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Sample records for aberrant epigenetic events

  1. Epigenetic events underlie the pathogenesis of sinonasal papillomas.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Josena K; Vaught, Lori E; Chen, Kang M; Sethi, Seema; Shah, Veena; Benninger, Michael S; Gardner, Glendon M; Schweitzer, Vanessa G; Khan, Mumtaz; Worsham, Maria J

    2007-10-01

    Benign inverted papillomas have been reported as monoclonal but lacking common genetic alterations identified in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Epigenetic changes alter the heritable state of gene expression and chromatin organization without change in DNA sequence. We investigated whether epigenetic events of aberrant promoter hypermethylation in genes known to be involved in squamous head and neck cancer underlie the pathogenesis of sinonasal papillomas. Ten formalin-fixed paraffin DNA samples from three inverted papilloma cases, two exophytic (everted) papilloma cases, and two cases with inverted and exophytic components were studied. DNA was obtained from microdissected areas of normal and papilloma areas and examined using a panel of 41 gene probes, designed to interrogate 35 unique genes for aberrant methylation status (22 genes) using the methylation-specific multiplex-ligation-specific polymerase assay. Methylation-specific PCR was employed to confirm aberrant methylation detected by the methylation-specific multiplex-ligation-specific polymerase assay. All seven cases indicated at least one epigenetic event of aberrant promoter hypermethylation. The CDKN2B gene was a consistent target of aberrant methylation in six of seven cases. Methylation-specific PCR confirmed hypermethylation of CDKN2B. Recurrent biopsies from two inverted papilloma cases had common epigenetic events. Promoter hypermethylation of CDKN2B was a consistent epigenetic event. Common epigenetic alterations in recurrent biopsies underscore a monoclonal origin for these lesions. Epigenetic events contribute to the underlying pathogenesis of benign inverted and exophytic papillomas. As a consistent target of aberrant promoter hypermethylation, CDKN2B may serve as an important epigenetic biomarker for gene reactivation studies.

  2. Epigenetic events associated with breast cancer and their prevention by dietary components targeting the epigenome

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aberrant epigenetic alterations in the genome such as DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling play a significant role in breast cancer development. Since epigenetic alterations are considered to be more easily reversible compared to genetic changes, epigenetic therapy is potentially very useful in ...

  3. Interplay between diet, gut microbiota, epigenetic events, and colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bultman, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the success of colonoscopy screening, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most common and deadly cancers, and CRC incidence is rising in some countries where screening is not routine and populations have recently switched from traditional diets to western diets. Diet and energy balance influence CRC by multiple mechanisms. They modulate the composition and function of gut microbiota, which have a prodigious metabolic capacity and can produce oncometabolites or tumor-suppressive metabolites depending, in part, on which dietary factors and digestive components are present in the GI tract. Gut microbiota also have a profound effect on immune cells in the lamina propria, which influences inflammation and subsequently CRC. Nutrient availability, which is an outcome of diet and energy balance, determines the abundance of certain energy metabolites that are essential co-factors for epigenetic enzymes and therefore impinges upon epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Aberrant epigenetic marks accumulate during CRC, and epimutations that are selected for drive tumorigenesis by causing transcriptome profiles to diverge from the cell of origin. In some instances, the above mechanisms are intertwined as exemplified by dietary fiber being metabolized by colonic bacteria into butyrate, which is both a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor that epigenetically upregulates tumor-suppressor genes in CRC cells and anti-inflammatory genes in immune cells. PMID:27138454

  4. Epigenetic Events in Liver Cancer Resulting From Alcoholic Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    French, Samuel W.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms play an extensive role in the development of liver cancer (i.e., hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC]) associated with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) as well as in liver disease associated with other conditions. For example, epigenetic mechanisms, such as changes in the methylation and/or acetylation pattern of certain DNA regions or of the histone proteins around which the DNA is wrapped, contribute to the reversion of normal liver cells into progenitor and stem cells that can develop into HCC. Chronic exposure to beverage alcohol (i.e., ethanol) can induce all of these epigenetic changes. Thus, ethanol metabolism results in the formation of compounds that can cause changes in DNA methylation and interfere with other components of the normal processes regulating DNA methylation. Alcohol exposure also can alter histone acetylation/deacetylation and methylation patterns through a variety of mechanisms and signaling pathways. Alcohol also acts indirectly on another molecule called toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) that is a key component in a crucial regulatory pathway in the cells and whose dysregulation is involved in the development of HCC. Finally, alcohol use regulates an epigenetic mechanism involving small molecules called miRNAs that control transcriptional events and the expression of genes important to ALD. PMID:24313165

  5. Cancer Progenitor Cells: The Result of an Epigenetic Event?

    PubMed

    Lapinska, Karolina; Faria, Gabriela; McGonagle, Sandra; Macumber, Kate Morgan; Heerboth, Sarah; Sarkar, Sibaji

    2018-01-01

    The concept of cancer stem cells was proposed in the late 1990s. Although initially the idea seemed controversial, the existence of cancer stem cells is now well established. However, the process leading to the formation of cancer stem cells is still not clear and thus requires further research. This article discusses epigenetic events that possibly produce cancer progenitor cells from predisposed cells by the influence of their environment. Every somatic cell possesses an epigenetic signature in terms of histone modifications and DNA methylation, which are obtained during lineage-specific differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, which is specific to that particular tissue. We call this signature an epigenetic switch. The epigenetic switch is not fixed. Our epigenome alters with aging. However, depending on the predisposition of the cells of a particular tissue and their microenvironment, the balance of the switch (histone modifications and the DNA methylation) may be tilted to immortality in a few cells, which generates cancer progenitor cells. Copyright© 2018, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-10-01

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

  7. Epigenetic regulation of bud dormancy events in perennial plants

    PubMed Central

    Ríos, Gabino; Leida, Carmen; Conejero, Ana; Badenes, María Luisa

    2014-01-01

    Release of bud dormancy in perennial plants resembles vernalization in Arabidopsis thaliana and cereals. In both cases, a certain period of chilling is required for accomplishing the reproductive phase, and several transcription factors with the MADS-box domain perform a central regulatory role in these processes. The expression of DORMANCY-ASSOCIATED MADS-box (DAM)-related genes has been found to be up-regulated in dormant buds of numerous plant species, such as poplar, raspberry, leafy spurge, blackcurrant, Japanese apricot, and peach. Moreover, functional evidence suggests the involvement of DAM genes in the regulation of seasonal dormancy in peach. Recent findings highlight the presence of genome-wide epigenetic modifications related to dormancy events, and more specifically the epigenetic regulation of DAM-related genes in a similar way to FLOWERING LOCUS C, a key integrator of vernalization effectors on flowering initiation in Arabidopsis. We revise the most relevant molecular and genomic contributions in the field of bud dormancy, and discuss the increasing evidence for chromatin modification involvement in the epigenetic regulation of seasonal dormancy cycles in perennial plants. PMID:24917873

  8. AIM1 and LINE-1 Epigenetic Aberrations In Tumor and Serum Relate to Melanoma Progression and Disease Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Hoshimoto, Sojun; Kuo, Christine; Chong, Kelly; Takeshima, Ling; Takei, Yoshiki; Li, Michelle; Huang, Sharon; Sim, Myung-Shin; Morton, Donald L.; Hoon, Dave S.B.

    2012-01-01

    Aberrations in the methylation status of non-coding genomic repeat DNA sequences and specific gene promoter region are important epigenetic events in melanoma progression. Promoter methylation status in LINE-1 and Absent in melanoma-1(AIM1;6q21) associated with melanoma progression and disease outcome was assessed. LINE-1 and AIM1 methylation status was assessed in paraffin-embedded archival tissues(PEAT)(n=133) and melanoma patients’ serum(n=56). LINE-1 U-Index(hypomethylation) and AIM1 were analyzed in microdissected melanoma PEAT sections. The LINE-1 U-Index of melanoma(n=100) was significantly higher than that of normal skin(n=14) and nevi(n=12)(P=0.0004). LINE-1 U-Index level was elevated with increasing AJCC stage(P<0.0001). AIM1 promoter hypermethylation was found in higher frequency(P=0.005) in metastatic melanoma(65%) than in primary melanomas(38%). When analyzed, high LINE-1 U-Index and/or AIM1 methylation in melanomas were associated with disease-free survival(DFS) and overall survival(OS) in Stage I/II patients (P=0.017, 0.027; respectively). In multivariate analysis, melanoma AIM1 methylation status was a significant prognostic factor of OS(P=0.032). Furthermore, serum unmethylated LINE-1 was at higher levels in both stage III(n=20) and stage IV(n=36) patients compared to healthy donors(n=14)(P=0.022). Circulating methylated AIM1 was detected in patients’ serum and was predictive of OS in Stage IV patients (P=0.009). LINE-1 hypomethylation and AIM1 hypermethylation have prognostic utility in both melanoma patients’ tumors and serum. PMID:22402438

  9. Association of Smoking, Alcohol Use, and Betel Quid Chewing with Epigenetic Aberrations in Cancers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tong-Hong; Hsia, Shih-Min; Shih, Yin-Hwa; Shieh, Tzong-Ming

    2017-06-06

    Numerous environmental factors such as diet, alcohol use, stress, and environmental chemicals are known to elicit epigenetic changes, leading to increased rates of cancers and other diseases. The incidence of head and neck cancer, one of the most common cancers in Taiwanese males, is increasing: oral cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma are ranked fourth and tenth respectively, among the top ten cancers in this group, and a major cause of cancer-related deaths in Taiwanese males. Previous studies have identified smoking, alcohol use, and betel quid chewing as the three major causes of head and neck cancers; these three social habits are commonly observed in Taiwanese males, resulting in an increasing morbidity rate of head and neck cancers in this population. In this literature review, we discuss the association between specific components of betel quid, alcohol, and tobacco, and the occurrence of head and neck cancers, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and urethral cancer. We focus on regulatory mechanisms at the epigenetic level and their oncogenic effects. The review further discusses the application of FDA-approved epigenetic drugs as therapeutic strategies against cancer.

  10. Repressive but not activating epigenetic modifications are aberrant on the inactive X chromosome in live cloned cattle.

    PubMed

    Geng-Sheng, Cao; Yu, Gao; Kun, Wang; Fang-Rong, Ding; Ning, Li

    2009-08-01

    X inactivation is the process of a chromosome-wide silencing of the majority of genes on the X chromosome during early mammalian development. This process may be aberrant in cloned animals. Here we show that repressive modifications, such as methylation of DNA, and the presence of methylated histones, H3K9me2 and H3K27me3, exhibit distinct aberrance on the inactive X chromosome in live clones. In contrast, H3K4me3, an active gene marker, is obviously missing from the inactive X chromosome in all cattle studied. This suggests that the disappearance of active histone modifications (H3K4me3) seems to be more important for X inactivation than deposition of marks associated with heterochromatin (DNA methylation, H3K27me3 and H3K9me2). It also implies that even apparently normal clones may have subtle abnormalities in repressive, but not activating epigenetic modifications on the inactive X when they survive to term. We also found that the histone H3 methylations were enriched and co-localized at q21-31 of the active X chromosome, which may be associated with an abundance of LINE1 repeat elements. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  11. Aberrant Epigenetic Alterations of Glutathione-S-Transferase P1 in Age-Related Nuclear Cataract.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jia; Zhou, Jing; Wu, Jian; Zhang, Guowei; Kang, Lihua; Ben, Jindong; Wang, Yong; Qin, Bai; Guan, Huaijin

    2017-03-01

    Oxidative damage of lens tissue contributes to the formation of age-related cataract. Pi-class glutathione-S-transferase (GSTP1) plays a role in the removal of oxidative adducts by transferring them to glutathione. To assess epigenetic regulation of GSTP1 and its potential role in age-related nuclear cataract (ARNC) pathogenesis, we evaluated GSTP1 mRNA expression, methylation, and chromatin modifications in lenses from ARNC patients. The mRNA and protein of lens GSTP1 were assayed by relative quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blots. Methylation of the GSTP1 promoter was determined by bisulfite genomic sequencing. Chromatin modification was detected by chromatin immunoprecipitation. DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) activities were also assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-like reaction. To assess the effect of DNA methylation on the mRNA expression of GSTP1, human lens epithelium HLE-B3 cells were treated with the demethylation compound 5-aza-dC, followed by qRT-PCR assay. GSTP1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in lens epithelium and cortex of ARNC cases versus age-matched controls. The changes corresponded to hypermethylation of the GSTP1 promoter CpG islands. The loss of GSTP1 mRNA and protein and the increased DNA promoter methylation might be correlated with the severity of the ARNC. ARNC lenses also had lower acetylation of histone proteins H3, H4, and lower methylation of H3K4, and higher methylation of H3K9. Histone modifications were not correlated with the severity of the ARNCs. DNMT and HDAC were elevated in lenses from ARNCs compared with controls. Demethylation treatment of HLE-B3 cells with 5-aza-dC enhanced the expression of GSTP1. Epigenetic alteration of GSTP1 regulates its expression in lens epithelial and cortical tissues. These changes likely contribute to the pathogenesis of ARNC.

  12. Epigenetic events in plant male germ cell heat stress responses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuanyuan; Müller, Florian; Rieu, Ivo; Winter, Peter

    2016-06-01

    A review on pollen epigenetics. Plants grow in an ever-changing environment and are used to environmental fluctuations such as high and low temperatures during their life cycles. To cope with adverse conditions, plants have evolved intricate short-term and long-term mechanisms to respond and adapt to external stresses. The plant's ability to respond to stresses largely depends on its capacity to modulate the transcriptome rapidly and specifically. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, chromatin dynamics and small RNAs, play an essential role in the regulation of stress-responsive gene expression. Stress-related covalent modifications of DNA and histones can be passed on during mitosis and meiosis to the next generation and provide a memory that enables the plant and even its offspring to adopt better to a subsequent stress. Plant reproduction, in particular pollen development, is the most stress-sensitive process in the life cycle of the organism. In particular, developmental stages around the meiotic and mitotic divisions are the most vulnerable. In this review, we highlight the current understanding of epigenetic mechanisms involved in pollen development and speculate on their roles in pollen heat stress response.

  13. Genome wide identification of aberrant alternative splicing events in myotonic dystrophy type 2.

    PubMed

    Perfetti, Alessandra; Greco, Simona; Fasanaro, Pasquale; Bugiardini, Enrico; Cardani, Rosanna; Garcia-Manteiga, Jose M; Manteiga, Jose M Garcia; Riba, Michela; Cittaro, Davide; Stupka, Elia; Meola, Giovanni; Martelli, Fabio

    2014-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is a genetic, autosomal dominant disease due to expansion of tetraplet (CCTG) repetitions in the first intron of the ZNF9/CNBP gene. DM2 is a multisystemic disorder affecting the skeletal muscle, the heart, the eye and the endocrine system. According to the proposed pathological mechanism, the expanded tetraplets have an RNA toxic effect, disrupting the splicing of many mRNAs. Thus, the identification of aberrantly spliced transcripts is instrumental for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the disease. The aim of this study was the identification of new aberrant alternative splicing events in DM2 patients. By genome wide analysis of 10 DM2 patients and 10 controls (CTR), we identified 273 alternative spliced exons in 218 genes. While many aberrant splicing events were already identified in the past, most were new. A subset of these events was validated by qPCR assays in 19 DM2 and 15 CTR subjects. To gain insight into the molecular pathways involving the identified aberrantly spliced genes, we performed a bioinformatics analysis with Ingenuity system. This analysis indicated a deregulation of development, cell survival, metabolism, calcium signaling and contractility. In conclusion, our genome wide analysis provided a database of aberrant splicing events in the skeletal muscle of DM2 patients. The affected genes are involved in numerous pathways and networks important for muscle physio-pathology, suggesting that the identified variants may contribute to DM2 pathogenesis.

  14. Genome Wide Identification of Aberrant Alternative Splicing Events in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2

    PubMed Central

    Fasanaro, Pasquale; Bugiardini, Enrico; Cardani, Rosanna; Manteiga, Jose M. Garcia.; Riba, Michela; Cittaro, Davide; Stupka, Elia; Meola, Giovanni; Martelli, Fabio

    2014-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is a genetic, autosomal dominant disease due to expansion of tetraplet (CCTG) repetitions in the first intron of the ZNF9/CNBP gene. DM2 is a multisystemic disorder affecting the skeletal muscle, the heart, the eye and the endocrine system. According to the proposed pathological mechanism, the expanded tetraplets have an RNA toxic effect, disrupting the splicing of many mRNAs. Thus, the identification of aberrantly spliced transcripts is instrumental for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the disease. The aim of this study was the identification of new aberrant alternative splicing events in DM2 patients. By genome wide analysis of 10 DM2 patients and 10 controls (CTR), we identified 273 alternative spliced exons in 218 genes. While many aberrant splicing events were already identified in the past, most were new. A subset of these events was validated by qPCR assays in 19 DM2 and 15 CTR subjects. To gain insight into the molecular pathways involving the identified aberrantly spliced genes, we performed a bioinformatics analysis with Ingenuity system. This analysis indicated a deregulation of development, cell survival, metabolism, calcium signaling and contractility. In conclusion, our genome wide analysis provided a database of aberrant splicing events in the skeletal muscle of DM2 patients. The affected genes are involved in numerous pathways and networks important for muscle physio-pathology, suggesting that the identified variants may contribute to DM2 pathogenesis. PMID:24722564

  15. Epigenetic silencing of the NR4A3 tumor suppressor, by aberrant JAK/STAT signaling, predicts prognosis in gastric cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeh, Chung-Min; Chang, Liang-Yu; Lin, Shu-Hui; Chou, Jian-Liang; Hsieh, Hsiao-Yen; Zeng, Li-Han; Chuang, Sheng-Yu; Wang, Hsiao-Wen; Dittner, Claudia; Lin, Cheng-Yu; Lin, Jora M. J.; Huang, Yao-Ting; Ng, Enders K. W.; Cheng, Alfred S. L.; Wu, Shu-Fen; Lin, Jiayuh; Yeh, Kun-Tu; Chan, Michael W. Y.

    2016-08-01

    While aberrant JAK/STAT signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer (GC), its effects on epigenetic alterations of its transcriptional targets remains unclear. In this study, by expression microarrays coupled with bioinformatic analyses, we identified a putative STAT3 target gene, NR4A3 that was downregulated in MKN28 GC daughter cells overexpressing a constitutively activated STAT3 mutant (S16), as compared to an empty vector control (C9). Bisulphite pyrosequencing and demethylation treatment showed that NR4A3 was epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation in S16 and other GC cell lines including AGS cells, showing constitutive activation of STAT3. Subsequent experiments revealed that NR4A3 promoter binding by STAT3 might repress its transcription. Long-term depletion of STAT3 derepressed NR4A3 expression, by promoter demethylation, in AGS GC cells. NR4A3 re-expression in GC cell lines sensitized the cells to cisplatin, and inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, in an animal model. Clinically, GC patients with high NR4A3 methylation, or lower NR4A3 protein expression, had significantly shorter overall survival. Intriguingly, STAT3 activation significantly associated only with NR4A3 methylation in low-stage patient samples. Taken together, aberrant JAK/STAT3 signaling epigenetically silences a potential tumor suppressor, NR4A3, in gastric cancer, plausibly representing a reliable biomarker for gastric cancer prognosis.

  16. A saga of cancer epigenetics: linking epigenetics to alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Sathiya Pandi; Singh, Smriti; Shukla, Sanjeev

    2017-03-07

    The discovery of an increasing number of alternative splicing events in the human genome highlighted that ∼94% of genes generate alternatively spliced transcripts that may produce different protein isoforms with diverse functions. It is now well known that several diseases are a direct and indirect consequence of aberrant splicing events in humans. In addition to the conventional mode of alternative splicing regulation by ' cis ' RNA-binding sites and ' trans' RNA-binding proteins, recent literature provides enormous evidence for epigenetic regulation of alternative splicing. The epigenetic modifications may regulate alternative splicing by either influencing the transcription elongation rate of RNA polymerase II or by recruiting a specific splicing regulator via different chromatin adaptors. The epigenetic alterations and aberrant alternative splicing are known to be associated with various diseases individually, but this review discusses/highlights the latest literature on the role of epigenetic alterations in the regulation of alternative splicing and thereby cancer progression. This review also points out the need for further studies to understand the interplay between epigenetic modifications and aberrant alternative splicing in cancer progression. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  17. Beta/Gamma Oscillations and Event-Related Potentials Indicate Aberrant Multisensory Processing in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Balz, Johanna; Roa Romero, Yadira; Keil, Julian; Krebber, Martin; Niedeggen, Michael; Gallinat, Jürgen; Senkowski, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies have suggested multisensory processing deficits in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). Thus far, the neural mechanisms underlying these deficits are not well understood. Previous studies with unisensory stimulation have shown altered neural oscillations in SCZ. As such, altered oscillations could contribute to aberrant multisensory processing in this patient group. To test this assumption, we conducted an electroencephalography (EEG) study in 15 SCZ and 15 control participants in whom we examined neural oscillations and event-related potentials (ERPs) in the sound-induced flash illusion (SIFI). In the SIFI multiple auditory stimuli that are presented alongside a single visual stimulus can induce the illusory percept of multiple visual stimuli. In SCZ and control participants we compared ERPs and neural oscillations between trials that induced an illusion and trials that did not induce an illusion. On the behavioral level, SCZ (55.7%) and control participants (55.4%) did not significantly differ in illusion rates. The analysis of ERPs revealed diminished amplitudes and altered multisensory processing in SCZ compared to controls around 135 ms after stimulus onset. Moreover, the analysis of neural oscillations revealed altered 25–35 Hz power after 100 to 150 ms over occipital scalp for SCZ compared to controls. Our findings extend previous observations of aberrant neural oscillations in unisensory perception paradigms. They suggest that altered ERPs and altered occipital beta/gamma band power reflect aberrant multisensory processing in SCZ. PMID:27999553

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Epigenetic mechanisms provide one potential explanation for how environmental influences in early life cause long-term changes in chronic disease susceptibility. Whereas epigenetic dysregulation is increasingly implicated in various rare developmental syndromes and cancer, the role of epigenetics in...

  19. Aberrant cognitive phenotypes and altered hippocampal BDNF expression related to epigenetic modifications in mice lacking the post-synaptic scaffolding protein SHANK1: Implications for autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Sungur, A Özge; Jochner, Magdalena C E; Harb, Hani; Kılıç, Ayşe; Garn, Holger; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Wöhr, Markus

    2017-08-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a class of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by persistent deficits in social communication/interaction, together with restricted/repetitive patterns of behavior. ASD is among the most heritable neuropsychiatric conditions, and while available evidence points to a complex set of genetic factors, the SHANK gene family has emerged as one of the most promising candidates. Here, we assessed ASD-related phenotypes with particular emphasis on social behavior and cognition in Shank1 mouse mutants in comparison to heterozygous and wildtype littermate controls across development in both sexes. While social approach behavior was evident in all experimental conditions and social recognition was only mildly affected by genotype, Shank1 -/- null mutant mice were severely impaired in object recognition memory. This effect was particularly prominent in juveniles, not due to impairments in object discrimination, and replicated in independent mouse cohorts. At the neurobiological level, object recognition deficits were paralleled by increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein expression in the hippocampus of Shank1 -/- mice; yet BDNF levels did not differ under baseline conditions. We therefore investigated changes in the epigenetic regulation of hippocampal BDNF expression and detected an enrichment of histone H3 acetylation at the Bdnf promoter1 in Shank1 -/- mice, consistent with increased learning-associated BDNF. Together, our findings indicate that Shank1 deletions lead to an aberrant cognitive phenotype characterized by severe impairments in object recognition memory and increased hippocampal BDNF levels, possibly due to epigenetic modifications. This result supports the link between ASD and intellectual disability, and suggests epigenetic regulation as a potential therapeutic target. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Identification of Proteins Related to Epigenetic Regulation in the Malignant Transformation of Aberrant Karyotypic Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Quantitative Proteomics

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yi; Yang, Yixuan; Zeng, Sicong; Tan, Yueqiu; Lu, Guangxiu; Lin, Ge

    2014-01-01

    Previous reports have demonstrated that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) tend to develop genomic alterations and progress to a malignant state during long-term in vitro culture. This raises concerns of the clinical safety in using cultured hESCs. However, transformed hESCs might serve as an excellent model to determine the process of embryonic stem cell transition. In this study, ITRAQ-based tandem mass spectrometry was used to quantify normal and aberrant karyotypic hESCs proteins from simple to more complex karyotypic abnormalities. We identified and quantified 2583 proteins, and found that the expression levels of 316 proteins that represented at least 23 functional molecular groups were significantly different in both normal and abnormal hESCs. Dysregulated protein expression in epigenetic regulation was further verified in six pairs of hESC lines in early and late passage. In summary, this study is the first large-scale quantitative proteomic analysis of the malignant transformation of aberrant karyotypic hESCs. The data generated should serve as a useful reference of stem cell-derived tumor progression. Increased expression of both HDAC2 and CTNNB1 are detected as early as the pre-neoplastic stage, and might serve as prognostic markers in the malignant transformation of hESCs. PMID:24465727

  1. Aberrant TGFβ/SMAD4 signaling contributes to epigenetic silencing of a putative tumor suppressor, RunX1T1, in ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hui-Wen; Chou, Jian-Liang; Chen, Lin-Yu; Yeh, Chia-Ming; Chen, Yu-Hsin; Lin, Ru-Inn; Su, Her-Young; Chen, Gary CW; Deatherage, Daniel E; Huang, Yi-Wen; Yan, Pearlly S; Lin, Huey-Jen; Nephew, Kenneth P; Huang, Tim H-M; Lai, Hung-Cheng

    2011-01-01

    Aberrant TGFβ signaling pathway may alter the expression of down-stream targets and promotes ovarian carcinogenesis. However, the mechanism of this impairment is not fully understood. Our previous study identified RunX1T1 as a putative SMAD4 target in an immortalized ovarian surface epithelial cell line, IOSE. In this study, we report that transcription of RunX1T1 was confirmed to be positively regulated by SMAD4 in IOSE cells and epigenetically silenced in a panel of ovarian cancer cell lines by promoter hypermethylation and histone methylation at H3 lysine 9. SMAD4 depletion increased repressive histone modifications of RunX1T1 promoter without affecting promoter methylation in IOSE cells. Epigenetic treatment can restore RunX1T1 expression by reversing its epigenetic status in MCP 3 ovarian cancer cells. When transiently treated with a demethylating agent, the expression of RunX1T1 was partially restored in MCP 3 cells, but gradual re-silencing through promoter re-methylation was observed after the treatment. Interestingly, SMAD4 knockdown accelerated this re-silencing process, suggesting that normal TGFβ signaling is essential for the maintenance of RunX1T1 expression. In vivo analysis confirmed that hypermethylation of RunX1T1 was detected in 35.7% (34/95) of ovarian tumors with high clinical stages (p = 0.035) and in 83% (5/6) of primary ovarian cancer-initiating cells. Additionally, concurrent methylation of RunX1T1 and another SMAD4 target, FBXO32 which was previously found to be hypermethylated in ovarian cancer was observed in this same sample cohort (p < 0.05). Restoration of RunX1T1 inhibited cancer cell growth. Taken together, dysregulated TGFβ/SMAD4 signaling may lead to epigenetic silencing of a putative tumor suppressor, RunX1T1, during ovarian carcinogenesis. PMID:21540640

  2. MeCP2 deficiency in Rett syndrome causes epigenetic aberrations at the PWS/AS imprinting center that affects UBE3A expression.

    PubMed

    Makedonski, Kirill; Abuhatzira, Liron; Kaufman, Yotam; Razin, Aharon; Shemer, Ruth

    2005-04-15

    Rett syndrome (RS) is a severe and progressive neurodevelopmental disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the X-linked methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene. MeCP2 is a nuclear protein that binds specifically to methylated DNA and functions as a general transcription repressor in the context of chromatin remodeling complexes. RS shares clinical features with those of Angelman syndrome (AS), an imprinting neurodevelopmental disorder. In AS patients, the maternally expressed copy of UBE3A that codes for the ubiquitin protein ligase 3A (E6-AP) is repressed. The similar phenotype of these two syndromes led us to hypothesize that part of the RS phenotype is due to MeCP2-associated silencing of UBE3A. Indeed, UBE3A mRNA and protein are shown here to be significantly reduced in human and mouse MECP2 deficient brains. This reduced UBE3A level was associated with biallelic production of the UBE3A antisense RNA. In addition, MeCP2 deficiency resulted in elevated histone H3 acetylation and H3(K4) methylation and reduced H3(K9) methylation at the PWS/AS imprinting center, with no effect on DNA methylation or SNRPN expression. We conclude, therefore, that MeCP2 deficiency causes epigenetic aberrations at the PWS imprinting center. These changes in histone modifications result in loss of imprinting of the UBE3A antisense gene in the brain, increase in UBE3A antisense RNA level and, consequently reduction in UBE3A production.

  3. Histone deacetylase inhibitors epigenetically promote reparative events in primary dental pulp cells

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, Henry F., E-mail: Hal.Duncan@dental.tcd.ie; Smith, Anthony J.; Fleming, Garry J.P.

    Application of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) to cells epigenetically alters their chromatin structure and induces transcriptional and cellular reparative events. This study investigated the application of two HDACi, valproic acid (VPA) and trichostatin A (TSA) on the induction of repair-associated responses in primary dental pulp cell (DPC) cultures. Flow cytometry demonstrated that TSA (100 nM, 400 nM) significantly increased cell viability. Neither HDACi was cytotoxic, although cell growth analysis revealed significant anti-proliferative effects at higher concentrations for VPA (>0.5 mM) and TSA (>50 nM). While high-content-analysis demonstrated that HDACi did not significantly induce caspase-3 or p21 activity, p53-expression was increasedmore » by VPA (3 mM, 5 mM) at 48 h. HDACi-exposure induced mineralization per cell dose-dependently to a plateau level (VPA-0.125 mM and TSA-25 nM) with accompanying increases in mineralization/dentinogenic-associated gene expression at 5 days (DMP-1, BMP-2/-4, Nestin) and 10 days (DSPP, BMP-2/-4). Both HDACis, at a range of concentrations, significantly stimulated osteopontin and BMP-2 protein expression at 10 and 14 days further supporting the ability of HDACi to promote differentiation. HDACi exert different effects on primary compared with transformed DPCs and promote mineralization and differentiation events without cytotoxic effects. These novel data now highlight the potential in restorative dentistry for applying low concentrations of HDACi in vital pulp treatment. -- Highlights: • Valproic acid and trichostatin A promoted mineralization in primary pulp cells. • Cell viability, apoptosis, caspase-3, p21 unaltered; p53 increased by valproic acid. • Trichostatin A increased cell viability at 24 h at selected concentrations. • Altered cell toxicity and differentiation between primary and transformed cells. • HDACi-induced the differentiation marker proteins osteopontin and BMP-2.« less

  4. Epigenetic modifications in multiple myeloma: recent advances on the role of DNA and histone methylation.

    PubMed

    Amodio, Nicola; D'Aquila, Patrizia; Passarino, Giuseppe; Tassone, Pierfrancesco; Bellizzi, Dina

    2017-01-01

    Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a clonal late B-cell disorder accounting for about 13% of hematological cancers and 1% of all neoplastic diseases. Recent studies on the molecular pathogenesis and biology of MM have highlighted a complex epigenomic landscape contributing to MM onset, prognosis and high individual variability. Areas covered: We describe here the current knowledge on epigenetic events characterizing MM initiation and progression, focusing on the role of DNA and histone methylation and on the most promising epi-therapeutic approaches targeting the methylation pathway. Expert opinion: Data published so far indicate that alterations of the epigenetic framework, which include aberrant global or gene/non-coding RNA specific methylation profiles, feature prominently in the pathobiology of MM. Indeed, the aberrant expression of components of the epigenetic machinery as well as the reversibility of the epigenetic marks make this pathway druggable, providing the basis for the design of epigenetic therapies against this still fatal malignancy.

  5. Epigenetic Alterations in Colorectal Cancer: Emerging Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Okugawa, Yoshinaga; Grady, William M.; Goel, Ajay

    2015-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. One of the fundamental processes driving the initiation and progression of CRC is the accumulation of a variety of genetic and epigenetic changes in colon epithelial cells. Over the past decade, major advances have been made in our understanding of cancer epigenetics, particularly regarding aberrant DNA methylation, microRNA (miRNA) and noncoding RNA deregulation, and alterations in histone modification states. Assessment of the colon cancer “epigenome” has revealed that virtually all CRCs have aberrantly methylated genes and altered miRNA expression. The average CRC methylome has hundreds to thousands of abnormally methylated genes and dozens of altered miRNAs. As with gene mutations in the cancer genome, a subset of these epigenetic alterations, called driver events, is presumed to have a functional role in CRC. In addition, the advances in our understanding of epigenetic alterations in CRC have led to these alterations being developed as clinical biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic applications. Progress in this field suggests that these epigenetic alterations will be commonly used in the near future to direct the prevention and treatment of CRC. PMID:26216839

  6. Genetic and Epigenetic Events Generate Multiple Pathways in Colorectal Cancer Progression

    PubMed Central

    Pancione, Massimo; Remo, Andrea; Colantuoni, Vittorio

    2012-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common causes of death, despite decades of research. Initially considered as a disease due to genetic mutations, it is now viewed as a complex malignancy because of the involvement of epigenetic abnormalities. A functional equivalence between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms has been suggested in CRC initiation and progression. A hallmark of CRC is its pathogenetic heterogeneity attained through at least three distinct pathways: a traditional (adenoma-carcinoma sequence), an alternative, and more recently the so-called serrated pathway. While the alternative pathway is more heterogeneous and less characterized, the traditional and serrated pathways appear to be more homogeneous and clearly distinct. One unsolved question in colon cancer biology concerns the cells of origin and from which crypt compartment the different pathways originate. Based on molecular and pathological evidences, we propose that the traditional and serrated pathways originate from different crypt compartments explaining their genetic/epigenetic and clinicopathological differences. In this paper, we will discuss the current knowledge of CRC pathogenesis and, specifically, summarize the role of genetic/epigenetic changes in the origin and progression of the multiple CRC pathways. Elucidation of the link between the molecular and clinico-pathological aspects of CRC would improve our understanding of its etiology and impact both prevention and treatment. PMID:22888469

  7. Data-driven approach of CUSUM algorithm in temporal aberrant event detection using interactive web applications.

    PubMed

    Li, Ye; Whelan, Michael; Hobbs, Leigh; Fan, Wen Qi; Fung, Cecilia; Wong, Kenny; Marchand-Austin, Alex; Badiani, Tina; Johnson, Ian

    2016-06-27

    In 2014/2015, Public Health Ontario developed disease-specific, cumulative sum (CUSUM)-based statistical algorithms for detecting aberrant increases in reportable infectious disease incidence in Ontario. The objective of this study was to determine whether the prospective application of these CUSUM algorithms, based on historical patterns, have improved specificity and sensitivity compared to the currently used Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS) algorithm, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of seven algorithms were developed for the following diseases: cyclosporiasis, giardiasis, influenza (one each for type A and type B), mumps, pertussis, invasive pneumococcal disease. Historical data were used as baseline to assess known outbreaks. Regression models were used to model seasonality and CUSUM was applied to the difference between observed and expected counts. An interactive web application was developed allowing program staff to directly interact with data and tune the parameters of CUSUM algorithms using their expertise on the epidemiology of each disease. Using these parameters, a CUSUM detection system was applied prospectively and the results were compared to the outputs generated by EARS. The outcome was the detection of outbreaks, or the start of a known seasonal increase and predicting the peak in activity. The CUSUM algorithms detected provincial outbreaks earlier than the EARS algorithm, identified the start of the influenza season in advance of traditional methods, and had fewer false positive alerts. Additionally, having staff involved in the creation of the algorithms improved their understanding of the algorithms and improved use in practice. Using interactive web-based technology to tune CUSUM improved the sensitivity and specificity of detection algorithms.

  8. Therapeutic modulation of epigenetic drivers of drug resistance in ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zeller, Constanze; Brown, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetic changes in tumours are associated not only with cancer development and progression, but also with resistance to chemotherapy. Aberrant DNA methylation at CpG islands and associated epigenetic silencing are observed during the acquisition of drug resistance. However, it remains unclear whether all of the observed changes are drivers of drug resistance, causally associated with response of tumours to chemotherapy, or are passenger events representing chance DNA methylation changes. Systematic approaches that link DNA methylation and expression with chemosensitivity will be required to identify key drivers. Such drivers will be important prognostic or predicitive biomarkers, both to existing chemotherapies, but also to epigenetic therapies used to modulate drug resistance. PMID:21789144

  9. Epigenetics of prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Li, Long-Cheng

    2007-05-01

    Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer other than skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. Its exact causes are unknown. Several risk factors have been associated with prostate cancer including age, race, family history and diet. Epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation and histone modifications are important means of gene regulation and play essential roles in diverse biological and disease processes. Recently, frequent epigenetic aberrations such as DNA hypo- and hypermethylation and altered histone acetylation and methylation have been observed in prostate cancer affecting the expression and function of a large array of genes, leading to tumorigenesis, tumor progression and metastasis. In this chapter, we examined the current literature regarding epigenetic changes in prostate cancer and discuss the clinical potential of cancer epigenetics for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

  10. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Epigenetic Regulation of Myeloid Cells

    PubMed Central

    IVASHKIV, LIONEL B.; PARK, SUNG HO

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation in myeloid cells is crucial for cell differentiation and activation in response to developmental and environmental cues. Epigenetic control involves posttranslational modification of DNA or chromatin, and is also coupled to upstream signaling pathways and transcription factors. In this review, we summarize key epigenetic events and how dynamics in the epigenetic landscape of myeloid cells shape the development, immune activation, and innate immune memory. PMID:27337441

  12. EG-05COMBINATION OF GENE COPY GAIN AND EPIGENETIC DEREGULATION ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ABERRANT EXPRESSION OF A STEM CELL RELATED HOX-SIGNATURE IN GLIOBLASTOMA

    PubMed Central

    Kurscheid, Sebastian; Bady, Pierre; Sciuscio, Davide; Samarzija, Ivana; Shay, Tal; Vassallo, Irene; Van Criekinge, Wim; Domany, Eytan; Stupp, Roger; Delorenzi, Mauro; Hegi, Monika

    2014-01-01

    We previously reported a stem cell related HOX gene signature associated with resistance to chemo-radiotherapy (TMZ/RT- > TMZ) in glioblastoma. However, underlying mechanisms triggering overexpression remain mostly elusive. Interestingly, HOX genes are neither involved in the developing brain, nor expressed in normal brain, suggestive of an acquired gene expression signature during gliomagenesis. HOXA genes are located on CHR 7 that displays trisomy in most glioblastoma which strongly impacts gene expression on this chromosome, modulated by local regulatory elements. Furthermore we observed more pronounced DNA methylation across the HOXA locus as compared to non-tumoral brain (Human methylation 450K BeadChip Illumina; 59 glioblastoma, 5 non-tumoral brain sampes). CpG probes annotated for HOX-signature genes, contributing most to the variability, served as input into the analysis of DNA methylation and expression to identify key regulatory regions. The structural similarity of the observed correlation matrices between DNA methylation and gene expression in our cohort and an independent data-set from TCGA (106 glioblastoma) was remarkable (RV-coefficient, 0.84; p-value < 0.0001). We identified a CpG located in the promoter region of the HOXA10 locus exerting the strongest mean negative correlation between methylation and expression of the whole HOX-signature. Applying this analysis the same CpG emerged in the external set. We then determined the contribution of both, gene copy aberration (CNA) and methylation at the selected probe to explain expression of the HOX-signature using a linear model. Statistically significant results suggested an additive effect between gene dosage and methylation at the key CpG identified. Similarly, such an additive effect was also observed in the external data-set. Taken together, we hypothesize that overexpression of the stem-cell related HOX signature is triggered by gain of trisomy 7 and escape from compensatory DNA methylation at

  13. Epigenetics of reproductive infertility.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22191037

  15. Epigenetics in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Further evidence that aberrant segregation and crossing over in Sordaria brevicollis may be discrete, though associated, events.

    PubMed

    Theivendirarajah, K; Whitehouse, H L

    1983-01-01

    Crosses were made between buff spore colour mutants in Sordaria brevicollis in the presence of flanking markers. Recombinant asci with one or more wild-type spores were isolated and the spores germinated and scored for buff and flanking marker genotype. The buff genotype was determined by back-crossing to each parent and looking for recombinants. It was found that the majority of the recombinant asci had aberrant segregation at one or other mutant site but not both. It was inferred that in the recombinants hybrid DNA rarely extended to both sites. When the aberrant segregation was associated with crossing-over, the crossovers were situated at either end of the gene rather than between the allelic sites where the hybrid DNA was believed to terminate. Thus, some of the crossovers were separated from the site of the aberrant segregation by a site apparently not involved in hybrid DNA and none was in the position predicted by the Meselson-Radding model, that is, where the hybrid DNA terminates.

  17. Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian species after SCNT-based cloning.

    PubMed

    Niemann, Heiner

    2016-07-01

    The birth of "Dolly," the first mammal cloned from an adult mammary epithelial cell, abolished the decades-old scientific dogma implying that a terminally differentiated cell cannot be reprogrammed into a pluripotent embryonic state. The most dramatic epigenetic reprogramming occurs in SCNT when the expression profile of a differentiated cell is abolished and a new embryo-specific expression profile, involving 10,000 to 12,000 genes, and thus, most genes of the entire genome is established, which drives embryonic and fetal development. The initial release from somatic cell epigenetic constraints is followed by establishment of post-zygotic expression patterns, X-chromosome inactivation, and adjustment of telomere length. Somatic cell nuclear transfer may be associated with a variety of pathologic changes of the fetal and placental phenotype in a proportion of cloned offspring, specifically in ruminants, that are thought to be caused by aberrant epigenetic reprogramming. Improvements in our understanding of this dramatic epigenetic reprogramming event will be instrumental in realizing the great potential of SCNT for basic research and for important agricultural and biomedical applications. Here, current knowledge on epigenetic reprogramming after use of SCNT in livestock is reviewed, with emphasis on gene-specific and global DNA methylation, imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, and telomere length restoration in early development. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Epigenetic modifications in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Dietary Epigenetics in Cancer and Aging

    PubMed Central

    Tollefsbol, Trygve O.

    2013-01-01

    Although epigenetic aberrations frequently occur in aging and cancer and form a core component of these conditions, perhaps the most useful aspect of epigenetic processes is that they are readily reversible. Unlike genetic effects that also play a role in cancer and aging, epigenetic aberrations can be relatively easily corrected. One of the most widespread approaches to the epigenetic alterations in cancer and aging is dietary control. This can be achieved not only through the quality of the diet, but also through the quantity of calories that are consumed. Many phytochemicals such as sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables and green tea have anticancer epigenetic effects and are also efficacious for preventing or treating the epigenetic aberrations of other age-associated diseases besides cancer. Likewise, the quantity of calories that are consumed have proven to be advantageous in preventing cancer and extending the lifespan through control of epigenetic mediators. The purpose of this chapter is to review some of the most recent advances in the epigenetics of cancer and aging and to provide insights into advances being made with respect to dietary intervention into these biological processes that have vast health implications and high translational potential. PMID:24114485

  20. Epigenetic deregulation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Clinical and biological impact.

    PubMed

    Mansouri, Larry; Wierzbinska, Justyna Anna; Plass, Christoph; Rosenquist, Richard

    2018-02-07

    Deregulated transcriptional control caused by aberrant DNA methylation and/or histone modifications is a hallmark of cancer cells. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common adult leukemia, the epigenetic 'landscape' has added a new layer of complexity to our understanding of this clinically and biologically heterogeneous disease. Early studies identified aberrant DNA methylation, often based on single gene promoter analysis with both biological and clinical impact. Subsequent genome-wide profiling studies revealed differential DNA methylation between CLLs and controls and in prognostics subgroups of the disease. From these studies, it became apparent that DNA methylation in regions outside of promoters, such as enhancers, is important for the regulation of coding genes as well as for the regulation of non-coding RNAs. Although DNA methylation profiles are reportedly stable over time and in relation to therapy, a higher epigenetic heterogeneity or 'burden' is seen in more aggressive CLL subgroups, albeit as non-recurrent 'passenger' events. More recently, DNA methylation profiles in CLL analyzed in relation to differentiating normal B-cell populations revealed that the majority of the CLL epigenome reflects the epigenomes present in the cell of origin and that only a small fraction of the epigenetic alterations represents truly CLL-specific changes. Furthermore, CLL patients can be grouped into at least three clinically relevant epigenetic subgroups, potentially originating from different cells at various stages of differentiation and associated with distinct outcomes. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the DNA methylome in CLL, the role of histone modifying enzymes, highlight insights derived from animal models and attempts made to target epigenetic regulators in CLL along with the future directions of this rapidly advancing field. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Epigenetic Patterns in Blood Associated With Lipid Traits Predict Incident Coronary Heart Disease Events and Are Enriched for Results From Genome-Wide Association Studies.

    PubMed

    Hedman, Åsa K; Mendelson, Michael M; Marioni, Riccardo E; Gustafsson, Stefan; Joehanes, Roby; Irvin, Marguerite R; Zhi, Degui; Sandling, Johanna K; Yao, Chen; Liu, Chunyu; Liang, Liming; Huan, Tianxiao; McRae, Allan F; Demissie, Serkalem; Shah, Sonia; Starr, John M; Cupples, L Adrienne; Deloukas, Panos; Spector, Timothy D; Sundström, Johan; Krauss, Ronald M; Arnett, Donna K; Deary, Ian J; Lind, Lars; Levy, Daniel; Ingelsson, Erik

    2017-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies have identified loci influencing circulating lipid concentrations in humans; further information on novel contributing genes, pathways, and biology may be gained through studies of epigenetic modifications. To identify epigenetic changes associated with lipid concentrations, we assayed genome-wide DNA methylation at cytosine-guanine dinucleotides (CpGs) in whole blood from 2306 individuals from 2 population-based cohorts, with replication of findings in 2025 additional individuals. We identified 193 CpGs associated with lipid levels in the discovery stage ( P <1.08E-07) and replicated 33 (at Bonferroni-corrected P <0.05), including 25 novel CpGs not previously associated with lipids. Genes at lipid-associated CpGs were enriched in lipid and amino acid metabolism processes. A differentially methylated locus associated with triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; cg27243685; P =8.1E-26 and 9.3E-19) was associated with cis -expression of a reverse cholesterol transporter ( ABCG1; P =7.2E-28) and incident cardiovascular disease events (hazard ratio per SD increment, 1.38; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-1.66; P =0.0007). We found significant cis -methylation quantitative trait loci at 64% of the 193 CpGs with an enrichment of signals from genome-wide association studies of lipid levels ( P TC =0.004, P HDL-C =0.008 and P triglycerides =0.00003) and coronary heart disease ( P =0.0007). For example, genome-wide significant variants associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and coronary heart disease at APOB were cis -methylation quantitative trait loci for a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-related differentially methylated locus. We report novel associations of DNA methylation with lipid levels, describe epigenetic mechanisms related to previous genome-wide association studies discoveries, and provide evidence implicating epigenetic regulation of reverse cholesterol transport in blood in relation to

  2. [Epigenetics of prostate cancer].

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Relationship between somatosensory event-related potential N140 aberrations and hemispatial agnosia in patients with stroke: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Tomoyuki; Hada, Yasushi; Shimizu, Yukiyo; Yamada, Thoru

    2018-06-01

    The somatosensory event-related potential N140 is thought to be related to selective attention. This study aimed to compare the somatosensory event-related potential N140 in healthy subjects to that in patients with stroke to determine whether N140 and attentiveness are associated in patients with stroke with or without hemispatial agnosia. Normal somatosensory event-related potential N140 values were determined using data from ten healthy subjects. Fifteen patients with stroke were divided into two groups based on the presence of hemispatial neglect. Somatosensory event-related potential N140 components were compared between the two groups. Stimulation of the affected limb in the hemispatial agnosia group resulted in significantly longer N140 latency at the contralateral vs. the ipsilateral electrode. This was the inverse of the relationship observed in normal subjects, with stimulation of the intact side in patients with hemispatial agnosia, and with stimulation of both the intact and affected sides in patients without agnosia. In the hemispatial agnosia group, the peak latency of N140 following stimulation of the affected side was significantly longer than it was following stimulation of the intact side and when compared to that in patients without agnosia. In addition, abnormal N140 peak latencies were observed at the Cz and ipsilateral electrodes in patients with hemispatial agnosia following stimulation of the intact side. These findings suggest that somatosensory event-related potential N140 is independently generated in each hemisphere and may reflect cognitive attention.

  4. Nutritional epigenetics

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  5. Predicting aberrant CpG island methylation

    PubMed Central

    Feltus, F. A.; Lee, E. K.; Costello, J. F.; Plass, C.; Vertino, P. M.

    2003-01-01

    Epigenetic silencing associated with aberrant methylation of promoter region CpG islands is one mechanism leading to loss of tumor suppressor function in human cancer. Profiling of CpG island methylation indicates that some genes are more frequently methylated than others, and that each tumor type is associated with a unique set of methylated genes. However, little is known about why certain genes succumb to this aberrant event. To address this question, we used Restriction Landmark Genome Scanning to analyze the susceptibility of 1,749 unselected CpG islands to de novo methylation driven by overexpression of DNA cytosine-5-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). We found that although the overall incidence of CpG island methylation was increased in cells overexpressing DNMT1, not all loci were equally affected. The majority of CpG islands (69.9%) were resistant to de novo methylation, regardless of DNMT1 overexpression. In contrast, we identified a subset of methylation-prone CpG islands (3.8%) that were consistently hypermethylated in multiple DNMT1 overexpressing clones. Methylation-prone and methylation-resistant CpG islands were not significantly different with respect to size, C+G content, CpG frequency, chromosomal location, or promoter association. We used DNA pattern recognition and supervised learning techniques to derive a classification function based on the frequency of seven novel sequence patterns that was capable of discriminating methylation-prone from methylation-resistant CpG islands with 82% accuracy. The data indicate that CpG islands differ in their intrinsic susceptibility to de novo methylation, and suggest that the propensity for a CpG island to become aberrantly methylated can be predicted based on its sequence context. PMID:14519846

  6. Predicting aberrant CpG island methylation.

    PubMed

    Feltus, F A; Lee, E K; Costello, J F; Plass, C; Vertino, P M

    2003-10-14

    Epigenetic silencing associated with aberrant methylation of promoter region CpG islands is one mechanism leading to loss of tumor suppressor function in human cancer. Profiling of CpG island methylation indicates that some genes are more frequently methylated than others, and that each tumor type is associated with a unique set of methylated genes. However, little is known about why certain genes succumb to this aberrant event. To address this question, we used Restriction Landmark Genome Scanning to analyze the susceptibility of 1,749 unselected CpG islands to de novo methylation driven by overexpression of DNA cytosine-5-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). We found that although the overall incidence of CpG island methylation was increased in cells overexpressing DNMT1, not all loci were equally affected. The majority of CpG islands (69.9%) were resistant to de novo methylation, regardless of DNMT1 overexpression. In contrast, we identified a subset of methylation-prone CpG islands (3.8%) that were consistently hypermethylated in multiple DNMT1 overexpressing clones. Methylation-prone and methylation-resistant CpG islands were not significantly different with respect to size, C+G content, CpG frequency, chromosomal location, or promoter association. We used DNA pattern recognition and supervised learning techniques to derive a classification function based on the frequency of seven novel sequence patterns that was capable of discriminating methylation-prone from methylation-resistant CpG islands with 82% accuracy. The data indicate that CpG islands differ in their intrinsic susceptibility to de novo methylation, and suggest that the propensity for a CpG island to become aberrantly methylated can be predicted based on its sequence context.

  7. Epigenetic rejuvenation.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Behavioral epigenetics

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Coordinate regulation of stress signaling and epigenetic events by Acss2 and HIF-2 in cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Nagati, Jason

    2017-01-01

    Survival of cancer cells in the harsh tumor microenvironment, characterized by oxygen and glucose deprivation, requires rapid initiation of cytoprotective measures. Metabolites whose levels change during stress are ideal signaling cues, particularly if used in post-translational modifications of stress-responsive signal transducers. In cancer cells exposed to oxygen or glucose deprivation, there is an increase in cellular levels of acetate, a substrate for acetate-dependent acetyl CoA synthetase 2 (Acss2) that also stimulates translocation of Acss2 from the cytosol to the nucleus. Nuclear, but not cytosolic, Acss2 promotes acetylation of the stress-responsive Hypoxia Inducible Factor 2α (HIF-2α) subunit by the acetyltransferase/coactivator Creb binding protein (Cbp), a process that facilitates stable Cbp/HIF-2α complex formation. In addition to promoting de novo transcription, Cbp and HIF-2α act in concert to regulate local histone 3 epigenetic marks. Exogenous acetate augments Acss2/HIF-2 dependent cancer growth and metastasis in cell culture and mouse models. Thus, an acetate switch in mammals links nutrient intake and stress signaling with tumor growth and metastasis. PMID:29281714

  10. Aberrant intermediate filament and synaptophysin expression is a frequent event in malignant melanoma: an immunohistochemical study of 73 cases.

    PubMed

    Romano, Ryan C; Carter, Jodi M; Folpe, Andrew L

    2015-08-01

    Malignant melanomas are known to express vimentin, among other intermediate filaments. Though anomalous keratin expression by malignant melanoma has been reported, its frequency is not well-established and this phenomenon is not well-known. We have seen in consultation a number of malignant melanomas with anomalous expression of keratin, other intermediate filaments, or synaptophysin, and therefore studied a large group of primary and metastatic melanomas to determine the frequency of these events. About 73 cases of malignant melanoma (22 primaries and 51 metastases) from 71 patients (51 male, 20 female; mean 59 years, range 17-87 years) were retrieved from our archives. Prior diagnoses were confirmed by re-review of hematoxylin and eosin sections and relevant (e.g., S100 protein, HMB45, Melan-A, and tyrosinase) immunohistochemical studies. Available sections were immunostained for keratin (OSCAR and AE1/AE3 antibodies), desmin, neurofilament protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein, synaptophysin, and chromogranin A. Not all cases could be tested for all markers. Cases were predominantly epithelioid (48/73, 66%) or spindle cell/desmoplastic (25/73, 34%). S100 protein, Melan-A, HMB45, and tyrosinase were positive in 60/65 (92%), 34/64 (53%), 30/60 (50%), 25/48 (52%) of cases, respectively. All five S100-protein-negative cases expressed at least one of the other melanocytic markers: Melan-A (two of four, 50%), HMB45 (two of three, 67%), and tyrosinase (one of two, 50%). All cases expressed at least one melanocytic marker. Cases were positive for keratin (OSCAR, 17/61, 28%; AE1/AE3, 16/40, 40%), desmin (11/47, 24%), neurofilament protein (5/31, 16%), glial fibrillary acidic protein (3/32, 9%), and synaptophysin (10/34, 29%), typically only in a minority of cells. Chromogranin was negative (0/32, 0%). Altogether 9/73 cases (12%) showed expression of >1 intermediate filament. All S100-protein-negative melanomas showed anomalous intermediate filament expression (keratin

  11. Design of small-molecule epigenetic modulators

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Epigenetic mechanisms in heart development and disease.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Shannalee R; Gay, Maresha S; Zhang, Lubo

    2015-07-01

    Suboptimal intrauterine development has been linked to predisposition to cardiovascular disease in adulthood, a concept termed 'developmental origins of health and disease'. Although the exact mechanisms underlying this developmental programming are unknown, a growing body of evidence supports the involvement of epigenetic regulation. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and micro-RNA confer added levels of gene regulation without altering DNA sequences. These modifications are relatively stable signals, offering possible insight into the mechanisms underlying developmental origins of health and disease. This review will discuss the role of epigenetic mechanisms in heart development as well as aberrant epigenetic regulation contributing to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, we will address recent advances targeting epigenetic mechanisms as potential therapeutic approaches to cardiovascular disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Paramutation: the tip of an epigenetic iceberg?

    PubMed Central

    Suter, Catherine M.; Martin, David I.K.

    2009-01-01

    Paramutation describes the transfer of an acquired epigenetic state to an unlinked homologous locus, resulting in a meiotically heritable alteration in gene expression. Early investigations of paramutation characterized a mode of change and inheritance distinct from mendelian genetics, catalyzing the concept of the epigenome. Numerous examples of paramutation and paramutation-like phenomena have now emerged, with evidence that implicates small RNAs in the transfer and maintenance of epigenetic states. In animals piRNA-mediated retrotransposon suppression seems to drive a vast system of epigenetic inheritance with paramutation-like characteristics. The classic examples of paramutation might be merely informative aberrations of pervasive and broadly conserved mechanisms that use RNA to sense homology and target epigenetic modification. When viewed in this context, paramutation is only one aspect of a common and broadly distributed form of inheritance based on epigenetic states. PMID:19945764

  14. Epigenetic changes in solid and hematopoietic tumors.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Epigenetic regulation in dental pulp inflammation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. Epigenetic Disregulation in Oral Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mascolo, Massimo; Siano, Maria; Ilardi, Gennaro; Russo, Daniela; Merolla, Francesco; De Rosa, Gaetano; Staibano, Stefania

    2012-01-01

    Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral region (OSCC) is one of the most common and highly aggressive malignancies worldwide, despite the fact that significant results have been achieved during the last decades in its detection, prevention and treatment. Although many efforts have been made to define the molecular signatures that identify the clinical outcome of oral cancers, OSCC still lacks reliable prognostic molecular markers. Scientific evidence indicates that transition from normal epithelium to pre-malignancy, and finally to oral carcinoma, depends on the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in a multistep process. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are heritable and potentially reversible. The most common examples of such changes are DNA methylation, histone modification, and small non-coding RNAs. Although several epigenetic changes have been currently linked to OSCC initiation and progression, they have been only partially characterized. Over the last decade, it has been demonstrated that especially aberrant DNA methylation plays a critical role in oral cancer. The major goal of the present paper is to review the recent literature about the epigenetic modifications contribution in early and later phases of OSCC malignant transformation; in particular we point out the current evidence of epigenetic marks as novel markers for early diagnosis and prognosis as well as potential therapeutic targets in oral cancer. PMID:22408457

  18. Epigenetics and Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24216997

  19. Epigenetics and colorectal cancer pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. How to stomach an epigenetic insult: the gastric cancer epigenome.

    PubMed

    Padmanabhan, Nisha; Ushijima, Toshikazu; Tan, Patrick

    2017-08-01

    Gastric cancer is a deadly malignancy afflicting close to a million people worldwide. Patient survival is poor and largely due to late diagnosis and suboptimal therapies. Disease heterogeneity is a substantial obstacle, underscoring the need for precision treatment strategies. Studies have identified different subgroups of gastric cancer displaying not just genetic, but also distinct epigenetic hallmarks. Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic abnormalities in gastric cancer are not mere bystander events, but rather promote carcinogenesis through active mechanisms. Epigenetic aberrations, induced by pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori, are an early component of gastric carcinogenesis, probably preceding genetic abnormalities. This Review summarizes our current understanding of the gastric cancer epigenome, highlighting key advances in recent years in both tumours and pre-malignant lesions, made possible through targeted and genome-wide technologies. We focus on studies related to DNA methylation and histone modifications, linking these findings to potential therapeutic opportunities. Lessons learned from the gastric cancer epigenome might also prove relevant for other gastrointestinal cancers.

  1. Behavioral epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Epigenetics in breast and prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Epigenetics in Breast and Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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 cuttingedge 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. PMID:25421674

  4. Interplay between the miRNome and the epigenetic machinery: Implications in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Poddar, Shagun; Kesharwani, Devesh; Datta, Malabika

    2017-11-01

    Epigenetics refers to functionally relevant genomic changes that do not involve changes in the basic nucleotide sequence. Majorly, these are of two types: DNA methylation and histone modifications. Small RNA molecules called miRNAs are often thought to mediate post-transcriptional epigenetic changes by mRNA degradation or translational attenuation. While DNA methylation and histone modifications have their own independent effects on various cellular events, several reports are suggestive of an obvious interplay between these phenomena and the miRNA regulatory program within the cell. Several miRNAs like miR-375, members of miR-29 family, miR-34, miR-200, and others are regulated by DNA methylation and histone modifications in various types of cancers and metabolic diseases. On the other hand, miRNAs like miR-449a, miR-148, miR-101, miR-214, and miR-128 target members of the epigenetic machinery and their dysregulation leads to diverse cellular aberrations. In spite of being independent cellular events, emergence of such reports that suggest a connection between DNA methylation, histone modification, and miRNA function in several diseases indicate that this connecting axis offers a valuable target with great therapeutic potential that might be exploited for disease management. We review the current status of crosstalk between the major epigenetic modifications and the miRNA machinery and discuss this in the context of health and disease. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. The Real Culprit in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Abnormal Epigenetic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Haijing; Zhao, Ming; Chang, Christopher; Lu, Qianjin

    2015-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease involving multiple organs and the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies. The pathogenesis of SLE has been intensively studied but remains far from clear. B and T lymphocyte abnormalities, dysregulation of apoptosis, defects in the clearance of apoptotic materials, and various genetic and epigenetic factors are attributed to the development of SLE. The latest research findings point to the association between abnormal epigenetic regulation and SLE, which has attracted considerable interest worldwide. It is the purpose of this review to present and discuss the relationship between aberrant epigenetic regulation and SLE, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs in patients with SLE, the possible mechanisms of immune dysfunction caused by epigenetic changes, and to better understand the roles of aberrant epigenetic regulation in the initiation and development of SLE and to provide an insight into the related therapeutic options in SLE. PMID:25988383

  6. Epigenetics of Huntington's Disease.

    PubMed

    Bassi, Silvia; Tripathi, Takshashila; Monziani, Alan; Di Leva, Francesca; Biagioli, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a genetic, fatal autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder typically occurring in midlife with symptoms ranging from chorea, to dementia, to personality disturbances (Philos Trans R Soc Lond Ser B Biol Sci 354:957-961, 1999). HD is inherited in a dominant fashion, and the underlying mutation in all cases is a CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion within exon 1 of the HD gene (Cell 72:971-983, 1993). The expanded CAG repeat, translated into a lengthened glutamine tract at the amino terminus of the huntingtin protein, affects its structural properties and functional activities. The effects are pleiotropic, as huntingtin is broadly expressed in different cellular compartments (i.e., cytosol, nucleus, mitochondria) as well as in all cell types of the body at all developmental stages, such that HD pathogenesis likely starts at conception and is a lifelong process (Front Neurosci 9:509, 2015). The rate-limiting mechanism(s) of neurodegeneration in HD still remains elusive: many different processes are commonly disrupted in HD cell lines and animal models, as well as in HD patient cells (Eur J Neurosci 27:2803-2820, 2008); however, epigenetic-chromatin deregulation, as determined by the analysis of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs, has now become a prevailing feature. Thus, the overarching goal of this chapter is to discuss the current status of the literature, reviewing how an aberrant epigenetic landscape can contribute to altered gene expression and neuronal dysfunction in HD.

  7. Stress, epigenetics, and alcoholism.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Stress, Epigenetics, and Alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. Constitutional Epi/Genetic Conditions: Genetic, Epigenetic, and Environmental Factors

    PubMed Central

    Schenkel, Laila C.; Rodenhiser, David; Siu, Victoria; McCready, Elizabeth; Ainsworth, Peter; Sadikovic, Bekim

    2016-01-01

    There are more than 4,000 phenotypes for which the molecular basis is at least partly known. Though defects in primary DNA structure constitute a major cause of these disorders, epigenetic disruption is emerging as an important alternative mechanism in the etiology of a broad range of congenital and developmental conditions. These include epigenetic defects caused by either localized (in cis) genetic alterations or more distant (in trans) genetic events but can also include environmental effects. Emerging evidence suggests interplay between genetic and environmental factors in the epigenetic etiology of several constitutional “epi/genetic” conditions. This review summarizes our broadening understanding of how epigenetics contributes to pediatric disease by exploring different classes of epigenomic disorders. It further challenges the simplistic dogma of “DNA encodes RNA encodes protein” to best understand the spectrum of factors that can influence genetic traits in a pediatric population. PMID:28180025

  10. Epigenetics Advancing Personalized Nanomedicine in Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shujun

    2012-01-01

    Personalized medicine aims to deliver the right drug to a right patient at the right time. It offers unique opportunities to integrate new technologies and concepts to disease prognosis, diagnosis and therapeutics. While selective personalized therapies are conceptually impressive, the majority of cancer therapies have dismal outcome. Such therapeutic failure could result from no response, drug resistance, disease relapse or severe side effect from improper drug delivery. Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology in medicine, has a potential to advance the identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and the delivery of right drug to disease sites. Epigenetic aberrations dynamically contribute to cancer pathogenesis. Given the individualized traits of epigenetic biomarkers, epigenetic considerations would significantly refine personalized nanomedicine. This review aims to dissect the interface of personalized medicine with nanomedicine and epigenetics. I will outline the progress and highlight challenges and areas that can be further explored perfecting the personalized health care. PMID:22921595

  11. Epigenetic Effects of Cannabis Exposure

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Epigenetics of the antibody response

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation, histone posttranslational modifications and microRNAs, are induced in B cells by the same stimuli that drive the antibody response. They play major roles in regulating somatic hypermutation (SHM), class switch DNA recombination (CSR) and differentiation to plasma cells or long-lived memory B cells. Histone modifications target the CSR and, possibly, SHM machinery to the immunoglobulin locus; they together with DNA methylation and microRNAs modulate the expression of critical elements of that machinery, such as AID, as well as factors central to plasma cell differentiation, such as Blimp-1. These inducible B cell-intrinsic epigenetic marks instruct the maturation of antibody responses. Their dysregulation plays an important role in aberrant antibody responses to foreign antigens, such as those of microbial pathogens, and self-antigens, such those targeted in autoimmunity, and B cell neoplasias. PMID:23643790

  13. Genetic Determinants of Epigenetic Patterns: Providing Insight into Disease.

    PubMed

    Cazaly, Emma; Charlesworth, Jac; Dickinson, Joanne L; Holloway, Adele F

    2015-03-26

    The field of epigenetics and our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the establishment, maintenance and heritability of epigenetic patterns continue to grow at a remarkable rate. This information is providing increased understanding of the role of epigenetic changes in disease, insight into the underlying causes of these epigenetic changes and revealing new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Epigenetic modifiers are increasingly being pursued as therapeutic targets in a range of diseases, with a number of agents targeting epigenetic modifications already proving effective in diseases such as cancer. Although it is well established that DNA mutations and aberrant expression of epigenetic modifiers play a key role in disease, attention is now turning to the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors in complex disease etiology. The role of genetic variability in determining epigenetic profiles, which can then be modified by environmental and stochastic factors, is becoming more apparent. Understanding the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors is likely to aid in identifying individuals most likely to benefit from epigenetic therapies. This goal is coming closer to realization because of continual advances in laboratory and statistical tools enabling improvements in the integration of genomic, epigenomic and phenotypic data.

  14. Epigenetics and depression: return of the repressed.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Engrampigenetics: Epigenetics of engram memory cells.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Design of small molecule epigenetic modulators.

    PubMed

    Pachaiyappan, Boobalan; Woster, Patrick M

    2014-01-01

    The field of epigenetics has expanded rapidly to reveal multiple new targets for drug discovery. The functional elements of the epigenomic machinery can be categorized as writers, erasers and readers, and together these elements control cellular gene expression and homeostasis. It is increasingly clear that aberrations in the epigenome can underly a variety of diseases, and thus discovery of small molecules that modulate the epigenome in a specific manner is a viable approach to the discovery of new therapeutic agents. In this Digest, the components of epigenetic control of gene expression will be briefly summarized, and efforts to identify small molecules that modulate epigenetic processes will be described. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Exploiting Epigenetic Alterations in Prostate Cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Genetics and epigenetics of liver cancer.

    PubMed

    Ozen, Cigdem; Yildiz, Gokhan; Dagcan, Alper Tunga; Cevik, Dilek; Ors, Aysegul; Keles, Umur; Topel, Hande; Ozturk, Mehmet

    2013-05-25

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents a major form of primary liver cancer in adults. Chronic infections with hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses and alcohol abuse are the major factors leading to HCC. This deadly cancer affects more than 500,000 people worldwide and it is quite resistant to conventional chemo- and radiotherapy. Genetic and epigenetic studies on HCC may help to understand better its mechanisms and provide new tools for early diagnosis and therapy. Recent literature on whole genome analysis of HCC indicated a high number of mutated genes in addition to well-known genes such as TP53, CTNNB1, AXIN1 and CDKN2A, but their frequencies are much lower. Apart from CTNNB1 mutations, most of the other mutations appear to result in loss-of-function. Thus, HCC-associated mutations cannot be easily targeted for therapy. Epigenetic aberrations that appear to occur quite frequently may serve as new targets. Global DNA hypomethylation, promoter methylation, aberrant expression of non-coding RNAs and dysregulated expression of other epigenetic regulatory genes such as EZH2 are the best-known epigenetic abnormalities. Future research in this direction may help to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for HCC. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Epileptogenesis: can the science of epigenetics give us answers?

    PubMed

    Lubin, Farah D

    2012-05-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are regulatory processes that control gene expression changes involved in multiple aspects of neuronal function, including central nervous system development, synaptic plasticity, and memory. Recent evidence indicates that dysregulation of epigenetic mechanisms occurs in several human epilepsy syndromes. Despite this discovery of a potential role for epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy, few studies have fully explored their contribution to the process of epilepsy development known as epileptogenesis. The purpose of this article is to discuss recent findings suggesting that the process of epileptogenesis may alter the epigenetic landscape, affecting the gene expression patterns observed in epilepsy. Future studies focused on a better characterization of these aberrant epigenetic mechanisms hold the promise of revealing novel treatment options for the prevention and even the reversal of epilepsy.

  20. Environment, epigenetics and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Michael K

    2017-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. The Epigenetics of Epilepsy and Its Progression.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Rebecca M; Henshall, David C; Lubin, Farah D

    2018-04-01

    Epilepsy is a common and devastating neurological disorder characterized by recurrent and unprovoked spontaneous seizures. One leading hypothesis for the development and progression of epilepsy is that large-scale changes in gene transcription and protein expression contribute to aberrant network restructuring and hyperexcitability, resulting in the genesis of repeated seizures. Current research shows that epigenetic mechanisms, including posttranslational alterations to the proteins around which DNA is coiled, chemical modifications to DNA, and the activity of various noncoding RNA molecules exert important influences on these gene networks in experimental epilepsy. Key findings from animal models have been replicated in humans using brain tissue obtained from living patients at the time of neurosurgical resection for pharmacoresistant epilepsy. These findings have spurred efforts to target epigenetic processes to disrupt or modify epilepsy in experimental models with varying degrees of success. In this review, we will (1) summarize the epigenetic mechanisms implicated in epileptogenesis and epilepsy, (2) explore the influence of metabolic factors on epigenetic mechanisms, and (3) assess the potential of using epigenetic markers to support diagnosis and prognosis. Translation of these findings may guide the development of molecular biomarkers and novel therapeutics for prevention or modification of epileptic disorders.

  3. Landscaping plant epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Emergence of the Noncoding Cancer Genome: A Target of Genetic and Epigenetic Alterations.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Stanley; Treloar, Aislinn E; Lupien, Mathieu

    2016-11-01

    The emergence of whole-genome annotation approaches is paving the way for the comprehensive annotation of the human genome across diverse cell and tissue types exposed to various environmental conditions. This has already unmasked the positions of thousands of functional cis-regulatory elements integral to transcriptional regulation, such as enhancers, promoters, and anchors of chromatin interactions that populate the noncoding genome. Recent studies have shown that cis-regulatory elements are commonly the targets of genetic and epigenetic alterations associated with aberrant gene expression in cancer. Here, we review these findings to showcase the contribution of the noncoding genome and its alteration in the development and progression of cancer. We also highlight the opportunities to translate the biological characterization of genetic and epigenetic alterations in the noncoding cancer genome into novel approaches to treat or monitor disease. The majority of genetic and epigenetic alterations accumulate in the noncoding genome throughout oncogenesis. Discriminating driver from passenger events is a challenge that holds great promise to improve our understanding of the etiology of different cancer types. Advancing our understanding of the noncoding cancer genome may thus identify new therapeutic opportunities and accelerate our capacity to find improved biomarkers to monitor various stages of cancer development. Cancer Discov; 6(11); 1215-29. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  5. Interpreting Chromosome Aberration Spectra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levy, Dan; Reeder, Christopher; Loucas, Bradford; Hlatky, Lynn; Chen, Allen; Cornforth, Michael; Sachs, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    Ionizing radiation can damage cells by breaking both strands of DNA in multiple locations, essentially cutting chromosomes into pieces. The cell has enzymatic mechanisms to repair such breaks; however, these mechanisms are imperfect and, in an exchange process, may produce a large-scale rearrangement of the genome, called a chromosome aberration. Chromosome aberrations are important in killing cells, during carcinogenesis, in characterizing repair/misrepair pathways, in retrospective radiation biodosimetry, and in a number of other ways. DNA staining techniques such as mFISH ( multicolor fluorescent in situ hybridization) provide a means for analyzing aberration spectra by examining observed final patterns. Unfortunately, an mFISH observed final pattern often does not uniquely determine the underlying exchange process. Further, resolution limitations in the painting protocol sometimes lead to apparently incomplete final patterns. We here describe an algorithm for systematically finding exchange processes consistent with any observed final pattern. This algorithm uses aberration multigraphs, a mathematical formalism that links the various aspects of aberration formation. By applying a measure to the space of consistent multigraphs, we will show how to generate model-specific distributions of aberration processes from mFISH experimental data. The approach is implemented by software freely available over the internet. As a sample application, we apply these algorithms to an aberration data set, obtaining a distribution of exchange cycle sizes, which serves to measure aberration complexity. Estimating complexity, in turn, helps indicate how damaging the aberrations are and may facilitate identification of radiation type in retrospective biodosimetry.

  6. Multi-step aberrant CpG island hyper-methylation is associated with the progression of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiaki; Oka, Takashi; Shinnou, Yoko; Kondo, Takami; Washio, Kana; Takano, Masayuki; Takata, Katsuyoshi; Morito, Toshiaki; Huang, Xingang; Tamura, Maiko; Kitamura, Yuta; Ohara, Nobuya; Ouchida, Mamoru; Ohshima, Koichi; Shimizu, Kenji; Tanimoto, Mitsune; Takahashi, Kiyoshi; Matsuoka, Masao; Utsunomiya, Atae; Yoshino, Tadashi

    2010-01-01

    Aberrant CpG island methylation contributes to the pathogenesis of various malignancies. However, little is known about the association of epigenetic abnormalities with multistep tumorigenic events in adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). To determine whether epigenetic abnormalities induce the progression of ATLL, we analyzed the methylation profiles of the SHP1, p15, p16, p73, HCAD, DAPK, hMLH-1, and MGMT genes by methylation specific PCR assay in 65 cases with ATLL patients. The number of CpG island methylated genes increased with disease progression and aberrant hypermethylation in specific genes was detected even in HTLV-1 carriers and correlated with progression to ATLL. The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) was observed most frequently in lymphoma type ATLL and was also closely associated with the progression and crisis of ATLL. The high number of methylated genes and increase of CIMP incidence were shown to be unfavorable prognostic factors and correlated with a shorter overall survival by Kaplan-Meyer analysis. The present findings strongly suggest that the multistep accumulation of aberrant CpG methylation in specific target genes and the presence of CIMP are deeply involved in the crisis, progression, and prognosis of ATLL, as well as indicate the value of CpG methylation and CIMP for new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.

  7. Multi-Step Aberrant CpG Island Hyper-Methylation Is Associated with the Progression of Adult T–Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Hiaki; Oka, Takashi; Shinnou, Yoko; Kondo, Takami; Washio, Kana; Takano, Masayuki; Takata, Katsuyoshi; Morito, Toshiaki; Huang, Xingang; Tamura, Maiko; Kitamura, Yuta; Ohara, Nobuya; Ouchida, Mamoru; Ohshima, Koichi; Shimizu, Kenji; Tanimoto, Mitsune; Takahashi, Kiyoshi; Matsuoka, Masao; Utsunomiya, Atae; Yoshino, Tadashi

    2010-01-01

    Aberrant CpG island methylation contributes to the pathogenesis of various malignancies. However, little is known about the association of epigenetic abnormalities with multistep tumorigenic events in adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). To determine whether epigenetic abnormalities induce the progression of ATLL, we analyzed the methylation profiles of the SHP1, p15, p16, p73, HCAD, DAPK, hMLH-1, and MGMT genes by methylation specific PCR assay in 65 cases with ATLL patients. The number of CpG island methylated genes increased with disease progression and aberrant hypermethylation in specific genes was detected even in HTLV-1 carriers and correlated with progression to ATLL. The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) was observed most frequently in lymphoma type ATLL and was also closely associated with the progression and crisis of ATLL. The high number of methylated genes and increase of CIMP incidence were shown to be unfavorable prognostic factors and correlated with a shorter overall survival by Kaplan-Meyer analysis. The present findings strongly suggest that the multistep accumulation of aberrant CpG methylation in specific target genes and the presence of CIMP are deeply involved in the crisis, progression, and prognosis of ATLL, as well as indicate the value of CpG methylation and CIMP for new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. PMID:20019193

  8. Epigenetics: ambiguities and implications.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Towards incorporating epigenetic mechanisms into carcinogen identification and evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Herceg, Zdenko

    2013-01-01

    Remarkable progress in the field of epigenetics has turned academic, medical and public attention to the potential applications of these new advances in medicine and various fields of biomedical research. The result is a broader appreciation of epigenetic phenomena in the a etiology of common human diseases, most notably cancer. These advances also represent an exciting opportunity to incorporate epigenetics and epigenomics into carcinogen identification and safety assessment. Current epigenetic studies, including major international sequencing projects, are expected to generate information for establishing the ‘normal’ epigenome of tissues and cell types as well as the physiological variability of the epigenome against which carcinogen exposure can be assessed. Recently, epigenetic events have emerged as key mechanisms in cancer development, and while our search of the Monograph Volume 100 revealed that epigenetics have played a modest role in evaluating human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs so far, epigenetic data might play a pivotal role in the future. Here, we review (i) the current status of incorporation of epigenetics in carcinogen evaluation in the IARC Monographs Programme, (ii) potential modes of action for epigenetic carcinogens, (iii) current in vivo and in vitro technologies to detect epigenetic carcinogens, (iv) genomic regions and epigenetic modifications and their biological consequences and (v) critical technological and biological issues in assessment of epigenetic carcinogens. We also discuss the issues related to opportunities and challenges in the application of epigenetic testing in carcinogen identification and evaluation. Although the application of epigenetic assays in carcinogen evaluation is still in its infancy, important data are being generated and valuable scientific resources are being established that should catalyse future applications of epigenetic testing. PMID:23749751

  10. Epigenetic Effects of Cannabis Exposure.

    PubMed

    Szutorisz, Henrietta; Hurd, Yasmin L

    2016-04-01

    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 has 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. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Age-related epigenetic drift and phenotypic plasticity loss: implications in prevention of age-related human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuanyuan; Tollefsbol, Trygve O

    2016-01-01

    Aging is considered as one of the most important developmental processes in organisms and is closely associated with global deteriorations of epigenetic markers such as aberrant methylomic patterns. This altered epigenomic state, referred to ‘epigenetic drift’, reflects deficient maintenance of epigenetic marks and contributes to impaired cellular and molecular functions in aged cells. Epigenetic drift-induced abnormal changes during aging are scantily repaired by epigenetic modulators. This inflexibility in the aged epigenome may lead to an age-related decline in phenotypic plasticity at the cellular and molecular levels due to epigenetic drift. This perspective aims to provide novel concepts for understanding epigenetic effects on the aging process and to provide insights into epigenetic prevention and therapeutic strategies for age-related human disease. PMID:27882781

  12. Epigenetics and Cellular Metabolism

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in cancer: techniques, resources and analysis

    PubMed Central

    Kagohara, Luciane T; Stein-O’Brien, Genevieve L; Kelley, Dylan; Flam, Emily; Wick, Heather C; Danilova, Ludmila V; Easwaran, Hariharan; Favorov, Alexander V; Qian, Jiang; Gaykalova, Daria A; Fertig, Elana J

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Cancer is a complex disease, driven by aberrant activity in numerous signaling pathways in even individual malignant cells. Epigenetic changes are critical mediators of these functional changes that drive and maintain the malignant phenotype. Changes in DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, noncoding RNAs, posttranslational modifications are all epigenetic drivers in cancer, independent of changes in the DNA sequence. These epigenetic alterations were once thought to be crucial only for the malignant phenotype maintenance. Now, epigenetic alterations are also recognized as critical for disrupting essential pathways that protect the cells from uncontrolled growth, longer survival and establishment in distant sites from the original tissue. In this review, we focus on DNA methylation and chromatin structure in cancer. The precise functional role of these alterations is an area of active research using emerging high-throughput approaches and bioinformatics analysis tools. Therefore, this review also describes these high-throughput measurement technologies, public domain databases for high-throughput epigenetic data in tumors and model systems and bioinformatics algorithms for their analysis. Advances in bioinformatics data that combine these epigenetic data with genomics data are essential to infer the function of specific epigenetic alterations in cancer. These integrative algorithms are also a focus of this review. Future studies using these emerging technologies will elucidate how alterations in the cancer epigenome cooperate with genetic aberrations during tumor initiation and progression. This deeper understanding is essential to future studies with epigenetics biomarkers and precision medicine using emerging epigenetic therapies. PMID:28968850

  14. Prognostic significance of aberrant gene methylation in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jing; Zhang, Guanjun; Yao, Demao; Liu, Wei; Wang, Na; Ji, Meiju; He, Nongyue; Shi, Bingyin; Hou, Peng

    2012-01-01

    Promoter methylation acts as an important alternative to genetic alterations for gene inactivation in gastric carcinogenesis. Although a number of gastric cancer-associated genes have been found to be methylated in gastric cancer, valuable methylation markers for early diagnosis and prognostic evaluation of this cancer remain largely unknown. In the present study, we used methylation-specific PCR (MSP) to analyze promoter methylation of 9 gastric cancer-associated genes, including MLF1, MGMT, p16, RASSF2, hMLH1, HAND1, HRASLS, TM, and FLNc, and their association with clinicopathological characteristics and clinical outcome in a large cohort of gastric cancers. Our data showed that all of these genes were aberrantly methylated in gastric cancer, ranging from 8% to 51%. Moreover, gene methylation was strongly associated with certain clinicopathological characteristics, such as tumor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and cancer-related death. Of interest, methylation of MGMT, p16, RASSF2, hMLH1, HAND1, and FLNc was closely associated with poor survival in gastric cancer, particularly MGMT, p16, RASSF2 and FLNc. Thus, our findings suggested these epigenetic events may contribute to the initiation and progression of gastric cancer. Importantly, methylation of some genes were closely relevant to poor prognosis in gastric cancer, providing the strong evidences that these hypermethylated genes may be served as valuable biomarkers for prognostic evaluation in this cancer.

  15. Prognostic significance of aberrant gene methylation in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Jing; Zhang, Guanjun; Yao, Demao; Liu, Wei; Wang, Na; Ji, Meiju; He, Nongyue; Shi, Bingyin; Hou, Peng

    2012-01-01

    Promoter methylation acts as an important alternative to genetic alterations for gene inactivation in gastric carcinogenesis. Although a number of gastric cancer-associated genes have been found to be methylated in gastric cancer, valuable methylation markers for early diagnosis and prognostic evaluation of this cancer remain largely unknown. In the present study, we used methylation-specific PCR (MSP) to analyze promoter methylation of 9 gastric cancer-associated genes, including MLF1, MGMT, p16, RASSF2, hMLH1, HAND1, HRASLS, TM, and FLNc, and their association with clinicopathological characteristics and clinical outcome in a large cohort of gastric cancers. Our data showed that all of these genes were aberrantly methylated in gastric cancer, ranging from 8% to 51%. Moreover, gene methylation was strongly associated with certain clinicopathological characteristics, such as tumor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and cancer-related death. Of interest, methylation of MGMT, p16, RASSF2, hMLH1, HAND1, and FLNc was closely associated with poor survival in gastric cancer, particularly MGMT, p16, RASSF2 and FLNc. Thus, our findings suggested these epigenetic events may contribute to the initiation and progression of gastric cancer. Importantly, methylation of some genes were closely relevant to poor prognosis in gastric cancer, providing the strong evidences that these hypermethylated genes may be served as valuable biomarkers for prognostic evaluation in this cancer. PMID:22206050

  16. Epigenetic regulation of cardiac fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Stratton, Matthew S.; McKinsey, Timothy A.

    2016-01-01

    Fibrosis is defined as excess deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), resulting in tissue scarring and organ dysfunction. In the heart, fibrosis may be reparative, replacing areas of myocyte loss with a structural scar following infarction, or reactive, which is triggered in the absence of cell death and involves interstitial ECM deposition in response to long-lasting stress. Interstitial fibrosis can increase the passive stiffness of the myocardium, resulting in impaired relaxation and diastolic dysfunction. Additionally, fibrosis can lead to disruption of electrical conduction in the heart, causing arrhythmias, and can limit myocyte oxygen availability and thus exacerbate myocardial ischemia. Here, we review recent studies that have illustrated key roles for epigenetic events in the control of pro-fibrotic gene expression, and highlight the potential of small molecules that target epigenetic regulators as a means of treating fibrotic cardiac diseases. PMID:26876451

  17. CBL, CBLB, TET2, ASXL1, and IDH1/2 mutations and additional chromosomal aberrations constitute molecular events in chronic myelogenous leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Makishima, Hideki; Jankowska, Anna M.; McDevitt, Michael A.; O'Keefe, Christine; Dujardin, Simon; Cazzolli, Heather; Przychodzen, Bartlomiej; Prince, Courtney; Nicoll, John; Siddaiah, Harish; Shaik, Mohammed; Szpurka, Hadrian; Hsi, Eric; Advani, Anjali; Paquette, Ronald

    2011-01-01

    Progression of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) to accelerated (AP) and blast phase (BP) is because of secondary molecular events, as well as additional cytogenetic abnormalities. On the basis of the detection of JAK2, CBL, CBLB, TET2, ASXL1, and IDH1/2 mutations in myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms, we hypothesized that they may also contribute to progression in CML. We screened these genes for mutations in 54 cases with CML (14 with chronic phase, 14 with AP, 20 with myeloid, and 6 with nonmyeloid BP). We identified 1 CBLB and 2 TET2 mutations in AP, and 1 CBL, 1 CBLB, 4 TET2, 2 ASXL1, and 2 IDH family mutations in myeloid BP. However, none of these mutations were found in chronic phase. No cases with JAK2V617F mutations were found. In 2 cases, TET2 mutations were found concomitant with CBLB mutations. By single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, uniparental disomy on chromosome 5q, 8q, 11p, and 17p was found in AP and BP but not involving 4q24 (TET2) or 11q23 (CBL). Microdeletions on chromosomes 17q11.2 and 21q22.12 involved tumor associated genes NF1 and RUNX1, respectively. Our results indicate that CBL family, TET2, ASXL1, and IDH family mutations and additional cryptic karyotypic abnormalities can occur in advanced phase CML. PMID:21346257

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-11-01

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

  19. Detecting independent and recurrent copy number aberrations using interval graphs.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hsin-Ta; Hajirasouliha, Iman; Raphael, Benjamin J

    2014-06-15

    Somatic copy number aberrations SCNAS: are frequent in cancer genomes, but many of these are random, passenger events. A common strategy to distinguish functional aberrations from passengers is to identify those aberrations that are recurrent across multiple samples. However, the extensive variability in the length and position of SCNA: s makes the problem of identifying recurrent aberrations notoriously difficult. We introduce a combinatorial approach to the problem of identifying independent and recurrent SCNA: s, focusing on the key challenging of separating the overlaps in aberrations across individuals into independent events. We derive independent and recurrent SCNA: s as maximal cliques in an interval graph constructed from overlaps between aberrations. We efficiently enumerate all such cliques, and derive a dynamic programming algorithm to find an optimal selection of non-overlapping cliques, resulting in a very fast algorithm, which we call RAIG (Recurrent Aberrations from Interval Graphs). We show that RAIG outperforms other methods on simulated data and also performs well on data from three cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). In contrast to existing approaches that employ various heuristics to select independent aberrations, RAIG optimizes a well-defined objective function. We show that this allows RAIG to identify rare aberrations that are likely functional, but are obscured by overlaps with larger passenger aberrations. http://compbio.cs.brown.edu/software. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  20. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on animal behaviour.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Epigenetics of bone diseases.

    PubMed

    Michou, Laetitia

    2017-12-12

    Histone deacetylation, DNA methylation, and micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are the three main epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression. All the physiological processes involved in bone remodeling are tightly regulated by epigenetic factors. This review discusses the main epigenetic modifications seen in tumoral and non-tumoral bone diseases, with emphasis on miRNAs. The role for epigenetic modifications of gene expression in the most common bone diseases is illustrated by drawing on the latest publications in the field. In multifactorial bone diseases such as osteoporosis, many epigenetic biomarkers, either alone or in combination, have been associated with bone mineral density or suggested to predict osteoporotic fractures. In addition, treatments designed to modulate bone remodeling by selectively targeting the function of specific miRNAs are being evaluated. Advances in the understanding of epigenetic regulation shed new light on the pathophysiology of other non-tumoral bone diseases, including genetic conditions inherited on a Mendelian basis. Finally, in the area of primary and metastatic bone tumors, the last few years have witnessed considerable progress in elucidating the epigenetic regulation of oncogenesis and its local interactions with bone tissue. These new data may allow the development of epigenetic outcome predictors, which are in very high demand, and of innovative therapeutic agents acting via miRNA modulation. Copyright © 2017 Société française de rhumatologie. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Obesity: epigenetic aspects.

    PubMed

    Kaushik, Prashant; Anderson, James T

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Environment, epigenetics and reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K

    2017-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:29492316

  4. Epigenetics and epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Pulido Fontes, L; Quesada Jimenez, P; Mendioroz Iriarte, M

    2015-03-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable modifications in gene expression that do not change the DNA nucleotide sequence. Some of the most thoroughly studied epigenetic mechanisms at present are DNA methylation, post-transcriptional modifications of histones, and the effect of non-coding RNA molecules. Gene expression is regulated by means of these mechanisms and disruption of these molecular pathways may elicit development of diseases. We describe the main epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and review the most recent literature about epigenetic mechanisms and how those mechanisms are involved in different epileptic syndromes. Identifying the epigenetic mechanisms involved in epilepsy is a promising line of research that will deliver more in-depth knowledge of epilepsy pathophysiology and treatments. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  5. Epigenetics in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Its Regulation and Implications in Diagnosis, Prognosis and Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yuan Seng; Lee, Zhong Yang; Chuah, Lay-Hong; Mai, Chun Wai; Ngai, Siew Ching

    2018-04-30

    Despite advances in the treatment regimen, the high incidence rate of breast cancer (BC) deaths is mostly caused by metastasis. Recently, the aberrant epigenetic modifications, which involve DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA (miRNA) regulations become attractive targets to treat metastatic breast cancer (MBC). In this review, the epigenetic alterations of DNA methylation, histone modifications and miRNA regulations in regulating MBC is discussed. The preclinical and clinical trials of epigenetic drugs such as the inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase (DNMTi) and the inhibitor of histone deacetylase (HDACi), as a single or combined regimen with other epigenetic drug or standard chemotherapy drug to treat MBCs are discussed. The combined regimen of epigenetic drugs or with standard chemotherapy drugs enhance the therapeutic effect against MBC. Evidences that epigenetic changes could have implications in diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutics for MBC are also presented. Several genes have been identified as potential epigenetic biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, as well as therapeutic targets for MBC. Endeavors in clinical trials of epigenetic drugs against MBC should be continued although limited success has been achieved. Future discovery of epigenetic drugs from natural resources would be an attractive natural treatment regimen for MBC. Further research is warranted in translating research into clinical practice with the ultimate goal of treating MBC by epigenetic therapy in the near future. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  6. Epigenetics meets endocrinology

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiang; Ho, Shuk-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Although genetics determines endocrine phenotypes, it cannot fully explain the great variability and reversibility of the system in response to environmental changes. Evidence now suggests that epigenetics, i.e. heritable but reversible changes in gene function without changes in nucleotide sequence, links genetics and environment in shaping endocrine function. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA, partition the genome into active and inactive domains based on endogenous and exogenous environmental changes and developmental stages, creating phenotype plasticity that can explain interindividual and population endocrine variability. We will review the current understanding of epigenetics in endocrinology, specifically, the regulation by epigenetics of the three levels of hormone action (synthesis and release, circulating and target tissue levels, and target-organ responsiveness) and the epigenetic action of endocrine disruptors. We will also discuss the impacts of hormones on epigenetics. We propose a three-dimensional model (genetics, environment, and developmental stage) to explain the phenomena related to progressive changes in endocrine functions with age, the early origin of endocrine disorders, phenotype discordance between monozygotic twins, rapid shifts in disease patterns among populations experiencing major lifestyle changes such as immigration, and the many endocrine disruptions in contemporary life. We emphasize that the key for understanding epigenetics in endocrinology is the identification, through advanced high-throughput screening technologies, of plasticity genes or loci that respond directly to a specific environmental stimulus. Investigations to determine whether epigenetic changes induced by today's lifestyles or environmental `exposures' can be inherited and are reversible should open doors for applying epigenetics to the prevention and treatment of endocrine disorders. PMID:21322125

  7. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Epigenetic Regulation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pikaard, Craig S.; Mittelsten Scheid, Ortrun

    2014-01-01

    The study of epigenetics in plants has a long and rich history, from initial descriptions of non-Mendelian gene behaviors to seminal discoveries of chromatin-modifying proteins and RNAs that mediate gene silencing in most eukaryotes, including humans. Genetic screens in the model plant Arabidopsis have been particularly rewarding, identifying more than 130 epigenetic regulators thus far. The diversity of epigenetic pathways in plants is remarkable, presumably contributing to the phenotypic plasticity of plant postembryonic development and the ability to survive and reproduce in unpredictable environments. PMID:25452385

  9. Epigenetics: a lasting impression?

    PubMed

    Biddie, Simon C; Lightman, Stafford L

    2011-02-01

    Epigenetics is the term that has been classically used to describe inheritable nongenetic factors that regulate genes. Although these factors were originally thought to act in a long time domain only, it is now clear that they can also be highly dynamic, changing over minutes. Transcription factors, including the glucocorticoid, oestrogen and androgen receptors, interact with these epigenetic mechanisms in a very dynamic manner to modify transcription of genes and consequently contribute to physiological processes, health and disease. Modern usage of the term epigenetics encompasses both longer-term and transient changes and is relevant to multiple biological systems. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. An Epigenetic Gateway to Brain Tumor Cell Identity

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Stephen C.; Hubert, Christopher G.; Miller, Tyler E.; Taylor, Michael D.; Rich, Jeremy N.

    2017-01-01

    Precise targeting of genetic lesions alone has been insufficient to extend brain tumor patient survival. Brain cancer cells are diverse in their genetic, metabolic, and microenvironmental compositions, accounting for their phenotypic heterogeneity and disparate responses to therapy. These factors converge at the level of the epigenome, representing a unified node that can be disrupted by pharmacologic inhibition. Aberrant epigenomes define many childhood and adult brain cancers, as demonstrated by widespread changes to DNA methylation patterns, redistribution of histone marks, and disruption of chromatin structure. In this review, we describe the convergence of genetic, metabolic, and micro-environmental factors upon mechanisms of epigenetic deregulation in brain cancer. We discuss how aberrant epigenetic pathways identified in brain tumors affect cell identity, cell state, and neoplastic transformation, in addition to the potential to exploit these alterations as novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of brain cancer. PMID:26713744

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

    PubMed

    Puckett, Rosemary E; Lubin, Farah D

    2011-10-01

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

  12. Testicular cancer from diagnosis to epigenetic factors

    PubMed Central

    Boccellino, Mariarosaria; Vanacore, Daniela; Zappavigna, Silvia; Cavaliere, Carla; Rossetti, Sabrina; D’Aniello, Carmine; Chieffi, Paolo; Amler, Evzen; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Di Franco, Rossella; Izzo, Alessandro; Piscitelli, Raffaele; Iovane, Gelsomina; Muto, Paolo; Botti, Gerardo; Perdonà, Sisto; Caraglia, Michele; Facchini, Gaetano

    2017-01-01

    Testicular cancer (TC) is one of the most common neoplasms that occurs in male and includes germ cell tumors (GCT), sex cord-gonadal stromal tumors and secondary testicular tumors. Diagnosis of TC involves the evaluation of serum tumor markers alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin and lactate dehydrogenase, but clinically several types of immunohistochemical markers are more useful and more sensitive in GCT, but not in teratoma. These new biomarkers are genes expressed in primordial germ cells/gonocytes and embryonic pluripotency-related cells but not in normal adult germ cells and they include PLAP, OCT3/4 (POU5F1), NANOG, SOX2, REX1, AP-2γ (TFAP2C) and LIN28. Gene expression in GCT is regulated, at least in part, by DNA and histone modifications, and the epigenetic profile of these tumours is characterised by genome-wide demethylation. There are different epigenetic modifications in TG-subtypes that reflect the normal developmental switch in primordial germ cells from an under- to normally methylated genome. The main purpose of this review is to illustrate the findings of recent investigations in the classification of male genital organs, the discoveries in the use of prognostic and diagnostic markers and the epigenetic aberrations mainly affecting the patterns of DNA methylation/histone modifications of genes (especially tumor suppressors) and microRNAs (miRNAs). PMID:29262668

  13. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene – the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view – are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider. PMID:22639577

  14. Eating Disorders and Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. [Epigenetics in atherosclerosis].

    PubMed

    Guardiola, Montse; Vallvé, Joan C; Zaina, Silvio; Ribalta, Josep

    2016-01-01

    The association studies based on candidate genes carried on for decades have helped in visualizing the influence of the genetic component in complex diseases such as atherosclerosis, also showing the interaction between different genes and environmental factors. Even with all the knowledge accumulated, there is still some way to go to decipher the individual predisposition to disease, and if we consider the great influence that environmental factors play in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, epigenetics is presented as a key element in trying to expand our knowledge on individual predisposition to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Epigenetics can be described as the discipline that studies the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation, independent of changes in the sequence of DNA, and mostly induced by environmental factors. This review aims to describe what epigenetics is and how epigenetic mechanisms are involved in atherosclerosis. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Arteriosclerosis. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  16. Epigenetics and obesity.

    PubMed

    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. Targeting the Epigenome in Lung Cancer: Expanding Approaches to Epigenetic Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Jakopovic, Marko; Thomas, Anish; Balasubramaniam, Sanjeeve; Schrump, David; Giaccone, Giuseppe; Bates, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic aberrations offer dynamic and reversible targets for cancer therapy; increasingly, alteration via overexpression, mutation, or rearrangement is found in genes that control the epigenome. Such alterations suggest a fundamental role in carcinogenesis. Here, we consider three epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation, histone tail modification and non-coding, microRNA regulation. Evidence for each of these in lung cancer origin or progression has been gathered, along with evidence that epigenetic alterations might be useful in early detection. DNA hypermethylation of tumor suppressor promoters has been observed, along with global hypomethylation and hypoacetylation, suggesting an important role for tumor suppressor gene silencing. These features have been linked as prognostic markers with poor outcome in lung cancer. Several lines of evidence have also suggested a role for miRNA in carcinogenesis and in outcome. Cigarette smoke downregulates miR-487b, which targets both RAS and MYC; RAS is also a target of miR-let-7, again downregulated in lung cancer. Together the evidence implicates epigenetic aberration in lung cancer and suggests that targeting these aberrations should be carefully explored. To date, DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylase inhibitors have had minimal clinical activity. Explanations include the possibility that the agents are not sufficiently potent to invoke epigenetic reversion to a more normal state; that insufficient time elapses in most clinical trials to observe true epigenetic reversion; and that doses often used may provoke off-target effects such as DNA damage that prevent epigenetic reversion. Combinations of epigenetic therapies may address those problems. When epigenetic agents are used in combination with chemotherapy or targeted therapy it is hoped that downstream biological effects will provoke synergistic cytotoxicity. This review evaluates the challenges of exploiting the epigenome in the treatment of lung cancer

  18. Epigenetic modifiers in immunotherapy: a focus on checkpoint inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Terranova-Barberio, Manuela; Thomas, Scott; Munster, Pamela N

    2016-06-01

    Immune surveillance should be directed to suppress tumor development and progression, involving a balance of coinhibitory and costimulatory signals that amplify immune response without overwhelming the host. Immunotherapy confers durable clinical benefit in 'immunogenic tumors', whereas in other tumors the responses are modest. Thus, immune checkpoint inhibitors may need to be combined with strategies to boost immune response or increase the tumor immune profile. Epigenetic aberrations contribute significantly to carcinogenesis. Recent findings suggest that epigenetic drugs prime the immune response by increasing expression of tumor-associated antigens and immune-related genes, as well as modulating chemokines and cytokines involved in immune system activation. This review describes our current understanding regarding epigenetic and immunotherapy combination, focusing on immune response priming to checkpoint blockade.

  19. Epigenetic regulation in obesity.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Epigenetic regulation of inflammation in stroke

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Gavin Yong-Quan; Yun-An, Lim; Sobey, Christopher G.; Dheen, Thameem; Fann, David Yang-Wei; Arumugam, Thiruma V.

    2018-01-01

    Despite extensive research, treatments for clinical stroke are still limited only to the administration of tissue plasminogen activator and the recent introduction of mechanical thrombectomy, which can be used in only a limited proportion of patients due to time constraints. A plethora of inflammatory events occur during stroke, arising in part due to the body’s immune response to brain injury. Neuroinflammation contributes significantly to neuronal cell death and the development of functional impairment and death in stroke patients. Therefore, elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying inflammatory damage following stroke injury will be essential for the development of useful therapies. Research findings increasingly point to the likelihood that epigenetic mechanisms play a role in the pathophysiology of stroke. Epigenetics involves the differential regulation of gene expression, including those involved in brain inflammation and remodelling after stroke. Hence, it is conceivable that epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to differential interindividual vulnerability and injury responses to cerebral ischaemia. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the emerging role of epigenetics in the regulation of neuroinflammation in stroke. We also discuss potential epigenetic targets that may be assessed for the development of stroke therapies. PMID:29774056

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Epigenetic Alterations in Cellular Immunity: New Insights into Autoimmune Diseases.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zijun; Lu, Qianjin; Wang, Zhihui

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic modification is an additional regulator in immune responses as the genome-wide profiling somehow fails to explain the sophisticated mechanisms in autoimmune diseases. The effect of epigenetic modifications on adaptive immunity derives from their regulations to induce a permissive or negative gene expression. Epigenetic events, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs (miRNAs) are often found in T cell activation, differentiation and commitment which are the major parts in cellular immunity. Recognizing the complexity of interactions between epigenetic mechanisms and immune disturbance in autoimmune diseases is essential for the exploration of efficient therapeutic targets. In this review, we summarize a list of studies that indicate the significance of dysregulated epigenetic modifications in autoimmune diseases while focusing on T cell immunity. © 2017 The Author(s)Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  4. Implication of epigenetics in pancreas development and disease.

    PubMed

    Quilichini, Evans; Haumaitre, Cécile

    2015-12-01

    Pancreas development is controlled by a complex interaction of signaling pathways and transcription factor networks that determine pancreatic specification and differentiation of exocrine and endocrine cells. Epigenetics adds a new layer of gene regulation. DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs recently appeared as important epigenetic factors regulating pancreas development. In this review, we report recent findings obtained by analyses in model organisms as well as genome-wide approaches that demonstrate the role of these epigenetic regulators in the control of exocrine and endocrine cell differentiation, identity, function, proliferation and regeneration. We also highlight how altered epigenetic processes contribute to pancreatic disorders: diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Uncovering these epigenetic events can help to better understand these diseases, provide novel therapeutical targets for their treatment, and improve cell-based therapies for diabetes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Epigenetic Deregulation of MicroRNAs in Rhabdomyosarcoma and Neuroblastoma and Translational Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Romania, Paolo; Bertaina, Alice; Bracaglia, Giorgia; Locatelli, Franco; Fruci, Doriana; Rota, Rossella

    2012-01-01

    Gene expression control mediated by microRNAs and epigenetic remodeling of chromatin are interconnected processes often involved in feedback regulatory loops, which strictly guide proper tissue differentiation during embryonal development. Altered expression of microRNAs is one of the mechanisms leading to pathologic conditions, such as cancer. Several lines of evidence pointed to epigenetic alterations as responsible for aberrant microRNA expression in human cancers. Rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma are pediatric cancers derived from cells presenting features of skeletal muscle and neuronal precursors, respectively, blocked at different stages of differentiation. Consistently, tumor cells express tissue markers of origin but are unable to terminally differentiate. Several microRNAs playing a key role during tissue differentiation are often epigenetically downregulated in rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma and behave as tumor suppressors when re-expressed. Recently, inhibition of epigenetic modulators in adult tumors has provided encouraging results causing re-expression of anti-tumor master gene pathways. Thus, a similar approach could be used to correct the aberrant epigenetic regulation of microRNAs in rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma. The present review highlights the current insights on epigenetically deregulated microRNAs in rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma and their role in tumorigenesis and developmental pathways. The translational clinical implications and challenges regarding modulation of epigenetic chromatin remodeling/microRNAs interconnections are also discussed. PMID:23443118

  6. Epigenetic changes in headache.

    PubMed

    Cámara, M S; Martín Bujanda, M; Mendioroz Iriarte, M

    2017-12-23

    Multiple factors, including both genetic and environmental mechanisms, appear to play a role in the aetiology of headache. An interesting area of study is the possible involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in headache development and the transformation to chronic headache, and the potential role of these factors as a therapeutic target. We performed a literature review of the involvement of different epigenetic mechanisms in headache, mainly using the Medline/PubMed database. To this end, we used the following English search terms: headache, migraine, epigenetics, DNA methylation, histones, non-coding RNA, and miRNA. A total of 15 English-language publications related to the above terms were obtained. There is limited but consistent evidence of the relationship between epigenetics and headache; it is therefore essential to continue research of epigenetic changes in headache. This may help to understand the pathophysiology of headache and even to identify candidate biomarkers and new, more effective, therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. The physics of epigenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    In higher organisms, all cells share the same genome, but every cell expresses only a limited and specific set of genes that defines the cell type. During cell division, not only the genome, but also the cell type is inherited by the daughter cells. This intriguing phenomenon is achieved by a variety of processes that have been collectively termed epigenetics: the stable and inheritable changes in gene expression patterns. This article reviews the extremely rich and exquisitely multiscale physical mechanisms that govern the biological processes behind the initiation, spreading, and inheritance of epigenetic states. These include not only the changes in the molecular properties associated with the chemical modifications of DNA and histone proteins, such as methylation and acetylation, but also less conventional changes, typically in the physics that governs the three-dimensional organization of the genome in cell nuclei. Strikingly, to achieve stability and heritability of epigenetic states, cells take advantage of many different physical principles, such as the universal behavior of polymers and copolymers, the general features of dynamical systems, and the electrostatic and mechanical properties related to chemical modifications of DNA and histones. By putting the complex biological literature in this new light, the emerging picture is that a limited set of general physical rules play a key role in initiating, shaping, and transmitting this crucial "epigenetic landscape." This new perspective not only allows one to rationalize the normal cellular functions, but also helps to understand the emergence of pathological states, in which the epigenetic landscape becomes dysfunctional.

  8. Epigenetics of Obesity.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Epigenetics and environmental exposures.

    PubMed

    Stein, Richard A

    2012-01-01

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that genetic factors are inadequate to fully explain many processes that shape development and disease. For example, monozygotic twin pairs, despite sharing identical DNA sequences, are often discordant for many traits and diseases, indicating that the same genotype can give rise to distinct phenotypes. This points towards the involvement of additional factors that cannot be explained solely by the sequence of the genome. Epigenetic modifications, defined as heritable changes that do not alter the nucleotide sequence, emerge as key factors that regulate chromatin structure and gene expression and, together with genetic factors, provide the mechanistic basis to understand the biological effects of various classes of environmental exposures. Epigenetic mechanisms explain the ability of certain chemical compounds to initiate biological perturbations that can lead to malignancy, despite being weak mutagens or lacking mutagenic activity altogether-a view that challenges old beliefs and opens new avenues in public health. The field of epigenetics also explains the causal link between certain infectious diseases and cancer, a relationship that was first observed over a century ago and was initially discounted, then fell into oblivion and more recently re-emerged as an important concept in biology. A key feature that distinguishes epigenetic modifications from genetic changes is their reversible nature. This provides exciting prophylactic and therapeutic perspectives, some of which already materialised with the approval of the first drugs that modulate the epigenetic machinery, reinforcing the idea that our genes are not our destiny.

  10. Epigenetics and lifestyle

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The concept of “lifestyle” includes different factors such as nutrition, behavior, stress, physical activity, working habits, smoking and alcohol consumption. Increasing evidence shows that environmental and lifestyle factors may influence epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and microRNA expression. Several lifestyle factors have been identified that might modify epigenetic patterns, such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress, and working on night shifts. Most studies conducted so far have been centered on DNA methylation, whereas only a few investigations have studied lifestyle factors in relation to histone modifications and miRNAs. Here, we review current evidence indicating that lifestyle factors might affect human health via epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:22122337

  11. Epigenetics and lifestyle.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Epigenetic therapy of cancer with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (decitabine).

    PubMed

    Momparler, Richard L

    2005-10-01

    Epigenetic events, such as aberrant DNA methylation, have been demonstrated to silence the expression of many genes that suppress malignancy. Since the event is reversible, it is an interesting target for intervention with specific inhibitors of DNA methylation, such as 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-AZA-CdR, decitabine). 5-AZA-CdR is a prodrug that requires activation via phosphorylation by deoxcytidine kinase. The nucleotide analog is incorporated into DNA, where it produces an irreversible inactivation of DNA methyltransferase. 5-AZA-CdR is an S-phase-specific agent. The demethylation of DNA by this analog in neoplastic cells can lead to the reactivation of silent tumor-suppressor genes, induction of differentiation or senescence, growth inhibition, and loss of clonogenicity. 5-AZA-CdR was demonstrated to be a potent antineoplastic agent against leukemia and tumors in animal models. Preliminary clinical trials of 5-AZA-CdR using different dose-schedules have shown interesting antineoplastic activity in patients with leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that 5-AZA-CdR has a short in vivo half-life of 15 to 25 minutes. The major toxicity produced by this analog is granulocytopenia. To exploit the full chemotherapeutic potential of 5-AZA-CdR for the treatment of cancer, its optimal dose-schedule has to be found. This will require a good understanding of the pharmacology of this analog and its action on both normal and neoplastic cells.

  13. Endocrine control of epigenetic mechanisms in male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ankolkar, Mandar; Balasinor, N H

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. [Epigenetics, interface between environment and genes: role in complex diseases].

    PubMed

    Scheen, A J; Junien, C

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetics is one of the major mechanisms explaining the "Developmental Origin of Health and Diseases" (DOHaD). Besides genetic background inherited from parents, which confers susceptibility to certain pathologies, epigenetic changes constitute the memory of previous events, either positive or negative, along the life cycle, including at the in utero stage. The later exposition to hostile environment may reveal such susceptibility, with the development of various pathologies, among them numerous chronic complex diseases. The demonstration of such a sequence of events has been shown for metabolic diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. In contrast to genetic predisposition, which is irreversible, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, thus giving targets not only for prevention, but possibly also for the treatment of certain complex diseases.

  16. Connections Between Metabolism and Epigenetics in Programming Cellular Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Chisolm, Danielle A; Weinmann, Amy S

    2018-04-26

    Researchers are intensifying efforts to understand the mechanisms by which changes in metabolic states influence differentiation programs. An emerging objective is to define how fluctuations in metabolites influence the epigenetic states that contribute to differentiation programs. This is because metabolites such as S-adenosylmethionine, acetyl-CoA, α-ketoglutarate, 2-hydroxyglutarate, and butyrate are donors, substrates, cofactors, and antagonists for the activities of epigenetic-modifying complexes and for epigenetic modifications. We discuss this topic from the perspective of specialized CD4 + T cells as well as effector and memory T cell differentiation programs. We also highlight findings from embryonic stem cells that give mechanistic insight into how nutrients processed through pathways such as glycolysis, glutaminolysis, and one-carbon metabolism regulate metabolite levels to influence epigenetic events and discuss similar mechanistic principles in T cells. Finally, we highlight how dysregulated environments, such as the tumor microenvironment, might alter programming events.

  17. The inactive X chromosome is epigenetically unstable and transcriptionally labile in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Chaligné, Ronan; Popova, Tatiana; Mendoza-Parra, Marco-Antonio; Saleem, Mohamed-Ashick M; Gentien, David; Ban, Kristen; Piolot, Tristan; Leroy, Olivier; Mariani, Odette; Gronemeyer, Hinrich; Vincent-Salomon, Anne; Stern, Marc-Henri; Heard, Edith

    2015-04-01

    Disappearance of the Barr body is considered a hallmark of cancer, although whether this corresponds to genetic loss or to epigenetic instability and transcriptional reactivation is unclear. Here we show that breast tumors and cell lines frequently display major epigenetic instability of the inactive X chromosome, with highly abnormal 3D nuclear organization and global perturbations of heterochromatin, including gain of euchromatic marks and aberrant distributions of repressive marks such as H3K27me3 and promoter DNA methylation. Genome-wide profiling of chromatin and transcription reveal modified epigenomic landscapes in cancer cells and a significant degree of aberrant gene activity from the inactive X chromosome, including several genes involved in cancer promotion. We demonstrate that many of these genes are aberrantly reactivated in primary breast tumors, and we further demonstrate that epigenetic instability of the inactive X can lead to perturbed dosage of X-linked factors. Taken together, our study provides the first integrated analysis of the inactive X chromosome in the context of breast cancer and establishes that epigenetic erosion of the inactive X can lead to the disappearance of the Barr body in breast cancer cells. This work offers new insights and opens up the possibility of exploiting the inactive X chromosome as an epigenetic biomarker at the molecular and cytological levels in cancer. © 2015 Chaligné et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  18. Genetic and epigenetic alteration of the NF2 gene in sporadic meningiomas.

    PubMed

    Lomas, Jesus; Bello, M Josefa; Arjona, Dolores; Alonso, M Eva; Martinez-Glez, Victor; Lopez-Marin, Isabel; Amiñoso, Cinthia; de Campos, Jose M; Isla, Alberto; Vaquero, Jesus; Rey, Juan A

    2005-03-01

    The role of the NF2 gene in the development of meningiomas has recently been documented; inactivating mutations plus allelic loss at 22q, the site of this gene (at 22q12), have been identified in both sporadic and neurofibromatosis type 2-associated tumors. Although epigenetic inactivation through aberrant CpG island methylation of the NF2 5' flanking region has been documented in schwannoma (another NF2-associated neoplasm), data on participation of this epigenetic modification in meningiomas are not yet widely available. Using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) plus sequencing, we assessed the presence of aberrant promoter NF2 methylation in a series of 88 meningiomas (61 grade I, 24 grade II, and 3 grade III), in which the allelic constitution at 22q and the NF2 mutational status also were determined by RFLP/microsatellite and PCR-SSCP analyses. Chromosome 22 allelic loss, NF2 gene mutation, and aberrant NF2 promoter methylation were detected in 49%, 24%, and 26% of cases, respectively. Aberrant NF2 methylation with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 22q was found in five cases, and aberrant methylation with NF2 mutation in another; LOH 22q and the mutation were found in 16 samples. The aberrant methylation of the NF2 gene also was the sole alteration in 15 samples, most of which were from grade I tumors. These results indicate that aberrant NF2 hypermethylation may participate in the development of a significant proportion of sporadic meningiomas, primarily those of grade I.

  19. The epigenetics of obesity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck

    PubMed Central

    Penny, David

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Epigenetics and Future Generations.

    PubMed

    Del Savio, Lorenzo; Loi, Michele; Stupka, Elia

    2015-10-01

    Recent evidence of intergenerational epigenetic programming of disease risk broadens the scope of public health preventive interventions to future generations, i.e. non existing people. Due to the transmission of epigenetic predispositions, lifestyles such as smoking or unhealthy diet might affect the health of populations across several generations. While public policy for the health of future generations can be justified through impersonal considerations, such as maximizing aggregate well-being, in this article we explore whether there are rights-based obligations supervening on intergenerational epigenetic programming despite the non-identity argument, which challenges this rationale in case of policies that affect the number and identity of future people. We propose that rights based obligations grounded in the interests of non-existing people might fall upon existing people when generations overlap. In particular, if environmental exposure in F0 (i.e. existing people) will affect the health of F2 (i.e. non-existing people) through epigenetic programming, then F1 (i.e. existing and overlapping with both F0 and F2) might face increased costs to address F2's condition in the future: this might generate obligations upon F0 from various distributive principles, such as the principle of equal opportunity for well being. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Tania L.; Lubin, Farah D.; Sodhi, Monsheel; Kleinman, Joel E.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Epidemiological research suggests that both an individual’s genes and the environment underlie the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Molecular mechanisms mediating the interplay between genes and the environment are likely to have a significant role in the onset of the disorder. Recent work indicates that epigenetic mechanisms, or the chemical markings of the DNA and the surrounding histone proteins, remain labile through the lifespan and can be altered by environmental factors. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms are an attractive molecular hypothesis for environmental contributions to schizophrenia. In this review, we first present an overview of schizophrenia and discuss the role of nature versus nurture in its pathology, where ‘nature’ is considered to be inherited or genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia, and ‘nurture’ is proposed to exert its effects through epigenetic mechanisms. Second, we define DNA methylation and discuss the evidence for its role in schizophrenia. Third, we define posttranslational histone modifications and discuss their place in schizophrenia. This research is likely to lead to the development of epigenetic therapy, which holds the promise of alleviating cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. PMID:19559755

  3. Hotspots of aberrant enhancer activity punctuate the colorectal cancer epigenome

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Andrea J.; Saiakhova, Alina; Corradin, Olivia; Luppino, Jennifer M.; Lovrenert, Katreya; Bartels, Cynthia F.; Morrow, James J.; Mack, Stephen C.; Dhillon, Gursimran; Beard, Lydia; Myeroff, Lois; Kalady, Matthew F.; Willis, Joseph; Bradner, James E.; Keri, Ruth A.; Berger, Nathan A.; Pruett-Miller, Shondra M.; Markowitz, Sanford D.; Scacheri, Peter C.

    2017-01-01

    In addition to mutations in genes, aberrant enhancer element activity at non-coding regions of the genome is a key driver of tumorigenesis. Here, we perform epigenomic enhancer profiling of a cohort of more than forty genetically diverse human colorectal cancer (CRC) specimens. Using normal colonic crypt epithelium as a comparator, we identify enhancers with recurrently gained or lost activity across CRC specimens. Of the enhancers highly recurrently activated in CRC, most are constituents of super enhancers, are occupied by AP-1 and cohesin complex members, and originate from primed chromatin. Many activate known oncogenes, and CRC growth can be mitigated through pharmacologic inhibition or genome editing of these loci. Nearly half of all GWAS CRC risk loci co-localize to recurrently activated enhancers. These findings indicate that the CRC epigenome is defined by highly recurrent epigenetic alterations at enhancers which activate a common, aberrant transcriptional programme critical for CRC growth and survival. PMID:28169291

  4. Epigenetic Risk Factors in PTSD and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Raabe, Florian Joachim; Spengler, Dietmar

    2013-01-01

    Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that children exposed to adverse experiences are at increased risk for the development of depression, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A history of child abuse and maltreatment increases the likelihood of being subsequently exposed to traumatic events or of developing PTSD as an adult. The brain is highly plastic during early life and encodes acquired information into lasting memories that normally subserve adaptation. Translational studies in rodents showed that enduring sensitization of neuronal and neuroendocrine circuits in response to early life adversity are likely risk factors of life time vulnerability to stress. Hereby, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis integrates cognitive, behavioral, and emotional responses to early-life stress and can be epigenetically programed during sensitive windows of development. Epigenetic mechanisms, comprising reciprocal regulation of chromatin structure and DNA methylation, are important to establish and maintain sustained, yet potentially reversible, changes in gene transcription. The relevance of these findings for the development of PTSD requires further studies in humans where experience-dependent epigenetic programing can additionally depend on genetic variation in the underlying substrates which may protect from or advance disease development. Overall, identification of early-life stress-associated epigenetic risk markers informing on previous stress history can help to advance early diagnosis, personalized prevention, and timely therapeutic interventions, thus reducing long-term social and health costs. PMID:23966957

  5. [Epigenetic alterations in acute lymphoblastic leukemia].

    PubMed

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

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

  6. Link between epigenomic alterations and genome-wide aberrant transcriptional response to allergen in dendritic cells conveying maternal asthma risk.

    PubMed

    Mikhaylova, Lyudmila; Zhang, Yiming; Kobzik, Lester; Fedulov, Alexey V

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the link between epigenome-wide methylation aberrations at birth and genomic transcriptional changes upon allergen sensitization that occur in the neonatal dendritic cells (DC) due to maternal asthma. We previously demonstrated that neonates of asthmatic mothers are born with a functional skew in splenic DCs that can be seen even in allergen-naïve pups and can convey allergy responses to normal recipients. However, minimal-to-no transcriptional or phenotypic changes were found to explain this alteration. Here we provide in-depth analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation profiles and RNA transcriptional (microarray) profiles before and after allergen sensitization. We identified differentially methylated and differentially expressed loci and performed manually-curated matching of methylation status of the key regulatory sequences (promoters and CpG islands) to expression of their respective transcripts before and after sensitization. We found that while allergen-naive DCs from asthma-at-risk neonates have minimal transcriptional change compared to controls, the methylation changes are extensive. The substantial transcriptional change only becomes evident upon allergen sensitization, when it occurs in multiple genes with the pre-existing epigenetic alterations. We demonstrate that maternal asthma leads to both hyper- and hypomethylation in neonatal DCs, and that both types of events at various loci significantly overlap with transcriptional responses to allergen. Pathway analysis indicates that approximately 1/2 of differentially expressed and differentially methylated genes directly interact in known networks involved in allergy and asthma processes. We conclude that congenital epigenetic changes in DCs are strongly linked to altered transcriptional responses to allergen and to early-life asthma origin. The findings are consistent with the emerging paradigm that asthma is a disease with underlying epigenetic changes.

  7. OF TRYPANOSOMATIDS. ENDOTRANSFORMATIONS AND ABERRATIONS].

    PubMed

    Frolov, A O; Malysheva, M N; Kostygov, A Yu

    2016-01-01

    Endotransformations and aberrations of the life cycle in the evolutionary history of trypanosomatids (Kinetoplastea: Trypanosomatidae) are analyzed. We treat the term "endotransformations" as evolutionarily fixed changes of phases and/or developmental stages of parasites. By contrast, we treat aberrations as evolutionary unstable, periodically arising deformations of developmental phases of trypanosomatids, never leading to life cycle changes. Various examples of life cycle endotransformations and aberrations in representatives of the family Trypanosomatidae are discussed.

  8. The Fourth International Network of Twin Registries: Overview from Osaka/Research Reviews: Familial Fraternal Twinning; Twin Study of Masculine Faces; Physical Aggression and Epigenetics; Prenatal Education for Parents of Twins/Current Events: 2016 Guinness Book of World Records; Oldest Living Male Twins; Twins Reunited at Sixty-Nine; Panda Twins; Twins.com.

    PubMed

    Segal, Nancy L

    2015-12-01

    The 4th International Network of Twin Registries (INTR) Consortium Meeting took place in Osaka, Japan, September 28-29, 2015. The venue was the Osaka Medical Center for Medical Innovation and Translational Research. An overview of presentations and other activities is provided. Next, 1930s research on familial fraternal twinning, preference for masculine faces, physical aggression and epigenetics, and a prenatal education program for parents of multiples are described. Current twin-related events include the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records (GWR), the oldest living male twins, newly reunited twins, the birth of panda twins and a controversial twin-based website.

  9. Theory of epigenetic coding.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Neurological and Epigenetic Implications of Nutritional Deficiencies on Psychopathology: Conceptualization and Review of Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianghong; Zhao, Sophie R.; Reyes, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, a role for epigenetic modifications in the pathophysiology of disease has received significant attention. Many studies are now beginning to explore the gene–environment interactions, which may mediate early-life exposure to risk factors, such as nutritional deficiencies and later development of behavioral problems in children and adults. In this paper, we review the current literature on the role of epigenetics in the development of psychopathology, with a specific focus on the potential for epigenetic modifications to link nutrition and brain development. We propose a conceptual framework whereby epigenetic modifications (e.g., DNA methylation) mediate the link between micro- and macro-nutrient deficiency early in life and brain dysfunction (e.g., structural aberration, neurotransmitter perturbation), which has been linked to development of behavior problems later on in life. PMID:26251900

  11. Emodin modulates epigenetic modifications and suppresses bladder carcinoma cell growth.

    PubMed

    Cha, Tai-Lung; Chuang, Mei-Jen; Tang, Shou-Hung; Wu, Sheng-Tang; Sun, Kuang-Hui; Chen, Tzu-Ting; Sun, Guang-Huan; Chang, Sun-Yran; Yu, Cheng-Ping; Ho, Jar-Yi; Liu, Shu-Yu; Huang, Shih-Ming; Yu, Dah-Shyong

    2015-03-01

    The deregulation of epigenetics was involved in early and subsequent carcinogenic events. Reversing cancer epigenetics to restore a normal epigenetic condition could be a rational approach for cancer treatment and specialized prevention. In the present study, we found that the expression levels of two epigenetic markers, histone H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), was low but histone H3S10 phosphorylation (pH3Ser10) was high in human bladder cancer tissues, which showed opposite expression patterns in their normal counterparts. Thus, we investigated whether a natural product, emodin, has the ability to reverse these two epigenetic modifications and inhibit bladder cancer cell growth. Emodin significantly inhibited the cell growth of four bladder cancer cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Emodin treatment did not induce specific cell cycle arrest, but it altered epigenetic modifications. Emodin treatment resulted in the suppression of pH3Ser10 and increased H3K27me3, contributing to gene silencing in bladder cancer cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that oncogenic genes including fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) and fibroblast growth factor binding protein 1 (HBP17), RGS4, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3), WNT5b, URB, and collagen, type VIII, alpha 1 (COL8A1) responsible for proliferation, survival, inflammation, and carcinogenesis were significantly repressed by emodin. The ChIP assays also showed that emodin increased H3K27me3 but decreased pH3Ser10 modifications on the promoters of repressed genes, which indicate that emodin reverses the cancer epigenetics towards normal epigenetic situations. In conclusion, our work demonstrates the significant anti-neoplastic activity of emodin on bladder cancer cells and elucidates the novel mechanisms of emodin-mediated epigenetic modulation of target genes. Our study warrants further investigation of emodin as an effective therapeutic or preventive agent for bladder cancer. © 2013 Wiley

  12. Epigenetics, Darwin, and Lamarck.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. [Epigenetics and obesity].

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Epigenetics and human obesity.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, S J; Molloy, P L; Varinli, H; Morrison, J L; Muhlhausler, B S

    2015-01-01

    Recent technological advances in epigenome profiling have led to an increasing number of studies investigating the role of the epigenome in obesity. There is also evidence that environmental exposures during early life can induce persistent alterations in the epigenome, which may lead to an increased risk of obesity later in life. This paper provides a systematic review of studies investigating the association between obesity and either global, site-specific or genome-wide methylation of DNA. Studies on the impact of pre- and postnatal interventions on methylation and obesity are also reviewed. We discuss outstanding questions, and introduce EpiSCOPE, a multidisciplinary research program aimed at increasing the understanding of epigenetic changes in emergence of obesity. An electronic search for relevant articles, published between September 2008 and September 2013 was performed. From the 319 articles identified, 46 studies were included and reviewed. The studies provided no consistent evidence for a relationship between global methylation and obesity. The studies did identify multiple obesity-associated differentially methylated sites, mainly in blood cells. Extensive, but small, alterations in methylation at specific sites were observed in weight loss intervention studies, and several associations between methylation marks at birth and later life obesity were found. Overall, significant progress has been made in the field of epigenetics and obesity and the first potential epigenetic markers for obesity that could be detected at birth have been identified. Eventually this may help in predicting an individual's obesity risk at a young age and opens possibilities for introducing targeted prevention strategies. It has also become clear that several epigenetic marks are modifiable, by changing the exposure in utero, but also by lifestyle changes in adult life, which implies that there is the potential for interventions to be introduced in postnatal life to modify

  15. Epigenetics of Ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Zhenilo, S V; Sokolov, A S; Prokhortchouk, E B

    2016-01-01

    Initially, the study of DNA isolated from ancient specimens had been based on the analysis of the primary nucleotide sequence. This approach has allowed researchers to study the evolutionary changes that occur in different populations and determine the influence of the environment on genetic selection. However, the improvement of methodological approaches to genome-wide analysis has opened up new possibilities in the search for the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression. It was discovered recently that the methylation status of the regulatory elements of the HOXD cluster and MEIS 1 gene changed during human evolution. Epigenetic changes in these genes played a key role in the evolution of the limbs of modern humans. Recent works have demonstrated that it is possible to determine the transcriptional activity of genes in ancient DNA samples by combining information on DNA methylation and the DNAaseI hypersensitive sequences located at the transcription start sites of genes. In the nearest future, if a preserved fossils brain is found, it will be possible to identify the evolutionary changes in the higher nervous system associated with epigenetic differences.

  16. Camera processing with chromatic aberration.

    PubMed

    Korneliussen, Jan Tore; Hirakawa, Keigo

    2014-10-01

    Since the refractive index of materials commonly used for lens depends on the wavelengths of light, practical camera optics fail to converge light to a single point on an image plane. Known as chromatic aberration, this phenomenon distorts image details by introducing magnification error, defocus blur, and color fringes. Though achromatic and apochromatic lens designs reduce chromatic aberration to a degree, they are complex and expensive and they do not offer a perfect correction. In this paper, we propose a new postcapture processing scheme designed to overcome these problems computationally. Specifically, the proposed solution is comprised of chromatic aberration-tolerant demosaicking algorithm and post-demosaicking chromatic aberration correction. Experiments with simulated and real sensor data verify that the chromatic aberration is effectively corrected.

  17. Epigenetic dysregulation in cognitive disorders.

    PubMed

    Gräff, Johannes; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2009-07-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are not only essential for biological functions requiring stable molecular changes such as the establishment of cell identity and tissue formation, they also constitute dynamic intracellular processes for translating environmental stimuli into modifications in gene expression. Over the past decade it has become increasingly clear that both aspects of epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in complex brain functions. Evidence from patients with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Rett syndrome indicated that epigenetic mechanisms and chromatin remodeling need to be tightly controlled for proper cognitive functions, and their dysregulation can have devastating consequences. However, because they are dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms are also potentially reversible and may provide powerful means for pharmacological intervention. This review outlines major cognitive disorders known to be associated with epigenetic dysregulation, and discusses the potential of 'epigenetic medicine' as a promising cure.

  18. Epigenetic Aspects of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

    PubMed

    Relle, Manfred; Foehr, Bernd; Schwarting, Andreas

    2015-06-01

    Autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune hepatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease have complex pathogeneses and the courses of events leading to these diseases are not well understood. The immune surveillance is a delicate balance between self and foreign as well as between tolerance and immune response. Exposure to certain environmental factors may impair this equilibrium, leading to autoimmune diseases, cancer, and the so-called "lifestyle diseases" such as atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and obesity, among others. These external stimuli may also alter the epigenetic status quo and may trigger autoimmune diseases such as SLE in genetically susceptible individuals. This review aims to highlight the role of epigenetic (dys-)regulation in the pathogenesis of SLE.

  19. Smoking and diabetes. Epigenetics involvement in osseointegration.

    PubMed

    Razzouk, Sleiman; Sarkis, Rami

    2013-03-01

    Bone quality is a poorly defined parameter for successful implant placement, which largely depends upon many environmental and genetic factors unique to every individual. Smoking and diabetes are among the environmental factors that most impact osseointegration. However, there is an inter-individual variability of bone response in smokers and diabetic patients. Recent data on gene-environment interactions highlight the major role of epigenetic changes to induce a specific phenotype. Histone acetylation and DNA methylation are the main events that occur and modulate the gene expression. In this paper, we emphasize the impact of epigenetics on diabetes and smoking and describe their significance in bone healing. Also, we underscore the importance of adopting a new approach in clinical management for implant placement by customizing the treatment according to the patient's specific characteristics.

  20. Epigenetic processes in flowering plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guifeng; Köhler, Claudia

    2017-02-01

    Seeds provide up to 70% of the energy intake of the human population, emphasizing the relevance of understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms controlling seed formation. In flowering plants, seeds are the product of a double fertilization event, leading to the formation of the embryo and the endosperm surrounded by maternal tissues. Analogous to mammals, plants undergo extensive epigenetic reprogramming during both gamete formation and early seed development, a process that is supposed to be required to enforce silencing of transposable elements and thus to maintain genome stability. Global changes of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and small RNAs are closely associated with epigenome programming during plant reproduction. Here, we review current knowledge on chromatin changes occurring during sporogenesis and gametogenesis, as well as early seed development in major flowering plant models. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Epigenetics in women's health care.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Epigenetic Mistakes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

    PubMed

    Mastrototaro, Giuseppina; Zaghi, Mattia; Sessa, Alessandro

    2017-04-01

    Epigenetics is the array of the chromatin modifications that customize in cell-, stage-, or condition-specific manner the information encloses in plain DNA molecules. Increasing evidences suggest the importance of epigenetic mechanisms for development and maintenance of central nervous system. In fact, a large number of newly discovered genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, and many other syndromes are mutations within genes encoding for chromatin remodeling enzymes. Here, we review recent findings on the epigenetic origin of human diseases, with emphasis on disorders that affect development of the nervous system, and discuss novel therapeutic avenues that target epigenetic mechanisms.

  3. Genome-Wide Epigenetic Studies in Human Disease: A Primer on -Omic Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Huihuang; Tian, Shulan; Slager, Susan L.; Sun, Zhifu; Ordog, Tamas

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic information encoded in covalent modifications of DNA and histone proteins regulates fundamental biological processes through the action of chromatin regulators, transcription factors, and noncoding RNA species. Epigenetic plasticity enables an organism to respond to developmental and environmental signals without genetic changes. However, aberrant epigenetic control plays a key role in pathogenesis of disease. Normal epigenetic states could be disrupted by detrimental mutations and expression alteration of chromatin regulators or by environmental factors. In this primer, we briefly review the epigenetic basis of human disease and discuss how recent discoveries in this field could be translated into clinical diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. We introduce platforms for mapping genome-wide chromatin accessibility, nucleosome occupancy, DNA-binding proteins, and DNA methylation, primarily focusing on the integration of DNA methylation and chromatin immunoprecipitation–sequencing technologies into disease association studies. We highlight practical considerations in applying high-throughput epigenetic assays and formulating analytical strategies. Finally, we summarize current challenges in sample acquisition, experimental procedures, data analysis, and interpretation and make recommendations on further refinement in these areas. Incorporating epigenomic testing into the clinical research arsenal will greatly facilitate our understanding of the epigenetic basis of disease and help identify novel therapeutic targets. PMID:26721890

  4. Protein Arginine Methylation and Citrullination in Epigenetic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The post-translational modification of arginine residues represents a key mechanism for the epigenetic control of gene expression. Aberrant levels of histone arginine modifications have been linked to the development of several diseases including cancer. In recent years, great progress has been made in understanding the physiological role of individual arginine modifications and their effects on chromatin function. The present review aims to summarize the structural and functional aspects of histone arginine modifying enzymes and their impact on gene transcription. We will discuss the potential for targeting these proteins with small molecules in a variety of disease states. PMID:26686581

  5. Epigenetic control of skull morphogenesis by histone deacetylase 8

    PubMed Central

    Haberland, Michael; Mokalled, Mayssa H.; Montgomery, Rusty L.; Olson, Eric N.

    2009-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (Hdacs) are transcriptional repressors with crucial roles in mammalian development. Here we provide evidence that Hdac8 specifically controls patterning of the skull by repressing a subset of transcription factors in cranial neural crest cells. Global deletion of Hdac8 in mice leads to perinatal lethality due to skull instability, and this is phenocopied by conditional deletion of Hdac8 in cranial neural crest cells. Hdac8 specifically represses the aberrant expression of homeobox transcription factors such as Otx2 and Lhx1. These findings reveal how the identity and patterning of vertebrate-specific portions of the skull are epigenetically controlled by a histone deacetylase. PMID:19605684

  6. Chromosome Aberrations in Astronauts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, Kerry A.; Durante, M.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2007-01-01

    A review of currently available data on in vivo induced chromosome damage in the blood lymphocytes of astronauts proves that, after protracted exposure of a few months or more to space radiation, cytogenetic biodosimetry analyses of blood collected within a week or two of return from space provides a reliable estimate of equivalent radiation dose and risk. Recent studies indicate that biodosimetry estimates from single spaceflights lie within the range expected from physical dosimetry and biophysical models, but very large uncertainties are associated with single individual measurements and the total sample population remains low. Retrospective doses may be more difficult to estimate because of the fairly rapid time-dependent loss of "stable" aberrations in blood lymphocytes. Also, biodosimetry estimates from individuals who participate in multiple missions, or very long (interplanetary) missions, may be complicated by an adaptive response to space radiation and/or changes in lymphocyte survival and repopulation. A discussion of published data is presented and specific issues related to space radiation biodosimetry protocols are discussed.

  7. Epigenetics primer: why the clinician should care about epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. The Role of Epigenetics in the Fibrotic Processes Associated with Glaucoma

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Colm

    2014-01-01

    Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy that affects 60 million people worldwide. The main risk factor for glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure (IOP), this is currently the only target for treatment of glaucoma. However, some patients show disease progression despite well-controlled IOP. Another possible therapeutic target is the extracellular matrix (ECM) changes in glaucoma. There is an accumulation of ECM in the lamina cribrosa (LC) and trabecular meshwork (TM) and upregulation of profibrotic factors such as transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), collagen1α1 (COL1A1), and α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA). One method of regulating fibrosis is through epigenetics; the study of heritable changes in gene function caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms have been shown to drive renal and pulmonary fibrosis by upregulating profibrotic factors. Hypoxia alters epigenetic mechanisms through regulating the cell's response and there is a hypoxic environment in the LC and TM in glaucoma. This review looks at the role that hypoxia plays in inducing aberrant epigenetic mechanisms and the role these mechanisms play in inducing fibrosis. Evidence suggests that a hypoxic environment in glaucoma may induce aberrant epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to disease fibrosis. These may prove to be relevant therapeutic targets in glaucoma. PMID:24800062

  9. Epigenetics of cartilage diseases.

    PubMed

    Gabay, Odile; Clouse, Kathleen A

    2016-10-01

    Osteoarticular diseases, such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, are multifactorial diseases with an underlying genetic etiology that are challenging to study. Genome-Wide Association studies (GWAS) have identified several genetic loci associated with these diseases. Epigenetics is a complex mechanism of chromatin and gene modulation through DNA methylation, histone deacetylation or microRNA, which might contribute to the inheritability of disease. Some of these mechanisms have been studied for decades in other diseases or as part of the aging process, where epigenetic changes seem to play an important role. With the implementation of better technological tools, such as the Illumina next generation sequencing, altered methylation of DNA has been linked to articular diseases and these mechanisms have been shown to regulate metalloprotease (MMP) expression and cartilage matrix integrity. Some miRNA have also been identified and more extensively characterized, such as delineation of the role played by miR-140 in chondrogenesis, followed by the discovery of numerous miRNA potentially involved in the epigenetic regulation of osteoarthritic disease. Histone deacetylases have long been linked to aging, particularly with respect to the Sirtuin family with Sirt1 as the major player. Because aging is the major risk factor for osteoarthritis, the involvement of Sirtuins in the etiology of osteoarthritis has been suggested and investigated. All of these fine regulations together shed new light on cartilage disease pathophysiology. We present in this short review an update of the role of these pathways in articular diseases. Copyright © 2015 Société française de rhumatologie. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Radiation-Induced Epigenetic Alterations after Low and High LET Irradiations

    SciTech Connect

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

    Epigenetics, including DNA methylation and microRNA (miRNA) expression, could be the missing link in understanding the delayed, non-targeted effects of radiation including radiationinduced genomic instability (RIGI). This study tests the hypothesis that irradiation induces epigenetic aberrations, which could eventually lead to RIGI, and that the epigenetic aberrations induced by low linear energy transfer (LET) irradiation are different than those induced by high LET irradiations. GM10115 cells were irradiated with low LET x-rays and high LET iron (Fe) ions and evaluated for DNA damage, cell survival and chromosomal instability. The cells were also evaluated for specific locus methylation of nuclear factor-kappamore » B (NFκB), tumor suppressor in lung cancer 1 (TSLC1) and cadherin 1 (CDH1) gene promoter regions, long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) and Alu repeat element methylation, CpG and non-CpG global methylation and miRNA expression levels. Irradiated cells showed increased micronucleus induction and cell killing immediately following exposure, but were chromosomally stable at delayed times post-irradiation. At this same delayed time, alterations in repeat element and global DNA methylation and miRNA expression were observed. Analyses of DNA methylation predominantly showed hypomethylation, however hypermethylation was also observed. MiRNA shown to be altered in expression level after x-ray irradiation are involved in chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation. Different and higher incidence of epigenetic changes were observed after exposure to low LET x-rays than high LET Fe ions even though Fe ions elicited more chromosomal damage and cell killing. This study also shows that the irradiated cells acquire epigenetic changes even though they are chromosomally stable suggesting that epigenetic aberrations may arise in the cell without initiating RIGI.« less

  11. Epigenetic and genetic variation among three separate introductions of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) into Australia

    PubMed Central

    Schrey, A.; Ragsdale, A.; Griffith, S. C.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive populations are often associated with low levels of genetic diversity owing to population bottlenecks at the initial stages of invasion. Despite this, the ability of invasive species to adapt rapidly in response to novel environments is well documented. Epigenetic mechanisms have recently been proposed to facilitate the success of invasive species by compensating for reduced levels of genetic variation. Here, we use methylation sensitive-amplification fragment length polymorphism and microsatellite analyses to compare levels of epigenetic and genetic diversity and differentiation across 15 sites in the introduced Australian house sparrow population. We find patterns of epigenetic and genetic differentiation that are consistent with historical descriptions of three distinct, introductions events. However unlike genetic differentiation, epigenetic differentiation was higher among sample sites than among invasion clusters, suggesting that patterns of epigenetic variation are more strongly influenced by local environmental stimuli or sequential founder events than the initial diversity in the introduction population. Interestingly, we fail to detect correlations between pairwise site comparisons of epigenetic and genetic differentiation, suggesting that some of the observed epigenetic variation has arisen independently of genetic variation. We also fail to detect the potentially compensatory relationship between epigenetic and genetic diversity that has been detected in a more recent house sparrow invasion in Africa. We discuss the potential for this relationship to be obscured by recovered genetic diversity in more established populations, and highlight the importance of incorporating introduction history into population-wide epigenetic analyses. PMID:29765671

  12. Epigenetics of kidney disease.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Nucleosome Positioning and Epigenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Hypoxia-Mediated Epigenetic Regulation of Stemness in Brain Tumor Cells.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Pankaj; Mittal, Shivani Arora; Chongtham, Jonita; Mohanty, Sujata; Srivastava, Tapasya

    2017-06-01

    Activation of pluripotency regulatory circuit is an important event in solid tumor progression and the hypoxic microenvironment is known to enhance the stemness feature of some cells. The distinct population of cancer stem cells (CSCs)/tumor initiating cells exist in a niche and augment invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance. Previously, studies have reported global hypomethylation and site-specific aberrant methylation in gliomas along with other epigenetic modifications as important contributors to genomic instability during glioma progression. Here, we have demonstrated the role of hypoxia-mediated epigenetic modifications in regulating expression of core pluripotency factors, OCT4 and NANOG, in glioma cells. We observe hypoxia-mediated induction of demethylases, ten-eleven-translocation (TET) 1 and 3, but not TET2 in our cell-line model. Immunoprecipitation studies reveal active demethylation and direct binding of TET1 and 3 at the Oct4 and Nanog regulatory regions. Tet1 and 3 silencing assays further confirmed induction of the pluripotency pathway involving Oct4, Nanog, and Stat3, by these paralogues, although with varying degrees. Knockdown of Tet1 and Tet3 inhibited the formation of neurospheres in hypoxic conditions. We observed independent roles of TET1 and TET3 in differentially regulating pluripotency and differentiation associated genes in hypoxia. Overall, this study demonstrates an active demethylation in hypoxia by TET1 and 3 as a mechanism of Oct4 and Nanog overexpression thus contributing to the formation of CSCs in gliomas. Stem Cells 2017;35:1468-1478. © 2017 AlphaMed Press.

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

    PubMed

    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. The epigenetic basis of memory formation and storage.

    PubMed

    Jarome, Timothy J; Thomas, Jasmyne S; Lubin, Farah D

    2014-01-01

    The formation of long-term memory requires a series of cellular and molecular changes that involve transcriptional regulation of gene expression. While these changes in gene transcription were initially thought to be largely regulated by the activation of transcription factors by intracellular signaling molecules, epigenetic mechanisms have emerged as an important regulator of transcriptional processes across multiple brain regions to form a memory circuit for a learned event or experience. Due to their self-perpetuating nature and ability to bidirectionally control gene expression, these epigenetic mechanisms have the potential to not only regulate initial memory formation but also modify and update memory over time. This chapter focuses on the established, but poorly understood, role for epigenetic mechanisms such as posttranslational modifications of histone proteins and DNA methylation at the different stages of memory storage. Additionally, this chapter emphasizes how these mechanisms interact to control the ideal epigenetic environment for memory formation and modification in neurons. The reader will gain insights into the limitations in our current understanding of epigenetic regulation of memory storage, especially in terms of their cell-type specificity and the lack of understanding in the interactions of various epigenetic modifiers to one another to impact gene expression changes during memory formation.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Epigenetic Effects of Environmental Chemicals Bisphenol A and Phthalates

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sher; Li, Steven Shoei-Lung

    2012-01-01

    The epigenetic effects on DNA methylation, histone modification, and expression of non-coding RNAs (including microRNAs) of environmental chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates have expanded our understanding of the etiology of human complex diseases such as cancers and diabetes. Multiple lines of evidence from in vitro and in vivo models have established that epigenetic modifications caused by in utero exposure to environmental toxicants can induce alterations in gene expression that may persist throughout life. Epigenetics is an important mechanism in the ability of environmental chemicals to influence health and disease, and BPA and phthalates are epigenetically toxic. The epigenetic effect of BPA was clearly demonstrated in viable yellow mice by decreasing CpG methylation upstream of the Agouti gene, and the hypomethylating effect of BPA was prevented by maternal dietary supplementation with a methyl donor like folic acid or the phytoestrogen genistein. Histone H3 was found to be trimethylated at lysine 27 by BPA effect on EZH2 in a human breast cancer cell line and mice. BPA exposure of human placental cell lines has been shown to alter microRNA expression levels, and specifically, miR-146a was strongly induced by BPA treatment. In human breast cancer MCF7 cells, treatment with the phthalate BBP led to demethylation of estrogen receptor (ESR1) promoter-associated CpG islands, indicating that altered ESR1 mRNA expression by BBP is due to aberrant DNA methylation. Maternal exposure to phthalate DEHP was also shown to increase DNA methylation and expression levels of DNA methyltransferases in mouse testis. Further, some epigenetic effects of BPA and phthalates in female rats were found to be transgenerational. Finally, the available new technologies for global analysis of epigenetic alterations will provide insight into the extent and patterns of alterations between human normal and diseased tissues. In vitro models such as human embryonic stem cells

  19. Epigenetic effects of environmental chemicals bisphenol A and phthalates.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sher; Li, Steven Shoei-Lung

    2012-01-01

    The epigenetic effects on DNA methylation, histone modification, and expression of non-coding RNAs (including microRNAs) of environmental chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates have expanded our understanding of the etiology of human complex diseases such as cancers and diabetes. Multiple lines of evidence from in vitro and in vivo models have established that epigenetic modifications caused by in utero exposure to environmental toxicants can induce alterations in gene expression that may persist throughout life. Epigenetics is an important mechanism in the ability of environmental chemicals to influence health and disease, and BPA and phthalates are epigenetically toxic. The epigenetic effect of BPA was clearly demonstrated in viable yellow mice by decreasing CpG methylation upstream of the Agouti gene, and the hypomethylating effect of BPA was prevented by maternal dietary supplementation with a methyl donor like folic acid or the phytoestrogen genistein. Histone H3 was found to be trimethylated at lysine 27 by BPA effect on EZH2 in a human breast cancer cell line and mice. BPA exposure of human placental cell lines has been shown to alter microRNA expression levels, and specifically, miR-146a was strongly induced by BPA treatment. In human breast cancer MCF7 cells, treatment with the phthalate BBP led to demethylation of estrogen receptor (ESR1) promoter-associated CpG islands, indicating that altered ESR1 mRNA expression by BBP is due to aberrant DNA methylation. Maternal exposure to phthalate DEHP was also shown to increase DNA methylation and expression levels of DNA methyltransferases in mouse testis. Further, some epigenetic effects of BPA and phthalates in female rats were found to be transgenerational. Finally, the available new technologies for global analysis of epigenetic alterations will provide insight into the extent and patterns of alterations between human normal and diseased tissues. In vitro models such as human embryonic stem cells

  20. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlie Genome Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  1. Epigenetic regulation in human melanoma: past and future.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Debina; Leung, Euphemia Y; Baguley, Bruce C; Finlay, Graeme J; Askarian-Amiri, Marjan E

    2015-01-01

    The development and progression of melanoma have been attributed to independent or combined genetic and epigenetic events. There has been remarkable progress in understanding melanoma pathogenesis in terms of genetic alterations. However, recent studies have revealed a complex involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of gene expression, including methylation, chromatin modification and remodeling, and the diverse activities of non-coding RNAs. The roles of gene methylation and miRNAs have been relatively well studied in melanoma, but other studies have shown that changes in chromatin status and in the differential expression of long non-coding RNAs can lead to altered regulation of key genes. Taken together, they affect the functioning of signaling pathways that influence each other, intersect, and form networks in which local perturbations disturb the activity of the whole system. Here, we focus on how epigenetic events intertwine with these pathways and contribute to the molecular pathogenesis of melanoma.

  2. Targeting epigenetics for the treatment of prostate cancer: recent progress and future directions.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jianqing; Wang, Chenguang; Kelly, Wm Kevin

    2013-06-01

    Epigenetic aberrations contribute to prostate cancer carcinogenesis and disease progression. Efforts have been made to target DNA methyltransferase and histone deacetylases (HDACs) in prostate cancer and other solid tumors but have not had the success that was seen in the hematologic malignancies. Oral, less toxic, and more specific agents are being developed in solid tumors including prostate cancer. Combinations of epigenetic agents alone or with a targeted agent such as androgen receptor signaling inhibitors are promising approaches and will be discussed further. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Epigenetics and cancer: towards an evaluation of the impact of environmental and dietary factors.

    PubMed

    Herceg, Zdenko

    2007-03-01

    While the field of cancer genetics has enjoyed a great deal of attention among cancer researchers in the last few decades, the appreciation of cancer epigenetics is more recent, -owing to the fact that epigenetic mechanisms have emerged as key mechanisms in cancer development. All critical changes in cancer cells, such as silencing of tumour-suppressor genes, activation of oncogenes and defects in DNA repair, are caused not only by genetic but also by epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic events can affect many steps in tumour development; therefore, better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms is fundamental to our ability to successfully prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Various environmental and dietary agents and lifestyles are suspected to be implicated in the development of a wide range of human cancers by eliciting epigenetic changes, though the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to a given human cancer type and the precise targets of epigenetic alterations during cancer development are largely unknown. The major obstacle in establishing a relationship between epigenetic changes and exposure to dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors and cancer is the fact that studies are typically too small and lack statistical power to identify the interactions between epigenetic changes and exposures. Tremendous advances in our understanding of basic epigenetic mechanisms and rapid progress that is being made in developing new powerful technologies, such as those for sensitive and quantitative detection of epigenetic changes as well as for genome-wide analysis (epigenomics), hold great promise that these issues may be addressed in near future. Therefore, experimental evidence on the precise role of epigenetic changes induced by environment, diet and lifestyle is eagerly awaited.

  4. The changing concept of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Jablonka, Eva; Lamb, Marion J

    2002-12-01

    We discuss the changing use of epigenetics, a term coined by Conrad Waddington in the 1940s, and how the epigenetic approach to development differs from the genetic approach. Originally, epigenetics referred to the study of the way genes and their products bring the phenotype into being. Today, it is primarily concerned with the mechanisms through which cells become committed to a particular form or function and through which that functional or structural state is then transmitted in cell lineages. We argue that modern epigenetics is important not only because it has practical significance for medicine, agriculture, and species conservation, but also because it has implications for the way in which we should view heredity and evolution. In particular, recognizing that there are epigenetic inheritance systems through which non-DNA variations can be transmitted in cell and organismal lineages broadens the concept of heredity and challenges the widely accepted gene-centered neo-Darwinian version of Darwinism.

  5. Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Viatte, Sebastien; Plant, Darren; Raychaudhuri, Soumya

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Genome-Wide Methylome Analyses Reveal Novel Epigenetic Regulation Patterns in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yongsheng; Camarillo, Cynthia; Xu, Juan; Arana, Tania Bedard; Xiao, Yun; Zhao, Zheng; Chen, Hong; Ramirez, Mercedes; Zavala, Juan; Escamilla, Michael A.; Armas, Regina; Mendoza, Ricardo; Ontiveros, Alfonso; Nicolini, Humberto; Jerez Magaña, Alvaro Antonio; Rubin, Lewis P.; Li, Xia; Xu, Chun

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BP) are complex genetic disorders. Their appearance is also likely informed by as yet only partially described epigenetic contributions. Using a sequencing-based method for genome-wide analysis, we quantitatively compared the blood DNA methylation landscapes in SZ and BP subjects to control, both in an understudied population, Hispanics along the US-Mexico border. Remarkably, we identified thousands of differentially methylated regions for SZ and BP preferentially located in promoters 3′-UTRs and 5′-UTRs of genes. Distinct patterns of aberrant methylation of promoter sequences were located surrounding transcription start sites. In these instances, aberrant methylation occurred in CpG islands (CGIs) as well as in flanking regions as well as in CGI sparse promoters. Pathway analysis of genes displaying these distinct aberrant promoter methylation patterns showed enhancement of epigenetic changes in numerous genes previously related to psychiatric disorders and neurodevelopment. Integration of gene expression data further suggests that in SZ aberrant promoter methylation is significantly associated with altered gene transcription. In particular, we found significant associations between (1) promoter CGIs hypermethylation with gene repression and (2) CGI 3′-shore hypomethylation with increased gene expression. Finally, we constructed a specific methylation analysis platform that facilitates viewing and comparing aberrant genome methylation in human neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:25734057

  7. Epigenetic alterations induced by genotoxic occupational and environmental human chemical carcinogens: A systematic literature review

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, Grace; Pogribny, Igor P.; Guyton, Kathryn Z.; Rusyn, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic alterations play an important role in chemically-induced carcinogenesis. Although the epigenome and genome may be equally important in carcinogenicity, the genotoxicity of chemical agents and exposure-related transcriptomic responses have been more thoroughly studied and characterized. To better understand the evidence for epigenetic alterations of human carcinogens, and the potential association with genotoxic endpoints, we conducted a systematic review of published studies of genotoxic carcinogens that reported epigenetic endpoints. Specifically, we searched for publications reporting epigenetic effects for the 28 agents and occupations included in Monograph Volume 100F of the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC) that were classified as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) with strong evidence of genotoxic mechanisms of carcinogenesis. We identified a total of 158 studies that evaluated epigenetic alterations for 12 of these 28 carcinogenic agents and occupations (1,3-butadiene, 4-aminobiphenyl, aflatoxins, benzene, benzidine, benzo[a]pyrene, coke production, formaldehyde, occupational exposure as a painter, sulfur mustard, and vinyl chloride). Aberrant DNA methylation was most commonly studied, followed by altered expression of non-coding RNAs and histone changes (totaling 85, 59 and 25 studies, respectively). For 3 carcinogens (aflatoxins, benzene and benzo[a]pyrene), 10 or more studies reported epigenetic effects. However, epigenetic studies were sparse for the remaining 9 carcinogens; for 4 agents, only 1 or 2 published reports were identified. While further research is needed to better identify carcinogenesis-associated epigenetic perturbations for many potential carcinogens, published reports on specific epigenetic endpoints can be systematically identified and increasingly incorporated in cancer hazard assessments. PMID:27234561

  8. Epigenetic alterations induced by genotoxic occupational and environmental human chemical carcinogens: A systematic literature review.

    PubMed

    Chappell, Grace; Pogribny, Igor P; Guyton, Kathryn Z; Rusyn, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic alterations play an important role in chemically-induced carcinogenesis. Although the epigenome and genome may be equally important in carcinogenicity, the genotoxicity of chemical agents and exposure-related transcriptomic responses have been more thoroughly studied and characterized. To better understand the evidence for epigenetic alterations of human carcinogens, and the potential association with genotoxic endpoints, we conducted a systematic review of published studies of genotoxic carcinogens that reported epigenetic endpoints. Specifically, we searched for publications reporting epigenetic effects for the 28 agents and occupations included in Monograph Volume 100F of the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC) that were classified as "carcinogenic to humans" (Group 1) with strong evidence of genotoxic mechanisms of carcinogenesis. We identified a total of 158 studies that evaluated epigenetic alterations for 12 of these 28 carcinogenic agents and occupations (1,3-butadiene, 4-aminobiphenyl, aflatoxins, benzene, benzidine, benzo[a]pyrene, coke production, formaldehyde, occupational exposure as a painter, sulfur mustard, and vinyl chloride). Aberrant DNA methylation was most commonly studied, followed by altered expression of non-coding RNAs and histone changes (totaling 85, 59 and 25 studies, respectively). For 3 carcinogens (aflatoxins, benzene and benzo[a]pyrene), 10 or more studies reported epigenetic effects. However, epigenetic studies were sparse for the remaining 9 carcinogens; for 4 agents, only 1 or 2 published reports were identified. While further research is needed to better identify carcinogenesis-associated epigenetic perturbations for many potential carcinogens, published reports on specific epigenetic endpoints can be systematically identified and increasingly incorporated in cancer hazard assessments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. On the Definition of Aberration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Minghui; Wang, Guangli

    2014-12-01

    There was a groundbreaking step in the history of astronomy in 1728 when the effect of aberration was discovered by James Bradley (1693-1762). Recently, the solar acceleration, due to the variations in the aberrational effect of extragalactic sources caused by it, has been determined from VLBI observations with an uncertainty of about 0.5 mm{\\cdot}{s^{-1}}{\\cdot}{yr^{-1}} level. As a basic concept in astrometry with a nearly 300-year history, the definition of aberration, however, is still equivocal and discordant in the literature. It has been under continuing debate whether it depends on the relative motion between the observer and the observed source or only on the motion of the observer with respect to the frame of reference. In this paper, we will review the debate and the inconsistency in the definition of the aberration since the last century, and then discuss its definition in detail, which involves the discussions on the planetary aberration, the stellar aberration, the proper motion of an object during the travel time of light from the object to the observer, and the way of selecting the reference frame to express and distinguish the motions of the source and the observer. The aberration is essentially caused by the transformation between coordinate systems, and consequently quantified by the velocity of the observer with respect to the selected reference frame, independent of the motion of the source. Obviously, this nature is totally different from that of the definition given by the IAU WG NFA (Capitaine, 2007) in 2006, which is stated as, ``the apparent angular displacement of the observed position of a celestial object from its geometric position, caused by the finite velocity of light in combination with the motions of the observer and of the observed object.''

  10. An epigenetically derived monoclonal origin for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Josena Kunjoonju; Vaught, Lori E; Chen, Kang Mei; Shah, Veena; Schweitzer, Vanessa G; Gardner, Glendon; Benninger, Michael S; Worsham, Maria J

    2007-07-01

    To investigate the contribution of promoter methylation-mediated epigenetic events in recurrent respiratory papillomatosis tumorigenesis. Archival tissue DNA, extracted from microdissected papilloma lesions, was interrogated for methylation status by means of the novel, multigene methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay. Fifteen subjects with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, 3 females and 12 males, all with adult onset of illness (age range, 23-73 years) except for 1 female patient with juvenile onset (1 year old). Promoter hypermethylation was recorded in 14 of 15 cases, and 19 of 22 unique methylation-prone cancer genes in the multigene panel had altered DNA methylation in at least 1 laryngeal papilloma biopsy specimen. Identical abnormally methylated genes were found in 5 of 15 recurrent cases, of which the CDKN2B gene was hypermethylated in all 5 cases. Dissimilar epigenetic events were noted in the remaining cases. A clonal origin was derived for 5 of 15 recurrent respiratory papillomatosis biopsy specimens based on identical epigenetic events. The high frequency of epigenetic events, characterized by consistent promoter hypermethylation of multiple tumor suppressor genes, points to the use of gene silencing mechanisms in the pathogenesis of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

  11. The political implications of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Prenatal stress and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Cao-Lei, L; de Rooij, S R; King, S; Matthews, S G; Metz, G A S; Roseboom, T J; Szyf, M

    2017-05-18

    In utero exposure to environmental stress in both animals and humans could result in long-term epigenome alterations which further lead to consequences for adaptation and development in the offspring. Epigenetics, especially DNA methylation, is considered one of the most widely studied and well-characterized mechanisms involved in the long-lasting effects of in utero stress exposure. In this review, we outlined evidence from animal and human prenatal research supporting the view that prenatal stress could lead to lasting, broad and functionally organized signatures in DNA methylation which, in turn, could mediate exposure-phenotype associations. We also emphasized the advantage of using stressor from quasi-randomly assigned experiments. Furthermore, we discuss challenges that still need to be addressed in this field in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The complexity of epigenetic diseases.

    PubMed

    Brazel, Ailbhe Jane; Vernimmen, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, a plethora of pathogenic mutations affecting enhancer regions and epigenetic regulators have been identified. Coupled with more recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) implicating major roles for regulatory mutations in disease, it is clear that epigenetic mechanisms represent important biomarkers for disease development and perhaps even therapeutic targets. Here, we discuss the diversity of disease-causing mutations in enhancers and epigenetic regulators, with a particular focus on cancer. © 2015 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Loss, Leandro A; Sadanandam, Anguraj; Durinck, Steffen

    Methylation of CpG islands within the DNA promoter regions is one mechanism that leads to aberrant gene expression in cancer. In particular, the abnormal methylation of CpG islands may silence associated genes. Therefore, using high-throughput microarrays to measure CpG island methylation will lead to better understanding of tumor pathobiology and progression, while revealing potentially new biomarkers. We have examined a recently developed high-throughput technology for measuring genome-wide methylation patterns called mTACL. Here, we propose a computational pipeline for integrating gene expression and CpG island methylation profles to identify epigenetically regulated genes for a panel of 45 breast cancer cell lines,more » which is widely used in the Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP). The pipeline (i) reduces the dimensionality of the methylation data, (ii) associates the reduced methylation data with gene expression data, and (iii) ranks methylation-expression associations according to their epigenetic regulation. Dimensionality reduction is performed in two steps: (i) methylation sites are grouped across the genome to identify regions of interest, and (ii) methylation profles are clustered within each region. Associations between the clustered methylation and the gene expression data sets generate candidate matches within a fxed neighborhood around each gene. Finally, the methylation-expression associations are ranked through a logistic regression, and their significance is quantified through permutation analysis. Our two-step dimensionality reduction compressed 90% of the original data, reducing 137,688 methylation sites to 14,505 clusters. Methylation-expression associations produced 18,312 correspondences, which were used to further analyze epigenetic regulation. Logistic regression was used to identify 58 genes from these correspondences that showed a statistically signifcant negative correlation between methylation profles and gene expression in

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-04

    Methylation of CpG islands within the DNA promoter regions is one mechanism that leads to aberrant gene expression in cancer. In particular, the abnormal methylation of CpG islands may silence associated genes. Therefore, using high-throughput microarrays to measure CpG island methylation will lead to better understanding of tumor pathobiology and progression, while revealing potentially new biomarkers. We have examined a recently developed high-throughput technology for measuring genome-wide methylation patterns called mTACL. Here, we propose a computational pipeline for integrating gene expression and CpG island methylation profiles to identify epigenetically regulated genes for a panel of 45 breast cancer cell lines, which is widely used in the Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP). The pipeline (i) reduces the dimensionality of the methylation data, (ii) associates the reduced methylation data with gene expression data, and (iii) ranks methylation-expression associations according to their epigenetic regulation. Dimensionality reduction is performed in two steps: (i) methylation sites are grouped across the genome to identify regions of interest, and (ii) methylation profiles are clustered within each region. Associations between the clustered methylation and the gene expression data sets generate candidate matches within a fixed neighborhood around each gene. Finally, the methylation-expression associations are ranked through a logistic regression, and their significance is quantified through permutation analysis. Our two-step dimensionality reduction compressed 90% of the original data, reducing 137,688 methylation sites to 14,505 clusters. Methylation-expression associations produced 18,312 correspondences, which were used to further analyze epigenetic regulation. Logistic regression was used to identify 58 genes from these correspondences that showed a statistically significant negative correlation between methylation profiles and gene expression in the

  18. DNA motifs associated with aberrant CpG island methylation.

    PubMed

    Feltus, F Alex; Lee, Eva K; Costello, Joseph F; Plass, Christoph; Vertino, Paula M

    2006-05-01

    Epigenetic silencing involving the aberrant methylation of promoter region CpG islands is widely recognized as a tumor suppressor silencing mechanism in cancer. However, the molecular pathways underlying aberrant DNA methylation remain elusive. Recently we showed that, on a genome-wide level, CpG island loci differ in their intrinsic susceptibility to aberrant methylation and that this susceptibility can be predicted based on underlying sequence context. These data suggest that there are sequence/structural features that contribute to the protection from or susceptibility to aberrant methylation. Here we use motif elicitation coupled with classification techniques to identify DNA sequence motifs that selectively define methylation-prone or methylation-resistant CpG islands. Motifs common to 28 methylation-prone or 47 methylation-resistant CpG island-containing genomic fragments were determined using the MEME and MAST algorithms (). The five most discriminatory motifs derived from methylation-prone sequences were found to be associated with CpG islands in general and were nonrandomly distributed throughout the genome. In contrast, the eight most discriminatory motifs derived from the methylation-resistant CpG islands were randomly distributed throughout the genome. Interestingly, this latter group tended to associate with Alu and other repetitive sequences. Used together, the frequency of occurrence of these motifs successfully discriminated methylation-prone and methylation-resistant CpG island groups with an accuracy of 87% after 10-fold cross-validation. The motifs identified here are candidate methylation-targeting or methylation-protection DNA sequences.

  19. Transgenerational Epigenetics: The Role of Maternal Effects in Cardiovascular Development

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Dao H.

    2014-01-01

    Transgenerational epigenetics, the study of non-genetic transfer of information from one generation to the next, has gained much attention in the past few decades due to the fact that, in many instances, epigenetic processes outweigh direct genetic processes in the manifestation of aberrant phenotypes across several generations. Maternal effects, or the influences of maternal environment, phenotype, and/or genotype on offsprings’ phenotypes, independently of the offsprings’ genotypes, are a subcategory of transgenerational epigenetics. Due to the intimate role of the mother during early development in animals, there is much interest in investigating the means by which maternal effects can shape the individual. Maternal effects are responsible for cellular organization, determination of the body axis, initiation and maturation of organ systems, and physiological performance of a wide variety of species and biological systems. The cardiovascular system is the first to become functional and can significantly influence the development of other organ systems. Thus, it is important to elucidate the role of maternal effects in cardiovascular development, and to understand its impact on adult cardiovascular health. Topics to be addressed include: (1) how and when do maternal effects change the developmental trajectory of the cardiovascular system to permanently alter the adult’s cardiovascular phenotype, (2) what molecular mechanisms have been associated with maternally induced cardiovascular phenotypes, and (3) what are the evolutionary implications of maternally mediated changes in cardiovascular phenotype? PMID:24813463

  20. Epigenetic memory: the Lamarckian brain

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Andre

    2014-01-01

    Recent data support the view that epigenetic processes play a role in memory consolidation and help to transmit acquired memories even across generations in a Lamarckian manner. Drugs that target the epigenetic machinery were found to enhance memory function in rodents and ameliorate disease phenotypes in models for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Chorea Huntington, Depression or Schizophrenia. In this review, I will give an overview on the current knowledge of epigenetic processes in memory function and brain disease with a focus on Morbus Alzheimer as the most common neurodegenerative disease. I will address the question whether an epigenetic therapy could indeed be a suitable therapeutic avenue to treat brain diseases and discuss the necessary steps that should help to take neuroepigenetic research to the next level. PMID:24719207

  1. The Epigenetic Landscape of Alcoholism

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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, holds great therapeutic potential in the treatment and prevention of alcoholism. PMID:25131543

  2. Targeting epigenetic regulations in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ning, Bo; Li, Wenyuan; Zhao, Wei; Wang, Rongfu

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is a dynamic and reversible process with DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling. Recently, groundbreaking studies have demonstrated the importance of DNA and chromatin regulatory proteins from different aspects, including stem cell, development, and tumor genesis. Abnormal epigenetic regulation is frequently associated with diseases and drugs targeting DNA methylation and histone acetylation have been approved for cancer therapy. Although the network of epigenetic regulation is more complex than people expect, new potential druggable chromatin-associated proteins are being discovered and tested for clinical application. Here we review the key proteins that mediate epigenetic regulations through DNA methylation, the acetylation and methylation of histones, and the reader proteins that bind to modified histones. We also discuss cancer associations and recent progress of pharmacological development of these proteins. PMID:26508480

  3. The epigenetic landscape of alcoholism.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Epigenetics of sleep and chronobiology.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Epigenetic disorders and male subfertility.

    PubMed

    Boissonnas, Céline Chalas; Jouannet, Pierre; Jammes, Hélène

    2013-03-01

    To provide a link between epigenetics and male subfertility at the DNA, histone-protamine, and RNA levels and its consequences on fertilization and embryo development. Review of the relevant literature. University-based clinical and research laboratories. Fertile and infertile men. None. Critical review of the literature. Epigenetic markers can be modified in infertile patients. Epigenetic modifications include methylation loss or gain on the global level and on imprinted genes, high levels of histone retention in spermatozoa, and deficiencies in some transcripts involved in spermatogenesis. Interestingly, these abnormalities are all linked together, because DNA methylation maintenance depends on DNA histone-protamine configuration which itself is stabilized by spermatozoal RNAs. The paternal genome has long been considered to be silent and passive in embryo formation. The epigenetic processes associated with the paternal DNA genome highlights its importance in male fertility as well as for embryo development. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Epigenetic regulation of persistent pain

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Guang; Ren, Ke; Dubner, Ronald

    2014-01-01

    Persistent or chronic pain is tightly associated with various environmental changes and linked to abnormal gene expression within cells processing nociceptive signaling. Epigenetic regulation governs gene expression in response to environmental cues. Recent animal model and clinical studies indicate that epigenetic regulation plays an important role in the development/maintenance of persistent pain and, possibly the transition of acute pain to chronic pain, thus shedding light in a direction for development of new therapeutics for persistent pain. PMID:24948399

  7. The first international workshop on the epigenetics of osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Meulenbelt, Ingrid M; Bhutani, Nidhi; den Hollander, Wouter; Gay, Steffen; Oppermann, Udo; Reynard, Louise N; Skelton, Andrew J; Young, David A; Beier, Frank; Loughlin, John

    2017-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major clinical problem across the world, in part due to the lack of disease-modifying drugs resulting, to a significant degree, from our incomplete understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of the disease. Emerging evidence points to a role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of OA, but research in this area is still in its early stages. In order to summarize current knowledge and to facilitate the potential coordination of future research activities, the first international workshop on the epigenetics of OA was held in Amsterdam in October 2015. Recent findings on DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation, histone modifications, noncoding RNAs, and other epigenetic mechanisms were presented and discussed. The workshop demonstrated the advantage of bringing together those working in this nascent field and highlights from the event are summarized in this report in the form of summaries from invited speakers and organizers.

  8. The Role of Epigenetics in Aging and Autoimmunity

    PubMed Central

    Grolleau-Julius, Annabelle; Ray, Donna; Yung, Raymond L.

    2013-01-01

    The decline in immunocompetence with age is accompanied by the increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases. Aging of the immune system, or immunosenescence, is characterized by a decline of both T and B cell function, and paradoxically the presence of low grade chronic inflammation. There is growing evidence that epigenetics, the study of inherited changes in gene expression that are not encoded by the DNA sequence itself, changes with aging. Interestingly, emerging evidence suggests a key role for epigenetics in human pathologies, including inflammatory and neoplastic disorders. Here we will review the potential mechanisms that contribute to the increase in autoimmune responses in aging. In particular, we will discuss how epigenetic alterations, especially DNA methylation and histone acetylation, are accumulated during aging and how these events contribute to autoimmunity risk. PMID:18432411

  9. The Role of Epigenetics in Aging and Autoimmunity

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Donna

    2009-01-01

    The decline in immunocompetence with age is accompanied by the increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases. Aging of the immune system, or immunosenescence, is characterized by a decline of both T and B cell function, and paradoxically the presence of low-grade chronic inflammation. There is growing evidence that epigenetics, the study of inherited changes in gene expression that are not encoded by the DNA sequence itself, changes with aging. Interestingly, emerging evidence suggests a key role for epigenetics in human pathologies, including inflammatory and neoplastic disorders. Here, we will review the potential mechanisms that contribute to the increase in autoimmune responses in aging. In particular, we will discuss how epigenetic alterations, especially DNA methylation and histone acetylation, are accumulated during aging and how these events contribute to autoimmunity risk. PMID:19653133

  10. Epigenetic Regulation of Centromere Chromatin Stability by Dietary and Environmental Factors.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Saavedra, Diego; Strakovsky, Rita S; Ostrosky-Wegman, Patricia; Pan, Yuan-Xiang

    2017-11-01

    The centromere is a genomic locus required for the segregation of the chromosomes during cell division. This chromosomal region together with pericentromeres has been found to be susceptible to damage, and thus the perturbation of the centromere could lead to the development of aneuploidic events. Metabolic abnormalities that underlie the generation of cancer include inflammation, oxidative stress, cell cycle deregulation, and numerous others. The micronucleus assay, an early clinical marker of cancer, has been shown to provide a reliable measure of genotoxic damage that may signal cancer initiation. In the current review, we will discuss the events that lead to micronucleus formation and centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin instability, as well transcripts emanating from these regions, which were previously thought to be inactive. Studies were selected in PubMed if they reported the effects of nutritional status (macro- and micronutrients) or environmental toxicant exposure on micronucleus frequency or any other chromosomal abnormality in humans, animals, or cell models. Mounting evidence from epidemiologic, environmental, and nutritional studies provides a novel perspective on the origination of aneuploidic events. Although substantial evidence exists describing the role that nutritional status and environmental toxicants have on the generation of micronuclei and other nuclear aberrations, limited information is available to describe the importance of macro- and micronutrients on centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin stability. Moving forward, studies that specifically address the direct link between nutritional status, excess, or deficiency and the epigenetic regulation of the centromere will provide much needed insight into the nutritional and environmental regulation of this chromosomal region and the initiation of aneuploidy. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.

  11. Epigenetic regulation of neuroblastoma development.

    PubMed

    Durinck, Kaat; Speleman, Frank

    2018-05-01

    In recent years, technological advances have enabled a detailed landscaping of the epigenome and the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that drive normal cell function, development and cancer. Rather than merely a structural entity to support genome compaction, we now look at chromatin as a very dynamic and essential constellation that is actively participating in the tight orchestration of transcriptional regulation as well as DNA replication and repair. The unique feature of chromatin flexibility enabling fast switches towards more or less restricted epigenetic cellular states is, not surprisingly, intimately connected to cancer development and treatment resistance, and the central role of epigenetic alterations in cancer is illustrated by the finding that up to 50% of all mutations across cancer entities affect proteins controlling the chromatin status. We summarize recent insights into epigenetic rewiring underlying neuroblastoma (NB) tumor formation ranging from changes in DNA methylation patterns and mutations in epigenetic regulators to global effects on transcriptional regulatory circuits that involve key players in NB oncogenesis. Insights into the disruption of the homeostatic epigenetic balance contributing to developmental arrest of sympathetic progenitor cells and subsequent NB oncogenesis are rapidly growing and will be exploited towards the development of novel therapeutic strategies to increase current survival rates of patients with high-risk NB.

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

    PubMed Central

    Imani, Saber; Panahi, Yunes; Salimian, Jafar; Fu, Junjiang; Ghanei, Mostafa

    2015-01-01

    Sulfur mustard (SM, bis- (2-chloroethyl) sulphide) is a chemical warfare agent that causes DNA alkylation, protein modification and membrane damage. SM can trigger several molecular pathways involved in inflammation and oxidative stress, which cause cell necrosis and apoptosis, and loss of cells integrity and function. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is a growing research topic and is addressed by DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and noncoding RNAs expression. It seems SM can induce the epigenetic modifications that are translated into change in gene expression. Classification of epigenetic modifications long after exposure to SM would clarify its mechanism and paves a better strategy for the treatment of SM-affected patients. In this study, we review the key aberrant epigenetic modifications that have important roles in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and compared with mustard lung. PMID:26557960

  13. Clinical implications of epigenetic regulation in oral cancer.

    PubMed

    D'Souza, Wendy; Saranath, Dhananjaya

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Extensive epigenetic reprogramming during the life cycle of Marchantia polymorpha.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Marc W; Giraldo-Fonseca, Alejandro; Rövekamp, Moritz; Smetanin, Dmitry; Bowman, John L; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2018-01-25

    In plants, the existence and possible role of epigenetic reprogramming has been questioned because of the occurrence of stably inherited epialleles. Evidence suggests that epigenetic reprogramming does occur during land plant reproduction, but there is little consensus on the generality and extent of epigenetic reprogramming in plants. We studied DNA methylation dynamics during the life cycle of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. We isolated thalli and meristems from male and female gametophytes, archegonia, antherozoids, as well as sporophytes at early and late developmental stages, and compared their DNA methylation profiles. Of all cytosines tested for differential DNA methylation, 42% vary significantly in their methylation pattern throughout the life cycle. However, the differences are limited to few comparisons between specific stages of the life cycle and suggest four major epigenetic states specific to sporophytes, vegetative gametophytes, antherozoids, and archegonia. Further analyses indicated clear differences in the mechanisms underlying reprogramming in the gametophytic and sporophytic generations, which are paralleled by differences in the expression of genes involved in DNA methylation. Differentially methylated cytosines with a gain in methylation in antherozoids and archegonia are enriched in the CG and CHG contexts, as well as in gene bodies and gene flanking regions. In contrast, gain of DNA methylation during sporophyte development is mostly limited to the CHH context, LTR retrotransposons, DNA transposons, and repeats. We conclude that epigenetic reprogramming occurs at least twice during the life cycle of M. polymorpha and that the underlying mechanisms are likely different between the two events.

  15. The Oncoprotein BRD4-NUT Generates Aberrant Histone Modification Patterns.

    PubMed

    Zee, Barry M; Dibona, Amy B; Alekseyenko, Artyom A; French, Christopher A; Kuroda, Mitzi I

    2016-01-01

    Defects in chromatin proteins frequently manifest in diseases. A striking case of a chromatin-centric disease is NUT-midline carcinoma (NMC), which is characterized by expression of NUT as a fusion partner most frequently with BRD4. ChIP-sequencing studies from NMC patients revealed that BRD4-NUT (B4N) covers large genomic regions and elevates transcription within these domains. To investigate how B4N modulates chromatin, we performed affinity purification of B4N when ectopically expressed in 293-TREx cells and quantified the associated histone posttranslational modifications (PTM) using proteomics. We observed significant enrichment of acetylation particularly on H3 K18 and of combinatorial patterns such as H3 K27 acetylation paired with K36 methylation. We postulate that B4N complexes override the preexisting histone code with new PTM patterns that reflect aberrant transcription and that epigenetically modulate the nucleosome environment toward the NMC state.

  16. The Oncoprotein BRD4-NUT Generates Aberrant Histone Modification Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Zee, Barry M.; Dibona, Amy B.; Alekseyenko, Artyom A.; French, Christopher A.; Kuroda, Mitzi I.

    2016-01-01

    Defects in chromatin proteins frequently manifest in diseases. A striking case of a chromatin-centric disease is NUT-midline carcinoma (NMC), which is characterized by expression of NUT as a fusion partner most frequently with BRD4. ChIP-sequencing studies from NMC patients revealed that BRD4-NUT (B4N) covers large genomic regions and elevates transcription within these domains. To investigate how B4N modulates chromatin, we performed affinity purification of B4N when ectopically expressed in 293-TREx cells and quantified the associated histone posttranslational modifications (PTM) using proteomics. We observed significant enrichment of acetylation particularly on H3 K18 and of combinatorial patterns such as H3 K27 acetylation paired with K36 methylation. We postulate that B4N complexes override the preexisting histone code with new PTM patterns that reflect aberrant transcription and that epigenetically modulate the nucleosome environment toward the NMC state. PMID:27698495

  17. The genetics of insomnia--evidence for epigenetic mechanisms?

    PubMed

    Palagini, Laura; Biber, Knut; Riemann, Dieter

    2014-06-01

    Sleep is a complex physiological process and still remains one of the great mysteries of science. Over the past 10 y, genetic research has provided a new avenue to address the regulation and function of sleep. Gene loci that contribute quantitatively to sleep characteristics and variability have already been identified. However, up to now, a genetic basis has been established only for a few sleep disorders. Little is yet known about the genetic background of insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders. According to the conceptualisation of the 3P model of insomnia, predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors contribute to the development and maintenance of insomnia. Growing evidence from studies of predisposing factors suggests a certain degree of heritability for insomnia and for a reactivity of sleep patterns to stressful events, explaining the emergence of insomnia in response to stressful life events. While a genetic susceptibility may modulate the impact of stress on the brain, this finding does not provide us with a complete understanding of the capacity of stress to produce long-lasting perturbations of brain and behaviour. Epigenetic gene-environment interactions have been identified just recently and may provide a more complex understanding of the genetic control of sleep and its disorders. It was recently hypothesised that stress-response-related brain plasticity might be epigenetically controlled and, moreover, several epigenetic mechanisms have been assumed to be involved in the regulation of sleep. Hence, it might be postulated that insomnia may be influenced by an epigenetic control process of both sleep mechanisms and stress-response-related gene-environment interactions having an impact on brain plasticity. This paper reviews the evidence for the genetic basis of insomnia and recent theories about epigenetic mechanisms involved in both sleep regulation and brain-stress response, leading to the hypothesis of an involvement of epigenetic

  18. The Art of Optical Aberrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wylde, Clarissa Eileen Kenney

    Art and optics are inseparable. Though seemingly opposite disciplines, the combination of art and optics has significantly impacted both culture and science as they are now known. As history has run its course, in the sciences, arts, and their fruitful combinations, optical aberrations have proved to be a problematic hindrance to progress. In an effort to eradicate aberrations the simple beauty of these aberrational forms has been labeled as undesirable and discarded. Here, rather than approach aberrations as erroneous, these beautiful forms are elevated to be the photographic subject in a new body of work, On the Bright Side. Though many recording methods could be utilized, this work was composed on classic, medium-format, photographic film using white-light, Michelson interferometry. The resulting images are both a representation of the true light rays that interacted on the distorted mirror surfaces (data) and the artist's compositional eye for what parts of the interferogram are chosen and displayed. A detailed description of the captivating interdisciplinary procedure is documented and presented alongside the final artwork, CCD digital reference images, and deformable mirror contour maps. This alluring marriage between the arts and sciences opens up a heretofore minimally explored aspect of the inextricable art-optics connection. It additionally provides a fascinating new conversation on the importance of light and optics in photographic composition.

  19. Epigenetics and Breast Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Vo, An T.; Millis, Richard M.

    2012-01-01

    Several of the active compounds in foods, poisons, drugs, and industrial chemicals may, by epigenetic mechanisms, increase or decrease the risk of breast cancers. Enzymes that are involved in DNA methylation and histone modifications have been shown to be altered in several types of breast and other cancers resulting in abnormal patterns of methylation and/or acetylation. Hypermethylation at the CpG islands found in estrogen response element (ERE) promoters occurs in conjunction with ligand-bonded alpha subunit estrogen receptor (Erα) dimers wherein the ligand ERα dimer complex acts as a transcription factor and binds to the ERE promoter. Ligands could be 17-β-estradiol (E2), phytoestrogens, heterocyclic amines, and many other identified food additives and heavy metals. The dimer recruits DNA methyltransferases which catalyze the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) to 5′-cytosine on CpG islands. Other enzymes are recruited to the region by ligand-ERα dimers which activate DNA demethylases to act simultaneously to increase gene expression of protooncogenes and growth-promoting genes. Ligand-ERα dimers also recruit histone acetyltransferase to the ERE promoter region. Histone demethylases such as JMJD2B and histone methyltransferases are enzymes which demethylate lysine residues on histones H3 and/or H4. This makes the chromatin accessible for transcription factors and enzymes. PMID:22567014

  20. Epigenetic regulation of adaptive responses of forest tree species to the environment

    PubMed Central

    Bräutigam, Katharina; Vining, Kelly J; Lafon-Placette, Clément; Fossdal, Carl G; Mirouze, Marie; Marcos, José Gutiérrez; Fluch, Silvia; Fraga, Mario Fernández; Guevara, M Ángeles; Abarca, Dolores; Johnsen, Øystein; Maury, Stéphane; Strauss, Steven H; Campbell, Malcolm M; Rohde, Antje; Díaz-Sala, Carmen; Cervera, María-Teresa

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic variation is likely to contribute to the phenotypic plasticity and adaptative capacity of plant species, and may be especially important for long-lived organisms with complex life cycles, including forest trees. Diverse environmental stresses and hybridization/polyploidization events can create reversible heritable epigenetic marks that can be transmitted to subsequent generations as a form of molecular “memory”. Epigenetic changes might also contribute to the ability of plants to colonize or persist in variable environments. In this review, we provide an overview of recent data on epigenetic mechanisms involved in developmental processes and responses to environmental cues in plant, with a focus on forest tree species. We consider the possible role of forest tree epigenetics as a new source of adaptive traits in plant breeding, biotechnology, and ecosystem conservation under rapid climate change. PMID:23467802

  1. [Epigenetics of schizophrenia: a review].

    PubMed

    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

  2. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of somatic transcriptomes and epigenetic control regions

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease involves a variety of phenotypic changes, suggesting a general alteration in genome activity. Results Investigation of different tissue transcriptomes in male and female F3 generation vinclozolin versus control lineage rats demonstrated all tissues examined had transgenerational transcriptomes. The microarrays from 11 different tissues were compared with a gene bionetwork analysis. Although each tissue transgenerational transcriptome was unique, common cellular pathways and processes were identified between the tissues. A cluster analysis identified gene modules with coordinated gene expression and each had unique gene networks regulating tissue-specific gene expression and function. A large number of statistically significant over-represented clusters of genes were identified in the genome for both males and females. These gene clusters ranged from 2-5 megabases in size, and a number of them corresponded to the epimutations previously identified in sperm that transmit the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease phenotypes. Conclusions Combined observations demonstrate that all tissues derived from the epigenetically altered germ line develop transgenerational transcriptomes unique to the tissue, but common epigenetic control regions in the genome may coordinately regulate these tissue-specific transcriptomes. This systems biology approach provides insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of a variety of adult onset disease phenotypes. PMID:23034163

  3. Hypersexuality Addiction and Withdrawal: Phenomenology, Neurogenetics and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Gold, Mark S

    2015-01-01

    Hypersexuality has been defined as abnormally increased sexual activity. Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that this non-paraphilic condition consists of "excessive" sexual behaviors and disorders accompanied by personal distress and social and medical morbidity. It is a very controversial and political topic in terms of how best to categorize it as similar or not similar to addictive behaviors including substance abuse. Hypersexual disorder is conceptualized as a non-paraphilic sexual desire disorder with impulsivity. Pathophysiological perspectives include dysregulation of sexual arousal and desire, sexual impulsivity, and sexual compulsivity. The nucleus accumbens, situated within the ventral striatum, mediates the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, and food as well as music. Indeed, it is believed that this structure mandates behaviors elicited by incentive stimuli. These behaviors include natural rewards like feeding, drinking, sexual behavior, and exploratory locomotion. An essential rule of positive reinforcement is that motor responses will increase in magnitude and vigor if followed by a rewarding event. Here, we are hypothesizing that there is a common mechanism of action (MOA) for the powerful effects drugs, music, food, and sex have on human motivation. The human drive for the three necessary motivational behaviors "hunger, thirst, and sex" may all have common molecular genetic antecedents that, if impaired, lead to aberrant behaviors. We hypothesize that based on a plethora of scientific support hypersexual activity is indeed like drugs, food, and music that activate brain mesolimbic reward circuitry. Moreover, dopaminergic gene and possibly other candidate neurotransmitter-related gene polymorphisms affect both hedonic and anhedonic behavioral outcomes. There is little known about both the genetics and epigenetics of hypersexuality in the current literature. However, we anticipate that future

  4. Factors associated with aberrant imprint methylation and oligozoospermia

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Norio; Miyauchi, Naoko; Tatsuta, Nozomi; Kitamura, Akane; Okae, Hiroaki; Hiura, Hitoshi; Sato, Akiko; Utsunomiya, Takafumi; Yaegashi, Nobuo; Nakai, Kunihiko; Arima, Takahiro

    2017-01-01

    Disturbingly, the number of patients with oligozoospermia (low sperm count) has been gradually increasing in industrialized countries. Epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in this condition. Recent studies have clarified that intrinsic and extrinsic factors can induce epigenetic transgenerational phenotypes through apparent reprogramming of the male germ line. Here we examined DNA methylation levels of 22 human imprinted loci in a total of 221 purified sperm samples from infertile couples and found methylation alterations in 24.8% of the patients. Structural equation model suggested that the cause of imprint methylation errors in sperm might have been environmental factors. More specifically, aberrant methylation and a particular lifestyle (current smoking, excess consumption of carbonated drinks) were associated with severe oligozoospermia, while aging probably affected this pathology indirectly through the accumulation of PCB in the patients. Next we examined the pregnancy outcomes for patients when the sperm had abnormal imprint methylation. The live-birth rate decreased and the miscarriage rate increased with the methylation errors. Our research will be useful for the prevention of methylation errors in sperm from infertile men, and sperm with normal imprint methylation might increase the safety of assisted reproduction technology (ART) by reducing methylation-induced diseases of children conceived via ART. PMID:28186187

  5. Distortion of ultrashort pulses caused by aberrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horváth, Z. L.; Kovács, A. P.; Bor, Zs.

    The effect of the primary wave aberrations (spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma) on ultrashort pulses is studied by the Nijboer-Zernike theory. The results of the geometrical and the wave optical treatments are compared.

  6. Aberrant and multiaberrant (rogue) cells in peripheral lymphocytes of Hodgkin's lymphoma patients after chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Ryabchenko, Nikolay I; Nasonova, Valentina A; Fesenko, Eleonora V; Kondrashova, Tatiana V; Antoschina, Margarita M; Pavlov, Vyacheslav V; Ryabikina, Natalya V

    2006-10-10

    We analyzed spontaneous chromosome lesions in peripheral lymphocytes cultured from Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) patients before and after cytostatic chemotherapy. The mean aberration frequency was significantly higher in HL patients after chemotherapy (7.20+/-0.58 per 100 metaphases) than in non-treated HL patients (4.80+/-0.54), and in non-treated patients than in healthy subjects (2.12+/-0.13). In lymphocytes of HL patients, who received chemotherapy, we found, in addition to ordinary aberrant cells, a large number of multiaberrant (or rogue) cells, i.e. metaphases carrying multiple (at least four) chromosome-type exchange aberrations. Rogue cells were found in 15 out of 18 chemotherapeutically treated HL patients (in total, 60 rogue cells per 5,568 scored cells), whereas in 30 non-treated patients only 1 rogue cell was found (per 4,988 scored cells). No correlation was found between the yield of rogue cells and the aberration frequency in ordinary aberrant cells. Aberration spectra (ratios of chromatid- to chromosome-type aberrations and of breaks to exchanges) were essentially different in ordinary aberrant and multiaberrant cells. These data, as well as analysis of cellular distributions of aberrations, implied independent induction of chromosome damage in ordinary aberrant and rogue cells. Analysis of aberration patterns in diploid and polyploid rogue metaphases belonging to the first, second, and third in vitro division indicated that rogue cells could be formed both in vivo and in vitro, and could survive at least two rounds of in vitro replication, given blocked chromosome segregation. These results suggested that formation of rogue cells, unlike ordinary aberrant cells, was triggered by events other than direct DNA and/or chromosome lesions. A hypothesis regarding disrupted apoptosis as a candidate mechanism for rogue cell formation seems to be most suitable for interpretation of our data. Cultured lymphocytes of chemotherapeutically treated HL patients may

  7. Epigenetics of breast cancer: modifying role of environmental and bioactive food compounds

    PubMed Central

    Romagnolo, Donato F.; Daniels, Kevin D.; Grunwald, Jonathan T.; Ramos, Stephan A.; Propper, Catherine R.; Selmin, Ornella I.

    2017-01-01

    Scope Reduced expression of tumor suppressor genes (TSG) increases the susceptibility to breast cancer. However, only a small percentage of breast tumors is related to family history and mutational inactivation of TSG. Epigenetics refers to non-mutational events that alter gene expression. Endocrine disruptors found in foods and drinking water may disrupt epigenetically hormonal regulation and increase breast cancer risk. This review centers on the working hypothesis that agonists of the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AHR); bisphenol A (BPA); and arsenic compounds, induce in TSG epigenetic signatures that mirror those often seen in sporadic breast tumors. Conversely, it is hypothesized that bioactive food components that target epigenetic mechanisms protect against sporadic breast cancer induced by these disruptors. Methods and results This review highlights 1) overlaps between epigenetic signatures placed in TSG by AHR-ligands, BPA, and arsenic with epigenetic alterations associated with sporadic breast tumorigenesis; and 2) potential opportunities for prevention of sporadic breast cancer with food components that target the epigenetic machinery. Conclusions Characterizing the overlap between epigenetic signatures elicited in TSG by endocrine disruptors with those observed in sporadic breast tumors may afford new strategies for breast cancer prevention with specific bioactive food components or diet. PMID:27144894

  8. Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Nature, nurture and epigenetics.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Epigenetic Modifications in Essential Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Ingrid A.; Charchar, Fadi J.

    2016-01-01

    Essential hypertension (EH) is a complex, polygenic condition with no single causative agent. Despite advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology of EH, hypertension remains one of the world’s leading public health problems. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that epigenetic modifications are as important as genetic predisposition in the development of EH. Indeed, a complex and interactive genetic and environmental system exists to determine an individual’s risk of EH. Epigenetics refers to all heritable changes to the regulation of gene expression as well as chromatin remodelling, without involvement of nucleotide sequence changes. Epigenetic modification is recognized as an essential process in biology, but is now being investigated for its role in the development of specific pathologic conditions, including EH. Epigenetic research will provide insights into the pathogenesis of blood pressure regulation that cannot be explained by classic Mendelian inheritance. This review concentrates on epigenetic modifications to DNA structure, including the influence of non-coding RNAs on hypertension development. PMID:27023534

  11. Transgenerational epigenetics and environmental justice.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Transgenerational epigenetics and environmental justice

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:29492313

  13. Genetics and epigenetics of obesity.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Zebrafish Discoveries in Cancer Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Chernyavskaya, Yelena; Kent, Brandon; Sadler, Kirsten C

    2016-01-01

    The cancer epigenome is fundamentally different than that of normal cells. How these differences arise in and contribute to carcinogenesis is not known, and studies using model organisms such as zebrafish provide an opportunity to address these important questions. Modifications of histones and DNA comprise the complex epigenome, and these influence chromatin structure, genome stability and gene expression, all of which are fundamental to the cellular changes that cause cancer. The cancer genome atlas covers the wide spectrum of genetic changes associated with nearly every cancer type, however, this catalog is currently uni-dimensional. As the pattern of epigenetic marks and chromatin structure in cancer cells is described and overlaid on the mutational landscape, the map of the cancer genome becomes multi-dimensional and highly complex. Two major questions remain in the field: (1) how the epigenome becomes repatterned in cancer and (2) which of these changes are cancer-causing. Zebrafish provide a tractable in vivo system to monitor the epigenome during transformation and to identify epigenetic drivers of cancer. In this chapter, we review principles of cancer epigenetics and discuss recent work using zebrafish whereby epigenetic modifiers were established as cancer driver genes, thus providing novel insights into the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming in cancer.

  15. Discussing epigenetics in Southern California

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. Epigenetics in cancer stem cells.

    PubMed

    Toh, Tan Boon; Lim, Jhin Jieh; Chow, Edward Kai-Hua

    2017-02-01

    Compelling evidence have demonstrated that bulk tumors can arise from a unique subset of cells commonly termed "cancer stem cells" that has been proposed to be a strong driving force of tumorigenesis and a key mechanism of therapeutic resistance. Recent advances in epigenomics have illuminated key mechanisms by which epigenetic regulation contribute to cancer progression. In this review, we present a discussion of how deregulation of various epigenetic pathways can contribute to cancer initiation and tumorigenesis, particularly with respect to maintenance and survival of cancer stem cells. This information, together with several promising clinical and preclinical trials of epigenetic modulating drugs, offer new possibilities for targeting cancer stem cells as well as improving cancer therapy overall.

  17. T2DM: Why Epigenetics?

    PubMed Central

    Fradin, Delphine; Bougnères, Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder influenced by interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Epigenetics conveys specific environmental influences into phenotypic traits through a variety of mechanisms that are often installed in early life, then persist in differentiated tissues with the power to modulate the expression of many genes, although undergoing time-dependent alterations. There is still no evidence that epigenetics contributes significantly to the causes or transmission of T2DM from one generation to another, thus, to the current environment-driven epidemics, but it has become so likely, as pointed out in this paper, that one can expect an efflorescence of epigenetic knowledge about T2DM in times to come. PMID:22132323

  18. TALE-mediated epigenetic suppression of CDKN2A increases replication in human fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Diana L; Le Lay, John E; Ruano, Elena G; Kaestner, Klaus H

    2015-05-01

    Current strategies to alter disease-associated epigenetic modifications target ubiquitously expressed epigenetic regulators. This approach does not allow specific genes to be controlled in specific cell types; therefore, tools to selectively target epigenetic modifications in the desired cell type and strategies to more efficiently correct aberrant gene expression in disease are needed. Here, we have developed a method for directing DNA methylation to specific gene loci by conjugating catalytic domains of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) to engineered transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs). We demonstrated that these TALE-DNMTs direct DNA methylation specifically to the targeted gene locus in human cells. Further, we determined that minimizing direct nucleotide sequence repeats within the TALE moiety permits efficient lentivirus transduction, allowing easy targeting of primary cell types. Finally, we demonstrated that directed DNA methylation with a TALE-DNMT targeting the CDKN2A locus, which encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16, decreased CDKN2A expression and increased replication of primary human fibroblasts, as intended. Moreover, overexpression of p16 in these cells reversed the proliferative phenotype, demonstrating the specificity of our epigenetic targeting. Together, our results demonstrate that TALE-DNMTs can selectively target specific genes and suggest that this strategy has potential application for the development of locus-specific epigenetic therapeutics.

  19. TALE-mediated epigenetic suppression of CDKN2A increases replication in human fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Diana L.; Le Lay, John E.; Ruano, Elena G.; Kaestner, Klaus H.

    2015-01-01

    Current strategies to alter disease-associated epigenetic modifications target ubiquitously expressed epigenetic regulators. This approach does not allow specific genes to be controlled in specific cell types; therefore, tools to selectively target epigenetic modifications in the desired cell type and strategies to more efficiently correct aberrant gene expression in disease are needed. Here, we have developed a method for directing DNA methylation to specific gene loci by conjugating catalytic domains of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) to engineered transcription activator–like effectors (TALEs). We demonstrated that these TALE-DNMTs direct DNA methylation specifically to the targeted gene locus in human cells. Further, we determined that minimizing direct nucleotide sequence repeats within the TALE moiety permits efficient lentivirus transduction, allowing easy targeting of primary cell types. Finally, we demonstrated that directed DNA methylation with a TALE-DNMT targeting the CDKN2A locus, which encodes the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16, decreased CDKN2A expression and increased replication of primary human fibroblasts, as intended. Moreover, overexpression of p16 in these cells reversed the proliferative phenotype, demonstrating the specificity of our epigenetic targeting. Together, our results demonstrate that TALE-DNMTs can selectively target specific genes and suggest that this strategy has potential application for the development of locus-specific epigenetic therapeutics. PMID:25866970

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    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-inducedmore » 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.« less

  1. Epigenetics of cell fate reprogramming and its implications for neurological disorders modelling.

    PubMed

    Grzybek, Maciej; Golonko, Aleksandra; Walczak, Marta; Lisowski, Pawel

    2017-03-01

    The reprogramming of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) proceeds in a stepwise manner with reprogramming factors binding and epigenetic composition changes during transition to maintain the epigenetic landscape, important for pluripotency. There arises a question as to whether the aberrant epigenetic state after reprogramming leads to epigenetic defects in induced stem cells causing unpredictable long term effects in differentiated cells. In this review, we present a comprehensive view of epigenetic alterations accompanying reprogramming, cell maintenance and differentiation as factors that influence applications of hiPSCs in stem cell based technologies. We conclude that sample heterogeneity masks DNA methylation signatures in subpopulations of cells and thus believe that beside a genetic evaluation, extensive epigenomic screening should become a standard procedure to ensure hiPSCs state before they are used for genome editing and differentiation into neurons of interest. In particular, we suggest that exploitation of the single-cell composition of the epigenome will provide important insights into heterogeneity within hiPSCs subpopulations to fast forward development of reliable hiPSC-based analytical platforms in neurological disorders modelling and before completed hiPSC technology will be implemented in clinical approaches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Epigenetic Inheritance across the Landscape.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Epigenetic Inheritance across the Landscape

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27826318

  4. Environmental epigenetics in metal exposure

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Zamudio, Ricardo

    2011-01-01

    Although it is widely accepted that chronic exposure to arsenite, nickel, chromium and cadmium increases cancer incidence in individuals, the molecular mechanisms underlying their ability to transform cells remain largely unknown. Carcinogenic metals are typically weak mutagens, suggesting that genetic-based mechanisms may not be primarily responsible for metal-induced carcinogenesis. Growing evidence shows that environmental metal exposure involves changes in epigenetic marks, which may lead to a possible link between heritable changes in gene expression and disease susceptibility and development. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of metal exposure affecting epigenetic marks and discuss establishment of heritable gene expression in metal-induced carcinogenesis. PMID:21610324

  5. Epigenetics: a new frontier in dentistry.

    PubMed

    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. Mask-induced aberration in EUV lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakajima, Yumi; Sato, Takashi; Inanami, Ryoichi; Nakasugi, Tetsuro; Higashiki, Tatsuhiko

    2009-04-01

    We estimated aberrations using Zernike sensitivity analysis. We found the difference of the tolerated aberration with line direction for illumination. The tolerated aberration of perpendicular line for illumination is much smaller than that of parallel line. We consider this difference to be attributable to the mask 3D effect. We call it mask-induced aberration. In the case of the perpendicular line for illumination, there was a difference in CD between right line and left line without aberration. In this report, we discuss the possibility of pattern formation in NA 0.25 generation EUV lithography tool. In perpendicular pattern for EUV light, the dominant part of aberration is mask-induced aberration. In EUV lithography, pattern correction based on the mask topography effect will be more important.

  7. Epigenetic alteration of p16 and retinoic acid receptor beta genes in the development of epithelial ovarian carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Bhagat, Rahul; Kumar, Sandeep Sriram; Vaderhobli, Shilpa; Premalata, Chennagiri S; Pallavi, Venkateshaiah Reddihalli; Ramesh, Gawari; Krishnamoorthy, Lakshmi

    2014-09-01

    Silencing of tumor suppressor and tumor-related genes by promoter hypermethylation is one of the major events in ovarian carcinogenesis. In this study, we analyzed aberrant promoter methylation of p16 and RAR-β genes in 134 epithelial ovarian carcinomas (EOCs), 23 low malignant potential (LMP) tumors, 26 benign cystadenomas, and 15 normal ovarian tissues. Methylation was investigated by methylation-specific PCR (MSP), and the results were confirmed by bisulfite DNA sequencing. Relative gene expression of p16 and RAR-β was done using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) on 51 EOC cases, 9 LMP tumors, and 7 benign cystadenomas with 5 normal ovarian tissues. Aberrant methylation for p16 and RAR-β was present in 43 % (58/134) and 31 % (41/134) in carcinoma cases, 22 % (05/23) and 52 % (12/23) in LMP tumors, and 42 % (11/26) and 69 % (18/26) in benign cystadenomas. No methylation was observed in any of the normal ovarian tissues. The mRNA expression level of p16 and RAR-β was significantly downregulated in EOC and LMP tumors than the corresponding normal tissues whereas the expression level was normal in benign cystadenomas for p16 and slightly reduced for RAR-β. A significant correlation of p16 promoter methylation was observed with reduced gene expression in EOC. For RAR-β, no significant correlation was observed between promoter methylation and gene expression. Our results suggest that epigenetic alterations of p16 and RAR-β have an important role in ovarian carcinogenesis and that mechanism along with methylation plays a significant role in downregulation of RAR-β gene in ovarian cancer.

  8. Correlations between corneal and total wavefront aberrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrochen, Michael; Jankov, Mirko; Bueeler, Michael; Seiler, Theo

    2002-06-01

    Purpose: Corneal topography data expressed as corneal aberrations are frequently used to report corneal laser surgery results. However, the optical image quality at the retina depends on all optical elements of the eye such as the human lens. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the correlations between the corneal and total wavefront aberrations and to discuss the importance of corneal aberrations for representing corneal laser surgery results. Methods: Thirty three eyes of 22 myopic subjects were measured with a corneal topography system and a Tschernig-type wavefront analyzer after the pupils were dilated to at least 6 mm in diameter. All measurements were centered with respect to the line of sight. Corneal and total wavefront aberrations were calculated up to the 6th Zernike order in the same reference plane. Results: Statistically significant correlations (p < 0.05) between the corneal and total wavefront aberrations were found for the astigmatism (C3,C5) and all 3rd Zernike order coefficients such as coma (C7,C8). No statistically significant correlations were found for all 4th to 6th order Zernike coefficients except for the 5th order horizontal coma C18 (p equals 0.003). On average, all Zernike coefficients for the corneal aberrations were found to be larger compared to Zernike coefficients for the total wavefront aberrations. Conclusions: Corneal aberrations are only of limited use for representing the optical quality of the human eye after corneal laser surgery. This is due to the lack of correlation between corneal and total wavefront aberrations in most of the higher order aberrations. Besides this, the data present in this study yield towards an aberration balancing between corneal aberrations and the optical elements within the eye that reduces the aberration from the cornea by a certain degree. Consequently, ideal customized ablations have to take both, corneal and total wavefront aberrations, into consideration.

  9. Epigenetic mechanisms in cerebral ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Schweizer, Sophie; Meisel, Andreas; Märschenz, Stefanie

    2013-01-01

    Treatment efficacy for ischemic stroke represents a major challenge. Despite fundamental advances in the understanding of stroke etiology, therapeutic options to improve functional recovery remain limited. However, growing knowledge in the field of epigenetics has dramatically changed our understanding of gene regulation in the last few decades. According to the knowledge gained from animal models, the manipulation of epigenetic players emerges as a highly promising possibility to target diverse neurologic pathologies, including ischemia. By altering transcriptional regulation, epigenetic modifiers can exert influence on all known pathways involved in the complex course of ischemic disease development. Beneficial transcriptional effects range from attenuation of cell death, suppression of inflammatory processes, and enhanced blood flow, to the stimulation of repair mechanisms and increased plasticity. Most striking are the results obtained from pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylation in animal models of stroke. Multiple studies suggest high remedial qualities even upon late administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). In this review, the role of epigenetic mechanisms, including histone modifications as well as DNA methylation, is discussed in the context of known ischemic pathways of damage, protection, and regeneration. PMID:23756691

  10. Aging as an Epigenetic Phenomenon

    PubMed Central

    Ashapkin, Vasily V.; Kutueva, Lyudmila I.; Vanyushin, Boris F.

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Hypermethylation of genes associated with promoter CpG islands, and hypomethylation of CpG poor genes, repeat sequences, transposable elements and intergenic genome sections occur during aging in mammals. Methylation levels of certain CpG sites display strict correlation to age and could be used as “epigenetic clock” to predict biological age. Multi-substrate deacetylases SIRT1 and SIRT6 affect aging via locus-specific modulations of chromatin structure and activity of multiple regulatory proteins involved in aging. Random errors in DNA methylation and other epigenetic marks during aging increase the transcriptional noise, and thus lead to enhanced phenotypic variation between cells of the same tissue. Such variation could cause progressive organ dysfunction observed in aged individuals. Multiple experimental data show that induction of NF-κB regulated gene sets occurs in various tissues of aged mammals. Upregulation of multiple miRNAs occurs at mid age leading to downregulation of enzymes and regulatory proteins involved in basic cellular functions, such as DNA repair, oxidative phosphorylation, intermediate metabolism, and others. Conclusion: Strong evidence shows that all epigenetic systems contribute to the lifespan control in various organisms. Similar to other cell systems, epigenome is prone to gradual degradation due to the genome damage, stressful agents, and other aging factors. But unlike mutations and other kinds of the genome damage, age-related epigenetic changes could be fully or partially reversed to a “young” state. PMID:29081695

  11. Development, epigenetics and metabolic programming

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Nutritional regulation of epigenetic changes

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The "Nutritional Regulation of Epigenetic Changes" Symposium was held in San Diego on April 25 in conjunction with the 2012 Annual Meetings of the American Society of Nutrition. The symposium was co-chaired by Drs. Romagnoo and Ziegler. In his opening remarks, Dr. Zeigler highlighted salient aspec...

  13. Twin methodology in epigenetic studies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Since the final decades of the last century, twin studies have made a remarkable contribution to the genetics of human complex traits and diseases. With the recent rapid development in modern biotechnology of high-throughput genetic and genomic analyses, twin modelling is expanding from analysis of diseases to molecular phenotypes in functional genomics especially in epigenetics, a thriving field of research that concerns the environmental regulation of gene expression through DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA and long non-coding RNA expression, etc. The application of the twin method to molecular phenotypes offers new opportunities to study the genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) contributions to epigenetic regulation of gene activity during developmental, ageing and disease processes. Besides the classical twin model, the case co-twin design using identical twins discordant for a trait or disease is becoming a popular and powerful design for epigenome-wide association study in linking environmental exposure to differential epigenetic regulation and to disease status while controlling for individual genetic make-up. It can be expected that novel uses of twin methods in epigenetic studies are going to help with efficiently unravelling the genetic and environmental basis of epigenomics in human complex diseases. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Epigenetics of the Developing Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

  15. Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epigenetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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. Individuality and epigenetics in obesity.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Serving epigenetics before its time.

    PubMed

    Juengst, Eric T; Fishman, Jennifer R; McGowan, Michelle L; Settersten, Richard A

    2014-10-01

    Society prizes the rapid translation of basic biological science into ways to prevent human illness. However, the premature rush to take murine epigenetic findings in these directions makes impossible demands on prospective parents and triggers serious social and ethical questions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Incorporating transgenerational testing and epigenetic ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A number of environmental chemicals have been shown to alter markers of epigenetic change. Some published multi-generation rodent studies have identified effects on F2 and greater generations after chemical exposures solely to F0 dams, but were not focused on chemical safety. We were interested in how outcomes related to epigenetic changes could be identified and incorporated into chemical testing and risk assessment. To address this question, we conducted a systematic literature review to identify transgenerational (TG) epigenetic studies in rodents. These were analyzed to characterize the methods and observed outcomes, and to evaluate strengths, limitations, and biases. Our analysis found that test substances were administered to pregnant F0 dams; endpoints assessed in F1 to F4 generation offspring included growth, puberty timing, steroid hormone levels, abdominal adiposity, organ weights, histopathology, and epigenetic biomarkers. Biases were minimized through, e.g., randomization procedures, avoiding sibling or cousin matings, and independent multiple reviews of histopathology data. However, the numbers of litters assigned to control and test groups were not always transparently reported, nested statistical analyses of data was not always utilized to address litter effects, and “blind” testing was seldom performed. Many of these studies identified chemicals or combinations of chemicals that produced TG effects and/or adult-onset diseases, but there is a

  19. Epigenetic Placental Programming of Preeclampsia

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  20. The Epigenetics of Kidney Cancer and Bladder Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Amanda M.; Cairns, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Summary This review focuses on the epigenetic alterations of aberrant promoter hypermethylation of genes, histone modifications or RNA interference in cancer cells. The current knowledge of hypermethylation of allele(s) in classical tumor suppressor genes in inherited and sporadic cancer, candidate tumor suppressor and other cancer genes is summarized gene by gene. Global and array-based studies of tumor cell hypermethylation are discussed. The importance of standardization of scoring of the methylation status of a gene is highlighted. The histone marks associated with hypermethylated genes, and the microRNAs with dysregulated expression, in kidney or bladder tumor cells are also discussed. Kidney cancer has the highest mortality rate of the genitourinary cancers. There are management issues with the high recurrence rate of superficial bladder cancer while muscle invasive bladder cancer has a poor prognosis. These clinical problems are the basis for translational application of gene hypermethylation to the diagnosis and prognosis of kidney and bladder cancer. PMID:22126150

  1. Epigenetics and Psychoneuroimmunology: Mechanisms and Models

    PubMed Central

    Mathews, Herbert L.; Janusek, Linda Witek

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Epigenetics and Therapeutic Targets Mediating Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Epigenetics Mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Determination of aberration center of Ronchigram for automated aberration correctors in scanning transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Sannomiya, Takumi; Sawada, Hidetaka; Nakamichi, Tomohiro; Hosokawa, Fumio; Nakamura, Yoshio; Tanishiro, Yasumasa; Takayanagi, Kunio

    2013-12-01

    A generic method to determine the aberration center is established, which can be utilized for aberration calculation and axis alignment for aberration corrected electron microscopes. In this method, decentering induced secondary aberrations from inherent primary aberrations are minimized to find the appropriate axis center. The fitness function to find the optimal decentering vector for the axis was defined as a sum of decentering induced secondary aberrations with properly distributed weight values according to the aberration order. Since the appropriate decentering vector is determined from the aberration values calculated at an arbitrary center axis, only one aberration measurement is in principle required to find the center, resulting in /very fast center search. This approach was tested for the Ronchigram based aberration calculation method for aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy. Both in simulation and in experiments, the center search was confirmed to work well although the convergence to find the best axis becomes slower with larger primary aberrations. Such aberration center determination is expected to fully automatize the aberration correction procedures, which used to require pre-alignment of experienced users. This approach is also applicable to automated aperture positioning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Strategies to re-express epigenetically silenced p15(INK4b) and p21(WAF1) genes in acute myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Geyer, C Ronald

    2010-01-01

    p15(INK4B) and p21(WAF1) are TGF-β targets that are silenced in leukemia by epigenetic mechanisms involving DNA methylation and/or histone modifications. Mechanisms for establishing and maintaining epigenetic silencing of p15(INK4B) and p21(WAF1) are not well established. The reversible nature of epigenetic modifications has lead to the development of drugs that target DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, and histone methyltransferases, which have been used to re-express aberrantly silenced genes in leukemia. Recently, non-coding RNA, referred to as natural antisense transcripts (NATs), have been implicated in the regulation of epigenetic modifications. Here, we review epigenetic mechanisms for silencing p15(INK4B) and p21(WAF1) and the role of NATs in this process. We also review epigenetic drugs and drug combinations used to re-express p15(INK4B) and p21(WAF1). Lastly, we discuss the potential use of NATs to target the activity of epigenetic drugs to specific genes and to permanently re-express epigenetically silenced genes.

  6. The ambiguous nature of epigenetic responsibility.

    PubMed

    Dupras, Charles; Ravitsky, Vardit

    2016-08-01

    Over the past decade, epigenetic studies have been providing further evidence of the molecular interplay between gene expression and its health outcomes on one hand, and the physical and social environments in which individuals are conceived, born and live on the other. As knowledge of epigenetic programming expands, a growing body of literature in social sciences and humanities is exploring the implications of this new field of study for contemporary societies. Epigenetics has been mobilised to support political claims, for instance, with regard to collective obligations to address socio-environmental determinants of health. The idea of a moral 'epigenetic responsibility' has been proposed, meaning that individuals and/or governments should be accountable for the epigenetic programming of children and/or citizens. However, these discussions have largely overlooked important biological nuances and ambiguities inherent in the field of epigenetics. In this paper, we argue that the identification and assignment of moral epigenetic responsibilities should reflect the rich diversity and complexity of epigenetic mechanisms, and not rely solely on a gross comparison between epigenetics and genetics. More specifically, we explore how further investigation of the ambiguous notions of epigenetic normality and epigenetic plasticity should play a role in shaping this emerging debate. 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/

  7. Aberrations for Grazing Incidence Optics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saha, Timo T.

    2008-01-01

    Large number of grazing incidence telescope configurations have been designed and studied. Wolte1 telescopes are commonly used in astronomical applications. Wolter telescopes consist of a paraboloidal primary mirror and a hyperboloidal or an ellipsoidal secondary mirror. There are 8 possible combinations of Wolter telescopes. Out of these possible designs only type 1 and type 2 telescopes are widely used. Type 1 telescope is typically used for x-ray applications and type 2 telescopes are used for EUV applications. Wolter-Schwarzshild (WS) telescopes offer improved image quality over a small field of view. The WS designs are stigmatic and free of third order coma and, therefore, the PSF is significantly better over a small field of view. Typically the image is more symmetric about its centroid. As for the Wolter telescopes there are 8 possible combinations of WS telescopes. These designs have not been widely used because the surface equations are complex parametric equations complicating the analysis and typically the resolution requirements are too low to take full advantage of the WS designs. There are several other design options. Most notable are wide field x-ray telescope designs. Polynomial designs were originally suggested by Burrows4 and hyperboloid-hyperboloid designs for solar physics applications were designed by Harvey5. No general aberration theory exists for grazing incidence telescopes that would cover all the design options. Several authors have studied the aberrations of grazing incidence telescopes. A comprehensive theory of Wolter type 1 and 2 telescopes has been developed. Later this theory was expanded to include all possible combinations of grazing incidence and also normal incidence paraboloid-hyperboloid and paraboloid-ellipsoid telescopes. In this article the aberration theory of Wolter type telescopes is briefly reviewed.

  8. Aberrant Gene Expression in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ence; Ji, Guoli; Brinkmeyer-Langford, Candice L.; Cai, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Gene expression as an intermediate molecular phenotype has been a focus of research interest. In particular, studies of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) have offered promise for understanding gene regulation through the discovery of genetic variants that explain variation in gene expression levels. Existing eQTL methods are designed for assessing the effects of common variants, but not rare variants. Here, we address the problem by establishing a novel analytical framework for evaluating the effects of rare or private variants on gene expression. Our method starts from the identification of outlier individuals that show markedly different gene expression from the majority of a population, and then reveals the contributions of private SNPs to the aberrant gene expression in these outliers. Using population-scale mRNA sequencing data, we identify outlier individuals using a multivariate approach. We find that outlier individuals are more readily detected with respect to gene sets that include genes involved in cellular regulation and signal transduction, and less likely to be detected with respect to the gene sets with genes involved in metabolic pathways and other fundamental molecular functions. Analysis of polymorphic data suggests that private SNPs of outlier individuals are enriched in the enhancer and promoter regions of corresponding aberrantly-expressed genes, suggesting a specific regulatory role of private SNPs, while the commonly-occurring regulatory genetic variants (i.e., eQTL SNPs) show little evidence of involvement. Additional data suggest that non-genetic factors may also underlie aberrant gene expression. Taken together, our findings advance a novel viewpoint relevant to situations wherein common eQTLs fail to predict gene expression when heritable, rare inter-individual variation exists. The analytical framework we describe, taking into consideration the reality of differential phenotypic robustness, may be valuable for investigating

  9. Epigenetic Determinism in Science and Society

    PubMed Central

    Waggoner, Miranda R.; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26217167

  10. Epigenetic Determinism in Science and Society.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Animal models in epigenetic research: institutional animal care and use committee considerations across the lifespan.

    PubMed

    Harris, Craig

    2012-01-01

    The rapid expansion and evolution of epigenetics as a core scientific discipline have raised new questions about how endogenous and environmental factors can inform the mechanisms through which biological form and function are regulated. Existing and proposed animal models used for epigenetic research have targeted a myriad of health and disease endpoints that may be acute, chronic, and transgenerational in nature. Initiating events and outcomes may extend across the entire lifespan to elicit unanticipated phenotypes that are of particular concern to institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs). The dynamics and plasticity of epigenetic mechanisms produce effects and consequences that are manifest differentially within discreet spatial and temporal contexts, including prenatal development, stem cells, assisted reproductive technologies, production of sexual dimorphisms, senescence, and others. Many dietary and nutritional interventions have also been shown to have a significant impact on biological functions and disease susceptibilities through altered epigenetic programming. The environmental, chemical, toxic, therapeutic, and psychosocial stressors used in animal studies to elicit epigenetic changes can become extreme and should raise IACUC concerns for the well-being and proper care of all research animals involved. Epigenetics research is rapidly becoming an integral part of the search for mechanisms in every major area of biomedical and behavioral research and will foster the continued development of new animal models. From the IACUC perspective, care must be taken to acknowledge the particular needs and concerns created by superimposition of epigenetic mechanisms over diverse fields of investigation to ensure the proper care and use of animals without impeding scientific progress.

  12. Epigenetic repression of HOXB cluster in oral cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Xavier, Flávia Caló Aquino; Destro, Maria Fernanda de Souza Setubal; Duarte, Carina Magalhães Esteves; Nunes, Fabio Daumas

    2014-08-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation is a fundamental transcriptional control mechanism in carcinogenesis. The expression of homeobox genes is usually controlled by an epigenetic mechanism, such as the methylation of CpG islands in the promoter region. The aim of this study was to describe the differential methylation pattern of HOX genes in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and transcript status in a group of hypermethylated and hypomethylated genes. Quantitative analysis of DNA methylation was performed on two OSCC cell lines (SCC4 and SCC9) using a method denominated Human Homeobox Genes EpiTect Methyl qPCR Arrays, which allowed fast, precise methylation detection of 24 HOX specific genes without bisulfite conversion. Methylation greater than 50% was detected in HOXA11, HOXA6, HOXA7, HOXA9, HOXB1, HOXB2, HOXB3, HOXB4, HOXB5, HOXB6, HOXC8 and HOXD10. Both cell lines demonstrated similar hypermethylation status for eight HOX genes. A similar pattern of promoter hypermethylation and hypomethylation was demonstrated for the HOXB cluster and HOXA cluster, respectively. Moreover, the hypermethylation profile of the HOXB cluster, especially HOXB4, was correlated with decreased transcript expression, which was restored following treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. The homeobox methylation profile in OSCC cell lines is consistent with an epigenetic biomarker. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Epigenetic determinants of space radiation-induced cognitive dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Acharya, Munjal M.; Baddour, Al Anoud D.; Kawashita, Takumi; Allen, Barrett D.; Syage, Amber R.; Nguyen, Thuan H.; Yoon, Nicole; Giedzinski, Erich; Yu, Liping; Parihar, Vipan K.; Baulch, Janet E.

    2017-01-01

    Among the dangers to astronauts engaging in deep space missions such as a Mars expedition is exposure to radiations that put them at risk for severe cognitive dysfunction. These radiation-induced cognitive impairments are accompanied by functional and structural changes including oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and degradation of neuronal architecture. The molecular mechanisms that dictate CNS function are multifaceted and it is unclear how irradiation induces persistent alterations in the brain. Among those determinants of cognitive function are neuroepigenetic mechanisms that translate radiation responses into altered gene expression and cellular phenotype. In this study, we have demonstrated a correlation between epigenetic aberrations and adverse effects of space relevant irradiation on cognition. In cognitively impaired irradiated mice we observed increased 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine levels in the hippocampus that coincided with increased levels of the DNA methylating enzymes DNMT3a, TET1 and TET3. By inhibiting methylation using 5-iodotubercidin, we demonstrated amelioration of the epigenetic effects of irradiation. In addition to protecting against those molecular effects of irradiation, 5-iodotubercidin restored behavioral performance to that of unirradiated animals. The findings of this study establish the possibility that neuroepigenetic mechanisms significantly contribute to the functional and structural changes that affect the irradiated brain and cognition. PMID:28220892

  14. Phase and birefringence aberration correction

    DOEpatents

    Bowers, M.; Hankla, A.

    1996-07-09

    A Brillouin enhanced four wave mixing phase conjugate mirror corrects phase aberrations of a coherent electromagnetic beam and birefringence induced upon that beam. The stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) phase conjugation technique is augmented to include Brillouin enhanced four wave mixing (BEFWM). A seed beam is generated by a main oscillator which arrives at the phase conjugate cell before the signal beams in order to initiate the Brillouin effect. The signal beam which is being amplified through the amplifier chain is split into two perpendicularly polarized beams. One of the two beams is chosen to be the same polarization as some component of the seed beam, the other orthogonal to the first. The polarization of the orthogonal beam is then rotated 90{degree} such that it is parallel to the other signal beam. The three beams are then focused into cell containing a medium capable of Brillouin excitation. The two signal beams are focused such that they cross the seed beam path before their respective beam waists in order to achieve BEFWM or the two signal beams are focused to a point or points contained within the focused cone angle of the seed beam to achieve seeded SBS, and thus negate the effects of all birefringent and material aberrations in the system. 5 figs.

  15. Phase and birefringence aberration correction

    DOEpatents

    Bowers, Mark; Hankla, Allen

    1996-01-01

    A Brillouin enhanced four wave mixing phase conjugate mirror corrects phase aberrations of a coherent electromagnetic beam and birefringence induced upon that beam. The stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) phase conjugation technique is augmented to include Brillouin enhanced four wave mixing (BEFWM). A seed beam is generated by a main oscillator which arrives at the phase conjugate cell before the signal beams in order to initiate the Brillouin effect. The signal beam which is being amplified through the amplifier chain is split into two perpendicularly polarized beams. One of the two beams is chosen to be the same polarization as some component of the seed beam, the other orthogonal to the first. The polarization of the orthogonal beam is then rotated 90.degree. such that it is parallel to the other signal beam. The three beams are then focused into cell containing a medium capable of Brillouin excitation. The two signal beams are focused such that they cross the seed beam path before their respective beam waists in order to achieve BEFWM or the two signal beams are focused to a point or points contained within the focused cone angle of the seed beam to achieve seeded SBS, and thus negate the effects of all birefringent and material aberrations in the system.

  16. Imaging epigenetics in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Monochromatic ocular wave aberrations in young monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Ramamirtham, Ramkumar; Kee, Chea-su; Hung, Li-Fang; Qiao-Grider, Ying; Roorda, Austin; Smith, Earl L.

    2006-01-01

    High-order monochromatic aberrations could potentially influence vision-dependent refractive development in a variety of ways. As a first step in understanding the effects of wave aberration on refractive development, we characterized the maturational changes that take place in the high-order aberrations of infant rhesus monkey eyes. Specifically, we compared the monochromatic wave aberrations of infant and adolescent animals and measured the longitudinal changes in the high-order aberrations of infant monkeys during the early period when emmetropization takes place. Our main findings were that (1) adolescent monkey eyes have excellent optical quality, exhibiting total RMS errors that were slightly better than those for adult human eyes that have the same numerical aperture and (2) shortly after birth, infant rhesus monkeys exhibited relatively larger magnitudes of high-order aberrations predominately spherical aberration, coma, and trefoil, which decreased rapidly to assume adolescent values by about 200 days of age. The results demonstrate that rhesus monkey eyes are a good model for studying the contribution of individual ocular components to the eye’s overall aberration structure, the mechanisms responsible for the improvements in optical quality that occur during early ocular development, and the effects of high-order aberrations on ocular growth and emmetropization. PMID:16750549

  19. EPA Workshop on Epigenetics and Cumulative Risk ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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

  20. Pancreatic Cancer, A Mis-interpreter of the Epigenetic Language.

    PubMed

    Iguchi, Eriko; Safgren, Stephanie L; Marks, David L; Olson, Rachel L; Fernandez-Zapico, Martin E

    2016-12-01

    Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the U.S. with close to 40,000 deaths per year. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) represents approximately 90 percent of all pancreatic cancer cases and is the most lethal form of the disease. Current therapies for PDAC are ineffective and most patients cannot be treated by surgical resection. Most research efforts have primarily focused on how genetic alterations cause, alter progression, contribute to diagnosis, and influence PDAC management. Over the past two decades, a model has been advanced of PDAC initiation and progression as a multi-step process driven by the acquisition of mutations leading to loss of tumor suppressors and activation of oncogenes. The recognition of the essential roles of these genetic alterations in the development of PDAC has revolutionized our knowledge of this disease. However, none of these findings have turned into effective treatment for this dismal malignancy. In recent years, studies in the areas of chromatin modifications, and non-coding RNAs have uncovered mechanisms for regulating gene expression which occur independently of genetic alterations. Chromatin-based mechanisms are interwoven with microRNA-driven regulation of protein translation to create an integrated epigenetic language, which is grossly dysregulated in PDAC. Thus in PDAC, key tumor suppressors that are well established to play a role in PDAC may be repressed, and oncogenes can be upregulated secondary to epigenetic alterations. Unlike mutations, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible. Given this feature of epigenetic mechanisms, it is conceivable that targeting epigenetic-based events promoting and maintaining PDAC could serve as foundation for the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for this disease.

  1. Epigenetic regulation of oligodendrocyte identity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jia; Casaccia, Patrizia

    2010-01-01

    The interplay of transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers, including histone modifications, DNA methylation and microRNAs during development is essential for the acquisition of specific cell fates. Here we review the epigenetic “programming” of stem cells into oligodendrocytes, by analyzing three sequential stages of lineage progression. The first transition from pluripotent stem cell to neural precursor is characterized by repression of pluripotency genes and restriction of the lineage potential to the neural fate. The second transition from multipotential precursor to oligodendrocyte progenitor is associated with the progressive loss of plasticity and the repression of neuronal and astrocytic genes. The last step of differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitors into myelin-forming cells is defined by a model of de-repression of myelin genes. PMID:20227775

  2. Lifestyle, pregnancy and epigenetic effects.

    PubMed

    Barua, Subit; Junaid, Mohammed A

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Epigenetic regulation of female puberty.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Computational Micromodel for Epigenetic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. Environmental signals and transgenerational epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K; Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    The ability of an environmental factor or toxicant to promote a phenotype or disease state not only in the individual exposed, but also in subsequent progeny for multiple generations, is termed transgenerational inheritance. The majority of environmental agents do not promote genetic mutations or alterations in DNA sequence, but do have the capacity to alter the epigenome. Although most environmental exposures will influence somatic cells and not allow the transgenerational transmission of a phenotype, the ability of an environmental factor to reprogram the germline epigenome can promote a transgenerational inheritance of phenotypes and disease states. A limited number of critical developmental periods exist when environmental signals can produce a significant epigenetic reprogramming of the germline. In this review, the ability of environmental factors or toxicants to promote epigenetic transgenerational phenotypes is reviewed. PMID:20563319

  6. Identification of aberrant gene expression associated with aberrant promoter methylation in primordial germ cells between E13 and E16 rat F3 generation vinclozolin lineage

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Transgenerational epigenetics (TGE) are currently considered important in disease, but the mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood. TGE abnormalities expected to cause disease are likely to be initiated during development and to be mediated by aberrant gene expression associated with aberrant promoter methylation that is heritable between generations. However, because methylation is removed and then re-established during development, it is not easy to identify promoter methylation abnormalities by comparing normal lineages with those expected to exhibit TGE abnormalities. Methods This study applied the recently proposed principal component analysis (PCA)-based unsupervised feature extraction to previously reported and publically available gene expression/promoter methylation profiles of rat primordial germ cells, between E13 and E16 of the F3 generation vinclozolin lineage that are expected to exhibit TGE abnormalities, to identify multiple genes that exhibited aberrant gene expression/promoter methylation during development. Results The biological feasibility of the identified genes were tested via enrichment analyses of various biological concepts including pathway analysis, gene ontology terms and protein-protein interactions. All validations suggested superiority of the proposed method over three conventional and popular supervised methods that employed t test, limma and significance analysis of microarrays, respectively. The identified genes were globally related to tumors, the prostate, kidney, testis and the immune system and were previously reported to be related to various diseases caused by TGE. Conclusions Among the genes reported by PCA-based unsupervised feature extraction, we propose that chemokine signaling pathways and leucine rich repeat proteins are key factors that initiate transgenerational epigenetic-mediated diseases, because multiple genes included in these two categories were identified in this study. PMID:26677731

  7. Identification of aberrant gene expression associated with aberrant promoter methylation in primordial germ cells between E13 and E16 rat F3 generation vinclozolin lineage.

    PubMed

    Taguchi, Y-h

    2015-01-01

    Transgenerational epigenetics (TGE) are currently considered important in disease, but the mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood. TGE abnormalities expected to cause disease are likely to be initiated during development and to be mediated by aberrant gene expression associated with aberrant promoter methylation that is heritable between generations. However, because methylation is removed and then re-established during development, it is not easy to identify promoter methylation abnormalities by comparing normal lineages with those expected to exhibit TGE abnormalities. This study applied the recently proposed principal component analysis (PCA)-based unsupervised feature extraction to previously reported and publically available gene expression/promoter methylation profiles of rat primordial germ cells, between E13 and E16 of the F3 generation vinclozolin lineage that are expected to exhibit TGE abnormalities, to identify multiple genes that exhibited aberrant gene expression/promoter methylation during development. The biological feasibility of the identified genes were tested via enrichment analyses of various biological concepts including pathway analysis, gene ontology terms and protein-protein interactions. All validations suggested superiority of the proposed method over three conventional and popular supervised methods that employed t test, limma and significance analysis of microarrays, respectively. The identified genes were globally related to tumors, the prostate, kidney, testis and the immune system and were previously reported to be related to various diseases caused by TGE. Among the genes reported by PCA-based unsupervised feature extraction, we propose that chemokine signaling pathways and leucine rich repeat proteins are key factors that initiate transgenerational epigenetic-mediated diseases, because multiple genes included in these two categories were identified in this study.

  8. Epigenetic Therapy for Friedreich Ataxia

    PubMed Central

    Soragni, Elisabetta; Miao, Wenyan; Iudicello, Marco; Jacoby, David; De Mercanti, Stefania; Clerico, Marinella; Longo, Filomena; Piga, Antonio; Ku, Sherman; Campau, Erica; Du, Jintang; Penalver, Pablo; Rai, Myriam; Madara, Joseph C.; Nazor, Kristopher; O’Connor, Melinda; Maximov, Anton; Loring, Jeanne F.; Pandolfo, Massimo; Durelli, Luca; Gottesfeld, Joel M.; Rusche, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) would be effective in an in vitro model for the neurodegenerative disease Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) and to evaluate safety and surrogate markers of efficacy in a phase I clinical trial in patients. Methods We used a human FRDA neuronal cell model, derived from patient induced pluripotent stem cells, to determine the efficacy of a 2-aminobenzamide HDACi (109) as a modulator of FXN gene expression and chromatin histone modifications. FRDA patients were dosed in 4 cohorts, ranging from 30mg/day to 240mg/day of the formulated drug product of HDACi 109, RG2833. Patients were monitored for adverse effects as well as for increases in FXN mRNA, frataxin protein, and chromatin modification in blood cells. Results In the neuronal cell model, HDACi 109/RG2833 increases FXN mRNA levels and frataxin protein, with concomitant changes in the epigenetic state of the gene. Chromatin signatures indicate that histone H3 lysine 9 is a key residue for gene silencing through methylation and reactivation through acetylation, mediated by the HDACi. Drug treatment in FRDA patients demonstrated increased FXN mRNA and H3 lysine 9 acetylation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. No safety issues were encountered. Interpretation Drug exposure inducing epigenetic changes in neurons in vitro is comparable to the exposure required in patients to see epigenetic changes in circulating lymphoid cells and increases in gene expression. These findings provide a proof of concept for the development of an epigenetic therapy for this fatal neurological disease. PMID:25159818

  9. Epigenetic control of plant immunity.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Epigenetics and Epigenomics of Plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Imbalanced class learning in epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Epigenetic hierarchy governing Nestin expression.

    PubMed

    Han, Dong Wook; Do, Jeong Tae; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J; Lee, Sung Ho; Meissner, Alexander; Lee, Hoon Taek; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Schöler, Hans R

    2009-05-01

    Nestin is an intermediate filament protein expressed specifically in neural stem cells and progenitor cells of the central nervous system. DNA demethylation and histone modifications are two types of epigenetic modifications working in a coordinate or synergistic manner to regulate the expression of various genes. This study investigated and elucidated the epigenetic regulation of Nestin gene expression during embryonic differentiation along the neural cell lineage. Nestin exhibits differential DNA methylation and histone acetylation patterns in Nestin-expressing and nonexpressing cells. In P19 embryonic carcinoma cells, activation of Nestin expression is mediated by both trichostatin A and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment, concomitant with histone acetylation, but not with DNA demethylation. Nestin transcription is also mediated by treatment with retinoic acid, again in the absence of DNA demethylation. Thus, histone acetylation is sufficient to mediate the activation of Nestin transcription. This study proposed that the regulation of Nestin gene expression can be used as a model to study the epigenetic regulation of gene expression mediated by histone acetylation, but not by DNA demethylation.

  13. Epigenetic memory for stress response and adaptation in plants.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Tetsu; Seki, Motoaki

    2014-11-01

    In contrast to the majority of animal species, plants are sessile organisms and are, therefore, constantly challenged by environmental perturbations. Over the past few decades, our knowledge of how plants perceive environmental stimuli has increased considerably, e.g. the mechanisms for transducing environmental stress stimuli into cellular signaling cascades and gene transcription networks. In addition, it has recently been shown that plants can remember past environmental events and can use these memories to aid responses when these events recur. In this mini review, we focus on recent progress in determination of the epigenetic mechanisms used by plants under various environmental stresses. Epigenetic mechanisms are now known to play a vital role in the control of gene expression through small RNAs, histone modifications and DNA methylation. These are inherited through mitotic cell divisions and, in some cases, can be transmitted to the next generation. They therefore offer a possible mechanism for stress memories in plants. Recent studies have yielded evidence indicating that epigenetic mechanisms are indeed essential for stress memories and adaptation in plants. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Using Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Chemotherapy Resistance.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Epigenetic medicine and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Resendiz, Marisol; Chen, Yuanyuan; Öztürk, Nail C; Zhou, Feng C

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic medicine is still in its infancy. To date, only a handful of diseases have documented epigenetic correlates upstream of gene regulation including cancer, developmental syndromes and late-onset diseases. The finding that epigenetic markers are dynamic and heterogeneous at tissue and cellular levels, combined with recent identification of a new form of functionally distinct DNA methylation has opened a wider window for investigators to pry into the epigenetic world. It is anticipated that many diseases will be elucidated through this epigenetic inquiry. In this review, we discuss the normal course of DNA methylation during development, taking alcohol as a demonstrator of the epigenetic impact of environmental factors in disease etiology, particularly the growth retardation and neurodevelopmental deficits of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. PMID:23414322

  17. Epigenetic disorders and altered gene expression after use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in domestic cattle

    PubMed Central

    Urrego, Rodrigo; Rodriguez-Osorio, Nélida; Niemann, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    The use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in modern cattle breeding is an important tool for improving the production of dairy and beef cattle. A frequently employed ART in the cattle industry is in vitro production of embryos. However, bovine in vitro produced embryos differ greatly from their in vivo produced counterparts in many facets, including developmental competence. The lower developmental capacity of these embryos could be due to the stress to which the gametes and/or embryos are exposed during in vitro embryo production, specifically ovarian hormonal stimulation, follicular aspiration, oocyte in vitro maturation in hormone supplemented medium, sperm handling, gamete cryopreservation, and culture of embryos. The negative effects of some ARTs on embryo development could, at least partially, be explained by disruption of the physiological epigenetic profile of the gametes and/or embryos. Here, we review the current literature with regard to the putative link between ARTs used in bovine reproduction and epigenetic disorders and changes in the expression profile of embryonic genes. Information on the relationship between reproductive biotechnologies and epigenetic disorders and aberrant gene expression in bovine embryos is limited and novel approaches are needed to explore ways in which ARTs can be improved to avoid epigenetic disorders. PMID:24709985

  18. Epigenetic regulation of the oxytocin receptor is associated with neural response during selective social attention.

    PubMed

    Puglia, Meghan H; Connelly, Jessica J; Morris, James P

    2018-06-15

    Aberrant attentional biases to social stimuli have been implicated in a number of disorders including autism and social anxiety disorder. Oxytocin, a naturally-occurring mammalian hormone and neuromodulator involved in regulating social behavior, has been proposed to impact basic biological systems that facilitate the detection of and orientation to social information. Here, we investigate a role for naturally-occurring variability in the endogenous oxytocinergic system in regulating neural response during attention to social information. Participants performed a selective social attention task while undergoing fMRI, provided a blood sample for epigenetic analysis, and completed self-report measures of social functioning. We find that a functional epigenetic modification to the oxytocin receptor, OXTR methylation, is associated with increased neural response within and decreased functional coupling between regions of the salience and attentional control networks during selective social attention. We also show that subclinical variability in autistic and social anxiety traits moderates this epigenetic regulation of neural response. These data offer a mechanistic explanation to a growing literature associating social behavior and disorder with epigenetic modification to OXTR by suggesting that OXTR methylation reflects a decrease in the extent to which social information automatically captures attention. We highlight the importance that treatment efficacy be considered in relation to individual differences in molecular makeup, and that future studies aimed at uncovering biomarkers of disorder carefully consider measurement at both the biological and phenotypic level.

  19. Epigenetic inactivation of TCF2 in ovarian cancer and various cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Terasawa, K; Toyota, M; Sagae, S; Ogi, K; Suzuki, H; Sonoda, T; Akino, K; Maruyama, R; Nishikawa, N; Imai, K; Shinomura, Y; Saito, T; Tokino, T

    2006-01-01

    Transcription factor 2 gene (TCF2) encodes hepatocyte nuclear factor 1β (HNF1β), a transcription factor associated with development and metabolism. Mutation of TCF2 has been observed in renal cell cancer, and by screening aberrantly methylated genes, we have now identified TCF2 as a target for epigenetic inactivation in ovarian cancer. TCF2 was methylated in 53% of ovarian cancer cell lines and 26% of primary ovarian cancers, resulting in loss of the gene's expression. TCF2 expression was restored by treating cells with a methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-aza-2′deoxycitidine (5-aza-dC). In addition, chromatin immunoprecipitation showed deacetylation of histone H3 in methylated cells and, when combined with 5-aza-dC, the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A synergistically induced TCF2 expression. Epigenetic inactivation of TCF2 was also seen in colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cell lines, suggesting general involvement of epigenetic inactivation of TCF2 in tumorigenesis. Restoration of TCF2 expression induced expression of HNF4α, a transcriptional target of HNF1β, indicating that epigenetic silencing of TCF2 leads to alteration of the hepatocyte nuclear factor network in tumours. These results suggest that TCF2 is involved in the development of ovarian cancers and may represent a useful target for their detection and treatment. PMID:16479257

  20. Epigenetic gene regulation in the adult mammalian brain: multiple roles in memory formation.

    PubMed

    Lubin, Farah D

    2011-07-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf) is one of numerous gene products necessary for long-term memory formation and dysregulation of bdnf has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cognitive and mental disorders. Recent work indicates that epigenetic-regulatory mechanisms including the markings of histone proteins and associated DNA remain labile throughout the life-span and represent an attractive molecular process contributing to gene regulation in the brain. In this review, important information will be discussed on epigenetics as a set of newly identified dynamic transcriptional mechanisms serving to regulate gene expression changes in the adult brain with particular emphasis on bdnf transcriptional readout in learning and memory formation. This review will also highlight evidence for the role of epigenetics in aberrant bdnf gene regulation in the pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction associated with seizure disorders, Rett syndrome, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. Such research offers novel concepts for understanding epigenetic transcriptional mechanisms subserving adult cognition and mental health, and furthermore promises novel avenues for therapeutic approach in the clinic. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Epigenetic changes of DNA repair genes in cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Protein and DNA Modifications: Evolutionary Imprints of Bacterial Biochemical Diversification and Geochemistry on the Provenance of Eukaryotic Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Aravind, L.; Burroughs, A. Maxwell; Zhang, Dapeng; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic information, which plays a major role in eukaryotic biology, is transmitted by covalent modifications of nuclear proteins (e.g., histones) and DNA, along with poorly understood processes involving cytoplasmic/secreted proteins and RNAs. The origin of eukaryotes was accompanied by emergence of a highly developed biochemical apparatus for encoding, resetting, and reading covalent epigenetic marks in proteins such as histones and tubulins. The provenance of this apparatus remained unclear until recently. Developments in comparative genomics show that key components of eukaryotic epigenetics emerged as part of the extensive biochemical innovation of secondary metabolism and intergenomic/interorganismal conflict systems in prokaryotes, particularly bacteria. These supplied not only enzymatic components for encoding and removing epigenetic modifications, but also readers of some of these marks. Diversification of these prokaryotic systems and subsequently eukaryotic epigenetics appear to have been considerably influenced by the great oxygenation event in the Earth’s history. PMID:24984775

  3. Protein and DNA modifications: evolutionary imprints of bacterial biochemical diversification and geochemistry on the provenance of eukaryotic epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Aravind, L; Burroughs, A Maxwell; Zhang, Dapeng; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M

    2014-07-01

    Epigenetic information, which plays a major role in eukaryotic biology, is transmitted by covalent modifications of nuclear proteins (e.g., histones) and DNA, along with poorly understood processes involving cytoplasmic/secreted proteins and RNAs. The origin of eukaryotes was accompanied by emergence of a highly developed biochemical apparatus for encoding, resetting, and reading covalent epigenetic marks in proteins such as histones and tubulins. The provenance of this apparatus remained unclear until recently. Developments in comparative genomics show that key components of eukaryotic epigenetics emerged as part of the extensive biochemical innovation of secondary metabolism and intergenomic/interorganismal conflict systems in prokaryotes, particularly bacteria. These supplied not only enzymatic components for encoding and removing epigenetic modifications, but also readers of some of these marks. Diversification of these prokaryotic systems and subsequently eukaryotic epigenetics appear to have been considerably influenced by the great oxygenation event in the Earth's history. Copyright © 2014 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  4. Harmonic oscillator states in aberration optics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolf, Kurt Bernardo

    1993-01-01

    The states of the three-dimensional quantum harmonic oscillator classify optical aberrations of axis-symmetric systems due to the isomorphism between the two mathematical structures. Cartesian quanta and angular momentum classifications have their corresponding aberration classifications. The operation of concatenation of optical elements introduces a new operation between harmonic oscillator states.

  5. Rooting Out Aberrant Behavior in Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kokalis, Jerry, Jr.; Paquin, Dave

    1989-01-01

    Discusses aberrant, or disruptive, behavior in an industrial/business, classroom-based, instructor-led training setting. Three examples of aberrant behavior are described, typical case studies are provided for each, and preventive (long-term) and corrective (on-the-spot) strategies for dealing with the problems are discussed. (LRW)

  6. Effect of monochromatic aberrations on photorefractive patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Melanie C. W.; Bobier, W. R.; Roorda, A.

    1995-08-01

    Photorefractive methods have become popular in the measurement of refractive and accommodative states of infants and children owing to their photographic nature and rapid speed of measurement. As in the case of any method that measures the refractive state of the human eye, monochromatic aberrations will reduce the accuracy of the measurement. Monochromatic aberrations cannot be as easily predicted or controlled as chromatic aberrations during the measurement, and accordingly they will introduce measurement errors. This study defines this error or uncertainty by extending the existing paraxial optical analyses of coaxial and eccentric photorefraction. This new optical analysis predicts that, for the amounts of spherical aberration (SA) reported for the human eye, there will be a significant degree of measurement uncertainty introduced for all photorefractive methods. The dioptric amount of this uncertainty may exceed the maximum amount of SA present in the eye. The calculated effects on photorefractive measurement of a real eye with a mixture of spherical aberration and coma are shown to be significant. The ability, developed here, to predict photorefractive patterns corresponding to different amounts and types of monochromatic aberration may in the future lead to an extension of photorefractive methods to the dual measurement of refractive states and aberrations of individual eyes. aberration, retinal image quality,

  7. Epigenetic regulator RBP2 is critical for breast cancer progression and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Jian; Liu, Zongzhi; Cheung, William K.C.; Zhao, Minghui; Chen, Sophia Y.; Chan, Siew Wee; Booth, Carmen J.; Nguyen, Don X.; Yan, Qin

    2014-01-01

    Summary Metastasis is a major clinical challenge for cancer treatment. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic aberrations contribute significantly to tumor formation and progression. However, the drivers and roles of such epigenetic changes in tumor metastasis are still poorly understood. Using bioinformatic analysis of human breast cancer gene expression datasets, we identified histone demethylase RBP2 as a putative mediator of metastatic progression. By using both human breast cancer cells and genetically engineered mice, we demonstrated that RBP2 is critical for breast cancer metastasis to the lung in multiple in vivo models. Mechanistically, RBP2 promotes metastasis as a pleiotropic positive regulator of many metastasis genes. In addition, RBP2 loss suppresses tumor formation in the MMTV-neu transgenic mice. These results suggest that therapeutically targeting RBP2 is a potential strategy to inhibit tumor progression and metastasis. PMID:24582965

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The WW-domain containing protein KIBRA has recently been identified as a new member of the Salvador/Warts/Hippo (SWH) pathway in Drosophila and is shown to act as a tumor suppressor gene in Drosophila. This pathway is conserved in humans and members of the pathway have been shown to act as tumor suppressor genes in mammalian systems. We determined the methylation status of the 5′ CpG island associated with the KIBRA gene in human cancers. In a large panel of cancer cell lines representing common epithelial cancers KIBRA was unmethylated. But in pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) cell lines KIBRA showed frequent hypermethylation and silencing of gene expression, which could be reversed by treatment with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine. In ALL patient samples KIBRA was methylated in 70% B-ALL but was methylated in <20% T-ALL leukemia (p = 0.0019). In B-ALL KIBRA methylation was associated with ETV6/RUNX1 [t(12;21) (p13;q22)] chromosomal translocation (p = 0.0082) phenotype, suggesting that KIBRA may play an important role in t(12;21) leukemogenesis. In ALL paired samples at diagnosis and remission KIBRA methylation was seen in diagnostic but not in any of the remission samples accompanied by loss of KIBRA expression in disease state compared to patients in remission. Hence KIBRA methylation occurs frequently in B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia but not in epithelial cancers and is linked to specific genetic event in B-ALL. PMID:21173572

  9. DCB - DNA and Chromosome Aberrations Research

    Cancer.gov

    Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Biology's research portfolio, this research area is focused on making clear the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis and mechanisms of chemical and physical carcinogenesis.

  10. Nodal aberration theory applied to freeform surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuerschbach, Kyle; Rolland, Jannick P.; Thompson, Kevin P.

    2014-12-01

    When new three-dimensional packages are developed for imaging optical systems, the rotational symmetry of the optical system is often broken, changing its imaging behavior and making the optical performance worse. A method to restore the performance is to use freeform optical surfaces that compensate directly the aberrations introduced from tilting and decentering the optical surfaces. In order to effectively optimize the shape of a freeform surface to restore optical functionality, it is helpful to understand the aberration effect the surface may induce. Using nodal aberration theory the aberration fields induced by a freeform surface in an optical system are explored. These theoretical predications are experimentally validated with the design and implementation of an aberration generating telescope.

  11. Epigenetic drug discovery for Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Cacabelos, Ramón; Torrellas, Clara

    2014-09-01

    It is assumed that epigenetic modifications are reversible and could potentially be targeted by pharmacological and dietary interventions. Epigenetic drugs are gaining particular interest as potential candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This article covers relevant information from over 50 different epigenetic drugs including: DNA methyltransferase inhibitors; histone deacetylase inhibitors; histone acetyltransferase modulators; histone methyltransferase inhibitors; histone demethylase inhibitors; non-coding RNAs (microRNAs) and dietary regimes. The authors also review the pharmacoepigenomics and the pharmacogenomics of epigenetic drugs. The readers will gain insight into i) the classification of epigenetic drugs; ii) the mechanisms by which these drugs might be useful in AD; iii) the pharmacological properties of selected epigenetic drugs; iv) pharmacoepigenomics and the influence of epigenetic drugs on genes encoding CYP enzymes, transporters and nuclear receptors; and v) the genes associated with the pharmacogenomics of anti-dementia drugs. Epigenetic drugs reverse epigenetic changes in gene expression and might open future avenues in AD therapeutics. Unfortunately, clinical trials with this category of drugs are lacking in AD. The authors highlight the need for pharmacogenetic and pharmacoepigenetic studies to properly evaluate any efficacy and safety issues.

  12. Epigenetics: origins and implications for cancer epidemiology.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  13. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Epigenetic Drug Repositioning for Alzheimer's Disease Based on Epigenetic Targets in Human Interactome.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Paulami; Roy, Debjani; Rathi, Nitin

    2018-01-01

    Epigenetics has emerged as an important field in drug discovery. Alzheimer's disease (AD), the leading neurodegenerative disorder throughout the world, is shown to have an epigenetic basis. Currently, there are very few effective epigenetic drugs available for AD. In this work, for the first time we have proposed 14 AD repositioning epigenetic drugs and identified their targets from extensive human interactome. Interacting partners of the AD epigenetic proteins were identified from the extensive human interactome to construct Epigenetic Protein-Protein Interaction Network (EP-PPIN). Epigenetic Drug-Target Network (EP-DTN) was constructed with the drugs associated with the proteins of EP-PPIN. Regulation of non-coding RNAs associated with the target proteins of these drugs was also studied. AD related target proteins, epigenetic targets, enriched pathways, and functional categories of the proposed repositioning drugs were also studied. The proposed 14 AD epigenetic repositioning drugs have overlapping targets and miRs with known AD epigenetic targets and miRs. Furthermore, several shared functional categories and enriched pathways were obtained for these drugs with FDA approved epigenetic drugs and known AD drugs. The findings of our work might provide insight into future AD epigenetic-therapeutics.

  15. Widespread alternative and aberrant splicing revealed by lariat sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Stepankiw, Nicholas; Raghavan, Madhura; Fogarty, Elizabeth A.; Grimson, Andrew; Pleiss, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important and ancient feature of eukaryotic gene structure, the existence of which has likely facilitated eukaryotic proteome expansions. Here, we have used intron lariat sequencing to generate a comprehensive profile of splicing events in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, amongst the simplest organisms that possess mammalian-like splice site degeneracy. We reveal an unprecedented level of alternative splicing, including alternative splice site selection for over half of all annotated introns, hundreds of novel exon-skipping events, and thousands of novel introns. Moreover, the frequency of these events is far higher than previous estimates, with alternative splice sites on average activated at ∼3% the rate of canonical sites. Although a subset of alternative sites are conserved in related species, implying functional potential, the majority are not detectably conserved. Interestingly, the rate of aberrant splicing is inversely related to expression level, with lowly expressed genes more prone to erroneous splicing. Although we validate many events with RNAseq, the proportion of alternative splicing discovered with lariat sequencing is far greater, a difference we attribute to preferential decay of aberrantly spliced transcripts. Together, these data suggest the spliceosome possesses far lower fidelity than previously appreciated, highlighting the potential contributions of alternative splicing in generating novel gene structures. PMID:26261211

  16. Epigenetics in non-small cell lung cancer: from basics to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Junaid; Shackelford, Rodney E; El-Osta, Hazem

    2016-04-01

    Lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide with 221,200 estimated new cases and 158,040 estimated deaths in 2015. Approximately 80% of cases are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The diagnosis is usually made at an advanced stage where the prognosis is poor and therapeutic options are limited. The evolution of lung cancer is a multistep process involving genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factor interactions that result in the dysregulation of key oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, culminating in activation of cancer-related signaling pathways. The past decade has witnessed the discovery of multiple molecular aberrations that drive lung cancer growth, among which are epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and translocations involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. This has translated into therapeutic agent developments that target these molecular alterations. The absence of targetable mutations in 50% of NSCLC cases and targeted therapy resistance development underscores the importance for developing alternative therapeutic strategies for treating lung cancer. Among these strategies, pharmacologic modulation of the epigenome has been used to treat lung cancer. Epigenetics approaches may circumvent the problem of tumor heterogeneity by affecting the expression of multiple tumor suppression genes (TSGs), halting tumor growth and survival. Moreover, it may be effective for tumors that are not driven by currently recognized druggable mutations. This review summarizes the molecular pathology of lung cancer epigenetic aberrations and discusses current efforts to target the epigenome with different pharmacological approaches. Our main focus will be on hypomethylating agents, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, microRNA modulations, and the role of novel epigenetic biomarkers. Last, we will address the challenges that face this old-new strategy in treating lung cancer.

  17. [Monochromatic aberration in accommodation. Dynamic wavefront analysis].

    PubMed

    Fritzsch, M; Dawczynski, J; Jurkutat, S; Vollandt, R; Strobel, J

    2011-06-01

    Monochromatic aberrations may influence the visual acuity of the eye. They are not stable and can be affected by different factors. The subject of the following paper is the dynamic investigation of the changes in wavefront aberration with accommodation. Dynamic measurement of higher and lower order aberrations was performed with a WASCA Wavefront Analyzer (Carl-Zeiss-Meditec) and a specially constructed target device for aligning objects in far and near distances on 25 subjects aged from 15 to 27 years old. Wavefront aberrations showed some significant changes in accommodation. In addition to the characteristic sphere reaction accompanying miosis and changes in horizontal prism (Z(1) (1)) in the sense of a convergence movement of the eyeball also occurred. Furthermore defocus rose (Z(2) (0)) and astigmatism (Z(2) (-2)) changed. In higher-order aberrations a decrease in coma-like Zernike polynomials (Z(3) (-1), Z(3) (1)) was found. The most obvious change appeared in spherical aberration (Z(4) (0)) which increased and changed from positive to negative. In addition the secondary astigmatism (Z(4) (-2)) and quadrafoil (Z(4) (4)) rise also increased. The total root mean square (RMS), as well as the higher-order aberrations (RMS-HO) significantly increased in accommodation which is associated with a theoretical reduction of visual acuity. An analysis of the influence of pupil size on aberrations showed significant increases in defocus, spherical aberration, quadrafoil, RMS and RMS HO by increasing pupil diameter. By accommodation-associated miosis, the growing aberrations are partially compensated by focusing on near objects. Temporal analysis of the accommodation process with dynamic wavefront analysis revealed significant delays in pupil response and changing of prism in relation to the sphere reaction. In accommodation to near objects a discrete time ahead of third order aberrations in relation to the sphere response was found. Using dynamic wavefront measurement

  18. Nutrition, Epigenetics, and Metabolic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Significance: Epidemiological and animal studies have demonstrated a close link between maternal nutrition and chronic metabolic disease in children and adults. Compelling experimental results also indicate that adverse effects of intrauterine growth restriction on offspring can be carried forward to subsequent generations through covalent modifications of DNA and core histones. Recent Advances: DNA methylation is catalyzed by S-adenosylmethionine-dependent DNA methyltransferases. Methylation, demethylation, acetylation, and deacetylation of histone proteins are performed by histone methyltransferase, histone demethylase, histone acetyltransferase, and histone deacetyltransferase, respectively. Histone activities are also influenced by phosphorylation, ubiquitination, ADP-ribosylation, sumoylation, and glycosylation. Metabolism of amino acids (glycine, histidine, methionine, and serine) and vitamins (B6, B12, and folate) plays a key role in provision of methyl donors for DNA and protein methylation. Critical Issues: Disruption of epigenetic mechanisms can result in oxidative stress, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and vascular dysfunction in animals and humans. Despite a recognized role for epigenetics in fetal programming of metabolic syndrome, research on therapies is still in its infancy. Possible interventions include: 1) inhibition of DNA methylation, histone deacetylation, and microRNA expression; 2) targeting epigenetically disturbed metabolic pathways; and 3) dietary supplementation with functional amino acids, vitamins, and phytochemicals. Future Directions: Much work is needed with animal models to understand the basic mechanisms responsible for the roles of specific nutrients in fetal and neonatal programming. Such new knowledge is crucial to design effective therapeutic strategies for preventing and treating metabolic abnormalities in offspring born to mothers with a previous experience of malnutrition. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 282–301. PMID

  19. Iteration of ultrasound aberration correction methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maasoey, Svein-Erik; Angelsen, Bjoern; Varslot, Trond

    2004-05-01

    Aberration in ultrasound medical imaging is usually modeled by time-delay and amplitude variations concentrated on the transmitting/receiving array. This filter process is here denoted a TDA filter. The TDA filter is an approximation to the physical aberration process, which occurs over an extended part of the human body wall. Estimation of the TDA filter, and performing correction on transmit and receive, has proven difficult. It has yet to be shown that this method works adequately for severe aberration. Estimation of the TDA filter can be iterated by retransmitting a corrected signal and re-estimate until a convergence criterion is fulfilled (adaptive imaging). Two methods for estimating time-delay and amplitude variations in receive signals from random scatterers have been developed. One method correlates each element signal with a reference signal. The other method use eigenvalue decomposition of the receive cross-spectrum matrix, based upon a receive energy-maximizing criterion. Simulations of iterating aberration correction with a TDA filter have been investigated to study its convergence properties. A weak and strong human-body wall model generated aberration. Both emulated the human abdominal wall. Results after iteration improve aberration correction substantially, and both estimation methods converge, even for the case of strong aberration.

  20. Epigenetic modulators of thyroid cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Comprehensive analyses of imprinted differentially methylated regions reveal epigenetic and genetic characteristics in hepatoblastoma

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aberrant methylation at imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in human 11p15.5 has been reported in many tumors including hepatoblastoma. However, the methylation status of imprinted DMRs in imprinted loci scattered through the human genome has not been analyzed yet in any tumors. Methods The methylation statuses of 33 imprinted DMRs were analyzed in 12 hepatoblastomas and adjacent normal liver tissue by MALDI-TOF MS and pyrosequencing. Uniparental disomy (UPD) and copy number abnormalities were investigated with DNA polymorphisms. Results Among 33 DMRs analyzed, 18 showed aberrant methylation in at least 1 tumor. There was large deviation in the incidence of aberrant methylation among the DMRs. KvDMR1 and IGF2-DMR0 were the most frequently hypomethylated DMRs. INPP5Fv2-DMR and RB1-DMR were hypermethylated with high frequencies. Hypomethylation was observed at certain DMRs not only in tumors but also in a small number of adjacent histologically normal liver tissue, whereas hypermethylation was observed only in tumor samples. The methylation levels of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) did not show large differences between tumor tissue and normal liver controls. Chromosomal abnormalities were also found in some tumors. 11p15.5 and 20q13.3 loci showed the frequent occurrence of both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Conclusions Our analyses revealed tumor-specific aberrant hypermethylation at some imprinted DMRs in 12 hepatoblastomas with additional suggestion for the possibility of hypomethylation prior to tumor development. Some loci showed both genetic and epigenetic alterations with high frequencies. These findings will aid in understanding the development of hepatoblastoma. PMID:24373183

  2. Epigenetic Research of Neurodegenerative Disorders Using Patient iPSC-Based Models

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms play a role in human disease but their involvement in pathologies from the central nervous system has been hampered by the complexity of the brain together with its unique cellular architecture and diversity. Until recently, disease targeted neural types were only available as postmortem materials after many years of disease evolution. Current in vitro systems of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated by cell reprogramming of somatic cells from patients have provided valuable disease models recapitulating key pathological molecular events. Yet whether cell reprogramming on itself implies a truly epigenetic reprogramming, the epigenetic mechanisms governing this process are only partially understood. Moreover, elucidating epigenetic regulation using patient-specific iPSC-derived neural models is expected to have a great impact to unravel the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and to hopefully expand future therapeutic possibilities. Here we will critically review current knowledge of epigenetic involvement in neurodegenerative disorders focusing on the potential of iPSCs as a promising tool for epigenetic research of these diseases. PMID:26697081

  3. Epigenetic patterns newly established after interspecific hybridization in natural populations of Solanum

    PubMed Central

    Cara, Nicolás; Marfil, Carlos F; Masuelli, Ricardo W

    2013-01-01

    Interspecific hybridization is known for triggering genetic and epigenetic changes, such as modifications on DNA methylation patterns and impact on phenotypic plasticity and ecological adaptation. Wild potatoes (Solanum, section Petota) are adapted to multiple habitats along the Andes, and natural hybridizations have proven to be a common feature among species of this group. Solanum × rechei, a recently formed hybrid that grows sympatrically with the parental species S. kurtzianum and S. microdontum, represents an ideal model for studying the ecologically and evolutionary importance of hybridization in generating of epigenetic variability. Genetic and epigenetic variability and their correlation with morphological variation were investigated in wild and ex situ conserved populations of these three wild potato species using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) techniques. We observed that novel methylation patterns doubled the number of novel genetic patterns in the hybrid and that the morphological variability measured on 30 characters had a higher correlation with the epigenetic than with the genetic variability. Statistical comparison of methylation levels suggested that the interspecific hybridization induces genome demethylation in the hybrids. A Bayesian analysis of the genetic data reveled the hybrid nature of S. × rechei, with genotypes displaying high levels of admixture with the parental species, while the epigenetic information assigned S. × rechei to its own cluster with low admixture. These findings suggested that after the hybridization event, a novel epigenetic pattern was rapidly established, which might influence the phenotypic plasticity and adaptation of the hybrid to new environments. PMID:24198938

  4. Targeting HER2 Aberrations in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with Osimertinib.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shengwu; Li, Shuai; Hai, Josephine; Wang, Xiaoen; Chen, Ting; Quinn, Max M; Gao, Peng; Zhang, Yanxi; Ji, Hongbin; Cross, Darren A E; Wong, Kwok-Kin

    2018-01-03

    Purpose: HER2 (or ERBB2 ) aberrations, including both amplification and mutations, have been classified as oncogenic drivers that contribute to 2% to 6% of lung adenocarcinomas. HER2 amplification is also an important mechanism for acquired resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). However, due to limited preclinical studies and clinical trials, currently there is still no available standard of care for lung cancer patients with HER2 aberrations. To fulfill the clinical need for targeting HER2 in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we performed a comprehensive preclinical study to evaluate the efficacy of a third-generation TKI, osimertinib (AZD9291). Experimental Design: Three genetically modified mouse models (GEMM) mimicking individual HER2 alterations in NSCLC were generated, and osimertinib was tested for its efficacy against these HER2 aberrations in vivo Results: Osimertinib treatment showed robust efficacy in HER2 wt overexpression and EGFR del19/HER2 models, but not in HER2 exon 20 insertion tumors. Interestingly, we further identified that combined treatment with osimertinib and the BET inhibitor JQ1 significantly increased the response rate in HER2 -mutant NSCLC, whereas JQ1 single treatment did not show efficacy. Conclusions: Overall, our data indicated robust antitumor efficacy of osimertinib against multiple HER2 aberrations in lung cancer, either as a single agent or in combination with JQ1. Our study provides a strong rationale for future clinical trials using osimertinib either alone or in combination with epigenetic drugs to target aberrant HER2 in patients with NSCLC. Clin Cancer Res; 24(11); 1-11. ©2018 AACR. See related commentary by Cappuzzo and Landi, p. 2470 . ©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.

  5. A C9ORF72 BAC mouse model recapitulates key epigenetic perturbations of ALS/FTD.

    PubMed

    Esanov, Rustam; Cabrera, Gabriela Toro; Andrade, Nadja S; Gendron, Tania F; Brown, Robert H; Benatar, Michael; Wahlestedt, Claes; Mueller, Christian; Zeier, Zane

    2017-06-12

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal and progressive neurodegenerative disorder with identified genetic causes representing a significant minority of all cases. A GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) mutation within the C9ORF72 gene has recently been identified as the most frequent known cause of ALS. The expansion leads to partial heterochromatinization of the locus, yet mutant RNAs and dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs) are still produced in sufficient quantities to confer neurotoxicity. The levels of these toxic HRE products positively correlate with cellular toxicity and phenotypic severity across multiple disease models. Moreover, the degree of epigenetic repression inversely correlates with some facets of clinical presentation in C9-ALS patients. Recently, bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC) have been used to generate transgenic mice that harbor the HRE mutation, complementing other relevant model systems such as patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). While epigenetic features of the HRE have been investigated in various model systems and post-mortem tissues, epigenetic dysregulation at the expanded locus in C9-BAC mice remains unexplored. Here, we sought to determine whether clinically relevant epigenetic perturbations caused by the HRE are mirrored in a C9-BAC mouse model. We used complementary DNA methylation assessment and immunoprecipitation methods to demonstrate that epigenetic aberrations caused by the HRE, such as DNA and histone methylation, are recapitulated in the C9-BAC mice. Strikingly, we found that cytosine hypermethylation within the promoter region of the human transgene occurred in a subset of C9-BAC mice similar to what is observed in patient populations. Moreover, we show that partial heterochromatinization of the C9 HRE occurs during the first weeks of the mouse lifespan, indicating age-dependent epigenetic repression. Using iPSC neurons, we found that preventing R-loop formation did not impede

  6. Epigenetics of Peripheral B-Cell Differentiation and the Antibody Response

    PubMed Central

    Zan, Hong; Casali, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    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 (Ig) 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, which is essential for CSR and SHM, and factors central to plasma cell differentiation, such as B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-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, such as those on microbial

  7. Aberrant regeneration of the third cranial nerve.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, U D; Adhikari, S

    2012-01-01

    Aberrant regeneration of the third cranial nerve is most commonly due to its damage by trauma. A ten-month old child presented with the history of a fall from a four-storey building. She developed traumatic third nerve palsy and eventually the clinical features of aberrant regeneration of the third cranial nerve. The adduction of the eye improved over time. She was advised for patching for the strabismic amblyopia as well. Traumatic third nerve palsy may result in aberrant regeneration of the third cranial nerve. In younger patients, motility of the eye in different gazes may improve over time. © NEPjOPH.

  8. Bromodomains: Are Readers Right for Epigenetic Therapy?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    There is intense interest in the development of small molecule inhibitors of the acetyl-lysine-reading bromodomain protein module. These inhibitors represent a way of interfering therapeutically in epigenetic processes, and there are currently two bromodomain inhibitors in clinical trials. The success of these compounds rests on safety aspects of epigenetic target modulation being addressed. PMID:24900532

  9. The multifaceted interplay between lipids and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Epigenetics and environmental impacts in cattle

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  11. Epigenetics in mammary gland biology and cancer

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. Epigenetics of obesity: beyond the genome sequence.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Epigenetic supersimilarity of monozygotic twin pairs

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Monozygotic twins have long been studied to estimate heritability and explore epigenetic influences on phenotypic variation. The phenotypic and epigenetic similarities of monozygotic twins have been assumed to be largely due to their genetic identity. Here, by analyzing data from a genome-scale stud...

  14. Molecular mechanisms of epigenetic variation in plants.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Ryo; Sasaki, Taku; Ishikawa, Ryo; Osabe, Kenji; Kawanabe, Takahiro; Dennis, Elizabeth S

    2012-01-01

    Natural variation is defined as the phenotypic variation caused by spontaneous mutations. In general, mutations are associated with changes of nucleotide sequence, and many mutations in genes that can cause changes in plant development have been identified. Epigenetic change, which does not involve alteration to the nucleotide sequence, can also cause changes in gene activity by changing the structure of chromatin through DNA methylation or histone modifications. Now there is evidence based on induced or spontaneous mutants that epigenetic changes can cause altering plant phenotypes. Epigenetic changes have occurred frequently in plants, and some are heritable or metastable causing variation in epigenetic status within or between species. Therefore, heritable epigenetic variation as well as genetic variation has the potential to drive natural variation.

  15. Epigenetic mechanisms in memory and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Faraz A; Day, Jeremy J

    2011-01-01

    Although the term ‘epigenetics’ was coined nearly seventy years ago, its critical function in memory processing by the adult CNS has only recently been appreciated. The hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms regulate memory and behavior was motivated by the need for stable molecular processes that evade turnover of the neuronal proteome. In this article, we discuss evidence that supports a role for neural epigenetic modifications in the formation, consolidation and storage of memory. In addition, we will review the evidence that epigenetic mechanisms regulate synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate of memory. We will also examine how the concerted action of multiple epigenetic mechanisms with varying spatiotemporal profiles influence selective gene expression in response to behavioral experience. Finally, we will suggest key areas for future research that will help elucidate the complex, vital and still mysterious, role of epigenetic mechanisms in neural function and behavior. PMID:22122279

  16. Epigenetics: the language of the cell?

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Epigenetics reloaded: the single-cell revolution.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Epigenetics and therapeutic targets mediating neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2015-12-02

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

  19. Epigenetic Inheritance: A Contributor to Species Differentiation?

    PubMed Central

    Boffelli, Dario

    2012-01-01

    Multiple epigenetic states can be associated with the same genome, and transmitted through the germline for generations, to create the phenomenon of epigenetic inheritance. This form of inheritance is mediated by complex and highly diverse components of the chromosome that associate with DNA, control its transcription, and are inherited alongside it. But, how extensive, and how stable, is the information carried in the germline by the epigenome? Several known examples of epigenetic inheritance demonstrate that it has the ability to create selectable traits, and thus to mediate Darwinian evolution. Here we discuss the possibility that epigenetic inheritance is responsible for some stable characteristics of species, focusing on a recent comparison of the human and chimpanzee methylomes which reveals that somatic methylation states are related to methylation states in the germline. Interpretation of this finding highlights the potential significance of germline epigenetic states, as well as the challenge of investigating a form of inheritance with complex and unfamiliar rules. PMID:22966965

  20. Epigenetic features of human telomeres.

    PubMed

    Cubiles, María D; Barroso, Sonia; Vaquero-Sedas, María I; Enguix, Alicia; Aguilera, Andrés; Vega-Palas, Miguel A

    2018-03-16

    Although subtelomeric regions in humans are heterochromatic, the epigenetic nature of human telomeres remains controversial. This controversy might have been influenced by the confounding effect of subtelomeric regions and interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) on telomeric chromatin structure analyses. In addition, different human cell lines might carry diverse epigenetic marks at telomeres. We have developed a reliable procedure to study the chromatin structure of human telomeres independently of subtelomeres and ITSs. This procedure is based on the statistical analysis of multiple ChIP-seq experiments. We have found that human telomeres are not enriched in the heterochromatic H3K9me3 mark in most of the common laboratory cell lines, including embryonic stem cells. Instead, they are labeled with H4K20me1 and H3K27ac, which might be established by p300. These results together with previously published data argue that subtelomeric heterochromatin might control human telomere functions. Interestingly, U2OS cells that exhibit alternative lengthening of telomeres have heterochromatic levels of H3K9me3 in their telomeres.

  1. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Integrative Medicine

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Epigenetic features of human telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Cubiles, María D; Barroso, Sonia; Vaquero-Sedas, María I; Enguix, Alicia; Aguilera, Andrés; Vega-Palas, Miguel A

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Although subtelomeric regions in humans are heterochromatic, the epigenetic nature of human telomeres remains controversial. This controversy might have been influenced by the confounding effect of subtelomeric regions and interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) on telomeric chromatin structure analyses. In addition, different human cell lines might carry diverse epigenetic marks at telomeres. We have developed a reliable procedure to study the chromatin structure of human telomeres independently of subtelomeres and ITSs. This procedure is based on the statistical analysis of multiple ChIP-seq experiments. We have found that human telomeres are not enriched in the heterochromatic H3K9me3 mark in most of the common laboratory cell lines, including embryonic stem cells. Instead, they are labeled with H4K20me1 and H3K27ac, which might be established by p300. These results together with previously published data argue that subtelomeric heterochromatin might control human telomere functions. Interestingly, U2OS cells that exhibit alternative lengthening of telomeres have heterochromatic levels of H3K9me3 in their telomeres. PMID:29361030

  3. Comparative methylome analysis in solid tumors reveals aberrant methylation at chromosome 6p in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Dai, Wei; Cheung, Arthur Kwok Leung; Ko, Josephine Mun Yee; Cheng, Yue; Zheng, Hong; Ngan, Roger Kai Cheong; Ng, Wai Tong; Lee, Anne Wing Mui; Yau, Chun Chung; Lee, Victor Ho Fu; Lung, Maria Li

    2015-07-01

    Altered patterns of DNA methylation are key features of cancer. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has the highest incidence in Southern China. Aberrant methylation at the promoter region of tumor suppressors is frequently reported in NPC; however, genome-wide methylation changes have not been comprehensively investigated. Therefore, we systematically analyzed methylome data in 25 primary NPC tumors and nontumor counterparts using a high-throughput approach with the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. Comparatively, we examined the methylome data of 11 types of solid tumors collected by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). In NPC, the hypermethylation pattern was more dominant than hypomethylation and the majority of de novo methylated loci were within or close to CpG islands in tumors. The comparative methylome analysis reveals hypermethylation at chromosome 6p21.3 frequently occurred in NPC (false discovery rate; FDR=1.33 × 10(-9) ), but was less obvious in other types of solid tumors except for prostate and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive gastric cancer (FDR<10(-3) ). Bisulfite pyrosequencing results further confirmed the aberrant methylation at 6p in an additional patient cohort. Evident enrichment of the repressive mark H3K27me3 and active mark H3K4me3 derived from human embryonic stem cells were found at these regions, indicating both DNA methylation and histone modification function together, leading to epigenetic deregulation in NPC. Our study highlights the importance of epigenetic deregulation in NPC. Polycomb Complex 2 (PRC2), responsible for H3K27 trimethylation, is a promising therapeutic target. A key genomic region on 6p with aberrant methylation was identified. This region contains several important genes having potential use as biomarkers for NPC detection. © 2015 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Aberrant DNA methylation of WNT pathway genes in the development and progression of CIMP-negative colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Galamb, Orsolya; Kalmár, Alexandra; Péterfia, Bálint; Csabai, István; Bodor, András; Ribli, Dezső; Krenács, Tibor; Patai, Árpád V; Wichmann, Barnabás; Barták, Barbara Kinga; Tóth, Kinga; Valcz, Gábor; Spisák, Sándor; Tulassay, Zsolt; Molnár, Béla

    2016-08-02

    The WNT signaling pathway has an essential role in colorectal carcinogenesis and progression, which involves a cascade of genetic and epigenetic changes. We aimed to analyze DNA methylation affecting the WNT pathway genes in colorectal carcinogenesis in promoter and gene body regions using whole methylome analysis in 9 colorectal cancer, 15 adenoma, and 6 normal tumor adjacent tissue (NAT) samples by methyl capture sequencing. Functional methylation was confirmed on 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine-treated colorectal cancer cell line datasets. In parallel with the DNA methylation analysis, mutations of WNT pathway genes (APC, β-catenin/CTNNB1) were analyzed by 454 sequencing on GS Junior platform. Most differentially methylated CpG sites were localized in gene body regions (95% of WNT pathway genes). In the promoter regions, 33 of the 160 analyzed WNT pathway genes were differentially methylated in colorectal cancer vs. normal, including hypermethylated AXIN2, CHP1, PRICKLE1, SFRP1, SFRP2, SOX17, and hypomethylated CACYBP, CTNNB1, MYC; 44 genes in adenoma vs. NAT; and 41 genes in colorectal cancer vs. adenoma comparisons. Hypermethylation of AXIN2, DKK1, VANGL1, and WNT5A gene promoters was higher, while those of SOX17, PRICKLE1, DAAM2, and MYC was lower in colon carcinoma compared to adenoma. Inverse correlation between expression and methylation was confirmed in 23 genes, including APC, CHP1, PRICKLE1, PSEN1, and SFRP1. Differential methylation affected both canonical and noncanonical WNT pathway genes in colorectal normal-adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Aberrant DNA methylation appears already in adenomas as an early event of colorectal carcinogenesis.

  5. Frequency of WT1 and 11p15 constitutional aberrations and phenotypic correlation in childhood Wilms tumour patients.

    PubMed

    Segers, H; Kersseboom, R; Alders, M; Pieters, R; Wagner, A; van den Heuvel-Eibrink, M M

    2012-11-01

    In 9-17% of Wilms tumour patients a predisposing syndrome is present, in particular WT1-associated syndromes and overgrowth syndromes. Constitutional WT1 mutations or epigenetic changes on chromosome 11p15 have also been described in Wilms tumour patients without phenotypic abnormalities. Thus, the absence of phenotypic abnormalities does not exclude the presence of a genetic predisposition, suggesting that more Wilms tumour patients may have a constitutional abnormality. Therefore, we investigated the frequency of constitutional aberrations in combination with phenotype. Clinical genetic assessment, as well as molecular analysis of WT1 and locus 11p15 was offered to a single-centre cohort of 109 childhood Wilms tumour patients. Twelve patients (11%) had a WT1 aberration and eight patients (8%) had an 11p15 aberration. Of the 12 patients with a WT1 aberration, four had WAGR syndrome (Wilms tumor, aniridia, genitourinary malformations and mental retardation), one had Denys-Drash syndrome, four had genitourinary anomalies without other syndromic features and three had bilateral disease with stromal-predominant histology at young age without congenital anomalies. Of the eight patients with an 11p15 aberration, four had Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), two had minor features of BWS and two had no stigmata of BWS or hemihypertrophy. Constitutional WT1 or 11p15 aberrations are frequent in Wilms tumour patients and careful clinical assessment can identify the majority of these patients. Therefore, we would recommend offering clinical genetic counselling to all Wilms tumour patients, as well as molecular analysis to patients with clinical signs of a syndrome or with features that may indicate a constitutional WT1 or 11p15 aberration. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Berko, Esther R; Suzuki, Masako; Beren, Faygel; Lemetre, Christophe; Alaimo, Christine M; Calder, R Brent; Ballaban-Gil, Karen; Gounder, Batya; Kampf, Kaylee; Kirschen, Jill; Maqbool, Shahina B; Momin, Zeineen; Reynolds, David M; Russo, Natalie; Shulman, Lisa; Stasiek, Edyta; Tozour, Jessica; Valicenti-McDermott, Maria; Wang, Shenglong; Abrahams, Brett S; Hargitai, Joseph; Inbar, Dov; Zhang, Zhengdong; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Molholm, Sophie; Foxe, John J; Marion, Robert W; Auton, Adam; Greally, John M

    2014-01-01

    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 and interact

  7. Novel epigenetic target therapy for prostate cancer: a preclinical study.

    PubMed

    Naldi, Ilaria; Taranta, Monia; Gherardini, Lisa; Pelosi, Gualtiero; Viglione, Federica; Grimaldi, Settimio; Pani, Luca; Cinti, Caterina

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic events are critical contributors to the pathogenesis of cancer, and targeting epigenetic mechanisms represents a novel strategy in anticancer therapy. Classic demethylating agents, such as 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (Decitabine), hold the potential for reprograming somatic cancer cells demonstrating high therapeutic efficacy in haematological malignancies. On the other hand, epigenetic treatment of solid tumours often gives rise to undesired cytotoxic side effects. Appropriate delivery systems able to enrich Decitabine at the site of action and improve its bioavailability would reduce the incidence of toxicity on healthy tissues. In this work we provide preclinical evidences of a safe, versatile and efficient targeted epigenetic therapy to treat hormone sensitive (LNCap) and hormone refractory (DU145) prostate cancers. A novel Decitabine formulation, based on the use of engineered erythrocyte (Erythro-Magneto-Hemagglutinin Virosomes, EMHVs) drug delivery system (DDS) carrying this drug, has been refined. Inside the EMHVs, the drug was shielded from the environment and phosphorylated in its active form. The novel magnetic EMHV DDS, endowed with fusogenic protein, improved the stability of the carried drug and exhibited a high efficiency in confining its delivery at the site of action in vivo by applying an external static magnetic field. Here we show that Decitabine loaded into EMHVs induces a significant tumour mass reduction in prostate cancer xenograft models at a concentration, which is seven hundred times lower than the therapeutic dose, suggesting an improved pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of drug. These results are relevant for and discussed in light of developing personalised autologous therapies and innovative clinical approach for the treatment of solid tumours.

  8. Aberrations in stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonello, Jacopo; Burke, Daniel; Booth, Martin J.

    2017-12-01

    Like all methods of super-resolution microscopy, stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy can suffer from the effects of aberrations. The most important aspect of a STED microscope is that the depletion focus maintains a minimum, ideally zero, intensity point that is surrounded by a region of higher intensity. It follows that aberrations that cause a non-zero value of this minimum intensity are the most detrimental, as they inhibit fluorescence emission even at the centre of the depletion focus. We present analysis that elucidates the nature of these effects in terms of the different polarisation components at the focus for two-dimensional and three-dimensional STED resolution enhancement. It is found that only certain low-order aberration modes can affect the minimum intensity at the Gaussian focus. This has important consequences for the design of adaptive optics aberration correction systems.

  9. Epigenetic mediated transcriptional activation of WNT5A participates in arsenical-associated malignant transformation

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, Taylor J.; Wozniak, Ryan J.; Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724

    2009-02-15

    Arsenic is a human carcinogen with exposure associated with cancer of the lung, skin, and bladder. Many potential mechanisms have been implicated as playing a role in the process of arsenical-induced malignancy including the perturbation of signaling pathways and aberrant epigenetic regulation. We initiated studies to examine the role of a member of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway, WNT5A, in UROtsa cells and arsenite [URO-ASSC] and monomethylarsonous acid [URO-MSC] malignantly transformed variants. We present data herein that suggest that WNT5A is transcriptionally activated during arsenical-induced malignant transformation. This WNT5A transcriptional activation is correlated with the enrichment of permissive histone modificationsmore » and the reduction of repressive modifications in the WNT5A promoter region. The epigenetic activation of WNT5A expression and acetylation of its promoter remain after the removal of the arsenical, consistent with the maintenance of an anchorage independent growth phenotype in these cells. Additionally, treatment with epigenetic modifying drugs supports a functional role for these epigenetic marks in controlling gene expression. Reduction of WNT5A using lentiviral shRNA greatly attenuated the ability of these cells to grow in an anchorage independent fashion. Extension of our model into human bladder cancer cell lines indicates that each of the cell lines examined also express WNT5A. Taken together, these data suggest that the epigenetic remodeling of the WNT5A promoter is correlated with its transcriptional activation and this upregulation likely participates in arsenical-induced malignant transformation.« less

  10. Detection of type 2 diabetes related modules and genes based on epigenetic networks

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is one of the most common chronic metabolic diseases characterized by insulin resistance and the decrease of insulin secretion. Genetic variation can only explain part of the heritability of T2D, so there need new methods to detect the susceptibility genes of the disease. Epigenetics could establish the interface between the environmental factor and the T2D Pathological mechanism. Results Based on the network theory and by combining epigenetic characteristics with human interactome, the weighted human DNA methylation network (WMPN) was constructed, and a T2D-related subnetwork (TMSN) was obtained through T2D-related differentially methylated genes. It is found that TMSN had a T2D specific network structure that non-fatal metabolic disease causing genes were often located in the topological and functional periphery of network. Combined with chromatin modifications, the weighted chromatin modification network (WCPN) was built, and a T2D-related chromatin modification pattern subnetwork was obtained by the TMSN gene set. TCSN had a densely connected network community, indicating that TMSN and TCSN could represent a collection of T2D-related epigenetic dysregulated sub-pathways. Using the cumulative hypergeometric test, 24 interplay modules of DNA methylation and chromatin modifications were identified. By the analysis of gene expression in human T2D islet tissue, it is found that there existed genes with the variant expression level caused by the aberrant DNA methylation and (or) chromatin modifications, which might affect and promote the development of T2D. Conclusions Here we have detected the potential interplay modules of DNA methylation and chromatin modifications for T2D. The study of T2D epigenetic networks provides a new way for understanding the pathogenic mechanism of T2D caused by epigenetic disorders. PMID:24565181

  11. Epigenetic perturbations in the pathogenesis of mustard toxicity; hypothesis and preliminary results

    PubMed Central

    Korkmaz, Ahmet; Yaren, Hakan; Kunak, Z. Ilker; Uysal, Bulent; Kurt, Bulent; Topal, Turgut; Kenar, Levent; Ucar, Ergun; Oter, Sukru

    2008-01-01

    Among the most readily available chemical warfare agents, sulfur mustard (SM), also known as mustard gas, has been the most widely used chemical weapon. SM causes debilitating effects that can leave an exposed individual incapacitated for days to months; therefore delayed SM toxicity is of much greater importance than its ability to cause lethality. Although not fully understood, acute toxicity of SM is related to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, oxidative stress, DNA damage, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activation and energy depletion within the affected cell. Therefore several antioxidants and PARP inhibitors show beneficial effects against acute SM toxicity. The delayed toxicity of SM however, currently has no clear mechanistic explanation. One third of the 100,000 Iranian casualties are still suffering from the detrimental effects of SM in spite of the extensive treatment. We, therefore, made an attempt whether epigenetic aberrations may contribute to pathogenesis of mustard poisoning. Preliminary evidence reveals that mechlorethamine (a nitrogen mustard derivative) exposure may not only cause oxidative stress, DNA damage, but epigenetic perturbations as well. Epigenetic refers to the study of changes that influence the phenotype without causing alteration of the genotype. It involves changes in the properties of a cell that are inherited but do not involve a change in DNA sequence. It is now known that in addition to mutations, epimutations contribute to a variety of human diseases. Under light of preliminary results, the current hypothesis will focus on epigenetic regulations to clarify mustard toxicity and the use of drugs to correct possible epigenetic defects. PMID:21218122

  12. Quality factor analysis for aberrated laser beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghafary, B.; Alavynejad, M.; Kashani, F. D.

    2006-12-01

    The quality factor of laser beams has attracted considerable attention and some different approaches have been reported to treat the problem. In this paper we analyze quality factor of laser beam and compare the effect of different aberrations on beam quality by expanding pure phase term of wavefront in terms of Zernike polynomials. Also we analyze experimentally the change of beam quality for different Astigmatism aberrations, and compare theoretical results with experimentally results. The experimental and theoretical results are in good agreement.

  13. Corneal spherical aberration in Saudi population

    PubMed Central

    Al-Sayyari, Tarfah M.; Fawzy, Samah M.; Al-Saleh, Ahmed A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To find out the mean corneal spherical aberration and its changes with age in Saudi population. Setting AlHokama Eye Specialist Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Methods Three hundred (300) eyes of 185 Saudi subjects (97 men and 88 women), whose age ranged from 15 to 85 years old, with matched refractive errors, were divided into three groups according to their age, 100 for each. All the subjects were included in measuring the spherical aberration (SA) using pentacam HR (OCULUS, Germany) at the 6-mm optical zone. Results The mean corneal spherical aberration (CSA) of the fourth order (Z40) of the whole groups was 0.252 ± 0.1154 μm. Patients from 15 to 35 years old have root mean square (RMS) of CSA of 0.2068 ± 0.07151 μm, 0.2370 ± 0.08023 μm was the RMS of CSA of the patients from 35 to 50 years old, while those from 50 to 85 years old have a CSA-RMS of 0.31511 ± 0.1503 μm (P < 0.0001). A positive correlation was found between the spherical aberration (Z40) and the progress of age (r = 0.3429, P < 0.0001). The high order aberration (HOA) presented 28.1% of the total corneal aberrations. While the fourth order corneal spherical aberration constituted 57% of the HOA and 16% of the total aberration. The pupil diameter shows a negative correlation with the increase in age (P = 0.0012). Conclusion Our results showed a CSA (Z40) that is varied among the population, comparable to other studies, and significantly correlates to the progress of age. PMID:25278799

  14. Early environments, glucocorticoid receptors, and behavioral epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Frances A

    2013-10-01

    In 1985, a brief report published in Behavioral Neuroscience established the link between neonatal handling and concentrations of hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in the adult rat, suggesting a neurobiological basis for the attenuated stress reactivity observed in handled versus nonhandled offspring. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Behavioral Neuroscience, this article explores the research that preceded and followed from this brief but significant publication. Changes in hippocampal GR induced by handling were determined to be the outcome of a cascade of cellular and molecular events involving thyroid hormones, serotonin turnover, and transcription factor binding to the Nr3c1 gene, leading to increased GR mRNA and protein. Though many hypotheses were proposed for the "handling effect," the role of handling-induced changes in maternal care, particularly pup licking/grooming (LG), generated a productive scientific framework for understanding the handling phenomenon. Indeed, LG has since been demonstrated to alter GR levels through the signaling pathways described for handling. Moreover, epigenetic mechanisms have been discovered to play a critical role in the effects of early life experience and particularly in the regulation of Nr3c1. Overall, the research avenues that have evolved from the initial finding of handling-induced changes in GR have broad applications to our understanding of plasticity, resilience, and the transmission of traits across generations. 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  15. Gender Differences in Neurodevelopment and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Wilson C.J.; Auger, Anthony P.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The concept that the brain differs in make-up between males and females is not new. For example, it is well-established that anatomists in the nineteenth century found sex differences in human brain weight. The importance of sex differences in the organization of the brain cannot be overstated as they may directly affect cognitive functions, such as verbal skills and visio-spatial tasks in a sex-dependent fashion. Moreover, the incidence of neurological and psychiatric diseases is also highly dependent on sex. These clinical observations reiterate the importance that gender must be taken into account as a relevant possible contributing factor in order to understand the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Gender-dependent differentiation of the brain has been detected at every levels of organization: morphological, neurochemical, and functional, and have been shown to be primarily controlled by sex differences in gonadal steroid hormone levels during perinatal development. In this review, we discuss how the gonadal steroid hormone testosterone and its metabolites, affect downstream signaling cascades, including gonadal steroid receptor activation, and epigenetic events in order to differentiate the brain in a gender-dependent fashion. PMID:23503727

  16. Accommodation to wavefront vergence and chromatic aberration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yinan; Kruger, Philip B; Li, James S; Lin, Peter L; Stark, Lawrence R

    2011-05-01

    Longitudinal chromatic aberration (LCA) provides a cue to accommodation with small pupils. However, large pupils increase monochromatic aberrations, which may obscure chromatic blur. In this study, we examined the effect of pupil size and LCA on accommodation. Accommodation was recorded by infrared optometer while observers (nine normal trichromats) viewed a sinusoidally moving Maltese cross target in a Badal stimulus system. There were two illumination conditions: white (3000 K; 20 cd/m) and monochromatic (550 nm with 10 nm bandwidth; 20 cd/m) and two artificial pupil conditions (3 and 5.7 mm). Separately, static measurements of wavefront aberration were made with the eye accommodating to targets between 0 and 4 D (COAS, Wavefront Sciences). Large individual differences in accommodation to wavefront vergence and to LCA are a hallmark of accommodation. LCA continues to provide a signal at large pupil sizes despite higher levels of monochromatic aberrations. Monochromatic aberrations may defend against chromatic blur at high spatial frequencies, but accommodation responds best to optical vergence and to LCA at 3 c/deg where blur from higher order aberrations is less.

  17. Accommodation to Wavefront Vergence and Chromatic Aberration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yinan; Kruger, Philip B.; Li, James S.; Lin, Peter L.; Stark, Lawrence R.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose Longitudinal chromatic aberration (LCA) provides a cue to accommodation with small pupils. However, large pupils increase monochromatic aberrations, which may obscure chromatic blur. In the present study, we examined the effect of pupil size and LCA on accommodation. Methods Accommodation was recorded by infrared optometer while observers (nine normal trichromats) viewed a sinusoidally moving Maltese cross target in a Badal stimulus system. There were two illumination conditions: white (3000 K; 20 cd/m2) and monochromatic (550 nm with 10 nm bandwidth; 20 cd/m2) and two artificial pupil conditions (3 mm and 5.7 mm). Separately, static measurements of wavefront aberration were made with the eye accommodating to targets between 0 and 4 D (COAS, Wavefront Sciences). Results Large individual differences in accommodation to wavefront vergence and to LCA are a hallmark of accommodation. LCA continues to provide a signal at large pupil sizes despite higher levels of monochromatic aberrations. Conclusions Monochromatic aberrations may defend against chromatic blur at high spatial frequencies, but accommodation responds best to optical vergence and to LCA at 3 c/deg where blur from higher order aberrations is less. PMID:21317666

  18. Analysis of the Ambient Particulate Matter-induced Chromosomal Aberrations Using an In Vitro System.

    PubMed

    Miousse, Isabelle R; Koturbash, Igor; Chalbot, Marie-Cécile; Hauer-Jensen, Martin; Kavouras, Ilias; Pathak, Rupak

    2016-12-21

    Exposure to particulate matter (PM) is a major world health concern, which may damage various cellular components, including the nuclear genetic material. To assess the impact of PM on nuclear genetic integrity, structural chromosomal aberrations are scored in the metaphase spreads of mouse RAW264.7 macrophage cells. PM is collected from ambient air with a high volume total suspended particles sampler. The collected material is solubilized and filtered to retain the water-soluble, fine portion. The particles are characterized for chemical composition by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Different concentrations of particle suspension are added onto an in vitro culture of RAW264.7 mouse macrophages for a total exposure time of 72 hr, along with untreated control cells. At the end of exposure, the culture is treated with colcemid to arrest cells in metaphase. Cells are then harvested, treated with hypotonic solution, fixed in acetomethanol, dropped onto glass slides and finally stained with Giemsa solution. Slides are examined to assess the structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in metaphase spreads at 1,000X magnification using a bright-field microscope. 50 to 100 metaphase spread are scored for each treatment group. This technique is adapted for the detection of structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs), such as chromatid-type breaks, chromatid-type exchanges, acentric fragments, dicentric and ring chromosomes, double minutes, endoreduplication, and Robertsonian translocations in vitro after exposure to PM. It is a powerful method to associate a well-established cytogenetic endpoint to epigenetic alterations.

  19. TET1 Depletion Induces Aberrant CpG Methylation in Colorectal Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Eiichiro; Harada, Taku; Aoki, Hironori; Maruyama, Reo; Toyota, Mutsumi; Sasaki, Yasushi; Sugai, Tamotsu; Tokino, Takashi; Nakase, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation is commonly observed in colorectal cancer (CRC), but the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine levels and TET1 expression are both reduced in CRC, while epigenetic silencing of TET1 is reportedly associated with the CpG island methylator phenotype. In the present study, we aimed to clarify the relationship between loss of TET1 and aberrant DNA methylation in CRC. Stable TET1 knockdown clones were established using Colo320DM cells, which express high levels of TET1, and HCT116 cells, which express TET1 at a level similar to that in normal colonic tissue. Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip assays revealed increased levels of 5-methylcytosine at more than 10,000 CpG sites in TET1-depleted Colo320DM cells. Changes in DNA methylation were observed at various positions within the genome, including promoters, gene bodies and intergenic regions, and the altered methylation affected expression of a subset of genes. By contrast, TET1 knockdown did not significantly affect DNA methylation in HCT116 cells. However, TET1 depletion was associated with attenuated effects of 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine on gene expression profiles in both cell lines. These results suggest that loss of TET1 may induce aberrant DNA methylation and may attenuate the effect of 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine in CRC cells. PMID:27977763

  20. Micro-Scale Genomic DNA Copy Number Aberrations as Another Means of Mutagenesis in Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Hann-Hsiang; He, Xiaping; Parker, Joel S.; Zhao, Wei; Perou, Charles M.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction In breast cancer, the basal-like subtype has high levels of genomic instability relative to other breast cancer subtypes with many basal-like-specific regions of aberration. There is evidence that this genomic instability extends to smaller scale genomic aberrations, as shown by a previously described micro-deletion event in the PTEN gene in the Basal-like SUM149 breast cancer cell line. Methods We sought to identify if small regions of genomic DNA copy number changes exist by using a high density, gene-centric Comparative Genomic Hybridizations (CGH) array on cell lines and primary tumors. A custom tiling array for CGH (244,000 probes, 200 bp tiling resolution) was created to identify small regions of genomic change, which was focused on previously identified basal-like-specific, and general cancer genes. Tumor genomic DNA from 94 patients and 2 breast cancer cell lines was labeled and hybridized to these arrays. Aberrations were called using SWITCHdna and the smallest 25% of SWITCHdna-defined genomic segments were called micro-aberrations (<64 contiguous probes, ∼ 15 kb). Results Our data showed that primary tumor breast cancer genomes frequently contained many small-scale copy number gains and losses, termed micro-aberrations, most of which are undetectable using typical-density genome-wide aCGH arrays. The basal-like subtype exhibited the highest incidence of these events. These micro-aberrations sometimes altered expression of the involved gene. We confirmed the presence of the PTEN micro-amplification in SUM149 and by mRNA-seq showed that this resulted in loss of expression of all exons downstream of this event. Micro-aberrations disproportionately affected the 5′ regions of the affected genes, including the promoter region, and high frequency of micro-aberrations was associated with poor survival. Conclusion Using a high-probe-density, gene-centric aCGH microarray, we present evidence of small-scale genomic aberrations that can contribute to

  1. Identifying Candidate Chemical-Disease Linkages (Environmental and Epigenetic Determinants of IBD)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Presentation at meeting on Environmental and Epigenetic Determinants of IBD in New York, NY on identifying candidate chemical-disease linkages by using AOPs to identify molecular initiating events and using relevant high throughput assays to screen for candidate chemicals. This h...

  2. Environmental chemical exposures and human epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Advancements in the delivery of epigenetic drugs

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Samantha A.; Adjei, Isaac M.; Labhasetwar, Vinod

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Advancements in epigenetic treatments are not only coming from new drugs but from modifications or encapsulation of the existing drugs into different formulations leading to greater stability and enhanced delivery to the target site. The epigenome is highly regulated and complex; therefore it is important that off-target effects of epigenetic drugs be minimized. The step from in vitro to in vivo treatment of these drugs often requires development of a method of effective delivery for clinical translation. Areas covered This review covers epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling and small RNA mediated gene regulation. There is a section in the review with examples of diseases where epigenetic alterations lead to impaired pathways, with an emphasis on cancer. Epigenetic drugs, their targets and clinical status are presented. Advantages of using a delivery method for epigenetic drugs as well as examples of current advancements and challenges are also discussed. Expert opinion Epigenetic drugs have the potential to be very effective therapy against a number of diseases, especially cancers and neurological disorders. As with many chemotherapeutics, undesired side effects need to be minimized. Finding a suitable delivery method means reducing side effects and achieving a higher therapeutic index. Each drug may require a unique delivery method exploiting the drug's chemistry or other physical characteristic requiring interdisciplinary participation and would benefit from a better understanding of the mechanisms of action. PMID:25739728

  4. Prostate cancer epigenetics and its clinical implications

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27212125

  5. Prostate cancer epigenetics and its clinical implications.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Pulse compressor with aberration correction

    SciTech Connect

    Mankos, Marian

    In this SBIR project, Electron Optica, Inc. (EOI) is developing an electron mirror-based pulse compressor attachment to new and retrofitted dynamic transmission electron microscopes (DTEMs) and ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) cameras for improving the temporal resolution of these instruments from the characteristic range of a few picoseconds to a few nanoseconds and beyond, into the sub-100 femtosecond range. The improvement will enable electron microscopes and diffraction cameras to better resolve the dynamics of reactions in the areas of solid state physics, chemistry, and biology. EOI’s pulse compressor technology utilizes the combination of electron mirror optics and a magnetic beam separatormore » to compress the electron pulse. The design exploits the symmetry inherent in reversing the electron trajectory in the mirror in order to compress the temporally broadened beam. This system also simultaneously corrects the chromatic and spherical aberration of the objective lens for improved spatial resolution. This correction will be found valuable as the source size is reduced with laser-triggered point source emitters. With such emitters, it might be possible to significantly reduce the illuminated area and carry out ultrafast diffraction experiments from small regions of the sample, e.g. from individual grains or nanoparticles. During phase I, EOI drafted a set of candidate pulse compressor architectures and evaluated the trade-offs between temporal resolution and electron bunch size to achieve the optimum design for two particular applications with market potential: increasing the temporal and spatial resolution of UEDs, and increasing the temporal and spatial resolution of DTEMs. Specialized software packages that have been developed by MEBS, Ltd. were used to calculate the electron optical properties of the key pulse compressor components: namely, the magnetic prism, the electron mirror, and the electron lenses. In the final step, these results were

  7. Maize centromeres: structure, function, epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Birchler, James A; Han, Fangpu

    2009-01-01

    The ability of centromeres to organize the kinetochore has an epigenetic component in that DNA sequence alone does not necessarily serve as the determinant of activity. The centromeres of maize have been well characterized with regard to the sequence repeats present at all primary constrictions. The supernumerary B chromosome centromere contains an additional specific repeat that is represented in the active core and that allows it to be studied against the background of the other centromeres. The foundational proteins of the kinetochore have been characterized, and an RNA component has been defined. Numerous examples of inactive centromeres have been characterized for both A and B chromosomal centromeres indicating the ease with which plant centromeres become inactive. Under some circumstances, inactive centromeres can exhibit reactivation at their formerly inactive sites. This observation suggests that a DNA-based topological component also operates for centromere identity.

  8. Two decades of leukemia oncoprotein epistasis: the MLL1 paradigm for epigenetic deregulation in leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bin E.; Ernst, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    MLL1, located on human chromosome 11, is disrupted in distinct recurrent chromosomal translocations in several leukemia subsets. Studying the MLL1 gene and its oncogenic variants has provided a paradigm for understanding cancer initiation and maintenance through aberrant epigenetic gene regulation. Here we review the historical development of model systems to recapitulate oncogenic MLL1-rearrangement (MLL-r) alleles encoding mixed-lineage leukemia fusion proteins (MLL-FPs) or internal gene rearrangement products. These largely mouse and human cell/xenograft systems have been generated and used to understand how MLL-r alleles affect diverse pathways to result in a highly penetrant, drug-resistant leukemia. The particular features of the animal models influenced the conclusions of mechanisms of transformation. We discuss significant downstream enablers, inhibitors, effectors, and collaborators of MLL-r leukemia, including molecules that directly interact with MLL-FPs and endogenous mixed-lineage leukemia protein, direct target genes of MLL-FPs, and other pathways that have proven to be influential in supporting or suppressing the leukemogenic activity of MLL-FPs. The use of animal models has been complemented with patient sample, genome-wide analyses to delineate the important genomic and epigenomic changes that occur in distinct subsets of MLL-r leukemia. Collectively, these studies have resulted in rapid progress toward developing new strategies for targeting MLL-r leukemia and general cell-biological principles that may broadly inform targeting aberrant epigenetic regulators in other cancers. PMID:25264566

  9. Copy number rather than epigenetic alterations are the major dictator of imprinted methylation in tumors.

    PubMed

    Martin-Trujillo, Alex; Vidal, Enrique; Monteagudo-Sa Nchez, Ana; Sanchez-Delgado, Marta; Moran, Sebastian; Hernandez Mora, Jose Ramon; Heyn, Holger; Guitart, Miriam; Esteller, Manel; Monk, David

    2017-09-07

    It has been postulated that imprinting aberrations are common in tumors. To understand the role of imprinting in cancer, we have characterized copy-number and methylation in over 280 cancer cell lines and confirm our observations in primary tumors. Imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMRs) regulate parent-of-origin monoallelic expression of neighboring transcripts in cis. Unlike single-copy CpG islands that may be prone to hypermethylation, imprinted DMRs can either loose or gain methylation during tumorigenesis. Here, we show that methylation profiles at imprinted DMRs often not represent genuine epigenetic changes but simply the accumulation of underlying copy-number aberrations (CNAs), which is independent of the genome methylation state inferred from cancer susceptible loci. Our results reveal that CNAs also influence allelic expression as loci with copy-number neutral loss-of-heterozygosity or amplifications may be expressed from the appropriate parental chromosomes, which is indicative of maintained imprinting, although not observed as a single expression foci by RNA FISH.Altered genomic imprinting is frequently reported in cancer. Here, the authors analyze copy number and methylation in cancer cell lines and primary tumors to show that imprinted methylation profiles represent the accumulation of copy number alteration, rather than epigenetic alterations.

  10. Epigenetics and Developmental Plasticity Across Species

    PubMed Central

    Champagne, Frances A.

    2012-01-01

    Plasticity is a typical feature of development and can lead to divergent phenotypes. There is increasing evidence that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, are present across species, are modifiable by the environment, and are involved in developmental plasticity. Thus, in the context of the concept of developmental homology, epigenetic mechanisms may serve to create a process homology between species by providing a common molecular pathway through which environmental experiences shape development, ultimately leading to phenotypic diversity. This article will highlight evidence derived from across-species investigations of epigenetics, development, and plasticity which may contribute to our understanding of the homology that exists between species and between ancestors and descendants. PMID:22711291

  11. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Epigenetic-induced alterations in sex-ratios in response to climate change: An epigenetic trap?

    PubMed

    Consuegra, Sofia; Rodríguez López, Carlos M

    2016-10-01

    We hypothesize that under the predicted scenario of climate change epigenetically mediated environmental sex determination could become an epigenetic trap. Epigenetically regulated environmental sex determination is a mechanism by which species can modulate their breeding strategies to accommodate environmental change. Growing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms may play a key role in phenotypic plasticity and in the rapid adaptation of species to environmental change, through the capacity of organisms to maintain a non-genetic plastic memory of the environmental and ecological conditions experienced by their parents. However, inherited epigenetic variation could also be maladaptive, becoming an epigenetic trap. This is because environmental sex determination can alter sex ratios by increasing the survival of one of the sexes at the expense of negative fitness consequences for the other, which could lead not only to the collapse of natural populations, but also have an impact in farmed animal and plant species. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Epigenetic Effect of Environmental Factors on Neurodevelopmenal Disorders.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Takeo

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics is an important mechanism of gene regulation that is dependent on the chromatin structure, which is determined by the epigenetic chemical modification of DNA and histone proteins. It is known that the failure of epigenetic mechanisms causes congenital neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs), and that early life exposure to mental stress and endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as phthalates, bisphenol A, and tobacco, can change epigenetic mechanism and gene expression in the brain and cause NDs. Moreover, environmentally induced epigenetic changes are not erased during gametogenesis and are transmitted to subsequent generations, leading to changes in behavior phenotypes. However, epigenetics has a reversible nature because it is based on the addition or removal of chemical residues, and thus the original epigenetic status may be restored. Indeed, several drugs used for mental disorders and NDs restore the epigenetic state and gene expression. Improved epigenetic understanding of NDs will provide important clues for the development of new drugs that take advantage of epigenetic reversibility.

  14. Aberrantly methylated DNA as a biomarker in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Kristiansen, Søren; Jørgensen, Lars M; Guldberg, Per; Sölétormos, György

    2013-01-01

    Aberrant DNA hypermethylation at gene promoters is a frequent event in human breast cancer. Recent genome-wide studies have identified hundreds of genes that exhibit differential methylation between breast cancer cells and normal breast tissue. Due to the tumor-specific nature of DNA hypermethylation events, their use as tumor biomarkers is usually not hampered by analytical signals from normal cells, which is a general problem for existing protein tumor markers used for clinical assessment of breast cancer. There is accumulating evidence that DNA-methylation changes in breast cancer patients occur early during tumorigenesis. This may open up for effective screening, and analysis of blood or nipple aspirate may later help in diagnosing breast cancer. As a more detailed molecular characterization of different types of breast cancer becomes available, the ability to divide patients into subgroups based on DNA biomarkers may improve prognosis. Serial monitoring of DNA-methylation markers in blood during treatment may be useful, particularly when the cancer burden is below the detection level for standard imaging techniques. Overall, aberrant DNA methylation has a great potential as a versatile biomarker tool for screening, diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of breast cancer. Standardization of methods and biomarker panels will be required to fully exploit this clinical potential.

  15. Material Cues as Potent Regulators of Epigenetics and Stem Cell Function.

    PubMed

    Crowder, Spencer W; Leonardo, Vincent; Whittaker, Thomas; Papathanasiou, Peter; Stevens, Molly M

    2016-01-07

    Biophysical signals act as potent regulators of stem cell function, lineage commitment, and epigenetic status. In recent years, synthetic biomaterials have been used to study a wide range of outside-in signaling events, and it is now well appreciated that material cues modulate the epigenome. Here, we review the role of extracellular signals in guiding stem cell behavior via epigenetic regulation, and we stress the role of physicochemical material properties as an often-overlooked modulator of intracellular signaling. We also highlight promising new research tools for ongoing interrogation of the stem cell-material interface. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Aberrant gene promoter methylation associated with sporadic multiple colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Gonzalo, Victoria; Lozano, Juan José; Muñoz, Jenifer; Balaguer, Francesc; Pellisé, Maria; Rodríguez de Miguel, Cristina; Andreu, Montserrat; Jover, Rodrigo; Llor, Xavier; Giráldez, M Dolores; Ocaña, Teresa; Serradesanferm, Anna; Alonso-Espinaco, Virginia; Jimeno, Mireya; Cuatrecasas, Miriam; Sendino, Oriol; Castellví-Bel, Sergi; Castells, Antoni

    2010-01-19

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) multiplicity has been mainly related to polyposis and non-polyposis hereditary syndromes. In sporadic CRC, aberrant gene promoter methylation has been shown to play a key role in carcinogenesis, although little is known about its involvement in multiplicity. To assess the effect of methylation in tumor multiplicity in sporadic CRC, hypermethylation of key tumor suppressor genes was evaluated in patients with both multiple and solitary tumors, as a proof-of-concept of an underlying epigenetic defect. We examined a total of 47 synchronous/metachronous primary CRC from 41 patients, and 41 gender, age (5-year intervals) and tumor location-paired patients with solitary tumors. Exclusion criteria were polyposis syndromes, Lynch syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. DNA methylation at the promoter region of the MGMT, CDKN2A, SFRP1, TMEFF2, HS3ST2 (3OST2), RASSF1A and GATA4 genes was evaluated by quantitative methylation specific PCR in both tumor and corresponding normal appearing colorectal mucosa samples. Overall, patients with multiple lesions exhibited a higher degree of methylation in tumor samples than those with solitary tumors regarding all evaluated genes. After adjusting for age and gender, binomial logistic regression analysis identified methylation of MGMT2 (OR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.97; p = 0.008) and RASSF1A (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.01 to 4.13; p = 0.047) as variables independently associated with tumor multiplicity, being the risk related to methylation of any of these two genes 4.57 (95% CI, 1.53 to 13.61; p = 0.006). Moreover, in six patients in whom both tumors were available, we found a correlation in the methylation levels of MGMT2 (r = 0.64, p = 0.17), SFRP1 (r = 0.83, 0.06), HPP1 (r = 0.64, p = 0.17), 3OST2 (r = 0.83, p = 0.06) and GATA4 (r = 0.6, p = 0.24). Methylation in normal appearing colorectal mucosa from patients with multiple and solitary CRC showed no relevant difference in any evaluated gene. These results provide

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease hallmarks in 5XFAD mice.

    PubMed

    Griñán-Ferré, Christian; Sarroca, Sara; Ivanova, Aleksandra; Puigoriol-Illamola, Dolors; Aguado, Fernando; Camins, Antoni; Sanfeliu, Coral; Pallàs, Mercè

    2016-04-01

    5XFAD is an early-onset mouse transgenic model of Alzheimer disease (AD). Up to now there are no studies that focus on the epigenetic changes produced as a result of Aβ-42 accumulation and the possible involvement in the different expression of related AD-genes. Under several behavioral and cognition test, we found impairment in memory and psychoemotional changes in female 5XFAD mice in reference to wild type that worsens with age. Cognitive changes correlated with alterations on protein level analysis and gene expression of markers related with tau aberrant phosphorylation, amyloidogenic pathway (APP, BACE1), Oxidative Stress (iNOS, Aldh2) and inflammation (astrogliosis, TNF-α and IL-6); no changes were found in non-amyloidogenic pathway indicators such as ADAM10. Epigenetics changes as higher CpG methylation and transcriptional changes in DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) family were found. Dnmt1 increases in younger 5XFAD and Dnmt3a and b high levels in the oldest transgenic mice. Similar pattern was found with histone methyltransferases such as Jarid1a andG9a. Histone deacetylase 2 (Hdac2) or Sirt6, both related with cognition and memory, presented a similar pattern. Taken together, these hallmarks presented by the 5XFAD model prompted its use in assessing different potential therapeutic interventions based on epigenetic targets after earlier amyloid deposition.

  18. The Role of Sulforaphane in Epigenetic Mechanisms, Including Interdependence between Histone Modification and DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman-Szymczyk, Agnieszka; Majewski, Grzegorz; Lubecka-Pietruszewska, Katarzyna; Fabianowska-Majewska, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    Carcinogenesis as well as cancer progression result from genetic and epigenetic changes of the genome that leads to dysregulation of transcriptional activity of genes. Epigenetic mechanisms in cancer cells comprise (i) post-translation histone modification (i.e., deacetylation and methylation); (ii) DNA global hypomethylation; (iii) promoter hypermethylation of tumour suppressor genes and genes important for cell cycle regulation, cell differentiation and apoptosis; and (iv) posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by noncoding microRNA. These epigenetic aberrations can be readily reversible and responsive to both synthetic agents and natural components of diet. A source of one of such diet components are cruciferous vegetables, which contain high levels of a number of glucosinolates and deliver, after enzymatic hydrolysis, sulforaphane and other bioactive isothiocyanates, that are involved in effective up-regulation of transcriptional activity of certain genes and also in restoration of active chromatin structure. Thus a consumption of cruciferous vegetables, treated as a source of isothiocyanates, seems to be potentially useful as an effective cancer preventive factor or as a source of nutrients improving efficacy of standard chemotherapies. In this review an attempt is made to elucidate the role of sulforaphane in regulation of gene promoter activity through a direct down-regulation of histone deacetylase activity and alteration of gene promoter methylation in indirect ways, but the sulforaphane influence on non-coding micro-RNA will not be a subject of this review. PMID:26703571

  19. Integrative Genome-Scale Analysis Identifies Epigenetic Mechanisms of Transcriptional Deregulation in Unfavorable Neuroblastomas.

    PubMed

    Henrich, Kai-Oliver; Bender, Sebastian; Saadati, Maral; Dreidax, Daniel; Gartlgruber, Moritz; Shao, Chunxuan; Herrmann, Carl; Wiesenfarth, Manuel; Parzonka, Martha; Wehrmann, Lea; Fischer, Matthias; Duffy, David J; Bell, Emma; Torkov, Alica; Schmezer, Peter; Plass, Christoph; Höfer, Thomas; Benner, Axel; Pfister, Stefan M; Westermann, Frank

    2016-09-15

    The broad clinical spectrum of neuroblastoma ranges from spontaneous regression to rapid progression despite intensive multimodal therapy. This diversity is not fully explained by known genetic aberrations, suggesting the possibility of epigenetic involvement in pathogenesis. In pursuit of this hypothesis, we took an integrative approach to analyze the methylomes, transcriptomes, and copy number variations in 105 cases of neuroblastoma, complemented by primary tumor- and cell line-derived global histone modification analyses and epigenetic drug treatment in vitro We found that DNA methylation patterns identify divergent patient subgroups with respect to survival and clinicobiologic variables, including amplified MYCN Transcriptome integration and histone modification-based definition of enhancer elements revealed intragenic enhancer methylation as a mechanism for high-risk-associated transcriptional deregulation. Furthermore, in high-risk neuroblastomas, we obtained evidence for cooperation between PRC2 activity and DNA methylation in blocking tumor-suppressive differentiation programs. Notably, these programs could be re-activated by combination treatments, which targeted both PRC2 and DNA methylation. Overall, our results illuminate how epigenetic deregulation contributes to neuroblastoma pathogenesis, with novel implications for its diagnosis and therapy. Cancer Res; 76(18); 5523-37. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  20. Linear phase conjugation for atmospheric aberration compensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasso, Robert J.; Stappaerts, Eddy A.

    1998-01-01

    Atmospheric induced aberrations can seriously degrade laser performance, greatly affecting the beam that finally reaches the target. Lasers propagated over any distance in the atmosphere suffer from a significant decrease in fluence at the target due to these aberrations. This is especially so for propagation over long distances. It is due primarily to fluctuations in the atmosphere over the propagation path, and from platform motion relative to the intended aimpoint. Also, delivery of high fluence to the target typically requires low beam divergence, thus, atmospheric turbulence, platform motion, or both results in a lack of fine aimpoint control to keep the beam directed at the target. To improve both the beam quality and amount of laser energy delivered to the target, Northrop Grumman has developed the Active Tracking System (ATS); a novel linear phase conjugation aberration compensation technique. Utilizing a silicon spatial light modulator (SLM) as a dynamic wavefront reversing element, ATS undoes aberrations induced by the atmosphere, platform motion or both. ATS continually tracks the target as well as compensates for atmospheric and platform motion induced aberrations. This results in a high fidelity, near-diffraction limited beam delivered to the target.

  1. Epigenetic dysregulation of key developmental genes in radiation-induced rat mammary carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Daino, Kazuhiro; Nishimura, Mayumi; Imaoka, Tatsuhiko; Takabatake, Masaru; Morioka, Takamitsu; Nishimura, Yukiko; Shimada, Yoshiya; Kakinuma, Shizuko

    2018-02-13

    With the increase in the number of long-term cancer survivors worldwide, there is a growing concern about the risk of secondary cancers induced by radiotherapy. Epigenetic modifications of genes associated with carcinogenesis are attractive targets for the prevention of cancer owing to their reversible nature. To identify genes with possible changes in functionally relevant DNA methylation patterns in mammary carcinomas induced by radiation exposure, we performed microarray-based global DNA methylation and expression profiling in γ-ray-induced rat mammary carcinomas and normal mammary glands. The gene expression profiling identified dysregulation of developmentally related genes, including the downstream targets of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and overexpression of enhancer of zeste homolog 2, a component of PRC2, in the carcinomas. By integrating expression and DNA methylation profiles, we identified ten hypermethylated and three hypomethylated genes that possibly act as tumor-suppressor genes and oncogenes dysregulated by aberrant DNA methylation; half of these genes encode developmental transcription factors. Bisulfite sequencing and quantitative PCR confirmed the dysregulation of the polycomb-regulated developmentally related transcription-factor genes Dmrt2, Hoxa7, Foxb1, Sox17, Lhx8, Gata3 and Runx1. Silencing of Hoxa7 was further verified by immunohistochemistry. These results suggest that, in radiation-induced mammary gland carcinomas, PRC2-mediated aberrant DNA methylation leads to dysregulation of developmentally related transcription-factor genes. Our findings provide clues to molecular mechanisms linking epigenetic regulation and radiation-induced breast carcinogenesis and underscore the potential of such epigenetic mechanisms as targets for cancer prevention. © 2018 UICC.

  2. Deoxynivalenol exposure induces autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modification changes during porcine oocyte maturation

    SciTech Connect

    Han, Jun; Wang, Qiao-Chu; Zhu, Cheng-Cheng

    Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a widespread trichothecene mycotoxin which contaminates agricultural staples and elicits a complex spectrum of toxic effects on humans and animals. It has been shown that DON impairs oocyte maturation, reproductive function and causes abnormal fetal development in mammals; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigate the possible reasons of the toxic effects of DON on porcine oocytes. Our results showed that DON significantly inhibited porcine oocyte maturation and disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK protein level, which caused retardation of cell cycle progression. In addition, up-regulated LC3 protein expression and aberrant Lamp2, LC3more » and mTOR mRNA levels were observed with DON exposure, together with Annexin V-FITC staining assay analysis, these results indicated that DON treatment induced autophagy/apoptosis in porcine oocytes. We also showed that DON exposure increased DNA methylation level in porcine oocytes through altering DNMT3A mRNA levels. Histone methylation levels were also changed showing with increased H3K27me3 and H3K4me2 protein levels, and mRNA levels of their relative methyltransferase genes, indicating that epigenetic modifications were affected. Taken together, our results suggested that DON exposure reduced porcine oocytes maturation capability through affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, cell cycle, autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modifications. - Highlights: • DON exposure disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK expression. • DON exposure caused retardation of cell cycle progression in porcine oocytes. • DON triggered autophagy and early-apoptosis in porcine oocytes. • DON exposure led to aberrant epigenetic modifications in porcine oocytes.« less

  3. Comparison and evaluation of gene therapy and epigenetic approaches for wound healing.

    PubMed

    Cutroneo, K R; Chiu, J F

    2000-01-01

    During the past decade considerable evidence has mounted concerning the importance of growth factors in the wound healing process both for cell replication and for stimulating reparative cells to synthesize and secrete extracellular matrix components. During normal wound healing the growth factor concentration has to be maintained at a certain level. If the growth factor concentration is too low, normal healing fails to occur. Whereas if the growth factor concentration is too high due to either over-expression of the growth factor or too much growth factor being applied to the wound, aberrant wound healing will occur. One approach for controlling the amount of growth factor at the wound site during normal healing is through gene therapy and the titration of gene dosage. However if a narrow window exists between the beneficial therapeutic effect and toxic effects with increasing gene dosage, an agent may be necessary to give in combination with gene therapy to regulate the over-expression of growth factor. In addition to genetic approaches to regulate wound healing, epigenetic approaches also exist. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotides have been shown to regulate wound repair in certain model systems and to determine the protein(s) necessary for normal wound healing. A novel approach to regulate the activity of collagen genes, thereby affecting fibrosis, is to use a sense oligodeoxynucleotide having the same sequence of the cis element which regulates the promoter activity of a particular collagen gene. This exogenous oligodeoxynucleotide will compete with the cis element in the collagen gene for the trans-acting factor which regulates promoter activity. These epigenetic approaches afford the opportunity to regulate over-expression of growth factor and therefore preclude the potential toxic effects of gene therapy. Both genetic and epigenetic approaches for regulating the wound healing process, either normal or aberrant wound healing, have certain advantages and

  4. Developmental origins of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Mark A.; Skinner, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Environmental factors can induce epigenetic alterations in the germ cells that can potentially be transmitted transgenerationally. This non-genetic form of inheritance is termed epigenetic transgenerational inheritance and has been shown in a variety of species including plants, flies, worms, fish, rodents, pigs, and humans. This phenomenon operates during specific critical windows of exposure, linked to the developmental biology of the germ cells (sperm and eggs). Therefore, concepts of the developmental origins of transgenerational inheritance of phenotypic variation and subsequent disease risk need to include epigenetic processes affecting the developmental biology of the germ cell. These developmental impacts on epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, in contrast to multigenerational exposures, are the focus of this Perspective. PMID:27390622

  5. Environmental epigenetics: a role in endocrine disease?

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  6. Mitochondria link metabolism and epigenetics in haematopoiesis.

    PubMed

    Schell, John C; Rutter, Jared

    2017-05-31

    Due to their varied metabolic and signalling roles, mitochondria are important in mediating cell behaviour. By altering mitochondrial function, two studies now identify metabolite-induced epigenetic changes that have profound effects on haematopoietic stem cell fate and function.

  7. The evolutionary implications of epigenetic inheritance.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. [Genetic and epigenetic news in gerontology].

    PubMed

    Baranov, V S; Glotov, O S; Baranova, E V

    2014-01-01

    The overview represents the recent most conspicuous findings in aging studies. It includes new data on the whole genome association studies (GWAS) in big cohort of centenaries, recently found mutation protecting from Alzheimer disease, discovery of hypothalamus as a command center of human aging, very important data on the negative effect of common antioxidants in the treatment of lung cancer as well as new data concerning antiaging and anticancer effects of common drugs such as rapamycine and metformin. Substantial part of the review is devoted to the epigenetic problems of senescence and feasible impact of basic epigenetic mechanisms (methylation of DNA and histone proteins, DNA heterochromatization) in regulation of gene expression, long-term genome reprogramming during early childhood, and transgeneration transmission of epigenetic traits. The necessity of transition from molecular studies of dormant human genome (anatomy of human genome) to genome in action (dynamic genome) and thus with special emphasis to epigenetic medicine is stressed.

  9. Epigenetics: relevance and implications for public health.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Dubbing SAGA unveils new epigenetic crosstalk.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Epigenetic changes detected in micropropagated hop plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Environmental stress and epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Michael K

    2014-09-05

    Previous studies have shown a wide variety of environmental toxicants and abnormal nutrition can promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. More recently a number of studies have indicated environmental stress can also promote epigenetic alterations that are transmitted to subsequent generations to induce pathologies. A recent study by Yao and colleagues demonstrated gestational exposure to restraint stress and forced swimming promoted preterm birth risk and adverse newborn outcomes generationally. This ancestral stress promoted the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of abnormalities in the great-grand offspring of the exposed gestating female. Several studies now support the role of environmental stress in promoting the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Observations suggest ancestral environmental stress may be a component of disease etiology in the current population.

  13. The epigenetic basis for centromere identity.

    PubMed

    Panchenko, Tanya; Black, Ben E

    2009-01-01

    The centromere serves as the control locus for chromosome segregation at mitosis and meiosis. In most eukaryotes, including mammals, the location of the centromere is epigenetically defined. The contribution of both genetic and epigenetic determinants to centromere function is the subject of current investigation in diverse eukaryotes. Here we highlight key findings from several organisms that have shaped the current view of centromeres, with special attention to experiments that have elucidated the epigenetic nature of their specification. Recent insights into the histone H3 variant, CENP-A, which assembles into centromeric nucleosomes that serve as the epigenetic mark to perpetuate centromere identity, have added important mechanistic understanding of how centromere identity is initially established and subsequently maintained in every cell cycle.

  14. Epigenetic Regulation in Prostate Cancer Progression.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Epigenetics Research on the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  16. Epigenetic memory in response to environmental stressors.

    PubMed

    Vineis, Paolo; Chatziioannou, Aristotelis; Cunliffe, Vincent T; Flanagan, James M; Hanson, Mark; Kirsch-Volders, Micheline; Kyrtopoulos, Soterios

    2017-06-01

    Exposure to environmental stressors, toxicants, and nutrient deficiencies can affect DNA in several ways. Some exposures cause damage and alter the structure of DNA, but there is increasing evidence that the same or other environmental exposures, including those that occur during fetal development in utero , can cause epigenetic effects that modulate DNA function and gene expression. Some epigenetic changes to DNA that affect gene transcription are at least partially reversible ( i.e., they can be enzymatically reversed after cessation of exposure to environmental agents), but some epigenetic modifications seem to persist, even for decades. To explain the effects of early life experiences (such as famine and exposures to other stressors) on the long-term persistence of specific patterns of epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, we propose an analogy with immune memory. We propose that an epigenetic memory can be established and maintained in self-renewing stem cell compartments. We suggest that the observations on early life effects on adult diseases and the persistence of methylation changes in smokers support our hypothesis, for which a mechanistic basis, however, needs to be further clarified. We outline a new model based on methylation changes. Although these changes seem to be mainly adaptive, they are also implicated in the pathogenesis and onset of diseases, depending on individual genotypic background and types of subsequent exposures. Elucidating the relationships between the adaptive and maladaptive consequences of the epigenetic modifications that result from complex environmental exposures is a major challenge for current and future research in epigenetics.-Vineis, P., Chatziioannou, A., Cunliffe, V. T., Flanagan, J. M., Hanson, M., Kirsch-Volders, M., Kyrtopoulos, S. Epigenetic memory in response to environmental stressors. © FASEB.

  17. Epigenetics and child health: basic principles.

    PubMed

    Groom, A; Elliott, H R; Embleton, N D; Relton, C L

    2011-09-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are believed to play an important role in disease, development and ageing with early life representing a window of particular epigenomic plasticity. The knowledge upon which these claims are based is beginning to expand. This review summarises evidence pointing to the determinants of epigenetic patterns, their juxtaposition at the interface of the environment, their influence on gene function and the relevance of this information to child health.

  18. Epigenetics studies of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: where are we now?

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, Alexandre A; Weinberg, Joanne; Kobor, Michael S

    2017-01-01

    Adverse in utero events can alter the development and function of numerous physiological systems, giving rise to lasting neurodevelopmental deficits. In particular, data have shown that prenatal alcohol exposure can reprogram neurobiological systems, altering developmental trajectories and resulting in increased vulnerability to adverse neurobiological, behavioral and health outcomes. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are potential mediators for the reprogramming of neurobiological systems, as they may provide a link between the genome, environmental conditions and neurodevelopmental outcomes. This review outlines the current state of epigenetic research in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, highlighting the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the reprogramming of neurobiological systems by alcohol and as potential diagnostic tools for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. We also present an assessment of the current limitations in studies of prenatal alcohol exposure, and highlight the future steps needed in the field. PMID:28234026

  19. Epigenetics studies of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: where are we now?

    PubMed

    Lussier, Alexandre A; Weinberg, Joanne; Kobor, Michael S

    2017-03-01

    Adverse in utero events can alter the development and function of numerous physiological systems, giving rise to lasting neurodevelopmental deficits. In particular, data have shown that prenatal alcohol exposure can reprogram neurobiological systems, altering developmental trajectories and resulting in increased vulnerability to adverse neurobiological, behavioral and health outcomes. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are potential mediators for the reprogramming of neurobiological systems, as they may provide a link between the genome, environmental conditions and neurodevelopmental outcomes. This review outlines the current state of epigenetic research in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, highlighting the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the reprogramming of neurobiological systems by alcohol and as potential diagnostic tools for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. We also present an assessment of the current limitations in studies of prenatal alcohol exposure, and highlight the future steps needed in the field.

  20. Adolescent Alcohol Exposure: Burden of Epigenetic Reprogramming, Synaptic Remodeling, and Adult Psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Kyzar, Evan J.; Floreani, Christina; Teppen, Tara L.; Pandey, Subhash C.

    2016-01-01

    Adolescence represents a crucial phase of synaptic maturation characterized by molecular changes in the developing brain that shape normal behavioral patterns. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in these neuromaturation processes. Perturbations of normal epigenetic programming during adolescence by ethanol can disrupt these molecular events, leading to synaptic remodeling and abnormal adult behaviors. Repeated exposure to binge levels of alcohol increases the risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and comorbid psychopathology including anxiety in adulthood. Recent studies in the field clearly suggest that adolescent alcohol exposure causes widespread and persistent changes in epigenetic, neurotrophic, and neuroimmune pathways in the brain. These changes are manifested by altered synaptic remodeling and neurogenesis in key brain regions leading to adult psychopathology such as anxiety and alcoholism. This review details the molecular mechanisms underlying adolescent alcohol exposure-induced changes in synaptic plasticity and the development of alcohol addiction-related phenotypes in adulthood. PMID:27303256

  1. Genetic and epigenetic stability of cryopreserved and cold-stored hops (Humulus lupulus L.).

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    Conventional cold storage and cryopreservation methods for hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are available but, to our knowledge, the genetic and epigenetic stability of the recovered plants have not been tested. This study analyzed 51 accessions of hop using the molecular techniques, Random Amplified DNA Polymorphism (RAPD) and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), revealing no genetic variation among greenhouse-grown controls and cold stored or cryopreserved plants. Epigenetic stability was evaluated using Methylation Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP). Over 36% of the loci were polymorphic when the cold and cryo-treated plants were compared to greenhouse plants. The main changes were demethylation events and they were common to the cryopreserved and cold stored plants indicating the possible effect of the in vitro establishment process, an essential step in both protocols. Protocol-specific methylation patterns were also detected indicating that both methods produced epigenetic changes in plants following cold storage and cryopreservation.

  2. Epigenetic Regulation by Sulforaphane: Opportunities for Breast and Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention.

    PubMed

    Atwell, Lauren L; Beaver, Laura M; Shannon, Jackilen; Williams, David E; Dashwood, Roderick H; Ho, Emily

    2015-04-01

    Sulforaphane (SFN) is a phytochemical derived from cruciferous vegetables that has multiple molecular targets and anti-cancer properties. Researchers have demonstrated several chemopreventive benefits of SFN consumption, such as reductions in tumor growth, increases in cancer cell apoptosis, and disruption of signaling within tumor microenvironments both in vitro and in vivo . Emerging evidence indicates that SFN exerts several of its chemopreventive effects by altering epigenetic mechanisms. This review summarizes evidence of the impact of SFN on epigenetic events and how they relate to the chemopreventive effects of SFN observed in preclinical and clinical studies of breast and prostate cancers. Specific areas of focus include the role of SFN in the regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, inflammation, antioxidant defense, and cancer cell signaling and their relationships to epigenetic mechanisms. Finally, remaining challenges and research needs for translating mechanistic work with SFN into human studies and clinical intervention trials are discussed.

  3. Epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic stem cell aging

    SciTech Connect

    Beerman, Isabel, E-mail: isabel.beerman@childrens.harvard.edu; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115; Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, MA 02116

    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 playmore » 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.« less

  4. Inflammation and epigenetic regulation in osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Jie; Abu-Amer, Yousef; O'Keefe, Regis J.; McAlinden, Audrey

    2017-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) was once defined as a non-inflammatory arthropathy, but it is now well-recognized that there is a major inflammatory component to this disease. In addition to synovial cells, articular chondrocytes and other cells of diarthrodial joints are also known to express inflammatory mediators. It has been proposed that targeting inflammation pathways could be a promising strategy to treat OA. There have been many reports of cross-talk between inflammation and epigenetic factors in cartilage. Specifically, inflammatory mediators have been shown to regulate levels of enzymes that catalyze changes in DNA methylation and histone structure, as well as alter levels of non-coding RNAs. In addition, expression levels of a number of these epigenetic factors have been shown to be altered in OA, thereby suggesting potential interplay between inflammation and epigenetics in this disease. This review provides information on inflammatory pathways in arthritis and summarizes published research on how epigenetic regulators are affected by inflammation in chondrocytes. Furthermore, we discuss data showing how altered expression of some of these epigenetic factors can induce either catabolic or anti-catabolic effects in response to inflammatory signals. A better understanding of how inflammation affects epigenetic factors in OA may provide us with novel therapeutic strategies to treat this condition. PMID:27389927

  5. Epigenetics of sex determination and gonadogenesis.

    PubMed

    Piferrer, Francesc

    2013-04-01

    Epigenetics is commonly defined as the study of heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence. The three major epigenetic mechanisms for gene expression regulation include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs. Epigenetic mechanisms provide organisms with the ability to integrate genomic and environmental information to modify the activity of their genes for generating a particular phenotype. During development, cells differentiate, acquire, and maintain identity through changes in gene expression. This is crucial for sex determination and differentiation, which are among the most important developmental processes for the proper functioning and perpetuation of species. This review summarizes studies showing how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms contribute to sex determination and reproductive organ formation in plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. Further progress will be made by integrating several approaches, including genomics and Next Generation Sequencing to create epigenetic maps related to different aspects of sex determination and gonadogenesis. Epigenetics will also contribute to understand the etiology of several disorders of sexual development. It also might play a significant role in the control of reproduction in animal farm production and will aid in recognizing the environmental versus genetic influences on sex determination of sensitive species in a global change scenario. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Conference scene: Select Biosciences Epigenetics Europe 2010.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Child Health, Developmental Plasticity, and Epigenetic Programming

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Recurrent branchial sinus tract with aberrant extension.

    PubMed

    Barret, J P

    2004-01-01

    Second branchial cysts are the commonest lesions among congenital lateral neck anomalies. Good knowledge of anatomy and embryology are necessary for proper treatment. Surgical treatment involves resection of all branchial remnants, which extend laterally in the neck, medial to the sternocleidomastoid muscle with cranial extension to the pharynx and ipsilateral tonsillar fosa. However, infections and previous surgery can distort anatomy, making the approach to branchial anomalies more difficult. We present a case of a 17-year-old patient who presented with a second branchial tract anomaly with an aberrant extension to the midline and part of the contralateral neck. Previous surgical interventions and chronic infections may have been the primary cause for this aberrant tract. All head and neck surgeons should bear in mind that aberrant presentations may exist when reoperating on chronic branchial cysts fistulas.

  9. Epigenetics: A novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Adwan, Lina; Zawia, Nasser H.

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia in the elderly. It is characterized by the deposition of two forms of aggregates within the brain, the amyloid β plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. Currently, no disease-modifying agent is approved for the treatment of AD. Approved pharmacotherapies target the peripheral symptoms but they do not prevent or slow down the progression of the disease. Although several disease-modifying immunotherapeutic agents are in clinical development, many have failed due to lack of efficacy or serious adverse events. Epigenetic changes including DNA methylation and histone modifications are involved in learning and memory and have been recently highlighted for holding promise as potential targets for AD therapeutics. Dynamic and latent epigenetic alterations are incorporated in AD pathological pathways and present valuable reversible targets for AD and other neurological disorders. The approval of epigenetic drugs for cancer treatment has opened the door for the development of epigenetic drugs for other disorders including neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, methyl donors and histone deacetylase inhibitors are being investigated for possible therapeutic effects to rescue memory and cognitive decline found in such disorders. This review explores the area of epigenetics for potential AD interventions and presents the most recent findings in this field. PMID:23562602

  10. Genetic and epigenetic variation in Spartina alterniflora following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Marta; Schrey, Aaron; Shayter, Ashley; Moss, Christina J; Richards, Christina

    2017-09-01

    Catastrophic events offer unique opportunities to study rapid population response to stress in natural settings. In concert with genetic variation, epigenetic mechanisms may allow populations to persist through severe environmental challenges. In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill devastated large portions of the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. However, the foundational salt marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora , showed high resilience to this strong environmental disturbance. Following the spill, we simultaneously examined the genetic and epigenetic structure of recovering populations of S. alterniflora to oil exposure. We quantified genetic and DNA methylation variation using amplified fragment length polymorphism and methylation sensitive fragment length polymorphism (MS-AFLP) to test the hypothesis that response to oil exposure in S. alterniflora resulted in genetically and epigenetically based population differentiation. We found high genetic and epigenetic variation within and among sites and found significant genetic differentiation between contaminated and uncontaminated sites, which may reflect nonrandom mortality in response to oil exposure. Additionally, despite a lack of genomewide patterns in DNA methylation between contaminated and uncontaminated sites, we found five MS-AFLP loci (12% of polymorphic MS-AFLP loci) that were correlated with oil exposure. Overall, our findings support genetically based differentiation correlated with exposure to the oil spill in this system, but also suggest a potential role for epigenetic mechanisms in population differentiation.

  11. Aberration correction for charged particle lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munro, Eric; Zhu, Xieqing; Rouse, John A.; Liu, Haoning

    2001-12-01

    At present, the throughput of projection-type charge particle lithography systems, such as PREVAIL and SCALPEL, is limited primarily by the combined effects of field curvature in the projection lenses and Coulomb interaction in the particle beam. These are fundamental physical limitations, inherent in charged particle optics, so there seems little scope for significantly improving the design of such systems, using conventional rotationally symmetric electron lenses. This paper explores the possibility of overcoming the field aberrations of round electron lense, by using a novel aberration corrector, proposed by Professor H. Rose of University of Darmstadt, called a hexapole planator. In this scheme, a set of round lenses is first used to simultaneously correct distortion and coma. The hexapole planator is then used to correct the field curvature and astigmatism, and to create a negative spherical aberration. The size of the transfer lenses around the planator can then be adjusted to zero the residual spherical aberration. In a way, an electron optical projection system is obtained that is free of all primary geometrical aberrations. In this paper, the feasibility of this concept has been studied with a computer simulation. The simulations verify that this scheme can indeed work, for both electrostatic and magnetic projection systems. Two design studies have been carried out. The first is for an electrostatic system that could be used for ion beam lithography, and the second is for a magnetic projection system for electron beam lithography. In both cases, designs have been achieved in which all primary third-order geometrical aberrations are totally eliminated.

  12. Spherical aberrations of human astigmatic corneas.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huawei; Dai, Guang-Ming; Chen, Li; Weeber, Henk A; Piers, Patricia A

    2011-11-01

    To evaluate whether the average spherical aberration of human astigmatic corneas is statistically equivalent to human nonastigmatic corneas. Spherical aberrations of 445 astigmatic corneas prior to laser vision correction were retrospectively investigated to determine Zernike coefficients for central corneal areas 6 mm in diameter using CTView (Sarver and Associates). Data were divided into groups according to cylinder power (0.01 to 0.25 diopters [D], 0.26 to 0.75 D, 0.76 to 1.06 D, 1.07 to 1.53 D, 1.54 to 2.00 D, and >2.00 D) and according to age by decade. Spherical aberrations were correlated with age and astigmatic power among groups and the entire population. Statistical analyses were conducted, and P<.05 was considered statistically significant. Mean patient age was 42.6±11 years. Astigmatic corneas had an average astigmatic power of 0.78±0.58 D and mean spherical aberration was 0.25±0.13 μm for the entire population and approximately the same (0.27 μm) for individual groups, ranging from 0.23 to 0.29 μm (P>.05 for all tested groups). Mean spherical aberration of astigmatic corneas was not correlated significantly with cylinder power or age (P>.05). Spherical aberrations are similar to those of nonastigmatic corneas, permitting the use of these additional data in the design of aspheric toric intra-ocular lenses. Copyright 2011, SLACK Incorporated.

  13. Pathway modulations and epigenetic alterations in ovarian tumorbiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Saldanha, Sabita N.; Tollefsbol, Trygve O.

    2013-01-01

    Cellular pathways are numerous and are highly integrated in function in the control of cellular systems. They collectively regulate cell division, proliferation, survival and apoptosis of cells and mutagenesis of key genes that control these pathways can initiate neoplastic transformations. Understanding these pathways is crucial to future therapeutic and preventive strategies of the disease. Ovarian cancers are of three major types; epithelial, germ-cell and stromal. However, ovarian cancers of epithelial origin, arising from the mesothelium, are the predominant form. Of the subtypes of ovarian cancer, the high-grade serous tumors are fatal, with low survival rate due to late detection and poor response to treatments. Close examination of preserved ovarian tissues and in vitro studies have provided insights into the mechanistic changes occurring in cells mediated by a few key genes. This review will focus on pathways and key genes of the pathways that are mutated or have aberrant functions in the pathology of ovarian cancer. Non-genetic mechanisms that are gaining prominence in the pathology of ovarian cancer, miRNAs and epigenetics, will also be discussed in the review. PMID:24105793

  14. Epigenetic and epistatic interactions between serotonin transporter and brain-derived neurotrophic factor genetic polymorphism: insights in depression.

    PubMed

    Ignácio, Z M; Réus, G Z; Abelaira, H M; Quevedo, J

    2014-09-05

    Epidemiological studies have shown significant results in the interaction between the functions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and 5-HT in mood disorders, such as major depressive disorder (MDD). The latest research has provided convincing evidence that gene transcription of these molecules is a target for epigenetic changes, triggered by stressful stimuli that starts in early childhood and continues throughout life, which are subsequently translated into structural and functional phenotypes culminating in depressive disorders. The short variants of 5-HTTLPR and BDNF-Met are seen as forms which are predisposed to epigenetic aberrations, which leads individuals to a susceptibility to environmental adversities, especially when subjected to stress in early life. Moreover, the polymorphic variants also feature epistatic interactions in directing the functional mechanisms elicited by stress and underlying the onset of depressive disorders. Also emphasized are works which show some mediators between stress and epigenetic changes of the 5-HTT and BDNF genes, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), which is a cellular transcription factor. Both the HPA axis and CREB are also involved in epistatic interactions between polymorphic variants of 5-HTTLPR and Val66Met. This review highlights some research studying changes in the epigenetic patterns intrinsic to genes of 5-HTT and BDNF, which are related to lifelong environmental adversities, which in turn increases the risks of developing MDD. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Tops, Sanne; Habel, Ute; Radke, Sina

    2018-03-12

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

  16. Effect of aberrations in human eye on contrast sensitivity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quan, Wei; Wang, Feng-lin; Wang, Zhao-qi

    2011-06-01

    The quantitative analysis of the effect of aberrations in human eye on vision has important clinical value in the correction of aberrations. The wave-front aberrations of human eyes were measured with the Hartmann-Shack wave-front sensor and modulation transfer function (MTF) was computed from the wave-front aberrations. Contrast sensitivity function (CSF) was obtained from MTF and the retinal aerial image modulation (AIM). It is shown that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Zernike aberrations deteriorate contrast sensitivity function. When the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Zernike aberrations are corrected high contrast sensitivity function can be obtained.

  17. Epigenetic targeting of the Nanog pathway and signaling networks during chemical carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Tommasi, Stella; Zheng, Albert; Yoon, Jae-In; Besaratinia, Ahmad

    2014-08-01

    Chemical carcinogenesis has long been synonymous with genotoxicity, which entails DNA damage, genetic mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. The present study investigates a paradigm-shifting model in which epigenetic changes are key contributors to chemical carcinogenesis. Using genome-wide microarray-based analysis followed by conventional validation assays, we have progressively chronicled changes in the epigenetic landscape, as reflected in the patterns of DNA methylation, in the target organ of tumorigenesis in mice treated in vivo with a prototype chemical carcinogen (benzo[a]pyrene). Here, we demonstrate characteristic CpG island gain/loss of methylation and demethylation of repetitive DNA elements in carcinogen-treated mice, dependent on tumor progression. Alterations of the DNA methylome are accompanied by silencing of major DNA methyltransferases. Members of the Nanog pathway that establishes and maintains pluripotency in embryonic stem cells and possibly triggers uncontrolled proliferation of neoplastic cells are preferential targets of aberrant DNA methylation and concomitant gene dysregulation during chemical carcinogenesis. Several components of the MEK/ERK, JAK/STAT3, PI3K/AKT, WNT/β- catenin and Shh signaling cascades, which are known to modulate Nanog expression, also show concurrent changes in the patterns of DNA methylation and gene expression. Our data support an epigenetic model of chemical carcinogenesis and suggest that surveillance of the epigenetic landscape, particularly at the loci and in the pathways identified in this study, may have utility for early detection and monitoring of the progression of malignancy. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Epigenetic regulation of EFEMP1 in prostate cancer: biological relevance and clinical potential

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Mafalda; Costa, Vera L; Costa, Natália R; Ramalho-Carvalho, João; Baptista, Tiago; Ribeiro, Franclim R; Paulo, Paula; Teixeira, Manuel R; Oliveira, Jorge; Lothe, Ragnhild A; Lind, Guro E; Henrique, Rui; Jerónimo, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations are common in prostate cancer (PCa) and seem to contribute decisively to its initiation and progression. Moreover, aberrant promoter methylation is a promising biomarker for non-invasive screening. Herein, we sought to characterize EFEMP1 as biomarker for PCa, unveiling its biological relevance in prostate carcinogenesis. Microarray analyses of treated PCa cell lines and primary tissues enabled the selection of differentially methylated genes, among which EFEMP1 was further validated by MSP and bisulfite sequencing. Assessment of biomarker performance was accomplished by qMSP. Expression analysis of EFEMP1 and characterization of histone marks were performed in tissue samples and cancer cell lines to determine the impact of epigenetic mechanisms on EFEMP1 transcriptional regulation. Phenotypic assays, using transfected cell lines, permitted the evaluation of EFEMP1’s role in PCa development. EFEMP1 methylation assay discriminated PCa from normal prostate tissue (NPT; P < 0.001, Kruskall–Wallis test) and renal and bladder cancers (96% sensitivity and 98% specificity). EFEMP1 transcription levels inversely correlated with promoter methylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting that both epigenetic mechanisms are involved in gene regulation. Phenotypic assays showed that EFEMP1 de novo expression reduces malignant phenotype of PCa cells. EFEMP1 promoter methylation is prevalent in PCa and accurately discriminates PCa from non-cancerous prostate tissues and other urological neoplasms. This epigenetic alteration occurs early in prostate carcinogenesis and, in association with histone deacetylation, progressively leads to gene down-regulation, fostering cell proliferation, invasion and evasion of apoptosis. PMID:25211630

  19. Epigenetic mechanisms of memory formation and reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Jarome, Timothy J; Lubin, Farah D

    2014-11-01

    Memory consolidation involves transcriptional control of genes in neurons to stabilize a newly formed memory. Following retrieval, a once consolidated memory destabilizes and again requires gene transcription changes in order to restabilize, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of gene transcription during the consolidation and reconsolidation processes could provide crucial insights into normal memory formation and memory dysfunction associated with psychiatric disorders. In the past decade, modifications of epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation and posttranslational modifications of histone proteins have emerged as critical transcriptional regulators of gene expression during initial memory formation and after retrieval. In light of the rapidly growing literature in this exciting area of research, we here examine the most recent and latest evidence demonstrating how memory acquisition and retrieval trigger epigenetic changes during the consolidation and reconsolidation phases to impact behavior. In particular we focus on the reconsolidation process, where we discuss the already identified epigenetic regulators of gene transcription during memory reconsolidation, while exploring other potential epigenetic modifications that may also be involved, and expand on how these epigenetic modifications may be precisely and temporally controlled by important signaling cascades critical to the reconsolidation process. Finally, we explore the possibility that epigenetic mechanisms may serve to regulate a system or circuit level reconsolidation process and may be involved in retrieval-dependent memory updating. Hence, we propose that epigenetic mechanisms coordinate changes in neuronal gene transcription, not only during the initial memory consolidation phase, but are triggered by retrieval to regulate molecular and cellular processes during memory reconsolidation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Memory Formation and Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Jarome, Timothy J.; Lubin, Farah D.

    2014-01-01

    Memory consolidation involves transcriptional control of genes in neurons to stabilize a newly formed memory. Following retrieval, a once consolidated memory destabilizes and again requires gene transcription changes in order to restabilize, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of gene transcription during the consolidation and reconsolidation processes could provide crucial insights into normal memory formation and memory dysfunction associated with psychiatric disorders. In the past decade, modifications of epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation and posttranslational modifications of histone proteins have emerged as critical transcriptional regulators of gene expression during initial memory formation and after retrieval. In light of the rapidly growing literature in this exciting area of research, we here examine the most recent and latest evidence demonstrating how memory acquisition and retrieval trigger epigenetic changes during the consolidation and reconsolidation phases to impact behavior. In particular we focus on the reconsolidation process, where we discuss the already identified epigenetic regulators of gene transcription during memory reconsolidation, while exploring other potential epigenetic modifications that may also be involved, and expand on how these epigenetic modifications may be precisely and temporally controlled by important signaling cascades critical to the reconsolidation process. Finally, we explore the possibility that epigenetic mechanisms may serve to regulate a system or circuit level reconsolidation process and may be involved in retrieval-dependent memory updating. Hence, we propose that epigenetic mechanisms coordinate changes in neuronal gene transcription, not only during the initial memory consolidation phase, but are triggered by retrieval to regulate molecular and cellular processes during memory reconsolidation. PMID:25130533

  1. Assisted reproduction treatment and epigenetic inheritance

    PubMed Central

    van Montfoort, A.P.A.; Hanssen, L.L.P.; de Sutter, P.; Viville, S.; Geraedts, J.P.M.; de Boer, P.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND The subject of epigenetic risk of assisted reproduction treatment (ART), initiated by reports on an increase of children with the Beckwith–Wiedemann imprinting disorder, is very topical. Hence, there is a growing literature, including mouse studies. METHODS In order to gain information on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and epigenetic effects induced by ART, literature databases were searched for papers on this topic using relevant keywords. RESULTS At the level of genomic imprinting involving CpG methylation, ART-induced epigenetic defects are convincingly observed in mice, especially for placenta, and seem more frequent than in humans. Data generally provide a warning as to the use of ovulation induction and in vitro culture. In human sperm from compromised spermatogenesis, sequence-specific DNA hypomethylation is observed repeatedly. Transmittance of sperm and oocyte DNA methylation defects is possible but, as deduced from the limited data available, largely prevented by selection of gametes for ART and/or non-viability of the resulting embryos. Some evidence indicates that subfertility itself is a risk factor for imprinting diseases. As in mouse, physiological effects from ART are observed in humans. In the human, indications for a broader target for changes in CpG methylation than imprinted DNA sequences alone have been found. In the mouse, a broader range of CpG sequences has not yet been studied. Also, a multigeneration study of systematic ART on epigenetic parameters is lacking. CONCLUSIONS The field of epigenetic inheritance within the lifespan of an individual and between generations (via mitosis and meiosis, respectively) is growing, driven by the expansion of chromatin research. ART can induce epigenetic variation that might be transmitted to the next generation. PMID:22267841

  2. Genomic imprinting—an epigenetic gene-regulatory model

    PubMed Central

    Koerner, Martha V; Barlow, Denise P

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms (Box 1) are considered to play major gene-regulatory roles in development, differentiation and disease. However, the relative importance of epigenetics in defining the mammalian transcriptome in normal and disease states is unknown. The mammalian genome contains only a few model systems where epigenetic gene regulation has been shown to play a major role in transcriptional control. These model systems are important not only to investigate the biological function of known epigenetic modifications but also to identify new and unexpected epigenetic mechanisms in the mammalian genome. Here we review recent progress in understanding how epigenetic mechanisms control imprinted gene expression. PMID:20153958

  3. Spectral estimation for characterization of acoustic aberration.

    PubMed

    Varslot, Trond; Angelsen, Bjørn; Waag, Robert C

    2004-07-01

    Spectral estimation based on acoustic backscatter from a motionless stochastic medium is described for characterization of aberration in ultrasonic imaging. The underlying assumptions for the estimation are: The correlation length of the medium is short compared to the length of the transmitted acoustic pulse, an isoplanatic region of sufficient size exists around the focal point, and the backscatter can be modeled as an ergodic stochastic process. The motivation for this work is ultrasonic imaging with aberration correction. Measurements were performed using a two-dimensional array system with 80 x 80 transducer elements and an element pitch of 0.6 mm. The f number for the measurements was 1.2 and the center frequency was 3.0 MHz with a 53% bandwidth. Relative phase of aberration was extracted from estimated cross spectra using a robust least-mean-square-error method based on an orthogonal expansion of the phase differences of neighboring wave forms as a function of frequency. Estimates of cross-spectrum phase from measurements of random scattering through a tissue-mimicking aberrator have confidence bands approximately +/- 5 degrees wide. Both phase and magnitude are in good agreement with a reference characterization obtained from a point scatterer.

  4. Anti-forensics of chromatic aberration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Owen; Stamm, Matthew C.

    2015-03-01

    Over the past decade, a number of information forensic techniques have been developed to identify digital image manipulation and falsification. Recent research has shown, however, that an intelligent forger can use anti-forensic countermeasures to disguise their forgeries. In this paper, an anti-forensic technique is proposed to falsify the lateral chromatic aberration present in a digital image. Lateral chromatic aberration corresponds to the relative contraction or expansion between an image's color channels that occurs due to a lens's inability to focus all wavelengths of light on the same point. Previous work has used localized inconsistencies in an image's chromatic aberration to expose cut-and-paste image forgeries. The anti-forensic technique presented in this paper operates by estimating the expected lateral chromatic aberration at an image location, then removing deviations from this estimate caused by tampering or falsification. Experimental results are presented that demonstrate that our anti-forensic technique can be used to effectively disguise evidence of an image forgery.

  5. Optical advantages of astigmatic aberration corrected heliostats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Rooyen, De Wet; Schöttl, Peter; Bern, Gregor; Heimsath, Anna; Nitz, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Astigmatic aberration corrected heliostats adapt their shape in dependence of the incidence angle of the sun on the heliostat. Simulations show that this optical correction leads to a higher concentration ratio at the target and thus in a decrease in required receiver aperture in particular for smaller heliostat fields.

  6. Human cytomegalovirus UL76 induces chromosome aberrations

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is known to induce chromosome aberrations in infected cells, which can lead to congenital abnormalities in infected fetuses. HCMV UL76 belongs to a conserved protein family from herpesviruses. Some reported roles among UL76 family members include involvement in virulence determination, lytic replication, reactivation of latent virus, modulation of gene expression, induction of apoptosis, and perturbation of cell cycle progression, as well as potential nuclease activity. Previously, we have shown that stable expression of UL76 inhibits HCMV replication in glioblastoma cells. Methods To examine chromosomal integrity and the DNA damage signal γ-H2AX in cells constitutively expressing UL76, immunofluorescent cell staining and Western blotting were performed. The comet assay was employed to assess DNA breaks in cells transiently expressing UL76. Results We report that stably transfected cells expressing UL76 developed chromosome aberrations including micronuclei and misaligned chromosomes, lagging and bridging. In mitotic cells expressing UL76, aberrant spindles were increased compared to control cells. However, cells with supernumerary centrosomes were marginally increased in UL76-expressing cells relative to control cells. We further demonstrated that UL76-expressing cells activated the DNA damage signal γ-H2AX and caused foci formation in nuclei. In addition, the number of cells with DNA breaks increased in proportion to UL76 protein levels. Conclusion Our findings suggest that the virus-associated protein UL76 induces DNA damage and the accumulation of chromosome aberrations. PMID:19930723

  7. Genome-wide identification of significant aberrations in cancer genome.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Xiguo; Yu, Guoqiang; Hou, Xuchu; Shih, Ie-Ming; Clarke, Robert; Zhang, Junying; Hoffman, Eric P; Wang, Roger R; Zhang, Zhen; Wang, Yue

    2012-07-27

    Somatic Copy Number Alterations (CNAs) in human genomes are present in almost all human cancers. Systematic efforts to characterize such structural variants must effectively distinguish significant consensus events from random background aberrations. Here we introduce Significant Aberration in Cancer (SAIC), a new method for characterizing and assessing the statistical significance of recurrent CNA units. Three main features of SAIC include: (1) exploiting the intrinsic correlation among consecutive probes to assign a score to each CNA unit instead of single probes; (2) performing permutations on CNA units that preserve correlations inherent in the copy number data; and (3) iteratively detecting Significant Copy Number Aberrations (SCAs) and estimating an unbiased null distribution by applying an SCA-exclusive permutation scheme. We test and compare the performance of SAIC against four peer methods (GISTIC, STAC, KC-SMART, CMDS) on a large number of simulation datasets. Experimental results show that SAIC outperforms peer methods in terms of larger area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve and increased detection power. We then apply SAIC to analyze structural genomic aberrations acquired in four real cancer genome-wide copy number data sets (ovarian cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, lung adenocarcinoma, glioblastoma). When compared with previously reported results, SAIC successfully identifies most SCAs known to be of biological significance and associated with oncogenes (e.g., KRAS, CCNE1, and MYC) or tumor suppressor genes (e.g., CDKN2A/B). Furthermore, SAIC identifies a number of novel SCAs in these copy number data that encompass tumor related genes and may warrant further studies. Supported by a well-grounded theoretical framework, SAIC has been developed and used to identify SCAs in various cancer copy number data sets, providing useful information to study the landscape of cancer genomes. Open-source and platform-independent SAIC software is

  8. Landscaping the epigenetic landscape of cancer.

    PubMed

    Aranda-Anzaldo, Armando; Dent, Myrna A R

    2018-06-08

    Waddington's epigenetic landscape was introduced in biology for understanding the complex process of metazoan development in an accessible fashion. The epigenetic landscape concept implies the coupling of cell differentiation and tissue/organ morphogenesis under a simple visual metaphor or analogy with significant heuristic value. Yet in recent times the epigenetic landscape has been reduced to an illustration device just for cell differentiation thus diminishing its explanatory power and heuristic value. On the other hand, the current mainstream in cancer research is concentrated on the search for proximate causes but not on achieving a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. Nevertheless an emerging alternative perspective that understands cancer as a problem related to tissue/organ morphology and structural organization is getting wider attention. Within such a perspective here we present and discuss a historically restored, non-reductionist, version of the epigenetic landscape that when applied to the problem of cancer improves our understanding of it as a common biological phenomenon resulting from the uncoupling of morphogenesis and cell differentiation as a consequence of the progressive erosion of the epigenetic landscape. The following discussion aims at finding a general framework, not dependent on proximate causes, for understanding the phenomenon of cancer and suggests new research strategies on this problem but away from the current emphasis on the putative genetic causes of cancer. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Accelerated epigenetic aging in Werner syndrome.

    PubMed

    Maierhofer, Anna; Flunkert, Julia; Oshima, Junko; Martin, George M; Haaf, Thomas; Horvath, Steve

    2017-04-01

    Individuals suffering from Werner syndrome (WS) exhibit many clinical signs of accelerated aging. While the underlying constitutional mutation leads to accelerated rates of DNA damage, it is not yet known whether WS is also associated with an increased epigenetic age according to a DNA methylation based biomarker of aging (the "Epigenetic Clock"). Using whole blood methylation data from 18 WS cases and 18 age matched controls, we find that WS is associated with increased extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (p=0.0072) and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (p=0.04), the latter of which is independent of age-related changes in the composition of peripheral blood cells. A multivariate model analysis reveals that WS is associated with an increase in DNA methylation age (on average 6.4 years, p=0.011) even after adjusting for chronological age, gender, and blood cell counts. Further, WS might be associated with a reduction in naïve CD8+ T cells (p=0.025) according to imputed measures of blood cell counts. Overall, this study shows that WS is associated with an increased epigenetic age of blood cells which is independent of changes in blood cell composition. The extent to which this alteration is a cause or effect of WS disease phenotypes remains unknown.

  10. Epigenetic regulation of estrogen-dependent memory

    PubMed Central

    Fortress, Ashley M.; Frick, Karyn M.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Cancer control and prevention: nutrition and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Verma, Mukesh

    2013-07-01

    To evaluate recent developments in nutritional epigenomics and related challenges, opportunities, and implications for cancer control and prevention. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and understanding the factors that contribute to cancer development may facilitate the development of strategies for cancer prevention and control. Cancer development involves genetic and epigenetic alterations. Genetic marks are permanent, whereas epigenetic marks are dynamic, change with age, and are influenced by the external environment. Thus, epigenetics provides a link between the environment, diet, and cancer development. Proper food selection is imperative for better health and to avoid cancer and other diseases. Nutrients either contribute directly to cancer prevention or support the repair of genomic and epigenomic damage caused by exposure to cancer-causing agents such as toxins, free radicals, radiation, and infectious agents. Nutritional epigenomics provides an opportunity for cancer prevention because selected nutrients have the potential to reverse cancer-associated epigenetic marks in different tumor types. A number of natural foods and their bioactive components have been shown to have methylation-inhibitory and deacetylation-inhibitory properties. Natural foods and bioactive food components have characteristics and functions that are similar to epigenetic inhibitors and therefore have potential in cancer control and prevention.

  12. Epigenetics and maternal nutrition: nature v. nurture.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Rebecca

    2011-02-01

    Under- and over-nutrition during pregnancy has been linked to the later development of diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Epigenetic modifications may be one mechanism by which exposure to an altered intrauterine milieu or metabolic perturbation may influence the phenotype of the organism much later in life. Epigenetic modifications of the genome provide a mechanism that allows the stable propagation of gene expression from one generation of cells to the next. This review highlights our current knowledge of epigenetic gene regulation and the evidence that chromatin remodelling and histone modifications play key roles in adipogenesis and the development of obesity. Epigenetic modifications affecting processes important to glucose regulation and insulin secretion have been described in the pancreatic β-cells and muscle of the intrauterine growth-retarded offspring, characteristics essential to the pathophysiology of type-2 diabetes. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression contributes to both adipocyte determination and differentiation in in vitro models. The contributions of histone acetylation, histone methylation and DNA methylation to the process of adipogenesis in vivo remain to be evaluated.

  13. Targeting Epigenetics to Prevent Obesity Promoted Cancers.

    PubMed

    Berger, Nathan A; Scacheri, Peter C

    2018-03-01

    Epigenetic changes in DNA and associated chromatin proteins are increasingly being considered as important mediators of the linkage between obesity and cancer. Although multiple agents, targeted at epigenetic changes, are being tested for therapy of established cancers, this issue of Cancer Prevention Research carries two articles demonstrating that the bromodomain inhibitor I-BET-762 can attenuate adipose tissue-promoted cancers. Although I-BET-762 significantly delayed, rather than completely prevented, the onset of adiposity-promoted transformation and malignancy, these experiments provide important proof of principle for the strategies of targeting epigenetic changes to disrupt the obesity-cancer linkage. Because bromodomain proteins represent only one of multiple epigenetic mediators, it is probable that targeting other epigenetic processes, alone or in combination, may serve to even more effectively disrupt the obesity promotion of cancer. Given the magnitude of the current obesity pandemic and its impact on cancer, preventive measures to disrupt this linkage are critically important. Cancer Prev Res; 11(3); 125-8. ©2018 AACR See related article by Chakraborty et al., p. 129 . ©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.

  14. Epigenetic regulation of estrogen-dependent memory.

    PubMed

    Fortress, Ashley M; Frick, Karyn M

    2014-10-01

    Hippocampal memory formation is highly regulated by post-translational histone modifications and DNA methylation. Accordingly, these epigenetic processes play a major role in the effects of modulatory factors, such as sex steroid hormones, on hippocampal memory. Our laboratory recently demonstrated that the ability of the potent estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) to enhance hippocampal-dependent novel object recognition memory in ovariectomized female mice requires ERK-dependent histone H3 acetylation and DNA methylation in the dorsal hippocampus. Although these data provide valuable insight into the chromatin modifications that mediate the memory-enhancing effects of E2, epigenetic regulation of gene expression is enormously complex. Therefore, more research is needed to fully understand how E2 and other hormones employ epigenetic alterations to shape behavior. This review discusses the epigenetic alterations shown thus far to regulate hippocampal memory, briefly reviews the effects of E2 on hippocampal function, and describes in detail our work on epigenetic regulation of estrogenic memory enhancement. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Translational epigenetics: clinical approaches to epigenome therapeutics for cancer.

    PubMed

    Selcuklu, S Duygu; Spillane, Charles

    2008-01-01

    Cancer epigenetics research is now entering an exciting phase of translational epigenetics whereby novel epigenome therapeutics is being developed for application in clinical settings. Epigenetics refers to all heritable and potentially reversible changes in gene or genome functioning that occurs without altering the nucleotide sequence of the DNA. A range of different epigenetic "marks" can activate or repress gene expression. While epigenetic alterations are associated with most cancers, epigenetic dysregulation can also have a causal role in cancer etiology. Epigenetically disrupted stem or progenitor cells could have an early role in neoplastic transformations, while perturbance of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms controlling gene expression in cancer-relevant pathways will also be a contribution factor. The reversibility of epigenetic marks provides the possibility that the activity of key cancer genes and pathways can be regulated as a therapeutic approach. The growing availability of a range of chemical agents which can affect epigenome functioning has led to a range of epigenetic-therapeutic approaches for cancer and intense interest in the development of second-generation epigenetic drugs (epi-drugs) which would have greater specificity and efficacy in clinical settings. The latest developments in this exciting arena of translational cancer epigenetics were presented at a recent conference on "Epigenetics and New Therapies in Cancer" at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), Spain.

  16. Differentially expressed microRNAs in lung adenocarcinoma invert effects of copy number aberrations of prognostic genes

    PubMed Central

    Tokar, Tomas; Pastrello, Chiara; Ramnarine, Varune R.; Zhu, Chang-Qi; Craddock, Kenneth J.; Pikor, Larrisa A.; Vucic, Emily A.; Vary, Simon; Shepherd, Frances A.; Tsao, Ming-Sound; Lam, Wan L.; Jurisica, Igor

    2018-01-01

    In many cancers, significantly down- or upregulated genes are found within chromosomal regions with DNA copy number alteration opposite to the expression changes. Generally, this paradox has been overlooked as noise, but can potentially be a consequence of interference of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, including microRNA-mediated control of mRNA levels. To explore potential associations between microRNAs and paradoxes in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) we curated and analyzed lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) data, comprising gene expressions, copy number aberrations (CNAs) and microRNA expressions. We integrated data from 1,062 tumor samples and 241 normal lung samples, including newly-generated array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) data from 63 LUAD samples. We identified 85 “paradoxical” genes whose differential expression consistently contrasted with aberrations of their copy numbers. Paradoxical status of 70 out of 85 genes was validated on sample-wise basis using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) LUAD data. Of these, 41 genes are prognostic and form a clinically relevant signature, which we validated on three independent datasets. By meta-analysis of results from 9 LUAD microRNA expression studies we identified 24 consistently-deregulated microRNAs. Using TCGA-LUAD data we showed that deregulation of 19 of these microRNAs explains differential expression of the paradoxical genes. Our results show that deregulation of paradoxical genes is crucial in LUAD and their expression pattern is maintained epigenetically, defying gene copy number status. PMID:29507679

  17. Oligoamine analogues in combination with 2-difluoromethylornithine synergistically induce re-expression of aberrantly silenced tumour-suppressor genes

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yu; Steinbergs, Nora; Murray-Stewart, Tracy; Marton, Laurence J.; Casero, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic gene silencing is an important mechanism in the initiation and progression of cancer. Abnormal DNA CpG island hypermethylation and histone modifications are involved in aberrant silencing of tumour-suppressor genes. LSD1 (lysine-specific demethylase 1) was the first enzyme identified to specifically demethylate H3K4 (Lys4 of histone H3). Methylated H3K4 is an important mark associated with transcriptional activation. The flavin adenine dinucleotide-binding amine oxidase domain of LSD1 is homologous with two polyamine oxidases, SMO (spermine oxidase) and APAO (N1-acetylpolyamine oxidase). We have demonstrated previously that long-chain polyamine analogues, the oligoamines, are inhibitors of LSD1. In the present paper we report the synergistic effects of specific oligoamines in combination with DFMO (2-difluoromethylornithine), an inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, in human colorectal cancer cells. DFMO treatment depletes natural polyamines and increases the uptake of exogenous polyamines. The combination of oligoamines and DFMO results in a synergistic re-expression of aberrantly silenced tumour-suppressor genes, including SFRP2 (secreted frizzled-related protein 2), which encodes a Wnt signalling pathway antagonist and plays an anti-tumorigenic role in colorectal cancer. The treatment-induced re-expression of SFRP2 is associated with increased H3K4me2 (di-methyl H3K4) in the gene promoter. The combination of LSD1-inhibiting oligoamines and DFMO represents a novel approach to epigenetic therapy of cancer. PMID:22132744

  18. Aberrant DNA methylation associated with silencing BNIP3 gene expression in haematopoietic tumours

    PubMed Central

    Murai, M; Toyota, M; Satoh, A; Suzuki, H; Akino, K; Mita, H; Sasaki, Y; Ishida, T; Shen, L; Garcia-Manero, G; Issa, J-P J; Hinoda, Y; Tokino, T; Imai, K

    2005-01-01

    Hypoxia is a key factor contributing to the progression of human neoplasias and to the development of resistance to chemotherapy. BNIP3 is a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 protein family involved in hypoxia-induced cell death. We evaluated the expression and methylation status of BNIP3 gene to better understand the role of epigenetic alteration of its expression in haematopoietic tumours. Methylation of the region around the BNIP3 transcription start site was detected in four acute lymphocytic leukaemia, one multiple myeloma and one Burkitt lymphoma cell lines, and was closely associated with silencing the gene. That expression of BNIP3 was restored by treatment with 5-aza2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC), a methyltransferase inhibitor, which confirmed the gene to be epigenetically inactivated by methylation. Notably, re-expression of BNIP3 using 5-aza2-dC also restored hypoxia-mediated cell death in methylated cell lines. Acetylation of histone H3 in the 5′ region of the gene, which was assessed using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, correlated directly with gene expression and inversely with DNA methylation. Among primary tumours, methylation of BNIP3 was detected in five of 34 (15%) acute lymphocytic leukaemias, six of 35 (17%) acute myelogenous leukaemias and three of 14 (21%) multiple myelomas. These results suggest that aberrant DNA methylation of the 5′ CpG island and histone deacetylation play key roles in silencing BNIP3 expression in haematopoietic tumours. PMID:15756280

  19. Aberrant regulation of DNA methylation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a new target of disease mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Martin, Lee J; Wong, Margaret

    2013-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the third most common adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. A diagnosis is fatal owing to degeneration of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord that control swallowing, breathing, and movement. ALS can be inherited, but most cases are not associated with a family history of the disease. The mechanisms causing motor neuron death in ALS are still unknown. Given the suspected complex interplay between multiple genes, the environment, metabolism, and lifestyle in the pathogenesis of ALS, we have hypothesized that the mechanisms of disease in ALS involve epigenetic contributions that can drive motor neuron degeneration. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism for gene regulation engaged by DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt)-catalyzed methyl group transfer to carbon-5 in cytosine residues in gene regulatory promoter and nonpromoter regions. Recent genome-wide analyses have found differential gene methylation in human ALS. Neuropathologic assessments have revealed that motor neurons in human ALS show significant abnormalities in Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, and 5-methylcytosine. Similar changes are seen in mice with motor neuron degeneration, and Dnmt3a was found abundantly at synapses and in mitochondria. During apoptosis of cultured motor neuron-like cells, Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a protein levels increase, and 5-methylcytosine accumulates. Enforced expression of Dnmt3a, but not Dnmt1, induces degeneration of cultured neurons. Truncation mutation of the Dnmt3a catalytic domain and Dnmt3a RNAi blocks apoptosis of cultured neurons. Inhibition of Dnmt catalytic activity with small molecules RG108 and procainamide protects motor neurons from excessive DNA methylation and apoptosis in cell culture and in a mouse model of ALS. Thus, motor neurons can engage epigenetic mechanisms to cause their degeneration, involving Dnmts and increased DNA methylation. Aberrant DNA methylation in vulnerable cells is a new direction for discovering mechanisms of ALS

  20. Theoretical investigation of aberrations upon ametropic human eyes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Bo; Chen, Ying-Ling; Lewis, J. W. L.; Baker, Kevin

    2003-11-01

    The human eye aberrations are important for visual acuity and ophthalmic diagnostics and surgical procedures. Reported monochromatic aberration data of the normal 20/20 human eyes are scarce. There exist even fewer reports of the relation between ametropic conditions and aberrations. We theoretically investigate the monochromatic and chromatic aberrations of human eyes for refractive errors of -10 to +10 diopters. Schematic human eye models are employed using optical design software for axial, index, and refractive types of ametropia.

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

    PubMed

    Čalić, Aleksandra; Peterlin, Borut

    2015-01-01

    Bruxism is defined as a repetitive jaw muscle activity characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or bracing or thrusting of the mandible. There are two distinct circadian phenotypes for bruxism: sleep bruxism (SB) and awake bruxism, which are considered separate entities due to the putative difference in their etiology and phenotypic variance. The detailed etiology of bruxism so far remains unknown. Recent theories suggest the central regulation of certain pathophysiological or psychological pathways. Current proposed causes of bruxism appear to be a combination of genetic and environmental (G×E) factors, with epigenetics providing a robust framework for investigating G×E interactions, and their involvement in bruxism makes it a suitable candidate for epigenetic research. Both types of bruxism are associated with certain epigenetically determined disorders, such as Rett syndrome (RTT), Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), and Angelman syndrome (AS), and these associations suggest a mechanistic link between epigenetic deregulation and bruxism. The present article reviews the possible role of epigenetic mechanisms in the etiology of both types of bruxism based on the epigenetic pathways involved in the pathophysiology of RTT, PWS, and AS, and on other epigenetic disruptions associated with risk factors for bruxism, including sleep disorders, altered stress response, and psychopathology.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  3. Social Epigenetics and Equality of Opportunity

    PubMed Central

    Loi, Michele; Del Savio, Lorenzo; Stupka, Elia

    2013-01-01

    Recent epidemiological reports of associations between socioeconomic status and epigenetic markers that predict vulnerability to diseases are bringing to light substantial biological effects of social inequalities. Here, we start the discussion of the moral consequences of these findings. We firstly highlight their explanatory importance in the context of the research program on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and the social determinants of health. In the second section, we review some theories of the moral status of health inequalities. Rather than a complete outline of the debate, we single out those theories that rest on the principle of equality of opportunity and analyze the consequences of DOHaD and epigenetics for these particular conceptions of justice. We argue that DOHaD and epigenetics reshape the conceptual distinction between natural and acquired traits on which these theories rely and might provide important policy tools to tackle unjust distributions of health. PMID:23864907

  4. Computer-Aided Drug Design in Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Wenchao; Zhang, Rukang; Jiang, Hao; Zhang, Huimin; Luo, Cheng

    2018-01-01

    Epigenetic dysfunction has been widely implicated in several diseases especially cancers thus highlights the therapeutic potential for chemical interventions in this field. With rapid development of computational methodologies and high-performance computational resources, computer-aided drug design has emerged as a promising strategy to speed up epigenetic drug discovery. Herein, we make a brief overview of major computational methods reported in the literature including druggability prediction, virtual screening, homology modeling, scaffold hopping, pharmacophore modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry calculation, and 3D quantitative structure activity relationship that have been successfully applied in the design and discovery of epi-drugs and epi-probes. Finally, we discuss about major limitations of current virtual drug design strategies in epigenetics drug discovery and future directions in this field. PMID:29594101

  5. Computer-Aided Drug Design in Epigenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Wenchao; Zhang, Rukang; Jiang, Hao; Zhang, Huimin; Luo, Cheng

    2018-03-01

    Epigenetic dysfunction has been widely implicated in several diseases especially cancers thus highlights the therapeutic potential for chemical interventions in this field. With rapid development of computational methodologies and high-performance computational resources, computer-aided drug design has emerged as a promising strategy to speed up epigenetic drug discovery. Herein, we make a brief overview of major computational methods reported in the literature including druggability prediction, virtual screening, homology modeling, scaffold hopping, pharmacophore modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry calculation and 3D quantitative structure activity relationship that have been successfully applied in the design and discovery of epi-drugs and epi-probes. Finally, we discuss about major limitations of current virtual drug design strategies in epigenetics drug discovery and future directions in this field.

  6. Epigenetics and developmental plasticity across species.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Frances A

    2013-01-01

    Plasticity is a typical feature of development and can lead to divergent phenotypes. There is increasing evidence that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, are present across species, are modifiable by the environment, and are involved in developmental plasticity. Thus, in the context of the concept of developmental homology, epigenetic mechanisms may serve to create a process homology between species by providing a common molecular pathway through which environmental experiences shape development, ultimately leading to phenotypic diversity. This article will highlight evidence derived from across-species investigations of epigenetics, development, and plasticity which may contribute to our understanding of the homology that exists between species and between ancestors and descendants. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. First Barcelona Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Rice epigenomics and epigenetics: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiangsong; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2013-05-01

    During recent years rice genome-wide epigenomic information such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, which are important for genome activity has been accumulated. The function of a number of rice epigenetic regulators has been studied, many of which are found to be involved in a diverse range of developmental and stress-responsive pathways. Analysis of epigenetic variations among different rice varieties indicates that epigenetic modification may lead to inheritable phenotypic variation. Characterizing phenotypic consequences of rice epigenomic variations and the underlining chromatin mechanism and identifying epialleles related to important agronomic traits may provide novel strategies to enhance agronomically favorable traits and grain productivity in rice. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Diagnostic and prognostic epigenetic biomarkers in cancer.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Therapeutic perspectives of epigenetically active nutrients

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Simulation of the Formation of DNA Double Strand Breaks and Chromosome Aberrations in Irradiated Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plante, Ianik; Ponomarev, Artem L.; Wu, Honglu; Blattnig, Steve; George, Kerry

    2014-01-01

    The formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and chromosome aberrations is an important consequence of ionizing radiation. To simulate DNA double-strand breaks and the formation of chromosome aberrations, we have recently merged the codes RITRACKS (Relativistic Ion Tracks) and NASARTI (NASA Radiation Track Image). The program RITRACKS is a stochastic code developed to simulate detailed event-by-event radiation track structure: [1] This code is used to calculate the dose in voxels of 20 nm, in a volume containing simulated chromosomes, [2] The number of tracks in the volume is calculated for each simulation by sampling a Poisson distribution, with the distribution parameter obtained from the irradiation dose, ion type and energy. The program NASARTI generates the chromosomes present in a cell nucleus by random walks of 20 nm, corresponding to the size of the dose voxels, [3] The generated chromosomes are located within domains which may intertwine, and [4] Each segment of the random walks corresponds to approx. 2,000 DNA base pairs. NASARTI uses pre-calculated dose at each voxel to calculate the probability of DNA damage at each random walk segment. Using the location of double-strand breaks, possible rejoining between damaged segments is evaluated. This yields various types of chromosomes aberrations, including deletions, inversions, exchanges, etc. By performing the calculations using various types of radiations, it will be possible to obtain relative biological effectiveness (RBE) values for several types of chromosome aberrations.

  12. Epigenetics markers of metastasis and HPV-induced tumorigenesis in penile cancer.

    PubMed

    Feber, Andrew; Arya, Manit; de Winter, Patricia; Saqib, Muhammad; Nigam, Raj; Malone, Peter R; Tan, Wei Shen; Rodney, Simon; Lechner, Matthias; Freeman, Alex; Jameson, Charles; Muneer, Asif; Beck, Stephan; Kelly, John D

    2015-03-01

    Penile cancer is a rare malignancy in the developed world with just more than 1,600 new cases diagnosed in the United States per year; however, the incidence is much higher in developing countries. Although HPV is known to contribute to tumorigenesis, little is known about the genetic or epigenetic alterations defining penile cancer. Using high-density genome-wide methylation arrays, we have identified epigenetic alterations associated with penile cancer. Q-MSP was used to validate lymph node metastasis markers in 50 cases. A total of 446 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CESCC) samples were used to validate HPV-associated epigenetic alterations. We defined 6,933 methylation variable positions (MVP) between normal and tumor tissue, which includes 997 hypermethylated differentially methylated regions associated with tumor supressor genes, including CDO1, AR1, and WT1. Analysis of penile cancer tumors identified a 4 gene epi-signature which accurately predicted lymph node metastasis in an independent cohort (AUC of 89%). Finally, we explored the epigenetic alterations associated with penile cancer HPV infection and defined a 30 loci lineage-independent HPV specific epi-signature which predicts HPV status and survival in independent HNSCC, CESC cohorts. Epi-signature-negative patients have a significantly worse overall survival [HNSCC P = 0.00073; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.021-0.78; CESC P = 0.0094; HR = 3.91, 95% CI = 0.13-0.78], HPV epi-signature is a better predictor of survival than HPV status alone. These data demonstrate for the first time genome-wide epigenetic events involved in an aggressive penile cancer phenotype and define the epigenetic alterations common across multiple HPV-driven malignancies. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

  13. Epigenetics markers of metastasis and HPV induced tumourigenesis in Penile cancer

    PubMed Central

    Feber, Andrew; Arya, Manit; de Winter, Patricia; Saqib, Muhammad; Nigam, Raj; Malone, Peter R; Tan, Wei Shen; Rodney, Simon; Lechner, Matthias; Freeman, Alex; Jameson, Charles; Muneer, Asif; Beck, Stephan; Kelly, John D

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Penile cancer is a rare malignancy in the developed world, with just over 1600 new cases diagnosed in the USA per year, however, the incidence is much higher in developing countries. Although HPV is known to contribute to tumourigenesis, little is known about the genetic or epigenetic alterations defining penile cancer (PeCa). Experimental Design Using high-density genome-wide methylation arrays we have identified epigenetic alterations associated with PeCa. Q-MSP was used to validate lymph node metastasis markers in 50 cases. 446 HNSCC and CESCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and cervical squamous cell carcinoma) samples were used to validate HPV associated epigenetic alterations. Results We defined 6933 methylation variable positions (MVPs) between normal and tumour tissue, which include 997 hypermethylated differentially methylated regions associated with tumour supressor genes including CDO1, AR1 and WT1. Analysis of PeCa tumours identified a 4 gene epi-signature which accurately predicted lymph node metastasis in an independent cohort (AUC of 89%). Finally, we explored the epigenetic alterations associated with PeCa HPV infection and defined a 30 loci lineage independent HPV specific epi-signature which predicts HPV status and survival in independent HNSCC, CESC cohorts. Epi-signature negative patients have a significantly worse overall survival (HNSCC p=0.00073, CI 0.021-0.78, CESC p= 0.0094, HR=3.91, 95% CI =0.13-0.78), HPV epi-signature is a better predictor of survival than HPV status alone. Conclusion These data demonstrate for the first time genome-wide epigenetic events involved in an aggressive penile cancer phenotype and define the epigenetic alterations common across multiple HPV driven malignancies. PMID:25538261

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gilks, C. Blake; Press, Joshua Z.; De Luca, Alessandro

    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. Eighteenmore » (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.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

    Press, Joshua Z.; De Luca, Alessandro; Boyd, Niki

    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. Eighteenmore » (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.« less

  16. Inheritance of stress-induced, ATF-2-dependent epigenetic change.

    PubMed

    Seong, Ki-Hyeon; Li, Dong; Shimizu, Hideyuki; Nakamura, Ryoichi; Ishii, Shunsuke

    2011-06-24

    Atf1, the fission yeast homolog of activation transcription factor-2 (ATF-2), contributes to heterochromatin formation. However, the role of ATF-2 in chromatin assembly in higher organisms remains unknown. This study reveals that Drosophila ATF-2 (dATF-2) is required for heterochromatin assembly, whereas the stress-induced phosphorylation of dATF-2, via Mekk1-p38, disrupts heterochromatin. The dATF-2 protein colocalized with HP1, not only on heterochromatin but also at specific loci in euchromatin. Heat shock or osmotic stress induced phosphorylation of dATF-2 and resulted in its release from heterochromatin. This heterochromatic disruption was an epigenetic event that was transmitted to the next generation in a non-Mendelian fashion. When embryos were exposed to heat stress over multiple generations, the defective chromatin state was maintained over multiple successive generations, though it gradually returned to the normal state. The results suggest a mechanism by which the effects of stress are inherited epigenetically via the regulation of a tight chromatin structure. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Epigenetic differences in monozygotic twins discordant for major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Malki, K; Koritskaya, E; Harris, F; Bryson, K; Herbster, M; Tosto, M G

    2016-06-14

    Although monozygotic (MZ) twins share the majority of their genetic makeup, they can be phenotypically discordant on several traits and diseases. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that can be influenced by genetic, environmental and stochastic events and may have an important impact on individual variability. In this study we explored epigenetic differences in peripheral blood samples in three MZ twin studies on major depressive disorder (MDD). Epigenetic data for twin pairs were collected as part of a previous study using 8.1-K-CpG microarrays tagging DNA modification in white blood cells from MZ twins discordant for MDD. Data originated from three geographical regions: UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Ninety-seven MZ pairs (194 individuals) discordant for MDD were included. Different methods to address non independently-and-identically distributed (non-i.i.d.) data were evaluated. Machine-learning methods with feature selection centered on support vector machine and random forest were used to build a classifier to predict cases and controls based on epivariations. The most informative variants were mapped to genes and carried forward for network analysis. A mixture approach using principal component analysis (PCA) and Bayes methods allowed to combine the three studies and to leverage the increased predictive power provided by the larger sample. A machine-learning algorithm with feature reduction classified affected from non-affected twins above chance levels in an independent training-testing design. Network analysis revealed gene networks centered on the PPAR-γ (NR1C3) and C-MYC gene hubs interacting through the AP-1 (c-Jun) transcription factor. PPAR-γ (NR1C3) is a drug target for pioglitazone, which has been shown to reduce depression symptoms in patients with MDD. Using a data-driven approach we were able to overcome challenges of non-i.i.d. data when combining epigenetic studies from MZ twins discordant for MDD. Individually, the studies yielded

  18. Epigenetic differences in monozygotic twins discordant for major depressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Malki, K; Koritskaya, E; Harris, F; Bryson, K; Herbster, M; Tosto, M G

    2016-01-01

    Although monozygotic (MZ) twins share the majority of their genetic makeup, they can be phenotypically discordant on several traits and diseases. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that can be influenced by genetic, environmental and stochastic events and may have an important impact on individual variability. In this study we explored epigenetic differences in peripheral blood samples in three MZ twin studies on major depressive disorder (MDD). Epigenetic data for twin pairs were collected as part of a previous study using 8.1-K-CpG microarrays tagging DNA modification in white blood cells from MZ twins discordant for MDD. Data originated from three geographical regions: UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Ninety-seven MZ pairs (194 individuals) discordant for MDD were included. Different methods to address non independently-and-identically distributed (non-i.i.d.) data were evaluated. Machine-learning methods with feature selection centered on support vector machine and random forest were used to build a classifier to predict cases and controls based on epivariations. The most informative variants were mapped to genes and carried forward for network analysis. A mixture approach using principal component analysis (PCA) and Bayes methods allowed to combine the three studies and to leverage the increased predictive power provided by the larger sample. A machine-learning algorithm with feature reduction classified affected from non-affected twins above chance levels in an independent training-testing design. Network analysis revealed gene networks centered on the PPAR−γ (NR1C3) and C-MYC gene hubs interacting through the AP-1 (c-Jun) transcription factor. PPAR−γ (NR1C3) is a drug target for pioglitazone, which has been shown to reduce depression symptoms in patients with MDD. Using a data-driven approach we were able to overcome challenges of non-i.i.d. data when combining epigenetic studies from MZ twins discordant for MDD. Individually, the studies

  19. Tracing anti-cancer and cancer-promoting actions of all-trans retinoic acid in breast cancer to a RARα epigenetic mechanism of mammary epithelial cell fate.

    PubMed

    Rossetti, Stefano; Ren, MingQiang; Visconti, Nicolo; Corlazzoli, Francesca; Gagliostro, Vincenzo; Somenzi, Giulia; Yao, Jin; Sun, Yijun; Sacchi, Nicoletta

    2016-12-27

    A hallmark of cancer cells is the ability to evade the growth inhibitory/pro-apoptotic action of physiological all-trans retinoic acid (RA) signal, the bioactive derivative of Vitamin A. However, as we and others reported, RA can also promote cancer cell growth and invasion. Here we show that anticancer and cancer-promoting RA actions in breast cancer have roots in a mechanism of mammary epithelial cell morphogenesis that involves both transcriptional (epigenetic) and non-transcriptional RARα (RARA) functions. We found that the mammary epithelial cell-context specific degree of functionality of the RARA transcriptional (epigenetic) component of this mechanism, by tuning the effects of the non-transcriptional RARA component, determines different cell fate decisions during mammary morphogenesis. Indeed, factors that hamper the RARA epigenetic function make physiological RA drive aberrant morphogenesis via non-transcriptional RARA, thus leading to cell transformation. Remarkably, also the cell context-specific degree of functionality of the RARA epigenetic component retained by breast cancer cells is critical to determine cell fate decisions in response to physiological as well as supraphysiological RA variation. Overall this study supports the proof of principle that the epigenetic functional plasticity of the mammary epithelial cell RARA mechanism, which is essential for normal morphogenetic processes, is necessary to deter breast cancer onset/progression consequent to the insidious action of physiological RA.

  20. Primary aberrations in focused radially polarized vortex beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biss, David P.; Brown, T. G.

    2004-02-01

    We study the effect of primary aberrations on the 3-D polarization of the electric field in a focused lowest order radially polarized beam. A full vector diffraction treatment of the focused beams is used. Attention is given to the effects of primary spherical, astigmatic, and comatic aberrations on the local polarization, Strehl ratio, and aberration induced degradation of the longitudinal field at focus

  1. Aberration Compensation in Aplanatic Solid Immersion Lens Microscopy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-11-08

    model and ray tracing software ( Zemax ) to understand how much aberrations are in the system and how much can be compensated by the DM. Subsequently...aberration. Table 2 shows the Zemax simulation on this particular case. With aberration compensation, the finest resolvable group is at 252 nm

  2. Genomic pathway analysis reveals that EZH2 and HDAC4 represent mutually exclusive epigenetic pathways across human cancers

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    aberrations in genes from the TGF and phosphatidylinositol pathways and HDAC4 activation with aberrations in inflammatory and chemokine related genes. Conclusion Gene expression patterns can reveal the activation level of epigenetic pathways. Epigenetic pathways define biologically relevant subsets of human cancers. EZH2 activation and HDAC4 activation correlate with growth factor signaling and inflammation, respectively, and represent two distinct states for cancer cells. This understanding may allow us to identify targetable drivers in these cancer subsets. PMID:24079712

  3. Aberrant DNA methylation at genes associated with a stem cell-like phenotype in cholangiocarcinoma tumours

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Wei; Siddiq, Afshan; Walley, Andrew J; Limpaiboon, Temduang; Brown, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Genetic abnormalities of cholangiocarcinoma have been widely studied; however, epigenomic changes related to cholangiocarcinogenesis have been less well characterised. We have profiled the DNA methylomes of 28 primary cholangiocarcinoma and six matched adjacent normal tissues using Infinium’s HumanMethylation27 BeadChips with the aim of identifying gene sets aberrantly epigenetically regulated in this tumour type. Using a linear model for microarray data we identified 1610 differentially methylated autosomal CpG sites with 809 CpG sites (representing 603 genes) being hypermethylated and 801 CpG sites (representing 712 genes) being hypomethylated in cholangiocarcinoma versus adjacent normal tissues (false discovery rate ≤ 0.05). Gene ontology and gene set enrichment analyses identified gene sets significantly associated with hypermethylation at linked CpG sites in cholangiocarcinoma including homeobox genes and target genes of PRC2, EED, SUZ12 and histone H3 trimethylation at lysine 27. We confirmed frequent hypermethylation at the homeobox genes HOXA9 and HOXD9 by bisulfite pyrosequencing in a larger cohort of cholangiocarcinoma (n = 102). Our findings indicate a key role for hypermethylation of multiple CpG sites at genes associated with a stem cell-like phenotype as a common molecular aberration in cholangiocarcinoma. These data have implications for cholangiocarcinogenesis, as well as possible novel treatment options using histone methyltransferase inhibitors. PMID:24089088

  4. Aberrant DNA Methylation as a Biomarker and a Therapeutic Target of Cholangiocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Nakaoka, Toshiaki; Saito, Yoshimasa; Saito, Hidetsugu

    2017-05-23

    Cholangiocarcinoma is an epithelial malignancy arising in the region between the intrahepatic bile ducts and the ampulla of Vater at the distal end of the common bile duct. The effect of current chemotherapy regimens against cholangiocarcinoma is limited, and the prognosis of patients with cholangiocarcinoma is poor. Aberrant DNA methylation and histone modification induce silencing of tumor suppressor genes and chromosomal instability during carcinogenesis. Studies have shown that the tumor suppressor genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) including MLH1 , p14 , p16 , death-associated protein kinase ( DAPK ), miR-370 and miR-376c are frequently methylated in cholangiocarcinoma. Silencing of these tumor suppressor genes and miRNAs plays critical roles in the initiation and progression of cholangiocarcinoma. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated that DNA methylation inhibitors induce expression of endogenous retroviruses and exert the anti-tumor effect of via an anti-viral immune response. Aberrant DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes and miRNAs could be a powerful biomarker for the diagnosis and treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. Epigenetic therapy with DNA methylation inhibitors holds considerable promise for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma through the reactivation of tumor suppressor genes and miRNAs as well as the induction of an anti-viral immune response.

  5. Aberrant DNA Methylation as a Biomarker and a Therapeutic Target of Cholangiocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Nakaoka, Toshiaki; Saito, Yoshimasa; Saito, Hidetsugu

    2017-01-01

    Cholangiocarcinoma is an epithelial malignancy arising in the region between the intrahepatic bile ducts and the ampulla of Vater at the distal end of the common bile duct. The effect of current chemotherapy regimens against cholangiocarcinoma is limited, and the prognosis of patients with cholangiocarcinoma is poor. Aberrant DNA methylation and histone modification induce silencing of tumor suppressor genes and chromosomal instability during carcinogenesis. Studies have shown that the tumor suppressor genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) including MLH1, p14, p16, death-associated protein kinase (DAPK), miR-370 and miR-376c are frequently methylated in cholangiocarcinoma. Silencing of these tumor suppressor genes and miRNAs plays critical roles in the initiation and progression of cholangiocarcinoma. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated that DNA methylation inhibitors induce expression of endogenous retroviruses and exert the anti-tumor effect of via an anti-viral immune response. Aberrant DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes and miRNAs could be a powerful biomarker for the diagnosis and treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. Epigenetic therapy with DNA methylation inhibitors holds considerable promise for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma through the reactivation of tumor suppressor genes and miRNAs as well as the induction of an anti-viral immune response. PMID:28545228

  6. Epigenome Aberrations: Emerging Driving Factors of the Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Mehdi, Ali; Riazalhosseini, Yasser

    2017-01-01

    Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common form of Kidney cancer, is characterized by frequent mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene in ~85% of sporadic cases. Loss of pVHL function affects multiple cellular processes, among which the activation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway is the best-known function. Constitutive activation of HIF signaling in turn activates hundreds of genes involved in numerous oncogenic pathways, which contribute to the development or progression of ccRCC. Although VHL mutations are considered as drivers of ccRCC, they are not sufficient to cause the disease. Recent genome-wide sequencing studies of ccRCC have revealed that mutations of genes coding for epigenome modifiers and chromatin remodelers, including PBRM1, SETD2 and BAP1, are the most common somatic genetic abnormalities after VHL mutations in these tumors. Moreover, recent research has shed light on the extent of abnormal epigenome alterations in ccRCC tumors, including aberrant DNA methylation patterns, abnormal histone modifications and deregulated expression of non-coding RNAs. In this review, we discuss the epigenetic modifiers that are commonly mutated in ccRCC, and our growing knowledge of the cellular processes that are impacted by them. Furthermore, we explore new avenues for developing therapeutic approaches based on our knowledge of epigenome aberrations of ccRCC. PMID:28812986

  7. Epigenome Aberrations: Emerging Driving Factors of the Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Mehdi, Ali; Riazalhosseini, Yasser

    2017-08-16

    Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common form of Kidney cancer, is characterized by frequent mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau ( VHL ) tumor suppressor gene in ~85% of sporadic cases. Loss of pVHL function affects multiple cellular processes, among which the activation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway is the best-known function. Constitutive activation of HIF signaling in turn activates hundreds of genes involved in numerous oncogenic pathways, which contribute to the development or progression of ccRCC. Although VHL mutations are considered as drivers of ccRCC, they are not sufficient to cause the disease. Recent genome-wide sequencing studies of ccRCC have revealed that mutations of genes coding for epigenome modifiers and chromatin remodelers, including PBRM1 , SETD2 and BAP1 , are the most common somatic genetic abnormalities after VHL mutations in these tumors. Moreover, recent research has shed light on the extent of abnormal epigenome alterations in ccRCC tumors, including aberrant DNA methylation patterns, abnormal histone modifications and deregulated expression of non-coding RNAs. In this review, we discuss the epigenetic modifiers that are commonly mutated in ccRCC, and our growing knowledge of the cellular processes that are impacted by them. Furthermore, we explore new avenues for developing therapeutic approaches based on our knowledge of epigenome aberrations of ccRCC.

  8. Heritable Transmission of Diabetic Metabolic Memory in Zebrafish Correlates With DNA Hypomethylation and Aberrant Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Ansgar S.; Sarras, Michael P.; Leontovich, Alexey; Intine, Robert V.

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic memory (MM) is the phenomenon whereby diabetes complications persist and progress after glycemic recovery is achieved. Here, we present data showing that MM is heritable and that the transmission correlates with hyperglycemia-induced DNA hypomethylation and aberrant gene expression. Streptozocin was used to induce hyperglycemia in adult zebrafish, and then, following streptozocin withdrawal, a recovery phase was allowed to reestablish a euglycemic state. Blood glucose and serum insulin returned to physiological levels during the first 2 weeks of the recovery phase as a result of pancreatic β-cell regeneration. In contrast, caudal fin regeneration and skin wound healing remained impaired to the same extent as in diabetic fish, and this impairment was transmissible to daughter cell tissue. Daughter tissue that was never exposed to hyperglycemia, but was derived from tissue that was, did not accumulate AGEs or exhibit increased levels of oxidative stress. However, CpG island methylation and genome-wide microarray expression analyses revealed the persistence of hyperglycemia-induced global DNA hypomethylation that correlated with aberrant gene expression for a subset of loci in this daughter tissue. Collectively, the data presented here implicate the epigenetic mechanism of DNA methylation as a potential contributor to the MM phenomenon. PMID:22228713

  9. [Infections and epigenetic changes in cancer].

    PubMed

    Corvalán, Alejandro H; Maturana, María José

    2016-01-01

    The role of epigenetics and infectious diseases at early stages of life influence pre-malignant lesions of cancer, in particular, gastric cancer, one of the most frequent tumours in Chile, Latin America, and worldwide. This article examines the role of H.pylori and epigenetic alterations (i.e. DNA methylation) at early stages of gastric cancer and proposes, from the paediatric point of view, strategies for prevention and early detection. Copyright © 2016. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U.

  10. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: how important is it?

    PubMed Central

    Grossniklaus, Ueli; Kelly, William G.; Ferguson-Smith, Anne C.; Pembrey, Marcus; Lindquist, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Much attention has been given to the idea of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, but fundamental questions remain regarding how much takes place and the impact that this might have on organisms. We asked five leading researchers in this area — working on a range of model organisms and in human disease — for their views on these topics. Their responses highlight the mixture of excitement and caution that surrounds transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and the wide gulf between species in terms of our knowledge of the mechanisms that may be involved. PMID:23416892

  11. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Weisbeck, Andee; Jansen, Rick J.

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Allosteric regulation of epigenetic modifying enzymes.

    PubMed

    Zucconi, Beth E; Cole, Philip A

    2017-08-01

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

  13. [Genetic and epigenetic aspects of celiac disease].

    PubMed

    Kocsis, Dorottya; Béres, Nóra; Veres, Gábor; Szabó, Dolóresz; Müller, Katalin Eszter; Arató, András; Juhász, Márk

    2014-01-19

    Genetic background of coeliac disease has been subjects to intensive research since decades. However, only results of HLA phenotyping have been taken over to routine clinical practice. Meanwhile, data on the role of epigenetical factors in the manifestation of diseases have been emerging. In coeliac disease, there are several questions both in the fields of genetics and epigenetics yet to be answered. In this review, a cross section of current knowledge on these issues is presented with special interest regarding the future clinical applications.

  14. Nutrients and the Pancreas: An Epigenetic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Weisbeck, Andee; Jansen, Rick J

    2017-03-15

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

  15. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. Epigenetics Europe conference. Munich, Germany, 8-9 September 2011.

    PubMed

    Jeltsch, Albert

    2011-12-01

    At the Epigenetics Europe conference in Munich, Germany, held on 8-9 September 2011, 19 speakers from different European countries were presenting novel data and concepts on molecular epigenetics. The talks were mainly focused on questions of the generation, maintenance, flexibility and erasure of DNA methylation patterns in context of other epigenetic signals like histone tail modifications and ncRNAs.

  17. RADIATION-INDUCED CHROMOSOME ABERRATIONS IN MAN

    SciTech Connect

    Sasaki, M.; Ottoman, R.E.; Norman, A.

    1963-10-01

    A study was made of the production and elimination of radioinduced chromosomal aberrations in leukocytes from the peripheral blood of persons exposed to chronic or acute doses of high-energy radiation. Included in the group were radiologists and laboratory scientists, for whom there were available complete records of the radiation dose received during their working life, and a number of distinguished radiologists who have practiced more than 25 yrs and who may have received substantial doses One of seven leukocytes from a distinguished radiologist contained a pair of chromosomes that could be classified as pseudo- diploid. In laboratory personnel for whommore » the doses received were significantly within the prescribed limits, the incidence of pseudo-diploid cells, of dicentrics, and of other chroNonemosomal aberrations was significantly higher than in a more or less comparable control group. (tr-auth)« less

  18. Aberrations associated with rigid contact lenses.

    PubMed

    Atchison, D A

    1995-10-01

    A rigid contact lens on an eye can produce levels of spherical aberration very different from those produced by a spectacle lens in front of the eye. These levels are considerably affected by contact lens surface asphericity. Change in longitudinal spherical aberration associated with aspherizing a contact lens surface is well predicted by a simple equation for change in sagittal power of the surface. Displacing an aspheric contact lens on the eye can produce considerable defocus, which is well predicted by simple equations for change in sagittal and tangential surface powers. The best refractive correction with contact lenses can be determined only by overrefraction with a patient wearing a contact lens of power and characteristics similar to that which will be prescribed. An aspheric contact lens that moves to a considerable extent on the eye will cause more unstable vision than will a spherical lens that moves to the same extent.

  19. Anterior Corneal, Posterior Corneal, and Lenticular Contributions to Ocular Aberrations.

    PubMed

    Atchison, David A; Suheimat, Marwan; Mathur, Ankit; Lister, Lucas J; Rozema, Jos

    2016-10-01

    To determine the corneal surfaces and lens contributions to ocular aberrations. There were 61 healthy participants with ages ranging from 20 to 55 years and refractions -8.25 diopters (D) to +3.25 D. Anterior and posterior corneal topographies were obtained with an Oculus Pentacam, and ocular aberrations were obtained with an iTrace aberrometer. Raytracing through models of corneas provided total corneal and surface component aberrations for 5-mm-diameter pupils. Lenticular contributions were given as differences between ocular and corneal aberrations. Theoretical raytracing investigated influence of object distance on aberrations. Apart from defocus, the highest aberration coefficients were horizontal astigmatism, horizontal coma, and spherical aberration. Most correlations between lenticular and ocular parameters were positive and significant, with compensation of total corneal aberrations by lenticular aberrations for 5/12 coefficients. Anterior corneal aberrations were approximately three times higher than posterior corneal aberrations and usually had opposite signs. Corneal topographic centers were displaced from aberrometer pupil centers by 0.32 ± 0.19 mm nasally and 0.02 ± 0.16 mm inferiorly; disregarding corneal decentration relative to pupil center was significant for oblique astigmatism, horizontal coma, and horizontal trefoil. An object at infinity, rather than at the image in the anterior cornea, gave incorrect aberration estimates of the posterior cornea. Corneal and lenticular aberration magnitudes are similar, and aberrations of the anterior corneal surface are approximately three times those of the posterior surface. Corneal decentration relative to pupil center has significant effects on oblique astigmatism, horizontal coma, and horizontal trefoil. When estimating component aberrations, it is important to use correct object/image conjugates and heights at surfaces.

  20. Contemporary management of aberrant right subclavian arteries.

    PubMed

    Stone, William M; Ricotta, Joseph J; Fowl, Richard J; Garg, Nitin; Bower, Thomas C; Money, Samuel R

    2011-05-01

    Aberrant origin of right subclavian arteries represents the most common of the aortic arch anomalies. This variant has few published series to guide management. Our goal was to review treatment options and results for these potentially complex reconstructions. A retrospective review was performed on all patients with a diagnosis of aberrant right subclavian artery at our institution between January 2003 and July 2009. A total of 24 patients, which comprises one of the largest series reported, including 10 males and 14 females (mean age: 46.6 years, range: 7-77), were diagnosed with an aberrant right subclavian artery. Sixteen (66%) were diagnosed incidentally, but eight (33%) had symptoms of either dysphagia, upper extremity ischemia, or both. Computed tomography was most commonly used to establish the diagnosis (19 patients, 79%). Magnetic resonance imaging established the diagnosis in three patients (12%), upper gastrointestinal barium study in one (4%), and standard angiography in one (4%). A Kommerell's diverticulum (KD) was the most common associated anomaly (seven patients, 29%). All seven patients (100%) with a KD required intervention for either symptoms or aneurysmal degeneration. Intervention was performed in 10 patients (42%), including carotid subclavian bypass in five (50%), carotid subclavian transposition in three (30%), and ascending aorta to subclavian bypass in two (20%). Four patients (40%) had additional intervention for management of aneurysmal disease of the aorta or KD, with open aortic replacement in two (20%) and aortic endografting in two (20%). There was one perioperative death (10%) in a patient undergoing aortic arch debranching with placement of an aortic endograft. In all, 18 patients survived without symptoms after a mean follow-up of 38 months. Aberrant right subclavian arteries are most commonly found incidentally with computed tomography. The presence of a KD seemed to correlate with the need for intervention. Patients with no

  1. Computational challenges in modeling gene regulatory events.

    PubMed

    Pataskar, Abhijeet; Tiwari, Vijay K

    2016-10-19

    Cellular transcriptional programs driven by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms could be better understood by integrating "omics" data and subsequently modeling the gene-regulatory events. Toward this end, computational biology should keep pace with evolving experimental procedures and data availability. This article gives an exemplified account of the current computational challenges in molecular biology.

  2. Computational challenges in modeling gene regulatory events

    PubMed Central

    Pataskar, Abhijeet; Tiwari, Vijay K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cellular transcriptional programs driven by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms could be better understood by integrating “omics” data and subsequently modeling the gene-regulatory events. Toward this end, computational biology should keep pace with evolving experimental procedures and data availability. This article gives an exemplified account of the current computational challenges in molecular biology. PMID:27390891