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Sample records for heritable epigenetic mutation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Epigenetic variation, phenotypic heritability, and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Generoso, W.M.

    1983-01-01

    Chromosome aberrations are a major component of radiation or chemically induced genetic damage in mammalian germ cells. The types of aberration produced are dependent upon the mutagen used and the germ-cell stage treated. For example, in male meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells certain alkylating chemicals induce both dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations while others induce primarily dominant-lethal mutations. Production of these two endpoints appears to be determined by the stability of alkylation products with the chromosomes. If the reaction products are intact in the male chromosomes at the time of sperm entry, they may be repaired in fertilized eggs. If repair is not effected and the alkylation products persist to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication, they lead to chromatid-type aberrations and eventually to dominant-lethality. The production of heritable translocations, on the other hand, requires a transformation of unstable alkylation products into suitable intermediate lesions. The process by which these lesions are converted into chromosome exchange within the male genome takes place after sperm enters the egg but prior to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication (i.e., chromosome-type). Thus, dominant-lethal mutations result from both chromatid- and chromosome-type aberrations while heritable translocations result primarily from the latter type. DNA target sites associated with the production of these two endpoints are discussed

  4. Dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Generoso, W.M.

    1983-01-01

    Chromosome aberrations are a major component of radiation or chemically induced genetic damage in mammalian germ cells. The types of aberration produced are dependent upon the mutagen used and the germ-cell stage treated. For example, in male meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells certain alkylating chemicals induce both dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations while others induce primarily dominant-lethal mutations. Production of these two endpoints appears to be determined by the stability of alkylation products with the chromosomes. If the reaction products are intact in the male chromosomes at the time of sperm entry, they may be repaired in fertilized eggs. If repair is not effected and the alkylation products persist to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication, they lead to chromatid-type aberrations and eventually to dominant-lethality. The production of heritable translocations, on the other hand, requires a transformation of unstable alkylation products into suitable intermediate lesions. The process by which these lesions are converted into chromosome exchange within the male genome takes place after sperm enters the egg but prior to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication (i.e., chromosome-type). Thus, dominant-lethal mutations result from both chromatid- and chromosome-type aberrations while heritable translocations result primarily from the latter type. DNA target sites associated with the production of these two endpoints are discussed.

  5. Prospects for DNA methods to measure human heritable mutation rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendelsohn, M.L.

    1985-01-01

    A workshop cosponsored by ICPEMC and the US Department of Energy was held in Alta, Utah, December 9-13, 1984 to examine the extent to which DNA-oriented methods might provide new approaches to the important but intractable problem of measuring mutation rates in control and exposed human populations. The workshop identified and analyzed six DNA methods for detection of human heritable mutation, including several created at the meeting, and concluded that none of the methods combine sufficient feasibility and efficiency to be recommended for general application. 8 refs

  6. Comparison of behaviors for detection of heritable mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficsor, G; Goldner, L; Panda, B B

    1988-01-01

    Groups of five male HA (ICR) mice were injected intraperitoneally with 60, 150, 300, or 600 mg/kg body weight of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) or with saline vehicle. Each male was mated to two untreated females at 2 and 5 weeks after treatment. The two successive matings utilized sperm derived from post- and pre-meiotic germ cells, respectively. Progeny were evaluated for litter size, body weight, negative geotactic response, swimming patterns, limb use while swimming, water escape time, and open-field motor coordination activity. Body weight, geotactic response, limb use, and open-field behavior test results demonstrated that EMS causes heritable behavior mutations in both post- and pre-meiotic germ cells. Among the tests that showed inherited differences between control and treated groups, the computer-monitored open-field behavior test was the most definitive.

  7. Natural epigenetic variation contributes to heritable flowering divergence in a widespread asexual dandelion lineage

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wilschut, R. A.; Oplaat, C.; Snoek, L. B.; Kirschner, Jan; Verhoeven, K. J. F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 8 (2016), s. 1759-1768 ISSN 0962-1083 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : apomixis * epigenetic s * Taraxacum Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  8. Natural epigenetic variation contributes to heritable flowering divergence in a widespread asexual dandelion lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilschut, R.A.; Oplaat, C.; Snoek, B.; Kirschner, J.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic variation has been proposed to contribute to the success of asexual plants, either as a contributor to phenotypic plasticity or by enabling transient adaptation via selection on transgenerationally stable, but reversible, epialleles. While recent studies in experimental plant populations

  9. Data from: Natural epigenetic variation contributes to heritable flowering divergence in a widespread asexual dandelion lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilschut, Rutger; Oplaat, C.; Snoek, L.B.; Kirschner, J.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic variation has been proposed to contribute to the success of asexual plants, either as a contributor to phenotypic plasticity or by enabling transient adaptation via selection on transgenerationally stable, but reversible, epialleles. While recent studies in experimental plant populations

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir T. Fathi

    2012-01-01

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

  11. A population genetic analysis of the potential for a crude oil spill to induce heritable mutations and impact natural populations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cronin, M.A. [LGL Alaska Research Associates Inc., Anchorage, AK (United States); Bickham, J.W. [Texas A and M University, College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences; LGL Ecological Genetics Inc., Bryan, TX (United States)

    1998-07-01

    The primary environmental impact following an oil spill typically is acute toxicity to fish and wildlife. However, multigenerational effects through toxicant-induced heritable mutations might also occur. Some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) components of crude oil are potentially mutagenic, although specific components and doses that induce mutations are poorly known. We applied population genetics concepts to assess the extent of mortality and the persistence of deleterious heritable mutations resulting from exposure to potential mutagens, such as crude oil. If lethal mutations are induced, the population will experience some mortality, but the mutations are quickly removed or reduced to low frequency by natural selection. This occurs within one or a few generations when mutations are dominant or partially recessive. Totally recessive alleles persist in low frequency for many generations, but result in relatively little impact on the population, depending on the number of mutated loci. We also applied population genetics concepts to assess the potential for heritable mutations induced by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, to affect pink salmon populations. We stress that breeding units (e.g., streams with distinct spawning populations of salmon) must be considered individually to assess heritable genetic effects. For several streams impacted by the oil spill, there is inconsistency between observed egg mortality and that expected if lethal heritable mutations had been induced by exposure to crude oil. Observed mortality was either higher or lower than expected depending on the spawning population, year, and cohort considered. Any potential subtle effect of lethal mutations induced by the Exxon Valdez oil spill is overridden by natural environmental variation among spawning areas. We discuss the need to focus on population-level effects in toxicological assessments because fish and wildlife management focuses on populations, not

  12. Gamma radiation-induced heritable mutations at repetitive DNA loci in out-bred mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Somers, C.M.; Sharma, R.; Quinn, J.S.; Boreham, D.R.

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that expanded-simple-tandem-repeat (ESTR) DNA loci are efficient genetic markers for detecting radiation-induced germ line mutations in mice. Dose responses following irradiation, however, have only been characterized in a small number of inbred mouse strains, and no studies have applied Esters to examine potential modifiers of radiation risk, such as adaptive response. We gamma-irradiated groups of male out-bred Swiss-Webster mice with single acute doses of 0.5 and 1.0 Gy, and compared germ line mutation rates at ESTR loci to a sham-irradiated control. To test for evidence of adaptive response we treated a third group with a total dose of 1.1 Gy that was fractionated into a 0.1 Gy adapting dose, followed by a challenge dose of 1.0 Gy 24 h later. Paternal mutation rates were significantly elevated above the control in the 0.5 Gy (2.8-fold) and 1.0 Gy (3.0-fold) groups, but were similar to each other despite the difference in radiation dose. The doubling dose for paternal mutation induction was 0.26 Gy (95% CI = 0.14-0.51 Gy). Males adapted with a 0.1 Gy dose prior to a 1.0 Gy challenge dose had mutation rates that were not significantly elevated above the control, and were 43% reduced compared to those receiving single doses. We conclude that pre-meiotic male germ cells in out-bred Swiss-Webster mice are sensitive to ESTR mutations induced by acute doses of ionizing radiation, but mutation induction may become saturated at a lower dose than in some strains of inbred mice. Reduced mutation rates in the adapted group provide intriguing evidence for suppression of ESTR mutations in the male germline through adaptive response. Repetitive DNA markers may be useful tools for exploration of biological factors affecting the probability of heritable mutations caused by low-dose ionizing radiation exposure. The biological significance of ESTR mutations in terms of radiation risk assessment, however, is still undetermined

  13. Contribution of Heritability and Epigenetic Factors to Skeletal Muscle Mass Variation in United Kingdom Twins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livshits, Gregory; Gao, Fei; Malkin, Ida; Needhamsen, Maria; Xia, Yudong; Yuan, Wei; Bell, Christopher G; Ward, Kirsten; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Jun; Bell, Jordana T; Spector, Tim D

    2016-06-01

    Skeletal muscle mass (SMM) is one of the major components of human body composition, with deviations from normal values often leading to sarcopenia. Our major aim was to conduct a genome-wide DNA methylation study in an attempt to identify potential genomic regions associated with SMM. This was a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Community-based study. A total of 1550 middle-aged United Kingdom twins (monozygotic [MZ] and dizygotic [DZ]), 297 of which were repeatedly measured participated in the study. Appendicular lean mass assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry technology, and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing DNA methylation profiling genome-wide were obtained from each individual. Heritability estimate of SMM, with simultaneous adjustment for covariates obtained using variance decomposition analysis, was h(2) = 0.809 ± 0.050. After quality control and analysis of longitudinal stability, the DNA methylation data comprised of 723 029 genomic sites, with positive correlations between repeated measurements (Rrepeated = 0.114-0.905). Correlations between MZ and DZ twins were 0.51 and 0.38 at a genome-wide average, respectively, and clearly increased with Rrepeated. Testing for DNA methylation association with SMM in 50 discordant MZ twins revealed 36 081 nominally significant results, of which the top-ranked 134 signals (P 0.40) were subjected to replication in the sample of 1196 individuals. Seven SMM methylation association signals replicated at a false discovery rate less than 0.1, and these were located in or near genes DNAH12, CAND1, CYP4F29P, and ZFP64, which have previously been highlighted in muscle-related studies. Adjusting for age, smoking, and blood cell heterogeneity did not alter significance of these associations. This epigenome-wide study, testing longitudinally stable methylation sites, discovered and replicated a number of associations between DNA methylation at CpG loci and SMM. Four replicated signals were

  14. Modeling evolutionary dynamics of epigenetic mutations in hierarchically organized tumors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Sottoriva

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The cancer stem cell (CSC concept is a highly debated topic in cancer research. While experimental evidence in favor of the cancer stem cell theory is apparently abundant, the results are often criticized as being difficult to interpret. An important reason for this is that most experimental data that support this model rely on transplantation studies. In this study we use a novel cellular Potts model to elucidate the dynamics of established malignancies that are driven by a small subset of CSCs. Our results demonstrate that epigenetic mutations that occur during mitosis display highly altered dynamics in CSC-driven malignancies compared to a classical, non-hierarchical model of growth. In particular, the heterogeneity observed in CSC-driven tumors is considerably higher. We speculate that this feature could be used in combination with epigenetic (methylation sequencing studies of human malignancies to prove or refute the CSC hypothesis in established tumors without the need for transplantation. Moreover our tumor growth simulations indicate that CSC-driven tumors display evolutionary features that can be considered beneficial during tumor progression. Besides an increased heterogeneity they also exhibit properties that allow the escape of clones from local fitness peaks. This leads to more aggressive phenotypes in the long run and makes the neoplasm more adaptable to stringent selective forces such as cancer treatment. Indeed when therapy is applied the clone landscape of the regrown tumor is more aggressive with respect to the primary tumor, whereas the classical model demonstrated similar patterns before and after therapy. Understanding these often counter-intuitive fundamental properties of (non-hierarchically organized malignancies is a crucial step in validating the CSC concept as well as providing insight into the therapeutical consequences of this model.

  15. Epigenetic Studies Point to DNA Replication/Repair Genes as a Basis for the Heritable Nature of Long Term Complications in Diabetes

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    Alexey A. Leontovich

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic memory (MM is defined as the persistence of diabetic (DM complications even after glycemic control is pharmacologically achieved. Using a zebrafish diabetic model that induces a MM state, we previously reported that, in this model, tissue dysfunction was of a heritable nature based on cell proliferation studies in limb tissue and this correlated with epigenetic DNA methylation changes that paralleled alterations in gene expression. In the current study, control, DM, and MM excised fin tissues were further analyzed by MeDIP sequencing and microarray techniques. Bioinformatics analysis of the data found that genes of the DNA replication/DNA metabolism process group (with upregulation of the apex1, mcm2, mcm4, orc3, lig1, and dnmt1 genes were altered in the DM state and these molecular changes continued into MM. Interestingly, DNA methylation changes could be found as far as 6–13 kb upstream of the transcription start site for these genes suggesting potential higher levels of epigenetic control. In conclusion, DNA methylation changes in members of the DNA replication/repair process group best explain the heritable nature of cell proliferation impairment found in the zebrafish DM/MM model. These results are consistent with human diabetic epigenetic studies and provide one explanation for the persistence of long term tissue complications as seen in diabetes.

  16. Molecular characterization of a rice mutator-phenotype derived from an incompatible cross-pollination reveals transgenerational mobilization of multiple transposable elements and extensive epigenetic instability

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    Xu Chunming

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inter-specific hybridization occurs frequently in plants, which may induce genetic and epigenetic instabilities in the resultant hybrids, allopolyploids and introgressants. It remains unclear however whether pollination by alien pollens of an incompatible species may impose a "biological stress" even in the absence of genome-merger or genetic introgression, whereby genetic and/or epigenetic instability of the maternal recipient genome might be provoked. Results We report here the identification of a rice mutator-phenotype from a set of rice plants derived from a crossing experiment involving two remote and apparently incompatible species, Oryza sativa L. and Oenothera biennis L. The mutator-phenotype (named Tong211-LP showed distinct alteration in several traits, with the most striking being substantially enlarged panicles. Expectably, gel-blotting by total genomic DNA of the pollen-donor showed no evidence for introgression. Characterization of Tong211-LP (S0 and its selfed progenies (S1 ruled out contamination (via seed or pollen or polyploidy as a cause for its dramatic phenotypic changes, but revealed transgenerational mobilization of several previously characterized transposable elements (TEs, including a MITE (mPing, and three LTR retrotransposons (Osr7, Osr23 and Tos17. AFLP and MSAP fingerprinting revealed extensive, transgenerational alterations in cytosine methylation and to a less extent also genetic variation in Tong211-LP and its immediate progenies. mPing mobility was found to correlate with cytosine methylation alteration detected by MSAP but not with genetic variation detected by AFLP. Assay by q-RT-PCR of the steady-state transcript abundance of a set of genes encoding for the various putative DNA methyltransferases, 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylases, and small interference RNA (siRNA pathway-related proteins showed that, relative to the rice parental line, heritable perturbation in expression of 12 out of

  17. Evidence of heritable lethal mutations in progeny of X-irradiated CHO cells by micronucleus count in clon-cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagemann, G.; Kreczik, A.; Treichel, M.

    1996-01-01

    Low doses of ionizing radiation reduce the growth rates of clones following irradiation of the progenitor cells. Such reductions of clone growth have been proven by means of measurements of clone size distributions. The medians of such distributions can be used to quantify the radiation damage. Prolongations of generation times and cell death as result of heritable lethal mutations have been discussed as causes for the reduction of clone growth. The cell number of a clone of hypotetraploid CHO-cells was compared to the frequency of micronucleated binucleated cells in the same clone using the cytokinesis-block-micronucleus method. The dose dependent reduction of clone sizes is measured by the difference of the medians (after log transformation) of the clone size distributions. At cytochalasin-B concentrations of 1 μg/ml and after an incubation time of 16 h a yield of binucleated cells of about 50% was obtained. Median clone size differences as a measure of clonal radiation damage increased linearly with incubation times of 76, 100, 124, and 240 h following irradiation with 3, 5, 7, and 12 Gy. The frequency of binucleated clone cells with micronuclei strongly increased with decreasing clone size by a factor up to 20 following irradiation with 3, 5, and 7 Gy. The frequency of micronucleated binucleated clone cells was found to be independent of incubation time after irradiation. Radiation induced clone size reductions result from cell losses caused by intraclonal expression of micronuclei which have its origin in heritable lethal mutations. Measurements of clone size distributions can be done automatically. They can serve as predictive test for determination of median cell loss rates of surviving cell clones. (orig./MG) [de

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Immunohistochemical loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine expression in acute myeloid leukaemia: relationship to somatic gene mutations affecting epigenetic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magotra, Minoti; Sakhdari, Ali; Lee, Paul J; Tomaszewicz, Keith; Dresser, Karen; Hutchinson, Lloyd M; Woda, Bruce A; Chen, Benjamin J

    2016-12-01

    Genes affecting epigenetic pathways are frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies, including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The genes encoding TET2, IDH1 and IDH2 are among the most commonly mutated genes, and cause defective conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), impairing demethylation of DNA, and presumably serving as driver mutations in leukaemogenesis. The aim of this study was to correlate 5hmC immunohistochemical loss with the mutation status of genes involved in epigenetic pathways in AML. Immunohistochemical staining with an anti-5hmC antibody was performed on 41 decalcified, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) bone marrow biopsies from patients with AML. Archived DNA was subjected to next-generation sequencing for analysis of a panel of genes, including TET2, IDH1, IDH2, WT1 and DNMT3A. TET2, IDH1, IDH2, WT1 and DNMT3A mutations were found in 46% (19/41) of the cases. Ten of 15 cases (67%) with TET2, IDH1, IDH2 or WT1 mutations showed deficient 5hmC staining, whereas nine of 26 cases (35%) without a mutation in these genes showed loss of 5hmC. It is of note that all four cases with TET2 mutations showed deficient 5hmC staining. Overall, somatic mutations in TET2, IDH1, IDH2, WT1 and DNMT3A were common in our cohort of AML cases. Immunohistochemical staining for 5hmC was lost in the majority of cases harbouring mutations in these genes, reflecting the proposed relationship between dysfunctional epigenetic pathways and leukaemogenesis. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Biosemiotic Entropy of the Genome: Mutations and Epigenetic Imbalances Resulting in Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel S. Shepard

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biosemiotic entropy involves the deterioration of biological sign systems. The genome is a coded sign system that is connected to phenotypic outputs through the interpretive functions of the tRNA/ribosome machinery. This symbolic sign system (semiosis at the core of all biology has been termed “biosemiosis”. Layers of biosemiosis and cellular information management are analogous in varying degrees to the semiotics of computer programming, spoken, and written human languages. Biosemiotic entropy — an error or deviation from a healthy state — results from errors in copying functional information (mutations and errors in the appropriate context or quantity of gene expression (epigenetic imbalance. The concept of biosemiotic entropy is a deeply imbedded assumption in the study of cancer biology. Cells have a homeostatic, preprogrammed, ideal or healthy state that is rooted in genomics, strictly orchestrated by epigenetic regulation, and maintained by DNA repair mechanisms. Cancer is an eminent illustration of biosemiotic entropy, in which the corrosion of genetic information via substitutions, deletions, insertions, fusions, and aberrant regulation results in malignant phenotypes. However, little attention has been given to explicitly outlining the paradigm of biosemiotic entropy in the context of cancer. Herein we distill semiotic theory (from the familiar and well understood spheres of human language and computer code to draw analogies useful for understanding the operation of biological semiosis at the genetic level. We propose that the myriad checkpoints, error correcting mechanisms, and immunities are all systems whose primary role is to defend against the constant pressure of biosemiotic entropy, which malignancy must shut down in order to achieve advanced stages. In lieu of the narrower tumor suppressor/oncogene model, characterization of oncogenesis into the biosemiotic framework of sign, index, or object entropy may allow for more

  1. Development of the adverse outcome pathway "alkylation of DNA in male premeiotic germ cells leading to heritable mutations" using the OECD's users' handbook supplement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yauk, Carole L; Lambert, Iain B; Meek, M E Bette; Douglas, George R; Marchetti, Francesco

    2015-12-01

    The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) programme aims to develop a knowledgebase of all known pathways of toxicity that lead to adverse effects in humans and ecosystems. A Users' Handbook was recently released to provide supplementary guidance on AOP development. This article describes one AOP-alkylation of DNA in male premeiotic germ cells leading to heritable mutations. This outcome is an important regulatory endpoint. The AOP describes the biological plausibility and empirical evidence supporting that compounds capable of alkylating DNA cause germ cell mutations and subsequent mutations in the offspring of exposed males. Alkyl adducts are subject to DNA repair; however, at high doses the repair machinery becomes saturated. Lack of repair leads to replication of alkylated DNA and ensuing mutations in male premeiotic germ cells. Mutations that do not impair spermatogenesis persist and eventually are present in mature sperm. Thus, the mutations are transmitted to the offspring. Although there are some gaps in empirical support and evidence for essentiality of the key events for certain aspects of this AOP, the overall AOP is generally accepted as dogma and applies broadly to any species that produces sperm. The AOP was developed and used in an iterative process to test and refine the Users' Handbook, and is one of the first publicly available AOPs. It is our hope that this AOP will be leveraged to develop other AOPs in this field to advance method development, computational models to predict germ cell effects, and integrated testing strategies. © 2015 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  3. [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

  4. Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prindull, Gregor

    2012-11-01

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

  6. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Milne

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-09-10

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

  8. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Epigenetic inheritance, prions and evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  10. PIK3CA Mutation in Colorectal Cancer: Relationship with Genetic and Epigenetic Alterations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuhiko Nosho

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Somatic PIK3CA mutations are often present in colorectal cancer. Mutant PIK3CA activates AKT signaling, which up-regulates fatty acid synthase (FASN. Microsatellite instability (MSI and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP are important molecular classifiers in colorectal cancer. However, the relationship between PIK3CA mutation, MSI and CIMP remains uncertain. Using Pyrosequencing technology, we detected PIK3CA mutations in 91 (15% of 590 population-based colorectal cancers. To determine CIMP status, we quantified DNA methylation in eight CIMP-specific promoters [CACNA1G, CDKN2A (p16, CRABP1, IGF2, MLH1, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1] by real-time polymerase chain reaction (MethyLight. PIK3CA mutation was significantly associated with mucinous tumors [P = .0002; odds ratio (OR = 2.44], KRAS mutation (P < .0001; OR = 2.68, CIMP-high (P = .03; OR = 2.08, phospho–ribosomal protein S6 expression (P = .002; OR = 2.19, and FASN expression (P = .02; OR = 1.85 and inversely with p53 expression (P = .01; OR = 0.54 and β-catenin (CTNNB1 alteration (P = .004; OR = 0.43. In addition, PIK3CA G-to-A mutations were associated with MGMT loss (P = .001; OR = 3.24 but not with MGMT promoter methylation. In conclusion, PIK3CA mutation is significantly associated with other key molecular events in colorectal cancer, and MGMT loss likely contributes to the development of PIK3CA G>A mutation. In addition, Pyrosequencing is useful in detecting PIK3CA mutation in archival paraffin tumor tissue. PIK3CA mutational data further emphasize heterogeneity of colorectal cancer at the molecular level.

  11. Genetic Mutations and Epigenetic Modifications: Driving Cancer and Informing Precision Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyle, Krysta Mila; Boudreau, Jeanette E.

    2017-01-01

    Cancer treatment is undergoing a significant revolution from “one-size-fits-all” cytotoxic therapies to tailored approaches that precisely target molecular alterations. Precision strategies for drug development and patient stratification, based on the molecular features of tumors, are the next logical step in a long history of approaches to cancer therapy. In this review, we discuss the history of cancer treatment from generic natural extracts and radical surgical procedures to site-specific and combinatorial treatment regimens, which have incrementally improved patient outcomes. We discuss the related contributions of genetics and epigenetics to cancer progression and the response to targeted therapies and identify challenges and opportunities for the success of precision medicine. The identification of patients who will benefit from targeted therapies is more complex than simply identifying patients whose tumors harbour the targeted aberration, and intratumoral heterogeneity makes it difficult to determine if a precision therapy is successful during treatment. This heterogeneity enables tumors to develop resistance to targeted approaches; therefore, the rational combination of therapeutic agents will limit the threat of acquired resistance to therapeutic success. By incorporating the view of malignant transformation modulated by networks of genetic and epigenetic interactions, molecular strategies will enable precision medicine for effective treatment across cancer subtypes. PMID:28685150

  12. The Key Role of Epigenetics in the Persistence of Asexual Lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie Castonguay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Asexual organisms, often perceived as evolutionary dead ends, can be long-lived and geographically widespread. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms could play a crucial role in the evolutionary persistence of these lineages. Genetically identical organisms could rely on phenotypic plasticity to face environmental variation. Epigenetic modifications could be the molecular mechanism enabling such phenotypic plasticity; they can be influenced by the environment and act at shorter timescales than mutation. Recent work on the asexual vertebrate Chrosomus eos-neogaeus (Pisces: Cyprinidae provides broad insights into the contribution of epigenetics in genetically identical individuals. We discuss the extension of these results to other asexual organisms, in particular those resulting from interspecific hybridizations. We finally develop on the evolutionary relevance of epigenetic variation in the context of heritability.

  13. Environmentally sensitive molecular probes reveal mutations and epigenetic 5-methyl cytosine in human oncogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taskova, M.; Barducci, M. C.; Astakhova, K.

    2017-01-01

    There is currently an unmet need for reliable tools that allow for direct detection and quantification of modifications in genomic DNA. For example, in cancer research and clinical diagnostics, target DNA has to be amplified and sequenced in order to reveal mutations. For 5-methylcytosine detecti...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen J. Marsit

    2008-01-01

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

  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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The epigenetics of nuclear envelope organization and disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schirmer, Eric C.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetics: What it is about?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saade E.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Targeted sequencing identifies associations between IL7R-JAK mutations and epigenetic modulators in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, Carmen; Schwab, Claire; Broux, Michaël; Geerdens, Ellen; Degryse, Sandrine; Demeyer, Sofie; Lahortiga, Idoya; Elliott, Alannah; Chilton, Lucy; La Starza, Roberta; Mecucci, Cristina; Vandenberghe, Peter; Goulden, Nicholas; Vora, Ajay; Moorman, Anthony V.; Soulier, Jean; Harrison, Christine J.; Clappier, Emmanuelle; Cools, Jan

    2015-01-01

    T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is caused by the accumulation of multiple oncogenic lesions, including chromosomal rearrangements and mutations. To determine the frequency and co-occurrence of mutations in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, we performed targeted re-sequencing of 115 genes across 155 diagnostic samples (44 adult and 111 childhood cases). NOTCH1 and CDKN2A/B were mutated/deleted in more than half of the cases, while an additional 37 genes were mutated/deleted in 4% to 20% of cases. We found that IL7R-JAK pathway genes were mutated in 27.7% of cases, with JAK3 mutations being the most frequent event in this group. Copy number variations were also detected, including deletions of CREBBP or CTCF and duplication of MYB. FLT3 mutations were rare, but a novel extracellular mutation in FLT3 was detected and confirmed to be transforming. Furthermore, we identified complex patterns of pairwise associations, including a significant association between mutations in IL7R-JAK genes and epigenetic regulators (WT1, PRC2, PHF6). Our analyses showed that IL7R-JAK genetic lesions did not confer adverse prognosis in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases enrolled in the UK ALL2003 trial. Overall, these results identify interconnections between the T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia genome and disease biology, and suggest a potential clinical application for JAK inhibitors in a significant proportion of patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. PMID:26206799

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Human somatic, germinal and heritable mutagenicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendelsohn, M.L.

    1987-05-01

    This report deals with the general process of variant formation rather than with the consequences of a specific variant being present. It focusses on mutational mechanisms, mutagens, and the method for detecting de novo mutants and estimating mutation rate. It is to human genetics much like disease causation and prevention medicine are to medicine as a whole. The word ''mutagenicity'' is used in the title and throughout the text to connote the causation of all classes of genetic damage. Mutagenicity and the corresponding words mutation, mutagen and mutagenesis can have multiple meaning, sometimes relating to gene mutation, sometimes to heritable mutation, and somtimes to all types of genetic damage. 38 refs., 1 tab

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetics in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Loscalzo, Joseph; Handy, Diane E.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loscalzo, Joseph; Handy, Diane E

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Epigenetics and autism spectrum disorder: A report of an autism case with mutation in H1 linker histone HIST1H1e and literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffney, Lara J; Valdez, Purnima; Tremblay, Martine W; Cao, Xinyu; Montgomery, Sarah; McConkie-Rosell, Allyn; Jiang, Yong-Hui

    2018-04-27

    Genetic mutations in genes encoding proteins involved in epigenetic machinery have been reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability, congenital heart disease, and other disorders. H1 histone linker protein, the basic component in nucleosome packaging and chromatin organization, has not been implicated in human disease until recently. We report a de novo deleterious mutation of histone cluster 1 H1 family member e (HIST1H1E; c.435dupC; p.Thr146Hisfs*50), encoding H1 histone linker protein H1.4, in a 10-year-old boy with autism and intellectual disability diagnosed through clinical whole exome sequencing. The c.435dupC at the 3' end of the mRNA leads to a frameshift and truncation of the positive charge in the carboxy-terminus of the protein. An expression study demonstrates the mutation leads to reduced protein expression, supporting haploinsufficiency of HIST1H1E protein and loss of function as an underlying mechanism of dysfunction in the brain. Taken together with other recent cases with mutations of HIST1H1E in intellectual disability, the evidence supporting the link to causality in disease is strong. Our finding implicates the deficiency of H1 linker histone protein in autism. The systematic review of candidate genes implicated in ASD revealed that 42 of 215 (19.5%) genes are directly involved in epigenetic regulations and the majority of these genes belong to histone writers, readers, and erasers. While the mechanism of how haploinsufficiency of HIST1H1E causes autism is entirely unknown, our report underscores the importance of further study of the function of this protein and other histone linker proteins in brain development. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Mutations and epimutations in the origin of cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peltomaeki, Paeivi, E-mail: Paivi.Peltomaki@Helsinki.Fi

    2012-02-15

    Cancer is traditionally viewed as a disease of abnormal cell proliferation controlled by a series of mutations. Mutations typically affect oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes thereby conferring growth advantage. Genomic instability facilitates mutation accumulation. Recent findings demonstrate that activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, as well as genomic instability, can be achieved by epigenetic mechanisms as well. Unlike genetic mutations, epimutations do not change the base sequence of DNA and are potentially reversible. Similar to genetic mutations, epimutations are associated with specific patterns of gene expression that are heritable through cell divisions. Knudson's hypothesis postulates that inactivation of tumor suppressor genes requires two hits, with the first hit occurring either in somatic cells (sporadic cancer) or in the germline (hereditary cancer) and the second one always being somatic. Studies on hereditary and sporadic forms of colorectal carcinoma have made it evident that, apart from genetic mutations, epimutations may serve as either hit or both. Furthermore, recent next-generation sequencing studies show that epigenetic genes, such as those encoding histone modifying enzymes and subunits for chromatin remodeling systems, are themselves frequent targets of somatic mutations in cancer and can act like tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes. This review discusses genetic vs. epigenetic origin of cancer, including cancer susceptibility, in light of recent discoveries. Situations in which mutations and epimutations occur to serve analogous purposes are highlighted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  11. Effects of chronic low level radiation in the population residing in the high level natural radiation area in Kerala, India: employing heritable DNA mutation studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Shazia; Koya, P K M; Seshadri, M

    2013-03-18

    To study the effect of chronic low level radiation, 4040 meiosis were screened at eight microsatellite and five minisatellite (2485 and 1555 meiosis respectively) marker loci in people residing in high and normal level natural radiation areas of Kerala. Variants in the repeat length of allele were considered as mutants. Mutation rates (expressed as the number of mutations observed in the total number of meiosis) were 6.4×10(-3) (16/2485) and 2.6×10(-3) (4/1555) at microsatellite and minisatellite respectively. The germline microsatellite mutation frequency of father was 1.78 times higher at 7.52×10(-3) (8/1064) compared to 4.22×10(-3) (6/1421) of mother (P=0.292, Fisher's Exact two-sided test). The paternal and maternal mutation rates at minisatellite loci were more or less similar at 2.78×10(-3) (2/719) and 2.39×10(-3) (2/836), respectively (P=1.0, Fisher's Exact two-sided test). Higher but statistically non-significant microsatellite mutation frequency was observed in HLNRA compared to NLNRA (7.25×10(-3) vs 3.64×10(-3); P=0.547). The apparent increase in the mutation rate of microsatellite loci with the increase in radiation dose was also not statistically significant. All the four minisatellite mutation observed were from HLNRA (1198 meiosis) and no mutation was observed among 357 meiosis screened from NLNRA families. All the markers used in the present study were in the non-coding region and hence mutations in these regions may not cause adverse health effects, but the study is important in understanding the effect of chronic low level radiation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home Health Topics English Español Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue Basics In-Depth Download Download EPUB Download PDF ... they? Points To Remember About Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue There are more than 200 heritable disorders that ...

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular genetics and epigenetics of CACTA elements

    KAUST Repository

    Fedoroff, Nina V.

    2013-08-21

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

  15. Abiotic stress leads to somatic and heritable changes in homologous recombination frequency, point mutation frequency and microsatellite stability in Arabidopsis plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao Youli; Kovalchuk, Igor

    2011-01-01

    In earlier studies, we showed that abiotic stresses, such as ionizing radiation, heavy metals, temperature and water, trigger an increase in homologous recombination frequency (HRF). We also demonstrated that many of these stresses led to inheritance of high-frequency homologous recombination, HRF. Although an increase in recombination frequency is an important indicator of genome rearrangements, it only represents a minor portion of possible stress-induced mutations. Here, we analyzed the influence of heat, cold, drought, flood and UVC abiotic stresses on two major types of mutations in the genome, point mutations and small deletions/insertions. We used two transgenic lines of Arabidopsis thaliana, one allowing an analysis of reversions in a stop codon-containing inactivated β-glucuronidase transgene and another one allowing an analysis of repeat stability in a microsatellite-interrupted β-glucuronidase transgene. The transgenic Arabidopsis line carrying the β-glucuronidase-based homologous recombination substrate was used as a positive control. We showed that the majority of stresses increased the frequency of point mutations, homologous recombination and microsatellite instability in somatic cells, with the frequency of homologous recombination being affected the most. The analysis of transgenerational changes showed an increase in HRF to be the most prominent effect observed in progeny. Significant changes in recombination frequency were observed upon exposure to all types of stress except drought, whereas changes in microsatellite instability were observed upon exposure to UVC, heat and cold. The frequency of point mutations in the progeny of stress-exposed plants was the least affected; an increase in mutation frequency was observed only in the progeny of plants exposed to UVC. We thus conclude that transgenerational changes in genome stability in response to stress primarily involve an increase in recombination frequency.

  16. Heritability of antisocial behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kretschmer, Tina; DeLisi, Matt

    2016-01-01

    This chapter reviews important strands of research on the heritability of antisocial behavior and crime, including both quantitative genetic studies using twin or adoption designs as well as molecular genetic approaches. Study designs are introduced and findings discussed. Contemporary avenues

  17. When knowledge of a heritable gene mutation comes out of the blue: treatment-focused genetic testing in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiser, B; Quinn, V F; Gleeson, M; Kirk, J; Tucker, K M; Rahman, B; Saunders, C; Watts, K J; Peate, M; Geelhoed, E; Barlow-Stewart, K; Field, M; Harris, M; Antill, Y C; Mitchell, G

    2016-11-01

    Selection of women for treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT) following a new diagnosis of breast cancer is changing. Increasingly a patient's age and tumour characteristics rather than only their family history are driving access to TFGT, but little is known about the impact of receiving carrier-positive results in individuals with no family history of cancer. This study assesses the role of knowledge of a family history of cancer on psychosocial adjustment to TFGT in both women with and without mutation carrier-positive results. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 women who had undergone TFGT, and who had been purposively sampled to represent women both family history and carrier status, and subjected to a rigorous qualitative analysis. It was found that mutation carriers without a family history reported difficulties in making surgical decisions quickly, while in carriers with a family history, a decision regarding surgery, electing for bilateral mastectomy (BM), had often already been made before receipt of their result. Long-term adjustment to a mutation-positive result was hindered by a sense of isolation not only by those without a family history but also those with a family history who lacked an affected relative with whom they could identify. Women with a family history who had no mutation identified and who had not elected BM reported a lack of closure following TFGT. These findings indicate support deficits hindering adjustment to positive TFGT results for women with and without a family history, particularly in regard to immediate decision-making about risk-reducing surgery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetic Inheritance across the Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whipple, Amy V; Holeski, Liza M

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetics, autism spectrum, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  4. Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Induced mutation and epigenetics modification in plants for crop improvement by targeting CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Muhammad Hafeez Ullah; Khan, Shahid U; Muhammad, Ali; Hu, Limin; Yang, Yang; Fan, Chuchuan

    2018-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats associated protein Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9), originally an adaptive immunity system of prokaryotes, is revolutionizing genome editing technologies with minimal off-targets in the present era. The CRISPR/Cas9 is now highly emergent, advanced, and highly specific tool for genome engineering. The technology is widely used to animal and plant genomes to achieve desirable results. The present review will encompass how CRISPR-Cas9 is revealing its beneficial role in characterizing plant genetic functions, genomic rearrangement, how it advances the site-specific mutagenesis, and epigenetics modification in plants to improve the yield of field crops with minimal side-effects. The possible pitfalls of using and designing CRISPR-Cas9 for plant genome editing are also discussed for its more appropriate applications in plant biology. Therefore, CRISPR/Cas9 system has multiple benefits that mostly scientists select for genome editing in several biological systems. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  7. Analysis of epigenetic modifications of DNA in human cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Nutritional influences on epigenetics and age-related disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Epigenetic regulation of photoperiodic flowering

    OpenAIRE

    Takeno, Kiyotoshi

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetics of autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schanen, N Carolyn

    2006-10-15

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

  11. Integrated genetic and epigenetic analysis of bladder cancer reveals an additive diagnostic value of FGFR3 mutations and hypermethylation events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serizawa, Reza R; Ralfkiaer, Ulrik; Steven, Kenneth

    2011-01-01

    The bladder cancer genome harbors numerous oncogenic mutations and aberrantly methylated gene promoters. The aim of our study was to generate a profile of these alterations and investigate their use as biomarkers in urine sediments for noninvasive detection of bladder cancer. We systematically sc...... noninvasive, DNA-based detection of bladder cancer....

  12. Epigenetics in natural animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, J; Barrett, R D H

    2017-09-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Heritability in inflammatory bowel disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gordon, Hannah; Trier Moller, Frederik; Andersen, Vibeke

    2015-01-01

    for ulcerative colitis. Heritability estimates for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis from pooled twin studies are 0.75 and 0.67, respectively. However, this is at odds with the much lower heritability estimates from Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). This "missing heritability" is likely due...... to shortfalls in both family studies and GWAS. The coefficient of heritability fails to account for familial shared environment. Heritability calculations from twin data are based on Falconer's method, with premises that are increasingly understood to be flawed. GWAS based heritability estimates may...... underestimate heritability due to incomplete linkage disequilibrium, and because some single nucleotide polypeptides (SNPs) do not reach a level of significance to allow detection. SNPs missed by GWAS include common SNPs with low penetrance and rare SNPs with high penetrance. All methods of heritability...

  15. The heritability of perceived stress.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Federenko, I.S.; Schlotz, W.; Kirschbaum, C.; Bartels, M.; Hellhammer, D.H.; Wüst, S.

    2006-01-01

    Background. Exploration of the degree to which perceived chronic stress is heritable is important as these self-reports have been linked to stress-related health outcomes. The aims of this study were to estimate whether perceived stress is a heritable condition and to assess whether heritability

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Liu, Huijie; Sun, Zhongsheng

    2017-11-01

    Organisms can change their physiological/behavioural traits to adapt and survive in changed environments. However, whether these acquired traits can be inherited across generations through non-genetic alterations has been a topic of debate for over a century. Emerging evidence indicates that both ancestral and parental experiences, including nutrition, environmental toxins, nurturing behaviour, and social stress, can have powerful effects on the physiological, metabolic and cellular functions in an organism. In certain circumstances, these effects can be transmitted across several generations through epigenetic (i.e. non-DNA sequence-based rather than mutational) modifications. In this review, we summarize recent evidence on epigenetic inheritance from parental environment-induced developmental and physiological alterations in nematodes, fruit flies, zebrafish, rodents, and humans. The epigenetic modifications demonstrated to be both susceptible to modulation by environmental cues and heritable, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and small non-coding RNAs, are also summarized. We particularly focus on evidence that parental environment-induced epigenetic alterations are transmitted through both the maternal and paternal germlines and exert sex-specific effects. The thought-provoking data presented here raise fundamental questions about the mechanisms responsible for these phenomena. In particular, the means that define the specificity of the response to parental experience in the gamete epigenome and that direct the establishment of the specific epigenetic change in the developing embryos, as well as in specific tissues in the descendants, remain obscure and require elucidation. More precise epigenetic assessment at both the genome-wide level and single-cell resolution as well as strategies for breeding at relatively sensitive periods of development and manipulation aimed at specific epigenetic modification are imperative for identifying parental

  17. Is Glioblastoma an Epigenetic Malignancy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maleszewska, Marta; Kaminska, Bozena

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Mutations with epigenetic effects in myeloproliferative neoplasms and recent progress in treatment: Proceedings from the 5th International Post-ASH Symposium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tefferi, A; Abdel-Wahab, O; Cervantes, F; Crispino, J D; Finazzi, G; Girodon, F; Gisslinger, H; Gotlib, J; Kiladjian, J-J; Levine, R L; Licht, J D; Mullally, A; Odenike, O; Pardanani, A; Silver, R T; Solary, E; Mughal, T

    2011-01-01

    Immediately following the 2010 annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting, the 5th International Post-ASH Symposium on Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and BCR-ABL1-Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs) took place on 7–8 December 2010 in Orlando, Florida, USA. During this meeting, the most recent advances in laboratory research and clinical practice, including those that were presented at the 2010 ASH meeting, were discussed among recognized authorities in the field. The current paper summarizes the proceedings of this meeting in BCR-ABL1-negative MPN. We provide a detailed overview of new mutations with putative epigenetic effects (TET oncogene family member 2 (TET2), additional sex comb-like 1 (ASXL1), isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2)) and an update on treatment with Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, pomalidomide, everolimus, interferon-α, midostaurin and cladribine. In addition, the new ‘Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS)-plus' prognostic model for primary myelofibrosis (PMF) and the clinical relevance of distinguishing essential thrombocythemia from prefibrotic PMF are discussed

  19. Mutations with epigenetic effects in myeloproliferative neoplasms and recent progress in treatment: Proceedings from the 5th International Post-ASH Symposium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tefferi, A [Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Rochester, MN (United States); Abdel-Wahab, O [Department of Medicine, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and Leukemia Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Cervantes, F [Hematology Department, Hospital Clínic, Institut d' Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Crispino, J D [Department of Hematology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (United States); Finazzi, G [Hematology Department of Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Bergamo (Italy); Girodon, F [Laboratoire d' Hématologie, Hôpital du Bocage, Dijon (France); Gisslinger, H [Division of Hematology and Blood Coagulation, Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna (Austria); Gotlib, J [Division of Hematology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (United States); Kiladjian, J-J [Centre d' Investigations Cliniques 9504, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Université Paris 7, Paris (France); Levine, R L [Department of Medicine, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and Leukemia Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Licht, J D [Department of Hematology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (United States); Mullally, A [Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women' s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Odenike, O [Section of Hematology and Oncology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Pardanani, A [Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Rochester, MN (United States); Silver, R T [Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY (United States); Solary, E [Inserm U1009, Institut Gustave Roussy, Université Paris XI, Villejuif (France); Mughal, T [Department of Haematology, Guys Hospital Medical School, London (United Kingdom); Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Rochester, MN (United States)

    2011-03-01

    Immediately following the 2010 annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting, the 5th International Post-ASH Symposium on Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and BCR-ABL1-Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs) took place on 7–8 December 2010 in Orlando, Florida, USA. During this meeting, the most recent advances in laboratory research and clinical practice, including those that were presented at the 2010 ASH meeting, were discussed among recognized authorities in the field. The current paper summarizes the proceedings of this meeting in BCR-ABL1-negative MPN. We provide a detailed overview of new mutations with putative epigenetic effects (TET oncogene family member 2 (TET2), additional sex comb-like 1 (ASXL1), isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2)) and an update on treatment with Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, pomalidomide, everolimus, interferon-α, midostaurin and cladribine. In addition, the new ‘Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS)-plus' prognostic model for primary myelofibrosis (PMF) and the clinical relevance of distinguishing essential thrombocythemia from prefibrotic PMF are discussed.

  20. Effect of ATM heterozygosity on heritable DNA damage in mice following paternal F0 germline irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baulch, Janet E.; Li, M.-W.; Raabe, Otto G.

    2007-01-01

    The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene product maintains genome integrity and initiates cellular DNA repair pathways following exposures to genotoxic agents. ATM also plays a significant role in meiotic recombination during spermatogenesis. Fertilization with sperm carrying damaged DNA could lead to adverse effects in offspring including developmental defects or increased cancer susceptibility. Currently, there is little information regarding the effect of ATM heterozygosity on germline DNA repair and heritable effects of paternal germline-ionizing irradiation. We used neutral pH comet assays to evaluate spermatozoa 45 days after acute whole-body irradiation of male mice (0.1 Gy, attenuated 137 Cs γ rays) to determine the effect of ATM heterozygosity on delayed DNA damage effects of Type A/B spermatogonial irradiation. Using the neutral pH sperm comet assay, significant irradiation-related differences were found in comet tail length, percent tail DNA and tail extent moment, but there were no observed differences in effect between wild-type and ATM +/- mice. However, evaluation of spermatozoa from third generation descendants of irradiated male mice for heritable chromatin effects revealed significant differences in DNA electrophoretic mobility in the F 3 descendants that were based upon the irradiated F 0 sire's genotype. In this study, radiation-induced chromatin alterations to Type A/B spermatogonia, detected in mature sperm 45 days post-irradiation, led to chromatin effects in mature sperm three generations later. The early cellular response to and repair of DNA damage is critical and appears to be affected by ATM zygosity. Our results indicate that there is potential for heritable genetic or epigenetic changes following Type A/B spermatogonial irradiation and that ATM heterozygosity increases this effect

  1. 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.

  2. Heritability of clubfoot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engell, Vilhelm; Nielsen, Jan; Damborg, Frank

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The aetiology of congenital clubfoot is unclear. Although studies on populations, families, and twins suggest a genetic component to the aetiology, other studies have identified environmental factors. The purpose of this study was to calculate heritability in order to determine...... based on a balance of goodness-of-fit and parsimony and to estimate heritability. RESULTS: We found an overall self-reported prevalence of congenital clubfoot of 0.0027 (95 % confidence interval 0.0022-0.0034). Fifty-five complete (both twins answered the question) twin pairs were identified...... representing 12 monozygotic, 22 same-sex dizygotic, 18 opposite-sex dizygotic, and 3 with unclassified zygosity. The model with only environmental factors (CE) was best fitting based on AIC, and the model with an additive genetic factor (ACE) came in second. Due to the small statistical power, we hypothesise...

  3. Genetic and epigenetic mutations affect the DNA binding capability of human ZFP57 in transient neonatal diabetes type 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baglivo, Ilaria; Esposito, Sabrina; De Cesare, Lucia; Sparago, Angela; Anvar, Zahra; Riso, Vincenzo; Cammisa, Marco; Fattorusso, Roberto; Grimaldi, Giovanna; Riccio, Andrea; Pedone, Paolo V

    2013-05-21

    In the mouse, ZFP57 contains three classical Cys2His2 zinc finger domains (ZF) and recognizes the methylated TGC(met)CGC target sequence using the first and the second ZFs. In this study, we demonstrate that the human ZFP57 (hZFP57) containing six Cys2His2 ZFs, binds the same methylated sequence through the third and the fourth ZFs, and identify the aminoacids critical for DNA interaction. In addition, we present evidences indicating that hZFP57 mutations and hypomethylation of the TNDM1 ICR both associated with Transient Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus type 1 result in loss of hZFP57 binding to the TNDM1 locus, likely causing PLAGL1 activation. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Novel Molecular Therapies for Heritable Skin Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uitto, Jouni; Christiano, Angela M.; Irwin McLean, W. H.; McGrath, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Tremendous progress has been made in the past two decades in molecular genetics of heritable skin diseases, and pathogenic mutations have been identified in as many as 500 distinct human genes. This progress has resulted in improved diagnosis with prognostic implications, refined genetic counseling, and has formed the basis for prenatal and presymptomatic testing as well as preimplantation genetic diagnosis. However, there has been relatively little progress in developing effective and specific treatments for these often devastating diseases. Very recently, however, a number of novel molecular strategies, including gene therapy, cell-based approaches, and protein replacement therapy have been explored for treatment of these conditions. This overview will focus on the prototypic heritable blistering disorders, epidermolysis bullosa and related keratinopathies, in which significant progress has been recently made towards treatment, and illustrate how some of the translational research therapies have already entered the clinical arena. PMID:22158553

  5. 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...

  6. Quantifying the uncertainty in heritability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlotte, Nicholas A; Heckerman, David; Lippert, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    The use of mixed models to determine narrow-sense heritability and related quantities such as SNP heritability has received much recent attention. Less attention has been paid to the inherent variability in these estimates. One approach for quantifying variability in estimates of heritability is a frequentist approach, in which heritability is estimated using maximum likelihood and its variance is quantified through an asymptotic normal approximation. An alternative approach is to quantify the uncertainty in heritability through its Bayesian posterior distribution. In this paper, we develop the latter approach, make it computationally efficient and compare it to the frequentist approach. We show theoretically that, for a sufficiently large sample size and intermediate values of heritability, the two approaches provide similar results. Using the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort, we show empirically that the two approaches can give different results and that the variance/uncertainty can remain large.

  7. Heritability of neck pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fejer, R; Hartvigsen, J; Kyvik, K O

    2006-01-01

    73%) answered the questions regarding neck pain. Probandwise concordance rates, zygosity-specific odds ratios and tetrachoric correlations showed a significant genetic effect on neck pain. An overall additive genetic component of 44% was found. The genetic effect decreased with age, accounting...... for only 10% in the oldest male group and 0% in the oldest female group. There was a statistically significant difference in heritability between males and females (34 vs 52%, P... gradually less important with increasing age, and environmental factors dominate almost completely in the older age groups....

  8. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes eGräff

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 2009 Epigenetics Gordon Research Conference (August 9 - 14, 2009)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanie Lee

    2009-08-14

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

  11. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manukyan, Maria; Singh, Prim B

    2012-05-01

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

  12. Diversity of Pol IV function is defined by mutations at the maize rmr7 locus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Stonaker

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Mutations affecting the heritable maintenance of epigenetic states in maize identify multiple small RNA biogenesis factors including NRPD1, the largest subunit of the presumed maize Pol IV holoenzyme. Here we show that mutations defining the required to maintain repression7 locus identify a second RNA polymerase subunit related to Arabidopsis NRPD2a, the sole second largest subunit shared between Arabidopsis Pol IV and Pol V. A phylogenetic analysis shows that, in contrast to representative eudicots, grasses have retained duplicate loci capable of producing functional NRPD2-like proteins, which is indicative of increased RNA polymerase diversity in grasses relative to eudicots. Together with comparisons of rmr7 mutant plant phenotypes and their effects on the maintenance of epigenetic states with parallel analyses of NRPD1 defects, our results imply that maize utilizes multiple functional NRPD2-like proteins. Despite the observation that RMR7/NRPD2, like NRPD1, is required for the accumulation of most siRNAs, our data indicate that different Pol IV isoforms play distinct roles in the maintenance of meiotically-heritable epigenetic information in the grasses.

  13. Harnessing genomics to identify environmental determinants of heritable disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yauk, Carole Lyn; Argueso, J. Lucas; Auerbach, Scott S.; Awadalla, Philip; Davis, Sean R.; DeMarini, David M.; Douglas, George R.; Dubrova, Yuri E.; Elespuru, Rosalie K.; Glover, Thomas W.; Hales, Barbara F.; Hurles, Matthew E.; Klein, Catherine B.; Lupski, James R.; Manchester, David K.; Marchetti, Francesco; Montpetit, Alexandre; Mulvihill, John J.; Robaire, Bernard; Robbins, Wendie A.; Rouleau, Guy A.; Shaughnessy, Daniel T.; Somers, Christopher M.; Taylor, James G.; Trasler, Jacquetta; Waters, Michael D.; Wilson, Thomas E.; Witt, Kristine L.; Bishop, Jack B.

    2012-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing technologies can now be used to directly measure heritable de novo DNA sequence mutations in humans. However, these techniques have not been used to examine environmental factors that induce such mutations and their associated diseases. To address this issue, a working group on environmentally induced germline mutation analysis (ENIGMA) met in October 2011 to propose the necessary foundational studies, which include sequencing of parent–offspring trios from highly exposed human populations, and controlled dose–response experiments in animals. These studies will establish background levels of variability in germline mutation rates and identify environmental agents that influence these rates and heritable disease. Guidance for the types of exposures to examine come from rodent studies that have identified agents such as cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, ionizing radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution as germ-cell mutagens. Research is urgently needed to establish the health consequences of parental exposures on subsequent generations. PMID:22935230

  14. Diversity of genetic events associated with MLH1 promoter methylation in Lynch syndrome families with heritable constitutional epimutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leclerc, Julie; Flament, Cathy; Lovecchio, Tonio; Delattre, Lucie; Ait Yahya, Emilie; Baert-Desurmont, Stéphanie; Burnichon, Nelly; Bronner, Myriam; Cabaret, Odile; Lejeune, Sophie; Guimbaud, Rosine; Morin, Gilles; Mauillon, Jacques; Jonveaux, Philippe; Laurent-Puig, Pierre; Frébourg, Thierry; Porchet, Nicole; Buisine, Marie-Pierre

    2018-04-12

    PurposeConstitutional epimutations are an alternative to genetic mutations in the etiology of genetic diseases. Some of these epimutations, termed secondary, correspond to the epigenetic effects of cis-acting genetic defects transmitted to the offspring following a Mendelian inheritance pattern. In Lynch syndrome, a few families with such apparently heritable MLH1 epimutations have been reported so far.MethodsWe designed a long-range polymerase chain reaction next-generation sequencing strategy to screen MLH1 entire gene and applied it to 4 French families with heritable epimutations and 10 additional patients with no proven transmission of their epimutations.ResultsThis strategy successfully detected the insertion of an Alu element in MLH1 coding sequence in one family. Two previously unreported MLH1 variants were also identified in other epimutation carriers: a nucleotide substitution within intron 1 and a single-nucleotide deletion in the 5'-UTR. Detection of a partial MLH1 duplication in another family required multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification technology. We demonstrated the segregation of these variants with MLH1 methylation and studied the functional consequences of these defects on transcription.ConclusionThis is the largest cohort of patients with MLH1 secondary epimutations associated with a broad spectrum of genetic defects. This study provides further insight into the complexity of molecular mechanisms leading to secondary epimutations.GENETICS in MEDICINE advance online publication, 12 April 2018; doi:10.1038/gim.2018.47.

  15. Heritability of caffeine metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matthaei, Johannes; Tzvetkov, Mladen V; Strube, Jakob

    2016-01-01

    Heritability of caffeine pharmacokinetics and CYP1A2 activity is controversial. Here we analyzed the pharmacokinetics of caffeine, an in vivo probe drug for CYP1A2 and arylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) activity, in monozygotic and dizygotic twins. In the entire group, common and unique...... environmental effects explained most variation in caffeine AUC. Apparently, smoking and hormonal contraceptives masked the genetic effects on CYP1A2 activity. However, when excluding smokers and users of hormonal contraceptives, 89% of caffeine AUC variation was due to genetic effects and even in the entire...... group, 8% of caffeine AUC variation could be explained by a CYP1A1/1A2 promotor polymorphism (rs2470893). In contrast, nearly all of the variation (99%) of NAT2 activity was explained by genetic effects. This study illustrates two very different situations in pharmacogenetics, from an almost exclusively...

  16. 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

  17. Theory for the stability and regulation of epigenetic landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Micheelsen, Mille A; Mitarai, Namiko; Sneppen, Kim; Dodd, Ian B

    2010-01-01

    Cells can often choose among several stably heritable phenotypes. Examples are the expressions of genes in eukaryotic cells where long chromosomal regions can adopt persistent and heritable silenced or active states that may be associated with positive feedback in dynamic modification of nucleosomes. We generalize this mechanism in terms of bistability associated with valleys in an epigenetic landscape. A transfer matrix method was used to rigorously follow the system through the disruptive process of cell division. This combined treatment of noisy dynamics both between and during cell division provides an efficient way to calculate the stability of alternative states in a broad range of epigenetic systems

  18. Epigenetic variation, inheritance, and parent-of-origin effects of cytosine methylation in maize (Zea mays).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, Massimiliano; Piccinini, Sara; Pirona, Raul; Lund, Gertrud; Viotti, Angelo; Motto, Mario

    2014-03-01

    Pure epigenetic variation, or epigenetic variation that is independent of genetic context, may provide a mechanism for phenotypic variation in the absence of DNA mutations. To estimate the extent of pure epigenetic variation within and across generations and to identify the DNA regions targeted, a group of eight plants derived from a highly inbred line of maize (Zea mays) was analyzed by the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique. We found that cytosine methylation (mC) differences among individuals accounted for up to 7.4% of CCGG sites investigated by MSAP. Of the differentially methylated fragments (DMFs) identified in the S0 generation, ∼12% were meiotically inherited for at least six generations. We show that meiotically heritable mC variation was consistently generated for an average of 0.5% CCGG sites per generation and that it largely occurred somatically. We provide evidence that mC variation can be established and inherited in a parent-of-origin manner, given that the paternal lineage is more prone to both forward and reverse mC changes. The molecular characterization of selected DMFs revealed that the variation was largely determined by CG methylation changes that map within gene regions. The expression analysis of genes overlapping with DMFs did not reveal an obvious correlation between mC variation and transcription, reinforcing the idea that the primary function of gene-body methylation is not to control gene expression. Because this study focuses on epigenetic variation in field-grown plants, the data presented herein pertain to spontaneous epigenetic changes of the maize genome in a natural context.

  19. The Human Microbiome and the Missing Heritability Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Sandoval-Motta

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The “missing heritability” problem states that genetic variants in Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS cannot completely explain the heritability of complex traits. Traditionally, the heritability of a phenotype is measured through familial studies using twins, siblings and other close relatives, making assumptions on the genetic similarities between them. When this heritability is compared to the one obtained through GWAS for the same traits, a substantial gap between both measurements arise with genome wide studies reporting significantly smaller values. Several mechanisms for this “missing heritability” have been proposed, such as epigenetics, epistasis, and sequencing depth. However, none of them are able to fully account for this gap in heritability. In this paper we provide evidence that suggests that in order for the phenotypic heritability of human traits to be broadly understood and accounted for, the compositional and functional diversity of the human microbiome must be taken into account. This hypothesis is based on several observations: (A The composition of the human microbiome is associated with many important traits, including obesity, cancer, and neurological disorders. (B Our microbiome encodes a second genome with nearly a 100 times more genes than the human genome, and this second genome may act as a rich source of genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity. (C Human genotypes interact with the composition and structure of our microbiome, but cannot by themselves explain microbial variation. (D Microbial genetic composition can be strongly influenced by the host's behavior, its environment or by vertical and horizontal transmissions from other hosts. Therefore, genetic similarities assumed in familial studies may cause overestimations of heritability values. We also propose a method that allows the compositional and functional diversity of our microbiome to be incorporated to genome wide association studies.

  20. Heritability of the human connectome: A connectotyping study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Miranda-Dominguez

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent progress in resting-state neuroimaging demonstrates that the brain exhibits highly individualized patterns of functional connectivity—a “connectotype.” How these individualized patterns may be constrained by environment and genetics is unknown. Here we ask whether the connectotype is familial and heritable. Using a novel approach to estimate familiality via a machine-learning framework, we analyzed resting-state fMRI scans from two well-characterized samples of child and adult siblings. First we show that individual connectotypes were reliably identified even several years after the initial scanning timepoint. Familial relationships between participants, such as siblings versus those who are unrelated, were also accurately characterized. The connectotype demonstrated substantial heritability driven by high-order systems including the fronto-parietal, dorsal attention, ventral attention, cingulo-opercular, and default systems. This work suggests that shared genetics and environment contribute toward producing complex, individualized patterns of distributed brain activity, rather than constraining local aspects of function. These insights offer new strategies for characterizing individual aberrations in brain function and evaluating heritability of brain networks. By using machine learning and two independent datasets, this report shows that the brain’s individualized functional connectome or connectotype is familial and heritable. First we expand previous findings showing that by using a model-based approach to characterize functional connectivity, we can reliably identify and track individual brain signatures—a functional “fingerprint” or “connectotype” for the human brain—in both children and adults. Such signatures can also be used to characterize familial and heritable patterns of brain connectivity, even using limited data. Most heritable systems include the fronto-parietal, dorsal attention, ventral attention

  1. Individuality and epigenetics in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  2. Epigenetic cell response to an influence of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Pregnancy failure and heritable thrombophilia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middeldorp, Saskia

    2007-01-01

    Heritable thrombophilia is associated with an increased risk for pregnancy failure, defined as sporadic and recurrent miscarriage, late fetal loss, and other vascular pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth retardation. The pathogenesis is likely to include effects on

  5. Heritability of adult body height

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silventoinen, Karri; Sammalisto, Sampo; Perola, Markus

    2003-01-01

    /unique environment (AE) model. Among women the heritability estimates were generally lower than among men with greater variation between countries, ranging from 0.68 to 0.84 when an additive genes/shared environment/unique environment (ACE) model was used. In four populations where an AE model fit equally well...... countries; body height was least in Italy (177 cm in men and 163 cm in women) and greatest in the Netherlands (184 cm and 171 cm, respectively). In men there was no corresponding variation in heritability of body height, heritability estimates ranging from 0.87 to 0.93 in populations under an additive genes...... or better, heritability ranged from 0.89 to 0.93. This difference between the sexes was mainly due to the effect of the shared environmental component of variance, which appears to be more important among women than among men in our study populations. Our results indicate that, in general, there are only...

  6. Behavioral epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, David S

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics and colorectal cancer pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-06-05

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

  9. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bardhan, Kankana; Liu, Kebin

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kebin Liu

    2013-06-01

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

  11. The Microbiological Memory, an Epigenetic Regulator Governing the Balance Between Good Health and Metabolic Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian A. Devaux

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available If the transmission of biological information from one generation to the next is based on DNA, most heritable phenotypic traits such as chronic metabolic diseases, are not linked to genetic variation in DNA sequences. Non-genetic heritability might have several causes including epigenetic, parental effect, adaptive social learning, and influence of the ecological environment. Distinguishing among these causes is crucial to resolve major phenotypic enigmas. Strong evidence indicates that changes in DNA expression through various epigenetic mechanisms can be linked to parent-offspring resemblance in terms of sensitivity to metabolic diseases. Among non-genetic heritable traits, early nutrition could account for a long term deviant programming of genes expression responsible for metabolic diseases in adulthood. Nutrition could shape an inadequate gut microbiota (dysbiosis, triggering epigenetic deregulation of transcription which can be observed in chronic metabolic diseases. We review herein the evidence that dysbiosis might be a major cause of heritable epigenetic patterns found to be associated with metabolic diseases. By taking into account the recent advances on the gut microbiome, we have aggregated together different observations supporting the hypothesis that the gut microbiota could promote the molecular crosstalk between bacteria and surrounding host cells which controls the pathological epigenetic signature. We introduce for the first time the concept of “microbiological memory” as the main regulator of the epigenetic signatures, thereby indicating that different causes of non-genetic heritability can interact in complex pathways to produce inheritance.

  12. Epigenetics: beyond genes | Fossey | Southern Forests: a Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Gene regulatory processes lead to differential gene expression and are referred to as epigenetic phenomena; these are ubiquitous processes in the biological world. These reversible heritable changes concern DNA and RNA, their interactions, and chromatin-mediated and RNA-mediated mechanisms. DNA compaction is ...

  13. Using an Active-Learning Approach to Teach Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colon-Berlingeri, Migdalisel

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetics involves heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. I developed an active-learning approach to convey this topic to students in a college genetics course. I posted a brief summary of the topic before class to stimulate exchange in cooperative groups. During class, we discussed the…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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...... diseases. In the present chapter we will mainly focus on microRNAs and methylation and their implications in human disease, mainly in cancer....

  17. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beerman, Isabel; Rossi, Derrick J.

    2014-01-01

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

  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 of vascular smooth muscle cell function in atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Derangement of a factor upstream of RARalpha triggers the repression of a pleiotropic epigenetic network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Corlazzoli

    Full Text Available Chromatin adapts and responds to extrinsic and intrinsic cues. We hypothesize that inheritable aberrant chromatin states in cancer and aging are caused by genetic/environmental factors. In previous studies we demonstrated that either genetic mutations, or loss, of retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha, can impair the integration of the retinoic acid (RA signal at the chromatin of RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha, and can lead to aberrant repressive chromatin states marked by epigenetic modifications. In this study we tested whether the mere interference with the availability of RA signal at RARalpha, in cells with an otherwise functional RARalpha, can also induce epigenetic repression at RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha.To hamper the availability of RA at RARalpha in untransformed human mammary epithelial cells, we targeted the cellular RA-binding protein 2 (CRABP2, which transports RA from the cytoplasm onto the nuclear RARs. Stable ectopic expression of a CRABP2 mutant unable to enter the nucleus, as well as stable knock down of endogenous CRABP2, led to the coordinated transcriptional repression of a few RA-responsive genes downstream of RARalpha. The chromatin at these genes acquired an exacerbated repressed state, or state "of no return". This aberrant state is unresponsive to RA, and therefore differs from the physiologically repressed, yet "poised" state, which is responsive to RA. Consistent with development of homozygosis for epigenetically repressed loci, a significant proportion of cells with a defective CRABP2-mediated RA transport developed heritable phenotypes indicative of loss of function.Derangement/lack of a critical factor necessary for RARalpha function induces epigenetic repression of a RA-regulated gene network downstream of RARalpha, with major pleiotropic biological outcomes.

  1. Revertant Mosaicism in Heritable Skin Diseases - Mechanisms of Natural Gene Therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pasmooij, Anna M. G.; Jonkman, Marcel F.; Uitto, Jouni

    Revertant mosaicism (RM) refers to the co-existence of cells carrying disease-causing mutations with cells in which the inherited mutation is genetically corrected by a spontaneous event. It has been discovered in an increasing number of heritable skin diseases: ichthyosis with confetti and

  2. 8Wambi heritability.pmd

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    Cultural, biological and chemical control measures have received limited ... as a percentage of the mean (GAM) and heritability were estimated using variance components. ... présente étude a été conduite afin de déterminer l'héritabilité de la ...

  3. Heritability and familial aggregation of diverticular disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strate, Lisa L; Erichsen, Rune; Baron, John A

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about the role of heritable factors in diverticular disease. We evaluated the contribution of heritable factors to the development of diverticular disease diagnosed at a hospitalization or outpatient visit....

  4. The contribution of additive genetic variation to personality variation: heritability of personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dochtermann, Ned A; Schwab, Tori; Sih, Andrew

    2015-01-07

    Individual animals frequently exhibit repeatable differences from other members of their population, differences now commonly referred to as 'animal personality'. Personality differences can arise, for example, from differences in permanent environmental effects--including parental and epigenetic contributors--and the effect of additive genetic variation. Although several studies have evaluated the heritability of behaviour, less is known about general patterns of heritability and additive genetic variation in animal personality. As overall variation in behaviour includes both the among-individual differences that reflect different personalities and temporary environmental effects, it is possible for personality to be largely genetically influenced even when heritability of behaviour per se is quite low. The relative contribution of additive genetic variation to personality variation can be estimated whenever both repeatability and heritability are estimated for the same data. Using published estimates to address this issue, we found that approximately 52% of animal personality variation was attributable to additive genetic variation. Thus, while the heritability of behaviour is often moderate or low, the heritability of personality is much higher. Our results therefore (i) demonstrate that genetic differences are likely to be a major contributor to variation in animal personality and (ii) support the phenotypic gambit: that evolutionary inferences drawn from repeatability estimates may often be justified. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Atlas of prostate cancer heritability in European and African-American men pinpoints tissue-specific regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gusev, Alexander; Shi, Huwenbo; Kichaev, Gleb

    2016-01-01

    Although genome-wide association studies have identified over 100 risk loci that explain ∼33% of familial risk for prostate cancer (PrCa), their functional effects on risk remain largely unknown. Here we use genotype data from 59,089 men of European and African American ancestries combined...... with cell-type-specific epigenetic data to build a genomic atlas of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) heritability in PrCa. We find significant differences in heritability between variants in prostate-relevant epigenetic marks defined in normal versus tumour tissue as well as between tissue and cell...... lines. The majority of SNP heritability lies in regions marked by H3k27 acetylation in prostate adenoc7arcinoma cell line (LNCaP) or by DNaseI hypersensitive sites in cancer cell lines. We find a high degree of similarity between European and African American ancestries suggesting a similar genetic...

  6. Heritability Analyses of IQ Scores: Science or Numerology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layzer, David

    1974-01-01

    Examines limitations of the heritability concept and heritability analysis, and discusses a conventional application of heritability analysis, IQ scores as measurements of a phenotypic character, the heritability of IQ, and the relationship of IQ and race. (JR)

  7. Epigenetic Alterations in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, Jose V.; Gräff, Johannes

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Epigenetic codes programming class switch recombination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bharat eVaidyanathan

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerman, Isabel; Rossi, Derrick J.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, John; Cooley, Vic

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Gómez-Díaz

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

  12. The Heritability of Prostate Cancer in the Nordic Twin Study of Cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Scheike, Thomas; Holst, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Background: Prostate cancer is thought to be the most heritable cancer, although little is known about how this genetic contribution varies across age. Methods: To address this question, we undertook the world's largest prospective study in the Nordic Twin Study of Cancer cohort, including 18,680....... The role of genetic factors is consistently high across age Impact: Findings impact the search for genetic and epigenetic markers and frame prevention efforts....

  13. The heritability of leucocyte telomere length dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmborg, Jacob B; Dalgård, Christine; Möller, Sören

    2015-01-01

    variation among adults. A number of studies have estimated the heritability of LTL, but none has assessed the heritability of age-dependent LTL attrition. METHODS: We examined the heritability of LTL dynamics based on a longitudinal evaluation (an average follow-up of 12 years) in 355 monozygotic and 297...... dizygotic same-sex twins (aged 19-64 years at baseline). RESULTS: Heritability of LTL at baseline was estimated at 64% (95% CI 39% to 83%) with 22% (95% CI 6% to 49%) of shared environmental effects. Heritability of age-dependent LTL attrition rate was estimated at 28% (95% CI 16% to 44%). Individually...

  14. Heritability of Retinal Vascular Fractals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vergmann, Anna Stage; Broe, Rebecca; Kessel, Line

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: To determine the genetic contribution to the pattern of retinal vascular branching expressed by its fractal dimension. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 50 monozygotic and 49 dizygotic, same-sex twin pairs aged 20 to 46 years. In 50°, disc-centered fundus photographs, the reti...... fractal dimension did not differ statistically significantly between monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs (1.505 vs. 1.495, P = 0.06), supporting that the study population was suitable for quantitative analysis of heritability. The intrapair correlation was markedly higher (0.505, P = 0.......0002) in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twins (0.108, P = 0.46), corresponding to a heritability h2 for the fractal dimension of 0.79. In quantitative genetic models, dominant genetic effects explained 54% of the variation and 46% was individually environmentally determined. Conclusions: In young adult twins...

  15. Heritability of lifetime ecstasy use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verweij, Karin J H; Treur, Jorien L; Vreeker, Annabel; Brunt, Tibor M; Willemsen, Gonneke; Boomsma, Dorret I; Vink, Jacqueline M

    2017-09-01

    Ecstasy is a widely used psychoactive drug that users often take because they experience positive effects such as increased euphoria, sociability, elevated mood, and heightened sensations. Ecstasy use is not harmless and several immediate and long term side effects have been identified. Lifetime ecstasy use is likely to be partly influenced by genetic factors, but no twin study has determined the heritability. Here, we apply a classical twin design to a large sample of twins and siblings to estimate the heritability of lifetime ecstasy use. The sample comprised 8500 twins and siblings aged between 18 and 45 years from 5402 families registered at the Netherlands Twin Registry. In 2013-2014 participants filled out a questionnaire including a question whether they had ever used ecstasy. We used the classical twin design to partition the individual differences in liability to ecstasy use into that due to genetic, shared environmental, and residual components. Overall, 10.4% of the sample had used ecstasy during their lifetime, with a somewhat higher prevalence in males than females. Twin modelling indicated that individual differences in liability to lifetime ecstasy use are for 74% due to genetic differences between individuals, whereas shared environmental and residual factors explain a small proportion of its liability (5% and 21%, respectively). Although heritability estimates appeared to be higher for females than males, this difference was not significant. Lifetime ecstasy use is a highly heritable trait, which indicates that some people are genetically more vulnerable to start using ecstasy than others. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Heritable alteration of DNA methylation induced by whole-chromosome aneuploidy in wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lihong; Diarso, Moussa; Zhang, Ai; Zhang, Huakun; Dong, Yuzhu; Liu, Lixia; Lv, Zhenling; Liu, Bao

    2016-01-01

    Aneuploidy causes changes in gene expression and phenotypes in all organisms studied. A previous study in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana showed that aneuploidy-generated phenotypic changes can be inherited to euploid progenies and implicated an epigenetic underpinning of the heritable variations. Based on an analysis by amplified fragment length polymorphism and methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism markers, we found that although genetic changes at the nucleotide sequence level were negligible, extensive changes in cytosine DNA methylation patterns occurred in all studied homeologous group 1 whole-chromosome aneuploid lines of common wheat (Triticum aestivum), with monosomic 1A showing the greatest amount of methylation changes. The changed methylation patterns were inherited by euploid progenies derived from the aneuploid parents. The aneuploidy-induced DNA methylation alterations and their heritability were verified at selected loci by bisulfite sequencing. Our data have provided empirical evidence supporting earlier suggestions that heritability of aneuploidy-generated, but aneuploidy-independent, phenotypic variations may have an epigenetic basis. That at least one type of aneuploidy - monosomic 1A - was able to cause significant epigenetic divergence of the aneuploid plants and their euploid progenies also lends support to recent suggestions that aneuploidy may have played an important and protracted role in polyploid genome evolution. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. 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

  18. Nature, nurture and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  20. Understanding Neurological Disease Mechanisms in the Era of Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    The burgeoning field of epigenetics is making a significant impact on our understanding of brain evolution, development, and function. In fact, it is now clear that epigenetic mechanisms promote seminal neurobiological processes, ranging from neural stem cell maintenance and differentiation to learning and memory. At the molecular level, epigenetic mechanisms regulate the structure and activity of the genome in response to intracellular and environmental cues, including the deployment of cell type–specific gene networks and those underlying synaptic plasticity. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of epigenetic factors can, in turn, induce remarkable changes in neural cell identity and cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Not surprisingly, it is also becoming apparent that epigenetics is intimately involved in neurological disease pathogenesis. Herein, we highlight emerging paradigms for linking epigenetic machinery and processes with neurological disease states, including how (1) mutations in genes encoding epigenetic factors cause disease, (2) genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors modify disease risk, (3) abnormalities in epigenetic factor expression, localization, or function are involved in disease pathophysiology, (4) epigenetic mechanisms regulate disease-associated genomic loci, gene products, and cellular pathways, and (5) differential epigenetic profiles are present in patient-derived central and peripheral tissues. PMID:23571666

  1. The heritability of blood donation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Ole Birger; Axel, Skytthe; Rostgaard, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    active Danish blood donors from 2002 to 2012, to establish blood donor status for Danish twins, who at age 17 years became eligible for donation in 2002 or later. Casewise concordance in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins were presented and heritability was estimated in Mx by variance component...... to donate blood, respectively. CONCLUSION: Becoming a volunteer blood donor is determined by both genetic and environmental factors shared within families.......BACKGROUND: Voluntary blood donation is believed to be mostly motivated by altruism. Because studies have suggested that altruistic personality is determined by both genetic and environmental factors, we speculated that willingness to donate blood could also be governed by constitutional factors...

  2. Heritability of Retinal Vascular Fractals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vergmann, Anna Stage; Broe, Rebecca; Kessel, Line

    2017-01-01

    , the retinal vascular fractal dimension was measured using the box-counting method and compared within monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs using Pearson correlation coefficients. Falconer's formula and quantitative genetic models were used to determine the genetic component of variation. Results: The mean...... fractal dimension did not differ statistically significantly between monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs (1.505 vs. 1.495, P = 0.06), supporting that the study population was suitable for quantitative analysis of heritability. The intrapair correlation was markedly higher (0.505, P = 0...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel eCariaga-Martinez

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Environment, epigenetics and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Mandela Fernández-Grandon

    Full Text Available Female mosquitoes display preferences for certain individuals over others, which is determined by differences in volatile chemicals produced by the human body and detected by mosquitoes. Body odour can be controlled genetically but the existence of a genetic basis for differential attraction to insects has never been formally demonstrated. This study investigated heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes by evaluating the response of Aedes aegypti (=Stegomyia aegypti mosquitoes to odours from the hands of identical and non-identical twins in a dual-choice assay. Volatiles from individuals in an identical twin pair showed a high correlation in attractiveness to mosquitoes, while non-identical twin pairs showed a significantly lower correlation. Overall, there was a strong narrow-sense heritability of 0.62 (SE 0.124 for relative attraction and 0.67 (0.354 for flight activity based on the average of ten measurements. The results demonstrate an underlying genetic component detectable by mosquitoes through olfaction. Understanding the genetic basis for attractiveness could create a more informed approach to repellent development.

  6. 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.

  7. Transcriptome analysis of an apple (Malus × domestica) yellow fruit somatic mutation identifies a gene network module highly associated with anthocyanin and epigenetic regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sharkawy, Islam; Liang, Dong; Xu, Kenong

    2015-12-01

    Using RNA-seq, this study analysed an apple (Malus×domestica) anthocyanin-deficient yellow-skin somatic mutant 'Blondee' (BLO) and its red-skin parent 'Kidd's D-8' (KID), the original name of 'Gala', to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the mutation. A total of 3299 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between BLO and KID at four developmental stages and/or between two adjacent stages within BLO and/or KID. A weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) of the DEGs uncovered a network module of 34 genes highly correlated (r=0.95, P=9.0×10(-13)) with anthocyanin contents. Although 12 of the 34 genes in the WGCNA module were characterized and known of roles in anthocyanin, the remainder 22 appear to be novel. Examining the expression of ten representative genes in the module in 14 diverse apples revealed that at least eight were significantly correlated with anthocyanin variation. MdMYB10 (MDP0000259614) and MdGST (MDP0000252292) were among the most suppressed module member genes in BLO despite being undistinguishable in their corresponding sequences between BLO and KID. Methylation assay of MdMYB10 and MdGST in fruit skin revealed that two regions (MR3 and MR7) in the MdMYB10 promoter exhibited remarkable differences between BLO and KID. In particular, methylation was high and progressively increased alongside fruit development in BLO while was correspondingly low and constant in KID. The methylation levels in both MR3 and MR7 were negatively correlated with anthocyanin content as well as the expression of MdMYB10 and MdGST. Clearly, the collective repression of the 34 genes explains the loss-of-colour in BLO while the methylation in MdMYB10 promoter is likely causal for the mutation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  8. Epigenetic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Perspectives for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunio Miyake

    2012-04-01

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

  9. The heritable effects of nanotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortiglione, Claudia

    2014-12-01

    The widespread entry of nanomaterials into manifold life fields posed serious concerns on environmental health and safety issues. Potential adverse effects of nanoparticles (NPs) are continuously faced using in vitro cell systems and by mean of cell and molecular biology tools, several mechanisms have been found beyond their toxicity. The evaluation of the in vivo possible consequences derived from exposure of living organisms to NPs is instead more complex but compulsory in view of their application for diagnosis or therapeutic purposes. Here the effects of NP-induced genetic alteration on the progeny of treated animals will be treated, considering selected species from invertebrate and vertebrates as examples of transgenerational transmission of NP toxicity. The effects on reproductive capability, fertility and embryogenesis observed in different animal species upon treatment with different materials will provide an overview of the current knowledge on the heritable feature of nanotoxicity.

  10. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on animal behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Per

    2013-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Chromatin looping and epigenetic regulation at the maize b1 locus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Louwers, M.L.D.

    2008-01-01

    In this thesis, the effect of epigenetic regulation on long-range chromatin looping is studied. As a model system we used two maize b1 epialleles involved in paramutation. Paramutation entails a trans-interaction between two alleles whereby one allele heritably changes the expression level of the

  13. Epigenetic effects of green tea polyphenols in cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Susanne M; Wang, Piwen; Carpenter, Catherine L; Heber, David

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics describes heritable alterations of gene expression and chromatin organization without changes in DNA sequence. Both hypermethylation and hypomethylation of DNA can affect gene expression and the multistep process of carcinogenesis. Epigenetic changes are reversible and may be targeted by dietary interventions. Bioactive compounds from green tea (GT) such as (–)-epigallocatechin gallate have been shown to alter DNA methyltransferase activity in studies of esophageal, oral, skin, Tregs, lung, breast and prostate cancer cells, which may contribute to the chemopreventive effect of GT. Three out of four mouse model studies have confirmed the inhibitory effect of (–)-epigallocatechin gallate on DNA methylation. A human study demonstrated that decreased methylation of CDX2 and BMP-2 in gastric carcinoma was associated with higher GT consumption. It is the goal of this review to summarize our current knowledge of the potential of GT to alter epigenetic processes, which may be useful in chemoprevention. PMID:24283885

  14. Epigenetics and the Developmental Origins of Health and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epigenetic programming is likely to be an important mechanism underlying the lasting influence of the developmental environment on lifelong health, a concept known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). DNA methylation, posttranslational histone protei n modifications, noncoding RNAs and recruited protein complexes are elements of the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. These heritable but reversible changes in gene function are dynamic and labile during specific stages of the reproductive cycle and development. Epigenetic marks may be maintained throughout an individual's lifespan and can alter the life-long risk of disease; the nature of these epigenetic marks and their potential alteration by environmental factors is an area of active research. This chapter provides an overview of epigenetic regulation, particularly as it occurs as an essential component of embryo-fetal development. In this chapter we will present key features of DNA methylation and histone protein modifications, including the enzymes involved and the effects of these modifications on gene transcription. We will discuss the interplay of these dynamic modifications and the emerging role of noncoding RNAs in epigenetic gene regulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Familial aggregation and heritability of pyloric stenosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh, Camilla; Fischer, Thea K; Skotte, Line

    2010-01-01

    stenosis from monozygotic twins to fourth-generation relatives according to sex and maternal and paternal contributions and to estimate disease heritability. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: Population-based cohort study of 1,999,738 children born in Denmark between 1977 and 2008 and followed up.......51-4.99) for half-cousins. We found no difference in rate ratios for maternal and paternal relatives of children with pyloric stenosis and no difference according to sex of cohort member or sex of relative. The heritability of pyloric stenosis was 87%. CONCLUSION: Pyloric stenosis in Danish children shows strong...... familial aggregation and heritability....

  17. Titration and hysteresis in epigenetic chromatin silencing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dayarian, Adel; Sengupta, Anirvan M

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenyi Xu

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Comparative epigenetics: relevance to the regulation of production and health traits in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Rachael; O' Farrelly, Cliona; Meade, Kieran G

    2014-08-01

    With the development of genomic, transcriptomic and bioinformatic tools, recent advances in molecular technologies have significantly impacted bovine bioscience research and are revolutionising animal selection and breeding. Integration of epigenetic information represents yet another challenging molecular frontier. Epigenetics is the study of biochemical modifications to DNA and to histones, the proteins that provide stability to DNA. These epigenetic changes are induced by environmental stimuli; they alter gene expression and are potentially heritable. Epigenetics research holds the key to understanding how environmental factors contribute to phenotypic variation in traits of economic importance in cattle including development, nutrition, behaviour and health. In this review, we discuss the potential applications of epigenetics in bovine research, using breakthroughs in human and murine research to signpost the way. © 2014 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms in the initiation of hematological malignancies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Maleki

    2011-10-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. Epigenetics: beyond genes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fossey, A

    2009-06-01

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

  3. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Simon J; Haendler, Bernard

    2017-05-09

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

  4. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J. Baumgart

    2017-05-01

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

  5. Interactions between epigenetics and metabolism in cancers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetic considerations in aquaculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mackenzie R. Gavery

    2017-12-01

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

  9. heritability analysis of putative drought adaptation traits

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    2014-02-11

    Feb 11, 2014 ... College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, School of Agricultural ... effects is most appropriate for drought tolerance improvement in sweetpotato. ..... GCA, SCA mean squares and heritability values for the various ...

  10. Nature or Nurture? Heritability in the Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiramatsu, Layla; Garland, Theodore

    Understanding evolution is a necessary component of undergraduate education in biology, and evolution is difficult to explain without studying the heritability of traits. However, in most classes, heritability is presented with only a handful of graphs showing typical morphological traits, for example, beak size in finches and height in humans. The active-inquiry exercise outlined in the following pages allows instructors to engage students in this formerly dry subject by bringing their own data as the basis for estimates of heritability. Students are challenged to come up with their own hypotheses regarding how and to what extent their traits are inherited from their parents and then gather, analyze data, and make inferences with help from the instructor. The exercise is simple in concept and execution but uncovers many new avenues of inquiry for students, including potential biases in their estimates of heritability and misconceptions that they may have had about the extent of inference that can be made from their heritability estimates. The active-inquiry format of the exercise prioritizes curiosity and discussion, leading to a much deeper understanding of heritability and the scientific method.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Epigenetic mechanism of radiation carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niwa, Ohtsura

    1995-01-01

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

  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 mechanisms in neurological disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2012-08-01

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

  19. Heritability of food preferences in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, Fiona M; Plomin, Robert; Wardle, Jane

    2006-07-30

    There is persisting interest in the idea that taste preferences are heritable characteristics, but few twin studies have found evidence for a significant genetic component. Small sample sizes and idiosyncratic selection of foods may have contributed to the negative results. We hypothesized that using a larger twin sample and empirical groupings of food types, would give stronger evidence for the heritability of food preferences. We examined the heritability of preferences for four food groups in a sample of young twins. We administered a food preference questionnaire with 95 foods to 214 mothers of same-sex twin pairs (103 monozygotic and 111 dizygotic pairs) aged 4 to 5. 18 foods were excluded because they had been tried by fewer than 25% of the children. Foods were grouped into 'Vegetables', 'Fruits', 'Desserts' and 'Meat and Fish' on the basis of a factor analysis of the preference data. Genetic analyses were carried out on mean liking across these four groups, using model fitting techniques. Over all 77 foods, MZ correlations were higher than DZ correlations for 72 of them, with a higher mean MZ correlation (r = 0.76) than DZ correlation (r = 0.56). Using model fitting techniques with the factor scores, significant heritability estimates were obtained for all four food groups. Heritability was modest for dessert foods (0.20), moderate for vegetables (0.37) and fruits (0.51), and high for liking for protein foods (0.78). Shared environmental effects were strong for desserts, fruits and vegetables, while non-shared environmental influences were low for all four food groups. These results provide strong evidence for modest heritability of food preferences when using empirically-derived groupings of foods.

  20. Eating Disorders and Epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, Lea; Steiger, Howard

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle A; Hannon, Gregory J

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Whole Genome Epigenetics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carmell, Michelle

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Wenyi Xu; Fengzhong Wang; Zhongsheng Yu; Fengjiao Xin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-31

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

  9. Epigenetics of reproductive infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  10. Heritable genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9 in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Wei

    Full Text Available We report the establishment of an efficient and heritable gene mutagenesis method in the silkworm Bombyx mori using modified type II clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR with an associated protein (Cas9 system. Using four loci Bm-ok, BmKMO, BmTH, and Bmtan as candidates, we proved that genome alterations at specific sites could be induced by direct microinjection of specific guide RNA and Cas9-mRNA into silkworm embryos. Mutation frequencies of 16.7-35.0% were observed in the injected generation, and DNA fragments deletions were also noted. Bm-ok mosaic mutants were used to test for mutant heritability due to the easily determined translucent epidermal phenotype of Bm-ok-disrupted cells. Two crossing strategies were used. In the first, injected Bm-ok moths were crossed with wild-type moths, and a 28.6% frequency of germline mutation transmission was observed. In the second strategy, two Bm-ok mosaic mutant moths were crossed with each other, and 93.6% of the offsprings appeared mutations in both alleles of Bm-ok gene (compound heterozygous. In summary, the CRISPR/Cas9 system can act as a highly specific and heritable gene-editing tool in Bombyx mori.

  11. The Epigenetic Landscape of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Conway O’Brien

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Heritability estimates derived from threshold analyses for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Unknown

    reproductive traits in a composite multibreed beef cattle herd using a threshold model. A GFCAT set of ..... pressure for longevity include low heritabilities, the increased generation interval necessary to obtain survival information, and automatic selection because long-lived cows contribute more offspring to subsequent ...

  13. Assessing the heritability of attentional networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fossella John A

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current efforts to study the genetics of higher functions have been lacking appropriate phenotypes to describe cognition. One of the problems is that many cognitive concepts for which there is a single word (e.g. attention have been shown to be related to several anatomical networks. Recently we have developed an Attention Network Test (ANT that provides a separate measure for each of three anatomically defined attention networks. In this small scale study, we ran 26 pairs of MZ and DZ twins in an effort to determine if any of these networks show sufficient evidence of heritability to warrant further exploration of their genetic basis. Results The efficiency of the executive attention network, that mediates stimulus and response conflict, shows sufficient heritability to warrant further study. Alerting and overall reaction time show some evidence for heritability and in our study the orienting network shows no evidence of heritability. Conclusions These results suggest that genetic variation contributes to normal individual differences in higher order executive attention involving dopamine rich frontal areas including the anterior cingulate. At least the executive portion of the ANT may serve as a valid endophenotype for larger twin studies and subsequent molecular genetic analysis in normal subject populations.

  14. Heritability estimates derived from threshold analyses for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Product-moment correlations between breeding values for stayability traits were low. The highest correlation of 0.22 was obtained between the ages of 36 and 48 months. Heritability estimates and correlations between traits appear to be of such a low magnitude that selection for these characteristics would result in limited ...

  15. Causes and consequences of obesity: epigenetics or hypokinesis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham MR

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Michael R Graham,1 Julien S Baker,2 Bruce Davies3 1Llantarnam Research Academy, Cwmbran, Torfaen, UK; 2Exercise Science Research Laboratory, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, School of Science, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, UK; 3Science Department, University of South Wales, Newport, UKEpigenetics can be defined as the study of heritable changes that affect gene function without modification of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA sequence.1 The transfer of epigenetic marks through generations is not well understood, and their transmission is in dispute.2 Epigenetic marks are tissue-specific and include DNA methylation and histone modifications that mediate biological processes, such as imprinting (Figure 1. Many imprinted genes are regulators of gene expression controlling growth. Imprinting disorders often feature obesity as one of their characteristics.3

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-20

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Heritable and non-heritable pathways to early callous-unemotional behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, Luke W.; Waller, Rebecca; Trentacosta, Christopher J.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Ganiban, Jody M.; Reiss, David; Leve, Leslie D.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Callous-unemotional behaviors in early childhood identify children at high risk for severe trajectories of antisocial behavior and callous-unemotional traits that culminate in later diagnoses of conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and psychopathy. Studies have demonstrated high heritability of callous-unemotional traits, but little research has examined specific heritable pathways to earlier callous-unemotional behaviors. Additionally, studies indicate that positive parenting protects against the development of callous-unemotional traits, but genetically informed designs have not been used to confirm that these relationships are not the product of gene-environment correlations. Method Using an adoption cohort of 561 families, biological mothers reported their history of severe antisocial behavior. Observations of adoptive mother positive reinforcement at 18 months were examined as predictors of callous-unemotional behaviors when children were 27 months old. Results Biological mother antisocial behavior predicted early callous-unemotional behaviors despite having no or limited contact with offspring. Adoptive mother positive reinforcement protected against early callous-unemotional behaviors in children not genetically related to the parent. High levels of adoptive mother positive reinforcement buffered the effects of heritable risk for callous-unemotional behaviors posed by biological mother antisocial behavior. Conclusions The findings elucidate heritable and non-heritable pathways to early callous-unemotional behaviors. The results provide a specific heritable pathway to callous-unemotional behaviors and compelling evidence that parenting is an important non-heritable factor in the development of callous-unemotional behaviors. As positive reinforcement buffered heritable risk for callous-unemotional behaviors, these findings have important translational implications for the prevention of trajectories to serious antisocial behavior. PMID

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Local epigenetic reprogramming induced by G-quadruplex ligands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilbaud, Guillaume; Murat, Pierre; Recolin, Bénédicte; Campbell, Beth C.; Maiter, Ahmed; Sale, Julian E.; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2017-11-01

    DNA and histone modifications regulate transcriptional activity and thus represent valuable targets to reprogram the activity of genes. Current epigenetic therapies target the machinery that regulates these modifications, leading to global transcriptional reprogramming with the potential for extensive undesired effects. Epigenetic information can also be modified as a consequence of disrupting processive DNA replication. Here, we demonstrate that impeding replication by small-molecule-mediated stabilization of G-quadruplex nucleic acid secondary structures triggers local epigenetic plasticity. We report the use of the BU-1 locus of chicken DT40 cells to screen for small molecules able to induce G-quadruplex-dependent transcriptional reprogramming. Further characterization of the top hit compound revealed its ability to induce a dose-dependent inactivation of BU-1 expression in two steps: the loss of H3K4me3 and then subsequent DNA cytosine methylation, changes that were heritable across cell divisions even after the compound was removed. Targeting DNA secondary structures thus represents a potentially new approach for locus-specific epigenetic reprogramming.

  1. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopomo, A; Burgio, E; Migliore, L

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Regenerant arabidopsis lineages display a distinct genome-wide spectrum of mutations conferring variant phenotypes

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Caifu

    2011-07-28

    Multicellular organisms can be regenerated from totipotent differentiated somatic cell or nuclear founders [1-3]. Organisms regenerated from clonally related isogenic founders might a priori have been expected to be phenotypically invariant. However, clonal regenerant animals display variant phenotypes caused by defective epigenetic reprogramming of gene expression [2], and clonal regenerant plants exhibit poorly understood heritable phenotypic ("somaclonal") variation [4-7]. Here we show that somaclonal variation in regenerant Arabidopsis lineages is associated with genome-wide elevation in DNA sequence mutation rate. We also show that regenerant mutations comprise a distinctive molecular spectrum of base substitutions, insertions, and deletions that probably results from decreased DNA repair fidelity. Finally, we show that while regenerant base substitutions are a likely major genetic cause of the somaclonal variation of regenerant Arabidopsis lineages, transposon movement is unlikely to contribute substantially to that variation. We conclude that the phenotypic variation of regenerant plants, unlike that of regenerant animals, is substantially due to DNA sequence mutation. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Regenerant arabidopsis lineages display a distinct genome-wide spectrum of mutations conferring variant phenotypes

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Caifu; Mithani, Aziz; Gan, Xiangchao; Belfield, Eric J.; Klingler, John  P.; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Ragoussis, Jiannis; Mott, Richard; Harberd, Nicholas  P.

    2011-01-01

    Multicellular organisms can be regenerated from totipotent differentiated somatic cell or nuclear founders [1-3]. Organisms regenerated from clonally related isogenic founders might a priori have been expected to be phenotypically invariant. However, clonal regenerant animals display variant phenotypes caused by defective epigenetic reprogramming of gene expression [2], and clonal regenerant plants exhibit poorly understood heritable phenotypic ("somaclonal") variation [4-7]. Here we show that somaclonal variation in regenerant Arabidopsis lineages is associated with genome-wide elevation in DNA sequence mutation rate. We also show that regenerant mutations comprise a distinctive molecular spectrum of base substitutions, insertions, and deletions that probably results from decreased DNA repair fidelity. Finally, we show that while regenerant base substitutions are a likely major genetic cause of the somaclonal variation of regenerant Arabidopsis lineages, transposon movement is unlikely to contribute substantially to that variation. We conclude that the phenotypic variation of regenerant plants, unlike that of regenerant animals, is substantially due to DNA sequence mutation. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetics and cerebral organoids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hartzell, Samantha R.; Seneff, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Autism is a brain disorder involving social, memory, and learning deficits, that normally develops prenatally or early in childhood. Frustratingly, many research dollars have as yet failed to identify the cause of autism. While twin concordance studies indicate a strong genetic component, the alarming rise in the incidence of autism in the last three decades suggests that environmental factors play a key role as well. This dichotomy can be easily explained if we invoke a heritable epigenetic ...

  8. The genomic-level heritabilities of preparedness and plasticity in human life history: the strategic differentiation and integration of genetic transmissibilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Anthony Woodley of Menie

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Continuous Parameter Estimation Model is applied to develop individual genomic-level heritabilities for the latent hierarchical structure and developmental dynamics of Life History (LH strategy LH strategies relate to the allocations of bioenergetic resources into different domains of fitness. LH has moderate to high population-level heritability in humans, both at the level of the high-order Super-K Factor and the lower-order factors, the K-Factor, Covitality Factor, and General Factor of Personality (GFP. Several important questions remain unexplored. We developed measures of genome-level heritabilities employing an American sample of 316 monozygotic (MZ and 274 dizygotic (DZ twin dyads and a Swedish sample of 863 MZ and 475 DZ twin dyads. This novel heritability index measures individual genetic transmissibility, therefore opening new avenues for analyzing complex interactions among heritable traits inaccessible to standard structural equations methods. For these samples: (1 moderate to high heritability of factor loadings of Super-K on its lower-order factors is demonstrated, evidencing biological preparedness, genetic accommodation, and the gene-culture coevolution of biased epigenetic rules of development; (2 moderate to high heritability of the magnitudes of the effect of the higher-order factors upon their loadings on their constituent factors, evidencing genetic constraints upon phenotypic plasticity; and (3 that heritability of the LH factors, of factor loadings, and of the magnitudes of the correlations among factors are weaker among those with slower LH speeds, demonstrating that inter-individual variation in transmissibility is a function of individual socioecological selection pressures.

  9. Sex differences in heritability of neck Pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fejer, René; Hartvigsen, Jan; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm

    2006-01-01

    Experimental studies have suggested biological factors as a possible explanation for gender disparities in perception of pain. Recently, heritability of liability to neck pain (NP) has been found to be statistically significantly larger in women compared to men. However, no studies have been...... conducted to determine whether the sex differences in heritability of NP are due to sex-specific genetic factors. Data on lifetime prevalence of NP from a population-based cross-sectional survey of 33,794 Danish twins were collected and age-stratified univariate biometrical modeling using sex......-limitation models was performed based on 10,605 dizygotic (DZ) twins of opposite sex to estimate the qualitative sex differences. In a full sex-limitation model the genetic component in females were higher than in males, but the genetic and the shared environmental correlations were equal to what is normally...

  10. Environmentally responsive genome-wide accumulation of de novo Arabidopsis thaliana mutations and epimutations

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Caifu

    2014-10-14

    Evolution is fueled by phenotypic diversity, which is in turn due to underlying heritable genetic (and potentially epigenetic) variation. While environmental factors are well known to influence the accumulation of novel variation in microorganisms and human cancer cells, the extent to which the natural environment influences the accumulation of novel variation in plants is relatively unknown. Here we use whole-genome and whole-methylome sequencing to test if a specific environmental stress (high-salinity soil) changes the frequency and molecular profile of accumulated mutations and epimutations (changes in cytosine methylation status) in mutation accumulation (MA) lineages of Arabidopsis thaliana. We first show that stressed lineages accumulate ∼100% more mutations, and that these mutations exhibit a distinctive molecular mutational spectrum (specific increases in relative frequency of transversion and insertion/deletion [indel] mutations). We next show that stressed lineages accumulate ∼45% more differentially methylated cytosine positions (DMPs) at CG sites (CG-DMPs) than controls, and also show that while many (∼75%) of these CG-DMPs are inherited, some can be lost in subsequent generations. Finally, we show that stress-associated CG-DMPs arise more frequently in genic than in nongenic regions of the genome. We suggest that commonly encountered natural environmental stresses can accelerate the accumulation and change the profiles of novel inherited variants in plants. Our findings are significant because stress exposure is common among plants in the wild, and they suggest that environmental factors may significantly alter the rates and patterns of incidence of the inherited novel variants that fuel plant evolution.

  11. Environmentally responsive genome-wide accumulation of de novo Arabidopsis thaliana mutations and epimutations

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Caifu; Mithani, Aziz; Belfield, Eric J.; Mott, Richard; Hurst, Laurence D.; Harberd, Nicholas P.

    2014-01-01

    Evolution is fueled by phenotypic diversity, which is in turn due to underlying heritable genetic (and potentially epigenetic) variation. While environmental factors are well known to influence the accumulation of novel variation in microorganisms and human cancer cells, the extent to which the natural environment influences the accumulation of novel variation in plants is relatively unknown. Here we use whole-genome and whole-methylome sequencing to test if a specific environmental stress (high-salinity soil) changes the frequency and molecular profile of accumulated mutations and epimutations (changes in cytosine methylation status) in mutation accumulation (MA) lineages of Arabidopsis thaliana. We first show that stressed lineages accumulate ∼100% more mutations, and that these mutations exhibit a distinctive molecular mutational spectrum (specific increases in relative frequency of transversion and insertion/deletion [indel] mutations). We next show that stressed lineages accumulate ∼45% more differentially methylated cytosine positions (DMPs) at CG sites (CG-DMPs) than controls, and also show that while many (∼75%) of these CG-DMPs are inherited, some can be lost in subsequent generations. Finally, we show that stress-associated CG-DMPs arise more frequently in genic than in nongenic regions of the genome. We suggest that commonly encountered natural environmental stresses can accelerate the accumulation and change the profiles of novel inherited variants in plants. Our findings are significant because stress exposure is common among plants in the wild, and they suggest that environmental factors may significantly alter the rates and patterns of incidence of the inherited novel variants that fuel plant evolution.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Heritability of metoprolol and torsemide pharmacokinetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matthaei, Johannes; Brockmöller, Jürgen; Tzvetkov, Mladen

    2015-01-01

    Genetic variation in the pharmacokinetics of metoprolol and torsemide due to polymorphisms in CYP2D6, CYP2C9 and OATP1B1 has been extensively studied. However, it is still unknown how much of variation in pharmacokinetics of these two clinically important drugs in total is due to genetic factors....... of the heritable variability in the pharmacokinetics of metoprolol and torsemide remains to be elucidated. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved....

  15. The role of mutation in the new cancer paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prehn Richmond T

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The almost universal belief that cancer is caused by mutation may gradually be giving way to the belief that cancer begins as a cellular adaptation that involves the local epigenetic silencing of various genes. In my own interpretation of the new epigenetic paradigm, the genes epigenetically suppressed are genes that normally serve in post-embryonic life to suppress and keep suppressed those other genes upon which embryonic development depends. Those other genes, if not silenced or suppressed in the post-embryonic animal, become, I suggest, the oncogenes that are the basis of neoplasia. Mutations that occur in silenced genes supposedly go unrepaired and are, therefore, postulated to accumulate, but such mutations probably play little or no causative role in neoplasia because they occur in already epigenetically silenced genes. These mutations probably often serve to make the silencing, and therefore the cancer, epigenetically irreversible.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  17. Frequency and mitotic heritability of epimutations in Schistosoma mansoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roquis, David; Rognon, Anne; Chaparro, Cristian; Boissier, Jerome; Arancibia, Nathalie; Cosseau, Celine; Parrinello, Hugues; Grunau, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitic platyhelminth responsible for intestinal bilharzia. It has a complex life cycle, infecting a freshwater snail of the Biomphalaria genus, and then a mammalian host. Schistosoma mansoni adapts rapidly to new (allopatric) strains of its intermediate host. To study the importance of epimutations in this process, we infected sympatric and allopatric mollusc strains with parasite clones. ChIP-Seq was carried out on four histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K27ac and H4K20me1) in parallel with genomewide DNA resequencing (i) on parasite larvae shed by the infected snails and (ii) on adult worms that had developed from the larvae. No change in single nucleotide polymorphisms and no mobilization of transposable elements were observed, but 58-105 copy number variations (CNVs) within the parasite clones in different molluscs were detected. We also observed that the allopatric environment induces three types of chromatin structure changes: (i) host-induced changes on larvae epigenomes in 51 regions of the genome that are independent of the parasites' genetic background, (ii) spontaneous changes (not related to experimental condition or genotype of the parasite) at 64 locations and (iii) 64 chromatin structure differences dependent on the parasite genotype. Up to 45% of the spontaneous, but none of the host-induced chromatin structure changes were transmitted to adults. In our model, the environment induces epigenetic changes at specific loci but only spontaneous epimutations are mitotically heritable and have therefore the potential to contribute to transgenerational inheritance. We also show that CNVs are the only source of genetic variation and occur at the same order of magnitude as epimutations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Hopp

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  3. Epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Distinguishing epigenetic marks of developmental and imprinting regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McEwen Kirsten R

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The field of epigenetics is developing rapidly, however we are only beginning to comprehend the complexity of its influence on gene regulation. Using genomic imprinting as a model we examine epigenetic profiles associated with different forms of gene regulation. Imprinting refers to the expression of a gene from only one of the chromosome homologues in a parental-origin-specific manner. This is dependent on heritable germline epigenetic control at a cis-acting imprinting control region that influences local epigenetic states. Epigenetic modifications associated with imprinting regulation can be compared to those associated with the more canonical developmental regulation, important for processes such as differentiation and tissue specificity. Here we test the hypothesis that these two mechanisms are associated with different histone modification enrichment patterns. Results Using high-throughput data extraction with subsequent analysis, we have found that particular histone modifications are more likely to be associated with either imprinting repression or developmental repression of imprinted genes. H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 are together enriched at imprinted genes with differentially methylated promoters and do not show a correlation with developmental regulation. H3K27me3 and H3K4me3, however, are more often associated with developmental regulation. We find that imprinted genes are subject to developmental regulation through bivalency with H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 enrichment on the same allele. Furthermore, a specific tri-mark signature comprising H3K4me3, H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 has been identified at all imprinting control regions. Conclusion A large amount of data is produced from whole-genome expression and epigenetic profiling studies of cellular material. We have shown that such publicly available data can be mined and analysed in order to generate novel findings for categories of genes or regulatory elements. Comparing two

  5. 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.

  6. Epigenetics and obesity cardiomyopathy: From pathophysiology to prevention and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yingmei; Ren, Jun

    2016-05-01

    Uncorrected obesity has been associated with cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction. Several mechanisms for this cardiomyopathy have been identified, including oxidative stress, autophagy, adrenergic and renin-angiotensin aldosterone overflow. Another process that may regulate effects of obesity is epigenetics, which refers to the heritable alterations in gene expression or cellular phenotype that are not encoded on the DNA sequence. Advances in epigenome profiling have greatly improved the understanding of the epigenome in obesity, where environmental exposures during early life result in an increased health risk later on in life. Several mechanisms, including histone modification, DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs, have been reported in obesity and can cause transcriptional suppression or activation, depending on the location within the gene, contributing to obesity-induced complications. Through epigenetic modifications, the fetus may be prone to detrimental insults, leading to cardiac sequelae later in life. Important links between epigenetics and obesity include nutrition, exercise, adiposity, inflammation, insulin sensitivity and hepatic steatosis. Genome-wide studies have identified altered DNA methylation patterns in pancreatic islets, skeletal muscle and adipose tissues from obese subjects compared with non-obese controls. In addition, aging and intrauterine environment are associated with differential DNA methylation. Given the intense research on the molecular mechanisms of the etiology of obesity and its complications, this review will provide insights into the current understanding of epigenetics and pharmacological and non-pharmacological (such as exercise) interventions targeting epigenetics as they relate to treatment of obesity and its complications. Particular focus will be on DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Transposable elements, a treasure trove to decipher epigenetic variation: insights from Arabidopsis and crop epigenomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirouze, Marie; Vitte, Clémentine

    2014-06-01

    In the past decade, plant biologists and breeders have developed a growing interest in the field of epigenetics, which is defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that cannot be explained by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic marks can be responsive to the environment, and evolve faster than genetic changes. Therefore, epigenetic diversity may represent an unexplored resource of natural variation that could be used in plant breeding programmes. On the other hand, crop genomes are largely populated with transposable elements (TEs) that are efficiently targeted by epigenetic marks, and part of the epigenetic diversity observed might be explained by TE polymorphisms. Characterizing the degree to which TEs influence epigenetic variation in crops is therefore a major goal to better use epigenetic variation. To date, epigenetic analyses have been mainly focused on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and have provided clues on epigenome features, components that silence pathways, and effects of silencing impairment. But to what extent can Arabidopsis be used as a model for the epigenomics of crops? In this review, we discuss the similarities and differences between the epigenomes of Arabidopsis and crops. We explore the relationship between TEs and epigenomes, focusing on TE silencing control and escape, and the impact of TE mobility on epigenomic variation. Finally, we provide insights into challenges to tackle, and future directions to take in the route towards using epigenetic diversity in plant breeding programmes. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. An integrated epigenetic and genetic analysis of DNA methyltransferase genes (DNMTs) in tumor resistant and susceptible chicken lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Both epigenetic alterations and genetic variations play essential roles in tumorigenesis. The epigenetic modification of DNA methylation is catalyzed and maintained by the DNA methyltransferases (DNMT3a, DNMT3b and DNMT1). DNA mutations and DNA methylation profiles of DNMTs themselves and their rela...

  9. Epigenetic editing using programmable zinc ginger proteins : inherited silencing of endogenous gene expression by targeted DNA methylation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolzenburg, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Cancer development is not only the result of genetic mutations but also stems from modifications in the epigenetic code leading to an aberrant expression of genes relevant for cancer. The most studied epigenetic mark is DNA methylation of cytosines in the promoters of genes, which is associated with

  10. Epigenetics in the Eye: An Overview of the Most Relevant Ocular Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanan A. Alkozi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Sight for mammals is one of the most appreciated senses. In humans there are several factors that contribute to the increment in all kind of eye diseases. This mini-review will focus on some diseases whose prevalence is steadily increasing year after year for non-genetic reasons, namely cataracts, dry eye, and glaucoma. Aging, diet, inflammation, drugs, oxidative stress, seasonal and circadian style-of-live changes are impacting on disease prevalence by epigenetics factors, defined as stable heritable traits that are not explained by changes in DNA sequence. The mini-review will concisely show the data showing epigenetics marks in these diseases and on how knowledge on the epigenetic alterations may guide therapeutic approaches to have a healthy eye.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Häfner, Sophia J; Lund, Anders H

    2016-01-01

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

  13. FMR1 epigenetic silencing commonly occurs in undifferentiated fragile X-affected embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avitzour, Michal; Mor-Shaked, Hagar; Yanovsky-Dagan, Shira; Aharoni, Shira; Altarescu, Gheona; Renbaum, Paul; Eldar-Geva, Talia; Schonberger, Oshrat; Levy-Lahad, Ephrat; Epsztejn-Litman, Silvina; Eiges, Rachel

    2014-11-11

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common heritable form of cognitive impairment. It results from epigenetic silencing of the X-linked FMR1 gene by a CGG expansion in its 5'-untranslated region. Taking advantage of a large set of FXS-affected human embryonic stem cell (HESC) lines and isogenic subclones derived from them, we show that FMR1 hypermethylation commonly occurs in the undifferentiated state (six of nine lines, ranging from 24% to 65%). In addition, we demonstrate that hypermethylation is tightly linked with FMR1 transcriptional inactivation in undifferentiated cells, coincides with loss of H3K4me2 and gain of H3K9me3, and is unrelated to CTCF binding. Taken together, these results demonstrate that FMR1 epigenetic gene silencing takes place in FXS HESCs and clearly highlights the importance of examining multiple cell lines when investigating FXS and most likely other epigenetically regulated diseases.

  14. FMR1 Epigenetic Silencing Commonly Occurs in Undifferentiated Fragile X-Affected Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Avitzour

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is the most common heritable form of cognitive impairment. It results from epigenetic silencing of the X-linked FMR1 gene by a CGG expansion in its 5′-untranslated region. Taking advantage of a large set of FXS-affected human embryonic stem cell (HESC lines and isogenic subclones derived from them, we show that FMR1 hypermethylation commonly occurs in the undifferentiated state (six of nine lines, ranging from 24% to 65%. In addition, we demonstrate that hypermethylation is tightly linked with FMR1 transcriptional inactivation in undifferentiated cells, coincides with loss of H3K4me2 and gain of H3K9me3, and is unrelated to CTCF binding. Taken together, these results demonstrate that FMR1 epigenetic gene silencing takes place in FXS HESCs and clearly highlights the importance of examining multiple cell lines when investigating FXS and most likely other epigenetically regulated diseases.

  15. Low heritability in pharmacokinetics of talinolol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matthaei, Johannes; Tzvetkov, Mladen V; Gal, Valerie

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Efflux transporters like MDR1 and MRP2 may modulate the pharmacokinetics of about 50 % of all drugs. It is currently unknown how much of the variation in the activities of important drug membrane transporters like MDR1 or MRP2 is determined by genetic or by environmental factors...... of talinolol was predefined as the primary parameter. Heritability was analyzed by structural equation modeling and by within- and between-subject variance and talinolol clearance was correlated with polymorphisms in MDR1, MRP2, BCRP, MDR5, OATP1B1, and OCT1. RESULTS: Talinolol clearance varied approximately...

  16. Epigenetic differentiation and relationship to adaptive genetic divergence in discrete populations of the violet Viola cazorlensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2010-08-01

    *In plants, epigenetic variations based on DNA methylation are often heritable and could influence the course of evolution. Before this hypothesis can be assessed, fundamental questions about epigenetic variation remain to be addressed in a real-world context, including its magnitude, structuring within and among natural populations, and autonomy in relation to the genetic context. *Extent and patterns of cytosine methylation, and the relationship to adaptive genetic divergence between populations, were investigated for wild populations of the southern Spanish violet Viola cazorlensis (Violaceae) using the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique, a modification of the amplified fragment length polymorphism method (AFLP) based on the differential sensitivity of isoschizomeric restriction enzymes to site-specific cytosine methylation. *The genome of V. cazorlensis plants exhibited extensive levels of methylation, and methylation-based epigenetic variation was structured into distinct between- and within- population components. Epigenetic differentiation of populations was correlated with adaptive genetic divergence revealed by a Bayesian population-genomic analysis of AFLP data. Significant associations existed at the individual genome level between adaptive AFLP loci and the methylation state of methylation-susceptible MSAP loci. *Population-specific, divergent patterns of correlated selection on epigenetic and genetic individual variation could account for the coordinated epigenetic-genetic adaptive population differentiation revealed by this study.

  17. 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.

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-09-01

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

  19. [Epigenetics of prostate cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Xiao-Ming; Zhou, Wen-Quan

    2010-07-01

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

  20. Theory of epigenetic coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elder, D

    1984-06-07

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  3. Epigenetics and Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

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

  4. [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.

  5. 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

  6. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, David

    2015-05-29

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

  7. Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome and Epigenetic Alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzus, Edward

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Age at fatherhood: heritability and associations with psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frans, E M; Lichtenstein, P; Hultman, C M; Kuja-Halkola, R

    2016-10-01

    Advancing paternal age has been linked to psychiatric disorders. These associations might be caused by the increased number of de novo mutations transmitted to offspring of older men. It has also been suggested that the associations are confounded by a genetic liability for psychiatric disorders in parents. The aim of this study was to indirectly test the confounding hypotheses by examining if there is a genetic component to advancing paternal age and if men with a genetic liability for psychiatric disorders have children at older ages. We examined the genetic component to advancing paternal age by utilizing the twin model in a cohort of male twins (N = 14 679). We also studied ages at childbirth in men with or without schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and/or autism spectrum disorder. Ages were examined in: (1) healthy men, (2) affected men, (3) healthy men with an affected sibling, (4) men with healthy spouses, (5) men with affected spouses, and (6) men with healthy spouses with an affected sibling. The twin analyses showed that late fatherhood is under genetic influence (heritability = 0.33). However, affected men or men with affected spouses did not have children at older ages. The same was found for healthy individuals with affected siblings. Instead, these men were generally having children at younger ages. Although there is a genetic component influencing late fatherhood, our data suggest that the associations are not explained by psychiatric disorders or a genetic liability for psychiatric disorders in the parent.

  9. Epigenetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Michelle T; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-02-19

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

  11. 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.

  12. Genetics and epigenetics of autism: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waye, Mary M Y; Cheng, Ho Yu

    2018-04-01

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

  13. Group differences in the heritability of items and test scores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wicherts, J.M.; Johnson, W.

    2009-01-01

    It is important to understand potential sources of group differences in the heritability of intelligence test scores. On the basis of a basic item response model we argue that heritabilities which are based on dichotomous item scores normally do not generalize from one sample to the next. If groups

  14. Heritability of menopausal age in mothers and daughters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Asselt, Kristel M.; Kok, Helen S.; Pearson, Peter L.; Dubas, Judith S.; Peeters, Petra H. M.; te Velde, Egbert R.; van Noord, Paulus A. H.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To determine the heritability of age at natural menopause from mother-daughter pairs. Design: Two-generation families were selected to study heritability of menopausal age. Setting: Subjects were drawn from a population-based study. Patient(s): One hundred sixty-four mother-daughter pairs

  15. Heritability of optic disc diameters: a twin study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drobnjak, Dragana; Taarnhøj, Nina Charlotte; Mitchell, Paul

    2011-01-01

    , additive genetic factors (i.e. heritability) explained 77% (95% CI: 65-85%) of variation of vertical disc diameters, whereas estimated unshared environmental effect was 23% (95% CI: 15-35%). For vertical cup diameters, heritability accounted for 70% (95% CI: 55-80%) and environmental factors 30% (95% CI...

  16. Review Genetic prediction models and heritability estimates for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    edward

    2015-05-09

    May 9, 2015 ... Heritability estimates for functional longevity have been expressed on an original or a logarithmic scale with PH models. Ducrocq & Casella (1996) defined heritability on a logarithmic scale and modified under simulation to incorporate the tri-gamma function (γ) as used by Sasaki et al. (2012) and Terawaki ...

  17. Partitioning heritability by functional category using GWAS summary statistics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finucane, Hilary K.; Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan; Gusev, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that some functional categories of the genome contribute disproportionately to the heritability of complex diseases. Here we analyze a broad set of functional elements, including cell type-specific elements, to estimate their polygenic contributions to heritability in...

  18. Nucleosome Positioning and Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, David; Bruinsma, Robijn

    2008-03-01

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

  19. Epigenetics of kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanner, Nicola; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke

    2017-07-01

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

  20. Origins of magic: review of genetic and epigenetic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramagopalan, Sreeram V; Knight, Marian; Ebers, George C; Knight, Julian C

    2007-12-22

    To assess the evidence for a genetic basis to magic. Literature review. Harry Potter novels of J K Rowling. Muggles, witches, wizards, and squibs. Limited. Family and twin studies, magical ability, and specific magical skills. Magic shows strong evidence of heritability, with familial aggregation and concordance in twins. Evidence suggests magical ability to be a quantitative trait. Specific magical skills, notably being able to speak to snakes, predict the future, and change hair colour, all seem heritable. A multilocus model with a dominant gene for magic might exist, controlled epistatically by one or more loci, possibly recessive in nature. Magical enhancers regulating gene expressionmay be involved, combined with mutations at specific genes implicated in speech and hair colour such as FOXP2 and MCR1.

  1. Heritable symbiosis: The advantages and perils of an evolutionary rabbit hole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gordon M; Moran, Nancy A

    2015-08-18

    Many eukaryotes have obligate associations with microorganisms that are transmitted directly between generations. A model for heritable symbiosis is the association of aphids, a clade of sap-feeding insects, and Buchnera aphidicola, a gammaproteobacterium that colonized an aphid ancestor 150 million years ago and persists in almost all 5,000 aphid species. Symbiont acquisition enables evolutionary and ecological expansion; aphids are one of many insect groups that would not exist without heritable symbiosis. Receiving less attention are potential negative ramifications of symbiotic alliances. In the short run, symbionts impose metabolic costs. Over evolutionary time, hosts evolve dependence beyond the original benefits of the symbiosis. Symbiotic partners enter into an evolutionary spiral that leads to irreversible codependence and associated risks. Host adaptations to symbiosis (e.g., immune-system modification) may impose vulnerabilities. Symbiont genomes also continuously accumulate deleterious mutations, limiting their beneficial contributions and environmental tolerance. Finally, the fitness interests of obligate heritable symbionts are distinct from those of their hosts, leading to selfish tendencies. Thus, genes underlying the host-symbiont interface are predicted to follow a coevolutionary arms race, as observed for genes governing host-pathogen interactions. On the macroevolutionary scale, the rapid evolution of interacting symbiont and host genes is predicted to accelerate host speciation rates by generating genetic incompatibilities. However, degeneration of symbiont genomes may ultimately limit the ecological range of host species, potentially increasing extinction risk. Recent results for the aphid-Buchnera symbiosis and related systems illustrate that, whereas heritable symbiosis can expand ecological range and spur diversification, it also presents potential perils.

  2. Epigenetics in the Neoliberal "Regime of Truth": A Biopolitical Perspective on Knowledge Translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupras, Charles; Ravitsky, Vardit

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings in epigenetics have been attracting much attention from social scientists and bioethicists because they reveal the molecular mechanisms by which exposure to socioenvironmental factors, such as pollutants and social adversity, can influence the expression of genes throughout life. Most surprisingly, some epigenetic modifications may also be heritable via germ cells across generations. Epigenetics may be the missing molecular evidence of the importance of using preventive strategies at the policy level to reduce the incidence and prevalence of common diseases. But while this "policy translation" of epigenetics introduces new arguments in favor of public health strategies and policy-making, a more "clinical translation" of epigenetics is also emerging. It focuses on the biochemical mechanisms and epigenetic variants at the origin of disease, leading to novel biomedical means of assessing epigenetic susceptibility and reversing detrimental epigenetic variants. In this paper, we argue that the impetus to create new biomedical interventions to manipulate and reverse epigenetic variants is likely to garner more attention than effective social and public health interventions and therefore also to garner a greater share of limited public resources. This is likely to happen because of the current biopolitical context in which scientific findings are translated. This contemporary neoliberal "regime of truth," to use a term from Michel Foucault, greatly influences the ways in which knowledge is being interpreted and implemented. Building on sociologist Thomas Lemke's Foucauldian "analytics of biopolitics" and on literature from the field of science and technology studies, we present two sociological trends that may impede the policy translation of epigenetics: molecularization and biomedicalization. These trends, we argue, are likely to favor the clinical translation of epigenetics-in other words, the development of new clinical tools fostering what has been

  3. 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

  4. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlie Genome Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamm, Ehud

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Evolutionary significance of epigenetic variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Characterization of a mutation commonly associated with persistent stuttering: evidence for a founder mutation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedyna, Alison; Drayna, Dennis; Kang, Changsoo

    2010-01-01

    Stuttering is a disorder which affects the fluency of speech. It has been shown to have high heritability, and has recently been linked to mutations in the GNPTAB gene. One such mutation, Glu1200Lys, has been repeatedly observed in unrelated families and individual cases. Eight unrelated individuals carrying this mutation were analyzed in an effort to distinguish whether these arise from repeated mutation at the same site, or whether they represent a founder mutation with a single origin. Results show that all 12 chromosomes carrying this mutation share a common haplotype in this region, indicating it is a founder mutation. Further analysis estimated the age of this allele to be ~572 generations. Construction of a cladogram tracing the mutation through our study sample also supports the founder mutation hypothesis. PMID:20944643

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jixian Zhai

    2008-04-01

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

  8. dbEM: A database of epigenetic modifiers curated from cancerous and normal genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh Nanda, Jagpreet; Kumar, Rahul; Raghava, Gajendra P. S.

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a database called dbEM (database of Epigenetic Modifiers) to maintain the genomic information of about 167 epigenetic modifiers/proteins, which are considered as potential cancer targets. In dbEM, modifiers are classified on functional basis and comprise of 48 histone methyl transferases, 33 chromatin remodelers and 31 histone demethylases. dbEM maintains the genomic information like mutations, copy number variation and gene expression in thousands of tumor samples, cancer cell lines and healthy samples. This information is obtained from public resources viz. COSMIC, CCLE and 1000-genome project. Gene essentiality data retrieved from COLT database further highlights the importance of various epigenetic proteins for cancer survival. We have also reported the sequence profiles, tertiary structures and post-translational modifications of these epigenetic proteins in cancer. It also contains information of 54 drug molecules against different epigenetic proteins. A wide range of tools have been integrated in dbEM e.g. Search, BLAST, Alignment and Profile based prediction. In our analysis, we found that epigenetic proteins DNMT3A, HDAC2, KDM6A, and TET2 are highly mutated in variety of cancers. We are confident that dbEM will be very useful in cancer research particularly in the field of epigenetic proteins based cancer therapeutics. This database is available for public at URL: http://crdd.osdd.net/raghava/dbem.

  9. Journal of Genetics | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. cytosine methylation; DNA methylation mechanisms; DNA demethylation mechanisms; Darwinian-cum-Lamarckian evolution; epialleles; epigenetic modifications; genetic recombination; heritable induced defence; mutational hotspots; transgenerational inheritance.

  10. Epigenetics and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbadiwe, Tafari; Millis, Richard M

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Epigenetics and Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tafari Mbadiwe

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Stress, Epigenetics, and Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonat, Sachin; Pandey, Subhash C.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther R Berko

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

  14. Spaceflight induces both transient and heritable alterations in DNA methylation and gene expression in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ou Xiufang [Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetic of MOE and Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China); Long Likun [Inspection and Quarantine Technology Centre of Zhongshan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Zhongshan 528400, Guangdong Province (China); Zhang Yunhong; Xue Yiqun; Liu Jingchun; Lin Xiuyun [Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetic of MOE and Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China); Liu Bao [Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetic of MOE and Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China)], E-mail: baoliu6677@yahoo.com.cn

    2009-03-09

    Spaceflight represents a complex environmental condition in which several interacting factors such as cosmic radiation, microgravity and space magnetic fields are involved, which may provoke stress responses and jeopardize genome integrity. Given the inherent property of epigenetic modifications to respond to intrinsic as well as external perturbations, it is conceivable that epigenetic markers like DNA methylation may undergo alterations in response to spaceflight. We report here that extensive alteration in both DNA methylation and gene expression occurred in rice plants subjected to a spaceflight, as revealed by a set of characterized sequences including 6 transposable elements (TEs) and 11 cellular genes. We found that several features characterize the alterations: (1) All detected alterations are hypermethylation events; (2) whereas alteration in both CG and CNG methylation occurred in the TEs, only alteration in CNG methylation occurred in the cellular genes; (3) alteration in expression includes both up- and down-regulations, which did not show a general correlation with alteration in methylation; (4) altered methylation patterns in both TEs and cellular genes are heritable to progenies at variable frequencies; however, stochastic reversion to wild-type patterns and further de novo changes in progenies are also apparent; and (5) the altered expression states in both TEs and cellular genes are also heritable to selfed progenies but with markedly lower transmission frequencies than altered DNA methylation states. Furthermore, we found that a set of genes encoding for the various putative DNA methyltransferases, 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylases, the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeller (DDM1) and siRNA-related proteins are extremely sensitive to perturbation by spaceflight, which might be an underlying cause for the altered methylation patterns in the space-flown plants. We discuss implications of spaceflight-induced epigenetic variations with regard to health safety

  15. Spaceflight induces both transient and heritable alterations in DNA methylation and gene expression in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ou Xiufang; Long Likun; Zhang Yunhong; Xue Yiqun; Liu Jingchun; Lin Xiuyun; Liu Bao

    2009-01-01

    Spaceflight represents a complex environmental condition in which several interacting factors such as cosmic radiation, microgravity and space magnetic fields are involved, which may provoke stress responses and jeopardize genome integrity. Given the inherent property of epigenetic modifications to respond to intrinsic as well as external perturbations, it is conceivable that epigenetic markers like DNA methylation may undergo alterations in response to spaceflight. We report here that extensive alteration in both DNA methylation and gene expression occurred in rice plants subjected to a spaceflight, as revealed by a set of characterized sequences including 6 transposable elements (TEs) and 11 cellular genes. We found that several features characterize the alterations: (1) All detected alterations are hypermethylation events; (2) whereas alteration in both CG and CNG methylation occurred in the TEs, only alteration in CNG methylation occurred in the cellular genes; (3) alteration in expression includes both up- and down-regulations, which did not show a general correlation with alteration in methylation; (4) altered methylation patterns in both TEs and cellular genes are heritable to progenies at variable frequencies; however, stochastic reversion to wild-type patterns and further de novo changes in progenies are also apparent; and (5) the altered expression states in both TEs and cellular genes are also heritable to selfed progenies but with markedly lower transmission frequencies than altered DNA methylation states. Furthermore, we found that a set of genes encoding for the various putative DNA methyltransferases, 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylases, the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeller (DDM1) and siRNA-related proteins are extremely sensitive to perturbation by spaceflight, which might be an underlying cause for the altered methylation patterns in the space-flown plants. We discuss implications of spaceflight-induced epigenetic variations with regard to health safety

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego-Durán, Rocío; Romero-Gómez, Manuel

    2015-10-28

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

  17. Merging data from genetic and epigenetic approaches to better understand autistic spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Dennis R; Guidotti, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by a wide range of cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. Genetic research has identified large numbers of genes that contribute to ASD phenotypes. There is compelling evidence that environmental factors contribute to ASD through influences that differentially impact the brain through epigenetic mechanisms. Both genetic mutations and epigenetic influences alter gene expression in different cell types of the brain. Mutations impact the expression of large numbers of genes and also have downstream consequences depending on specific pathways associated with the mutation. Environmental factors impact the expression of sets of genes by altering methylation/hydroxymethylation patterns, local histone modification patterns and chromatin remodeling. Herein, we discuss recent developments in the research of ASD with a focus on epigenetic pathways as a complement to current genetic screening.

  18. Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in reef-building corals

    KAUST Repository

    Liew, Yi Jin

    2018-02-22

    The notion that intergenerational or transgenerational inheritance operates solely through genetic means is slowly being eroded: epigenetic mechanisms have been shown to induce heritable changes in gene activity in plants and metazoans. Inheritance of DNA methylation provides a potential pathway for environmentally induced phenotypes to contribute to evolution of species and populations. However, in basal metazoans, it is unknown whether inheritance of CpG methylation patterns occurs across the genome (as in plants) or as rare exceptions (as in mammals). Here, we demonstrate genome-wide intergenerational transmission of CpG methylation patterns from parents to sperm and larvae in a reef-building coral. We also show variation in hypermethylated genes in corals from distinct environments, indicative of responses to variations in temperature and salinity. These findings support a role of DNA methylation in the transgenerational inheritance of traits in corals, which may extend to enhancing their capacity to adapt to climate change.

  19. Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in reef-building corals

    KAUST Repository

    Liew, Yi Jin; Howells, Emily J.; Wang, Xin; Michell, Craig; Burt, John A.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Aranda, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    The notion that intergenerational or transgenerational inheritance operates solely through genetic means is slowly being eroded: epigenetic mechanisms have been shown to induce heritable changes in gene activity in plants and metazoans. Inheritance of DNA methylation provides a potential pathway for environmentally induced phenotypes to contribute to evolution of species and populations. However, in basal metazoans, it is unknown whether inheritance of CpG methylation patterns occurs across the genome (as in plants) or as rare exceptions (as in mammals). Here, we demonstrate genome-wide intergenerational transmission of CpG methylation patterns from parents to sperm and larvae in a reef-building coral. We also show variation in hypermethylated genes in corals from distinct environments, indicative of responses to variations in temperature and salinity. These findings support a role of DNA methylation in the transgenerational inheritance of traits in corals, which may extend to enhancing their capacity to adapt to climate change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong eZan

    2015-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Estimating Heritability from Nuclear Family and Pedigree Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochud, Murielle

    2017-01-01

    Heritability is a measure of familial resemblance. Estimating the heritability of a trait could be one of the first steps in the gene mapping process. This chapter describes how to estimate heritability for quantitative traits from nuclear and pedigree data using the ASSOC program in the Statistical Analysis in Genetic Epidemiology (S.A.G.E.) software package. Estimating heritability rests on the assumption that the total phenotypic variance of a quantitative trait can be partitioned into independent genetic and environmental components. In turn, the genetic variance can be divided into an additive (polygenic) genetic variance, a dominance variance (nonlinear interaction effects between alleles at the same locus) and an epistatic variance (interaction effects between alleles at different loci). The last two are often assumed to be zero. The additive genetic variance represents the average effects of individual alleles on the phenotype and reflects transmissible resemblance between relatives. Heritability in the narrow sense (h 2 ) refers to the ratio of the additive genetic variance to the total phenotypic variance. Heritability is a dimensionless population-specific parameter. ASSOC estimates association parameters (regression coefficients) and variance components from family data. ASSOC uses a linear regression model in which the total residual variance is partitioned, after regressing on covariates, into the sum of random components such as an additive polygenic component, a random sibship component, random nuclear family components, a random marital component, and an individual-specific random component. Assortative mating, nonrandom ascertainment of families, and failure to account for key confounding factors may bias heritability estimates.

  3. The political implications of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Shea K

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Heritability of the human infectious reservoir of malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaye Ramatoulaye Lawaly

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Studies on human genetic factors associated with malaria have hitherto concentrated on their role in susceptibility to and protection from disease. In contrast, virtually no attention has been paid to the role of human genetics in eliciting the production of parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, and thus enhancing the spread of disease. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analysed four longitudinal family-based cohort studies from Senegal and Thailand followed for 2-8 years and evaluated the relative impact of the human genetic and non-genetic factors on gametocyte production in infections of Plasmodium falciparum or P. vivax. Prevalence and density of gametocyte carriage were evaluated in asymptomatic and symptomatic infections by examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears and/or RT-PCR (for falciparum in one site. A significant human genetic contribution was found to be associated with gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic P. falciparum infections. By contrast, there was no heritability associated with the production of gametocytes for P. falciparum or P. vivax symptomatic infections. Sickle cell mutation, HbS, was associated with increased gametocyte prevalence but its contribution was small. CONCLUSIONS: The existence of a significant human genetic contribution to gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic infections suggests that candidate gene and genome wide association approaches may be usefully applied to explore the underlying human genetics. Prospective epidemiological studies will provide an opportunity to generate novel and perhaps more epidemiologically pertinent gametocyte data with which similar analyses can be performed and the role of human genetics in parasite transmission ascertained.

  5. 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.

  6. [Schizophrenia, environment and epigenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Must, Anita; Janka, Zoltan; Horvath, Szatmar

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukoyanova, O L; Borovik, T E

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Branciamore

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Heritable IUGR and adult metabolic syndrome are reversible and associated with alterations in the metabolome following dietary supplementation of 1-carbon intermediates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seferovic, Maxim D; Goodspeed, Danielle M; Chu, Derrick M; Krannich, Laura A; Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Pablo J; Cox, James E; Aagaard, Kjersti M

    2015-06-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS), following intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), is epigenetically heritable. Recently, we abrogated the F2 adult phenotype with essential nutrient supplementation (ENS) of intermediates along the 1-carbon pathway. With the use of the same grandparental uterine artery ligation model, we profiled the F2 serum metabolome at weaning [postnatal day (d)21; n = 76] and adulthood (d160; n = 12) to test if MetS is preceded by alterations in the metabolome. Indicative of developmentally programmed MetS, adult F2, formerly IUGR rats, were obese (621 vs. 461 g; P metabolome at weaning (randomForest analysis; class error metabolome accompany heritable IUGR, precede adult-onset MetS, and are partially amenable to dietary intervention. © FASEB.

  10. ANOPHTHALMIA: A NON-HERITABLE EYE DEFORMITY IN Oreochromis mossambicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Tave

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Seven male Oreochromis mossambicus with anophthalmia were found in a hatchery population. The deformity was not observed in either the Fl or F2 generations; consequently, it was a non-heritable congenital deformity.

  11. Heritability of specific language impairment depends on diagnostic criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, D V M; Hayiou-Thomas, M E

    2008-04-01

    Heritability estimates for specific language impairment (SLI) have been inconsistent. Four twin studies reported heritability of 0.5 or more, but a recent report from the Twins Early Development Study found negligible genetic influence in 4-year-olds. We considered whether the method of ascertainment influenced results and found substantially higher heritability if SLI was defined in terms of referral to speech and language pathology services than if defined by language test scores. Further analysis showed that presence of speech difficulties played a major role in determining whether a child had contact with services. Childhood language disorders that are identified by population screening are likely to have a different phenotype and different etiology from clinically referred cases. Genetic studies are more likely to find high heritability if they focus on cases who have speech difficulties and who have been referred for intervention.

  12. Genetic variability, heritability and genetic advance of quantitative ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ONOS

    2010-05-10

    May 10, 2010 ... coefficient of variation; h2, heritability; GA, genetic advance;. EMS, ethyl methane ... The analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed the significance degree among the ... fullest extent. The estimates of range, phenotypic and.

  13. Tic symptom dimensions and their heritabilities in Tourette's syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, Marcel J; Delucchi, Kevin L; Mathews, Carol M; Cath, Danielle C

    INTRODUCTION: Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (TS) is both genotypically and phenotypically heterogeneous. Gene-finding strategies have had limited success, possibly because of symptom heterogeneity. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed at specifically investigating heritabilities of tic symptom factors in

  14. Heritability, variance components and genetic advance of some ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Heritability, variance components and genetic advance of some yield and yield related traits in Ethiopian ... African Journal of Biotechnology ... randomized complete block design at Adet Agricultural Research Station in 2008 cropping season.

  15. Epigenetic Regulation of Telomere Maintenance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fojtová, M.; Fajkus, Jiří

    2014-01-01

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

  16. The epigenetic landscape of alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Epigenetic Modifications and Diabetic Retinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renu A. Kowluru

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Heritability of compulsive Internet use in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vink, Jacqueline M; van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M; Huppertz, Charlotte; Bartels, Meike; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2016-03-01

    Over the past decades, Internet use has grown substantially, and it now serves people as a supportive tool that is used regularly and-in large parts of the world-inevitably. Some people develop problematic Internet use, which may lead to addictive behavior and it is becoming important to explore the risk factors for compulsive Internet use. Data were analyzed on compulsive Internet use [with the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS)] from 5247 monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) adolescent twins registered with the Netherlands Twin Register. The participants form a sample that is informative for genetic analyses, allowing the investigation of the causes of individual differences in compulsive Internet use. The internal consistency of the instrument was high and the 1.6-year test-retest correlation in a subsample (n = 902) was 0.55. CIUS scores increased slightly with age. Remarkably, gender did not explain variation in CIUS scores, as mean scores on the CIUS were the same in boys and girls. However, the time spent on specific Internet activities differed: boys spent more time on gaming, whereas girls spent more time on social network sites and chatting. The heritability estimates were the same for boys and girls: 48 percent of the individual differences in CIUS score were influenced by genetic factors. The remaining variance (52 percent) was due to environmental influences that were not shared between family members. Because a life without Internet is almost impossible nowadays, it is important to further explore the determinants of compulsive Internet use, including genetic risk factors. © 2015 The Authors. Addiction Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction.

  4. Analysis of Heritability and Shared Heritability Based on Genome-Wide Association Studies for Thirteen Cancer Types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sampson, Joshua N; Wheeler, William A; Yeager, Meredith; Panagiotou, Orestis; Wang, Zhaoming; Berndt, Sonja I; Lan, Qing; Abnet, Christian C; Amundadottir, Laufey T; Figueroa, Jonine D; Landi, Maria Teresa; Mirabello, Lisa; Savage, Sharon A; Taylor, Philip R; Vivo, Immaculata De; McGlynn, Katherine A; Purdue, Mark P; Rajaraman, Preetha; Adami, Hans-Olov; Ahlbom, Anders; Albanes, Demetrius; Amary, Maria Fernanda; An, She-Juan; Andersson, Ulrika; Andriole, Gerald; Andrulis, Irene L; Angelucci, Emanuele; Ansell, Stephen M; Arici, Cecilia; Armstrong, Bruce K; Arslan, Alan A; Austin, Melissa A; Baris, Dalsu; Barkauskas, Donald A; Bassig, Bryan A; Becker, Nikolaus; Benavente, Yolanda; Benhamou, Simone; Berg, Christine; Van Den Berg, David; Bernstein, Leslie; Bertrand, Kimberly A; Birmann, Brenda M; Black, Amanda; Boeing, Heiner; Boffetta, Paolo; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Bracci, Paige M; Brinton, Louise; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Burdett, Laurie; Buring, Julie; Butler, Mary Ann; Cai, Qiuyin; Cancel-Tassin, Geraldine; Canzian, Federico; Carrato, Alfredo; Carreon, Tania; Carta, Angela; Chan, John K C; Chang, Ellen T; Chang, Gee-Chen; Chang, I-Shou; Chang, Jiang; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Chen, Chien-Jen; Chen, Chih-Yi; Chen, Chu; Chen, Chung-Hsing; Chen, Constance; Chen, Hongyan; Chen, Kexin; Chen, Kuan-Yu; Chen, Kun-Chieh; Chen, Ying; Chen, Ying-Hsiang; Chen, Yi-Song; Chen, Yuh-Min; Chien, Li-Hsin; Chirlaque, María-Dolores; Choi, Jin Eun; Choi, Yi Young; Chow, Wong-Ho; Chung, Charles C; Clavel, Jacqueline; Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise; Cocco, Pierluigi; Colt, Joanne S; Comperat, Eva; Conde, Lucia; Connors, Joseph M; Conti, David; Cortessis, Victoria K; Cotterchio, Michelle; Cozen, Wendy; Crouch, Simon; Crous-Bou, Marta; Cussenot, Olivier; Davis, Faith G; Ding, Ti; Diver, W Ryan; Dorronsoro, Miren; Dossus, Laure; Duell, Eric J; Ennas, Maria Grazia; Erickson, Ralph L; Feychting, Maria; Flanagan, Adrienne M; Foretova, Lenka; Fraumeni, Joseph F; Freedman, Neal D; Beane Freeman, Laura E; Fuchs, Charles; Gago-Dominguez, Manuela; Gallinger, Steven; Gao, Yu-Tang; Gapstur, Susan M; Garcia-Closas, Montserrat; García-Closas, Reina; Gascoyne, Randy D; Gastier-Foster, Julie; Gaudet, Mia M; Gaziano, J Michael; Giffen, Carol; Giles, Graham G; Giovannucci, Edward; Glimelius, Bengt; Goggins, Michael; Gokgoz, Nalan; Goldstein, Alisa M; Gorlick, Richard; Gross, Myron; Grubb, Robert; Gu, Jian; Guan, Peng; Gunter, Marc; Guo, Huan; Habermann, Thomas M; Haiman, Christopher A; Halai, Dina; Hallmans, Goran; Hassan, Manal; Hattinger, Claudia; He, Qincheng; He, Xingzhou; Helzlsouer, Kathy; Henderson, Brian; Henriksson, Roger; Hjalgrim, Henrik; Hoffman-Bolton, Judith; Hohensee, Chancellor; Holford, Theodore R; Holly, Elizabeth A; Hong, Yun-Chul; Hoover, Robert N; Horn-Ross, Pamela L; Hosain, G M Monawar; Hosgood, H Dean; Hsiao, Chin-Fu; Hu, Nan; Hu, Wei; Hu, Zhibin; Huang, Ming-Shyan; Huerta, Jose-Maria; Hung, Jen-Yu; Hutchinson, Amy; Inskip, Peter D; Jackson, Rebecca D; Jacobs, Eric J; Jenab, Mazda; Jeon, Hyo-Sung; Ji, Bu-Tian; Jin, Guangfu; Jin, Li; Johansen, Christoffer; Johnson, Alison; Jung, Yoo Jin; Kaaks, Rudolph; Kamineni, Aruna; Kane, Eleanor; Kang, Chang Hyun; Karagas, Margaret R; Kelly, Rachel S; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Kim, Christopher; Kim, Hee Nam; Kim, Jin Hee; Kim, Jun Suk; Kim, Yeul Hong; Kim, Young Tae; Kim, Young-Chul; Kitahara, Cari M; Klein, Alison P; Klein, Robert J; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kohno, Takashi; Kolonel, Laurence N; Kooperberg, Charles; Kricker, Anne; Krogh, Vittorio; Kunitoh, Hideo; Kurtz, Robert C; Kweon, Sun-Seog; LaCroix, Andrea; Lawrence, Charles; Lecanda, Fernando; Lee, Victor Ho Fun; Li, Donghui; Li, Haixin; Li, Jihua; Li, Yao-Jen; Li, Yuqing; Liao, Linda M; Liebow, Mark; Lightfoot, Tracy; Lim, Wei-Yen; Lin, Chien-Chung; Lin, Dongxin; Lindstrom, Sara; Linet, Martha S; Link, Brian K; Liu, Chenwei; Liu, Jianjun; Liu, Li; Ljungberg, Börje; Lloreta, Josep; Lollo, Simonetta Di; Lu, Daru; Lund, Eiluv; Malats, Nuria; Mannisto, Satu; Marchand, Loic Le; Marina, Neyssa; Masala, Giovanna; Mastrangelo, Giuseppe; Matsuo, Keitaro; Maynadie, Marc; McKay, James; McKean-Cowdin, Roberta; Melbye, Mads; Melin, Beatrice S; Michaud, Dominique S; Mitsudomi, Tetsuya; Monnereau, Alain; Montalvan, Rebecca; Moore, Lee E; Mortensen, Lotte Maxild; Nieters, Alexandra; North, Kari E; Novak, Anne J; Oberg, Ann L; Offit, Kenneth; Oh, In-Jae; Olson, Sara H; Palli, Domenico; Pao, William; Park, In Kyu; Park, Jae Yong; Park, Kyong Hwa; Patiño-Garcia, Ana; Pavanello, Sofia; Peeters, Petra H M; Perng, Reury-Perng; Peters, Ulrike; Petersen, Gloria M; Picci, Piero; Pike, Malcolm C; Porru, Stefano; Prescott, Jennifer; Prokunina-Olsson, Ludmila; Qian, Biyun; Qiao, You-Lin; Rais, Marco; Riboli, Elio; Riby, Jacques; Risch, Harvey A; Rizzato, Cosmeri; Rodabough, Rebecca; Roman, Eve; Roupret, Morgan; Ruder, Avima M; Sanjose, Silvia de; Scelo, Ghislaine; Schned, Alan; Schumacher, Fredrick; Schwartz, Kendra; Schwenn, Molly; Scotlandi, Katia; Seow, Adeline; Serra, Consol; Serra, Massimo; Sesso, Howard D; Setiawan, Veronica Wendy; Severi, Gianluca; Severson, Richard K; Shanafelt, Tait D; Shen, Hongbing; Shen, Wei; Shin, Min-Ho; Shiraishi, Kouya; Shu, Xiao-Ou; Siddiq, Afshan; Sierrasesúmaga, Luis; Sihoe, Alan Dart Loon; Skibola, Christine F; Smith, Alex; Smith, Martyn T; Southey, Melissa C; Spinelli, John J; Staines, Anthony; Stampfer, Meir; Stern, Marianna C; Stevens, Victoria L; Stolzenberg-Solomon, Rachael S; Su, Jian; Su, Wu-Chou; Sund, Malin; Sung, Jae Sook; Sung, Sook Whan; Tan, Wen; Tang, Wei; Tardón, Adonina; Thomas, David; Thompson, Carrie A; Tinker, Lesley F; Tirabosco, Roberto; Tjønneland, Anne; Travis, Ruth C; Trichopoulos, Dimitrios; Tsai, Fang-Yu; Tsai, Ying-Huang; Tucker, Margaret; Turner, Jenny; Vajdic, Claire M; Vermeulen, Roel C H; Villano, Danylo J; Vineis, Paolo; Virtamo, Jarmo; Visvanathan, Kala; Wactawski-Wende, Jean; Wang, Chaoyu; Wang, Chih-Liang; Wang, Jiu-Cun; Wang, Junwen; Wei, Fusheng; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Weiner, George J; Weinstein, Stephanie; Wentzensen, Nicolas; White, Emily; Witzig, Thomas E; Wolpin, Brian M; Wong, Maria Pik; Wu, Chen; Wu, Guoping; Wu, Junjie; Wu, Tangchun; Wu, Wei; Wu, Xifeng; Wu, Yi-Long; Wunder, Jay S; Xiang, Yong-Bing; Xu, Jun; Xu, Ping; Yang, Pan-Chyr; Yang, Tsung-Ying; Ye, Yuanqing; Yin, Zhihua; Yokota, Jun; Yoon, Ho-Il; Yu, Chong-Jen; Yu, Herbert; Yu, Kai; Yuan, Jian-Min; Zelenetz, Andrew; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne; Zhang, Xu-Chao; Zhang, Yawei; Zhao, Xueying; Zhao, Zhenhong; Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Tongzhang; Zheng, Wei; Zhou, Baosen; Zhu, Meng; Zucca, Mariagrazia; Boca, Simina M; Cerhan, James R; Ferri, Giovanni M; Hartge, Patricia; Hsiung, Chao Agnes; Magnani, Corrado; Miligi, Lucia; Morton, Lindsay M; Smedby, Karin E; Teras, Lauren R; Vijai, Joseph; Wang, Sophia S; Brennan, Paul; Caporaso, Neil E; Hunter, David J; Kraft, Peter; Rothman, Nathaniel; Silverman, Debra T; Slager, Susan L; Chanock, Stephen J; Chatterjee, Nilanjan

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Studies of related individuals have consistently demonstrated notable familial aggregation of cancer. We aim to estimate the heritability and genetic correlation attributable to the additive effects of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for cancer at 13 anatomical sites.

  5. Epigenetic therapy in myeloproliferative neoplasms: evidence and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Towards a systemic paradigm in carcinogenesis: linking epigenetics and genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgio, Ernesto; Migliore, Lucia

    2015-04-01

    For at least 30 years cancer has been defined as a genetic disease and explained by the so-called somatic mutation theory (SMT), which has dominated the carcinogenesis field. Criticism of the SMT has recently greatly increased, although still not enough to force all SMT supporters to recognize its limits. Various researchers point out that cancer appears to be a complex process concerning a whole tissue; and that genomic mutations, although variably deleterious and unpredictably important in determining the establishment of the neoplastic phenotype, are not the primary origin for a malignant neoplasia. We attempt to describe the inadequacies of the SMT and demonstrate that epigenetics is a more logical cause of carcinogenesis. Many previous models of carcinogenesis fall into two classes: (i) in which some biological changes inside cells alone lead to malignancy; and (ii) requiring changes in stroma/extracellular matrix. We try to make clear that in the (ii) model genomic instability is induced by persistent signals coming from the microenvironment, provoking epigenetic and genetic modifications in tissue stem cells that can lead to cancer. In this perspective, stochastic mutations of DNA are a critical by-product rather then the primary cause of cancer. Indirect support for such model of carcinogenesis comes from the in vitro and vivo experiments showing apparent 'reversion' of cancer phenotypes obtained via physiological factors of cellular differentiation (cytokines and other signaling molecules) or drugs, even if the key mutations are not 'reversed'.

  7. Epigenetic predictor of age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Bocklandt

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

  8. Induction of epigenetic variation in Arabidopsis by over-expression of DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (MET1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Brocklehurst

    Full Text Available Epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation and histone modification can vary among plant accessions creating epi-alleles with different levels of expression competence. Mutations in epigenetic pathway functions are powerful tools to induce epigenetic variation. As an alternative approach, we investigated the potential of over-expressing an epigenetic function, using DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (MET1 for proof-of-concept. In Arabidopsis thaliana, MET1 controls maintenance of cytosine methylation at symmetrical CG positions. At some loci, which contain dense DNA methylation in CG- and non-CG context, loss of MET1 causes joint loss of all cytosines methylation marks. We find that over-expression of both catalytically active and inactive versions of MET1 stochastically generates new epi-alleles at loci encoding transposable elements, non-coding RNAs and proteins, which results for most loci in an increase in expression. Individual transformants share some common phenotypes and genes with altered gene expression. Altered expression states can be transmitted to the next generation, which does not require the continuous presence of the MET1 transgene. Long-term stability and epigenetic features differ for individual loci. Our data show that over-expression of MET1, and potentially of other genes encoding epigenetic factors, offers an alternative strategy to identify epigenetic target genes and to create novel epi-alleles.

  9. Early life trauma, depression and the glucocorticoid receptor gene--an epigenetic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, C; Strathdee, G; Watson, S; Murgatroyd, C; McAllister-Williams, R H

    2015-12-01

    Hopes to identify genetic susceptibility loci accounting for the heritability seen in unipolar depression have not been fully realized. Family history remains the 'gold standard' for both risk stratification and prognosis in complex phenotypes such as depression. Meanwhile, the physiological mechanisms underlying life-event triggers for depression remain opaque. Epigenetics, comprising heritable changes in gene expression other than alterations of the nucleotide sequence, may offer a way to deepen our understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of unipolar depression and optimize treatments. A heuristic target for exploring the relevance of epigenetic changes in unipolar depression is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene (NR3C1) has been found to be susceptible to epigenetic modification, specifically DNA methylation, in the context of environmental stress such as early life trauma, which is an established risk for depression later in life. In this paper we discuss the progress that has been made by studies that have investigated the relationship between depression, early trauma, the HPA axis and the NR3C1 gene. Difficulties with the design of these studies are also explored. Future efforts will need to comprehensively address epigenetic natural histories at the population, tissue, cell and gene levels. The complex interactions between the epigenome, genome and environment, as well as ongoing nosological difficulties, also pose significant challenges. The work that has been done so far is nevertheless encouraging and suggests potential mechanistic and biomarker roles for differential DNA methylation patterns in NR3C1 as well as novel therapeutic targets.

  10. Heritable and Nonheritable Pathways to Early Callous-Unemotional Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, Luke W; Waller, Rebecca; Trentacosta, Christopher J; Shaw, Daniel S; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Ganiban, Jody M; Reiss, David; Leve, Leslie D

    2016-09-01

    Callous-unemotional behaviors in early childhood signal higher risk for trajectories of antisocial behavior and callous-unemotional traits that culminate in later diagnoses of conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and psychopathy. Studies demonstrate high heritability of callous-unemotional traits, but little research has examined specific heritable pathways to early callous-unemotional behaviors. Studies also indicate that positive parenting protects against the development of callous-unemotional traits, but genetically informed designs have not been used to confirm that these relationships are not the product of gene-environment correlations. In a sample of adopted children and their biological and adoptive mothers, the authors tested novel heritable and nonheritable pathways to preschool callous-unemotional behaviors. In an adoption cohort of 561 families, history of severe antisocial behavior assessed in biological mothers and observations of adoptive mother positive reinforcement at 18 months were examined as predictors of callous-unemotional behaviors at 27 months. Despite limited or no contact with offspring, biological mother antisocial behavior predicted early callous-unemotional behaviors. Adoptive mother positive reinforcement protected against early callous-unemotional behaviors. High levels of adoptive mother positive reinforcement buffered the effects of heritable risk for callous-unemotional behaviors posed by biological mother antisocial behavior. The findings elucidate heritable and nonheritable pathways to early callous-unemotional behaviors. The results provide a specific heritable pathway to callous-unemotional behaviors and compelling evidence that parenting is an important nonheritable factor in the development of callous-unemotional behaviors. The finding that positive reinforcement buffered heritable risk for callous-unemotional behaviors has important translational implications for the prevention of trajectories to serious

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. David Sterns

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophia J. Häfner

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Making quick promises of major biomedical breakthroughs based on exciting discoveries at the bench is tempting. But the meandering path from fundamental science to life-saving clinical applications can be fraught with many hurdles. Epigenetics, the study of potentially heritable changes of gene function without modification of the underlying DNA sequence, has dominated the biological research field during the last decade and encountered a large public success. Driven by the unfolding of molecular biology and recent technological progress, the term has evolved significantly and shifted from a conceptual framework to a mechanistic understanding. This shift was accompanied by much hype and raised high hopes that epigenetics might hold both the key to deciphering the molecular underpinning of complex, non-Mendelian diseases and offer novel therapeutic approaches for a large panel of pathologies. However, while exciting reports of biological phenomena involving DNA methylation and histone modifications fill up the scientific literature, the realistic clinical applications of epigenetic medicines remain somewhat blurry. Here, we discuss the state of the art and speculate how epigenetics might contribute to prognostic and therapy approaches in the future.

  13. Transgenerational epigenetics and environmental justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gemma Navarro

    2017-11-01

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

  15. Epigenetic effects of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    EI-Naggar, A.M.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun-Chong Wang

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

  17. Epigenetic changes of DNA repair genes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahtz, Christoph; Pfeifer, Gerd P

    2011-02-01

    '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.

  18. Heritability of Radiation Response in Lung Cancer Families

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.-Erich Wichmann

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Radiation sensitivity is assumed to be a cancer susceptibility factor due to impaired DNA damage signalling and repair. Relevant genetic factors may also determine the observed familial aggregation of early onset lung cancer. We investigated the heritability of radiation sensitivity in families of 177 Caucasian cases of early onset lung cancer. In total 798 individuals were characterized for their radiation-induced DNA damage response. DNA damage analysis was performed by alkaline comet assay before and after in vitro irradiation of isolated lymphocytes. The cells were exposed to a dose of 4 Gy and allowed to repair induced DNA-damage up to 60 minutes. The primary outcome parameter Olive Tail Moment was the basis for heritability estimates. Heritability was highest for basal damage (without irradiation 70% (95%-CI: 51%–88% and initial damage (directly after irradiation 65% (95%-CI: 47%–83% and decreased to 20%–48% for the residual damage after different repair times. Hence our study supports the hypothesis that genomic instability represented by the basal DNA damage as well as radiation induced and repaired damage is highly heritable. Genes influencing genome instability and DNA repair are therefore of major interest for the etiology of lung cancer in the young. The comet assay represents a proper tool to investigate heritability of the radiation sensitive phenotype. Our results are in good agreement with other mutagen sensitivity assays.

  19. Genetic and epigenetic similarities and differences between childhood and adult AML

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juhl-Christensen, Caroline; Ommen, Hans Beier; Aggerholm, Anni

    2012-01-01

    The biology of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is complex and includes both genetic and epigenetic aberrations. We addressed the combined consequences of promoter hypermethylation of p15, CDH1, ER, MDR1, and RARB2 and mutation of NPM1, CEBPA, FLT3, and WT1 in a Danish cohort of 70 pediatric and 383...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic dynamics across the cell cycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kheir, Tony Bou; Lund, Anders H.

    2010-01-01

    Progression of the mammalian cell cycle depends on correct timing and co-ordination of a series of events, which are managed by the cellular transcriptional machinery and epigenetic mechanisms governing genome accessibility. Epigenetic chromatin modifications are dynamic across the cell cycle...... a correct inheritance of epigenetic chromatin modifications to daughter cells. In this chapter, we summarize the current knowledge on the dynamics of epigenetic chromatin modifications during progression of the cell cycle....

  3. High heritability of liability to abdominal aortic aneurysms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mejnert Jørgensen, Trine; Christensen, Kaare; Lindholt, Jes Sanddal

    2016-01-01

    of genetic and environmental factors can be assessed by comparing concordance rates between monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins. Higher phenotypic similarity between MZ than DZ twins indicates a genetic attribution to the etiology. The objective of this study was to investigate the heritability of AAA...... among Danish twins using concordance rates and heritability estimates. METHODS: The Danish Twin Registry was used to identify all Danish twin pairs (born 1880-1971) where both twins were alive on January 1, 1977. AAA cases were then identified using the National Patient Registry and the Registry...... of Cause of Death. Probandwise concordance rates were calculated and heritability estimated using structural equation modeling. RESULTS: The study identified 414 twins with AAA; 69.8% (289/414) were men and 30.2% (125/414) women. The probandwise concordance rate in MZ twins was 30% (95% CI 20...

  4. Disease Heritability Inferred from Familial Relationships Reported in Medical Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polubriaginof, Fernanda C G; Vanguri, Rami; Quinnies, Kayla; Belbin, Gillian M; Yahi, Alexandre; Salmasian, Hojjat; Lorberbaum, Tal; Nwankwo, Victor; Li, Li; Shervey, Mark M; Glowe, Patricia; Ionita-Laza, Iuliana; Simmerling, Mary; Hripcsak, George; Bakken, Suzanne; Goldstein, David; Kiryluk, Krzysztof; Kenny, Eimear E; Dudley, Joel; Vawdrey, David K; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2018-05-15

    Heritability is essential for understanding the biological causes of disease but requires laborious patient recruitment and phenotype ascertainment. Electronic health records (EHRs) passively capture a wide range of clinically relevant data and provide a resource for studying the heritability of traits that are not typically accessible. EHRs contain next-of-kin information collected via patient emergency contact forms, but until now, these data have gone unused in research. We mined emergency contact data at three academic medical centers and identified 7.4 million familial relationships while maintaining patient privacy. Identified relationships were consistent with genetically derived relatedness. We used EHR data to compute heritability estimates for 500 disease phenotypes. Overall, estimates were consistent with the literature and between sites. Inconsistencies were indicative of limitations and opportunities unique to EHR research. These analyses provide a validation of the use of EHRs for genetics and disease research. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. 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....

  7. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity

    OpenAIRE

    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 v...

  8. Heritability of retinal vascular fractals: a twin study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vergmann, Anna Stage; Broe, Rebecca; Kessel, Line

    . The retinal vascular fractal dimension was measured using the box-counting method and compared within monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs using Pearson correlation coefficents. Falconer´s formula and quantitative genetic models were used to determine the genetic component of variation. Results: The retinal...... for quantitative analysis of heritability. The intrapair correlation was markedly higher (0.505, p=0.0002) in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twins (0.108, p=0.46), corresponding to a heritability h2 for the fractal dimension of 0.79. In quantitative genetic models, 54% of the variation was explained...

  9. Low heritability of nest construction in a wild bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järvinen, Pauliina; Kluen, Edward; Brommer, Jon E

    2017-10-01

    In birds and other taxa, nest construction varies considerably between and within populations. Such variation is hypothesized to have an adaptive (i.e. genetic) basis, but estimates of heritability in nest construction are largely lacking. Here, we demonstrate with data collected over 10 years from 1010 nests built by blue tits in nest-boxes that nest size (height of nest material) and nest composition (proportion of feathers in the nest) are repeatable but only weakly (12-13%) heritable female traits. These findings imply that nest construction may evolve but only if subjected to strong and consistent selection pressures. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. RB1 mutation spectrum in a comprehensive nationwide cohort of retinoblastoma patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dommering, Charlotte J.; Mol, Berber M.; Moll, Annette C.; Burton, Margaret; Cloos, Jacqueline; Dorsman, Josephine C.; Meijers-Heijboer, Hanne; van der Hout, Annemarie H.

    Background Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a childhood cancer of the retina, commonly initiated by biallelic inactivation of the RB1 gene. Knowledge of the presence of a heritable RB1 mutation can help in risk management and reproductive decision making. We report here on RB1 mutation scanning in a unique

  11. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Epigenetic differences between sister chromatids?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. Circadian clocks, epigenetics, and cancer

    KAUST Repository

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. Epigenetics of the Developing Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Frances A.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Re: Epigenetics of Cellular Reprogramming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fehmi Narter

    2016-12-01

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

  18. Epigenetics and Therapeutic Targets Mediating Neuroprotection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Tumor‐associated DNA mutation detection in individuals undergoing colonoscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Fleshner, Phillip; Braunstein, Glenn D.; Ovsepyan, Gayane; Tonozzi, Theresa R.; Kammesheidt, Anja

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The majority of colorectal cancers (CRC) harbor somatic mutations and epigenetic modifications in the tumor tissue, and some of these mutations can be detected in plasma as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Precancerous colorectal lesions also contain many of these same mutations. This study examined plasma for ctDNA from patients undergoing a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the ctDNA panel for detecting CRC and precancerous lesions. T...

  2. Epigenetics of prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Tawnya C; Tricoli, James V

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of novel technologies that can be applied to the investigation of the molecular underpinnings of human cancer has allowed for new insights into the mechanisms associated with tumor development and progression. They have also advanced the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer. These technologies include microarray and other analysis methods for the generation of large-scale gene expression data on both mRNA and miRNA, next-generation DNA sequencing technologies utilizing a number of platforms to perform whole genome, whole exome, or targeted DNA sequencing to determine somatic mutational differences and gene rearrangements, and a variety of proteomic analysis platforms including liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis to survey alterations in protein profiles in tumors. One other important advancement has been our current ability to survey the methylome of human tumors in a comprehensive fashion through the use of sequence-based and array-based methylation analysis (Bock et al., Nat Biotechnol 28:1106-1114, 2010; Harris et al., Nat Biotechnol 28:1097-1105, 2010). The focus of this chapter is to present and discuss the evidence for key genes involved in prostate tumor development, progression, or resistance to therapy that are regulated by methylation-induced silencing.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Heritability and Seasonal Changes in Viscosity of Slash Pine Oleoresin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert D. McReynolds

    1971-01-01

    Oleoresin viscosity was measured in slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) trees of known genetic origin over a 1-year period. A strong broad-sense heritability of this trait was found. Seasonal variation followed a definite pattern, with the highest viscosities occurring in early spring and a gradual decline occurring in...

  6. Heritability of eleven metabolic phenotypes in Danish and Chinese twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Shuxia; Duan, Hongmei; Pang, Zengchang

    2013-01-01

    modeling was performed on full and nested models with the best fitting models selected. Results: Heritability estimates were compared between Danish and Chinese samples to identify differential genetic influences on each of the phenotypes. Except for hip circumference, all other body measures exhibited...

  7. The heritability of acceptability in South African Merino sheep ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Selection for production and reproduction in South African Merino sheep is always combined with selection based on visual appraisal and will, in all probability, remain so for many years to come. Heritabilities for acceptability were estimated using a threshold model to analyse data from two parent Merino studs. Effects ...

  8. Heritability of decisions and outcomes of public goods games

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai eHiraishi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Prosociality is one of the most distinctive features of human beings but there are individual differences in cooperative behavior. Employing the twin method, we examined the heritability of cooperativeness and its outcomes on public goods games using a strategy method. In two experiments (Study 1 and Study 2, twin participants were asked to indicate 1 how much they would contribute to a group when they did not know how much the other group members were contributing, and 2 how much they would contribute if they knew the contributions of others. Overall, the heritability estimates were relatively small for each type of decision, but heritability was greater when participants knew that the others had made larger contributions. Using registered decisions in Study 2, we conducted five Monte Carlo simulations to examine genetic and environmental influences on the expected game payoffs. For the simulated one-shot game, the heritability estimates were small, comparable to those of game decisions. For the simulated iterated games, we found that the genetic influences first decreased, then increased as the numbers of iterations grew. The implication for the evolution of individual differences in prosociality is discussed.

  9. Heritability of and mortality prediction with a longevity phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sanders, Jason L; Minster, Ryan L; Barmada, M Michael

    2014-01-01

    Longevity-associated genes may modulate risk for age-related diseases and survival. The Healthy Aging Index (HAI) may be a subphenotype of longevity, which can be constructed in many studies for genetic analysis. We investigated the HAI's association with survival in the Cardiovascular Health Stu...... and heritability in the Long Life Family Study....

  10. Heritability of psoriasis in a large twin sample

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lønnberg, Ann Sophie; Skov, Liselotte; Skytthe, A

    2013-01-01

    AIM: To study the concordance of psoriasis in a population-based twin sample. METHODS: Data on psoriasis in 10,725 twin pairs, 20-71 years of age, from the Danish Twin Registry was collected via a questionnaire survey. The concordance and heritability of psoriasis were estimated. RESULTS: In total...

  11. Heritability and genetics of lipid metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenger, Mogens

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the concept of heritability and genetic effect will be reviewed and our current knowledge of the genetics of lipid metabolism summarized. The concepts of polygenic conditions and epistasis are discussed at length, and an effort is made to put the biological processes in context...

  12. Heritability of sperm length in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; de Jong, Gerdien; Schmid-Hempel, Regula

    2006-01-01

    estimates of narrow sense heritability of sperm length in a social insect, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. In spite of a balanced and straightforward rearing design of colonies, and the possibility to replicate measurements of sperm within single males nested within colonies, the analysis proved...

  13. SNP based heritability estimation using a Bayesian approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krag, Kristian; Janss, Luc; Mahdi Shariati, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    . Differences in family structure were in general not found to influence the estimation of the heritability. For the sample sizes used in this study, a 10-fold increase of SNP density did not improve precision estimates compared with set-ups with a less dense distribution of SNPs. The methods used in this study...

  14. Multi-trait and random regression mature weight heritability and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Legendre polynomials of orders 4, 3, 6 and 3 were used for animal and maternal genetic and permanent environmental effects, respectively, considering five classes of residual variances. Mature weight (five years) direct heritability estimates were 0.35 (MM) and 0.38 (RRM). Rank correlation between sires' breeding values ...

  15. Evaluation of Some Litter Traits and Heritability Estimates of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SH

    The heritability estimates were 0.00 ± 0.04 for litter size at weaning and. 0.37 ± 0.12 for ... not sustainable in South-western Nigeria. Balogun (1981) ... sources for the people that eat pork. Dalton ... size and on body weight at birth and at weaning of .... Indigenous and Large White Pigs in a humid tropical environment. Asian.

  16. Heritability of cold tolerance in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, juveniles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charo-Karisa, H.; Rezk, M.A.; Bovenhuis, H.; Komen, J.

    2005-01-01

    The inability of tilapia to tolerate low temperatures is of major economic concern as it reduces their growing season and leads to over winter mortality. In this study, cold tolerance of juvenile Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, was investigated and heritability estimates obtained. A total of 80

  17. Genetic variability and heritability studies of some reproductive traits ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GRACE

    2006-07-03

    Jul 3, 2006 ... The success of most crop improvement programs largely depends upon the genetic variability and the heritability of desirable traits. The magnitude and type of genetic variability help the breeder to determine the selection criteria and breeding schemes to be used for improvement purposes. A screen.

  18. Heritability and correlates of maize yield ( Zea mays L .) under ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Heritability and correlates of maize yield ( Zea mays L .) under varying drought conditions. ... Nigeria Agricultural Journal ... Correlation analysis revealed that days to 50% tasseling and silking under non-stress, ASI and leaf senescence under severe stress exhibited negative and significant correlations with grain yield.

  19. Molecular and Biochemical Methods Useful for the Epigenetic Characterization of Chromatin-Associated Proteins in Bivalve Molluscs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciro Rivera-Casas

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Bivalve molluscs constitute a ubiquitous taxonomic group playing key functions in virtually all ecosystems, and encompassing critical commercial relevance. Along with a sessile and filter-feeding lifestyle in most cases, these characteristics make bivalves model sentinel organisms routinely used for environmental monitoring studies in aquatic habitats. The study of epigenetic mechanisms linking environmental exposure and specific physiological responses (i.e., environmental epigenetics stands out as a very innovative monitoring strategy, given the role of epigenetic modifications in acclimatization and adaptation. Furthermore, the heritable nature of many of those modifications constitutes a very promising avenue to explore the applicability of epigenetic conditioning and selection in management and restoration strategies. Chromatin provides a framework for the study of environmental epigenetic responses. Unfortunately, chromatin and epigenetic information are very limited in most non-traditional model organisms and even completely lacking in most environmentally and ecologically relevant organisms. The present work aims to provide a comprehensive and reproducible experimental workflow for the study of bivalve chromatin. First, a series of guidelines for the molecular isolation of genes encoding chromatin-associated proteins is provided, including information on primers suitable for conventional PCR, Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE, genome walking and quantitative PCR (qPCR experiments. This section is followed by the description of methods specifically developed for the analysis of histone and SNBP proteins in different bivalve tissues, including protein extraction, purification, separation and immunodetection. Lastly, information about available antibodies, their specificity and performance is also provided. The tools and protocols described here complement current epigenetic analyses (usually limited to DNA methylation by incorporating

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane P Genereux

    2009-06-01

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

  1. Tic symptom dimensions and their heritabilities in Tourette's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Haan, Marcel J; Delucchi, Kevin L; Mathews, Carol M; Cath, Danielle C

    2015-06-01

    Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (TS) is both genotypically and phenotypically heterogeneous. Gene-finding strategies have had limited success, possibly because of symptom heterogeneity. This study aimed at specifically investigating heritabilities of tic symptom factors in a relatively large sample of TS patients and family members. Lifetime tic symptom data were collected in 494 diagnosed individuals in two cohorts of TS patients from the USA (n=273) and the Netherlands (n=221), and in 351 Dutch family members. Item-level factor analysis, using a tetrachoric correlation matrix in SAS (v9.2), was carried out on 23 tic symptoms from the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. Three factors were identified explaining 49% of the total variance: factor 1, complex vocal tics and obscene behaviour; factor 2, body tics; and factor 3, head/neck tics. Using Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routine, moderate heritabilities were found for factor 1 (h2r=0.21) and factor 3 (h2r=0.25). Lower heritability was found for overall tic severity (h2r=0.19). Bivariate analyses indicated no genetic associations between tic factors. These findings suggest that (i) three tic factors can be discerned with a distinct underlying genetic architecture and that (ii) considering the low tic heritabilities found, only focusing on the narrow-sense TS phenotype and leaving out comorbidities that are part of the broader sense tic phenotype may lead to missing heritability. Although these findings need replication in larger independent samples, they might have consequences for future genetic studies in TS.

  2. Heritability of tic disorders: a twin-family study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilhão, N R; Olthof, M C; Smit, D J A; Cath, D C; Ligthart, L; Mathews, C A; Delucchi, K; Boomsma, D I; Dolan, C V

    2017-04-01

    Genetic-epidemiological studies that estimate the contributions of genetic factors to variation in tic symptoms are scarce. We estimated the extent to which genetic and environmental influences contribute to tics, employing various phenotypic definitions ranging between mild and severe symptomatology, in a large population-based adult twin-family sample. In an extended twin-family design, we analysed lifetime tic data reported by adult mono- and dizygotic twins (n = 8323) and their family members (n = 7164; parents and siblings) from 7311 families in the Netherlands Twin Register. We measured tics by the abbreviated version of the Schedule for Tourette and Other Behavioral Syndromes. Heritability was estimated by genetic structural equation modeling for four tic disorder definitions: three dichotomous and one trichotomous phenotype, characterized by increasingly strictly defined criteria. Prevalence rates of the different tic disorders in our sample varied between 0.3 and 4.5% depending on tic disorder definition. Tic frequencies decreased with increasing age. Heritability estimates varied between 0.25 and 0.37, depending on phenotypic definitions. None of the phenotypes showed evidence of assortative mating, effects of shared environment or non-additive genetic effects. Heritabilities of mild and severe tic phenotypes were estimated to be moderate. Overlapping confidence intervals of the heritability estimates suggest overlapping genetic liabilities between the various tic phenotypes. The most lenient phenotype (defined only by tic characteristics, excluding criteria B, C and D of DSM-IV) rendered sufficiently reliable heritability estimates. These findings have implications in phenotypic definitions for future genetic studies.

  3. Somatic mutations of the histone H3K27 demethylase, UTX, in human cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Haaften, Gijs; Dalgliesh, Gillian L; Davies, Helen; Chen, Lina; Bignell, Graham; Greenman, Chris; Edkins, Sarah; Hardy, Claire; O’Meara, Sarah; Teague, Jon; Butler, Adam; Hinton, Jonathan; Latimer, Calli; Andrews, Jenny; Barthorpe, Syd; Beare, Dave; Buck, Gemma; Campbell, Peter J; Cole, Jennifer; Dunmore, Rebecca; Forbes, Simon; Jia, Mingming; Jones, David; Kok, Chai Yin; Leroy, Catherine; Lin, Meng-Lay; McBride, David J; Maddison, Mark; Maquire, Simon; McLay, Kirsten; Menzies, Andrew; Mironenko, Tatiana; Lee, Mulderrig; Mudie, Laura; Pleasance, Erin; Shepherd, Rebecca; Smith, Raffaella; Stebbings, Lucy; Stephens, Philip; Tang, Gurpreet; Tarpey, Patrick S; Turner, Rachel; Turrell, Kelly; Varian, Jennifer; West, Sofie; Widaa, Sara; Wray, Paul; Collins, V Peter; Ichimura, Koichi; Law, Simon; Wong, John; Yuen, Siu Tsan; Leung, Suet Yi; Tonon, Giovanni; DePinho, Ronald A; Tai, Yu-Tzu; Anderson, Kenneth C; Kahnoski, Richard J.; Massie, Aaron; Khoo, Sok Kean; Teh, Bin Tean; Stratton, Michael R; Futreal, P Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Somatically acquired epigenetic changes are present in many cancers. Epigenetic regulation is maintained via post-translational modifications of core histones. Here, we describe inactivating somatic mutations in the histone lysine demethylase, UTX, pointing to histone H3 lysine methylation deregulation in multiple tumour types. UTX reintroduction into cancer cells with inactivating UTX mutations resulted in slowing of proliferation and marked transcriptional changes. These data identify UTX as a new human cancer gene. PMID:19330029

  4. Imaging epigenetics in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Verification of epigenetic inheritance in a unicellular model system: multigenerational effects of hormonal imprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kőhidai, László; Lajkó, Eszter; Pállinger, Eva; Csaba, György

    2012-10-01

    The unicellular Tetrahymena has receptors for hormones of higher vertebrates, produces these hormones, and their signal pathways are similar. The first encounter with a hormone in higher dose provokes the phenomenon of hormonal imprinting, by which the reaction of the cell is quantitatively modified. This modification is transmitted to the progeny generations. The duration of the single imprinter effect of two representative signal molecules, insulin and 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine), in two concentrations (10(-6) and 10(-15) M) were studied. The effects of imprinting were followed in 5 physiological indices: (i) insulin binding, (ii) 5-HT synthesis, (iii) swimming behaviour, (iv) cell growth and (v) chemotaxis in progeny generations 500 and 1000. The result of each index was different from the non-imprinted control functions, growth rate, swimming behaviour and chemotactic activity to insulin being enhanced, while others, e.g. synthesis and chemotactic responsiveness of 5-HT and the binding of insulin were reduced. This means that a function-specific heritable epigenetic change during imprinting occurs, and generally a single encounter with a femtomolar hormone concentration is enough for provoking durable and heritable imprinting in Tetrahymena. The experiments demonstrate the possibility of epigenetic effects at a unicellular level and call attention to the possibility that the character of unicellular organisms has changed through to the present day due to an enormous amount of non-physiological imprinter substances in their environment. The results - together with results obtained earlier in mammals - point to the validity of epigenetic imprinting effects throughout the animal world.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgel, Philippe T

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Modeling evolutionary dynamics of epigenetic mutations in hierarchically organized tumors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sottoriva, Andrea; Vermeulen, Louis; Tavaré, Simon

    2011-01-01

    The cancer stem cell (CSC) concept is a highly debated topic in cancer research. While experimental evidence in favor of the cancer stem cell theory is apparently abundant, the results are often criticized as being difficult to interpret. An important reason for this is that most experimental data

  8. Heritability of cortisol response to confinement stress in European sea bass dicentrarchus labrax

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volckaert, F.A.M.; Hellemans, B.; Batargias, C.; Louro, B.; Massault, C.; Houdt, Van J.K.J.; Haley, C.; Koning, de D.J.; Canario, A.V.M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: In fish, the most studied production traits in terms of heritability are body weight or growth, stress or disease resistance, while heritability of cortisol levels, widely used as a measure of response to stress, is less studied. In this study, we have estimated heritabilities of two

  9. Analysis of Heritability and Shared Heritability Based on Genome-Wide Association Studies for 13 Cancer Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, William A.; Yeager, Meredith; Panagiotou, Orestis; Wang, Zhaoming; Berndt, Sonja I.; Lan, Qing; Abnet, Christian C.; Amundadottir, Laufey T.; Figueroa, Jonine D.; Landi, Maria Teresa; Mirabello, Lisa; Savage, Sharon A.; Taylor, Philip R.; Vivo, Immaculata De; McGlynn, Katherine A.; Purdue, Mark P.; Rajaraman, Preetha; Adami, Hans-Olov; Ahlbom, Anders; Albanes, Demetrius; Amary, Maria Fernanda; An, She-Juan; Andersson, Ulrika; Andriole, Gerald; Andrulis, Irene L.; Angelucci, Emanuele; Ansell, Stephen M.; Arici, Cecilia; Armstrong, Bruce K.; Arslan, Alan A.; Austin, Melissa A.; Baris, Dalsu; Barkauskas, Donald A.; Bassig, Bryan A.; Becker, Nikolaus; Benavente, Yolanda; Benhamou, Simone; Berg, Christine; Van Den Berg, David; Bernstein, Leslie; Bertrand, Kimberly A.; Birmann, Brenda M.; Black, Amanda; Boeing, Heiner; Boffetta, Paolo; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Bracci, Paige M.; Brinton, Louise; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R.; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. Bas; Burdett, Laurie; Buring, Julie; Butler, Mary Ann; Cai, Qiuyin; Cancel-Tassin, Geraldine; Canzian, Federico; Carrato, Alfredo; Carreon, Tania; Carta, Angela; Chan, John K. C.; Chang, Ellen T.; Chang, Gee-Chen; Chang, I-Shou; Chang, Jiang; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Chen, Chien-Jen; Chen, Chih-Yi; Chen, Chu; Chen, Chung-Hsing; Chen, Constance; Chen, Hongyan; Chen, Kexin; Chen, Kuan-Yu; Chen, Kun-Chieh; Chen, Ying; Chen, Ying-Hsiang; Chen, Yi-Song; Chen, Yuh-Min; Chien, Li-Hsin; Chirlaque, María-Dolores; Choi, Jin Eun; Choi, Yi Young; Chow, Wong-Ho; Chung, Charles C.; Clavel, Jacqueline; Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise; Cocco, Pierluigi; Colt, Joanne S.; Comperat, Eva; Conde, Lucia; Connors, Joseph M.; Conti, David; Cortessis, Victoria K.; Cotterchio, Michelle; Cozen, Wendy; Crouch, Simon; Crous-Bou, Marta; Cussenot, Olivier; Davis, Faith G.; Ding, Ti; Diver, W. Ryan; Dorronsoro, Miren; Dossus, Laure; Duell, Eric J.; Ennas, Maria Grazia; Erickson, Ralph L.; Feychting, Maria; Flanagan, Adrienne M.; Foretova, Lenka; Fraumeni, Joseph F.; Freedman, Neal D.; Beane Freeman, Laura E.; Fuchs, Charles; Gago-Dominguez, Manuela; Gallinger, Steven; Gao, Yu-Tang; Gapstur, Susan M.; Garcia-Closas, Montserrat; García-Closas, Reina; Gascoyne, Randy D.; Gastier-Foster, Julie; Gaudet, Mia M.; Gaziano, J. Michael; Giffen, Carol; Giles, Graham G.; Giovannucci, Edward; Glimelius, Bengt; Goggins, Michael; Gokgoz, Nalan; Goldstein, Alisa M.; Gorlick, Richard; Gross, Myron; Grubb, Robert; Gu, Jian; Guan, Peng; Gunter, Marc; Guo, Huan; Habermann, Thomas M.; Haiman, Christopher A.; Halai, Dina; Hallmans, Goran; Hassan, Manal; Hattinger, Claudia; He, Qincheng; He, Xingzhou; Helzlsouer, Kathy; Henderson, Brian; Henriksson, Roger; Hjalgrim, Henrik; Hoffman-Bolton, Judith; Hohensee, Chancellor; Holford, Theodore R.; Holly, Elizabeth A.; Hong, Yun-Chul; Hoover, Robert N.; Horn-Ross, Pamela L.; Hosain, G. M. Monawar; Hosgood, H. Dean; Hsiao, Chin-Fu; Hu, Nan; Hu, Wei; Hu, Zhibin; Huang, Ming-Shyan; Huerta, Jose-Maria; Hung, Jen-Yu; Hutchinson, Amy; Inskip, Peter D.; Jackson, Rebecca D.; Jacobs, Eric J.; Jenab, Mazda; Jeon, Hyo-Sung; Ji, Bu-Tian; Jin, Guangfu; Jin, Li; Johansen, Christoffer; Johnson, Alison; Jung, Yoo Jin; Kaaks, Rudolph; Kamineni, Aruna; Kane, Eleanor; Kang, Chang Hyun; Karagas, Margaret R.; Kelly, Rachel S.; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Kim, Christopher; Kim, Hee Nam; Kim, Jin Hee; Kim, Jun Suk; Kim, Yeul Hong; Kim, Young Tae; Kim, Young-Chul; Kitahara, Cari M.; Klein, Alison P.; Klein, Robert J.; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kohno, Takashi; Kolonel, Laurence N.; Kooperberg, Charles; Kricker, Anne; Krogh, Vittorio; Kunitoh, Hideo; Kurtz, Robert C.; Kweon, Sun-Seog; LaCroix, Andrea; Lawrence, Charles; Lecanda, Fernando; Lee, Victor Ho Fun; Li, Donghui; Li, Haixin; Li, Jihua; Li, Yao-Jen; Li, Yuqing; Liao, Linda M.; Liebow, Mark; Lightfoot, Tracy; Lim, Wei-Yen; Lin, Chien-Chung; Lin, Dongxin; Lindstrom, Sara; Linet, Martha S.; Link, Brian K.; Liu, Chenwei; Liu, Jianjun; Liu, Li; Ljungberg, Börje; Lloreta, Josep; Lollo, Simonetta Di; Lu, Daru; Lund, Eiluv; Malats, Nuria; Mannisto, Satu; Marchand, Loic Le; Marina, Neyssa; Masala, Giovanna; Mastrangelo, Giuseppe; Matsuo, Keitaro; Maynadie, Marc; McKay, James; McKean-Cowdin, Roberta; Melbye, Mads; Melin, Beatrice S.; Michaud, Dominique S.; Mitsudomi, Tetsuya; Monnereau, Alain; Montalvan, Rebecca; Moore, Lee E.; Mortensen, Lotte Maxild; Nieters, Alexandra; North, Kari E.; Novak, Anne J.; Oberg, Ann L.; Offit, Kenneth; Oh, In-Jae; Olson, Sara H.; Palli, Domenico; Pao, William; Park, In Kyu; Park, Jae Yong; Park, Kyong Hwa; Patiño-Garcia, Ana; Pavanello, Sofia; Peeters, Petra H. M.; Perng, Reury-Perng; Peters, Ulrike; Petersen, Gloria M.; Picci, Piero; Pike, Malcolm C.; Porru, Stefano; Prescott, Jennifer; Prokunina-Olsson, Ludmila; Qian, Biyun; Qiao, You-Lin; Rais, Marco; Riboli, Elio; Riby, Jacques; Risch, Harvey A.; Rizzato, Cosmeri; Rodabough, Rebecca; Roman, Eve; Roupret, Morgan; Ruder, Avima M.; de Sanjose, Silvia; Scelo, Ghislaine; Schned, Alan; Schumacher, Fredrick; Schwartz, Kendra; Schwenn, Molly; Scotlandi, Katia; Seow, Adeline; Serra, Consol; Serra, Massimo; Sesso, Howard D.; Setiawan, Veronica Wendy; Severi, Gianluca; Severson, Richard K.; Shanafelt, Tait D.; Shen, Hongbing; Shen, Wei; Shin, Min-Ho; Shiraishi, Kouya; Shu, Xiao-Ou; Siddiq, Afshan; Sierrasesúmaga, Luis; Sihoe, Alan Dart Loon; Skibola, Christine F.; Smith, Alex; Smith, Martyn T.; Southey, Melissa C.; Spinelli, John J.; Staines, Anthony; Stampfer, Meir; Stern, Marianna C.; Stevens, Victoria L.; Stolzenberg-Solomon, Rachael S.; Su, Jian; Su, Wu-Chou; Sund, Malin; Sung, Jae Sook; Sung, Sook Whan; Tan, Wen; Tang, Wei; Tardón, Adonina; Thomas, David; Thompson, Carrie A.; Tinker, Lesley F.; Tirabosco, Roberto; Tjønneland, Anne; Travis, Ruth C.; Trichopoulos, Dimitrios; Tsai, Fang-Yu; Tsai, Ying-Huang; Tucker, Margaret; Turner, Jenny; Vajdic, Claire M.; Vermeulen, Roel C. H.; Villano, Danylo J.; Vineis, Paolo; Virtamo, Jarmo; Visvanathan, Kala; Wactawski-Wende, Jean; Wang, Chaoyu; Wang, Chih-Liang; Wang, Jiu-Cun; Wang, Junwen; Wei, Fusheng; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Weiner, George J.; Weinstein, Stephanie; Wentzensen, Nicolas; White, Emily; Witzig, Thomas E.; Wolpin, Brian M.; Wong, Maria Pik; Wu, Chen; Wu, Guoping; Wu, Junjie; Wu, Tangchun; Wu, Wei; Wu, Xifeng; Wu, Yi-Long; Wunder, Jay S.; Xiang, Yong-Bing; Xu, Jun; Xu, Ping; Yang, Pan-Chyr; Yang, Tsung-Ying; Ye, Yuanqing; Yin, Zhihua; Yokota, Jun; Yoon, Ho-Il; Yu, Chong-Jen; Yu, Herbert; Yu, Kai; Yuan, Jian-Min; Zelenetz, Andrew; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne; Zhang, Xu-Chao; Zhang, Yawei; Zhao, Xueying; Zhao, Zhenhong; Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Tongzhang; Zheng, Wei; Zhou, Baosen; Zhu, Meng; Zucca, Mariagrazia; Boca, Simina M.; Cerhan, James R.; Ferri, Giovanni M.; Hartge, Patricia; Hsiung, Chao Agnes; Magnani, Corrado; Miligi, Lucia; Morton, Lindsay M.; Smedby, Karin E.; Teras, Lauren R.; Vijai, Joseph; Wang, Sophia S.; Brennan, Paul; Caporaso, Neil E.; Hunter, David J.; Kraft, Peter; Rothman, Nathaniel; Silverman, Debra T.; Slager, Susan L.; Chanock, Stephen J.; Chatterjee, Nilanjan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Studies of related individuals have consistently demonstrated notable familial aggregation of cancer. We aim to estimate the heritability and genetic correlation attributable to the additive effects of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for cancer at 13 anatomical sites. Methods: Between 2007 and 2014, the US National Cancer Institute has generated data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for 49 492 cancer case patients and 34 131 control patients. We apply novel mixed model methodology (GCTA) to this GWAS data to estimate the heritability of individual cancers, as well as the proportion of heritability attributable to cigarette smoking in smoking-related cancers, and the genetic correlation between pairs of cancers. Results: GWAS heritability was statistically significant at nearly all sites, with the estimates of array-based heritability, hl 2, on the liability threshold (LT) scale ranging from 0.05 to 0.38. Estimating the combined heritability of multiple smoking characteristics, we calculate that at least 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 14% to 37%) and 7% (95% CI = 4% to 11%) of the heritability for lung and bladder cancer, respectively, can be attributed to genetic determinants of smoking. Most pairs of cancers studied did not show evidence of strong genetic correlation. We found only four pairs of cancers with marginally statistically significant correlations, specifically kidney and testes (ρ = 0.73, SE = 0.28), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and pediatric osteosarcoma (ρ = 0.53, SE = 0.21), DLBCL and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (ρ = 0.51, SE =0.18), and bladder and lung (ρ = 0.35, SE = 0.14). Correlation analysis also indicates that the genetic architecture of lung cancer differs between a smoking population of European ancestry and a nonsmoking Asian population, allowing for the possibility that the genetic etiology for the same disease can vary by population and environmental exposures. Conclusion: Our

  10. Epigenetic regulation during fetal femur development: DNA methylation matters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María C de Andrés

    Full Text Available Epigenetic modifications are heritable changes in gene expression without changes in DNA sequence. DNA methylation has been implicated in the control of several cellular processes including differentiation, gene regulation, development, genomic imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. Methylated cytosine residues at CpG dinucleotides are commonly associated with gene repression; conversely, strategic loss of methylation during development could lead to activation of lineage-specific genes. Evidence is emerging that bone development and growth are programmed; although, interestingly, bone is constantly remodelled throughout life. Using human embryonic stem cells, human fetal bone cells (HFBCs, adult chondrocytes and STRO-1(+ marrow stromal cells from human bone marrow, we have examined a spectrum of developmental stages of femur development and the role of DNA methylation therein. Using pyrosequencing methodology we analysed the status of methylation of genes implicated in bone biology; furthermore, we correlated these methylation levels with gene expression levels using qRT-PCR and protein distribution during fetal development evaluated using immunohistochemistry. We found that during fetal femur development DNA methylation inversely correlates with expression of genes including iNOS (NOS2 and COL9A1, but not catabolic genes including MMP13 and IL1B. Furthermore, significant demethylation was evident in the osteocalcin promoter between the fetal and adult developmental stages. Increased TET1 expression and decreased expression of DNA (cytosine-5--methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1 in adult chondrocytes compared to HFBCs could contribute to the loss of methylation observed during fetal development. HFBC multipotency confirms these cells to be an ideal developmental system for investigation of DNA methylation regulation. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the role of epigenetic regulation, specifically DNA methylation, in bone development

  11. Epigenetic regulation in dental pulp inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Engrampigenetics: Epigenetics of engram memory cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripoli, Cristian

    2017-05-15

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

  15. Epigenetic Effects of Cannabis Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szutorisz, Henrietta; Hurd, Yasmin L.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Epigenetic regulation of female puberty.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Computational Micromodel for Epigenetic Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Chromocentre integrity and epigenetic marks

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Osteocyte regulation of phosphate homeostasis and bone mineralization underlies the pathophysiology of the heritable disorders of rickets and osteomalacia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jian Q.; Clinkenbeard, Erica L.; Yuan, Baozhi; White, Kenneth E.; Drezner, Marc K.

    2013-01-01

    Although recent studies have established that osteocytes function as secretory cells that regulate phosphate metabolism, the biomolecular mechanism(s) underlying these effects remain incompletely defined. However, investigations focusing on the pathogenesis of X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR), and autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets (ARHR), heritable disorders characterized by abnormal renal phosphate wasting and bone mineralization, have clearly implicated FGF23 as a central factor in osteocytes underlying renal phosphate wasting, documented new molecular pathways regulating FGF23 production, and revealed complementary abnormalities in osteocytes that regulate bone mineralization. The seminal observations leading to these discoveries were the following: 1) mutations in FGF23 cause ADHR by limiting cleavage of the bioactive intact molecule, at a subtilisin-like protein convertase (SPC) site, resulting in increased circulating FGF23 levels and hypophosphatemia; 2) mutations in DMP1 cause ARHR, not only by increasing serum FGF23, albeit by enhanced production and not limited cleavage, but also by limiting production of the active DMP1 component, the C-terminal fragment, resulting in dysregulated production of DKK1 and β-catenin, which contributes to impaired bone mineralization; and 3) mutations in PHEX cause XLH both by altering FGF23 proteolysis and production and causing dysregulated production of DKK1 and β-catenin, similar to abnormalities in ADHR and ARHR, but secondary to different central pathophysiological events. These discoveries indicate that ADHR, XLH, and ARHR represent three related heritable hypophosphatemic diseases that arise from mutations in, or dysregulation of, a single common gene product, FGF23 and, in ARHR and XLH, complimentary DMP1 and PHEX directed events that contribute to abnormal bone mineralization. PMID:23403405

  1. Learning epigenetic regulation from mycobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Khosla

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Imbalanced class learning in epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. Epigenetic control of plant immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  4. Epigenetics and Epigenomics of Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  5. Epigenetic telomere protection by Drosophila DNA damage response pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikemus, Sarah R; Queiroz-Machado, Joana; Lai, KuanJu; McGinnis, Nadine; Sunkel, Claudio; Brodsky, Michael H

    2006-05-01

    Analysis of terminal deletion chromosomes indicates that a sequence-independent mechanism regulates protection of Drosophila telomeres. Mutations in Drosophila DNA damage response genes such as atm/tefu, mre11, or rad50 disrupt telomere protection and localization of the telomere-associated proteins HP1 and HOAP, suggesting that recognition of chromosome ends contributes to telomere protection. However, the partial telomere protection phenotype of these mutations limits the ability to test if they act in the epigenetic telomere protection mechanism. We examined the roles of the Drosophila atm and atr-atrip DNA damage response pathways and the nbs homolog in DNA damage responses and telomere protection. As in other organisms, the atm and atr-atrip pathways act in parallel to promote telomere protection. Cells lacking both pathways exhibit severe defects in telomere protection and fail to localize the protection protein HOAP to telomeres. Drosophila nbs is required for both atm- and atr-dependent DNA damage responses and acts in these pathways during DNA repair. The telomere fusion phenotype of nbs is consistent with defects in each of these activities. Cells defective in both the atm and atr pathways were used to examine if DNA damage response pathways regulate telomere protection without affecting telomere specific sequences. In these cells, chromosome fusion sites retain telomere-specific sequences, demonstrating that loss of these sequences is not responsible for loss of protection. Furthermore, terminally deleted chromosomes also fuse in these cells, directly implicating DNA damage response pathways in the epigenetic protection of telomeres. We propose that recognition of chromosome ends and recruitment of HP1 and HOAP by DNA damage response proteins is essential for the epigenetic protection of Drosophila telomeres. Given the conserved roles of DNA damage response proteins in telomere function, related mechanisms may act at the telomeres of other organisms.

  6. Efficient and Heritable Gene Targeting in Tilapia by CRISPR/Cas9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Minghui; Yang, Huihui; Zhao, Jiue; Fang, Lingling; Shi, Hongjuan; Li, Mengru; Sun, Yunlv; Zhang, Xianbo; Jiang, Dongneng; Zhou, Linyan; Wang, Deshou

    2014-01-01

    Studies of gene function in non-model animals have been limited by the approaches available for eliminating gene function. The CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated) system has recently become a powerful tool for targeted genome editing. Here, we report the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to disrupt selected genes, including nanos2, nanos3, dmrt1, and foxl2, with efficiencies as high as 95%. In addition, mutations in dmrt1 and foxl2 induced by CRISPR/Cas9 were efficiently transmitted through the germline to F1. Obvious phenotypes were observed in the G0 generation after mutation of germ cell or somatic cell-specific genes. For example, loss of Nanos2 and Nanos3 in XY and XX fish resulted in germ cell-deficient gonads as demonstrated by GFP labeling and Vasa staining, respectively, while masculinization of somatic cells in both XY and XX gonads was demonstrated by Dmrt1 and Cyp11b2 immunohistochemistry and by up-regulation of serum androgen levels. Our data demonstrate that targeted, heritable gene editing can be achieved in tilapia, providing a convenient and effective approach for generating loss-of-function mutants. Furthermore, our study shows the utility of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for genetic engineering in non-model species like tilapia and potentially in many other teleost species. PMID:24709635

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Using Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Julius; Figg, William D

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetic alterations of sedimentary rocks at deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  11. Epigenetics in Breast and Prostate Cancer

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Epigenetic impact of curcumin on stroke prevention

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krutovskikh, V.; Partensky, C.

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Heritability, family, school and academic achievement in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokropek, Artur; Sikora, Joanna

    2015-09-01

    We demonstrate how genetically informed designs can be applied to administrative exam data to study academic achievement. ACE mixture latent class models have been used with Year 6 and 9 exam data for seven cohorts of Polish students which include 24,285 pairs of twins. Depending on a learning domain and classroom environment history, from 58% to 88% of variance in exam results is attributable to heritability, up to 34% to shared environment and from 8% to 15% depends on unique events in students' lives. Moreover, between 54% and 66% of variance in students' learning gains made between Years 6 and 9 is explained by heritability. The unique environment accounts for between 34% and 46% of that variance. However, we find no classroom effects on student progress made between Years 6 and 9. We situate this finding against the view that classroom peer groups and teachers matter for adolescent learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Life course variations in the heritability of body size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, J.; Luan, J.A.; Sharp, S.J.

    aim was to use this approach to investigate the life course variations in heritability of body size. Methods: We analysed height, weight and body mass index variables at 11 time-points in 2,452 individuals (1,225 men, 1,227 women) born in 1946 and enrolled in the MRC National Survey of Health...... and Development (NSHD), with genotypes at 147,949 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on Metabochips which were subsequently imputed to 506,255 according to the 1000Genomes project. We obtained genome-wide kinship matrices using genotypes at SNPs on Metabochips and genotypes at all SNPs, which were used.......11(0-0.20), 0.10(0-0.22) for height, weight and body mass index, respectively. Variation in estimates was also seen between alternative procedures. Conclusion: This work supports the utility of large-scale genotype data in heritability estimation and highlights the age-related variability in genetic...

  16. Nutrition, epigenetic mechanisms, and human disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Maulik, Nilanjana; Maulik, Gautam

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Will Big Data Close the Missing Heritability Gap?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hwasoon; Grueneberg, Alexander; Vazquez, Ana I; Hsu, Stephen; de Los Campos, Gustavo

    2017-11-01

    Despite the important discoveries reported by genome-wide association (GWA) studies, for most traits and diseases the prediction R-squared (R-sq.) achieved with genetic scores remains considerably lower than the trait heritability. Modern biobanks will soon deliver unprecedentedly large biomedical data sets: Will the advent of big data close the gap between the trait heritability and the proportion of variance that can be explained by a genomic predictor? We addressed this question using Bayesian methods and a data analysis approach that produces a surface response relating prediction R-sq. with sample size and model complexity ( e.g. , number of SNPs). We applied the methodology to data from the interim release of the UK Biobank. Focusing on human height as a model trait and using 80,000 records for model training, we achieved a prediction R-sq. in testing ( n = 22,221) of 0.24 (95% C.I.: 0.23-0.25). Our estimates show that prediction R-sq. increases with sample size, reaching an estimated plateau at values that ranged from 0.1 to 0.37 for models using 500 and 50,000 (GWA-selected) SNPs, respectively. Soon much larger data sets will become available. Using the estimated surface response, we forecast that larger sample sizes will lead to further improvements in prediction R-sq. We conclude that big data will lead to a substantial reduction of the gap between trait heritability and the proportion of interindividual differences that can be explained with a genomic predictor. However, even with the power of big data, for complex traits we anticipate that the gap between prediction R-sq. and trait heritability will not be fully closed. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. Heritability and tissue specificity of expression quantitative trait loci

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Petretto, E.; Mangion, J.; Dickens, N. J.; Cook, S.A.; Kumaran, M. K.; Lu, H.; Fischer, J.; Maatz, H.; Křen, Vladimír; Pravenec, Michal; Hubner, N.; Aitman, T. J.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 10 (2006), s. 1625-1633 ISSN 1553-7390 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0520; GA ČR(CZ) GA301/06/0028; GA ČR(CZ) GA301/04/0390 Grant - others:HHMI(US) 55005624 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : expression QTL * heritability * tissue specificity Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 7.671, year: 2006

  20. Heritability and genetics of lipid metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenger, Mogens

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the concept of heritability and genetic effect will be reviewed and our current knowledge of the genetics of lipid metabolism summarized. The concepts of polygenic conditions and epistasis are discussed at length, and an effort is made to put the biological processes in context...... in the search for genetic factors influencing the metabolic pathways. Particular physiological heterogeneity is addressed and procedures to handle this complex issue are suggested....

  1. Functional heterogeneity and heritability in CHO cell populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Sarah L; Lovelady, Clare S; Grainger, Rhian K; Racher, Andrew J; Young, Robert J; James, David C

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we address the hypothesis that it is possible to exploit genetic/functional variation in parental Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell populations to isolate clonal derivatives that exhibit superior, heritable attributes for biomanufacturing--new parental cell lines which are inherently more "fit for purpose." One-hundred and ninety-nine CHOK1SV clones were isolated from a donor CHOK1SV parental population by limiting dilution cloning and microplate image analysis, followed by primary analysis of variation in cell-specific proliferation rate during extended deep-well microplate suspension culture of individual clones to accelerate genetic drift in isolated cultures. A subset of 100 clones were comparatively evaluated for transient production of a recombinant monoclonal antibody (Mab) and green fluorescent protein following transfection of a plasmid vector encoding both genes. The heritability of both cell-specific proliferation rate and Mab production was further assessed using a subset of 23 clones varying in functional capability that were subjected to cell culture regimes involving both cryopreservation and extended sub-culture. These data showed that whilst differences in transient Mab production capability were not heritable per se, clones exhibiting heritable variation in specific proliferation rate, endocytotic transfectability and N-glycan processing were identified. Finally, for clonal populations most "evolved" by extended sub-culture in vitro we investigated the relationship between cellular protein biomass content, specific proliferation rate and cell surface N-glycosylation. Rapid-specific proliferation rate was inversely correlated to CHO cell size and protein content, and positively correlated to cell surface glycan content, although substantial clone-specific variation in ability to accumulate cell biomass was evident. Taken together, our data reveal the dynamic nature of the CHO cell functional genome and the potential to evolve and

  2. Heritability of young- and old-onset ischaemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluher, A; Devan, W J; Holliday, E G; Nalls, M; Parolo, S; Bione, S; Giese, A K; Boncoraglio, G B; Maguire, J M; Müller-Nurasyid, M; Gieger, C; Meschia, J F; Rosand, J; Rolfs, A; Kittner, S J; Mitchell, B D; O'Connell, J R; Cheng, Y C

    2015-11-01

    Although the genetic contribution to stroke risk is well known, it remains unclear if young-onset stroke has a stronger genetic contribution than old-onset stroke. This study aims to compare the heritability of ischaemic stroke risk between young and old, using common genetic variants from whole-genome array data in population-based samples. This analysis included 4050 ischaemic stroke cases and 5765 controls from six study populations of European ancestry; 47% of cases were young-onset stroke (age stroke risk in these unrelated individuals, the pairwise genetic relatedness was estimated between individuals based on their whole-genome array data using a mixed linear model. Heritability was estimated separately for young-onset stroke and old-onset stroke (age ≥ 55 years). Heritabilities for young-onset stroke and old-onset stroke were estimated at 42% (±8%, P genetic contribution to the risk of stroke may be higher in young-onset ischaemic stroke, although the difference was not statistically significant. © 2015 EAN.

  3. Cognitive profiles and heritability estimates in the Old Order Amish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuehner, Ryan M; Kochunov, Peter; Nugent, Katie L; Jurius, Deanna E; Savransky, Anya; Gaudiot, Christopher; Bruce, Heather A; Gold, James; Shuldiner, Alan R; Mitchell, Braxton D; Hong, L Elliot

    2016-08-01

    This study aimed to establish the applicability of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) in the Old Order Amish (OOA) and to assess the genetic contribution toward the RBANS total score and its cognitive domains using a large family-based sample of OOA. RBANS data were collected in 103 OOA individuals from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including 85 individuals without psychiatric illness and 18 individuals with current psychiatric diagnoses. The RBANS total score and all five cognitive domains of in nonpsychiatric OOA were within half a SD of the normative data of the general population. The RBANS total score was highly heritable (h=0.51, P=0.019). OOA with psychiatric diagnoses had a numerically lower RBANS total score and domain scores compared with the nonpsychiatric participants. The RBANS appears to be a suitable cognitive battery for the OOA population as measurements obtained from the OOA are comparable with normative data in the US population. The heritability estimated from the OOA is in line with heritabilities of other cognitive batteries estimated in other populations. These results support the use of RBANS in cognitive assessment, clinical care, and behavioral genetic studies of neuropsychological functioning in this population.

  4. The success of primary chemotherapy for group D heritable retinoblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, V M L; Kingston, J; Hungerford, J L

    2009-07-01

    To report the ocular survival and event-free survival following primary multiagent chemotherapy for group D, heritable bilateral retinoblastoma (RB). The RB database was used to identify children with heritable, bilateral RB treated with primary chemotherapy (six cycles of vincristine, etoposide and carboplatin). Only Group D eyes with more than 12 months' follow-up were analysed. The timing, number and type of salvage treatments were recorded. Kaplan-Meier estimates for the ocular survival and event-free survival (percentage of eyes that avoided external beam radiotherapy and/or enucleation) were performed as a function of time. Of 18 group D eyes, two (11%) were treated successfully with chemotherapy alone, nine (50%) underwent successful salvage treatment, and seven (39%) were enucleated. The median time from completing chemotherapy to enucleation was 9 months (range 4 to 25 months). Ocular survival was 67% at 2 years. External beam radiotherapy proved successful salvage treatment in five of nine eyes, so the event-free survival was 34% at 2 years. Multiagent chemotherapy alone is rarely sufficient for the preservation of group D eyes. External beam radiotherapy and plaque radiotherapy remain important salvage treatments for advanced, heritable retinoblastoma.

  5. Heritable temperament pathways to early callous–unemotional behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, Rebecca; Trentacosta, Christopher J.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Ganiban, Jody M.; Reiss, David; Leve, Leslie D.; Hyde, Luke W.

    2016-01-01

    Background Early callous–unemotional behaviours identify children at risk for antisocial behaviour. Recent work suggests that the high heritability of callous–unemotional behaviours is qualified by interactions with positive parenting. Aims To examine whether heritable temperament dimensions of fearlessness and low affiliative behaviour are associated with early callous–unemotional behaviours and whether parenting moderates these associations. Method Using an adoption sample (n = 561), we examined pathways from biological mother self-reported fearlessness and affiliative behaviour to child callous–unemotional behaviours via observed child fearlessness and affiliative behaviour, and whether adoptive parent observed positive parenting moderated pathways. Results Biological mother fearlessness predicted child callous–unemotional behaviours via earlier child fearlessness. Biological mother low affiliative behaviour predicted child callous–unemotional behaviours, although not via child affiliative behaviours. Adoptive mother positive parenting moderated the fearlessness to callous–unemotional behaviour pathway. Conclusions Heritable fearlessness and low interpersonal affiliation traits contribute to the development of callous–unemotional behaviours. Positive parenting can buffer these risky pathways. PMID:27765772

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  8. [Genetics and epigenetics in autism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Atsuo; Masaki, Shiego; Aoki, Eiko

    2006-11-01

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

  9. Epigenetic modulators of thyroid cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hisashi Narahara

    2010-09-01

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

  11. Future clinical trials in DIPG: bringing epigenetics to the clinic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andres E. Morales La Madrid

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In spite of major recent advances in DIPG molecular characterization, this body of knowledge has not yet translated into better treatments.To date,more than 250 clinical trials evaluating radiotherapy along with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy as well as newer biologic agents,have failed to improve the dismal outcome when compared to palliative radiation alone.The biology of DIPG remained unknown until recently when the neurosurgical expertise along with the recognition by the scientific and clinical community of the importance of tissue sampling at diagnosis;ideally in the context of a clinical trial and by trained neurosurgical teams to maximize patient safety.These pre-treatment tumor samples,and others coming from tissue obtained post-mortem,have yielded new insights into DIPG molecular biology.We now know that DIPG comprises a heterogeneous disease with variable molecular phenotypes, different from adult high grade glioma,other non-pontine pediatric high grade gliomas and even between pontine gliomas.The discovery of histone H3.3 or H3.1 mutations has been an important step forward in understanding tumor formation,maintenance and progression.Pharmacologic reversal of DIPG histone demethylation therefore offers an important potential intervention strategy for the treatment of DIPG.To date,clinical trials of newly diagnosed or progressive DIPG with epigenetic modifiers have been unsuccessful.Whether this failure represents limited activity of the agents used,their CNS penetration,redundant pathways within the tumor,or the possibility that histone mutations are necessary only to initiate DIPGs but not maintain their growth,suggest that a great deal still needs to be elucidated in both the underlying biology of these pathways,and the drugs designed to target them.In this review, we discuss the role of both epigenetic and genetic mutations within DIPG and the development of treatment strategies directed against the unique abnormalities

  12. Estimation of genetic variability and heritability of wheat agronomic traits resulted from some gamma rays irradiation techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wijaya Murti Indriatama; Trikoesoemaningtyas; Syarifah Iis Aisyah; Soeranto Human

    2016-01-01

    Gamma irradiation techniques have significant effect on frequency and spectrum of macro-mutation but the study of its effect on micro-mutation that related to genetic variability on mutated population is very limited. The aim of this research was to study the effect of gamma irradiation techniques on genetic variability and heritability of wheat agronomic characters at M2 generation. This research was conducted from July to November 2014, at Cibadak experimental station, Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development, Ministry of Agriculture. Three introduced wheat breeding lines (F-44, Kiran-95 & WL-711) were treated by 3 gamma irradiation techniques (acute, fractionated and intermittent). M1 generation of combination treatments were planted and harvested its spike individually per plants. As M2 generation, seeds of 75 M1 spike were planted at the field with one row one spike method and evaluated on the agronomic characters and its genetic components. The used of gamma irradiation techniques decreased mean but increased range values of agronomic traits in M2 populations. Fractionated irradiation induced higher mean and wider range on spike length and number of spike let per spike than other irradiation techniques. Fractionated and intermittent irradiation resulted greater variability of grain weight per plant than acute irradiation. The number of tillers, spike weight, grain weight per spike and grain weight per plant on M2 population resulted from induction of three gamma irradiation techniques have high estimated heritability and broad sense of genetic variability coefficient values. The three gamma irradiation techniques increased genetic variability of agronomic traits on M2 populations, except plant height. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Emily Ma; Kroll, Kristen L

    2018-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  16. The multifaceted interplay between lipids and epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Epigenetic variation in asexually reproducing organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetics in breast and prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Epigenetics and environmental impacts in cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Epigenetics in mammary gland biology and cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Epigenetic influences of low-dose bisphenol A in primary human breast epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weng, Yu-I; Hsu, Pei-Yin; Liyanarachchi, Sandya; Liu, Joseph; Deatherage, Daniel E.; Huang Yiwen; Zuo Tao; Rodriguez, Benjamin; Lin, Ching-Hung; Cheng, Ann-Lii; Huang, Tim H.-M.

    2010-01-01

    Substantial evidence indicates that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) during early development may increase breast cancer risk later in life. The changes may persist into puberty and adulthood, suggesting an epigenetic process being imposed in differentiated breast epithelial cells. The molecular mechanisms by which early memory of BPA exposure is imprinted in breast progenitor cells and then passed onto their epithelial progeny are not well understood. The aim of this study was to examine epigenetic changes in breast epithelial cells treated with low-dose BPA. We also investigated the effect of BPA on the ERα signaling pathway and global gene expression profiles. Compared to control cells, nuclear internalization of ERα was observed in epithelial cells preexposed to BPA. We identified 170 genes with similar expression changes in response to BPA. Functional analysis confirms that gene suppression was mediated in part through an ERα-dependent pathway. As a result of exposure to BPA or other estrogen-like chemicals, the expression of lysosomal-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3) became epigenetically silenced in breast epithelial cells. Furthermore, increased DNA methylation in the LAMP3 CpG island was this repressive mark preferentially occurred in ERα-positive breast tumors. These results suggest that the in vitro system developed in our laboratory is a valuable tool for exposure studies of BPA and other xenoestrogens in human cells. Individual and geographical differences may contribute to altered patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation in susceptible loci. Combination of our exposure model with epigenetic analysis and other biochemical assays can give insight into the heritable effect of low-dose BPA in human cells.

  2. Daphnia as an Emerging Epigenetic Model Organism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kami D. M. Harris

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Daphnia offer a variety of benefits for the study of epigenetics. Daphnia’s parthenogenetic life cycle allows the study of epigenetic effects in the absence of confounding genetic differences. Sex determination and sexual reproduction are epigenetically determined as are several other well-studied alternate phenotypes that arise in response to environmental stressors. Additionally, there is a large body of ecological literature available, recently complemented by the genome sequence of one species and transgenic technology. DNA methylation has been shown to be altered in response to toxicants and heavy metals, although investigation of other epigenetic mechanisms is only beginning. More thorough studies on DNA methylation as well as investigation of histone modifications and RNAi in sex determination and predator-induced defenses using this ecologically and evolutionarily important organism will contribute to our understanding of epigenetics.

  3. 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...

  4. Peromyscus as a Mammalian Epigenetic Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly R. Shorter

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Deer mice (Peromyscus offer an opportunity for studying the effects of natural genetic/epigenetic variation with several advantages over other mammalian models. These advantages include the ability to study natural genetic variation and behaviors not present in other models. Moreover, their life histories in diverse habitats are well studied. Peromyscus resources include genome sequencing in progress, a nascent genetic map, and >90,000 ESTs. Here we review epigenetic studies and relevant areas of research involving Peromyscus models. These include differences in epigenetic control between species and substance effects on behavior. We also present new data on the epigenetic effects of diet on coat-color using a Peromyscus model of agouti overexpression. We suggest that in terms of tying natural genetic variants with environmental effects in producing specific epigenetic effects, Peromyscus models have a great potential.

  5. 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.

  6. DNA Fingerprinting Techniques for the Analysis of Genetic and Epigenetic Alterations in Colorectal Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Samuelsson, Johanna K.; Alonso, Sergio; Yamamoto, Fumiichiro; Perucho, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    Genetic somatic alterations are fundamental hallmarks of cancer. In addition to point and other small mutations targeting cancer genes, solid tumors often exhibit aneuploidy as well as multiple chromosomal rearrangements of large fragments of the genome. Whether somatic chromosomal alterations and aneuploidy are a driving force or a mere consequence of tumorigenesis remains controversial. Recently it became apparent that not only genetic but also epigenetic alterations play a major role in ca...

  7. Aorta measurements are heritable and influenced by bicuspid aortic valve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa J Martin

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Word Count 266, 1609 charactersObjectives: To determine whether the contributions of genetics and bicuspid aortic valve (BAV independently influence aortic (Ao dimensions.Background: Ao dilation is a risk factor for aneurysm, dissection, and sudden cardiac death. Frequent association of BAV with Ao dilation implicates a common underlying defect possibly due to genetic factors. Methods: Families enriched for BAV underwent standardized transthoracic echocardiography. In addition to BAV status, echocardiographic measures of Ao (annulus to descending Ao, pulmonary artery and mitral valve annulus diameters were obtained. Using variance components analysis, heritability was estimated with and without BAV status. Additionally, bivariate genetic analyses between Ao dimensions and BAV were performed.Results: Our cohort was obtained from 209 families enriched for BAV. After adjusting for age, body surface area and sex, individuals with BAV had a statistically significant increase in all echocardiographic measurements (p < 0.006 except descending Ao and mitral valve annulus. Individuals with BAV were at greater odds of having Ao dilation (OR = 4.44, 95% CI 2.93 – 6.72 than family members without BAV. All echocardiographic measurements exhibited moderate to strong heritability (0.25 to 0.53, and these estimates were not influenced by inclusion of BAV as a covariate. Bivariate genetic analyses supported that the genetic correlation between BAV and echo measures were not significantly different from zero.Conclusions: We show for the first time that echocardiographic measurements of Ao, pulmonary artery and mitral valve annulus diameters are quantitative traits that exhibit significant heritability. In addition, our results suggest the presence of BAV independently influences the proximal Ao and pulmonary artery measures but not those in the descending Ao or mitral valve annulus.

  8. Heritability and linkage analysis of personality in bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Tiffany A; Badner, Judith A; Byerley, William; Keck, Paul E; McElroy, Susan L; Remick, Ronald A; Dessa Sadovnick, A; Kelsoe, John R

    2013-11-01

    The many attempts that have been made to identify genes for bipolar disorder (BD) have met with limited success, which may reflect an inadequacy of diagnosis as an informative and biologically relevant phenotype for genetic studies. Here we have explored aspects of personality as quantitative phenotypes for bipolar disorder through the use of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), which assesses personality in seven dimensions. Four temperament dimensions are assessed: novelty seeking (NS), harm avoidance (HA), reward dependence (RD), and persistence (PS). Three character dimensions are also included: self-directedness (SD), cooperativeness (CO), and self-transcendence (ST). We compared personality scores between diagnostic groups and assessed heritability in a sample of 101 families collected for genetic studies of BD. A genome-wide SNP linkage analysis was then performed in the subset of 51 families for which genetic data was available. Significant group differences were observed between BD subjects, their first-degree relatives, and independent controls for all but RD and PS, and all but HA and RD were found to be significantly heritable in this sample. Linkage analysis of the heritable dimensions produced several suggestive linkage peaks for NS (chromosomes 7q21 and 10p15), PS (chromosomes 6q16, 12p13, and 19p13), and SD (chromosomes 4q35, 8q24, and 18q12). The relatively small size of our linkage sample likely limited our ability to reach genome-wide significance in this study. While not genome-wide significant, these results suggest that aspects of personality may prove useful in the identification of genes underlying BD susceptibility. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Abnormal trafficking of endogenously expressed BMPR2 mutant allelic products in patients with heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L Frump

    Full Text Available More than 200 heterozygous mutations in the type 2 BMP receptor gene, BMPR2, have been identified in patients with Heritable Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (HPAH. More severe clinical outcomes occur in patients with BMPR2 mutations by-passing nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD negative mutations. These comprise 40% of HPAH mutations and are predicted to express BMPR2 mutant products. However expression of endogenous NMD negative BMPR2 mutant products and their effect on protein trafficking and signaling function have never been described. Here, we characterize the expression and trafficking of an HPAH-associated NMD negative BMPR2 mutation that results in an in-frame deletion of BMPR2 EXON2 (BMPR2ΔEx2 in HPAH patient-derived lymphocytes and in pulmonary endothelial cells (PECs from mice carrying the same in-frame deletion of Exon 2 (Bmpr2 (ΔEx2/+ mice. The endogenous BMPR2ΔEx2 mutant product does not reach the cell surface and is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. Moreover, chemical chaperones 4-PBA and TUDCA partially restore cell surface expression of Bmpr2ΔEx2 in PECs, suggesting that the mutant product is mis-folded. We also show that PECs from Bmpr2 (ΔEx2/+ mice have defects in the BMP-induced Smad1/5/8 and Id1 signaling axis, and that addition of chemical chaperones restores expression of the Smad1/5/8 target Id1. These data indicate that the endogenous NMD negative BMPRΔEx2 mutant product is expressed but has a folding defect resulting in ER retention. Partial correction of this folding defect and restoration of defective BMP signaling using chemical chaperones suggests that protein-folding agents could be used therapeutically in patients with these NMD negative BMPR2 mutations.

  11. Neurofibromatosis-Noonan Syndrome: A Possible Paradigm of the Combination of Genetic and Epigenetic Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yapijakis, Christos; Pachis, Nikos; Voumvourakis, Costas

    2017-01-01

    Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome (NFNS) is a clinical entity possessing traits of autosomal dominant disorders neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and Noonan syndrome (NS). Germline mutations that disrupt the RAS/MAPK pathway are involved in the pathogenesis of both NS and NF1. In light of a studied Greek family, a new theory for etiological pathogenesis of NFNS is suggested. The NFNS phenotype may be the final result of a combination of a genetic factor (a mutation in the NF1 gene) and an environmental factor with the epigenetic effects of muscle hypotonia (such as hydantoin in the reported Greek family), causing hypoplasia of the face and micrognathia.

  12. Epigenetics as an emerging tool for improvement of fungal strains used in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghcheh, Razieh Karimi; Kubicek, Christian P

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi are today a major source of industrial biotechnology for the production of primary and secondary metabolites, as well as enzymes and recombinant proteins. All of them have undergone extensive improvement strain programs, initially by classical mutagenesis and later on by genetic manipulation. Thereby, strategies to overcome rate-limiting or yield-reducing reactions included manipulating the expression of individual genes, their regulatory genes, and also their function. Yet, research of the last decade clearly showed that cells can also undergo heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequences (=epigenetics). This involves three levels of regulation: (i) DNA methylation, (ii) chromatin remodeling by histone modification, and (iii) RNA interference. The demonstration of the occurrence of these processes in fungal model organisms such as Aspergillus nidulans and Neurospora crassa has stimulated its recent investigation as a tool for strain improvement in industrially used fungi. This review describes the progress that has thereby been obtained.

  13. Estimating heritability for cause specific mortality based on twin studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheike, Thomas; Holst, Klaus Kähler; von Bornemann Hjelmborg, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    the Danish twin registry and discuss how to define heritability for cancer occurrence. The key point is that this should be done taking censoring as well as competing risks due to e.g.  death into account. We describe the dependence between twins on the probability scale and show that various models can...... be used to achieve sensible estimates of the dependence within monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs that may vary over time. These dependence measures can subsequently be decomposed into a genetic and environmental component using random effects models. We here present several novel models that in essence...

  14. Understanding the role of p53 in adaptive response to radiation-induced germline mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langlois, N.L.; Quinn, J.S.; Somers, C.M.; Boreham, D.R.; Mitchel, R.E.J.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Radiation-induced adaptive response is now a widely studied area of radiation biology. Studies have demonstrated reduced levels of radiation-induced biological damage when an 'adaptive dose' is given before a higher 'challenge dose' compared to when the challenge dose is given alone. It has been shown in some systems to be a result of inducible cellular repair systems. The adaptive response has been clearly demonstrated in many model systems, however its impact on heritable effects in the mammalian germline has never been studied. Expanded Simple Tandem Repeat (ESTR) loci have been used as markers demonstrating that induced heritable mutations in mice follow a dose-response relationship. Recent data in our laboratory show preliminary evidence of radiation-induced adaptive response suppressing germline mutations at ESTR loci in wild type mice. The frequency of heritable mutations was significantly reduced when a priming dose of 0.1 Gy was given 24 hours prior to a 1 Gy acute challenging dose. We are now conducting a follow-up study to attempt to understand the mechanism of this adaptive response. P53 is known to play a significant role in governing apoptosis, DNA repair and cancer induction. In order to determine what function p53 has in the adaptive response for heritable mutations, we have mated radiation treated Trp53+/- male mice (C57Bl) to untreated, normal females (C57Bl). Using DNA fingerprinting, we are investigating the rate of inherited radiation-induced mutations on pre- and post-meiotic radiation-treated gametocytes by examining mutation frequencies in offspring DNA. If p53 is integral in the mechanism of adaptive response, we should not see an adaptive response in radiation-induced heritable mutations in these mice. This research is significant in that it will provide insight to understanding the mechanism behind radiation-induced adaptive response in the mammalian germline

  15. 70 years induced mutations - To be reconsidered? Topic for discussion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Micke, A.

    1996-01-01

    According to the prevailing concept at that time, ''qualitative traits'' were assumed to be controlled by one or very few genes, ''quantitative traits'' by many genes. One had already learned that genes could freely recombine, unless they were tightly linked in a chromosomal section. Great attention was paid to ''gene/environment interactions'', separating traits with ''high heritability'' from those with ''low heritability''. Mutagenesis, however, was supposed to be capable of altering all genes irrespective of their chromosomal location, linkage group or level of heritability. Those with ''high heritability'' of course were easier to handle and identified as the more promising targets for mutation induction. When plant breeders speak about gene/environment interactions, the environment is usually considered under the aspect of physical and chemical conditions outside the plant (e.g. location, year, stress), supporting or restricting performance. This neglects the fact that interaction among genes creates some kind of ''genetic environment''. Plant breeders tend to focus on particular genes assumed to be responsible for traits relevant for cultivar improvement. The other genes are downgraded by being lumped into the ''genetic background''. This thinking also prevailed so far in application of induced mutations in breeding programmes

  16. Epigenetic changes in solid and hematopoietic tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyota, Minoru; Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2005-10-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Dysregulation in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thian-Sze Wong

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetic Pathways of Oncogenic Viruses: Therapeutic Promises.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Recent progress in genetics, epigenetics and metagenomics unveils the pathophysiology of human obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeyre, Marie; Yazdi, Fereshteh T; Kaur, Yuvreet; Meyre, David

    2016-06-01

    In high-, middle- and low-income countries, the rising prevalence of obesity is the underlying cause of numerous health complications and increased mortality. Being a complex and heritable disorder, obesity results from the interplay between genetic susceptibility, epigenetics, metagenomics and the environment. Attempts at understanding the genetic basis of obesity have identified numerous genes associated with syndromic monogenic, non-syndromic monogenic, oligogenic and polygenic obesity. The genetics of leanness are also considered relevant as it mirrors some of obesity's aetiologies. In this report, we summarize ten genetically elucidated obesity syndromes, some of which are involved in ciliary functioning. We comprehensively review 11 monogenic obesity genes identified to date and their role in energy maintenance as part of the leptin-melanocortin pathway. With the emergence of genome-wide association studies over the last decade, 227 genetic variants involved in different biological pathways (central nervous system, food sensing and digestion, adipocyte differentiation, insulin signalling, lipid metabolism, muscle and liver biology, gut microbiota) have been associated with polygenic obesity. Advances in obligatory and facilitated epigenetic variation, and gene-environment interaction studies have partly accounted for the missing heritability of obesity and provided additional insight into its aetiology. The role of gut microbiota in obesity pathophysiology, as well as the 12 genes associated with lipodystrophies is discussed. Furthermore, in an attempt to improve future studies and merge the gap between research and clinical practice, we provide suggestions on how high-throughput '-omic' data can be integrated in order to get closer to the new age of personalized medicine. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  1. Are range-size distributions consistent with species-level heritability?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borregaard, Michael Krabbe; Gotelli, Nicholas; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    The concept of species-level heritability is widely contested. Because it is most likely to apply to emergent, species-level traits, one of the central discussions has focused on the potential heritability of geographic range size. However, a central argument against range-size heritability has...... been that it is not compatible with the observed shape of present-day species range-size distributions (SRDs), a claim that has never been tested. To assess this claim, we used forward simulation of range-size evolution in clades with varying degrees of range-size heritability, and compared the output...

  2. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arberas, Claudia; Ruggieri, Víctor

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Endocrine Disruptor Vinclozolin Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Adult-Onset Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anway, Matthew D.; Leathers, Charles; Skinner, Michael K.

    2018-01-01

    The fetal basis of adult disease is poorly understood on a molecular level and cannot be solely attributed to genetic mutations or a single etiology. Embryonic exposure to environmental compounds has been shown to promote various disease states or lesions in the first generation (F1). The current study used the endocrine disruptor vinclozolin (antiandrogenic compound) in a transient embryonic exposure at the time of gonadal sex determination in rats. Adult animals from the F1 generation and all subsequent generations examined (F1–F4) developed a number of disease states or tissue abnormalities including prostate disease, kidney disease, immune system abnormalities, testis abnormalities, and tumor development (e.g. breast). In addition, a number of blood abnormalities developed including hypercholesterolemia. The incidence or prevalence of these transgenerational disease states was high and consistent across all generations (F1–F4) and, based on data from a previous study, appears to be due in part to epigenetic alterations in the male germ line. The observations demonstrate that an environmental compound, endocrine disruptor, can induce transgenerational disease states or abnormalities, and this suggests a potential epigenetic etiology and molecular basis of adult onset disease. PMID:16973726

  5. Role of Mecp2 in Experience-Dependent Epigenetic Programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph A. Zimmermann

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2, the founding member of a family of proteins recognizing and binding to methylated DNA, are the genetic cause of a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder in humans, called Rett syndrome. Available evidence suggests that MECP2 protein has a critical role in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity and transcription during brain development. Moreover, recent studies in mice show that various posttranslational modifications, notably phosphorylation, regulate Mecp2’s functions in learning and memory, drug addiction, depression-like behavior, and the response to antidepressant treatment. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis drives the stress response and its deregulation increases the risk for a variety of mental disorders. Early-life stress (ELS typically results in sustained HPA-axis deregulation and is a major risk factor for stress related diseases, in particular major depression. Interestingly, Mecp2 protein has been shown to contribute to ELS-dependent epigenetic programming of Crh, Avp, and Pomc, all of these genes enhance HPA-axis activity. Hereby ELS regulates Mecp2 phosphorylation, DNA binding, and transcriptional activities in a tissue-specific and temporospatial manner. Overall, these findings suggest MECP2 proteins are so far underestimated and have a more dynamic role in the mediation of the gene-environment dialog and epigenetic programming of the neuroendocrine stress system in health and disease.

  6. Facial averageness and genetic quality: Testing heritability, genetic correlation with attractiveness, and the paternal age effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Anthony J; Mitchem, Dorian G; Wright, Margaret J; Martin, Nicholas G; Keller, Matthew C; Zietsch, Brendan P

    2016-01-01

    Popular theory suggests that facial averageness is preferred in a partner for genetic benefits to offspring. However, whether facial averageness is associated with genetic quality is yet to be established. Here, we computed an objective measure of facial averageness for a large sample ( N = 1,823) of identical and nonidentical twins and their siblings to test two predictions from the theory that facial averageness reflects genetic quality. First, we use biometrical modelling to estimate the heritability of facial averageness, which is necessary if it reflects genetic quality. We also test for a genetic association between facial averageness and facial attractiveness. Second, we assess whether paternal age at conception (a proxy of mutation load) is associated with facial averageness and facial attractiveness. Our findings are mixed with respect to our hypotheses. While we found that facial averageness does have a genetic component, and a significant phenotypic correlation exists between facial averageness and attractiveness, we did not find a genetic correlation between facial averageness and attractiveness (therefore, we cannot say that the genes that affect facial averageness also affect facial attractiveness) and paternal age at conception was not negatively associated with facial averageness. These findings support some of the previously untested assumptions of the 'genetic benefits' account of facial averageness, but cast doubt on others.

  7. Gene Frequency and Heritability of Rh Blood Group Gene in 44 Human Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supriyo CHAKRABORTY

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The frequency of RhD and Rhd alleles of Rh blood group gene was estimated in 44 human populations distributed all over the world from the RhD phenotypic data. The average frequency of RhD and Rhd allele over these populations was 0.70 and 0.30, respectively. Higher frequency of RhD allele than the expected estimate (0.50 in all the populations, under Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium condition assuming equal frequency of both alleles in the initial population, indicated inbreeding at RhD/d locus as well as natural selection for RhD allele. Very high heritability estimate (84.04% of Rh allele frequency revealed that this trait was under weak selection pressure and resulted in greater genetic variation in existing populations. It is consistent with Fishers fundamental theorem of natural selection. The results from the present study suggest that inbreeding at RhD/d locus and some other factors (possibly mutation, migration and genetic drift other than natural selection alone played major roles in changing the Rh allele frequency in these populations.

  8. Heritable non-lethal damage to cultured human cells irradiated with heavy ions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walker, J.T.; Walker, O.A.

    2002-01-01

    During interplanetary flights the nuclei of all of a crew member's cells could be traversed by at least one high-LET (linear energy transfer) cosmic-ray particle. In mammalian cells irradiated in vitro about 1 in 10,000 of the surviving cells traversed by heavy particles is transformed to malignancy or mutated. What, if anything, happens to the remaining >99% of surviving cells? A retrospective analysis of archived data and samples from heavy-ion irradiation experiments with cultured human cells in vitro indicated that heavy ions caused a dose- and LET-dependent reduction in growth rates of progeny of irradiated cells, based on colony-size distributions. The maximum action cross section for this effect is between 100 and 300 μm 2 , at least as large as the cell nuclear area and up to 3 times the cross section for cell killing. Thus, heritable slow growth is the most prevalent effect of high-LET radiations on cultured animal cells, which may have implications for crew health during deep space travel. (author)

  9. 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.

  10. Design of small-molecule epigenetic modulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachaiyappan, Boobalan

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Heritability estimates for yield and related traits in bread wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Din, R.; Jehan, S.; Ibraullah, A.

    2009-01-01

    A set of 22 experimental wheat lines along with four check cultivars were evaluated in in-irrigated and unirrgated environments with objectives to determine genetic and phenotypic variation and heritability estimates for yield and its traits- The two environments were statistically at par for physiological maturity, plant height, spikes m/sub -2/. spike lets spike/sup -1/ and 1000-grain weight. Highly significant genetic variability existed among wheat lines (P < 0.0 I) in the combined analysis across two test environments for traits except 1000- grain weight. Genotypes x environment interactions were non-significant for traits indicating consistent performance of lines in two test environments. However lines and check cultivars were two to five days early in maturity under unirrigated environment. Plant height, spikes m/sup -2/ and 1000-grain weight also reduced under unirrigated environments. Genetic variances were greater than Environmental variances for most of traits- Heritability estimates were of higher magnitude (0.74 to 0.96) for plant height, medium (0.31 to 0.56) for physiological maturity. spikelets spike/sup -1/ (unirrigated) and 1000-grain weight, and low for spikes m/sup -2/. (author)

  13. Differential heritability of adult and juvenile antisocial traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, M J; True, W R; Eisen, S A; Goldberg, J; Meyer, J M; Faraone, S V; Eaves, L J; Tsuang, M T

    1995-11-01

    Studies of adult antisocial behavior or criminality usually find genetic factors to be more important than the family environment, whereas studies of delinquency find the family environment to be more important. We compared DSM-III-R antisocial personality disorder symptoms before vs after the age of 15 years within a sample of twins, rather than comparing across studies. We administered the Diagnostic Interview Schedule Version III-revised by telephone to 3226 pairs of male twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry. Biometrical modeling was applied to each symptom of antisocial personality disorder and summary measures of juvenile and adult symptoms. Five juvenile symptoms were significantly heritable, and five were significantly influenced by the shared environment. Eight adult symptoms were significantly heritable, and one was significantly influenced by the shared environment. The shared environment explained about six times more variance in juvenile anti-social traits than in adult traits. Shared environmental influences on adult antisocial traits overlapped entirely with those on juvenile traits. Additive genetic factors explained about six times more variance in adult vs juvenile traits. The juvenile genetic determinants overlapped completely with genetic influences on adult traits. The unique environment (plus measurement error) explained the largest proportion of variance in both juvenile and adult antisocial traits. Characteristics of the shared or family environment that promote antisocial behavior during childhood and early adolescence also promote later antisocial behavior, but to a much lesser extent. Genetic causal factors are much more prominent for adult than for juvenile antisocial traits.

  14. Hamilton's inclusive fitness maintains heritable altruism polymorphism through rb = c.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changcao; Lu, Xin

    2018-02-20

    How can altruism evolve or be maintained in a selfish world? Hamilton's rule shows that the former process will occur when rb > c -the benefits to the recipients of an altruistic act b , weighted by the relatedness between the social partners r , exceed the costs to the altruists c -drives altruistic genotypes spreading against nonaltruistic ones. From this rule, we infer that altruistic genotypes will persist in a population by forming a stable heritable polymorphism with nonaltruistic genotypes if rb = c makes inclusive fitness of the two morphs equal. We test this prediction using the data of 12 years of study on a cooperatively breeding bird, the Tibetan ground tit Pseudopodoces humilis , where helping is performed by males only and kin-directed. Individual variation in ever acting as a helper was heritable ( h 2 = 0.47), and the resultant altruism polymorphism remained stable as indicated by low-level annual fluctuation of the percentage of helpers among all adult males (24-28%). Helpers' indirect fitness gains from increased lifetime reproductive success of related breeders statistically fully compensated for their lifetime direct fitness losses, suggesting that rb = c holds. While our work provides a fundamental support for Hamilton's idea, it highlights the equivalent inclusive fitness returns to altruists and nonaltruists mediated by rb = c as a theoretically and realistically important mechanism to maintain social polymorphism.

  15. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection and its association with heritable connective tissue disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henkin, Stanislav; Negrotto, Sara M; Tweet, Marysia S; Kirmani, Salman; Deyle, David R; Gulati, Rajiv; Olson, Timothy M; Hayes, Sharonne N

    2016-06-01

    Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an under-recognised but important cause of myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death. We sought to determine the role of medical and molecular genetic screening for connective tissue disorders in patients with SCAD. We performed a single-centre retrospective descriptive analysis of patients with spontaneous coronary artery disease who had undergone medical genetics evaluation 1984-2014 (n=116). The presence or absence of traits suggestive of heritable connective tissue disease was extracted. Genetic testing for connective tissue disorders and/or aortopathies, if performed, is also reported. Of the 116 patients (mean age 44.2 years, 94.8% women and 41.4% with non-coronary fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD)), 59 patients underwent genetic testing, of whom 3 (5.1%) received a diagnosis of connective tissue disorder: a 50-year-old man with Marfan syndrome; a 43-year-old woman with vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and FMD; and a 45-year-old woman with vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. An additional 12 patients (20.3%) had variants of unknown significance, none of which was thought to be a definite disease-causing mutation based on in silico analyses. Only a minority of patients with SCAD who undergo genetic evaluation have a likely pathogenic mutation identified on gene panel testing. Even fewer exhibit clinical features of connective tissue disorder. These findings underscore the need for further studies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of SCAD. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iatsyshyna A. P.

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Deficiencies and Replicative Stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shoaib, Muhammad; Sørensen, Claus Storgaard

    2015-01-01

    Cancer cell-specific synthetic lethal interactions entail promising therapeutic possibilities. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Pfister et al. describe a synthetic lethal interaction where cancer cells deficient in H3K36me3 owing to SETD2 loss-of-function mutation are strongly sensitized to inhibiti...

  18. Genomic and epigenetic evidence for oxytocin receptor deficiency in autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Worley Gordon

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autism comprises a spectrum of behavioral and cognitive disturbances of childhood development and is known to be highly heritable. Although numerous approaches have been used to identify genes implicated in the development of autism, less than 10% of autism cases have been attributed to single gene disorders. Methods We describe the use of high-resolution genome-wide tilepath microarrays and comparative genomic hybridization to identify copy number variants within 119 probands from multiplex autism families. We next carried out DNA methylation analysis by bisulfite sequencing in a proband and his family, expanding this analysis to methylation analysis of peripheral blood and temporal cortex DNA of autism cases and matched controls from independent datasets. We also assessed oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene expression within the temporal cortex tissue by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Results Our analysis revealed a genomic deletion containing the oxytocin receptor gene, OXTR (MIM accession no.: 167055, previously implicated in autism, was present in an autism proband and his mother who exhibits symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The proband's affected sibling did not harbor this deletion but instead may exhibit epigenetic misregulation of this gene through aberrant gene silencing by DNA methylation. Further DNA methylation analysis of the CpG island known to regulate OXTR expression identified several CpG dinucleotides that show independent statistically significant increases in the DNA methylation status in the peripheral blood cells and temporal cortex in independent datasets of individuals with autism as compared to control samples. Associated with the increase in methylation of these CpG dinucleotides is our finding that OXTR mRNA showed decreased expression in the temporal cortex tissue of autism cases matched for age and sex compared to controls. Conclusion Together, these data provide

  19. Comparison of the heritability of schizophrenia and endophenotypes in the COGS-1 family study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Light, Gregory; Greenwood, Tiffany A; Swerdlow, Neal R; Calkins, Monica E; Freedman, Robert; Green, Michael F; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C; Lazzeroni, Laura C; Nuechterlein, Keith H; Olincy, Ann; Radant, Allen D; Seidman, Larry J; Siever, Larry J; Silverman, Jeremy M; Sprock, Joyce; Stone, William S; Sugar, Catherine A; Tsuang, Debby W; Tsuang, Ming T; Turetsky, Bruce I; Braff, David L

    2014-11-01

    Twin and multiplex family studies have established significant heritability for schizophrenia (SZ), often summarized as 81%. The Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS-1) family study was designed to deconstruct the genetic architecture of SZ using neurocognitive and neurophysiological endophenotypes, for which heritability estimates ranged from 18% to 50% (mean = 30%). This study assessed the heritability of SZ in these families to determine whether there is a "heritability gap" between the diagnosis and related endophenotypes. Nuclear families (N = 296) with a SZ proband, an unaffected sibling, and both parents (n = 1366 subjects; mean family size = 4.6) underwent comprehensive endophenotype and clinical characterization. The Family Interview for Genetic Studies was administered to all participants and used to obtain convergent psychiatric symptom information for additional first-degree relatives of interviewed subjects (N = 3304 subjects; mean family size = 11.2). Heritability estimates of psychotic disorders were computed for both nuclear and extended families. The heritability of SZ was 31% and 44% for nuclear and extended families. The inclusion of bipolar disorder increased the heritability to 37% for the nuclear families. When major depression was added, heritability estimates dropped to 34% and 20% for nuclear and extended families, respectively. Endophenotypes and psychotic disorders exhibit comparable levels of heritability in the COGS-1 family sample. The ascertainment of families with discordant sibpairs to increase endophenotypic contrast may underestimate diagnostic heritability relative to other studies. However, population-based studies also report significantly lower heritability estimates for SZ. Collectively, these findings support the importance of endophenotype-based strategies and the dimensional view of psychosis. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center 2014.

  20. Epigenetics and Neural developmental disorders: Washington DC, September 18 and 19, 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xinyu; Pak, ChangHui; Smrt, Richard D; Jin, Peng

    2007-01-01

    Neural developmental disorders, such as autism, Rett Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and Angelman syndrome manifest during early postnatal neural development. Although the genes responsible for some of these disorders have been identified, how the mutations of these genes affect neural development is currently unclear. Emerging evidence suggest that these disorders share common underlying defects in neuronal morphology, synaptic connectivity and brain plasticity. In particular, alterations in dendritic branching and spine morphology play a central role in the pathophysiology of most mental retardation disorders, suggesting that common pathways regulating neuronal function may be affected. Epigenetic modulations, mediated by DNA methylation, RNA-associated silencing, and histone modification, can serve as an intermediate process that imprints dynamic environmental experiences on the "fixed" genome, resulting in stable alterations in phenotypes. Disturbance in epigenetic regulations can lead to inappropriate expression or silencing of genes, causing an array of multi-system disorders and neoplasias. Rett syndrome, the most common form of mental retardation in young girls, is due to l mutation of MECP2, encoding a methylated DNA binding protein that translates DNA methylation into gene repression. Angelman syndrome is due to faulty genomic imprinting or maternal mutations in UBE3A. Fragile X Syndrome, in most cases, results from the hypermethylation of FMR1 promoter, hence the loss of expression of functional FMRP protein. Autism, with its complex etiology, may have strong epigenetic link. Together, these observations strongly suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a critical role in brain development and etiology of related disorders. This report summarizes the scientific discussions and major conclusions from a recent conference that aimed to gain insight into the common molecular pathways affected among these disorders and discover potential therapeutic targets

  1. Epigenetics: relevance and implications for public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Epigenetic changes detected in micropropagated hop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  3. Epigenetics in radiotherapy: Where are we heading?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonka, Eva

    2017-10-06

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

  5. Epigenetic Regulation in Prostate Cancer Progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Epigenetic Regulation of Monocyte and Macrophage Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetics of dominance for enzyme activity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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....

  10. Somatic mosaicism for the COL7A1 mutation p.Gly2034Arg in the unaffected mother of a patient with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa pruriginosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Akker, P. C.; Pasmooij, A. M. G.; Meijer, R.; Scheffer, H.; Jonkman, M. F.

    Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a heritable blistering disorder caused by mutations in the type VII collagen gene, COL7A1. Although revertant mosaicism is well known in DEB, 'forward' somatic mosaicism, in which a pathogenic mutation arises on a wild-type (WT) background, extending beyond

  11. Somatic mosaicism for the COL7A1 mutation p.Gly2034Arg in the unaffected mother of a patient with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa pruriginosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akker, P.C. van den; Pasmooij, A.M.; Meijer, R.; Scheffer, H.; Jonkman, M.F.

    2015-01-01

    Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a heritable blistering disorder caused by mutations in the type VII collagen gene, COL7A1. Although revertant mosaicism is well known in DEB, 'forward' somatic mosaicism, in which a pathogenic mutation arises on a wild-type (WT) background, extending beyond

  12. Heritability of Biomarkers of Oxidized Lipoproteins: Twin Pair Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Fangwen; Schork, Andrew J; Maihofer, Adam X; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Marcovina, Santica M; Miller, Elizabeth R; Witztum, Joseph L; O'Connor, Daniel T; Tsimikas, Sotirios

    2015-07-01

    To determine whether biomarkers of oxidized lipoproteins are genetically determined. Lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) is a heritable risk factor and carrier of oxidized phospholipids (OxPL). We measured oxidized phospholipids on apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins (OxPL-apoB), Lp(a), IgG, and IgM autoantibodies to malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein, copper oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and apoB-immune complexes in 386 monozygotic and dizygotic twins to estimate trait heritability (h(2)) and determine specific genetic effects among traits. A genome-wide linkage study followed by genetic association was performed. The h(2) (scale: 0-1) for Lp(a) was 0.91±0.01 and for OxPL-apoB 0.87±0.02, which were higher than physiological, inflammatory, or lipid traits. h(2) of IgM malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein, copper oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and apoB-immune complexes were 0.69±0.04, 0.67±0.05, and 0.80±0.03, respectively, and for IgG malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein, copper oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and apoB-immune complexes 0.62±0.05, 0.52±0.06, and 0.53±0.06, respectively. There was an inverse correlation between the major apo(a) isoform and OxPL-apoB (R=-0.49; Plipoprotein and copper oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and apoB-immune complexes. Sib-pair genetic linkage of the Lp(a) trait revealed that single nucleotide polymorphism rs10455872 was significantly associated with OxPL-apoB after adjusting for Lp(a). OxPL-apoB and other biomarkers of oxidized lipoproteins are highly heritable cardiovascular risk factors that suggest novel genetic origins of atherothrombosis. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

  13. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razvi, Enal S

    2011-02-01

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

  14. Set1/COMPASS and Mediator are repurposed to promote epigenetic transcriptional memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Urso, Agustina; Takahashi, Yoh-Hei; Xiong, Bin; Marone, Jessica; Coukos, Robert; Randise-Hinchliff, Carlo; Wang, Ji-Ping; Shilatifard, Ali; Brickner, Jason H

    2016-06-23

    In yeast and humans, previous experiences can lead to epigenetic transcriptional memory: repressed genes that exhibit mitotically heritable changes in chromatin structure and promoter recruitment of poised RNA polymerase II preinitiation complex (RNAPII PIC), which enhances future reactivation. Here, we show that INO1 memory in yeast is initiated by binding of the Sfl1 transcription factor to the cis-acting Memory Recruitment Sequence, targeting INO1 to the nuclear periphery. Memory requires a remodeled form of the Set1/COMPASS methyltransferase lacking Spp1, which dimethylates histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me2). H3K4me2 recruits the SET3C complex, which plays an essential role in maintaining this mark. Finally, while active INO1 is associated with Cdk8(-) Mediator, during memory, Cdk8(+) Mediator recruits poised RNAPII PIC lacking the Kin28 CTD kinase. Aspects of this mechanism are generalizable to yeast and conserved in human cells. Thus, COMPASS and Mediator are repurposed to promote epigenetic transcriptional poising by a highly conserved mechanism.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Hartzell

    2012-10-01

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

  16. 40 CFR 798.5955 - Heritable translocation test in drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... drosophila melanogaster. 798.5955 Section 798.5955 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY....5955 Heritable translocation test in drosophila melanogaster. (a) Purpose. The heritable translocation test in Drosophila measures the induction of chromosomal translocations in germ cells of insects...

  17. Partitioning the Heritability of Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Reveals Differences in Genetic Architecture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davis, Lea K.; Yu, Dongmei; Keenan, Clare L.; Gamazon, Eric R.; Konkashbaev, Anuar I.; Derks, Eske M.; Neale, Benjamin M.; Yang, Jian; Lee, S. Hong; Evans, Patrick; Barr, Cathy L.; Bellodi, Laura; Benarroch, Fortu; Berrio, Gabriel Bedoya; Bienvenu, Oscar J.; Bloch, Michael H.; Blom, Rianne M.; Bruun, Ruth D.; Budman, Cathy L.; Camarena, Beatriz; Campbell, Desmond; Cappi, Carolina; Cardona Silgado, Julio C.; Cath, Danielle C.; Cavallini, Maria C.; Chavira, Denise A.; Chouinard, Sylvain; Conti, David V.; Cook, Edwin H.; Coric, Vladimir; Cullen, Bernadette A.; Deforce, Dieter; Delorme, Richard; Dion, Yves; Edlund, Christopher K.; Egberts, Karin; Falkai, Peter; Fernandez, Thomas V.; Gallagher, Patience J.; Garrido, Helena; Geller, Daniel; Girard, Simon L.; Grabe, Hans J.; Grados, Marco A.; Greenberg, Benjamin D.; Gross-Tsur, Varda; Haddad, Stephen; Heiman, Gary A.; Hemmings, Sian M. J.; Hounie, Ana G.; Illmann, Cornelia; Jankovic, Joseph; Jenike, Michael A.; Kennedy, James L.; King, Robert A.; Kremeyer, Barbara; Kurlan, Roger; Lanzagorta, Nuria; Leboyer, Marion; Leckman, James F.; Lennertz, Leonhard; Liu, Chunyu; Lochner, Christine; Lowe, Thomas L.; Macciardi, Fabio; McCracken, James T.; McGrath, Lauren M.; Mesa Restrepo, Sandra C.; Moessner, Rainald; Morgan, Jubel; Muller, Heike; Murphy, Dennis L.; Naarden, Allan L.; Ochoa, William Cornejo; Ophoff, Roel A.; Osiecki, Lisa; Pakstis, Andrew J.; Pato, Michele T.; Pato, Carlos N.; Piacentini, John; Pittenger, Christopher; Pollak, Yehuda; Rauch, Scott L.; Renner, Tobias J.; Reus, Victor I.; Richter, Margaret A.; Riddle, Mark A.; Robertson, Mary M.; Romero, Roxana; Rosàrio, Maria C.; Rosenberg, David; Rouleau, Guy A.; Ruhrmann, Stephan; Ruiz-Linares, Andres; Sampaio, Aline S.; Samuels, Jack; Sandor, Paul; Sheppard, Brooke; Singer, Harvey S.; Smit, Jan H.; Stein, Dan J.; Strengman, E.; Tischfield, Jay A.; Valencia Duarte, Ana V.; Vallada, Homero; van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Veenstra-Vanderweele, Jeremy; Walitza, Susanne; Wang, Ying; Wendland, Jens R.; Westenberg, Herman G. M.; Shugart, Yin Yao; Miguel, Euripedes C.; McMahon, William; Wagner, Michael; Nicolini, Humberto; Posthuma, Danielle; Hanna, Gregory L.; Heutink, Peter; Denys, Damiaan; Arnold, Paul D.; Oostra, Ben A.; Nestadt, Gerald; Freimer, Nelson B.; Pauls, David L.; Wray, Naomi R.; Stewart, S. Evelyn; Mathews, Carol A.; Knowles, James A.; Cox, Nancy J.; Scharf, Jeremiah M.

    2013-01-01

    The direct estimation of heritability from genome-wide common variant data as implemented in the program Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis (GCTA) has provided a means to quantify heritability attributable to all interrogated variants. We have quantified the variance in liability to disease

  18. Partitioning the heritability of Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder reveals differences in genetic architecture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davis, L.K.; Yu, D.; Keenan, C.L.; Gamazon, E.R.; Konkashbaev, A.I.; Derks, E.M.; Neale, B.M.; Yang, J.; Lee, S.H.; Evans, P.; Barr, C.L.; Bellodi, L.; Benarroch, F.; Berrio, G.B.; Bienvenu, O.J.; Bloch, M.H.; Blom, R.M.; Bruun, R.D.; Budman, C.L.; Camarena, B.; Campbell, D.; Cappi, C.; Cardona Silgado, J.C.; Cath, D.C.; Cavallini, M.C.; Chavira, D.A.; Chouinard, S.; Conti, D.V.; Cook, E.H.; Coric, V.; Cullen, B.A.; Deforce, D.; Delorme, R.; Dion, Y.; Edlund, C.K.; Egberts, K.; Falkai, P.; Fernandez, T.V.; Gallagher, P.J.; Garrido, H.; Geller, D.; Girard, S.L.; Grabe, H.J.; Grados, M.A.; Greenberg, B.D.; Gross-Tsur, V.; Haddad, S.; Heiman, G.A.; Hemmings, S.M.; Hounie, A.G.; Illmann, C.; Jankovic, J.; Jenike, M.A.; Kennedy, J.L.; King, R.A.; Kremeyer, B.; Kurlan, R.; Lanzagorta, N.; Leboyer, M.; Leckman, J.F.; Lennertz, L.; Liu, C.; Lochner, C.; Lowe, T.L.; Macciardi, F.; McCracken, J.T.; McGrath, L.M.; Mesa Restrepo, S.C.; Moessner, R.; Morgan, J.; Muller, H.; Murphy, D.L.; Naarden, A.L.; Ochoa, W.C.; Ophoff, R.A.; Osiecki, L.; Pakstis, A.J.; Pato, M.T.; Piacentini, J.; Pittenger, C.; Pollak, Y.; Rauch, S.L.; Renner, T.J.; Reus, V.I.; Richter, M.A.; Riddle, M.A.; Robertson, M.M.; Romero, R.; Rosàrio, M.C.; Rosenberg, D.; Rouleau, G.A.; Ruhrmann, S.; Ruiz-Linares, A.; Sampaio, A.S.; Samuels, J.; Sandor, P.; Sheppard, B.; Singer, H.S.; Smit, J.H.; Stein, D.J.; Strengman, E.; Tischfield, J.A.; Valencia Duarte, A.V.; Vallada, H.; van Nieuwerburgh, F.; Veenstra-Vanderweele, J.; Walitza, S.; Wang, Y.; Wendland, J.R.; Westenberg, H.G.; Shugart, Y.Y.; Miguel, E.C.; McMahon, W.; Wagner, M.; Nicolini, H.; Posthuma, D.; Hanna, G.L.; Heutink, P.; Denys, D.; Arnold, P.D.; Oostra, B.A.; Nestadt, G.; Freimer, N.B.; Pauls, D.L.; Wray, N.R.; Stewart, S.E.; Mathews, C.A.; Knowles, J.A.; Cox, N.J.; Scharf, J.M.

    2013-01-01

    The direct estimation of heritability from genome-wide common variant data as implemented in the program Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis (GCTA) has provided a means to quantify heritability attributable to all interrogated variants. We have quantified the variance in liability to disease

  19. Multifocal central serous chorioretinopathy with photoreceptor-retinal pigment epithelium diastasis in heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Xiao Qiang; Pryds, Anders; Carlsen, Jørn

    2015-01-01

    PURPOSE: To report atypical central serous chorioretinopathy and choroidal thickening in a patient with heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension. METHODS: A 40-year-old man with heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension presented with blurred vision in his left eye and was followed up for 1 year...

  20. Heritability and genetic correlations for volume, foxtails, and other characteristics of Caribbean pine in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    F. Thomas Ledig; J.L. Whitmore

    1981-01-01

    Caribbean pine is an important exotic being bred throughout the tropics, but published estimates are lacking for heritability of economically important traits and the genetic correlations between them. Based on a Puerto Rican trial of 16 open-pollinated parents of var. hondurensis selected in Belize, heritabilities for a number of characteristics...

  1. Low Cognitive Functioning in Nondemented 80+-Year-Old Twins Is Not Heritable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrill, Stephen A.; Johansson, Boo; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Berg, Stig; Plomin, Robert; Ahern, Frank; McClearn, Gerald E.

    2001-01-01

    Studied the genetic influence of low cognitive functioning in 200 pairs of twins aged at least 80 years and identified as not demented. Results suggest that the heritability of low cognitive functioning in this group was nonsignificant, but above-average cognitive functioning shows substantial group heritability. (SLD)

  2. Heritability studies of yield and yield associated traits in bread wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laghari, K.A.; Sial, M.A.; Arain, M.A.; Mirbahar, A.A.; Pirzada, A.; Mancrio, S.M.; Dahot, M.U.

    2010-01-01

    Heritability studies provide valid information about the traits that are transmitted from parents to offspring and also to the successive generations. Such studies help plant breeders to predict a successful cross with high heritability transmission to the progeny and thus are useful in the incorporation of characters into the offspring. Heritability study was conducted in F5 segregating generation of a cross between HT5 (female) and HT 37 (male) of bread wheat. The genetic parameters calculated were genetic variance (Vg,), environmental variance (Ve) and heritability percentage in broad sense (h2%), genetic advance (GA) and heritability coefficient (H). The highest heritability was observed for spike length (79.3%), number of grains per spike (54.5%) and main spike yield (69.5%) associated with high genetic advance (2.8, 22.8 and 1.5 respectively). Moderate to high heritability were recorded for peduncle length (48.75%) and number of grains per spikelet (47.2%) which associated with high genetic advance (2.3 and 0.68 respectively). However awn length and plant height had shown acceptable heritability values. The present finding suggests that most of the yield associated traits have been successfully transmitted. The information generated will be helpful for better understanding and selection of suitable, desirable material especially in advance generations. (author)

  3. Heritability of Verbal and Performance Intelligence in a Pediatric Longitudinal Sample

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Soelen, I.L.C.; Brouwer, R.M.; van Leeuwen, M.; Kahn, R.S.; Hulshoff Pol, H.E.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2011-01-01

    The longitudinal stability of IQ is well-documented as is its increasing heritability with age. In a longitudinal twin study, we addressed the question to what extent heritability and stability differ for full scale (FSIQ), verbal (VIQ), and performance IQ (PIQ) in childhood (age 9-11 years), and

  4. DNA fingerprinting techniques for the analysis of genetic and epigenetic alterations in colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuelsson, Johanna K; Alonso, Sergio; Yamamoto, Fumiichiro; Perucho, Manuel

    2010-11-10

    Genetic somatic alterations are fundamental hallmarks of cancer. In addition to point and other small mutations targeting cancer genes, solid tumors often exhibit aneuploidy as well as multiple chromosomal rearrangements of large fragments of the genome. Whether somatic chromosomal alterations and aneuploidy are a driving force or a mere consequence of tumorigenesis remains controversial. Recently it became apparent that not only genetic but also epigenetic alterations play a major role in carcinogenesis. Epigenetic regulation mechanisms underlie the maintenance of cell identity crucial for development and differentiation. These epigenetic regulatory mechanisms have been found substantially altered during cancer development and progression. In this review, we discuss approaches designed to analyze genetic and epigenetic alterations in colorectal cancer, especially DNA fingerprinting approaches to detect changes in DNA copy number and methylation. DNA fingerprinting techniques, despite their modest throughput, played a pivotal role in significant discoveries in the molecular basis of colorectal cancer. The aim of this review is to revisit the fingerprinting technologies employed and the oncogenic processes that they unveiled. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Pectus excavatum and heritable disorders of the connective tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Tocchioni

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pectus excavatum, the most frequent congenital chest wall deformity, may be rarely observed as a sole deformity or as a sign of an underlying connective tissue disorder. To date, only few studies have described correlations between this deformity and heritable connective tissue disorders such as Marfan, Ehlers-Danlos, Poland, MASS (Mitral valve prolapse, not progressive Aortic enlargement, Skeletal and Skin alterations phenotype among others. When concurring with connective tissue disorder, cardiopulmonary and vascular involvement may be associated to the thoracic defect. Ruling out the concomitance of pectus excavatum and connective tissue disorders, therefore, may have a direct implication both on surgical outcome and long term prognosis. In this review we focused on biological bases of connective tissue disorders which may be relevant to the pathogenesis of pectus excavatum, portraying surgical and clinical implication of their concurrence.

  6. Human face recognition ability is specific and highly heritable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmer, Jeremy B; Germine, Laura; Chabris, Christopher F; Chatterjee, Garga; Williams, Mark; Loken, Eric; Nakayama, Ken; Duchaine, Bradley

    2010-03-16

    Compared with notable successes in the genetics of basic sensory transduction, progress on the genetics of higher level perception and cognition has been limited. We propose that investigating specific cognitive abilities with well-defined neural substrates, such as face recognition, may yield additional insights. In a twin study of face recognition, we found that the correlation of scores between monozygotic twins (0.70) was more than double the dizygotic twin correlation (0.29), evidence for a high genetic contribution to face recognition ability. Low correlations between face recognition scores and visual and verbal recognition scores indicate that both face recognition ability itself and its genetic basis are largely attributable to face-specific mechanisms. The present results therefore identify an unusual phenomenon: a highly specific cognitive ability that is highly heritable. Our results establish a clear genetic basis for face recognition, opening this intensively studied and socially advantageous cognitive trait to genetic investigation.

  7. Tertiary Epimutations – A Novel Aspect of Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance Promoting Genome Instability

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarrey, John R.; Lehle, Jake D.; Raju, Seetha S.; Wang, Yufeng; Nilsson, Eric E.; Skinner, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental factors can induce the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Alterations to the epigenome termed “epimutations” include “primary epimutations” which are epigenetic alterations in the absence of genetic change and “secondary epimutations” which form following an initial genetic change. To determine if secondary epimutations contribute to transgenerational transmission of disease following in utero exposure to the endocrine disruptor vinclozolin, we exposed pregnant female rats carrying the lacI mutation-reporter transgene to vinclozolin and assessed the frequency of mutations in kidney tissue and sperm recovered from F1 and F3 generation progeny. Our results confirm that vinclozolin induces primary epimutations rather than secondary epimutations, but also suggest that some primary epimutations can predispose a subsequent accelerated accumulation of genetic mutations in F3 generation descendants that have the potential to contribute to transgenerational phenotypes. We therefore propose the existence of “tertiary epimutations” which are initial primary epimutations that promote genome instability leading to an accelerated accumulation of genetic mutations. PMID:27992467

  8. Heritability of Schizophrenia and Schizophrenia Spectrum Based on the Nationwide Danish Twin Register

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilker, Rikke; Helenius, Dorte; Fagerlund, Birgitte

    2018-01-01

    sample. The estimated 79% heritability of SZ is congruent with previous reports and indicates a substantial genetic risk. The high genetic risk also applies to a broader phenotype of SZ spectrum disorders. The low concordance rate of 33% in monozygotic twins demonstrates that illness vulnerability......BACKGROUND: Twin studies have provided evidence that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to schizophrenia (SZ) risk. Heritability estimates of SZ in twin samples have varied methodologically. This study provides updated heritability estimates based on nationwide twin data...... the heritability of SZ to be 79%. When expanding illness outcome to include SZ spectrum disorders, the heritability estimate was almost similar (73%). CONCLUSIONS: The key strength of this study is the application of a novel statistical method accounting for censoring in the follow-up period to a nationwide twin...

  9. The Nature and Extent of Mutational Pleiotropy in Gene Expression of Male Drosophila serrata

    OpenAIRE

    McGuigan, Katrina; Collet, Julie M.; McGraw, Elizabeth A.; Ye, Yixin H.; Allen, Scott L.; Chenoweth, Stephen F.; Blows, Mark W.

    2014-01-01

    The nature and extent of mutational pleiotropy remain largely unknown, despite the central role that pleiotropy plays in many areas of biology, including human disease, agricultural production, and evolution. Here, we investigate the variation in 11,604 gene expression traits among 41 mutation accumulation (MA) lines of Drosophila serrata. We first confirmed that these expression phenotypes were heritable, detecting genetic variation in 96% of them in an outbred, natural population of D. serr...

  10. Human-directed social behaviour in dogs shows significant heritability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persson, M E; Roth, L S V; Johnsson, M; Wright, D; Jensen, P

    2015-04-01

    Through domestication and co-evolution with humans, dogs have developed abilities to attract human attention, e.g. in a manner of seeking assistance when faced with a problem solving task. The aims of this study were to investigate within breed variation in human-directed contact seeking in dogs and to estimate its genetic basis. To do this, 498 research beagles, bred and kept under standardized conditions, were tested in an unsolvable problem task. Contact seeking behaviours recorded included both eye contact and physical interactions. Behavioural data was summarized through a principal component analysis, resulting in four components: test interactions, social interactions, eye contact and physical contact. Females scored significantly higher on social interactions and physical contact and age had an effect on eye contact scores. Narrow sense heritabilities (h(2) ) of the two largest components were estimated at 0.32 and 0.23 but were not significant for the last two components. These results show that within the studied dog population, behavioural variation in human-directed social behaviours was sex dependent and that the utilization of eye contact seeking increased with age and experience. Hence, heritability estimates indicate a significant genetic contribution to the variation found in human-directed social interactions, suggesting that social skills in dogs have a genetic basis, but can also be shaped and enhanced through individual experiences. This research gives the opportunity to further investigate the genetics behind dogs' social skills, which could also play a significant part into research on human social disorders such as autism. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  11. Heritability of life span in the Old Order Amish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, B D; Hsueh, W C; King, T M; Pollin, T I; Sorkin, J; Agarwala, R; Schäffer, A A; Shuldiner, A R

    2001-09-01

    Although a familial contribution to human longevity is recognized, the nature of this contribution is largely unknown. We have examined the familial contribution to life span in the Old Order Amish (OOA) population of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Analyses were conducted on 1,655 individuals, representing all those born prior to 1890 and appearing in the most widely available genealogy, surviving until at least age 30 years, and with known date of death. Mean age at death (+/-SD) in this population was 70.7 +/- 15.6 years, and this did not change appreciably over time. Parental and offspring ages at death were significantly correlated, as were ages of death among siblings. Offspring longevity was correlated with longevity of both parents, and in more or less additive fashion. For example, mean offspring age at death was 69.4 +/- 15.3 years in individuals for whom both parents died before the age of 75 years (n = 280) and increased to 73.5 +/- 16.0 years in individuals for whom neither parent died before the age of 75 years (n = 311). These differences were highly significant (P = 0.006). We estimated heritability of life span to be 25% +/- 5%, suggesting that the additive effects of genes account for one quarter of the total variability in life span in the OOA. We conclude that longevity is moderately heritable in the OOA, that the genetic effects are additive, and that genetic influences on longevity are likely to be expressed across a broad range of ages. Published 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Epigenetic Etiology of Intellectual Disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-08

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

  13. Epigenetic regulation and fetal programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  14. Epigenetic approaches towards radiation countermeasure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agrawala, Paban K.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Using extended genealogy to estimate components of heritability for 23 quantitative and dichotomous traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah Zaitlen

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Important knowledge about the determinants of complex human phenotypes can be obtained from the estimation of heritability, the fraction of phenotypic variation in a population that is determined by genetic factors. Here, we make use of extensive phenotype data in Iceland, long-range phased genotypes, and a population-wide genealogical database to examine the heritability of 11 quantitative and 12 dichotomous phenotypes in a sample of 38,167 individuals. Most previous estimates of heritability are derived from family-based approaches such as twin studies, which may be biased upwards by epistatic interactions or shared environment. Our estimates of heritability, based on both closely and distantly related pairs of individuals, are significantly lower than those from previous studies. We examine phenotypic correlations across a range of relationships, from siblings to first cousins, and find that the excess phenotypic correlation in these related individuals is predominantly due to shared environment as opposed to dominance or epistasis. We also develop a new method to jointly estimate narrow-sense heritability and the heritability explained by genotyped SNPs. Unlike existing methods, this approach permits the use of information from both closely and distantly related pairs of individuals, thereby reducing the variance of estimates of heritability explained by genotyped SNPs while preventing upward bias. Our results show that common SNPs explain a larger proportion of the heritability than previously thought, with SNPs present on Illumina 300K genotyping arrays explaining more than half of the heritability for the 23 phenotypes examined in this study. Much of the remaining heritability is likely to be due to rare alleles that are not captured by standard genotyping arrays.

  16. Partitioning the heritability of Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder reveals differences in genetic architecture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lea K Davis

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The direct estimation of heritability from genome-wide common variant data as implemented in the program Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis (GCTA has provided a means to quantify heritability attributable to all interrogated variants. We have quantified the variance in liability to disease explained by all SNPs for two phenotypically-related neurobehavioral disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD and Tourette Syndrome (TS, using GCTA. Our analysis yielded a heritability point estimate of 0.58 (se = 0.09, p = 5.64e-12 for TS, and 0.37 (se = 0.07, p = 1.5e-07 for OCD. In addition, we conducted multiple genomic partitioning analyses to identify genomic elements that concentrate this heritability. We examined genomic architectures of TS and OCD by chromosome, MAF bin, and functional annotations. In addition, we assessed heritability for early onset and adult onset OCD. Among other notable results, we found that SNPs with a minor allele frequency of less than 5% accounted for 21% of the TS heritability and 0% of the OCD heritability. Additionally, we identified a significant contribution to TS and OCD heritability by variants significantly associated with gene expression in two regions of the brain (parietal cortex and cerebellum for which we had available expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs. Finally we analyzed the genetic correlation between TS and OCD, revealing a genetic correlation of 0.41 (se = 0.15, p = 0.002. These results are very close to previous heritability estimates for TS and OCD based on twin and family studies, suggesting that very little, if any, heritability is truly missing (i.e., unassayed from TS and OCD GWAS studies of common variation. The results also indicate that there is some genetic overlap between these two phenotypically-related neuropsychiatric disorders, but suggest that the two disorders have distinct genetic architectures.

  17. Using extended genealogy to estimate components of heritability for 23 quantitative and dichotomous traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaitlen, Noah; Kraft, Peter; Patterson, Nick; Pasaniuc, Bogdan; Bhatia, Gaurav; Pollack, Samuela; Price, Alkes L

    2013-05-01

    Important knowledge about the determinants of complex human phenotypes can be obtained from the estimation of heritability, the fraction of phenotypic variation in a population that is determined by genetic factors. Here, we make use of extensive phenotype data in Iceland, long-range phased genotypes, and a population-wide genealogical database to examine the heritability of 11 quantitative and 12 dichotomous phenotypes in a sample of 38,167 individuals. Most previous estimates of heritability are derived from family-based approaches such as twin studies, which may be biased upwards by epistatic interactions or shared environment. Our estimates of heritability, based on both closely and distantly related pairs of individuals, are significantly lower than those from previous studies. We examine phenotypic correlations across a range of relationships, from siblings to first cousins, and find that the excess phenotypic correlation in these related individuals is predominantly due to shared environment as opposed to dominance or epistasis. We also develop a new method to jointly estimate narrow-sense heritability and the heritability explained by genotyped SNPs. Unlike existing methods, this approach permits the use of information from both closely and distantly related pairs of individuals, thereby reducing the variance of estimates of heritability explained by genotyped SNPs while preventing upward bias. Our results show that common SNPs explain a larger proportion of the heritability than previously thought, with SNPs present on Illumina 300K genotyping arrays explaining more than half of the heritability for the 23 phenotypes examined in this study. Much of the remaining heritability is likely to be due to rare alleles that are not captured by standard genotyping arrays.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Tian

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Myeloid malignancies: mutations, models and management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murati, Anne; Brecqueville, Mandy; Devillier, Raynier; Mozziconacci, Marie-Joelle; Gelsi-Boyer, Véronique; Birnbaum, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Myeloid malignant diseases comprise chronic (including myelodysplastic syndromes, myeloproliferative neoplasms and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia) and acute (acute myeloid leukemia) stages. They are clonal diseases arising in hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells. Mutations responsible for these diseases occur in several genes whose encoded proteins belong principally to five classes: signaling pathways proteins (e.g. CBL, FLT3, JAK2, RAS), transcription factors (e.g. CEBPA, ETV6, RUNX1), epigenetic regulators (e.g. ASXL1, DNMT3A, EZH2, IDH1, IDH2, SUZ12, TET2, UTX), tumor suppressors (e.g. TP53), and components of the spliceosome (e.g. SF3B1, SRSF2). Large-scale sequencing efforts will soon lead to the establishment of a comprehensive repertoire of these mutations, allowing for a better definition and classification of myeloid malignancies, the identification of new prognostic markers and therapeutic targets, and the development of novel therapies. Given the importance of epigenetic deregulation in myeloid diseases, the use of drugs targeting epigenetic regulators appears as a most promising therapeutic approach

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Simon H

    2013-04-01

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