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Sample records for aberrant epigenetic events

  1. Novel aberrant genetic and epigenetic events in Friedreich's ataxia.

    PubMed

    Quesada, Mari Paz; Jones, Jonathan; Rodríguez-Lozano, F J; Moraleda, Jose M; Martinez, Salvador

    2015-07-01

    It is generally accepted that Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is caused by a deficiency in frataxin expression, a mitochondrial protein involved in iron homeostasis, which mainly affects the brain, dorsal root ganglia of the spinal cord, heart and in certain cases the pancreas. However, there is little knowledge as to other possible genes that may be affected in this disorder, and which can contribute to its complexity. In the current study we compared human periodontal ligament cells gene expression of healthy individuals and FRDA patients. The expression of active-caspase 3, as well as other apoptosis-related genes, was increased in the FRDA cells. Furthermore, iron-sulphur cluster genes, as well as oxidative stress-related genes were overexpressed in FRDA. Moreover, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuregulin 1 and miR-132 were all upregulated. These three genes are capable of regulating the expression of each other. Interestingly, when the cells from FRDA patients were co-cultured in the presence of idebenone and deferiprone, caspase expression decreased while antioxidant gene expression, as well as frataxin expression, increased. Regarding epigenetic mechanisms, the frataxin gene was hypermethylated, compared to the healthy counterparts, in the upstream GAA repetitive region. Of the three DNA methyltransferases, DNMT1 but not DNMT3׳s gene expression was higher in FRDA cells. In conclusion, our data show that FRDA cells present altered expression of genes related to cell cycle, oxidative stress and iron homeostasis which may be implicated in the increased apoptotic levels. Also, the altered expression is in a certain degree normalized in the presence of idebenone and deferiprone.

  2. Agglomerative Epigenetic Aberrations are a Common Event in Human Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Petr, Novak; Taylor, Jensen; Oshiro Marc, M; Watts George, S; Kim Christina, J; Futscher Bernard, W

    2009-01-01

    Changes in DNA methylation patterns are a common characteristic of cancer cells. Recent studies suggest that DNA methylation affects not only discrete genes, but it can also affect large chromosomal regions, potentially leading to long range epigenetic silencing. It is unclear whether such long-range epigenetic events are relatively rare or frequent occurrences in cancer. Here we use a high-resolution promoter tiling array approach to analyze DNA methylation in breast cancer specimens and normal breast tissue to address this question. We identified 3506 cancer specific differentially methylated regions (DMR) in human breast cancer with 2033 being hypermethylation events and 1473 hypomethylation events. Most of these DMRs are recurrent in breast cancer; 90% of the identified DMRs occurred in at least 33% of the samples. Interestingly, we found a non-random spatial distribution of aberrantly methylated regions across the genome that showed a tendency to concentrate in relatively small genomic regions. Such agglomerates of hyper- and hypomethylated DMRs spanned up to several hundred kilobases and were frequently found at gene family clusters. The hypermethylation events usually occurred in the proximity of the transcription start site in CpG island promoters while hypomethylation events were frequently found in regions of segmental duplication. One example of a newly discovered agglomerate of hypermethylated DMRs associated with gene silencing in breast cancer that we examined in greater detail involved the protocadherin gene family clusters on chromosome 5 (PCDHA, PCDHB, and PCDHG). Taken together, our results suggest that agglomerative epigenetic aberrations are frequent events in human breast cancer. PMID:18922938

  3. Growth rate of late passage sarcoma cells is independent of epigenetic events but dependent on the amount of chromosomal aberrations

    SciTech Connect

    Becerikli, Mustafa; Jacobsen, Frank; Rittig, Andrea; Köhne, Wiebke; Nambiar, Sandeep; Mirmohammadsadegh, Alireza; Stricker, Ingo; Tannapfel, Andrea; Wieczorek, Stefan; Epplen, Joerg Thomas; Tilkorn, Daniel; Steinstraesser, Lars

    2013-07-15

    Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are characterized by co-participation of several epigenetic and genetic events during tumorigenesis. Having bypassed cellular senescence barriers during oncogenic transformation, the factors further affecting growth rate of STS cells remain poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the role of gene silencing (DNA promoter methylation of LINE-1, PTEN), genetic aberrations (karyotype, KRAS and BRAF mutations) as well as their contribution to the proliferation rate and migratory potential that underlies “initial” and “final” passage sarcoma cells. Three different cell lines were used, SW982 (synovial sarcoma), U2197 (malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH)) and HT1080 (fibrosarcoma). Increased proliferative potential of final passage STS cells was not associated with significant differences in methylation (LINE-1, PTEN) and mutation status (KRAS, BRAF), but it was dependent on the amount of chromosomal aberrations. Collectively, our data demonstrate that these fairly differentiated/advanced cancer cell lines have still the potential to gain an additional spontaneous growth benefit without external influences and that maintenance of increased proliferative potential towards longevity of STS cells (having crossed senescence barriers) may be independent of overt epigenetic alterations. -- Highlights: Increased proliferative potential of late passage STS cells was: • Not associated with epigenetic changes (methylation changes at LINE-1, PTEN). • Not associated with mutation status of KRAS, BRAF. • Dependent on presence/absence of chromosomal aberrations.

  4. Detection of epigenetic aberrations in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yujing

    2015-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer death worldwide. Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex, multistep process. It is now recognized that HCC is a both genetic and epigenetic disease; genetic and epigenetic components cooperate at all stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. Epigenetic changes involve aberrant DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications and aberrant expression of microRNAs all of which can affect the expression of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and other tumor-related genes and alter the pathways in cancer development. Several risk factors for HCC, including hepatitis B and C virus infections and exposure to the chemical carcinogen aflatoxin B1 have been found to influence epigenetic changes. Their interactions could play an important role in the initiation and progression of HCC. Discovery and detection of biomarkers for epigenetic changes is a promising area for early diagnosis and risk prediction of HCC.

  5. PARP1 orchestrates epigenetic events setting up chromatin domains.

    PubMed

    Ciccarone, Fabio; Zampieri, Michele; Caiafa, Paola

    2017-03-01

    Epigenetic events include reversible modifications of DNA and histone tails driving chromatin organization and thus transcription. The epigenetic regulation is a highly integrated process underlying the plasticity of the genomic information both in the context of complex physiological and pathological processes. The global regulatory aspects of epigenetic events are largely unknown. PARylation and PARP1 are recently emerging as multi-level regulatory effectors that modulate the topology of chromatin by orchestrating very different processes. This review focuses in particular on the role of PARP1 in epigenetics, trying to build a comprehensive perspective of its involvement in the regulation of epigenetic modifications of histones and DNA, contextualizing it in the global organization of chromatin domains in the nucleus.

  6. [Aberrant micro RNA and epigenetic network are associated with progression from MGUS to multiple myeloma].

    PubMed

    Handa, Hiroshi

    2015-08-01

    In recent years, attention has been drawn to aberrant epigenetics as well as coding gene mutations in cancers. DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, and micro RNA (miRNA) are included in the field of epigenetics. miRNAs are small RNAs of only 19-25 bases in length which do not encode protein but do they control gene expression by destroying mRNA or inhibiting translation. In multiple myeloma (MM), several miRNA expressions were markedly decreased, while in contrast their target genes, associated with apoptosis, the cell cycle and DNA methylation, were markedly increased. Negative correlations were found between miRNA and target genes expressions. The miR-34 family in itself was methylated, and expression was epigenetically controlled. miRNA and other epigenetic mechanisms underlie network formation, thought to be associated with MM progression. Thus, examining miRNA of MM is currently an important issue in terms of predicting patient outcomes and developing novel therapies.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  8. Gene expression and epigenetic aberrations in F1-placentas fathered by obese males.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Megan; Strick, Reiner; Strissel, Pamela L; Dittrich, Ralf; McPherson, Nicole O; Lane, Michelle; Pliushch, Galyna; Potabattula, Ramya; Haaf, Thomas; El Hajj, Nady

    2017-02-10

    Gene expression and/or epigenetic deregulation may have consequences for sperm and blastocysts, as well as for the placenta, together potentially contributing to problems observed in offspring. We previously demonstrated specific perturbations of fertilization, blastocyst formation, implantation, as well as aberrant glucose metabolism and adiposity in offspring using a mouse model of paternal obesity. The current investigation analyzed gene expression and methylation of specific CpG residues in F1 placentas of pregnancies fathered by obese and normal-weight male mice, using real-time PCR and bisulfite pyrosequencing. Our aim was to determine if paternal obesity deregulated placental gene expression and DNA methylation when compared to normal-weight males. Gene methylation of sperm DNA was analyzed and compared to placentas to address epigenetic transmission. Of the 10 paternally expressed genes (Pegs), 11 genes important for development and transport of nutrients, and the long-terminal repeat Intracisternal A particle (IAP) elements, derived from a member of the class II endogenous retroviral gene family, we observed a significant effect of paternal diet-induced obesity on deregulated expression of Peg3, Peg9, Peg10, and the nutrient transporter gene Slc38a2, and aberrant DNA methylation of the Peg9 promoter in F1 placental tissue. Epigenetic changes in Peg9 were also found in sperm from obese fathers. We therefore propose that paternal obesity renders changes in gene expression and/or methylation throughout the placental genome, which could contribute to the reproductive problems related to fertility and to the metabolic, long-term health impact on offspring.

  9. Epigenetic Control of Autophagy: Nuclear Events Gain More Attention.

    PubMed

    Baek, Sung Hee; Kim, Keun Il

    2017-03-02

    Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process. Although the components of autophagy in cytoplasm have been well-studied, the molecular basis for the epigenetic regulation of autophagy is poorly understood. It is becoming more important to propose a "whole-cell view" of autophagy embracing both cytoplasmic and nuclear events. Thus, it is great timing to summarize current status and discuss future direction.

  10. Aberrant epigenetic reprogramming of imprinted microRNA-127 and Rtl1 in cloned mouse embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Cui Xiangshun; Zhang Dingxiao; Ko, Yoeung-Gyu; Kim, Nam-Hyung

    2009-02-06

    The microRNA (miRNA) genes mir-127 and mir-136 are located near two CpG islands in the imprinted mouse retrotransposon-like gene Rtl1, a key gene involved in placenta formation. These miRNAs appear to be involved in regulating the imprinting of Rtl1. To obtain insights into the epigenetic reprogramming of cloned embryos, we compared the expression levels of mir-127 and mir-136 in fertilized mouse embryos, parthenotes, androgenotes and cloned embryos developing in vitro. We also examined the DNA methylation status of the promoter regions of Rtl1 and mir-127 in these embryos. Our data showed that mir-127 and mir-136 were highly expressed in parthenotes, but rarely expressed in androgenotes. Interestingly, the expression levels of mir-127 and mir-136 in parthenotes were almost twice that seen in the fertilized embryos, but were much lower in the cloned embryos. The Rtl1 promoter region was hyper-methylated in blastocyst stage parthenotes (75.0%), moderately methylated (32.4%) in the fertilized embryos and methylated to a much lower extent ({approx}10%) in the cloned embryos. Conversely, the promoter region of mir-127 was hypo-methylated in parthenogenetically activated embryos (0.4%), moderately methylated (30.0%) in fertilized embryos and heavily methylated in cloned blastocysts (63-70%). These data support a role for mir-127 and mir-136 in the epigenetic reprogramming of the Rtl1 imprinting process. Analysis of the aberrant epigenetic reprogramming of mir-127 and Rtl1 in cloned embryos may help to explain the nuclear reprogramming procedures that occur in donor cells following somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)

  11. The clinical value of aberrant epigenetic changes of DNA damage repair genes in human cancer

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Dan; Herman, James G.; Guo, Mingzhou

    2016-01-01

    The stability and integrity of the human genome are maintained by the DNA damage repair (DDR) system. Unrepaired DNA damage is a major source of potentially mutagenic lesions that drive carcinogenesis. In addition to gene mutation, DNA methylation occurs more frequently in DDR genes in human cancer. Thus, DNA methylation may play more important roles in DNA damage repair genes to drive carcinogenesis. Aberrant methylation patterns in DNA damage repair genes may serve as predictive, diagnostic, prognostic and chemosensitive markers of human cancer. MGMT methylation is a marker for poor prognosis in human glioma, while, MGMT methylation is a sensitive marker of glioma cells to alkylating agents. Aberrant epigenetic changes in DNA damage repair genes may serve as therapeutic targets. Treatment of MLH1-methylated colon cancer cell lines with the demethylating agent 5′-aza-2′-deoxycytidine induces the expression of MLH1 and sensitizes cancer cells to 5-fluorouracil. Synthetic lethality is a more exciting approach in patients with DDR defects. PARP inhibitors are the most effective anticancer reagents in BRCA-deficient cancer cells. PMID:26967246

  12. TGFβ-incurred epigenetic aberrations of miRNA and DNA methyltransferase suppress Klotho and potentiate renal fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Yin, Shasha; Zhang, Qin; Yang, Jun; Lin, Wenjun; Li, Yanning; Chen, Fang; Cao, Wangsen

    2017-03-07

    Renal fibrosis is a common pathological feature of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and its development and progression are significantly affected by epigenetic modifications such as aberrant miRNA and DNA methylation. Klotho is an anti-aging and anti-fibrotic protein and its early decline after renal injury is reportedly associated with aberrant DNA methylation. However, the key upstream pathological mediators and the molecular cascade leading to epigenetic Klotho suppression are not appreciably established. Here we investigate the epigenetic mechanism of Klotho deficiency and its functional relevance in renal fibrogenesis. Fibrotic kidneys induced by unilateral ureteral occlusion (UUO) displayed marked Klotho suppresison and the promoter hypermethylation. These abnormalities were likely due to elevated transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) since TGFβ alone caused the same epigenetic aberrations in cultured renal cells and TGFβ blockade prevented the alterations in UUO kidney. Further investigation revealed that TGFβ enhanced DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and DNMT3a via inhibiting miR-152 and miR-30a in both renal cells and fibrotic kidneys. Accordingly the blockade of either TGFβ signaling or DNMT1/3a activities significantly recovered Klotho loss and attenuated pro-fibrotic protein expression and renal fibrosis. Moreover, Klotho knockdown by RNA interferences abolished the anti-fibrotic effects of DNMT inhibition in both TGFβ-treated renal cell and UUO kidney, indicating that TGFβ-mediated miR-152/30a inhibitions, DNMT1/3a aberrations and subsequent Klotho loss constituted a critical regulatory loop that eliminate Klotho's anti-fibrotic activities and potentiate renal fibrogenesis. Thus, our results elaborate a novel epigenetic cascade of renal fibrogenesis and reveal the potential therapeutic targets for treating the renal fibrosis-associated kideny diseases.

  13. Epigenetic repression of ribosomal RNA transcription by ROCK-dependent aberrant cytoskeletal organization

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Tse-Hsiang; Kuo, Yuan-Yeh; Lee, Hsiao-Hui; Kuo, Jean-Cheng; Ou, Meng-Hsin; Chang, Zee-Fen

    2016-01-01

    It is known that ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis is regulated by cellular energy and proliferation status. In this study, we investigated rRNA gene transcription in response to cytoskeletal stress. Our data revealed that the cell shape constrained by isotropic but not elongated micropatterns in HeLa cells led to a significant reduction in rRNA transcription dependent on ROCK. Expression of a dominant-active form of ROCK also repressed rRNA transcription. Isotropic constraint and ROCK over-activation led to different types of aberrant F-actin organization, but their suppression effects on rRNA transcription were similarly reversed by inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) or overexpression of a dominant negative form of Nesprin, which shields the signal transmitted from actin filament to the nuclear interior. We further showed that the binding of HDAC1 to the active fraction of rDNA genes is increased by ROCK over-activation, thus reducing H3K9/14 acetylation and suppressing transcription. Our results demonstrate an epigenetic control of active rDNA genes that represses rRNA transcription in response to the cytoskeletal stress. PMID:27350000

  14. Aberrant JAK/STAT Signaling Suppresses TFF1 and TFF2 through Epigenetic Silencing of GATA6 in Gastric Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Cheng-Shyong; Wei, Kuo-Liang; Chou, Jian-Liang; Lu, Chung-Kuang; Hsieh, Ching-Chuan; Lin, Jora M. J.; Deng, Yi-Fang; Hsu, Wan-Ting; Wang, Hui-Min David; Leung, Chung-Hang; Ma, Dik-Lung; Li, Chin; Chan, Michael W. Y.

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling is crucial to the development of gastric cancer. In this study, we examined the role of STAT3 in the expression and methylation of its targets in gastric cancer patients. Results from RNA sequencing identified an inverse correlation between the expression of STAT3 and GATA6 in 23 pairs of gastric cancer patient samples. We discovered that the expression of GATA6 is epigenetically silenced through promoter methylation in gastric cancer cell lines. Interestingly, the inhibition of STAT3 using a novel STAT3 inhibitor restored the expression of GATA6 and its targets, trefoil factors 1 and 2 (TFF1/2). Moreover, disruption of STAT3 binding to GATA6 promoter by small hairpin RNA restored GATA6 expression in AGS cells. A clinically significant correlation was also observed between the expression of GATA6 and TFF1/2 among tissue samples from 60 gastric cancer patients. Finally, bisulfite pyrosequencing revealed GATA6 methylation in 65% (39/60) of the patients, and those with higher GATA6 methylation tended to have shorter overall survival. In conclusion, we demonstrated that aberrant JAK/STAT signaling suppresses TFF1/2 partially through the epigenetic silencing of GATA6. Therapeutic intervention of STAT3 in reversing the epigenetic status of GATA6 could benefit the treatment of gastric cancer and is worthy of further investigation. PMID:27598141

  15. Time sequence of events leading to chromosomal aberration formation

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, R.C. ); Bender, M.A. )

    1993-01-01

    Investigations have been carried out on the influence of the repair polymerases on the yield of different types of chromosomal aberrations. The studies were mainly concerned with the effect of inhibiting the polymerases on the yield of aberrations. The polymerases fill in single-strand regions, and the fact that their inhibition affects the yield of aberrations suggests that single-strand lesions are influential in aberration formation. The results indicate that there are two actions of polymerases in clastogenesis. One is in their involvement in a G[sub 2] repair system, in which either of the two chromatids is concerned, and which does not yield aberrations unless the inhibition is still operating when the cells enter mitosis. The second is such that when repair is inhibited, further damage accrues. The second action is affected by inhibiting polymerase repair, but also operates even when the repair enzymes are active. The production of chromosomal exchanges involves a series of reactions, some of which are reversible. The time span over which the reactions occur is much longer than has been envisaged previously.

  16. Time sequence of events leading to chromosomal aberration formation

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, R.C.; Bender, M.A.

    1993-05-01

    Investigations have been carried out on the influence of the repair polymerases on the yield of different types of chromosomal aberrations. The studies were mainly concerned with the effect of inhibiting the polymerases on the yield of aberrations. The polymerases fill in single-strand regions, and the fact that their inhibition affects the yield of aberrations suggests that single-strand lesions are influential in aberration formation. The results indicate that there are two actions of polymerases in clastogenesis. One is in their involvement in a G{sub 2} repair system, in which either of the two chromatids is concerned, and which does not yield aberrations unless the inhibition is still operating when the cells enter mitosis. The second is such that when repair is inhibited, further damage accrues. The second action is affected by inhibiting polymerase repair, but also operates even when the repair enzymes are active. The production of chromosomal exchanges involves a series of reactions, some of which are reversible. The time span over which the reactions occur is much longer than has been envisaged previously.

  17. Persistence of furan-induced epigenetic aberrations in the livers of F344 rats.

    PubMed

    de Conti, Aline; Kobets, Tetyana; Tryndyak, Volodymyr; Burnett, Sarah D; Han, Tao; Fuscoe, James C; Beland, Frederick A; Doerge, Daniel R; Pogribny, Igor P

    2015-04-01

    Furan is a heterocyclic organic compound produced in the chemical manufacturing industry and also found in a broad range of food products, including infant formulas and baby foods. Previous reports have indicated that the adverse biological effects of furan, including its liver tumorigenicity, may be associated with epigenetic abnormalities. In the present study, we investigated the persistence of epigenetic alterations in rat liver. Male F344 rats were treated by gavage 5 days per week with 8 mg furan/kg body weight (bw)/day for 90 days. After the last treatment, rats were divided randomly into 4 groups; 1 group of rats was sacrificed 24 h after the last treatment, whereas other groups were maintained without further furan treatment for an additional 90, 180, or 360 days. Treatment with furan for 90 days resulted in alterations in histone lysine methylation and acetylation, induction of base-excision DNA repair genes, suggesting oxidative damage to DNA, and changes in the gene expression in the livers. A majority of these furan-induced molecular changes was transient and disappeared after the cessation of furan treatment. In contrast, histone H3 lysine 9 and H3 lysine 56 showed a sustained and time-depended decrease in acetylation, which was associated with formation of heterochromatin and altered gene expression. These results indicate that furan-induced adverse effects may be mechanistically related to sustained changes in histone lysine acetylation that compromise the ability of cells to maintain and control properly the expression of genetic information.

  18. Noncanonical IFN Signaling: Mechanistic Linkage of Genetic and Epigenetic Events

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Chulbul M.

    2016-01-01

    The canonical model of cytokine signaling via the JAK/STAT pathway dominates our view of signal transduction but provides no insight into the significance of the simultaneous presence of activated JAKs and STATs in the nucleus of cells treated with cytokines. Such a mechanistic shortcoming challenges the usefulness of the model in its present form. Focusing on the interferon (IFN) cytokines, we have developed a noncanonical model of IFN signaling that naturally connects activated JAKs and STATs at or near response elements of genes that are activated by the IFNs. Specifically, cells treated with IFNγ showed association of activated STAT1α and JAK2 at the GAS element of genes activated by IFNγ. For IFNα treated cells, the association involved activated STAT1α and TYK2 JAK kinase at the ISRE promoter. The power of the noncanonical model is that it provides mechanistic insight into specific gene activation at the level of the associated epigenetics, akin to that of steroid/steroid receptor signaling. PMID:28077919

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27528092

  20. 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.

  1. Early aberrant DNA methylation events in a mouse model of acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Aberrant DNA methylation is frequently found in human malignancies including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). While most studies focus on later disease stages, the onset of aberrant DNA methylation events and their dynamics during leukemic progression are largely unknown. Methods We screened genome-wide for aberrant CpG island methylation in three disease stages of a murine AML model that is driven by hypomorphic expression of the hematopoietic transcription factor PU.1. DNA methylation levels of selected genes were correlated with methylation levels of CD34+ cells and lineage negative, CD127-, c-Kit+, Sca-1+ cells; common myeloid progenitors; granulocyte-macrophage progenitors; and megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors. Results We identified 1,184 hypermethylated array probes covering 762 associated genes in the preleukemic stage. During disease progression, the number of hypermethylated genes increased to 5,465 in the late leukemic disease stage. Using publicly available data, we found a significant enrichment of PU.1 binding sites in the preleukemic hypermethylated genes, suggesting that shortage of PU.1 makes PU.1 binding sites in the DNA accessible for aberrant methylation. Many known AML associated genes such as RUNX1 and HIC1 were found among the preleukemic hypermethylated genes. Nine novel hypermethylated genes, FZD5, FZD8, PRDM16, ROBO3, CXCL14, BCOR, ITPKA, HES6 and TAL1, the latter four being potential PU.1 targets, were confirmed to be hypermethylated in human normal karyotype AML patients, underscoring the relevance of the mouse model for human AML. Conclusions Our study identified early aberrantly methylated genes as potential contributors to onset and progression of AML. PMID:24944583

  2. Epigenetic regulation in male germ cells.

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

  3. Aberrant Expression of TIMP-2 and PBEF Genes in the Placentae of Cloned Mice Due to Epigenetic Reprogramming Error

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hong Rye; Lee, Jae Eun; Oqani, Reza Kheirkhahi; Kim, So Yeon; Wakayama, Teruhiko; Li, Chong; Sa, Su Jin; Woo, Je Seok; Jin, Dong Il

    2016-01-01

    Cloned mice derived from somatic or ES cells show placental overgrowth (placentomegaly) at term. We had previously analyzed cloned and normal mouse placentae by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to identify differential protein expression patterns. Cloned placentae showed upregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), which is involved in extracellular matrix degradation and tissue remodeling, and downregulation of pre-B cell colony enhancing factor 1 (PBEF), which inhibits apoptosis and induces spontaneous labor. Here, we used Western blotting to further analyze the protein expression levels of TIMP-2 and PBEF in cloned placentae derived from cumulus cells, TSA-treated cumulus cells, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and natural mating (NM control). Cloned and TSA-treated cloned placentae had higher expression levels of TIMP-2 compared with NM control and ICSI-derived placentae, and there was a positive association between TIMP-2 expression and the placental weight of cloned mouse concepti. Conversely, PBEF protein expression was significantly lower in cloned and ICSI placentae compared to NM controls. To examine whether the observed differences were due to abnormal gene expression caused by faulty epigenetic reprogramming in clones, we investigated DNA methylation and histone modification in the promoter regions of the genes encoding TIMP-2 and PBEF. Sodium bisulfite sequencing did not reveal any difference in DNA methylation between cloned and NM control placentae. However, ChIP assays revealed that the level of H3-K9/K14 acetylation at the TIMP-2 locus was higher in cloned placentae than in NM controls, whereas acetylation of the PBEF promoter was lower in cloned and ICSI placenta versus NM controls. These results suggest that cloned placentae appear to suffer from failure of histone modification-based reprogramming in these (and potentially other) developmentally important genes, leading to aberrant

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Sato, Hiroshi; Saitoh, Shigeaki

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    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 has 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 MCP3 ovarian cancer cells. When transiently treated with a demethylating agent, the expression of RunX1T1 was partially restored in MCP3 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 TGF-beta 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.

  10. Iron-induced epigenetic abnormalities of mouse bone marrow through aberrant activation of aconitase and isocitrate dehydrogenase.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Masayo; Tanaka, Hiroki; Toki, Yasumichi; Hatayama, Mayumi; Ito, Satoshi; Addo, Lynda; Shindo, Motohiro; Sasaki, Katsunori; Ikuta, Katsuya; Ohtake, Takaaki; Fujiya, Mikihiro; Torimoto, Yoshihiro; Kohgo, Yutaka

    2016-10-01

    Iron overload remains a concern in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients. Iron chelation therapy (ICT) thus plays an integral role in the management of these patients. Moreover, ICT has been shown to prolong leukemia-free survival in MDS patients; however, the mechanisms responsible for this effect are unclear. Iron is a key molecule for regulating cytosolic aconitase 1 (ACO1). Additionally, the mutation of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH), the enzyme downstream of ACO1 in the TCA cycle, is associated with epigenetic abnormalities secondary to 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) and DNA methylation. However, epigenetic abnormalities observed in many MDS patients occur without IDH mutation. We hypothesized that iron itself activates the ACO1-IDH pathway, which may increase 2-HG and DNA methylation, and eventually contribute to leukemogenesis without IDH mutation. Using whole RNA sequencing of bone marrow cells in iron-overloaded mice, we observed that the enzymes, phosphoglucomutase 1, glycogen debranching enzyme, and isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (Idh1), which are involved in glycogen and glucose metabolism, were increased. Digital PCR further showed that Idh1 and Aco1, enzymes involved in the TCA cycle, were also elevated. Additionally, enzymatic activities of TCA cycle and methylated DNA were increased. Iron chelation reversed these phenomena. In conclusion, iron activation of glucose metabolism causes an increase of 2-HG and DNA methylation.

  11. Aberrant DNA Methylation and Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Majumdar, Sunipa; Buckles, Eric; Estrada, John; Koochekpour, Shahriar

    2011-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most prevalent cancer, a significant contributor to morbidity and a leading cause of cancer-related death in men in Western industrialized countries. In contrast to genetic changes that vary among individual cases, somatic epigenetic alterations are early and highly consistent events. Epigenetics encompasses several different phenomena, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, RNA interference, and genomic imprinting. Epigenetic processes regulate gene expression and can change malignancy-associated phenotypes such as growth, migration, invasion, or angiogenesis. Methylations of certain genes are associated with PCa progression. Compared to normal prostate tissues, several hypermethylated genes have also been identified in benign prostate hyperplasia, which suggests a role for aberrant methylation in this growth dysfunction. Global and gene-specific DNA methylation could be affected by environmental and dietary factors. Among other epigenetic changes, aberrant DNA methylation might have a great potential as diagnostic or prognostic marker for PCa and could be tested in tumor tissues and various body fluids (e.g., serum, urine). The DNA methylation markers are simple in nature, have high sensitivity, and could be detected either quantitatively or qualitatively. Availability of genome-wide screening methodologies also allows the identification of epigenetic signatures in high throughput population studies. Unlike irreversible genetic changes, epigenetic alterations are reversible and could be used for PCa targeted therapies. PMID:22547956

  12. Short- and Long-Term Hindlimb Immobilization and Reloading: Profile of Epigenetic Events in Gastrocnemius.

    PubMed

    Chacon-Cabrera, Alba; Gea, Joaquim; Barreiro, Esther

    2017-06-01

    Skeletal muscle dysfunction and atrophy are characteristic features accompanying chronic conditions. Epigenetic events regulate muscle mass and function maintenance. We hypothesized that the pattern of epigenetic events (muscle-enriched microRNAs and histone acetylation) and acetylation of transcription factors known to signal muscle wasting may differ between early- and late-time points in skeletal muscles of mice exposed to hindlimb immobilization (I) and recovery following I. Body and muscle weights, grip strength, muscle-enriched microRNAs, histone deacetylases (HDACs), acetylation of proteins, histones, and transcription factors (TF), myogenic TF factors, and muscle phenotype were assessed in gastrocnemius of mice exposed to periods (1, 2, 3, 7, 15, and 30 days, I groups) of hindlimb immobilization, and in those exposed to reloading for different periods of time (1, 3, 7, 15, and 30 days, R groups) following 7-day immobilization. Compared to non-immobilized controls, muscle weight, limb strength, microRNAs, especially miR-486, SIRT1 levels, and slow- and fast-twitch cross-sectional areas were decreased in mice of I groups, whereas Pax7 and acetylated FoxO1 and FoxO3 levels were increased. Muscle reloading following splint removal improved muscle mass loss, strength, and fiber atrophy, by increasing microRNAs, particularly miR-486, and SIRT1 content, while decreasing acetylated FoxO1 and FoxO3 levels. In this mouse model of disuse muscle atrophy, muscle-enriched microRNAs, especially miR-486, through Pax7 regulation delayed muscle cell differentiation following unloading of gastrocnemius muscle. Acetylation of FoxO1 and 3 seemed to drive muscle mass loss and atrophy, while deacetylation of these factors through SIRT1 would enable the muscle fibers to regenerate. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 1415-1427, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. TGF-β-Smad3 signaling in emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis: an epigenetic aberration of normal development?

    PubMed

    Warburton, David; Shi, Wei; Xu, Bing

    2013-01-15

    It is well accepted that TGF-β signaling has critical functional roles in lung development, injury, and repair. We showed previously that null mutation of Smad3, a critical node in the TGF-β pathway, protects mice against fibrosis induced by bleomycin. However, more recently we noticed that abnormal alveolarization also occurs in Smad3-deficient mice and that this is followed by progressive emphysema-like alveolar wall destruction mediated by MMP9. We now know that Smad3 cooperates with c-Jun to synergistically regulate a protein deacetylase SIRT1, by binding to an AP-1 site in the SIRT1 promoter. Consistently, Smad3 knockout lung at postnatal day 28 had reduced SIRT1 expression, which in turn resulted in increased histone acetylation at the binding sites of the transcription factors AP-1, NF-κB, and Pea3 on the MMP9 promoter, as well as increased acetylation of NF-κB. Thus, upon TGF-β activation, phosphorylated Smad3 can be translocated into the nucleus with Smad4, whereat Smad3 in turn collaborates with c-Jun to activate SIRT1 transcription. SIRT1 can deacetylate NF-κB at lysine 30, as well as histones adjacent to the transcription factor AP-1, NF-κB, and Pea3 binding sites of the MMP9 promoter, thereby suppressing MMP9 transcription, hence fixing MMP9 in the OFF mode. Conversely, when Smad3 is missing, this regulatory pathway is inactivated so that MMP9 is epigenetically turned ON. We postulate that these developmental epigenetic mechanisms by which Smad3 regulates MMP9 transcription cell autonomously may be important in modulating both emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis and that this could explain why both pathologies can appear within the same lung specimen.

  14. Computational Methods and Correlation of Exon-skipping Events with Splicing, Transcription, and Epigenetic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jianbo; Ye, Zhenqing; Huang, Tim H.; Shi, Huidong; Jin, Victor X.

    2016-01-01

    Alternative splicing is widely recognized for playing roles in regulating genes and creating gene diversity. Consequently the identification and quantification of differentially spliced transcripts are pivotal for transcriptome analysis. However, how these diversified isoforms are spliced during genomic transcription and protein expression and what biological factors might influence the regulation of this are still required for further exploration. The advances in next-generation sequencing of messenger RNA (RNA-seq) have enabled us to survey gene expression and splicing more accurately. We have introduced a novel computational method, graph-based exon-skipping scanner (GESS), for de novo detection of skipping event sites from raw RNA-seq reads without prior knowledge of gene annotations, as well as for determining the dominant isoform generated from such sites. We have applied our method to publicly available RNA-seq data in GM12878 and K562 cells from the ENCODE consortium, and integrated other sequencing-based genomic data to investigate the impact of splicing activities, transcription factors (TFs) and epigenetic histone modifications on splicing outcomes. In a separate study, we also apply this algorithm in prostate cancer in The Cancer Genomics Atlas (TCGA) for de novo skipping event discovery to the understanding of abnormal splicing in each patient and to identify potential markers for prediction and progression of diseases. PMID:27807836

  15. Epigenetic aberrations in leukocytes of patients with schizophrenia: association of global DNA methylation with antipsychotic drug treatment and disease onset.

    PubMed

    Melas, Philippe A; Rogdaki, Maria; Ösby, Urban; Schalling, Martin; Lavebratt, Catharina; Ekström, Tomas J

    2012-06-01

    Even though schizophrenia has a strong hereditary component, departures from simple genetic transmission are prominent. DNA methylation has emerged as an epigenetic explanatory candidate of schizophrenia's nonmendelian characteristics. To investigate this assumption, we examined genome-wide (global) and gene-specific DNA methylation levels, which are associated with genomic stability and gene expression activity, respectively. Analyses were conducted using DNA from leukocytes of patients with schizophrenia and controls. Global methylation results revealed a highly significant hypomethylation in patients with schizophrenia (P<2.0×10(-6)) and linear regression among patients generated a model in which antipsychotic treatment and disease onset explained 11% of the global methylation variance (adjusted R(2)=0.11, ANOVA P<0.001). Specifically, haloperidol was associated with higher ("control-like") methylation (P=0.001), and early onset (a putative marker of schizophrenia severity) was associated with lower methylation (P=0.002). With regard to the gene-specific methylation analyses, and in accordance with the dopamine hypothesis of psychosis, we found that the analyzed region of S-COMT was hypermethylated in patients with schizophrenia (P=0.004). In summary, these data support the notion of a dysregulated epigenome in schizophrenia, which, at least globally, is more pronounced in early-onset patients and can be partly rescued by antipsychotic medication. In addition, blood DNA-methylation signatures show promise of serving as a schizophrenia biomarker in the future.

  16. Combination Targeted Therapy to Disrupt Aberrant Oncogenic Signaling and Reverse Epigenetic Dysfunction in IDH2- and TET2-Mutant Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Shih, Alan H; Meydan, Cem; Shank, Kaitlyn; Garrett-Bakelman, Francine E; Ward, Patrick S; Intlekofer, Andrew; Nazir, Abbas; Stein, Eytan; Knapp, Kristina; Glass, Jacob; Travins, Jeremy; Straley, Kim; Gliser, Camelia; Mason, Chris; Yen, Katharine; Thompson, Craig B; Melnick, Ari; Levine, Ross L

    2017-02-13

    Genomic studies in acute myeloid leukemias (AML) have identified mutations which drive altered DNA methylation, including TET2 and IDH2. Here we show that models of AMLs resulting from TET2 or IDH2 mutations combined with FLT3ITD mutations are sensitive to 5-Azacytidine or to the IDH2 inhibitor AG-221, respectively. 5-Azacytidine and AG-221 treatment induced an attenuation of aberrant DNA methylation and transcriptional output, and resulted in a reduction in leukemic blasts consistent with anti-leukemic activity. These therapeutic benefits were associated with restoration of leukemic cell differentiation, and the normalization of hematopoiesis was derived from mutant cells. By contrast, combining AG-221 or 5-Azacytidine with FLT3 inhibition resulted in a reduction in mutant allele burden, progressive recovery of normal hematopoiesis from non-mutant stem-progenitor cells, and reversal of dysregulated DNA methylation and transcriptional output. Together, our studies suggest combined targeting of signaling and epigenetic pathways can increase therapeutic response in AML.

  17. Epigenetic Regulation of Chondrocyte Catabolism and Anabolism in Osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeonkyeong; Kang, Donghyun; Cho, Yongsik; Kim, Jin-Hong

    2015-08-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent forms of joint disorder, associated with a tremendous socioeconomic burden worldwide. Various non-genetic and lifestyle-related factors such as aging and obesity have been recognized as major risk factors for OA, underscoring the potential role for epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis of the disease. OA-associated epigenetic aberrations have been noted at the level of DNA methylation and histone modification in chondrocytes. These epigenetic regulations are implicated in driving an imbalance between the expression of catabolic and anabolic factors, leading eventually to osteoarthritic cartilage destruction. Cellular senescence and metabolic abnormalities driven by OA-associated risk factors appear to accompany epigenetic drifts in chondrocytes. Notably, molecular events associated with metabolic disorders influence epigenetic regulation in chondrocytes, supporting the notion that OA is a metabolic disease. Here, we review accumulating evidence supporting a role for epigenetics in the regulation of cartilage homeostasis and OA pathogenesis.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, Henry F.; Smith, Anthony J.; Fleming, Garry J.P.; Cooper, Paul R.

    2013-06-10

    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 increased 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.

  19. A complex interplay of genetic and epigenetic events leads to abnormal expression of the DUX4 gene in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Gatica, Laura Virginia; Rosa, Alberto Luis

    2016-12-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a prevalent inherited human myopathy, develops following a complex interplay of genetic and epigenetic events. FSHD1, the more frequent genetic form, is associated with: (1) deletion of an integral number of 3.3 Kb (D4Z4) repeated elements at the chromosomal region 4q35, (2) a specific 4q35 subtelomeric haplotype denominated 4qA, and (3) decreased methylation of cytosines at the 4q35-linked D4Z4 units. FSHD2 is most often caused by mutations at the SMCHD1 (Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes Hinge Domain 1) gene, on chromosome 18p11.32. FSHD2 individuals also carry the 4qA haplotype and decreased methylation of D4Z4 cytosines. Each D4Z4 unit contains a copy of the retrotransposed gene DUX4 (double homeobox containing protein 4). DUX4 gene functionality was questioned in the past because of its pseudogene-like structure, its location on repetitive telomeric DNA sequences (i.e. junk DNA), and the elusive nature of both the DUX4 transcript and the encoded protein, DUX4. It is now known that DUX4 is a nuclear-located transcription factor, which is normally expressed in germinal tissues. Aberrant DUX4 expression triggers a deregulation cascade inhibiting muscle differentiation, sensitizing cells to oxidative stress, and inducing muscle atrophy. A unifying pathogenic model for FSHD emerged with the recognition that the FSHD-permissive 4qA haplotype corresponds to a polyadenylation signal that stabilizes the DUX4 mRNA, allowing the toxic protein DUX4 to be expressed. This working hypothesis for FSHD pathogenesis highlights the intrinsic epigenetic nature of the molecular mechanism underlying FSHD as well as the pathogenic pathway connecting FSHD1 and FSHD2. Pharmacological control of either DUX4 gene expression or the activity of the DUX4 protein constitutes current potential rational therapeutic approaches to treat FSHD.

  20. Effects of Thymus serpyllum extract on cell proliferation, apoptosis and epigenetic events in human breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Bozkurt, Emir; Atmaca, Harika; Kisim, Asli; Uzunoglu, Selim; Uslu, Ruchan; Karaca, Burcak

    2012-01-01

    Thymus (T.) serpyllum (wild thyme) is an aromatic medicinal plant due to its several biological properties, including anticancer activity. Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies and increasing evidence supports that it is not only a genetic but also an epigenetic disease. Epigenetics investigates changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms that do not involve alterations in DNA sequence. DNA methylation and histone acetylation are the most widely studied epigenetic changes in cancer cells. This study evaluated the effects of T. serpyllum on apoptosis and epigenetic events in breast cancer cells. XTT cell viability assay was used to determine cytotoxicity. DNA fragmentation and caspase 3/7 activity assays were used in the assesment of apoptosis. DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) activities were evaluated by ELISA and verified by qRT-PCR. T. serpyllum extract induced significant cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) but not in normal cells. It also induced apoptosis and inhibited the DNMT and HDAC activities in MDA-MB-231 cells. In the present study, the first preliminary data on the effects of the methanolic extract of T. serpyllum in normal and breast cancer cells were obtained and suggest that T. serpyllum may be a promising candidate in the development of novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment.

  1. Involvement and necessity of the Cpx regulon in the event of aberrant β-barrel outer membrane protein assembly

    PubMed Central

    Gerken, Henri; Leiser, Owen P.; Bennion, Drew; Misra, Rajeev

    2010-01-01

    Summary The Cpx and σE regulons help maintain outer membrane integrity; the Cpx pathway monitors the biogenesis of cell surface structures, such as pili, while the σE pathway monitors the biogenesis of β-barrel outer membrane proteins (OMPs). In this study we revealed the importance of the Cpx regulon in the event of β-barrel OMP mis-assembly, by utilizing mutants expressing either a defective β-barrel OMP assembly machinery (Bam) or assembly defective β-barrel OMPs. Analysis of specific mRNAs showed that ΔcpxR bam double mutants failed to induce degP expression beyond the wild type level, despite activation of the σE pathway. The synthetic conditional lethal phenotype of ΔcpxR in mutant Bam or β-barrel OMP backgrounds was reversed by wild type DegP expressed from a heterologous plasmid promoter. Consistent with the involvement of the Cpx regulon in the event of aberrant β-barrel OMP assembly, the expression of cpxP, the archetypal member of the cpx regulon, was upregulated in defective Bam backgrounds or in cells expressing a single assembly-defective β-barrel OMP species. Together, these results showed that both the Cpx and σE regulons are required to reduce envelope stress caused by aberrant β-barrel OMP assembly, with the Cpx regulon principally contributing by controlling degP expression. PMID:20487295

  2. Epigenetics in the hematologic malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Chun Yew; Morison, Jessica; Dawson, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    A wealth of genomic and epigenomic data has identified abnormal regulation of epigenetic processes as a prominent theme in hematologic malignancies. Recurrent somatic alterations in myeloid malignancies of key proteins involved in DNA methylation, post-translational histone modification and chromatin remodeling have highlighted the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the initiation and maintenance of various malignancies. The rational use of targeted epigenetic therapies requires a thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms of malignant transformation driven by aberrant epigenetic regulators. In this review we provide an overview of the major protagonists in epigenetic regulation, their aberrant role in myeloid malignancies, prognostic significance and potential for therapeutic targeting. PMID:25472952

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

    PubMed

    Falahi, Fahimeh; van Kruchten, Michel; Martinet, Nadine; Hospers, Geke A P; Rots, Marianne G

    2014-07-29

    DNA methylation and histone modifications are important epigenetic modifications associated with gene (dys)regulation. The epigenetic modifications are balanced by epigenetic enzymes, so-called writers and erasers, such as DNA (de)methylases and histone (de)acetylases. Aberrant epigenetic alterations have been associated with various diseases, including breast cancer. Since aberrant epigenetic modifications are potentially reversible, they might represent targets for breast cancer therapy. Indeed, several drugs have been designed to inhibit epigenetic enzymes (epi-drugs), thereby reversing epigenetic modifications. US Food and Drug Administration approval has been obtained for some epi-drugs for hematological malignancies. However, these drugs have had very modest anti-tumor efficacy in phase I and II clinical trials in breast cancer patients as monotherapy. Therefore, current clinical trials focus on the combination of epi-drugs with other therapies to enhance or restore the sensitivity to such therapies. This approach has yielded some promising results in early phase II trials. The disadvantage of epi-drugs, however, is genome-wide effects, which may cause unwanted upregulation of, for example, pro-metastatic genes. Development of gene-targeted epigenetic modifications (epigenetic editing) in breast cancer can provide a novel approach to prevent such unwanted events. In this context, identification of crucial epigenetic modifications regulating key genes in breast cancer is of critical importance. In this review, we first describe aberrant DNA methylation and histone modifications as two important classes of epigenetic mutations in breast cancer. Then we focus on the preclinical and clinical epigenetic-based therapies currently being explored for breast cancer. Finally, we describe epigenetic editing as a promising new approach for possible applications towards more targeted breast cancer treatment.

  4. Epigenetic and disease targets by polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Pan, Min-Hsiung; Lai, Ching-Shu; Wu, Jia-Ching; Ho, Chi-Tang

    2013-01-01

    An epigenetic change is defined as an alteration in gene expression that does not involve a change in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modification (acetylation, methylation and phosphorylation) and miRNA, are critical for regulating developmental events. However, aberrant epigenetic mechanisms may lead to pathological consequences such as cardiovascular disease (CAD), neurodegenerative disease, obesity, metabolic disorder, bone and skeletal diseases and various cancers. Given that epigenetic modifications are heritable and reversible, in contrast to genetic changes, they have been identified as promising targets for disease prevention strategies. Over the past few decades, polyphenols, which are widely present in foods such as fruits and vegetables, have been shown to exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities for human health. Polyphenols reverse adverse epigenetic regulation by altering DNA methylation and histone modification, and they modulate microRNA expression or directly interact with enzymes that result in the reactivation of silenced tumor suppressor genes or the inactivation of oncogenes. Therefore, dietary polyphenol- targeted epigenetics becomes an attractive approach for disease prevention and intervention. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge and underlying mechanisms of the most common dietary polyphenols and their influence on major epigenetic mechanisms associated with disease intervention.

  5. Basic concepts of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Inbar-Feigenberg, Michal; Choufani, Sanaa; Butcher, Darci T; Roifman, Maian; Weksberg, Rosanna

    2013-03-01

    Several types of epigenetic marks facilitate the complex patterning required for normal human development. These epigenetic marks include DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides, covalent modifications of histone proteins, and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). They function in a highly orchestrated manner, regulating mitotically heritable differences in gene expression potential without altering the primary DNA sequence. In germ cells and the developing embryo, genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming drives the erasure and reestablishment of correct epigenetic patterns at critical developmental time periods and in specific cell types. Two specific types of epigenetic regulation established in early development include X-chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting; they regulate gene expression in a dosage-dependent and parent-of-origin-specific manner, respectively. Both genetic and environmental factors impact epigenetic marks, generating phenotypic variation that ranges from normal variation to human disease. Aberrant epigenetic patterning can lead to a variety of human disorders, including subfertility and imprinting disorders.

  6. Epigenetic genes and emotional reactivity to daily life events: a multi-step gene-environment interaction study.

    PubMed

    Pishva, Ehsan; Drukker, Marjan; Viechtbauer, Wolfgang; Decoster, Jeroen; Collip, Dina; van Winkel, Ruud; Wichers, Marieke; Jacobs, Nele; Thiery, Evert; Derom, Catherine; Geschwind, Nicole; van den Hove, Daniel; Lataster, Tineke; Myin-Germeys, Inez; van Os, Jim; Rutten, Bart P F; Kenis, Gunter

    2014-01-01

    Recent human and animal studies suggest that epigenetic mechanisms mediate the impact of environment on development of mental disorders. Therefore, we hypothesized that polymorphisms in epigenetic-regulatory genes impact stress-induced emotional changes. A multi-step, multi-sample gene-environment interaction analysis was conducted to test whether 31 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in epigenetic-regulatory genes, i.e. three DNA methyltransferase genes DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), moderate emotional responses to stressful and pleasant stimuli in daily life as measured by Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM). In the first step, main and interactive effects were tested in a sample of 112 healthy individuals. Significant associations in this discovery sample were then investigated in a population-based sample of 434 individuals for replication. SNPs showing significant effects in both the discovery and replication samples were subsequently tested in three other samples of: (i) 85 unaffected siblings of patients with psychosis, (ii) 110 patients with psychotic disorders, and iii) 126 patients with a history of major depressive disorder. Multilevel linear regression analyses showed no significant association between SNPs and negative affect or positive affect. No SNPs moderated the effect of pleasant stimuli on positive affect. Three SNPs of DNMT3A (rs11683424, rs1465764, rs1465825) and 1 SNP of MTHFR (rs1801131) moderated the effect of stressful events on negative affect. Only rs11683424 of DNMT3A showed consistent directions of effect in the majority of the 5 samples. These data provide the first evidence that emotional responses to daily life stressors may be moderated by genetic variation in the genes involved in the epigenetic machinery.

  7. Epigenetic Genes and Emotional Reactivity to Daily Life Events: A Multi-Step Gene-Environment Interaction Study

    PubMed Central

    Pishva, Ehsan; Drukker, Marjan; Viechtbauer, Wolfgang; Decoster, Jeroen; Collip, Dina; van Winkel, Ruud; Wichers, Marieke; Jacobs, Nele; Thiery, Evert; Derom, Catherine; Geschwind, Nicole; van den Hove, Daniel; Lataster, Tineke; Myin-Germeys, Inez; van Os, Jim

    2014-01-01

    Recent human and animal studies suggest that epigenetic mechanisms mediate the impact of environment on development of mental disorders. Therefore, we hypothesized that polymorphisms in epigenetic-regulatory genes impact stress-induced emotional changes. A multi-step, multi-sample gene-environment interaction analysis was conducted to test whether 31 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in epigenetic-regulatory genes, i.e. three DNA methyltransferase genes DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), moderate emotional responses to stressful and pleasant stimuli in daily life as measured by Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM). In the first step, main and interactive effects were tested in a sample of 112 healthy individuals. Significant associations in this discovery sample were then investigated in a population-based sample of 434 individuals for replication. SNPs showing significant effects in both the discovery and replication samples were subsequently tested in three other samples of: (i) 85 unaffected siblings of patients with psychosis, (ii) 110 patients with psychotic disorders, and iii) 126 patients with a history of major depressive disorder. Multilevel linear regression analyses showed no significant association between SNPs and negative affect or positive affect. No SNPs moderated the effect of pleasant stimuli on positive affect. Three SNPs of DNMT3A (rs11683424, rs1465764, rs1465825) and 1 SNP of MTHFR (rs1801131) moderated the effect of stressful events on negative affect. Only rs11683424 of DNMT3A showed consistent directions of effect in the majority of the 5 samples. These data provide the first evidence that emotional responses to daily life stressors may be moderated by genetic variation in the genes involved in the epigenetic machinery. PMID:24967710

  8. Epigenetic profiles as defined signatures of xenobiotic exposure.

    PubMed

    Thomson, John P; Moggs, Jonathan G; Wolf, C Roland; Meehan, Richard R

    2014-04-01

    With the advent of high resolution sequencing technologies there has been increasing interest in the study of genome-wide epigenetic modification patterns that govern the underlying gene expression events of a particular cell or tissue type. There is now mounting evidence that perturbations to the epigenetic landscape occur during a host of cellular processes including normal proliferation/differentiation and aberrant outcomes such as carcinogenesis. Furthermore, epigenetic perturbations have been associated with exposure to a range of drugs and toxicants, including non-genotoxic carcinogens (NGCs). Although a variety of epigenetic modifications induced by NGCs have been studied previously, recent genome-wide integrated epigenomic and transcriptomic studies reveal for the first time the extent and dynamic nature of the epigenetic perturbations resulting from xenobiotic exposure. The interrogation and integration of one such epigenetic mark, the newly discovered 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) modification, reveals that drug treatment associated perturbations of the epigenome can result in unique epigenetic signatures. This review focuses on how recent advances in the field of epigenetics can enhance our mechanistic understanding of xenobiotic exposure and provide novel safety biomarkers.

  9. Epigenetics and aging

    PubMed Central

    Pal, Sangita; Tyler, Jessica K.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have revealed that progressive changes to epigenetic information accompany aging in both dividing and nondividing cells. Functional studies in model organisms and humans indicate that epigenetic changes have a huge influence on the aging process. These epigenetic changes occur at various levels, including reduced bulk levels of the core histones, altered patterns of histone posttranslational modifications and DNA methylation, replacement of canonical histones with histone variants, and altered noncoding RNA expression, during both organismal aging and replicative senescence. The end result of epigenetic changes during aging is altered local accessibility to the genetic material, leading to aberrant gene expression, reactivation of transposable elements, and genomic instability. Strikingly, certain types of epigenetic information can function in a transgenerational manner to influence the life span of the offspring. Several important conclusions emerge from these studies: rather than being genetically predetermined, our life span is largely epigenetically determined; diet and other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing the epigenetic information; and inhibitors of epigenetic enzymes can influence life span of model organisms. These new findings provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved in aging. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic information, these studies highlight exciting avenues for therapeutic intervention in aging and age-associated diseases, including cancer. PMID:27482540

  10. Biotin-mediated epigenetic modifications: Potential defense against the carcinogenicity of benzo[a]pyrene.

    PubMed

    Xia, Bo; Pang, Li; Zhuang, Zhi-xiong; Liu, Jian-jun

    2016-01-22

    Environmental pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle result in direct exposure to dangerous chemicals that can modify endogenous pathways and induce malignant transformation of human cells. Although the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis are still not well understood, epigenetic alteration may be associated with exogenous chemical-induced carcinogenicity. Given the association between nutrition and cancer, nutrient supplementation may reduce aberrant epigenetic modifications induced by chemicals, thus decreasing carcinogenesis. This paper provides an overview of the epigenetic events caused by benzo[a]pyrene, a procarcinogenic and environmental pollutant, and biotin, an essential water-soluble vitamin, and investigates potential connections between them. This paper also discusses the potential inhibitory effect of biotin-related epigenetic modifications on the carcinogenicity of benzo[a]pyrene. The effect of nutritional supplementation on tumorigenesis involving epigenetic modifications is also discussed.

  11. Epigenetic Modifications by Dietary Phytochemicals: Implications for Personalized Nutrition

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, Sharmila; Kumar, Dhruv; Srivastava, Rakesh K.

    2014-01-01

    In last two decades, the study of epigenetic modification emerged as one of the major areas of cancer treatment targeted by dietary phytochemicals. Recent studies with various types of cancers revealed that the epigenetic modifications are associated with the food source corresponds to dietary phytochemicals. The dietary phytochemicals have been used in Asian countries for thousands of years to cure several diseases including cancer. They have been reported to modulate the several biological processes including histone modification, DNA methylation and non-coding microRNA expression. These events play a vital role in carcinogenesis. Various studies suggest that a number of dietary compounds present in vegetables, spices and other herbal products have epigenetic targets in cancer cells. Dietary phytochemicals have been reported to repair DNA damage by enhancing histone acetylation that helps to restrain cell death, and also alter DNA methylation. These phytochemicals are able to modulate epigenetic modifications and their targets to cure several cancers. Epigenetic aberrations dynamically contribute to cancer pathogenesis. Given the individualized traits of epigenetic biomarkers, the personalized nutrition will help us to prevent various types of cancer. In this review, we will discuss the effect of dietary phytochemicals on genetic and epigenetic modifications and how these modifications help to prevent various types of cancers and improve health outcomes. PMID:23159372

  12. Epigenetic alterations in a murine model for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shih-Shih; Sherman, Mara H; Hertlein, Erin; Johnson, Amy J; Teitell, Michael A; Byrd, John C; Plass, Christoph

    2009-11-15

    Early stages in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have not been explored mainly due to the inability to study normal B-cells en route to transformation. In order to determine such early events of leukemogenesis, we have used a well established mouse model for CLL. Over-expression of human TCL1, a known CLL oncogene in murine B-cells leads to the development of mature CD19+/CD5+/IgM+ clonal leukemia with a disease phenotype similar to that seen in human CLL. Herein, we review our recent study using this TCL1-driven mouse model for CLL and corresponding human CLL samples in a cross-species epigenomics approach to address the timing and relevance of epigenetic events occurring during leukemogenesis. We demonstrated that the mouse model recapitulates the epigenetic events that have been reported for human CLL, affirming the power and validity of this mouse model to study early epigenetic events in cancer progression. Epigenetic alterations are detected as early as three months after birth, far before disease manifests at about 11 months of age. These mice undergo NFkappaB repressor complex mediated inactivation of the transcription factor Foxd3, whose targets become aberrantly methylated and silenced in mouse and human CLL. Overall, our data suggest the accumulated epigenetic alterations during CLL pathogenesis as a consequence of gene silencing through TCL1 and NFkappaB repressor complex, suggesting the relevance for NFkappaB as a therapeutic target in CLL.

  13. Epigenetic Alterations in Colorectal Cancer: Emerging Biomarkers.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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 colonic 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, are 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Epigenetic reprogramming and aberrant expression of PRAME are associated with increased metastatic risk in Class 1 and Class 2 uveal melanomas

    PubMed Central

    Field, Matthew G.; Durante, Michael A.; Decatur, Christina L.; Tarlan, Bercin; Oelschlager, Kristen M.; Stone, John F.; Kuznetsov, Jeffim; Bowcock, Anne M.; Kurtenbach, Stefan; Harbour, J. William

    2016-01-01

    Background We previously identified PRAME as a biomarker for metastatic risk in Class 1 uveal melanomas. In this study, we sought to define a threshold value for positive PRAME expression (PRAME+) in a large dataset, identify factors associated with PRAME expression, evaluate the prognostic value of PRAME in Class 2 uveal melanomas, and determine whether PRAME expression is associated with aberrant hypomethylation of the PRAME promoter. Results Among 678 samples analyzed by qPCR, 498 (73.5%) were PRAME- and 180 (26.5%) were PRAME+. Class 1 tumors were more likely to be PRAME-, whereas Class 2 tumors were more likely to be PRAME+ (P < 0.0001). PRAME expression was associated with shorter time to metastasis and melanoma specific mortality in Class 2 tumors (P = 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively). In Class 1 tumors, PRAME expression was directly associated with SF3B1 mutations (P < 0.0001) and inversely associated with EIF1AX mutations (P = 0.004). PRAME expression was strongly associated with hypomethylation at 12 CpG sites near the PRAME promoter. MATERIALS AND METHODS Analyses included PRAME mRNA expression, Class 1 versus Class 2 status, chromosomal copy number, mutation status of BAP1, EIF1AX, GNA11, GNAQ and SF3B1, and genomic DNA methylation status. Analyses were performed on 555 de-identified samples from Castle Biosciences, 123 samples from our center, and 80 samples from the TCGA. Conclusions PRAME is aberrantly hypomethylated and activated in Class 1 and Class 2 uveal melanomas and is associated with increased metastatic risk in both classes. Since PRAME has been successfully targeted for immunotherapy, it may prove to be a companion prognostic biomarker. PMID:27486988

  16. Dies1/VISTA expression loss is a recurrent event in gastric cancer due to epigenetic regulation.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Patrícia; Carvalho, Joana; Rocha, Sara; Azevedo, Mafalda; Reis, Inês; Camilo, Vânia; Sousa, Bárbara; Valente, Sofia; Paredes, Joana; Almeida, Raquel; Huntsman, David; Oliveira, Carla

    2016-10-10

    Dies1/VISTA induces embryonic stem-cell differentiation, via BMP-pathway, but also acts as inflammation regulator and immune-response modulator. Dies1 inhibition in a melanoma-mouse model led to increased tumour-infiltrating T-cells and decreased tumour growth, emphasizing Dies1 relevance in tumour-microenvironment. Dies1 is involved in cell de/differentiation, inflammation and cancer processes, which mimic those associated with Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal-Transition (EMT). Despite this axis linking Dies1 with EMT and cancer, its expression, modulation and relevance in these contexts is unknown. To address this, we analysed Dies1 expression, its regulation by promoter-methylation and miR-125a-5p overexpression, and its association with BMP-pathway downstream-effectors, in a TGFβ1-induced EMT-model, cancer cell-lines and primary samples. We detected promoter-methylation as a mechanism controlling Dies1 expression in our EMT-model and in several cancer cell-lines. We showed that the relationship between Dies1 expression and BMP-pathway effectors observed in the EMT-model, was not present in all cell-lines, suggesting that Dies1 has other cell-specific effectors, beyond the BMP-pathway. We further demonstrated that: Dies1 expression loss is a recurrent event in GC, caused by promoter methylation and/or miR-125a-5p overexpression and; GC-microenvironment myofibroblasts overexpress Dies1. Our findings highlight Dies1 as a novel player in GC, with distinct roles within tumour cells and in the tumour-microenvironment.

  17. Dies1/VISTA expression loss is a recurrent event in gastric cancer due to epigenetic regulation

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Patrícia; Carvalho, Joana; Rocha, Sara; Azevedo, Mafalda; Reis, Inês; Camilo, Vânia; Sousa, Bárbara; Valente, Sofia; Paredes, Joana; Almeida, Raquel; Huntsman, David; Oliveira, Carla

    2016-01-01

    Dies1/VISTA induces embryonic stem-cell differentiation, via BMP-pathway, but also acts as inflammation regulator and immune-response modulator. Dies1 inhibition in a melanoma-mouse model led to increased tumour-infiltrating T-cells and decreased tumour growth, emphasizing Dies1 relevance in tumour-microenvironment. Dies1 is involved in cell de/differentiation, inflammation and cancer processes, which mimic those associated with Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal-Transition (EMT). Despite this axis linking Dies1 with EMT and cancer, its expression, modulation and relevance in these contexts is unknown. To address this, we analysed Dies1 expression, its regulation by promoter-methylation and miR-125a-5p overexpression, and its association with BMP-pathway downstream-effectors, in a TGFβ1-induced EMT-model, cancer cell-lines and primary samples. We detected promoter-methylation as a mechanism controlling Dies1 expression in our EMT-model and in several cancer cell-lines. We showed that the relationship between Dies1 expression and BMP-pathway effectors observed in the EMT-model, was not present in all cell-lines, suggesting that Dies1 has other cell-specific effectors, beyond the BMP-pathway. We further demonstrated that: Dies1 expression loss is a recurrent event in GC, caused by promoter methylation and/or miR-125a-5p overexpression and; GC-microenvironment myofibroblasts overexpress Dies1. Our findings highlight Dies1 as a novel player in GC, with distinct roles within tumour cells and in the tumour-microenvironment. PMID:27721458

  18. Epigenetic Perturbations by Arg882-Mutated DNMT3A Potentiate Aberrant Stem Cell Gene-Expression Program and Acute Leukemia Development.

    PubMed

    Lu, Rui; Wang, Ping; Parton, Trevor; Zhou, Yang; Chrysovergis, Kaliopi; Rockowitz, Shira; Chen, Wei-Yi; Abdel-Wahab, Omar; Wade, Paul A; Zheng, Deyou; Wang, Gang Greg

    2016-07-11

    DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) is frequently mutated in hematological cancers; however, the underlying oncogenic mechanism remains elusive. Here, we report that the DNMT3A mutational hotspot at Arg882 (DNMT3A(R882H)) cooperates with NRAS mutation to transform hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and induce acute leukemia development. Mechanistically, DNMT3A(R882H) directly binds to and potentiates transactivation of stemness genes critical for leukemogenicity including Meis1, Mn1, and Hoxa gene cluster. DNMT3A(R882H) induces focal epigenetic alterations, including CpG hypomethylation and concurrent gain of active histone modifications, at cis-regulatory elements such as enhancers to facilitate gene transcription. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated ablation of a putative Meis1 enhancer carrying DNMT3A(R882H)-induced DNA hypomethylation impairs Meis1 expression. Importantly, DNMT3A(R882H)-induced gene-expression programs can be repressed through Dot1l inhibition, providing an attractive therapeutic strategy for DNMT3A-mutated leukemias.

  19. Exploiting epigenetic vulnerabilities for cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Extraction and processing of circulating DNA from large sample volumes using methylation on beads for the detection of rare epigenetic events.

    PubMed

    Keeley, Brian; Stark, Alejandro; Pisanic, Thomas R; Kwak, Ruby; Zhang, Yi; Wrangle, John; Baylin, Stephen; Herman, James; Ahuja, Nita; Brock, Malcolm V; Wang, Tza-Huei

    2013-10-21

    The use of methylated tumor-specific circulating DNA has shown great promise as a potential cancer biomarker. Nonetheless, the relative scarcity of tumor-specific circulating DNA presents a challenge for traditional DNA extraction and processing techniques. Here we demonstrate a single tube extraction and processing technique dubbed "methylation on beads" that allows for DNA extraction and bisulfite conversion for up to 2 ml of plasma or serum. In comparison to traditional techniques including phenol chloroform and alcohol extraction, methylation on beads yields a 1.5- to 5-fold improvement in extraction efficiency. The technique results in far less carryover of PCR inhibitors yielding analytical sensitivity improvements of over 25-fold. The combination of improved recovery and sensitivity make possible the detection of rare epigenetic events and the development of high sensitivity epigenetic diagnostic assays.

  2. Progress in mitochondrial epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Manev, Hari; Dzitoyeva, Svetlana

    2013-08-01

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

  3. Role of Nuclear Architecture in Epigenetic Alterations in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Easwaran, H.P.; Baylin, S.B.

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that cancer results from an array of epigenetic and genetic alterations, particularly aberrant epigenetic patterns that are a hallmark of every cancer type studied. Another well-known feature of cancer cells is the array of abnormalities in their nuclear structure. Although it is known that nuclear structure has an important role in the regulation of gene expression, we know little about the direct relationship between nuclear structural alterations and aberrant epigenetic patterns in cancer. Here, we discuss some of the recent studies from our lab and others to understand the relationship between alterations of nuclear architecture and aberrant epigenetic patterns in cancer cells. Although the precise relationship remains elusive, we suggest that changes in nuclear structure and composition could alter long-range genomic interactions and cause global epigenetic changes during tumorigenesis. We emphasize the need for further studies to elucidate the direct relationship between nuclear structure alterations and aberrant epigenetic patterns in cancers. PMID:21447817

  4. Outlook on epigenetic therapeutic approaches for treatment of gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Hudler, Petra

    2017-02-03

    The incidence of gastric cancer has been declining globally in the last decades. Despite the improvements in the diagnostic procedures, most cases are still detected at advanced stages due to lack of specific symptoms associated with early phases of tumour development. Consequently, gastric cancer poses a major health burden worldwide due to high mortality rates. Continuing advances in high-throughput technologies are revealing an intricate network of genetic and epigenetic changes associated with carcinogenesis. In addition, several risk factors, both environmental and genetic, have been recognized, which promote accumulation of diverse alterations affecting the expression of oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes, DNA repair genes, and other genes, implicated in normal gastric cell functions. A plethora of aberrant molecular events found in patients with this disease and intragenic heterogeneity of tumours from individuals are delaying the development of targeted biological therapies. Frequent occurrence of characteristic CpG island methylator phenotypes (CIMP phenotypes) in gastric cancers, particularly in association with Helicobacter pylori or EBV infection, could lead to introduction of epigenetic modulators into standard treatment regimens used against early and advanced forms of adenocarcinomas. This review highlights aberrant DNA methylation events in the development of gastric tumours and addresses the different aspects associated with the application of therapeutic epigenetic modulation in the management of the disease.

  5. Epigenetic alterations in preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the cervix

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Cervical cancer (CC) is one of the most malignant tumors and the second or third most common type of cancer in women worldwide. The association between human papillomavirus (HPV) and CC is widely known and accepted (99.7% of cases). At present, the pathogenesis mechanisms of CC are not entirely clear. It has been shown that inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and activation of oncogenes play a significant role in carcinogenesis, caused by the genetic and epigenetic alterations. In the past, it was generally thought that genetic mutation was a key event of tumor pathogenesis, especially somatic mutation of tumor suppressor genes. With deeper understanding of tumors in recent years, increasing evidence has shown that epigenetic silencing of those genes, as a result of aberrant hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoters and histone modification, is essential to carcinogenesis and metastasis. The term epigenetics refers to heritable changes in gene expression caused by regulation mechanisms, other than changes in DNA sequence. Specific epigenetic processes include DNA methylation, chromotin remodeling, histone modification, and microRNA regulations. These alterations, in combination or individually, make it possible to establish the methylation profiles, histone modification maps, and expression profiles characteristic of this pathology, which become useful tools for screening, early detection, or prognostic markers in cervical cancer. This paper reviews recent epigenetics research progress in the CC study, and tries to depict the relationships between CC and DNA methylation, histone modification, as well as microRNA regulations. PMID:22938091

  6. 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.

  7. Epigenetics in disease: leader or follower?

    PubMed

    Martin, David I K; Cropley, Jennifer E; Suter, Catherine M

    2011-07-01

    Epigenetic silencing is a pervasive mode of gene regulation in multicellular eukaryotes: stable differentiation of somatic cell types requires the maintenance of subsets of genes in an active or silent state. The variety of molecules involved, and the requirement for active maintenance of epigenetic states, creates the potential for errors on a large scale. When epigenetic errors - or epimutations - activate or inactivate a critical gene, they may cause disease. An epimutation that occurs in the germline or early embryo can affect all, or most, of the soma and phenocopy genetic disease. But the stochastic and reversible nature of epigenetic phenomena predicts that epimutations are likely to be mosaic and inherited in a nonmendelian manner; epigenetic diseases will thus rarely behave in the comfortably predictable manner of genetic diseases but will display variable expressivity and complex patterns of inheritance. Much phenotypic variation and common disease might be explained by epigenetic variation and aberration. The known examples of true epigenetic disease are at present limited, but this may reflect only the difficulty in distinguishing causal epigenetic aberrations from those that are merely consequences of disease, a challenge further extended by the impact of environmental agents on epigenetic mechanisms. The rapidly developing molecular characterization of epigenomes, and the new ability to survey epigenetic marks on whole genomes, may answer many questions about the causal role of epigenetics in disease; these answers have the potential to transform our understanding of human disease.

  8. Epigenetic changes during disease progression in a murine model of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shih-Shih; Raval, Aparna; Johnson, Amy J.; Hertlein, Erin; Liu, Te-Hui; Jin, Victor X.; Sherman, Mara H.; Liu, Shu-Jun; Dawson, David W.; Williams, Katie E.; Lanasa, Mark; Liyanarachchi, Sandya; Lin, Thomas S.; Marcucci, Guido; Pekarsky, Yuri; Davuluri, Ramana; Croce, Carlo M.; Guttridge, Denis C.; Teitell, Michael A.; Byrd, John C.; Plass, Christoph

    2009-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations, including gain or loss of DNA methylation, are a hallmark of nearly every malignancy. Changes in DNA methylation can impact expression of cancer-related genes including apoptosis regulators and tumor suppressors. Because such epigenetic changes are reversible, they are being aggressively investigated as potential therapeutic targets. Here we use the Eμ-TCL1 transgenic mouse model of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to determine the timing and patterns of aberrant DNA methylation, and to investigate the mechanisms that lead to aberrant DNA methylation. We show that CLL cells from Eμ-TCL1 mice at various stages recapitulate epigenetic alterations seen in human CLL. Aberrant methylation of promoter sequences is observed as early as 3 months of age in these animals, well before disease onset. Abnormally methylated promoter regions include binding sites for the transcription factor FOXD3. We show that loss of Foxd3 expression due to an NF-κB p50/p50:HDAC1 repressor complex occurs in TCL1-positive B cells before methylation. Therefore, specific transcriptional repression is an early event leading to epigenetic silencing of target genes in murine and human CLL. These results provide strong rationale for the development of strategies to target NF-κB components in CLL and potentially other B-cell malignancies. PMID:19666576

  9. Epigenetic changes during disease progression in a murine model of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shih-Shih; Raval, Aparna; Johnson, Amy J; Hertlein, Erin; Liu, Te-Hui; Jin, Victor X; Sherman, Mara H; Liu, Shu-Jun; Dawson, David W; Williams, Katie E; Lanasa, Mark; Liyanarachchi, Sandya; Lin, Thomas S; Marcucci, Guido; Pekarsky, Yuri; Davuluri, Ramana; Croce, Carlo M; Guttridge, Denis C; Teitell, Michael A; Byrd, John C; Plass, Christoph

    2009-08-11

    Epigenetic alterations, including gain or loss of DNA methylation, are a hallmark of nearly every malignancy. Changes in DNA methylation can impact expression of cancer-related genes including apoptosis regulators and tumor suppressors. Because such epigenetic changes are reversible, they are being aggressively investigated as potential therapeutic targets. Here we use the Emu-TCL1 transgenic mouse model of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to determine the timing and patterns of aberrant DNA methylation, and to investigate the mechanisms that lead to aberrant DNA methylation. We show that CLL cells from Emu-TCL1 mice at various stages recapitulate epigenetic alterations seen in human CLL. Aberrant methylation of promoter sequences is observed as early as 3 months of age in these animals, well before disease onset. Abnormally methylated promoter regions include binding sites for the transcription factor FOXD3. We show that loss of Foxd3 expression due to an NF-kappaB p50/p50:HDAC1 repressor complex occurs in TCL1-positive B cells before methylation. Therefore, specific transcriptional repression is an early event leading to epigenetic silencing of target genes in murine and human CLL. These results provide strong rationale for the development of strategies to target NF-kappaB components in CLL and potentially other B-cell malignancies.

  10. 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 Central

    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

    2017-01-01

    Background— 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. Methods and Results— 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 (PTC=0.004, PHDL-C=0.008 and Ptriglycerides=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. Conclusions— 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

  11. Epigenetics in Cancer: A Hematological Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, Maximilian; Kim, Tae Kon; Zeidan, Amer M.; Prebet, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    For several decades, we have known that epigenetic regulation is disrupted in cancer. Recently, an increasing body of data suggests epigenetics might be an intersection of current cancer research trends: next generation sequencing, immunology, metabolomics, and cell aging. The new emphasis on epigenetics is also related to the increasing production of drugs capable of interfering with epigenetic mechanisms and able to trigger clinical responses in even advanced phase patients. In this review, we will use myeloid malignancies as proof of concept examples of how epigenetic mechanisms can trigger or promote oncogenesis. We will also show how epigenetic mechanisms are related to genetic aberrations, and how they affect other systems, like immune response. Finally, we will show how we can try to influence the fate of cancer cells with epigenetic therapy. PMID:27723796

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

    PubMed

    Shinjo, Keiko; Kondo, Yutaka

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Aberrant Promoter Hypomethylation in CLL: Does It Matter for Disease Development?

    PubMed Central

    Upchurch, Garland Michael; Haney, Staci L.; Opavsky, Rene

    2016-01-01

    Over the last 30 years, studies of aberrant DNA methylation in hematologic malignancies have been dominated by the primary focus of understanding promoter hypermethylation. These efforts not only resulted in a better understanding of the basis of epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes but also resulted in approval of hypomethylating agents for the treatment of several malignancies, such as myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. Recent advances in global methylation profiling coupled with the use of mouse models suggest that aberrant promoter hypomethylation is also a frequent event in hematologic malignancies, particularly in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Promoter hypomethylation affects gene expression and, therefore, may play an important role in disease pathogenesis. Here, we review recent findings and discuss the potential involvement of aberrant promoter hypomethylation in CLL. PMID:27563627

  14. Environmental Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Bollati, Valentina; Baccarelli, Andrea

    2011-01-01

    Purpose of the review Epigenetics investigates heritable changes in gene expression occurring without changes in DNA sequence. Several epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, can change genome function under exogenous influence. We review current evidence indicating that epigenetic alterations mediate effects from exposure to environmental toxicants. Recent findings Results from animal models indicate that in-utero or early-life environmental exposures produce effects that can be inherited transgenerationally and are accompanied by epigenetic alterations. The search for human equivalents of the epigenetic mechanisms identified in animal models is under way. Recent investigations have identified a number of environmental toxicants that cause altered methylation of human repetitive elements or genes. Some exposures can alter epigenetic states and the same and/or similar epigenetic alterations can be found in patients with the disease of concern. Based on current evidence, we propose possible models for the interplay between environmental exposures and the human epigenome. Summary Several investigations have examined the relation between exposure to environmental chemicals and epigenetics, and identified toxicants that modify epigenetic states. Whether environmental exposures have transgenerational epigenetic effects in humans remains to be elucidated. In spite of the current limitations, available evidence supports the concept that epigenetics holds substantial potential for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of environmental toxicants, as well as for predicting health-related risks due to conditions of environmental exposure and individual susceptibility. PMID:20179736

  15. Epigenetics-Based Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zihui; Li, He; Jin, Peng

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation, such as DNA methylation and histone modification, is implicated in the aberrant changes in gene expression that occur during the progression of neurodegeneration. Many epigenetics-based drugs have been developed recently for the treatment of some neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Here we review recent studies that highlight the role of epigenetic modifications in neurodegeneration, among them DNA methylation and demethylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation; we also explore the possibility of using epigenetics-based therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23526405

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  17. Polarization Aberrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcguire, James P., Jr.; Chipman, Russell A.

    1990-01-01

    The analysis of the polarization characteristics displayed by optical systems can be divided into two categories: geometrical and physical. Geometrical analysis calculates the change in polarization of a wavefront between pupils in an optical instrument. Physical analysis propagates the polarized fields wherever the geometrical analysis is not valid, i.e., near the edges of stops, near images, in anisotropic media, etc. Polarization aberration theory provides a starting point for geometrical design and facilitates subsequent optimization. The polarization aberrations described arise from differences in the transmitted (or reflected) amplitudes and phases at interfaces. The polarization aberration matrix (PAM) is calculated for isotropic rotationally symmetric systems through fourth order and includes the interface phase, amplitude, linear diattenuation, and linear retardance aberrations. The exponential form of Jones matrices used are discussed. The PAM in Jones matrix is introduced. The exact calculation of polarization aberrations through polarization ray tracing is described. The report is divided into three sections: I. Rotationally Symmetric Optical Systems; II. Tilted and Decentered Optical Systems; and Polarization Analysis of LIDARs.

  18. Ecological epigenetics.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Targeting cancer epigenetics: Linking basic biology to clinical medicine.

    PubMed

    Shinjo, Keiko; Kondo, Yutaka

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies provide compelling evidence that epigenetic dysregulation is involved in almost every step of tumor development and progression. Differences in tumor behavior, which ultimately reflects clinical outcome, can be explained by variations in gene expression patterns generated by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation. Therefore, epigenetic abnormalities are considered potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. DNA methylation is stable at certain specific loci in cancer cells and predominantly reflects the characteristic clinicopathological features. Thus, it is an ideal biomarker for cancer screening, classification and prognostic purposes. Epigenetic treatment for cancers is based on the pharmacologic targeting of various core transcriptional programs that sustains cancer cell identity. Therefore, targeting aberrant epigenetic modifiers may be effective for multiple processes compared with using a selective inhibitor of aberrant single signaling pathway. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic alterations in human cancers and discusses about novel therapeutic strategies targeting epigenetic alterations.

  20. Epigenetic alterations and microRNA misexpression in cancer and autoimmune diseases: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Saito, Yoshimasa; Saito, Hidetsugu; Liang, Gangning; Friedman, Jeffrey M

    2014-10-01

    Epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation and histone modifications around promoter regions modify chromatin structure and regulate expression of downstream genes. In fact, aberrant epigenetic modifications are common events in human disease including tumorigenesis and autoimmunity. Small non-coding RNAs named microRNAs (miRNAs) are modulators of gene expression and play critical roles in various cellular processes. Several miRNAs have been characterized as tumor suppressors or oncogenes in cancer, and recent reports implicate certain miRNAs in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Epigenetic investigations have shown that distinct miRNAs are directly regulated by DNA methylation and histone modifications at their promoters. Moreover, miRNAs themselves are key participants in regulating the chromatin modifying machinery. Chromatin-modifying drugs such as DNA methylation inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors have shown efficacy in human malignancies and there is some evidence that these drugs may be useful in autoimmune disease. The benefits of these drugs are at least partially mediated by restoring expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes, including miRNAs. The complex layers regulating gene expression have yet to be fully elucidated, but it is clear that epigenetic alterations and miRNA misexpression are essential events in pathologic processes, especially cancer and autoimmune disease, and represent promising therapeutic targets.

  1. H3K9 trimethylation precedes DNA methylation during sheep oogenesis: HDAC1, SUV39H1, G9a, HP1, and Dnmts are involved in these epigenetic events.

    PubMed

    Russo, Valentina; Bernabò, Nicola; Di Giacinto, Oriana; Martelli, Alessandra; Mauro, Annunziata; Berardinelli, Paolo; Curini, Valentina; Nardinocchi, Delia; Mattioli, Mauro; Barboni, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    The oocyte, to become a fully mature gamete, has to acquire a correct pattern of DNA methylation on its genome; this epigenetic event represents the major point of the molecular mechanisms that occur during postnatal oogenesis. It is known that an intimate link exists between DNA methylation and histone posttranslational modifications, such as trimethylation of lysine 9 on histone 3 (H3K9me3), that is essential in the silencing of gene transcription. What remains unclear is the precise sequence of these two epigenetic events and the protein expression of the enzymes that catalyze this epigenetic maturation during oogenesis. To identify the key molecules involved in global DNA methylation and H3K9me3, a biological network-based computational model was realized. Then, the spatiotemporal distribution of the proteins, identified from the biological network, was assessed during postnatal oogenesis. The results obtained suggest the existence of a sequential cascade of events in which H3K9me3 is the primary step followed by DNA methylation. These two epigenetic marks are realized due to the recruitment of the HDAC1, SUV39H1, G9a, HP1, and Dnmt3a, which were always localized in the nuclei of the oocytes and were dependent on chromatin configuration. These results involving DNA methylation and H3K9me3 are crucial in defining the oocyte developmental competence.

  2. Nutritional epigenetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Epigenetic control.

    PubMed

    Delcuve, Geneviève P; Rastegar, Mojgan; Davie, James R

    2009-05-01

    Epigenetics refers to mitotically and/or meiotically heritable variations in gene expression that are not caused by changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate all biological processes from conception to death, including genome reprogramming during early embryogenesis and gametogenesis, cell differentiation and maintenance of a committed lineage. Key epigenetic players are DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications, which interplay with each other, with regulatory proteins and with non-coding RNAs, to remodel chromatin into domains such as euchromatin, constitutive or facultative heterochromatin and to achieve nuclear compartmentalization. Besides epigenetic mechanisms such as imprinting, chromosome X inactivation or mitotic bookmarking which establish heritable states, other rapid and transient mechanisms, such as histone H3 phosphorylation, allow cells to respond and adapt to environmental stimuli. However, these epigenetic marks can also have long-term effects, for example in learning and memory formation or in cancer. Erroneous epigenetic marks are responsible for a whole gamut of diseases including diseases evident at birth or infancy or diseases becoming symptomatic later in life. Moreover, although epigenetic marks are deposited early in development, adaptations occurring through life can lead to diseases and cancer. With epigenetic marks being reversible, research has started to focus on epigenetic therapy which has had encouraging success. As we witness an explosion of knowledge in the field of epigenetics, we are forced to revisit our dogma. For example, recent studies challenge the idea that DNA methylation is irreversible. Further, research on Rett syndrome has revealed an unforeseen role for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in neurons.

  4. Regulation of SOD2 in Cancer by Histone Modifications and CpG Methylation: Closing the Loop Between Redox Biology and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Cyr, Anthony R.; Hitchler, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2), encoded by the nuclear gene SOD2, is a critical mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme whose activity has broad implications in health and disease. Thirty years ago, Oberley and Buettner elegantly folded SOD2 into cancer biology with the free radical theory of cancer, which was built on the observation that many human cancers had reduced SOD2 activity. In the original formulation, the loss of SOD2 in tumor cells produced a state of perpetual oxidative stress, which, in turn, drove genetic instability, leading to cancer development. Recent Advances: In the past two decades, research has established that SOD2 transcriptional activity is controlled, at least in part, via epigenetic mechanisms at different stages in the development of human cancer. These mechanisms, which include histone methylation, histone acetylation, and DNA methylation, are increasingly recognized as being aberrantly regulated in human cancer. Indeed, the epigenetic progenitor model proposed by Henikoff posits that epigenetic events are central governing agents of carcinogenesis. Important recent advances in epigenetics research have indicated that the loss of SOD activity itself may contribute to changes in epigenetic regulation, establishing a vicious cycle that drives further epigenetic instability. Critical Issues: With these observations in mind, we propose an epigenetic revision to the free radical theory of cancer: that loss of SOD activity promotes epigenetic aberrancies, driving the epigenetic instability in tumor cells which produces broad phenotypic effects. Future Directions: The development of next-generation sequencing technologies and novel approaches in systems biology and bioinformatics promise to make testing this exciting model a reality in the near future. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1946–1955. PMID:22946823

  5. Epigenetics and Autism

    PubMed Central

    Millis, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    This review identifies mechanisms for altering DNA-histone interactions of cell chromatin to upregulate or downregulate gene expression that could serve as epigenetic targets for therapeutic interventions in autism. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) can phosphorylate histone H3 at T6. Aided by protein kinase Cβ1, the DNMT lysine-specific demethylase-1 prevents demethylation of H3 at K4. During androgen-receptor-(AR-) dependent gene activation, this sequence may produce AR-dependent gene overactivation which may partly explain the male predominance of autism. AR-dependent gene overactivation in conjunction with a DNMT mechanism for methylating oxytocin receptors could produce high arousal inputs to the amygdala resulting in aberrant socialization, a prime characteristic of autism. Dysregulation of histone methyltransferases and histone deacetylases (HDACs) associated with low activity of methyl CpG binding protein-2 at cytosine-guanine sites in genes may reduce the capacity for condensing chromatin and silencing genes in frontal cortex, a site characterized by decreased cortical interconnectivity in autistic subjects. HDAC1 inhibition can overactivate mRNA transcription, a putative mechanism for the increased number of cerebral cortical columns and local frontal cortex hyperactivity in autistic individuals. These epigenetic mechanisms underlying male predominance, aberrant social interaction, and low functioning frontal cortex may be novel targets for autism prevention and treatment strategies. PMID:24151554

  6. Viral epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Milavetz, Barry I; Balakrishnan, Lata

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes: Paradigms, puzzles, and potential.

    PubMed

    Kazanets, Anna; Shorstova, Tatiana; Hilmi, Khalid; Marques, Maud; Witcher, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Cancer constitutes a set of diseases with heterogeneous molecular pathologies. However, there are a number of universal aberrations common to all cancers, one of these being the epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). The silencing of TSGs is thought to be an early, driving event in the oncogenic process. With this in consideration, great efforts have been made to develop small molecules aimed at the restoration of TSGs in order to limit tumor cell proliferation and survival. However, the molecular forces that drive the broad epigenetic reprogramming and transcriptional repression of these genes remain ill-defined. Undoubtedly, understanding the molecular underpinnings of transcriptionally silenced TSGs will aid us in our ability to reactivate these key anti-cancer targets. Here, we describe what we consider to be the five most logical molecular mechanisms that may account for this widely observed phenomenon: 1) ablation of transcription factor binding, 2) overexpression of DNA methyltransferases, 3) disruption of CTCF binding, 4) elevation of EZH2 activity, 5) aberrant expression of long non-coding RNAs. The strengths and weaknesses of each proposed mechanism is highlighted, followed by an overview of clinical efforts to target these processes.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Epigenetic regulation of human retinoblastoma.

    PubMed

    Singh, Usha; Malik, Manzoor Ahmad; Goswami, Sandeep; Shukla, Swati; Kaur, Jasbir

    2016-11-01

    Retinoblastoma is a rare type of eye cancer of the retina that commonly occurs in early childhood and mostly affects the children before the age of 5. It occurs due to the mutations in the retinoblastoma gene (RB1) which inactivates both alleles of the RB1. RB1 was first identified as a tumor suppressor gene, which regulates cell cycle components and associated with retinoblastoma. Previously, genetic alteration was known as the major cause of its occurrence, but later, it is revealed that besides genetic changes, epigenetic changes also play a significant role in the disease. Initiation and progression of retinoblastoma could be due to independent or combined genetic and epigenetic events. Remarkable work has been done in understanding retinoblastoma pathogenesis in terms of genetic alterations, but not much in the context of epigenetic modification. Epigenetic modifications that silence tumor suppressor genes and activate oncogenes include DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone modification and noncoding RNA-mediated gene silencing. Epigenetic changes can lead to altered gene function and transform normal cell into tumor cells. This review focuses on important epigenetic alteration which occurs in retinoblastoma and its current state of knowledge. The critical role of epigenetic regulation in retinoblastoma is now an emerging area, and better understanding of epigenetic changes in retinoblastoma will open the door for future therapy and diagnosis.

  12. Dysregulation of the epigenome in triple-negative breast cancers: basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers express aberrant DNA hypermethylation.

    PubMed

    Roll, J Devon; Rivenbark, Ashley G; Sandhu, Rupninder; Parker, Joel S; Jones, Wendell D; Carey, Lisa A; Livasy, Chad A; Coleman, William B

    2013-12-01

    A subset of human breast cancer cell lines exhibits aberrant DNA hypermethylation that is characterized by hyperactivity of the DNA methyltransferase enzymes, overexpression of DNMT3b, and concurrent methylation-dependent silencing of numerous epigenetic biomarker genes. The objective of this study was to determine if this aberrant DNA hypermethylation (i) is found in primary breast cancers, (ii) is associated with specific breast cancer molecular subtypes, and (iii) influences patient outcomes. Analysis of epigenetic biomarker genes (CDH1, CEACAM6, CST6, ESR1, GNA11, MUC1, MYB, SCNN1A, and TFF3) identified a gene expression signature characterized by reduced expression levels or loss of expression among a cohort of primary breast cancers. The breast cancers that express this gene expression signature are enriched for triple-negative subtypes - basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers. Methylation analysis of primary breast cancers showed extensive promoter hypermethylation of epigenetic biomarker genes among triple-negative breast cancers, compared to other breast cancer subclasses where promoter hypermethylation events were less frequent. Furthermore, triple-negative breast cancers either did not express or expressed significantly reduced levels of protein corresponding to methylation-sensitive biomarker gene products. Together, these findings suggest strongly that loss of epigenetic biomarker gene expression is frequently associated with gene promoter hypermethylation events. We propose that aberrant DNA hypermethylation is a common characteristic of triple-negative breast cancers and may represent a fundamental biological property of basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers. Kaplan-Meier analysis of relapse-free survival revealed a survival disadvantage for patients with breast cancers that exhibit aberrant DNA hypermethylation. Identification of this distinguishing trait among triple-negative breast cancers forms the basis for development of new rational

  13. Skew aberration: a form of polarization aberration.

    PubMed

    Yun, Garam; Crabtree, Karlton; Chipman, Russell A

    2011-10-15

    We define a new class of aberration, skew aberration, which is a component of polarization aberration. Skew aberration is an intrinsic rotation of polarization states due to the geometric transformation of local coordinates, independent of coatings and interface polarization. Skew aberration in a radially symmetric system has the form of a circular retardance tilt plus coma aberration. Skew aberration causes undesired polarization distribution in the exit pupil. We demonstrate statistics on skew aberration of 2383 optical systems described in Code V's U.S. patent library [Code V Version 10.3 (Synopsys, 2011), pp. 22-24]; the mean skew aberration is 0.89° and the standard deviation is 1.37°. The maximum skew aberration found is 17.45° and the minimum is -11.33°. U.S. patent 2,896,506, which has ±7.01° of skew aberration, is analyzed in detail. Skew aberration should be of concern in microlithography optics and other high NA and large field of view optical systems.

  14. Epigenetics of Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease: Fact or Fantasy?

    PubMed Central

    Wing, Maria R.; Ramezani, Ali; Gill, Harindarpal S.; Devaney, Joseph M.; Raj, Dominic S.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Epigenetic modifications are important in the normal functioning of the cell, from regulating dynamic expression of essential genes and associated proteins to repressing those that are unneeded. Epigenetic changes are essential for development and functioning of the kidney, and aberrant methylation, histone modifications, and expression of microRNA could lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Here, epigenetic modifications modulate transforming growth factor β signaling, inflammation, profibrotic genes, and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, promoting renal fibrosis and progression of CKD. Identification of these epigenetic changes is important because they are potentially reversible and may serve as therapeutic targets in the future to prevent subsequent renal fibrosis and CKD. In this review we discuss the different types of epigenetic control, methods to study epigenetic modifications, and how epigenetics promotes progression of CKD. PMID:24011578

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Potential of epigenetic therapies in the management of solid tumors

    PubMed Central

    Valdespino, Victor; Valdespino, Patricia M

    2015-01-01

    Cancer is a complex disease with both genetic and epigenetic origins. The growing field of epigenetics has contributed to our understanding of oncogenesis and tumor progression, and has allowed the development of novel therapeutic drugs. First-generation epigenetic inhibitor drugs have obtained modest clinical results in two types of hematological malignancy. Second-generation epigenetic inhibitors are in development, and have intrinsically greater selectivity for their molecular targets. Solid tumors are more genetic and epigenetically complex than hematological malignancies, but the transcriptome and epigenome biomarkers have been identified for many of these malignancies. This solid tumor molecular aberration profile may be modified using specific or quasi-specific epidrugs together with conventional and innovative anticancer treatments. In this critical review, we briefly analyze the strategies to select the targeted epigenetic changes, enumerate the second-generation epigenetic inhibitors, and describe the main signs indicating the potential of epigenetic therapies in the management of solid tumors. We also highlight the work of consortia or academic organizations that support the undertaking of human epigenetic therapeutic projects as well as some examples of transcriptome/epigenome profile determination in clinical assessment of cancer patients treated with epidrugs. There is a good chance that epigenetic therapies will be able to be used in patients with solid tumors in the future. This may happen soon through collaboration of diverse scientific groups, making the selection of targeted epigenetic aberration(s) more rapid, the design and probe of drug candidates, accelerating in vitro and in vivo assays, and undertaking new cancer epigenetic-therapy clinical trails. PMID:26346546

  18. 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.

  19. The Epigenetic Reprogramming Roadmap in Generation of iPSCs from Somatic Cells.

    PubMed

    Brix, Jacob; Zhou, Yan; Luo, Yonglun

    2015-12-20

    Reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is a comprehensive epigenetic process involving genome-wide modifications of histones and DNA methylation. This process is often incomplete, which subsequently affects iPSC reprogramming, pluripotency, and differentiation capacity. Here, we review the epigenetic changes with a focus on histone modification (methylation and acetylation) and DNA modification (methylation) during iPSC induction. We look at changes in specific epigenetic signatures, aberrations and epigenetic memory during reprogramming and small molecules influencing the epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells. Finally, we discuss how to improve iPSC generation and pluripotency through epigenetic manipulations.

  20. 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.

  1. Epigenetics of hematopoiesis and hematological malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Deqing; Shilatifard, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Hematological malignancies comprise a diverse set of lymphoid and myeloid neoplasms in which normal hematopoiesis has gone awry and together account for ∼10% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States in 2016. Recent intensive genomic sequencing of hematopoietic malignancies has identified recurrent mutations in genes that encode regulators of chromatin structure and function, highlighting the central role that aberrant epigenetic regulation plays in the pathogenesis of these neoplasms. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms for how alterations in epigenetic modifiers, specifically histone and DNA methylases and demethylases, drive hematopoietic cancer could provide new avenues for developing novel targeted epigenetic therapies for treating hematological malignancies. Just as past studies of blood cancers led to pioneering discoveries relevant to other cancers, determining the contribution of epigenetic modifiers in hematologic cancers could also have a broader impact on our understanding of the pathogenesis of solid tumors in which these factors are mutated. PMID:27798847

  2. 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

  3. Environmental epigenetics and phytoestrogen/phytochemical exposures.

    PubMed

    Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos M; Skinner, Michael K

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important environmental factors to promote epigenetic alterations in an individual is nutrition and exposure to plant compounds. Phytoestrogens and other phytochemicals have dramatic effects on cellular signaling events, so have the capacity to dramatically alter developmental and physiological events. Epigenetics provides one of the more critical molecular mechanisms for environmental factors such as phytoestrogens/phytochemicals to influence biology. In the event these epigenetic mechanisms become heritable through epigenetic transgenerational mechanisms the impacts on the health of future generations and areas such as evolutionary biology need to be considered. The current review focuses on available information on the environmental epigenetics of phytoestrogen/phytochemical exposures, with impacts on health, disease and evolutionary biology considered. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Phytoestrogens'.

  4. Epigenetic alterations in depression and antidepressant treatment.

    PubMed

    Menke, Andreas; Binder, Elisabeth B

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetic modifications control chromatin structure and function, and thus mediate changes in gene expression, ultimately influencing protein levels. Recent research indicates that environmental events can induce epigenetic changes and, by this, contribute to long-term changes in neural circuits and endocrine systems associated with altered risk for stress-related psychiatric disorders such as major depression. In this review, we describe recent approaches investigating epigenetic modifications associated with altered risk for major depression or response to antidepressant drugs, both on the candidate gene levels as well as the genome-wide level. In this review we focus on DNA methylation, as this is the most investigated epigenetic change in depression research.

  5. 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.

  6. Genetics and epigenetics of melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Ying; Zhang, Pei-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Cancer affects multiple organs in the body Malignant melanoma involves the invasion of skin and occasionally mucosal membrane or eye choroidal tissues. The incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma is on the increase worldwide and is a major concern in current research. The increase is associated with UV irradiation-induced genetic aberrations that stimulate skin melanocytes to develop unlimited growth. This eventually leads to cell immortality, which in turn causes metastases. The present review examines the genetics and epigenetics of this pathological state together with recent perspectives of the therapeutic management of disease. PMID:27899960

  7. The Epigenetic basis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yanwen; Melnick, Ari

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenesis of DLBCL is strongly linked to perturbation of epigenetic mechanisms. The germinal center (GC) B-cells from which DLBCLs arise are prone to instability in their cytosine methylation patterns. DLBCLs inherit this epigenetic instability and display variable degrees of epigenetic heterogeneity. Greater epigenetic heterogeneity is linked with poor clinical outcome. Somatic mutations of histone modifying proteins have also emerged as a hallmark of DLBCL. The effect of these somatic mutations may be to disrupt epigenetic switches that control the GC phenotype and “lock in” certain oncogenic features of GC B-cells resulting in malignant transformation. DNA methyltransferase and histone methyltransferase inhibitors are emerging as viable therapeutic approaches to erase aberrant epigenetic programming, suppress DLBCL growth and overcome chemotherapy resistance. This review will discuss these recent advances and their therapeutic implications. PMID:25805588

  8. Clinical applications of epigenetic markers and epigenetic profiling in myeloid malignancies.

    PubMed

    McDevitt, Michael A

    2012-02-01

    Aberrant DNA methylation is frequent in the myeloid malignancies, particularly myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Promoter CpG methylation is correlated with silencing of tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) in specific pathways that are also targets of mutation or other mechanisms of inactivation, and is thought to contribute to disease progression and poor prognosis. Epigenetic contributions to myeloid pathogenesis are more complex. Examples include TSG inactivation and oncogenic activation associated with formation of altered chromatin separate from CpG methylation. Epigenetic dysregulation occurs at multiple disease stages and at non-CpG island genomic sites, and also includes genomic hypomethylation and small RNA mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. Identification of recurrent mutations in potential epigenetic regulators, including TET2, IDH1, IDH2, DNMT3A, UTX, and ASXL1, were recently described. Accordingly, therapeutics directed towards epigenetic mechanisms including methylation inhibitors and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have had some clinical success when applied to MDS and AML. However, identification of the underlying mechanisms associated with clinical responses and drug resistance remain enigmatic. Remarkably, in spite of significant molecular and translational progress, there are currently no epigenetic biomarkers in widespread clinical use. In this review, we explore the potential applications of epigenetic biomarker discovery, including epigenetic profiling for myeloid malignancy pathogenesis understanding, diagnostic classification, and development of effective treatment paradigms for these generally considered poor prognosis disorders.

  9. Epigenetics of memory and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Woldemichael, Bisrat T; Bohacek, Johannes; Gapp, Katharina; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2014-01-01

    Although all neurons carry the same genetic information, they vary considerably in morphology and functions and respond differently to environmental conditions. Such variability results mostly from differences in gene expression. Among the processes that regulate gene activity, epigenetic mechanisms play a key role and provide an additional layer of complexity to the genome. They allow the dynamic modulation of gene expression in a locus- and cell-specific manner. These mechanisms primarily involve DNA methylation, posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of histones and noncoding RNAs that together remodel chromatin and facilitate or suppress gene expression. Through these mechanisms, the brain gains high plasticity in response to experience and can integrate and store new information to shape future neuronal and behavioral responses. Dynamic epigenetic footprints underlying the plasticity of brain cells and circuits contribute to the persistent impact of life experiences on an individual's behavior and physiology ranging from the formation of long-term memory to the sequelae of traumatic events or of drug addiction. They also contribute to the way lifestyle, life events, or exposure to environmental toxins can predispose an individual to disease. This chapter describes the most prominent examples of epigenetic marks associated with long-lasting changes in the brain induced by experience. It discusses the role of epigenetic processes in behavioral plasticity triggered by environmental experiences. A particular focus is placed on learning and memory where the importance of epigenetic modifications in brain circuits is best understood. The relevance of epigenetics in memory disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease is also addressed, and promising perspectives for potential epigenetic drug treatment discussed.

  10. Chicago aberration correction work.

    PubMed

    Beck, V D

    2012-12-01

    The author describes from his personal involvement the many improvements to electron microscopy Albert Crewe and his group brought by minimizing the effects of aberrations. The Butler gun was developed to minimize aperture aberrations in a field emission electron gun. In the 1960s, Crewe anticipated using a spherical aberration corrector based on Scherzer's design. Since the tolerances could not be met mechanically, a method of moving the center of the octopoles electrically was developed by adding lower order multipole fields. Because the corrector was located about 15 cm ahead of the objective lens, combination aberrations would arise with the objective lens. This fifth order aberration would then limit the aperture of the microscope. The transformation of the off axis aberration coefficients of a round lens was developed and a means to cancel anisotropic coma was developed. A new method of generating negative spherical aberration was invented using the combination aberrations of hexapoles. Extensions of this technique to higher order aberrations were developed. An electrostatic electron mirror was invented, which allows the cancellation of primary spherical aberration and first order chromatic aberration. A reduction of chromatic aberration by two orders of magnitude was demonstrated using such a system.

  11. Epigenetic Signaling in Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Peña, Catherine J; Bagot, Rosemary C; Labonté, Benoit; Nestler, Eric J

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are complex multifactorial illnesses involving chronic alterations in neural circuit structure and function. While genetic factors are important in the etiology of disorders such as depression and addiction, relatively high rates of discordance among identical twins clearly indicate the importance of additional mechanisms. Environmental factors such as stress or prior drug exposure are known to play a role in the onset of these illnesses. Such exposure to environmental insults induces stable changes in gene expression, neural circuit function, and ultimately behavior, and these maladaptations appear distinct between developmental and adult exposures. Increasing evidence indicates that these sustained abnormalities are maintained by epigenetic modifications in specific brain regions. Indeed, transcriptional dysregulation and associated aberrant epigenetic regulation is a unifying theme in psychiatric disorders. Aspects of depression and addiction can be modeled in animals by inducing disease-like states through environmental manipulations (e.g., chronic-stress, drug administration). Understanding how environmental factors recruit the epigenetic machinery in animal models is revealing new insight into disease mechanisms in humans. PMID:24709417

  12. Aberrant DNA methylation of cancer-related genes in giant breast fibroadenoma: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Giant fibroadenoma is an uncommon variant of benign breast lesions. Aberrant methylation of CpG islands in promoter regions is known to be involved in the silencing of genes (for example, tumor-suppressor genes) and appears to be an early event in the etiology of breast carcinogenesis. Only hypermethylation of p16INK4a has been reported in non-giant breast fibroadenoma. In this particular case, there are no previously published data on epigenetic alterations in giant fibroadenomas. Our previous results, based on the analysis of 49 cancer-related CpG islands have confirmed that the aberrant methylation is specific to malignant breast tumors and that it is completely absent in normal breast tissue and breast fibroadenomas. Case presentation A 13-year-old Hispanic girl was referred after she had noted a progressive development of a mass in her left breast. On physical examination, a 10 × 10 cm lump was detected and axillary lymph nodes were not enlarged. After surgical removal the lump was diagnosed as a giant fibroadenoma. Because of the high growth rate of this benign tumor, we decided to analyze the methylation status of 49 CpG islands related to cell growth control. We have identified the methylation of five cancer-related CpG islands in the giant fibroadenoma tissue: ESR1, MGMT, WT-1, BRCA2 and CD44. Conclusion In this case report we show for the first time the methylation analysis of a giant fibroadenoma. The detection of methylation of these five cancer-related regions indicates substantial epigenomic differences with non-giant fibroadenomas. Epigenetic alterations could explain the higher growth rate of this tumor. Our data contribute to the growing knowledge of aberrant methylation in breast diseases. In this particular case, there exist no previous data regarding the role of methylation in giant fibroadenomas, considered by definition as a benign breast lesion. PMID:22011321

  13. The promise of epigenetics in personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Weber, Wendell W

    2010-12-01

    Numerous preclinical and clinical trials, with older as well as some newer drugs, have demonstrated the targeting of aberrant epigenetic marks to be a viable means of preventing and treating certain human disorders, including myelodysplastic and leukemic syndromes and various hemoglobinopathies. These findings are encouraging, and although the risks associated with such therapy are largely unknown, precise maps of epigenetic marks are becoming increasingly available through advancements in sequencing protocols that combine chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression analyses. Indeed, progress in understanding gene regulation at promoter regions and chromatin organization in health and disease has been substantial. New insights into the proteins that are targeted by therapeutic agents that alter epigenetic programs may provide important inroads into personalized medicine.

  14. Epigenetic changes in the myelodysplastic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2010-04-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, drive stable, clonally propagated changes in gene expression and can therefore serve as molecular mediators of pathway dysfunction in neoplasia. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is characterized by frequent epigenetic abnormalities, including the hypermethylation of genes that control proliferation, adhesion, and other characteristic features of this leukemia. Aberrant DNA hypermethylation is associated with a poor prognosis in MDS that can be accounted for by more rapid progression to acute myeloid leukemia. In turn, treatment with drugs that modify epigenetic pathways (DNA methylation and histone deacetylation inhibitors) induces durable remissions and prolongs life in MDS, offering some hope and direction in the future management of this deadly disease.

  15. Epigenetic alterations in endocrine-related cancer.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodero, Sandra; Delgado-Álvarez, Elías; Fernández, Agustín F; Fernández-Morera, Juan L; Menéndez-Torre, Edelmiro; Fraga, Mario F

    2014-08-01

    Aberrant epigenetics is a hallmark of cancer, and endocrine-related tumors are no exception. Recent research has been identifying an ever-growing number of epigenetic alterations in both genomic DNA methylation and histone post-translational modification in tumors of the endocrine system. Novel microarray and ultra-deep sequencing technologies have allowed the identification of genome-wide epigenetic patterns in some tumor types such as adrenocortical, parathyroid, and breast carcinomas. However, in other cancer types, such as the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes and thyroid cancer, tumor information is limited to candidate genes alone. Future research should fill this gap and deepen our understanding of the functional role of these alterations in cancer, as well as defining their possible clinical uses.

  16. Environmentally Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Reproductive Disease.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Eric E; Skinner, Michael K

    2015-12-01

    Reproductive disease and fertility issues have dramatically increased in the human population over the last several decades, suggesting environmental impacts. Epigenetics provides a mechanistic link by which an organism can respond to environmental factors. Interestingly, environmentally induced epigenetic alterations in the germ line can promote aberrant gene expression and disease generationally. Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance is defined as germ-line transmission of altered epigenetic information between generations in the absence of continued environmental exposures. This form of nongenetic inheritance has been shown to directly influence fertility and reproductive disease. This review describes the studies in a variety of species that impact reproductive disease and abnormalities. Observations suggest serious attention be paid to the possibility that ancestral exposures to environmental insults promotes transgenerational inheritance of reproductive disease susceptibility. Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance appears to be an important contributing factor to reproductive disease in many organisms, including humans.

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease: implications for pathogenesis and therapy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Yu, Jin-Tai; Tan, Meng-Shan; Jiang, Teng; Tan, Lan

    2013-09-01

    The vast majority of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are late-onset forms (LOAD) likely due to the interplay of environmental influences and individual genetic susceptibility. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs, constitute dynamic intracellular processes for translating environmental stimuli into modifications in gene expression. Over the past decade it has become increasingly clear that epigenetic mechanisms play a pivotal role in aging the pathogenesis of AD. Here, we provide a review of the major mechanisms for epigenetic modification and how they are reportedly altered in aging and AD. Moreover, we also consider how aberrant epigenetic modifications may lead to AD pathogenesis, and we review the therapeutic potential of epigenetic treatments for AD.

  18. Epigenetic induction of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 by green tea polyphenols in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Deb, Gauri; Thakur, Vijay S; Limaye, Anil M; Gupta, Sanjay

    2015-06-01

    Aberrant epigenetic silencing of the tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP-3) gene that negatively regulates matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity has been implicated in the pathogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer. In the present study, we demonstrate that green tea polyphenols (GTP) and its major constituent, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) mediate epigenetic induction of TIMP-3 levels and play a key role in suppressing invasiveness and gelatinolytic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in breast cancer cells. Treatment of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with 20 µM EGCG and 10 µg/mL GTP for 72 h significantly induces TIMP-3 mRNA and protein levels. Interestingly, investigations into the molecular mechanism revealed that TIMP-3 repression in breast cancer cells is mediated by epigenetic silencing mechanism(s) involving increased activity of the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and class I histone deacetylases (HDACs), independent of promoter DNA hypermethylation. Treatment of breast cancer cells with GTP and EGCG significantly reduced EZH2 and class I HDAC protein levels. Furthermore, transcriptional activation of TIMP-3 was found to be associated with decreased EZH2 localization and H3K27 trimethylation enrichment at the TIMP-3 promoter with a concomitant increase in histone H3K9/18 acetylation. Our findings highlight TIMP-3 induction as a key epigenetic event modulated by GTPs in restoring the MMP:TIMP balance to delay breast cancer progression and invasion.

  19. 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.

  20. The transglutaminase 2 gene is aberrantly hypermethylated in glioma

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Lisa M.; Schooler, Kevin P.; Ai, Lingbao; Klop, Corinne; Qiu, Jingxin; Robertson, Keith D.

    2010-01-01

    Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a ubiquitously expressed protein that catalyzes protein/protein crosslinking. Because extracellular TG2 crosslinks components of the extracellular matrix, TG2 is thought to function as a suppressor of cellular invasion. We have recently uncovered that the TG2 gene (TGM2) is a target for epigenetic silencing in breast cancer, highlighting a molecular mechanism that drives reduced TG2 expression, and this aberrant molecular event may contribute to invasiveness in this tumor type. Because tumor invasiveness is a primary determinant of brain tumor aggressiveness, we sought to determine if TGM2 is targeted for epigenetic silencing in glioma. Analysis of TGM2 gene methylation in a panel of cultured human glioma cells indicated that the 5′ flanking region of the TGM2 gene is hypermethylated and that this feature is associated with reduced TG2 expression as judged by immunoblotting. Further, culturing glioma cells in the presence of the global DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine and the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A resulted in re-expression of TG2 in these lines. In primary brain tumors we observed that the TGM2 promoter is commonly hypermethylated and that this feature is a cancer-associated phenomenon. Using publically available databases, TG2 expression in gliomas was found to vary widely, with many tumors showing overexpression or underexpression of this gene. Since overexpression of TG2 leads to resistance to doxorubicin through the ectopic activation of NFκB, we sought to examine the effects of recombinant TG2 expression in glioma cells treated with commonly used brain tumor therapeutics. We observed that in addition to doxorubicin, TG2 expression drove resistance to CCNU; however, TG2 expression did not alter sensitivity to other drugs tested. Finally, a catalytically null mutant of TG2 was also able to support doxorubicin resistance in glioma cells indicating that transglutaminase activity is not necessary

  1. 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

  2. Absolute Rate Theories of Epigenetic Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walczak, Aleksandra M.; Onuchic, Jose N.; Wolynes, Peter G.

    2006-03-01

    Spontaneous switching events in most characterized genetic switches are rare, resulting in extremely stable epigenetic properties. We show how simple arguments lead to theories of the rate of such events much like the absolute rate theory of chemical reactions corrected by a transmission factor. Both the probability of the rare cellular states that allow epigenetic escape, and the transmission factor, depend on the rates of DNA binding and unbinding events and on the rates of protein synthesis and degradation. Different mechanisms of escape from the stable attractors occur in the nonadiabatic, weakly adiabatic and strictly adiabatic regimes, characterized by the relative values of those input rates.

  3. Absolute rate theories of epigenetic stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walczak, Aleksandra M.; Onuchic, José N.; Wolynes, Peter G.

    2005-12-01

    Spontaneous switching events in most characterized genetic switches are rare, resulting in extremely stable epigenetic properties. We show how simple arguments lead to theories of the rate of such events much like the absolute rate theory of chemical reactions corrected by a transmission factor. Both the probability of the rare cellular states that allow epigenetic escape and the transmission factor depend on the rates of DNA binding and unbinding events and on the rates of protein synthesis and degradation. Different mechanisms of escape from the stable attractors occur in the nonadiabatic, weakly adiabatic, and strictly adiabatic regimes, characterized by the relative values of those input rates. rate theory | stochastic gene expression | gene switches

  4. Epigenetic memory in plants.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-09-17

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

  5. Epigenetic memory in plants

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Mayumi; Paszkowski, Jerzy

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to heritable changes in patterns of gene expression that occur without alterations in DNA sequence. The epigenetic mechanisms involve covalent modifications of DNA and histones, which affect transcriptional activity of chromatin. Since chromatin states can be propagated through mitotic and meiotic divisions, epigenetic mechanisms are thought to provide heritable ‘cellular memory’. Here, we review selected examples of epigenetic memory in plants and briefly discuss underlying mechanisms. PMID:25104823

  6. 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.

  7. Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-10-1-0711 TITLE: Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics ...5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Transgenerational Radiation Epigenetics 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-10-1-0711 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...weeks for preliminary epigenetic screening. Others were used as breeders for transgenerational studies and still others have been left to take when they

  8. 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

  9. Towards incorporating epigenetic mechanisms into carcinogen identification and evaluation.

    PubMed

    Herceg, Zdenko; Lambert, Marie-Pierre; van Veldhoven, Karin; Demetriou, Christiana; Vineis, Paolo; Smith, Martyn T; Straif, Kurt; Wild, Christopher P

    2013-09-01

    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.

  10. The myelodysplastic syndrome as a prototypical epigenetic disease.

    PubMed

    Issa, Jean-Pierre J

    2013-05-09

    The myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal disorder characterized by increased stem cell proliferation coupled with aberrant differentiation resulting in a high rate of apoptosis and eventual symptoms related to bone marrow failure. Cellular differentiation is an epigenetic process that requires specific and highly ordered DNA methylation and histone modification programs. Aberrant differentiation in MDS can often be traced to abnormal DNA methylation (both gains and losses of DNA methylation genome wide and at specific loci) as well as mutations in genes that regulate epigenetic programs (TET2 and DNMT3a, both involved in DNA methylation control; EZH2 and ASXL1, both involved in histone methylation control). The epigenetic nature of MDS may explain in part the serendipitous observation that it is the disease most responsive to DNA methylation inhibitors; other epigenetic-acting drugs are being explored in MDS as well. Progression in MDS is characterized by further acquisition of epigenetic defects as well as mutations in growth-controlling genes that seem to tip the proliferation/apoptosis balance and result in the development of acute myelogenous leukemia. Although MDS is clinically and physiologically heterogeneous, a case can be made that subsets of the disease can be largely explained by disordered stem cell epigenetics.

  11. Overexpression of Cancer-Associated Genes via Epigenetic Derepression Mechanisms in Gynecologic Cancer.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hae Min; Kwon, Mi Jeong; Shin, Young Kee

    2014-01-01

    Like other cancers, most gynecologic cancers are caused by aberrant expression of cancer-related genes. Epigenetics is one of the most important gene expression mechanisms, which contribute to cancer development and progression by regulating cancer-related genes. Since the discovery of differential gene expression patterns in cancer cells when compared with normal cells, extensive efforts have been made to explore the origins of abnormal gene expression in cancer. Epigenetics, the study of inheritable changes in gene expression that do not alter DNA sequence is a key area of this research. DNA methylation and histone modification are well-known epigenetic mechanisms, while microRNAs and alternative splicing have recently been identified as important regulators of epigenetic mechanisms. These mechanisms not only affect specific target gene expression but also regulate the functioning of other epigenetic mechanisms. Moreover, these diverse epigenetic regulations occur simultaneously. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is extraordinarily complicated and all epigenetic mechanisms to be studied at once to determine the exact gene regulation mechanisms. Traditionally, the contribution of epigenetics to cancer is thought to be mediated through the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes expression. But recently, it is arising that some oncogenes or cancer-promoting genes (CPGs) are overexpressed in diverse type of cancers through epigenetic derepression mechanism, such as DNA and histone demethylation. Epigenetic derepression arises from diverse epigenetic changes, and all of these mechanisms actively interact with each other to increase oncogenes or CPGs expression in cancer cell. Oncogenes or CPGs overexpressed through epigenetic derepression can initiate cancer development, and accumulation of these abnormal epigenetic changes makes cancer more aggressive and treatment resistance. This review discusses epigenetic mechanisms involved in the overexpression of

  12. New and under explored epigenetic modulators in search of new paradigms.

    PubMed

    Alam, Mohammad Abrar; Reddy, Yeruva Suman; Ali, Mohamad Akbar

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant regulation of epigenetic pathways causes many diseases including aging, cancer, diabetes, viral pathogenesis, drug addiction etc. and it has been estimated that epigenetic aberrations are at least ten to forty times more frequent in cancers than genetic mutations. Present epigenetic modulators hold great promise for a variety of diseases, and important tools for biological applications but these molecules have many dose limiting toxicities and existing paradigms lack desired efficacy. Synthesis and biological studies of epigenetic modulators have been attractive targets for medicinal and synthetic organic chemists in recent years. This review article provides deep insight into the new and under explored epigenetic modulators. These molecules have the potential to be used as unique template with novel pharmacophores.

  13. Epigenetics and lupus.

    PubMed

    Miceli-Richard, Corinne

    2015-03-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is among the systemic autoimmune diseases whose complex pathogenesis involves both genetic and environmental factors. Epigenetic dysregulation resulting in overexpression of certain genes in some of the key immune cells, such as T cells, has been incriminated in the pathophysiology of SLE. Epigenetics is defined as transmissible and reversible modifications in gene expression without alterations in the nucleotide sequences. Epigenetic information is carried chiefly by DNA itself, histones, and noncoding RNAs. Several epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in SLE pathogenesis. This review discusses the various epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression and provides examples relevant to SLE.

  14. 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.

  15. Compendium of aberrant DNA methylation and histone modifications in cancer.

    PubMed

    Hattori, Naoko; Ushijima, Toshikazu

    2014-12-05

    Epigenetics now refers to the study or research field related to DNA methylation and histone modifications. Historically, global DNA hypomethylation was first revealed in 1983, and, after a decade, silencing of a tumor suppressor gene by regional DNA hypermethylation was reported. After the proposal of the histone code in the 2000s, alterations of histone methylation were also identified in cancers. Now, it is established that aberrant epigenetic alterations are involved in cancer development and progression, along with mutations and chromosomal losses. Recent cancer genome analyses have revealed a large number of mutations of epigenetic modifiers, supporting their important roles in cancer pathogenesis. Taking advantage of the reversibility of epigenetic alterations, drugs targeting epigenetic regulators and readers have been developed for restoration of normal pattern of the epigenome, and some have already demonstrated clinical benefits. In addition, DNA methylation of specific marker genes can be used as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis, including risk diagnosis, detection of cancers, and pathophysiological diagnosis. In this paper, we will summarize the major concepts of cancer epigenetics, placing emphasis on history.

  16. Epigenetic Alterations in Parathyroid Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Verdelli, Chiara; Corbetta, Sabrina

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetic Alterations in Parathyroid Cancers.

    PubMed

    Verdelli, Chiara; Corbetta, Sabrina

    2017-02-01

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

  18. Epigenetic Inheritance: Histone Bookmarks Across Generations

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Eric I.; Stafford, James M.; Reinberg, Danny

    2014-01-01

    Multiple circuitries ensure that cells respond correctly to the environmental cues within defined cellular programs. There is increasing evidence suggesting that cellular memory for these adaptive processes can be passed on through cell divisions and generations. However, the mechanisms by which this epigenetic information is transferred remain elusive largely because it requires that such memory survive through gross chromatin remodeling events during DNA replication, mitosis, meiosis and developmental reprogramming. Elucidating the processes by which epigenetic information survives and is transmitted is a central challenge in biology. Here we consider recent advances in understanding mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance with a focus on histone segregation at the replication fork and how an epigenetic memory may get passed through the paternal lineage. PMID:25242115

  19. Epigenetic Alterations Induced by Bacterial Lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Chiariotti, Lorenzo; Coretti, Lorena; Pero, Raffaela; Lembo, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is one of the principal bacterial products known to elicit inflammation. Cells of myeloid lineage such as monocytes and macrophages, but also epithelial cells give rise to an inflammatory response upon LPS stimulation. This phenomenon implies reprogramming of cell specific gene expression that can occur through different mechanisms including epigenetic modifications. Given their intrinsic nature, epigenetic modifications may be involved both in the acute response to LPS and in the establishment of a preconditioned genomic state (epigenomic memory) that may potentially influence the host response to further contacts with microorganisms. Information has accumulated during the last years aimed at elucidating the epigenetic mechanisms which underlie the cellular LPS response. These findings, summarized in this chapter, will hopefully be a good basis for a definition of the complete cascade of LPS-induced epigenetic events and their biological significance in different cell types.

  20. Epigenetic mechanisms of drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Nestler, Eric J

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Aberrant methylation of imprinted genes is associated with negative hormone receptor status in invasive breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Barrow, Timothy M; Barault, Ludovic; Ellsworth, Rachel E; Harris, Holly R; Binder, Alexandra M; Valente, Allyson L; Shriver, Craig D; Michels, Karin B

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes enables monoallelic expression according to parental origin, and its disruption is implicated in many cancers and developmental disorders. The expression of hormone receptors is significant in breast cancer as they are indicators of cancer cell growth rate and determine response to endocrine therapies. We investigated the frequency of aberrant events and variation in DNA methylation at nine imprinted sites in invasive breast cancer and examined the association with estrogen and progesterone receptor status. Breast tissue and blood from patients with invasive breast cancer (n=38) and benign breast disease (n=30) were compared to those from healthy individuals (n=36), matched to the cancer patients by age at diagnosis, ethnicity, BMI, menopausal status, and familial history of cancer. DNA methylation and allele-specific expression were analyzed by pyrosequencing. Tumor-specific methylation changes at IGF2 DMR2 were observed in 59% of cancer patients, IGF2 DMR0 in 38%, DIRAS3 DMR in 36%, GRB10 ICR in 23%, PEG3 DMR in 21%, MEST ICR in 19%, H19 ICR in 18%, KvDMR in 8%, and SNRPN/SNURF ICR in 4%. Variation of methylation was significantly greater in breast tissue from cancer patients than healthy individuals and benign breast disease. Aberrant methylation of three or more sites was significantly associated with negative estrogen-alpha (Fisher’s Exact Test, p=0.02) and progesterone-A (p=0.02) receptor status. Aberrant events and increased variation of imprinted gene DNA methylation therefore appear to be frequent in invasive breast cancer and are associated with negative estrogen and progesterone receptor status, without loss of monoallelic expression. PMID:25560175

  2. Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy As a Model for Epigenetic Regulation and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Himeda, Charis L.; Jones, Takako I.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Aberrant epigenetic regulation is an integral aspect of many diseases and complex disorders. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a progressive myopathy that afflicts individuals of all ages, is caused by disrupted genetic and epigenetic regulation of a macrosatellite repeat. FSHD provides a powerful model to investigate disease-relevant epigenetic modifiers and general mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that govern gene expression. Recent Advances: In the context of a genetically permissive allele, the one aspect of FSHD that is consistent across all known cases is the aberrant epigenetic state of the disease locus. In addition, certain mutations in the chromatin regulator SMCHD1 (structural maintenance of chromosomes hinge-domain protein 1) are sufficient to cause FSHD2 and enhance disease severity in FSHD1. Thus, there are multiple pathways to generate the epigenetic dysregulation required for FSHD. Critical Issues: Why do some individuals with the genetic requirements for FSHD develop disease pathology, while others remain asymptomatic? Similarly, disease progression is highly variable among individuals. What are the relative contributions of genetic background and environmental factors in determining disease manifestation, progression, and severity in FSHD? What is the interplay between epigenetic factors regulating the disease locus and which, if any, are viable therapeutic targets? Future Directions: Epigenetic regulation represents a potentially powerful therapeutic target for FSHD. Determining the epigenetic signatures that are predictive of disease severity and identifying the spectrum of disease modifiers in FSHD are vital to the development of effective therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 1463–1482. PMID:25336259

  3. 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

  4. Environmental Epigenetic of Asthma – An update

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Shuk-Mei

    2013-01-01

    Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airway, is influenced by interplay between genetic and environmental factors now known to be mediated by epigenetics. Aberrant DNA methylation, altered histone modifications, specific microRNA expression, and other chromatin alterations orchestrate a complex early-life reprogramming of immune T cell response, dendritic cell function, macrophage activation, and a breach of airway epithelial barrier that dictates asthma risk and severity in later life. Adult-onset asthma is under analogous regulation. The sharp increase in asthma prevalence over the past two or three decades and the large variations among populations of similar racial/ethnic background but different environmental exposures favors a strong contribution of environmental factors. This review addresses the fundamental question of whether environmental influences on asthma risk, severity, and steroid resistance are partly due to differential epigenetic modulations. Current knowledge on epigenetic effects of tobacco smoke, microbial allergens, oxidants, airborne particulate matter, diesel exhaust particles, dietary methyl donors and other nutritional factors, and dust mites is discussed. Exciting findings have been generated by rapid technological advances and well-designed experimental and population studies. The discovery and validation of epigenetic biomarkers linked to exposure and/or asthma may lead to better epigenotyping of risk, prognosis, treatment prediction, and development of novel therapies. PMID:20816181

  5. Epigenetics and crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Springer, Nathan M

    2013-04-01

    There is considerable excitement about the potential for epigenetic information to contribute to heritable variation in many species. Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance is rapidly growing, and it is now possible to profile the epigenome at high resolution. Epigenetic information plays a role in developmental gene regulation, response to the environment, and in natural variation of gene expression levels. Because of these central roles, there is the potential for epigenetics to play a role in crop improvement strategies including the selection for favorable epigenetic states, creation of novel epialleles, and regulation of transgene expression. In this review we consider the potential, and the limitations, of epigenetic variation in crop improvement.

  6. 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

  7. BEYOND GENETICS: EPIGENETIC CODE IN CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

    PubMed Central

    Dwivedi, Rama S.; Herman, James G.; McCaffrey, Timothy; Raj, Dominic SC

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetics refers to a heritable change in the pattern of gene expression that is mediated by a mechanism specifically not due to alterations in the primary nucleotide sequence. Well known epigenetic mechanisms encompass DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling (histone modifications) and RNA interference. Functionally, epigenetics provides an extra layer of transcriptional control and plays a crucial role in normal physiological development, as well as in pathological conditions. Aberrant DNA methylation is implicated in immune dysfunction, inflammation and insulin resistance. Epigenetic changes may be responsible for “metabolic memory” and development of micro- and macrovascular complications of diabetes. MicroRNAs are critical in the maintenance of glomerular homeostasis and hence RNA interference may be important in the progression of renal disease. Recent studies have shown that epigenetic modifications orchestrate the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and eventually fibrosis of the renal tissue. Oxidative stress, inflammation, hyperhomocysteinemia and uremic toxins could induce epimutations in chronic kidney disease. Epigenetic alterations are associated with inflammation and cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. Reversible nature of the epigenetic changes gives an unique opportunity to halt or even reverse the disease process through targeted therapeutic strategies. PMID:20881938

  8. DNA methylation as a target of epigenetic therapeutics in cancer.

    PubMed

    Li, Keqin K; Li, Fangcheng; Li, Qiushi S; Yang, Kun; Jin, Bilian

    2013-02-01

    Epigenetic alterations have been implicated in the development and progression of human cancer. It is noteworthy that epigenetic modifications, in contrast to genetic mutations, are intrinsically reversible. This triggers an impressive interest of researchers in treatment of cancer patients via targeting epigenetic mechanisms, leading to subsequent intensive investigations of epigenetic drugs as a novel therapeutic intervention. DNA methylation, the major form of epigenetic modifications, is catalyzed by the maintenance DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 and/or the de novo methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B. Aberrant expression of DNMTs and disruption of DNA methylation are closely associated with multiple forms of cancer, although the exact mechanisms underlying this link remain elusive. An array of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) frequently sustain promoter hypermethylation, which results in epigenetic silencing of these genes and makes cancer cells acquire growth advantages. DNA demethylating agents, re-activating TSGs via inhibiting hypermethylation of their promoter regions, are currently being tested in clinical trials, and several of them are already applied in clinics. DNA demethylating agents, used either alone or in combination with other agents, such as chemotherapeutic drugs and the histone deacetylase inhibitors, have shown to be effective in treatment of cancer, although only in a small set of patients. In this review, we examine and discuss the most recent advances in epigenetic therapy of cancer, with a focus on DNA demethylating agents.

  9. Epigenetic Control of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Sedivy, John M.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Organismal aging and longevity are influenced by many complex interacting factors. Epigenetics has recently emerged as another possible determinant of aging. Here, we review some of the epigenetic pathways that contribute to cellular senescence and age-associated phenotypes. Strategies aimed to reverse age-linked epigenetic alterations may lead to the development of new therapeutic interventions to delay or alleviate some of the most debilitating age-associated diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 241–259. PMID:20518699

  10. Epigenetic inheritance: Uncontested?

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Bing; Reinberg, Danny

    2011-01-01

    “Epigenetics” is currently defined as “the inheritance of variation (-genetics) above and beyond (epi-) changes in the DNA sequence”. Despite the fact that histones are believed to carry important epigenetic information, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of the inheritance of histone-based epigenetic information, including histone modifications and histone variants. Here we review recent progress and discuss potential models for the mitotic inheritance of histone modifications-based epigenetic information. PMID:21321606

  11. Mechanisms for the induction of gastric cancer by Helicobacter pylori infection: aberrant DNA methylation pathway.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Masahiro; Moro, Hiroshi; Ushijima, Toshikazu

    2017-03-01

    Multiple pathogenic mechanisms by which Helicobacter pylori infection induces gastric cancer have been established in the last two decades. In particular, aberrant DNA methylation is induced in multiple driver genes, which inactivates them. Methylation profiles in gastric cancer are associated with specific subtypes, such as microsatellite instability. Recent comprehensive and integrated analyses showed that many cancer-related pathways are more frequently altered by aberrant DNA methylation than by mutations. Aberrant DNA methylation can even be present in noncancerous gastric mucosae, producing an "epigenetic field for cancerization." Mechanistically, H. pylori-induced chronic inflammation, but not H. pylori itself, plays a direct role in the induction of aberrant DNA methylation. The expression of three inflammation-related genes, Il1b, Nos2, and Tnf, is highly associated with the induction of aberrant DNA methylation. Importantly, the degree of accumulated aberrant DNA methylation is strongly correlated with gastric cancer risk. A recent multicenter prospective cohort study demonstrated the utility of epigenetic cancer risk diagnosis for metachronous gastric cancer. Suppression of aberrant DNA methylation by a demethylating agent was shown to inhibit gastric cancer development in an animal model. Induction of aberrant DNA methylation is the major pathway by which H. pylori infection induces gastric cancer, and this can be utilized for translational opportunities.

  12. Epigenetics and primary care.

    PubMed

    Wright, Robert; Saul, Robert A

    2013-12-01

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

  13. Epigenetic mechanisms and gastrointestinal development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. 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.

  15. Mechanisms of epigenetic silencing of the Rassf1a gene during estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis in ACI rats.

    PubMed

    Starlard-Davenport, Athena; Tryndyak, Volodymyr P; James, Smitha R; Karpf, Adam R; Latendresse, John R; Beland, Frederick A; Pogribny, Igor P

    2010-03-01

    Breast cancer, the most common malignancy in women, emerges through a multistep process, encompassing the progressive sequential evolution of morphologically distinct stages from a normal cell to hyperplasia (with and without atypia), carcinoma in situ, invasive carcinoma and metastasis. The success of treatment of breast cancer could be greatly improved by the detection at early stages of cancer. In the present study, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in breast carcinogenesis in Augustus and Copenhagen-Irish female rats, a cross between the ACI strains, induced by continuous exposure to 17beta-estradiol. The results of our study demonstrate that early stages of estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis are characterized by altered global DNA methylation, aberrant expression of proteins responsible for the proper maintenance of DNA methylation pattern and epigenetic silencing of the critical Rassf1a (Ras-association domain family 1, isoform A) tumor suppressor gene. Interestingly, transcriptional repression of the Rassf1a gene in mammary glands during early stages of breast carcinogenesis was associated with an increase in trimethylation of histones H3 lysine 9 and H3 lysine 27 and de novo CpG island methylation and at the Rassf1a promoter and first exon. In conclusion, we demonstrate that epigenetic alterations precede formation of preneoplastic lesions indicating the significance of epigenetic events in induction of oncogenic pathways in early stages of carcinogenesis.

  16. 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.

  17. Epigenetic considerations in medicine.

    PubMed

    Walters, Dianne M

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are gene regulatory mechanisms that allow rapid adaptation to the environment. These mitotically stable and meiotically heritable changes are sensitive to environmental conditions especially during developmental periods, and they are essential to understanding how information in the DNA sequence is utilized. Recent research in this area has led to excitement and questions about medical applications of epigenetics.

  18. Epigenetics and environmental chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Baccarelli, A; Bollati, V.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose of the review Epigenetics investigates heritable changes in gene expression occurring without changes in DNA sequence. Several epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA (miRNA) expression, can change genome function under exogenous influence. Here, we review current evidence indicating that epigenetic alterations mediate toxicity from environmental chemicals. Recent findings In-vitro, animal, and human investigations have identified several classes of environmental chemicals that modify epigenetic marks, including metals (cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chromium, methylmercury), peroxisome proliferators (trichloroethylene, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid), air pollutants (particulate matter, black carbon, benzene), and endocrine-disrupting/reproductive toxicants (diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A, persistent organic pollutants, dioxin). Most studies conducted so far have been centered on DNA methylation, whereas only a few investigations have studied environmental chemicals in relation to histone modications and miRNA. Summary For several exposures, it has been proved that chemicals can alter epigenetic marks and that the same or similar epigenetic alterations can be found in patients with the disease of concern or in diseased tissues. Future prospective investigations are needed to determine whether exposed subjects develop epigenetic alterations over time and, in turn, which such alterations increase the risk of disease. Also, further research is needed to determine whether environmental epigenetic changes are transmitted transgenerationally. PMID:19663042

  19. Epigenetics and bacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Bierne, Hélène; Hamon, Mélanie; Cossart, Pascale

    2012-12-01

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

  20. The epigenetics of estrogen

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zaorui; Fan, Lu

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic processes have been implicated in everything from cell proliferation to maternal behavior. Epigenetic alterations, including histone alterations and DNA methylation, have also been shown to play critical roles in the formation of some types of memory, and in the modulatory effects that factors, such as stress, drugs of abuse and environmental stimulation, have on the brain and memory function. Recently, we demonstrated that the ability of the sex-steroid hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) to enhance memory formation is dependent on histone acetylation and DNA methylation, a finding that has important implications for understanding how hormones influence cognition in adulthood and aging. In this article, we provide an overview of the literature demonstrating that epigenetic processes and E2 influence memory, describe our findings indicating that epigenetic alterations regulate E2-induced memory enhancement, and discuss directions for future work on the epigenetics of estrogen. PMID:21593594

  1. Mechanisms of epigenetic memory

    PubMed Central

    D’Urso, Agustina; Brickner, Jason H.

    2014-01-01

    Although genetics play an essential role in defining an organism’s development, morphology and physiology, epigenetic mechanisms play an essential role in modulating these properties by regulating gene expression. During development, epigenetic mechanisms establish stable gene expression patterns to ensure proper differentiation. Epigenetic mechanisms also allow organisms to adapt to environmental changes and previous experiences can impact the future responsiveness of an organism to a stimulus over long time scales and even over generations. Here we discuss the concept of epigenetic memory, defined as the stable propagation of a change in gene expression or potentially induced by developmental or environmental stimuli. We highlight three distinct paradigms of epigenetic memory that operate on different time scales. PMID:24780085

  2. Making Sense of Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Schuebel, Kornel; Gitik, Miri; Domschke, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    The gene-environment interactions that underlie development and progression of psychiatric illness are poorly understood. Despite a century of progress, genetic approaches have failed to identify new treatment modalities, perhaps because of the heterogeneity of the disorders and lack of understanding of mechanisms. Recent exploration into epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease has uncovered changes in DNA methylation and chromatin structure that may contribute to psychiatric disorders. Epigenetic changes suggest a variety of new therapeutic options due to their reversible chemistry. However, distinguishing causal links between epigenetic changes and disease from changes consequent to life experience has remained problematic. Here we define epigenetics and explore aspects of epigenetics relevant to causes and mechanisms of psychiatric disease, and speculate on future directions. PMID:27312741

  3. Epigenetics in Cardiovascular Regulation.

    PubMed

    Sartori, Claudio; Rimoldi, Stefano F; Rexhaj, Emrush; Allemann, Yves; Scherrer, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have shown an association between pathologic events occurring during early life and the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disease in adulthood. These observations have led to the so-called fetal programming of adult disease hypothesis. In line with this hypothesis, short-term exposure to hypoxia after birth predisposes to exaggerated hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction later in life in rats, and transient perinatal hypoxia predisposes to exaggerated pulmonary hypertension during short-term exposure to high altitude in humans. Along the same lines, in recent studies in Bolivian high-altitude dwellers, we found that preeclampsia predisposes the offspring to pulmonary and systemic endothelial dysfunction possibly related to impaired NO bioavailability and augmented oxidative stress. Very recent data from our lab suggest that assisted reproductive technologies may represent another important example consistent with this hypothesis. The mechanisms underpinning the developmental origin of this vascular dysfunction are poorly understood. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic alterations, such as DNA methylation or histone acetylation may play a role.

  4. Epigenetics: A possible answer to the undeciphered etiopathogenesis and behavior of oral lesions

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Narendra Nath; Peer, Aakanksha; Nair, Sherin; Chaturvedi, Rupesh K

    2016-01-01

    Much controversy has existed over the etiopathogenesis and management of oral lesions, especially oral malignancies. The knowledge of genetic basis is proving to be inadequate in the light of emerging new mechanisms termed epigenetic phenomena. The present review article aims to understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in oral lesions. Epigenetics is the study of acquired changes in chromatin structure that arise independently of a change in the underlying deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nucleotide sequence. Key components involved in epigenetic regulation are DNA methylation, histone modifications and modifications in micro ribonucleic acids (miRNA). Epigenetics is a reversible system that can be affected by various environmental factors such as diet, drugs, mental stress, physical activity and addictive substances such as tobacco, nicotine and alcohol. Epigenetics may also play a role in explaining the etiopathogenesis of developmental anomalies, genetic defects, cancer as well as substance addiction (tobacco, cigarette and alcohol). Epigenetic modifications may contribute to aberrant epigenetic mechanisms seen in oral precancers and cancers. In the near future, epigenetic variations found in oral dysplastic cells can act as a molecular fingerprint for malignancies. The literature in English language was searched and a structured scientific review and meta-analysis of scientific publications from the year 2000 to year 2015 was carried out from various journals. It was observed that epigenetic marks can prove to be novel markers for early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of oral cancers as well as other oral diseases. PMID:27194874

  5. Epigenetic modification and cancer: mark or stamp?

    PubMed

    Foulkes, William D

    2012-04-01

    Hypotheses are built upon data, but data require hypotheses before they can be understood. The development of the 'two-hit' hypothesis of carcinogenesis was a key event in cancer genetics because it provided a testable model of how tumours develop. In this commentary on 'Promoter hypermethylation patterns in Fallopian tube epithelium of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation carriers' by Bijron et al. published in the February 2012 issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer, the need for new grammar and some new hypotheses in epigenetics is discussed. Meanwhile, data suggesting an important role of epigenetic modification in the cause, progression and treatment of cancer continues to accumulate.

  6. Hypoxia-mediated epigenetic regulation of stemness in brain tumor cells.

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-04

    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. This distinct population of cancer stem cells (CSCs)/tumor initiating cells (TICs) 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, TET1 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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. Keynote lecture: The genetics and epigenetics of altered proliferative homeostasis in ageing and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Martin, George M.

    2007-01-01

    Ageing mammals are subject to an amazing array of aberrations in proliferative homeostasis. These are of two basic types: the post-maturational failure to adequately replace effete somatic cells (atrophies) and excessive proliferations of somatic cells (hyperplasias). To a surprising degree, these occur side by side within the same tissues and are features of numerous mammalian geriatric disorders. Atrophy is the likely usual initial event, the proliferative response perhaps developing as a secondary, compensatory, initially adaptive reaction. We have little understanding of why this putative compensatory reaction so often fails to be appropriately regulated in ageing mammals, leading to such pathologies as chronic inflammation, fibrosis, metaplasia and neoplasia. Advances in formal genetic analysis, mutagenesis, stem cell biology and epigenetics are likely to provide major new understanding. Stochastic epigenetic shifts in gene expression are of growing interest, particularly in explaining intra-specific variations on rates and patterns of ageing. Nature may well have evolved such random fluctuations in gene expression as a type of group-selectionist adaptive strategy to cope with diverse stochastic environmental challenges. Alternatively, such background “noise” in transcription and translation may simply reflect a type of informational entropy. PMID:17116316

  8. Microbiota impact on the epigenetic regulation of colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Tao; Owen, Jennifer L.; Lightfooot, Yaíma L.; Kladde, Michael P.; Mohamadzadeh, Mansour

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms of colorectal cancer (CRC) development can be roughly divided into three categories: genetic, epigenetic, and aberrant immunologic signaling pathways, all of which may be triggered by an imbalanced intestinal microbiota. Aberrant gut microbial composition, termed “dysbiosis”, has been reported in inflammatory bowel disease patients who are at increased risk for CRC development. Recent studies indicate that it is feasible to rescue experimental models of colonic cancer by oral treatment with genetically engineered beneficial bacteria and/or their immune-regulating gene products. Here, we review the mechanisms of epigenetic modulation implicated in the development and progression of CRC, which may be the result of dysbiosis, and therefore, may be amenable to therapeutic intervention. PMID:24051204

  9. An epigenetic gateway to brain tumor cell identity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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 microenvironmental factors on 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, as well as addressing the potential to exploit these alterations as new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of brain cancer.

  10. The epigenetic dimension of Alzheimer's disease: causal, consequence, or curiosity?

    PubMed Central

    Millan, Mark J.

    2014-01-01

    Early-onset, familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) is rare and may be attributed to disease-causinq mutations. By contrast, late onset, sporadic (non-Mendelian) AD is far more prevalent and reflects the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental risk factors, together with the disruption of epigenetic mechanisms controlling gene expression. Accordingly, abnormal patterns of histone acetylation and methylation, as well as anomalies in global and promoter-specific DNA methylation, have been documented in AD patients, together with a deregulation of noncoding RNA. In transgenic mouse models for AD, epigenetic dysfunction is likewise apparent in cerebral tissue, and it has been directly linked to cognitive and behavioral deficits in functional studies. Importantly, epigenetic deregulation interfaces with core pathophysiological processes underlying AD: excess production of Aβ42, aberrant post-translational modification of tau, deficient neurotoxic protein clearance, axonal-synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis, and cell cycle re-entry. Reciprocally, DNA methylation, histone marks and the levels of diverse species of microRNA are modulated by Aβ42, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. In conclusion, epigenetic mechanisms are broadly deregulated in AD mainly upstream, but also downstream, of key pathophysiological processes. While some epigenetic shifts oppose the evolution of AD, most appear to drive its progression. Epigenetic changes are of irrefutable importance for AD, but they await further elucidation from the perspectives of pathogenesis, biomarkers and potential treatment. PMID:25364287

  11. The epigenetic dimension of Alzheimer's disease: causal, consequence, or curiosity?

    PubMed

    Millan, Mark J

    2014-09-01

    Early-onset, familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) is rare and may be attributed to disease-causinq mutations. By contrast, late onset, sporadic (non-Mendelian) AD is far more prevalent and reflects the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental risk factors, together with the disruption of epigenetic mechanisms controlling gene expression. Accordingly, abnormal patterns of histone acetylation and methylation, as well as anomalies in global and promoter-specific DNA methylation, have been documented in AD patients, together with a deregulation of noncoding RNA. In transgenic mouse models for AD, epigenetic dysfunction is likewise apparent in cerebral tissue, and it has been directly linked to cognitive and behavioral deficits in functional studies. Importantly, epigenetic deregulation interfaces with core pathophysiological processes underlying AD: excess production of Aβ42, aberrant post-translational modification of tau, deficient neurotoxic protein clearance, axonal-synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis, and cell cycle re-entry. Reciprocally, DNA methylation, histone marks and the levels of diverse species of microRNA are modulated by Aβ42, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. In conclusion, epigenetic mechanisms are broadly deregulated in AD mainly upstream, but also downstream, of key pathophysiological processes. While some epigenetic shifts oppose the evolution of AD, most appear to drive its progression. Epigenetic changes are of irrefutable importance for AD, but they await further elucidation from the perspectives of pathogenesis, biomarkers and potential treatment.

  12. Minireview: transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: focus on endocrine disrupting compounds.

    PubMed

    Rissman, Emilie F; Adli, Mazhar

    2014-08-01

    The idea that what we eat, feel, and experience influences our physical and mental state and can be transmitted to our offspring and even to subsequent generations has been in the popular realm for a long time. In addition to classic gene mutations, we now recognize that some mechanisms for inheritance do not require changes in DNA. The field of epigenetics has provided a new appreciation for the variety of ways biological traits can be transmitted to subsequent generations. Thus, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance has emerged as a new area of research. We have four goals for this minireview. First, we describe the topic and some of the nomenclature used in the literature. Second, we explain the major epigenetic mechanisms implicated in transgenerational inheritance. Next, we examine some of the best examples of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, with an emphasis on those produced by exposing the parental generation to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). Finally, we discuss how whole-genome profiling approaches can be used to identify aberrant epigenomic features and gain insight into the mechanism of EDC-mediated transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Our goal is to educate readers about the range of possible epigenetic mechanisms that exist and encourage researchers to think broadly and apply multiple genomic and epigenomic technologies to their work.

  13. Inducible mouse models illuminate parameters influencing epigenetic inheritance.

    PubMed

    Wan, Mimi; Gu, Honggang; Wang, Jingxue; Huang, Haichang; Zhao, Jiugang; Kaundal, Ravinder K; Yu, Ming; Kushwaha, Ritu; Chaiyachati, Barbara H; Deerhake, Elizabeth; Chi, Tian

    2013-02-01

    Environmental factors can stably perturb the epigenome of exposed individuals and even that of their offspring, but the pleiotropic effects of these factors have posed a challenge for understanding the determinants of mitotic or transgenerational inheritance of the epigenetic perturbation. To tackle this problem, we manipulated the epigenetic states of various target genes using a tetracycline-dependent transcription factor. Remarkably, transient manipulation at appropriate times during embryogenesis led to aberrant epigenetic modifications in the ensuing adults regardless of the modification patterns, target gene sequences or locations, and despite lineage-specific epigenetic programming that could reverse the epigenetic perturbation, thus revealing extraordinary malleability of the fetal epigenome, which has implications for 'metastable epialleles'. However, strong transgenerational inheritance of these perturbations was observed only at transgenes integrated at the Col1a1 locus, where both activating and repressive chromatin modifications were heritable for multiple generations; such a locus is unprecedented. Thus, in our inducible animal models, mitotic inheritance of epigenetic perturbation seems critically dependent on the timing of the perturbation, whereas transgenerational inheritance additionally depends on the location of the perturbation. In contrast, other parameters examined, particularly the chromatin modification pattern and DNA sequence, appear irrelevant.

  14. NETs: organ-related epigenetic derangements and potential clinical applications

    PubMed Central

    Cives, Mauro; Simone, Valeria; Rizzo, Francesca Maria; Silvestris, Franco

    2016-01-01

    High-throughput next-generation sequencing methods have recently provided a detailed picture of the genetic landscape of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), revealing recurrent mutations of chromatin-remodeling genes and little-to-no pathogenetic role for oncogenes commonly mutated in cancer. Concurrently, multiple epigenetic modifications have been described across the whole spectrum of NETs, and their putative function as tumorigenic drivers has been envisaged. As result, it is still unclear whether or not NETs are epigenetically-driven, rather than genetically-induced malignancies. Although the NET epigenome profiling has led to the identification of molecularly-distinct tumor subsets, validation studies in larger cohorts of patients are needed to translate the use of NET epitypes in clinical practice. In the precision medicine era, recognition of subpopulations of patients more likely to respond to therapeutic agents is critical, and future studies testing epigenetic biomarkers are therefore awaited. Restoration of the aberrant chromatin remodeling machinery is an attractive approach for future treatment of cancer and in several hematological malignancies a few epigenetic agents have been already approved. Although clinical outcomes of epigenetic therapies in NETs have been disappointing so far, further clinical trials are required to investigate the efficacy of these drugs. In this context, given the immune-stimulating effects of epidrugs, combination therapies with immune checkpoint inhibitors should be tested. In this review, we provide an overview of the epigenetic changes in both hereditary and sporadic NETs of the gastroenteropancreatic and bronchial tract, focusing on their diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications. PMID:27418145

  15. Epigenetics and pesticides.

    PubMed

    Collotta, M; Bertazzi, P A; Bollati, V

    2013-05-10

    Pesticides, a wide class of environmental contaminants, may cause both acute and delayed health effects in exposed subjects. These effects can range from simple irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects such as affecting the nervous system, the reproductive system and cancer. The molecular mechanisms underlying such effects are still under investigation. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the DNA sequence. Several epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression, can be triggered by environmental factors. We review current evidences indicating that epigenetic modifications may mediate pesticide effects on human health. In vitro, animal, and human investigations have identified several classes of pesticides that modify epigenetic marks, including endocrine disruptors, persistent organic pollutants, arsenic, several herbicides and insecticides. Several investigations have examined the effects of environmental exposures and epigenetic markers, and identified toxicants that modify epigenetic states. These modifications are similar to the ones found in pathological tissue samples. In spite of the current limitations, available evidence supports the concept that epigenetics holds substantial potential for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of pesticides health effects, as well as for predicting health-related risks due to conditions of environmental exposure and individual susceptibility.

  16. Epigenetic regulation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Lyko, F; Beisel, C; Marhold, J; Paro, R

    2006-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of gene transcription relies on molecular marks like DNA methylation or histone modifications. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic regulation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In the past, DNA methylation research has primarily utilized mammalian model systems. However, several recent landmark discoveries have been made in other organisms. For example, the interaction between DNA methylation and histone methylation was first described in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Another example is provided by the interaction between epigenetic modifications and the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery that was first reported in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Another organism with great experimental power is the fruit fly Drosophila. Epigenetic regulation by chromatin has been extensively analyzed in the fly and several of the key components have been discovered in this organism. In this chapter, we will focus on three aspects that represent the complexity of epigenetic gene regulation. (1) We will discuss the available data about the DNA methylation system, (2) we will illuminate the interaction between DNA methylation and chromatin regulation, and (3) we will provide an overview over the Polycomb system of epigenetic chromatin modifiers that has proved to be an important paradigm for a chromatin system regulating epigenetic programming.

  17. Scrutinizing the epigenetics revolution.

    PubMed

    Meloni, Maurizio; Testa, Giuseppe

    2014-11-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Asthma

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, Avery

    2016-01-01

    Asthma and allergic diseases are among the most prevalent chronic noncommunicable diseases of childhood, but the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are poorly understood. Because epigenetic mechanisms link gene regulation to environmental cues and developmental trajectories, their contribution to asthma and allergy pathogenesis is under active investigation. DNA methylation signatures associated with concurrent disease and with the development of asthma during childhood asthma have been identified, but their significance is not easily interpretable. On the other hand, the characterization of early epigenetic predictors of asthma points to a potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the inception of, and the susceptibility to, this disease. PMID:27027952

  2. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Asthma.

    PubMed

    DeVries, Avery; Vercelli, Donata

    2016-03-01

    Asthma and allergic diseases are among the most prevalent chronic noncommunicable diseases of childhood, but the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are poorly understood. Because epigenetic mechanisms link gene regulation to environmental cues and developmental trajectories, their contribution to asthma and allergy pathogenesis is under active investigation. DNA methylation signatures associated with concurrent disease and with the development of asthma during childhood asthma have been identified, but their significance is not easily interpretable. On the other hand, the characterization of early epigenetic predictors of asthma points to a potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the inception of, and the susceptibility to, this disease.

  3. Epigenetic code and insect behavioural plasticity.

    PubMed

    Maleszka, Ryszard

    2016-06-01

    Although the nature of the genetic control of adaptive behaviours in insects is a major unresolved problem it is now understood that epigenetic mechanisms, bound by genetic constraints, are prime drivers of brain plasticity arising from both developmental and experience-dependent events. With the recent advancements in methylomics and emerging analyses of histones and non-protein-coding RNAs, insect epigenetics is well positioned to ask more direct questions and importantly, address them experimentally. To achieve rapid progress, insect epigenetics needs to focus on mechanistic explanations of epigenomic dynamics and move beyond low-depth genome-wide analyses to cell-type specific epigenomics. One topic of a high priority is the impact of sequence variants on generating differential methylation patterns and their contribution to behavioural plasticity.

  4. Epigenetic targeting of ovarian cancer stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yinu; Cardenas, Horacio; Fang, Fang; Condello, Salvatore; Taverna, Pietro; Segar, Matthew; Liu, Yunlong; Nephew, Kenneth P; Matei, Daniela

    2014-09-01

    Emerging results indicate that cancer stem-like cells contribute to chemoresistance and poor clinical outcomes in many cancers, including ovarian cancer. As epigenetic regulators play a major role in the control of normal stem cell differentiation, epigenetics may offer a useful arena to develop strategies to target cancer stem-like cells. Epigenetic aberrations, especially DNA methylation, silence tumor-suppressor and differentiation-associated genes that regulate the survival of ovarian cancer stem-like cells (OCSC). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that DNA-hypomethylating agents may be able to reset OCSC toward a differentiated phenotype by evaluating the effects of the new DNA methytransferase inhibitor SGI-110 on OCSC phenotype, as defined by expression of the cancer stem-like marker aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). We demonstrated that ALDH(+) ovarian cancer cells possess multiple stem cell characteristics, were highly chemoresistant, and were enriched in xenografts residual after platinum therapy. Low-dose SGI-110 reduced the stem-like properties of ALDH(+) cells, including their tumor-initiating capacity, resensitized these OCSCs to platinum, and induced reexpression of differentiation-associated genes. Maintenance treatment with SGI-110 after carboplatin inhibited OCSC growth, causing global tumor hypomethylation and decreased tumor progression. Our work offers preclinical evidence that epigenome-targeting strategies have the potential to delay tumor progression by reprogramming residual cancer stem-like cells. Furthermore, the results suggest that SGI-110 might be administered in combination with platinum to prevent the development of recurrent and chemoresistant ovarian cancer.

  5. Epigenetic Targeting of Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yinu; Cardenas, Horacio; Fang, Fang; Condello, Salvatore; Taverna, Pietro; Segar, Matthew; Liu, Yunlong; Nephew, Kenneth P.; Matei, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Emerging results indicate that cancer stem-like cells contribute to chemoresistance and poor clinical outcomes in many cancers, including ovarian cancer (OC). As epigenetic regulators play a major role in the control of normal stem cell differentiation, epigenetics may offer a useful arena to develop strategies to target cancer stem-like cells. Epigenetic aberrations, especially DNA methylation, silence tumor suppressor and differentiation-associated genes that regulate the survival of ovarian cancer stem-like cell (OCSC). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that DNA hypomethylating agents may be able to reset OCSC towards a differentiated phenotype, by evaluating the effects of the new DNA methytransferase inhibitor SGI-110 on OCSC phenotype, as defined by expression of the cancer stem-like marker aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). We demonstrated that ALDH+ OC cells possess multiple stem cell characteristics, were highly chemoresistant, and were enriched in xenografts residual after platinum therapy. Low dose SGI-110 reduced the stem-like properties of ALDH+ cells, including their tumor initiating capacity, resensitized these OCSCs to platinum, and induced re-expression of differentiation-associated genes. Maintenance treatment with SGI-110 after carboplatin inhibited OCSC growth, causing global tumor hypomethylation and decreased tumor progression. Our work offers preclinical evidence that epigenome-targeting strategies have the potential to delay tumor progression by re-programming residual cancer stem-like cells. Further, the results suggest that SGI-110 might be administered in combination with platinum to prevent the development of recurrent and chemoresistant ovarian cancer. PMID:25035395

  6. Epigenetic inheritance of cell differentiation status.

    PubMed

    Ng, Ray K; Gurdon, John B

    2008-05-01

    Epigenetic modifications influence gene expression pattern and provide a unique signature of a cell differentiation status. Without external stimuli or signalling events, this cell identity remains stable and unlikely to change over many cell divisions. The epigenetic signature of a particular cell fate therefore needs to be replicated faithfully in daughter cells; otherwise a cell lineage cannot be maintained. However, the mechanism of transmission of cellular memory from mother to daughter cells remains unclear. It has been suggested that the inheritance of an active or silent gene state involves different kinds of epigenetic mechanisms, e.g. DNA methylation, histone modifications, replacement of histone variants, Polycomb group (PcG) and Trithorax group (TrxG) proteins. Emerging evidence supports the role of histone variant H3.3 in maintaining an active gene status and in remodelling nucleosomal composition. Here we discuss some recent findings on the propagation of epigenetic memory and propose a model for the inheritance of an active gene state through the interaction of H3.3 with other epigenetic components.

  7. An update on the epigenetics of psychotic diseases and autism.

    PubMed

    Abdolmaleky, Hamid Mostafavi; Zhou, Jin-Rong; Thiagalingam, Sam

    2015-01-01

    The examination of potential roles of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of psychotic diseases have become an essential alternative in recent years as genetic studies alone are yet to uncover major gene(s) for psychosis. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge from the gene-specific and genome-wide studies of postmortem brain and blood cells indicating that aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications and dysregulation of micro-RNAs are linked to the pathogenesis of mental diseases. There is also strong evidence supporting that all classes of psychiatric drugs modulate diverse features of the epigenome. While comprehensive environmental and genetic/epigenetic studies are uncovering the origins, and the key genes/pathways affected in psychotic diseases, characterizing the epigenetic effects of psychiatric drugs may help to design novel therapies in psychiatry.

  8. Epigenetics in cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    Shirodkar, Apurva V.; Marsden, Philip A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review To provide an overview of the biological processes implicated in chromatin-based pathways that control endothelial gene expression patterns in both health and disease and highlight how these processes are relevant to cardiovascular disease. Recent findings Epigenetics refers to chromatin-based pathways important in the regulation of gene expression and includes three distinct, but highly interrelated, mechanisms: DNA methylation, histone density and posttranslational modifications, and RNA-based mechanisms. It is of great interest that epigenetic regulation of genes enriched in the vascular endothelium is a prominent regulatory pathway. How environmental cues within the vasculature, such as hemodynamic forces or hypoxia, influence these epigenetic mechanisms will be reviewed. Summary Although a newer area for study, exciting new evidence identifies that epigenetic processes are highly dynamic and respond to a myriad of environmental stimuli. Integrating chromatin-based pathways into our understanding of gene expression offers newer insight into disease processes. PMID:21415727

  9. Metabolism and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Rine, Jasper

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms by which cells inherit information are, to a large extent, enabled by DNA methylation and posttranslational modifications of histone proteins. These modifications operate both to influence the structure of chromatin per se and to serve as recognition elements for proteins with motifs dedicated to binding particular modifications. Each of these modifications results from an enzyme that consumes one of several important metabolites during catalysis. Likewise, the removal of these marks often results in the consumption of a different metabolite. Therefore, these so-called epigenetic marks have the capacity to integrate the expression state of chromatin with the metabolic state of the cell. This review focuses on the central roles played by acetyl-CoA, S-adenosyl methionine, NAD+, and a growing list of other acyl-CoA derivatives in epigenetic processes. We also review how metabolites that accumulate as a result of oncogenic mutations are thought to subvert the epigenetic program. PMID:26359776

  10. Epigenetics of Aging

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. [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.

  12. Nutrition, Epigenetics, and Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Serra, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Increasing epidemiological evidence suggests that maternal nutrition and environmental exposure early in development play an important role in susceptibility to disease in later life. In addition, these disease outcomes seem to pass through subsequent generations. Epigenetic modifications provide a potential link between the nutrition status during critical periods in development and changes in gene expression that may lead to disease phenotypes. An increasing body of evidence from experimental animal studies supports the role of epigenetics in disease susceptibility during critical developmental periods, including periconceptional period, gestation, and early postnatal period. The rapid improvements in genetic and epigenetic technologies will allow comprehensive investigations of the relevance of these epigenetic phenomena in human diseases. PMID:24527414

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, Kimberly R.; Miller, Brooke H.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, have been implicated in a number of complex diseases. Schizophrenia and other major psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with abnormalities in multiple epigenetic mechanisms, resulting in altered gene expression during development and adulthood. Polymorphisms and copy number variants in schizophrenia risk genes contribute to the high heritability of the disease, but environmental factors that lead to epigenetic modifications may either reduce or exacerbate the expression of molecular and behavioral phenotypes associated with schizophrenia and related disorders. In the present paper, we will review the current understanding of molecular dysregulation in schizophrenia, including disruption of the dopamine, NMDA, and GABA signaling pathways, and discuss the role of epigenetic factors underlying disease pathology. PMID:25958205

  14. Epigenetics of Meningiomas

    PubMed Central

    Murnyák, Balázs; Bognár, László; Klekner, Álmos; Hortobágyi, Tibor

    2015-01-01

    Meningiomas account for one-third of all adult central nervous system tumours and are divided into three WHO grades. In contrast to the relatively well characterized genetic alterations, our current understanding of epigenetic modifications involved in the meningioma-genesis and progression is rather incomplete. Contrary to genetic alterations, epigenetic changes do not alter the primary DNA sequence and their reversible nature serves as an excellent basis for prevention and development of novel personalised tumour therapies. Indeed, growing body of evidence suggests that disturbed epigenetic regulation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of meningiomas. Altered DNA methylation, microRNA expression, histone, and chromatin modifications are frequently noted in meningiomas bearing prognostic and therapeutic relevance. In this review we provide an overview on recently identified epigenetic alterations in meningiomas and discuss their role in tumour initiation, progression, and recurrence. PMID:26101774

  15. 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.

  16. Epigenetics of asthma.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  17. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Heavy Metals and Epigenetic Alterations in Brain Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Caffo, Maria; Caruso, Gerardo; Fata, Giuseppe La; Barresi, Valeria; Visalli, Maria; Venza, Mario; Venza, Isabella

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals and their derivatives can cause various diseases. Numerous studies have evaluated the possible link between exposure to heavy metals and various cancers. Recent data show a correlation between heavy metals and aberration of genetic and epigenetic patterns. From a literature search we noticed few experimental and epidemiological studies that evaluate a possible correlation between heavy metals and brain tumors. Gliomas arise due to genetic and epigenetic alterations of glial cells. Changes in gene expression result in the alteration of the cellular division process. Epigenetic alterations in brain tumors include the hypermethylation of CpG group, hypomethylation of specific genes, aberrant activation of genes, and changes in the position of various histones. Heavy metals are capable of generating reactive oxygen assumes that key functions in various pathological mechanisms. Alteration of homeostasis of metals could cause the overproduction of reactive oxygen species and induce DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, and alteration of proteins. In this study we summarize the possible correlation between heavy metals, epigenetic alterations and brain tumors. We report, moreover, the review of relevant literature. PMID:25646073

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetic regulation of B lymphocyte differentiation, transdifferentiation, and reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Barneda-Zahonero, Bruna; Roman-Gonzalez, Lidia; Collazo, Olga; Mahmoudi, Tokameh; Parra, Maribel

    2012-01-01

    B cell development is a multistep process that is tightly regulated at the transcriptional level. In recent years, investigators have shed light on the transcription factor networks involved in all the differentiation steps comprising B lymphopoiesis. The interplay between transcription factors and the epigenetic machinery involved in establishing the correct genomic landscape characteristic of each cellular state is beginning to be dissected. The participation of "epigenetic regulator-transcription factor" complexes is also crucial for directing cells during reprogramming into pluripotency or lineage conversion. In this context, greater knowledge of epigenetic regulation during B cell development, transdifferentiation, and reprogramming will enable us to understand better how epigenetics can control cell lineage commitment and identity. Herein, we review the current knowledge about the epigenetic events that contribute to B cell development and reprogramming.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Zijun; Lu, Qianjin; Wang, Zhihui

    2017-02-08

    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.

  2. Epigenetics in sports.

    PubMed

    Ehlert, Tobias; Simon, Perikles; Moser, Dirk A

    2013-02-01

    The heritability of specific phenotypical traits relevant for physical performance has been extensively investigated and discussed by experts from various research fields. By deciphering the complete human DNA sequence, the human genome project has provided impressive insights into the genomic landscape. The hope that this information would reveal the origin of phenotypical traits relevant for physical performance or disease risks has proven overly optimistic, and it is still premature to refer to a 'post-genomic' era of biological science. Linking genomic regions with functions, phenotypical traits and variation in disease risk is now a major experimental bottleneck. The recent deluge of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) generates extensive lists of sequence variants and genes potentially linked to phenotypical traits, but functional insight is at best sparse. The focus of this review is on the complex mechanisms that modulate gene expression. A large fraction of these mechanisms is integrated into the field of epigenetics, mainly DNA methylation and histone modifications, which lead to persistent effects on the availability of DNA for transcription. With the exceptions of genomic imprinting and very rare cases of epigenetic inheritance, epigenetic modifications are not inherited transgenerationally. Along with their susceptibility to external influences, epigenetic patterns are highly specific to the individual and may represent pivotal control centers predisposing towards higher or lower physical performance capacities. In that context, we specifically review how epigenetics combined with classical genetics could broaden our knowledge of genotype-phenotype interactions. We discuss some of the shortcomings of GWAS and explain how epigenetic influences can mask the outcome of quantitative genetic studies. We consider epigenetic influences, such as genomic imprinting and epigenetic inheritance, as well as the life-long variability of epigenetic modification

  3. Epigenetics meets immune checkpoints.

    PubMed

    Covre, Alessia; Coral, Sandra; Di Giacomo, Anna Maria; Taverna, Pietro; Azab, Mohammad; Maio, Michele

    2015-06-01

    Epigenetic alterations play a pivotal role in cancer development and progression. Pharmacologic reversion of such alterations is feasible, and second generation "epigenetic drugs" are in development and have been demonstrated to possess significant immunomodulatory properties. This knowledge, together with the availability of new and highly effective immunotherapeutic agents including immune checkpoint(s) blocking monoclonal antibodies, allows us to plan for highly innovative proof-of-principle combination studies that will likely open the path to more effective anticancer therapies.

  4. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K.

    2017-01-01

    Endocrine disruptors are critical environmental exposures that influence health and can promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and abnormal physiology. Advances in 2015 included analyses of the effects of endocrine disruptors on human disease, further examples of endocrine disruptors promoting transgenerational behavioural effects, insights into effects of endocrine disruptors on epigenetic programming of primordial germ cells and the finding that endocrine disruptors can transgenerationally promote genetic mutations. PMID:26585656

  5. Epigenetics and pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Stefanska, Barbara; MacEwan, David J

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Alterations of Epigenetic Regulators in Pancreatic Cancer and Their Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Brittany R.; Shi, Jiaqi

    2016-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human cancer types with a five-year survival less than 7%. Emerging evidence revealed that many genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer target epigenetic regulators. Some of these mutations are driver mutations in cancer development. Several most important mechanisms of epigenetic regulations include DNA methylation, histone modifications (methylation, acetylation, and ubiquitination), chromatin remodeling, and non-coding ribonucleic acids (RNAs). These modifications can alter chromatin structure and promoter accessibility, and thus lead to aberrant gene expression. However, exactly how these alterations affect epigenetic reprogramming in pancreatic cancer cells and in different stages of tumor development is still not clear. This mini-review summarizes the current knowledge of epigenetic alterations in pancreatic cancer development and progression, and discusses the clinical applications of epigenetic regulators as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer. PMID:27999365

  7. Aberration features in directional dark matter detection

    SciTech Connect

    Bozorgnia, Nassim; Gelmini, Graciela B.; Gondolo, Paolo E-mail: gelmini@physics.ucla.edu

    2012-08-01

    The motion of the Earth around the Sun causes an annual change in the magnitude and direction of the arrival velocity of dark matter particles on Earth, in a way analogous to aberration of stellar light. In directional detectors, aberration of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) modulates the pattern of nuclear recoil directions in a way that depends on the orbital velocity of the Earth and the local galactic distribution of WIMP velocities. Knowing the former, WIMP aberration can give information on the latter, besides being a curious way of confirming the revolution of the Earth and the extraterrestrial provenance of WIMPs. While observing the full aberration pattern requires extremely large exposures, we claim that the annual variation of the mean recoil direction or of the event counts over specific solid angles may be detectable with moderately large exposures. For example, integrated counts over Galactic hemispheres separated by planes perpendicular to Earth's orbit would modulate annually, resulting in Galactic Hemisphere Annual Modulations (GHAM) with amplitudes larger than the usual non-directional annual modulation.

  8. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in physiological and pathological brain processes.

    PubMed

    Gräff, Johannes; Kim, Dohoon; Dobbin, Matthew M; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2011-04-01

    Over the past decade, it has become increasingly obvious that epigenetic mechanisms are an integral part of a multitude of brain functions that range from the development of the nervous system over basic neuronal functions to higher order cognitive processes. At the same time, a substantial body of evidence has surfaced indicating that several neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric disorders are in part caused by aberrant epigenetic modifications. Because of their inherent plasticity, such pathological epigenetic modifications are readily amenable to pharmacological interventions and have thus raised justified hopes that the epigenetic machinery provides a powerful new platform for therapeutic approaches against these diseases. In this review, we give a detailed overview of the implication of epigenetic mechanisms in both physiological and pathological brain processes and summarize the state-of-the-art of "epigenetic medicine" where applicable. Despite, or because of, these new and exciting findings, it is becoming apparent that the epigenetic machinery in the brain is highly complex and intertwined, which underscores the need for more refined studies to disentangle brain-region and cell-type specific epigenetic codes in a given environmental condition. Clearly, the brain contains an epigenetic "hotspot" with a unique potential to not only better understand its most complex functions, but also to treat its most vicious diseases.

  9. Evolution of an Epigenetic Gene Ensemble within the Genus Anopheles

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Adam M.; Muskavitch, Marc A.T.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic control of gene expression has important implications for the regulation of developmental processes, for mediating homeostasis and responses to the external environment, and for transgenerational inheritance of gene expression patterns. Genes that mediate epigenetic control have been well-characterized in Drosophila melanogaster, and we have identified and analyzed an orthologous gene ensemble in Anopheles gambiae that comprises 169 orthologs related to a 215-member epigenetic gene ensemble in D. melanogaster. We find that this ensemble is highly conserved among anopheline mosquitoes, as we identify only seven gene family expansion/contraction events within the ensemble among 12 mosquito species we have studied within the genus Anopheles. Comparative analyses of the epigenetic gene expression across the genera Drosophila and Anopheles reveal distinct tissue-associated expression patterns in the two genera, but similar temporal expression patterns. The A. gambiae complex and D. melanogaster subgroup epigenetic gene ensembles exhibit similar evolutionary rates, as assessed by their respective dN/dS values. These differences in tissue-associated expression patterns, in contrast to similarities in evolutionary rates and temporal expression patterns, may imply that some members of the epigenetic gene ensemble have been redeployed within one or both genera, in comparison to the most recent common ancestor of these two clades. Members of this epigenetic gene ensemble may constitute another set of potential targets for vector control and enable further reductions in the burden of human malaria, by analogy to recent success in development of small molecule antagonists for mammalian epigenetic machinery. PMID:25724208

  10. Epigenetic programming of neurodegenerative diseases by an adverse environment.

    PubMed

    Babenko, Olena; Kovalchuk, Igor; Metz, Gerlinde A

    2012-03-20

    Experience and environment can critically influence the risk and progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as miRNA expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, readily respond to experience and environmental factors. Here we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression and environmental modulation thereof may play a key role in the onset and course of common neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and multiple sclerosis. For example, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate long-term responses to adverse experience, such as stress, to affect disease susceptibility and the course of neurodegenerative events. This review introduces the epigenetic components and their possible role in mediating neuropathological processes in response to stress. We argue that epigenetic modifications will affect neurodegenerative events through altered gene function. The study of epigenetic states in neurodegenerative diseases presents an opportunity to gain new insights into risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms. Moreover, research into epigenetic regulation of disease may revolutionize health care by opening new avenues of personalized, preventive and curative medicine.

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetic control of myeloid cell differentiation, identity and function.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Errico, Damiana; Vento-Tormo, Roser; Sieweke, Michael; Ballestar, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Myeloid cells are crucial effectors of the innate immune response and important regulators of adaptive immunity. The differentiation and activation of myeloid cells requires the timely regulation of gene expression; this depends on the interplay of a variety of elements, including transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic control involves histone modifications and DNA methylation, and is coupled to lineage-specifying transcription factors, upstream signalling pathways and external factors released in the bone marrow, blood and tissue environments. In this Review, we highlight key epigenetic events controlling myeloid cell biology, focusing on those related to myeloid cell differentiation, the acquisition of myeloid identity and innate immune memory.

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Fetal Origins of Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Osborne-Majnik, Amber; Fu, Qi; Lane, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    Early life environment predicts future health. The initial precedents and research focus for this concept arose out of historical events. However, this concept continues to be relevant as evidenced by the recent Chinese Famine and the evidence of racial disparities in the United States. The latter allows us to introduce the “life course model” and “weathering” as relevant epigenetic phenomena. We then review the molecular components of environmental epigenetics. We subsequently present glucocorticoid receptor biology as a paradigm that involves all of the components. Finally, we suggest that environmental epigenetics are a key component of the future of personalized medicine. PMID:23787712

  14. 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

  15. Epigenetic Regulation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Shilpa; Gurudutta, Gangenahalli

    2016-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells are endowed with a distinct potential to bolster self-renewal and to generate progeny that differentiate into mature cells of myeloid and lymphoid lineages. Both hematopoietic stem cells and mature cells have the same genome, but their gene expression is controlled by an additional layer of epigenetics such as DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications, enabling each cell-type to acquire various forms and functions. Until recently, several studies have largely focussed on the transcription factors andniche factors for the understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which hematopoietic cells replicate and differentiate. Several lines of emerging evidence suggest that epigenetic modifications eventually result in a defined chromatin structure and an “individual” gene expression pattern, which play an essential role in the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Distinct epigenetic marks decide which sets of genes may be expressed and which genes are kept silent. Epigenetic mechanisms are interdependent and ensure lifelong production of blood and bone marrow, thereby contributing to stem cell homeostasis. The epigenetic analysis of hematopoiesis raises the exciting possibility that chromatin structure is dynamic enough for regulated expression of genes. Though controlled chromatin accessibility plays an essential role in maintaining blood homeostasis; mutations in chromatin impacts on the regulation of genes critical to the development of leukemia. In this review, we explored the contribution of epigenetic machinery which has implications for the ramification of molecular details of hematopoietic self-renewal for normal development and underlying events that potentially co-operate to induce leukemia. PMID:27426084

  16. Epigenetic Control of Female Puberty

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Basic concepts of epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Through epigenetic modifications, specific long-term phenotypic consequences can arise from environmental influence on slowly evolving genomic DNA. Heritable epigenetic information regulates nucleosomal arrangement around DNA and determines patterns of gene silencing or active transcription. One of the greatest challenges in the study of epigenetics as it relates to disease is the enormous diversity of proteins, histone modifications and DNA methylation patterns associated with each unique maladaptive phenotype. This is further complicated by a limitless combination of environmental cues that could alter the epigenome of specific cell types, tissues, organs and systems. In addition, complexities arise from the interpretation of studies describing analogous but not identical processes in flies, plants, worms, yeast, ciliated protozoans, tumor cells and mammals. This review integrates fundamental basic concepts of epigenetics with specific focus on how the epigenetic machinery interacts and operates in continuity to silence or activate gene expression. Topics covered include the connection between DNA methylation, methyl-CpG-binding proteins, transcriptional repression complexes, histone residues, histone modifications that mediate gene repression or relaxation, histone core variant stability, H1 histone linker flexibility, FACT complex, nucleosomal remodeling complexes, HP1 and nuclear lamins. PMID:22395460

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Plant Transgenerational Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Quadrana, Leandro; Colot, Vincent

    2016-11-23

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

  1. Epigenetics and epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Roopra, Avtar; Dingledine, Raymond; Hsieh, Jenny

    2012-12-01

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

  2. Aberration correction of unstable resonators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lang, Robert J. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    Construction of aspheric reflectors for unstable resonator lasers to provide an arbitrary laser mode inside the resonator to correct aberrations of an output beam by the construction of the shape of an end reflector opposite the output reflector of the resonator cavity, such as aberrations resulting from refraction of a beam exiting the solid of the resonator having an index of refraction greater than 1 or to produce an aberration in the output beam that will precisely compensate for the aberration of an optical train into which the resonator beam is coupled.

  3. Epigenetics: deciphering its role in diabetes and its chronic complications.

    PubMed

    Villeneuve, Louisa M; Reddy, Marpadga A; Natarajan, Rama

    2011-07-01

    1. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors might regulate the complex interplay between genes and the environment, and affect human diseases, such as diabetes and its complications. 2. Clinical trials have underscored the long lasting beneficial effects of strict glycaemic control for reducing the progression of diabetic complications. They have also shown that diabetic complications, such as diabetic nephropathy, a chronic kidney disorder, can continue even after blood glucose normalization, suggesting a metabolic memory of the prior glycaemic state. 3. Dysregulation of epigenetic post-transcriptional modifications of histones in chromatin, including histone lysine methylation, has been implicated in aberrant gene regulation associated with the pathology of diabetes and its complications. Genome-wide studies have shown cell-type specific changes in histone methylation patterns under diabetic conditions. In addition, studies in vascular cells have shown long lasting changes in epigenetic modifications at key inflammatory gene promoters after prior exposure to diabetic conditions, suggesting a possible mechanism for metabolic memory. 4. Recent studies have shown roles for histone methylation, DNA methylation, as well as microRNA in diabetic nephropathy. Whether these epigenetic factors play a role in metabolic memory of diabetic kidney disease is less well understood. 5. The incidence of diabetes is growing rapidly, as also the cost of treating the resulting complications. A better understanding of metabolic memory and the potential involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in this phenomenon could enable the development of new therapeutic targets for the treatment and/or prevention of sustained diabetic complications.

  4. Carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption: an epigenetic viewpoint.

    PubMed

    Salavaty, Abbas

    2015-08-08

    Circadian rhythms refer to the endogenous rhythms that are generated to synchronize physiology and behavior with 24-h environmental cues. These rhythms are regulated by both external cues and molecular clock mechanisms in almost all cells. Disruption of circadian rhythms, which is called circadian disruption, affects many biological processes within the body and results in different long-term diseases, including cancer. Circadian regulatory pathways result in rhythmic epigenetic modifications and the formation of circadian epigenomes. Aberrant epigenetic modifications, such as hypermethylation, due to circadian disruption may be involved in the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. Several studies have indicated an epigenetic basis for the carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption. In this review, I first discuss some of the circadian genes and regulatory proteins. Then, I summarize the current evidence related to the epigenetic modifications that result in circadian disruption. In addition, I explain the carcinogenic effects of circadian disruption and highlight its potential role in different human cancers using an epigenetic viewpoint. Finally, the importance of chronotherapy in cancer treatment is highlighted.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chaligné, Ronan; Popova, Tatiana; Mendoza-Parra, Marco-Antonio; Saleem, Mohamed-Ashick M.; Gentien, David; Ban, Kristen; Piolot, Tristan; Leroy, Olivier; Mariani, Odette

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25653311

  8. 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.

  9. Epigenetics and aging.

    PubMed

    D'Aquila, Patrizia; Rose, Giuseppina; Bellizzi, Dina; Passarino, Giuseppe

    2013-02-01

    Over the past two decades, a growing interest on the research of the biological basis of human longevity has emerged, in order to clarify the intricacy of biological and environmental factors affecting (together with stochastic factors) the quality and the rate of human aging. These researches have outlined a complex scenario in which epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation and numerous histone modifications, are emerging as important factors of the overall variation in life expectancy. In fact, epigenetic marks, that are responsible of the establishment of specific expression programs and of genome stability, represent a "drawbridge" across genetic, environmental and stochastic factors. In this review we provide an overview on the current knowledge and the general features of the epigenetic modifications characterizing the aging process.

  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. Epigenetic signaling in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Ibi, Daisuke; González-Maeso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    Histone modifications and DNA methylation represent central dynamic and reversible processes that regulate gene expression and contribute to cellular phenotypes. These epigenetic marks have been shown to play fundamental roles in a diverse set of signaling and behavioral outcomes. Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression are complex and heterogeneous diseases with multiple and independent factors that may contribute to their pathophysiology, making challenging to find a link between specific elements and the underlying mechanisms responsible for the disorder and its treatment. Growing evidences suggest that epigenetic modifications in certain brain regions and neural circuits represent a key mechanism through which environmental factors interact with individual’s genetic constitution to affect risk of psychiatric conditions throughout life. This review focuses on recent advances that directly implicate epigenetic modifications in schizophrenia and antipsychotic drug action. PMID:26120009

  12. Adaptive Epibiochemistry and Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Buryanov, Ya I

    2015-09-01

    Enzymatic reactions of post-synthetic modification of macromolecules occur in the cells of all organisms. These reactions, which can be designated as epibiochemical, are of a special type and, as discriminated from reactions with low molecular weight substrates, occur on the level of biopolymers, causing their covalent modification. The majority of epibiochemical modifications of proteins, DNA, and RNA are reversible and are carried out by modification transferases and de-modification enzymes, respectively. Epibiochemical, i.e. those located above the low molecular weight metabolites, modifications of proteins and nucleic acids perform various functions, including participation in molecular mechanisms of adaptive epigenetic heredity. This paper presents an overview of some adaptive epibiochemical modifications of macromolecules and the adaptive epigenetic processes on their basis. The features of epigenetic inheritance of acquired characteristics and the limits of biological evolution are discussed.

  13. Epigenetics of colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Goel, Ajay; Boland, C Richard

    2012-12-01

    In the early years of the molecular biology revolution, cancer research was mainly focused on genetic changes (ie, those that altered DNA sequences). Although this has been extremely useful as our understanding of the pathogenesis and biology of cancer has grown and matured, there is another realm in tumor development that does not involve changing the sequence of cellular DNA. This field is called "epigenetics" and broadly encompasses changes in the methylation of cytosines in DNA, changes in histone and chromatin structure, and alterations in the expression of microRNAs, which control the stability of many messenger RNAs and serve as "master regulators" of gene expression. This review focuses on the epigenetics of colorectal cancer and illustrates the impact epigenetics has had on this field.

  14. Epigenetic Modifications of Brain and Behavior: Theory and Practice

    PubMed Central

    Crews, David

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary change is a product of selection. Selection operates on the phenotype, and its consequences are manifest in representation of the genotype in successive generations. Of particular interest to both evolutionary and behavioral biologists is the newly emerging field of epigenetics and behavior. Two broad categories of epigenetic modifications must be distinguished. Context-Dependent epigenetic change can be observed if the environmental factors that bring about the epigenetic modification persists (e.g., the frequency and quality of maternal care modifying the brain and future behavior of the offspring each generation). Because the environment induces epiallelic change, removing the causative factor can reverse a Context-Dependent epigenetic state. Germline-Dependent epigenetic change occurs when the epigenetic imprint is mediated through the germline. Such effects are independent of the causative agent and there is no evidence at present that a Germline-Dependent epigenetic state can be reversed. Finally, only Germline-Dependent epigenetic modifications can be truly transgenerational. Although an individual’s life history is progressive and continuous, it might usefully be viewed as the cumulation of divisions; each period emerging from what has gone before and, at the same time, setting the stage for what follows. These life history stages are somewhat arbitrary, with many traits spanning conventional divisions, but each period tends to have its own characteristic ethologies and particular contribution to neural and behavioral phenotypes. To understand how theses episodes ‘fit’ together, it is necessary to deconstruct early life events and study each period both in its’ own right and how it interacts with the preceding and subsequent stages. Lastly, it seems intuitive that Germline-Dependent and Context-Dependent epigenetic modifications interact, resulting in the individual variation observed in behaviors, but until now this hypothesis has

  15. Epigenetic modifications of brain and behavior: theory and practice.

    PubMed

    Crews, David

    2011-03-01

    Evolutionary change is a product of selection. Selection operates on the phenotype, and its consequences are manifest in representation of the genotype in successive generations. Of particular interest to both evolutionary and behavioral biologists is the newly emerging field of epigenetics and behavior. Two broad categories of epigenetic modifications must be distinguished. Context-dependent epigenetic change can be observed if the environmental factors that bring about the epigenetic modification persists (e.g., the frequency and quality of maternal care modifying the brain and future behavior of the offspring each generation). Because the environment induces epiallelic change, removing the causative factor can reverse a context-dependent epigenetic state. Germline-dependent epigenetic change occurs when the epigenetic imprint is mediated through the germline. Such effects are independent of the causative agent and there is no evidence at present that a germline-dependent epigenetic state can be reversed. Finally, only germline-dependent epigenetic modifications can be truly transgenerational. Although an individual's life history is progressive and continuous, it might usefully be viewed as the cumulation of divisions: each period emerging from what has gone before and, at the same time, setting the stage for what follows. These life history stages are somewhat arbitrary, with many traits spanning conventional divisions, but each period tends to have its own characteristic ethologies and particular contribution to neural and behavioral phenotypes. To understand how these episodes 'fit' together, it is necessary to deconstruct early life events and study each period both in its' own right and how it interacts with the preceding and subsequent stages. Lastly, it seems intuitive that germline- and context-dependent epigenetic modifications interact, resulting in the individual variation observed in behaviors, but until now this hypothesis has never been tested

  16. Histone Variants and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Henikoff, Steven; Smith, M. Mitchell

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetics in Stroke Recovery

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Epigenetic alterations in gastric cancer (Review).

    PubMed

    Fu, Du-Guan

    2015-09-01

    Gastric cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. An increasing number of recent studies have confirmed that gastric cancer is a multistage pathological state that arises from environmental factors; dietary factors in particulary are considered to play an important role in the etiology of gastric cancer. Improper dietary habits are one of the primary concerns as they influence key molecular events associated with the onset of gastric carcinogenesis. In the field of genetics, anticancer research has mainly focused on the various genetic markers and genetic molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of this of this disease. Some of this research has proven to be very fruitful, providing insight into the possible mechamisms repsonsible for this disease and into possible treatment modalities. However, the mortality rate associated with gastric cancer remains relatively high. Thus, epigenetics has become a hot topic for research, whereby genetic markers are bypassed and this research is directed towards reversible epigenetic events, such as methylation and histone modifications that play a crucial role in carcinogenesis. The present review focuses on the epigenetic events which play an important role in the development and progression of this deadly disease, gastric cancer.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Belo, Hélio; Silva, Gabriela; Cardoso, Bruno A.; Porto, Beatriz; Minguillon, Jordi; Barbot, José; Coutinho, Jorge; Casado, Jose A.; Benedito, Manuela; Saturnino, Hema; Costa, Emília; Bueren, Juan A.; Surralles, Jordi; Almeida, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Fanconi anaemia (FA) is an inherited disorder characterized by chromosomal instability. The phenotype is variable, which raises the possibility that it may be affected by other factors, such as epigenetic modifications. These play an important role in oncogenesis and may be pharmacologically manipulated. Our aim was to explore whether the epigenetic profiles in FA differ from non-FA individuals and whether these could be manipulated to alter the disease phenotype. We compared expression of epigenetic genes and DNA methylation profile of tumour suppressor genes between FA and normal samples. FA samples exhibited decreased expression levels of genes involved in epigenetic regulation and hypomethylation in the promoter regions of tumour suppressor genes. Treatment of FA cells with histone deacetylase inhibitor Vorinostat increased the expression of DNM3Tβ and reduced the levels of CIITA and HDAC9, PAK1, USP16, all involved in different aspects of epigenetic and immune regulation. Given the ability of Vorinostat to modulate epigenetic genes in FA patients, we investigated its functional effects on the FA phenotype. This was assessed by incubating FA cells with Vorinostat and quantifying chromosomal breaks induced by DNA cross-linking agents. Treatment of FA cells with Vorinostat resulted in a significant reduction of aberrant cells (81% on average). Our results suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in oncogenesis in FA. Epigenetic agents may be helpful in improving the phenotype of FA patients, potentially reducing tumour incidence in this population. PMID:26466379

  1. Epigenetic regulation of heterochromatic DNA stability

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jamy C; Karpen, Gary H

    2010-01-01

    In this review we summarize recent studies that demonstrate the importance of epigenetic mechanisms for maintaining genome integrity, specifically with respect to repeated DNAs within heterochromatin. Potential problems that arise during replication, recombination, and repair of repeated sequences are counteracted by post-translational histone modifications and associated proteins, including the cohesins. These factors appear to ensure repeat stability by multiple mechanisms: suppressing homologous recombination, controlling the three-dimensional organization of damaged repeats to reduce the probability of aberrant recombination, and promoting the use of less problematic repair pathways. The presence of such systems may facilitate repeat and chromosome evolution, and their failure can lead to genome instability, chromosome rearrangements, and the onset of pathogenesis. PMID:18372168

  2. 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.

  3. Sex differences in brain epigenetics.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  4. Epigenetic Regulation of Oxidative Stress in Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Haiping; Han, Ziping; Ji, Xunming; Luo, Yumin

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence and incidence of stroke rises with life expectancy. However, except for the use of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator, the translation of new therapies for acute stroke from animal models into humans has been relatively unsuccessful. Oxidative DNA and protein damage following stroke is typically associated with cell death. Cause-effect relationships between reactive oxygen species and epigenetic modifications have been established in aging, cancer, acute pancreatitis, and fatty liver disease. In addition, epigenetic regulatory mechanisms during stroke recovery have been reviewed, with focuses mainly on neural apoptosis, necrosis, and neuroplasticity. However, oxidative stress-induced epigenetic regulation in vascular neural networks following stroke has not been sufficiently explored. Improved understanding of the epigenetic regulatory network upon oxidative stress may provide effective antioxidant approaches for treating stroke. In this review, we summarize the epigenetic events, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNAs, that result from oxidative stress following experimental stroke in animal and cell models, and the ways in which epigenetic changes and their crosstalk influence the redox state in neurons, glia, and vascular endothelial cells, helping us to understand the foregone and vicious epigenetic regulation of oxidative stress in the vascular neural network following stroke. PMID:27330844

  5. 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

  6. Epigenetics and memigenetics.

    PubMed

    Mann, Jeffrey R

    2014-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Epigenetics and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Keating, Samuel T; El-Osta, Assam

    2015-02-13

    The molecular signatures of epigenetic regulation and chromatin architectures are fundamental to genetically determined biological processes. Covalent and post-translational chemical modification of the chromatin template can sensitize the genome to changing environmental conditions to establish diverse functional states. Recent interest and research focus surrounds the direct connections between metabolism and chromatin dynamics, which now represents an important conceptual challenge to explain many aspects of metabolic dysfunction. Several components of the epigenetic machinery require intermediates of cellular metabolism for enzymatic function. Furthermore, changes to intracellular metabolism can alter the expression of specific histone methyltransferases and acetyltransferases conferring widespread variations in epigenetic modification patterns. Specific epigenetic influences of dietary glucose and lipid consumption, as well as undernutrition, are observed across numerous organs and pathways associated with metabolism. Studies have started to define the chromatin-dependent mechanisms underlying persistent and pathophysiological changes induced by altered metabolism. Importantly, numerous recent studies demonstrate that gene regulation underlying phenotypic determinants of adult metabolic health is influenced by maternal and early postnatal diet. These emerging concepts open new perspectives to combat the rising global epidemic of metabolic disorders.

  9. Epigenetics and Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Mingcai; Wang, Jinxi

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease and the leading cause of chronic disability in middle-aged and older populations. The development of disease-modifying therapy for OA currently faces major obstacles largely because the regulatory mechanisms for the function of joint tissue cells remain unclear. Previous studies have found that the alterations in gene expression of specific transcription factors (TFs), pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines, matrix proteinases and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in articular cartilage may be involved in the development of OA. However, the regulatory mechanisms for the expression of those genes in OA chondrocytes are largely unknown. The recent advances in epigenetic studies have shed lights on the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the development of OA. In this review, we summarize and discuss the recent studies on the regulatory roles of various epigenetic mechanisms in the expression of genes for specific TFs, cytokines, ECM proteins and matrix proteinases, as well the significance of these epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of OA. PMID:25961070

  10. [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.

  11. Epigenetic Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Peedicayil, Jacob

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Blum, Kenneth; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Gold, Mark S

    2015-07-01

    Hypersexuality is now part of the DSM-V and 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. Hypersexual disorder is conceptualized as primarily a non-paraphilic sexual desire disorder with impulsivity. Pathophysiological perspectives include dysregulation of sexual arousal and desire, sexual impulsivity, sexual addiction, 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 studies based on assessments with clinical instruments combined with genotyping of sex addicts will provide

  13. 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.

  14. Correction of Distributed Optical Aberrations

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, K; Olivier, S; Carrano, C; Phillion, D

    2006-02-12

    The objective of this project was to demonstrate the use of multiple distributed deformable mirrors (DMs) to improve the performance of optical systems with distributed aberrations. This concept is expected to provide dramatic improvement in the optical performance of systems in applications where the aberrations are distributed along the optical path or within the instrument itself. Our approach used multiple actuated DMs distributed to match the aberration distribution. The project developed the algorithms necessary to determine the required corrections and simulate the performance of these multiple DM systems.

  15. Aberrant DNA methylation occurs in colon neoplasms arising in the azoxymethane colon cancer model

    PubMed Central

    Borinstein, Scott C.; Conerly, Melissa; Dzieciatkowski, Slavomir; Biswas, Swati; Washington, M. Kay; Trobridge, Patty; Henikoff, Steve; Grady, William M.

    2010-01-01

    Mouse models of intestinal tumors have advanced our understanding of the role of gene mutations in colorectal malignancy. However, the utility of these systems for studying the role of epigenetic alterations in intestinal neoplasms remains to be defined. Consequently, we assessed the role of aberrant DNA methylation in the azoxymethane (AOM) rodent model of colon cancer. AOM induced tumors display global DNA hypomethylation, which is similar to human colorectal cancer. We next assessed the methylation status of a panel of candidate genes previously shown to be aberrantly methylated in human cancer or in mouse models of malignant neoplasms. This analysis revealed different patterns of DNA methylation that were gene specific. Zik1 and Gja9 demonstrated cancer-specific aberrant DNA methylation, whereas, Cdkn2a/p16, Igfbp3, Mgmt, Id4, and Cxcr4 were methylated in both the AOM tumors and normal colon mucosa. No aberrant methylation of Dapk1 or Mlt1 was detected in the neoplasms, but normal colon mucosa samples displayed methylation of these genes. Finally, p19Arf, Tslc1, Hltf, and Mlh1 were unmethylated in both the AOM tumors and normal colon mucosa. Thus, aberrant DNA methylation does occur in AOM tumors, although the frequency of aberrantly methylated genes appears to be less common than in human colorectal cancer. Additional studies are necessary to further characterize the patterns of aberrantly methylated genes in AOM tumors. PMID:19777566

  16. Increased epigenetic alterations at the promoters of transcriptional regulators following inadequate maternal gestational weight gain

    PubMed Central

    Kawai, Tomoko; Yamada, Takahiro; Abe, Kosei; Okamura, Kohji; Kamura, Hiromi; Akaishi, Rina; Minakami, Hisanori; Nakabayashi, Kazuhiko; Hata, Kenichiro

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are thought to serve as a memory of exposure to in utero environments. However, few human studies have investigated the associations between maternal nutritional conditions during pregnancy and epigenetic alterations in offspring. In this study, we report genome-wide methylation profiles for 33 postpartum placentas from pregnancies of normal and foetal growth restriction with various extents of maternal gestational weight gain. Epigenetic alterations accumulate in the placenta under adverse in utero environments, as shown by application of Smirnov-Grubbs’ outlier test. Moreover, hypermethylation occurs frequently at the promoter regions of transcriptional regulator genes, including polycomb targets and zinc-finger genes, as shown by annotations of the genomic and functional features of loci with altered DNA methylation. Aberrant epigenetic modifications at such developmental regulator loci, if occurring in foetuses as well, will elevate the risk of developing various diseases, including metabolic and mental disorders, later in life. PMID:26415774

  17. Mitochondrial alteration in type 2 diabetes and obesity: an epigenetic link.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Zhiyong; Almeida, Fabio A

    2014-01-01

    The growing epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and obesity is largely attributed to the current lifestyle of over-consumption and physical inactivity. As the primary platform controlling metabolic and energy homeostasis, mitochondria show aberrant changes in T2DM and obese subjects. While the underlying mechanism is under extensive investigation, epigenetic regulation is now emerging to play an important role in mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics. In line with lifestyle modifications preventing mitochondrial alterations and metabolic disorders, exercise has been shown to change DNA methylation of the promoter of PGC1α to favor gene expression responsible for mitochondrial biogenesis and function. In this article we discuss the epigenetic mechanism of mitochondrial alteration in T2DM and obesity, and the effects of lifestyle on epigenetic regulation. Future studies designed to further explore and integrate the epigenetic mechanisms with lifestyle modification may lead to interdisciplinary interventions and novel preventive options for mitochondrial alteration and metabolic disorders.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-05

    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.

  20. Alzheimer's disease and epigenetic diet.

    PubMed

    Sezgin, Zeynep; Dincer, Yildiz

    2014-12-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Many efforts have been directed to prevent AD due to its rising prevalence and the lack of an effective curative treatment. Various epigenetic mechanisms are linked to pathogenesis of AD. Epigenetic alterations may occur through external factors and are known for their reversibility. Dietary factors can influence epigenetic mechanisms. Several neuroprotective nutrients have been shown to enhance cognition, memory and other impaired functions seen in AD. Within recent years neuroprotective nutrients have gained more attention in the field of epigenetic. A growing body of evidence suggest that epigenetic changes triggered by dietary nutrients have an important role in health and in prevention of some diseases, especially neurodegenerative disorders. Several studies have shown that folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, zinc, selenium, dietary polyphenols are capable of interacting with epigenetic mechanisms and ultimately gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms resulting in neuronal dysfunction may be modified by diet. Therefore manipulation of epigenetic mechanisms via dietary nutrients may affect influence the vulnerability of neurons to degeneration which is seen in AD. The aim of this article is to provide a brief overview about the recent findings related to epigenetic alterations that are linked to AD pathogenesis, and to discuss the bioactive nutrients which can affect these epigenetic mechanisms.

  1. Epigenetics in an ecotoxicological context.

    PubMed

    Vandegehuchte, Michiel B; Janssen, Colin R

    2014-04-01

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

  2. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: More questions than answers

    PubMed Central

    Daxinger, Lucia; Whitelaw, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are widely accepted as playing a critical role in the regulation of gene expression and thereby contributing to the determination of the phenotype of multicellular organisms. In general, these marks are cleared and re-established each generation, but there have been reports in a number of model organisms that at some loci in the genome this clearing is incomplete. This phenomenon is referred to as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Moreover, recent evidence shows that the environment can stably influence the establishment of the epigenome. Together, these findings suggest that an environmental event in one generation could affect the phenotype in subsequent generations, and these somewhat Lamarckian ideas are stimulating interest from a broad spectrum of biologists, from ecologists to health workers. PMID:21041414

  3. Genetic and epigenetic regulation of intestinal fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Crohn’s disease affects those individuals with polygenic risk factors. The identified risk loci indicate that the genetic architecture of Crohn’s disease involves both innate and adaptive immunity and the response to the intestinal environment including the microbiome. Genetic risk alone, however, predicts only 25% of disease, indicating that other factors, including the intestinal environment, can shape the epigenome and also confer heritable risk to patients. Patients with Crohn’s disease can have purely inflammatory disease, penetrating disease or fibrostenosis. Analysis of the genetic risk combined with epigenetic marks of Crohn’s disease and other disease associated with organ fibrosis reveals common events are affecting the genes and pathways key to development of fibrosis. This review will focus on what is known about the mechanisms by which genetic and epigenetic risk factors determine development of fibrosis in Crohn’s disease and contrast that with other fibrotic conditions. PMID:27536359

  4. Epigenetic processes in flowering plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guifeng; Köhler, Claudia

    2017-01-06

    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.

  5. [Epigenetics and memory].

    PubMed

    Gräff, Johannes; Franklin, Tamara B; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2010-01-01

    The epigenetic marking of chromatin in the brain has recently been recognized as an essential mechanism for brain functions such as learning and memory formation. It allows nerve cells not only to respond to environmental stimuli and modulate their profile of gene expression, but also to establish and maintain their own identity. The epigenetic code is conferred by a set of covalent modifications on the basic elements of chromatin, DNA and histone proteins. These changes are catalyzed by specific enzymes and mechanisms, which include DNA methylation, and post-translational modifications of histone proteins such as acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation and ubiquitination. They are both stable and highly dynamic, and are triggered during stimulation of neuronal circuits but can also persist thereafter. Their study in animal models has demonstrated their importance, and revealed some of their modes of function.

  6. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-09-01

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

  7. Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Akbarian, Schahram

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder that lacks a unifying neuropathology, while currently available pharmacological treatments provide only limited benefits to many patients. This review will discuss how the field of neuroepigenetics could contribute to advancements of the existing knowledge on the neurobiology and treatment of psychosis. Genome-scale mapping of DMA methylation, histone modifications and variants, and chromosomal loopings for promoter-enhancer interactions and other epigenetic determinants of genome organization and function are likely to provide important clues about mechanisms contributing to dysregulated expression of synaptic and metabolic genes in schizophrenia brain, including the potential links to the underlying genetic risk architecture and environmental exposures. In addition, studies in animal models are providing a rapidly increasing list of chromatin-regulatory mechanisms with significant effects on cognition and complex behaviors, thereby pointing to the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drug targets in the nervous system. PMID:25364289

  8. Sex, epilepsy, and epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Epilepsy refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that are associated with a wide range of pathogenic mechanisms, seizure manifestations, comorbidity profiles, and therapeutic responses. These characteristics are all influenced quite significantly by sex. As with other conditions exhibiting such patterns, sex differences in epilepsy are thought to arise—at the most fundamental level—from the “organizational” and “activational” effects of sex hormones as well as from the direct actions of the sex chromosomes. However, our understanding of the specific molecular, cellular, and network level processes responsible for mediating sex differences in epilepsy remains limited. Because increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are involved both in epilepsy and in brain sexual dimorphism, we make the case here that analyzing epigenetic regulation will provide novel insights into the basis for sex differences in epilepsy. PMID:24998474

  9. [Progress of epigenetics and its therapeutic application in hepatocellular carcinoma].

    PubMed

    Lingyun, Sun; Xingyu, Li; Zhiwei, Sun

    2015-06-01

    Liver cancer is a severe harmful disease. It is the fifth most frequently diagnosed cancer and second most frequent cause of cancer deaths worldwide. As the most popular histologic subtype of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), primary HCC is a heterogeneous disease whose management requires a multidisciplinary approach combining genetics, genomics and environmental toxicology. Although many molecular targeted therapies such as sorafenib have entered clinical application and proven effective, the cytotoxicity and other negative effects cannot be ignored. There is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic targets and drugs, which can kill HCC cells with high efficiency and specificity. Plenty of evidence suggests that occurrence and development of HCC is closely related with epigenetics. DNA methylation, histone modification, aberrant expression of miRNAs and dysregulated expression of many epigenetic regulatory genes are significantly altered in HCC. Epigenetic therapeutic drugs may reverse abnormal gene expression, thus controlling the occurrence and development of HCC. In this review, we summarize the latest research progresses in epigenetics and its therapeutic application in HCC,and the potential treatments to be used in the future.

  10. Epigenetic signaling in psychiatric disorders: stress and depression.

    PubMed

    Bagot, Rosemary C; Labonté, Benoit; Peña, Catherine J; Nestler, Eric J

    2014-09-01

    Psychiatric disorders are complex multifactorial disorders involving chronic alterations in neural circuit structure and function. While genetic factors play a role in the etiology of disorders such as depression, addiction, and schizophrenia, relatively high rates of discordance among identical twins clearly point to the importance of additional factors. Environmental factors, such as stress, play a major role in the psychiatric disorders by inducing stable changes in gene expression, neural circuit function, and ultimately behavior. Insults at the developmental stage and in adulthood appear to induce distinct maladaptations. Increasing evidence indicates that these sustained abnormalities are maintained by epigenetic modifications in specific brain regions. Indeed, transcriptional dysregulation and associated aberrant epigenetic regulation is a unifying theme in psychiatric disorders. Aspects of depression can be modeled in animals by inducing disease-like states through environmental manipulations, and these studies can provide a more general understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in psychiatric disorders. Understanding how environmental factors recruit the epigenetic machinery in animal models is providing new insights into disease mechanisms in humans.

  11. Epigenetic signaling in psychiatric disorders: stress and depression

    PubMed Central

    Bagot, Rosemary C.; Labonté, Benoit; Peña, Catherine J.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are complex multifactorial disorders involving chronic alterations in neural circuit structure and function. While genetic factors play a role in the etiology of disorders such as depression, addiction, and schizophrenia, relatively high rates of discordance among identical twins clearly point to the importance of additional factors. Environmental factors, such as stress, play a major role in the psychiatric disorders by inducing stable changes in gene expression, neural circuit function, and ultimately behavior. Insults at the developmental stage and in adulthood appear to induce distinct maladaptations. Increasing evidence indicates that these sustained abnormalities are maintained by epigenetic modifications in specific brain regions. Indeed, transcriptional dysregulation and associated aberrant epigenetic regulation is a unifying theme in psychiatric disorders. Aspects of depression can be modeled in animals by inducing disease-like states through environmental manipulations, and these studies can provide a more general understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in psychiatric disorders. Understanding how environmental factors recruit the epigenetic machinery in animal models is providing new insights into disease mechanisms in humans. PMID:25364280

  12. Paternal chronic colitis causes epigenetic inheritance of susceptibility to colitis

    PubMed Central

    Tschurtschenthaler, Markus; Kachroo, Priyadarshini; Heinsen, Femke-Anouska; Adolph, Timon Erik; Rühlemann, Malte Christoph; Klughammer, Johanna; Offner, Felix Albert; Ammerpohl, Ole; Krueger, Felix; Smallwood, Sébastien; Szymczak, Silke; Kaser, Arthur; Franke, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) arises by unknown environmental triggers in genetically susceptible individuals. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression may integrate internal and external influences and may thereby modulate disease susceptibility. Epigenetic modification may also affect the germ-line and in certain contexts can be inherited to offspring. This study investigates epigenetic alterations consequent to experimental murine colitis induced by dextran sodium sulphate (DSS), and their paternal transmission to offspring. Genome-wide methylome- and transcriptome-profiling of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and sperm cells of males of the F0 generation, which received either DSS and consequently developed colitis (F0DSS), or non-supplemented tap water (F0Ctrl) and hence remained healthy, and of their F1 offspring was performed using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) and RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq), respectively. Offspring of F0DSS males exhibited aberrant methylation and expression patterns of multiple genes, including Igf1r and Nr4a2, which are involved in energy metabolism. Importantly, DSS colitis in F0DSS mice was associated with decreased body weight at baseline of their F1 offspring, and these F1 mice exhibited increased susceptibility to DSS-induced colitis compared to offspring from F0Ctrl males. This study hence demonstrates epigenetic transmissibility of metabolic and inflammatory traits resulting from experimental colitis. PMID:27538787

  13. Turning on the Radio: Epigenetic Inhibitors as Potential Radiopriming Agents

    PubMed Central

    Oronsky, Bryan; Scicinski, Jan; Kim, Michelle M.; Cabrales, Pedro; Salacz, Michael E.; Carter, Corey A.; Oronsky, Neil; Lybeck, Harry; Lybeck, Michelle; Larson, Christopher; Reid, Tony R.; Oronsky, Arnold

    2016-01-01

    First introduced during the late 1800s, radiation therapy is fundamental to the treatment of cancer. In developed countries, approximately 60% of all patients receive radiation therapy (also known as the sixty percenters), which makes radioresistance in cancer an important and, to date, unsolved, clinical problem. Unfortunately, the therapeutic refractoriness of solid tumors is the rule not the exception, and the ubiquity of resistance also extends to standard chemotherapy, molecularly targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Based on extrapolation from recent clinical inroads with epigenetic agents to prime refractory tumors for maximum sensitivity to concurrent or subsequent therapies, the radioresistant phenotype is potentially reversible, since aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are critical contributors to the evolution of resistant subpopulations of malignant cells. Within the framework of a syllogism, this review explores the emerging link between epigenetics and the development of radioresistance and makes the case that a strategy of pre- or co-treatment with epigenetic agents has the potential to, not only derepress inappropriately silenced genes, but also increase reactive oxygen species production, resulting in the restoration of radiosensitivity. PMID:27384589

  14. Atherosclerosis: an epigenetic balancing act that goes wrong.

    PubMed

    Lund, Gertrud; Zaina, Silvio

    2011-06-01

    Increasing evidence points to dietary lipids and their derivates as dynamic modulators of pro- or anti-inflammatory gene expression pathways via their ability to interact with nuclear receptors that are central to the regulation of numerous biological functions, including lipid metabolism, inflammatory mediator production, and vascular homeostasis. The biological effects of these receptors are the result of a finely tuned equilibrium between gene activation and repression, resulting from their ability to switch between chromatin-remodelling co-repressor and co-activator partners. The aim of this review is to discuss the concept that selected dietary components induce an atherosclerotic cellular phenotype, at least in part, by imposing epigenetic marks that shift the physiologic program of differential gene activation and repression. Aberrant epigenetic marks are seeded in promoter sequences as well as in intragenic sequences where they might regulate transcript splicing.

  15. Epigenetics in metal carcinogenesis: Nickel, Arsenic, Chromium and Cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Arita, Adriana; Costa, Max

    2010-01-01

    Summary Although carcinogenic metals have been known to disrupt a wide range of cellular processes the precise mechanism by which these exert their carcinogenic effects is not known. Over the last decade or two, studies in the field of metal carcinogenesis suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in metal-induced carcinogenesis. In this review we summarize the evidence demonstrating that exposure to carcinogenic metals such as nickel, arsenic, chromium, and cadmium can perturb DNA methylation levels as well as global and gene specific histone tail posttranslational modification marks. We also wish to emphasize the importance in understanding that gene expression can be regulated by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms and both these must be considered when studying the mechanism underlying the toxicity and cell-transforming ability of carcinogenic metals and other toxicants, and aberrant changes in gene expression that occur during disease states such as cancer. PMID:20461219

  16. Epigenetics of Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    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 MEIS1 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. PMID:27795845

  17. [Epigenetics, environment and asthma].

    PubMed

    Rico-Rosillo, Guadalupe; Vega-Robledo, Gloria Bertha; Silva-García, Raúl; Oliva-Rico, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract with a complex genetic background influenced by the exposition to a series of environmental factors. Genetic studies can only elucidate part of the heritability and susceptibility of asthma and even though several diseases have an evident genetic etiology, only a fraction of the genes involved in their pathogenicity have been identified. The epigenetic regulation of the latter is a fact one should bear in mind in order to explain the major triggers of diseases whose understanding is complicated, such as allergies and asthma. External stimulus such as nourishment, stress, physical activity, atmospheric pollution, tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking can induce either gene silencing or gene expression. In this regard, epigenetics can explain how these environmental factors influence our genetic inheritance. There is growing evidence that backs-up the fact that DNA methylation, histone post-translational modification and microRNA expression are influenced by the environment. This helps explaining how several of the risk factors mentioned contribute to the development and inheritance of asthma. In this review, different environmental factors and their relation with the main epigenetic regulatory mechanisms will be analyzed, as well as their possible role in the development of asthma.

  18. Epigenetic advances in clinical neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ted; Poplawski, Shane

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetics, broadly defined as the regulation of gene expression without alteration of the genome, has become a field of tremendous interest in neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry. This research has rapidly changed the way researchers think about brain function. Exciting epigenetic discoveries have been found in addiction, early life stress, neurodegeneration, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. As researchers more precisely define the epigenetic landscape that regulates disease progression in each of these cases, therapeutics can be designed to specifically target the molecules that mediate these epigenetic processes. Further, epigenetics may lead, to the identification of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and for the monitoring of treatment. Epigenetic profiling is likely to become a routine tool for the diagnosis of neurological and psychiatric disorders in the near future.

  19. Environmental Toxicant Exposure and Cancer: The Role of Epigenetic Changes and Protection by Phytochemicals.

    PubMed

    Panahi, Yunes; Beiraghdar, Fatemeh; Amirhamzeh, Amirali; Poursaleh, Zohreh; Saadat, Alireza; Sahebkar, Amirhossein

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental toxicants is a well-documented predisposing factor for cancer. Although genetic alterations have long been known to occur through exposure to some environmental carcinogens, there is another layer of genome regulatory system named epigenetic system. Epigenetics is defined as any reversible and heritable change in cellular patterns of gene expression that does not alter DNA sequence. This layer of gene control plays a key role in early stages of carcinogenesis by reprogramming cells to what is known as cancer stem cells, a process with great similarities to somatic cell reprogramming into "induced pluripotent stem cell". Environmental toxicants could directly promote carcinogenesis through disturbing promoter CpG island hypermethylation, and silencing of tumor suppressor genes, hypomethylation of transposable elements and genomic instability induced by environmental toxicants. Environmental toxicants could also indirectly affect epigenetic programming of nucleus through inducing inflammatory signaling pathways that converge on NF-κB or STAT3 activation. Considering the reversibility of epigenetic alterations and their pivotal role in early carcinogenesis, reversion of these alterations could be a promising approach for chemoprevention. Selected phytochemicals have shown desirable effects through regulation of the most important epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA expression, as well as modulation of SIRT-1 and STAT-3 signaling pathways. The present review aims to outline the epigenetic mechanisms underlying carcinogenic effects of environmental toxicants, and the protective effects of phytochemicals in reversing epigenetic aberrations in the regulatory pathways steering normal cell homeostasis.

  20. Epigenetics: the neglected key to minimize learning and memory deficits in Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Dekker, Alain D; De Deyn, Peter P; Rots, Marianne G

    2014-09-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic intellectual disability, caused by the triplication of the human chromosome 21 (HSA21). Although this would theoretically lead to a 1.5 fold increase in gene transcription, transcript levels of many genes significantly deviate. Surprisingly, the underlying cause of this gene expression variation has been largely neglected so far. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications, regulate gene expression and as such might play a crucial role in the development of the cognitive deficits in DS. Various overexpressed HSA21 proteins affect epigenetic mechanisms and DS individuals are thus likely to present epigenetic aberrations. Importantly, epigenetic marks are reversible, offering a huge therapeutic potential to alleviate or cure certain genetic deficits. Current epigenetic therapies are already used for cancer and epilepsy, and might provide novel possibilities for cognition-enhancing treatment in DS as well. To that end, this review discusses the still limited knowledge on epigenetics in DS and describes the potential of epigenetic therapies to reverse dysregulated gene expression.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Aging epigenetics: causes and consequences.

    PubMed

    Huidobro, Covadonga; Fernandez, Agustin F; Fraga, Mario F

    2013-01-01

    Growth and development of higher organisms are regulated by the orchestrated change of epigenetic marks over time. In addition, there is also an epigenetic variation without any apparent role in development that is thought to be the result of the stochastic accumulation of epigenetic errors. The process depends on genetic and environmental factors and, when it takes place in adult stem cells, it could play an important role in aging, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown.

  4. Epigenetic, Genetic and Environmental Interactions in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma from Northeast India

    PubMed Central

    Talukdar, Fazlur Rahman; Ghosh, Sankar Kumar; Laskar, Ruhina Shirin; Mondal, Rosy

    2013-01-01

    Background Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) develops as a result of complex epigenetic, genetic and environmental interactions. Epigenetic changes like, promoter hypermethylation of multiple tumour suppressor genes are frequent events in cancer, and certain habit-related carcinogens are thought to be capable of inducing aberrant methylation. However, the effects of environmental carcinogens depend upon the level of metabolism by carcinogen metabolizing enzymes. As such key interactions between habits related factors and carcinogen metabolizing gene polymorphisms towards modulating promoter methylation of genes are likely. However, this remains largely unexplored in ESCC. Here, we studied the interaction of various habits related factors and polymorphism of GSTM1/GSTT1 genes towards inducing promoter hypermethylation of multiple tumour suppressor genes. Methodology/Principal Findings The study included 112 ESCC cases and 130 age and gender matched controls. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) was used to explore high order interactions. Tobacco chewing and smoking were the major individual risk factors of ESCC after adjusting for all potential confounding factors. With regards to methylation status, significantly higher methylation frequencies were observed in tobacco chewers than non chewers for all the four genes under study (p<0.01). In logistic regression analysis, betel quid chewing, alcohol consumption and null GSTT1 genotypes imparted maximum risk for ESCC without promoter hypermethylation. Whereas, tobacco chewing, smoking and GSTT1 null variants were the most important risk factors for ESCC with promoter hypermethylation. MDR analysis revealed two predictor models for ESCC with promoter hypermethylation (Tobacco chewing/Smoking/Betel quid chewing/GSTT1 null) and ESCC without promoter hypermethylation (Betel quid chewing/Alcohol/GSTT1) with TBA of 0.69 and 0

  5. Epigenetic Mistakes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

    PubMed

    Mastrototaro, Giuseppina; Zaghi, Mattia; Sessa, Alessandro

    2017-03-02

    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.

  6. Epigenetic alterations in a murine model for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shih-Shih; Sherman, Maura H; Hertlein, Erin; Johnson, Amy J; Teitell, Michael A.; Byrd, John C.; Plass, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Early stages in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have not been explored mainly due to the inability to study normal B-cells in route to transformation. In order to determine such early events of leukemogenesis, we have used a well established mouse model for CLL. Over-expression of human TCL1, a known CLL oncogene, in murine B-cells leads to the development of mature CD19+/CD5+/IgM+ clonal leukemia with a similar disease phenotype seen in human CLL. Herein, we review our recent study using this TCL1 murine model for CLL and corresponding human CLL samples in a cross-species epigenomics approach to address the timing and relevance of epigenetic events occurring during leukemogenesis. We were able to demonstrate that the mouse model recapitulates epigenetic events very similar to what has been reported for human CLL and thus provides an exciting new tool to study early epigenetic events. Epigenetic alterations are seen at a time of three month after birth, much earlier than the phenotypically visible disease which occurs around 11 month of age. An early event in gene silencing is the inactivation of transcription factor Foxd3 expression through an NF-κB mediated process in animals with one month of age. PMID:19901553

  7. 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

  8. Epigenetic reprogramming in the porcine germ line

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Epigenetic reprogramming is critical for genome regulation during germ line development. Genome-wide demethylation in mouse primordial germ cells (PGC) is a unique reprogramming event essential for erasing epigenetic memory and preventing the transmission of epimutations to the next generation. In addition to DNA demethylation, PGC are subject to a major reprogramming of histone marks, and many of these changes are concurrent with a cell cycle arrest in the G2 phase. There is limited information on how well conserved these events are in mammals. Here we report on the dynamic reprogramming of DNA methylation at CpGs of imprinted loci and DNA repeats, and the global changes in H3K27me3 and H3K9me2 in the developing germ line of the domestic pig. Results Our results show loss of DNA methylation in PGC colonizing the genital ridges. Analysis of IGF2-H19 regulatory region showed a gradual demethylation between E22-E42. In contrast, DMR2 of IGF2R was already demethylated in male PGC by E22. In females, IGF2R demethylation was delayed until E29-31, and was de novo methylated by E42. DNA repeats were gradually demethylated from E25 to E29-31, and became de novo methylated by E42. Analysis of histone marks showed strong H3K27me3 staining in migratory PGC between E15 and E21. In contrast, H3K9me2 signal was low in PGC by E15 and completely erased by E21. Cell cycle analysis of gonadal PGC (E22-31) showed a typical pattern of cycling cells, however, migrating PGC (E17) showed an increased proportion of cells in G2. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that epigenetic reprogramming occurs in pig migratory and gonadal PGC, and establishes the window of time for the occurrence of these events. Reprogramming of histone H3K9me2 and H3K27me3 detected between E15-E21 precedes the dynamic DNA demethylation at imprinted loci and DNA repeats between E22-E42. Our findings demonstrate that major epigenetic reprogramming in the pig germ line follows the overall dynamics shown in

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

    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-kappa 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic Modifications, Alcoholic Brain and Potential Drug Targets

    PubMed Central

    Jangra, Ashok; Sriram, Chandra Shaker; Pandey, Suryanarayan; Choubey, Priyansha; Rajput, Prabha; Saroha, Babita; Bezbaruah, Babul Kumar; Lahkar, Mangala

    2016-01-01

    Acute and chronic alcohol exposure evidently influences epigenetic changes, both transiently and permanently, and these changes in turn influence a variety of cells and organ systems throughout the body. Many of the alcohol-induced epigenetic modifications can contribute to cellular adaptations that ultimately lead to behavioral tolerance and alcohol dependence. The persistence of behavioral changes demonstrates that long-lasting changes in gene expression, within particular regions of the brain, may contribute importantly to the addiction phenotype. The research activities over the past years have demonstrated a crucial role of epigenetic mechanisms in causing long lasting and transient changes in the expression of several genes in diverse tissues, including brain. This has stimulated recent research work that is aimed at characterizing the influence of epigenetic regulatory events in mediating the long lasting and transient effects of alcohol abuse on the brain in humans and animal models of alcohol addiction. In this study, we update our current understanding of the impact of alcohol exposure on epigenetic mechanisms in the brain and refurbish the knowledge of epigenetics in the direction of new drugs development. PMID:27780992

  12. Twins for epigenetic studies of human aging and development.

    PubMed

    Tan, Qihua; Christiansen, Lene; Thomassen, Mads; Kruse, Torben A; Christensen, Kaare

    2013-01-01

    Most of the complex traits including aging phenotypes are caused by the interaction between genome and environmental conditions and the interface of epigenetics may be a central mechanism. Although modern technologies allow us high-throughput profiling of epigenetic patterns already at genome level, our understanding of genetic and environmental influences on the epigenetic processes remains limited. Twins are of special interest for genetic studies due to their genetic similarity and rearing-environment sharing. The classical twin design has made a great contribution in dissecting the genetic and environmental contributions to human diseases and complex traits. In the era of functional genomics, the valuable sample of twins is helping to bridge the gap between gene activity and the environments through epigenetic mechanisms unlimited by DNA sequence variations. We propose to extend the classical twin design to study the aging-related molecular epigenetic phenotypes and link them with environmental exposures especially early life events. Different study designs and application issues will be highlighted and novel approaches introduced with aim at making uses of twins in assessing the environmental impact on epigenetic changes during development and in the aging process.

  13. Maintaining Epigenetic Inheritance During DNA Replication in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Iglesias, Francisco M.; Cerdán, Pablo D.

    2016-01-01

    Biotic and abiotic stresses alter the pattern of gene expression in plants. Depending on the frequency and duration of stress events, the effects on the transcriptional state of genes are “remembered” temporally or transmitted to daughter cells and, in some instances, even to offspring (transgenerational epigenetic inheritance). This “memory” effect, which can be found even in the absence of the original stress, has an epigenetic basis, through molecular mechanisms that take place at the chromatin and DNA level but do not imply changes in the DNA sequence. Many epigenetic mechanisms have been described and involve covalent modifications on the DNA and histones, such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, and RNAi dependent silencing mechanisms. Some of these chromatin modifications need to be stable through cell division in order to be truly epigenetic. During DNA replication, histones are recycled during the formation of the new nucleosomes and this process is tightly regulated. Perturbations to the DNA replication process and/or the recycling of histones lead to epigenetic changes. In this mini-review, we discuss recent evidence aimed at linking DNA replication process to epigenetic inheritance in plants. PMID:26870059

  14. Significance of Epigenetic Landscape in Cartilage Regeneration from the Cartilage Development and Pathology Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jingting; Ohliger, James

    2014-01-01

    Regenerative therapies for cartilage defects have been greatly advanced by progress in both the stem cell biology and tissue engineering fields. Despite notable successes, significant barriers remain including shortage of autologous cell sources and generation of a stable chondrocyte phenotype using progenitor cells. Increasing demands for the treatment of degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, highlight the importance of epigenetic remodeling in cartilage regeneration. Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, such as microRNAs, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, have been intensively studied due to their direct regulatory role on gene expression. However, a thorough understanding of the environmental factors that initiate these epigenetic events may provide greater insight into the prevention of degenerative diseases and improve the efficacy of treatments. In other words, if we could identify a specific factor from the environment and its downstream signaling events, then we could stop or retard degradation and enhance cartilage regeneration. A more operational definition of epigenetic remodeling has recently been proposed by categorizing the signals during the epigenetic process into epigenators, initiators, and maintainers. This review seeks to compile and reorganize the existing literature pertaining to epigenetic remodeling events placing emphasis on perceiving the landscape of epigenetic mechanisms during cartilage regeneration with the new operational definition, especially from the environmental factors' point of view. Progress in understanding epigenetic regulatory mechanisms could benefit cartilage regeneration and engineering on a larger scale and provide more promising therapeutic applications. PMID:24555773

  15. 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.

  16. Oxidative Stress, Nrf2, and Epigenetic Modification Contribute to Anticancer Drug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Kang, Kyoung Ah; Hyun, Jin Won

    2017-01-01

    Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor, controls the expression of genes encoding cytoprotective proteins, including antioxidant enzymes that combat oxidative and electrophilic stress to maintain redox homeostasis. However, recent studies demonstrated that, in cancer, aberrant activation of Nrf2 by epigenetic alterations promotes high expression of cytoprotective proteins, which can decrease the efficacy of anticancer drugs used for chemotherapy. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding the relationship between oxidative stress, Nrf2, epigenetic modification, and anticancer drug resistance, which should aid in development of new strategies to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy.

  17. Oxidative Stress, Nrf2, and Epigenetic Modification Contribute to Anticancer Drug Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Kyoung Ah; Hyun, Jin Won

    2017-01-01

    Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor, controls the expression of genes encoding cytoprotective proteins, including antioxidant enzymes that combat oxidative and electrophilic stress to maintain redox homeostasis. However, recent studies demonstrated that, in cancer, aberrant activation of Nrf2 by epigenetic alterations promotes high expression of cytoprotective proteins, which can decrease the efficacy of anticancer drugs used for chemotherapy. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding the relationship between oxidative stress, Nrf2, epigenetic modification, and anticancer drug resistance, which should aid in development of new strategies to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy. PMID:28133507

  18. Epigenetic reprogramming of the zygote in mice and men: on your marks, get set, go!

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, Rupsha

    2016-01-01

    Gametogenesis (spermatogenesis and oogenesis) is accompanied by the acquisition of gender-specific epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and regulation by small RNAs, to form highly differentiated, but transcriptionally silent cell-types in preparation for fertilisation. Upon fertilisation, extensive global epigenetic reprogramming takes place to remove the previously acquired epigenetic marks and produce totipotent zygotic states. It is the aim of this review to delineate the cellular and molecular events involved in maternal, paternal and zygotic epigenetic reprogramming from the time of gametogenesis, through fertilisation, to the initiation of zygotic genome activation for preimplantation embryonic development. Recent studies have begun to uncover the indispensable functions of epigenetic players during gametogenesis, fertilisation and preimplantation embryo development, and a more comprehensive understanding of these early events will be informative for increasing pregnancy success rates, adding particular value to assisted fertility programmes. PMID:27601712

  19. Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Viatte, Sebastien; Plant, Darren; Raychaudhuri, Soumya

    2013-03-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Epigenetic Control of Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Busslinger, Meinrad; Tarakhovsky, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Immunity relies on the heterogeneity of immune cells and their ability to respond to pathogen challenges. In the adaptive immune system, lymphocytes display a highly diverse antigen receptor repertoire that matches the vast diversity of pathogens. In the innate immune system, the cell's heterogeneity and phenotypic plasticity enable flexible responses to changes in tissue homeostasis caused by infection or damage. The immune responses are calibrated by the graded activity of immune cells that can vary from yeast-like proliferation to lifetime dormancy. This article describes key epigenetic processes that contribute to the function of immune cells during health and disease. PMID:24890513

  3. Epigenetics of kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Wanner, Nicola; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke

    2017-03-13

    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.

  4. Epigenetics and its implications for behavioral neuroendocrinology

    PubMed Central

    Crews, David

    2008-01-01

    Individuals vary in their sociosexual behaviors and reactivity. How the organism interacts with the environment to produce this variation has been a focus in psychology since its inception as a scientific discipline. There is now no question that cumulative experiences throughout life history interact with genetic predispositions to shape the individual’s behavior. Recent evidence suggests that events in past generations may also influence how an individual responds to events in their own life history. Epigenetics is the study of how the environment can affect the genome of the individual during its development as well as the development of its descendants, all without changing the DNA sequence. Several distinctions must be made if this research is to become a staple in behavioral neuroendocrinology. The first distinction concerns perspective, and the need to distinguish and appreciate, the differences between Molecular versus Molar epigenetics. Each has its own lineage of investigation, yet both appear to be unaware of one another. Second, it is important to distinguish the difference between Context-Dependent versus Germline-Dependent epigenetic modifications. In essence the difference is one of the mechanism of heritability or transmission within, as apposed to across, generations. This review illustrates these distinctions while describing several rodent models that have shown particular promise for unraveling the contribution of genetics and the environment on sociosexual behavior. The first focuses on genetically-modified mice and makes the point that the early litter environment alters subsequent brain activity and behavior. This work emphasizes the need to understand behavioral development when doing research with such animals. The second focuses on a new rat model in which the epigenome is permanently imprinted, an effect that crosses generations to impact the descendants without further exposure to the precipitating agent. This work raises the question

  5. Epigenetics and its implications for behavioral neuroendocrinology.

    PubMed

    Crews, David

    2008-06-01

    Individuals vary in their sociosexual behaviors and reactivity. How the organism interacts with the environment to produce this variation has been a focus in psychology since its inception as a scientific discipline. There is now no question that cumulative experiences throughout life history interact with genetic predispositions to shape the individual's behavior. Recent evidence suggests that events in past generations may also influence how an individual responds to events in their own life history. Epigenetics is the study of how the environment can affect the genome of the individual during its development as well as the development of its descendants, all without changing the DNA sequence. Several distinctions must be made if this research is to become a staple in behavioral neuroendocrinology. The first distinction concerns perspective, and the need to distinguish and appreciate, the differences between Molecular versus Molar epigenetics. Each has its own lineage of investigation, yet both appear to be unaware of one another. Second, it is important to distinguish the difference between Context-Dependent versus Germline-Dependent epigenetic modifications. In essence the difference is one of the mechanism of heritability or transmission within, as apposed to across, generations. This review illustrates these distinctions while describing several rodent models that have shown particular promise for unraveling the contribution of genetics and the environment on sociosexual behavior. The first focuses on genetically-modified mice and makes the point that the early litter environment alters subsequent brain activity and behavior. This work emphasizes the need to understand behavioral development when doing research with such animals. The second focuses on a new rat model in which the epigenome is permanently imprinted, an effect that crosses generations to impact the descendants without further exposure to the precipitating agent. This work raises the question of

  6. Epigenetics: modifying the genetic blueprint.

    PubMed

    Eissenberg, Joel C

    2014-01-01

    The sequence of the human genome represents our genetic blueprint. While it is now possible to draw direct connections between specific DNA sequences and specific physical features and to predict disease risk, the effects of certain genes can be masked by a process called "epigenetics." Here, I summarize our current understanding of epigenetics and it affects gene expression, with impacts on health and aging.

  7. Malaria parasite epigenetics: when virulence and romance collide.

    PubMed

    Flueck, Christian; Baker, David A

    2014-08-13

    Blood-stage malaria parasites evade the immune system by switching the protein exposed at the surface of the infected erythrocyte. A small proportion of these parasites commits to sexual development to mediate mosquito transmission. Two studies in this issue (Brancucci et al., 2014; Coleman et al., 2014) shed light on shared epigenetic machinery underlying both of these events.

  8. How To Measure Gravitational Aberration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krizek, M.; Solcova, A.

    2007-08-01

    In 1905, Henri Poincaré predicted the existence of gravitational waves and assumed that their speed c[g] would be that of the speed of light c. If the gravitational aberration would also have the same magnitude as the aberration of light, we would observe several paradoxical phenomena. For instance, the orbit of two bodies of equal mass would be unstable, since two attractive forces arise that are not in line and hence form a couple. This tends to increase the angular momentum, period, and total energy of the system. This can be modelled by a system of ordinary differential equations with delay. A big advantage of computer simulation is that we can easily perform many test for various possible values of the speed of gravity [1]. In [2], Carlip showed that gravitational aberration in general relativity is almost cancelled out by velocity-dependent interactions. This means that rays of sunlight are not parallel to the attractive gravitational force of the Sun, i.e., we do not see the Sun in the direction of its attractive force, but slightly shifted about an angle less than 20``. We show how the actual value of the gravitational aberration can be obtained by measurement of a single angle at a suitable time instant T corresponding to the perihelion of an elliptic orbit. We also derive an a priori error estimate that expresses how acurately T has to be determined to attain the gravitational aberration to a prescribed tolerance. [1] M. Křížek: Numerical experience with the finite speed of gravitational interaction, Math. Comput. Simulation 50 (1999), 237-245. [2] S. Carlip: Aberration and the speed of gravity, Phys. Lett. A 267 (2000), 81-87.

  9. 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

  10. Genome-wide methylome analyses reveal novel epigenetic regulation patterns in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    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; Magaña, Alvaro Antonio Jerez; 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.

  11. Epigenetic Modifications in Essential Hypertension.

    PubMed

    Wise, Ingrid A; Charchar, Fadi J

    2016-03-25

    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.

  12. Epigenetic variation and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Peter

    2015-06-01

    Environmental conditions can change the activity of plant genes via epigenetic effects that alter the competence of genetic information to be expressed. This may provide a powerful strategy for plants to adapt to environmental change. However, as epigenetic changes do not modify DNA sequences and are therefore reversible, only those epi-mutations that are transmitted through the germline can be expected to contribute to a long-term adaptive response. The major challenge for the investigation of epigenetic adaptation theories is therefore to identify genomic loci that undergo epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions, which alter their expression in a heritable way and which improve the plant's ability to adapt to the inducing conditions. This review focuses on the role of DNA methylation as a prominent epigenetic mark that controls chromatin conformation, and on its potential in mediating expression changes in response to environmental signals.

  13. Identification of Epigenetically Altered Genes in Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Diane E.; Delaney, Colin E.; Cataldo, Michael D.; Smith, Andrea L.; Yung, Raymond; Ruden, Douglas M.; Callaghan, Brian C.; Feldman, Eva L.

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a terminal disease involving the progressive degeneration of motor neurons within the motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Most cases are sporadic (sALS) with unknown causes suggesting that the etiology of sALS may not be limited to the genotype of patients, but may be influenced by exposure to environmental factors. Alterations in epigenetic modifications are likely to play a role in disease onset and progression in ALS, as aberrant epigenetic patterns may be acquired throughout life. The aim of this study was to identify epigenetic marks associated with sALS. We hypothesize that epigenetic modifications may alter the expression of pathogenesis-related genes leading to the onset and progression of sALS. Using ELISA assays, we observed alterations in global methylation (5 mC) and hydroxymethylation (5 HmC) in postmortem sALS spinal cord but not in whole blood. Loci-specific differentially methylated and expressed genes in sALS spinal cord were identified by genome-wide 5mC and expression profiling using high-throughput microarrays. Concordant direction, hyper- or hypo-5mC with parallel changes in gene expression (under- or over-expression), was observed in 112 genes highly associated with biological functions related to immune and inflammation response. Furthermore, literature-based analysis identified potential associations among the epigenes. Integration of methylomics and transcriptomics data successfully revealed methylation changes in sALS spinal cord. This study represents an initial identification of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in sALS which may improve our understanding of sALS pathogenesis for the identification of biomarkers and new therapeutic targets. PMID:23300739

  14. The histone variant H3.3 claims its place in the crowded scene of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Bano, Daniele; Piazzesi, Antonia; Salomoni, Paolo; Nicotera, Pierluigi

    2017-03-10

    Histones are evolutionarily conserved DNA-binding proteins. As scaffolding molecules, they significantly regulate the DNA packaging into the nucleus of all eukaryotic cells. As docking units, they influence the recruitment of the transcriptional machinery, thus establishing unique gene expression patterns that ultimately promote different biological outcomes. While canonical histones H3.1 and H3.2 are synthetized and loaded during DNA replication, the histone variant H3.3 is expressed and deposited into the chromatin throughout the cell cycle. Recent findings indicate that H3.3 replaces the majority of canonical H3 in non-dividing cells, reaching almost saturation levels in a time-dependent manner. Consequently, H3.3 incorporation and turnover represent an additional layer in the regulation of the chromatin landscape during aging. In this respect, work from our group and others suggest that H3.3 plays an important function in age-related processes throughout evolution. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on H3.3 biology and discuss the implications of its aberrant dynamics in the establishment of cellular states that may lead to human pathology. Critically, we review the importance of H3.3 turnover as part of epigenetic events that influence senescence and age-related processes. We conclude with the emerging evidence that H3.3 is required for proper neuronal function and brain plasticity.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. ENERGETICS, EPIGENETICS, MITOCHONDRIAL GENETICS

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Douglas C.; Fan, Weiwei

    2011-01-01

    The epigenome has been hypothesized to provide the interface between the environment and the nuclear DNA (nDNA) genes. Key factors in the environment are the availability of calories and demands on the organism’s energetic capacity. Energy is funneled through glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the cellular bioenergetic systems. Since there are thousands of bioenergetic genes dispersed across the chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), both cis and trans regulation of the nDNA genes is required. The bioenergetic systems convert environmental calories into ATP, acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM), and reduced NAD+. When calories are abundant, ATP and acetyl-CoA phosphorylate and acetylate chromatin, opening the nDNA for transcription and replication. When calories are limiting, chromatin phosphorylation and acetylation are lost and gene expression is suppressed. DNA methylaton via SAM can also be modulated by mitochondrial function. Phosphorylation and acetylation are also pivotal to regulating cellular signal transduction pathways. Therefore, bioenergetics provides the interface between the environment and the epigenome. Consistent with this conclusion, the clinical phenotypes of bioenergetic diseases are strikingly similar to those observed in epigenetic diseases (Angelman, Rett, Fragile X Syndromes, the laminopathies, cancer, etc.), and an increasing number of epigenetic diseases are being associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. This bioenergetic-epigenomic hypothesis has broad implications for the etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of a wide range of common diseases. PMID:19796712

  18. Lymphocyte chromosomal aberration assay in radiation biodosimetry

    PubMed Central

    Agrawala, Paban K.; Adhikari, J. S.; Chaudhury, N. K.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiations, whether medical, occupational or accidental, leads to deleterious biological consequences like mortality or carcinogenesis. It is considered that no dose of ionizing radiation exposure is safe. However, once the accurate absorbed dose is estimated, one can be given appropriate medical care and the severe consequences can be minimized. Though several accurate physical dose estimation modalities exist, it is essential to estimate the absorbed dose in biological system taking into account the individual variation in radiation response, so as to plan suitable medical care. Over the last several decades, lots of efforts have been taken to design a rapid and easy biological dosimeter requiring minimum invasive procedures. The metaphase chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes, though is labor intensive and requires skilled individuals, still remains the gold standard for radiation biodosimetry. The current review aims at discussing the human lymphocyte metaphase chromosomal aberration assay and recent developments involving the application of molecular cytogenetic approaches and other technological advancements to make the assay more authentic and simple to use even in the events of mass radiation casualties. PMID:21829315

  19. Epigenetics: What does it mean for paediatric practice?

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Judith G

    2014-01-01

    ‘Epigenetics’ involves the study of gene expression and the environmental exposures that influence expression. In paediatrics, it is recognized that different physiological and developmental stages of the young individual are affected by both genetic control and environmental influence. It appears that changes in gene expression – not changes in the DNA itself – can be passed on from one generation to another. The importance for paediatricians is recognizing disorders involving epigenetics, recording events during childhood that could affect epigenetic control of gene expression, and being aware of new therapies as they become available. Paediatricians need to be able to recognize the relevant risk factors. PMID:24627653

  20. Epigenetic transitions in germ cell development and meiosis.

    PubMed

    Kota, Satya K; Feil, Robert

    2010-11-16

    Germ cell development is controlled by unique gene expression programs and involves epigenetic reprogramming of histone modifications and DNA methylation. The central event is meiosis, during which homologous chromosomes pair and recombine, processes that involve histone alterations. At unpaired regions, chromatin is repressed by meiotic silencing. After meiosis, male germ cells undergo chromatin remodeling, including histone-to-protamine replacement. Male and female germ cells are also differentially marked by parental imprints, which contribute to sex determination in insects and mediate genomic imprinting in mammals. Here, we review epigenetic transitions during gametogenesis and discuss novel insights from animal and human studies.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nardone, Stefano; Elliott, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have firmly established that the etiology of autism includes both genetic and environmental components. However, we are only just beginning to elucidate the environmental factors that might be involved in the development of autism, as well as the molecular mechanisms through which they function. Mounting epidemiological and biological evidence suggest that prenatal factors that induce a more activated immune state in the mother are involved in the development of autism. In parallel, molecular studies have highlighted the role of epigenetics in brain development as a process susceptible to environmental influences and potentially causative of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this review, we will discuss converging evidence for a multidirectional interaction between immune system activation in the mother during pregnancy and epigenetic regulation in the brain of the fetus that may cooperate to produce an autistic phenotype. This interaction includes immune factor-induced changes in epigenetic signatures in the brain, dysregulation of epigenetic modifications specifically in genomic regions that encode immune functions, and aberrant epigenetic regulation of microglia. Overall, the interaction between immune system activation in the mother and the subsequent epigenetic dysregulation in the developing fetal brain may be a main consideration for the environmental factors that cause autism. PMID:27462204

  4. Is there a role for epigenetic enhancement of immunomodulatory approaches to cancer treatment?

    PubMed

    Flower, Kirsty J; Ghaem-Maghami, Sadaf; Brown, Robert

    2017-02-05

    The efficacy of cancer immunotherapy relies on the ability of the host immune system to recognise the cancer as non-self and eliminate it from the body. Whilst this is an extremely fertile area of medical research, with positive clinical trials showing durable responses, attention must be paid to the subset of patients that do not respond to these treatments. Immune surveillance and immunoediting by the host could itself select for immune-evasive tumour cells during tumour development leading to immunotherapy resistance. One such mechanism of non-efficacy or resistance is the epigenetic silencing of a specific gene required in the immunotherapy response pathway. Epigenetics is the study of the control of expression patterns in a cell via mechanisms not involving a change in DNA sequence. All tumour types show aberrant epigenetic regulation of genes involved in all the hallmarks of cancer, including immunomodulation. Inhibition of key enzymes involved in maintenance of epigenetic states is another important area of research for new treatment strategies for cancer. Could epigenetic therapies be used to successfully enhance the action of immunomodulatory agents in cancer, and are they acting in the way we imagine? An understanding of the effects of epigenetic therapies on immunological pathways in both the tumour and host cells, especially the tumour microenvironment, will be essential to further develop such combination approaches.

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

    PubMed

    Nardone, Stefano; Elliott, Evan

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Epigenetics in preimplantation mammalian development.

    PubMed

    Canovas, Sebastian; Ross, Pablo Juan

    2016-07-01

    Fertilization is a very dynamic period of comprehensive chromatin remodeling, from which two specialized cells result in a totipotent zygote. The formation of a totipotent cell requires extensive epigenetic remodeling that, although independent of modifications in the DNA sequence, still entails a profound cell-fate change, supported by transcriptional profile modifications. As a result of finely tuned interactions between numerous mechanisms, the goal of fertilization is to form a full healthy new individual. To avoid the persistence of alterations in epigenetic marks, the epigenetic information contained in each gamete is reset during early embryogenesis. Covalent modification of DNA by methylation, as well as posttranslational modifications of histone proteins and noncoding RNAs, appears to be the main epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression. These allow different cells in an organism to express different transcription profiles, despite each cell containing the same DNA sequence. In the context of replacement of spermatic protamine with histones from the oocyte, active cell division, and specification of different lineages, active and passive mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling have been revealed as critical for editing the epigenetic profile of the early embryo. Importantly, redundant factors and mechanisms are likely in place, and only a few have been reported as critical for fertilization or embryo survival by the use of knockout models. The aim of this review is to highlight the main mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling that ensue after fertilization in mammals.

  7. Epigenetics and Nutritional Environmental Signals

    PubMed Central

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A.; Soliman, Karam F. A.

    2014-01-01

    All terrestrial life is influenced by multi-directional flows of information about its environment, enabling malleable phenotypic change through signals, chemical processes, or various forms of energy that facilitate acclimatization. Billions of biological co-inhabitants of the earth, including all plants and animals, collectively make up a genetic/epigenetic ecosystem by which adaptation/survival (inputs and outputs) are highly interdependent on one another. As an ecosystem, the solar system, rotation of the planets, changes in sunlight, and gravitational pull influence cyclic epigenetic transitions and chromatin remodeling that constitute biological circadian rhythms controlling senescence. In humans, adverse environmental conditions such as poverty, stress, alcohol, malnutrition, exposure to pollutants generated from industrialization, man-made chemicals, and use of synthetic drugs can lead to maladaptive epigenetic-related illnesses with disease-specific genes being atypically activated or silenced. Nutrition and dietary practices are one of the largest facets in epigenetic-related metabolism, where specific “epi-nutrients” can stabilize the genome, given established roles in DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. Moreover, food-based “epi-bioactive” constituents may reverse maladaptive epigenetic patterns, not only prior to conception and during fetal/early postnatal development but also through adulthood. In summary, in contrast to a static genomic DNA structure, epigenetic changes are potentially reversible, raising the hope for therapeutic and/or dietary interventions that can reverse deleterious epigenetic programing as a means to prevent or treat major illnesses. PMID:24861811

  8. Epigenetics and nutritional environmental signals.

    PubMed

    Mazzio, Elizabeth A; Soliman, Karam F A

    2014-07-01

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

  9. A truly ecological epigenetics study.

    PubMed

    Bossdorf, Oliver; Zhang, Yuanye

    2011-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-05-04

    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, 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 the

  11. Epigenetics of Ciliates

    PubMed Central

    Chalker, Douglas L.; Meyer, Eric; Mochizuki, Kazufumi

    2013-01-01

    Research using ciliates revealed early examples of epigenetic phenomena and continues to provide novel findings. These protozoans maintain separate germline and somatic nuclei that carry transcriptionally silent and active genomes, respectively. Examining the differences in chromatin within distinct nuclei of Tetrahymena identified histone variants and established that transcriptional regulators act by modifying histones. Formation of somatic nuclei requires both transcriptional activation of silent chromatin and large-scale DNA elimination. This somatic genome remodeling is directed by homologous RNAs, acting with an RNA interference (RNAi)-related machinery. Furthermore, the content of the parental somatic genome provides a homologous template to guide this genome restructuring. The mechanisms regulating ciliate DNA rearrangements reveal the surprising power of homologous RNAs to remodel the genome and transmit information transgenerationally. PMID:24296171

  12. Nucleosome Remodeling and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Peter B.; Workman, Jerry L.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic chromatin is kept flexible and dynamic to respond to environmental, metabolic, and developmental cues through the action of a family of so-called “nucleosome remodeling” ATPases. Consistent with their helicase ancestry, these enzymes experience conformation changes as they bind and hydrolyze ATP. At the same time they interact with DNA and histones, which alters histone–DNA interactions in target nucleosomes. Their action may lead to complete or partial disassembly of nucleosomes, the exchange of histones for variants, the assembly of nucleosomes, or the movement of histone octamers on DNA. “Remodeling” may render DNA sequences accessible to interacting proteins or, conversely, promote packing into tightly folded structures. Remodeling processes participate in every aspect of genome function. Remodeling activities are commonly integrated with other mechanisms such as histone modifications or RNA metabolism to assemble stable, epigenetic states. PMID:24003213

  13. Epigenetics and Common Ophthalmic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wendy; Liu, Ji; Galvin, Jennifer A.

    2016-01-01

    The study of ocular diseases and epigenetic dysregulation is an emerging area of research. The knowledge from the epigenetic mechanisms of DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNAs regarding the pathogenesis of ocular diseases will be helpful for improved treatment modalities for our patients. In particular, we focus upon the how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms impact five common ocular diseases: age related macular degeneration, age-related cataract, pterygium, retinoblastoma, and uveal melanoma. Hence, the foundation of this research paves the way for future specific therapeutic targets to treat and prevent vision loss. PMID:28018148

  14. An Epigenetic Biomarker in PTSD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-01

    relevance of epigenetics of to PTSD: Implication for the DSM-V. Journal of Traumatic Stress . Provisionally accepted. 3 Oberlander TF, Weinberg J, Papsdorf...infant cortisol stress responses. Epigenetics . 2008 Mar-Apr;3(2):97-106. 4 Charuvastra A, Cloitre M. Social bonds and posttraumatic stress disorder. Annu Rev Psychol. 2008;59:301-28. Review. ...6 Final Report for Army Award W81XWH-09-1-0692, entitled “An Epigenetic Biomarker for PTSD” INTRODUCTION: There has been a growing recognition of the

  15. Contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to variation in cancer risk among tissues

    PubMed Central

    Klutstein, Michael; Moss, Joshua; Kaplan, Tommy; Cedar, Howard

    2017-01-01

    Recently, it was suggested that tissue variation in cancer risk originates from differences in the number of stem-cell divisions underlying each tissue, leading to different mutation loads. We show that this variation is also correlated with the degree of aberrant CpG island DNA methylation in normal cells. Methylation accumulates during aging in a subset of molecules, suggesting that the epigenetic landscape within a founder-cell population may contribute to tumor formation. PMID:28193856

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Chromatin fiber allostery and the epigenetic code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesne, Annick; Foray, Nicolas; Cathala, Guy; Forné, Thierry; Wong, Hua; Victor, Jean-Marc

    2015-02-01

    The notion of allostery introduced for proteins about fifty years ago has been extended since then to DNA allostery, where a locally triggered DNA structural transition remotely controls other DNA-binding events. We further extend this notion and propose that chromatin fiber allosteric transitions, induced by histone-tail covalent modifications, may play a key role in transcriptional regulation. We present an integrated scenario articulating allosteric mechanisms at different scales: allosteric transitions of the condensed chromatin fiber induced by histone-tail acetylation modify the mechanical constraints experienced by the embedded DNA, thus possibly controlling DNA-binding of allosteric transcription factors or further allosteric mechanisms at the linker DNA level. At a higher scale, different epigenetic constraints delineate different statistically dominant subsets of accessible chromatin fiber conformations, which each favors the assembly of dedicated regulatory complexes, as detailed on the emblematic example of the mouse Igf2-H19 gene locus and its parental imprinting. This physical view offers a mechanistic and spatially structured explanation of the observed correlation between transcriptional activity and histone modifications. The evolutionary origin of allosteric control supports to speak of an ‘epigenetic code’, by which events involved in transcriptional regulation are encoded in histone modifications in a context-dependent way.

  1. Wave aberration function and its definition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zverev, V. A.; Rytova, E. S.; Timoshchuk, I. N.

    2011-06-01

    A definition of a wave aberration as a phase shift upon composition of light waves in the image of a point is given using the concept of point eikonal. An expression that determines the total differential of a wave aberration function is obtained and the condition of its integrability is determined. The sequence of the wave aberration function definition at the known functions of the meridional and sagittal components of lateral aberration is presented.

  2. Epigenetics and muscle dysfunction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Barreiro, Esther; Gea, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable, and treatable disease and a major leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In COPD, comorbidities, acute exacerbations, and systemic manifestations negatively influence disease severity and progression regardless of the respiratory condition. Skeletal muscle dysfunction, which is one of the commonest systemic manifestations in patients with COPD, has a tremendous impact on their exercise capacity and quality of life. Several pathophysiological and molecular underlying mechanisms including epigenetics (the process whereby gene expression is regulated by heritable mechanisms that do not affect DNA sequence) have been shown to participate in the etiology of COPD muscle dysfunction. The epigenetic modifications identified so far in cells include DNA methylation, histone acetylation and methylation, and noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs. Herein, we first review the role of epigenetic mechanisms in muscle development and adaptation to environmental factors in several models. Moreover, the epigenetic events reported so far to be potentially involved in muscle dysfunction and mass loss of patients with COPD are also discussed. Furthermore, the different expression profile of several muscle-enriched microRNAs in the diaphragm and vastus lateralis muscles of patients with COPD are also reviewed from results recently obtained in our group. The role of protein hyperacetylation in enhanced muscle protein catabolism of limb muscles is also discussed. Future research should focus on the full elucidation of the triggers of epigenetic mechanisms and their specific downstream biological pathways in COPD muscle dysfunction and wasting.

  3. 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

  4. Using geometric algebra to study optical aberrations

    SciTech Connect

    Hanlon, J.; Ziock, H.

    1997-05-01

    This paper uses Geometric Algebra (GA) to study vector aberrations in optical systems with square and round pupils. GA is a new way to produce the classical optical aberration spot diagrams on the Gaussian image plane and surfaces near the Gaussian image plane. Spot diagrams of the third, fifth and seventh order aberrations for square and round pupils are developed to illustrate the theory.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Nickel and Epigenetic Gene Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hong; Shamy, Magdy; Costa, Max

    2013-01-01

    Insoluble nickel compounds are well-established human carcinogens. Occupational exposure to these compounds leads to increased incidence of lung and nasal cancer in nickel refinery workers. Apart from its weak mutagenic activity and hypoxia mimicking effect there is mounting experimental evidence indicating that epigenetic alteration plays an important role in nickel-induced carcinogenesis. Multiple epigenetic mechanisms have been identified to mediate nickel-induced gene silencing. Nickel ion is able to induce heterochromatinization by binding to DNA-histone complexes and initiating chromatin condensation. The enzymes required for establishing or removing epigenetic marks can be targeted by nickel, leading to altered DNA methylation and histone modification landscapes. The current review will focus on the epigenetic changes that contribute to nickel-induced gene silencing. PMID:24705264

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Epigenetic signatures of alcohol abuse and hepatitis infection during human hepatocarcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hlady, Ryan A.; Tiedemann, Rochelle L.; Puszyk, William; Zendejas, Ivan; Roberts, Lewis R.; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Liu, Chen; Robertson, Keith D.

    2014-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Deregulated DNA methylation landscapes are ubiquitous in human cancers. Interpretation of epigenetic aberrations in HCC is confounded by multiple etiologic drivers and underlying cirrhosis. We globally profiled the DNA methylome of 34 normal and 122 liver disease tissues arising in settings of hepatitis B (HBV) or C (HCV) viral infection, alcoholism (EtOH), and other causes to examine how these environmental agents impact DNA methylation in a manner that contributes to liver disease. Our results demonstrate that each ‘exposure’ leaves unique and overlapping signatures on the methylome. CpGs aberrantly methylated in cirrhosis-HCV and conserved in HCC were enriched for cancer driver genes, suggesting a pathogenic role for HCV-induced methylation changes. Additionally, large genomic regions displaying stepwise hypermethylation or hypomethylation during disease progression were identified. HCC-HCV/EtOH methylomes overlap highly with cryptogenic HCC, suggesting shared epigenetically deregulated pathways for hepatocarcinogenesis. Finally, overlapping methylation abnormalities between primary and cultured tumors unveil conserved epigenetic signatures in HCC. Taken together, this study reveals profound epigenome deregulation in HCC beginning during cirrhosis and influenced by common environmental agents. These results lay the foundation for defining epigenetic drivers and clinically useful methylation markers for HCC. PMID:25294808

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Phase Aberrations in Diffraction Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Marchesini, S; Chapman, H N; Barty, A; Howells, M R; Spence, J H; Cui, C; Weierstall, U; Minor, A M

    2005-09-29

    In coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy the diffraction pattern generated by a sample illuminated with coherent x-rays is recorded, and a computer algorithm recovers the unmeasured phases to synthesize an image. By avoiding the use of a lens the resolution is limited, in principle, only by the largest scattering angles recorded. However, the imaging task is shifted from the experiment to the computer, and the algorithm's ability to recover meaningful images in the presence of noise and limited prior knowledge may produce aberrations in the reconstructed image. We analyze the low order aberrations produced by our phase retrieval algorithms. We present two methods to improve the accuracy and stability of reconstructions.

  14. Pathophysiology of MDS: genomic aberrations.

    PubMed

    Ichikawa, Motoshi

    Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are characterized by clonal proliferation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and their apoptosis, and show a propensity to progress to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Although MDS are recognized as neoplastic diseases caused by genomic aberrations of hematopoietic cells, the details of the genetic abnormalities underlying disease development have not as yet been fully elucidated due to difficulties in analyzing chromosomal abnormalities. Recent advances in comprehensive analyses of disease genomes including whole-genome sequencing technologies have revealed the genomic abnormalities in MDS. Surprisingly, gene mutations were found in approximately 80-90% of cases with MDS, and the novel mutations discovered with these technologies included previously unknown, MDS-specific, mutations such as those of the genes in the RNA-splicing machinery. It is anticipated that these recent studies will shed new light on the pathophysiology of MDS due to genomic aberrations.

  15. Epigenetic Variability of CD4+CD25+ Tregs Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Diseases.

    PubMed

    Shu, Ye; Hu, Qinghua; Long, Hai; Chang, Christopher; Lu, Qianjin; Xiao, Rong

    2017-04-01

    Autoimmune diseases are characterized by aberrant immune responses against healthy cells and tissues. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the development of these conditions remain unknown. CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subset of mature T cells which have an important role in maintaining immune homeostasis and preventing autoimmune diseases. Forkhead box p3 (Foxp3), a member of the fork head transcription factor family, is recognized as a marker of CD4+CD25+ Tregs. The decreased number and/or function of CD4+CD25+ Tregs in peripheral blood and related tissues has been demonstrated in systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases, which are at least partially regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetics refers to the study of potentially heritable alterations in gene expression without underlying changes of the nucleotide sequence, mainly including DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNAs (miRNAs). For example, DNA methylation status of CpG islands on the Foxp3 gene, which may be affected by normal aging and regulated by environmental factors, plays an important role in modulating the homeostasis of Foxp3 expression in Tregs. Foxp3 gene in Tregs also shows distinct acetylation and trimethylation levels of histone H3 and H4 when compared with effector T cells, leading to an open chromatin structure. MicroRNAs such as miR-155, miR-126, and miR-10a also exert an important influence on the differentiation, development, and immunological functions of Tregs. Aberrant epigenetic modifications affecting Foxp3 and other key genes in Tregs contribute to disease activity and tissue inflammation in autoimmune diseases, which holds great potential for providing novel targets for epigenetic therapies. Advances in research into the epigenetic regulation of CD4+CD25+ Tregs may also lead to the identification of new epigenetic biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis.

  16. Epigenetic modifications and diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Kowluru, Renu A; Santos, Julia M; Mishra, Manish

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Epigenetics in the perioperative period

    PubMed Central

    Lirk, P; Fiegl, H; Weber, N C; Hollmann, M W

    2015-01-01

    The perioperative period is characterized by profound changes in the body's homoeostatic processes. This review seeks to address whether epigenetic mechanisms may influence an individual's reaction to surgery and anaesthesia. Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that epigenetic mechanisms can explain many facets of susceptibility to acute and chronic pain, making them potential therapeutic targets. Modern pain management is still based upon opiates, and both the developmental expression of opioid receptors and opioid-induced hyperalgesia have been linked to epigenetic mechanisms. In general, opiates seem to increase global DNA methylation levels. This is in contrast to local anaesthetics, which have been ascribed a global demethylating effect. Even though no direct investigations have been carried out, the potential influence of epigenetics on the inflammatory response that follows surgery seems a promising area for research. There is a considerable body of evidence that supports the involvement of epigenetics in the complex process of wound healing. Epigenetics is an important emerging research topic in perioperative medicine, with a huge potential to positively influence patient outcome. PMID:25073649

  18. Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Sapienza, Carmen; Issa, Jean-Pierre

    2016-07-17

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

  19. Epigenetics across the human lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Kanherkar, Riya R.; Bhatia-Dey, Naina; Csoka, Antonei B.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetics has the potential to explain various biological phenomena that have heretofore defied complete explication. This review describes the various types of endogenous human developmental milestones such as birth, puberty, and menopause, as well as the diverse exogenous environmental factors that influence human health, in a chronological epigenetic context. We describe the entire course of human life from periconception to death and chronologically note all of the potential internal timepoints and external factors that influence the human epigenome. Ultimately, the environment presents these various factors to the individual that influence the epigenome, and the unique epigenetic and genetic profile of each individual also modulates the specific response to these factors. During the course of human life, we are exposed to an environment that abounds with a potent and dynamic milieu capable of triggering chemical changes that activate or silence genes. There is constant interaction between the external and internal environments that is required for normal development and health maintenance as well as for influencing disease load and resistance. For example, exposure to pharmaceutical and toxic chemicals, diet, stress, exercise, and other environmental factors are capable of eliciting positive or negative epigenetic modifications with lasting effects on development, metabolism and health. These can impact the body so profoundly as to permanently alter the epigenetic profile of an individual. We also present a comprehensive new hypothesis of how these diverse environmental factors cause both direct and indirect epigenetic changes and how this knowledge can ultimately be used to improve personalized medicine. PMID:25364756

  20. Epigenetic regulation of muscle development.

    PubMed

    Barreiro, Esther; Tajbakhsh, Shahragim

    2017-03-28

    In eukaryote cells, chromatin appears in several forms and is composed of genomic DNA, protein and RNA. The protein content of chromatin is composed primarily of core histones that are packaged into nucleosomes resulting in the condensation of the DNA. Several epigenetic mechanisms regulate the stability of the nucleosomes and the protein-protein interactions that modify the transcriptional activity of the DNA. Interestingly, epigenetic control of gene expression has recently emerged as a relevant mechanism involved in the regulation of many different biological processes including that of muscle development, muscle mass maintenance, function, and phenotype in health and disease. Recent investigations have shed light into the epigenetic control of biological mechanisms that are key regulators of embryonic muscle development and postnatal myogenesis. In the present review article, we provide a summary of the contents discussed in session 08, titled "Epigenetics of muscle regeneration", during the course of the 45th European Muscle Conference, which was celebrated in Montpellier (France) in September 2016. The main theme of that session was to highlight the most recent progress on the role of epigenetics in the regulation of muscle development and regeneration. The current mini-review has been divided into two major sections. On the one hand, a brief introduction on the topic of myogenesis is offered for the non-specialized reader. On the other, a brief overview of the most relevant epigenetic players that have been shown to control muscle development and regeneration is given.

  1. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in plants.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  2. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in plants☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Interest in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance has intensified with the boosting of knowledge on epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression during development and in response to internal and external signals such as biotic and abiotic stresses. Starting with an historical background of scantily documented anecdotes and their consequences, we recapitulate the information gathered during the last 60 years on naturally occurring and induced epialleles and paramutations in plants. We present the major players of epigenetic regulation and their importance in controlling stress responses. The effect of diverse stressors on the epigenetic status and its transgenerational inheritance is summarized from a mechanistic viewpoint. The consequences of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance are presented, focusing on the knowledge about its stability, and in relation to genetically fixed mutations, recombination, and genomic rearrangement. We conclude with an outlook on the importance of transgenerational inheritance for adaptation to changing environments and for practical applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Epigenetic control of cellular and developmental processes in plants”. PMID:21515434

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

    PubMed

    Blum, Kenneth; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Gold, Mark S

    2015-10-12

    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. Hypersexuality Addiction and Withdrawal: Phenomenology, Neurogenetics and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Gold, Mark S

    2015-01-01

    Hypersexuality is now part of the DSM-V and 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. Hypersexual disorder is conceptualized as primarily a non-paraphilic sexual desire disorder with impulsivity. Pathophysiological perspectives include dysregulation of sexual arousal and desire, sexual impulsivity, sexual addiction, 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 studies based on assessments with clinical instruments combined with genotyping of sex addicts will

  5. 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

  6. Seidel aberrations of the Gabor superlens.

    PubMed

    Hamilton Shepard, R

    2014-02-10

    Equations are presented for the third-order Seidel aberrations of the Gabor superlens (GSL) as a function of microtelescope channel position within the aperture array. To reveal the origin and form of increasing aberration with channel height, Seidel coefficients are derived as a function of the accumulating pitch difference between the lens arrays and the aberrations present in the centered channel. Two- and three-element Gabor lenses are investigated and their aberrations are expressed as a function of first-order design parameters. The derived theory is then compared to a real ray trace simulation to demonstrate the accuracy of third-order aberration theory to predict GSL image quality.

  7. 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.

  8. Introduction to the Special Section on Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26822440

  9. [Research progress of epigenetic transgenerational phenotype].

    PubMed

    Kexue, Ma; Keshi, Ma; Xingzi, Xi

    2014-05-01

    The epigenome undergoes a reprogramming process during gametogenesis and early embryogenesis. Therefore, it is believed that epigenetic information cannot be transmitted across generations. However, the occurrence of epigenetic transgenerational phenotype suggests that certain epigenetic marks may escape reprogramming. Although the existence of such a mode of inheritance has been controversial, there is increasing evidence that epigenetic memory does occur in mammals. Due to the reversibility of epigenetic modification, the epigenome is easily changed by a variety of environ-mental factors, such as chemicals, nutrition and behaviour. Therefore, it provides a potential mechanism for the transgenerational transmission of the impact of environmental factors. The purpose of this review is to introduce the concept of epi-genetic transgenerational phenotype, to discuss the epigenetic reprogramming and the molecular mechanism of epigenetic transgenerational transmission, and to list some environmental factors that are associated with epigenetic transgenerational diseases.

  10. Neural compensation for the eye's optical aberrations.

    PubMed

    Artal, Pablo; Chen, Li; Fernández, Enrique J; Singer, Ben; Manzanera, Silvestre; Williams, David R

    2004-04-16

    A fundamental problem facing sensory systems is to recover useful information about the external world from signals that are corrupted by the sensory process itself. Retinal images in the human eye are affected by optical aberrations that cannot be corrected with ordinary spectacles or contact lenses, and the specific pattern of these aberrations is different in every eye. Though these aberrations always blur the retinal image, our subjective impression is that the visual world is sharp and clear, suggesting that the brain might compensate for their subjective influence. The recent introduction of adaptive optics to control the eye's aberrations now makes it possible to directly test this idea. If the brain compensates for the eye's aberrations, vision should be clearest with the eye's own aberrations rather than with unfamiliar ones. We asked subjects to view a stimulus through an adaptive optics system that either recreated their own aberrations or a rotated version of them. For all five subjects tested, the stimulus seen with the subject's own aberrations was always sharper than when seen through the rotated version. This supports the hypothesis that the neural visual system is adapted to the eye's aberrations, thereby removing somehow the effects of blur generated by the sensory apparatus from visual experience. This result could have important implications for methods to correct higher order aberrations with customized refractive surgery because some benefits of optimizing the correction optically might be undone by the nervous system's compensation for the old aberrations.

  11. Aberration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    (1) The apparent displacement of a star from its mean position on the celestial sphere due to the velocity of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. The phenomenon was discovered in 1729 by James Bradley (1693-1762) who was, in fact, trying to measure stellar parallax. The displacement is caused by the combination of the velocity of the Earth and the velocity of light approaching from the source. ...

  12. Epigenetics in allergic diseases

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, Avery; Vercelli, Donata

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review Allergic diseases are among the most prevalent chronic diseases of childhood, affecting more than 7 million children in the United States. Epidemiological evidence supports the idea that the inception of allergic diseases is typically before the pre-school years, even when chronic symptoms do not emerge until adulthood. The role of epigenetic mechanisms (particularly DNA methylation) in allergic disease is under active investigation because these mechanisms are known to be at the interface among gene regulation, environmental stimuli and developmental processes, all of which are essential for the pathogenesis for asthma and allergy. This article specifically reviews genome-wide DNA methylation studies in allergic disease. Recent findings Differential DNA methylation at specific regions appears to be associated with concurrent allergic disease. A few studies have identified methylation signatures predictive of disease. Summary DNA methylation signatures have been shown be associated with several allergic disease phenotypes, typically concurrently with disease. The few that have been found to precede diagnosis are especially interesting because they highlight an early trajectory to disease. PMID:26418323

  13. 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.

  14. Gene expression and epigenetic discovery screen reveal methylation of SFRP2 in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Perry, Antoinette S; O'Hurley, Gillian; Raheem, Omer A; Brennan, Kevin; Wong, Simon; O'Grady, Anthony; Kennedy, Anne-Marie; Marignol, Laure; Murphy, Therese M; Sullivan, Linda; Barrett, Ciara; Loftus, Barbara; Thornhill, John; Hewitt, Stephen M; Lawler, Mark; Kay, Elaine; Lynch, Thomas; Hollywood, Donal

    2013-04-15

    Aberrant activation of Wnts is common in human cancers, including prostate. Hypermethylation associated transcriptional silencing of Wnt antagonist genes SFRPs (Secreted Frizzled-Related Proteins) is a frequent oncogenic event. The significance of this is not known in prostate cancer. The objectives of our study were to (i) profile Wnt signaling related gene expression and (ii) investigate methylation of Wnt antagonist genes in prostate cancer. Using TaqMan Low Density Arrays, we identified 15 Wnt signaling related genes with significantly altered expression in prostate cancer; the majority of which were upregulated in tumors. Notably, histologically benign tissue from men with prostate cancer appeared more similar to tumor (r = 0.76) than to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH; r = 0.57, p < 0.001). Overall, the expression profile was highly similar between tumors of high (≥ 7) and low (≤ 6) Gleason scores. Pharmacological demethylation of PC-3 cells with 5-Aza-CdR reactivated 39 genes (≥ 2-fold); 40% of which inhibit Wnt signaling. Methylation frequencies in prostate cancer were 10% (2/20) (SFRP1), 64.86% (48/74) (SFRP2), 0% (0/20) (SFRP4) and 60% (12/20) (SFRP5). SFRP2 methylation was detected at significantly lower frequencies in high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN; 30%, (6/20), p = 0.0096), tumor adjacent benign areas (8.82%, (7/69), p < 0.0001) and BPH (11.43% (4/35), p < 0.0001). The quantitative level of SFRP2 methylation (normalized index of methylation) was also significantly higher in tumors (116) than in the other samples (HGPIN = 7.45, HB = 0.47, and BPH = 0.12). We show that SFRP2 hypermethylation is a common event in prostate cancer. SFRP2 methylation in combination with other epigenetic markers may be a useful biomarker of prostate cancer.

  15. An integrative characterization of recurrent molecular aberrations in glioblastoma genomes.

    PubMed

    Sintupisut, Nardnisa; Liu, Pei-Ling; Yeang, Chen-Hsiang

    2013-10-01

    10 CNVs manifested strong negative and positive associations with survival times in brain tumors. By aligning the information of association modules with the established GBM subclasses based on transcription or methylation levels, we found each subclass possessed multiple concurrent molecular aberrations. Furthermore, the joint molecular characteristics derived from 16 association modules had prognostic power not explained away by the strong biomarker of CpG island methylator phenotypes. Functional and survival analyses indicated that immune/inflammatory responses and epithelial-mesenchymal transitions were among the most important determining processes of prognosis. Finally, we demonstrated that certain molecular aberrations uniquely recurred in GBM but were relatively rare in non-GBM glioma cells. These results justify the utility of an integrative analysis on cancer genomes and provide testable characterizations of driver aberration events in GBM.

  16. Epigenetic control of mobile DNA as an interface between experience and genome change

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, James A.

    2014-01-01

    Mobile DNA in the genome is subject to RNA-targeted epigenetic control. This control regulates the activity of transposons, retrotransposons and genomic proviruses. Many different life history experiences alter the activities of mobile DNA and the expression of genetic loci regulated by nearby insertions. The same experiences induce alterations in epigenetic formatting and lead to trans-generational modifications of genome expression and stability. These observations lead to the hypothesis that epigenetic formatting directed by non-coding RNA provides a molecular interface between life history events and genome alteration. PMID:24795749

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular epigenetic switches in neurodevelopment in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Anke; Zimmermann, Christoph A.; Spengler, Dietmar

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms encode information above and beyond DNA sequence and play a critical role in brain development and the long-lived effects of environmental cues on the pre- and postnatal brain. Switch-like, rather than graded changes, illustrate par excellence how epigenetic events perpetuate altered activity states in the absence of the initial cue. They occur from early neural development to maturation and can give rise to distinct diseases upon deregulation. Many neurodevelopmental genes harbor bivalently marked chromatin domains, states of balanced inhibition, which guide dynamic “ON or OFF” decisions once the balance is tilted in response to developmental or environmental cues. Examples discussed in this review include neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) into progenitors and beyond, activation of Kiss1 at puberty onset, and early experience-dependent programming of Avp, a major stress gene. At the genome-scale, genomic imprinting can be epigenetically switched on or off at select genes in a tightly controlled temporospatial manner and provides a versatile mechanism for dosage regulation of genes with important roles in stem cell quiescence or differentiation. Moreover, retrotransposition in neural progenitors provides an intriguing example of an epigenetic-like switch, which is stimulated by bivalently marked neurodevelopmental genes and possibly results in increased genomic flexibility regarding unprecedented challenge. Overall, we propose that molecular epigenetic switches illuminate the catalyzing function of epigenetic mechanisms in guiding dynamic changes in gene expression underpinning robust transitions in cellular and organismal phenotypes as well as in the mediation between dynamically changing environments and the static genetic blueprint. PMID:26029068

  19. 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.

  20. Germ line, stem cells, and epigenetic reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Surani, M A; Durcova-Hills, G; Hajkova, P; Hayashi, K; Tee, W W

    2008-01-01

    The germ cell lineage has the unique attribute of generating the totipotent state. Development of blastocysts from the totipotent zygote results in the establishment of pluripotent primitive ectoderm cells in the inner cell mass of blastocysts, which subsequently develop into epiblast cells in postimplantation embryos. The germ cell lineage in mice originates from these pluripotent epiblast cells of postimplantation embryos in response to specific signals. Pluripotent stem cells and unipotent germ cells share some fundamental properties despite significant phenotypic differences between them. Additionally, early primordial germ cells can be induced to undergo dedifferentiation into pluripotent embryonic germ cells. Investigations on the relationship between germ cells and pluripotent stem cells may further elucidate the nature of the pluripotent state. Furthermore, comprehensive epigenetic reprogramming of the genome in early germ cells, including extensive erasure of epigenetic modifications, is a critical step toward establishment of totipotency. The mechanisms involved may be relevant for gaining insight into events that lead to reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells.

  1. Zebrafish Discoveries in Cancer Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Chernyavskaya, Yelena; Kent, Brandon

    2017-01-01

    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 unidimensional. 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. PMID:27165354

  2. Epigenetics and assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic modification controls gene activity without changes in the DNA sequence. The genome undergoes several phases of epigenetic programming during gametogenesis and early embryo development, coinciding with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) treatments. Imprinting disorders have been associated with ART techniques, but disentangling the influence of the ART procedures per se from the effect of the reproductive disease of the parents is a challenge. Epidemiological human studies have shown altered birthweight profiles in ART compared with spontaneously conceived singletons. Conception with cryopreserved/thawed embryos results in a higher risk of large-for-gestational-age babies, which may be due to epigenetic modification. Further animal studies have shown altered gene expression profiles in offspring conceived by ART related to altered glucose metabolism. It is controversial whether human adolescents conceived by ART have altered lipid and glucose profiles and thereby a higher long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This commentary describes the basic concepts of epigenetics and gives a short overview of the existing literature on the association between imprinting disorders, epigenetic modification and ART.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

  7. Epigenetic regulation of hepatocellular carcinoma in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yuan; Wong, Vincent Wai-Sun; Chan, Henry Lik-Yuen; Cheng, Alfred Sze-Lok

    2013-12-01

    Emerging evidence that epigenetics converts alterations in nutrient and metabolism into heritable pattern of gene expression has profound implications in understanding human physiology and diseases. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome including obesity and diabetes which elevate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) especially in male. This review focuses on the molecular connections between metabolic dysfunction and aberrant epigenetic alterations in the development of HCC in NAFLD. The metabolites derived from excessive insulin, glucose and lipid may perturb epigenetic gene regulation through DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA interference, leading to activation of pro-inflammatory signaling and deregulation of metabolic pathways. The interplay and crosstalk of chromatin-modifying enzymes, microRNAs, signaling pathways and the downstream transcription factors result in epigenomic reprogramming that drives hepatocellular transformation. The interactions between sex hormone pathways and the epigenetic machineries that influence chromatin states in NAFLD provide potential molecular mechanisms of gender disparity in HCC. A deeper understanding of these connections and comprehensive molecular catalog of hepatocarcinogenesis may shed light in the identification of druggable epigenetic targets for the prevention and treatment of HCC in obese or diabetic patients.

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms regulating the development of hepatocellular carcinoma and their promise for therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Khan, Faisal Saeed; Ali, Ijaz; Afridi, Ume Kalsoom; Ishtiaq, Muhammad; Mehmood, Rashid

    2017-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers around the globe and third most fatal malignancy. Chronic liver disorders such as chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis often lead to the development of HCC. Accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations are involved in the development of HCC. Genetic research sparked by recent developments in next generation sequencing has identified the frequency of genetic alterations that occur in HCC and has led to the identification of genetic hotspots. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic aberrations are strongly associated with the initiation and development of HCC. Various important genes encoding tumor suppressors including P16, RASSF1A, DLC-1, RUNX3 and SOCS-1 are targets of epigenetic dysregulation during the development of HCC. The present review discusses the importance of epigenetic regulations including DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA mediated regulation of gene expression during tumorigenesis and their use as disease biomarkers. Furthermore, these epigenetic alterations have been discussed in relationship with promising therapeutic perspectives for HCC and related cancers.

  9. 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.

  10. Epigenetic alterations underlying autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Waddington, Dynamic Systems, and Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Tronick, Ed; Hunter, Richard G.

    2016-01-01

    Waddington coined the term “epigenetic” to attempt to explain the complex, dynamic interactions between the developmental environment and the genome that led to the production of phenotype. Waddington's thoughts on the importance of both adaptability and canalization of phenotypic development are worth recalling as well, as they emphasize the available range for epigenetic action and the importance of environmental feedback (or lack thereof) in the development of complex traits. We suggest that a dynamic systems view fits well with Waddington's conception of epigenetics in the developmental context, as well as shedding light on the study of the molecular epigenetic effects of the environment on brain and behavior. Further, the dynamic systems view emphasizes the importance of the multi-directional interchange between the organism, the genome and various aspects of the environment to the ultimate phenotype. PMID:27375447

  12. Epigenetic mechanisms of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Descalzi, Giannina; Ikegami, Daigo; Ushijima, Toshikazu; Nestler, Eric J; Zachariou, Venetia; Narita, Minoru

    2015-04-01

    Neuropathic and inflammatory pain promote a large number of persisting adaptations at the cellular and molecular level, allowing even transient tissue or nerve damage to elicit changes in cells that contribute to the development of chronic pain and associated symptoms. There is evidence that injury-induced changes in chromatin structure drive stable changes in gene expression and neural function, which may cause several symptoms, including allodynia, hyperalgesia, anxiety, and depression. Recent findings on epigenetic changes in the spinal cord and brain during chronic pain may guide fundamental advances in new treatments. Here, we provide a brief overview of epigenetic regulation in the nervous system and then discuss the still-limited literature that directly implicates epigenetic modifications in chronic pain syndromes.

  13. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Serotonin Signaling.

    PubMed

    Holloway, Terrell; González-Maeso, Javier

    2015-07-15

    Histone modifications and DNA methylation represent central dynamic and reversible processes that regulate gene expression and contribute to cellular phenotypes. These epigenetic marks have been shown to play fundamental roles in a diverse set of signaling and behavioral outcomes. Serotonin is a monoamine that regulates numerous physiological responses including those in the central nervous system. The cardinal signal transduction mechanisms via serotonin and its receptors are well established, but fundamental questions regarding complex interactions between the serotonin system and heritable epigenetic modifications that exert control on gene function remain a topic of intense research and debate. This review focuses on recent advances and contributions to our understanding of epigenetic mechanisms of serotonin receptor-dependent signaling, with focus on psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.

  14. Interindividual Variability in Stress Susceptibility: A Role for Epigenetic Mechanisms in PTSD.

    PubMed

    Zovkic, Iva B; Meadows, Jarrod P; Kaas, Garrett A; Sweatt, J David

    2013-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by intrusive and persistent memories of a psychologically traumatic event that leads to significant functional and social impairment in affected individuals. The molecular bases underlying persistent outcomes of a transient traumatic event have remained elusive for many years, but recent studies in rodents have implicated epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure and DNA methylation as fundamental mechanisms for the induction and stabilization of fear memory. In addition to mediating adaptations to traumatic events that ultimately cause PTSD, epigenetic mechanisms are also involved in establishing individual differences in PTSD risk and resilience by mediating long-lasting effects of genes and early environment on adult function and behavior. In this review, we discuss the current evidence for epigenetic regulation of PTSD in human studies and in animal models and comment on ways in which these models can be expanded. In addition, we identify key outstanding questions in the study of epigenetic mechanisms of PTSD in the context of rapidly evolving technologies that are constantly updating and adjusting our understanding of epigenetic modifications and their functional roles. Finally, we discuss the potential application of epigenetic approaches in identifying markers of risk and resilience that can be utilized to promote early intervention and develop therapeutic strategies to combat PTSD after symptom onset.

  15. Interindividual Variability in Stress Susceptibility: A Role for Epigenetic Mechanisms in PTSD

    PubMed Central

    Zovkic, Iva B.; Meadows, Jarrod P.; Kaas, Garrett A.; Sweatt, J. David

    2013-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by intrusive and persistent memories of a psychologically traumatic event that leads to significant functional and social impairment in affected individuals. The molecular bases underlying persistent outcomes of a transient traumatic event have remained elusive for many years, but recent studies in rodents have implicated epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure and DNA methylation as fundamental mechanisms for the induction and stabilization of fear memory. In addition to mediating adaptations to traumatic events that ultimately cause PTSD, epigenetic mechanisms are also involved in establishing individual differences in PTSD risk and resilience by mediating long-lasting effects of genes and early environment on adult function and behavior. In this review, we discuss the current evidence for epigenetic regulation of PTSD in human studies and in animal models and comment on ways in which these models can be expanded. In addition, we identify key outstanding questions in the study of epigenetic mechanisms of PTSD in the context of rapidly evolving technologies that are constantly updating and adjusting our understanding of epigenetic modifications and their functional roles. Finally, we discuss the potential application of epigenetic approaches in identifying markers of risk and resilience that can be utilized to promote early intervention and develop therapeutic strategies to combat PTSD after symptom onset. PMID:23805109

  16. The misalignment induced aberrations of TMA telescopes.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Kevin P; Schmid, Tobias; Rolland, Jannick P

    2008-12-08

    The next major space-borne observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, will be a 6.6M field-biased, obscured, three-mirror anastigmat (TMA). Over the used field of view, the performance of TMA telescopes is dominated by 3(rd) order misalignment aberrations. Here it is shown that two dominant 3(rd) order misalignment aberrations arise for any TMA telescope. One aberration, field constant 3(rd) order coma is a well known misalignment aberration commonly seen in two-mirror Ritchey Chretien telescopes. The second aberration, field-asymmetric, field-linear, 3(rd) order astigmatism is a new and unique image orientation dependence with field derived here for the first time using nodal aberration theory.

  17. Identification of Epigenetic Biomarkers of Lung Adenocarcinoma through Multi-Omics Data Analysis.

    PubMed

    Kikutake, Chie; Yahara, Koji

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation or histone modifications are essential for the regulation of gene expression and development of tissues. Alteration of epigenetic modifications can be used as an epigenetic biomarker for diagnosis and as promising targets for epigenetic therapy. A recent study explored cancer-cell specific epigenetic biomarkers by examining different types of epigenetic modifications simultaneously. However, it was based on microarrays and reported biomarkers that were also present in normal cells at a low frequency. Here, we first analyzed multi-omics data (including ChIP-Seq data of six types of histone modifications: H3K27ac, H3K4me1, H3K9me3, H3K36me3, H3K27me3, and H3K4me3) obtained from 26 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and a normal cell line. We identified six genes with both H3K27ac and H3K4me3 histone modifications in their promoter regions, which were not present in the normal cell line, but present in ≥85% (22 out of 26) and ≤96% (25 out of 26) of the lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Of these genes, NUP210 (encoding a main component of the nuclear pore complex) was the only gene in which the two modifications were not detected in another normal cell line. RNA-Seq analysis revealed that NUP210 was aberrantly overexpressed among the 26 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, although the frequency of NUP210 overexpression was lower (19.3%) in 57 lung adenocarcinoma tissue samples studied and stored in another database. This study provides a basis to discover epigenetic biomarkers highly specific to a certain cancer, based on multi-omics data at the cell population level.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Epigenetic variations in heredity and evolution.

    PubMed

    Jablonka, E

    2012-12-01

    The biological and medical importance of epigenetics is nowtaken for granted, but the significance of one aspect of it—epigenetic inheritance—is less widely recognized. New datasuggest that not only is it ubiquitous, but both the generationand the transmission of epigenetic variations may be affectedby developmental conditions. Population studies, formalmodels, and research on genomic and ecological stressesall suggest that epigenetic inheritance is important in bothmicro-and macroevolutionary change.

  1. 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

  2. Aberrations of ellipsoidal reflectors for unit magnification.

    PubMed

    Mielenz, K D

    1974-12-01

    Ellipsoidal reflectors are useful for the 1:1 imaging of small objects without spherical and chromatic aberration. The magnitude of the off-axis aberrations of such reflectors is computed by application of Fermat's principle to the Hamiltonian point characteristic. The limiting form of the mirror aperture for which these aberrations do not exceed a set tolerance is an ellipse whose semiaxes depend on object size and angle of incidence.

  3. Gestational Exposure as Epigenetic Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    Distribution Unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Information from animal models and population studies suggest that mammary tumor promotion...activation of the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) induces CpG methylation at the BRCA-1 gene, and if this epigenetic event predisposes to development...the development of TNBC mammary tumors in offspring. 15. SUBJECT TERMS BRCA-1, aromatic hydrocarbon receptor, BRCA-1 promoter methylation, triple

  4. Epigenetic Case Studies in Agricultural Animals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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.

  6. Chromatic aberration measurement for transmission interferometric testing.

    PubMed

    Seong, Kibyung; Greivenkamp, John E

    2008-12-10

    A method of chromatic aberration measurement is described based on the transmitted wavefront of an optical element obtained from a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The chromatic aberration is derived from transmitted wavefronts measured at five different wavelengths. Reverse ray tracing is used to remove induced aberrations associated with the interferometer from the measurement. In the interferometer, the wavefront transmitted through the sample is tested against a plano reference, allowing for the absolute determination of the wavefront radius of curvature. The chromatic aberrations of a singlet and a doublet have been measured.

  7. 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

  8. [DNA methylation and epigenetics].

    PubMed

    Vaniushin, B F

    2006-09-01

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

  9. Epigenetics of Stress, Addiction, and Resilience: Therapeutic Implications.

    PubMed

    Cadet, Jean Lud

    2016-01-01

    Substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly prevalent. SUDs involve vicious cycles of binges followed by occasional periods of abstinence with recurrent relapses despite treatment and adverse medical and psychosocial consequences. There is convincing evidence that early and adult stressful life events are risks factors for the development of addiction and serve as cues that trigger relapses. Nevertheless, the fact that not all individuals who face traumatic events develop addiction to licit or illicit drugs suggests the existence of individual and/or familial resilient factors that protect these mentally healthy individuals. Here, I give a brief overview of the epigenetic bases of responses to stressful events and of epigenetic changes associated with the administration of drugs of abuse. I also discuss the psychobiology of resilience and alterations in epigenetic markers that have been observed in models of resilience. Finally, I suggest the possibility that treatment of addiction should involve cognitive and pharmacological approaches that enhance resilience in at risk individuals. Similar approaches should also be used with patients who have already succumbed to the nefarious effects of addictive substances.

  10. Stress, epigenetic control of gene expression and memory formation.

    PubMed

    Trollope, Alexandra F; Gutièrrez-Mecinas, María; Mifsud, Karen R; Collins, Andrew; Saunderson, Emily A; Reul, Johannes M H M

    2012-01-01

    Making memories of a stressful life event is essential for an organism's survival as it allows it to adapt and respond in a more appropriate manner should the situation occur again. However, it may be envisaged that extremely stressful events can lead to formation of traumatic memories that are detrimental to the organism and lead to psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The neurotransmitter glutamate and the ERK MAPK signaling pathway play a principal role in learning and memory. Glucocorticoid hormones acting via the glucocorticoid receptor have been shown to strengthen the consolidation of memories of stressful events. The ERK MAPK signaling pathway and glucocorticoid receptor-mediated actions have recently been shown to drive epigenetic modifications and conformational changes in the chromatin, stimulating the expression of neuroplasticity-related genes involved in stress-related learning and memory processes. The main epigenetic regulatory mechanisms are histone modifications and DNA (de-)methylation. Recently, studies have demonstrated that these processes are acting together in concert to regulate gene expression required for memory consolidation. This review explores the role of stress in learning and memory paradigms and the participating signaling pathways and epigenetic mechanisms and the enzymes that control these modifications during the consolidation process of memory formation.

  11. Aberrant DNA methylation in non-small cell lung cancer-associated fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Vizoso, Miguel; Puig, Marta; Carmona, F.Javier; Maqueda, María; Velásquez, Adriana; Gómez, Antonio; Labernadie, Anna; Lugo, Roberto; Gabasa, Marta; Rigat-Brugarolas, Luis G.; Trepat, Xavier; Ramírez, Josep; Moran, Sebastian; Vidal, Enrique; Reguart, Noemí; Perera, Alexandre; Esteller, Manel; Alcaraz, Jordi

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic changes through altered DNA methylation have been implicated in critical aspects of tumor progression, and have been extensively studied in a variety of cancer types. In contrast, our current knowledge of the aberrant genomic DNA methylation in tumor-associated fibroblasts (TAFs) or other stromal cells that act as critical coconspirators of tumor progression is very scarce. To address this gap of knowledge, we conducted genome-wide DNA methylation profiling on lung TAFs and paired control fibroblasts (CFs) from non-small cell lung cancer patients using the HumanMethylation450 microarray. We found widespread DNA hypomethylation concomitant with focal gain of DNA methylation in TAFs compared to CFs. The aberrant DNA methylation landscape of TAFs had a global impact on gene expression and a selective impact on the TGF-β pathway. The latter included promoter hypermethylation-associated SMAD3 silencing, which was associated with hyperresponsiveness to exogenous TGF-β1 in terms of contractility and extracellular matrix deposition. In turn, activation of CFs with exogenous TGF-β1 partially mimicked the epigenetic alterations observed in TAFs, suggesting that TGF-β1 may be necessary but not sufficient to elicit such alterations. Moreover, integrated pathway-enrichment analyses of the DNA methylation alterations revealed that a fraction of TAFs may be bone marrow-derived fibrocytes. Finally, survival analyses using DNA methylation and gene expression datasets identified aberrant DNA methylation on the EDARADD promoter sequence as a prognostic factor in non-small cell lung cancer patients. Our findings shed light on the unique origin and molecular alterations underlying the aberrant phenotype of lung TAFs, and identify a stromal biomarker with potential clinical relevance. PMID:26449251

  12. Micronuclei in genotoxicity assessment: from genetics to epigenetics and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Luzhna, Lidiya; Kathiria, Palak; Kovalchuk, Olga

    2013-01-01

    Micronuclei (MN) are extra-nuclear bodies that contain damaged chromosome fragments and/or whole chromosomes that were not incorporated into the nucleus after cell division. MN can be induced by defects in the cell repair machinery and accumulation of DNA damages and chromosomal aberrations. A variety of genotoxic agents may induce MN formation leading to cell death, genomic instability, or cancer development. In this review, the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of MN formation after various clastogenic and aneugenic effects on cell division and cell cycle are described. The knowledge accumulated in literature on cytotoxicity of various genotoxins is precisely reflected and individual sensitivity to MN formation due to single gene polymorphisms is discussed. The importance of rapid MN scoring with respect to the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay is also evaluated. PMID:23874352

  13. DNA methyltransferase-1 inhibitors as epigenetic therapy for cancer.

    PubMed

    Singh, Varinder; Sharma, Prince; Capalash, Neena

    2013-05-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification involved in gene expression regulation. In cancer, the DNA methylation pattern becomes aberrant, causing an array of tumor suppressor genes to undergo promoter hypermethylation and become transcriptionally silent. Reexpression of methylation silenced tumor suppressor genes by inhibiting the DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B) has emerged as an effective strategy against cancer. The expression of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) being high in S-phase of cell cycle makes it a specific target for methylation inhibition in rapidly dividing cells as in cancer. This review discusses nucleoside analogues (azacytidine, decitabine, zebularine, SGI-110, CP-4200), non-nucleoside ihibitors both synthetic (hydralazine, RG108, procaine, procainamide, IM25, disulfiram) and natural compounds (curcumin, genistein, EGCG, resveratrol, equol, parthenolide) which act through different mechanisms to inhibit DNMTs. The issues of bioavailability, toxicity, side effects, hypomethylation resistance and combinatorial therapies have also been highlighted.

  14. Epigenetic Regulation of BDNF Gene during Development and Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kuan-Wei; Chen, Linyi

    2017-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is required for the development of the nervous system, proper cognitive function and memory formation. While aberrant expression of BDNF has been implicated in neurological disorders, the transcriptional regulation of BDNF remains to be elucidated. In response to different stimuli, BDNF expression can be initiated from different promoters. Several studies have suggested that the expression of BDNF is regulated by promoter methylation. An emerging theme points to the possibility that histone modifications at the BDNF promoters may link to the neurological pathology. Thus, understanding the epigenetic regulation at the BDNF promoters will shed light on future therapies for neurological disorders. The present review summarizes the current knowledge of histone modifications of the BDNF gene in neuronal diseases, as well as the developmental regulation of the BDNF gene based on data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE). PMID:28272318

  15. 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

  16. Epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology: mechanisms and models.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Herbert L; Janusek, Linda Witek

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Epigenetics of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Current Evidence, Challenges, and Future Directions.

    PubMed

    Zannas, Anthony S; Provençal, Nadine; Binder, Elisabeth B

    2015-09-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress-related psychiatric disorder that is thought to emerge from complex interactions among traumatic events and multiple genetic factors. Epigenetic regulation lies at the heart of these interactions and mediates the lasting effects of the environment on gene regulation. An increasing body of evidence in human subjects with PTSD supports a role for epigenetic regulation of distinct genes and pathways in the pathogenesis of PTSD. The role of epigenetic regulation is further supported by studies examining fear conditioning in rodent models. Although this line of research offers an exciting outlook for future epigenetic research in PTSD, important limitations include the tissue specificity of epigenetic modifications, the phenomenologic definition of the disorder, and the challenge of translating molecular evidence across species. These limitations call for studies that combine data from postmortem human brain tissue and animal models, assess longitudinal epigenetic changes in living subjects, and examine dimensional phenotypes in addition to diagnoses. Moreover, examining the environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors that promote resilience to trauma may lead to important advances in the field.

  20. The importance of epigenetics in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Sakao, Seiichiro; Tatsumi, Koichiro

    2011-10-01

    It is generally accepted that genetic predisposition plays a role in COPD development in susceptible individuals. Therefore, many candidate genes that could be linked to the development of disease have been examined in COPD. However, inconsistent results in different study populations often limit this approach, suggesting that not only genetics, but also other factors, may be contributed to the susceptibility to COPD. Epigenetic mechanisms can affect the transcriptional activity of specific genes, at different points in time, and in different organs. Moreover, these mechanisms can have an effect on people's health. Recently, there is emerging evidence supporting a role of epigenetics for the regulation of inflammatory genes in diseases such as asthma and COPD. Moreover, recent studies suggest that the currently used treatments including corticosteroids may work through epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic regulation can be reprogrammed, potentially affecting the risk, aetiology and treatment of various disease states. The epigenetically influenced phenotype could be reversed with demethylating or deacetylating agents, consistent with epigenetic plasticity. The postnatal reversibility of these methylation or acetylation events may therefore provide good opportunities for intervention. The recognition of the role of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the development of COPD may identify novel targets that hatch new therapies for patients with COPD.

  1. Epigenetic Changes in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Sunhong; Han, Myeong Hoon; Lee, Sung Bae

    2016-01-01

    Afflicted neurons in various neurodegenerative diseases generally display diverse and complex pathological features before catastrophic occurrence of massive neuronal loss at the late stages of the diseases. This complex nature of neuronal pathophysiology inevitably implicates systemwide changes in basic cellular activities such as transcriptional controls and signal cascades, and so on, as a cause. Recently, as one of these systemwide cellular changes associated with neurodegenerative diseases, epigenetic changes caused by protein toxicity have begun to be highlighted. Notably, recent advances in related techniques including next-generation sequencing (NGS) and mass spectrometry enable us to monitor changes in the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins and to link these changes in histone PTMs to the specific transcriptional changes. Indeed, epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this review, we will discuss details of our current understandings on epigenetic changes associated with two representative neurodegenerative diseases [AD and polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases] and further discuss possible future development of pharmaceutical treatment of the diseases through modulating these epigenetic changes. PMID:27871175

  2. 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…

  3. Epigenetic Placental Programming of Preeclampsia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Epigenetics of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ivana V.; Schwartz, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a complex lung disease of unknown etiology. Development of IPF is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Recent work by our and other groups has identified strong genetic predisposition factors for the development of pulmonary fibrosis while cigarette smoke remains the most strongly associated environmental exposure risk factor. Gene expression profiling studies of IPF lung have taught us quite a bit about the biology of this fatal disease and those in peripheral blood have provided important biomarkers. However, epigenetic marks may be the missing link that connects the environmental exposure in genetically predisposed individuals to transcriptional changes associated with disease development. Moreover, epigenetic marks represent a promising therapeutic target for IPF. In this review, we will introduce the disease, summarize genetic and gene expression studies in IPF, discuss exposures relevant to IPF and known epigenetic changes associated with cigarette smoke exposure, and summarize epigenetic studies conducted so far in IPF. We will end by discussing limitations, challenges and future opportunities in this field. PMID:24746870

  5. 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

  6. Epigenetic modifications in rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Strietholt, Simon; Maurer, Britta; Peters, Marvin A; Pap, Thomas; Gay, Steffen

    2008-01-01

    Over the last decades, genetic factors for rheumatoid diseases like the HLA haplotypes have been studied extensively. However, during the past years of research, it has become more and more evident that the influence of epigenetic processes on the development of rheumatic diseases is probably as strong as the genetic background of a patient. Epigenetic processes are heritable changes in gene expression without alteration of the nucleotide sequence. Such modifications include chromatin methylation and post-translational modification of histones or other chromatin-associated proteins. The latter comprise the addition of methyl, acetyl, and phosphoryl groups or even larger moieties such as binding of ubiquitin or small ubiquitin-like modifier. The combinatory nature of these processes forms a complex network of epigenetic modifications that regulate gene expression through activation or silencing of genes. This review provides insight into the role of epigenetic alterations in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and points out how a better understanding of such mechanisms may lead to novel therapeutic strategies.

  7. Development, Epigenetics and Metabolic Programming.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    It is now widely recognized 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 noncommunicable 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 breast-feeding; 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.

  8. Epigenetics and Peripheral Artery Disease.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. 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,…

  10. 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

  11. Nutritional regulation of epigenetic changes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  12. 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

  13. Alcohol Metabolism and Epigenetics Changes

    PubMed Central

    Zakhari, Samir

    2013-01-01

    Metabolites, including those generated during ethanol metabolism, can impact disease states by binding to transcription factors and/or modifying chromatin structure, thereby altering gene expression patterns. For example, the activities of enzymes involved in epigenetic modifications such as DNA and histone methylation and histone acetylation, are influenced by the levels of metabolites such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Chronic alcohol consumption leads to significant reductions in SAM levels, thereby contributing to DNA hypomethylation. Similarly, ethanol metabolism alters the ratio of NAD+ to reduced NAD (NADH) and promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species and acetate, all of which impact epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. In addition to altered carbohydrate metabolism, induction of cell death, and changes in mitochondrial permeability transition, these metabolism-related changes can lead to modulation of epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Understanding the nature of these epigenetic changes will help researchers design novel medications to treat or at least ameliorate alcohol-induced organ damage. PMID:24313160

  14. 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

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

    2011-03-01

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

  15. Environmental Epigenetics: From Novelty to Scientific Discipline

    PubMed Central

    Burris, Heather H.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic phenomena have sparked much interest resulting in an exponential increase in scientific investigation in the last two decades. While growing, the field of environmental epigenetics remains small when compared to other areas of epigenetic inquiry such as cancer research. In this commentary, our objective is to describe the status of the field of environmental epigenetics and lay out our vision for its future. While environmental epigenetic studies represent fewer than 5% of all epigenetic publications, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ranks second in proportion of dollars spent on epigenetics of all NIH Institutes. Such investment highlights the hypothesis that epigenetic marks are modified by environmental exposures and the hope that interventions targeted at epigenetic mechanisms may ultimately lead to improved health outcomes. The road to achieve this vision will require 1) attention to tissue specificity, 2) focused interventional studies, 3) collaboration among cohorts, 4) inclusion of environmental exposures in new large-scale epigenomic studies, and 5) understanding of multiple mechanisms beyond DNA methylation and histone modifications. The investment in environmental epigenetic inquiry will lead to great rewards if we can understand the biology of how phenotype results from environmental stimuli and genetic code. Understanding the epigenetic implications of our actions and exposures may benefit generations to come. PMID:23836446

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: an open discussion.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Corina; Turecki, Gustavo

    2015-08-01

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

  19. Epigenetic variation: origin and transgenerational inheritance.

    PubMed

    Becker, Claude; Weigel, Detlef

    2012-11-01

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

  20. Epigenetics of Renal Development and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hilliard, Sylvia A.; El-Dahr, Samir S.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of epigenetics is indispensable to our understanding of gene regulation under normal and pathological states. This knowledge will help with designing better therapeutic approaches in regenerative tissue medicine. Epigenetics allows us to parse out the mechanisms by which transcriptional regulators gain access to specific gene loci thereby imprinting epigenetic information affecting chromatin function. This epigenetic memory forms the basis of cell lineage specification in multicellular organisms. Post-translational modifications to DNA and histones in the nucleosome core form characteristic epigenetic codes which are distinct for self-renewing and primed progenitor cell populations. Studies of chromatin modifiers and modifications in renal development and disease have been gaining momentum. Both congenital and adult renal diseases have a gene-environment component, which involves alterations to the epigenetic information imprinted during development. This epigenetic memory must be characterized to establish optimal treatment of both acute and chronic renal diseases. PMID:28018145

  1. Stemming Epigenetics in Marine Stramenopiles

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetics include DNA methylation, the modification of histone tails that affect chromatin states, and small RNAs that are involved in the setting and maintenance of chromatin modifications. Marine stramenopiles (MAS), which are a diverse assemblage of algae that acquired photosynthesis from secondary endosymbiosis, include single-celled organisms such as diatoms as well as multicellular forms such as brown algae. The recent publication of two diatom genomes that diverged ~90 million years ago (mya), as well as the one of a brown algae that diverged from diatoms ~250 Mya, provide a great system of related, yet diverged set of organisms to compare epigenetic marks and their relationships. For example, putative DNA methyltransferase homologues were found in diatoms while none could be identified in the brown algal genome. On the other hand, no canonical DICER-like protein was found in diatoms in contrast to what is observed in brown algae. A key interest relies in understanding the adaptive nature of epigenetics and its inheritability. In contrast to yeast that lack DNA methylation, homogeneous cultures of diatoms constitute an attractive system to study epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions such as nutrient-rich to nutrient-poor transitions which is especially relevant because of their ecological importance. P. tricornutum is also of outstanding interest because it is observed as three different morphotypes and thus constitutes a simple and promising model for the study of the epigenetic phenomena that accompany cellular differentiation. In this review we focus on the insights obtained from MAS comparative genomics and epigenomic analyses. PMID:22294878

  2. Stemming epigenetics in marine stramenopiles.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  3. Epigenetic inactivation of E-cadherin by promoter hypermethylation in oral carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Genta; Chiba, Tadashige; Aoba, Takaaki; Imai, Kazushi

    2007-07-01

    The loss of E-cadherin expression by epigenetic aberrations, including promoter hypermethylation and transcription repressor binding, plays a key role in the initiation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which leads to the progression of oral squamous cell carcinomas. However, mutual actions and roles of the epigenetic pathways remain to be elucidated. In this study, we determined the methylation status of cytosine within CpG islands of the E-cadherin promoter region in relation to the expression level of SIP1, a major E-cadherin repressor in oral carcinoma cells. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses showed that the expression of E-cadherin was downregulated in parallel with promoter hypermethylation. The use of a bisulfite-modified sequence further validated that methylation was observed in 22.6 +/- 38.7% (mean +/- 1 SD) of cytosines in carcinoma cells negligibly expressing E-cadherin, in contrast to 7.5 +/- 1.8% in E-cadherin-expressing cells. Treatment with a demethylating reagent, 5-azacytidine, induced upregulation of E-cadherin in some E-cadherin-expressing carcinoma cell lines but not in others. The finding that the unresponsive cell lines retained high expression of SIP1 supports the repressive effect of SIP1 on E-cadherin expression regardless of promoter hypermethylation. Collectively, the overall results suggest the dynamic but differential regulation of E-cadherin by epigenetic aberrations in the pathology of oral carcinomas.

  4. Learning Disorders and Sex Chromosome Aberrations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hier, D. B.; And Others

    1980-01-01

    In a prospective study of 20 adult dyslexic men, no sex chromosome aberrations were detected. A retrospective study of 89 Ss with known sex chromosome aberrations revealed 20 of them to be mentally retarded. Among the 69 Ss of normal intelligence, learning, speech, and attention disorders were frequent. (Author/DLS)

  5. The VHL gene is epigenetically inactivated in pheochromocytomas and abdominal paragangliomas

    PubMed Central

    Andreasson, Adam; Kiss, Nimrod B; Caramuta, Stefano; Sulaiman, Luqman; Svahn, Fredrika; Bäckdahl, Martin; Höög, Anders; Juhlin, C Christofer; Larsson, Catharina

    2013-01-01

    Pheochromocytoma (PCC) and abdominal paraganglioma (PGL) are neuroendocrine tumors that present with clinical symptoms related to increased catecholamine levels. About a third of the cases are associated with constitutional mutations in pre-disposing genes, of which some may also be somatically mutated in sporadic cases. However, little is known about inactivating epigenetic events through promoter methylation in these very genes. Using bisulphite pyrosequencing we assessed the methylation density of 11 PCC/PGL disease genes in 96 tumors (83 PCCs and 13 PGLs) and 34 normal adrenal references. Gene expression levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Both tumors and normal adrenal samples exhibited low methylation index (MetI) in the EGLN1 (PDH2), MAX, MEN1, NF1, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2 (SDH5), and TMEM127 promoters, not exceeding 10% in any of the samples investigated. Aberrant RET promoter methylation was observed in two cases only. For the VHL gene we found increased MetI in tumors as compared with normal adrenals (57% vs. 27%; P < 0.001), in malignant vs. benign tumors (63% vs. 55%; P < 0.05), and in PGL vs. PCC (66% vs. 55%; P < 0.0005). Decreased expression of the VHL gene was observed in all tumors compared with normal adrenals (P < 0.001). VHL MetI and gene expressions were inversely correlated (R = −0.359, P < 0.0001). Our results show that the VHL gene promoter has increased methylation compared with normal adrenals (MetI > 50%) in approximately 75% of PCCs and PGLs investigated, highlighting the role of VHL in the development of these tumors. PMID:24149047

  6. 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

  7. The role of AP-1 and epigenetics in ALCL.

    PubMed

    Schiefer, Ana-Iris; Vesely, Paul; Hassler, Melanie R; Egger, Gerda; Kenner, Lukas

    2015-06-01

    Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is an aggressive, highly proliferative, T-cell lymphoma with increasing incidence worldwide. Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) fusions occur in about 50% of all cases. Most ALK positive cases of ALCL harbor the t(2;5) translocation that leads to expression of Nucleophosmin-Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (NPM-ALK). NPM-ALK induces a variety of oncogenic signaling pathways that lead to malignant transformation of T-cells via Activator Protein-1 (AP-1), STAT3 and other (transcription) factors. In addition to the commonly known AP-1 activators Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs), there are other signaling pathways, such as PI3K/mTOR/AKT, which are implicated in AP-1 activation/expression in ALCL. The AP-1 factor JUNB was shown to drive ALCL proliferation and the expression of the characteristic ALCL Ki-1 antigen, CD30. cJUN and JUNB target PDGFRB, thereby leading to tumor progression and dissemination. Furthermore, aberrant gene expression in ALCL is frequently accompanied by changes in epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, such as DNA methylation patterns. Here, we discuss the role of AP-1 in the pathogenesis of ALCL and provide an overview of pathological epigenetic changes in ALCL cells.

  8. Epigenetic changes in the rat livers induced by pyrazinamide treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Kovalenko, V.M.; Bagnyukova, T.V.; Sergienko, O.V.; Bondarenko, L.B.; Shayakhmetova, G.M.; Matvienko, A.V.; Pogribny, I.P.

    2007-12-15

    Drug-induced liver injury, including drug-induced hepatotoxicity during the treatment of tuberculosis infection, is a major health problem with increasingly significant challenges to modern hepatology. Therefore, the assessment and monitoring of the hepatotoxicity of antituberculosis drugs for prevention of liver injury are great concerns during disease treatment. The recently emerged data showing the ability of toxicants, including pharmaceutical agents, to alter cellular epigenetic status, open a unique opportunity for early detection of drug hepatotoxicity. Here we report that treatment of male Wistar rats with antituberculosis drug pyrazinamide at doses of 250, 500 or 1000 mg/kg/day body weight for 45 days leads to an early and sustained decrease in cytosine DNA methylation, progressive hypomethylation of long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE-1), and aberrant promoter hypermethylation of placental form glutathione-S-transferase (GSTP) and p16{sup INK4A} genes in livers of pyrazinamide-treated rats, while serum levels of bilirubin and activity of aminotransferases changed modestly. The early occurrence of these epigenetic alterations and their association with progression of liver injury specific pathological changes indicate that alterations in DNA methylation may be useful predictive markers for the assessment of drug hepatotoxicity.

  9. Epigenetic alterations as a universal feature of cancer hallmarks and a promising target for personalized treatments.

    PubMed

    Schnekenburger, Michael; Florean, Cristina; Dicato, Mario; Diederich, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Despite considerable scientific progress, the burden of cancer in our society remains a major public health problem. Tumorigenesis is recognized as a complex and multistep process that involves the accumulation of successive transformational events with multi-factorial etiology. Nevertheless, such events result in the acquisition of key hallmark characteristics that are shared by all cancer cells. Accumulating evidence indicates that, besides genetic alterations, epigenetic mechanisms (heritable changes in gene expression caused by modifications in chromatin structure without alterations of DNA sequence) are implicated in the acquisition of malignant phenotype. The potential reversibility of epigenetic alterations linked to tumorigenesis offers a promising avenue for therapeutic intervention. This review focuses on the epigenetic regulation of the cancer hallmarks and the foreseeable use of epigenetic drugs to target these features as a promising strategy for anti-cancer therapy. Based on this body of evidence, we believe that epigenetic deregulations can affect virtually all cell functions and therefore therapeutic approaches with epigenetic drugs could allow multi-target approach against the hallmarks of cancer.

  10. Epigenetic Disruptions of Histone Signatures for the Trophectoderm and Inner Cell Mass in Mouse Parthenogenetic Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Hui

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic asymmetry has been shown to be associated with the first lineage allocation event in preimplantation development, that is, the formation of the trophectoderm (TE) and inner cell mass (ICM) lineages in the blastocyst. Since parthenogenesis causes aberrant segregation between the TE and ICM lineages, we examined several development-associated histone modifications in parthenotes, including those involved in (i) transcriptional activation [acetylated histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9Ac) and lysine 14 (H3K14Ac), trimethylated histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4Me3), and dimethylated histone H3 arginine 26 (H3R26Me2)] and (ii) transcriptional repression [trimethylated histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9Me3) and lysine 27 (H3K27Me3), and mono-ubiquitinated histone H2A lysine 119 (H2AK119u1)]. Here, we report that in parthenotes, H3R26Me2 expression decreased from the morula stage, while expression patterns and levels of H3K9Ac, H3K27Me3, and H2AK119u1 were unchanged until the blastocyst stage; whereas H3K14Ac, H3K4Me3, and H3K9Me3 showed normal patterns and levels of expressions. Relative to the decrease of H3K9Ac in the ICM and increase in the TE of parthenotes, we detected reduced expression of TAT-interactive protein 60 acetyltransferase and histone deacetylase 1 deacetylase in the ICM and TE of parthenotes, respectively. Relative to the decrease of H3R26Me2, we also observed decreased expression of coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 methyltransferase and increased expression of the Wnt effector transcription factor 7L2 and miR-181c microRNA in parthenotes. Furthermore, relative to the decrease in H3K27Me3 and H2AK119u1, we found increased phosphorylation of Akt1 and enhancer of zeste homolog 2 in parthenogenetic TE. Therefore, our findings that histone signatures are impaired in parthenotes provide a mechanistic explanation for aberrant lineage segregation and TE defects. PMID:25315067

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetic profile of developmentally important genes in bovine oocytes.

    PubMed

    Heinzmann, J; Hansmann, T; Herrmann, D; Wrenzycki, C; Zechner, U; Haaf, T; Niemann, H

    2011-03-01

    Assisted reproductive technologies are associated with an increased incidence of epigenetic aberrations, specifically in imprinted genes. Here, we used the bovine oocyte as a model to determine putative epigenetic mutations at three imprinted gene loci caused by the type of maturation, either in vitro maturation (IVM) in Tissue Culture Medium 199 (TCM) or modified synthetic oviduct fluid (mSOF) medium, or in vivo maturation. We applied a limiting dilution approach and direct bisulfite sequencing to analyze the methylation profiles of individual alleles (DNA molecules) for H19/IGF2, PEG3, and SNRPN, which are each associated with imprinting defects in humans and/or the mouse model, and are known to be differentially methylated in bovine embryos. Altogether, we obtained the methylation patterns of 203 alleles containing 4,512 CpG sites from immature oocytes, 213 alleles with 4,779 CpG sites from TCM-matured oocytes, 215 alleles/4,725 CpGs in mSOF-matured oocytes, and 78 alleles/1,672 CpGs from in vivo-matured oocytes. The total rate of individual CpGs and entire allele methylation errors did not differ significantly between the two IVM and the in vivo group, indicating that current IVM protocols have no or only marginal effects on these critical epigenetic marks. Furthermore, the mRNA expression profiles of the three imprinted genes and a panel of eight other genes indicative of oocyte competence were determined by quantitative real-time PCR. We found different mRNA expression profiles between in vivo-matured oocytes versus their in vitro-matured counterparts, suggesting an influence on regulatory mechanisms other than DNA methylation.

  13. RNA Expression Microarray Analysis in Mouse Prospermatogonia: Identification of Candidate Epigenetic Modifiers

    PubMed Central

    Lefèvre, Christophe; Mann, Jeffrey R.

    2011-01-01

    The mammalian totipotent and pluripotent lineage exhibits genome-wide dynamics in respect to DNA methylation content. The first phase of global DNA demethylation and de novo remethylation occurs during preimplantation development and gastrulation, respectively, while the second phase occurs in primordial germ cells and primary oocytes/prospermatogonia, respectively. These dynamics are indicative of a comprehensive epigenetic resetting or reprogramming of the genome in preparation for major differentiation events. To gain further insight into the mechanisms driving DNA methylation dynamics and other types of epigenetic modification, we performed an RNA expression microarray analysis of fetal prospermatogonia at the stage when they are undergoing rapid de novo DNA remethylation. We have identified a number of highly or specifically expressed genes which could be important for determining epigenetic change in prospermatogonia. These data provide a useful resource in the discovery of molecular pathways involved in epigenetic reprogramming in the mammalian germ line. PMID:18330932

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:28018146

  15. Molecular Genetic and Epigenetic Basis of Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hojati, Zohreh

    2017-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic immune-mediated disease of spinal cord and brain. The initial event in MS occurs when activated CD4(+) T cells in periphery exacerbates immune responses by stimulating immune cells such as B cells, CD8(+) cells, mast cells, granulocytes and monocytes. These proinflammatory cells pass blood brain barrier by secreting proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and INF-γ which activate adhesion factors. APCs (antigen-presenting cells) reactivate CD4(+) T cells after infiltrating the CNS and CD4(+) T cells produce cytokines and chemokines. These proinflammatory cytokines aggravate inflammation by inducing myelin phagocytosis through microglia and astrocytes activation. MS is believed to have a multifactorial origin that includes a combination of multiple genetic, environmental and stochastic factors. Although the exact component of MS risks that can be explained by these factors is difficult to determine, estimates based on genetic and epidemiological studies suggest that up to 60-70 % of the total risk of MS may be contribute to genetic factors. In continue, firstly we provide an overview of the current understanding of epigenetic mechanisms, and so present evidence of how the epigenetic modifications contribute to increased susceptibility of MS. We also explain how specified epigenetic modifications may influence the pathophysiology and key aspects of disease in MS (demyelination, remyelination, inflammation, and neurodegeneration). Finally, we tend to discuss how environmental factors and epigenetic mechanisms may interact to have an effect on MS risk and clinical outcome and recommend new therapeutic interventions that might modulate patients' epigenetic profiles.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-20

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

  18. Critical Link Between Epigenetics and Transcription Factors in the Induction of Autoimmunity: a Comprehensive Review.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system loses tolerance to self-antigens, inducing inflammation and tissue damage. The pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases has not been elucidated. A growing mountain of evidence suggests the involvement of genetic and epigenetic factors in the development of these disorders. Genetic mapping has identified several candidate variants in autoimmune conditions. However, autoimmune diseases cannot be explained by genetic susceptibility alone. The fact that there is only 20 % of concordance for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in homozygotic twins is an indication that epigenetics and environment may also play significant roles. Epigenetics refer to inheritable and potentially reversible changes in DNA and chromatin that regulate gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. The primary mechanisms of epigenetic regulation include DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA-mediated regulation. The regulation on gene expression by epigenetics is similar to that by transcription factors (TFs), and the normal execution of biological event is controlled by a combination of epigenetic modifications and TFs. These two mechanisms share similar regulatory logistics and cooperate in part by influencing activity of the binding sites of target genes. In addition, the promoters of TFs have been found themselves to be modified by epigenetic regulators and TFs can also induce epigenetic changes. There is a two-way street in which interplay between epigenetic regulation and TFs plays a role in the pathogenesis of SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, systemic sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis. Understanding of pathogenesis of these autoimmune diseases will help define potential targets for therapeutic strategies.

  19. Identification of four potential epigenetic modulators from the NCI structural diversity library using a cell-based assay.

    PubMed

    Best, Anne M; Chang, Jianjun; Dull, Angie B; Beutler, John A; Martinez, Elisabeth D

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic pathways help control the expression of genes. In cancer and other diseases, aberrant silencing or overexpression of genes, such as those that control cell growth, can greatly contribute to pathogenesis. Access to these genes by the transcriptional machinery is largely mediated by chemical modifications of DNA or histones, which are controlled by epigenetic enzymes, making these enzymes attractive targets for drug discovery. Here we describe the characterization of a locus derepression assay, a fluorescence-based mammalian cellular system which was used to screen the NCI structural diversity library for novel epigenetic modulators using an automated imaging platform. Four structurally unique compounds were uncovered that, when further investigated, showed distinct activities. These compounds block the viability of lung cancer and melanoma cells, prevent cell cycle progression, and/or inhibit histone deacetylase activity, altering levels of cellular histone acetylation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Aberrant DNA Methylation Is Associated with a Poor Outcome in Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Sakaguchi, Hirotoshi; Muramatsu, Hideki; Okuno, Yusuke; Makishima, Hideki; Xu, Yinyan; Furukawa-Hibi, Yoko; Wang, Xinan; Narita, Atsushi; Yoshida, Kenichi; Shiraishi, Yuichi; Doisaki, Sayoko; Yoshida, Nao; Hama, Asahito; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki; Yamada, Kiyofumi; Miyano, Satoru; Ogawa, Seishi; Maciejewski, Jaroslaw P.; Kojima, Seiji

    2015-01-01

    Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), an overlap of myelodysplastic / myeloproliferative neoplasm, is an intractable pediatric myeloid neoplasm. Epigenetic regulation of transcription, particularly by CpG methylation, plays an important role in tumor progression, mainly by repressing tumor-suppressor genes. To clarify the clinical importance of aberrant DNA methylation, we studied the hypermethylation status of 16 target genes in the genomes of 92 patients with JMML by bisulfite conversion and the pryosequencing technique. Among 16 candidate genes, BMP4, CALCA, CDKN2A, and RARB exhibited significant hypermethylation in 72% (67/92) of patients. Based on the number of hypermethylated genes, patients were stratified into three cohorts based on an aberrant methylation score (AMS) of 0, 1–2, or 3–4. In the AMS 0 cohort, the 5-year overall survival (OS) and transplantation-free survival (TFS) were good (69% and 76%, respectively). In the AMS 1–2 cohort, the 5-year OS was comparable to that in the AMS 0 cohort (68%), whereas TFS was poor (6%). In the AMS 3–4 cohort, 5-year OS and TFS were markedly low (8% and 0%, respectively). Epigenetic analysis provides helpful information for clinicians to select treatment strategies for patients with JMML. For patients with AMS 3–4 in whom hematopoietic stem cell transplantation does not improve the prognosis, alternative therapies, including DNA methyltransferase inhibitors and new molecular-targeting agents, should be established as treatment options. PMID:26720758

  3. 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

  4. A twin approach to unraveling epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Bell, Jordana T; Spector, Tim D

    2011-03-01

    The regulation of gene expression plays a pivotal role in complex phenotypes, and epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are essential to this process. The availability of next-generation sequencing technologies allows us to study epigenetic variation at an unprecedented level of resolution. Even so, our understanding of the underlying sources of epigenetic variability remains limited. Twin studies have played an essential role in estimating phenotypic heritability, and these now offer an opportunity to study epigenetic variation as a dynamic quantitative trait. High monozygotic twin discordance rates for common diseases suggest that unexplained environmental or epigenetic factors could be involved. Recent genome-wide epigenetic studies in disease-discordant monozygotic twins emphasize the power of this design to successfully identify epigenetic changes associated with complex traits. We describe how large-scale epigenetic studies of twins can improve our understanding of how genetic, environmental and stochastic factors impact upon epigenetics, and how such studies can provide a comprehensive understanding of how epigenetic variation affects complex traits.

  5. 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

  6. HEDD: the human epigenetic drug database

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Yunfeng; Wang, Dadong; Wang, Daying; Jin, Taicheng; Yang, Liping; Wu, Hui; Li, Yaoyao; Zhao, Jing; Du, Fengping; Song, Mingxia; Wang, Renjun

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic drugs are chemical compounds that target disordered post-translational modification of histone proteins and DNA through enzymes, and the recognition of these changes by adaptor proteins. Epigenetic drug-related experimental data such as gene expression probed by high-throughput sequencing, co-crystal structure probed by X-RAY diffraction and binding constants probed by bio-assay have become widely available. The mining and integration of multiple kinds of data can be beneficial to drug discovery and drug repurposing. HEMD and other epigenetic databases store comprehensively epigenetic data where users can acquire segmental information of epigenetic drugs. However, some data types such as high-throughput datasets are not provide by these databases and they do not support flexible queries for epigenetic drug-related experimental data. Therefore, in reference to HEMD and other epigenetic databases, we developed a relatively comprehensive database for human epigenetic drugs. The human epigenetic drug database (HEDD) focuses on the storage and integration of epigenetic drug datasets obtained from laboratory experiments and manually curated information. The latest release of HEDD incorporates five kinds of datasets: (i) drug, (ii) target, (iii) disease, (vi) high-throughput and (v) complex. In order to facilitate data extraction, flexible search options were built in HEDD, which allowed an unlimited condition query for specific kinds of datasets using drug names, diseases and experiment types. Database URL: http://hedds.org/ PMID:28025347

  7. Age-Specific Epigenetic Drift in Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sun-Chong; Oelze, Beatrice; Schumacher, Axel

    2008-01-01

    Despite an enormous research effort, most cases of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) still remain unexplained and the current biomedical science is still a long way from the ultimate goal of revealing clear risk factors that can help in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease. Current theories about the development of LOAD hinge on the premise that Alzheimer's arises mainly from heritable causes. Yet, the complex, non-Mendelian disease etiology suggests that an epigenetic component could be involved. Using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in post-mortem brain samples and lymphocytes, we have performed an analysis of DNA methylation across 12 potential Alzheimer's susceptibility loci. In the LOAD brain samples we identified a notably age-specific epigenetic drift, supporting a potential role of epigenetic effects in the development of the disease. Additionally, we found that some genes that participate in amyloid-β processing (PSEN1, APOE) and methylation homeostasis (MTHFR, DNMT1) show a significant interindividual epigenetic variability, which may contribute to LOAD predisposition. The APOE gene was found to be of bimodal structure, with a hypomethylated CpG-poor promoter and a fully methylated 3′-CpG-island, that contains the sequences for the ε4-haplotype, which is the only undisputed genetic risk factor for LOAD. Aberrant epigenetic control in this CpG-island may contribute to LOAD pathology. We propose that epigenetic drift is likely to be a substantial mechanism predisposing individuals to LOAD and contributing to the course of disease. PMID:18628954

  8. The most common genes involved in epigenetics modifications among Iranian patients with breast cancer: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Iranshahi, N; Zafari, P; Yari, K H; Alizadeh, E

    2016-10-31

    Breast cancer, with a lifelong risk of one in nine, is the most common cancer among women. In Iran, breast cancer is one of the growing and important women's health problems. Several environmental, genetic and epigenetics factors have been suggested to have a role in breast cancer development. Epigenetics alterations are heritable changes in gene expression that occur without causing any change in DNA sequence. DNA methylation as a main epigenetics modification in human cancer is found as a promising biomarker in early detection of breast cancer. Association between epigenetics changes of many gene promoters with the risk of breast cancer has been investigated worldwide. This aberrant methylation may be occur in specific genes related to cell cycle, cell adhesion, apoptosis and DNA repairing mechanisms and results in silencing of these important genes. In this review study, we have gathered all the data until December 2015 about epigenetics modifications among Iranian population with breast cancer.  We searched international web databases such as: PubMed, Scopus, and Persian web databases; IranMedex and Magiran to investigate the association of epigenetics change and incidence of breast cancer among Iranian population. Using "methylation" or "epigenetics" key words and "Iran" as affiliation, all the published data were 31. After arbitrary limitation in search keywords the result have been 20 articles.  Data analysis show that "ER-α" and "E-Cadherin" are most common studied genes in epigenetics modifications. Also, maximum studies were done in Tehran and Tabriz. We thought that more studies will be helpful to reveal the relation of methylation status in candidate genes with the breast cancer risk in Iranian populations.

  9. 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.

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetic Regulations in Diabetic Nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zeyuan

    2017-01-01

    Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a chronic complication of diabetes and the most common cause of end-stage kidney disease. It has been reported that multiple factors are involved in the pathogenesis of DN, while the molecular mechanisms that lead to DN are still not fully understood. Numerous risk factors for the development of diabetic nephropathy have been proposed, including ethnicity and inherited genetic differences. Recently, with the development of high-throughput technologies, there is emerging evidence that suggests the important role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of DN. Epigenetic regulations, including DNA methylation, noncoding RNAs, and histone modifications, play a pivotal role in DN pathogenesis by a second layer of gene regulation. All these findings can contribute to developing novel therapies for DN.

  13. Epigenetics of Early Child Development

    PubMed Central

    Murgatroyd, Chris; Spengler, Dietmar

    2011-01-01

    Comprehensive clinical studies show that adverse conditions in early life can severely impact the developing brain and increase vulnerability to mood disorders later in life. During early postnatal life the brain exhibits high plasticity which allows environmental signals to alter the trajectories of rapidly developing circuits. Adversity in early life is able to shape the experience-dependent maturation of stress-regulating pathways underlying emotional functions and endocrine responses to stress, such as the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) system, leading to long-lasting altered stress responsivity during adulthood. To date, the study of gene–environment interactions in the human population has been dominated by epidemiology. However, recent research in the neuroscience field is now advancing clinical studies by addressing specifically the mechanisms by which gene–environment interactions can predispose individuals toward psychopathology. To this end, appropriate animal models are being developed in which early environmental factors can be manipulated in a controlled manner. Here we will review recent studies performed with the common aim of understanding the effects of the early environment in shaping brain development and discuss the newly developing role of epigenetic mechanisms in translating early life conditions into long-lasting changes in gene expression underpinning brain functions. Particularly, we argue that epigenetic mechanisms can mediate the gene–environment dialog in early life and give rise to persistent epigenetic programming of adult physiology and dysfunction eventually resulting in disease. Understanding how early life experiences can give rise to lasting epigenetic marks conferring increased risk for mental disorders, how they are maintained and how they could be reversed, is increasingly becoming a focus of modern psychiatry and should pave new guidelines for timely therapeutic interventions. PMID:21647402

  14. Epigenetics of human cutaneous melanoma: setting the stage for new therapeutic strategies

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Cutaneous melanoma is a very aggressive neoplasia of melanocytic origin with constantly growing incidence and mortality rates world-wide. Epigenetic modifications (i.e., alterations of genomic DNA methylation patterns, of post-translational modifications of histones, and of microRNA profiles) have been recently identified as playing an important role in melanoma development and progression by affecting key cellular pathways such as cell cycle regulation, cell signalling, differentiation, DNA repair, apoptosis, invasion and immune recognition. In this scenario, pharmacologic inhibition of DNA methyltransferases and/or of histone deacetylases were demonstrated to efficiently restore the expression of aberrantly-silenced genes, thus re-establishing pathway functions. In light of the pleiotropic activities of epigenetic drugs, their use alone or in combination therapies is being strongly suggested, and a particular clinical benefit might be expected from their synergistic activities with chemo-, radio-, and immuno-therapeutic approaches in melanoma patients. On this path, an important improvement would possibly derive from the development of new generation epigenetic drugs characterized by much reduced systemic toxicities, higher bioavailability, and more specific epigenetic effects. PMID:20540720

  15. p53-Independent, normal stem cell sparing epigenetic differentiation therapy for myeloid and other malignancies.

    PubMed

    Saunthararajah, Yogen; Triozzi, Pierre; Rini, Brian; Singh, Arun; Radivoyevitch, Tomas; Sekeres, Mikkael; Advani, Anjali; Tiu, Ramon; Reu, Frederic; Kalaycio, Matt; Copelan, Ed; Hsi, Eric; Lichtin, Alan; Bolwell, Brian

    2012-02-01

    Cytotoxic chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) usually produces only temporary remissions, at the cost of significant toxicity and risk for death. One fundamental reason for treatment failure is that it is designed to activate apoptosis genes (eg, TP53) that may be unavailable because of mutation or deletion. Unlike deletion of apoptosis genes, genes that mediate cell cycle exit by differentiation are present in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and AML cells but are epigenetically repressed: MDS/AML cells express high levels of key lineage-specifying transcription factors. Mutations in these transcription factors (eg, CEBPA) or their cofactors (eg., RUNX1) affect transactivation function and produce epigenetic repression of late-differentiation genes that antagonize MYC. Importantly, this aberrant epigenetic repression can be redressed clinically by depleting DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1, a central component of the epigenetic network that mediates transcription repression) using the deoxycytidine analogue decitabine at non-cytotoxic concentrations. The DNMT1 depletion is sufficient to trigger upregulation of late-differentiation genes and irreversible cell cycle exit by p53-independent differentiation mechanisms. Fortuitously, the same treatment maintains or increases self-renewal of normal hematopoietic stem cells, which do not express high levels of lineage-specifying transcription factors. The biological rationale for this approach to therapy appears to apply to cancers other than MDS/AML also. Decitabine or 5-azacytidine dose and schedule can be rationalized to emphasize this mechanism of action, as an alternative or complement to conventional apoptosis-based oncotherapy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  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 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.

  19. Polarization aberrations of crossed folding mirrors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crandall, David G.; Chipman, Russell A.

    1995-08-01

    Polarization aberrations due to varying polarization state across the field of view (FOV) are investigated for crossed folding mirrors. We define crossed mirrors as oriented in space such that s-polarized light incident on the first mirror is p-polarized at the second mirror. This completely compensates for polarization state changes at one point in the field of view. The resulting polarization aberrations are explored across the FOV using the example of aluminum mirrors overcoated with a 12 layer, highly reflective, dielectric stack. The polarization aberration is very low along a band across the field of view. For arbitrary points in the FOV, the retardance and diattenuation are slightly elliptical.

  20. The epigenetics of germ-line immortality: lessons from an elegant model system.

    PubMed

    Furuhashi, Hirofumi; Kelly, William G

    2010-08-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are thought to help regulate the unique transcription program that is established in germ cell development. During the germline cycle of many organisms, the epigenome undergoes waves of extensive resetting events, while a part of epigenetic modification remains faithful to specific loci. Little is known about the mechanisms underlying these events, how loci are selected for, or avoid, reprogramming, or even why these events are required. In particular, although the significance of genomic imprinting phenomena involving DNA methylation in mammals is now well accepted, the role of histone modification as a transgenerational epigenetic mechanism has been the subject of debate. Such epigenetic mechanisms may help regulate transcription programs and/or the pluripotent status conferred on germ cells, and contribute to germ line continuity across generations. Recent studies provide new evidence for heritability of histone modifications through germ line cells and its potential effects on transcription regulation both in the soma and germ line of subsequent generations. Unraveling transgenerational epigenetic mechanisms involving highly conserved histone modifications in elegant model systems will accelerate the generation of new paradigms and inspire research in a wide variety of fields, including basic developmental studies and clinical stem cell research.

  1. Epigenetic remodeling of chromatin architecture: exploring tumor differentiation therapies in mesenchymal stem cells and sarcomas.

    PubMed

    Siddiqi, Sara; Mills, Joslyn; Matushansky, Igor

    2010-03-01

    Sarcomas are the mesenchymal-derived malignant tumors of connective tissues (e.g., fat, bone, and cartilage) presumed to arise from aberrant development or differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Appropriate control of stem cell maintenance versus differentiation allows for normal connective tissue development. Current theories suggest that loss of this control--through accumulation of genetic lesions in MSCs at various points in the differentiation process--leads to development of sarcomas, including undifferentiated, high grade sarcoma tumors. The initiation of stem cell differentiation is highly associated with alteration of gene expression, which depends on chromatin remodeling. Epigenetic chromatin modifying agents have been shown to induce cancer cell differentiation and are currently being used clinically to treat cancer. This review will focus on the importance of epigenetic chromatin remodeling in the context of mesenchymal stem cells, sarcoma tumorigenesis and differentiation therapy.

  2. Learning epigenetic regulation from mycobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Khosla, Sanjeev; Sharma, Garima; Yaseen, Imtiyaz

    2016-01-01

    In a eukaryotic cell, the transcriptional fate of a gene is determined by the profile of the epigenetic modifications it is associated with and the conformation it adopts within the chromatin. Therefore, the function that a cell performs is dictated by the sum total of the chromatin organization and the associated epigenetic modifications of each individual gene in the genome (epigenome). As the function of a cell during development and differentiation is determined by its microenvironment, any factor that can alter this microenvironment should be able to alter the epigenome of a cell. In the study published in Nature Communications (Yaseen 2015 Nature Communications 6:8922 doi: 10.1038/ncomms9922), we show that pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis has evolved strategies to exploit this pliability of the host epigenome for its own survival. We describe the identification of a methyltransferase from M. tuberculosis that functions to modulate the host epigenome by methylating a novel, non-canonical arginine, H3R42 in histone H3. In another study, we showed that the mycobacterial protein Rv2966c methylates cytosines present in non-CpG context within host genomic DNA upon infection. Proteins with ability to directly methylate host histones H3 at a novel lysine residue (H3K14) has also been identified from Legionella pnemophilia (RomA). All these studies indicate the use of non-canonical epigenetic mechanisms by pathogenic bacteria to hijack the host transcriptional machinery. PMID:28357339

  3. Aberrant CpG Islands Hypermethylation Profiles in Malignant Gliomas

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kwang Ryeol; Kim, Ealmaan

    2014-01-01

    Background The authors analyzed whether the promoter hypermethylation of cancer-related genes was involved in the tumorigenesis of malignant gliomas. Methods A total of 29 patients received surgery and histologically confirmed to have malignant gliomas from January 2000 to December 2006. The promoter methylation status of several genes, which were reported to be frequently methylated in malignant gliomas, was investigated using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. Results All cases of malignant gliomas represented the promoter hypermethylation in at least 2 or more genes tested. Of 29 tumors, 28 (96.55%) showed concurrent hypermethylation of 3 or more genes. Ras association domain family member 1, epithelial cadherin, O-6 methyl guanine DNA methyltransferase, thrombospondin 1, p14 and adenomatous polyposis coli were frequently methylated in high grade gliomas including glioblastomas, anaplastic astrocytomas, and anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. Conclusion Aberrant hypermethylation profile was closely related with malignant gliomas suggesting that epigenetic change may play a role in the development of malignant gliomas. Two or three target genes may provide useful clues to the development of the useful prognostic as well as diagnostic assays for malignant gliomas. PMID:24926469

  4. 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.

  5. Deciphering causal and statistical relations of molecular aberrations and gene expressions in NCI-60 cell lines

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cancer cells harbor a large number of molecular alterations such as mutations, amplifications and deletions on DNA sequences and epigenetic changes on DNA methylations. These aberrations may dysregulate gene expressions, which in turn drive the malignancy of tumors. Deciphering the causal and statistical relations of molecular aberrations and gene expressions is critical for understanding the molecular mechanisms of clinical phenotypes. Results In this work, we proposed a computational method to reconstruct association modules containing driver aberrations, passenger mRNA or microRNA expressions, and putative regulators that mediate the effects from drivers to passengers. By applying the module-finding algorithm to the integrated datasets of NCI-60 cancer cell lines, we found that gene expressions were driven by diverse molecular aberrations including chromosomal segments' copy number variations, gene mutations and DNA methylations, microRNA expressions, and the expressions of transcription factors. In-silico validation indicated that passenger genes were enriched with the regulator binding motifs, functional categories or pathways where the drivers were involved, and co-citations with the driver/regulator genes. Moreover, 6 of 11 predicted MYB targets were down-regulated in an MYB-siRNA treated leukemia cell line. In addition, microRNA expressions were driven by distinct mechanisms from mRNA expressions. Conclusions The results provide rich mechanistic information regarding molecular aberrations and gene expressions in cancer genomes. This kind of integrative analysis will become an important tool for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the era of personalized medicine. PMID:22051105