterized by a high degree of similarities and the chance to transform each to the other and to evolve into acute leukaemia. Their molecular pathogenesis has been associated with recurrent acquired mutations in janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene (MPL). These discoveries have simplified the diagnostic approach and provided a number of clues to understanding the phenotypic expression of MPNs; furthermore, they represented a framework for developing and/or testing in clinical trials small molecules acting as tyrosine kinase inhibitors. On the other hand, evidence of abnormal epigenetic gene regulation as a mechanism potentially contributing to the pathogenesis and the phenotypic diversity of MPNs is still scanty; however, study of epigenetics in MPNs represents an active field of research. The first clinical trials with epigenetic drugs have been completed recently, whereas others are still ongoing; results have been variable and at present do not allow any firm conclusion. Novel basic and translational information concerning epigenetic gene regulation in MPNs and the perspectives for therapy will be critically addressed in this review. PMID:19522842

  14. A CHROMATIN MODIFYING ENZYME, SDG8, IS REQUIRED FOR MORPHOLOGICAL, GENE EXPRESSION, AND EPIGENETIC RESPONSES TO MECHANICAL STIMULATION

    OpenAIRE

    Christopher Ian Cazzonelli; Nazia eNisar; Andrea C Roberts; Kevin eMurray; Justin O Borevitz; Barry James Pogson

    2014-01-01

    Thigmomorphogenesis is viewed as being a response process of acclimation to short repetitive bursts of mechanical stimulation or touch. The underlying molecular mechanisms that coordinate changes in how touch signals lead to long-term morphological changes are enigmatic. Touch responsive gene expression is rapid and transient, and no transcription factor or DNA regulatory motif has been reported that could confer a genome wide mechanical stimulus. We report here on a chromatin modifying enzy...

  15. The Potential Mechanism of ZFX Involvement in the Cell Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahboube Ganji arjenaki

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background:The zinc-finger X linked (ZFX gene encodes a transcription factor that acts as a regulator of self-renewal of stem cells. Due to the role of ZFX in cell growth, understanding ZFX protein-protein interactions helps to clarify its proper biological functions in signaling pathways. The aim of this study is to define ZFX protein-protein interactions and the role of ZFX in cell growth. Materials and Methods: The PIPs output includes three interacting proteins with ZFX: eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 subunit I(EIF3I, eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 subunit G(EIF3G and protein nuclear pore and COPII coat complex component homolog isoform 3 (SEC13L1. Results: As a cargo and transmembrane protein interacting with Sec13,eIF3I and eIF3G, ZFX mediates cargo sorting in COPII vesicles at ER exit sites. While traveling to cis-Golgi, eIF3I is phosphorylated by the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR. Proteins transport by COPI vesicles to the nucleusouter site layer containing SEC13 via the contribution of microtubules. EIF3G and eIF3I interact with coatomer protein complex subunit beta 2 (COPB2 that helps to enclose ZFX in COPI vesicle. ZFX and eIF3G enter nucleolus where activation of transcription from pre rDNA genes occurs. Conclusion:We proposed a model in which ZFX is involved in cell growth by promoting the transcription of rDNA genes.

  16. Mechanisms involved in alternariol-induced cell cycle arrest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solhaug, A., E-mail: Anita.Solhaug@vetinst.no [Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo (Norway); Vines, L.L. [Michigan State University, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, East Lansing, MI (United States); Ivanova, L.; Spilsberg, B. [Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo (Norway); Holme, J.A. [Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Environmental Medicine, Oslo (Norway); Pestka, J. [Michigan State University, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, East Lansing, MI (United States); Collins, A. [University of Oslo, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Oslo (Norway); Eriksen, G.S. [Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Oslo (Norway)

    2012-10-15

    Alternariol (AOH), a mycotoxin produced by Alternaria sp, is often found as a contaminant in fruit and cereal products. Here we employed the murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 to test the hypothesis that AOH causes toxicity as a response to DNA damage. AOH at concentrations of 15-30 {mu}M almost completely blocked cell proliferation. Within 30 min treatment, AOH (30 {mu}M) significantly increased the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, DNA base oxidations as well as DNA strand breaks and/or alkaline labile sites were detected by the comet assay after 2 h exposure of AOH. Cell death (mostly necrosis) was observed after prolonged exposure to the highest concentration of AOH (60 {mu}M for 24 and 48 h) in our study. The DNA damage response involved phosphorylation (activation) of histone H2AX and check point kinase-1- and 2 (Chk-1/2). Moreover, AOH activated p53 and increased the expression of p21, Cyclin B, MDM2, and Sestrin 2; likewise the level of several miRNA was affected. AOH-induced Sestrin 2 expression was regulated by p53 and could at least partly be inhibited by antioxidants, suggesting a role of ROS in the response. Interestingly, the addition of antioxidants did not inhibit cell cycle arrest. Although the formation of ROS by itself was not directly linked cell proliferation, AOH-induced DNA damage and resulting transcriptional changes in p21, MDM2, and Cyclin B likely contribute to the reduced cell proliferation; while Sestrin 2 would contribute to the oxidant defense.

  17. Mechanisms involved in alternariol-induced cell cycle arrest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solhaug, A.; Vines, L.L.; Ivanova, L.; Spilsberg, B.; Holme, J.A.; Pestka, J.; Collins, A.; Eriksen, G.S.

    2012-01-01

    Alternariol (AOH), a mycotoxin produced by Alternaria sp, is often found as a contaminant in fruit and cereal products. Here we employed the murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 to test the hypothesis that AOH causes toxicity as a response to DNA damage. AOH at concentrations of 15–30 μM almost completely blocked cell proliferation. Within 30 min treatment, AOH (30 μM) significantly increased the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, DNA base oxidations as well as DNA strand breaks and/or alkaline labile sites were detected by the comet assay after 2 h exposure of AOH. Cell death (mostly necrosis) was observed after prolonged exposure to the highest concentration of AOH (60 μM for 24 and 48 h) in our study. The DNA damage response involved phosphorylation (activation) of histone H2AX and check point kinase-1- and 2 (Chk-1/2). Moreover, AOH activated p53 and increased the expression of p21, Cyclin B, MDM2, and Sestrin 2; likewise the level of several miRNA was affected. AOH-induced Sestrin 2 expression was regulated by p53 and could at least partly be inhibited by antioxidants, suggesting a role of ROS in the response. Interestingly, the addition of antioxidants did not inhibit cell cycle arrest. Although the formation of ROS by itself was not directly linked cell proliferation, AOH-induced DNA damage and resulting transcriptional changes in p21, MDM2, and Cyclin B likely contribute to the reduced cell proliferation; while Sestrin 2 would contribute to the oxidant defense.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessio ePaone

    2011-09-01

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

  19. MicroRNAs as New Characters in the Plot between Epigenetics and Prostate Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paone, Alessio; Galli, Roberta; Fabbri, Muller

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Wei; Li, Jinru; Wang, Bo; Chen, Linfeng; Niu, Wenyan; Yao, Zhi; Baniahmad, Aria

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: ► Corepressor Alien interacts with histone methyltransferase ESET in vivo. ► Alien/ESET complex is recruited to nTRE of T3-responsive gene by liganded TRβ1. ► ESET-mediated H3K9 methylation is required for liganded TRβ1-repressed transcription. ► ESET is involved in T3-repressed G1/S phase transition and proliferation. -- Abstract: The ligand-bound thyroid hormone receptor (TR) is known to repress via a negative TRE (nTRE) the expression of E2F1, a key transcription factor that controls the G1/S phase transition. Alien has been identified as a novel interacting factor of E2F1 and acts as a corepressor of E2F1. The detailed molecular mechanism by which Alien inhibits E2F1 gene expression remains unclear. Here, we report that the histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methyltransferase (HMT) ESET is an integral component of the corepressor Alien complex and the Alien/ESET complex is recruited to both sites, the E2F1 and the nTRE site of the E2F1 gene while the recruitment to the negative thyroid hormone response element (nTRE) is induced by the ligand-bound TRβ1 within the E2F1 gene promoter. We show that, overexpression of ESET promotes, whereas knockdown of ESET releases, the inhibition of TRβ1-regulated gene transcription upon T3 stimulation; and H3K9 methylation is required for TRβ1-repressed transcription. Furthermore, depletion of ESET impairs thyroid hormone-repressed proliferation as well as the G1/S transition of the cell cycle. Taken together, our data indicate that ESET is involved in TRβ1-mediated transcription repression and provide a molecular basis of thyroid hormone-induced repression of proliferation.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mechanism involved in enhancement of osteoblast differentiation by hyaluronic acid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawano, Michinao; Ariyoshi, Wataru; Iwanaga, Kenjiro; Okinaga, Toshinori; Habu, Manabu; Yoshioka, Izumi; Tominaga, Kazuhiro; Nishihara, Tatsuji

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: → In this study was to investigate the effects of HA on osteoblast differentiation induced by BMP-2. → MG63 cells were incubated with BMP-2 and HA for various time periods. → Phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, p38, and ERK proteins was determined by western blot analysis. To elucidate the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8, stimulated cells were subjected to immunofluorescence microscopy. → HA enhanced BMP-2 induces osteoblastic differentiation in MG63 cells via down-regulation of BMP-2 antagonists and ERK phosphorylation. -- Abstract: Objectives: Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is expected to be utilized to fill bone defects and promote healing of fractures. However, it is unable to generate an adequate clinical response for use in bone regeneration. Recently, it was reported that glycosaminoglycans, including heparin, heparan sulfate, keratan sulfate, dermatan sulfate, chondroitin-4-sulfate, chondroitin-6-sulfate, and hyaluronic acid (HA), regulate BMP-2 activity, though the mechanism by which HA regulates osteogenic activities has not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of HA on osteoblast differentiation induced by BMP-2. Materials and methods: Monolayer cultures of osteoblastic lineage MG63 cells were incubated with BMP-2 and HA for various time periods. To determine osteoblastic differentiation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in the cell lysates was quantified. Phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, p38, and ERK proteins was determined by Western blot analysis. To elucidate the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8, stimulated cells were subjected to immunofluorescence microscopy. To further elucidate the role of HA in enhancement of BMP-2-induced Smad signaling, mRNA expressions of the BMP-2 receptor antagonists noggin and follistatin were detected using real-time RT-PCR. Results: BMP-2-induced ALP activation, Smad 1/5/8 phosphorylation, and nuclear translocation

  4. Mechanism involved in enhancement of osteoblast differentiation by hyaluronic acid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kawano, Michinao [Division of Maxillofacial Diagnostic and Surgical Science, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Ariyoshi, Wataru [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Iwanaga, Kenjiro [Division of Maxillofacial Diagnostic and Surgical Science, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Okinaga, Toshinori [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Habu, Manabu [Division of Maxillofacial Diagnostic and Surgical Science, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Yoshioka, Izumi [Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Medicine of Sensory and Motor Organs, University of Miyazaki, Kiyotake, Miyazaki 889-1692 (Japan); Tominaga, Kazuhiro [Division of Maxillofacial Diagnostic and Surgical Science, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Oral Bioresearch Center, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Nishihara, Tatsuji, E-mail: tatsujin@kyu-dent.ac.jp [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Oral Bioresearch Center, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan)

    2011-02-25

    Research highlights: {yields} In this study was to investigate the effects of HA on osteoblast differentiation induced by BMP-2. {yields} MG63 cells were incubated with BMP-2 and HA for various time periods. {yields} Phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, p38, and ERK proteins was determined by western blot analysis. To elucidate the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8, stimulated cells were subjected to immunofluorescence microscopy. {yields} HA enhanced BMP-2 induces osteoblastic differentiation in MG63 cells via down-regulation of BMP-2 antagonists and ERK phosphorylation. -- Abstract: Objectives: Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is expected to be utilized to fill bone defects and promote healing of fractures. However, it is unable to generate an adequate clinical response for use in bone regeneration. Recently, it was reported that glycosaminoglycans, including heparin, heparan sulfate, keratan sulfate, dermatan sulfate, chondroitin-4-sulfate, chondroitin-6-sulfate, and hyaluronic acid (HA), regulate BMP-2 activity, though the mechanism by which HA regulates osteogenic activities has not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of HA on osteoblast differentiation induced by BMP-2. Materials and methods: Monolayer cultures of osteoblastic lineage MG63 cells were incubated with BMP-2 and HA for various time periods. To determine osteoblastic differentiation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in the cell lysates was quantified. Phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, p38, and ERK proteins was determined by Western blot analysis. To elucidate the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8, stimulated cells were subjected to immunofluorescence microscopy. To further elucidate the role of HA in enhancement of BMP-2-induced Smad signaling, mRNA expressions of the BMP-2 receptor antagonists noggin and follistatin were detected using real-time RT-PCR. Results: BMP-2-induced ALP activation, Smad 1/5/8 phosphorylation, and

  5. Epigenetics: ambiguities and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola; Griffiths, Paul

    2016-12-01

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

  6. Epigenetic Regulation 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. 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

  8. Circadian expression of steroidogenic cytochromes P450 in the mouse adrenal gland--involvement of cAMP-responsive element modulator in epigenetic regulation of Cyp17a1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Košir, Rok; Zmrzljak, Ursula Prosenc; Bele, Tanja; Acimovic, Jure; Perse, Martina; Majdic, Gregor; Prehn, Cornelia; Adamski, Jerzy; Rozman, Damjana

    2012-05-01

    The cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes Cyp51, Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1, Cyb11b1, Cyp11b2 and Cyp21a1 are involved in the adrenal production of corticosteroids, whose circulating levels are circadian. cAMP signaling plays an important role in adrenal steroidogenesis. By using cAMP responsive element modulator (Crem) knockout mice, we show that CREM isoforms contribute to circadian expression of steroidogenic CYPs in the mouse adrenal gland. Most striking was the CREM-dependent hypomethylation of the Cyp17a1 promoter at zeitgeber time 12, which resulted in higher Cyp17a1 mRNA and protein expression in the knockout adrenal glands. The data indicate that products of the Crem gene control the epigenetic repression of Cyp17 in mouse adrenal glands. © 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.

  9. Epigenetic: A missing paradigm in cellular and molecular pathways of sulfur mustard lung: a prospective and comparative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saber Imani

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Sulfur mustard (SM, bis- (2-chloroethyl sulphide is a chemical warfare agent that causes DNA alkylation, protein modification and membrane damage. SM can trigger several molecular pathways involved in inflammation and oxidative stress, which cause cell necrosis and apoptosis, and loss of cells integrity and function. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is a growing research topic and is addressed by DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and noncoding RNAs expression. It seems SM can induce the epigenetic modifications that are translated into change in gene expression. Classification of epigenetic modifications long after exposure to SM would clarify its mechanism and paves a better strategy for the treatment of SM-affected patients. In this study, we review the key aberrant epigenetic modifications that have important roles in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and compared with mustard lung.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  11. Early-Life Nutritional Programming of Cognition-The Fundamental Role of Epigenetic Mechanisms in Mediating the Relation between Early-Life Environment and Learning and Memory Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, Laura; Chen, Hong; Pan, Yuan-Xiang

    2017-03-01

    The perinatal period is a window of heightened plasticity that lays the groundwork for future anatomic, physiologic, and behavioral outcomes. During this time, maternal diet plays a pivotal role in the maturation of vital organs and the establishment of neuronal connections. However, when perinatal nutrition is either lacking in specific micro- and macronutrients or overloaded with excess calories, the consequences can be devastating and long lasting. The brain is particularly sensitive to perinatal insults, with several neurologic and psychiatric disorders having been linked to a poor in utero environment. Diseases characterized by learning and memory impairments, such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer disease, are hypothesized to be attributed in part to environmental factors, and evidence suggests that the etiology of these conditions may date back to very early life. In this review, we discuss the role of the early-life diet in shaping cognitive outcomes in offspring. We explore the endocrine and immune mechanisms responsible for these phenotypes and discuss how these systemic factors converge to change the brain's epigenetic landscape and regulate learning and memory across the lifespan. Through understanding the maternal programming of cognition, critical steps may be taken toward preventing and treating diseases that compromise learning and memory. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-02

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

  13. Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome and Epigenetic Alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzus, Edward

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Evaluation of a new dietary strategy for the treatment of obesity and associated inflammation: endocrine and epigenetic mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Lopez-Legarrea, P. (Patricia); Zulet, M.A. (María Ángeles); Martinez, J.A. (José Alfredo)

    2014-01-01

    Obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) have become major public health problems worldwide. Dietary strategies represent the primary choice treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a new energy-restricted dietary strategy (RESMENA) involving different dietary aspects such us a modified macronutrient profile including a moderately increased amount of proteins, an augmented meal frequency, an enhancement of low GI/GL and high antioxidant content food and with a high adher...

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. Early-life adversity programs emotional functions and the neuroendocrine stress system: the contribution of nutrition, metabolic hormones and epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yam, Kit-Yi; Naninck, Eva F G; Schmidt, Mathias V; Lucassen, Paul J; Korosi, Aniko

    2015-01-01

    Clinical and pre-clinical studies have shown that early-life adversities, such as abuse or neglect, can increase the vulnerability to develop psychopathologies and cognitive decline later in life. Remarkably, the lasting consequences of stress during this sensitive period on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and emotional function closely resemble the long-term effects of early malnutrition and suggest a possible common pathway mediating these effects. During early-life, brain development is affected by both exogenous factors, like nutrition and maternal care as well as by endogenous modulators including stress hormones. These elements, while mostly considered for their independent actions, clearly do not act alone but rather in a synergistic manner. In order to better understand how the programming by early-life stress takes place, it is important to gain further insight into the exact interplay of these key elements, the possible common pathways as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms that mediate their effects. We here review evidence that exposure to both early-life stress and early-life under-/malnutrition similarly lead to life-long alterations on the neuroendocrine stress system and modify emotional functions. We further discuss how the different key elements of the early-life environment interact and affect one another and next suggest a possible role for the early-life adversity induced alterations in metabolic hormones and nutrient availability in shaping later stress responses and emotional function throughout life, possibly via epigenetic mechanisms. Such knowledge will help to develop intervention strategies, which gives the advantage of viewing the synergistic action of a more complete set of changes induced by early-life adversity.

  19. p16(INK4a suppression by glucose restriction contributes to human cellular lifespan extension through SIRT1-mediated epigenetic and genetic mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan Li

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Although caloric restriction (CR has been shown to increase lifespan in various animal models, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon have not yet been revealed. We developed an in vitro system to mimic CR by reducing glucose concentration in cell growth medium which excludes metabolic factors and allows assessment of the effects of CR at the cellular and molecular level. We monitored cellular proliferation of normal WI-38, IMR-90 and MRC-5 human lung fibroblasts and found that glucose restriction (GR can inhibit cellular senescence and significantly extend cellular lifespan compared with cells receiving normal glucose (NG in the culture medium. Moreover, GR decreased expression of p16(INK4a (p16, a well-known senescence-related gene, in all of the tested cell lines. Over-expressed p16 resulted in early replicative senescence in glucose-restricted cells suggesting a crucial role of p16 regulation in GR-induced cellular lifespan extension. The decreased expression of p16 was partly due to GR-induced chromatin remodeling through effects on histone acetylation and methylation of the p16 promoter. GR resulted in an increased expression of SIRT1, a NAD-dependent histone deacetylase, which has positive correlation with CR-induced longevity. The elevated SIRT1 was accompanied by enhanced activation of the Akt/p70S6K1 signaling pathway in response to GR. Furthermore, knockdown of SIRT1 abolished GR-induced p16 repression as well as Akt/p70S6K1 activation implying that SIRT1 may affect p16 repression through direct deacetylation effects and indirect regulation of Akt/p70S6K1 signaling. Collectively, these results provide new insights into interactions between epigenetic and genetic mechanisms on CR-induced longevity that may contribute to anti-aging approaches and also provide a general molecular model for studying CR in vitro in mammalian systems.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sahar Houshdaran

    2007-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetic mechanism underlying the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-like phenotypes in prenatally androgenized rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ning; Kwon, Soonil; Abbott, David H; Geller, David H; Dumesic, Daniel A; Azziz, Ricardo; Guo, Xiuqing; Goodarzi, Mark O

    2011-01-01

    The pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is poorly understood. PCOS-like phenotypes are produced by prenatal androgenization (PA) of female rhesus monkeys. We hypothesize that perturbation of the epigenome, through altered DNA methylation, is one of the mechanisms whereby PA reprograms monkeys to develop PCOS. Infant and adult visceral adipose tissues (VAT) harvested from 15 PA and 10 control monkeys were studied. Bisulfite treated samples were subjected to genome-wide CpG methylation analysis, designed to simultaneously measure methylation levels at 27,578 CpG sites. Analysis was carried out using Bayesian Classification with Singular Value Decomposition (BCSVD), testing all probes simultaneously in a single test. Stringent criteria were then applied to filter out invalid probes due to sequence dissimilarities between human probes and monkey DNA, and then mapped to the rhesus genome. This yielded differentially methylated loci between PA and control monkeys, 163 in infant VAT, and 325 in adult VAT (BCSVD Pexcess fetal androgen exposure in female nonhuman primates may predispose to PCOS via alteration of the epigenome, providing a novel avenue to understand PCOS in humans.

  8. Epigenetic mechanism underlying the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS-like phenotypes in prenatally androgenized rhesus monkeys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Xu

    Full Text Available The pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS is poorly understood. PCOS-like phenotypes are produced by prenatal androgenization (PA of female rhesus monkeys. We hypothesize that perturbation of the epigenome, through altered DNA methylation, is one of the mechanisms whereby PA reprograms monkeys to develop PCOS. Infant and adult visceral adipose tissues (VAT harvested from 15 PA and 10 control monkeys were studied. Bisulfite treated samples were subjected to genome-wide CpG methylation analysis, designed to simultaneously measure methylation levels at 27,578 CpG sites. Analysis was carried out using Bayesian Classification with Singular Value Decomposition (BCSVD, testing all probes simultaneously in a single test. Stringent criteria were then applied to filter out invalid probes due to sequence dissimilarities between human probes and monkey DNA, and then mapped to the rhesus genome. This yielded differentially methylated loci between PA and control monkeys, 163 in infant VAT, and 325 in adult VAT (BCSVD P<0.05. Among these two sets of genes, we identified several significant pathways, including the antiproliferative role of TOB in T cell signaling and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β signaling. Our results suggest PA may modify DNA methylation patterns in both infant and adult VAT. This pilot study suggests that excess fetal androgen exposure in female nonhuman primates may predispose to PCOS via alteration of the epigenome, providing a novel avenue to understand PCOS in humans.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic Consequences of Low Birth-Weight and Preterm Birth in Adult Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2018-01-01

    could be detrimental to health later in life. Current epigenetic studies using genome-wide DNA methylation profiling have discovered molecular evidence confirming that, as important early life events, both low birth-weight and premature birth can result in long-lasting epigenetic consequences...... that impact health at adult ages. Results from our epigenome-wide association studies indicate that the two moderately correlated traits of adverse pregnancy outcome could be linked to increased susceptibility to different health problems with low birth-weight more relevant to metabolic disorders, while......Adverse birth outcomes including low birth-weight and preterm birth are associated with long-term morbidity and health consequences at adult ages. Molecular mechanisms including epigenetic modification may have been involved in the adaptation to the stressful condition in peridelivery period which...

  12. New insights in oncology: Epi-genetics and cancer stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krutovskikh, V.; Partensky, C.

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a multi-etiologic, multistage disease with a prevalent genetic component, which happens when a large number of genes, critical for cell growth, death, differentiation, migration, and metabolic plasticity are altered irreversibly, so as to either 'gain' (oncogenes) or 'lose' (tumour suppressors) their function. Recent discoveries have revealed the previously underestimated etiologic importance of multiple epigenetic, that is to say, reversible factors (histone modifications, DNA methylation, non-coding RNA) involved in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of proteins, indispensable for the control of cancerous phenotype. Stable alterations of epigenetic machinery ('epi-mutations') turn out to play a critical role at different steps of carcinogenesis. In addition, due to substantial recent progress in stem cell biology, the new concept of cancer stem cells has emerged. This, along with newly discovered epigenetic cancer mechanisms, gives rise to a hope to overcome radio- and chemo-resistance and to eradicate otherwise incurable neoplasms. (authors)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    Recent research developments have shed light on the risk factors contributing to metabolic complications, implicating both genetic and environmental factors, potentially integrated by epigenetic mechanisms. Distinct epigenetic changes in immune cells are frequently observed in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and these are associated with alterations in the phenotype, function, and trafficking patterns of these cells. The first step in the development of effective therapeutic strategies is the identification of distinct epigenetic signatures associated with metabolic disorders. In this review we provide an overview of the epigenetic mechanisms influencing immune cell phenotype and function, summarize current knowledge about epigenetic changes affecting immune functions in the context of metabolic diseases, and discuss the therapeutic options currently available to counteract epigenetically driven metabolic complications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Possible Mechanisms of Mercury Toxicity and Cancer Promotion: Involvement of Gap Junction Intercellular Communications and Inflammatory Cytokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Zefferino

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A number of observations indicate that heavy metals are able to alter cellular metabolic pathways through induction of a prooxidative state. Nevertheless, the outcome of heavy metal-mediated effects in the development of human diseases is debated and needs further insights. Cancer is a well-established DNA mutation-linked disease; however, epigenetic events are perhaps more important and harmful than genetic alterations. Unfortunately, we do not have reliable screening methods to assess/validate the epigenetic (promoter effects of a physical or a chemical agent. We propose a mechanism of action whereby mercury acts as a possible promoter carcinogen. In the present contribution, we resume our previous studies on mercury tested at concentrations comparable with its occurrence as environmental pollutant. It is shown that Hg(II elicits a prooxidative state in keratinocytes linked to inhibition of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and proinflammatory cytokine production. These combined effects may on one hand isolate cells from tissue-specific homeostasis promoting their proliferation and on the other hand tamper the immune system defense/surveillance checkmating the whole organism. Since Hg(II is not a mutagenic/genotoxic compound directly affecting gene expression, in a broader sense, mercury might be an example of an epigenetic tumor promoter or, further expanding this concept, a “metagenetic” effector.

  17. Imaging epigenetics in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Clinical manifestations and epigenetic mechanisms of gastric mucosa associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma and long-term follow-up following Helicobacter pylori eradication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yan; Jiang, Kui; Su, Shuai; Wang, Bangmao; Chen, Guangxia

    2018-01-01

    The current study aimed to summarize the clinical manifestations and identify the epigenetic mechanisms of gastric mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, as well as evaluate the long-term effects of Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori ) eradication. A total of 122 patients with marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of primary gastric MALT lymphoma were enrolled in the present study. The clinical manifestations of gastric MALT lymphoma, including symptoms, H. pylori state and endoscopic type, were summarized. The response to therapy was evaluated in patients that underwent H. pylori eradication. Survival analysis was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The expression of microRNA-383 (miR-383) in tumor tissues and cell lines was determined using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses, luciferase reporter assays. and western blot analysis identified zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2) as a direct target gene of miR-383. An MTT assay was used to examine the function of miR-383 and ZEB2 in MALT lymphoma. The clinical symptoms of patients with gastric MALT lymphoma were non-specific and included epigastric pain, abdominal discomfort and bleeding. The majority of endoscopic types were classified as ulcer, erosion and mucosa edema. The H. pylori infection rate was 79.5% (97/122) and a total of 47 patients underwent eradication therapy. Lymphoma remission was achieved in 93.6% (44/47) of patients and complete remission (CR) was achieved in 74.4% (35/47). The median follow-up time was 38 months (range, 10-132 months) and the median time taken to achieve CR was 4 months (range, 3-7 months). The estimated 3-year survival rate was 90.3% and the 5-year survival rate was 76.2%. Therefore, it was determined that patients with stage I or II gastric MALT lymphoma are able to undergo H. pylori eradication as a first-line treatment and that the survival rate of patients undergoing this treatment is high

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther R Berko

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

  1. 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.

  2. Mechanisms involved in regulation of osteoclastic differentiation by mechanical stress-loaded osteoblasts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaneuji, Takeshi; Ariyoshi, Wataru; Okinaga, Toshinori; Toshinaga, Akihiro; Takahashi, Tetsu; Nishihara, Tatsuji

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Effect of compressive force on osteoblasts were examined. → Compressive force induced OPG expression and suppressed osteoclastogenesis. → This enhancement of OPG is dependent on Wnt/Ca2+ signal pathway. -- Abstract: Mechanical stress is known to be important for regulation of bone turnover, though the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of mechanical stress on osteoblasts using a novel compression model. Mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were embedded in three-dimensional (3D) gels and cultured with continuous compressive force (0-10.0 g/cm 2 ) for 48 h, and the conditioned medium were collected. RAW264.7 cells were then incubated with the conditioned medium for various times in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL). Conditioned medium was found to inhibit the differentiation of RAW264.7 cells into osteoclasts induced by RANKL via down-regulation of the expression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), phosphorylation of IκBα, and nuclear translocation of p50 and p65. Interestingly, the conditioned medium also had a high level of binding activity to RANKL and blocked the binding of RANK to RANKL. Furthermore, the binding activity of conditioned medium to RANKL was reduced when the 3D gel was supplemented with KN-93, an inhibitor of non-canonical Wnt/Ca 2+ pathway. In addition, expression level of osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA was increased in time- and force-dependent manners, and remarkably suppressed by KN-93. These results indicate that osteoblastic cells subjected to mechanical stress produce OPG, which binds to RANKL. Furthermore, this binding activity strongly inhibited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of TRAF6 and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway, suggesting that enhancement of OPG expression induced by mechanical stress is dependent on non-canonical Wnt/Ca 2+ pathway.

  3. 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.

  4. Mechanism(s) involved in opioid drug abuse modulation of HAND.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Raini; Roy, Sabita

    2012-07-01

    Drug abuse and HIV infection are interlinked. From the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the impact of illicit drug use on HIV disease progression has been a focus of many investigations. Both laboratory-based and epidemiological studies strongly indicate that drug abuse may exacerbate HIV disease progression and increase mortality and morbidity in these patients. Increase susceptibility to opportunistic infection has been implicated as one of the major causes for this detriment. Furthermore, opioids are known to elicit prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders in HIV-infected patients. Numerous authors have delineated various molecular as well as cellular mechanisms associated with neurological complications in these patients. This review gives an overview of these findings. Understanding the mechanisms will allow for the development of targeted therapies aimed at reducing the progression of neurocognitive decline in the drug abusing HIV infected individuals.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-12-10

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

  8. 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

  9. Mechanisms involved in regulation of osteoclastic differentiation by mechanical stress-loaded osteoblasts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneuji, Takeshi [Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Ariyoshi, Wataru; Okinaga, Toshinori; Toshinaga, Akihiro [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Takahashi, Tetsu [Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Oral Bioresearch Center, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Nishihara, Tatsuji, E-mail: tatsujin@kyu-dent.ac.jp [Division of Infections and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Promotion, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan); Oral Bioresearch Center, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580 (Japan)

    2011-04-29

    Highlights: {yields} Effect of compressive force on osteoblasts were examined. {yields} Compressive force induced OPG expression and suppressed osteoclastogenesis. {yields} This enhancement of OPG is dependent on Wnt/Ca2+ signal pathway. -- Abstract: Mechanical stress is known to be important for regulation of bone turnover, though the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of mechanical stress on osteoblasts using a novel compression model. Mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were embedded in three-dimensional (3D) gels and cultured with continuous compressive force (0-10.0 g/cm{sup 2}) for 48 h, and the conditioned medium were collected. RAW264.7 cells were then incubated with the conditioned medium for various times in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-{kappa}B ligand (RANKL). Conditioned medium was found to inhibit the differentiation of RAW264.7 cells into osteoclasts induced by RANKL via down-regulation of the expression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), phosphorylation of I{kappa}B{alpha}, and nuclear translocation of p50 and p65. Interestingly, the conditioned medium also had a high level of binding activity to RANKL and blocked the binding of RANK to RANKL. Furthermore, the binding activity of conditioned medium to RANKL was reduced when the 3D gel was supplemented with KN-93, an inhibitor of non-canonical Wnt/Ca{sup 2+} pathway. In addition, expression level of osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA was increased in time- and force-dependent manners, and remarkably suppressed by KN-93. These results indicate that osteoblastic cells subjected to mechanical stress produce OPG, which binds to RANKL. Furthermore, this binding activity strongly inhibited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of TRAF6 and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-{kappa}B) signaling pathway, suggesting that enhancement of OPG expression induced by mechanical stress is dependent on non-canonical Wnt

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Jeffrey Bradstreet

    2013-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The biological basis of human sexual orientation: is there a role for epigenetics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngun, Tuck C; Vilain, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Sexual orientation is one of the largest sex differences in humans. The vast majority of the population is heterosexual, that is, they are attracted to members of the opposite sex. However, a small but significant proportion of people are bisexual or homosexual and experience attraction to members of the same sex. The origins of the phenomenon have long been the subject of scientific study. In this chapter, we will review the evidence that sexual orientation has biological underpinnings and consider the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms. We will first discuss studies that show that sexual orientation has a genetic component. These studies show that sexual orientation is more concordant in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic ones and that male sexual orientation is linked to several regions of the genome. We will then highlight findings that suggest a link between sexual orientation and epigenetic mechanisms. In particular, we will consider the case of women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). These women were exposed to high levels of testosterone in utero and have much higher rates of nonheterosexual orientation compared to non-CAH women. Studies in animal models strongly suggest that the long-term effects of hormonal exposure (such as those experienced by CAH women) are mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. We conclude by describing a hypothetical framework that unifies genetic and epigenetic explanations of sexual orientation and the continued challenges facing sexual orientation research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Recent Findings in Alzheimer Disease and Nutrition Focusing on Epigenetics12

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease with no effective cure so far. The current review focuses on the epigenetic mechanisms of AD and how nutrition can influence the course of this disease through regulation of gene expression, according to the latest scientific findings. The search strategy was the use of scientific databases such as PubMed and Scopus in order to find relative research or review articles published in the years 2012–2015. By showing the latest data of various nutritional compounds, this study aims to stimulate the scientific community to recognize the value of nutrition in this subject. Epigenetics is becoming a very attractive subject for researchers because it can shed light on unknown aspects of complex diseases like AD. DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs are the principal epigenetic mechanisms involved in AD pathophysiology. Nutrition is an environmental factor that is related to AD through epigenetic pathways. Vitamin B-12, for instance, can alter the one-carbon metabolism and thus interfere in the DNA methylation process. The research results might seem ambiguous about the clinical role of nutrition, but there is strengthening evidence that proper nutrition can not only change epigenetic biomarker levels but also prevent the development of late-onset AD and attenuate cognition deficit. Nutrition might grow to become a preventive and even therapeutic alternative against AD, especially if combined with other antidementia interventions, brain exercise, physical training, etc. Epigenetic biomarkers can be a very helpful tool to help researchers find the exact nutrients needed to create specific remedies, and perhaps the same biomarkers can be used even in patient screening in the future. PMID:27633107

  19. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jixian Zhai

    2008-04-01

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

  7. Possible mechanisms involved in the vasorelaxant effect produced by clobenzorex in aortic segments of rats

    OpenAIRE

    Lozano-Cuenca, J.; González-Hernández, A.; López-Canales, O.A.; Villagrana-Zesati, J.R.; Rodríguez-Choreão, J.D.; Morín-Zaragoza, R.; Castillo-Henkel, E.F.; López-Canales, J.S.

    2017-01-01

    Clobenzorex is a metabolic precursor of amphetamine indicated for the treatment of obesity. Amphetamines have been involved with cardiovascular side effects such as hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the direct application of 10?9?10?5 M clobenzorex on isolated phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings produces vascular effects, and if so, what mechanisms may be involved. Clobenzorex produced an immediate concentration-...

  8. 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....

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. MicroRNAs as New Characters in the Plot between Epigenetics and Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Paone, Alessio; Galli, Roberta; Fabbri, Muller

    2011-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCA) still represents a leading cause of death. An increasing number of studies have documented that microRNAs (miRNAs), a subgroup of non-coding RNAs with gene regulatory functions, are differentially expressed in PCA respect to the normal tissue counterpart, suggesting their involvement in prostate carcinogenesis and dissemination. Interestingly, it has been shown that miRNAs undergo the same regulatory mechanisms than any other protein coding gene, including epigenetic reg...

  13. Mechanisms involved in the transport of mercuric ions in target tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Christy C.; Zalups, Rudolfs K.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury exists in the environment in various forms, all of which pose a risk to human health. Despite guidelines regulating the industrial release of mercury into the environment, humans continue to be exposed regularly to various forms of this metal via inhalation or ingestion. Following exposure, mercuric ions are taken up by and accumulate in numerous organs, including brain, intestine, kidney, liver, and placenta. In order to understand the toxicological effects of exposure to mercury, a thorough understanding of the mechanisms that facilitate entry of mercuric ions into target cells must first be obtained. A number of mechanisms for the transport of mercuric ions into target cells and organs have been proposed in recent years. However, the ability of these mechanisms to transport mercuric ions and the regulatory features of these carriers have not been characterized completely. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current findings related to the mechanisms that may be involved in the transport of inorganic and organic forms of mercury in target tissues and organs. This review will describe mechanisms known to be involved in the transport of mercury and will also propose additional mechanisms that may potentially be involved in the transport of mercuric ions into target cells. PMID:27422290

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Evidence for the involvement of MC4 receptors in the central mechanisms of opioid antinociception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Starowicz, Katarzyna

    2005-01-01

    The data described in this thesis extend general knowledge of the involvement of the MC4 receptor in mechanisms of analgesia. The following aspects outlined below constitute novel information. Firstly, the MC4R localization in the DRG is demonstrated. The MC4 receptor was assumed to exist

  17. Evaluation of autophagy as a mechanism involved in air pollutant-induced pulmonary injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evaluation of autophagy as a mechanism involved in air pollutant-induced pulmonary injuryHenriquez, A.1, Snow, S.2, Miller, D1.,Schladweiler, M.2 and Kodavanti, U2.1 Curriculum in Toxicology, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC. 2 EPHD/NHEERL, US EPA, RTP, Durham, NC. ...

  18. Hierarchy of mechanisms involved in generating Na/K-ATPase polarity in MDCK epithelial cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mays, R.W.; Siemers, K.A.; Fritz, B.A.; Lowe, A.W.; van Meer, G.; Nelson, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    We have studied mechanisms involved in generating a polarized distribution of Na/K-ATPase in the basal-lateral membrane of two clones of MDCK II cells. Both clones exhibit polarized distributions of marker proteins of the apical and basal-lateral membranes, including Na/K-ATPase, at steady state.

  19. Interplay of Inflammatory Mediators with Epigenetics and Cartilage Modifications in Osteoarthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swarna Raman

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis (OA, a degenerative disease of diarthrodial joints, is influenced by mechanical and inflammatory factors with aging, obesity, chronic injuries, and secondary diseases thought to be major factors driving the process of articular cartilage degeneration. Chondrocytes, the cellular component of cartilage, reside in an avascular environment and normally have limited potential to replicate. However, extrinsic factors such as injury to the joint or intrinsic alterations to the chondrocytes themselves can lead to an altered phenotype and development of OA. Synovial inflammation is also a pivotal element of the osteoarthritic, degenerative process: influx of pro-inflammatory cytokines and production of matrix metalloproteinases accelerate advanced cellular processes such as synovitis and cartilage damage. As well as a genetic input, recent data have highlighted epigenetic factors as contributing to disease. Studies conducted over the last decade have focused on three key aspects in OA; inflammation and the immune response, genome-wide association studies that have identified important genes undergoing epigenetic modifications, and finally how chondrocytes transform in their function during development and disease. Data highlighted here have identified critical inflammatory genes involved in OA and how these factors impact chondrocyte hypertrophy in the disease. This review also addresses key inflammatory factors in synovial inflammation, epigenetics, and chondrocyte fate, and how agents that inhibit epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation and histone modifications could aid in development of long-term treatment strategies for the disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eKumsta

    2013-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-05-02

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-07-23

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

  5. Age-specific epigenetic drift in late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun-Chong Wang

    Full Text Available Despite an enormous research effort, most cases of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD still remain unexplained and the current biomedical science is still a long way from the ultimate goal of revealing clear risk factors that can help in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease. Current theories about the development of LOAD hinge on the premise that Alzheimer's arises mainly from heritable causes. Yet, the complex, non-Mendelian disease etiology suggests that an epigenetic component could be involved. Using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in post-mortem brain samples and lymphocytes, we have performed an analysis of DNA methylation across 12 potential Alzheimer's susceptibility loci. In the LOAD brain samples we identified a notably age-specific epigenetic drift, supporting a potential role of epigenetic effects in the development of the disease. Additionally, we found that some genes that participate in amyloid-beta processing (PSEN1, APOE and methylation homeostasis (MTHFR, DNMT1 show a significant interindividual epigenetic variability, which may contribute to LOAD predisposition. The APOE gene was found to be of bimodal structure, with a hypomethylated CpG-poor promoter and a fully methylated 3'-CpG-island, that contains the sequences for the epsilon4-haplotype, which is the only undisputed genetic risk factor for LOAD. Aberrant epigenetic control in this CpG-island may contribute to LOAD pathology. We propose that epigenetic drift is likely to be a substantial mechanism predisposing individuals to LOAD and contributing to the course of disease.

  6. Education on invasive mechanical ventilation involving intensive care nurses: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilhermino, Michelle C; Inder, Kerry J; Sundin, Deborah

    2018-03-26

    Intensive care unit nurses are critical for managing mechanical ventilation. Continuing education is essential in building and maintaining nurses' knowledge and skills, potentially improving patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine whether continuing education programmes on invasive mechanical ventilation involving intensive care unit nurses are effective in improving patient outcomes. Five electronic databases were searched from 2001 to 2016 using keywords such as mechanical ventilation, nursing and education. Inclusion criteria were invasive mechanical ventilation continuing education programmes that involved nurses and measured patient outcomes. Primary outcomes were intensive care unit mortality and in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included hospital and intensive care unit length of stay, length of intubation, failed weaning trials, re-intubation incidence, ventilation-associated pneumonia rate and lung-protective ventilator strategies. Studies were excluded if they excluded nurses, patients were ventilated for less than 24 h, the education content focused on protocol implementation or oral care exclusively or the outcomes were participant satisfaction. Quality was assessed by two reviewers using an education intervention critical appraisal worksheet and a risk of bias assessment tool. Data were extracted independently by two reviewers and analysed narratively due to heterogeneity. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria for full review: 11 pre- and post-intervention observational and 1 quasi-experimental design. Studies reported statistically significant reductions in hospital length of stay, length of intubation, ventilator-associated pneumonia rates, failed weaning trials and improvements in lung-protective ventilation compliance. Non-statistically significant results were reported for in-hospital and intensive care unit mortality, re-intubation and intensive care unit length of stay. Limited evidence of the effectiveness of

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian eAlvarado

    2015-03-01

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

  17. The mechanisms involved at the cell level; Les mecanismes mis en jeu au niveau cellulaire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leblanc, G.; Pourcher, Th.; Perron, B. [Nice Univ., Dir. des Sciences du Vivant, Dept. de Biologie Joliot-Curie, 06 (France); Guillain, F. [CEA Grenoble, Dir. des Sciences du Vivant, 38 (France); Quemeneur, E. [CEA Marcoule, Dir. des Sciences du Vivant, 30 (France); Fritsch, P. [CEA Bruyeres le Chatel, Dir. des Sciences du Vivant, 91 (France)

    2003-07-01

    The mechanisms responsible at the cell level for inducing toxic reactions after contamination are as yet only imperfectly known. Work still needs to be done for both contaminants that have a biological role, such as iodine, and those that do not, such as cadmium, uranium and plutonium. In particular, these mechanisms bring into play, in biological membranes, carriers which are the physiological partners responsible for material exchange with the environment or inside the body. As they lack absolute selectivity, these carriers, which are involved in the assimilation and accumulation of vital mineral elements, also have the ability to transport toxic elements and isotopes. (authors)

  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. 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.

  20. Involvement of translation and transcription processes into neurophysiological mechanisms of long-term memory reconsolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozyrev, S A; Nikitin, V P

    2013-03-01

    We studied the involvement of translation and transcription processes into behavioral and neuronal mechanisms of reconsolidation of the long-term memory of the conditioned taste aversion in edible snails. Injection of cycloheximide (an inhibitor of protein synthesis) to the snails in 48 h after training combined with subsequent reminder and presentation of the conditional stimulus resulted in the development of persistent amnesia and depression of the responses of the defensive behavior command neurons LPl1 and RPl1 to the conditional stimulus. Injection of mRNA synthesis inhibitors actinomycin D or DRB (5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidasole) in 48 h after conditioning with subsequent reminding procedure produced no effects on memory retention and on the responses of the command neurons to the conditional stimulus. The study suggests that the proteins translated from previously synthesized and stored mRNA were involved in the mechanisms of reconsolidation of the memory responsible for conditioned taste aversion.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The expanding role of epigenetics in the development, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobosy, Joseph R; Roberts, J Lea W; Fu, Vivian X; Jarrard, David F

    2007-03-01

    Prostate cancer research has focused significant attention on the mutation, deletion or amplification of the DNA base sequence that encodes critical growth or suppressor genes. However, these changes have left significant gaps in our understanding of the development and progression of disease. It has become clear that epigenetic changes or modifications that influence phenotype without altering the genotype present a new and entirely different mechanism for gene regulation. Several interrelated epigenetic modifications that are altered in abnormal growth states are DNA methylation changes, histone modifications and genomic imprinting. We discuss the status of epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia progression. In addition, the rationale and status of ongoing clinical trials altering epigenetic processes in urological diseases are reviewed. An online search of current and past peer reviewed literature on DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, imprinting and epigenetics in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia was performed. Relevant articles and reviews were examined and a synopsis of reproducible data was generated with the goal of informing the practicing urologist of these advances and their implications. Only 20 years ago the first study was published demonstrating global changes in DNA methylation patterns in tumors. Accumulating data have now identified specific genes that are commonly hypermethylated and inactivated during prostate cancer progression, including GSTpi, APC, MDR1, GPX3 and 14-3-3sigma. Altered histone modifications, including acetylation and methylation, were also recently described that may modify gene function, including androgen receptor function. These epigenetic changes are now being used to assist in prostate cancer diagnosis and cancer outcome prediction. Epigenetic changes appear to have a role in benign prostatic hyperplasia development as well as in the susceptibility of

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Evidence that BDNF regulates heart rate by a mechanism involving increased brainstem parasympathetic neuron excitability

    OpenAIRE

    Wan, Ruiqian; Weigand, Letitia A.; Bateman, Ryan; Griffioen, Kathleen; Mendelowitz, David; Mattson, Mark P.

    2014-01-01

    Autonomic control of heart rate is mediated by cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cholinergic neurons located in the brainstem and stimulatory sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. During embryonic development the survival and cholinergic phenotype of brainstem autonomic neurons is promoted by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). We now provide evidence that BDNF regulates heart rate by a mechanism involving increased brainstem cardioinhibitory parasympathetic activity. Mice with a BDNF haplo...

  8. Development and disease in a dish: the epigenetics of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Emily Ma; Kroll, Kristen L

    2018-02-01

    Human neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) involve mutations in hundreds of individual genes, with over-representation in genes encoding proteins that alter chromatin structure to modulate gene expression. Here, we highlight efforts to model these NDDs through in vitro differentiation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells into neurons. We discuss how epigenetic regulation controls normal cortical development, how mutations in several classes of epigenetic regulators contribute to NDDs, and approaches for modeling cortical development and function using both directed differentiation and formation of cerebral organoids. We explore successful applications of these models to study both syndromic and nonsyndromic NDDs and to define convergent mechanisms, addressing both the potential and challenges of using this approach to define cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie NDDs.

  9. Elucidating novel dysfunctional pathways in Alzheimer's disease by integrating loci identified in genetic and epigenetic studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam R. Smith

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder. A large number of genome-wide association studies have been performed, which have been supplemented more recently by the first epigenome-wide association studies, leading to the identification of a number of novel loci altered in disease. Twin studies have shown monozygotic twin discordance for Alzheimer's disease (Gatz et al., 2006, leading to the conclusion that a combination of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms is likely to be involved in disease etiology (Lunnon & Mill, 2013. This review focuses on identifying overlapping pathways between published genome-wide association studies and epigenome-wide association studies, highlighting dysfunctional synaptic, lipid metabolism, plasma membrane/cytoskeleton, mitochondrial, and immune cell activation pathways. Identifying common pathways altered in genetic and epigenetic studies will aid our understanding of disease mechanisms and identify potential novel targets for pharmacological intervention.

  10. [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.

  11. Obesity and the reproductive system disorders: epigenetics as a potential bridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crujeiras, Ana B; Casanueva, Felipe F

    2015-01-01

    Obesity and overweight are significantly involved in several reproductive pathologies contributing to infertility in men and women. In addition, several cancers of the reproductive system, such as endometrial, ovarian, breast, testicular and prostate cancers, are strongly influenced by obesity. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the association between obesity and reproductive disorders remain unclear. Our proposal is to review the current scientific evidence regarding the effect of obesity-related factors as the core of the collective mechanisms directly and indirectly involved in the relationship between obesity and reproductive disorders, with a special and original focus on the effect of the obesity state microenvironment on the epigenetic profile as a reversible mechanistic link between obesity and the reproductive disorders. A PubMed search was performed using keywords related to obesity and adipose-related factors and epigenetics and associated with keywords related to reproduction. Full-text articles and abstracts in the English language published prior to 31 December 2013 were reviewed. The obesity state notably contributes to a reproductive dysfunction in both men and women, ranging from infertility to oncological outcomes. Several epidemiological and experimental studies demonstrate that factors secreted by the adipose tissue and gut in an obesity state can directly induce reproductive disturbances. Relevantly, these same factors are able to alter the epigenetic regulation of genes, a dynamic and reversible mechanism by which the organism responds to environmental pressures critical to the reproductive function. This review outlines the evidence showing that the association between the reproductive pathologies and obesity is not inevitable but is potentially preventable and reversible. The epigenetic marks related to obesity could constitute a therapeutic target for the reproductive disorders associated with obesity. © The Author 2014

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Profiling Reveals Epigenetic Adaptation of Stickleback to Marine and Freshwater Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artemov, Artem V; Mugue, Nikolai S; Rastorguev, Sergey M; Zhenilo, Svetlana; Mazur, Alexander M; Tsygankova, Svetlana V; Boulygina, Eugenia S; Kaplun, Daria; Nedoluzhko, Artem V; Medvedeva, Yulia A; Prokhortchouk, Egor B

    2017-09-01

    The three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) represents a convenient model to study microevolution-adaptation to a freshwater environment. Although genetic adaptations to freshwater environments are well-studied, epigenetic adaptations have attracted little attention. In this work, we investigated the role of DNA methylation in the adaptation of the marine stickleback population to freshwater conditions. DNA methylation profiling was performed in marine and freshwater populations of sticklebacks, as well as in marine sticklebacks placed into a freshwater environment and freshwater sticklebacks placed into seawater. We showed that the DNA methylation profile after placing a marine stickleback into fresh water partially converged to that of a freshwater stickleback. For six genes including ATP4A ion pump and NELL1, believed to be involved in skeletal ossification, we demonstrated similar changes in DNA methylation in both evolutionary and short-term adaptation. This suggested that an immediate epigenetic response to freshwater conditions can be maintained in freshwater population. Interestingly, we observed enhanced epigenetic plasticity in freshwater sticklebacks that may serve as a compensatory regulatory mechanism for the lack of genetic variation in the freshwater population. For the first time, we demonstrated that genes encoding ion channels KCND3, CACNA1FB, and ATP4A were differentially methylated between the marine and the freshwater populations. Other genes encoding ion channels were previously reported to be under selection in freshwater populations. Nevertheless, the genes that harbor genetic and epigenetic changes were not the same, suggesting that epigenetic adaptation is a complementary mechanism to selection of genetic variants favorable for freshwater environment. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu-Yuan

    2012-12-07

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

  20. Dissecting epigenetic silencing complexity in the mouse lung cancer suppressor gene Cadm1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Marie Reamon-Buettner

    Full Text Available Disease-oriented functional analysis of epigenetic factors and their regulatory mechanisms in aberrant silencing is a prerequisite for better diagnostics and therapy. Yet, the precise mechanisms are still unclear and complex, involving the interplay of several effectors including nucleosome positioning, DNA methylation, histone variants and histone modifications. We investigated the epigenetic silencing complexity in the tumor suppressor gene Cadm1 in mouse lung cancer progenitor cell lines, exhibiting promoter hypermethylation associated with transcriptional repression, but mostly unresponsive to demethylating drug treatments. After predicting nucleosome positions and transcription factor binding sites along the Cadm1 promoter, we carried out single-molecule mapping with DNA methyltransferase M.SssI, which revealed in silent promoters high nucleosome occupancy and occlusion of transcription factor binding sites. Furthermore, M.SssI maps of promoters varied within and among the different lung cancer cell lines. Chromatin analysis with micrococcal nuclease also indicated variations in nucleosome positioning to have implications in the binding of transcription factors near nucleosome borders. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that histone variants (H2A.Z and H3.3, and opposing histone modification marks (H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 all colocalized in the same nucleosome positions that is reminiscent of epigenetic plasticity in embryonic stem cells. Altogether, epigenetic silencing complexity in the promoter region of Cadm1 is not only defined by DNA hypermethylation, but high nucleosome occupancy, altered nucleosome positioning, and 'bivalent' histone modifications, also likely contributed in the transcriptional repression of this gene in the lung cancer cells. Our results will help define therapeutic intervention strategies using epigenetic drugs in lung cancer.

  1. Involvement of midbrain tectum neurokinin-mediated mechanisms in fear and anxiety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brenes, J.C.; Broiz, A.C.; Bassi, G.S.; Schwarting, R.K.W.; Brandão, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of midbrain tectum structures, particularly the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG) and inferior colliculus (IC), produces defensive responses, such as freezing and escape behavior. Freezing also ensues after termination of dPAG stimulation (post-stimulation freezing). These defensive reaction responses are critically mediated by Y -aminobutyric acid and 5-hydroxytryptamine mechanisms in the midbrain tectum. Neurokinins (NKs) also play a role in the mediation of dPAG stimulation-evoked fear, but how NK receptors are involved in the global processing and expression of fear at the level of the midbrain tectum is yet unclear. The present study investigated the role of NK-1 receptors in unconditioned defensive behavior induced by electrical stimulation of the dPAG and IC of male Wistar rats. Spantide (100 pmol/0.2 µL), a selective NK-1 antagonist, injected into these midbrain structures had anti-aversive effects on defensive responses and distress ultrasonic vocalizations induced by stimulation of the dPAG but not of the IC. Moreover, intra-dPAG injections of spantide did not influence post-stimulation freezing or alter exploratory behavior in rats subjected to the elevated plus maze. These results suggest that NK-1 receptors are mainly involved in the mediation of defensive behavior organized in the dPAG. Dorsal periaqueductal gray-evoked post-stimulation freezing was not affected by intra-dPAG injections of spantide, suggesting that NK-1-mediated mechanisms are only involved in the output mechanisms of defensive behavior and not involved in the processing of ascending aversive information from the dPAG

  2. Involvement of midbrain tectum neurokinin-mediated mechanisms in fear and anxiety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brenes, J.C. [Experimental and Physiological Psychology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Marburg (Germany); Broiz, A.C.; Bassi, G.S. [Instituto de Neurociências e Comportamento, Campus USP, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil); Laboratório de Psicobiologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil); Schwarting, R.K.W. [Experimental and Physiological Psychology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Marburg (Germany); Brandão, M.L. [Instituto de Neurociências e Comportamento, Campus USP, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil); Laboratório de Psicobiologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil)

    2012-03-09

    Electrical stimulation of midbrain tectum structures, particularly the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG) and inferior colliculus (IC), produces defensive responses, such as freezing and escape behavior. Freezing also ensues after termination of dPAG stimulation (post-stimulation freezing). These defensive reaction responses are critically mediated by {sub Y}-aminobutyric acid and 5-hydroxytryptamine mechanisms in the midbrain tectum. Neurokinins (NKs) also play a role in the mediation of dPAG stimulation-evoked fear, but how NK receptors are involved in the global processing and expression of fear at the level of the midbrain tectum is yet unclear. The present study investigated the role of NK-1 receptors in unconditioned defensive behavior induced by electrical stimulation of the dPAG and IC of male Wistar rats. Spantide (100 pmol/0.2 µL), a selective NK-1 antagonist, injected into these midbrain structures had anti-aversive effects on defensive responses and distress ultrasonic vocalizations induced by stimulation of the dPAG but not of the IC. Moreover, intra-dPAG injections of spantide did not influence post-stimulation freezing or alter exploratory behavior in rats subjected to the elevated plus maze. These results suggest that NK-1 receptors are mainly involved in the mediation of defensive behavior organized in the dPAG. Dorsal periaqueductal gray-evoked post-stimulation freezing was not affected by intra-dPAG injections of spantide, suggesting that NK-1-mediated mechanisms are only involved in the output mechanisms of defensive behavior and not involved in the processing of ascending aversive information from the dPAG.

  3. Pathophysiology of major depressive disorder: mechanisms involved in etiology are not associated with clinical progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verduijn, J; Milaneschi, Y; Schoevers, R A; van Hemert, A M; Beekman, A T F; Penninx, B W J H

    2015-09-29

    Meta-analyses support the involvement of different pathophysiological mechanisms (inflammation, hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA)-axis, neurotrophic growth and vitamin D) in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, it remains unknown whether dysregulations in these mechanisms are more pronounced when MDD progresses toward multiple episodes and/or chronicity. We hypothesized that four central pathophysiological mechanisms of MDD are not only involved in etiology, but also associated with clinical disease progression. Therefore, we expected to find increasingly more dysregulation across consecutive stages of MDD progression. The sample from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (18-65 years) consisted of 230 controls and 2333 participants assigned to a clinical staging model categorizing MDD in eight stages (0, 1A, 1B, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C and 4), from familial risk at MDD (stage 0) to chronic MDD (stage 4). Analyses of covariance examined whether pathophysiological mechanism markers (interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and vitamin D) showed a linear trend across controls, those at risk for MDD (stages 0, 1A and 1B), and those with full-threshold MDD (stages 2, 3A, 3B, 3C and 4). Subsequently, pathophysiological differences across separate stages within those at risk and with full-threshold MDD were examined. A linear increase of inflammatory markers (CRP P=0.026; IL-6 P=0.090), cortisol (P=0.025) and decrease of vitamin D (P<0.001) was found across the entire sample (for example, from controls to those at risk and those with full-threshold MDD). Significant trends of dysregulations across stages were present in analyses focusing on at-risk individuals (IL-6 P=0.050; cortisol P=0.008; vitamin D P<0.001); however, no linear trends were found in dysregulations for any of the mechanisms across more progressive stages of full-threshold MDD. Our results support that the examined pathophysiological mechanisms are

  4. Phytoremediation potential of the novel atrazine tolerant Lolium multiflorum and studies on the mechanisms involved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merini, Luciano J.; Bobillo, Cecilia; Cuadrado, Virginia; Corach, Daniel; Giulietti, Ana M.

    2009-01-01

    Atrazine impact on human health and the environment have been extensively studied. Phytoremediation emerged as a low cost, environmental friendly biotechnological solution for atrazine pollution in soil and water. In vitro atrazine tolerance assays were performed and Lolium multiflorum was found as a novel tolerant species, able to germinate and grow in the presence of 1 mg kg -1 of the herbicide. L. multiflorum presented 20% higher atrazine removal capacity than the natural attenuation, with high initial degradation rate in microcosms. The mechanisms involved in atrazine tolerance such as mutation in psbA gene, enzymatic detoxification via P 450 or chemical hydrolysis through benzoxazinones were evaluated. It was demonstrated that atrazine tolerance is conferred by enhanced enzymatic detoxification via P 450 . Due to its atrazine degradation capacity in soil and its agronomical properties, L. multiflorum is a candidate for designing phytoremediation strategies for atrazine contaminated agricultural soils, especially those involving run-off avoiding. - Finding of a novel atrazine-tolerant species, as a potential candidate for phytoremediating herbicide-contaminated agriculture soils and elucidation of the mechanisms involved in tolerance.

  5. Phytoremediation potential of the novel atrazine tolerant Lolium multiflorum and studies on the mechanisms involved

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merini, Luciano J. [Catedra de Microbiologia Industrial y Biotecnologia, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Bobillo, Cecilia [Servicio de Huellas Digitales Geneticas, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquimica, Microbiologia Industrial y Biotecnologia, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Junin 956, BS As (Argentina); Cuadrado, Virginia [Catedra de Microbiologia Industrial y Biotecnologia, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Corach, Daniel [Servicio de Huellas Digitales Geneticas, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquimica, Microbiologia Industrial y Biotecnologia, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Junin 956, BS As (Argentina); Giulietti, Ana M., E-mail: agiule@ffyb.uba.a [Catedra de Microbiologia Industrial y Biotecnologia, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2009-11-15

    Atrazine impact on human health and the environment have been extensively studied. Phytoremediation emerged as a low cost, environmental friendly biotechnological solution for atrazine pollution in soil and water. In vitro atrazine tolerance assays were performed and Lolium multiflorum was found as a novel tolerant species, able to germinate and grow in the presence of 1 mg kg{sup -1} of the herbicide. L. multiflorum presented 20% higher atrazine removal capacity than the natural attenuation, with high initial degradation rate in microcosms. The mechanisms involved in atrazine tolerance such as mutation in psbA gene, enzymatic detoxification via P{sub 450} or chemical hydrolysis through benzoxazinones were evaluated. It was demonstrated that atrazine tolerance is conferred by enhanced enzymatic detoxification via P{sub 450}. Due to its atrazine degradation capacity in soil and its agronomical properties, L. multiflorum is a candidate for designing phytoremediation strategies for atrazine contaminated agricultural soils, especially those involving run-off avoiding. - Finding of a novel atrazine-tolerant species, as a potential candidate for phytoremediating herbicide-contaminated agriculture soils and elucidation of the mechanisms involved in tolerance.

  6. Clustering mechanism of oxocarboxylic acids involving hydration reaction: Implications for the atmospheric models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ling; Kupiainen-Määttä, Oona; Zhang, Haijie; Li, Hao; Zhong, Jie; Kurtén, Theo; Vehkamäki, Hanna; Zhang, Shaowen; Zhang, Yunhong; Ge, Maofa; Zhang, Xiuhui; Li, Zesheng

    2018-06-01

    The formation of atmospheric aerosol particles from condensable gases is a dominant source of particulate matter in the boundary layer, but the mechanism is still ambiguous. During the clustering process, precursors with different reactivities can induce various chemical reactions in addition to the formation of hydrogen bonds. However, the clustering mechanism involving chemical reactions is rarely considered in most of the nucleation process models. Oxocarboxylic acids are common compositions of secondary organic aerosol, but the role of oxocarboxylic acids in secondary organic aerosol formation is still not fully understood. In this paper, glyoxylic acid, the simplest and the most abundant atmospheric oxocarboxylic acid, has been selected as a representative example of oxocarboxylic acids in order to study the clustering mechanism involving hydration reactions using density functional theory combined with the Atmospheric Clusters Dynamic Code. The hydration reaction of glyoxylic acid can occur either in the gas phase or during the clustering process. Under atmospheric conditions, the total conversion ratio of glyoxylic acid to its hydration reaction product (2,2-dihydroxyacetic acid) in both gas phase and clusters can be up to 85%, and the product can further participate in the clustering process. The differences in cluster structures and properties induced by the hydration reaction lead to significant differences in cluster formation rates and pathways at relatively low temperatures.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Mechanisms involved in metformin action in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motta, A B

    2009-01-01

    The N, N' dimethyl-biguanide : Metformin is an antidiabetic drug that increases glucose utilization in insulin-sensitive tissues. As Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and diabetes share some altered parameters-such as abnormal glucose: insulin ratio, altered lipidic metabolism and insulin-resistance syndrome- the use of metformin has become increasingly accepted and widespread in the treatment of PCOS. Currently, metformin is used to induce ovulation and during early pregnancy in PCOS patients, however, a complete knowledge of the metformin action has not been achieved yet. This review describes beyond the classical reproductive action of metformin and explores other benefits of the drug. In addition, the present work discusses the molecular mechanisms involved further than the classical pathway that involves the AMP-activated protein kinase.

  10. Absorption of Carotenoids and Mechanisms Involved in Their Health-Related Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervantes-Paz, Braulio; Victoria-Campos, Claudia I; Ornelas-Paz, José de Jesús

    Carotenoids participate in the normal metabolism and function of the human body. They are involved in the prevention of several diseases, especially those related to the inflammation syndrome. Their main mechanisms of action are associated to their potent antioxidant activity and capacity to regulate the expression of specific genes and proteins. Recent findings suggest that carotenoid metabolites may explain several processes where the participation of their parent carotenoids was unclear. The health benefits of carotenoids strongly depend on their absorption and transformation during gastrointestinal digestion. The estimation of the 'bioaccessibility' of carotenoids through in vitro models have made possible the evaluation of the effect of a large number of factors on key stages of carotenoid digestion and intestinal absorption. The bioaccessibility of these compounds allows us to have a clear idea of their potential bioavailability, a term that implicitly involves the biological activity of these compounds.

  11. Epigenetic regulation of multiple tumor-related genes leads to suppression of breast tumorigenesis by dietary genistein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan Li

    Full Text Available Breast cancer is one of the most lethal diseases in women; however, the precise etiological factors are still not clear. Genistein (GE, a natural isoflavone found in soybean products, is believed to be a potent chemopreventive agent for breast cancer. One of the most important mechanisms for GE inhibition of breast cancer may involve its potential in impacting epigenetic processes allowing reversal of aberrant epigenetic events during breast tumorigenesis. To investigate epigenetic regulation for GE impedance of breast tumorigenesis, we monitored epigenetic alterations of several key tumor-related genes in an established breast cancer transformation system. Our results show that GE significantly inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner in precancerous breast cells and breast cancer cells, whereas it exhibited little effect on normal human mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, GE treatment increased expression of two crucial tumor suppressor genes, p21(WAF1 (p21 and p16(INK4a (p16, although it decreased expression of two tumor promoting genes, BMI1 and c-MYC. GE treatment led to alterations of histone modifications in the promoters of p21 and p16 as well as the binding ability of the c-MYC-BMI1 complex to the p16 promoter contributing to GE-induced epigenetic activation of these tumor suppressor genes. In addition, an orally-fed GE diet prevented breast tumorigenesis and inhibited breast cancer development in breast cancer mice xenografts. Our results suggest that genistein may repress early breast tumorigenesis by epigenetic regulation of p21 and p16 by impacting histone modifications as well as the BMI1-c-MYC complex recruitment to the regulatory region in the promoters of these genes. These studies will facilitate more effective use of soybean product in breast cancer prevention and also help elucidate the mechanisms during the process of early breast tumorigenesis.

  12. Epigenetic regulation of multiple tumor-related genes leads to suppression of breast tumorigenesis by dietary genistein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuanyuan; Chen, Huaping; Hardy, Tabitha M; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2013-01-01

    Breast cancer is one of the most lethal diseases in women; however, the precise etiological factors are still not clear. Genistein (GE), a natural isoflavone found in soybean products, is believed to be a potent chemopreventive agent for breast cancer. One of the most important mechanisms for GE inhibition of breast cancer may involve its potential in impacting epigenetic processes allowing reversal of aberrant epigenetic events during breast tumorigenesis. To investigate epigenetic regulation for GE impedance of breast tumorigenesis, we monitored epigenetic alterations of several key tumor-related genes in an established breast cancer transformation system. Our results show that GE significantly inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner in precancerous breast cells and breast cancer cells, whereas it exhibited little effect on normal human mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, GE treatment increased expression of two crucial tumor suppressor genes, p21(WAF1) (p21) and p16(INK4a) (p16), although it decreased expression of two tumor promoting genes, BMI1 and c-MYC. GE treatment led to alterations of histone modifications in the promoters of p21 and p16 as well as the binding ability of the c-MYC-BMI1 complex to the p16 promoter contributing to GE-induced epigenetic activation of these tumor suppressor genes. In addition, an orally-fed GE diet prevented breast tumorigenesis and inhibited breast cancer development in breast cancer mice xenografts. Our results suggest that genistein may repress early breast tumorigenesis by epigenetic regulation of p21 and p16 by impacting histone modifications as well as the BMI1-c-MYC complex recruitment to the regulatory region in the promoters of these genes. These studies will facilitate more effective use of soybean product in breast cancer prevention and also help elucidate the mechanisms during the process of early breast tumorigenesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng-Wei; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-10-01

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

  14. Pathogenic Mechanisms Involved in the Hematological Alterations of Arenavirus-induced Hemorrhagic Fevers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto G. Pozner

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs caused by arenaviruses are acute diseases characterized by fever, headache, general malaise, impaired cellular immunity, eventual neurologic involvement, and hemostatic alterations that may ultimately lead to shock and death. The causes of the bleeding are still poorly understood. However, it is generally accepted that these causes are associated to some degree with impaired hemostasis, endothelial cell dysfunction and low platelet counts or function. In this article, we present the current knowledge about the hematological alterations present in VHF induced by arenaviruses, including new aspects on the underlying pathogenic mechanisms.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Gómez-Díaz

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Antinociceptive Activity of Methanol Extract of Muntingia calabura Leaves and the Mechanisms of Action Involved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. H. Mohd. Sani

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Muntingia calabura L. (family Elaeocarpaceae has been traditionally used to relieve various pain-related ailments. The present study aimed to determine the antinociceptive activity of methanol extract of M. calabura leaves (MEMC and to elucidate the possible mechanism of antinociception involved. The in vivo chemicals (acetic acid-induced abdominal constriction and formalin-, capsaicin-, glutamate-, serotonin-induced paw licking test and thermal (hot plate test models of nociception were used to evaluate the extract antinociceptive activity. The extract (100, 250, and 500 mg/kg was administered orally 60 min prior to subjection to the respective test. The results obtained demonstrated that MEMC produced significant (P<0.05 antinociceptive response in all the chemical- and thermal-induced nociception models, which was reversed after pretreatment with 5 mg/kg naloxone, a non-selective opioid antagonist. Furthermore, pretreatment with L-arginine (a nitric oxide (NO donor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl esters (L-NAME; an inhibitor of NO synthase (NOS, methylene blue (MB; an inhibitor of cyclic-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP pathway, or their combination also caused significant (P<0.05 change in the intensity of the MEMC antinociception. In conclusion, the MEMC antinociceptive activity involves activation of the peripheral and central mechanisms, and modulation via, partly, the opioid receptors and NO/cGMP pathway.

  4. Mechanisms involved in the chemical inhibition of the Eosin-sensitized photooxidation of trypsin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rizzuto, F.; Spikes, J.D.

    1975-01-01

    A large series of compounds was screened for ability to protect trypsin from eosin-sensitized photodynamic inactivation. Eosin-sensitized photooxidation reactions of this type typically proceed via the triplet state of the dye and often involve singlet state oxygen as the oxidizing entity. In order to determine the mechanisms by which trypsin is protected from photoinactivation, a number of good protective agents (inhibitors) and some non-protective agents were selected for more detailed flash photolysis studies. Good inhibitors such as p-phenylenediamine, n-propyl gallate, serotonin creatinine sulfate and p-toluenediamine competed efficiently with oxygen and with trypsin for reaction with the triplet state of eosin. The inhibitors were shown to quench triplet eosin to the ground state and/or reduce triplet eosin to form the semireduced eosin radical and an oxidized form of the inhibitor. In the latter case, oxidized inhibitor could react by a reverse electron transfer reaction with the semireduced eosin radical to regenerate ground state eosin and the inhibitor. The good inhibitors also competed effectively with trypsin for oxidation by semioxidized eosin, thus giving another possible protective mechanism. Non-inhibitors such as halogen ions and the paramagnetic ions Co/sup + +/, Cu/sup + +/ and Mn/sup + +/ reacted only slowly with triplet and with semioxidized eosin. The primary pathway for the eosin-sensitized photooxidation of trypsin at pH 8.0 involved singlet oxygen, although semioxidized eosin may also participate.

  5. Mechanisms and neuronal networks involved in reactive and proactive cognitive control of interference in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irlbacher, Kerstin; Kraft, Antje; Kehrer, Stefanie; Brandt, Stephan A

    2014-10-01

    Cognitive control can be reactive or proactive in nature. Reactive control mechanisms, which support the resolution of interference, start after its onset. Conversely, proactive control involves the anticipation and prevention of interference prior to its occurrence. The interrelation of both types of cognitive control is currently under debate: Are they mediated by different neuronal networks? Or are there neuronal structures that have the potential to act in a proactive as well as in a reactive manner? This review illustrates the way in which integrating knowledge gathered from behavioral studies, functional imaging, and human electroencephalography proves useful in answering these questions. We focus on studies that investigate interference resolution at the level of working memory representations. In summary, different mechanisms are instrumental in supporting reactive and proactive control. Distinct neuronal networks are involved, though some brain regions, especially pre-SMA, possess functions that are relevant to both control modes. Therefore, activation of these brain areas could be observed in reactive, as well as proactive control, but at different times during information processing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...

  7. Making memories of stressful events: a journey along epigenetic, gene transcription and signaling pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes M.H.M. eReul

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Strong psychologically stressful events are known to have a long-lasting impact on behavior. The consolidation of such, largely adaptive, behavioral responses to stressful events involves changes in gene expression in limbic brain regions such as the hippocampus and amygdala. The underlying molecular mechanisms however were until recently unresolved. More than a decade ago we started to investigate the role of these hormones in signaling and epigenetic mechanisms participating in the effects of stress on gene transcription in hippocampal neurons. We discovered a novel, rapid non-genomic mechanism in which glucocorticoids via glucocorticoid receptors (GRs facilitate signaling of the ERK MAPK signaling pathway to the downstream nuclear kinases MSK1 and Elk-1 in dentate gyrus (DG granule neurons. Activation of this signaling pathway results in serine10 (S10 phosphorylation and lysine14 (K14 acetylation at histone H3 (H3S10p-K14ac, leading to the induction of the immediate early genes c-Fos and Egr-1. In addition, we found a role of the DNA methylation status of gene promoters. A series of studies showed that these molecular mechanisms play a critical role in the long-lasting consolidation of behavioral responses in the forced swim test and Morris water maze. Furthermore, an important role of GABA was found in controlling the epigenetic and gene transcriptional responses to psychological stress. Thus, psychologically stressful events evoke a long-term impact on behavior through changes in hippocampal function brought about by distinct glutamatergic and glucocorticoid-driven changes in epigenetic regulation of gene transcription which are modulated by (local GABAergic interneurons and limbic afferent inputs. These epigenetic processes may play an important role in the etiology of stress-related mental disorders such as major depressive and anxiety disorders like PTSD.

  8. Possible mechanisms involved in the vasorelaxant effect produced by clobenzorex in aortic segments of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Cuenca, J; González-Hernández, A; López-Canales, O A; Villagrana-Zesati, J R; Rodríguez-Choreão, J D; Morín-Zaragoza, R; Castillo-Henkel, E F; López-Canales, J S

    2017-08-07

    Clobenzorex is a metabolic precursor of amphetamine indicated for the treatment of obesity. Amphetamines have been involved with cardiovascular side effects such as hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the direct application of 10-9-10-5 M clobenzorex on isolated phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings produces vascular effects, and if so, what mechanisms may be involved. Clobenzorex produced an immediate concentration-dependent vasorelaxant effect at the higher concentrations (10-7.5-10-5 M). The present outcome was not modified by 10-6 M atropine (an antagonist of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors), 3.1×10-7 M glibenclamide (an ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker), 10-3 M 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; a voltage-activated K+ channel blocker), 10-5 M indomethacin (a prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor), 10-5 M clotrimazole (a cytochrome P450 inhibitor) or 10-5 M cycloheximide (a general protein synthesis inhibitor). Contrarily, the clobenzorex-induced vasorelaxation was significantly attenuated (Pclobenzorex on phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings involved stimulation of the NO/cGMP/PKG/Ca2+-activated K+ channel pathway.

  9. Drug-drug interactions involving lysosomes: mechanisms and potential clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Randall; Funk, Ryan S; Axcell, Erick; Krise, Jeffrey P

    2012-08-01

    Many commercially available, weakly basic drugs have been shown to be lysosomotropic, meaning they are subject to extensive sequestration in lysosomes through an ion trapping-type mechanism. The extent of lysosomal trapping of a drug is an important therapeutic consideration because it can influence both activity and pharmacokinetic disposition. The administration of certain drugs can alter lysosomes such that their accumulation capacity for co-administered and/or secondarily administered drugs is altered. In this review the authors explore what is known regarding the mechanistic basis for drug-drug interactions involving lysosomes. Specifically, the authors address the influence of drugs on lysosomal pH, volume and lipid processing. Many drugs are known to extensively accumulate in lysosomes and significantly alter their structure and function; however, the therapeutic and toxicological implications of this remain controversial. The authors propose that drug-drug interactions involving lysosomes represent an important potential source of variability in drug activity and pharmacokinetics. Most evaluations of drug-drug interactions involving lysosomes have been performed in cultured cells and isolated tissues. More comprehensive in vivo evaluations are needed to fully explore the impact of this drug-drug interaction pathway on therapeutic outcomes.

  10. Consideration of epigenetic responses at organisms chronically exposed to low levels of radioactive substances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gombeau, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    This work integrates within the general framework of the European program COMET (7. Framework Programme EURATOM) and aims to assess the epigenetic responses, and particularly DNA methylation, during chronic exposure to low levels of radioactive materials within two particularly representative contexts of radioecological issues (i.e. uranium mining area and Fukushima post-accidental context). During a first experiment, zebra fish (Danio rerio) were exposed in laboratory controlled conditions to environmentally relevant concentrations of depleted uranium: 2 and 20 μg L"-"1. This experiment allowed an impact on the genomic DNA methylation to be demonstrated, mainly in exposed males, which increased with the duration and level of exposure. In a second experiment, we observed an impact on DNA methylation patterns in the progeny of exposed parents, as well as a perturbation of transcriptomics (i.e. epigenetic processes, DNA damage signaling and repair pathways, embryogenesis) and histological damage in larvae skeletal muscle from exposed parents. The methods developed were applied to the second context focusing on the study of biological effects induced by radionuclides emitted following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The analyses performed on the Japanese tree frog (Hyla japonica) revealed a positive correlation between the total dose of radiation absorbed by these frogs (correlated to "1"3"7Cs accumulation), hyper-methylation of genomic DNA as well as increasing damage to mitochondrial DNA. This work highlighted the sensitivity of epigenetic responses in different biological models exposed to low levels of radionuclides. Additionally, these epigenetic modifications are stable over the time and involved in the transfer of the parental toxicity of depleted uranium. As such, the epigenetic marks could be used to further characterize adaptation mechanisms and potential trans-generational effects induced by radionuclides. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Novel mechanisms of sildenafil in pulmonary hypertension involving cytokines/chemokines, MAP kinases and Akt.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamas Kiss

    Full Text Available Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PH is associated with high mortality due to right ventricular failure and hypoxia, therefore to understand the mechanism by which pulmonary vascular remodeling initiates these processes is very important. We used a well-characterized monocrotaline (MCT-induced rat PH model, and analyzed lung morphology, expression of cytokines, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK phosphorylation, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt (PI-3k-Akt pathway and nuclear factor (NF-κB activation in order to elucidate the mechanisms by which sildenafil's protective effect in PH is exerted. Besides its protective effect on lung morphology, sildenafil suppressed multiple cytokines involved in neutrophil and mononuclear cells recruitment including cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC-1, CINC-2α/β, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1, interleukin (IL-1α, lipopolysaccharide induced CXC chemokine (LIX, monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1α, and MIP-3α. NF-κB activation and phosphorylation were also attenuated by sildenafil. Furthermore, sildenafil reduced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK activation while enhanced activation of the cytoprotective Akt pathway in PH. These data suggest a beneficial effect of sildenafil on inflammatory and kinase signaling mechanisms that substantially contribute to its protective effects, and may have potential implications in designing future therapeutic strategies in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

  14. An overview of potential molecular mechanisms involved in VSMC phenotypic modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-Jie; Zhou, Yi; Chen, Lei; Wang, Yan-Qin; Wang, Xu; Pi, Yan; Gao, Chang-Yue; Li, Jing-Cheng; Zhang, Li-Li

    2016-02-01

    The fully differentiated medial vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of mature vessels keep quiescent and contractile. However, VSMC can exhibit the plasticity in phenotype switching from a differentiated and contractile phenotype to a dedifferentiated state in response to alterations in local environmental cues, which is called phenotypic modulation or switching. Distinguishing from its differentiated state expressing more smooth muscle (SM)-specific/selective proteins, the phenotypic modulation in VSMC is characterized by an increased rate of proliferation, migration, synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins and decreased expression of SM contractile proteins. Although it has been well demonstrated that phenotypic modulation of VSMC contributes to the occurrence and progression of many proliferative vascular diseases, little is known about the details of the molecular mechanisms of VSMC phenotypic modulation. Growing evidence suggests that variety of molecules including microRNAs, cytokines and biochemical factors, membrane receptors, ion channels, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix play important roles in controlling VSMC phenotype. The focus of the present review is to provide an overview of potential molecular mechanisms involved in VSMC phenotypic modulation in recent years. To clarify VSMC differentiation and phenotypic modulation mechanisms will contribute to producing cell-based therapeutic interventions for aberrant VSMC differentiation-related diseases.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agostino Di Ciaula

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetic: a molecular link between testicular cancer and environmental exposures?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurelie eVega

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In the last decades, studies in rodents have highlighted links between in utero and/or neonatal exposures to molecules that alter endocrine functions and the development of genital tract abnormalities, such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and impaired spermatogenesis. Most of these molecules, called endocrine disrupters (EDs exert estrogenic and/or antiandrogenic activities. These data led to the hypothesis of the Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome which postulates that these disorders are one clinical entity and are linked by epidemiological and pathophysiological relations. Futhermore, infertility has been stated as a risk factor for testicular cancer. The incidence of testicular cancer has been increasing over the past decades. Most of testicular germ cell cancers develop through a pre-invasive carcinoma in situ (CIS from fetal germ cells (primordial germ cell or gonocyte. During their development, fetal germ cells undergo epigenetic modifications. Interestingly, several lines of evidence have shown that gene regulation through epigenetic mechanisms (DNA and histone modifications plays an important role in normal development as well as in various diseases, including testicular cancer.Here we will review chromatin modifications which can affect testicular physiology leading to the development of testicular cancer; and highlight potential molecular pathways involved in these alterations in the context of environmental exposures.

  19. Epigenetic: a molecular link between testicular cancer and environmental exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Aurelie; Baptissart, Marine; Caira, Françoise; Brugnon, Florence; Lobaccaro, Jean-Marc A; Volle, David H

    2012-01-01

    In the last decades, studies in rodents have highlighted links between in utero and/or neonatal exposures to molecules that alter endocrine functions and the development of genital tract abnormalities, such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and impaired spermatogenesis. Most of these molecules, called endocrine disrupters exert estrogenic and/or antiandrogenic activities. These data led to the hypothesis of the testicular dysgenesis syndrome which postulates that these disorders are one clinical entity and are linked by epidemiological and pathophysiological relations. Furthermore, infertility has been stated as a risk factor for testicular cancer (TC). The incidence of TC has been increasing over the past decade. Most of testicular germ cell cancers develop through a pre-invasive carcinoma in situ from fetal germ cells (primordial germ cell or gonocyte). During their development, fetal germ cells undergo epigenetic modifications. Interestingly, several lines of evidence have shown that gene regulation through epigenetic mechanisms (DNA and histone modifications) plays an important role in normal development as well as in various diseases, including TC. Here we will review chromatin modifications which can affect testicular physiology leading to the development of TC; and highlight potential molecular pathways involved in these alterations in the context of environmental exposures.

  20. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-13

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Dupiol, Jeremie; Adjeroud, Mehdi; Roger, Emmanuel; Foure, Laurent; Duval, David; Mone, Yves; Ferrier-Pages, Christine; Tambutte, Eric; Tambutte, Sylvie; Zoccola, Didier; Allemand, Denis; Mitta, Guillaume

    2009-08-04

    Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coral bleaching but the jigsaw puzzle is far from being complete, especially concerning the early events leading to symbiosis breakdown. The aim of the present study was to find molecular actors involved early in the mechanism leading to symbiosis collapse. In our experimental procedure, one set of Pocillopora damicornis nubbins was subjected to a gradual increase of water temperature from 28 degrees C to 32 degrees C over 15 days. A second control set kept at constant temperature (28 degrees C). The differentially expressed mRNA between the stressed states (sampled just before the onset of bleaching) and the non stressed states (control) were isolated by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization. Transcription rates of the most interesting genes (considering their putative function) were quantified by Q-RT-PCR, which revealed a significant decrease in transcription of two candidates six days before bleaching. RACE-PCR experiments showed that one of them (PdC-Lectin) contained a C-Type-Lectin domain specific for mannose. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that this host gene mediates molecular interactions between the host and the symbionts suggesting a putative role in zooxanthellae acquisition and/or sequestration. The second gene corresponds to a gene putatively involved in calcification processes (Pdcyst-rich). Its down-regulation could reflect a trade-off mechanism leading to the arrest of the mineralization process under stress. Under thermal stress

  5. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tambutte Sylvie

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coral bleaching but the jigsaw puzzle is far from being complete, especially concerning the early events leading to symbiosis breakdown. The aim of the present study was to find molecular actors involved early in the mechanism leading to symbiosis collapse. Results In our experimental procedure, one set of Pocillopora damicornis nubbins was subjected to a gradual increase of water temperature from 28°C to 32°C over 15 days. A second control set kept at constant temperature (28°C. The differentially expressed mRNA between the stressed states (sampled just before the onset of bleaching and the non stressed states (control were isolated by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization. Transcription rates of the most interesting genes (considering their putative function were quantified by Q-RT-PCR, which revealed a significant decrease in transcription of two candidates six days before bleaching. RACE-PCR experiments showed that one of them (PdC-Lectin contained a C-Type-Lectin domain specific for mannose. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that this host gene mediates molecular interactions between the host and the symbionts suggesting a putative role in zooxanthellae acquisition and/or sequestration. The second gene corresponds to a gene putatively involved in calcification processes (Pdcyst-rich. Its down-regulation could reflect a trade-off mechanism leading to the arrest of the mineralization process under stress

  6. Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Antitumor Activity of Cannabinoids on Gliomas: Role for Oxidative Stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Massi, Paola [Department of Pharmacology, Chemotherapy and Toxicology, University of Milan, Via Vanvitelli 32, 20129 Milan (Italy); Valenti, Marta; Solinas, Marta; Parolaro, Daniela [Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Section of Pharmacology, Center of Neuroscience, University of Insubria, Via A. da Giussano 10, 20152 Busto Arsizio, Varese (Italy)

    2010-05-26

    Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa, have been shown to exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects on a wide spectrum of tumor cells and tissues. Of interest, cannabinoids have displayed great potency in reducing the growth of glioma tumors, one of the most aggressive CNS tumors, either in vitro or in animal experimental models curbing the growth of xenografts generated by subcutaneous or intrathecal injection of glioma cells in immune-deficient mice. Cannabinoids appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of non-transformed cells. This review will summarize the anti-cancer properties that cannabinoids exert on gliomas and discuss their potential action mechanisms that appear complex, involving modulation of multiple key cell signaling pathways and induction of oxidative stress in glioma cells.

  7. Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Antitumor Activity of Cannabinoids on Gliomas: Role for Oxidative Stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Massi, Paola; Valenti, Marta; Solinas, Marta; Parolaro, Daniela

    2010-01-01

    Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa, have been shown to exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects on a wide spectrum of tumor cells and tissues. Of interest, cannabinoids have displayed great potency in reducing the growth of glioma tumors, one of the most aggressive CNS tumors, either in vitro or in animal experimental models curbing the growth of xenografts generated by subcutaneous or intrathecal injection of glioma cells in immune-deficient mice. Cannabinoids appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of non-transformed cells. This review will summarize the anti-cancer properties that cannabinoids exert on gliomas and discuss their potential action mechanisms that appear complex, involving modulation of multiple key cell signaling pathways and induction of oxidative stress in glioma cells

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Antitumor Activity of Cannabinoids on Gliomas: Role for Oxidative Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Massi

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa, have been shown to exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects on a wide spectrum of tumor cells and tissues. Of interest, cannabinoids have displayed great potency in reducing the growth of glioma tumors, one of the most aggressive CNS tumors, either in vitro or in animal experimental models curbing the growth of xenografts generated by subcutaneous or intrathecal injection of glioma cells in immune-deficient mice. Cannabinoids appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of non-transformed cells. This review will summarize the anti-cancer properties that cannabinoids exert on gliomas and discuss their potential action mechanisms that appear complex, involving modulation of multiple key cell signaling pathways and induction of oxidative stress in glioma cells.

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

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    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Possible mechanisms involved in the vasorelaxant effect produced by clobenzorex in aortic segments of rats

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    J. Lozano-Cuenca

    Full Text Available Clobenzorex is a metabolic precursor of amphetamine indicated for the treatment of obesity. Amphetamines have been involved with cardiovascular side effects such as hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the direct application of 10–9–10–5 M clobenzorex on isolated phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings produces vascular effects, and if so, what mechanisms may be involved. Clobenzorex produced an immediate concentration-dependent vasorelaxant effect at the higher concentrations (10–7.5–10–5 M. The present outcome was not modified by 10–6 M atropine (an antagonist of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, 3.1×10–7 M glibenclamide (an ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker, 10–3 M 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; a voltage-activated K+ channel blocker, 10–5 M indomethacin (a prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor, 10–5 M clotrimazole (a cytochrome P450 inhibitor or 10–5 M cycloheximide (a general protein synthesis inhibitor. Contrarily, the clobenzorex-induced vasorelaxation was significantly attenuated (P<0.05 by 10–5 M L-NAME (a direct inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, 10–7 M ODQ (an inhibitor of nitric oxide-sensitive guanylyl cyclase, 10–6 M KT 5823 (an inhibitor of protein kinase G, 10–2 M TEA (a Ca2+-activated K+ channel blocker and non-specific voltage-activated K+ channel blocker and 10–7 M apamin plus 10–7 M charybdotoxin (blockers of small- and large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, respectively, and was blocked by 8×10–2 M potassium (a high concentration and removal of the vascular endothelium. These results suggest that the direct vasorelaxant effect by clobenzorex on phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings involved stimulation of the NO/cGMP/PKG/Ca2+-activated K+ channel pathway.

  12. A host defense mechanism involving CFTR-mediated bicarbonate secretion in bacterial prostatitis.

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    Chen Xie

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prostatitis is associated with a characteristic increase in prostatic fluid pH; however, the underlying mechanism and its physiological significance have not been elucidated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study a primary culture of rat prostatic epithelial cells and a rat prostatitis model were used. Here we reported the involvement of CFTR, a cAMP-activated anion channel conducting both Cl(- and HCO(3(-, in mediating prostate HCO(3(- secretion and its possible role in bacterial killing. Upon Escherichia coli (E. coli-LPS challenge, the expression of CFTR and carbonic anhydrase II (CA II, along with several pro-inflammatory cytokines was up-regulated in the primary culture of rat prostate epithelial cells. Inhibiting CFTR function in vitro or in vivo resulted in reduced bacterial killing by prostate epithelial cells or the prostate. High HCO(3(- content (>50 mM, rather than alkaline pH, was found to be responsible for bacterial killing. The direct action of HCO(3(- on bacterial killing was confirmed by its ability to increase cAMP production and suppress bacterial initiation factors in E. coli. The relevance of the CFTR-mediated HCO(3(- secretion in humans was demonstrated by the upregulated expression of CFTR and CAII in human prostatitis tissues. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The CFTR and its mediated HCO(3(- secretion may be up-regulated in prostatitis as a host defense mechanism.

  13. A non-cardiomyocyte autonomous mechanism of cardioprotection involving the SLO1 BK channel

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    Andrew P. Wojtovich

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Opening of BK-type Ca2+ activated K+ channels protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion (IR injury. However, the location of BK channels responsible for cardioprotection is debated. Herein we confirmed that openers of the SLO1 BK channel, NS1619 and NS11021, were protective in a mouse perfused heart model of IR injury. As anticipated, deletion of the Slo1 gene blocked this protection. However, in an isolated cardiomyocyte model of IR injury, protection by NS1619 and NS11021 was insensitive to Slo1 deletion. These data suggest that protection in intact hearts occurs by a non-cardiomyocyte autonomous, SLO1-dependent, mechanism. In this regard, an in-situ assay of intrinsic cardiac neuronal function (tachycardic response to nicotine revealed that NS1619 preserved cardiac neurons following IR injury. Furthermore, blockade of synaptic transmission by hexamethonium suppressed cardioprotection by NS1619 in intact hearts. These results suggest that opening SLO1 protects the heart during IR injury, via a mechanism that involves intrinsic cardiac neurons. Cardiac neuronal ion channels may be useful therapeutic targets for eliciting cardioprotection.

  14. Protein Machineries Involved in the Attachment of Heme to Cytochrome c: Protein Structures and Molecular Mechanisms

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    Carlo Travaglini-Allocatelli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytochromes c (Cyt c are ubiquitous heme-containing proteins, mainly involved in electron transfer processes, whose structure and functions have been and still are intensely studied. Surprisingly, our understanding of the molecular mechanism whereby the heme group is covalently attached to the apoprotein (apoCyt in the cell is still largely unknown. This posttranslational process, known as Cyt c biogenesis or Cyt c maturation, ensures the stereospecific formation of the thioether bonds between the heme vinyl groups and the cysteine thiols of the apoCyt heme binding motif. To accomplish this task, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have evolved distinctive protein machineries composed of different proteins. In this review, the structural and functional properties of the main maturation apparatuses found in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells will be presented, dissecting the Cyt c maturation process into three functional steps: (i heme translocation and delivery, (ii apoCyt thioreductive pathway, and (iii apoCyt chaperoning and heme ligation. Moreover, current hypotheses and open questions about the molecular mechanisms of each of the three steps will be discussed, with special attention to System I, the maturation apparatus found in gram-negative bacteria.

  15. Involvement of adrenergic and serotonergic nervous mechanisms in allethrin-induced tremors in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, M; Obana, N; Yagasaki, O; Yanagiya, I

    1984-05-01

    Oral or intravenous administration of allethrin, a synthetic derivative of the pirethrin-based insecticides, produces neurotoxic symptoms consisting of mild salivation, hyperexcitability, tremors and convulsions which result in death. Intracerebroventricular injection of allethrin to mouse at about one-nineth the dose of intravenous administration, produced qualitatively identical but less prominent symptoms, indicating that at least some of the symptoms may be originated in the central nervous system. To investigate the mechanism of action of the compound, we studied the ability of agents which alter neurotransmission to prevent or potentiate the effect of convulsive doses of technical grade (15.5% cis, 84.5% trans) allethrin. Intraperitoneal pretreatment with drugs which block noradrenergic receptors or norepinephrine synthesis, such as pentobarbital, chlorpromazine, phentolamine, phenoxybenzamine and reserpine, depressed the tremor induced by allethrin. The inhibitory effect of reserpine was reversed by phenylephrine. Both the serotonergic blocker, methysergide, and the serotonin depletor, rho-chlorphenylalanine, potentiated the effect of allethrin. The potentiating effect of methysergide was antagonized by 5-hydroxytryptamine. However, intracerebroventricular administration of methysergide was ineffective in potentiating the effect of allethrin. alpha 2- and beta-adrenoceptor blockers, muscarinic antagonists, GABA mimenergics and morphine had no effect. These results suggest that allethrin produces its neurotoxic responses in mice by acting on the brain and spinal levels. Furthermore, adrenergic excitatory and serotonergic inhibitory mechanisms may be involved in the neural pathway through which the allethrin-induced tremor is evoked.

  16. MGMT expression: insights into its regulation. 1. Epigenetic factors

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    Iatsyshyna A. P.

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT is the DNA repair enzyme responsible for removing of alkylation adducts from the O6-guanine in DNA. Despite MGMT prevents mutations and cell death, this enzyme can provide resistance of cancer cells to alkylating agents of chemotherapy. The high intra- and inter-individual variations in the human MGMT expression level have been observed indicating to a complicated regulation of this gene. This review is focused on the study of epigenetic factors which could be potentially involved in regulation of the human MGMT gene expression. These include chromatin remodeling via histone modifications and DNA methylation of promoter region and gene body, as well as RNA-based mechanisms, alternative splicing, protein post- translational modifications, and other.

  17. 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.