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Sample records for frequent epigenetic inactivation

  1. OPCML is a broad tumor suppressor for multiple carcinomas and lymphomas with frequently epigenetic inactivation.

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    Yan Cui

    Full Text Available Identification of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs silenced by CpG methylation uncovers the molecular mechanism of tumorigenesis and potential tumor biomarkers. Loss of heterozygosity at 11q25 is common in multiple tumors including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC. OPCML, located at 11q25, is one of the downregulated genes we identified through digital expression subtraction.Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed frequent OPCML silencing in NPC and other common tumors, with no homozygous deletion detected by multiplex differential DNA-PCR. Instead, promoter methylation of OPCML was frequently detected in multiple carcinoma cell lines (nasopharyngeal, esophageal, lung, gastric, colon, liver, breast, cervix, prostate, lymphoma cell lines (non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma, nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma and primary tumors, but not in any non-tumor cell line and seldom weakly methylated in normal epithelial tissues. Pharmacological and genetic demethylation restored OPCML expression, indicating a direct epigenetic silencing. We further found that OPCML is stress-responsive, but this response is epigenetically impaired when its promoter becomes methylated. Ecotopic expression of OPCML led to significant inhibition of both anchorage-dependent and -independent growth of carcinoma cells with endogenous silencing.Thus, through functional epigenetics, we identified OPCML as a broad tumor suppressor, which is frequently inactivated by methylation in multiple malignancies.

  2. Frequent epigenetic inactivation of RASSF2 in thyroid cancer and functional consequences

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    Hornung Juliane

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Ras association domain family (RASSF encodes for distinct tumor suppressors and several members are frequently silenced in human cancer. In our study, we analyzed the role of RASSF2, RASSF3, RASSF4, RASSF5A, RASSF5C and RASSF6 and the effectors MST1, MST2 and WW45 in thyroid carcinogenesis. Results Frequent methylation of the RASSF2 and RASSF5A CpG island promoters in thyroid tumors was observed. RASSF2 was methylated in 88% of thyroid cancer cell lines and in 63% of primary thyroid carcinomas. RASSF2 methylation was significantly increased in primary thyroid carcinoma compared to normal thyroid, goiter and follicular adenoma (0%, 17% and 0%, respectively; p RASSF2 in their primary thyroid tumors compared to those younger than 40 years (90% vs. 38%; p RASSF2 promoter hypermethylation correlated with its reduced expression and treatment with a DNA methylation inhibitor reactivated RASSF2 transcription. Over-expression of RASSF2 reduced colony formation of thyroid cancer cells. Functionally our data show that RASSF2 interacts with the proapoptotic kinases MST1 and MST2 and induces apoptosis in thyroid cancer cell lines. Deletion of the MST interaction domain of RASSF2 reduced apoptosis significantly (p Conclusion These results suggest that RASSF2 encodes a novel epigenetically inactivated candidate tumor suppressor gene in thyroid carcinogenesis.

  3. Frequent epigenetic inactivation of the SLIT2 gene in chronic and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

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    Dunwell, Thomas L; Dickinson, Rachel E; Stankovic, Tatjana; Dallol, Ashraf; Weston, Victoria; Austen, Belinda; Catchpoole, Daniel; Maher, Eamonn R; Latif, Farida

    2009-05-16

    Recently a mouse model of T/natural killer acute lymphoblastic leukemia was used to assess global promoter methylation across the mouse genome using the restriction landmark genomic scanning technique. One of the methylated mouse genes identified in this way was Slit2. There are three mammalian SLIT genes (SLIT1, SLIT2, SLIT3), that belong to a highly conserved family of axon guidance molecules. We have previously demonstrated that SLIT2 is frequently inactivated in lung, breast, colorectal and glioma tumors by hypermethylation of a CpG island in its promoter region, whilst inactivating somatic mutations are rare. Furthermore, we demonstrated that SLIT2 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in breast and colorectal cancer cells. In this report we determined the methylation status of the SLIT2 gene in leukemias (CLL and ALL). SLIT2 was methylated in all ten leukemia cell lines analyzed (eight completely and two partially methylated). SLIT2 expression was restored after treating ALL lines with 5-aza-2dC. In primary ALL and CLL samples, SLIT2 was also frequently methylated, 58% (30/52) B-ALL; 83% (10/12) T-ALL and in 80% (24/30) CLL. Whilst DNA from peripheral blood and bone marrow from healthy control samples showed no SLIT2 methylation. Methylation results in leukemia cell lines and ALL and CLL primary samples were confirmed by direct sequencing of bisulfite modified DNA. Our results demonstrate that methylation of the SLIT2 5' CpG island is conserved between mice and humans, and therefore is likely to be of functional importance.

  4. Frequent epigenetic inactivation of KIBRA, an upstream member of the Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) tumor suppressor network, is associated with specific genetic event in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia.

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    Hill, Victoria K; Dunwell, Thomas L; Catchpoole, Daniel; Krex, Dietmar; Brini, Anna T; Griffiths, Mike; Craddock, Charles; Maher, Eamonn R; Latif, Farida

    2011-03-01

    The WW-domain containing protein KIBRA has recently been identified as a new member of the Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) pathway in Drosophila and is shown to act as a tumor suppressor gene in Drosophila. This pathway is conserved in humans and members of the pathway have been shown to act as tumor suppressor genes in mammalian systems. We determined the methylation status of the 5' CpG island associated with the KIBRA gene in human cancers. In a large panel of cancer cell lines representing common epithelial cancers KIBRA was unmethylated. But in pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) cell lines KIBRA showed frequent hypermethylation and silencing of gene expression, which could be reversed by treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. In ALL patient samples KIBRA was methylated in 70% B-ALL but was methylated in < 20% T-ALL leukemia (p = 0.0019). In B-ALL KIBRA methylation was associated with ETV6/RUNX1 [t(12;21) (p13;q22)] chromosomal translocation (p = 0.0082) phenotype, suggesting that KIBRA may play an important role in t(12;21) leukemogenesis. In ALL paired samples at diagnosis and remission KIBRA methylation was seen in diagnostic but not in any of the remission samples accompanied by loss of KIBRA expression in disease state compared to patients in remission. Hence KIBRA methylation occurs frequently in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia but not in epithelial cancers and is linked to specific genetic event in B-ALL.

  5. Epigenetic inactivation of SLIT2 in human hepatocellular carcinomas.

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    Jin, Jie; You, Haiyan; Yu, Bin; Deng, Yun; Tang, Ning; Yao, Genfu; Shu, Huiqun; Yang, Shengli; Qin, Wenxin

    2009-01-30

    Recent findings have shown that SLIT2 appears to function as a novel tumor suppressor gene. In addition, hypermethylation of its promoter region has been detected in various cancers, including breast and lung cancer, colorectal carcinoma, and gliomas. Here, we report for the first time that there is epigenetic silencing of SLIT2 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Downregulation of SLIT2 was detected in 6 of 8 (75%) HCC cell lines by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), and the downregulation of SLIT2 was generally dependent on the degree of methylation at the promoter region. Furthermore, expression of SLIT2 was restored in relatively low-expressing cell lines after treatment with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC). Downregulation of SLIT2 expression was also detected in 45 of 54 primary HCC samples (83.3%), and the decrease in expression was significantly correlated with CpG island hypermethylation. This decrease of SLIT2 expression was also associated with lymph node metastasis in HCC. Moreover, overexpression of SLIT2 in SMMC-7721 cells induced by recombinant adenovirus suppressed cell growth, migration, and invasion, These results suggest that epigenetic inactivation of SLIT2 in HCC may be important in the development and progression of HCC. Thus, SLIT2 may be useful as a therapeutic target in the treatment of HCC.

  6. The role of epigenetic inactivation of 14-3-3σin human cancer

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    Dmitri LODYGIN; Heiko HERMEKING

    2005-01-01

    Cancer cells show characteristic alterations in DNA methylation patterns. Aberrant CpG methylation of specific promoters results in inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and therefore plays an important role in carcinogenesis. The p53-regulated gene 14-3-3σ undergoes frequent epigenetic silencing in several types of cancer, including carcinoma of the breast, prostate, and skin, suggesting that the loss of 14-3-3σ expression may be causally involved in tumor progression.Functional studies demonstrated that 14-3-3σ is involved in cell-cycle control and prevents the accumulation of chromosomal damage. The recent identification of novel 14-3-3σ-associated proteins by a targeted proteomics approach implies that 14-3-3σ regulates diverse cellular processes, which may become deregulated after silencing of 14-3-3σ expression in cancer cells.

  7. Chromatin inactivation precedes de novo dna methylation during the progressive epigenetic silencing of the rassf1a promoter

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    Strunnikova Maria; Schagdarsurengin, Undraga; Kehlen, Astrid; Garbe, James C.; Stampfer, Martha R.; Dammann, Reinhard

    2005-02-23

    Epigenetic inactivation of the RASSF1A tumor suppressor by CpG island methylation was frequently detected in cancer. However, the mechanisms of this aberrant DNA methylation are unknown. In the RASSF1A promoter, we characterized four Sp1 sites, which are frequently methylated in cancer. We examined the functional relationship between DNA methylation, histone modification, Sp1 binding, and RASSF1A expression in proliferating human mammary epithelial cells. With increasing passages, the transcription of RASSF1A was dramatically silenced. This inactivation was associated with deacetylation and lysine 9 trimethylation of histone H3 and an impaired binding of Sp1 at the RASSF1A promoter. In mammary epithelial cells that had overcome a stress-associated senescence barrier, a spreading of DNA methylation in the CpG island promoter was observed. When the RASSF1A-silenced cells were treated with inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase, binding of Sp1 and expression of RASSF1 A reoccurred. In summary, we observed that histone H3 deacetylation and H3 lysine 9 trimethylation occur in the same time window as gene inactivation and precede DNA methylation. Our data suggest that in epithelial cells, histone inactivation may trigger de novo DNA methylation of the RASSF1A promoter and this system may serve as a model for CpG island inactivation of tumor suppressor genes.

  8. X-inactivation and X-reactivation: epigenetic hallmarks of mammalian reproduction and pluripotent stem cells.

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    Payer, Bernhard; Lee, Jeannie T; Namekawa, Satoshi H

    2011-08-01

    X-chromosome inactivation is an epigenetic hallmark of mammalian development. Chromosome-wide regulation of the X-chromosome is essential in embryonic and germ cell development. In the male germline, the X-chromosome goes through meiotic sex chromosome inactivation, and the chromosome-wide silencing is maintained from meiosis into spermatids before the transmission to female embryos. In early female mouse embryos, X-inactivation is imprinted to occur on the paternal X-chromosome, representing the epigenetic programs acquired in both parental germlines. Recent advances revealed that the inactive X-chromosome in both females and males can be dissected into two elements: repeat elements versus unique coding genes. The inactive paternal X in female preimplantation embryos is reactivated in the inner cell mass of blastocysts in order to subsequently allow the random form of X-inactivation in the female embryo, by which both Xs have an equal chance of being inactivated. X-chromosome reactivation is regulated by pluripotency factors and also occurs in early female germ cells and in pluripotent stem cells, where X-reactivation is a stringent marker of naive ground state pluripotency. Here we summarize recent progress in the study of X-inactivation and X-reactivation during mammalian reproduction and development as well as in pluripotent stem cells.

  9. Epigenetic inactivation of the CpG demethylase TET1 as a DNA methylation feedback loop in human cancers

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    Li, Lili; Li, Chen; Mao, Haitao; Du, Zhenfang; Chan, Wai Yee; Murray, Paul; Luo, Bing; Chan, Anthony TC; Mok, Tony SK; Chan, Francis KL; Ambinder, Richard F; Tao, Qian

    2016-01-01

    Promoter CpG methylation is a fundamental regulatory process of gene expression. TET proteins are active CpG demethylases converting 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, with loss of 5 hmC as an epigenetic hallmark of cancers, indicating critical roles of TET proteins in epigenetic tumorigenesis. Through analysis of tumor methylomes, we discovered TET1 as a methylated target, and further confirmed its frequent downregulation/methylation in cell lines and primary tumors of multiple carcinomas and lymphomas, including nasopharyngeal, esophageal, gastric, colorectal, renal, breast and cervical carcinomas, as well as non-Hodgkin, Hodgkin and nasal natural killer/T-cell lymphomas, although all three TET family genes are ubiquitously expressed in normal tissues. Ectopic expression of TET1 catalytic domain suppressed colony formation and induced apoptosis of tumor cells of multiple tissue types, supporting its role as a broad bona fide tumor suppressor. Furthermore, TET1 catalytic domain possessed demethylase activity in cancer cells, being able to inhibit the CpG methylation of tumor suppressor gene (TSG) promoters and reactivate their expression, such as SLIT2, ZNF382 and HOXA9. As only infrequent mutations of TET1 have been reported, compared to TET2, epigenetic silencing therefore appears to be the dominant mechanism for TET1 inactivation in cancers, which also forms a feedback loop of CpG methylation during tumorigenesis. PMID:27225590

  10. Epigenetic inactivation of the MIR129-2 in hematological malignancies

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    Wong Kwan-Yeung

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MIR129-2 has been shown to be a tumor suppressor microRNA hypermethylated in epithelial cancers. Patients and methods Epigenetic inactivation of MIR129-2 was studied by methylation-specific PCR (MSP in 13 cell lines (eight myeloma and five lymphoma, 15 normal controls and 344 primary samples including acute myeloid leukemia (AML, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL, multiple myeloma (MM at diagnosis, MM at relapse/progression, and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS. Expression of MIR129 and its target, SOX4, in cell lines was measured before and after hypomethylating treatment and MIR129 overexpression. MIR129 expression was correlated with MIR129-2 methylation status in primary lymphoma samples. Tumor suppressor function of MIR129 was demonstrated by MTT and trypan blue exclusion assay after MIR129 overexpression. Results The sensitivity of the methylated-MSP was one in 103. Different MSP statuses, including complete methylation, partial methylation, and complete unmethylation, were verified by quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing. All five lymphoma and seven of eight myeloma cell lines showed complete and partial MIR129-2 methylation. In primary samples, MIR129-2 methylation was absent in AML and CML, but detected in 5% ALL, 45.9% CLL, 49.5% MM at diagnosis, and 59.1% NHL. In CLL, MIR129-2 methylation adversely impacted on survival (p=0.004. In MM, MIR129-2 methylation increased from 27.5% MGUS to 49.5% MM at diagnosis and 41.5% at relapse/progression (p=0.023. In NHL, MIR129-2 methylation was associated with MIR124-1 and MIR203 methylation (pMIR129 expression (p=0.009. Hypomethylation treatment of JEKO-1, homozygously methylated for MIR129-2, led to MIR129-2 demethylation and MIR129 re-expression, with downregulation of SOX4 mRNA. Moreover, MIR129 overexpression in both mantle cell lines, JEKO-1 and GRANTA

  11. Epigenetic inactivation of TWIST2 in acute lymphoblastic leukemia modulates proliferation, cell survival and chemosensitivity

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    Thathia, Shabnam H.; Ferguson, Stuart; Gautrey, Hannah E.; van Otterdijk, Sanne D.; Hili, Michela; Rand, Vikki; Moorman, Anthony V.; Meyer, Stefan; Brown, Robert; Strathdee, Gordon

    2012-01-01

    Background Altered regulation of many transcription factors has been shown to be important in the development of leukemia. TWIST2 modulates the activity of a number of important transcription factors and is known to be a regulator of hematopoietic differentiation. Here, we investigated the significance of epigenetic regulation of TWIST2 in the control of cell growth and survival and in response to cytotoxic agents in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Design and Methods TWIST2 promoter methylation status was assessed quantitatively, by combined bisulfite and restriction analysis (COBRA) and pyrosequencing assays, in multiple types of leukemia and TWIST2 expression was determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis. The functional role of TWIST2 in cell proliferation, survival and response to chemotherapy was assessed in transient and stable expression systems. Results We found that TWIST2 was inactivated in more than 50% of cases of childhood and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia through promoter hypermethylation and that this epigenetic regulation was especially prevalent in RUNX1-ETV6-driven cases. Re-expression of TWIST2 in cell lines resulted in a dramatic reduction in cell growth and induction of apoptosis in the Reh cell line. Furthermore, re-expression of TWIST2 resulted in increased sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agents etoposide, daunorubicin and dexamethasone and TWIST2 hypermethylation was almost invariably found in relapsed adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (91% of samples hypermethylated). Conclusions This study suggests a dual role for epigenetic inactivation of TWIST2 in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, initially through altering cell growth and survival properties and subsequently by increasing resistance to chemotherapy. PMID:22058208

  12. High-resolution analysis of epigenetic changes associated with X inactivation.

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    Marks, Hendrik; Chow, Jennifer C; Denissov, Sergei; Françoijs, Kees-Jan; Brockdorff, Neil; Heard, Edith; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G

    2009-08-01

    Differentiation of female murine ES cells triggers silencing of one X chromosome through X-chromosome inactivation (XCI). Immunofluorescence studies showed that soon after Xist RNA coating the inactive X (Xi) undergoes many heterochromatic changes, including the acquisition of H3K27me3. However, the mechanisms that lead to the establishment of heterochromatin remain unclear. We first analyze chromatin changes by ChIP-chip, as well as RNA expression, around the X-inactivation center (Xic) in female and male ES cells, and their day 4 and 10 differentiated derivatives. A dynamic epigenetic landscape is observed within the Xic locus. Tsix repression is accompanied by deposition of H3K27me3 at its promoter during differentiation of both female and male cells. However, only in female cells does an active epigenetic landscape emerge at the Xist locus, concomitant with high Xist expression. Several regions within and around the Xic show unsuspected chromatin changes, and we define a series of unusual loci containing highly enriched H3K27me3. Genome-wide ChIP-seq analyses show a female-specific quantitative increase of H3K27me3 across the X chromosome as XCI proceeds in differentiating female ES cells. Using female ES cells with nonrandom XCI and polymorphic X chromosomes, we demonstrate that this increase is specific to the Xi by allele-specific SNP mapping of the ChIP-seq tags. H3K27me3 becomes evenly associated with the Xi in a chromosome-wide fashion. A selective and robust increase of H3K27me3 and concomitant decrease in H3K4me3 is observed over active genes. This indicates that deposition of H3K27me3 during XCI is tightly associated with the act of silencing of individual genes across the Xi.

  13. Exome sequencing identifies frequent inactivating mutations in BAP1, ARID1A and PBRM1 in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas

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    Selaru, Florin M; Streppel, Mirte M; Lucas, Donald J; Niknafs, Noushin; Guthrie, Violeta Beleva; Maitra, Anirban; Argani, Pedram; Offerhaus, G Johan A; Roa, Juan Carlos; Roberts, Lewis R; Gores, Gregory J; Popescu, Irinel; Alexandrescu, Sorin T; Dima, Simona; Fassan, Matteo; Simbolo, Michele; Mafficini, Andrea; Capelli, Paola; Lawlor, Rita T; Ruzzenente, Andrea; Guglielmi, Alfredo; Tortora, Giampaolo; de Braud, Filippo; Scarpa, Aldo; Jarnagin, William; Klimstra, David; Karchin, Rachel; Velculescu, Victor E; Hruban, Ralph H; Vogelstein, Bert; Kinzler, Kenneth W; Papadopoulos, Nickolas; Wood, Laura D

    2014-01-01

    Through exomic sequencing of 32 intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, we discovered frequent inactivating mutations in multiple chromatin-remodeling genes (including BAP1, ARID1A and PBRM1), and mutation in one of these genes occurred in almost half of the carcinomas sequenced. We also identified frequent mutations at previously reported hotspots in the IDH1 and IDH2 genes encoding metabolic enzymes in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas. In contrast, TP53 was the most frequently altered gene in a series of nine gallbladder carcinomas. These discoveries highlight the key role of dysregulated chromatin remodeling in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas. PMID:24185509

  14. Genetic and epigenetic inactivation of Kruppel-like factor 4 in medulloblastoma.

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    Nakahara, Yukiko; Northcott, Paul A; Li, Meihua; Kongkham, Paul N; Smith, Christian; Yan, Hai; Croul, Sidney; Ra, Young-Shin; Eberhart, Charles; Huang, Annie; Bigner, Darell; Grajkowska, Wesia; Van Meter, Timothy; Rutka, James T; Taylor, Michael D

    2010-01-01

    Although medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric malignant brain tumor, its molecular underpinnings are largely unknown. We have identified rare, recurrent homozygous deletions of Kruppel-like Factor 4 (KLF4) in medulloblastoma using high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, digital karyotyping, and genomic real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Furthermore, we show that there is loss of physiological KLF4 expression in more than 40% of primary medulloblastomas both at the RNA and protein levels. Medulloblastoma cell lines drastically increase the expression of KLF4 in response to the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine and demonstrate dense methylation of the promoter CpG island by bisulfite sequencing. Methylation-specific PCR targeting the KLF4 promoter demonstrates CpG methylation in approximately 16% of primary medulloblastomas. Reexpression of KLF4 in the D283 medulloblastoma cell line results in significant growth suppression both in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that KLF4 is inactivated by either genetic or epigenetic mechanisms in a large subset of medulloblastomas and that it likely functions as a tumor suppressor gene in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma.

  15. Genetic and Epigenetic Inactivation of Kruppel-like Factor 4 in Medulloblastoma

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    Yukiko Nakahara

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric malignant brain tumor, its molecular underpinnings are largely unknown. We have identified rare, recurrent homozygous deletions of Kruppel-like Factor 4 (KLF4 in medulloblastoma using high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, digital karyotyping, and genomic real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Furthermore, we show that there is loss of physiological KLF4 expression in more than 40% of primary medulloblastomas both at the RNA and protein levels. Medulloblastoma cell lines drastically increase the expression of KLF4 in response to the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine and demonstrate dense methylation of the promoter CpG island by bisulfite sequencing. Methylation-specific PCR targeting the KLF4 promoter demonstrates CpG methylation in approximately 16% of primary medulloblastomas. Reexpression of KLF4 in the D283 medulloblastoma cell line results in significant growth suppression both in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that KLF4 is inactivated by either genetic or epigenetic mechanisms in a large subset of medulloblastomas and that it likely functions as a tumor suppressor gene in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma.

  16. NTRK3 is a potential tumor suppressor gene commonly inactivated by epigenetic mechanisms in colorectal cancer.

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    Yanxin Luo

    Full Text Available NTRK3 is a member of the neurotrophin receptor family and regulates cell survival. It appears to be a dependence receptor, and thus has the potential to act as an oncogene or as a tumor suppressor gene. NTRK3 is a receptor for NT-3 and when bound to NT-3 it induces cell survival, but when NT-3 free, it induces apoptosis. We identified aberrantly methylated NTRK3 in colorectal cancers through a genome-wide screen for hypermethylated genes. This discovery led us to assess whether NTRK3 could be a tumor suppressor gene in the colon. NTRK3 is methylated in 60% of colon adenomas and 67% of colon adenocarcinomas. NTRK3 methylation suppresses NTRK3 expression. Reconstitution of NTRK3 induces apoptosis in colorectal cancers, if NT-3 is absent. Furthermore, the loss of NTRK3 expression associates with neoplastic transformation in vitro and in vivo. We also found that a naturally occurring mutant NTRK3 found in human colorectal cancer inhibits the tumor suppressor activity of NTRK3. In summary, our findings suggest NTRK3 is a conditional tumor suppressor gene that is commonly inactivated in colorectal cancer by both epigenetic and genetic mechanisms whose function in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer depends on the expression status of its ligand, NT-3.

  17. NTRK3 Is a Potential Tumor Suppressor Gene Commonly Inactivated by Epigenetic Mechanisms in Colorectal Cancer

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    Luo, Yanxin; Kaz, Andrew M.; Kanngurn, Samornmas; Welsch, Piri; Morris, Shelli M.; Wang, Jianping; Lutterbaugh, James D.; Markowitz, Sanford D.; Grady, William M.

    2013-01-01

    NTRK3 is a member of the neurotrophin receptor family and regulates cell survival. It appears to be a dependence receptor, and thus has the potential to act as an oncogene or as a tumor suppressor gene. NTRK3 is a receptor for NT-3 and when bound to NT-3 it induces cell survival, but when NT-3 free, it induces apoptosis. We identified aberrantly methylated NTRK3 in colorectal cancers through a genome-wide screen for hypermethylated genes. This discovery led us to assess whether NTRK3 could be a tumor suppressor gene in the colon. NTRK3 is methylated in 60% of colon adenomas and 67% of colon adenocarcinomas. NTRK3 methylation suppresses NTRK3 expression. Reconstitution of NTRK3 induces apoptosis in colorectal cancers, if NT-3 is absent. Furthermore, the loss of NTRK3 expression associates with neoplastic transformation in vitro and in vivo. We also found that a naturally occurring mutant NTRK3 found in human colorectal cancer inhibits the tumor suppressor activity of NTRK3. In summary, our findings suggest NTRK3 is a conditional tumor suppressor gene that is commonly inactivated in colorectal cancer by both epigenetic and genetic mechanisms whose function in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer depends on the expression status of its ligand, NT-3. PMID:23874207

  18. Genetic and epigenetic characterization of low-grade gliomas reveals frequent methylation of the MLH3 gene.

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    Lhotska, Halka; Zemanova, Zuzana; Cechova, Hana; Ransdorfova, Sarka; Lizcova, Libuse; Kramar, Filip; Krejcik, Zdenek; Svobodova, Karla; Bystricka, Dagmar; Hrabal, Petr; Dohnalova, Alena; Michalova, Kyra

    2015-11-01

    Diffuse astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas (WHO grade II) are the most common histological subtypes of low-grade gliomas (LGGs). Several molecular and epigenetic markers have been identified that predict tumor progression. Our aim was in detail to investigate the genetic and epigenetic background of LGGs and to identify new markers that might play a role in tumor behavior. Twenty-three patients with oligodendroglioma or oligoastrocytoma (LGO) and 22 patients with diffuse astrocytoma (LGA) were investigated using several molecular-cytogenetic and molecular methods to assess their copy number variations, mutational status and level of promoter methylation. The most frequent findings were a 1p/19q codeletion in 83% of LGO and copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (CN-LOH) of 17p in 72% of LGA. Somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDH1/IDH2) genes were detected in 96% of LGO and 91% of LGA. The O-6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter was methylated in 83% of LGO and 59% of LGA. MutL homolog 3 (MLH3) promoter methylation was observed in 61% of LGO and 27% of LGA. Methylation of the MGMT promoter, 1p/19q codeletion, mutated IDH1, and CN-LOH of 17p were the most frequent genetic aberrations in LGGs. The findings were more diverse in LGA than in LGO. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time description of methylation of the MLH3 gene promoter in LGGs. Further studies are required to determine the role of the methylated MLH3 promoter and the other aberrations detected.

  19. An investigation of the potential for epigenetic inactivation by transcription read-through in a sporadic colorectal cancer.

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    Srivastava, Sameer; Ludwig, Anne K; Wong, Jason W H; Hesson, Luke B

    2016-07-01

    Aberrant transcription read-through of a gene promoter as a result of genetic structural rearrangements can cause the epigenetic inactivation of a neighbouring gene. All reported cases have involved copy number alterations that remove the 3' poly(A) transcription terminator sequence of a gene leading to transcription read-through (TRT) and methylation of the gene promoter of a downstream gene. We aimed to determine whether deletion of poly (A) transcription terminator sequences was associated with the methylation of neighbouring genes in a CRC with extensive copy number alterations. We performed a high resolution CGH array and methylation analysis on a CRC specimen to identify such alterations. Analysis of the CRC using high-resolution CGH identified 6 genes with deletions in the 3' part of the gene that encompassed the poly(A) transcription terminator sequence. Bisulphite sequencing of the promoter region of neighbouring (affected) genes at these six regions showed all candidate genes were unmethylated. Considering the fact that six TRT affected genes in a CRC with multiple deletions show no signs of hypermethylated promoters, it would be fairly appropriate to suggest that epigenetic inactivation by TRT might be a rare phenomenon in sporadic CRCs.

  20. Epigenetic inactivation of Notch-Hes pathway in human B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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    Shao-Qing Kuang

    Full Text Available The Notch pathway can have both oncogenic and tumor suppressor roles, depending on cell context. For example, Notch signaling promotes T cell differentiation and is leukemogenic in T cells, whereas it inhibits early B cell differentiation and acts as a tumor suppressor in B cell leukemia where it induces growth arrest and apoptosis. The regulatory mechanisms that contribute to these opposing roles are not understood. Aberrant promoter DNA methylation and histone modifications are associated with silencing of tumor suppressor genes and have been implicated in leukemogenesis. Using methylated CpG island amplification (MCA/DNA promoter microarray, we identified Notch3 and Hes5 as hypermethylated in human B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL. We investigated the methylation status of other Notch pathway genes by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Notch3, JAG1, Hes2, Hes4 and Hes5 were frequently hypermethylated in B leukemia cell lines and primary B-ALL, in contrast to T-ALL cell lines and patient samples. Aberrant methylation of Notch3 and Hes5 in B-ALL was associated with gene silencing and was accompanied by decrease of H3K4 trimethylation and H3K9 acetylation and gain of H3K9 trimethylation and H3K27 trimethylation. 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment restored Hes5 expression and decreased promoter hypermethylation in most leukemia cell lines and primary B-ALL samples. Restoration of Hes5 expression by lentiviral transduction resulted in growth arrest and apoptosis in Hes5 negative B-ALL cells but not in Hes5 expressing T-ALL cells. These data suggest that epigenetic modifications are implicated in silencing of tumor suppressor of Notch/Hes pathway in B-ALL.

  1. MOXD2, a Gene Possibly Associated with Olfaction, Is Frequently Inactivated in Birds.

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    Goh, Chul Jun; Choi, Dongjin; Park, Dong-Bin; Kim, Hyein; Hahn, Yoonsoo

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate MOXD2 encodes a monooxygenase DBH-like 2 protein that could be involved in neurotransmitter metabolism, potentially during olfactory transduction. Loss of MOXD2 in apes and whales has been proposed to be associated with evolution of olfaction in these clades. We analyzed 57 bird genomes to identify MOXD2 sequences and found frequent loss of MOXD2 in 38 birds. Among the 57 birds, 19 species appeared to have an intact MOXD2 that encoded a full-length protein; 32 birds had a gene with open reading frame-disrupting point mutations and/or exon deletions; and the remaining 6 species did not show any MOXD2 sequence, suggesting a whole-gene deletion. Notably, among 10 passerine birds examined, 9 species shared a common genomic deletion that spanned several exons, implying the gene loss occurred in a common ancestor of these birds. However, 2 closely related penguin species, each of which had an inactive MOXD2, did not share any mutation, suggesting an independent loss after their divergence. Distribution of the 38 birds without an intact MOXD2 in the bird phylogenetic tree clearly indicates that MOXD2 loss is widespread and independent in bird lineages. We propose that widespread MOXD2 loss in some bird lineages may be implicated in the evolution of olfactory perception in these birds.

  2. Promoter hypermethylation of the SFRP2 gene is a high-frequent alteration and tumor-specific epigenetic marker in human breast cancer

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    Knüchel Ruth

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have previously reported that expression of the Wnt antagonist genes SFRP1 and SFRP5 is frequently silenced by promoter hypermethylation in breast cancer. SFRP2 is a further Wnt inhibitor whose expression was recently found being downregulated in various malignancies. Here we investigated whether SFRP2 is also implicated in human breast cancer, and if so whether SFRP2 promoter methylation might serve as a potential tumor biomarker. Methods We analyzed SFRP2 mRNA expression and SFRP2 promoter methylation in 10 breast cell lines, 199 primary breast carcinomas, 20 matched normal breast tissues and 17 cancer-unrelated normal breast tissues using RT-PCR, realtime PCR, methylation-specific PCR and Pyrosequencing, respectively. SFRP2 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray. Proliferation assays after transfection with an SFRP2 expression vector were performed with mammary MCF10A cells. Statistical evaluations were accomplished with SPSS 14.0 software. Results Of the cancerous breast cell lines, 7/8 (88% lacked SFRP2 mRNA expression due to SFRP2 promoter methylation (P SFRP2 expression was substantially restored in most breast cell lines after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and trichostatin A. In primary breast carcinomas SFRP2 protein expression was strongly reduced in 93 of 125 specimens (74%. SFRP2 promoter methylation was detected in 165/199 primary carcinomas (83% whereas all cancer-related and unrelated normal breast tissues were not affected by SFRP2 methylation. SFRP2 methylation was not associated with clinicopathological factors or clinical patient outcome. However, loss of SFRP2 protein expression showed a weak association with unfavorable patient overall survival (P = 0.071. Forced expression of SFRP2 in mammary MCF10A cells substantially inhibited proliferation rates (P = 0.045. Conclusion The SFRP2 gene is a high-frequent target of epigenetic inactivation in human breast

  3. X Chromosome Inactivation and Breast Cancer: Epigenetic Alteration in Tumor Initiation and Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    types of mammary tumors, but not others. For instance, X chromosomal abnormalities appear to be associated with basal-like human breast cancer (BLC...andDNA damage-repair pathways to ensure genome integrity (Deng, 2006; Venkitaraman, 2002). In addition, BRCA1 plays a role in meiotic XY inactivation...find- ing that meiotic XY silencing proceeds by a mechanism involving silencing of unsynapsed DNA (Turner et al., 2006), which is distinct from X

  4. SMG1 Acts as a Novel Potential Tumor Suppressor with Epigenetic Inactivation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

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    Yahui Du

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Suppressor with morphogenetic effect on genitalia family member (SMG1 belongs to a family of phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related kinases and is the main kinase involved in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Recently, SMG1 was suggested as a novel potential tumor suppressor gene, particularly in hypoxic tumors. To investigate the function of SMG1 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML, we performed methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and found that SMG1 was hypermethylated in the promoter region. SMG1 hypermethylation was found in 66% (33/50 of AML samples compared with none (0/14 of the normal controls. SMG1 mRNA was down-regulated in AML patients with hypermethylation status whereas it was readily expressed in patients without methylation. Moreover, treatment of AML cells with demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (decitabine inhibited AML cell growth and induced apoptosis by reversing SMG1 methylation status and restoring SMG1 expression. On the other hand, knockdown of SMG1 by RNA interference inhibited apoptosis. We also found that mTOR expression level was negatively correlated to SMG1 expression in AML patients which indicated that SMG1 and mTOR maybe act antagonistically to regulate AML cell growth. In conclusion, our results indicate that SMG1 acts as a potential tumor suppressor with epigenetic regulation in AML.

  5. Evolution from XIST-independent to XIST-controlled X-chromosome inactivation: epigenetic modifications in distantly related mammals.

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    Julie Chaumeil

    Full Text Available X chromosome inactivation (XCI is the transcriptional silencing of one X in female mammals, balancing expression of X genes between females (XX and males (XY. In placental mammals non-coding XIST RNA triggers silencing of one X (Xi and recruits a characteristic suite of epigenetic modifications, including the histone mark H3K27me3. In marsupials, where XIST is missing, H3K27me3 association seems to have different degrees of stability, depending on cell-types and species. However, the complete suite of histone marks associated with the Xi and their stability throughout cell cycle remain a mystery, as does the evolution of an ancient mammal XCI system. Our extensive immunofluorescence analysis (using antibodies against specific histone modifications in nuclei of mammals distantly related to human and mouse, revealed a general absence from the mammalian Xi territory of transcription machinery and histone modifications associated with active chromatin. Specific repressive modifications associated with XCI in human and mouse were also observed in elephant (a distantly related placental mammal, as was accumulation of XIST RNA. However, in two marsupial species the Xi either lacked these modifications (H4K20me1, or they were restricted to specific windows of the cell cycle (H3K27me3, H3K9me2. Surprisingly, the marsupial Xi was stably enriched for modifications associated with constitutive heterochromatin in all eukaryotes (H4K20me3, H3K9me3. We propose that marsupial XCI is comparable to a system that evolved in the common therian (marsupial and placental ancestor. Silent chromatin of the early inactive X was exapted from neighbouring constitutive heterochromatin and, in early placental evolution, was augmented by the rise of XIST and the stable recruitment of specific histone modifications now classically associated with XCI.

  6. Evolution from XIST-Independent to XIST-Controlled X-Chromosome Inactivation: Epigenetic Modifications in Distantly Related Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koina, Edda; Gilbert, Clément; Robinson, Terence J.; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A.

    2011-01-01

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is the transcriptional silencing of one X in female mammals, balancing expression of X genes between females (XX) and males (XY). In placental mammals non-coding XIST RNA triggers silencing of one X (Xi) and recruits a characteristic suite of epigenetic modifications, including the histone mark H3K27me3. In marsupials, where XIST is missing, H3K27me3 association seems to have different degrees of stability, depending on cell-types and species. However, the complete suite of histone marks associated with the Xi and their stability throughout cell cycle remain a mystery, as does the evolution of an ancient mammal XCI system. Our extensive immunofluorescence analysis (using antibodies against specific histone modifications) in nuclei of mammals distantly related to human and mouse, revealed a general absence from the mammalian Xi territory of transcription machinery and histone modifications associated with active chromatin. Specific repressive modifications associated with XCI in human and mouse were also observed in elephant (a distantly related placental mammal), as was accumulation of XIST RNA. However, in two marsupial species the Xi either lacked these modifications (H4K20me1), or they were restricted to specific windows of the cell cycle (H3K27me3, H3K9me2). Surprisingly, the marsupial Xi was stably enriched for modifications associated with constitutive heterochromatin in all eukaryotes (H4K20me3, H3K9me3). We propose that marsupial XCI is comparable to a system that evolved in the common therian (marsupial and placental) ancestor. Silent chromatin of the early inactive X was exapted from neighbouring constitutive heterochromatin and, in early placental evolution, was augmented by the rise of XIST and the stable recruitment of specific histone modifications now classically associated with XCI. PMID:21541345

  7. Clinical Significance of Epigenetic Inactivation of hMLH1 and BRCA1 in Tunisian Patients with Invasive Breast Carcinoma

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    Sondes Karray-Chouayekh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Aberrant hypermethylation of gene promoter regions is one of the mechanisms for inactivation of tumour suppressor genes in many human cancers including breast carcinoma. In the current study, we aimed to assess by MSP, the methylation pattern of two cancer-related genes involved in DNA repair: hMLH1 (mutL homolog 1, colon cancer, nonpolyposis type 2 (E. coli and BRCA1 (breast cancer 1, early onset in 78 primary breast cancers from Tunisian patients. The methylation frequencies were 24.36% for hMLH1 and 46% for BRCA1. BRCA1 methylation correlated with age at diagnosis (P=.015 and 5-years disease free survival (P=.016 while hMLH1 methylation was more frequent in larger tumors (P=.002 and in presence of distant metastasis (P=.004. Furthermore, methylation of hMLH1 significantly correlated with high level of P53 expression (P=.006 and with overall survival (P=.015 suggesting that silencing of hMLH1 through aberrant promoter methylation could be used as a poor prognosis indicator in breast cancer.

  8. The DNA damage-binding protein XPC is a frequent target for inactivation in squamous cell carcinomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Feraudy, Sebastien; Ridd, Katie; Richards, Lauren M; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Revet, Ingrid; Oh, Dennis; Feeney, Luzviminda; Cleaver, James E

    2010-08-01

    XPC, the main damage-recognition protein responsible for nucleotide excision repair of UVB damage to DNA, is lost or mutated in xeroderma pigmentosum group C (XP-C), a rare inherited disease characterized by high incidence and early onset of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. The high incidence of skin cancers in XP-C patients suggests that loss of expression of XPC protein might also provide a selective advantage for initiation and progression of similar cancers in non XP-C patients in the general population. To test whether XPC is selectively lost in squamous cell carcinomas from non XP-C patients, we examined XPC expression by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray with 244 tissue cores, including in situ and invasive squamous-cell carcinomas (SCCs), keratoacanthoma (KA), and normal skin samples from both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients. We found that XPC expression was lost in 49% of invasive squamous cell carcinomas from immunocompetent patients and 59% from immunosuppressed patients. Loss of expression was correlated with deletions of chromosomal 3p and mutations in the XPC gene. The XPC gene is consequently inactivated or lost in almost half of squamous cell carcinomas from non XP-C patients. Loss or mutation of XPC may be an early event during skin carcinogenesis that provides a selective advantage for initiation and progression of squamous cell carcinomas in non XP-C patients.

  9. DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Profiling of Ewing Sarcoma Primary Tumors Reveal Genes That Are Potential Targets of Epigenetic Inactivation

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    Nikul Patel

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of aberrant DNA methylation in Ewing sarcoma is not completely understood. The methylation status of 503 genes in 52 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded EWS tumors and 3 EWS cell lines was compared to human mesenchymal stem cell primary cultures (hMSCs using bead chip methylation analysis. Relative expression of methylated genes was assessed in 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine-(5-AZA-treated EWS cell lines and in a cohort of primary EWS samples and hMSCs by gene expression and quantitative RT-PCR. 129 genes demonstrated statistically significant hypermethylation in EWS tumors compared to hMSCs. Thirty-six genes were profoundly methylated in EWS and unmethylated in hMSCs. 5-AZA treatment of EWS cell lines resulted in upregulation of expression of hundreds of genes including 162 that were increased by at least 2-fold. The expression of 19 of 36 candidate hypermethylated genes was increased following 5-AZA. Analysis of gene expression from an independent cohort of tumors confirmed decreased expression of six of nineteen hypermethylated genes (AXL, COL1A1, CYP1B1, LYN, SERPINE1, and VCAN. Comparing gene expression and DNA methylation analyses proved to be an effective way to identify genes epigenetically regulated in EWS. Further investigation is ongoing to elucidate the role of these epigenetic alterations in EWS pathogenesis.

  10. 5meCpG epigenetic marks neighboring a primate-conserved core promoter short tandem repeat indicate X-chromosome inactivation.

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    Filipe Brum Machado

    Full Text Available X-chromosome inactivation (XCI is the epigenetic transcriptional silencing of an X-chromosome during the early stages of embryonic development in female eutherian mammals. XCI assures monoallelic expression in each cell and compensation for dosage-sensitive X-linked genes between females (XX and males (XY. DNA methylation at the carbon-5 position of the cytosine pyrimidine ring in the context of a CpG dinucleotide sequence (5meCpG in promoter regions is a key epigenetic marker for transcriptional gene silencing. Using computational analysis, we revealed an extragenic tandem GAAA repeat 230-bp from the landmark CpG island of the human X-linked retinitis pigmentosa 2 RP2 promoter whose 5meCpG status correlates with XCI. We used this RP2 onshore tandem GAAA repeat to develop an allele-specific 5meCpG-based PCR assay that is highly concordant with the human androgen receptor (AR exonic tandem CAG repeat-based standard HUMARA assay in discriminating active (Xa from inactive (Xi X-chromosomes. The RP2 onshore tandem GAAA repeat contains neutral features that are lacking in the AR disease-linked tandem CAG repeat, is highly polymorphic (heterozygosity rates approximately 0.8 and shows minimal variation in the Xa/Xi ratio. The combined informativeness of RP2/AR is approximately 0.97, and this assay excels at determining the 5meCpG status of alleles at the Xp (RP2 and Xq (AR chromosome arms in a single reaction. These findings are relevant and directly translatable to nonhuman primate models of XCI in which the AR CAG-repeat is monomorphic. We conducted the RP2 onshore tandem GAAA repeat assay in the naturally occurring chimeric New World monkey marmoset (Callitrichidae and found it to be informative. The RP2 onshore tandem GAAA repeat will facilitate studies on the variable phenotypic expression of dominant and recessive X-linked diseases, epigenetic changes in twins, the physiology of aging hematopoiesis, the pathogenesis of age-related hematopoietic

  11. Epigenetic Alterations in Parathyroid Cancers

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    Chiara Verdelli

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Parathyroid cancers (PCas are rare malignancies representing approximately 0.005% of all cancers. PCas are a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism, which is the third most common endocrine disease, mainly related to parathyroid benign tumors. About 90% of PCas are hormonally active hypersecreting parathormone (PTH; consequently patients present with complications of severe hypercalcemia. Pre-operative diagnosis is often difficult due to clinical features shared with benign parathyroid lesions. Surgery provides the current best chance of cure, though persistent or recurrent disease occurs in about 50% of patients with PCas. Somatic inactivating mutations of CDC73/HRPT2 gene, encoding parafibromin, are the most frequent genetic anomalies occurring in PCas. Recently, the aberrant DNA methylation signature and microRNA expression profile have been identified in PCas, providing evidence that parathyroid malignancies are distinct entities from parathyroid benign lesions, showing an epigenetic signature resembling some embryonic aspects. The present paper reviews data about epigenetic alterations in PCas, up to now limited to DNA methylation, chromatin regulators and microRNA profile.

  12. Epigenetic Alterations in Parathyroid Cancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdelli, Chiara; Corbetta, Sabrina

    2017-01-01

    Parathyroid cancers (PCas) are rare malignancies representing approximately 0.005% of all cancers. PCas are a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism, which is the third most common endocrine disease, mainly related to parathyroid benign tumors. About 90% of PCas are hormonally active hypersecreting parathormone (PTH); consequently patients present with complications of severe hypercalcemia. Pre-operative diagnosis is often difficult due to clinical features shared with benign parathyroid lesions. Surgery provides the current best chance of cure, though persistent or recurrent disease occurs in about 50% of patients with PCas. Somatic inactivating mutations of CDC73/HRPT2 gene, encoding parafibromin, are the most frequent genetic anomalies occurring in PCas. Recently, the aberrant DNA methylation signature and microRNA expression profile have been identified in PCas, providing evidence that parathyroid malignancies are distinct entities from parathyroid benign lesions, showing an epigenetic signature resembling some embryonic aspects. The present paper reviews data about epigenetic alterations in PCas, up to now limited to DNA methylation, chromatin regulators and microRNA profile. PMID:28157158

  13. Sex differences in brain epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menger, Yannick; Bettscheider, Marc; Murgatroyd, Chris; Spengler, Dietmar

    2010-12-01

    Sexual differentiation of the brain takes place during a perinatal-sensitive time window as a result of gonadal hormone-induced activational and organizational effects on neuronal substrates. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the establishment and maintenance of some aspects of these processes, and that these epigenetic mechanisms may themselves be under the control of sex hormones. Epigenetic programming of neuroendocrine and behavioral phenotypes frequently occurs sex specifically, pointing to sex differences in brain epigenetics as a possible determinant. Understanding how sex-specific epigenomes and sex-biased responses to environmental cues contribute to the development of brain diseases might provide new insights for epigenetic therapy.

  14. Genetic and epigenetic alterations in pancreatic carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  15. SWI/SNF Complex-deficient Undifferentiated/Rhabdoid Carcinomas of the Gastrointestinal Tract: A Series of 13 Cases Highlighting Mutually Exclusive Loss of SMARCA4 and SMARCA2 and Frequent Co-inactivation of SMARCB1 and SMARCA2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agaimy, Abbas; Daum, Ondrej; Märkl, Bruno; Lichtmannegger, Ines; Michal, Michal; Hartmann, Arndt

    2016-04-01

    Undifferentiated gastrointestinal tract carcinomas are rare highly aggressive neoplasms with frequent but not obligatory rhabdoid features. Recent studies showed loss of SMARCB1 (INI1), a core subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, in 50% of tested cases. However, the molecular pathways underlying histologically similar but SMARCB1-intact cases are unknown. We herein analyzed 13 cases for expression of 4 SWI/SNF complex subunits SMARCB1, SMARCA2, SMARCA4, and ARID1A and the mismatch-repair proteins MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 by immunohistochemistry. Patients included 12 men and 1 woman aged 32 to 81 years (median, 57 y). Site of origin was colon (5), small bowel (2), stomach (3), small+large intestine (1), small intestine+ampulla of Vater (1), and esophagogastric junction (1). All tumors showed anaplastic large to medium-sized cells with variable rhabdoid features, pleomorphic giant cells, and, rarely, spindle cell foci. Abortive gland formation was seen in 3 cases and bona fide glandular component in 1 case. Most cases strongly expressed vimentin and variably pancytokeratin. In total, 12/13 cases (92%) showed loss of at least 1 SWI/SNF component. Loss of SMARCB1 (5/13), SMARCA2 (10/13), SMARCA4 (2/13), and ARID1A (2/13) was observed either in combination or isolated. SMARCA2 loss was isolated in 5 cases and coexisted with lost SMARCB1 in 5 cases (all 5 SMARCB1-deficient tumors showed loss of SMARCA2 as well). Co-inactivation of SMARCB1 and SMARCA4 or of SMARCA2 and SMARCA4 was not observed. Two mismatch-repair-deficient cases (MLH1/PMS2) showed concurrent loss of SMARCB1, SMARCA2, and (one of them) ARID1A. This study illustrates for the first time loss of different components of the SWI/SNF complex other than SMARCB1 in undifferentiated gastrointestinal carcinomas including novel SMARCA4-deficient and SMARCA2-deficient cases. Our results underline the close link between SWI/SNF deficiency and the aggressive rhabdoid phenotype. Frequent loss of SMARCA

  16. Identification of an invasion and tumor-suppressing gene, Endoglin (ENG), silenced by both epigenetic inactivation and allelic loss in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Victor Chun Lam; Chan, Pui Ling; Bernabeu, Carmelo; Law, Simon; Wang, Li Dong; Li, Ji-Lin; Tsao, Sai Wah; Srivastava, Gopesh; Lung, Maria Li

    2008-12-15

    Endoglin (ENG) has been identified as a candidate tumor-suppressor gene in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Earlier microcell-mediated chromosome transfer (MMCT) studies of chromosome 9 in ESCC narrowed down a tumor-suppressive critical region to 9q33-34. ENG maps to 9q34-qter and encodes a transformation growth factor beta (TGFbeta) superfamily auxiliary receptor. This study aims to identify the potential role for ENG in ESCC development. Significant downregulation of ENG was detected at frequencies of 87.5% in 16 ESCC cell lines, 39.1% directly in 23 ESCC tumor specimens from Hong Kong, and 33.4% in 18 ESCC tumor specimens from the high-risk ESCC region of Henan, China. By methylation-specific PCR, methylated sequences were detected in an ESCC cell line panel and in clinical specimens. Following demethylation treatment in 9 ESCC cell lines, ENG expression was obviously restored. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in a 4.7 Mb region on 9q32-q34, where ENG maps, was observed directly in ESCC tumor tissues. Both epigenetic methylation and allelic loss appear to contribute to ENG downregulation in tumor cells. In vitro and in vivo functional studies such as colony formation, Matrigel culture, invasion and tumorigenicity assays were performed. Colony formation efficiency was significantly reduced by overexpression of ENG. In addition, significantly smaller colonies of ENG stable transfectants were formed in Matrigel culture. Significant suppression of invasion efficiency and tumorigenicity were also observed, when comparing the ENG stable transfectants with the vector-alone transfectants. This study provides evidence supporting ENG, as a cell invasion and tumor-suppressing gene in ESCC. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. 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

  18. Epigenetic targets of arsenic: emphasis on epigenetic modifications during carcinogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Ram Vinod; Son, Young-Ok; Pratheeshkumar, Poyil; Wang, Lei; Hitron, John Andrew; Divya, Sasidharan Padmaja; D, Rakesh; Kim, Donghern; Yin, Yuanqin; Zhang, Zhuo; Shi, Xianglin

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation and histone modification promote opening and closure of chromatin structure, which affects gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic markers regulate the dynamic nature of chromatin structure at different levels: DNA, histone, noncoding RNAs, as well as the higher-order chromatin structure. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that arsenic-induced carcinogenesis involves frequent changes in the epigenetic marker. However, progress in identifying arsenic-induced epigenetic changes has already been made using genome-wide approaches; the biological significance of these epigenetic changes remains unknown. Moreover, arsenic-induced changes in the chromatin state alter gene expression through the epigenetic mechanism. The current review provides a summary of recent literature regarding epigenetic changes caused by arsenic in carcinogenesis. We highlight the transgenerational studies needed to explicate the biological significance and toxicity of arsenic over a broad spectrum.

  19. Ecological epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  20. Epigenetic regulation in male germ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  1. Claudin11 Promoter Hypermethylation Is Frequent in Malignant Melanoma of the Skin, but Uncommon in Nevus Cell Nevi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walesch, Sara K.; Richter, Antje M. [Institute for Genetics, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, D-35392 Giessen (Germany); Helmbold, Peter [Department of Dermatology, University of Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Dammann, Reinhard H., E-mail: reinhard.dammann@gen.bio.uni-giessen.de [Institute for Genetics, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, D-35392 Giessen (Germany)

    2015-07-07

    Epigenetic inactivation of tumor-related genes is an important characteristic in the pathology of human cancers, including melanomagenesis. We analyzed the epigenetic inactivation of Claudin 11 (CLDN11) in malignant melanoma (MM) of the skin, including six melanoma cell lines, 39 primary melanoma, 41 metastases of MM and 52 nevus cell nevi (NCN). CLDN11 promoter hypermethylation was found in 19 out of 39 (49%) of the primary MM and in 21 out of 41 (51%) of the MM metastases, but only in eight out of 52 (15%) of NCN (p = 0.001 and p = 0.0003, respectively). Moreover, a significant increase in the methylation level of CLDN11 from primary melanomas to MM metastases was revealed (p = 0.003). Methylation of CLDN11 was significantly more frequent in skin metastases (79%) compared to brain metastases (31%; p = 0.007). CLDN11 methylation was also found in five out of six MM cell lines (83%) and its promoter hypermethylation correlated with a reduced expression. Treatment of MM cell lines with a DNA methylation inhibitor reactivated CLDN11 transcription by its promoter demethylation. In summary, CLDN11 proved to be an epigenetically inactivated tumor related gene in melanomagenesis, and analysis of CLDN11 methylation level represents a potential tool for assisting in the discrimination between malignant melanoma and nevus cell nevi.

  2. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Wesley H; Renaudineau, Yves

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Behavioral epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Barry M.; Tronick, Edward; Nestler, Eric; Abel, Ted; Kosofsky, Barry; Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Marsit, Carmen J.; Maze, Ian; Meaney, Michael J.; Monteggia, Lisa M.; Reul, Johannes M. H. M.; Skuse, David H.; Sweatt, J. David; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2013-01-01

    Sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Boston, “Behavioral Epigenetics” was held on October 29–30, 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus Center, Boston, Massachusetts. This meeting featured speakers and panel discussions exploring the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics, from basic biochemical and cellular mechanisms to the epigenetic modulation of normative development, developmental disorders, and psychopathology. This report provides an overview of the research presented by leading scientists and lively discussion about the future of investigation at the behavioral epigenetic level. PMID:21615751

  5. Viral epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milavetz, Barry I; Balakrishnan, Lata

    2015-01-01

    DNA tumor viruses including members of the polyomavirus, adenovirus, papillomavirus, and herpes virus families are presently the subject of intense interest with respect to the role that epigenetics plays in control of the virus life cycle and the transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell. To date, these studies have primarily focused on the role of histone modification, nucleosome location, and DNA methylation in regulating the biological consequences of infection. Using a wide variety of strategies and techniques ranging from simple ChIP to ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq to identify histone modifications, nuclease digestion to genome wide next generation sequencing to identify nucleosome location, and bisulfite treatment to MeDIP to identify DNA methylation sites, the epigenetic regulation of these viruses is slowly becoming better understood. While the viruses may differ in significant ways from each other and cellular chromatin, the role of epigenetics appears to be relatively similar. Within the viral genome nucleosomes are organized for the expression of appropriate genes with relevant histone modifications particularly histone acetylation. DNA methylation occurs as part of the typical gene silencing during latent infection by herpesviruses. In the simple tumor viruses like the polyomaviruses, adenoviruses, and papillomaviruses, transformation of the cell occurs via integration of the virus genome such that the virus's normal regulation is disrupted. This results in the unregulated expression of critical viral genes capable of redirecting cellular gene expression. The redirected cellular expression is a consequence of either indirect epigenetic regulation where cellular signaling or transcriptional dysregulation occurs or direct epigenetic regulation where epigenetic cofactors such as histone deacetylases are targeted. In the more complex herpersviruses transformation is a consequence of the expression of the viral latency proteins and RNAs which again can

  6. Behavioral epigenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Lester, Barry M.; Tronick, Edward; Nestler, Eric; Abel, Ted; Kosofsky, Barry; Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Marsit, Carmen J; Maze, Ian; Meaney, Michael J.; Monteggia, Lisa M.; Reul, Johannes M. H. M.; Skuse, David H.; Sweatt, J. David; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2011-01-01

    Sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Boston, “Behavioral Epigenetics” was held on October 29–30, 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus Center, Boston, Massachusetts. This meeting featured speakers and panel discussions exploring the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics, from basic biochemical and cellular mechanisms to the epigenetic modulation of normative development, devel...

  7. Epigenetic Characterization of Ovarian Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

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

  8. Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian nuclear transfer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Shijie; DU Weihua; LI Ning

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Epigenetic reduction of DNA repair in progression togastrointestinal cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    Deficiencies in DNA repair due to inherited germ-linemutations in DNA repair genes cause increased risk ofgastrointestinal (GI) cancer. In sporadic GI cancers,mutations in DNA repair genes are relatively rare.However, epigenetic alterations that reduce expressionof DNA repair genes are frequent in sporadic GI cancers.These epigenetic reductions are also found in fielddefects that give rise to cancers. Reduced DNA repairlikely allows excessive DNA damages to accumulatein somatic cells. Then either inaccurate translesionsynthesis past the un-repaired DNA damages or errorproneDNA repair can cause mutations. ErroneousDNA repair can also cause epigenetic alterations (i.e. ,epimutations, transmitted through multiple replicationcycles). Some of these mutations and epimutations maycause progression to cancer. Thus, deficient or absentDNA repair is likely an important underlying cause ofcancer. Whole genome sequencing of GI cancers showthat between thousands to hundreds of thousands ofmutations occur in these cancers. Epimutations thatreduce DNA repair gene expression and occur early inprogression to GI cancers are a likely source of this highgenomic instability. Cancer cells deficient in DNA repairare more vulnerable than normal cells to inactivation byDNA damaging agents. Thus, some of the most clinicallyeffective chemotherapeutic agents in cancer treatmentare DNA damaging agents, and their effectivenessoften depends on deficient DNA repair in cancer cells.Recently, at least 18 DNA repair proteins, each activein one of six DNA repair pathways, were found to besubject to epigenetic reduction of expression in GIcancers. Different DNA repair pathways repair differenttypes of DNA damage. Evaluation of which DNA repairpathway(s) are deficient in particular types of GI cancerand/or particular patients may prove useful in guidingchoice of therapeutic agents in cancer therapy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangisetty, Omkaram; Murugan, Sengottuvelan

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Chronic Prostatitis Affects Male Reproductive Health and Is Associated with Systemic and Local Epigenetic Inactivation of C-X-C Motif Chemokine 12 Receptor C-X-C Chemokine Receptor Type 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schagdarsurengin, Undraga; Teuchert, Lisa M; Hagenkötter, Christina; Nesheim, Nils; Dansranjavin, Temuujin; Schuppe, Hans-Christian; Gies, Sabrina; Pilatz, Adrian; Weidner, Wolfgang; Wagenlehner, Florian M E

    2017-01-01

    Background/Aims/Objectives: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) has detrimental effects on the quality of life including the aspect of sexual dysfunction. The aim of the study was to identify if there was an adverse effect on the male genital compartment and if there are systemic or compartment-specific local signals for epigenetic dysregulation of inflammatory factors in CP/CPPS patients.

  12. Epigenetics protocols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela Monti

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Thanks to the creative effort of Prof. Trygve O. Tollefsbol (Dept. of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA we can handle the second edition in just seven years of this must needed volume devoted to the study of the epigenome. In the very same window-time the field of epigenetics is dramatically changed as for the technical tools employed by the pupils of this pervasive discipline: actually there is no one hot topics in biology (e.g., development, differentiation, genomic toxicity and medicine .....

  13. RNA epigenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Nian; Pan, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian messenger and long non-coding RNA contain tens of thousands of post-transcriptional chemical modifications. Among these, the N6-methyl-adenosine (m6A) modification is the most abundant and can be removed by specific mammalian enzymes. M6A modification is recognized by families of RNA binding proteins that affect many aspects of mRNA function. mRNA/lncRNA modification represents another layer of epigenetic regulation of gene expression, analogous to DNA methylation and histone modifi...

  14. Epigenetic changes in colorectal cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Jia; Mingzhou Guo

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-06-05

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

  16. [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

  17. Epigenetic Silencing of Cellular Retinol-Binding Proteins in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Kwong

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Aberrant retinoid signaling in human cancers is extending from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Recently, we have demonstrated frequent epigenetic inactivation of a retinoic acid receptor (RAR, RARβ2, in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC. To further explore targets contributing to aberrant retinoid signaling in NPC, the expression of cellular retinol-binding proteins (CRBPs, cellular retinoic acid-binding proteins (CRABPs, RARs, and retinoid X receptors (RXRs was examined. Apart from RARβ2, transcriptional silencing of two CRBPs, CRBPI and CRBPIV, was observed in NPC cell lines and xenografts. Hypermethylation of CRBPI and CRBPIV CpG islands was found to be closely correlated with the loss of expression. Treatment with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-aza2'-deoxycytidine, resulted in reexpression of CRBPI and CRBPIV gene expression in NPC cell lines. Both CRBPI and CRBPIV hypermethylations were also observed in 43/48 (87.8% and 26/48 (54.2% primary NPC tumors, respectively. Here, we reported for the first time that CRBPIV was transcriptionally inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in human cancer. Simultaneous methylation of CRBPI, CRBPIV, and RARβ2 was commonly found in NPC primary tumors. Our findings implied that epigenetic disruption of the CRBPs, CRBPI and CRBPIV, is important in NPC tumorigenesis and may contribute to the loss of retinoic acid responsiveness in cancer.

  18. [Progress on epigenetics applications in forensic science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-ran; Wang, Peng-xiang; Fang, Xiang-dong; Yan, Jiang-wei

    2012-10-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Such changes include DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation and non-coding RNA regulation. Recent progresses on epigenetics open new possibilities in tackling these challenging problems in forensic science, including identification of fetal paternity testing in embryonic period, determination of the necessary allele in paternity testing, discrimination of identical twins, origination analysis of micro tissue, verification of forged DNA. This review focuses on epigenetics concept and its latest application in the field of paternity testing, age estimation, discrimination between the twins, identification of tissue of origin, and estimation of postmortem interval.

  19. Tumor Suppressor Inactivation in the Pathogenesis of Adult T-Cell Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Nicot

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Tumor suppressor functions are essential to control cellular proliferation, to activate the apoptosis or senescence pathway to eliminate unwanted cells, to link DNA damage signals to cell cycle arrest checkpoints, to activate appropriate DNA repair pathways, and to prevent the loss of adhesion to inhibit initiation of metastases. Therefore, tumor suppressor genes are indispensable to maintaining genetic and genomic integrity. Consequently, inactivation of tumor suppressors by somatic mutations or epigenetic mechanisms is frequently associated with tumor initiation and development. In contrast, reactivation of tumor suppressor functions can effectively reverse the transformed phenotype and lead to cell cycle arrest or death of cancerous cells and be used as a therapeutic strategy. Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL is an aggressive lymphoproliferative disease associated with infection of CD4 T cells by the Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 (HTLV-I. HTLV-I-associated T-cell transformation is the result of a multistep oncogenic process in which the virus initially induces chronic T-cell proliferation and alters cellular pathways resulting in the accumulation of genetic defects and the deregulated growth of virally infected cells. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating the inactivation of tumor suppressors in the pathogenesis of HTLV-I.

  20. Epigenetic memory in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-09-17

    Epigenetics refers to heritable changes in patterns of gene expression that occur without alterations in DNA sequence. The epigenetic mechanisms involve covalent modifications of DNA and histones, which affect transcriptional activity of chromatin. Since chromatin states can be propagated through mitotic and meiotic divisions, epigenetic mechanisms are thought to provide heritable 'cellular memory'. Here, we review selected examples of epigenetic memory in plants and briefly discuss underlying mechanisms.

  1. Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics

    OpenAIRE

    Quadrana, Leandro; Colot, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Transgenerational epigenetics is defined in opposition to developmental epi-genetics and implies an absence of resetting of epigenetic states between generations. Unlike mammals, plants appear to be particularly prone to this type of inheritance. In this review, we summarize our knowledge about trans-generational epigenetics in plants, which entails heritable changes in DNA methylation. We emphasize the role of transposable elements and other repeat sequences in the cr...

  2. Genetic and Epigenetic Discoveries in Human Retinoblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEvoy, Justina D; Dyer, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Retinoblastoma is a rare pediatric cancer of the retina. Nearly all retinoblastomas are initiated through the biallelic inactivation of the retinoblastoma tumor susceptibility gene (RB1). Whole-genome sequencing has made it possible to identify secondary genetic lesions following RB1 inactivation. One of the major discoveries from retinoblastoma sequencing studies is that some retinoblastoma tumors have stable genomes. Subsequent epigenetic studies showed that changes in the epigenome contribute to the rapid progression of retinoblastoma following RB1 gene inactivation. In addition, gene amplification and elevated expression of p53 antagonists, MDM2 and MDM4, may also play an important role in retinoblastoma tumorigenesis. The knowledge gained from these recent molecular, cellular, genomic, and epigenomic analyses are now being integrated to identify new therapeutic approaches that can help save lives and vision in children with retinoblastoma, with fewer long-term side effects.

  3. Gastric cancer and related epigenetic alterations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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 drift, epigenetic clocks and cancer risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shijie C; Widschwendter, Martin; Teschendorff, Andrew E

    2016-05-01

    It is well-established that the DNA methylation landscape of normal cells undergoes a gradual modification with age, termed as 'epigenetic drift'. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of epigenetic drift and its potential role in cancer etiology. We propose a new terminology to help distinguish the different components of epigenetic drift, with the aim of clarifying the role of the epigenetic clock, mitotic clocks and active changes, which accumulate in response to environmental disease risk factors. We further highlight the growing evidence that epigenetic changes associated with cancer risk factors may play an important causal role in cancer development, and that monitoring these molecular changes in normal cells may offer novel risk prediction and disease prevention strategies.

  6. X-linked mental retardation and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. A tissue biopsy-based epigenetic multiplex PCR assay for prostate cancer detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Neste Leander

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background PSA-directed prostate cancer screening leads to a high rate of false positive identifications and an unnecessary biopsy burden. Epigenetic biomarkers have proven useful, exhibiting frequent and abundant inactivation of tumor suppressor genes through such mechanisms. An epigenetic, multiplex PCR test for prostate cancer diagnosis could provide physicians with better tools to help their patients. Biomarkers like GSTP1, APC and RASSF1 have demonstrated involvement with prostate cancer, with the latter two genes playing prominent roles in the field effect. The epigenetic states of these genes can be used to assess the likelihood of cancer presence or absence. Results An initial test cohort of 30 prostate cancer-positive samples and 12 cancer-negative samples was used as basis for the development and optimization of an epigenetic multiplex assay based on the GSTP1, APC and RASSF1 genes, using methylation specific PCR (MSP. The effect of prostate needle core biopsy sample volume and age of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE samples was evaluated on an independent follow-up cohort of 51 cancer-positive patients. Multiplexing affects copy number calculations in a consistent way per assay. Methylation ratios are therefore altered compared to the respective singleplex assays, but the correlation with patient outcome remains equivalent. In addition, tissue-biopsy samples as small as 20 μm can be used to detect methylation in a reliable manner. The age of FFPE-samples does have a negative impact on DNA quality and quantity. Conclusions The developed multiplex assay appears functionally similar to individual singleplex assays, with the benefit of lower tissue requirements, lower cost and decreased signal variation. This assay can be applied to small biopsy specimens, down to 20 microns, widening clinical applicability. Increasing the sample volume can compensate the loss of DNA quality and quantity in older samples.

  9. Epigenetic Impact on EBV Associated B-Cell Lymphomagenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shatadru Ghosh Roy

    2016-11-01

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

  10. X chromosome inactivation is initiated in human preimplantation embryos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Berg, Ilse M; Laven, Joop S E; Stevens, Mary; Jonkers, Iris; Galjaard, Robert-Jan; Gribnau, Joost; van Doorninck, J Hikke

    2009-01-01

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is the mammalian mechanism that compensates for the difference in gene dosage between XX females and XY males. Genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms induce transcriptional silencing of one X chromosome in female cells. In mouse embryos, XCI is initiated at the

  11. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wenyi; Wang, Fengzhong; Yu, Zhongsheng; Xin, Fengjiao

    2016-01-01

    Living eukaryotic systems evolve delicate cellular mechanisms for responding to various environmental signals. Among them, epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs, etc.) is the hub in transducing external stimuli into transcriptional response. Emerging evidence reveals the concept that epigenetic signatures are essential for the proper maintenance of cellular metabolism. On the other hand, the metabolite, a main environmental input, can also influence the processing of epigenetic memory. Here, we summarize the recent research progress in the epigenetic regulation of cellular metabolism and discuss how the dysfunction of epigenetic machineries influences the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity; then, we focus on discussing the notion that manipulating metabolites, the fuel of cell metabolism, can function as a strategy for interfering epigenetic machinery and its related disease progression as well. PMID:27695375

  12. 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...

  13. Epigenetic Regulation of Adipokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tho X. Pham

    2017-08-01

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

  14. Progress in mitochondrial epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manev, Hari; Dzitoyeva, Svetlana

    2013-08-01

    Mitochondria, intracellular organelles with their own genome, have been shown capable of interacting with epigenetic mechanisms in at least four different ways. First, epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the expression of nuclear genome influence mitochondria by modulating the expression of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes. Second, a cell-specific mitochondrial DNA content (copy number) and mitochondrial activity determine the methylation pattern of nuclear genes. Third, mitochondrial DNA variants influence the nuclear gene expression patterns and the nuclear DNA (ncDNA) methylation levels. Fourth and most recent line of evidence indicates that mitochondrial DNA similar to ncDNA also is subject to epigenetic modifications, particularly by the 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine marks. The latter interaction of mitochondria with epigenetics has been termed 'mitochondrial epigenetics'. Here we summarize recent developments in this particular area of epigenetic research. Furthermore, we propose the term 'mitoepigenetics' to include all four above-noted types of interactions between mitochondria and epigenetics, and we suggest a more restricted usage of the term 'mitochondrial epigenetics' for molecular events dealing solely with the intra-mitochondrial epigenetics and the modifications of mitochondrial genome.

  15. Epigenetics and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K

    2016-07-01

    Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer.

  16. Epigenetics and primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Robert; Saul, Robert A

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetics, the study of functionally relevant chemical modifications to DNA that do not involve a change in the DNA nucleotide sequence, is at the interface between research and clinical medicine. Research on epigenetic marks, which regulate gene expression independently of the underlying genetic code, has dramatically changed our understanding of the interplay between genes and the environment. This interplay alters human biology and developmental trajectories, and can lead to programmed human disease years after the environmental exposure. In addition, epigenetic marks are potentially heritable. In this article, we discuss the underlying concepts of epigenetics and address its current and potential applicability for primary care providers.

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms and gastrointestinal development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Integrating evolutionary game theory into epigenetic study of embryonic 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)

    Wang, Zuoheng

    2017-03-01

    DNA methylation is an essential component in the epigenetic regulation of embryonic development, and plays a crucial role in various biological processes, including repression of gene transcription, parent-of-origin genomic imprinting, and X-chromosome inactivation [1-5]. Understanding the epigenetic processes in different stages of embryo development has become an important research topic in the field. It has potential to offer new insight into reproductive medicine and contribute to the improvement of long-term health outcomes.

  19. Photodynamic inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Liliana; Faustino, Maria Amparo F; Neves, Maria Graça P M S; Cunha, Angela; Almeida, Adelaide

    2012-07-01

    Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has been used to inactivate microorganisms through the use of photosensitizers. The inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages by photosensitization has been applied with success since the first decades of the last century. Due to the fact that mammalian viruses are known to pose a threat to public health and that bacteriophages are frequently used as models of mammalian viruses, it is important to know and understand the mechanisms and photodynamic procedures involved in their photoinactivation. The aim of this review is to (i) summarize the main approaches developed until now for the photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophages and mammalian viruses and, (ii) discuss and compare the present state of the art of mammalian viruses PDI with phage photoinactivation, with special focus on the most relevant mechanisms, molecular targets and factors affecting the viral inactivation process.

  20. Photodynamic Inactivation of Mammalian Viruses and Bacteriophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Costa

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Photodynamic inactivation (PDI has been used to inactivate microorganisms through the use of photosensitizers. The inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages by photosensitization has been applied with success since the first decades of the last century. Due to the fact that mammalian viruses are known to pose a threat to public health and that bacteriophages are frequently used as models of mammalian viruses, it is important to know and understand the mechanisms and photodynamic procedures involved in their photoinactivation. The aim of this review is to (i summarize the main approaches developed until now for the photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophages and mammalian viruses and, (ii discuss and compare the present state of the art of mammalian viruses PDI with phage photoinactivation, with special focus on the most relevant mechanisms, molecular targets and factors affecting the viral inactivation process.

  1. Photodynamic Inactivation of Mammalian Viruses and Bacteriophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Liliana; Faustino, Maria Amparo F.; Neves, Maria Graça P. M. S.; Cunha, Ângela; Almeida, Adelaide

    2012-01-01

    Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has been used to inactivate microorganisms through the use of photosensitizers. The inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages by photosensitization has been applied with success since the first decades of the last century. Due to the fact that mammalian viruses are known to pose a threat to public health and that bacteriophages are frequently used as models of mammalian viruses, it is important to know and understand the mechanisms and photodynamic procedures involved in their photoinactivation. The aim of this review is to (i) summarize the main approaches developed until now for the photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophages and mammalian viruses and, (ii) discuss and compare the present state of the art of mammalian viruses PDI with phage photoinactivation, with special focus on the most relevant mechanisms, molecular targets and factors affecting the viral inactivation process. PMID:22852040

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic memory in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe eMigicovsky

    2011-06-01

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

  4. Epigenetics and bacterial infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierne, Hélène; Hamon, Mélanie; Cossart, Pascale

    2012-12-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms regulate expression of the genome to generate various cell types during development or orchestrate cellular responses to external stimuli. Recent studies highlight that bacteria can affect the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of host cells by influencing diverse epigenetic factors (i.e., histone modifications, DNA methylation, chromatin-associated complexes, noncoding RNAs, and RNA splicing factors). In this article, we first review the molecular bases of the epigenetic language and then describe the current state of research regarding how bacteria can alter epigenetic marks and machineries. Bacterial-induced epigenetic deregulations may affect host cell function either to promote host defense or to allow pathogen persistence. Thus, pathogenic bacteria can be considered as potential epimutagens able to reshape the epigenome. Their effects might generate specific, long-lasting imprints on host cells, leading to a memory of infection that influences immunity and might be at the origin of unexplained diseases.

  5. 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...

  6. RASSF10 is epigenetically silenced and functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei, Ziran [Department of General Surgery, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai (China); Chen, Xia [Urology Department, Minhang District Central Hospital, Shanghai (China); Chen, Ji; Wang, Weimin [Department of General Surgery, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai (China); Xu, Xudong [Urology Department, Minhang District Central Hospital, Shanghai (China); Cai, Qingping, E-mail: qingping_caicz@163.com [Department of General Surgery, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai (China)

    2013-03-22

    Highlights: ► Epigenetic silencing of RASSF10 gene expression in GC cells. ► RASSF10 overexpression inhibits cell growth in vitro and in vivo. ► RASSF10 induces apoptosis in GC cells. ► RASSF10 inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. -- Abstract: Ras association domain family (RASSF) proteins are encoded by several tumor suppressor genes that are frequently silenced in human cancers. In this study, we investigated RASSF10 as a target of epigenetic inactivation and examined its functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer. RASSF10 was silenced in six out of eight gastric cancer cell lines. Loss or downregulation of RASSF10 expression was associated with promoter hypermethylation, and could be restored by a demethylating agent. Overexpression of RASSF10 in gastric cancer cell lines (JRST, BGC823) suppressed cell growth and colony formation, and induced apoptosis, whereas RASSF10 depletion promoted cell growth. In xenograft animal experiments, RASSF10 overexpression effectively repressed tumor growth. Mechanistic investigations revealed that RASSF10 inhibited tumor growth by blocking activation of β-catenin and its downstream targets including c-Myc, cyclinD1, cyclinE1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ, transcription factor 4, transcription factor 1 and CD44. In conclusion, the results of this study provide insight into the role of RASSF10 as a novel functional tumor suppressor in gastric cancer through inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

  7. Inactivation Data.xlsx

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data set is a spreadsheet that contains results of inactivation experiments that were conducted to to determine the effectiveness of chlorine in inactivating B....

  8. Epigenetic Therapeutics: A New Weapon in the War Against Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Nita; Sharma, Anup R; Baylin, Stephen B

    2016-01-01

    The past 15 years have seen an explosion of discoveries related to the cellular regulation of phenotypes through epigenetic mechanisms. This regulation provides a software that packages DNA, without changing the primary base sequence, to establish heritable patterns of gene expression. In cancer, many aspects of the epigenome, controlled by DNA methylation, chromatin, and nucleosome positioning, are altered as one means by which tumor cells maintain abnormal states of self-renewal at the expense of normal maturation. Epigenetic and genetic abnormalities thus collaborate in cancer initiation and progression, as exemplified by frequent mutations in genes encoding proteins that control the epigenome. There is growing emphasis on using epigenetic therapies to reprogram neoplastic cells toward a normal state. Many agents targeting epigenetic regulation are under development and entering clinical trials. This review highlights the promise that epigenetic therapy, often in combination with other therapies, will become a potent tool for cancer management over the next decade.

  9. Models of epigenetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsing, Anne

    genomic material can show quiet diverse phenotypes characterized by organ speci c gene expression patterns. The mechanisms responsible for this phenotypic plasticity are characterized as epigenetic, as they in ict their e ect \\epi-" (Greek for \\above" or \\on top") of the genetic code. For a gene...... regulatory mechanism to be classi ed as epigenetic, it is required that it is self-sustainable in the sense that the governed gene expression or repression should prevail for the lifetime of the cell and must be inherited by possible daughter cells. An example of epigenetic di erentiation is the bistable...

  10. Models of epigenetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsing, Anne

    genomic material can show quiet diverse phenotypes characterized by organ speci c gene expression patterns. The mechanisms responsible for this phenotypic plasticity are characterized as epigenetic, as they in ict their e ect \\epi-" (Greek for \\above" or \\on top") of the genetic code. For a gene...... regulatory mechanism to be classi ed as epigenetic, it is required that it is self-sustainable in the sense that the governed gene expression or repression should prevail for the lifetime of the cell and must be inherited by possible daughter cells. An example of epigenetic di erentiation is the bistable...

  11. X Inactivation and Progenitor Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben Agrelo

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In mammals, silencing of one of the two X chromosomes is necessary to achieve dosage compensation. The 17 kb non-coding RNA called Xist triggers X inactivation. Gene silencing by Xist can only be achieved in certain contexts such as in cells of the early embryo and in certain hematopoietic progenitors where silencing factors are present. Moreover, these epigenetic contexts are maintained in cancer progenitors in which SATB1 has been identified as a factor related to Xist-mediated chromosome silencing.

  12. Frequently used, highly appreciated?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swart, Joëlle; Peters, Chris; Schrøder, Kim Christian

    Digitalization has made patterns of news consumption immensely more varied than before, complicating industry attempts to adapt to changing user habits. In such a rapidly changing landscape, it is unclear how news audiences negotiate this environment and what impact this may have on the possible......, gender, region and educational level. It finds that the news media perceived most important to consumers’ everyday lives are not necessarily those consumed most frequently, challenging the notion that frequency of use and appreciation of a medium necessarily relate. In terms of the rise of social media...... news mediums become valuable in everyday life and what factors underlie this sense of value for different members of the public....

  13. Epigenetic Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Peedicayil, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that abnormalities in epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Advances in epigenetics have given rise to a new class of drugs, epigenetic drugs. Although many classes of epigenetic drugs are being investigated, at present most attention is being paid to two classes of epigenetic drugs: drugs that inhibit DNA methyltransferase (DNMTi) and drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDACi). This paper discusses ...

  14. Epigenetics in the nervous system: An overview of its essential role

    OpenAIRE

    Bhavya Ravi; Manoj Kannan

    2013-01-01

    The role that epigenetic mechanisms play in phenomena such as cellular differentiation during embryonic development, X chromosome inactivation, and cancers is well-characterized. Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated to be the mediators of several functions in the nervous system such as in neuronal-glial differentiation, adult neurogenesis, the modulation of neural behavior and neural plasticity, and also in higher brain functions like cognition and memory. Its particular role in explain...

  15. Epigenetics of Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra, Marta I.; Fernández, Agustín F.; Fraga, Mario F.

    2015-01-01

    The best-known phenomenon exemplifying epigenetic drift (the alteration of epigenetic patterns during aging) is the gradual decrease of global DNA methylation. Aging cells, different tissue types, as well as a variety of human diseases possess their own distinct DNA methylation profiles, although the functional impact of these is not always clear. DNA methylation appears to be a dynamic tool of transcriptional regulation, with an extra layer of complexity due to the recent discovery of the conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. This age-related DNA demethylation is associated with changes in histone modification patterns and, furthermore, we now know that ncRNAs have evolved in eukaryotes as epigenetic regulators of gene expression. In this review, we will discuss current knowledge on how all these epigenetic phenomena are implicated in human aging, and their links with external, internal and stochastic factors which can affect human age-related diseases onset. PMID:27019618

  16. 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.

  17. Epigenetics: SUPERMAN dresses up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachner, Monika

    2002-06-25

    DNA and histone methylation have been implicated in epigenetic gene regulation. Recent studies in Neurospora and now Arabidopsis indicate that histone methylation can direct DNA methylation, suggesting that these two methylation systems have been functionally linked during evolution.

  18. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  19. Epigenetics of asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durham, Andrew L; Wiegman, Coen; Adcock, Ian M

    2011-11-01

    Asthma is caused by both heritable and environmental factors. It has become clear that genetic studies do not adequately explain the heritability and susceptibility to asthma. The study of epigenetics, heritable non-coding changes to DNA may help to explain the heritable component of asthma. Additionally, epigenetic modifications can be influenced by the environment, including pollution and cigarette smoking, which are known asthma risk factors. These environmental trigger-induced epigenetic changes may be involved in skewing the immune system towards a Th2 phenotype following in utero exposure and thereby enhancing the risk of asthma. Alternatively, they may directly or indirectly modulate the immune and inflammatory processes in asthmatics via effects on treatment responsiveness. The study of epigenetics may therefore play an important role in our understanding and possible treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biochemistry of Asthma.

  20. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Jorgensen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920's and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  1. Inactivation of Caliciviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nims, Raymond; Plavsic, Mark

    2013-01-01

    The Caliciviridae family of viruses contains clinically important human and animal pathogens, as well as vesivirus 2117, a known contaminant of biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes employing Chinese hamster cells. An extensive literature exists for inactivation of various animal caliciviruses, especially feline calicivirus and murine norovirus. The caliciviruses are susceptible to wet heat inactivation at temperatures in excess of 60 °C with contact times of 30 min or greater, to UV-C inactivation at fluence ≥30 mJ/cm2, to high pressure processing >200 MPa for >5 min at 4 °C, and to certain photodynamic inactivation approaches. The enteric caliciviruses (e.g.; noroviruses) display resistance to inactivation by low pH, while the non-enteric species (e.g.; feline calicivirus) are much more susceptible. The caliciviruses are inactivated by a variety of chemicals, including alcohols, oxidizing agents, aldehydes, and β-propiolactone. As with inactivation of viruses in general, inactivation of caliciviruses by the various approaches may be matrix-, temperature-, and/or contact time-dependent. The susceptibilities of the caliciviruses to the various physical and chemical inactivation approaches are generally similar to those displayed by other small, non-enveloped viruses, with the exception that the parvoviruses and circoviruses may require higher temperatures for inactivation, while these families appear to be more susceptible to UV-C inactivation than are the caliciviruses. PMID:24276023

  2. Inactivation of Caliciviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Nims

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Caliciviridae family of viruses contains clinically important human and animal pathogens, as well as vesivirus 2117, a known contaminant of biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes employing Chinese hamster cells. An extensive literature exists for inactivation of various animal caliciviruses, especially feline calicivirus and murine norovirus. The caliciviruses are susceptible to wet heat inactivation at temperatures in excess of 60 °C with contact times of 30 min or greater, to UV-C inactivation at fluence ≥30 mJ/cm2, to high pressure processing >200 MPa for >5 min at 4 °C, and to certain photodynamic inactivation approaches. The enteric caliciviruses (e.g.; noroviruses display resistance to inactivation by low pH, while the non-enteric species (e.g.; feline calicivirus are much more susceptible. The caliciviruses are inactivated by a variety of chemicals, including alcohols, oxidizing agents, aldehydes, and β-propiolactone. As with inactivation of viruses in general, inactivation of caliciviruses by the various approaches may be matrix-, temperature-, and/or contact time-dependent. The susceptibilities of the caliciviruses to the various physical and chemical inactivation approaches are generally similar to those displayed by other small, non-enveloped viruses, with the exception that the parvoviruses and circoviruses may require higher temperatures for inactivation, while these families appear to be more susceptible to UV-C inactivation than are the caliciviruses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    showed altered expression in normal lung from F3 mice. Thus, traces of the effects of a single dose of radiation during development persist into...radiation showed a loss of global cytosine methylation in DNA from thymus , implicating profound epigenetic dysregulation (Tawa et al., 1998; Pogribny...for the carcinogenic and transgenerational effects of radiation. It is also anticipated that these epigenetic signatures will be developed as

  6. Epigenetics and pharmacology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanska, Barbara; MacEwan, David J

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the understanding of gene regulation have shown there to be much more regulation of the genome than first thought, through epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic mechanisms are systems that have evolved to either switch off gene activity altogether, or fine-tune any existing genetic activation. Such systems are present in all genes and include chromatin modifications and remodelling, DNA methylation (such as CpG island methylation rates) and histone covalent modifications (e.g. acetylation, methylation), RNA interference by short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). These systems regulate genomic activity ‘beyond’ simple transcriptional factor inducer or repressor function of genes to generate mRNA. Epigenetic regulation of gene activity has been shown to be important in maintaining normal phenotypic activity of cells, as well as having a role in development and diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's. Newer classes of drugs regulate epigenetic mechanisms to counteract disease states in humans. The reports in this issue describe some advances in epigenetic understanding that relate to human disease, and our ability to control these mechanisms by pharmacological means. Increasingly the importance of epigenetics is being uncovered – it is pharmacology that will have to keep pace. PMID:25966315

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic epidemiology of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Timothy M; Michels, Karin B

    2014-12-05

    Epigenetic epidemiology includes the study of variation in epigenetic traits and the risk of disease in populations. Its application to the field of cancer has provided insight into how lifestyle and environmental factors influence the epigenome and how epigenetic events may be involved in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, it has the potential to bring benefit to patients through the identification of diagnostic markers that enable the early detection of disease and prognostic markers that can inform upon appropriate treatment strategies. However, there are a number of challenges associated with the conduct of such studies, and with the identification of biomarkers that can be applied to the clinical setting. In this review, we delineate the challenges faced in the design of epigenetic epidemiology studies in cancer, including the suitability of blood as a surrogate tissue and the capture of genome-wide DNA methylation. We describe how epigenetic epidemiology has brought insight into risk factors associated with lung, breast, colorectal and bladder cancer and review relevant research. We discuss recent findings on the identification of epigenetic diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for these cancers.

  9. 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.

  10. FTO, RNA epigenetics and epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  11. Breast cancer epigenetics: review article

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahareh Abbasi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Stable molecular changes during cell division without any change in the sequence of DNA molecules is known as epigenetic. Molecular mechanisms involved in this process, including histone modifications, methylation of DNA, protein complex and RNA antisense. Cancer genome changes happen through a combination of DNA hypermethylation, long-term epigenetic silencing with heterozygosis loss and genomic regions loss. Different combinations of N-terminal’s changes cooperate with histone variants with a specific role in gene regulation. It have led to load a setting histone that determine transcription potential of a particular gene or genomic regions. DNA methylation analysis in genome region using methylation-specific digital karyotyping of normal breast tissue detect gene expression patterns and DNA specific methylation can be found in breast carcinoma too more than 100 genes in breast tumors or cell lines of breast cancer are reported hypermethylated. Important of DNA methylation on cancer has been concentrated CpG islands hypermethylation. Most of the techniques are able to identify hypermethylated areas. Often, methylated genes play important role in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, metastasis and tissue invasion, angiogenesis and hormonal signaling. Cyclin D2 (CCND2 gene is an important regulator of cell cycle and increased of expression inhibits the transition from G1 to S cell cycle. This gene is frequently methylated in breast cancer and has been proposed as the first event. Other cell cycle regulator is p16ink4A / CDKN2A that methylated in a large number of human cancers, including breast cancer. Another regulator of the proliferation of breast cancer that methylated is tumor suppressor RAR-β cancer that has been found in lobular and ductal carcinoma. Recent studies have showed the role of epigenetic silencing in the pathogenesis of breast cancer in which tumor suppressor genes have been changed by acetylation and DNA deacetylation

  12. X chromosome inactivation and X-linked mental retardation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Willard, H.F. [Case Western Reserve Univ. School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH (United States)]|[Univ. Hospitals of Cleveland, OH (United States)

    1996-07-12

    The expression of X-linked genes in females heterozygous for X-linked defects can be modulated by epigenetic control mechanisms that constitute the X chromosome inactivation pathway. At least four different effects have been found to influence, in females, the phenotypic expression of genes responsible for X-linked mental retardation (XLMR). First, non-random X inactivation, due either to stochastic or genetic factors, can result in tissues in which one cell type (for example, that in which the X chromosome carrying a mutant XLMR gene is active) dominates, instead of the normal mosaic cell population expected as a result of random X inactivation. Second, skewed inactivation of the normal X in individuals carrying a deletion of part of the X chromosome has been documented in a number of mentally retarded females. Third, functional disomy of X-linked genes that are expressed inappropriately due to the absence of X inactivation has been found in mentally retarded females with structurally abnormal X chromosomes that do not contain the X inactivation center. And fourth, dose-dependent overexpression of X-linked genes that normally {open_quotes}escape{close_quotes} X inactivation may account for the mental and developmental delay associated with increasing numbers of otherwise inactive X chromosomes in individuals with X chromosome aneuploidy. 53 refs., 1 fig.

  13. 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.

  14. Epigenetics in neonatal diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Xue-feng; DU Li-zhong

    2010-01-01

    Objective To review the role of epigenetic regulation in neonatal diseases and better understand Barker's "fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis".Data sources The data cited in this review were mainly obtained from the articles published in Medline/PubMed between January 1953 and December 2009.Study selection Articles associated with epigenetics and neonatal diseases were selected.Results There is a wealth of epidemiological evidence that lower birth weight is strongly correlated with an increased risk of adult diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. This phenomenon of fetal origins of adult disease is strongly associated with fetal insults to epigenetic modifications of genes. A potential role of epigenetic modifications in congenital disorders, transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM), intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) have been studied.Conclusions Acknowledgment of the role of these epigenetic modifications in neonatal diseases would be conducive to better understanding the pathogenesis of these diseases, and provide new insight for improved treatment and prevention of later adult diseases.

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetics and epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopra, Avtar; Dingledine, Raymond; Hsieh, Jenny

    2012-12-01

    Seizures can give rise to enduring changes that reflect alterations in gene-expression patterns, intracellular and intercellular signaling, and ultimately network alterations that are a hallmark of epilepsy. A growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with epilepsy are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. One transcription factor in particular, repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST), has received a lot of attention due to the possibility that it may control fundamental transcription patterns that drive circuit excitability, seizures, and epilepsy. REST represses a suite of genes in the nervous system by utilizing nuclear protein complexes that were originally identified as mediators of epigenetic inheritance. Epigenetics has traditionally referred to mechanisms that allow a heritable change in gene expression in the absence of DNA mutation. However a more contemporaneous definition acknowledges that many of the mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are utilized by neurons to control activity-dependent gene expression. This review surveys what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy. We discuss how REST controls gene expression to affect circuit excitability and neurogenesis in epilepsy. We also discuss how the repressor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and activator cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) regulate neuronal activity and are themselves controlled by activity. Finally we highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics and epilepsy.

  17. Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quadrana, Leandro; Colot, Vincent

    2016-11-23

    Transgenerational epigenetics is defined in opposition to developmental epigenetics and implies an absence of resetting of epigenetic states between generations. Unlike mammals, plants appear to be particularly prone to this type of inheritance. In this review, we summarize our knowledge about transgenerational epigenetics in plants, which entails heritable changes in DNA methylation. We emphasize the role of transposable elements and other repeat sequences in the creation of epimutable alleles. We also argue that because reprogramming of DNA methylation across generations seems limited in plants, the inheritance of DNA methylation defects results from the failure to reinforce rather than reset this modification during sexual reproduction. We compare genome-wide assessments of heritable DNA methylation variation and its phenotypic impact in natural populations to those made using near-isogenic populations derived from crosses between parents with experimentally induced DNA methylation differences. Finally, we question the role of the environment in inducing transgenerational epigenetic variation and briefly present theoretical models under which epimutability is expected to be selected for.

  18. Scalable Frequent Subgraph Mining

    KAUST Repository

    Abdelhamid, Ehab

    2017-06-19

    A graph is a data structure that contains a set of nodes and a set of edges connecting these nodes. Nodes represent objects while edges model relationships among these objects. Graphs are used in various domains due to their ability to model complex relations among several objects. Given an input graph, the Frequent Subgraph Mining (FSM) task finds all subgraphs with frequencies exceeding a given threshold. FSM is crucial for graph analysis, and it is an essential building block in a variety of applications, such as graph clustering and indexing. FSM is computationally expensive, and its existing solutions are extremely slow. Consequently, these solutions are incapable of mining modern large graphs. This slowness is caused by the underlying approaches of these solutions which require finding and storing an excessive amount of subgraph matches. This dissertation proposes a scalable solution for FSM that avoids the limitations of previous work. This solution is composed of four components. The first component is a single-threaded technique which, for each candidate subgraph, needs to find only a minimal number of matches. The second component is a scalable parallel FSM technique that utilizes a novel two-phase approach. The first phase quickly builds an approximate search space, which is then used by the second phase to optimize and balance the workload of the FSM task. The third component focuses on accelerating frequency evaluation, which is a critical step in FSM. To do so, a machine learning model is employed to predict the type of each graph node, and accordingly, an optimized method is selected to evaluate that node. The fourth component focuses on mining dynamic graphs, such as social networks. To this end, an incremental index is maintained during the dynamic updates. Only this index is processed and updated for the majority of graph updates. Consequently, search space is significantly pruned and efficiency is improved. The empirical evaluation shows that the

  19. Frequent silencing of popeye domain-containing genes, BVES and POPDC3, is associated with promoter hypermethylation in gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mirang; Jang, Hay-Ran; Haam, Keeok; Kang, Tae-Wook; Kim, Jeong-Hwan; Kim, Seon-Young; Noh, Seung-Moo; Song, Kyu-Sang; Cho, June-Sik; Jeong, Hyun-Yong; Kim, Jin Cheon; Yoo, Hyang-Sook; Kim, Yong Sung

    2010-09-01

    The Popeye domain-containing (POPDC) genes BVES, POPDC2 and POPDC3 encode proteins that regulate cell-cell adhesion and cell migration during development. Herein, we report the frequent downregulation of BVES and POPDC3 by promoter hypermethylation in gastric cancer. POPDC expression in 11 gastric cancer cell lines and 96 paired gastric tumor and normal adjacent tissues was analyzed with quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The methylation status of BVES and POPDC3 was analyzed with methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing, bisulfite sequencing and pyrosequencing. Expression of BVES and POPDC3 was downregulated in 73% of the gastric cancer cell lines and in 69% (BVES) and 87% (POPDC3) of the gastric cancer tissues. The BVES and POPDC3 promoter regions were hypermethylated in the gastric cancer cell lines in which they were silenced. Combined treatment with a DNA methylation inhibitor and a histone deacetylase inhibitor strongly induced BVES and POPDC3 expression. BVES and POPDC3 were hypermethylated in 69% (BVES) and 64% (POPDC3) of the gastric cancer tissues. We knocked down POPDC3 expression with short hairpin RNAs and examined the consequences on cell migration and invasion. Knockdown of POPDC3 in SNU-216 cells caused increased cell migration and invasion. Thus, epigenetic inactivation of BVES and POPDC3 occurs frequently in gastric tumors and may promote gastric cancer cell migration and invasion.

  20. 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.

  1. Switching the centromeres on and off: epigenetic chromatin alterations provide plasticity in centromere activity stabilizing aberrant dicentric chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiroshi; Saitoh, Shigeaki

    2013-12-01

    The kinetochore, which forms on a specific chromosomal locus called the centromere, mediates interactions between the chromosome and the spindle during mitosis and meiosis. Abnormal chromosome rearrangements and/or neocentromere formation can cause the presence of multiple centromeres on a single chromosome, which results in chromosome breakage or cell cycle arrest. Analyses of artificial dicentric chromosomes suggested that the activity of the centromere is regulated epigenetically; on some stably maintained dicentric chromosomes, one of the centromeres no longer functions as a platform for kinetochore formation, although the DNA sequence remains intact. Such epigenetic centromere inactivation occurs in cells of various eukaryotes harbouring 'regional centromeres', such as those of maize, fission yeast and humans, suggesting that the position of the active centromere is determined by epigenetic markers on a chromosome rather than the nucleotide sequence. Our recent findings in fission yeast revealed that epigenetic centromere inactivation consists of two steps: disassembly of the kinetochore initiates inactivation and subsequent heterochromatinization prevents revival of the inactivated centromere. Kinetochore disassembly followed by heterochromatinization is also observed in normal senescent human cells. Thus epigenetic centromere inactivation may not only stabilize abnormally generated dicentric chromosomes, but also be part of an intrinsic mechanism regulating cell proliferation.

  2. Epigenetic inheritance in apomictic dandelions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Preite, V.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic variation, such as changes in DNA methylations, regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) and chromatin modifications can be induced by environmental stress. There is increasing information that such induced epigenetic modifications can be transmitted to offspring, potentially mediating adaptive

  3. 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.

  4. Epigenetics and lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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 microRNA expression. Several lifestyle factors have been identified that might modify epigenetic patterns, such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress, and working on night shifts. Most 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. Here, we review current evidence indicating that lifestyle factors might affect human health via epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:22122337

  5. 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.

  6. The physics of epigenetics

    CERN Document Server

    Cortini, Ruggero; Caré, Bertrand R; Lavelle, Christophe; Lesne, Annick; Mozziconacci, Julien; Victor, Jean-Marc

    2015-01-01

    In higher organisms, all cells share the same genome, but every cell expresses only a limited and specific set of genes that defines the cell type. During cell division, not only the genome, but also the cell type is inherited by the daughter cells. This intriguing phenomenon is achieved by a variety of processes that have been collectively termed epigenetics: the stable and inheritable changes in gene expression patterns. This article reviews the extremely rich and exquisitely multi-scale physical mechanisms that govern the biological processes behind the initiation, spreading and inheritance of epigenetic states. These include not only the change in the molecular properties associated with the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins - such as methylation and acetylation - but also less conventional ones, such as the physics that governs the three-dimensional organization of the genome in cell nuclei. Strikingly, to achieve stability and heritability of epigenetic states, cells take advantage of m...

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics: heterochromatin meets RNAi

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ingela Djupedal; Karl Ekwall

    2009-01-01

    The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes not encoded by DNA. The organization of DNA into chromatin fibers affects gene expression in a heritable manner and is therefore one mechanism of epigenetic inheritance. Large parts of eukaryotic genomes consist of constitutively highly condensed heterochromatin, important for maintaining genome integrity but also for silencing of genes within. Small RNA, together with factors typically associated with RNA interference (RNAi) targets homologous DNA sequences and recruits factors that modify the chromatin, com-monly resulting in formation of heterochromatin and silencing of target genes. The scope of this review is to provide an overview of the roles of small RNA and the RNAi components, Dicer, Argonaute and RNA dependent polymeras-es in epigenetic inheritance via heterochromatin formation, exemplified with pathways from unicellular eukaryotes, plants and animals.

  9. Sex chromosome inactivation in germ cells: emerging roles of DNA damage response pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Ichijima, Yosuke; Sin, Ho-Su; Satoshi H Namekawa

    2012-01-01

    Sex chromosome inactivation in male germ cells is a paradigm of epigenetic programming during sexual reproduction. Recent progress has revealed the underlying mechanisms of sex chromosome inactivation in male meiosis. The trigger of chromosome-wide silencing is activation of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, which is centered on the mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1), a binding partner of phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX). This DDR pathway shares features with the somatic DDR p...

  10. Histone Variants and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henikoff, Steven; Smith, M. Mitchell

    2015-01-01

    Histones package and compact DNA by assembling into nucleosome core particles. Most histones are synthesized at S phase for rapid deposition behind replication forks. In addition, the replacement of histones deposited during S phase by variants that can be deposited independently of replication provide the most fundamental level of chromatin differentiation. Alternative mechanisms for depositing different variants can potentially establish and maintain epigenetic states. Variants have also evolved crucial roles in chromosome segregation, transcriptional regulation, DNA repair, and other processes. Investigations into the evolution, structure, and metabolism of histone variants provide a foundation for understanding the participation of chromatin in important cellular processes and in epigenetic memory. PMID:25561719

  11. Epigenetics in Stroke Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassis, Haifa; Shehadah, Amjad; Chopp, Michael; Zhang, Zheng Gang

    2017-01-01

    Abstract: While the death rate from stroke has continually decreased due to interventions in the hyperacute stage of the disease, long-term disability and institutionalization have become common sequelae in the aftermath of stroke. Therefore, identification of new molecular pathways that could be targeted to improve neurological recovery among survivors of stroke is crucial. Epigenetic mechanisms such as post-translational modifications of histone proteins and microRNAs have recently emerged as key regulators of the enhanced plasticity observed during repair processes after stroke. In this review, we highlight the recent advancements in the evolving field of epigenetics in stroke recovery. PMID:28264471

  12. Current progress in epigenetic research for hepato-carcinomagenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma is the main type of primary liver cancer,and also one of the most malignant tumors.At present,the pathogenesis mechanisms of liver cancer are not entirely clear.It has been shown that inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and activation of oncogenes play a significant role in carcinogenesis,caused by the genetic and epigenetic aberrance.In the past,people generally thought that genetic mutation is a key event of tumor pathogenesis,and somatic mutation of tumor suppressor genes is in particular closely associated with oncogenesis.With deeper understanding of tumors in recent years,increasing evidence has shown that epigenetic silencing of those genes,as a result of aberrant hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoters and histone modification,is essential to carcinogenesis and metastasis.The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes in gene expression caused by regulation mechanisms,other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence.Specific epigenetic processes include DNA methylation,genome imprinting,chromotin remodeling,histone modification and microRNA regulations.This paper reviews recent epigenetics research progress in the hepatocellular carcinoma study,and tries to depict the relationships between hepatocellular carcinomagenesis and DNA methylation as well as microRNA regulation.

  13. Current progress in epigenetic research for hepato-carcinomagenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Jian

    2009-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma is the main type of primary liver cancer, and also one of the most malignant tumors. At present, the pathogenesis mechanisms of liver cancer are not entirely clear. It has been shown that inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and activation of oncogenes play a significant role in carcinogenesis, caused by the genetic and epigenetic aberrance. In the past, people generally thought that genetic mutation is a key event of tumor pathogenesis, and somatic mutation of tumor suppressor genes is in particular closely associated with oncogenesis. With deeper understanding of tumors in recent years, increasing evidence has shown that epigenetic silencing of those genes, as a result of aberrant hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoters and histone modification, is essential to carcinogenesis and metastasis. The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes in gene expression caused by regulation mechanisms, other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Specific epi-genetic processes include DNA methylation, genome imprinting, chromotin remodeling, histone modi-fication and microRNA regulations. This paper reviews recent epigenetics research progress in the hepatocellular carcinoma study, and tries to depict the relationships between hepatocellular carci-nomagenesis and DNA methylation as well as microRNA regulation.

  14. Epigenetic Therapy in Lung Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen V Liu

    2013-05-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Epigenetics and triplet repeat neurological diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathiji eNageshwaran

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The term ‘junk DNA’ has been reconsidered following the delineation of the functional significance of repetitive DNA regions. Typically associated with centromeres and telomeres, DNA repeats are found in nearly all organisms throughout their genomes. Repetitive regions are frequently heterchromatinised resulting in silencing of intrinsic and nearby genes. However, this is not a uniform rule, with several genes known to require such an environment to permit transcription. Repetitive regions frequently exist as dinucleotide, trinucleotide and tetranucleotide repeats. The association between repetitive regions and disease was emphasised following the discovery of abnormal trinucleotide repeats underlying spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s disease and fragile X syndrome of mental retardation (FRAXA in 1991. In this review we provide a brief overview of epigenetic mechanisms and then focus on several diseases caused by DNA triplet-repeat expansions, which exhibit diverse epigenetic effects. It is clear that the emerging field of epigenetics is already generating novel potential therapeutic avenues for this group of largely incurable diseases.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, David

    2015-01-01

    It is not really helpful to consider modern environmental epigenetics as neo-Lamarckian; and there is no evidence that Lamarck considered the idea original to himself. We must all keep learning about inheritance, but attributing modern ideas to early researchers is not helpful, and can be misleading. PMID:26026157

  20. Epigenetics and memigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Jeffrey R

    2014-04-01

    The field of epigenetics is expanding rapidly, yet there is persistent uncertainty in the definition of the term. The word was coined in the mid-twentieth century as a descriptor of how intrinsic, yet largely unknown, forces act with genes to channel progenitor cells along pathways of differentiation. Near the end of the twentieth century, epigenetics was defined more specifically as the study of changes in gene activity states. In some definitions, only those activity states that are inherited across cell division were considered. Other definitions were broader, also including activity states that are transient, or occurring in non-dividing cells. The greatest point of disagreement in these current definitions, is if the term should concern only inherited activity states. To alleviate this disparity, an alternative term, 'memigenetics', could be used in place of epigenetics to describe inherited chromatin activity states. The advantage of this term is that it is self-defining, and would serve to emphasize the important concept of cell memory. It would also free the term epigenetics to be used in a broader sense in accord with the meaning of the prefix 'epi', that is, as a descriptor of what is 'over' DNA at any point in time.

  1. Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myrtue Nielsen, Helene; Lykkegaard Andersen, Christen; 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...

  2. Why schizophrenia genetics needs epigenetics: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maric, Nadja P; Svrakic, Dragan M

    2012-03-01

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

  3. Genetic and epigenetic aberrations of p16 in feline primary neoplastic diseases and tumor cell lines of lymphoid and non-lymphoid origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochizuki, H; Fujiwara-Igarashi, A; Sato, M; Goto-Koshino, Y; Ohno, K; Tsujimoto, H

    2017-01-01

    The p16 gene acts as a tumor suppressor by regulating the cell cycle and is frequently inactivated in human and canine cancers. The aim of this study was to characterize genetic and epigenetic alterations of the p16 in feline lymphoid and non-lymphoid malignancies, using 74 primary tumors and 11 tumor cell lines. Cloning of feline p16 and subsequent sequence analysis revealed 11 germline sequence polymorphisms in control cats. Bisulfite sequencing analysis of the p16 promoter region in a feline lymphoma cell line revealed that promoter methylation was associated with decreased mRNA expression. Treatment with a demethylating agent restored mRNA expression of the silenced p16. PCR amplification and sequencing analysis detected homozygous loss (five tumors, 6.7%) and a missense mutation (one tumor, 1.4%) in the 74 primary tumors analyzed. Methylation-specific PCR analysis revealed promoter methylation in 10 primary tumors (14%). Promoter methylation was frequent in B cell lymphoid tumors (7/21 tumors, 33%). These genetic and epigenetic alterations were also observed in lymphoma and mammary gland carcinoma cell lines, but not detected in non-neoplastic control specimens. These data indicate that molecular alterations of the p16 locus may be involved in the development of specific types of feline cancer, and warrant further studies to evaluate the clinical value of this evolutionarily-conserved molecular alteration in feline cancers.

  4. Epigenetic Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peedicayil, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that abnormalities in epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Advances in epigenetics have given rise to a new class of drugs, epigenetic drugs. Although many classes of epigenetic drugs are being investigated, at present most attention is being paid to two classes of epigenetic drugs: drugs that inhibit DNA methyltransferase (DNMTi) and drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDACi). This paper discusses the potential use of epigenetic drugs in the treatment of MS, focusing on DNMTi and HDACi. Preclinical drug trials of DNMTi and HDACi for the treatment of MS are showing promising results. Epigenetic drugs could improve the clinical management of patients with MS.

  5. A first-generation X-inactivation profile of the human X chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrel, L; Cottle, A A; Goglin, K C; Willard, H F

    1999-12-01

    In females, most genes on the X chromosome are generally assumed to be transcriptionally silenced on the inactive X as a result of X inactivation. However, particularly in humans, an increasing number of genes are known to "escape" X inactivation and are expressed from both the active (Xa) and inactive (Xi) X chromosomes; such genes reflect different molecular and epigenetic responses to X inactivation and are candidates for phenotypes associated with X aneuploidy. To identify genes that escape X inactivation and to generate a first-generation X-inactivation profile of the X, we have evaluated the expression of 224 X-linked genes and expressed sequence tags by reverse-transcription-PCR analysis of a panel of multiple independent mouse/human somatic cell hybrids containing a normal human Xi but no Xa. The resulting survey yields an initial X-inactivation profile that is estimated to represent approximately 10% of all X-linked transcripts. Of the 224 transcripts tested here, 34 (three of which are pseudoautosomal) were expressed in as many as nine Xi hybrids and thus appear to escape inactivation. The genes that escape inactivation are distributed nonrandomly along the X; 31 of 34 such transcripts map to Xp, implying that the two arms of the X are epigenetically and/or evolutionarily distinct and suggesting that genetic imbalance of Xp may be more severe clinically than imbalance of Xq. A complete X-inactivation profile will provide information relevant to clinical genetics and genetic counseling and should yield insight into the genomic and epigenetic organization of the X chromosome.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori A. McEachern

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetic control of the basal-like gene expression profile via Interleukin-6 in breast cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitrugno Valentina

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Basal-like carcinoma are aggressive breast cancers that frequently carry p53 inactivating mutations, lack estrogen receptor-α (ERα and express the cancer stem cell markers CD133 and CD44. These tumors also over-express Interleukin 6 (IL-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine that stimulates the growth of breast cancer stem/progenitor cells. Results Here we show that p53 deficiency in breast cancer cells induces a loss of methylation at IL-6 proximal promoter region, which is maintained by an IL-6 autocrine loop. IL-6 also elicits the loss of methylation at the CD133 promoter region 1 and of CD44 proximal promoter, enhancing CD133 and CD44 gene transcription. In parallel, IL-6 induces the methylation of estrogen receptor (ERα promoter and the loss of ERα mRNA expression. Finally, IL-6 induces the methylation of IL-6 distal promoter and of CD133 promoter region 2, which harbour putative repressor regions. Conclusion We conclude that IL-6, whose methylation-dependent autocrine loop is triggered by the inactivation of p53, induces an epigenetic reprogramming that drives breast carcinoma cells towards a basal-like/stem cell-like gene expression profile.

  8. Inactivation of pathogenic bacteria in food matrices: high pressure processing, photodynamic inactivation and pressure-assisted photodynamic inactivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, A.; Couceiro, J.; Bonifácio, D.; Martins, C.; Almeida, A.; Neves, M. G. P. M. S.; Faustino, M. A. F.; Saraiva, J. A.

    2017-09-01

    Traditional food processing methods frequently depend on the application of high temperature. However, heat may cause undesirable changes in food properties and often has a negative impact on nutritional value and organoleptic characteristics. Therefore, reducing the microbial load without compromising the desirable properties of food products is still a technological challenge. High-pressure processing (HPP) can be classified as a cold pasteurization technique, since it is a non-thermal food preservation method that uses hydrostatic pressure to inactivate spoilage microorganisms. At the same time, it increases shelf life and retains the original features of food. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is also regarded as promising approach for the decontamination of food matrices. In this case, the inactivation of bacterial cells is achieved by the cytotoxic effects of reactive oxygens species (ROS) produced from the combined interaction of a photosensitizer molecule, light and oxygen. This short review examines some recent developments on the application of HPP and PDI with food-grade photosensitizers for the inactivation of listeriae, taken as a food pathogen model. The results of a proof-of-concept trial of the use of high-pressure as a coadjutant to increase the efficiency of photodynamic inactivation of bacterial endospores is also addressed.

  9. Molecular genetics and epigenetics of CACTA elements

    KAUST Repository

    Fedoroff, Nina V.

    2013-08-21

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

  10. Genotype and phenotype in Klinefelter syndrome - impact of androgen receptor polymorphism and skewed X inactivation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, A; Hertz, J M; Gravholt, C H

    2011-01-01

    The phenotypic variation of Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is wide and may by caused by various genetic and epigenetic effects. Skewed inactivation of the supra-numerical X chromosome and polymorphism in the androgen receptor (AR) have been suggested as plausible causes. We wanted to describe X...

  11. Epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandegehuchte, Michiel B; Janssen, Colin R

    2014-04-01

    Epigenetics can play a role in interactions between chemicals and exposed species, between species and abiotic ecosystem components or between species of the same or another population in a community. Technological progress and advanced insights into epigenetic processes have led to the description of epigenetic features (mainly DNA methylation) in many ecologically relevant species: algae, plants, several invertebrates and fish. Epigenetic changes in plants, insects and cladocerans have been reported to be induced by various environmental stress factors including nutrition or water deficiency, grazing, light or temperature alterations, social environment, and dissolved organic matter concentrations. As regards chemicals, studies in rats and mice exposed to specific pesticides, hydrocarbons, dioxins, and endocrine disrupting chemicals demonstrated the induction of epigenetic changes, suggesting the need for further research with these substances in an ecotoxicological context. In fish and plants, exposure to polyaromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and soluble fractions of solid waste affected the epigenetic status. A novel concept in ecotoxicological epigenetics is the induction of transgenerational stress resistance upon chemical exposure, as demonstrated in rice exposed to metals. Evaluating epigenetics in ecotoxicological field studies is a second relatively new approach. A cryptic lineage of earthworms had developed arsenic tolerance in the field, concurrent with specific DNA methylation patterns. Flatfish caught in the framework of environmental monitoring had developed tumours, exhibiting specific DNA methylation patterns. Two main potential implications of epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context are (1) the possibility of transgenerationally inherited, chemical stress-induced epigenetic changes with associated phenotypes and (2) epigenetically induced adaptation to stress upon long-term chemical exposure. Key knowledge gaps are concerned with the causality of

  12. 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.

  13. Sex, epilepsy, and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-12-01

    Epilepsy refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that are associated with a wide range of pathogenic mechanisms, seizure manifestations, comorbidity profiles, and therapeutic responses. These characteristics are all influenced quite significantly by sex. As with other conditions exhibiting such patterns, sex differences in epilepsy are thought to arise-at the most fundamental level-from the "organizational" and "activational" effects of sex hormones as well as from the direct actions of the sex chromosomes. However, our understanding of the specific molecular, cellular, and network level processes responsible for mediating sex differences in epilepsy remains limited. Because increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are involved both in epilepsy and in brain sexual dimorphism, we make the case here that analyzing epigenetic regulation will provide novel insights into the basis for sex differences in epilepsy.

  14. 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

  15. [Epigenetics and obesity].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  16. Epigenetics: beyond genes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fossey, A

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available to neighbouring euchromatic genes, known as position effect variegation and can be transmitted through mitosis, forming the basis of epigenetic inheritance from one cell generation to another; creating cellular memory (Brzeski and Jerzmanowski, 2004... life form, supports meiosis that produces haploid male and female spores and initiates the gametophytic generation. Gametogenesis and subsequent fertilisation take place when gametophytic and sporophytic structures interact. The product...

  17. Establishment of X chromosome inactivation and epigenomic features of the inactive X depend on cellular contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallot, Céline; Ouimette, Jean-François; Rougeulle, Claire

    2016-09-01

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is an essential epigenetic process that ensures X-linked gene dosage equilibrium between sexes in mammals. XCI is dynamically regulated during development in a manner that is intimately linked to differentiation. Numerous studies, which we review here, have explored the dynamics of X inactivation and reactivation in the context of development, differentiation and diseases, and the phenotypic and molecular link between the inactive status, and the cellular context. Here, we also assess whether XCI is a uniform mechanism in mammals by analyzing epigenetic signatures of the inactive X (Xi) in different species and cellular contexts. It appears that the timing of XCI and the epigenetic signature of the inactive X greatly vary between species. Surprisingly, even within a given species, various Xi configurations are found across cellular states. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying these variations, and how they might influence the fate of the Xi.

  18. The epigenetics of autoimmunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meda, Francesca; Folci, Marco; Baccarelli, Andrea; Selmi, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    The etiology of autoimmune diseases remains largely unknown. Concordance rates in monozygotic twins are lower than 50% while genome-wide association studies propose numerous significant associations representing only a minority of patients. These lines of evidence strongly support other complementary mechanisms involved in the regulation of genes expression ultimately causing overt autoimmunity. Alterations in the post-translational modification of histones and DNA methylation are the two major epigenetic mechanisms that may potentially cause a breakdown of immune tolerance and the perpetuation of autoimmune diseases. In recent years, several studies both in clinical settings and experimental models proposed that the epigenome may hold the key to a better understanding of autoimmunity initiation and perpetuation. More specifically, data support the impact of epigenetic changes in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, in some cases based on mechanistical observations. We herein discuss what we currently know and what we expect will come in the next future. Ultimately, epigenetic treatments already being used in oncology may soon prove beneficial also in autoimmune diseases. PMID:21278766

  19. Epigenetic mechanisms in leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidi, Sayyed K; Trombly, Daniel J; Dowdy, Christopher R; Lian, Jane B; Stein, Janet L; van Wijnen, Andre J; Stein, Gary S

    2012-09-01

    Focal organization of regulatory machinery within the interphase nucleus is linked to biological responsiveness and perturbed in cancer. Lineage determinant Runx proteins organize and assemble multi-protein complexes at sites of transcription within the nucleus and regulate both RNA polymerase II- and I-mediated gene expression. In addition, Runx proteins epigenetically control lineage determining transcriptional programs including: 1) architectural organization of macromolecular complexes in interphase, 2) regulation of gene expression through bookmarking during mitosis, and 3) microRNA-mediated translational control in the interphase nucleus. These mechanisms are compromised with the onset and progression of cancer. For example, the oncogenic AML1-ETO protein, which results from a chromosomal translocation between chromosomes 8 and 21, is expressed in nearly 25% of all acute myelogenous leukemias, disrupts Runx1 subnuclear localization during interphase and compromises transcriptional regulation. Epigenetically, the leukemic protein redirects the Runx1 DNA binding domain to leukemia-specific nuclear microenvironments, modifies regulatory protein accessibility to Runx1 target genes by imprinting repressive chromatin marks, and deregulates the microRNA (miR) profile of diseased myeloid cells. Consequently, the entire Runx1-dependent transcriptional program of myeloid cells is deregulated leading to onset and progression of acute myeloid leukemia and maintenance of leukemic phenotype. We discuss the potential of modified epigenetic landscape of leukemic cells as a viable therapeutic target.

  20. Epigenetic microRNA Regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiklund, Erik Digman

    2011-01-01

    and confirming transcriptional start sites can be difficult. Epigenetics, gene regulatory and DNA modification mechanisms not involving a change to the primary sequence, have been implied in the regulation of a number of miRNA loci. Both epigenetic and miRNA signatures are broadly altered in cancer......, and are thought to play essential roles in cancer etiology and progression. Here, we aimed to identify epigenetic miRNA deregulation in bladder and oral carcinoma, and to develop a robust approach to epigenetic miRNA prediction and detection. In addition, non-canonical epigenetic functions directed by a nuclear...... miRNA were investigated. In summary, we report that the miR-200 family and miR-205 are coordinately epigenetically regulated in a variety of cell lines, tumors and normal tissues. MiR-200c expression is correlated with bladder cancer disease progression, and miR-375 levels in oral rinse can...

  1. Epigenetic reprogramming by somatic cell nuclear transfer: questions and potential solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huili, Ji; Haosheng, Lu; Dengke, Pan

    2014-12-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a technology by which a highly differentiated somatic nucleus is transferred into an enucleated oocyte to generate a reconstructed embryo that subsequently develops to an offspring. However, to date, the efficiency of cloned animal is still low. The major reason is incomplete nuclear reprogramming of donor cells after nuclear transfer, which results in abnormal epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone acetylation, gene imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, and telomere length. Most improvements have been made in somatic epigenetic reprogramming with small molecules and manipulating expression of specific genes. It is expected that SCNT will soon have broad applications in both basic research and practical production. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in epigenetic reprogramming by somatic cell nuclear transfer; in particular, we focus on strategies for rescuing the epigenetic errors occurring during SCNT.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Frequent Itemset Hiding Algorithm Using Frequent Pattern Tree Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alnatsheh, Rami

    2012-01-01

    A problem that has been the focus of much recent research in privacy preserving data-mining is the frequent itemset hiding (FIH) problem. Identifying itemsets that appear together frequently in customer transactions is a common task in association rule mining. Organizations that share data with business partners may consider some of the frequent…

  4. Frequent Itemset Hiding Algorithm Using Frequent Pattern Tree Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alnatsheh, Rami

    2012-01-01

    A problem that has been the focus of much recent research in privacy preserving data-mining is the frequent itemset hiding (FIH) problem. Identifying itemsets that appear together frequently in customer transactions is a common task in association rule mining. Organizations that share data with business partners may consider some of the frequent…

  5. Epigenetics, spermatogenesis and male infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajender, Singh; Avery, Kelsey; Agarwal, Ashok

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications characterized by DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling are important regulators in a number of biological processes, including spermatogenesis. Several genes in the testes are regulated through epigenetic mechanisms, indicating a direct influence of epigenetic mechanisms on the process of spermatogenesis. In the present article, we have provided a comprehensive review of the epigenetic processes in the testes, correlation of epigenetic aberrations with male infertility, impact of environmental factors on the epigenome and male fertility, and significance of epigenetic changes/aberrations in assisted reproduction. The literature review suggested a significant impact of epigenetic aberrations (epimutations) on spermatogenesis, and this could lead to male infertility. Epimutations (often hypermethylation) in several genes, namely MTHFR, PAX8, NTF3, SFN, HRAS, JHM2DA, IGF2, H19, RASGRF1, GTL2, PLAG1, D1RAS3, MEST, KCNQ1, LIT1, and SNRPN, have been reported in association with poor semen parameters or male infertility. Environmental toxins/drugs may affect fertility via epigenetic modifications. For example, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, an anticancer agent, causes a decrease in global DNA methylation that leads to altered sperm morphology, decreased sperm motility, decreased fertilization capacity, and decreased embryo survival. Similarly, Endocrine disruptors, such as methoxychlor (an estrogenic pesticide) and vinclozolin (an anti-androgenic fungicide) have been found by experiments on animals to affect epigenetic modifications that may cause spermatogenic defects in subsequent generations. Assisted reproduction procedures that have been considered rather safe, are now being implicated in inducing epigenetic changes that could affect fertility in subsequent generations. Techniques such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and round spermatid injection (ROSI) may increase the incidence of imprinting disorders and

  6. Epigenetic memory in kidney diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimura, Imari

    2016-02-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms have been the focus of intensive research. De Marinis et al. demonstrated that high glucose levels exert stimulatory effects on activation histone marks, leading to the upregulation of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) gene expression, which is proinflammatory. They also showed that the effect was reversed by the inhibition of histone acetyltransferase, suggesting a new therapeutic approach for improving diabetic kidney disease. Epigenetic changes are memorized as epigenetic memory that could exacerbate diabetic complications.

  7. The complexity of epigenetic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazel, Ailbhe Jane; Vernimmen, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, a plethora of pathogenic mutations affecting enhancer regions and epigenetic regulators have been identified. Coupled with more recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) implicating major roles for regulatory mutations in disease, it is clear that epigenetic mechanisms represent important biomarkers for disease development and perhaps even therapeutic targets. Here, we discuss the diversity of disease-causing mutations in enhancers and epigenetic regulators, with a particular focus on cancer.

  8. MicroRNA epigenetic signatures in human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piletič, Klara; Kunej, Tanja

    2016-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that act as important regulators of gene expression as part of the epigenetic machinery. In addition to posttranscriptional gene silencing by miRNAs, the epigenetic mechanisms also include DNA methylation, histone modifications and their crosstalk. Epigenetic modifications were reported to play an important role in many disease onsets and progressions and can be used to explain several features of complex diseases, such as late onset and fluctuation of symptoms. However, miRNAs not only function as a part of epigenetic machinery, but are also epigenetically modified by DNA methylation and histone modification like any other protein-coding gene. There is a strong connection between epigenome and miRNome, and any dysregulation of this complex system can result in various physiological and pathological conditions. In addition, miRNAs play an important role in toxicogenomics and may explain the relationship between toxicant exposure and tumorigenesis. The present review provides information on 63 miRNA genes shown to be epigenetically regulated in association with 21 diseases, including 11 cancer types: cardiac fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia, Hirschsprung's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, temporal lobe epilepsy, autism, pulmonary fibrosis, melanoma, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, colorectal, gastric, cervical, ovarian, prostate, lung, breast, and bladder cancer. The review revealed that hsa-miR-34a, hsa-miR-34b, and hsa-miR-34c are the most frequently reported epigenetically dysregulated miRNAs. There is a need to further study molecular mechanisms of various diseases to better understand the crosstalk between epigenetics and gene expression and to develop new therapeutic options and biomarkers.

  9. Epigenetic inheritance, prions and evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    JOHANNES MANJREKAR

    2017-07-01

    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 epigenetics concerns itself with mitotically inherited epigenetic processes underlying development or responses to environmental cues (as well as the role of mis-regulation or dys-regulation of such processes in disease and ageing), i.e., epigenetic changes occurring within individuals. However, a steadily growing body of evidence indicates that epigenetic changes may also sometimes be transmitted from parents to progeny, meiotically in sexually reproducingorganisms or mitotically in asexually reproducing ones. Such transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (TEI) raises obvious questions about a possible evolutionary role for epigenetic ‘Lamarckian’ mechanisms in evolution, particularly when epigenetic modifications are induced by environmental cues. In this review I attempt a brief overview of the periodically reviewed and debated ‘classical’ TEI phenomena and their possible implications for evolution. The review then focusses on a less-discussed, unique kind of protein-onlyepigenetic inheritance mediated by prions. Much remains to be learnt about the mechanisms, persistence and effects of TEI. The jury is still out on their evolutionary significance and how these phenomena should be incorporated into evolutionary theory, but the growing weight of evidence indicates that likely evolutionary roles for these processes need to be seriously explored.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic changes of DNA repair genes in cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christoph Lahtz; Gerd P. Pfeifer

    2011-01-01

    'Every Hour Hurts, The Last One Kills'. That is an old saying about getting old. Every day, thousands of DNA damaging events take place in each cell of our body, but efficient DNA repair systems have evolved to prevent that. However, our DNA repair system and that of most other organisms are not as perfect as that of Deinococcus radiodurans, for example, which is able to repair massive amounts of DNA damage at one time. In many instances, accumulation of DNA damage has been linked to cancer, and genetic deficiencies in specific DNA repair genes are associated with tumor-prone phenotypes. In addition to mutations, which can be either inherited or somatically acquired, epigenetic silencing of DNA repair genes may promote tumorigenesis. This review will summarize current knowledge of the epigenetic inactivation of different DNA repair components in human cancer.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Common non-epigenetic drugs as epigenetic modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lötsch, Jörn; Schneider, Gisbert; Reker, Daniel; Parnham, Michael J; Schneider, Petra; Geisslinger, Gerd; Doehring, Alexandra

    2013-12-01

    Epigenetic effects are exerted by a variety of factors and evidence increases that common drugs such as opioids, cannabinoids, valproic acid, or cytostatics may induce alterations in DNA methylation patterns or histone conformations. These effects occur via chemical structural interactions with epigenetic enzymes, through interactions with DNA repair mechanisms. Computational predictions indicate that one-twentieth of all drugs might potentially interact with human histone deacetylase, which was prospectively experimentally verified for the compound with the highest predicted interaction probability. These epigenetic effects add to wanted and unwanted drug effects, contributing to mechanisms of drug resistance or disease-related and unrelated phenotypes. Because epigenetic changes might be transmitted to offspring, the need for reliable and cost-effective epigenetic screening tools becomes acute.

  15. Derivation of consensus inactivation status for X-linked genes from genome-wide studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaton, Bradley P; Cotton, Allison M; Brown, Carolyn J

    2015-01-01

    X chromosome inactivation is the epigenetic silencing of the majority of the genes on one of the X chromosomes in XX therian mammals. In humans, approximately 15 % of genes consistently escape from this inactivation and another 15 % of genes vary between individuals or tissues in whether they are subject to, or escape from, inactivation. Multiple studies have provided inactivation status calls for a large subset of the genes on the X chromosome; however, these studies vary in which genes they were able to make calls for and in some cases which call they give a specific gene. This analysis aggregated three published studies that have examined X chromosome inactivation status of genes across the X chromosome, generating consensus calls and identifying discordancies. The impact of expression level and chromosomal location on X chromosome inactivation status was also assessed. Overall, we assigned a consensus XCI status 639 genes, including 78 % of protein-coding genes expressed outside of the testes, with a lower frequency for non-coding RNA and testis-specific genes. Study-specific discordancies suggest that there may be instability of XCI during cell culture and also highlight study-specific variations in call type. We observe an enrichment of discordant genes at boundaries between genes subject to and escaping from inactivation. This study has compiled a comprehensive list of X-chromosome inactivation statuses for genes and also discovered some biases which will help guide future studies examining X-chromosome inactivation.

  16. Epigenetics, Behaviour, and Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szyf Moshe

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The long-term effects of behaviour and environmental exposures, particularly during childhood, on health outcomes are well documented. Particularly thought provoking is the notion that exposures to different social environments have a long-lasting impact on human physical health. However, the mechanisms mediating the effects of the environment are still unclear. In the last decade, the main focus of attention was the genome, and interindividual genetic polymorphisms were sought after as the principal basis for susceptibility to disease. However, it is becoming clear that recent dramatic increases in the incidence of certain human pathologies, such as asthma and type 2 diabetes, cannot be explained just on the basis of a genetic drift. It is therefore extremely important to unravel the molecular links between the "environmental" exposure, which is believed to be behind this emerging incidence in certain human pathologies, and the disease's molecular mechanisms. Although it is clear that most human pathologies involve long-term changes in gene function, these might be caused by mechanisms other than changes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA sequence. The genome is programmed by the epigenome, which is composed of chromatin and a covalent modification of DNA by methylation. It is postulated here that "epigenetic" mechanisms mediate the effects of behavioural and environmental exposures early in life, as well as lifelong environmental exposures and the susceptibility to disease later in life. In contrast to genetic sequence differences, epigenetic aberrations are potentially reversible, raising the hope for interventions that will be able to reverse deleterious epigenetic programming.

  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.

  18. Epigenetic inheritance in apomictic dandelions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Preite, V.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic variation, such as changes in DNA methylations, regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) and chromatin modifications can be induced by environmental stress. There is increasing information that such induced epigenetic modifications can be transmitted to offspring, potentially mediating adaptive tran

  19. Epigenetics & chromatin: Interactions and processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Henikoff (Steven); F.G. Grosveld (Frank)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractOn 11 to 13 March 2013, BioMed Central will be hosting its inaugural conference, Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and Processes, at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA. Epigenetics & Chromatin has now launched a special article series based on the general themes of the

  20. [Epigenetic dysregulation in myelodysplastic syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sashida, Goro; Iwama, Atsushi

    2015-02-01

    Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal hematopoietic stem cell disease characterized by impaired hematopoiesis and an increased risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemia. Various epigenetic regulators are mutated in MDS patients, indicating that accumulation of epigenetic alterations together with genetic alterations plays a crucial role in the development of MDS.

  1. Epigenetics & chromatin: Interactions and processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Henikoff (Steven); F.G. Grosveld (Frank)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractOn 11 to 13 March 2013, BioMed Central will be hosting its inaugural conference, Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and Processes, at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA. Epigenetics & Chromatin has now launched a special article series based on the general themes of the confer

  2. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena, E-mail: B.Kaminska@nencki.gov.pl [Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobiology Center, The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur Str., Warsaw 02-093 (Poland)

    2013-09-03

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

  3. Dicentric Chromosome Formation and Epigenetics of Centromere Formation in Plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shulan Fu; Zhi Gao; James Birchler; Fangpu Han

    2012-01-01

    Plant centromeres are generally composed of tandem arrays of simple repeats that form a complex chromosome locus where the kinetochore forms and microtubules attach during mitosis and meiosis.Each chromosome has one centromere region,which is essential for accurate division of the genetic material.Recently,chromosomes containing two centromere regions (called dicentric chromosomes)have been found in maize and wheat.Interestingly,some dicentric chromosomes are stable because only one centromere is active and the other one is inactivated.Because such arrays maintain their typical structure for both active and inactive centromeres,the specification of centromere activity has an epigenetic component independent of the DNA sequence.Under some circumstances,the inactive centromeres may recover centromere function,which is called centromere reactivation.Recent studies have highlighted the important changes,such as DNA methylation and histone modification,that occur during centromere inactivation and reactivation.

  4. Dicentric chromosome formation and epigenetics of centromere formation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Shulan; Gao, Zhi; Birchler, James; Han, Fangpu

    2012-03-20

    Plant centromeres are generally composed of tandem arrays of simple repeats that form a complex chromosome locus where the kinetochore forms and microtubules attach during mitosis and meiosis. Each chromosome has one centromere region, which is essential for accurate division of the genetic material. Recently, chromosomes containing two centromere regions (called dicentric chromosomes) have been found in maize and wheat. Interestingly, some dicentric chromosomes are stable because only one centromere is active and the other one is inactivated. Because such arrays maintain their typical structure for both active and inactive centromeres, the specification of centromere activity has an epigenetic component independent of the DNA sequence. Under some circumstances, the inactive centromeres may recover centromere function, which is called centromere reactivation. Recent studies have highlighted the important changes, such as DNA methylation and histone modification, that occur during centromere inactivation and reactivation.

  5. LGBT Caregiving: Frequently Asked Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... FCA - A A + A You are here Home LGBT Caregiving: Frequently Asked Questions Order this publication Printer- ... service or organization is open to working with LGBT families? Kudos to you for managing to “go ...

  6. Frequent Questions About Universal Waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frequent questions such as Who is affected by the universal waste regulations? What is “mercury-containing equipment”? How are waste batteries managed under universal waste? How are waste pesticides managed under universal waste?

  7. Climate Leadership Awards Frequent Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Climate Leadership Awards, sponsored by EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership with co-sponsorship from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry.

  8. Frequently Asked Questions about Pharmacogenomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Care Specific Genetic Disorders Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacogenomics Enlarge What is pharmacogenomics? What might pharmacogenomics mean ... page, you will need Adobe Reader. What is pharmacogenomics? Pharmacogenomics uses information about a person's genetic makeup, ...

  9. Stress, epigenetics, and alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonat, Sachin; Pandey, Subhash C

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobow, Katja; Blümcke, Ingmar

    2014-01-01

    In humans, genomic DNA is organized in 23 chromosome pairs coding for roughly 25,000 genes. Not all of them are active at all times. During development, a broad range of different cell types needs to be generated in a highly ordered and reproducible manner, requiring selective gene expression programs. Epigenetics can be regarded as the information management system that is able to index or bookmark distinct regions in our genome to regulate the readout of DNA. It further comprises the molecular memory of any given cell, allowing it to store information of previously experienced external (e.g., environmental) or internal (e.g., developmental) stimuli, to learn from this experience and to respond. The underlying epigenetic mechanisms can be synergistic, antagonistic, or mutually exclusive and their large variety combined with the variability and interdependence is thought to provide the molecular basis for any phenotypic variation in physiological and pathological conditions. Thus, widespread reconfiguration of the epigenome is not only a key feature of neurodevelopment, brain maturation, and adult brain function but also disease.

  11. Epigenetics and nutritional environmental signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Soliman, Karam F A

    2014-07-01

    All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system, rotation of the planets, changes in sunlight, and gravitational pull influence cyclic epigenetic transitions and chromatin remodeling that constitute biological circadian rhythms controlling senescence. In humans, adverse environmental conditions such as poverty, stress, alcohol, malnutrition, exposure to pollutants generated from industrialization, man-made chemicals, and use of synthetic drugs can lead to maladaptive epigenetic-related illnesses with disease-specific genes being atypically activated or silenced. Nutrition and dietary practices are one of the largest facets in epigenetic-related metabolism, where specific "epi-nutrients" can stabilize the genome, given established roles in DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, food-based "epi-bioactive" constituents may reverse maladaptive epigenetic patterns, not only prior to conception and during fetal/early postnatal development but also through adulthood. In summary, in contrast to a static genomic DNA structure, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, raising the hope for therapeutic and/or dietary interventions that can reverse deleterious epigenetic programing as a means to prevent or treat major illnesses.

  12. A truly ecological epigenetics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossdorf, Oliver; Zhang, Yuanye

    2011-04-01

    Until a few years ago, epigenetics was a field of research that had nothing to do with ecology and that virtually no ecologist had ever heard of. This is now changing, as more and more ecologists learn about epigenetic processes and their potential ecological and evolutionary relevance, and a new research field of ecological epigenetics is beginning to take shape. One question that is particularly intriguing ecologists is to what extent epigenetic variation is an additional, and hitherto overlooked, source of natural variation in ecologically important traits. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Herrera & Bazaga (2011) provide one of the first attempts to truly address this question in an ecological setting. They study variation of DNA methylation in a wild population of the rare, long-lived violet Viola cazorlensis, and they use these data to explore interrelations between environmental, genetic and epigenetic variation, and in particular the extent to which these factors are related to long-term differences in herbivore damage among plants. They find substantial epigenetic variation among plant individuals. Interestingly, this epigenetic variation is significantly correlated with long-term differences in herbivory, but only weakly with herbivory-related DNA sequence variation, which suggests that besides habitat, substrate and genetic variation, epigenetic variation may be an additional, and at least partly independent, factor influencing plant–herbivore interactions in the field. Although the study by Herrera & Bazaga (2011) raises at least as many new questions as it answers, it is a pioneering example of how epigenetics can be incorporated into ecological field studies, and it illustrates the value and potential novel insights to be gained from such efforts.

  13. Efficient Frequent Pattern Tree Construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.Bujji Babu

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Association rule learning is a popular and well researched technique for discovering interesting relations between variables in large databases in the area of data mining. The association rules are a part of intelligent systems. Association rules are usually required to satisfy a user-specified minimum support and a user-specified minimum confidence at the same time. Apriori and FP-Growth algorithms are very familiar algorithms for association rule mining. In this paper we are more concentrated on the Construction of efficient frequent pattern trees. Here, we present the novel frequent pattern trees and the performance issues. The proposed trees are fast and efficient trees helps to extract the frequent patterns. This paper provides the major advantages in the FP-Growth algorithm for association rule mining with using the newly proposed approach.

  14. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Patrick Bateson

    2014-04-01

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

  15. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2014-04-01

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

  16. Epigenetic modifications and epigenetic based medication implementations of autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadi, Majid; Gharibi, Tohid; Dolati, Sanam; Rostamzadeh, Davood; Aslani, Saeed; Baradaran, Behzad; Younesi, Vahid; Yousefi, Mehdi

    2017-03-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies have documented a number of genetic variants to explain mechanisms underlying autoimmune diseases. However, the precise etiology of autoimmune diseases remains largely unknown. Epigenetic mechanisms like alterations in the post-translational modification of histones and DNA methylation may potentially cause a breakdown of immune tolerance and the perpetuation of autoreactive responses. Recently, several studies both in experimental models and clinical settings proposed that the epigenome may hold the key to a better understanding of autoimmunity initiation and perpetuation. More specifically, data support the impact of epigenetic changes in autoimmune diseases, in some cases based on mechanistical observations. Epigenetic therapy already being employed in hematopoietic malignancies may also be associated with beneficial effects in autoimmune diseases. In this review, we will discuss on what we know and expect about the treatment of autoimmune disease based on epigenetic aberrations.

  17. The Differences Between Cis- and Trans-Gene Inactivation Caused by Heterochromatin in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, Yuriy A; Shatskikh, Aleksei S; Maksimenko, Oksana G; Bonaccorsi, Silvia; Gvozdev, Vladimir A; Lavrov, Sergey A

    2016-01-01

    Position-effect variegation (PEV) is the epigenetic disruption of gene expression near the de novo-formed euchromatin-heterochromatin border. Heterochromatic cis-inactivation may be accompanied by the trans-inactivation of genes on a normal homologous chromosome in trans-heterozygous combination with a PEV-inducing rearrangement. We characterize a new genetic system, inversion In(2)A4, demonstrating cis-acting PEV as well as trans-inactivation of the reporter transgenes on the homologous nonrearranged chromosome. The cis-effect of heterochromatin in the inversion results not only in repression but also in activation of genes, and it varies at different developmental stages. While cis-actions affect only a few juxtaposed genes, trans-inactivation is observed in a 500-kb region and demonstrates а nonuniform pattern of repression with intermingled regions where no transgene repression occurs. There is no repression around the histone gene cluster and in some other euchromatic sites. trans-Inactivation is accompanied by dragging of euchromatic regions into the heterochromatic compartment, but the histone gene cluster, located in the middle of the trans-inactivated region, was shown to be evicted from the heterochromatin. We demonstrate that trans-inactivation is followed by de novo HP1a accumulation in the affected transgene; trans-inactivation is specifically favored by the chromatin remodeler SAYP and prevented by Argonaute AGO2.

  18. The Most Frequent English Homonyms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    This article distinguishes homonymy, homophony, homography and polysemy, and provides a list of the most frequent homonyms using corpus-derived data. For most of the homonyms, the most common meaning accounts for 90% or more of the total uses of the form. The pedagogical and research implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 5…

  19. How to find frequent patterns?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.H.L.M. Pijls (Wim); W.A. Koster

    2005-01-01

    textabstractAn improved version of DF, the depth-first implementation of Apriori, is presented. Given a database of (e.g., supermarket) transactions, the DF algorithm builds a so-called trie that contains all frequent itemsets, i.e., all itemsets that are contained in at least `minsup' transacti

  20. [Nutritionnal epigenomics: consequences of unbalanced diets on epigenetics processes of programming during lifespan and between generations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junien, C; Gallou-Kabani, C; Vigé, A; Gross, M-S

    2005-04-01

    Epigenetic changes associated with DNA methylation and histone modifications leading to chromatin remodeling and regulation of gene expression underlie the developmental programming of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome. This review focuses on converging data supporting the hypothesis that, in addition to "thrifty genotype" inheritance, individuals with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases have suffered improper "epigenetic programming" during their fetal/postnatal development due to maternal inadequate nutrition and metabolic disturbances and also during their lifetime, that could even be transmitted to the next generation(s). We highlight the susceptibility of epigenetic mechanisms controlling gene expression to environmental influences due to their inherent malleability, emphasizing the participation of transposable elements and the potential role of imprinted genes during critical time windows in epigenetic programming, from the very beginning of development, throughout life. Increasing our understanding on epigenetic patterns significance and their role in development, evolution and adaptation and on small molecules (nutrients, drugs) that reverse epigenetic (in)activation should provide us with the means to "unlock" silenced (enhanced) genes, and to "convert" the obsolete human thrifty genotype into a "squandering" phenotype.

  1. Comparative epigenomics: an emerging field with breakthrough potential to understand evolution of epigenetic regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janine E. Deakin

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, thereby mediating the interaction between environment, genotype and phenotype. Changes to epigenetic regulation of genes may be heritable, permitting rapid adaptation of a species to environmental cues. However, most of the current understanding of epigenetic gene regulation has been gained from studies of mice and humans, with only a limited understanding of the conservation of epigenetic mechanisms across divergent taxa. The relative ease at which genome sequence data is now obtained and the advancements made in epigenomics techniques for non-model species provides a basis for carrying out comparative epigenomic studies across a wider range of species, making it possible to start unraveling the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. We review the current knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms obtained from studying model organisms, give an example of how comparative epigenomics using non-model species is helping to trace the evolutionary history of X chromosome inactivation in mammals and explore the opportunities to study comparative epigenomics in biological systems displaying adaptation between species, such as the immune system and sex determination.

  2. MAOA and GYG2 are submitted to X chromosome inactivation in human fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stabellini, Raquel; Vasques, Luciana R; de Mello, Joana Carvalho Moreira; Hernandes, Lys Molina; Pereira, Lygia V

    2009-08-16

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is a comprehensively studied phenomenon that helped to highlight the heritable nature of epigenetic modifications. Although it consists of the transcriptional inactivation of a whole X chromosome in females, some genes escape this process and present bi-allelic expression. Using human fibroblasts with skewed inactivation, we determined allele-specific expression of two X-linked genes previously described to escape XCI in rodent/human somatic cell hybrids, MAOA and GYG2, and the pattern of DNA methylation of their 5' end. Results from these complementary methodologies let us to conclude that both genes are subjected to X inactivation in normal human fibroblasts, indicating that hybrid cells are not an adequate system for studying epigenotypes. We emphasize the need of an analysis of XCI in normal human cell lines, helping us to determine more precisely which X-linked genes contribute to differences among genders and to the phenotypes associated with sex chromosomes aneuploidies.

  3. Hydrazine inactivates bacillus spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Wayne; Plett, G. A.; Yavrouian, A. H.; Barengoltz, J.

    2005-01-01

    Planetary Protection places requirements on the maximum number of viable bacterial spores that may be delivered by a spacecraft to another solar system body. Therefore, for such space missions, the spores that may be found in hydrazine are of concern. A proposed change in processing procedures that eliminated a 0.2 um filtration step propmpted this study to ensure microbial contamination issue existed, especially since no information was found in the literature to substantiate bacterial spore inactivation by hydrazine.

  4. Epigenetic Editing : targeted rewriting of epigenetic marks to modulate expression of selected target genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groote, Marloes L.; Verschure, Pernette J.; Rots, Marianne G.

    2012-01-01

    Despite significant advances made in epigenetic research in recent decades, many questions remain unresolved, especially concerning cause and consequence of epigenetic marks with respect to gene expression modulation (GEM). Technologies allowing the targeting of epigenetic enzymes to predetermined D

  5. Epigenetic Editing: targeted rewriting of epigenetic marks to modulate expression of selected target genes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groote, M.L.; Verschure, P.J.; Rots, M.G.

    2012-01-01

    Despite significant advances made in epigenetic research in recent decades, many questions remain unresolved, especially concerning cause and consequence of epigenetic marks with respect to gene expression modulation (GEM). Technologies allowing the targeting of epigenetic enzymes to predetermined D

  6. Epigenetics of sleep and chronobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-03-01

    The circadian clock choreographs fundamental biological rhythms. This system is comprised of the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and associated pacemakers in other tissues that coordinate complex physiological processes and behaviors, such as sleep, feeding, and metabolism. The molecular circuitry that underlies these clocks and orchestrates circadian gene expression has been the focus of intensive investigation, and it is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into these networks. In this review, we draw attention to the fundamental roles played by epigenetic mechanisms in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation within the circadian clock system. We also highlight how alterations in epigenetic factors and mechanisms are being linked with sleep-wake disorders. These observations provide important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of these disorders and implicate epigenetic deregulation in the significant but poorly understood interconnections now emerging between circadian processes and neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic Alterations in Muscular Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Lanzuolo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, acting via chromatin organization, fix in time and space different transcriptional programs and contribute to the quality, stability, and heritability of cell-specific transcription programs. In the last years, great advances have been made in our understanding of mechanisms by which this occurs in normal subjects. However, only a small part of the complete picture has been revealed. Abnormal gene expression patterns are often implicated in the development of different diseases, and thus epigenetic studies from patients promise to fill an important lack of knowledge, deciphering aberrant molecular mechanisms at the basis of pathogenesis and diseases progression. The identification of epigenetic modifications that could be used as targets for therapeutic interventions could be particularly timely in the light of pharmacologically reversion of pathological perturbations, avoiding changes in DNA sequences. Here I discuss the available information on epigenetic mechanisms that, altered in neuromuscular disorders, could contribute to the progression of the disease.

  9. Epigenetic regulation of skeletal myogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Saccone, Valentina; Puri, Pier Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    During embryogenesis a timely and coordinated expression of different subsets of genes drives the formation of skeletal muscles in response to developmental cues. In this review, we will summarize the most recent advances on the “epigenetic network” that promotes the transcription of selective groups of genes in muscle progenitors, through the concerted action of chromatin-associated complexes that modify histone tails and microRNAs (miRNAs). These epigenetic players cooperate to establish fo...

  10. Recent advances in GNAS epigenetic research of pseudohypoparathyroidism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izzi, B; Van Geet, C; Freson, K

    2012-06-01

    Endocrinopathies in patients with hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia that share resistance to parathyroid hormone (PTH) are grouped under the term pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP). Patients with PHP type Ia (PHP-Ia) often present with additional hormonal resistance and show characteristic physical features that are jointly termed as having an Albright's hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO) phenotype. Alternatively, PHPIb patients predominantly have PTH and sometimes TSH resistance but do not present with AHO features. Most of these PHP forms are caused by defects in GNAS, an imprinted gene locus consisting of maternal, paternal and biallelic transcripts. PHP-Ia is caused by heterozygous inactivating mutations in those exons of GNAS encoding the alpha subunit of the stimulatory guanine nucleotide-binding protein (Gsalpha) while PHPIb results from epigenetic GNAS defects. Familial and sporadic forms of PHP-Ib have distinct GNAS imprinting patterns: familial PHP-Ib patients have an exon A/B-only imprinting defect whereas sporadic PHP-Ib cases have abnormal imprinting of the three differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in GNAS. This classification of PHP was made years ago but was recently questioned since different studies showed GNAS epigenetic defects in PHP-Ia patients. In this review, we focus on the epigenetic description and screening methods of GNAS, the associated pathology and the recent need for a PHP reclassification.

  11. Epigenetics Across the Human Lifespan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riya Rajan Kanherkar

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics has the potential to explain various biological phenomena that have heretofore defied complete explication. This review describes the various types of endogenous human developmental milestones such as birth, puberty, and menopause, as well as the diverse exogenous environmental factors that influence human health, in a chronological epigenetic context. We describe the entire course of human life from periconception to death and chronologically note all of the potential internal timepoints and external factors that influence the human epigenome. Ultimately, the environment presents these various factors to the individual that influence the epigenome, and the unique epigenetic and genetic profile of each individual also modulates the specific response to these factors. During the course of human life, we are exposed to an environment that abounds with a potent and dynamic milieu capable of triggering chemical changes that activate or silence genes. There is constant interaction between the external and internal environments that is required for normal development and health maintenance as well as for influencing disease load and resistance. For example, exposure to pharmaceutical and toxic chemicals, diet, stress, exercise, and other environmental factors are capable of eliciting positive or negative epigenetic modifications with lasting effects on development, metabolism and health. These can impact the body so profoundly as to permanently alter the epigenetic profile of an individual. We also present a comprehensive new hypothesis of how these diverse environmental factors cause both direct and indirect epigenetic changes and how this knowledge can ultimately be used to improve personalized medicine.

  12. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Marie-Theres; Aufsatz, Werner; Jonak, Claudia; Luschnig, Christian

    2011-08-01

    Interest in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance has intensified with the boosting of knowledge on epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression during development and in response to internal and external signals such as biotic and abiotic stresses. Starting with an historical background of scantily documented anecdotes and their consequences, we recapitulate the information gathered during the last 60 years on naturally occurring and induced epialleles and paramutations in plants. We present the major players of epigenetic regulation and their importance in controlling stress responses. The effect of diverse stressors on the epigenetic status and its transgenerational inheritance is summarized from a mechanistic viewpoint. The consequences of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance are presented, focusing on the knowledge about its stability, and in relation to genetically fixed mutations, recombination, and genomic rearrangement. We conclude with an outlook on the importance of transgenerational inheritance for adaptation to changing environments and for practical applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Epigenetic control of cellular and developmental processes in plants".

  13. Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapienza, Carmen; Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2016-07-17

    The search for a connection between diet and human cancer has a long history in cancer research, as has interest in the mechanisms by which dietary factors might increase or decrease cancer risk. The realization that altering diet can alter the epigenetic state of genes and that these epigenetic alterations might increase or decrease cancer risk is a more modern notion, driven largely by studies in animal models. The connections between diet and epigenetic alterations, on the one hand, and between epigenetic alterations and cancer, on the other, are supported by both observational studies in humans as well as animal models. However, the conclusion that diet is linked directly to epigenetic alterations and that these epigenetic alterations directly increase or decrease the risk of human cancer is much less certain. We suggest that true and measurable effects of diet or dietary supplements on epigenotype and cancer risk are most likely to be observed in longitudinal studies and at the extremes of the intersection of dietary risk factors and human population variability. Careful analysis of such outlier populations is most likely to shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which suspected environmental risk factors drive the process of carcinogenesis.

  14. Imprinted X chromosome inactivation: evolution of mechanisms in distantly related mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shafagh A. Waters

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In females, X chromosome inactivation (XCI ensures transcriptional silencing of one of the two Xs (either in a random or imprinted fashion in somatic cells. Comparing this silencing between species has offered insight into different mechanisms of X inactivation, providing clues into the evolution of this epigenetic process in mammals. Long-noncoding RNAs have emerged as a common theme in XCI of therian mammals (eutherian and marsupial. Eutherian X inactivation is regulated by the noncoding RNA product of XIST, within a cis-acting master control region called the X inactivation center (XIC. Marsupials XCI is XIST independent. Instead, XCI is controlled by the long-noncoding RNA Rsx, which appears to be a functional analog of the eutherian XIST gene, insofar that its transcript coats the inactive X and represses activity of genes in cis. In this review we discuss XCI in eutherians, and contrast imprinted X inactivation in mouse and marsupials. We provide particular focus on the evolution of genomic elements that confer the unique epigenetic features that characterize the inactive X chromosome.

  15. Polycomb Mediated Epigenetic Silencing and Replication Timing at the INK4a/ARF Locus during Senescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verthuy, Christophe; Chasson, Lionel; Serrano, Manuel; Djabali, Malek

    2009-01-01

    Background The INK4/ARF locus encodes three tumor suppressor genes (p15Ink4b, Arf and p16Ink4a) and is frequently inactivated in a large number of human cancers. Mechanisms regulating INK4/ARF expression are not fully characterized. Principal Findings Here we show that in young proliferating embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) member EZH2 together with PRC1 members BMI1 and M33 are strongly expressed and localized at the INK4/ARF regulatory domain (RD) identified as a DNA replication origin. When cells enter senescence the binding to RD of both PRC1 and PRC2 complexes is lost leading to a decreased level of histone H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). This loss is accompanied with an increased expression of the histone demethylase Jmjd3 and with the recruitment of the MLL1 protein, and correlates with the expression of the Ink4a/Arf genes. Moreover, we show that the Polycomb protein BMI1 interacts with CDC6, an essential regulator of DNA replication in eukaryotic cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Polycomb proteins and associated epigenetic marks are crucial for the control of the replication timing of the INK4a/ARF locus during senescence. Conclusions We identified the replication licencing factor CDC6 as a new partner of the Polycomb group member BMI1. Our results suggest that in young cells Polycomb proteins are recruited to the INK4/ARF locus through CDC6 and the resulting silent locus is replicated during late S-phase. Upon senescence, Jmjd3 is overexpressed and the MLL1 protein is recruited to the locus provoking the dissociation of Polycomb from the INK4/ARF locus, its transcriptional activation and its replication during early S-phase. Together, these results provide a unified model that integrates replication, transcription and epigenetics at the INK4/ARF locus. PMID:19462008

  16. Polycomb mediated epigenetic silencing and replication timing at the INK4a/ARF locus during senescence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanane Agherbi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The INK4/ARF locus encodes three tumor suppressor genes (p15(Ink4b, Arf and p16(Ink4a and is frequently inactivated in a large number of human cancers. Mechanisms regulating INK4/ARF expression are not fully characterized. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that in young proliferating embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2 member EZH2 together with PRC1 members BMI1 and M33 are strongly expressed and localized at the INK4/ARF regulatory domain (RD identified as a DNA replication origin. When cells enter senescence the binding to RD of both PRC1 and PRC2 complexes is lost leading to a decreased level of histone H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3. This loss is accompanied with an increased expression of the histone demethylase Jmjd3 and with the recruitment of the MLL1 protein, and correlates with the expression of the Ink4a/Arf genes. Moreover, we show that the Polycomb protein BMI1 interacts with CDC6, an essential regulator of DNA replication in eukaryotic cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Polycomb proteins and associated epigenetic marks are crucial for the control of the replication timing of the INK4a/ARF locus during senescence. CONCLUSIONS: We identified the replication licencing factor CDC6 as a new partner of the Polycomb group member BMI1. Our results suggest that in young cells Polycomb proteins are recruited to the INK4/ARF locus through CDC6 and the resulting silent locus is replicated during late S-phase. Upon senescence, Jmjd3 is overexpressed and the MLL1 protein is recruited to the locus provoking the dissociation of Polycomb from the INK4/ARF locus, its transcriptional activation and its replication during early S-phase. Together, these results provide a unified model that integrates replication, transcription and epigenetics at the INK4/ARF locus.

  17. Exploiting epigenetic vulnerabilities for cancer therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallack, Lawrence; Thornburg, Kent

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Epigenetic predictor of age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Bocklandt

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

  20. Epigenetics and Breast Cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    An T. Vo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Several of the active compounds in foods, poisons, drugs, and industrial chemicals may, by epigenetic mechanisms, increase or decrease the risk of breast cancers. Enzymes that are involved in DNA methylation and histone modifications have been shown to be altered in several types of breast and other cancers resulting in abnormal patterns of methylation and/or acetylation. Hypermethylation at the CpG islands found in estrogen response element (ERE promoters occurs in conjunction with ligand-bonded alpha subunit estrogen receptor (Erα dimers wherein the ligand ERα dimer complex acts as a transcription factor and binds to the ERE promoter. Ligands could be 17-β-estradiol (E2, phytoestrogens, heterocyclic amines, and many other identified food additives and heavy metals. The dimer recruits DNA methyltransferases which catalyze the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM to 5′-cytosine on CpG islands. Other enzymes are recruited to the region by ligand-ERα dimers which activate DNA demethylases to act simultaneously to increase gene expression of protooncogenes and growth-promoting genes. Ligand-ERα dimers also recruit histone acetyltransferase to the ERE promoter region. Histone demethylases such as JMJD2B and histone methyltransferases are enzymes which demethylate lysine residues on histones H3 and/or H4. This makes the chromatin accessible for transcription factors and enzymes.

  1. Epigenetic Regulation of Intronic Transgenes in Arabidopsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osabe, Kenji; Harukawa, Yoshiko; Miura, Saori; Saze, Hidetoshi

    2017-01-01

    Defense mechanisms of plant genomes can epigenetically inactivate repetitive sequences and exogenous transgenes. Loss of mutant phenotypes in intronic T-DNA insertion lines by interaction with another T-DNA locus, termed T-DNA suppression, has been observed in Arabidopsis thaliana, although the molecular basis of establishment and maintenance of T-DNA suppression is poorly understood. Here we show that maintenance of T-DNA suppression requires heterochromatinisation of T-DNA sequences and the nuclear proteins, INCREASED IN BONSAI METHYLATION 2 (IBM2) and ENHANCED DOWNY MILDEW 2 (EDM2), which prevent ectopic 3′ end processing of mRNA in atypically long introns containing T-DNA sequences. Initiation of T-DNA suppression is mediated by the canonical RdDM pathway after hybridisation of two T-DNA strains, accompanied by DNA hypermethylation of T-DNA sequences in the F1 generation. Our results reveal the presence of a genome surveillance mechanism through genome hybridisation that masks repetitive DNAs intruding into transcription units. PMID:28338020

  2. Modeling Radiation Effectiveness for Inactivation of Bacillus Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-17

    EFFECTIVENESS FOR INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS SPORES Emily A. Knight, B.A., M.S. Major, USAF Committee Membership: Dr. William P. Baker Chair Dr. Larry W...linked to food poisoning and causes gastrointestinal diseases with symptoms ranging from mild nausea to frequent vomiting . However, as described above

  3. Stable X chromosome inactivation involves the PRC1 Polycomb complex and requires histone MACROH2A1 and the CULLIN3/SPOP ubiquitin E3 ligase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hernández-Muñoz, Inmaculada; Lund, Anders H; van der Stoop, Petra

    2005-01-01

    . This recruitment results in an inactive state that is initially labile but is further locked in by epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation, histone hypoacetylation, and MACROH2A deposition. Here, we report that the E3 ubiquitin ligase consisting of SPOP and CULLIN3 is able to ubiquitinate the Polycomb group...... inactivation in somatic cells. We further demonstrate that MACROH2A1 deposition is regulated by the CULLIN3/SPOP ligase complex and is actively involved in stable X inactivation, likely through the formation of an additional layer of epigenetic silencing....

  4. Human male meiotic sex chromosome inactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Marieke; Vosters, Sanne; Merkx, Gerard; D'Hauwers, Kathleen; Wansink, Derick G; Ramos, Liliana; de Boer, Peter

    2012-01-01

    In mammalian male gametogenesis the sex chromosomes are distinctive in both gene activity and epigenetic strategy. At first meiotic prophase the heteromorphic X and Y chromosomes are placed in a separate chromatin domain called the XY body. In this process, X,Y chromatin becomes highly phosphorylated at S139 of H2AX leading to the repression of gonosomal genes, a process known as meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI), which has been studied best in mice. Post-meiotically this repression is largely maintained. Disturbance of MSCI in mice leads to harmful X,Y gene expression, eventuating in spermatocyte death and sperm heterogeneity. Sperm heterogeneity is a characteristic of the human male. For this reason we were interested in the efficiency of MSCI in human primary spermatocytes. We investigated MSCI in pachytene spermatocytes of seven probands: four infertile men and three fertile controls, using direct and indirect in situ methods. A considerable degree of variation in the degree of MSCI was detected, both between and within probands. Moreover, in post-meiotic stages this variation was observed as well, indicating survival of spermatocytes with incompletely inactivated sex chromosomes. Furthermore, we investigated the presence of H3K9me3 posttranslational modifications on the X and Y chromatin. Contrary to constitutive centromeric heterochromatin, this heterochromatin marker did not specifically accumulate on the XY body, with the exception of the heterochromatic part of the Y chromosome. This may reflect the lower degree of MSCI in man compared to mouse. These results point at relaxation of MSCI, which can be explained by genetic changes in sex chromosome composition during evolution and candidates as a mechanism behind human sperm heterogeneity.

  5. Human male meiotic sex chromosome inactivation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke de Vries

    Full Text Available In mammalian male gametogenesis the sex chromosomes are distinctive in both gene activity and epigenetic strategy. At first meiotic prophase the heteromorphic X and Y chromosomes are placed in a separate chromatin domain called the XY body. In this process, X,Y chromatin becomes highly phosphorylated at S139 of H2AX leading to the repression of gonosomal genes, a process known as meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI, which has been studied best in mice. Post-meiotically this repression is largely maintained. Disturbance of MSCI in mice leads to harmful X,Y gene expression, eventuating in spermatocyte death and sperm heterogeneity. Sperm heterogeneity is a characteristic of the human male. For this reason we were interested in the efficiency of MSCI in human primary spermatocytes. We investigated MSCI in pachytene spermatocytes of seven probands: four infertile men and three fertile controls, using direct and indirect in situ methods. A considerable degree of variation in the degree of MSCI was detected, both between and within probands. Moreover, in post-meiotic stages this variation was observed as well, indicating survival of spermatocytes with incompletely inactivated sex chromosomes. Furthermore, we investigated the presence of H3K9me3 posttranslational modifications on the X and Y chromatin. Contrary to constitutive centromeric heterochromatin, this heterochromatin marker did not specifically accumulate on the XY body, with the exception of the heterochromatic part of the Y chromosome. This may reflect the lower degree of MSCI in man compared to mouse. These results point at relaxation of MSCI, which can be explained by genetic changes in sex chromosome composition during evolution and candidates as a mechanism behind human sperm heterogeneity.

  6. Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetic regulation in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labbé, Catherine; Lorenzo-Betancor, Oswaldo; Ross, Owen A

    2016-10-01

    Recent efforts have shed new light on the epigenetic mechanisms driving gene expression alterations associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Changes in gene expression are a well-established cause of PD, and epigenetic mechanisms likely play a pivotal role in regulation. Studies in families with PD harboring duplications and triplications of the SNCA gene have demonstrated that gene dosage is associated with increased expression of both SNCA mRNA and protein, and correlates with a fulminant disease course. Furthermore, it is postulated that even subtle changes in SNCA expression caused by common variation is associated with disease risk. Of note, genome-wide association studies have identified over 30 loci associated with PD with most signals located in non-coding regions of the genome, thus likely influencing transcript expression levels. In health, epigenetic mechanisms tightly regulate gene expression, turning genes on and off to balance homeostasis and this, in part, explains why two cells with the same DNA sequence will have different RNA expression profiles. Understanding this phenomenon will be crucial to our interpretation of the selective vulnerability observed in neurodegeneration and specifically dopaminergic neurons in the PD brain. In this review, we discuss epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, involved in regulating the expression of genes relevant to PD, RNA-based mechanisms, as well as the effect of toxins and potential epigenetic-based treatments for PD.

  8. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  9. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21466928

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in penile carcinoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuasne, Hellen; Marchi, Fabio Albuquerque; Rogatto, Silvia Regina

    2013-01-01

    Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity in diffe......Penile carcinoma (PeCa) represents an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. Despite its unpredictable behavior and aggressive treatment, there have only been a few reports regarding its molecular data, especially epigenetic mechanisms. The functional diversity...... in different cell types is acquired by chromatin modifications, which are established by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms involving DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that the dysregulation in these processes can result in the development of several diseases, including...... cancer. Epigenetic alterations, such as the methylation of CpGs islands, may reveal candidates for the development of specific markers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. There are a few reports on the epigenetic alterations in PeCa, and most of these studies have only focused on alterations...

  11. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinborg, Anja; Loft, Anne; Romundstad, Liv B; Wennerholm, Ulla-Britt; Söderström-Anttila, Viveca; Bergh, Christina; Aittomäki, Kristiina

    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 associated with ART techniques, but disentangling the influence of the ART procedures per se from the effect of the reproductive disease of the parents is a challenge. Epidemiological human studies have shown altered birthweight profiles in ART compared with spontaneously conceived singletons. Conception with cryopreserved/thawed embryos results in a higher risk of large-for-gestational-age babies, which may be due to epigenetic modification. Further animal studies have shown altered gene expression profiles in offspring conceived by ART related to altered glucose metabolism. It is controversial whether human adolescents conceived by ART have altered lipid and glucose profiles and thereby a higher long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This commentary describes the basic concepts of epigenetics and gives a short overview of the existing literature on the association between imprinting disorders, epigenetic modification and ART. © 2015 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  12. The cancer epigenome : towards epigenetic therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geutjes, E.J.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing occurs in many important biological processes including differentiation, senescence and imprinting. In most cases, epigenetic silencing is orchestrated by an intricate interplay between DNA methylation, histone modifications and nucleosome remodeling that act in concert to

  13. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    associated with ART techniques, but disentangling the influence of the ART procedures per se from the effect of the reproductive disease of the parents is a challenge. Epidemiological human studies have shown altered birth weight profiles in ART compared with spontaneously conceived singletons. Conception......Epigenetic modification controls gene activity without changes in the DNA sequence. The genome undergoes several phases of epigenetic programming during gametogenesis and early embryo development coinciding with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) treatments. Imprinting disorders have been...... with cryopreserved/thawed embryos results in a higher risk of large-for-gestational age babies, which may be due to epigenetic modification. Further animal studies have shown altered gene expression profiles in offspring conceived by ART related to altered glucose metabolism. It is controversial whether human...

  14. Epigenetic alterations underlying autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslani, Saeed; Mahmoudi, Mahdi; Karami, Jafar; Jamshidi, Ahmad Reza; Malekshahi, Zahra; Nicknam, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Recent breakthroughs in genetic explorations have extended our understanding through discovery of genetic patterns subjected to autoimmune diseases (AID). Genetics, on the contrary, has not answered all the conundrums to describe a comprehensive explanation of causal mechanisms of disease etiopathology with regard to the function of environment, sex, or aging. The other side of the coin, epigenetics which is defined by gene manifestation modification without DNA sequence alteration, reportedly has come in to provide new insights towards disease apprehension through bridging the genetics and environmental factors. New investigations in genetic and environmental contributing factors for autoimmunity provide new explanation whereby the interactions between genetic elements and epigenetic modifications signed by environmental agents may be responsible for autoimmune disease initiation and perpetuation. It is aimed through this article to review recent progress attempting to reveal how epigenetics associates with the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

  15. Epigenetics in heart failure phenotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Berezin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Chronic heart failure (HF is a leading clinical and public problem posing a higher risk of morbidity and mortality in different populations. HF appears to be in both phenotypic forms: HF with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF and HF with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFpEF. Although both HF phenotypes can be distinguished through clinical features, co-morbidity status, prediction score, and treatment, the clinical outcomes in patients with HFrEF and HFpEF are similar. In this context, investigation of various molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the development and progression of both HF phenotypes is very important. There is emerging evidence that epigenetic regulation may have a clue in the pathogenesis of HF. This review represents current available evidence regarding the implication of epigenetic modifications in the development of different HF phenotypes and perspectives of epigenetic-based therapies of HF.

  16. Discussing epigenetics in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetic biomarkers in liver cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banaudha, Krishna K; Verma, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC) is a major cancer worldwide. Research in this field is needed to identify biomarkers that can be used for early detection of the disease as well as new approaches to its treatment. Epigenetic biomarkers provide an opportunity to understand liver cancer etiology and evaluate novel epigenetic inhibitors for treatment. Traditionally, liver cirrhosis, proteomic biomarkers, and the presence of hepatitis viruses have been used for the detection and diagnosis of liver cancer. Promising results from microRNA (miRNA) profiling and hypermethylation of selected genes have raised hopes of identifying new biomarkers. Some of these epigenetic biomarkers may be useful in risk assessment and for screening populations to identify who is likely to develop cancer. Challenges and opportunities in the field are discussed in this chapter.

  19. Antitumor mechanisms when pRb and p53 are genetically inactivated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, L; Lu, Z; Zhao, H

    2015-08-27

    pRb and p53 are the two major tumor suppressors. Their inactivation is frequent when cancers develop and their reactivation is rationale of most cancer therapeutics. When pRb and p53 are genetically inactivated, cells irreparably lose the antitumor mechanisms afforded by them. Cancer genome studies document recurrent genetic inactivation of RB1 and TP53, and the inactivation becomes more frequent in more advanced cancers. These findings may explain why more advanced cancers are more likely to resist current therapies. Finding successful treatments for more advanced and multi-therapy-resistant cancers will depend on finding antitumor mechanisms that remain effective when pRb and p53 are genetically inactivated. Here, we review studies that have begun to make progress in this direction.

  20. Epigenetic Inheritance Across the Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Vaughn Whipple

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Review of Epigenetics: A Reference Manual

    OpenAIRE

    Banister, Carolyn E

    2012-01-01

    The study of epigenetics has experienced exponential growth in the past 15 years and continues to be a major focus of study across biological disciplines. A new reference text Epigenetics: A Reference Manual, published by Caister Academic Press and edited by Jeffrey M. Craig and Nicholas C. Wong (Developmental Epigenetics Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Victoria, Australia), presents a current and comprehensive look into the many facets of epigenetics research. The information t...

  2. Dynamics of X Chromosome Inactivation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Loos (Friedemann)

    2015-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Dosage compensation evolved to account for the difference in expression of sex chromosome-linked genes. In mammals dosage compensation is achieved by inactivation of one X chromosome during early female embryogenesis in a process called X chromosome inactivation (XCI).

  3. Epigenetic influence on embryonic development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Donkin, Ida; Barrès, Romain; Pinborg, Anja

    2016-01-01

    The epigenome is sensitive to environmental changes and can sustainably alter gene expression, notably during embryonic development. New research indicates that epigenetic factors are heritable, which is why paternal lifestyle may affect fetal development and risk of disease. Children conceived...... by assisted reproduction technology (ART) have an increased risk of peri- and postnatal complications, and as specific ART protocols associate with specific risk profiles, the procedures themselves may cause epigenetic changes contributing to the altered outcomes of the 5,000 Danish children annually...

  4. Epigenetic regulation in cardiac fibrosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li-Ming; Yu; Yong; Xu

    2015-01-01

    Cardiac fibrosis represents an adoptive response in the heart exposed to various stress cues. While resolution of the fibrogenic response heralds normalization of heart function, persistent fibrogenesis is usually associated with progressive loss of heart function and eventually heart failure. Cardiac fibrosis is regulated by a myriad of factors that converge on the transcription of genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins, a process the epigenetic machinery plays a pivotal role. In this minireview, we summarize recent advances regarding the epigenetic regulation of cardiac fibrosis focusing on the role of histone and DNA modifications and non-coding RNAs.

  5. Epigenetic alterations in gastric carcinogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    In-Seon CHOI; Tsung-Teh WU

    2005-01-01

    Gastric cancer is believed to result in part from the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations leading to oncogene overexpression and tumor suppressor loss. Epigenetic alterations as a distinct and crucial mechanism to silence a variety of methylated tissue-specific and imprinted genes, have been extensively studied in gastric carcinoma and play important roles in gastric carcinogenesis. This review will briefly discuss the basic aspects of DNA methylation and CpG island methylation, in particular the epigenetic alterations of certain critical genes implicated in gastric carcinogenesis and its relevance of clinical implications.

  6. Fetal epigenetic programming of adipokines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houde, Andrée-Anne; Hivert, Marie-France; Bouchard, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetics generates a considerable interest in the field of research on complex traits, including obesity and diabetes. Recently, we reported a number of epipolymorphisms in the placental leptin and adiponectin genes associated with maternal hyperglycemia during pregnancy. Our results suggest that DNA methylation could partly explain the link between early exposure to a detrimental fetal environment and an increased risk to develop obesity and diabetes later in life. This brief report discusses the potential importance of adipokine epigenetic changes in fetal metabolic programming. Additionally, preliminary data showing similarities between methylation variations of different tissues and cell types will be presented along with the challenges and future perspectives of this emerging field of research.

  7. [DNA methylation and epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniushin, B F

    2006-09-01

    sensitive to DNA methylation. It seems likely that plants, similarly to microorganisms and some lower eukaryotes, have restriction--modification (R--M) system. Discovery of the essential role of DNA methylation in regulation of genetic processes served as a principle basis and materialization of epigenetics and epigenomics.

  8. Epigenetics in the nervous system: An overview of its essential role

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhavya Ravi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The role that epigenetic mechanisms play in phenomena such as cellular differentiation during embryonic development, X chromosome inactivation, and cancers is well-characterized. Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated to be the mediators of several functions in the nervous system such as in neuronal-glial differentiation, adult neurogenesis, the modulation of neural behavior and neural plasticity, and also in higher brain functions like cognition and memory. Its particular role in explaining the importance of early life/social experiences on adult behavioral patterns has caught the attention of scientists and has spawned the exciting new field of behavioral epigenetics which may hold the key to explaining many complex behavioral paradigms. Epigenetic deregulation is known to be central in the etiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders which underscore the importance of understanding these mechanisms more thoroughly to elucidate novel and effective therapeutic approaches. In this review we present an overview of the findings which point to the essential role played by epigenetics in the vertebrate nervous system.

  9. Epigenetic Case Studies in Agricultural Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    In many biological processes, the regulation of gene expression involves epigenetic mechanisms. An altered pattern of epigenetic modification is central to many animal diseases. Using animal disease models, we have studied one of the major epigenetic components: DNA methylation. We characterized the...

  10. Epigenetics Mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease

    OpenAIRE

    Mastroeni, Diego; Grover, Andrew; Delvaux, Elaine; Whiteside, Charisse; Coleman, Paul D.; Rogers, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications help orchestrate sweeping developmental, aging, and disease-causing changes in phenotype by altering transcriptional activity in multiple genes spanning multiple biologic pathways. Although previous epigenetic research has focused primarily on dividing cells, particularly in cancer, recent studies have shown rapid, dynamic, and persistent epigenetic modifications in neurons that have significant neuroendocrine, neurophysiologic, and neurodegenerative consequences. Her...

  11. 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.

  12. 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....

  13. Fault Tolerant Frequent Pattern Mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shohdy, Sameh; Vishnu, Abhinav; Agrawal, Gagan

    2016-12-19

    FP-Growth algorithm is a Frequent Pattern Mining (FPM) algorithm that has been extensively used to study correlations and patterns in large scale datasets. While several researchers have designed distributed memory FP-Growth algorithms, it is pivotal to consider fault tolerant FP-Growth, which can address the increasing fault rates in large scale systems. In this work, we propose a novel parallel, algorithm-level fault-tolerant FP-Growth algorithm. We leverage algorithmic properties and MPI advanced features to guarantee an O(1) space complexity, achieved by using the dataset memory space itself for checkpointing. We also propose a recovery algorithm that can use in-memory and disk-based checkpointing, though in many cases the recovery can be completed without any disk access, and incurring no memory overhead for checkpointing. We evaluate our FT algorithm on a large scale InfiniBand cluster with several large datasets using up to 2K cores. Our evaluation demonstrates excellent efficiency for checkpointing and recovery in comparison to the disk-based approach. We have also observed 20x average speed-up in comparison to Spark, establishing that a well designed algorithm can easily outperform a solution based on a general fault-tolerant programming model.

  14. [Osmolality of frequently consumed beverages].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini, Elizabeth; De Abreu, Jorge; López, Emeris

    2004-12-01

    The objective of this work was to determine the osmolality of beverages frequently consumed by children and adolescents due to the scarce information available in our country. The samples were grouped as follows: milks; refreshments; beverages based on fruits, vegetables, cereals, and tubers; sport drinks; energizing drinks; oral rehydrating solutions; reconstituted drinks and infusions. A vapor pressure digital osmometer was used, five samples of each beverage from different lots were analyzed. Four osmolality determinations were made on each sample and the average of such values was calculated. When the variation coefficient of the osmolality measurements of the five samples was higher than 10%, five additional samples were analyzed. As many samples as possible were used with breast milk in the time period of the study. Osmolality averages, standard deviation, and the osmolality confidence intervals (95% reliability) were calculated. The osmolality (mmol/kg) of breast milk and that of cow milk were between 273 and 389; refreshments, white, black and flavored colas, and malts ranged between 479-811; and soda and light drinks: 44-62; fresh fruit and commercial drinks (coconut, peach, apple, orange, pear, pineapple, grape, plum, tamarind): 257-1152 and light juices: 274; sports beverages: 367; energizing drinks: 740; drinks based on vegetables and cereals: 213-516; oral rehydrating solutions: 236-397; reconstituted drinks: 145; infusions: 25. Beverages with adequate osmolality levels for children were: milks, light refreshments, soda, fresh and light juices, oral rehydrating, soy, and reconstituted drinks and infusions.

  15. Inactivation of Microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alzamora, Stella Maris; Guerrero, Sandra N.; Schenk, Marcela; Raffellini, Silvia; López-Malo, Aurelio

    Minimal processing techniques for food preservation allow better retention of product flavor, texture, color, and nutrient content than comparable conventional treatments. A wide range of novel alternative physical factors have been intensely investigated in the last two decades. These physical factors can cause inactivation of microorganisms at ambient or sublethal temperatures (e.g., high hydrostatic pressure, pulsed electric fields, ultrasound, pulsed light, and ultraviolet light). These technologies have been reported to reduce microorganism population in foods while avoiding the deleterious effects of severe heating on quality. Among technologies, high-energy ultrasound (i.e., intensities higher than 1 W/cm2, frequencies between 18 and 100 kHz) has attracted considerable interest for food preservation applications (Mason et al., 1996; Povey and Mason, 1998).

  16. The frequent occurrence of MIC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graff, Matthias [Gesellschaft fuer Technische Mikrobiologie und Hygieneueberwachung - Dr. Graff und Partner, Stadtweg 9, D-38176 Wendeburg (Germany); Neubert, Volkmar [Institut fuer Materialpruefung und Werkstofftechnik Dr. Doelling und Dr. Neubert GmbH, Freiberger Strasse 1, D-38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Germany)

    2004-07-01

    Microbial induced corrosion (MIC) is not as rare as many materials scientist and corrosion practitioners do believe. It is not an exotic and scarce event, but can be found frequently in many fields of corrosion research, provided that it is looked for. The reason for the relatively few descriptions of MIC cases seems to be the fact, that the microbiological approach is not widely known and applied in the world of materials science. MIC is not so much a corrosion mechanism on its own, but it enhances the corrosion rates of the 'normal' mechanisms to such an extent, that in some cases 'incredible' fast corrosion progress can be observed. The reason is the microorganisms' function as bio-catalysts: Chemical reactions, which are very slow under normal chemical conditions can be highly accelerated by living organisms. Besides that, several microorganisms do produce very corrosive substances which in natural environments do not occur without the activity of microorganisms, e. g. sulfuric or nitric acid. We want to point out, that it can be very worthy to take microbial induced corrosion into account. MIC is not the general answer for all unsolved corrosion problems, but to think about it helps in many corrosion cases as the authors had to experience. The initial indication for the presence of MIC are markedly increased corrosion rates. In the following, some of our 'lessons' are presented as short case studies: Two of them deal with steel corrosion characterized by increased corrosion rates. The third example presents corrosion damage of aluminium structures, where from a technical point of view corrosion was not expected, least of all microbial induced corrosion. (authors)

  17. Dicentric chromosomes: unique models to study centromere function and inactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpson, Kaitlin M; Matheny, Justyne E; Sullivan, Beth A

    2012-07-01

    Dicentric chromosomes are products of genome rearrangement that place two centromeres on the same chromosome. Depending on the organism, dicentric stability varies after formation. In humans, dicentrics occur naturally in a substantial portion of the population and usually segregate successfully in mitosis and meiosis. Their stability has been attributed to inactivation of one of the two centromeres, creating a functionally monocentric chromosome that can segregate normally during cell division. The molecular basis for centromere inactivation is not well understood, although studies in model organisms and in humans suggest that genomic and epigenetic mechanisms can be involved. Furthermore, constitutional dicentric chromosomes ascertained in patients presumably represent the most stable chromosomes, so the spectrum of dicentric fates, if it exists, is not entirely clear. Studies of engineered or induced dicentrics in budding yeast and plants have provided significant insight into the fate of dicentric chromosomes. And, more recently, studies have shown that dicentrics in humans can also undergo multiple fates after formation. Here, we discuss current experimental evidence from various organisms that has deepened our understanding of dicentric behavior and the intriguingly complex process of centromere inactivation.

  18. Epigenetic silencing in transgenic plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarma eRajeev Kumar

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Epigenetic Placental Programming of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Masri, Selma

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Development, epigenetics and metabolic programming

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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,…

  4. Mass spectrometry in epigenetic research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Hans Christian

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Epigenetics and Peripheral Artery Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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,…

  8. Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Since the final decades of the last century, twin studies have made a remarkable contribution to the genetics of human complex traits and diseases. With the recent rapid development in modern biotechnology of high-throughput genetic and genomic analyses, twin modelling is expanding from analysis of diseases to molecular phenotypes in functional genomics especially in epigenetics, a thriving field of research that concerns the environmental regulation of gene expression through DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA and long non-coding RNA expression, etc. The application of the twin method to molecular phenotypes offers new opportunities to study the genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) contributions to epigenetic regulation of gene activity during developmental, ageing and disease processes. Besides the classical twin model, the case co-twin design using identical twins discordant for a trait or disease is becoming a popular and powerful design for epigenome-wide association study in linking environmental exposure to differential epigenetic regulation and to disease status while controlling for individual genetic make-up. It can be expected that novel uses of twin methods in epigenetic studies are going to help with efficiently unravelling the genetic and environmental basis of epigenomics in human complex diseases.

  10. Epigenetic silencing in transgenic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajeevkumar, Sarma; Anunanthini, Pushpanathan; Sathishkumar, Ramalingam

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing is a natural phenomenon in which the expression of genes is regulated through modifications of DNA, RNA, or histone proteins. It is a mechanism for defending host genomes against the effects of transposable elements and viral infection, and acts as a modulator of expression of duplicated gene family members and as a silencer of transgenes. A major breakthrough in understanding the mechanism of epigenetic silencing was the discovery of silencing in transgenic tobacco plants due to the interaction between two homologous promoters. The molecular mechanism of epigenetic mechanism is highly complicated and it is not completely understood yet. Two different molecular routes have been proposed for this, that is, transcriptional gene silencing, which is associated with heavy methylation of promoter regions and blocks the transcription of transgenes, and post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), the basic mechanism is degradation of the cytosolic mRNA of transgenes or endogenous genes. Undesired transgene silencing is of major concern in the transgenic technologies used in crop improvement. A complete understanding of this phenomenon will be very useful for transgenic applications, where silencing of specific genes is required. The current status of epigenetic silencing in transgenic technology is discussed and summarized in this mini-review. PMID:26442010

  11. Breast Cancer Epigenetics: Review article

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahareh Abbasi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Stable molecular changes during cell division without change the sequence of DNA molecules is known as epigenetic. Molecular mechanisms involved in this process, including histone modifications, methylation of DNA, protein complex and RNA antisense. Cancer genome changes happen through a combination of DNA hypermethylation, long-term epigenetic silencing with heterozygosis loss and genomic regions loss. Different combinations of N-terminal changes cooperation with histone variants with have a specific role in gene regulation have led to load a setting histone that determine transcription potential of a particular gene or genomic regions. DNA methylation analysis in genome region using methylation-specific digital karyotyping of normal breast tissue detect gene expression patterns and DNA specific methylation can be found in breast carcinoma too. More than 100 genes in breast tumors or cell lines of breast cancer are reported hypermethylated. Important of DNA methylation on cancer has been concentrated CpG islands Hypermethylation. The most of the techniques are able to identify hypermethylated areas. Recent studies have showed the role of epigenetic silencing in the pathogenesis of breast cancer in which tumor suppressor genes have been changed by acetylation and DNA deacetylation. Histone deacetylase inhibitors have different roles in cancer cells and could show the ways of new treatment for breast cancer. In this review, various aspects of breast cancer epigenetics and its applications in diagnosis, prediction and treatment are described.

  12. Epigenetics Mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastroeni, Diego; Grover, Andrew; Delvaux, Elaine; Whiteside, Charisse; Coleman, Paul D.; Rogers, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications help orchestrate sweeping developmental, aging, and disease-causing changes in phenotype by altering transcriptional activity in multiple genes spanning multiple biologic pathways. Although previous epigenetic research has focused primarily on dividing cells, particularly in cancer, recent studies have shown rapid, dynamic, and persistent epigenetic modifications in neurons that have significant neuroendocrine, neurophysiologic, and neurodegenerative consequences. Here, we provide a review of the major mechanisms for epigenetic modification and how they are reportedly altered in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Because of their reach across the genome, epigenetic mechanisms may provide a unique integrative framework for the pathologic diversity and complexity of AD. PMID:21482442

  13. Epigenetics of hepatocellular carcinoma: a new horizon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Epigenetics and Psychoneuroimmunology: Mechanisms and Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Herbert L.; Janusek, Linda Witek

    2010-01-01

    In this Introduction to the Named Series “Epigenetics, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity” an overview of epigenetics is provided with a consideration of the nature of epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation, histone modification and chromatin remodeling. Illustrative examples of recent scientific developments are highlighted to demonstrate the influence of epigenetics in areas of research relevant to those who investigate phenomena within the scientific discipline of psychoneuroimmunology. These examples are presented in order to provide a perspective on how epigenetic analysis will add insight into the molecular processes that connect the brain with behavior, neuroendocrine responsivity and immune outcome. PMID:20832468

  15. Epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology: mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Herbert L; Janusek, Linda Witek

    2011-01-01

    In this Introduction to the Named Series "Epigenetics, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity" an overview of epigenetics is provided with a consideration of the nature of epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation, histone modification and chromatin re-modeling. Illustrative examples of recent scientific developments are highlighted to demonstrate the influence of epigenetics in areas of research relevant to those who investigate phenomena within the scientific discipline of psychoneuroimmunology. These examples are presented in order to provide a perspective on how epigenetic analysis will add insight into the molecular processes that connect the brain with behavior, neuroendocrine responsivity and immune outcome.

  16. Epigenetic Modifications: Therapeutic Potential in Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manisha Sachan

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications and alterations in chromatin structure and function contribute to the cumulative changes observed as normal cells undergo malignant transformation. These modifications and enzymes (DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, histone methyltransferases, and demethylases related to them have been deeply studied to develop new drugs, epigenome-targeted therapies and new diagnostic tools. Epigenetic modifiers aim to restore normal epigenetic modification patterns through the inhibition of epigenetic modifier enzymes. Four of them (azacitidine, decitabine, vorinostat and romidepsin are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This article provides an overview about the known functional roles of epigenetic enzymes in cancer development.

  17. A nuclear Argonaute promotes multigenerational epigenetic inheritance and germline immortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Bethany A; Burkhart, Kirk B; Gu, Sam Guoping; Spracklin, George; Kershner, Aaron; Fritz, Heidi; Kimble, Judith; Fire, Andrew; Kennedy, Scott

    2012-09-20

    Epigenetic information is frequently erased near the start of each new generation. In some cases, however, epigenetic information can be transmitted from parent to progeny (multigenerational epigenetic inheritance). A particularly notable example of this type of epigenetic inheritance is double-stranded RNA-mediated gene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans. This RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) can be inherited for more than five generations. To understand this process, here we conduct a genetic screen for nematodes defective in transmitting RNAi silencing signals to future generations. This screen identified the heritable RNAi defective 1 (hrde-1) gene. hrde-1 encodes an Argonaute protein that associates with small interfering RNAs in the germ cells of progeny of animals exposed to double-stranded RNA. In the nuclei of these germ cells, HRDE-1 engages the nuclear RNAi defective pathway to direct the trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys 9 (H3K9me3) at RNAi-targeted genomic loci and promote RNAi inheritance. Under normal growth conditions, HRDE-1 associates with endogenously expressed short interfering RNAs, which direct nuclear gene silencing in germ cells. In hrde-1- or nuclear RNAi-deficient animals, germline silencing is lost over generational time. Concurrently, these animals exhibit steadily worsening defects in gamete formation and function that ultimately lead to sterility. These results establish that the Argonaute protein HRDE-1 directs gene-silencing events in germ-cell nuclei that drive multigenerational RNAi inheritance and promote immortality of the germ-cell lineage. We propose that C. elegans use the RNAi inheritance machinery to transmit epigenetic information, accrued by past generations, into future generations to regulate important biological processes.

  18. Epigenetics modifications and therapeutic prospects in human thyroid cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Graziella eCatalano

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available At present no successful treatment is available for advanced thyroid cancer, which comprises poorly differentiated, anaplastic, and metastatic or recurrent differentiated thyroid cancer not responding to radioiodine. In the last few years, biologically targeted therapies for advanced thyroid carcinomas have been proposed on the basis of the recognition of key oncogenic mutations. Although the results of several phase II trials look promising, none of the patients treated had a complete response, and only a minority of them had a partial response, suggesting that the treatment is, at best, effective in stabilizing patients with progressive disease. Epigenetic refers to the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without any alteration in the primary DNA sequence. The epigenetic processes establish and maintain the global and local chroma¬tin states that determine gene expression. Epigenetic abnormalities are present in almost all cancers and, together with genetic changes, drive tumour progression. Various genes involved in the control of cell proliferation and invasion (p16INK4A, RASSF1A,PTEN, Rap1GAP, TIMP3, DAPK, RARβ2, E-cadherin, and CITED1 as well as genes specific of thyroid differentiation (Na+/I- symport, TSH receptor, pendrin, SL5A8, and TTF-1 present aberrant methylation in thyroid cancer.This review deals with the most frequent epigenetic alterations in thyroid cancer and focuses on epigenetic therapy, whose goal is to target the chromatin in rapidly dividing tumour cells and potentially restore normal cell functions. Experimental data and clinical trials, especially using deacetylase inhibitors and demethylating agents, are discussed.

  19. Stemming epigenetics in marine stramenopiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maumus, Florian; Rabinowicz, Pablo; Bowler, Chris; Rivarola, Maximo

    2011-08-01

    Epigenetics include DNA methylation, the modification of histone tails that affect chromatin states, and small RNAs that are involved in the setting and maintenance of chromatin modifications. Marine stramenopiles (MAS), which are a diverse assemblage of algae that acquired photosynthesis from secondary endosymbiosis, include single-celled organisms such as diatoms as well as multicellular forms such as brown algae. The recent publication of two diatom genomes that diverged ~90 million years ago (mya), as well as the one of a brown algae that diverged from diatoms ~250 Mya, provide a great system of related, yet diverged set of organisms to compare epigenetic marks and their relationships. For example, putative DNA methyltransferase homologues were found in diatoms while none could be identified in the brown algal genome. On the other hand, no canonical DICER-like protein was found in diatoms in contrast to what is observed in brown algae. A key interest relies in understanding the adaptive nature of epigenetics and its inheritability. In contrast to yeast that lack DNA methylation, homogeneous cultures of diatoms constitute an attractive system to study epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions such as nutrient-rich to nutrient-poor transitions which is especially relevant because of their ecological importance. P. tricornutum is also of outstanding interest because it is observed as three different morphotypes and thus constitutes a simple and promising model for the study of the epigenetic phenomena that accompany cellular differentiation. In this review we focus on the insights obtained from MAS comparative genomics and epigenomic analyses.

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms of drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestler, Eric J

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Epigenetic modifications and diabetic nephropathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marpadga A. Reddy

    2012-09-01

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

  2. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Epigenetically Manipulate Host Cell Death Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhengguo; Wang, Ming; Eisel, Florian; Tchatalbachev, Svetlin; Chakraborty, Trinad; Meinhardt, Andreas; Bhushan, Sudhanshu

    2016-04-01

    Urinary tract infections caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) pathovars belong to the most frequent infections in human. It is well established that UPEC can subvert innate immune responses, but the role of UPEC in interfering with host cell death pathways is not known. Here, we show that UPEC abrogates activation of the host cell prosurvival protein kinase B signaling pathway, which results in the activation of mammalian forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors. Although FOXOs were localized in the nucleus and showed increased DNA-binding activity, no change in the expression levels of FOXO target genes were observed. UPEC can suppress BIM expression induced by LY249002, which results in attenuation of caspase 3 activation and blockage of apoptosis. Mechanistically, BIM expression appears to be epigenetically silenced by a decrease in histone 4 acetylation at the BIM promoter site. Taken together, these results suggest that UPEC can epigenetically silence BIM expression, a molecular switch that prevents apoptosis.

  3. Sex chromosome inactivation in germ cells: emerging roles of DNA damage response pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichijima, Yosuke; Sin, Ho-Su; Namekawa, Satoshi H

    2012-08-01

    Sex chromosome inactivation in male germ cells is a paradigm of epigenetic programming during sexual reproduction. Recent progress has revealed the underlying mechanisms of sex chromosome inactivation in male meiosis. The trigger of chromosome-wide silencing is activation of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, which is centered on the mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1 (MDC1), a binding partner of phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX). This DDR pathway shares features with the somatic DDR pathway recognizing DNA replication stress in the S phase. Additionally, it is likely to be distinct from the DDR pathway that recognizes meiosis-specific double-strand breaks. This review article extensively discusses the underlying mechanism of sex chromosome inactivation.

  4. 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.

  5. Epigenetic variation: origin and transgenerational inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Claude; Weigel, Detlef

    2012-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: an open discussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Origin and evolution of the long non-coding genes in the X-inactivation center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romito, Antonio; Rougeulle, Claire

    2011-11-01

    Random X chromosome inactivation (XCI), the eutherian mechanism of X-linked gene dosage compensation, is controlled by a cis-acting locus termed the X-inactivation center (Xic). One of the striking features that characterize the Xic landscape is the abundance of loci transcribing non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), including Xist, the master regulator of the inactivation process. Recent comparative genomic analyses have depicted the evolutionary scenario behind the origin of the X-inactivation center, revealing that this locus evolved from a region harboring protein-coding genes. During mammalian radiation, this ancestral protein-coding region was disrupted in the marsupial group, whilst it provided in eutherian lineage the starting material for the non-translated RNAs of the X-inactivation center. The emergence of non-coding genes occurred by a dual mechanism involving loss of protein-coding function of the pre-existing genes and integration of different classes of mobile elements, some of which modeled the structure and sequence of the non-coding genes in a species-specific manner. The rising genes started to produce transcripts that acquired function in regulating the epigenetic status of the X chromosome, as shown for Xist, its antisense Tsix, Jpx, and recently suggested for Ftx. Thus, the appearance of the Xic, which occurred after the divergence between eutherians and marsupials, was the basis for the evolution of random X inactivation as a strategy to achieve dosage compensation.

  9. Identification of genes escaping X inactivation by allelic expression analysis in a novel hybrid mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berletch, Joel B; Ma, Wenxiu; Yang, Fan; Shendure, Jay; Noble, William S; Disteche, Christine M; Deng, Xinxian

    2015-12-01

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is a female-specific mechanism that serves to balance gene dosage between the sexes whereby one X chromosome in females is inactivated during early development. Despite this silencing, a small portion of genes escape inactivation and remain expressed from the inactive X (Xi). Little is known about the distribution of escape from XCI in different tissues in vivo and about the mechanisms that control tissue-specific differences. Using a new binomial model in conjunction with a mouse model with identifiable alleles and skewed X inactivation we are able to survey genes that escape XCI in vivo. We show that escape from X inactivation can be a common feature of some genes, whereas others escape in a tissue specific manner. Furthermore, we characterize the chromatin environment of escape genes and show that expression from the Xi correlates with factors associated with open chromatin and that CTCF co-localizes with escape genes. Here, we provide a detailed description of the experimental design and data analysis pipeline we used to assay allele-specific expression and epigenetic characteristics of genes escaping X inactivation. The data is publicly available through the GEO database under ascension numbers GSM1014171, GSE44255, and GSE59779. Interpretation and discussion of these data are included in a previously published study (Berletch et al., 2015) [1].

  10. Frequent silencing of the candidate tumor suppressor TRIM58 by promoter methylation in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajiura, Koichiro; Masuda, Kiyoshi; Naruto, Takuya; Kohmoto, Tomohiro; Watabnabe, Miki; Tsuboi, Mitsuhiro; Takizawa, Hiromitsu; Kondo, Kazuya; Tangoku, Akira; Imoto, Issei

    2017-01-10

    In this study, we aimed to identify novel drivers that would be epigenetically altered through aberrant methylation in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma (LADC), regardless of the presence or absence of tobacco smoking-induced epigenetic field defects. Through genome-wide screening for aberrantly methylated CpG islands (CGIs) in 12 clinically uniform, stage-I LADC cases affecting six non-smokers and six smokers, we identified candidate tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) inactivated by hypermethylation. Through systematic expression analyses of those candidates in panels of additional tumor samples and cell lines treated or not treated with 5-aza-deoxycitidine followed by validation analyses of cancer-specific silencing by CGI hypermethylation using a public database, we identified TRIM58 as the most prominent candidate for TSG. TRIM58 was robustly silenced by hypermethylation even in early-stage primary LADC, and the restoration of TRIM58 expression in LADC cell lines inhibited cell growth in vitro and in vivo in anchorage-dependent and -independent manners. Our findings suggest that aberrant inactivation of TRIM58 consequent to CGI hypermethylation might stimulate the early carcinogenesis of LADC regardless of smoking status; furthermore, TRIM58 methylation might be a possible early diagnostic and epigenetic therapeutic target in LADC.

  11. Epigenetic reprogramming by somatic cell nuclear transfer in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparman, Michelle; Dighe, Vikas; Sritanaudomchai, Hathaitip; Ma, Hong; Ramsey, Cathy; Pedersen, Darlene; Clepper, Lisa; Nighot, Prashant; Wolf, Don; Hennebold, Jon; Mitalipov, Shoukhrat

    2009-06-01

    We recently demonstrated that somatic cells from adult primates could be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state by somatic cell nuclear transfer. However, the low efficiency with donor cells from one monkey necessitated the need for large oocyte numbers. Here, we demonstrate nearly threefold higher blastocyst development and embryonic stem (ES) cell derivation rates with different nuclear donor cells. Two ES cell lines were isolated using adult female rhesus macaque skin fibroblasts as nuclear donors and oocytes retrieved from one female, following a single controlled ovarian stimulation. In addition to routine pluripotency tests involving in vitro and in vivo differentiation into various somatic cell types, primate ES cells derived from reprogrammed somatic cells were also capable of contributing to cells expressing markers of germ cells. Moreover, imprinted gene expression, methylation, telomere length, and X-inactivation analyses were consistent with accurate and extensive epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells by oocyte-specific factors.

  12. A repetitive elements perspective in Polycomb epigenetics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eCasa

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Influenza Vaccine, Inactivated or Recombinant

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... die from flu, and many more are hospitalized.Flu vaccine can:keep you from getting flu, make flu ... inactivated or recombinant influenza vaccine?A dose of flu vaccine is recommended every flu season. Children 6 months ...

  15. Design and Evaluation of Tumor-Specific Dendrimer Epigenetic Therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Hong; Shah, Dhavan; Selwa, Katherine; Tsuchida, Ryan E; Rattan, Rahul; Mohan, Jay; Stein, Adam B; Otis, James B; Goonewardena, Sascha N

    2015-01-01

    Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are promising therapeutics for cancer. HDACi alter the epigenetic state of tumors and provide a unique approach to treat cancer. Although studies with HDACi have shown promise in some cancers, variable efficacy and off-target effects have limited their use. To overcome some of the challenges of traditional HDACi, we sought to use a tumor-specific dendrimer scaffold to deliver HDACi directly to cancer cells. Here we report the design and evaluation of tumor-specific dendrimer–HDACi conjugates. The HDACi was conjugated to the dendrimer using an ester linkage through its hydroxamic acid group, inactivating the HDACi until it is released from the dendrimer. Using a cancer cell model, we demonstrate the functionality of the tumor-specific dendrimer–HDACi conjugates. Furthermore, we demonstrate that unlike traditional HDACi, dendrimer–HDACi conjugates do not affect tumor-associated macrophages, a recently recognized mechanism through which drug resistance emerges. We anticipate that this new class of cell-specific epigenetic therapeutics will have tremendous potential in the treatment of cancer. PMID:26246996

  16. 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

  17. The role of epigenetics in cognitive ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, Karen A; Kwok, John B; Armstrong, Nicola; Sachdev, Perminder S

    2014-11-01

    As the population is ageing, a better understanding of the underlying causes of age-related cognitive decline (cognitive ageing) is required. Epigenetic dysregulation is proposed as one of the underlying mechanisms for cognitive ageing. We review the current knowledge on epigenetics and cognitive ageing and appraise the potential of epigenetic preventative and therapeutic interventions. Articles on cognitive ageing and epigenetics in English were identified. Epigenetic dysregulation occurs with cognitive ageing, with changes in histone post-translational modifications, DNA methylation and non-coding RNA reported. However, human studies are lacking, with most being cross-sectional using peripheral blood samples. Pharmacological and lifestyle factors have the potential to change aberrant epigenetic profiles; but few studies have examined this in relation to cognitive ageing. The relationship between epigenetic modifications and cognitive ageing is only beginning to be investigated. Epigenetic dysregulation appears to be an important feature in cognitive ageing, but whether it is an epiphenomenon or a causal factor remains to be elucidated. Clarification of the relationship between epigenetic profiles of different cell types is essential and would determine whether epigenetic marks of peripheral tissues can be used as a proxy for changes occurring in the brain. The use of lifestyle and pharmacological interventions to improve cognitive performance and quality of life of older adults needs more investigation. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetics of the antibody response.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Epigenetic mechanisms of mental retardation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Anne; Tarakhovsky, Alexander; Greengard, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Mental retardation is a common form of cognitive impairment affecting approximately 3% of the population in industrialized countries. The mental retardation syndrome incorporates a highly diverse group of mental disorders characterized by the combination of cognitive impairment and defective adaptive behavior. The genetic basis of the disease is strongly supported by identification of the genetic lesions associated with impaired cognition, learning, and social adaptation in many mental retardation syndromes. Several of the impaired genes encode epigenetic regulators of gene expression. These regulators exert their function through genome-wide posttranslational modification of histones or by mediating and/or recognizing DNA methylation. In this chapter, we review the most recent advances in the field of epigenetic mechanisms of mental retardation. In particular, we focus on animal models of the human diseases and the mechanism of transcriptional deregulation associated with changes in the cell epigenome.

  2. Epigenetic mechanisms in gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gigek, Carolina Oliveira; Chen, Elizabeth Suchi; Calcagno, Danielle Queiroz; Wisnieski, Fernanda; Burbano, Rommel Rodriguez; Smith, Marilia Arruda Cardoso

    2012-06-01

    Cancer is considered one of the major health issues worldwide, and gastric cancer accounted for 8% of total cases and 10% of total deaths in 2008. Gastric cancer is considered an age-related disease, and the total number of newly diagnosed cases has been increasing as a result of the higher life expectancy. Therefore, the basic mechanisms underlying gastric tumorigenesis is worth investigation. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling complex and miRNA, involved in gastric cancer. As the studies in gastric cancer continue, the mapping of an epigenome code is not far for this disease. In conclusion, an epigenetic therapy might appear in the not too distant future.

  3. Lifestyle, pregnancy and epigenetic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barua, Subit; Junaid, Mohammed A

    2015-01-01

    Rapidly growing evidences link maternal lifestyle and prenatal factors with serious health consequences and diseases later in life. Extensive epidemiological studies have identified a number of factors such as diet, stress, gestational diabetes, exposure to tobacco and alcohol during gestation as influencing normal fetal development. In light of recent discoveries, epigenetic mechanisms such as alteration of DNA methylation, chromatin modifications and modulation of gene expression during gestation are believed to possibly account for various types of plasticity such as neural tube defects, autism spectrum disorder, congenital heart defects, oral clefts, allergies and cancer. The purpose of this article is to review a number of published studies to fill the gap in our understanding of how maternal lifestyle and intrauterine environment influence molecular modifications in the offspring, with an emphasis on epigenetic alterations. To support these associations, we highlighted laboratory studies of rodents and epidemiological studies of human based on sampling population cohorts.

  4. Nutrition, epigenetics, and metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Junjun; Wu, Zhenlong; Li, Defa; Li, Ning; Dindot, Scott V; Satterfield, M Carey; Bazer, Fuller W; Wu, Guoyao

    2012-07-15

    Epidemiological and animal studies have demonstrated a close link between maternal nutrition and chronic metabolic disease in children and adults. Compelling experimental results also indicate that adverse effects of intrauterine growth restriction on offspring can be carried forward to subsequent generations through covalent modifications of DNA and core histones. DNA methylation is catalyzed by S-adenosylmethionine-dependent DNA methyltransferases. Methylation, demethylation, acetylation, and deacetylation of histone proteins are performed by histone methyltransferase, histone demethylase, histone acetyltransferase, and histone deacetyltransferase, respectively. Histone activities are also influenced by phosphorylation, ubiquitination, ADP-ribosylation, sumoylation, and glycosylation. Metabolism of amino acids (glycine, histidine, methionine, and serine) and vitamins (B6, B12, and folate) plays a key role in provision of methyl donors for DNA and protein methylation. Disruption of epigenetic mechanisms can result in oxidative stress, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and vascular dysfunction in animals and humans. Despite a recognized role for epigenetics in fetal programming of metabolic syndrome, research on therapies is still in its infancy. Possible interventions include: 1) inhibition of DNA methylation, histone deacetylation, and microRNA expression; 2) targeting epigenetically disturbed metabolic pathways; and 3) dietary supplementation with functional amino acids, vitamins, and phytochemicals. Much work is needed with animal models to understand the basic mechanisms responsible for the roles of specific nutrients in fetal and neonatal programming. Such new knowledge is crucial to design effective therapeutic strategies for preventing and treating metabolic abnormalities in offspring born to mothers with a previous experience of malnutrition.

  5. Frequent occurrence of uniparental disomy in colorectal cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Claus Lindbjerg; Wiuf, Carsten; Kruhøffer, Mogens;

    2007-01-01

    , consisting of 17 normal mucosa and 66 adenocarcinoma samples. The transcriptional analysis revealed an unchanged expression level in areas with intact copy number, including regions with uniparental disomy, and a reduced expression level in the LOH regions representing factual losses (including 5q, 8p and 17......) and lymph node metastasis status (gain of 7q and 13q). Another subset of the identified alterations was shown to represent intratumor heterogeneity. In conclusion, we demonstrate that uniparental disomy is frequent in CRC, and identify genomic alterations associated with TP53 inactivation and lymph node...... LOH regions showed no evidence of a reduced copy number, indicating the presence of uniparental structures. The distribution of these structures was non-random, primarily involving 8q, 13q and 20q. This finding was supported by analysis of an independent set of array-based transcriptional profiles...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogerio M. Castilho

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  8. Clinical implications of epigenetic alterations in human thoracic malignancies: epigenetic alterations in lung cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinjo, Keiko; Kondo, Yutaka

    2012-01-01

    Besides known genetic aberrations, epigenetic alterations have emerged as common hallmarks of many cancer types, including lung cancer. Epigenetics is a process involved in gene regulation, mediated via DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and functional noncoding RNAs, which influences the accessibility of the underlying DNA to transcriptional regulatory factors that activate or repress expression. Studies have shown that epigenetic dysregulation is associated with multiple steps during carcinogenesis. Since epigenetic therapy is now in clinical use in hematopoietic diseases and undergoing trials for lung cancer, a better understanding of epigenetic abnormalities is desired. Recent technologies for high-throughput genome-wide analyses for epigenetic modifications are promising and potent tools for understanding the global dysregulation of cancer epigenetics. In this chapter, studies of epigenetic abnormality and its clinical implication in lung cancers are discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. Using Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Julius; Figg, William D

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Functional epigenomics identifies genes frequently silenced in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lodygin, Dimitri; Epanchintsev, Alexey; Menssen, Antje; Diebold, Joachim; Hermeking, Heiko

    2005-05-15

    In many cases, silencing of gene expression by CpG methylation is causally involved in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, cancer-specific CpG methylation may serve as a tumor marker. In order to identify candidate genes for inactivation by CpG methylation in prostate cancer, the prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP, PC3, and Du-145 were treated with 5-aza-2' deoxycytidine and trichostatin A, which leads to reversion of epigenetic silencing. By microarray analysis of 18,400 individual transcripts, several hundred genes were found to be induced when compared with cells treated with trichostatin A. Fifty re-expressed genes were selected for further analysis based on their known function, which implied a possible involvement in tumor suppression. Twelve of these genes showed a significant degree of CpG methylation in their promoters. Six genes were silenced by CpG methylation in the majority of five analyzed prostate cancer cell lines, although they displayed robust mRNA expression in normal prostate epithelial cells obtained from four different donors. In primary prostate cancer samples derived from 41 patients, the frequencies of CpG methylation detected in the promoter regions of these genes were: GPX3, 93%; SFRP1, 83%; COX2, 78%; DKK3, 68%; GSTM1, 58%; and KIP2/p57, 56%. Ectopic expression of SFRP1 or DKK3 resulted in decreased proliferation. The expression of DKK3 was accompanied by attenuation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. The high frequency of CpG methylation detected in the promoters of the identified genes suggests a potential causal involvement in prostate cancer and may prove useful for diagnostic purposes.

  12. The epigenetic paradigm in periodontitis pathogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Daphnia as an Emerging Epigenetic Model Organism

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Daphnia offer a variety of benefits for the study of epigenetics. Daphnia’s parthenogenetic life cycle allows the study of epigenetic effects in the absence of confounding genetic differences. Sex determination and sexual reproduction are epigenetically determined as are several other well-studied alternate phenotypes that arise in response to environmental stressors. Additionally, there is a large body of ecological literature available, recently complemented by the genome sequence of one sp...

  14. Plant epigenetics : from genomes to epigenomes

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Epigenetic contribution to stress adaptation in plants

    OpenAIRE

    Mirouze, Marie; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Specific changes in the expression of imprinted genes in prostate cancer-implications for cancer progression and epigenetic regulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Teodora Ribarska; Klaus-Marius Bastian; Annemarie Koch; Wolfgang A Schulz

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic dysregulation comprising DNA hypermethylation and hypomethylation,enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2)overexpression and altered patterns of histone modifications is associated with the progression of prostate cancer.DNA methylation,EZH2 and histone modifications also ensure the parental-specific monoallelic expression of at least 62 imprinted genes.Although it is therefore tempting to speculate that epigenetic dysregulation may extend to imprinted genes,expression changes in cancerous prostates are only well documented for insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2).A literature and database survey on imprinted genes in prostate cancer suggests that the expression of most imprinted genes remains unchanged despite global disturbances in epigenetic mechanisms.Instead,selective genetic and epigenetic changes appear to lead to the inactivation of a sub-network of imprinted genes,which might function in the prostate to limit cell growth induced viathe PI3K/Akt pathway,modulate androgen responses and regulate differentiation.Whereas dysregulation of IG F2 may constitute an early change in prostate carcinogenesis,inactivation of this imprinted gene network is rather associated with cancer progression.

  17. SiRNA and epigenetic aberrations in ovarian cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamed Mirzaei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ovarian cancer has the most noteworthy lethal rate around gynecologic malignancies, and it is also considered as the fourth most frequent cancer in the woman in world. Two most critical barriers to treatment of ovarian malignancy are absence of early diagnostic markers and advancement of drug resistance after therapy, especially in advanced stages. Various epigenetic changes have been recognized in ovarian cancer. Recent progresses in our understanding of molecular pathogenesis of ovarian malignancy have dramatically provided potential new targets for molecularly targeted therapies. In very recent years, small interfering RNA (siRNA-mediated gene silencing has been emerging as a novel treatment modality in preclinical studies in the light of its strong gene-specific silencing. Gene suppression mediated by RNA interference (RNAi significantly suppressed gene expression at the messenger RNA (mRNA and protein levels. SiRNAs have therapeutic potential for ovarian cancer through various mechanisms. In this review, we not only provide an overview of siRNA designing for epigenetic silencing of genes aberrantly expressed in ovarian cancer but also we will highlight that the epigenetically silenced genes offer new targets for therapeutic approaches based on re-expression of tumor suppressor genes via demethylating and deacetylating drugs.

  18. Stochastic epigenetic outliers can define field defects in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teschendorff, Andrew E; Jones, Allison; Widschwendter, Martin

    2016-04-22

    There is growing evidence that DNA methylation alterations may contribute to carcinogenesis. Recent data also suggest that DNA methylation field defects in normal pre-neoplastic tissue represent infrequent stochastic "outlier" events. This presents a statistical challenge for standard feature selection algorithms, which assume frequent alterations in a disease phenotype. Although differential variability has emerged as a novel feature selection paradigm for the discovery of outliers, a growing concern is that these could result from technical confounders, in principle thus favouring algorithms which are robust to outliers. Here we evaluate five differential variability algorithms in over 700 DNA methylomes, including two of the largest cohorts profiling precursor cancer lesions, and demonstrate that most of the novel proposed algorithms lack the sensitivity to detect epigenetic field defects at genome-wide significance. In contrast, algorithms which recognise heterogeneous outlier DNA methylation patterns are able to identify many sites in pre-neoplastic lesions, which display progression in invasive cancer. Thus, we show that many DNA methylation outliers are not technical artefacts, but define epigenetic field defects which are selected for during cancer progression. Given that cancer studies aiming to find epigenetic field defects are likely to be limited by sample size, adopting the novel feature selection paradigm advocated here will be critical to increase assay sensitivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Frequently Asked Questions about Bunion Surgery

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... A | Print | Share Frequently Asked Questions About Bunion Surgery Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and ... best for you. 5. How can I avoid surgery? Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that ...

  1. Epigenetics: origins and implications for cancer epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nise, Melissa S; Falaturi, Puran; Erren, Thomas C

    2010-02-01

    This paper provides information on the evolution of the 'epigenetics' concept since Aristotle and draws attention to the importance of epigenetic implications for cancer epidemiology in the years to come. Clearly, to understand origins of the concept of epigenetics, it is worthwhile to consider historical arguments associated with evolution. Equally clearly, in the last half of the 20th century, great advances in the understanding of epigenetics and, more specifically, great advances in the understanding of epigenetics in cancer have been made. However, reaping the full benefits of epigenetics lies beyond the predominant experimental studies of today. In general, epigenetics opens many doors in the field of cancer, but it also adds another level of complex, inter-related, and multi-dimensional information to research, and to its interpretation. Overall, future cancer studies should consider, or at least be sensitive to, epigenetic effects and mechanisms. Moving the focus beyond 'pristine' inheritance via DNA alone, cancer epidemiology investigating epigenetic exposures such as environmental factors (exposure to heavy metals, air pollution, arsenic and other toxins), dietary patterns (starvation, famine, contamination), and lifestyle habits (smoking, level of physical activity, and BMI) in populations has the prospect to significantly benefit future cancer prevention and treatment schemes.

  2. Epigenetic Modifications and Plant Hormone Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamuro, Chizuko; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Yang, Zhenbiao

    2016-01-04

    The action of phytohormones in plants requires the spatiotemporal regulation of their accumulation and responses at various levels. Recent studies reveal an emerging relationship between the function of phytohormones and epigenetic modifications. In particular, evidence suggests that auxin biosynthesis, transport, and signal transduction is modulated by microRNAs and epigenetic factors such as histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and DNA methylation. Furthermore, some phytohormones have been shown to affect epigenetic modifications. These findings are shedding light on the mode of action of phytohormones and are opening up a new avenue of research on phytohormones as well as on the mechanisms regulating epigenetic modifications.

  3. 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.

  4. Obesity: epigenetic regulation – recent observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Epigenetic regulation during the differentiation of stem cells to germ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yuan-Chao; Wang, Yong-Yong; Ge, Wei; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Dyce, Paul W; Shen, Wei

    2017-08-22

    Gametogenesis is an essential process to ensure the transfer of genetic information from one generation to the next. It also provides a mechanism by which genetic evolution can take place. Although the genome of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is exactly the same with somatic cells within an organism, there are significant differences between their developments. For example, PGCs eventually undergo meiosis to become functional haploid gametes, and prior to that they undergo epigenetic imprinting which greatly alter their genetic regulation. Epigenetic imprinting of PGCs involves the erasure of DNA methylation and the reestablishment of them during sperm and oocyte formation. These processes are necessary and important during gametogenesis. Also, histone modification and X-chromosome inactivation have important roles during germ cell development. Recently, several studies have reported that functional sperm or oocytes can be derived from stem cells in vivo or in vitro. To produce functional germ cells, induction of germ cells from stem cells must recapitulate these processes similar to endogenous germ cells, such as epigenetic modifications. This review focuses on the epigenetic regulation during the process of germ cell development and discusses their importance during the differentiation from stem cells to germ cells.

  6. [Systemic sclerosis. Part 2. Epigenetic factors in the pathogenesis of clinical manifestations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fryc, Justyna; Midro, Alina T; Panasiuk, Barbara; Sierakowski, Stanisław

    2015-01-01

    Systemic sclerosis is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by immune activation, fibrosis of the skin and internal organs and vasculopathy affecting predominantly the microvessels with a predilection for women. The genetic background of systemic sclerosis is still full of unanswered questions, with classical genetics able to explain only some systemic sclerosis cases. Novel advances concerning epigenetics give us new insight into pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis. This review focuses on results of recent reports on epigenetic modifications of the gene functions and X inactivation changes in pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis. Current evidence demonstrates DNA heavy methylation (FLI1, NOS3, BMPRII) and hypomethylation of regulatory genes (CD40L, CD70), histone code modifications, abnormal expression of large spectrum of microRNAs.

  7. Key features of the X inactivation process are conserved between marsupials and eutherians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahadevaiah, Shantha K; Royo, Helene; VandeBerg, John L; McCarrey, John R; Mackay, Sarah; Turner, James M A

    2009-09-15

    In female marsupials, X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is imprinted, affecting the paternal X chromosome. One model, supported by recent studies, proposes that XCI in marsupials is achieved through inheritance of an already silent X chromosome from the father, with XCI initiated by meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). This model is appealing because marsupials have no Xist gene and the marsupial inactive X chromosome is epigenetically dissimilar to that of mice, apparently lacking repressive histone marks such as H3K27 trimethylation. A central prediction of the meiotic inactivation model of XCI is that silencing of genes on the X chromosome, initiated during male meiosis, is stably maintained during subsequent spermiogenesis. Here we characterize XCI in the male germline and female soma of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica. Contrary to the meiotic inactivation model, we find that X genes silenced by MSCI are reactivated after meiosis and are subsequently inactivated in the female. A reexamination of the female somatic inactive marsupial X chromosome reveals that it does share common properties with that of eutherians, including H3K27 trimethylation and targeting to the perinucleolar compartment. We conclude that aspects of the XCI process are more highly conserved in therian mammals than previously thought.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-03-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Erin M; Gozani, Or

    2012-01-01

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

  10. A Tox21 Approach to Altered Epigenetic Landscapes: Assessing Epigenetic Toxicity Pathways Leading to Altered Gene Expression and Oncogenic Transformation In Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig L. Parfett

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available An emerging vision for toxicity testing in the 21st century foresees in vitro assays assuming the leading role in testing for chemical hazards, including testing for carcinogenicity. Toxicity will be determined by monitoring key steps in functionally validated molecular pathways, using tests designed to reveal chemically-induced perturbations that lead to adverse phenotypic endpoints in cultured human cells. Risk assessments would subsequently be derived from the causal in vitro endpoints and concentration vs. effect data extrapolated to human in vivo concentrations. Much direct experimental evidence now shows that disruption of epigenetic processes by chemicals is a carcinogenic mode of action that leads to altered gene functions playing causal roles in cancer initiation and progression. In assessing chemical safety, it would therefore be advantageous to consider an emerging class of carcinogens, the epigenotoxicants, with the ability to change chromatin and/or DNA marks by direct or indirect effects on the activities of enzymes (writers, erasers/editors, remodelers and readers that convey the epigenetic information. Evidence is reviewed supporting a strategy for in vitro hazard identification of carcinogens that induce toxicity through disturbance of functional epigenetic pathways in human somatic cells, leading to inactivated tumour suppressor genes and carcinogenesis. In the context of human cell transformation models, these in vitro pathway measurements ensure high biological relevance to the apical endpoint of cancer. Four causal mechanisms participating in pathways to persistent epigenetic gene silencing were considered: covalent histone modification, nucleosome remodeling, non-coding RNA interaction and DNA methylation. Within these four interacting mechanisms, 25 epigenetic toxicity pathway components (SET1, MLL1, KDM5, G9A, SUV39H1, SETDB1, EZH2, JMJD3, CBX7, CBX8, BMI, SUZ12, HP1, MPP8, DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, TET1, MeCP2, SETDB2, BAZ2

  11. A Tox21 Approach to Altered Epigenetic Landscapes: Assessing Epigenetic Toxicity Pathways Leading to Altered Gene Expression and Oncogenic Transformation In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parfett, Craig L.; Desaulniers, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    An emerging vision for toxicity testing in the 21st century foresees in vitro assays assuming the leading role in testing for chemical hazards, including testing for carcinogenicity. Toxicity will be determined by monitoring key steps in functionally validated molecular pathways, using tests designed to reveal chemically-induced perturbations that lead to adverse phenotypic endpoints in cultured human cells. Risk assessments would subsequently be derived from the causal in vitro endpoints and concentration vs. effect data extrapolated to human in vivo concentrations. Much direct experimental evidence now shows that disruption of epigenetic processes by chemicals is a carcinogenic mode of action that leads to altered gene functions playing causal roles in cancer initiation and progression. In assessing chemical safety, it would therefore be advantageous to consider an emerging class of carcinogens, the epigenotoxicants, with the ability to change chromatin and/or DNA marks by direct or indirect effects on the activities of enzymes (writers, erasers/editors, remodelers and readers) that convey the epigenetic information. Evidence is reviewed supporting a strategy for in vitro hazard identification of carcinogens that induce toxicity through disturbance of functional epigenetic pathways in human somatic cells, leading to inactivated tumour suppressor genes and carcinogenesis. In the context of human cell transformation models, these in vitro pathway measurements ensure high biological relevance to the apical endpoint of cancer. Four causal mechanisms participating in pathways to persistent epigenetic gene silencing were considered: covalent histone modification, nucleosome remodeling, non-coding RNA interaction and DNA methylation. Within these four interacting mechanisms, 25 epigenetic toxicity pathway components (SET1, MLL1, KDM5, G9A, SUV39H1, SETDB1, EZH2, JMJD3, CBX7, CBX8, BMI, SUZ12, HP1, MPP8, DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, TET1, MeCP2, SETDB2, BAZ2A, UHRF1, CTCF

  12. FTO, RNA epigenetics and epilepsy

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Maximal Frequent Itemset Generation Using Segmentation Apporach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.Rajalakshmi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Finding frequent itemsets in a data source is a fundamental operation behind Association Rule Mining.Generally, many algorithms use either the bottom-up or top-down approaches for finding these frequentitemsets. When the length of frequent itemsets to be found is large, the traditional algorithms find all thefrequent itemsets from 1-length to n-length, which is a difficult process. This problem can be solved bymining only the Maximal Frequent Itemsets (MFS. Maximal Frequent Itemsets are frequent itemsets whichhave no proper frequent superset. Thus, the generation of only maximal frequent itemsets reduces thenumber of itemsets and also time needed for the generation of all frequent itemsets as each maximal itemsetof length m implies the presence of 2m-2 frequent itemsets. Furthermore, mining only maximal frequentitemset is sufficient in many data mining applications like minimal key discovery and theory extraction. Inthis paper, we suggest a novel method for finding the maximal frequent itemset from huge data sourcesusing the concept of segmentation of data source and prioritization of segments. Empirical evaluationshows that this method outperforms various other known methods.

  14. A Genome-wide screen identifies frequently methylated genes in haematological and epithelial cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maher Eamonn R

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic as well as epigenetic alterations are a hallmark of both epithelial and haematological malignancies. High throughput screens are required to identify epigenetic markers that can be useful for diagnostic and prognostic purposes across malignancies. Results Here we report for the first time the use of the MIRA assay (methylated CpG island recovery assay in combination with genome-wide CpG island arrays to identify epigenetic molecular markers in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL on a genome-wide scale. We identified 30 genes demonstrating methylation frequencies of ≥25% in childhood ALL, nine genes showed significantly different methylation frequencies in B vs T-ALL. For majority of the genes expression could be restored in methylated leukemia lines after treatment with 5-azaDC. Forty-four percent of the genes represent targets of the polycomb complex. In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML two of the genes, (TFAP2A and EBF2, demonstrated increased methylation in blast crisis compared to chronic phase (P ATG16L2 was associated with poorer prognosis in terms of molecular response to Imatinib treatment. Lastly we demonstrated that ten of these genes were also frequently methylated in common epithelial cancers. Conclusion In summary we have identified a large number of genes showing frequent methylation in childhood ALL, methylation status of two of these genes is associated with advanced disease in CML and methylation status of another gene is associated with prognosis. In addition a subset of these genes may act as epigenetic markers across hematological malignancies as well as common epithelial cancers.

  15. How might epigenetics contribute to ecological speciation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert SMITH, Michael G. RITCHIE

    2013-10-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Epigenetics and its implications for ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandegehuchte, Michiel B; Janssen, Colin R

    2011-05-01

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

  18. Epigenetics and environmental impacts in cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. Epigenetics in mammary gland biology and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Epigenetics in breast and prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Phenotypic variation in plants : Roles for epigenetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lauss, K.

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Ecological epigenetics: an introduction to the symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledón-Rettig, Cris C

    2013-08-01

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

  4. Cancer Epigenetics: New Therapies and New Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleftheria Hatzimichael

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Peromyscus as a Mammalian Epigenetic Model

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    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.

  6. Epigenetic targets of polyphenols in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Pinglin; He, Xijing; Malhotra, Anshoo

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Daphnia as an Emerging Epigenetic Model Organism

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    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.

  8. Epigenetic reprogramming in the porcine germ line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Epigenetic drift in the aging genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetics and therapeutic targets mediating neuroprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2015-12-02

    The rapidly evolving science of epigenetics is transforming our understanding of the nervous system in health and disease and holds great promise for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches targeting neurological diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors and mechanisms serve as important mediators of the pathogenic processes that lead to irrevocable neural injury and of countervailing homeostatic and regenerative responses. Epigenetics is, therefore, of considerable translational significance to the field of neuroprotection. In this brief review, we provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms and highlight the emerging roles played by epigenetic processes in neural cell dysfunction and death and in resultant neuroprotective responses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Neuroprotection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant and animal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Suhua; Jacobsen, Steven E; Reik, Wolf

    2010-10-29

    Epigenetic modifications of the genome are generally stable in somatic cells of multicellular organisms. In germ cells and early embryos, however, epigenetic reprogramming occurs on a genome-wide scale, which includes demethylation of DNA and remodeling of histones and their modifications. The mechanisms of genome-wide erasure of DNA methylation, which involve modifications to 5-methylcytosine and DNA repair, are being unraveled. Epigenetic reprogramming has important roles in imprinting, the natural as well as experimental acquisition of totipotency and pluripotency, control of transposons, and epigenetic inheritance across generations. Small RNAs and the inheritance of histone marks may also contribute to epigenetic inheritance and reprogramming. Reprogramming occurs in flowering plants and in mammals, and the similarities and differences illuminate developmental and reproductive strategies.

  14. Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL inactivation in sporadic clear cell renal cancer: associations with germline VHL polymorphisms and etiologic risk factors.

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    Lee E Moore

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Renal tumor heterogeneity studies have utilized the von Hippel-Lindau VHL gene to classify disease into molecularly defined subtypes to examine associations with etiologic risk factors and prognosis. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive analysis of VHL inactivation in clear cell renal tumors (ccRCC and to evaluate relationships between VHL inactivation subgroups with renal cancer risk factors and VHL germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs. VHL genetic and epigenetic inactivation was examined among 507 sporadic RCC/470 ccRCC cases using endonuclease scanning and using bisulfite treatment and Sanger sequencing across 11 CpG sites within the VHL promoter. Case-only multivariate analyses were conducted to identify associations between alteration subtypes and risk factors. VHL inactivation, either through sequence alterations or promoter methylation in tumor DNA, was observed among 86.6% of ccRCC cases. Germline VHL SNPs and a haplotype were associated with promoter hypermethylation in tumor tissue (OR = 6.10; 95% CI: 2.28-16.35, p = 3.76E-4, p-global = 8E-5. Risk of having genetic VHL inactivation was inversely associated with smoking due to a higher proportion of wild-type ccRCC tumors [former: OR = 0.70 (0.20-1.31 and current: OR = 0.56 (0.32-0.99; P-trend = 0.04]. Alteration prevalence did not differ by histopathologic characteristics or occupational exposure to trichloroethylene. ccRCC cases with particular VHL germline polymorphisms were more likely to have VHL inactivation through promoter hypermethylation than through sequence alterations in tumor DNA, suggesting that the presence of these SNPs may represent an example of facilitated epigenetic variation (an inherited propensity towards epigenetic variation in renal tissue. A proportion of tumors from current smokers lacked VHL alterations and may represent a biologically distinct clinical entity from inactivated cases.

  15. Epigenetic regulation of protein glycosylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoldoš, Vlatka; Grgurević, Srđana; Lauc, Gordan

    2010-10-01

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

  16. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Integrative Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanherkar, Riya R.; Stair, Susan E.; Bhatia-Dey, Naina; Mills, Paul J.; Chopra, Deepak

    2017-01-01

    Since time immemorial humans have utilized natural products and therapies for their healing properties. Even now, in the age of genomics and on the cusp of regenerative medicine, the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches represents a popular branch of health care. Furthermore, there is a trend towards a unified medical philosophy referred to as Integrative Medicine (IM) that represents the convergence of CAM and conventional medicine. The IM model not only considers the holistic perspective of the physiological components of the individual, but also includes psychological and mind-body aspects. Justification for and validation of such a whole-systems approach is in part dependent upon identification of the functional pathways governing healing, and new data is revealing relationships between therapies and biochemical effects that have long defied explanation. We review this data and propose a unifying theme: IM's ability to affect healing is due at least in part to epigenetic mechanisms. This hypothesis is based on a mounting body of evidence that demonstrates a correlation between the physical and mental effects of IM and modulation of gene expression and epigenetic state. Emphasis on mapping, deciphering, and optimizing these effects will facilitate therapeutic delivery and create further benefits. PMID:28316635

  17. Epigenetic microRNA Regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiklund, Erik Digman

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetic Control of Female Puberty

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Skewed X inactivation in Lesch-Nyhan disease carrier females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Rosa J; Puig, Juan G

    2017-09-14

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) ratios of normal females can range from a highly skewed ratio of 0:100 to a 50:50 ratio. In several X-linked disorders, female carriers present skewed X inactivation. Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) deficiency is an X-linked disorder. Males are affected and present with the complete Lesch-Nyhan disease (LND) or with a partial phenotype (Lesch-Nyhan variant, LNV). Female carriers are usually asymptomatic. The aim of the present study was to analyze the XCI pattern of HPRT-deficiency carrier females. As a group, 75% of HPRT-deficiency carrier females presented skewed XCI. Moreover, skewed XCI is significantly more frequent in LND carriers (83%) than in LNV (0-50%, depending on the phenotype severity). The ratios of the preferentially inactivated allele of carrier females were significantly higher than the ratios of the preferentially inactivated allele of noncarrier females (89.4±15, n=52 vs 65.2±12, n=52; P<0.0001). For carrier diagnosis, the presence of skewed XCI presents a sensitivity of 75% with a specificity of 85%. In LND families, the presence of skewed XCI is more sensitive for carrier diagnosis than in LNV families; however, we believe that this test is not accurate for carrier diagnostic purposes.Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 14 September 2017; doi:10.1038/jhg.2017.88.

  20. Promoter hypermethylation-mediated inactivation of multiple Slit-Robo pathway genes in cervical cancer progression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansukhani Mahesh

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cervical Cancer (CC exhibits highly complex genomic alterations. These include hemizygous deletions at 4p15.3, 10q24, 5q35, 3p12.3, and 11q24, the chromosomal sites of Slit-Robo pathway genes. However, no candidate tumor suppressor genes at these regions have been identified so far. Slit family of secreted proteins modulates chemokine-induced cell migration of distinct somatic cell types. Slit genes mediate their effect by binding to its receptor Roundabout (Robo. These genes have shown to be inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in a number of human cancers. Results To test whether Slit-Robo pathway genes are targets of inactivation at these sites of deletion, we examined promoter hypermethylation of SLIT1, SLIT2, SLIT3, ROBO1, and ROBO3 genes in invasive CC and its precursor lesions. We identified a high frequency of promoter hypermethylation in all the Slit-Robo genes resulting in down regulated gene expression in invasive CC, but the inhibitors of DNA methylation and histone deacetylases (HDACs in CC cell lines failed to effectively reactivate the down-regulated expression. These results suggest a complex mechanism of inactivation in the Slit-Robo pathway in CC. By analysis of cervical precancerous lesions, we further show that promoter hypermethylation of Slit-Robo pathway occurs early in tumor progression. Conclusion Taken together, these findings suggest that epigenetic alterations of Slit-Robo pathway genes (i play a role in CC development, (ii further delineation of molecular basis of promoter methylation-mediated gene regulation provides a potential basis for epigenetic-based therapy in advanced stage CC, and (iii form epigenetic signatures to identify precancerous lesions at risk to progression.

  1. Frequent occurrence of uniparental disomy in colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Claus Lindbjerg; Wiuf, Carsten; Kruhøffer, Mogens; Korsgaard, Marianne; Laurberg, Søren; Ørntoft, Torben Falck

    2007-01-01

    We used SNP arrays to identify and characterize genomic alterations associated with colorectal cancer (CRC). Laser microdissected cancer cells from 15 adenocarinomas were investigated by Affymetrix Mapping 10K SNP arrays. Analysis of the data extracted from the SNP arrays revealed multiple regions with copy number alterations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Novel LOH areas were identified at chromosomes 13, 14 and 15. Combined analysis of the LOH and copy number data revealed genomic structures that could not have been identified analyzing either data type alone. Half of the identified LOH regions showed no evidence of a reduced copy number, indicating the presence of uniparental structures. The distribution of these structures was non-random, primarily involving 8q, 13q and 20q. This finding was supported by analysis of an independent set of array-based transcriptional profiles, consisting of 17 normal mucosa and 66 adenocarcinoma samples. The transcriptional analysis revealed an unchanged expression level in areas with intact copy number, including regions with uniparental disomy, and a reduced expression level in the LOH regions representing factual losses (including 5q, 8p and 17p). The analysis also showed that genes in regions with increased copy number (including 7p and 20q) were predominantly upregulated. Further analyses of the SNP data revealed a subset of the identified alterations to be specifically associated with TP53 inactivation (including 8q gain and 17p loss) and lymph node metastasis status (gain of 7q and 13q). Another subset of the identified alterations was shown to represent intratumor heterogeneity. In conclusion, we demonstrate that uniparental disomy is frequent in CRC, and identify genomic alterations associated with TP53 inactivation and lymph node status.

  2. Epigenetically reprogramming of human embryonic stem cells by 3-Deazaneplanocin A and sodium butyrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soheila Azghadi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Infertility affects about 6.1 million women aged 15-44 in the United States. The leading cause of infertility in women is quantitative and qualitative defects in human germ-cell development (these sentences are not mentioned in introduction so it is not correct to mention in abstract, you can omit. Human embryonic stem cell (hESC lines are derived from the inner cell mass (ICM of developing blastocysts and have a broad clinical potential. hESCs have been classified into three classes based on their epigenetic state. The goal of this study was to epigenetically reprogram Class II and Class III cell lines to Class I (naïve state, and to in vitro differentiation of potent hESCs to primordial germ cells (PGCs. Methods: Recent evidence suggests that 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep is a global histone methylation inhibitor which selectively inhibits trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3K27, and it is an epigenetic therapeutic for cancer. The characteristics of DZNep lead us to hypothesize that it is a good candidate to epigenetically reprogram hESCs to the Class I. Additionally, we used sodium butyrate (NaBu shown in previous studies to up-regulate the expression of germ cell specific markers (these sentences should be come in introduction. Results: We used these two drugs to produce epigenetically stable hESC lines. hESC lines are an appropriate system for disease modeling and understanding developmental stages, therefore producing stable stem cell lines may have an outstanding impact in different research fields such as preventive medicine. Conclusions: X-Chromosome inactivation has been used as a tool to follow the reprogramming process. We have used immunostaining and western blot as methods to follow this reprogramming qualitatively and quantitatively.

  3. Mining Frequent Itemsets in Correlated Uncertain Databases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    童咏昕; 陈雷; 佘洁莹

    2015-01-01

    Recently, with the growing popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) and pervasive computing, a large amount of uncertain data, e.g., RFID data, sensor data, real-time video data, has been collected. As one of the most fundamental issues of uncertain data mining, uncertain frequent pattern mining has attracted much attention in database and data mining communities. Although there have been some solutions for uncertain frequent pattern mining, most of them assume that the data is independent, which is not true in most real-world scenarios. Therefore, current methods that are based on the independent assumption may generate inaccurate results for correlated uncertain data. In this paper, we focus on the problem of mining frequent itemsets over correlated uncertain data, where correlation can exist in any pair of uncertain data objects (transactions). We propose a novel probabilistic model, called Correlated Frequent Probability model (CFP model) to represent the probability distribution of support in a given correlated uncertain dataset. Based on the distribution of support derived from the CFP model, we observe that some probabilistic frequent itemsets are only frequent in several transactions with high positive correlation. In particular, the itemsets, which are global probabilistic frequent, have more significance in eliminating the influence of the existing noise and correlation in data. In order to reduce redundant frequent itemsets, we further propose a new type of patterns, called global probabilistic frequent itemsets, to identify itemsets that are always frequent in each group of transactions if the whole correlated uncertain database is divided into disjoint groups based on their correlation. To speed up the mining process, we also design a dynamic programming solution, as well as two pruning and bounding techniques. Extensive experiments on both real and synthetic datasets verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed model and algorithms.

  4. Epigenetic alterations in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and hippocampus contribute to age-related cognitive decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deibel, Scott H.; Zelinski, Erin L.; Keeley, Robin J.; Kovalchuk, Olga; McDonald, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Circadian rhythm dysfunction and cognitive decline, specifically memory loss, frequently accompany natural aging. Circadian rhythms and memory are intertwined, as circadian rhythms influence memory formation and recall in young and old rodents. Although, the precise relationship between circadian rhythms and memory is still largely unknown, it is hypothesized that circadian rhythm disruption, which occurs during aging, contributes to age-associated cognitive decline, specifically memory loss. While there are a variety of mechanisms that could mediate this effect, changes in the epigenome that occur during aging has been proposed as a potential candidate. Interestingly, epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and sirtuin1 (SIRT1) are necessary for both circadian rhythms and memory. During aging, similar alterations of epigenetic mechanisms occur in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and hippocampus, which are necessary for circadian rhythm generation and memory, respectively. Recently, circadian rhythms have been linked to epigenetic function in the hippocampus, as some of these epigenetic mechanisms oscillate in the hippocampus and are disrupted by clock gene deletion. The current paper will review how circadian rhythms and memory change with age, and will suggest how epigenetic changes in these processes might contribute to age-related cognitive decline. PMID:26252151

  5. Prostate cancer epigenetics and its clinical implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Epigenetic inheritance and plasticity: The responsive germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2013-04-01

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

  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. Prostate cancer epigenetics and its clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yegnasubramanian, Srinivasan

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. The Epigenetic Paradox of Pluripotent ES Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festuccia, Nicola; Gonzalez, Inma; Navarro, Pablo

    2017-05-19

    The propagation and maintenance of gene expression programs are at the foundation of the preservation of cell identity. A large and complex set of epigenetic mechanisms enables the long-term stability and inheritance of transcription states. A key property of authentic epigenetic regulation is being independent from the instructive signals used for its establishment. This makes epigenetic regulation, particularly epigenetic silencing, extremely robust and powerful to lock regulatory states and stabilise cell identity. In line with this, the establishment of epigenetic silencing during development restricts cell potency and maintains the cell fate choices made by transcription factors (TFs). However, how more immature cells that have not yet established their definitive fate maintain their transitory identity without compromising their responsiveness to signalling cues remains unclear. A paradigmatic example is provided by pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells derived from a transient population of cells of the blastocyst. Here, we argue that ES cells represent an interesting "epigenetic paradox": even though they are captured in a self-renewing state characterised by extremely efficient maintenance of their identity, which is a typical manifestation of robust epigenetic regulation, they seem not to heavily rely on classical epigenetic mechanisms. Indeed, self-renewal strictly depends on the TFs that previously instructed their undifferentiated identity and relies on a particular signalling-dependent chromatin state where repressive chromatin marks play minor roles. Although this "epigenetic paradox" may underlie their exquisite responsiveness to developmental cues, it suggests that alternative mechanisms to faithfully propagate gene regulatory states might be prevalent in ES cells. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Epigenetic suppression of neprilysin regulates breast cancer invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, H M; Khoury, R J; Majmudar, P R; Blaylock, T; Hawkins, K; Salama, M S; Scott, M D; Cosminsky, B; Utreja, N K; Britt, J; Conway, R E

    2016-01-01

    In women, invasive breast cancer is the second most common cancer and the second cause of cancer-related death. Therefore, identifying novel regulators of breast cancer invasion could lead to additional biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Neprilysin, a cell-surface enzyme that cleaves and inactivates a number of substrates including endothelin-1 (ET1), has been implicated in breast cancer, but whether neprilysin promotes or inhibits breast cancer cell progression and metastasis is unclear. Here, we asked whether neprilysin expression predicts and functionally regulates breast cancer cell invasion. RT–PCR and flow cytometry analysis of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines revealed decreased neprilysin expression compared with normal epithelial cells. Expression was also suppressed in invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) compared with normal tissue. In addition, in vtro invasion assays demonstrated that neprilysin overexpression decreased breast cancer cell invasion, whereas neprilysin suppression augmented invasion. Furthermore, inhibiting neprilysin in MCF-7 breast cancer cells increased ET1 levels significantly, whereas overexpressing neprilysin decreased extracellular-signal related kinase (ERK) activation, indicating that neprilysin negatively regulates ET1-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. To determine whether neprilysin was epigenetically suppressed in breast cancer, we performed bisulfite conversion analysis of breast cancer cells and clinical tumor samples. We found that the neprilysin promoter was hypermethylated in breast cancer; chemical reversal of methylation in MDA-MB-231 cells reactivated neprilysin expression and inhibited cancer cell invasion. Analysis of cancer databases revealed that neprilysin methylation significantly associates with survival in stage I IDC and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer subtypes. These results demonstrate that neprilysin negatively regulates the ET axis in breast cancer

  12. 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.

  13. Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogryzko Vasily V

    2008-04-01

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

  14. Epigenetic Epidemiology of Complex Diseases Using Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Qihua

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Epigenetic variation during the adult lifespan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Metabolic Reprogramming of Stem Cell Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryall, James G.; Cliff, Tim; Dalton, Stephen; Sartorelli, Vittorio

    2015-01-01

    Summary For many years, stem cell metabolism was viewed as a by product of cell fate status rather than an active regulatory mechanism, however there is now a growing appreciation that metabolic pathways influence epigenetic changes associated with lineage commitment, specification, and self-renewal. Here we review how metabolites generated during glycolytic and oxidative processes are utilized in enzymatic reactions leading to epigenetic modifications and transcriptional regulation. We discuss how “metabolic reprogramming” contributes to global epigenetic changes in the context of naïve and primed pluripotent states, somatic reprogramming, and hematopoietic and skeletal muscle tissue stem cells, and the implications for regenerative medicine. PMID:26637942

  17. Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability

    CERN Document Server

    Ogryzko, Vasily

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetic contribution to stress adaptation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirouze, Marie; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2011-06-01

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

  19. Epigenetics and the evolution of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasuga, Takao; Gijzen, Mark

    2013-11-01

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

  20. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Bacterial inactivation of the anticancer drug doxorubicin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westman, Erin L; Canova, Marc J; Radhi, Inas J; Koteva, Kalinka; Kireeva, Inga; Waglechner, Nicholas; Wright, Gerard D

    2012-10-26

    Microbes are exposed to compounds produced by members of their ecological niche, including molecules with antibiotic or antineoplastic activities. As a result, even bacteria that do not produce such compounds can harbor the genetic machinery to inactivate or degrade these molecules. Here, we investigated environmental actinomycetes for their ability to inactivate doxorubicin, an aminoglycosylated anthracycline anticancer drug. One strain, Streptomyces WAC04685, inactivates doxorubicin via a deglycosylation mechanism. Activity-based purification of the enzymes responsible for drug inactivation identified the NADH dehydrogenase component of respiratory electron transport complex I, which was confirmed by gene inactivation studies. A mechanism where reduction of the quinone ring of the anthracycline by NADH dehydrogenase leads to deglycosylation is proposed. This work adds anticancer drug inactivation to the enzymatic inactivation portfolio of actinomycetes and offers possibilities for novel applications in drug detoxification. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Is Friedreich ataxia an epigenetic disorder?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumari Daman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Friedreich ataxia (FRDA is a debilitating and frequently fatal neurological disorder that is recessively inherited. It belongs to the group of genetic disorders known as the Repeat Expansion Diseases, in which pathology arises from the deleterious consequences of the inheritance of a tandem repeat array whose repeat number exceeds a critical threshold. In the case of FRDA, the repeat unit is the triplet GAA•TTC and the tandem array is located in the first intron of the frataxin (FXN gene. Pathology arises because expanded alleles make lower than normal levels of mature FXN mRNA and thus reduced levels of frataxin, the FXN gene product. The repeats form a variety of unusual DNA structures that have the potential to affect gene expression in a number of ways. For example, triplex formation in vitro and in bacteria leads to the formation of persistent RNA:DNA hybrids that block transcription. In addition, these repeats have been shown to affect splicing in model systems. More recently, it has been shown that the region flanking the repeats in the FXN gene is enriched for epigenetic marks characteristic of transcriptionally repressed regions of the genome. However, exactly how repeats in an intron cause the FXN mRNA deficit in FRDA has been the subject of much debate. Identifying the mechanism or mechanisms responsible for the FXN mRNA deficit in FRDA is important for the development of treatments for this currently incurable disorder. This review discusses evidence for and against different models for the repeat-mediated mRNA deficit.

  3. Epigenetic inactivation of SPINT2 is associated with tumor suppressive function in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yue, Dongli [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); The Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Fan, Qingxia [The Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Chen, Xinfeng; Li, Feng [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Wang, Liping [The Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Huang, Lan [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Dong, Wenjie; Chen, Xiaoqi [The Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Zhang, Zhen [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Liu, Jinyan; Wang, Fei [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); The School of Life Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Wang, Meng [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); The Department of Gastroenterology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); Zhang, Bin [The Biotherapy Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan (China); The Department of Hematology/Oncology, School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago 60611 (United States); and others

    2014-03-10

    Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor type 2 (SPINT2), a Kunitz-type serine proteinase inhibitor, has been identified as a putative tumor suppressor gene silenced by promoter methylation. We aimed to investigate whether SPINT2 might act as an esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tumor suppressor gene. Four ESCC cell lines, Fifty-two ESCC tissues and twenty-nine neighboring non-cancerous tissues were included in this study. The expression of SPINT2 was monitored by real time PCR. Bisulfite genomic sequencing and methylation-specific PCR were used to analyze methylation status. The effect of SPINT2 on cell proliferation and apoptosis in EC109 and EC9706 cells was observed by CCK-8 assay and flow cytometric analysis. We found that silencing of SPINT2 was associated with promoter methylation in ESCC cell lines. The densely methylated SPINT2 promoter region was confirmed by bisulfite genomic sequencing. Ectopic expression of SPINT2 inhibited cell proliferation through inducing cell apoptosis in vitro. Furthermore, methylation-specific PCR analysis revealed that SPINT2 promoter methylation was prominent in carcinoma tissues (52.08%) compared with neighboring non-cancerous tissues (22.58%). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that patients with SPINT2 hypermethylation had shorter survival time. The tumor suppressor gene of SPINT2 is commonly silenced by promoter hypermethylation in human ESCC and SPINT2 hypermethylation is correlated with poor overall survival, implicating SPINT2 is an underlying prognostic marker for human ESCC. - Highlights: • We firstly found SPINT2 gene may be transcriptionally repressed by promoter hypermethylation in ESCC cells. • SPINT2 overexpressing cells induced proliferation inhibition through promoting apoptosis. • mRNA expression of SPINT2 was significantly higher in ESCC tissues than in neighboring non-cancerous tissues. • Promoter hypermethylation of SPINT2 is significantly linked to TNM stage and poor overall survival.

  4. Epigenetic inactivation of secreted frizzled-related protein 2 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Wen Hao; Sheng-Tao Zhu; Yuan-Long He; Peng Li; Yong-Jun Wang; Shu-Tian Zhang

    2012-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the expression and methylation status of the secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and explore its role in ESCC carcinogenesis.METHODS: Seven ESCC cell lines (KYSE 30, KYSE150, KYSE410, KYSE510, EC109, EC9706 and TE-1) and one immortalized human esophageal epithelial cell line (Het-1A), 20 ESCC tissue samples and 20 paired adjacent non-tumor esophageal epithelial tissues were analyzed in this study. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was employed to investigate the expression of SFRP2 in cell lines, primary ESCC tumor tissue, and paired adjacent normal tissue. Methylation status was evaluated by methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite sequencing. The correlation between expression and promoter methylation of the SFRP2 gene was confirmed with treatment of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. To assess the potential role of SFRP2 in ESCC, we established stable SFRP2-transfected cells and examined them with regard to cell proliferation, colony formation, apoptosis and cell cycle in vivo and in vitro.RESULTS: SFRP2 mRNA was expressed in the immortalized normal esophageal epithelial cell line but not in seven ESCC cell lines. By methylation-specific PCR, complete methylation was detected in three cell lines with silenced SFRP2 expression, and extensive methylation was observed in the other four ESCC cell lines. 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine could restore the expression of SFRP2 mRNA in the three ESCC cell lines lacking SFRP2 expression. SFRP2 mRNA expression was obviously lower in primary ESCC tissue than in adjacent normal tissue (0.939 ± 0.398 vs 1.51 ± 0.399, P < 0.01). SFRP2 methylation was higher in tumor tissue than in paired normal tissue (95% vs 65%, P < 0.05). The DNA methylation status of the SFRP2 correlated inversely with the SFRP2 expression. To assess the potential role of SFRP2 in ESCC, we established stable SFRP2 transfectants and control counterparts by introducing pcDNA3.1/v5 hisA -SFRP2 or pcDNA3.1/v5 hisA -empty vector into KYSE30 cells lacking SFRP2 expression. After transfection, the forced-expression of SFRP2 was confirmed by the RT-PCR. In comparison with the control groups, stably-expressed SFRP2 in KYSE 30 cells significantly reduced colony formation in vitro (47.17% ± 15.61% vs 17% ± 3.6%, P = 0.031) and tumor growth in nude mice (917.86 ± 249.35 mm3 vs 337.23 ± 124.43 mm3, P < 0.05). Using flow cytom-etry analysis, we found a significantly higher number of early apoptotic cells in SFRP2-transfected cells than in the control cells (P = 0.025). The mean cell number in the S and G2-M phases of the cell cycle was also significantly lower in SFRP2-transfected KYSE30 cells compared with mock transfected counterparts.CONCLUSION: Silencing of SFRP2 expression through promoter hypermethylation may be a factor in ESCC carcinogenesis through loss of its tumor-suppressive activity.

  5. Frequently Asked Questions on Potassium Iodide (KI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Bioterrorism and Drug Preparedness Frequently Asked Questions on Potassium Iodide (KI) Share Tweet Linkedin Pin it More sharing ... Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final Guidance on Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation Emergencies) ( ...

  6. Frequent Pattern Mining Algorithms for Data Clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zimek, Arthur; Assent, Ira; Vreeken, Jilles

    2014-01-01

    that frequent pattern mining was at the cradle of subspace clustering—yet, it quickly developed into an independent research field. In this chapter, we discuss how frequent pattern mining algorithms have been extended and generalized towards the discovery of local clusters in high-dimensional data......Discovering clusters in subspaces, or subspace clustering and related clustering paradigms, is a research field where we find many frequent pattern mining related influences. In fact, as the first algorithms for subspace clustering were based on frequent pattern mining algorithms, it is fair to say....... In particular, we discuss several example algorithms for subspace clustering or projected clustering as well as point out recent research questions and open topics in this area relevant to researchers in either clustering or pattern mining...

  7. Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Mammography

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Consumer Information (MQSA) Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Mammography Share Tweet Linkedin Pin it More sharing options ... mammography exams, such as DBT? What is digital mammography? Full field digital mammography (FFDM, also known simply ...

  8. Frequently Asked Questions about Genetic Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Care Specific Genetic Disorders Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Testing What is genetic testing? What can I learn ... find more information about genetic testing? What is genetic testing? Genetic testing uses laboratory methods to look at ...

  9. Frequently Asked Questions about Genetic Counseling

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... on this page Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Counseling What are genetic professionals and what do they ... genetics nurses. Top of page What is genetic counseling and evaluation? Genetic professionals work as members of ...

  10. Inactivated Schmallenberg virus prototype vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernike, Kerstin; Nikolin, Veljko M; Hechinger, Silke; Hoffmann, Bernd; Beer, Martin

    2013-08-02

    Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a novel Orthobunyavirus, is an insect-transmitted pathogen and was first described in Europe in 2011. SBV causes a mild transient disease in adult ruminants, but severe foetal malformation and stillbirth were observed after an infection of naive cows and ewes, which is responsible for considerable economic losses. The virus is now widely distributed in Europe, and no vaccines were available to stop transmission and spread. In the present study, 16 calves and 25 sheep, the major target species of SBV infection, were vaccinated twice 3 weeks apart with one of 5 newly developed, inactivated vaccine candidates. Six calves and 5 sheep were kept as unvaccinated controls. All animals were clinically, serologically and virologically examined before and after challenge infection. Immunisation with the inactivated preparations resulted in a neutralising antibody response three weeks after the second vaccination without any side effects. The number of animals that seroconverted in each group and the strength of the antibody response were dependent on the cell line used for virus growth and on the viral titre prior to inactivation. Four vaccine prototypes completely prevented RNAemia after challenge infection, a fifth candidate reduced RNAemia considerably. Although further evaluations e.g. regarding duration of immunity will be necessary, the newly developed vaccines are promising candidates for the prevention of SBV-infection and could be a valuable tool in SBV control strategies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Hydrazine vapor inactivates Bacillus spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Wayne W.; Engler, Diane L.; Beaudet, Robert A.

    2016-05-01

    NASA policy restricts the total number of bacterial spores that can remain on a spacecraft traveling to any planetary body which might harbor life or have evidence of past life. Hydrazine, N2H4, is commonly used as a propellant on spacecraft. Hydrazine as a liquid is known to inactivate bacterial spores. We have now verified that hydrazine vapor also inactivates bacterial spores. After Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 spores deposited on stainless steel coupons were exposed to saturated hydrazine vapor in closed containers, the spores were recovered from the coupons, serially diluted, pour plated and the surviving bacterial colonies were counted. The exposure times required to reduce the spore population by a factor of ten, known as the D-value, were 4.70 ± 0.50 h at 25 °C and 2.85 ± 0.13 h at 35 °C. These inactivation rates are short enough to ensure that the bioburden of the surfaces and volumes would be negligible after prolonged exposure to hydrazine vapor. Thus, all the propellant tubing and internal tank surfaces exposed to hydrazine vapor do not contribute to the total spore count.

  12. Deletion of an X-inactivation boundary disrupts adjacent gene silencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay M Horvath

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In mammalian females, genes on one X are largely silenced by X-chromosome inactivation (XCI, although some "escape" XCI and are expressed from both Xs. Escapees can closely juxtapose X-inactivated genes and provide a tractable model for assessing boundary function at epigenetically regulated loci. To delimit sequences at an XCI boundary, we examined female mouse embryonic stem cells carrying X-linked BAC transgenes derived from an endogenous escape locus. Previously we determined that large BACs carrying escapee Kdm5c and flanking X-inactivated transcripts are properly regulated. Here we identify two lines with truncated BACs that partially and completely delete the distal Kdm5c XCI boundary. This boundary is not required for escape, since despite integrating into regions that are normally X inactivated, transgenic Kdm5c escapes XCI, as determined by RNA FISH and by structurally adopting an active conformation that facilitates long-range preferential association with other escapees. Yet, XCI regulation is disrupted in the transgene fully lacking the distal boundary; integration site genes up to 350 kb downstream of the transgene now inappropriately escape XCI. Altogether, these results reveal two genetically separable XCI regulatory activities at Kdm5c. XCI escape is driven by a dominant element(s retained in the shortest transgene that therefore lies within or upstream of the Kdm5c locus. Additionally, the distal XCI boundary normally plays an essential role in preventing nearby genes from escaping XCI.

  13. Epigenetic and Genetic Alterations Affect the WWOX Gene in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekizoglu, Seda; Bulut, Pelin; Karaman, Emin; Kilic, Erkan; Buyru, Nur

    2015-01-01

    Different types of genetic and epigenetic changes are associated with HNSCC. The molecular mechanisms of HNSCC carcinogenesis are still undergoing intensive investigation. WWOX gene expression is altered in many cancers and in a recent work reduced WWOX expression has been associated with miR-134 expression in HNSCC. In this study we investigated the WWOX messenger RNA expression levels in association with the promoter methylation of the WWOX gene and miR-134 expression levels in 80 HNSCC tumor and non-cancerous tissue samples. Our results show that WWOX expression is down-regulated especially in advanced-stage tumor samples or in tumors with SCC. This down-regulation was associated with methylation of the WWOX promoter region but not with miR-134 expression. There was an inverse correlation between the expression level and promoter methylation. We also analyzed whole exons and exon/intron boundries of the WWOX gene by direct sequencing. In our study group we observed 10 different alterations in the coding sequences and 18 different alterations in the non-coding sequences of the WWOX gene in HNSCC tumor samples. These results indicate that the WWOX gene can be functionally inactivated by promoter methylation, epigenetically or by mutations affecting the sequences coding for the enzymatic domain of the gene, functionally. We conclude that inactivation of WWOX gene contributes to the progression of HNSCC. PMID:25612104

  14. Mono-allelic retrotransposon insertion addresses epigenetic transcriptional repression in human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byun Hyang-Min

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retrotransposons have been extensively studied in plants and animals and have been shown to have an impact on human genome dynamics and evolution. Their ability to move within genomes gives retrotransposons to affect genome instability. Methods we examined the polymorphic inserted AluYa5, evolutionary young Alu, in the progesterone receptor gene to determine the effects of Alu insertion on molecular environment. We used mono-allelic inserted cell lines which carry both Alu-present and Alu-absent alleles. To determine the epigenetic change and gene expression, we performed restriction enzyme digestion, Pyrosequencing, and Chromatin Immunoprecipitation. Results We observed that the polymorphic insertion of evolutionally young Alu causes increasing levels of DNA methylation in the surrounding genomic area and generates inactive histone tail modifications. Consequently the Alu insertion deleteriously inactivates the neighboring gene expression. Conclusion The mono-allelic Alu insertion cell line clearly showed that polymorphic inserted repetitive elements cause the inactivation of neighboring gene expression, bringing aberrant epigenetic changes.

  15. Epigenetic control of GnRH neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Raymond Kurian

    2013-05-01

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

  16. MicroRNAs, epigenetics and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silahtaroglu, Asli; Stenvang, Jan

    2010-01-01

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

  17. The epigenetic paradigm in periodontitis pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vamsi Lavu

    2015-01-01

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

  18. [Contribution of epigenetics to understand human development].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedregal, Paula; Shand, Beatriz; Santos, Manuel J; Ventura-Juncá, Patricio

    2010-03-01

    Epigenetics refers to the study of how genes produce their effect on the phenotype of the organism. This article is a review on the scope and importance of recently discovered epigenetic mechanisms on human development and their relationship to perinatal epidemiological issues. It shows a general view and present concepts about epigenetics and its contribution to the comprehension of several physiologic and pathological conditions of human beings. Secondly, it analyzes the evidence coming from epidemiological and animal studies, about the influence of events that occur in the perinatal and early postnatal periods on adult life and the possible epigenetic mechanisms involved. Lastly, it underscores the implications of these results of future research and the design of public policies that take into account the importance of events in early life in the future development of individuals.

  19. 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......, and are shown to influence and be influenced by cell-cycle progression. Chromatin modifiers regulate cell-cycle progression locally by controlling the expression of individual genes and globally by controlling chromatin condensation and chromosome segregation. The cell cycle, on the other hand, ensures...... 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....

  20. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitelaw, Nadia C; Whitelaw, Emma

    2008-06-01

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

  1. Environmental epigenetics: a role in endocrine disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleisch, Abby F; Wright, Robert O; Baccarelli, Andrea A

    2012-10-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals that are structurally similar to steroid or amine hormones have the potential to mimic endocrine endpoints at the receptor level. However, more recently, epigenetic-induced alteration in gene expression has emerged as an alternative way in which environmental compounds may exert endocrine effects. We review concepts related to environmental epigenetics and relevance for endocrinology through three broad examples: 1) effect of early-life nutritional exposures on future obesity and insulin resistance, 2) effect of lifetime environmental exposures such as ionizing radiation on endocrine cancer risk, and 3) potential for compounds previously classified as endocrine disrupting to additionally or alternatively exert effects through epigenetic mechanisms. The field of environmental epigenetics is still nascent, and additional studies are needed to confirm and reinforce data derived from animal models and preliminary human studies. Current evidence suggests that environmental exposures may significantly impact expression of endocrine-related genes and thereby affect clinical endocrine outcomes.

  2. Dubbing SAGA unveils new epigenetic crosstalk.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  3. Decoding the Epigenetic Language of Neuronal Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrelli, Emiliana; Nestler, Eric J.; Allis, C. David; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Neurons are submitted to an exceptional variety of stimuli and are able to convert these into high-order functions, such as storing memories, controlling behavior, and governing consciousness. These unique properties are based on the highly flexible nature of neurons, a characteristic that can be regulated by the complex molecular machinery that controls gene expression. Epigenetic control, which largely involves events of chromatin remodeling, appears to be one way in which transcriptional regulation of gene expression can be modified in neurons. This review will focus on how epigenetic control in the mature nervous system may guide dynamic plasticity processes and long-lasting cellular neuronal responses. We outline the molecular pathways underlying chromatin transitions, propose the presence of an “epigenetic indexing code,” and discuss how central findings accumulating at an exponential pace in the field of epigenetics are conceptually changing our perspective of adult brain function. PMID:19109904

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Epigenetics, an emerging discipline with broad implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feil, Robert

    2008-11-01

    The field of epigenetics is young and quickly expanding. During the last year alone, thousands of research articles considered epigenetic mechanisms and their phenotypic consequences in different animal and plant species. Various definitions have been given, though, as to what precisely is epigenetics. Recent ones take into consideration that chromatin at genes and chromosomal regions can be structurally organised by covalent modifications and nuclear proteins, and via RNA molecules, in order to achieve defined expression states that can be perpetuated. Such somatically and meiotically heritable effects on gene function have diverse biological and medical implications. In particular, they are known to be important in development. A recent discussion meeting in Paris at the French Academy of Sciences reviewed our current understanding of 'Epigenetics and Cellular Memory' and where this novel discipline in life sciences is heading.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Environmental Epigenetics: A Role in Endocrine Disease?

    OpenAIRE

    Fleisch, Abby F.; Wright, Robert O.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.

    2012-01-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals that are structurally similar to steroid or amine hormones have the potential to mimic endocrine endpoints at the receptor level. However, more recently, epigenetic-induced alteration in gene expression has emerged as an alternative way in which environmental compounds may exert endocrine effects. We review concepts related to environmental epigenetics and relevance for endocrinology through three broad examples, 1) effect of early-life nutritional exposures on ...

  9. Epigenetics in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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....

  11. Epigenetics of drug abuse: predisposition or response

    OpenAIRE

    Nielsen, David A.; Utrankar, Amol; Reyes, Jennifer A; Simons, Daniel D; Kosten, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Drug addiction continues to be a serious medical and social problem. Vulnerability to develop an addiction to drugs is dependent on genetic, environmental, social and biological factors. In particular, the interactions of environmental and genetic factors indicate the significance of epigenetic mechanisms, which have been found to occur in response to illicit drug use or as underlying factors in chronic substance abuse and relapse. Epigenetics is defined as the heritable and possibly reversib...

  12. From Neo-Darwinism to Epigenetic Inheritance

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms of the Aging Human Retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Katie L.; DeAngelis, Margaret M.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Selective targeting of epigenetic reader domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greschik, Holger; Schüle, Roland; Günther, Thomas

    2017-05-01

    Epigenetic regulators including writers, erasers, and readers of chromatin marks have been implicated in numerous diseases and are therefore subject of intense academic and pharmaceutical research. While several small-molecule inhibitors targeting writers or erasers are either approved drugs or are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, the targeting of epigenetic readers has lagged behind. Proof-of-principle that epigenetic readers are also relevant drug targets was provided by landmark discoveries of selective inhibitors targeting the BET family of acetyl-lysine readers. More recently, high affinity chemical probes for non-BET acetyl- and methyl-lysine reader domains have also been developed. Areas covered: This article covers recent advances with the identification and validation of inhibitors and chemical probes targeting epigenetic reader domains. Issues related to epigenetic reader druggability, quality requirements for chemical probes, interpretation of cellular action, unexpected cross-talk, and future challenges are also discussed. Expert opinion: Chemical probes provide a powerful means to unravel biological functions of epigenetic readers and evaluate their potential as drug targets. To yield meaningful results, potency, selectivity, and cellular target engagement of chemical probes need to be stringently validated. Future chemical probes will probably need to fulfil additional criteria such as strict target specificity or the targeting of readers within protein complexes.

  15. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razvi, Enal S

    2011-02-01

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

  16. Epigenetics in C. elegans: facts and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenzel, Dirk; Palladino, Francesca; Jedrusik-Bode, Monika

    2011-08-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that are not accompanied by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms include histone post-translational modifications, histone variant incorporation, non-coding RNAs, and nucleosome remodeling and exchange. In addition, the functional compartmentalization of the nucleus also contributes to epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic phenomena and their biological function have relied on various model systems, including yeast, plants, flies, and cultured mammalian cells. Here we will expose the reader to the current understanding of epigenetic regulation in the roundworm C. elegans. We will review recent models of nuclear organization and its impact on gene expression, the biological role of enzymes modifying core histones, and the function of chromatin-associated factors, with special emphasis on Polycomb (PcG) and Trithorax (Trx-G) group proteins. We will discuss how the C. elegans model has provided novel insight into mechanisms of epigenetic regulation as well as suggest directions for future research.

  17. Child Health, Developmental Plasticity, and Epigenetic Programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feil, R.; Constancia, M.; Fraga, M.; Junien, C.; Carel, J.-C.; Boileau, P.; Le Bouc, Y.; Deal, C. L.; Lillycrop, K.; Scharfmann, R.; Sheppard, A.; Skinner, M.; Szyf, M.; Waterland, R. A.; Waxman, D. J.; Whitelaw, E.; Ong, K.; Albertsson-Wikland, K.

    2011-01-01

    Plasticity in developmental programming has evolved in order to provide the best chances of survival and reproductive success to the organism under changing environments. Environmental conditions that are experienced in early life can profoundly influence human biology and long-term health. Developmental origins of health and disease and life-history transitions are purported to use placental, nutritional, and endocrine cues for setting long-term biological, mental, and behavioral strategies in response to local ecological and/or social conditions. The window of developmental plasticity extends from preconception to early childhood and involves epigenetic responses to environmental changes, which exert their effects during life-history phase transitions. These epigenetic responses influence development, cell- and tissue-specific gene expression, and sexual dimorphism, and, in exceptional cases, could be transmitted transgenerationally. Translational epigenetic research in child health is a reiterative process that ranges from research in the basic sciences, preclinical research, and pediatric clinical research. Identifying the epigenetic consequences of fetal programming creates potential applications in clinical practice: the development of epigenetic biomarkers for early diagnosis of disease, the ability to identify susceptible individuals at risk for adult diseases, and the development of novel preventive and curative measures that are based on diet and/or novel epigenetic drugs. PMID:20971919

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetic regulation in alcoholic liver disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pranoti Mandrekar

    2011-01-01

    Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is characterized by steatosis or fat deposition in the liver and inflammation, which leads to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Induction of target genes without involving changes in DNA sequence seems to contribute greatly to liver injury. Chromatin modifications including alterations in histones and DNA, as well as post-transcriptional changes collectively referred to as epigenetic effects are altered by alcohol. Recent studies have pointed to a significant role for epigenetic mechanisms at the nucleosomal level influencing gene expression and disease outcome in ALD. Specifically, epigenetic alterations by alcohol include histone modifications such as changes in acetylation and phosphorylation, hypomethylation of DNA, and alterations in miRNAs. These modifications can be induced by alcohol-induced oxidative stress that results in altered recruitment of transcriptional machinery and abnormal gene expression. Delineating these mechanisms in initiation and progression of ALD is becoming a major area of interest. This review summarizes key epigenetic mechanisms that are dysregulated by alcohol in the liver. Alterations by alcohol in histone and DNA modifications, enzymes related to histone acetylation such as histone acetyltransferases, histone deacetylases and sirtuins, and methylation enzymes such as DNA methyltransferases are discussed. Chromatin modifications and miRNA alterations that result in immune cell dysfunction contributing to inflammatory cytokine production in ALD is reviewed. Finally, the role of alcohol-mediated oxidative stress in epigenetic regulation in ALD is described. A better understanding of these mechanisms is crucial for designing novel epigenetic based therapies to ameliorate ALD.

  20. Epigenetics in Odontogenesis and Its Influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chuwen; Cui, Yujia; Zhou, Changchun; Sun, Jianxun; Zhou, Xuedong

    2017-05-29

    Odontogenesis, including amelogenesis, dentin and pulp development and root formation, is fundamentally controlled by the genome. However, epigenetic factors have indispensable effects during odontogenesis. The regulation of cell differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis by epigenetic factors is fundamental in odontogenesis, with its appropriate procedure being vital in normal tooth development. Previous studies have shown that exogenous factors, such as the environment, that cause hypomethylation and hypermethylation in DNA may lead to dental differences in monozygotic twin pairs. In addition, abnormalities in epigenetic regulation could induce disruptions in odontogenesis, thereby causing tooth malformation or agenesis. Thus, the importance of understanding the crucial epigenetic regulation in the normal process of odontogenesis is appreciable. Here, we present concrete epigenetic regulation mechanisms in odontogenesis that have been reported previously, following the order of microRNA, DNA methylation and histone modification, with the aim of establishing a basic understanding of these epigenetic regulation mechanisms for further study. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  1. Epigenetic manifestations in diet-related disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariman, E C M

    2008-01-01

    Epigenetic phenomena are changes in phenotype that are due to resetting of gene expression under the influence of the environment or genetic factors without changing the DNA sequence. Usually this resetting occurs at a certain stage in life and remains fixed thereafter. In humans, evidence for epigenetic involvement in diet-related complex traits and disorders is accumulating. The fetal origins theory indicates that nutrition can influence the later life risk for certain common disorders like the metabolic syndrome. In parent-of-origin effects, the risk for a common disorder like type I diabetes depends on the sex of the parent who transmits genetic risk factors. Interestingly, both dietary and genetic factors can exert their epigenetic influence over several generations. Imprinting, i.e. silencing of one copy of an autosomal pair of genes, can be part of the mechanism pointing to the importance of DNA methylation. In addition, chromatin modifications have been shown to be involved in epigenetic manifestations. The intriguing possibility that diet may influence the direction and extent of epigenetic changes opens new ways for prevention or treatment of common disorders. At the same time, maternal nutrition might be used to actively direct fetal development with consequences for later life performance such as cognitive abilities. More knowledge on those novel applications is needed. This will in part come from novel strategies to map the epigenomic regions, allowing the identification of more genes involved in epigenetics and allowing the study of their response to nutrition.

  2. 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.

  3. Global epigenetic changes induced by SWI2/SNF2 inhibitors characterize neomycin-resistant mammalian cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popy Dutta

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previously, we showed that aminoglycoside phosphotransferases catalyze the formation of a specific inhibitor of the SWI2/SNF2 proteins. Aminoglycoside phosphotransferases, for example neomycin-resistant genes, are used extensively as selection markers in mammalian transfections as well as in transgenic studies. However, introduction of the neomycin-resistant gene is fraught with variability in gene expression. We hypothesized that the introduction of neomycin-resistant genes into mammalian cells results in inactivation of SWI2/SNF2 proteins thereby leading to global epigenetic changes. METHODOLOGY: Using fluorescence spectroscopy we have shown that the inhibitor, known as Active DNA-dependent ATPase ADomain inhibitor (ADAADi, binds to the SWI2/SNF2 proteins in the absence as well as presence of ATP and DNA. This binding occurs via a specific region known as Motif Ia leading to a conformational change in the SWI2/SNF2 proteins that precludes ATP hydrolysis. ADAADi is produced from a plethora of aminoglycosides including G418 and Streptomycin, two commonly used antibiotics in mammalian cell cultures. Mammalian cells are sensitive to ADAADi; however, cells stably transfected with neomycin-resistant genes are refractory to ADAADi. In resistant cells, endogenous SWI2/SNF2 proteins are inactivated which results in altered histone modifications. Microarray data shows that the changes in the epigenome are reflected in altered gene expression. The microarray data was validated using real-time PCR. Finally, we show that the epigenetic changes are quantized. SIGNIFICANCE: The use of neomycin-resistant genes revolutionized mammalian transfections even though questions linger about efficacy. In this study, we have demonstrated that selection of neomycin-resistant cells results in survival of only those cells that have undergone epigenetic changes, and therefore, data obtained using these resistant genes as selection markers need to be cautiously

  4. Performance Evaluation of Frequent Subgraph Discovery Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saif Ur Rehman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to rapid development of the Internet technology and new scientific advances, the number of applications that model the data as graphs increases, because graphs have highly expressive power to model a complicated structure. Graph mining is a well-explored area of research which is gaining popularity in the data mining community. A graph is a general model to represent data and has been used in many domains such as cheminformatics, web information management system, computer network, and bioinformatics, to name a few. In graph mining the frequent subgraph discovery is a challenging task. Frequent subgraph mining is concerned with discovery of those subgraphs from graph dataset which have frequent or multiple instances within the given graph dataset. In the literature a large number of frequent subgraph mining algorithms have been proposed; these included FSG, AGM, gSpan, CloseGraph, SPIN, Gaston, and Mofa. The objective of this research work is to perform quantitative comparison of the above listed techniques. The performances of these techniques have been evaluated through a number of experiments based on three different state-of-the-art graph datasets. This novel work will provide base for anyone who is working to design a new frequent subgraph discovery technique.

  5. Parallel Frequent Pattern Discovery: Challenges and Methodology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Parallel frequent pattern discovery algorithms exploit parallel and distributed computing resources to relieve the sequential bottlenecks of current frequent pattern mining (FPM) algorithms. Thus, parallel FPM algorithms achieve better scalability and performance, so they are attracting much attention in the data mining research community. This paper presents a comprehensive survey of the state-of-the-art parallel and distributed frequent pattern mining algorithms with more emphasis on pattern discovery from complex data (e.g., sequences and graphs) on various platforms. A review of typical parallel FPM algorithms uncovers the major challenges, methodologies, and research problems in the field of parallel frequent pattern discovery,such as work-load balancing, finding good data layouts, and data decomposition. This survey also indicates a dramatic shift of the research interest in the field from the simple parallel frequent itemset mining on traditional parallel and distributed platforms to parallel pattern mining of more complex data on emerging architectures, such as multi-core systems and the increasingly mature grid infrastructure.

  6. Text Classification Using Sentential Frequent Itemsets

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shi-Zhu Liu; He-Ping Hu

    2007-01-01

    Text classification techniques mostly rely on single term analysis of the document data set, while more concepts,especially the specific ones, are usually conveyed by set of terms. To achieve more accurate text classifier, more informative feature including frequent co-occurring words in the same sentence and their weights are particularly important in such scenarios. In this paper, we propose a novel approach using sentential frequent itemset, a concept comes from association rule mining, for text classification, which views a sentence rather than a document as a transaction, and uses a variable precision rough set based method to evaluate each sentential frequent itemset's contribution to the classification. Experiments over the Reuters and newsgroup corpus are carried out, which validate the practicability of the proposed system.

  7. The NF1 gene: a frequent mutational target in sporadic pheochromocytomas and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welander, Jenny; Söderkvist, Peter; Gimm, Oliver

    2013-08-01

    Patients suffering from the neurofibromatosis type 1 syndrome, which is caused by germline mutations in the NF1 gene, have a tiny but not negligible risk of developing pheochromocytomas. It is, therefore, of interest that the NF1 gene has recently been revealed to carry somatic, inactivating mutations in a total of 35 (21.7%) of 161 sporadic pheochromocytomas in two independent tumor series. A majority of the tumors in both studies displayed loss of heterozygosity at the NF1 locus and a low NF1 mRNA expression. In view of previous findings that many sporadic pheochromocytomas cluster with neurofibromatosis type 1 syndrome-associated pheochromocytomas instead of forming clusters of their own, NF1 inactivation appears to be an important step in the pathogenesis of a large number of sporadic pheochromocytomas. A literature and public mutation database review has revealed that pheochromocytomas are among those human neoplasms in which somatic NF1 alterations are most frequent.

  8. Frequently cited journals in forensic psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Steve

    2012-02-01

    Works cited in six forensic psychology journals published 2008-2010 were counted to identify the most frequently cited journals. The sample of works cited (N = 21,776) was not a definitive ranked list of important journals in forensic psychology, but was large enough to indicate high-impact journals. The list of frequently cited publications included more general psychiatry and psychology journals than titles specific to forensic psychology. The implications of the proportion of general versus specific titles for collections supporting research in forensic psychology were discussed.

  9. Frequent price changes under menu costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Per Svejstrup

    1999-01-01

    This paper investigates the effect of uncertainty on a single firm's pricing behaviour in a dynamic menu cost model that results in (S,s)-rules where the price is fixed inside a band. It will be demonstrated that even though the band of inaction widens in response to increased uncertainty......, the price may be changed more frequent in the short run, and in the long run it definitely will. Hence, observing frequent price changes is not necessarily inconsistent with a firm operating under menu costs. This paper relies on an article by Dixit (1991), (Review of Economic studies, 58, 141...

  10. Photothermal inactivation of bacteria on plasmonic nanostructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Greggy M.; Ibañez de Santi Ferrara, Felipe; Zhao, Fusheng; Rodrigues, Debora F.; Shih, Wei-Chuan

    2016-03-01

    Hospital-acquired bacterial infections are frequently associated with the pathogenic biofilms on surfaces of devices and instruments used in medical procedures. The utilization of thermal plasmonic agents is an innovative approach for sterilizing hospital equipment and for in vivo therapeutic treatment of bacterial infection. A photothermal inactivation technique via array of nanoporous gold disks (NPGDs) has been developed by irradiating near infrared (NIR) light onto deposited bacterial cells (Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Exiguobacterium AT1B) on the surface of metal nanostructure. The physical and photothermal properties of the NPGD substrate were investigated using topographical scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermographic infrared imaging. Bacterial viability studies on NPGD substrates irradiated with and without NIR light were evaluated using a fluorescence-based two-component stain assay. The results show that the heat generated from the NPGD substrate promotes high cell death counts (~100%) at short exposure durations (<25 s) even for thermally-resistant bacterial strains. The photothermal effects on NPGD substrate can lead to point-of-care applications.

  11. Bacterial contamination of platelet concentrates: pathogen detection and inactivation methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana Védy

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Whereas the reduction of transfusion related viral transmission has been a priority during the last decade, bacterial infection transmitted by transfusion still remains associated to a high morbidity and mortality, and constitutes the most frequent infectious risk of transfusion. This problem especially concerns platelet concentrates because of their favorable bacterial growth conditions. This review gives an overview of platelet transfusion-related bacterial contamination as well as on the different strategies to reduce this problem by using either bacterial detection or inactivation methods.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. An epigenetic view of plant cells cultured in vitro: somaclonal variation and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miguel, Célia; Marum, Liliana

    2011-07-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are highly dynamic events that modulate gene expression. As more accurate and powerful tools for epigenetic analysis become available for application in a broader range of plant species, analysis of the epigenetic landscape of plant cell cultures may turn out to be crucial for understanding variant phenotypes. In vitro plant cell and tissue culture methodologies are important for many ongoing plant propagation and breeding programmes as well as for cutting-edge research in several plant model species. Although it has long been known that in vitro conditions induce variation at several levels, most studies using such conditions rely on the assumption that in vitro cultured plant cells/tissues mostly conform genotypically and phenotypically. However, when large-scale clonal propagation is the aim, there has been a concern in confirming true-to-typeness using molecular markers for evaluating stability. While in most reports genetic variation has been found to occur at relatively modest frequencies, variation in DNA methylation patterns seems to be much more frequent and in some cases it has been directly implicated in phenotypic variation. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have uncovered highly dynamic mechanisms of chromatin remodelling occurring during cell dedifferentiation and differentiation processes on which in vitro adventitious plant regeneration systems are based. Here, an overview of recent findings related to developmental switches occurring during in vitro culture is presented. Additionally, an update on the detection of epigenetic variation in plant cell cultures will be provided and discussed in the light of recent progress in the plant epigenetics field.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miller Dianne M

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Bacteriophage PRD1 batch experiments to study attachment, detachment and inactivation processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sadeghi, G.; Schijven, J.F.; Behrends, T.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; van Genuchten, M.T.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of virus removal in subsurface environments is pivotal for assessing the risk of viral contamination of water resources and developing appropriate protection measures. Columns packed with sand are frequently used to quantify attachment, detachment and inactivation rates of viruses. Since

  17. Inactivation of Salmonella spp. in ground chicken using High Pressure Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    High pressure processing (HPP) is a safe and effective process for improving the microbial safety and shelf-life of foods. Salmonella is a common contaminant in poultry meat and is frequently responsible for foodborne illness associated with contaminated poultry meat. In this study the inactivation...

  18. Gut indigenous microbiota and epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Arkadievich Shenderov

    2012-03-01

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

  19. IMS Learning Design Frequently Asked Questions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tattersall, Colin; Manderveld, Jocelyn; Hummel, Hans; Sloep, Peter; Koper, Rob; De Vries, Fred

    2004-01-01

    This list of frequently asked questions was composed on the basis of questions asked of the Educational Technology Expertise Centrum. The questions addessed are: Where can I find the IMS Learning Design Specification? What is meant by the phrase “Learning Design”? What is the IMS LD Specification ab

  20. On finding frequent patterns in event sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campagna, Andrea; Pagh, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

    on the size of the graph, and on the frequency $\\varepsilon$ of the most frequent traces. In addition, we apply techniques from streaming algorithms to achieve space usage that depends only on $\\varepsilon$, and not on the number of distinct traces. The abstract problem considered models a variety of tasks...

  1. Auditory Training with Frequent Communication Partners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tye-Murray, Nancy; Spehar, Brent; Sommers, Mitchell; Barcroft, Joe

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Individuals with hearing loss engage in auditory training to improve their speech recognition. They typically practice listening to utterances spoken by unfamiliar talkers but never to utterances spoken by their most frequent communication partner (FCP)--speech they most likely desire to recognize--under the assumption that familiarity…

  2. Treatment of Anthrax Disease Frequently Asked Questions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Young, Joan E.; Lesperance, Ann M.; Malone, John D.

    2010-05-14

    This document provides a summary of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the treatment of anthrax disease caused by a wide-area release of Bacillus anthracis spores as an act bioterrorism. These FAQs are intended to provide the public health and medical community, as well as others, with guidance and communications to support the response and long-term recovery from an anthrax event.

  3. Research Discovers Frequent Mutations of Chromatin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    With the support of National Natural Science Foundation of China, BGI, the largest genomics organization in the world, and Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, published online in Nature Geneticsics that the study on frequent mutations of chromatin remodeling genes in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of thebladder on August 8th, 2011. Their study provides a valuable genetic basis for future studies on TCC,

  4. Chronic frequent headache in the general population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiendels, Natalie Janette

    2008-01-01

    This thesis describes the results of a large questionnaire-based study on the epidemiology of chronic frequent headache (CFH) in the Dutch adult population. It also includes information on triptan (over)use from the Drug Information Project (GIP database) and the results of a withdrawal trial in

  5. Chronic frequent headache in the general population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiendels, Natalie Janette

    2008-01-01

    This thesis describes the results of a large questionnaire-based study on the epidemiology of chronic frequent headache (CFH) in the Dutch adult population. It also includes information on triptan (over)use from the Drug Information Project (GIP database) and the results of a withdrawal trial in Gen

  6. Design Improvements for Frequently Misrecognized Letters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beier, Sofie; Larson, Kevin

    2010-01-01

    To enhance typeface legibility we studied how to improve the design of individual letters. Three diff erent fonts were created, each containing several variations of the most frequently misrecognized letters. These variations were tested both with distance and short exposure methodologies. Creati...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-24

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

  8. X-chromosome inactivation and escape

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Christine M. Disteche; Joel B. Berletch

    2015-12-01

    X-chromosome inactivation, which was discovered by Mary Lyon in 1961 results in random silencing of one X chromosome in female mammals. This review is dedicated to Mary Lyon, who passed away last year. She predicted many of the features of X inactivation, for e.g., the existence of an X inactivation center, the role of L1 elements in spreading of silencing and the existence of genes that escape X inactivation. Starting from her published work here we summarize advances in the field.

  9. Functional Epigenetic Analysis of Prostate Carcinoma: A Role for Seryl-tRNA Synthetase?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Odiljon Ikromov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptional silencing, as a result of aberrant promoter hypermethylation, is a common mechanism through which genes in cancer cells become inactive. Functional epigenetic screens using demethylating agents to reexpress transcriptional silenced genes may identify such inactivated genes for needing further evaluation. We aimed to identify genes so far not known to be inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in prostate cancer. DU-145 and LNCaP cells were treated with the DNMT inhibitor zebularine. Expression changes of total RNA from treated and untreated cells were compared using an RNA expression microarray. Genes upregulated more than 2-fold were evaluated by RT-qPCR in 50 cases of paired normal and tumor tissues of prostate cancer patients. SARS was found to be downregulated in prostate cancer in 42/50 cases (84%. In addition, GADD45A and SPRY4 showed a remarkable diminished expression (88% and 74%, resp.. The gold standard for promoter hypermethylation-inactivated genes in prostate cancer (GSTP1 was repressed in 90% of our patient samples. ROC analyses reported statistically significant AUC curves in SARS, GADD45A, and GSTP1 and positive Spearman correlations were found between these genes. SARS was discovered to be a novel gene that is repressed in prostate cancer and could therefore be recommended for its involvement in prostate carcinogenesis.

  10. Epigenetic aberrations and therapeutic implications in gliomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  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. Epigenetic control of cancer by neuropeptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galoian, Karina; Patel, Parthik

    2017-01-01

    Neuropeptides act as neurohormones, neurotransmitters and/or neuromodulators. Neuropeptides maintain physiological homeostasis and are paramount in molecular mechanisms of disease progression and regulation, including in cancer. Neuropeptides, by their definition, originate and are secreted from the neuronal cells, they are able to signal to neighboring cells or are released into the blood flow, if they act as neurohormones. The majority of neuropeptides exert their functions through G protein-coupled receptors, with certain exceptions. Although previous studies indicate that neuropeptides function in supporting proliferation of malignant cells in many types of solid tumor, the antitumorigenic action of the neuropeptides and their receptors, for example, in gastric cancers and chondrosarcoma, were also reported. It is known that epigenetically modified chromatin regulates molecular mechanisms involved in gene expression and malignant progression. The epigenetic modifications are genetically heritable, although they do not cause changes in DNA sequence. DNA methylation, histone modifications and miRNA expression are subject to those modifications. While there is substantial data on epigenetic regulation of neuropeptides, the epigenetic control of cancer by neuropeptides is considered to be uncharted territory. The aim of the current review is to describe the involvement of neuropeptides in the epigenetic machinery of cancer based on data obtained from our laboratory and from other authors.

  13. Gestational diabetes mellitus, programing and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Jie; Yang, Huixia

    2014-08-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common medical complication in pregnancy. Offspring exposed to maternal hyperglycemia have a higher birth weight and are prone to develop metabolic disease in adult life. The intrauterine environmental or nutritional status seems to be involved in the fetal programing. The concept of "Developmental Origins of Health and Disease" (DOHaD) has been widely accepted and it brings new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of human diseases. The underlying mechanism is still under discussion and epigenetic mechanisms may provide an explanation for the phenomenon. The aim of this review is to illustrate the role of epigenetic modifications in the development of insulin resistance in metabolic diseases induced by adverse intrauterine exposures. Changes in epigenetic mechanism may be an early event in pathogenesis and progression of the metabolic disease in humans. Studies on epigenetic modifications contribute to our understanding of long-term effects of in utero exposure and shed light on the disease prevention and treatment by modulating epigenetic changes.

  14. Epigenetics for anthropologists: An introduction to methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Non, Amy L; Thayer, Zaneta M

    2015-01-01

    The study of epigenetics, or chemical modifications to the genome that may alter gene expression, is a growing area of interest for social scientists. Anthropologists and human biologists are interested in epigenetics specifically, as it provides a potential link between the environment and the genome, as well as a new layer of complexity for the study of human biological variation. In pace with the rapid increase in interest in epigenetic research, the range of methods has greatly expanded over the past decade. The primary objective of this article is to provide an overview of the current methods for assaying DNA methylation, the most commonly studied epigenetic modification. We will address considerations for all steps required to plan and conduct an analysis of DNA methylation, from appropriate sample collection, to the most commonly used methods for laboratory analyses of locus-specific and genome-wide approaches, and recommendations for statistical analyses. Key challenges in the study of DNA methylation are also discussed, including tissue specificity, the stability of measures, timing of sample collection, statistical considerations, batch effects, and challenges related to analysis and interpretation of data. Our hope is that this review serves as a primer for anthropologists and human biologists interested in incorporating epigenetic data into their research programs. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging of human liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, Steve; Erhart, Wiebke; Brosch, Mario; Ammerpohl, Ole; von Schönfels, Witigo; Ahrens, Markus; Heits, Nils; Bell, Jordana T; Tsai, Pei-Chien; Spector, Tim D; Deloukas, Panos; Siebert, Reiner; Sipos, Bence; Becker, Thomas; Röcken, Christoph; Schafmayer, Clemens; Hampe, Jochen

    2014-10-28

    Because of the dearth of biomarkers of aging, it has been difficult to test the hypothesis that obesity increases tissue age. Here we use a novel epigenetic biomarker of aging (referred to as an "epigenetic clock") to study the relationship between high body mass index (BMI) and the DNA methylation ages of human blood, liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. A significant correlation between BMI and epigenetic age acceleration could only be observed for liver (r = 0.42, P = 6.8 × 10(-4) in dataset 1 and r = 0.42, P = 1.2 × 10(-4) in dataset 2). On average, epigenetic age increased by 3.3 y for each 10 BMI units. The detected age acceleration in liver is not associated with the Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Activity Score or any of its component traits after adjustment for BMI. The 279 genes that are underexpressed in older liver samples are highly enriched (1.2 × 10(-9)) with nuclear mitochondrial genes that play a role in oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport. The epigenetic age acceleration, which is not reversible in the short term after rapid weight loss induced by bariatric surgery, may play a role in liver-related comorbidities of obesity, such as insulin resistance and liver cancer.

  16. Epigenetic regulation of EMT: the Snail story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yiwei; Dong, Chenfang; Zhou, Binhua P

    2014-01-01

    While the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a fundamental role during development, its deregulation can adversely promote tumor metastasis. The phenotypic and cellular plasticity of EMT indicates that it is subject to epigenetic regulation. A hallmark of EMT is E-cadherin suppression. In this review, we try to embrace recent findings on the transcription factor Snail-mediated epigenetic silencing of E-cadherin. Our studies as well as those of others independently demonstrated that Snail can recruit various epigenetic machineries to the E-cadherin promoter. Based on these results, we propose a model of epigenetic regulation of EMT governed by Snail. Briefly, recruitment of the LSD1/HDAC complex by Snail facilitates histone H3K4 demethylation and H3/H4 deacetylation. Histone deacetylation may promote subsequent recruitment of PRC2 to methylate H3K27, while H3K4 demethylation favors the association of H3K9 methyltransferases G9a and Suv39H1. Finally, DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) can be recruited to the promoter area in a G9a/Suv39H1-dependent manner. Together, these chromatin-modifying enzymes function in a Snail-mediated, highly orchestrated fashion to suppress E-cadherin. Disruption of the connection between Snail and these epigenetic machineries may represent an efficient strategy for the treatment of EMT-related diseases, including tumor metastasis.

  17. Ecological Epigenetics: Beyond MS-AFLP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrey, Aaron W; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Kilvitis, Holly J; Lee, Jacob D; Liebl, Andrea L; Martin, Lynn B; Richards, Christina L; Robertson, Marta

    2013-08-01

    Ecological Epigenetics studies the relationship between epigenetic variation and ecologically relevant phenotypic variation. As molecular epigenetic mechanisms often control gene expression, even across generations, they may impact many evolutionary processes. Multiple molecular epigenetic mechanisms exist, but methylation of DNA so far has dominated the Ecological Epigenetic literature. There are several molecular techniques used to screen methylation of DNA; here, we focus on the most common technique, methylation-sensitive-AFLP (MS-AFLP), which is used to identify genome-wide methylation patterns. We review studies that used MS-AFLP to address ecological questions, that describe which taxa have been investigated, and that identify general trends in the field. We then discuss, noting the general themes, four studies across taxa that demonstrate characteristics that increase the inferences that can be made from MS-AFLP data; we suggest that future MS-AFLP studies should incorporate these methods and techniques. We then review the short-comings of MS-AFLP and suggest alternative techniques that might address some of these limitations. Finally, we make specific suggestions for future research on MS-AFLP and identify questions that are most compelling and tractable in the short term.

  18. Equity in public health: an epigenetic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, G; Schröder-Bäck, P; Townend, D

    2013-01-01

    Evidence emerging from the study of epigenetics and epigenomics challenges notions of health by enhancing understanding of disease etiologies and improving awareness of new health risks. New paradigms arising from epigenetic and epigenomic research present challenging cases through which to debate theories of justice in health because they expand the concept of health and, controversially, place value on what was previously assumed to be 'healthy' individual variance. Discoveries of the dynamic nature of the epigenome and its variable sensitivity towards change in numerous phenomena add further complexity to the assessment of health inequalities. Such evidence can cast doubt on perceptions of justice in health, which in turn raises questions over the suitability of actions taken in pursuit of equity. This article discusses how recent developments in epigenetics and epigenomics may impact upon assessments of equity in health. A review of literature discussing possible health risks associated with acquired yet heritable epigenetic variance is used to highlight the diversity of possible pathways through which health may be influenced. From this context, the consideration of health risk with respect to epigenetics, it is argued, demands a more inclusive concept of health when used in discussions of inequities. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. A special issue on ‘epigenetics'

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenlin Xu; Minghua Xu

    2012-01-01

    The term epigenetics was coined by Waddington CH in 1940s as a portmanteau of the words genetics and epigenesis to describe the differentiation of cells from their initial totipotent state in embryonic development.With the explosion of knowledge in this field in the recent 10 years,epigenetics is now typically defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that are not due to changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA.The field of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of biology and medicine.Recent studies have been focusing on the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation,including DNA methylation, histone modification,chromatin remodeling,etc.,and on their contributions to development and diseases.In this special issue,nine review articles written by prominent experts in this field are put together,trying to give our readers a broad picture of epigenetics and a summary of most recent research progress in this field.Here is a preview of what you will find in this issue.

  20. Diet and epigenetics in colon cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Minna Nystr(o)m; Marja Mutanen

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Epigenetics and transgenerational transfer: a physiological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, D H; Burggren, W W

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics, the transgenerational transfer of phenotypic characters without modification of gene sequence, is a burgeoning area of study in many disciplines of biology. However, the potential impact of this phenomenon on the physiology of animals is not yet broadly appreciated, in part because the phenomenon of epigenetics is not typically part of the design of physiological investigations. Still enigmatic and somewhat ill defined is the relationship between the overarching concept of epigenetics and interesting transgenerational phenomena (e.g. 'maternal/parental effects') that alter the physiological phenotype of subsequent generations. The lingering effect on subsequent generations of an initial environmental disturbance in parent animals can be profound, with genes continuing to be variously silenced or expressed without an associated change in gene sequence for many generations. Known epigenetic mechanisms involved in this phenomenon include chromatin remodeling (DNA methylation and histone modification), RNA-mediated modifications (non-coding RNA and microRNA), as well as other less well studied mechanisms such as self-sustaining loops and structural inheritance. In this review we: (1) discuss how the concepts of epigenetics and maternal effects both overlap with, and are distinct from, each other; (2) analyze examples of existing animal physiological studies based on these concepts; and (3) offer a construct by which to integrate these concepts into the design of future investigations in animal physiology.

  2. Epigenetic regulation of estrogen-dependent memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortress, Ashley M.; Frick, Karyn M.

    2014-01-01

    Hippocampal memory formation is highly regulated by post-translational histone modifications and DNA methylation. Accordingly, these epigenetic processes play a major role in the effects of modulatory factors, such as sex steroid hormones, on hippocampal memory. Our laboratory recently demonstrated that the ability of the potent estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) to enhance hippocampal-dependent novel object recognition memory in ovariectomized female mice requires ERK-dependent histone H3 acetylation and DNA methylation in the dorsal hippocampus. Although these data provide valuable insight into the chromatin modifications that mediate the memory-enhancing effects of E2, epigenetic regulation of gene expression is enormously complex. Therefore, more research is needed to fully understand how E2 and other hormones employ epigenetic alterations to shape behavior. This review discusses the epigenetic alterations shown thus far to regulate hippocampal memory, briefly reviews the effects of E2 on hippocampal function, and describes in detail our work on epigenetic regulation of estrogenic memory enhancement. PMID:24878494

  3. Discovering More Accurate Frequent Web Usage Patterns

    CERN Document Server

    Bayir, Murat Ali; Cosar, Ahmet; Fidan, Guven

    2008-01-01

    Web usage mining is a type of web mining, which exploits data mining techniques to discover valuable information from navigation behavior of World Wide Web users. As in classical data mining, data preparation and pattern discovery are the main issues in web usage mining. The first phase of web usage mining is the data processing phase, which includes the session reconstruction operation from server logs. Session reconstruction success directly affects the quality of the frequent patterns discovered in the next phase. In reactive web usage mining techniques, the source data is web server logs and the topology of the web pages served by the web server domain. Other kinds of information collected during the interactive browsing of web site by user, such as cookies or web logs containing similar information, are not used. The next phase of web usage mining is discovering frequent user navigation patterns. In this phase, pattern discovery methods are applied on the reconstructed sessions obtained in the first phas...

  4. Frequent users of the pediatric emergency department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguin, Jade; Osmanlliu, Esli; Zhang, Xun; Clavel, Virginie; Eisman, Harley; Rodrigues, Robert; Oskoui, Maryam

    2017-04-06

    Emergency department (ED) crowding is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Its etiology is multifactorial, and frequent ED use (defined as more or equal to five visits per year) is a major contributor to high patient volumes. Our primary objective is to characterize the frequent user population. Our secondary objective is to examine risk factors for frequent emergency use. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of pediatric emergency department (PED) visits at the Montreal Children's Hospital using the Système Informatique Urgence (SIURGE), electronic medical record database. We analysed the relation between patient's characteristics and the number of PED visits over a 1-year period following the index visit. Patients totalling 52,088 accounted for 94,155 visits. Of those, 2,474 (4.7%) patients had five and more recurrent visits and accounted for 16.6% (15,612 visits) of the total PED visits. Lower level of acuity at index visit (odds ratio [OR] 0.85) was associated with a lower number of recurrent visits. Lower socioeconomic status (social deprivation index OR 1.09, material deprivation index OR 1.08) was associated with a higher number of recurrent visits. Asthma (OR 1.57); infectious ear, nose, and sinus disorders (OR 1.33); and other respiratory disorders (OR 1.56) were independently associated with a higher incidence of a recurrent visit within the year following the first visit. Our study is the first Canadian study to assess risk factors of frequent pediatric emergency use. The identified risk factors and diagnoses highlight the need for future evidence-based, targeted innovative research evaluating strategies to minimize ED crowding, to improve health outcomes and to improve patient satisfaction.

  5. Botulism: A Frequently Forgotten Old Malady

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teguh Thajeb

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available A frequently forgotten old malady called botulism has been recognized for more than a century. This ailment occurs worldwide, afflicts human of all age groups from infants to elderly and affects Oriental people more often in several regions of China. Occurrence in Taiwan is uncommon, and therefore, it is often overlooked. The outbreaks of human botulism in various regions of the world, the clinical types, the molecular mechanisms, and the electrophysiologic findings will be highlighted.

  6. A New Algorithm for Mining Frequent Pattern

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李力; 靳蕃

    2002-01-01

    Mining frequent pattern in transaction database, time-series databases, and many other kinds of databases have been studied popularly in data mining research. Most of the previous studies adopt Apriori-like candidate set generation-and-test approach. However, candidate set generation is very costly. Han J. proposed a novel algorithm FP-growth that could generate frequent pattern without candidate set. Based on the analysis of the algorithm FP-growth, this paper proposes a concept of equivalent FP-tree and proposes an improved algorithm, denoted as FP-growth*, which is much faster in speed, and easy to realize. FP-growth* adopts a modified structure of FP-tree and header table, and only generates a header table in each recursive operation and projects the tree to the original FP-tree. The two algorithms get the same frequent pattern set in the same transaction database, but the performance study on computer shows that the speed of the improved algorithm, FP-growth*, is at least two times as fast as that of FP-growth.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash Chelladurai

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-15

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

  9. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. What obesity research tells us about epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngson, Neil A; Morris, Margaret J

    2013-01-05

    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 discoveries will aid the clinician through increasing our understanding of the inheritance, development and treatment of obesity. However, they are also of great value for epigenetic researchers, as they have revealed mechanisms of environmental interactions with epigenetics that can produce or perpetuate a disease state. Here, we will review the evidence for four mechanisms through which epigenetics contributes to obesity: as downstream effectors of environmental signals; through abnormal global epigenetic state driving obesogenic expression patterns; through facilitating developmental programming and through transgenerational epigenetic inheritance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Current status and future prospects for epigenetic psychopharmacology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Therapeutic perspectives of epigenetically active nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms associated with infertility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minocherhomji, Sheroy; Madon, Prochi F; Parikh, Firuza R

    2010-01-01

    Infertility is a complex human condition and is known to be caused by numerous factors including genetic alterations and abnormalities. Increasing evidence from studies has associated perturbed epigenetic mechanisms with spermatogenesis and infertility. However, there has been no consensus...... on whether one or a collective of these altered states is responsible for the onset of infertility. Epigenetic alterations involve changes in factors that regulate gene expression without altering the physical sequence of DNA. Understanding these altered epigenetic states at the genomic level along...... with higher order organisation of chromatin in genes associated with infertility and pericentromeric regions of chromosomes, particularly 9 and Y, could further identify causes of idiopathic infertility. Determining the association between DNA methylation, chromatin state, and noncoding RNAs...

  17. 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....

  18. Epigenetic Regulation of Adaptive NK Cell Diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. First Barcelona Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Epigenetics: A key paradigm in reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunkar, Neha; Pathak, Neelam; Lohiya, Nirmal Kumar; Mishra, Pradyumna Kumar

    2016-06-01

    It is well established that there is a heritable element of susceptibility to chronic human ailments, yet there is compelling evidence that some components of such heritability are transmitted through non-genetic factors. Due to the complexity of reproductive processes, identifying the inheritance patterns of these factors is not easy. But little doubt exists that besides the genomic backbone, a range of epigenetic cues affect our genetic programme. The inter-generational transmission of epigenetic marks is believed to operate via four principal means that dramatically differ in their information content: DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs and nucleosome positioning. These epigenetic signatures influence the cellular machinery through positive and negative feedback mechanisms either alone or interactively. Understanding how these mechanisms work to activate or deactivate parts of our genetic programme not only on a day-to-day basis but also over generations is an important area of reproductive health research.

  2. Diagnostic and prognostic epigenetic biomarkers in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihye eYun

    2012-11-01

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

  4. Biofluids, cell mechanics and epigenetics: Flow-induced epigenetic mechanisms of endothelial gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Peter F; Manduchi, Elisabetta; Jiménez, Juan M; Jiang, Yi-Zhou

    2017-01-04

    Epigenetics is the regulation of gene expression (transcription) in response to changes in the cell environment through genomic modifications that largely involve the non-coding fraction of the human genome and that cannot be attributed to modification of the primary DNA sequence. Epigenetics is dominant in establishing cell fate and positioning during programmed embryonic development. However the same pathways are used by mature postnatal and adult mammalian cells during normal physiology and are implicated in disease mechanisms. Recent research demonstrates that blood flow and pressure are cell environments that can influence transcription via epigenetic pathways. The principal epigenetic pathways are chemical modification of cytosine residues of DNA (DNA methylation) and of the amino tails of histone proteins associated with DNA in nucleosomes. They also encompass the post-transcriptional degradation of mRNA transcripts by non-coding RNAs (ncRNA). In vascular endothelium, epigenetic pathways respond to temporal and spatial variations of flow and pressure, particularly hemodynamic disturbed blood flow, with important consequences for gene expression. The biofluid environment is linked by mechanotransduction and solute transport to cardiovascular cell phenotypes via signaling pathways and epigenetic regulation for which there is an adequate interdisciplinary infrastructure with robust tools and methods available. Epigenetic mechanisms may be less familiar than acute genomic signaling to Investigators at the interface of biofluids, biomechanics and cardiovascular biology. Here we introduce a biofluids / cellular biomechanics readership to the principal epigenetic pathways and provide a contextual overview of endothelial epigenetic plasticity in the regulation of flow-responsive transcription. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge eLandgrave-Gómez

    2015-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Gestational Exposure as Epigenetic Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0470 TITLE: Gestational Exposure as Epigenetic Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Donato F...Gestational Exposure as Epigenetic Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk Ges Gestational Exposure as Epigenetic Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk tational Exposure...as Epigenetic Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0470 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S

  8. 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.

  9. Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging of human liver

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetic learning in non-neural organisms

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Simona Ginsburg; Eva Jablonka

    2009-10-01

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

  11. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Kuldip S Trehan; Kulbir S Gill

    2002-03-01

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

  12. Epigenetic programing of depression during gestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulawa, Stephanie C

    2014-04-01

    Gestational factors play a role in the development of several neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and autism. In utero conditions influence future mental health through epigenetic mechanisms, which alter gene expression without affecting DNA coding sequence. Environmental factors account for at least 60% of the risk for developing major depression, and earlier onset of depressive illness has been observed over the past decades. I speculate that gestational factors may play a greater role in programing depression than previously recognized. Here, I examine recent evidence for a role for gestational factors in programing mood disorders, and how epigenetic mechanisms mediate this effect. © 2014 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Epigenetic learning in non-neural organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, Simona; Jablonka, Eva

    2009-10-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. An introduction to the science of epigenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JB Thapa

    2013-03-01

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

  16. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbeck, Andee; Jansen, Rick J.

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Aspects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Schmidt

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetic Modifications in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael James Burke

    2014-05-01

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

  19. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eri Saijo

    2013-10-01

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

  20. Genetic and epigenetic changes in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma and its precursor lesions: a review of the current literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trietsch, Marjolijn D; Nooij, Linda S; Gaarenstroom, Katja N; van Poelgeest, Mariette I E

    2015-01-01

    Vulvar cancer is a relatively rare gynecologic malignancy with an annual incidence in developed countries of approximately 2 per 100,000 women. Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) has two etiological pathways: a high risk human papillomavirus (HPV)-dependent route, which has usual vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (uVIN) as a precursor lesion, and an HPV-independent route, which is associated with differentiated VIN (dVIN), lichen sclerosus, and genetic alterations, such as TP53 mutations. Research on the molecular etiology of vulvar cancer has increased in the past years, not only regarding genetic alterations, but also epigenetic changes. In genetic alterations, a mutation irreversibly changes the nucleotide sequence of the DNA, or the number of copies of chromosomes per cell is altered. In epigenetics, the nucleotide sequence remains the same but genes can be 'switched' on or off by, for example, DNA methylation or histone modification. We searched the current literature on genetic and epigenetic alterations in VSCC and its precursor lesions. Many studies have reported a higher incidence of somatic mutations in HPV-negative tumors compared to HPV-positive tumors, with TP53 mutations being the most frequent. Allelic imbalances or loss of heterozygosity are more frequently found in higher stages of dysplasia and in invasive carcinomas, but it is not exclusive to HPV-negative tumors. A limited number of studies are available on epigenetic changes in vulvar lesions, with hypermethylation of CDKN2A being the most frequently investigated change. For most genes, hypermethylation occurs more frequently in vulvar squamous cell carcinomas than in precursor lesions. As most studies have focused on HPV infection and TP53 mutations, we suggest that more research should be performed using whole genome or next generation sequencing to determine the true landscape of genetic and epigenetic alterations in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma.